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A Glossary of Important Contributors to American Literature

Names of living authors are omitted.)

Alcott, Amos Bronson

Born in Wolcott, Conn., Nov. 29, 1799. He established a school for children in Boston, which was very successful until the press denounced it on account of the advanced ideas of the teacher. He then gave up the school and devoted his time to the study of philosophy and reforms, and later moved to Concord, Mass., where he founded the so-called “school of philosophy,” and became one of its leaders. He contributed to The Dial and published Tablets (1868), Concord days (1872), Table talk (1877), Sonnets and Canzonets (1882), and an Essay (1865), presented to Emerson on his birthday. Emerson had a great veneration for him. Died in Boston, Mass., March 4, 1888.

Austin, William

Born in Charlestown, Mass., March 2, 1778. He graduated from Harvard in 1798, studied law, and became eminent as a practitioner. Spending some time in England, he published, as a result, Letters from London, (1804). His works include Oration on the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill (1801) ; Essay on the human character of Jesus Christ (1807); and his most famous story, Peter Rugg, the Missing man, originally contributed to the New England Galaxy (1824-26), of which he was editor. Died in Charlestown, Mass., June 27, 1841.


Brown, Charles Brockden

Born in Philadelphia, Jan. 17, 1771, of Quaker parents. He was really the first American to make a profession of literature. He first undertook the study of law, and it was not till 1798 that Wieland, his first romance, was published. The rest of his works followed in quick succession: Ormond in 1799; Arthur Mervyn, Part I in 1798, Part II in 1800; Edgar Huntley in 1799; Clara Howard in 1801 ; and Jane Talbot in 1704. In the mean time he had become an editor, having in charge between 1799 and 1808 The monthly magazine and American Review (New York) and The literary magazine and American Register (Philadelphia). He wrote also Alcuin, a dialogue on the rights of women (1797); several political pamphlets ; a General Geography; and a treatise on Rome during the age of the Antonines. Died of consumption, Feb. 22, 1810.

Bryant, William Cullen

Born in Cummington, Mass., Nov. 3, 1794. His father was a country physician, and could give him only a year at Williams College, after which he spent the years between 1811 and 1825 in the study and practice of law. His genius was remarkably precocious. Thanatopsis, perhaps his most famous poem, was written at the age of seventeen. His first creditable volume of verse, published in 1821, included Thanatopsis and the Lines to a water-fowl. Numerous other volumes appeared between that date and 1864. The translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey were published between 1870 and 1872. In 1825 he gave up the practice of the law to become editor of The New York Review. A year later he became assistant editor of The New York evening post, and in 1829 assumed the editorship. This responsible position he held till his death, which occurred in New York City, June 12, 1878.

Channing, William Ellery

He was born at Newport, R. I., April 7, 1780. Here his boyhood was passed, and here he received his first strong religious impressions. Graduating from Harvard, he became an instructor in a family in Richmond, Va., where he acquired an abhorrence of [289] slavery; later he studied theology at Cambridge, and his first and only pastoral settlement was in Boston. He became widely known as the leader of the Unitarians, and his numerous writings, published singly, were brought together in five volumes (Boston, 1841) just before his death; a sixth volume being added later, and in 1872 a volume of selected sermons entitled The perfect life. A volume of selections from his Mss. was edited later by one of his granddaughters. Some of his writings on the subject of slavery are a letter on The slavery question (1839); a tract on Emancipation (1840); and an argument (1842) on The duty of the free States, touching the case of the slaves on board the brig Creole. He died at Bennington, Vt., Oct. 2, 1842.

Channing, William Ellery 2d

Nephew of the foregoing, and son of Walter Channing, M. D. Born in Boston. Entered Harvard in Lowell's class (1838), but did not graduate. He lived for most of his life in Concord, Mass. He published two volumes of poems, in 1843 and in 1847; and several other volumes of verse in subsequent years. His principal prose works are Thoreau, the poet Naturalist (1873) ; and Conversations from Rome, first published in 1902.

Cooper, James Fenimore

Born in Burlington, N. J., Sept. 15, 1789, of Quaker and Swedish descent. His early life was spent in the then wilderness of New York, and after a short time at Yale he entered the navy, where he remained for about three years. The interesting descriptions which we have in his works are founded on his early life in the wilderness and at sea. His first novel, Precaution, appeared in 1820. He was a prolific writer, and is, perhaps, best known by his Leather-Stocking tales, which are, in order of narration, The Deerslayer (1841), The last of the Mohicans (1826), the Pathfinder (1840), The pioneers (1823), and The Prairie (1827). Other works are The spy (1821); The Pilot (1823); the Red Rover (1828); The water-witch (1830); Homeward bound (1838); the Wing-and-wing [290] (1842); and Afloat and Ashore (1844). Died at Cooperstown, N. Y., Sept. 14, 1851.

Curtis, George William

Born in Providence, R. I., Feb. 24, 1824. He was in a New York mercantile house for a year, and at the age of eighteen joined the Brook Farm community, afterward going to Concord, Mass., where he worked on a farm and studied. After traveling abroad he came home, was placed on the editorial staff of the New York Tribune, and later became editor of Harper's weekly. In 1853 he began the series of essays in Harper's magazine known as The easy chair; three volumes of these Essays from the easy chair were collected and republished. Some of his publications are Nile notes of a Howadji (1851); The Howadji in Syria (1852) ; Lotus-eating (1852); Potiphar papers (1853); Prue and I (1856); and Trumps, a novel which appeared in Harper's weekly in 1862. He stood high as an orator, and was in great demand as a lecturer. Died at his home on Staten Island, Aug. 31, 1892.

