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Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (11 November 1836–19 March 1907), author and editor, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Elias Taft Aldrich, a businessman, and Sarah Abba Bailey. Aldrich was educated in Portsmouth under Samuel De Merritt, and the Portsmouth environs furnished the background for much of his work, as did the backdrops of New York City and Boston, where he spent his adult life. Aldrich moved to New York City at age sixteen to work in his uncle’s commission house. After reading ...

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Allen, Paul (15 February 1775–18 August 1826), editor and poet, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Paul Allen, Sr., a Rhode Island state representative, and Polly Cooke, the daughter of a governor of that state. In 1793 he graduated from Brown University (then Rhode Island College), where he displayed talent as an orator. Several of his orations were published, the earliest being a eulogy on a classmate delivered on 22 November 1792. Allen studied law but never practiced; indeed, most sources follow ...

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Auslander, Joseph (11 October 1897–22 June 1965), poet, editor, and translator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis Auslander and Martha Asyueck. He attended Columbia University from 1914 to 1915, then transferred to Harvard, receiving his B.A. in 1917. In 1919 he became an instructor in English at Harvard. He pursued graduate studies there until 1924, with the interruption of one year (1921–1922) at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he went on a Parker Traveling Fellowship. His poetry began to appear in national magazines in 1919, and his first volume, ...

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Benét, William Rose (02 February 1886–04 May 1950), poet and editor, was born in Fort Hamilton, New York, the son of James Walker Benét, an army ordnance officer, and Frances Neill Rose. He attended the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University, graduating in 1907. While at Yale, Benét edited the ...

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Benjamin, Park (14 August 1809–12 September 1864), editor and author, was born in Demerara, British Guiana, the son of Park Benjamin, a New England sea captain and merchant, and Mary Judith Gall, daughter of a Barbados planter. In 1813 he was sent to live with relatives in Norwich, Connecticut. After entering Harvard in 1825 his interest turned to literature, but illness caused him to withdraw during his second year, and he completed his degree at Washington (now Trinity) College in Hartford in 1829. While there he was encouraged in his literary ambitions by ...

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William Cullen Bryant. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-110144).

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Bryant, William Cullen (03 November 1794–12 June 1878), poet and journalist, was born in Cummington, Massachusetts, the son of Peter Bryant, a physician, and Sarah Snell, daughter of one of the first settlers. Young Cullen, as he was called, was a precocious child of poor health and nervous temperament. His mother taught him the alphabet at sixteen months. At twelve he was tutored in Latin by an uncle, Rev. Thomas Snell, and in Greek by Rev. Moses Halleck. His father, himself well versed in the classics as well as British poetry, shared his sizable personal library with his son and encouraged him to write poetry. Bryant’s mother kept a diary of observations on local events. Thus, the environment of his boyhood was not only conducive to an appreciation of culture and the disciplined development of his literary skills, but also to the nurture of spiritual and moral qualities. In particular, Bryant retained through his life vivid memories of long hours spent at the Congregational church, with its biblical orientation and rigorous Calvinism....

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Carleton, Will (21 October 1845–18 December 1912), poet, lecturer, and editor, was born William McKendree Carleton in Hudson, Michigan, the son of John Hancock Carleton, a pioneer farmer, and Celestia Elvira Smith. An earnest, sensitive lad with an early passion for reading, he began writing poetry in his diary in his early teens....

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Chapman, Arthur (25 June 1873–04 December 1935), poet and journalist, was born in Rockford, Illinois, the son of George Chapman, whose profession is not reported, and Sarah Tole. He attended local public schools, and after graduating from high school in 1891 he worked at odd jobs and sold articles and verse to newspapers. In 1895 he moved to Chicago and took a job as a reporter with the ...

