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Title: American Men of Mind
Author: Stevenson, Burton Egbert, 1872-1962
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "American Men of Mind" ***








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Published, June, 1910

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[Illustration: LONGFELLOW]

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  CHAPTER                                        PAGE

     I.--"MEN OF MIND"                             11

    II.--WRITERS OF PROSE                          19

         Summary to Chapter II                     49

   III.--WRITERS OF VERSE                          54

         Summary to Chapter III                    80

    IV.--PAINTERS                                  85

         Summary to Chapter IV                    120

     V.--SCULPTORS                                125

         Summary to Chapter V                     154

    VI.--THE STAGE                                157

         Summary to Chapter VI                    182

   VII.--SCIENTISTS AND EDUCATORS                 186

         Summary to Chapter VII                   224


         Summary to Chapter VIII                  286

    IX.--MEN OF AFFAIRS                           291

         Summary to Chapter IX                    324

     X.--INVENTORS                                327

         Summary to Chapter X                     371

         INDEX                                    375

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  Longfellow       _Frontispiece_

  Hawthorne                   28

  Emerson                     44

  Greeley                     48

  Stuart                      92

  Booth                      158

  Agassiz                    190

  Eliot                      216

  Girard                     232

  Beecher                    252

  Wanamaker                  314

  Morse                      336

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In the companion volume of this series, "Men of Action," the attempt was
made to give the essential facts of American history by sketching in
broad outline the men who made that history--the discoverers, pioneers,
presidents, statesmen, soldiers, and sailors--and describing the part
which each of them played.

It was almost like watching a great building grow under the hands of the
workmen, this one adding a stone and that one adding another; but there
was one great difference. For a building, the plans are made carefully
beforehand, worked out to the smallest detail, and followed to the
letter, so that every stone goes exactly where it belongs, and the work
of all the men fits together into a complete and perfect whole. But when
America was started, no one had more than the vaguest idea of what the
finished result was to be; indeed, many questioned whether any enduring
structure could be reared on a foundation such as ours. So there was
much useless labor, one workman tearing down what another had built,
and only a few of them working with any clear vision of the future.

The convention which adopted the Constitution of the United States may
fairly be said to have furnished the first plan, and George Washington
was the master-builder who laid the foundations in accordance with it.
He did more than that, for the plan was only a mere outline; so
Washington added such details as he found necessary, taking care always
that they accorded with the plan of the founders. He lived long enough
to see the building complete in all essential details, and to be assured
that the foundation was a firm one and that the structure, which is
called a Republic, _would_ endure.

All that has been done since his time has been to build on an addition
now and then, as need arose, and to change the ornamentation to suit the
taste of the day. At one time, it seemed that the whole structure might
be rent asunder and topple into ruins; but again there came a
master-builder named Abraham Lincoln, and with the aid of a million
devoted workmen who rallied to his call, he saved it.

There have been men, and there are men to-day, who would attack the
foundation were they permitted; but never yet have they got within
effective striking distance. Others there are who have marred the simple
and classic beauty of the building with strange excrescences. But these
are only temporary, and the hand of time will sweep them all away. For
the work of tearing down and building up is going forward to-day just as
it has always done; and the changes are sometimes for the better and
sometimes for the worse; but, on the whole, the building grows more
stately and more beautiful as the generations pass.

It was the work of the principal laborers on this mighty edifice which
we attempted to judge in "Men of Action," and this was a comparatively
easy task, because the work stands out concretely for all to see, and,
as far as essentials go, at least, we are all agreed as to what is good
work and what is bad. But the task which is attempted in the present
volume is a much more difficult one, for here we are called upon to
judge not deeds but thoughts--thoughts, that is, as translated into a
novel, or a poem, or a statue, or a painting, or a theory of the

Nobody has ever yet been able to devise a universal scale by which
thoughts may be measured, nor any acid test to distinguish gold from
dross in art and literature. So each person has to devise a scale of his
own and do his measuring for himself; he has to apply to the things he
sees and reads the acid test of his own intellect. And however imperfect
this measuring and testing may be, it is the only sort which has any
value for that particular person. In other words, unless you yourself
find a poem or a painting great, it isn't great for you, however critics
may extol it. So all the books about art and literature and music are of
value only as they improve the scale and perfect the acid test of the
individual, so that the former measures more and more correctly, and the
latter bites more and more surely through the glittering veneer which
seeks to disguise the dross beneath.