Dana, Richard Henry

Born in Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 15, 1787. After a short course at Harvard College, he studied law and was admitted to the Boston bar. He was a member of the Anthology club, which conducted The monthly Anthology, but without success. He was one of the founders of The North American Review, his first publications appearing in it as An essay on old times and a criticism of Hazlitt's Lectures on the English poets. He also published a literary periodical called The idle man. His first volume of Poems containing The Buccaneer appeared in 1827; and six years later he published at Boston a collective edition of his Poems and prose writings. Died in Boston, Feb. 2, 1879.

Dickinson, Emily

Born in Amherst, Mass., Dec. 10, 1830. A recluse by temperament, she rarely went beyond her father's grounds, and, although she wrote many verses, was with the greatest difficulty persuaded to print three or four poems during her lifetime. Her Poems (1890) and [291] Poems (1892) were edited by M. L. Todd and T. W. Higginson; and Letters of Emily Dickinson (2 vols., 1894) by M. L. Todd. She died at Amherst, May 15, 1886.

Dickinson, John

Born in Maryland, Nov. 13, 1732. He studied law in Philadelphia and in London and practiced successfully in Philadelphia; was a member of the First Continental Congress and the author of a series of state papers put forth by that body. In 1788, he wrote nine letters signed “Fabius,” and was the author of Letters from a Pennsylvania farmer to the inhabitants of the British colonies (1767); Essays on the constitutional power of great Britain over the colonies in America (1774). Died in Wilmington, Del., Feb. 14, 1808.

Drake, Joseph Rodman

Born in New York City, Aug. 7, 1795. Left an orphan, he suffered the hardships of poverty and after a brief business career, studied medicine. At fourteen he wrote the poem The Mocking bird. In 1819, he, with Fitz-Greene Halleck, contributed to the N. Y. Evening post a series of humorous verses called The Croakers. His fame chiefly rests on his poem The Culprit Fay, written in 1816. The Culprit Fay and other poems was published in 1836. He died of consumption in New York City, Sept. 21, 1820.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Born in Boston, Mass., May 25, 1803, of a long line of ministerial ancestors. Graduating from Harvard in 1821, he taught at his brother's school and later studied theology. After a pastorate of nearly three years he left the active ministry. With others he formed the circle known as “Transcendentalists” and soon became editor of its literary organ, The Dial. His volume Nature was published in 1836; his collection of Essays in 1841; Essays, second series (1844); Poems (1846); Miscellanies (1849) ; Representative men (1850); English traits (1856); The conduct of life (1860); May day and other pieces (1867); Society and solitude (1870); Letters and social aims (1875); and a posthumous volume, Lectures and [292] Biowere published in 1876 and later. He died at Concord, Mass., April 27, 1882.

Fiske, John

Born in Hartford, Conn., Mar. 30, 1842. He graduated from Harvard College in 1863, and from the Harvard Law School in 1865. He is widely known as a philosopher and historian. Some of his publications are Tobacco and Alcohol (1868); Myths and Myth-Makers (1872) ; Outlines of Cosmic philosophy based on the doctrines of evolution (2 vols., 1874); The unseen world (1876); Darwinism and other essays (1879); Excursions of an Evolutionist (1883) ; the destiny of man Viewed in the light of his origin (1884) ; The idea of God as affected by modern knowledge (1885) ; and American political ideas Viewed from the Standpoint of universal history (1885) ; joint editor with Gen. James Grant Wilson of Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American biography (1886-89). He died July 4, 1901.

Franklin, Benjamin

Statesman and philosopher, born at Boston, Mass., Jan. 17, 1706, the son of a soap-boiler and tallow-chandler. He learned the printer's trade, and then ran away to Philadelphia, where he became the editor and proprietor of the Pennsylvania Gazette. In 1732 he began the publication of the famous Poor Richard's almanac. He was rather a statesman than a literary man, and filled many important public offices. The complete collection of his works edited by John Bigelow (1887-89) consists, in a great part, of letters written in a clear, business-like way upon many subjects. His Autobiography, printed first in French, and in 1817 in English, gave him reputation as a writer. He died in Philadelphia, Pa., April 17, 1790.

Freneau, Philip

Born in New York, N. Y., Jan. 2, 1752. He graduated at Princeton in 1771, and spent some time at sea. Later he was a contributor to The United States magazine and the Freeman's journal. He was editor of the New York Daily Advertiser, the National Gazette, and for a short time published the Jersey chronicle and the Time-piece [293] And literary companion. At Commencement he delivered with H. H. Brackenridge a poetical dialogue on The rising Glory of America, written by both, or possibly by Freneau alone. Some of his publications are Voyage to Boston (1774); General Gage's confession (1775); The British Prison-ship, a poem in four Cantos (1781); The poems of Philip Freneau, written chiefly during the late War (1786); Poems written between the years 1768 and 1794 (1795); Poems written and published during the American Revolutionary War (1809); and A collection of poems on American affairs (1815). He died near Freehold, N. J., Dec. 18, 1832.

