Walt Whitman is considered by many to be the most influential poet in U.S. history. Born on Long Island and raised in Brooklyn, Whitman was largely self-educated. When Leaves of Grass was first published, it was praised by many of the day’s intellectuals, but ignored by the public. It took many years and several editions before the work finally came to be considered a masterpiece. During the Civil War, Whitman lived in Washington where his experience provided him with fertile material which eventually made him the poet students study today. After the War, he moved to Camden where he spent the last two decades of his life writing, traveling and attaining the international stature he continues to hold today. It was in Camden where he finally completed Leaves of Grass which had grown from a collection of 12 poems to more than 300. He died and was buried in Camden, which his home is operated today as the Walt Whitman House.