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Brickman, William Wolfgang (30 June 1913–22 June 1986), scholar of the history of education and of comparative education, was born in New York City, the son of David Shalom Brickman, a cutter in the clothing industry, and Chaya Sarah Shaber. After attending Jewish religious elementary and secondary schools in New York City, Brickman entered the City College of New York, where he earned a B.A. in education in 1934 and an M.S. in education in 1935. He received a Ph.D. in education, with a dissertation on Hermann Lietz, an early twentieth-century German educational reformer, from New York University (NYU) in 1938....

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Charles Brockden Brown. Watercolor on ivory, 1806, by William Dunlap. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; given in loving memory of Katharine Lea Hancock by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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Brown, Charles Brockden (17 January 1771–22 February 1810), novelist, historian, and editor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Elijah Brown, a merchant and land conveyancer, and Mary Armitt. The fifth of six children in a prosperous Quaker family in the nation’s most cosmopolitan city and first capital, Brown was shaped in his early years by his Quaker background and the era’s tumultuous revolutionary politics. From 1781 to 1786 he received a classics-oriented secondary education under Robert Proud at the Friends’ Latin School of Philadelphia and displayed an enthusiasm for literary composition. Although his earliest work is lost, he composed derivative poetry in the “primitive” vein, based on the Psalms and Ossian and planned but never completed verse epics on the exploits of Columbus, Pizarro, and Cortez. The period’s political and ideological conflicts touched Brown’s family directly when revolutionary authorities exiled his father to Virginia for several months, deeming the father’s Quaker position of principled neutrality an aid to the British. While Brown’s Quaker background facilitated his early exposure to progressive British dissenting writers such as William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, who would become crucial influences, it left him outside the period’s Congregationalist and Presbyterian cultural elite and predisposed him to his lifelong stance of reasoned skepticism of utopian or perfectionist notions for political change. That is, Brown’s background and early years helped shape his career-long concern with the violent ideological controversies of the early republic, as well as his characteristic tendency to see both the destructive and productive aspects of the period’s far-reaching political upheavals....

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Catton, Bruce (09 October 1899–28 August 1978), historian and editor, was born Charles Bruce Catton in Petoskey, Michigan, the son of George Robert Catton, a Congregational minister and educator, and Adella Maude Patten. As a youth, Catton lived in Benzonia, a small community in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. In a later interview, he remembered it as “about as small a small town as there ever was, and I think about as pleasant a place, in the last of the preautomobile age, for a child to grow up” ( ...

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Dexter, Henry Martyn (13 August 1821–13 November 1890), editor and historian, was born in Plympton, Massachusetts, the son of Mary Morton and Elijah Dexter, a clergyman. At the age of fifteen Dexter attended his father’s alma mater, Brown, but studied there for only a year. He transferred to Yale and, while acquiring enabling funds by teaching school every summer, graduated in 1840. For one full year he taught and served as principal of an academy in Rochester, Massachusetts, and in 1841 began theological studies at Andover Seminary. He graduated in 1844, received ordination shortly thereafter, and in the same year married Emeline Augusta Palmer. At the time of his marriage Dexter also took up his first ministerial responsibilities, serving as pastor of the newly organized Franklin Street Congregational Church in Manchester, New Hampshire. Five years later he moved to Boston, ministering there at the Pine Street Congregational Church (later Berkeley Temple) from 1849 to 1867....

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Haynes, Williams (29 July 1886–16 November 1970), publisher, historian, and chemical economist, was born Nathan Gallup Williams Haynes in Detroit, Michigan, the son of David Oliphant Haynes, owner and operator of a publishing company, and Helene Dunham Williams. He spent some time finding what he wanted to do with his life. After six months in his early twenties as a reporter for the ...

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Jameson, John Franklin (19 September 1859–28 September 1937), history professor and journal editor, was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, the son of John Jameson, a schoolteacher, lawyer, and postmaster, and Mariette Thompson. Jameson attended public schools and later the Roxbury Latin School. He was admitted to Harvard University but moved with his family to attend Amherst College in 1875. He lived at home all four years and graduated in 1879 as class valedictorian. At Amherst, political science professor ...

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Matthew Josephson Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-116726).

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Josephson, Matthew (15 February 1899–13 March 1978), writer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Julius Josephson, a banker, and Sarah Kasindorf. A child of Jewish immigrants from Romania and Russia, Josephson graduated from Columbia University in 1920. That same year he married Hannah Geffen, a nineteen-year-old reporter for the ...

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Lamb, Martha Joanna R. N. (13 August 1826–02 January 1893), author and editor, was born Martha Reade Nash in Plainfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of Arvin Nash and Lucinda Vinton. She was a precocious child and began to write poems and stories before she was ten. From an early age she enjoyed reading books from her father’s library, especially ones devoted to history. She lived for a while in Goshen, Massachusetts, and attended school both in Northampton and in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Tutored in mathematics, she became so adept that she not only taught for a while in a polytechnic institute but also revised a mathematics textbook for use in high schools. She also read widely in English literature and studied foreign languages....

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Sparks, Jared (10 May 1789–14 March 1866), historian, editor, and clergyman, was born in Willington, Connecticut, the son of Eleanor Orcutt, who nine months later married Joseph Sparks, a farmer. His early life was somewhat unstable. In the mid-1790s he was sent to live with an aunt and uncle to relieve the burdens of the many children in the family, and with his adoptive family, he settled in 1800 in Camden, New York. In 1805 he moved home for a brief time and then went to live with another uncle in Tolland, Connecticut. There he apprenticed as carpenter and taught in local schools. Early on he displayed interests in literary and historical pursuits along with the more common interest in theology. While in Arlington, Vermont, he organized the Arlington Philosophical Society in 1808. He studied at the Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, beginning in September 1809, the result of Sparks’s early interests in the ministry and his receipt of a scholarship. There he met and became lifelong friends with another future New England historian, ...

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Tigert, John James, III (25 November 1856–21 November 1906), clergyman, editor, and bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of John Tigert, a pump maker, and Mary Van Veghten. Raised in a committed Methodist family, he attended schools in Louisville until 1875, when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the newly opened theological school of Vanderbilt University. Upon graduating in 1877 he was admitted on trial to the Louisville Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Two years later he was ordained a deacon and received into full connection. In 1881 he was ordained an elder. From 1877 until 1881 he served churches in Louisville and Franklin, Kentucky. In 1878 he married Amelia McTyeire, the daughter of ...