It follows from all this that, since there are nearly as many scales as
there are individuals, very few of them will agree exactly. Time,
however, has a wonderful way of testing thoughts, of preserving those
that are worthy, and of discarding those that are unworthy. Just how
this is done nobody has ever been able to explain; but the fact remains
that, somehow, a really great poem or painting or statue or theory lives
on from age to age, long after the other products of its time have been
forgotten. And if it is really great, the older it grows, the greater it
seems. Shakespeare, to his contemporaries, was merely an actor and
playwright like any one of a score of others; but, with the passing of
years, he has become the most wonderful figure in the world's
literature. Rembrandt could scarcely make a living with his brush,
industriously as he used it, and passed his days in misery, haunted by
his creditors and neglected by the public; to-day we recognize in him
one of the greatest artists who ever lived. Such instances are common
enough, for genius often goes unrecognized until its possessor is dead;
just as many men are hailed as geniuses by their contemporaries, and
promptly forgotten by the succeeding generation. The touchstone of time
infallibly separates the false and the true.

Unfortunately, to American literature and art no such test can be
applied, for they are less than a century old--scarcely out of swaddling
clothes. The greater portion of the product of our early years has long
since been forgotten; but whether any of that which remains is really
immortal will take another century or two to determine. So the only
tests we can apply at present are those of taste and judgment, and these
are anything but infallible.

Especially is this true of literature. Somebody announced, not long ago,
that "the foremost poet of a nation is that poet most widely read and
truly loved by it," and added that, in this respect, Longfellow was
easily first in America. No doubt many people will agree with this
dictum; and, indeed, the test of popularity is difficult to disregard.
But it is not at all a true test, as we can see easily enough if we
attempt to apply it to art, or to music, or to public affairs.
Popularity is no more a test of genius in a poet than in a statesman,
and when we remember how far astray the popular will has sometimes led
us in regard to politics, we may be inclined to regard with suspicion
its judgments in regard to literature.

The test of merit in literature is not so much wide appeal as
intelligent appeal; the literature which satisfies the taste and
judgment of cultured people is pretty certain to rank higher than that
which is current among the uncultured. And so with art. Consequently,
for want of something better, the general verdict of cultured people
upon our literature and art has been followed in these pages.

Two or three other classes of achievers have been grouped, for
convenience, in this volume--scientists and educators, philanthropists
and reformers, men of affairs, actors and inventors--and it may be
truly argued concerning some of them that they were more "men of
action," and less "men of mind" than many who were included in the
former volume. But all distinctions and divisions and classifications
are more or less arbitrary; and there is no intention, in this one, to
intimate that the "men of action" were not also "men of mind," or vice
versa. The division has been made simply for convenience.

These thumb-nail sketches are in no sense the result of original
research. The material needed has been gathered from such sources as are
available in any well-equipped public library. An attempt has been made,
however, to color the narrative with human interest, and to give it
consecutiveness, though this has sometimes been very hard to do. But,
even at the best, this is only a first book in the study of American art
and letters, and is designed to serve only as a stepping-stone to more
elaborate and comprehensive ones.

There are several short histories of American literature which will
prove profitable and pleasant reading. Mr. W. P. Trent's is written with
a refreshing humor and insight. The "American Men of Letters" series
gives carefully written biographies of about twenty-five of our most
famous authors--all that anyone need know about in detail. There is a
great mass of other material on the shelves of every public library,
which will take one as far as one may care to go.

But the important thing in literature is to know the man's work rather
than his life. If his work is sound and helpful and inspiring, his life
needn't bother us, however hopeless it may have been. The striking
example of this, in American literature, is Edgar Allan Poe, whose fame,
in this country, is just emerging from the cloud which his unfortunate
career cast over it. The life of the man is of importance only as it
helps you to understand his work. Most important of all is to create
within yourself a liking for good books and a power of telling good from
bad. This is one of the most important things in life, indeed; and Mr.
John Macy points the way to it in his "Child's Guide to Reading."

Only second to the power to appreciate good literature is the power to
appreciate good art. For the material in this volume the author is
indebted largely to the excellent monographs by Mr. Samuel Isham and Mr.
Lorado Taft on "American Painting," and "American Sculpture." There are
many, guides to the study of art, among the best of them being Mr.
Charles C. Caffin's "Child's Guide to Pictures," "American Masters of
Painting," "American Masters of Sculpture," and "How to Study Pictures";
Mr. John C. VanDyke's "How to Judge of a Picture," and "The Meaning of
Pictures," and Mr. John LaFarge's "Great Masters." In the study of art,
as of literature, you will soon find that America's place is as yet
comparatively unimportant.

For the chapter on "The Stage," Mr. William Winter's various volumes of
biography and criticism have been drawn upon, more especially with
reference to the actors of the "old school," which Mr. Winter admires
so deeply. There are a number of books, besides these, which make
capital reading--Clara Morris's "Life on the Stage," Joseph Jefferson's
autobiography, Stoddart's "Recollections of a Player," and Henry Austin
Clapp's "Reminiscences of a Dramatic Critic," among them.

The material for the other chapters has been gathered from many sources,
none of which is important enough to be mentioned here. Appleton's
"Cyclopedia of American Biography" is a mine from which most of the
facts concerning any American, prominent twenty years or more ago, may
be dug; but it gives only the dry bones, so to speak. For more than that
you must go to the individual biographies in your public library.

