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Ralph L. Fansler was an alumnus of Northwestern University and a Walt Whitman enthusiast. Besides collecting Whitman material, he researched and wrote a biography of the poet. In the course of this project he became acquainted with Whitman's niece, Jessie L. Whitman. She gave him some of her signed first editions and other Whitman material.
- Names: Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 X