Halleck, Fitz-Greene

Born in Guilford, Conn., July 8, 1790. He was for many years a clerk in a banking-house, and formed, in 1819, a literary partnership with Joseph Rodman Drake, publishing anonymously in the New York Evening post a series of good-humored'verses called the Croaker papers. His poem Fanny appeared in 1819 ; Marco Bozzaris (1825); Alnwick castle, with other poems (1827). His Poetical writings (1869) were edited by Gen. J. G. Wilson. He died at Guilford, Conn., Nov. 17, 1867.

Harte, Francis Bret

Born in Albany, N. Y., Aug. 25, 1839. Went to California in 1854. After attempting various occupations, such as teacher, miner, express-agent and printer's apprentice, he became one of the editors of The golden era, and later editor of The Californian, and The Overland monthly. His first book, Condensed novels, was published in 1867; Poems (1870); The Luck of roaring Camp, and other sketches (1871); East and West poems (1871); Poetical works (1873); Mrs. Skaggs's Husbands (1873); Echoes of the foot Hills (1874); Tales of the Argonauts (1875); Two men of Sandy bar (1876); Thankful Blossom (1876); The story of a mine (1877); Drift from two shores (1878); The Twins of table Mountain, and other stories (1879); Flip, and found at Blazing star (1882); In the Carquinez woods (1883); On the frontier (1884); By [294] Shore and Sedge (1885) ; Maruja, a novel (1885); Snow-Bound at eagle's (1886); A Millionnaire of rough and ready (1887) ; The Queen of the Pirate Isle, for children (1887) ; The Argonauts of North liberty (1888); A Phyllis of the Sierras (1888) ; Cressy (1889) ; the Heritage of Dedlow Marsh (1889); A Waif of the Plains (1890); and a second series of Condensed novels (1902). He died at Red House, Camberley, in Surrey, Eng., May 6, 1902.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

Born in Salem, Mass., July 4, 1804, of Puritan stock. He was of an imaginative and sensitive temperament, and after graduating from Bowdoin College in 1825, spent twelve years in Salem in retirement, reading and writing continually. His first novel, Fanshawe, appeared anonymously in 1826; then he became editor of the American magazine of useful and Entertaining knowledge, and contributed stories to the Token, the New England magazine, the Knickerbocker, and the Democratic Review. Twice-told tales came out in 1837; second volume of Twicetold tales (1845); Mosses from an old Manse (1846); The Scarlet letter (1850) ; The house of seven Gables (1851); The wonder book (1851) ; The Blithedale romance (1852) ; A campaign life qf Franklin Pierce (1852); and Tanglewood tales (1853) ; The marble Faun (1860); Our old home (1863). The unfinished works published after his death were The Dolliver romance, Septimius Felton and Dr. Grimshawe's secret. His American and English notebooks and French and Italian note-books were posthumously edited by his wife. During this time he occupied several government positions. Died at Plymouth, N. H., May 18, 1864.

Hayne, Paul Hamilton

Born in Charleston, S. C., Jan. 1, 1830. He graduated at the College of South Carolina and studied law, but gave up legal practice for literature, and was the editor of Russell's magazine and the Charleston Literary Gazette, contributing also to the Southern literary Messenger. He served in the Confederate army [295] until his health failed. In feeble health, he yet wrote much, and was the author of Poems (1855); Sonnets and other poems (1857); Avolio, a legend of the Island of Cos (1859); Legends and Lyrics (1872); The Mountain of the lovers, and other poems (1873); Life of Robert Y. Hayne (1878); Life of Hugh S. Legare (1878); and Poems, complete edition (1882). He died at Copse Hill, Forest Station, Ga., July 6, 1886.

Holland, Josiah Gilbert

Born in Belchertown, Mass., July 24, 1819. Graduating from the Berkshire Medical College at Pittsfield, Mass., in 1844, he contributed to the Knickerbocker, became associate editor of the Springfield Republican, and published his History of Western Massachusetts in 1855; then followed Timothy Titcomb's letters to young people, married and single (1858); Bitter sweet, a poem in dramatic form (1858); Miss Gilbert's career

(1860); Lessons in life (1861); Letters to the Joneses (1863); Plain talks on familiar subjects (1865); Life of Abraham Lincoln (1865); Kathrina, a poem (1867); The marble Prophecy and other poems (1872); Arthur Bonnicastle (1873); The mistress of the Manse, a poem (1874); The story of Sevenoaks (1875), and Nicholas Minturn (1876). Died in New York City, Oct. 12, 1881.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell

Born in Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 29, 1809. Graduating from Harvard in 1829, he studied law for a year, then studied medicine and established a practice in Boston. Some of his professional publications are Currents and Counter-Currents in Medical science, with other addresses and essays (1861); Medical essays (1883). He is best known for his literary work, and contributed to the Atlantic monthly the famous papers and poems published in 1859 under the title of The Autocrat of the breakfast table. Other publications are The Professor at the breakfast table (1860); The poet at the breakfast table (1873); the New Portfolio (1886); over the Teacups (1890), His novel Elsie Venner was published [296] in 1861; The Guardian angel in 1868 ; and A Mortal Antipa-Thy in 1885. He also issued Urania, poem (1846); Astrcea, poem (1850); Songs in many keys (1862); Soundings from the Atlantic, essays (1863); Mechanism in thought and morals (1871); Songs of many seasons (1875); The schoolboy (1878); John Lothrop Motley, a memoir (1878); The iron gate, and other poems (1880); Pages from an old volume of life (1883); Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1884); Our hundred days in Europe (1887); and Before the Curfew, and other poems (1888). Died in Boston, Mass., Oct. 7, 1894.