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Clarke, Joseph Ignatius Constantine (31 July 1846–27 February 1925), journalist, poet, and playwright, was born in Kingstown, near Dublin, Ireland, the son of William Clarke, a barrister, and Ellen Quinn. After the 1858 death of his father, Joseph Clarke moved with his family to London, where he began work as an apprentice in the reading room of the Queen’s Printers. In addition to the education he received as a boy in a series of Irish Catholic Schools, Clarke was privately tutored in French and Latin. He secured a civil service sinecure when he was sixteen....

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Corrothers, James David (02 July 1869–12 February 1917), journalist, poet, and clergyman, was born in Chain Lake Settlement, Cass County, Michigan, a colony first settled by fugitive slaves in the 1840s. His parents were James Richard Carruthers (spelling later changed by Corrothers), a black soldier in the Union army, and Maggie Churchman, of French and Madagascan descent, who died when Corrothers was born. Corrothers was legally adopted by his nonblack paternal grandfather, a pious and respected man of Cherokee and Scotch-Irish origins, who raised young Corrothers in relative poverty. They lived in several roughneck towns along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, where Corrothers attended school and became aware of racial hostility. In his boyhood family members introduced him to a rich vein of African-American folk tales that he would later draw upon for a number of his dialect sketches....

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Daggett, Rollin Mallory (22 February 1831–12 November 1901), journalist, congressman, minister to Hawaii, and author, was born in Richville, New York, the son of Eunice White and Gardner Daggett, farmers. Daggett was the youngest of seven children, the other six being girls. After his mother’s death in 1833, the family moved to Defiance, Ohio, in 1837. In 1849 Daggett became a printer, learning a trade which endowed him with an education and influenced his later choice of a journalistic career....

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Daly, Thomas Augustine (28 May 1871–04 October 1948), humorist, poet, and columnist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Anthony Daly and Anne Victoria Duckett, owners of the first Catholic bookstore in Philadelphia. He attended public schools and at age fourteen entered Villanova College, “majoring in cigarettes and baseball.” Daly dropped out in 1889 and completed two more years at St. John’s College (later Fordham University). In 1896 he married Nannie Barrett and settled in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. A 1910 ...

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Benjamin De Casseres Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1925. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G412-T-4766-008).

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De Casseres, Benjamin (1873–06 December 1945), author and journalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of David De Casseres, a printer, and Charlotte Davis. On his father’s side he was a collateral descendant of Spinoza. De Casseres left high school at thirteen and went to work as a four-dollar-a-week office boy for ...

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Timothy P. Twohill

Dwight, Theodore (15 December 1764–12 June 1846), author, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, the son of Major Timothy Dwight, a merchant, and Mary Edwards. Major Dwight died when Theodore was thirteen; thus, Theodore Dwight was raised by his mother to assume the responsibilities of the family farm. However, because of an injury, he was forced to give up farming in exchange for studying law. Dwight moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to be tutored by his uncle ...

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Frederick Eckman. Photograph by Martha Eckman, 27 Oct. 1989. Courtesy of Martha Eckman and David Adams.

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Eckman, Frederick (27 October 1924–28 October 1996), poet, editor, scholar, and teacher, was born Frederick Willis Eckman in Continental, Ohio, the son of Hector B. Eckman, a mechanic, and Helen E. Osborn Eckman. Fred Eckman grew up in the environs of small-town, rural Ohio and attended public schools. His affinity for language and the dramatic emerged early. He read voraciously, and schoolmates recall impromptu dramatic productions in barns and garages. During World War II, he served as a surgical technician in the U.S. Army and enrolled in premedical courses at the University of Florida. Following his discharge in 1946, Eckman enrolled at Ohio State University, majoring in English. He married Mary Louise Drummer Campbell in March of 1947; a son, Thomas Frederick Eckman, was born the following October....

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Eliot, T. S. (26 September 1888–04 January 1965), poet, critic, and editor, was born Thomas Stearns Eliot in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Henry Ware Eliot, president of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company, and Charlotte Champe Stearns, a former teacher, an energetic social work volunteer at the Humanity Club of St. Louis, and an amateur poet with a taste for ...

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T.S. Eliot. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109122).