James Ryder Randall the author of |
My Maryland,at twenty-two In 1861, just as he looked when he wrote his famous battle-cry, My Maryland, James Ryder Randall, the youthful poet, faces the reader. Randall was born in Baltimore the first day of 1839. His early schooling was under Joseph H. Clark, a former teacher of Edgar Allan Poe. At Georgetown College he was the smallest boy that had ever been received as a student. After becoming known as the poet of the college, he traveled extensively in the West Indies and South America, landing in 1858 in New Orleans on his return. Then he accepted the chair of English literature at Poydras College, a flourishing Creole institution at Pointe Coupee, Louisiana. He was still teaching there when he learned through the New Orleans Delta of the attack on the Sixth Massachusetts in Baltimore on April 19, 1861. That night he wrote the verses that ran like wildfire through the South and were parodied numberless times in the North. The remainder of his days were chiefly spent in newspaper work, largely in Georgia. He became indifferent to his poetical work, and it was owing to the insistence of his friend, Miss Lillian McGregor Shepherd, that his verse was collected. Through her courtesy is here reproduced the intimate and appealing photograph above, a gift to her from the poet himself. He died in 1908 in Augusta, Georgia.
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