Irving, Washington

Born in New York City, April 3, 1783. At the age of sixteen he studied law, but never practiced. His first literary work, which took the form of letters, was published under the pen-name of “Jonathan Oldstyle.” In 1807, he issued, with others, a periodical called Salmagundi, or the whim-whams and opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. A history of New York, . . . By Diedrich Knickerbocker, appeared in 1809; and during the war of 1812 he wrote for the Analectic magazine. The Sketch-book was published in 1819. It was followed by Bracebridge hall (1822); Tales of a Traveller (1824); Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828); Chronicle of the conquest of Granada (1829); The Alhambra (1832); Tour on the prairies (1835); Astoria (1836); Adventures of Captain Booneville (1837); his complete works (1848-50); Mahomet and his successors (1849-50); Oliver Goldsmith, a biography (1849); WVolfert's Roost, and other papers (1855); Life of George Washington (1855-59). Died at Sunnyside, Irvington, N. Y., Nov. 28, 1859.

Jackson, Helen Fiske (Hunt)

Born in Amherst, Mass., Oct. 18, 1831. She was the daughter of Prof. Nathan W. Fiske, and married in October, 1852, Capt. Edward B. Hunt, and October, 1875, William S. Jackson. Contributed poems and prose articles to the N. Y. Nation, independent, and Atlantic monthly. She was greatly interested [297] in the Indians, and her works dealing with that subject are A century of Dishonor (1881), and Ramona (1884); other works are Verses by H. H. (1870); Bits of travel (1872); Bits of talk about home matters (1873); Sonnets and Lyrics (1886). Died in San Francisco, Aug. 12, 1885.

Knight, Sarah

Born in Boston, Mass., April 19, 1666. She was the daughter of Capt. Thomas Kemble and wife of Richard Knight, and taught school in Boston, counting among her pupils Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Mather. Her Journey from Boston to New York in the year 1704,from the original manuscript, including the diary of the Rev. John Buckingham of a journey to Canada in 1710, was published in 1825. Died at Norwich, Conn., Sept. 25, 1727.

Lanier, Sidney

Born in Macon, Ga., Feb. 3, 1842. He graduated from Oglethorpe College, Midway, Ga., in 1860, and served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. He published Tiger-Lilies in 1867, and was after the war a clerk, and principal of an academy, and later practiced law with his father; then became a lecturer in English literature. In 1880 he wrote his poem Sunrise. Some of his works are Florida: its scenery, Climate, and history (1876); Poems (1877); The boy's Froissart (1878); the boy's King Arthur (1880); The science of English verse (1880); the boy's Mabinogion (1881); The boy's Percy (1881); and The English novel and the principles of its development

(1883). Poems by Sidney Lanier, edited by his wife, appeared in 1884. He died of consumption, in Lynn, N. C., Sept. 7, 1881.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Born in Portland, Me., Feb. 27, 1807. Graduating from Bowdoin College in

1825, he went abroad, and then became professor of modern languages at Bowdoin and later (from 1836 until 1854) at Harvard. The most important of his published works are Hyperion (1839); Voices of the night (1839); Ballads and other poems (1841); Poems on slavery (1842); The Spanish student (1843); The Belfry of Bruges, and Other Poems [298] (1846); Evangeline, a tale of Acadie (1847); Kavanagh (1849); The Seaside and the Fireside (1850); The golden legend (1851); The song of Hiawatha (1855); The Courtship of Aliles Standish (1858); Tales of a Wayside inn (1863); a translation of Dante's Divine Comedy (1867); Flower de Luce (1867); The divine tragedy (1871); Three books of song (1872); Aftermath (1874); The Masque of Pandora (1875); Keramos (1878); Ultima Thule (1880); and In the Harbor (1882). He died in Cambridge, Mass., March 24, 1882.

Lowell, James Russell

Born in Cambridge, Mass., Feb. 22, 1819. Graduating from Harvard in 1838, he was admitted to the bar, but devoted himself to literature. He contributed to The liberty Bell, anti-slavery standard, and the Boston Courier in which the Biglow papers appeared (1846-48). He issued his first collection of verse, A year's life, in 1841; A legend of Brittany (1844); Conversations with some of the old poets (1845); The vision of Sir Launfal (1845); A Fable for critics (1848); and Poems (1848). He became professor of modern languages at Harvard, was the first editor of the Atlantic Mlonthly, and was joint editor with Professor Norton of the North American Review. Fireside travels appeared in 1864; a second series of Biglow papers (1866); Under the Willows (1869); Among my books (1870); and My study Windows (1871). He was minister to Spain, and later was transferred to England. Democracy and other addresses was issued in 1887; Heartsease and Rue (1888); and Political essays (1888). He died in Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 12, 1891.

