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[111] home from Europe many affectations of manner and such marked eccentricities that his influence at Harvard was undermined; at the end of a year he left, to become, with Joseph G. Cogswell, proprietor of a boys' school at Northampton, Massachusetts. As a schoolmaster Bancroft was a failure, and he retired from the school in 1831. Meanwhile, he had begun to write. School-books, translations, and articles for The North American review came out in rapid succession. By 1831 he had established the literary habit and had the reputation of being a ready and effective writer.

At this time Bancroft had begun to support the Democratic party. He was accused of doing it to obtain Federal office, but the charge was not substantiated. He was ever a defender of the doctrine of equality held by Jefferson, Jackson, and Lincoln. In America he saw organized democracy which was to make humanity happy: to write its history became his hope. In 1834 appeared the first volume of his History of the United States from the discovery of the American continent. At the time neither Hildreth nor Tucker had written, and only Pitkin, Holmes, and Trumbull had undertaken a task like his. They were all didactic. Bancroft produced a work of a different character. There was a lofty and sonorous sense of detachment in his sentences. To the present age they seem sheer affectation; but to the men who had been reading the bald statements of fact hitherto offered as history, they seemed admirable. Edward Everett read the first volume through in twenty-four hours and wrote:

I think you have written a Work which will last while the memory of America lasts; and which will instantly take its place among the classics of our language. It is full of learning, information, common sense, and philosophy; full of taste and eloquence; full of life and power. You give us not wretched paste-board men; not a sort of chronological table, with the dates written out at length, after the manner of most historians;—but you give us real, individual, living, men and women, with their passions, interests, and peculiarities.

Theodore Parker wrote: ‘I think you are likely to make, what I long since told you I looked for from you, the most noble and splendid piece of historical composition, not only in English, ’

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