Born in Massachusetts to a family of merchants and seamen, Clapp traveled to Paris to translate the socialist writings of Fourier.
Clapp became Whitman's champion for a while. Clapp's influence helped make Whitman known and "located him on the margin of literary respectability." Clapp published reviews of Whitman's work and "nursed controversies and kept Whitman in the public eye as a radical new voice."
Clapp edited The Saturday Press until it ran out of money.
His visit to Pfaff's occurred during August 1860. Howells about meeting Whitman during this visit.
Zweig writes that, "In the evenings" during 1860 and 1861, Whitman "was mostly at Pfaff's with the crowd of drinkers he would soon be writing to from Washington: Hugo Fritch, Nat Bloom, Charlie Saunders, and others" (325).
Zweig makes a note of Whitman's silence at Pfaff's. Zweig claims Pfaff's was not "America" to Whitman and contends that Whitman's size and silence made him a dominant presence at the bar.
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015