Mather, Cotton

Born in Boston, Mass., Feb. 12, 1663. Graduating from Harvard in 1678, he studied theology and became minister of the North Church in Boston. He was one of the leaders in the movement against witchcraft, and in justification of his attitude wrote The Wonders of the invisible world (1692). He also published, among many volumes, Memorable Providences relating to witchcraft [299] And possessions (1685); Essays to do good (1710); but is best known by his Magnalia Christi Americana; or, the Ecclesiastical history of New England (1702). Died in Boston, Mass., Feb. 13, 1728.

Motley, John Lothrop

Born in Dorchester, Mass., April 15, 1814. Graduating at Harvard in 1831, he studied at Gottingen, and occupied several public positions abroad. He published Morton's hope, a novel, in 1839, and Merry Mount, a romance of the Massachusetts Colony in 1849. His first historical essay on Peter the Great came out in the North American Review for 1845. The rise of the Dutch Republic was published in three volumes (1856), two volumes of The history of the United Netherlands in 1860, the two concluding volumes in 1868, and The life and death of John of Barneveld, advocate of Holland, with a view of the primary Causes and Movements of the thirty years War (1874). The correspondence of John Lothrop Motley, D. C. L. (1889) was edited by G. W. Curtis. Died at “Kingston-Russell house,” near Dorchester, Eng., May 29, 1877.

Ossoli, Margaret Fuller

Born in Cambridge, Mass., May 23, 1810. Extremely precocious in youth, she became a prominent member of the group of Transcendentalists, taught, edited The Dial, and was then literary critic for the New York Tribune; went to Italy and married the Marquis of Ossoli, and was actively interested in the Italian struggle for independence in 1849. She had a remarkable personality and a natural talent for literature. Some of her published works are A summer on the Lakes (1843); Woman in the nineteenth century (1844); and Papers on literature and art (1846). She died, by shipwreck, with her husband and child, off Fire Island Beach, N. Y., July 16, 1850.

Paine, Thomas

Born in Thetford, Norfolk Co., England, Jan. 29, 1737. He was an exciseman, and having been dismissed from the excise service, emigrated in 1775 to America, where his literary ability brought him the position of editor of the Pennsylvania magazine. He published Comn- [300] Mon sense in 1776; the first number of his Crisis appeared in 1776 ; the Rights of Mlan (1791) and the Age of reason (1794-95). Later, he became a French citizen, was imprisoned, released, and returned to America. Died in New York City, June 8, 1809.

Parker, Theodore

Born in Lexington, Mass., Aug. 24, 1810. He studied, taught, and then went to the Harvard Divinity School. Later he became the representative of Transcendentalism in the pulpit. His published works include Discourse on matters pertaining to Religion (1842); Miscellaneous writings (1843); Sermons on Theism, Atheism, and popular theology (1852); occasional sermons and speeches (2 vols., 1852); Ten sermons of Religion (1853); Additional speeches and addresses (2 vols., 1855); Trial of Theodore Parker for the Misdemeanor of a speech in Faneuil hall against Kidnapping (1855); a volume of Prayers (1862); and one entitled Historic Americans (1870) includes discourses on Franklin, Washington, Adams and Jefferson. Died in Florence, Italy, May 10, 1860.

Parkman, Francis

Born in Boston, Mass., Sept. 16, 1823. Graduating at Harvard in 1844, he studied law, but devoted himself to literary work, contributing articles to the Knickerbocker magazine, which were collected and published as The Oregon Trail (1849). Other publications are The Conspiracy of Pontiac (1851) ; Pioneers of France in the New world (1865); The book of Roses (1866); Jesuits in North America (1867); discovery of the great West (1869); The old Regime in Canada (1874); Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV. (1877); and Montcalm and Wolfe (1884). Died at Jamaica Plain, Mass., Nov. 8, 1893.

Parton, James

He was born in Canterbury, England, Feb. 9, 1822, and came to the United States when he was five years old; taught in Philadelphia and contributed to the Home journal. Some of his publications are Life of Horace Greeley (1855) ; humorous poetry of the English [301] Language from Chaucer to Saxe (1856); Life and times of Aaron Burr (1857) ; life of Andrew Jackson (3 vols., 1859-60); General Butler in New Orleans (1863); Life and times of Benjamin Franklin (1864); Life of Thomas Jefferson (1874); and Life of Voltaire (1881). Died in Newburyport, Mass., Oct. 17, 1891.

Percival, James Gates

Born in Berlin, Conn., Sept. 15, 1795. He graduated from Yale in 1815 and studied medicine and botany. Later he was appointed assistant surgeon in the army. He contributed articles to the U. S. Literary magazine; studied geology and was appointed to assist in making a survey of the mineralogy and geology of Connecticut, the results of which are given in his Report of the geology of the state of Connecticut (1842). His poems Prometheus and Clio were published in 1822. He edited Vicesimus Knox's Elegant extracts (1826) ; translated with notes Malte Brun's Geography (3 vols., 1834); assisted Noah Webster in the preparation of his Dictionary of the English language, and wrote several tragedies collected in his Poetical works (1859). Died at Hazel Green, Wis., May 2, 1856.

