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Harrison, Marguerite (23 October 1878–16 July 1967), journalist, spy, world traveler, and writer, was born Marguerite Elton Baker in Baltimore, Maryland, to Elizabeth Elton Livezey and Bernard Baker. Her wealthy family made its fortune in transatlantic shipping, and she spent many summers in Europe, where she enhanced her language skills. Her education was a combination of private tutors and attendance at St. Timothy’s School in Catonsville, Maryland, where she experienced some social awkwardness, but she also learned much about the wider world that would influence the rest of her life. After high school, she attended Radcliffe College for one semester and then in 1901 quickly married Thomas Harrison against her parents’ wishes. In contrast to her family’s high standing and social connections, Thomas came from a family of lesser means and status....

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Karzhavin, Fedor Vasil’evich (20 January 1745–28 March 1812), Russian traveler and man of letters, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, the son of Vasilii Nikitich Karzhavin, a merchant, and Anna Isaevna. He was educated in Paris, where he was exposed to the French Enlightenment. Returning to Russia in 1765, Karzhavin taught the French language in seminary (church college) in 1767–1768 and beginning in 1768 worked as an assistant in the architectural office of V. I. Bazhenov....

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Keyes, Frances Parkinson (21 July 1885–03 July 1970), writer, editor, and traveler, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, in James Monroe’s house, the daughter of John Henry Wheeler, a scholar and head of the Greek department at the University of Virginia, and Louise Fuller Johnson Underhill. When John Wheeler died in 1887, Louise Wheeler moved to “The Oxbow,” a family home near Newbury, Vermont, where Frances spent the summer months. In the winter months they relocated to Boston so Frances could attend school. Although she did graduate from Miss Winsor’s school in Boston, she described her formal education as “sketchy.”...

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Pratt, Daniel (11 April 1809–20 June 1887), wanderer, eccentric, and lecturer, was born in the Prattville section of Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Pratt, Jr., and Mary Hall. The roots of the distinguished Pratt family go back to revolutionary times; Daniel’s father was a humbler member of the strain. Daniel was the second of his ten children and outlived all of them except possibly one....

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Scidmore, Eliza Ruhamah (14 October 1856–03 November 1928), author and traveler, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of George Bolles Scidmore and Eliza Catharine Sweeney, missionaries. Her parents’ journeys to Japan and China served as inspiration for Scidmore’s overseas travels in these areas, visits that resulted in nine travel narratives. Educated in private boarding schools and with one year at Oberlin College (1873–1874), Scidmore moved to Washington, D.C., and began a career in writing with letters about high society in the nation’s capital that she published in the ...

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Vincent, Frank (02 April 1848–19 June 1916), world traveler, author, and collector, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Frank Vincent, a wealthy dry goods merchant, and Harriet Barns. Vincent grew up on the family estate at Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson and attended Peekskill Military Academy. In 1866 he entered Yale College and completed two terms before having to leave because of health problems. He returned the following year, but ill health again forced him to discontinue his studies. While at Yale, he vowed to see the world and to write about its more obscure regions. He subsequently spent more than forty years fulfilling that vow....

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Waln, Robert, Jr. (20 October 1794–04 July 1825), author and traveler, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Waln, a prosperous merchant, and Phebe Lewis. Presumably he attended one of the local Quaker schools and received private tutoring but did not attend a university. His “liberal education,” mentioned by Henry Simpson in ...

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White, Stewart Edward (12 March 1873–18 September 1946), traveler and writer of novels and short stories, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Thomas Stewart White, a millionaire lumberman, and Mary E. Daniell. He did not attend grammar school but was tutored at home and while traveling. Much of White’s education was informal, secured on outings with his father, whom he revered as a model of the energetic outdoorsman, displaying vitality, virility, honesty, and good judgment....