In 1838, a fire destroyed New York's printing district, and with it Whitman's livelihood. He moved back in with his family in Long Island and took a job as a schoolteacher, a profession he did not love. "O, damnation, damnation! thy other name is school-teaching," By 1841, Whitman had had enough. He moved back to New York City, where the persona we know today as Walt Whitman was formed.