Poe, Edgar Allan

Born in Boston, Mass., Jan. 19, 1809. He was partly educated in England and studied at the University of Virginia, and worked for a short time in a counting-room ; then enlisted in the U. S. Army and secured an appointment at West Point, but turned his attention to literature. He was editor of the Southern literary Messenger at Richmond, afterward of Burton's Gentleman's magazine, and of Graham's magazine. He published Tamerlane, and other poems (1827); Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and minor poems (1829) ; Poems (1831) ; the narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838) ; The Conchologist's first book (1839) ; tales of the grotesque and Arabesque (2 vols., 1839); Tales (1845) ; The Raven, and other poems (1845); and Eureka, a prose poem (1848). Died in Baltimore, Md.,

Oct. 7, 1849.


Prescott, William Hickling

Born in Salem, Mass., May 4, 1796. He graduated from Harvard in 1814, and would have studied law, but defective vision forbade, and he turned his attention to history by the aid of readers. His first work was The history of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (1838), and was followed by Miscellanies (1845); History of the conquest of Peru (1847); The history of the Reign of Philip II., King of Spain (1855); and the Life of Charles V. After his Abdication (1857). Died in Boston, Mass., Jan. 28, 1859.

Rowson, Susanna

Born in Portsmouth, Eng., in 1762. She came to America in 1767 with her father, Lieut. William Haswell, and later married in London William Rowson; returning to America she became an actress, and later a schoolmistress. She wrote and published Victoria (1786); Charlotte Temple: or, a tale of truth (1790); and Miscellaneous poems (1804). Died in Boston, Mass., March 2, 1824.

Scudder, Horace Elisha

Born in Boston, Mass., Oct. 16, 1838. Graduating at Williams College in 1858, he taught for a short time, soon removing to Boston and devoting himself to literature. His Seven little people was published in 1862 and Dream children in 1863. He became editor of the Riverside magazine for young children and later of the Atlantic monthly. Among his works are Stories from my Attic (1869); The Bodley books (1875-87); The dwellers in five-sisters Court (1876); Men and manners in America (1876); Stories and romances (1880); The children's book (1881); Boston town (1881); Life of Noah Webster (1882); History of the United States (1884); Men and letters (1888). He assisted Mrs. Taylor with Life and letters of Bayard Taylor (1884); and was editor of the series of Cambridge poets, and otherwise responsible for the making of many good books. His latest work was the Life of Lowell (1901). He died in Cambridge, Mass., Jan. 11, 1902.


Sedgwick, Catherine Maria

Born in Stockbridge, Mass., Dec. 28, 1789. Having an excellent education, she kept a private school for young ladies. Her first two novels appeared anonymously, and were entitled A New England tale (1822) and Redwood (1824). Then came The Traveller (1825); Hope Leslie, or early times in Massachusetts (2 vols., 1827); The Linwoods, or sixty years since in America (2 vols., 1835); Sketches and tales (1835); The poor rich man and the rich poor man (1836); Live and let live (1837); Letters from abroad (1841); Morals of manners (1846); Facts and fancies (1848); and Married or single? (1857). Died near Roxbury, Mass., July 31, 1867.

Sewall, Samuel

He was born in Bishop-Stoke or Basingstoke, Eng., March 28, 1652, and came to America in 1661. Taking his first degree from Harvard in 1671, he studied for the ministry, but after his marriage had charge of the Boston printing-press for about three years, and occupied various public offices, being a member of the court which conducted the witchcraft trials at Salem. Later he became convinced of the error of his conduct in this connection and volunteered public apology for it. His various publications are The Selling of Joseph (1700); Prospects touching the Accomplishment of Prophecies (1713); A memorial Relating to the Kennebec Indians (1721); and A description of the New Heaven (1727). He is best known for his Diary, covering the period from 1674 to 1729, published by the Massachusetts Historical Society (1878-82). He died in Boston, Mass., Jan. 1, 1730.

Sill, Edward Rowland

Born in Windsor, Conn., April 29, 1841. Graduating from Yale in 1861, he studied divinity for a time at Harvard and then taught in Ohio; was professor of English literature at the University of California, but resigned to devote himself to literary work. He is the author of The Hermitage and other poems (1867); Venus of Milo and other poems (1883); and Poems (1888), issued after his death. Died in Cleveland, O,, Feb. 27, 1887.


Simms, William Gilmore

Born in Charleston, S. C., April 17, 1806. He studied law, but in 1828 became editor and partial owner of the Charleston City Gazette. His writings were very numerous. Among them may be named Lyrical and other poems (1827); Atalantis, a tale of the sea (1832); The Yemassee (1835); The Partisan (1835); Pelayo (1838); The kinsman (1841; new edition 1854, entitled The Scout); confession, or the blind heart (1842); castle Dismal (1845); The Wigwam and the cabin, or tales of the South (1845-46); Areytos, or songs and ballads of the South (1846); Poems (2 vols., 1853); The Maroon, and other tales (1855); and was editor of War poetry of the South (1867). A collection of his best works was published in nineteen volumes (1859). Died in Charleston, S. C., June 11, 1870.

