"During his last years the poet, who was almost seventy-three years old when he died was in a state of half-paralysis. He got out of doors regularly in fair weather, much enjoyed the Delaware River, was a great frequenter of the Camden and Philadelphia Ferry, and was occasionally seen sauntering along the Chestnut or Market Streets in the latter city. He had a curious sort of public sociability, talking with black and white, high and low, male and female, old and young, of all grades. He gave a word or two of friendly recognition, or a nod or smile, to each. Yet he was by no means a marked talker or logican anywhere. I know an old book-stand man who always spoke of him as Socrates. But in one respect the likeness was entirely deficient. Whitman never argued, disputed or held or invited a cross-questioning bout with any human being."
from "Authors At Home" edited by Jeanette Gilder
"Walt Whitman" by George Serwyn
You have to visit: http://www.whitmanarchive.org/
Richard considered Whitman his peer- perhaps the only one, really.