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Cowley, Malcolm (24 August 1898–28 March 1989), literary critic and editor, was born in a farmhouse near Belsano, Pennsylvania, the son of William Cowley, a homeopathic physician, and Josephine Hutmacher. After attending Pittsburgh public schools, in which he began a lifelong friendship with the critic ...

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Hubbard, Elbert Green (19 June 1856–07 May 1915), author and publisher, was born in Bloomington, Illinois, the son of Dr. Silas Hubbard, a physician, and Juliana Frances Read. After Elbert’s birth, the family moved to rural Hudson, Illinois. Elbert’s childhood was ordinary enough. He paid as little attention to school as possible, but he couldn’t avoid religion, which he got in triple doses from his father’s family prayers, the nearby Baptist church, and from the Bible readings that formed a part of the school curriculum of the day. He never submitted to baptism and in his later writings took the position that religion was a crutch that lessened a man’s self-reliance. Although he tried to avoid as much religion and school as possible, Hubbard could not stay away from horses. The first twelve dollars he saved from his chores went to purchase a horse, and in his later writings he often said that he preferred the company of a good horse to that of many a man he had met....

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Seaton, William Winston (11 January 1785–16 June 1866), journalist, was born at his family’s stately homestead, “Chelsea,” in King William County, Virginia, the son of Augustine Seaton and Mary Winston, Virginia gentry. Seaton was tutored at home before he attended Ogilvie’s Academy in Richmond. At age seventeen he learned the printing trade in the offices of the ...

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Thomas, Isaiah (19 January 1749–04 April 1831), printer and newspaperman, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Moses Thomas and Fidelity Grant. His grandfather, Peter Thomas, was a successful merchant, but his father fell victim to a roving spirit and failed to settle on an occupation. Left to his mother’s tutelage after his father’s death in 1752, Isaiah Thomas began his printing apprenticeship in June 1756 in the shop of Zechariah Fowle, whom he later described in his ...