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Blake, Harrison Gray Otis (10 April 1816–18 April 1898), teacher and editor, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Francis Blake, a successful lawyer, and Elizabeth Augusta Chandler. His father’s death before Blake’s first birthday sharply reduced the family’s living standard. Blake graduated from Harvard College in 1835, ranking fourth and giving the Latin Salutatory Oration. Three years’ study in Harvard’s Divinity School ensued, during which he encountered the religious and ethical philosophy of the Transcendentalists. In 1838 a committee of Blake and two senior theology classmates invited ...

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Boyd, Julian Parks (03 November 1903–28 May 1980), documentary editor and historian, was born in Converse, South Carolina, the son of Robert J. Boyd, a railroad telegrapher, and Melona Parks. After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from Duke University in 1925, he earned a master’s degree in political science from that institution in 1926 and then spent 1926–1927 as instructor and principal at Alliance High School in North Carolina; in 1927–1928 he did further graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. In December 1927 he married Grace Wiggins Welch; the couple had one son....

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Emerson, Edward Waldo (10 July 1844–27 January 1930), editor and writer, was born in Concord, Massachusetts, the son of the essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and his second wife, Lidian “Lydia” Jackson. Concord was to remain Emerson’s lifelong place of residence. He was of a slight build and subject throughout life to various illnesses, at times debilitating. His ambition as a young man was to enlist as a cavalryman in one of the many regiments then forming in Massachusetts, but his health was precarious and he had been discouraged moreover by his mother’s decree that one should not consider enlisting so long as the cause was to preserve the Union rather than to emancipate the slaves. Emerson’s alternative was to enter Harvard as an undergraduate in August 1861 only to find after six weeks that “he had no strength for College,” as a sister reported, “and is at home again trying to get well … doing nothing but ride on horseback when he is able, and amuse himself with society and painting or lying down when he isn’t, and his papa is brokenhearted that College is lost” (...

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Fitzpatrick, John Clement (10 August 1876–10 February 1940), archivist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of James Nicholas Fitzpatrick, a financial clerk of the U.S. Senate, and Elizabeth Ann Combs. He graduated from Washington High School in 1894 and for three years worked as a journalist for the ...

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Ford, Paul Leicester (23 March 1865–08 May 1902), historian and novelist, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Gordon Lester Ford, a businessman and political figure, and Emily Ellsworth Fowler, a poet. As a baby Ford suffered a tragic fall that left him with a severely deformed spine, the pain from which would plague him all his life. Moreover, the nature of the injury dictated that Ford wear a special harness as a child. As a result he received very little formal schooling; instead, he was tutored at home and allowed the free run of his father’s private library of more than 50,000 volumes, including perhaps the largest private collection of Americana in the world. At age eleven he acquired a small printing press, with which he began publishing compilations of historical material gleaned from his father’s library....

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Ford, Worthington Chauncey (16 February 1858–07 March 1941), historical editor and bibliographer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Gordon Lester Ford, a businessman, civic and cultural leader, and bibliophile, and Emily Ellsworth Fowler, an author and a granddaughter of Noah Webster...

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Hazard, Samuel (26 May 1784–22 May 1870), historical editor and antiquarian, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ebenezer Hazard, then postmaster general of the United States, and Abigail Arthur. He received his early education at the Second Presbyterian Church school in Philadelphia and, from 1793 to 1796, at an academy in Woodbury, New Jersey. He then spent two years at Princeton College but left in 1799 because of illness. Like his father, Hazard became a merchant and an editor of historical records. He took his apprenticeship in the prominent Philadelphia countinghouse of Robert Ralston, a family friend and a fellow “Old Light” Presbyterian. As a young man Hazard was involved in the formation of the American Literary Association in 1805 and the Phoenix Social Club in 1809. He also became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1812 and the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture in 1814....

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Kellogg, Louise Phelps (12 May 1862–11 July 1942), historian and documentary editor, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Amherst Willoughby Kellogg and Mary Isabella Phelps. Her father, active in the Methodist church and in temperance societies, worked for several insurance companies. Educated at Dearborn Seminary and the Milwaukee College (later Milwaukee-Downer College), Kellogg received a B.L. in 1897 from the University of Wisconsin....

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Knight, Lucian Lamar (09 February 1868–19 November 1933), editor, archivist, and historian, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Confederate general George Walton Knight, a lawyer and cotton merchant, and his second wife, Clara Corinne Daniel, a teacher. Named for Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar...

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Sparks, Jared (10 May 1789–14 March 1866), historian, editor, and clergyman, was born in Willington, Connecticut, the son of Eleanor Orcutt, who nine months later married Joseph Sparks, a farmer. His early life was somewhat unstable. In the mid-1790s he was sent to live with an aunt and uncle to relieve the burdens of the many children in the family, and with his adoptive family, he settled in 1800 in Camden, New York. In 1805 he moved home for a brief time and then went to live with another uncle in Tolland, Connecticut. There he apprenticed as carpenter and taught in local schools. Early on he displayed interests in literary and historical pursuits along with the more common interest in theology. While in Arlington, Vermont, he organized the Arlington Philosophical Society in 1808. He studied at the Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, beginning in September 1809, the result of Sparks’s early interests in the ministry and his receipt of a scholarship. There he met and became lifelong friends with another future New England historian, ...

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Thwaites, Reuben Gold (15 May 1853–22 October 1913), historian, editor, and librarian, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the son of William George Thwaites and Sarah Bibbs, farmers. Thwaites’s family had emigrated from Yorkshire, England, three years before his birth. He attended school in Dorchester and in 1866 moved with his parents to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he helped them farm, taught school, and read the equivalent of a program of college courses. He became a reporter on the ...