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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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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).

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Fairfield, Sumner Lincoln (25 June 1803–06 March 1844), poet and editor, was born in Warwick, Massachusetts, the son of Abner Fairfield, a physician, and Lucy Lincoln. While a child in Athens, New York, Fairfield lost his much loved older sister and his father. When the ensuing move to the Lincoln family home in Western (now Warren), Massachusetts, proved unsatisfactory, mother and son settled in 1816 in Hadley, Massachusetts. There Fairfield prepared at Hopkins Academy for Brown University, which he attended from 1818 to 1820. Lacking money to continue, he taught for two years in Georgia and South Carolina. In 1822, with two slim volumes of verse already published, ...

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Richard Watson Gilder. From an engraving. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100906).

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Gilder, Richard Watson (08 February 1844–18 November 1909), editor and writer, was born in Bordentown, New Jersey, the son of the Reverend William Henry Gilder, a Methodist minister and headmaster of a “Female Seminary,” and Jane Nutt. Most of Gilder’s early education took place in another school for girls run by his family in Flushing, New York, but all the evidence suggests a normal and happy boyhood, which included precocious interests in things literary. When only twelve, he frequented the offices of the Flushing ...

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Charles Fenno Hoffman. Engraving by John Sartain. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99504).

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Hoffman, Charles Fenno (07 February 1806–07 June 1884), writer and editor, was born in New York City, the son of Josiah Ogden Hoffman, a prominent judge, and his second wife, Maria Fenno. At the age of eleven, Hoffman was seriously injured in an accident along the New York docks, resulting in the amputation of his right leg above the knee. In spite of the accident, he was an avid athlete and outdoorsman. In 1821 he entered Columbia College, where he was active in student life but never rose above the bottom fifth of his class. He left Columbia after two years, and in 1823 he began to study law in the Albany office of Harmanus Bleeker. Admitted to the bar in 1827, he returned to New York and began to practice law. Soon after, he began contributing essays, reviews, and poems to the ...

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Kreymborg, Alfred Francis (10 December 1883–14 August 1966), poet and editor, was born in New York City, the son of Herrmann Kreymborg, a store owner, and Louise Nascher. The youngest of five children, “Ollie,” as he was called, was raised a Roman Catholic and educated in the public schools on Manhattan’s East Side. A prodigy, Kreymborg was self-taught at chess, at one point tying with world champion José Capablanca. It was Kreymborg’s boyhood interest in the mandolin, however, that led to his lifelong literary career. Unable to compose music, the eighteen-year-old Kreymborg wrote a “prose symphony”; thereafter he devoted himself to perfecting his own brand of ...

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Leland, Charles Godfrey (15 August 1824–20 March 1903), poet and journalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles Leland, a prosperous commission merchant, and Charlotte Godfrey. Leland graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1845 and then studied abroad for three years at the Universities of Heidelberg and Munich and the Sorbonne. He manned the barricades in Paris for three days during the revolution of 1848....

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Lincoln, Joseph Crosby (13 February 1870–10 March 1944), writer and editor, was born in Brewster, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph L. Lincoln, a sea captain, and Emily Crosby. Although Lincoln lived in other places during his life, Cape Cod was forever a part of who he was. In a conversation with the poet ...

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Cornelius Mathews. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZC4-4157).

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Mathews, Cornelius (28 October 1817?–25 March 1889), author and editor, was born in Port Chester, New York, the son of Abijah Mathews, a cabinetmaker, and Catherine Van Cott. Little is known about Mathews’s childhood. No diaries, letters, or articles exist before the mid-1830s. However, according to Trows New York Directory, his family moved from Westchester County to Manhattan, and Mathews resided for the rest of his life in various locations in lower Manhattan. He attended Columbia University from 1830 to 1832. In 1833 he transferred to the College of the City of New York, now known as New York University. The Reverend James Mathews, a relative of the family, was the chancellor of the newly established college. Cornelius Mathews received his A.B. degree in the first graduating class of 1834, and, at the commencement ceremony held at the Middle Dutch Church of New York, he gave a speech titled “Females of the American Revolution.” Mathews was admitted to the bar in 1837 and practiced law for a short time. He became the first president of the university’s alumni association in 1846. For a Eucleian Society meeting he presented his speech “Americanism—What Is It?” (1845), later published in the ...

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Christopher Morley Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1930. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G412-T-5716-017).