Stockton, Francis Richard

Born in Philadelphia, Penn., April 5, 1834. He became an engraver, but soon gave up this occupation for journalism, and was connected with the Philadelphia Post, the New York Hearth and home, Scribner's monthly and the St. Nicholas. Some of his children's books are The Ting-a-ling stories (1870); Roundabout Rambles (1872) ; What might have been expected (1874); Tales out of School (1872) ; A Jolly Fellowship (1880) ; The Floating Prince (1881) ; The story of Viteau (1884); and Personally conducted (1889). His novels and short stories include Rudder Grange (1879); the Lady or the Tiger? and other stories (1884) ; The late Mrs. Null (1886); The Casting away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine (1886); The Hundredth man (1887) ; The Christmas wreck, and other tales (1887); The bee man of Orn and other fanciful tales (1887); The Dusantes (1888); Amos Kilbright, with other stories (1888); The great War Syndicate (1889); The stories of the three Burglars (1890) ; and The Merry Chanter (1890). Died in Washington, D. C., April 20, 1902.

Stowe, Harriet Elizabeth [Beecher].

Born in Litchfield, Conn., June 14, 1811. She was the daughter of Rev. Lyman Beecher, and in 1836 married Rev. Calvin E. Stowe, [305] having been educated at Hartford, Conn., and at the Litchfield Academy. For a short time she lived at Cincinnati, Ohio, where she learned much about the condition of slaves in the South. Her experience is brought out in Uncle Tom's cabin, which was written for the purpose of convincing the North of the horrors which attended the institution of slavery. Among her publications are The Mayflower, or short sketches of the descendants of the Pilgrims (1849); Uncle Tom's cabin, or life among the Lowly, which first appeared in the National era of Washington, D. C., between June, 1851, and April, 1852, and was published in book form in 1852 ; A key to uncle Tom's cabin, Presenting the original facts and documents upon which the story is founded, together with Corroborative statements Verifying the truth of the work (1853) ; a peep into uncle Tom's cabin, for children (1853); Sunny memories of foreign lands (1854); Dred: a tale of the great Dismal Swamp (1856); The Minister's Wooing (1859); Old town Folks (1869); Lady Byron Vindicated, a history of the Byron controversy (1869); Pink and White tyranny (1871); Religious poems (1865); Men of our times (1868); Footsteps of the masters (1876); Poganuc people (1878); and a Dog's Mission (1881). Died in Hartford, Conn., July 1, 1896.

Taylor, Bayard

Born in Kennett Square, Chester Co., Penn., Jan. 11, 1825. He received a high-school education and contributed poems to local papers, bringing out his first volume, Ximena, and other poems, in 1844. Some of his publications are Views Afoot, or Europe seen with Knapsack and staff (1846); and many other accounts of travel, the tnal one being Egypt and Iceland (1874). Among his novels are Hannah Thurston (1863); John Godfrey's fortunes (1864); The story of Kennett (1866); Joseph and his friend (1870); and Beauty and the Beast, and tales of home (1872). His books of poetry, by which he is, perhaps, best known, include The poet's journal (1862); Poems (1865); The Masque of the Gods (1872); Lars: a pastoral of Norway [306] (1873); Home-Pastorals (1875); The national Ode (1876); and Prince Deukalion: a lyrical Drama (1878). His most valuable work in verse was a translation of Goethe's Faust. Some of his miscellaneous writings were published after his death under the title Studies in German literature (1879); and Essays and notes (1880). Died in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 15, 1878.

Thaxter, Celia [Laighton]

Born in Portsmouth, N. H., June 29, 1836. Her father, Thomas B. Laighton, was keeper of the Isles of Shoals lighthouse, and here most of her life was passed. In 1851 she married Levi Lincoln Thaxter. Her works include Among the Isles of Shoals (1873); Poems (1871); Driftweed (1878); Poems for children (1884); The Cruise of the Mystery, and other poems (1886). Died on Appledore Island, Aug. 26, 1894.

Thoreau, Henry David

Born in Concord, Mass., July 12, 1817. Graduating from Harvard in 1837, he devoted himself to literature, supplying his simple needs by surveying, carpentering, and engineering. He cared for simplicity of life and not at all for society. He and his brother spent a week in a home-made boat, a journey that found record in A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers (1849). He lived for some time in a hut which he had built himself on the edge of Walden pond, and made the experience famous in Walden, or life in the woods (1854). He wrote for The Dial, Democratic Review, Graham's, Putnam's and the Union magazines, the Atlantic monthly, and the N. Y. Tribune. Some of his published works are Excursions in field and Forest (1863); The Mlaine woods (1864); Cape Cod (1865); Letters to various persons (1865); and A Yankee in Canada (1866). Died in Concord, Mass., May 6, 1862.

Timrod, Henry

Born in Charleston, S. C., Dec. 8, 1829. He attended the University of Georgia and then studied law, but became a war correspondent for the Charleston Mercury and later editor of a paper in Columbia, S. C. All his possessions were destroyed at the time of Sherman's [307] march to the sea, and, overcome by poverty and ill-health, he died at Columbia, S. C., Oct. 6, 1867. A volume of his poems appeared in 1860, and in 1873 The poems of Henry Timrod, edited, with a sketch of the poet's life, by Paul H. Hayne.

Trumbull, John

Born in Westbury (now Watertown), Conn., April 24, 1750. Graduating from Yale in 1767, he became tutor there and then studied law. His published works include The progress of Dulness (1772-74) ; an Elegy on the times (1774); his famous McFingal, a modern Epic poem (1774-82). He was associated with the “Hartford wits” in the production of The Anarchiad (1786-87), and was judge of the superior court from 1801 until 1819. The poetical works of John Trumbull were published in 1820. Died in Detroit, Mich., May 10, 1831.

