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Carmer, Carl Lamson (16 October 1893–11 September 1976), poet and historian, was born in Cortland, New York, the son of Willis Griswold Carmer, the superintendent of schools in Albion, New York, and Mary Lamson. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1914 with a Ph.B. and returned for a Ph.M. in 1917, after receiving an M.A. from Harvard two years earlier. In 1914 he married Doris Geer; they had no children....

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Caulkins, Frances Manwaring (26 April 1795–03 February 1869), author, was born in New London, Connecticut, the daughter of Joshua Caulkins, a seagoing trader who died in Haiti before her birth, and Fanny Manwaring. Her mother married Philemon Haven in 1807. Caulkins attended schools in Norwichtown and Norwich, Connecticut. She was a voracious reader and began early in life to collect information about history and genealogies. She lived with a maternal uncle in New London, where she began to publish essays in local newspapers about people and events of regional interest....

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Ellet, Elizabeth F. (Oct. 1812 or 1818–03 June 1877), historian and poet, was born Elizabeth Fries Lummis in Sodus Point, New York, the daughter of Dr. William Nixon Lummis, an early and wealthy settler of Lake Ontario’s shores, and Sarah Maxwell. Elizabeth was educated at Aurora Female Seminary under the direction of an English Quaker, Susanna Marriott. She became fluent in French, German, and Italian. Her first book was a translation of Silvio Pellico’s tragedy ...

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Homans, George Caspar (11 August 1910–29 May 1989), sociologist, historian, and poet, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Robert Homans, an attorney, and Abigail Adams, a homemaker, civic activist, and author. Homans was surely the most blue-blooded American sociologist of the century. All the male ancestors on his father’s side had attended Harvard since 1768 and were very successful merchants, lawyers, and physicians in the Boston area. His mother’s male ancestors had been at Harvard even longer. Through his mother (author of ...

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Jones, James Athearn (17 October 1791–07 July 1854), novelist, poet, and folklorist, was born in Tisbury, on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, the son of Ebenezer Jones, a farmer, and Susanna Athearn, the daughter of a county probate judge in Tisbury. Several bands of Gay Head Indians lived within a few miles of the Joneses. Young Jones’s grandfather had a lonely coastal farm, where the boy was born and lived, where Indians were employed as field hands, and where an Indian nurse cared for him until he was fifteen. Her stories about fabulous Indians inspired his lifelong fascination with Native-American folklore. Denied formal schooling by the remoteness of his home, he read voraciously and studied under ministers at Tisbury and nearby Edgartown. He visited the West Indies on a few occasions and also sold or bartered food and other items with sailors anchored off Martha’s Vineyard. Jones has been described as tall, slender, a little vain and quarrelsome, and in later years slightly deaf....

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Skinner, Constance Lindsay (07 December 1877–27 March 1939), poet, novelist, and historian, was born Constance Annie Skinner in Quesnal, British Columbia, Canada, the daughter of Robert James Skinner, a factor for the Hudson Bay Company, and Annie Lindsay. In Quesnal, an isolated fur-trading post northeast of Vancouver, Constance played with Native American children; these early experiences influenced her writing, particularly her poetry. The Skinners lived in a large cedar house, 500 miles from the railroad, so Constance was tutored by her parents from their extensive library. She loved to read and often ran off into the forest to peruse the books that fascinated her. When Constance was fourteen, the family moved to Vancouver, where she attended a private school, her only formal education....

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Warren, Mercy Otis (25 September 1728–19 October 1814), poet and historian of the American Revolution, was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, the daughter of Colonel James Otis, a farmer and militia officer, and Mary Allyne. Although she received no formal education, Warren was allowed to participate in some of the lessons in history and literature given to her brother, ...