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Alden, Henry Mills (11 November 1836–07 October 1919), editor and author, was born in Mount Tabor, Vermont, the son of Ira Alden, a farmer, and Elizabeth Packard Moore. Alden grew up in a working-class family in rural Vermont and in the manufacturing town of Hoosick, New York, where he worked from dawn until eight o’clock at night as a “bobbin boy” in a cotton factory. With only a sporadic common school education, Alden, at the age of fourteen, decided to prepare for college by entering Ball Seminary, where he performed chores to pay for his tuition. In 1852 Alden graduated valedictorian from Ball Seminary and entered Williams College the next year....

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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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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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Bostwick, Arthur Elmore (08 March 1860–13 February 1942), editor and librarian, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of David Elmore Bostwick, a physician, and Adelaide McKinley. Bostwick took advantage of the cultural assets in his hometown, reading periodicals from a neighbor’s private library, studying romance and classical languages, participating in music ensembles, and attending the Episcopal church where his mother was organist. His innate intellectual abilities were thus stimulated, laying the foundation for an active life of the mind. He attended Yale College, won the first Silliman Fellowship in physical science, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a B.A. in 1881 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1883. Aspiring to a college professorship, he declined an appointment as a Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University in favor of a temporary position at Yale but, when a permanent post was not forthcoming, he moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where he taught high school from 1884 to 1886. In 1885 Bostwick married Lucy Sawyer, with whom he had three children....

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Carter, Robert (05 February 1819–15 February 1879), author and editor, was born in Albany, New York, the son of Irish immigrants (names unknown). Although most of the details of Carter’s early life remain sketchy, he was apparently raised in conditions of wretched poverty. His education came from his sporadic sojourns at public schools, until he eventually attended the Jesuit College of Chambly in Canada. He quit school at fifteen, and he was appointed assistant librarian in the state library in Albany, where he remained until 1838. By age twenty he had decided to embark on a career in journalism, having already published some poetry and essays in the Albany newspapers. In 1841 he moved to Boston, and there he met ...

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Malcolm Cowley Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1963. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-106863).

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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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Donahoe, Patrick (17 March 1811–18 March 1901), editor and publisher, was born in County Caven, Ireland, the son of Terrence Donahoe and Jane Christy. The father’s occupation is unknown, but the family was clearly poor. In 1821 Patrick and his father immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, where the boy received a basic education and entered the printing trades in 1825. Patrick worked as a printer for several Boston newspapers and became co-owner of ...

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Duyckinck, Evert Augustus (23 November 1816–13 August 1878), editor, author, and bibliophile, was born in New York City, the son of Evert Duyckinck, a wealthy publisher and book collector, and Harriet June. He graduated from Columbia College in 1835. He either wrote or cowrote the only issue of ...

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Fischer, John (27 April 1910–18 August 1978), writer and editor, was born in Texhoma, Oklahoma, the son of John S. Fischer, a newspaperman, farm-supply salesman, deed assessor, and land speculator, and Georgie Caperton, a former schoolteacher. Fischer spent his first years in the vast and underpopulated Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. As soon as he could walk, he had chores. “At the age of six,” he remembered, these “included taking care of a pen of chickens, smelly addlebrained creatures that I loathed.” In high school and college, he worked for newspapers in Amarillo, Carlsbad, and Norman. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1932, he was a night police reporter for the ...

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Godwin, Parke (25 February 1816–07 January 1904), journalist and editor, was born in Paterson, New Jersey, the son of Abraham Godwin, a manufacturer and merchant, and Martha Parke. After graduating from Princeton in 1834, he returned to Paterson to study law. He lived briefly in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was admitted to the bar, but before establishing a practice, he moved to New York City. There he met ...

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Green, Bartholomew (12 October 1666–28 December 1732), printer and journalist, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Green, a printer, and Sarah Clark, his father’s second wife. As a youth, Green served his father as an apprentice. In 1687 he went to Boston to assist his half-brother Samuel, who managed ...

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Hawthorne, Julian (22 June 1846–21 July 1934), author, editor, and journalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the only son and middle child of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne was America’s preeminent novelist, and Julian grew up at the center of American literate culture. From 1853 to 1860 Hawthorne lived first in Liverpool, where his father was consul, then in Italy. Until his family resettled The Wayside of Concord, his education came from his parents and tutors. He entered ...

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Henry, Caleb Sprague (02 August 1804–09 March 1884), educator, pastor, and author, was born in Rutland, Massachusetts, the son of Silas Henry and Dorothy Pierce. Henry received his A.B. from Dartmouth in 1825 and later studied at Andover Theological Seminary. At twenty-four years of age, Henry was ordained a pastor in the Congregational denomination and served at churches in Greenfield, Mississippi (1829–1831), and in West Hartford, Connecticut (1833–1835). Henry was a proponent of the peace movement and in 1834 wrote the pamphlet ...

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Humphreys, James (15 January 1748–02 February 1810), printer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of James Humphreys, a conveyancer, and Susanna Assheton. In 1763 he entered the College of Philadelphia but left without graduating. He next studied medicine; when this proved unsuccessful he became an apprentice to printer ...

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Peabody, Oliver William Bourn (09 July 1799–05 July 1848), lawyer, editor, and Unitarian clergyman, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the son of Oliver Peabody, a jurist, politician, and trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy, and Frances Bourn. Oliver had an identical twin brother, William Oliver Bourn Peabody, who achieved prominence as a Unitarian clergyman and miscellaneous author. The twins were nearly identical not only in their names but also in their handwriting, physical appearance, voice, and manner, and they remained in close contact throughout their lives....

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Peck, Harry Thurston (24 November 1856–23 March 1914), classical scholar and writer, was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Harry Peck, a schoolteacher, and Harriet Elizabeth Thurston. Enamored by books, he damaged his eyes by reading by candlelight late at night when his parents thought he was sleeping. At Columbia College he was conspicuous for his mental keenness, making its ...

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Porter, Charlotte Endymion (06 January 1857–16 January 1942), editor and publisher, dramatist, and translator, was born Helen Charlotte Porter in Towanda, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Henry Clinton Porter and Elisa (or Eliza) Eleanor Betts. She graduated from Wells College (Aurora, N.Y.) in 1875 and then studied Shakespeare and French drama at the Sorbonne in France. In 1883 Porter settled in Philadelphia and became editor of ...

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Scudder, Horace Elisha (16 October 1838–11 January 1902), editor and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Scudder, a well-to-do hardware and commission merchant, and Sarah Lathrop Coit. The family was active in the Congregational church. Scudder attended the Roxbury Latin School, the Boston Latin School, and then Williams College, edited the ...

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Smith, Lloyd Pearsall (06 February 1822–02 July 1886), librarian, publisher, and editor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Jay Smith, a librarian, and Rachel Collins Pearsall. Following graduation from Haverford College at age fifteen, Smith became a bookkeeper and an accountant in the counting house of Waln & Leaming. In 1844 he married Hannah E. Jones, with whom he later adopted a daughter. While still at Waln & Leaming, Smith began publishing, among other works, ...