Webster, Daniel

Born in Salisbury (now Franklin), N. H., Jan. 18, 1782. Graduating from Dartmouth in 1801, he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and was unsurpassed as a lawyer and orator. He became U. S. representative from New Hampshire and later from Massachusetts, and in 1827 was made U. S. Senator from the latter state. Some of the best known of his public orations are those on the Bunker Hill monument, on the Pilgrim anniversary, and the eulogium on Jefferson and Adams. His most celebrated political speech is his Reply to Hayne. A collection of his Works appeared in 1851, and of his Private correspondence in 1856. Died in Marshfield, Mass., Oct. 24, 1852.

Whipple, Edwin Percy

Born in Gloucester, Mass., March 8, 1819. At the age of fourteen, he published articles in the Salem newspapers, and soon became superintendent of the news-room of the Merchants' Exchange, Boston. Eventually he gave up journalism to devote himself entirely to literature. He became known as a critic from his article on Macaulay, which appeared in the Boston Miscellany (1843); and the same year he began to lecture. He was literary editor of the Boston Globe, 1872-73. Among his [308] publications are Essays and reviews (2 vols., 1848-49); selected lectures entitled Literature and life (1849) ; Character and characteristics of men (1866) ; The literature of the age of Elizabeth (1869) ; and Success and its conditions (1871). He also edited with James T. Fields the Family Library of British poetry (1878). There were issued posthumously Recollections of eminent men (1887); American literature, and other papers (1887); and Outlooks on society, literature and politics (1888). Died in Boston, Mass., June 16, 1886.

Whitman, Walt

Or Walter. Born in West Hills, Long Island, N. Y., May 31, 1819. He was, in early life, a printer in summer and a school teacher in winter, and helped edit several country papers. He served as an army nurse in the Civil War and later held several government positions. His works include Leaves of grass (1855); Drum Taps (1865) ; Memoranda during the War (1867); Democratic Vistas (1870); Passage to India (1870), containing his poem, The burial Hymn of Lincoln; after all, not to create only (1871) ; As strong as a bird on Pinions free (1872) ; Specimen days, and collect (1883); November Boughs (1888) ; Sands at seventy (1888) ; and a collective edition entitled Complete poems and prose (1889). Died Mar. 26, 1892.

Whittier, John Greenleaf

Born in Haverhill, Mass., Dec. 17, 1807. The Quaker poet had slender means, and by shoe-making and a term of school teaching earned money to attend the Haverhill Academy for two terms. At the age nineteen he had contributed verse anonymously to the Free press, edited by W. L. Garrison, who encouraged the poet and became his life-long friend. Later, Whittier edited the American Manufacturer, the Haverhill Gazette, and the Hartford, Conn., New England weekly Review, also contributing to John Neal's magazine, The Yankee, and afterward editing the Pennsylvania Freeman. He at first contributed most of his literary work to the National era of Washington, [309] D. C., an important anti-slavery paper, but after the establishment of the Atlantic monthly he wrote mainly for that. Some of his works are Legends of New England in prose and verse (1831); Moll Pitcher (1832); Poems, chiefly Relating to slavery (1838); Ballads (1838); Lays of my home, and other poems (1843); Voices of freedom (1849); Songs of labor and other poems (1850); The Chapel of the Hermits, and other poems (1853); A Sabbath scene (1853); The Panorama, and other poems (1856); Home ballads (1860); In War time, and other poems (1863); Snow bound (1866); The Tent on the Beach, and other poems (1867); Among the Hills, and other poems (1868); Miriam, and other poems (1870); The Pennsylvania Pilgrim (1872) ; Hazel blossoms (1874) ; Mabel Martin (1875); Centennial Hymn (1876); The vision of Echard (1878); The King's Missive, and other poems (1881); The Bay of seven Islands, and other poems (1883) ; Poems of nature (1885); and St. Gregory's Guest, and recent poems (1886); and the prose works: The stranger in Lowell (1845); Supernaturalism in New England (1847); Leaves from Margaret Smith's journal (1849) ; Old Portraits and modern sketches (1850) ; and Literary Recreations (1854); A final edition of his works supervised by the poet himself appeared in seven volumes (1888-9). Died in Hampton Falls, N. H., Sept. 7, 1892.

Willis, Nathaniel Parker

Born in Portland, Me., Jan. 20, 1806. Graduating from Yale in 1827, he soon founded the American monthly magazine, which later was merged into the New York Mirror. He had already contributed to his father's magazine, the Youth's companion, and soon went to Europe, and wrote many letters about his travels which were published in the Youth's companion. His works include Scripture sketches (1827); Fugitive Pcetry (1829); Melaine, and other poems (1835); Pencillings by the way (1835); Inklings of Adventure (1836); Loiterings of travel (1839); Letters from under a Bridge (1840); [310] Lady Jane, and other poems (1844); Dashes at life with a free Pencil (1845); Rural letters (1849); People I have met (1850); Hurrygraphs (1851); A summer Cruise in the Mediterranean (1853); Outdoors at Idlewild (1854); Paul Fane, a novel (1857); The Convalescent (1859); and Poems, Sacred, passionate and humorous (1864). Died at Idlewild, near Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, N. Y., Jan. 20, 1867.

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