If you live in a small town, the librarian will very probably be glad to
permit you to look over the shelves yourself, as well as to give you
such advice and direction as you may need. In the larger cities, this
is, of course, impossible, to say nothing of the fact that you would be
lost among the thousands of books on the shelves. But you will find a
children's librarian whose business and pleasure it is to help children
to the right books. If this book helps you to form the library habit,
and gives you an incentive to the further study of art and literature,
it will more than fulfill its mission.



It is true of American literature that it can boast no name of
commanding genius--no dramatist to rank with Shakespeare, no poet to
rank with Keats, no novelist to rank with Thackeray, to take names only
from our cousins oversea--and yet it displays a high level of talent and
a notable richness of achievement. Literature requires a background of
history and tradition; more than that, it requires leisure. A new nation
spends its energies in the struggle for existence, and not until that
existence is assured do its finer minds need to turn to literature for
self-expression. As Poor Richard put it, "Well done is better than well
said," and so long as great things are pressing to be done, great men
will do their writing on the page of history, and not on papyrus, or
parchment, or paper.

So, in the early history of America, the settlers in the new country
were too busily employed in fighting for a foothold, in getting food and
clothing, in keeping body and soul together, to have any time for the
fine arts. Most of the New England divines tried their hands at limping
and hob-nail verse, but prior to the Revolution, American literature is
remarkable only for its aridity, its lack of inspiration and its
portentous dulness. In these respects it may proudly claim never to have
been surpassed in the history of mankind. In fact, American literature,
as such, may be said to date from 1809, when Washington Irving gave to
the world his inimitable "History of New York." It struck a new and
wholly original note, with a sureness bespeaking a master's touch.

Where did Irving get that touch? That is a question which one asks
vainly concerning any master of literature, for genius is a thing which
no theory can explain. It appears in the most unexpected places. An
obscure Corsican lieutenant becomes Emperor of France, arbiter of
Europe, and one of the three or four really great commanders of history;
a tinker in Bedford County jail writes the greatest allegory in
literature; and the son of two mediocre players develops into the first
figure in American letters. Conversely, genius seldom appears where one
would naturally look for it. Seldom indeed does genius beget genius. It
expends itself in its work.

Certainly there was no reason to suppose that any child of William
Irving and Sarah Sanders would develop genius even of the second order,
more especially since they had already ten who were just average boys
and girls. Nor did the eleventh, who was christened Washington, show, in
his youth, any glimpse of the eagle's feather.

Born in 1783, in New York City, a delicate child and one whose life was
more than once despaired of, Washington Irving received little formal
schooling, but was allowed to amuse himself as he pleased by wandering
up and down the Hudson and keeping as much as possible in the open air.
It was during these years that he gained that intimate knowledge of the
Hudson River Valley of which he was to make such good use later on. He
still remained delicate, however, and at the age of twenty was sent to
Europe. The air of France and Italy proved to be just what he needed,
and he soon developed into a fairly robust man.

With health regained, he returned, two years later, to America, and got
himself admitted to the bar. Why he should have gone to this trouble is
a mystery, for he never really seriously tried to practise law. Instead,
he was occupying himself with a serio-comic history of New York, which
grew under his pen into as successful an example of true and sustained
humor as our literature possesses. The subject was one exactly suited to
Irving's genius, and he allowed his fancy to have free play about the
picturesque personalities of Wouter Van Twiller, and Wandle Schoonhovon,
and General Van Poffenburgh, in whose very names there is a comic
suggestion. When it appeared, in 1809, it took the town by storm.

Irving, indeed, had created a legend. The history, supposed to have been
written by one Diedrich Knickerbocker, gives to the story of New York
just the touch of fancy and symbolism it needed. For all time, New York
will remain the Knickerbocker City. The book revealed a genuine master
of kindly satire, and established its author's reputation beyond
possibility of question. Perhaps the surest proof of its worth is the
fact that it is read to-day as widely and enjoyed as thoroughly as it
ever was.

It is strange that Irving did not at once adopt letters as a profession;
but instead of that, he entered his brothers' business house, which was
in a decaying condition, and to which he devoted nine harassed and
anxious years, before it finally failed. That failure decided him, and
he cast in his lot finally with the fortunes of literature. He was at
that time thirty-five years of age--an age at which most men are settled
in life, with an established profession, and a complacent readiness to
drift on into middle age.

Rarely has any such choice as Irving's received so prompt and triumphant
a vindication, for a year later appeared the "Sketch Book," with its
"Rip Van Winkle," its "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "The Spectre
Bridegroom"--to mention only three of the thirty-three items of its
table of contents--which proved the author to be not only a humorist of
the first order, but an accomplished critic, essayist and short-story
writer. The publication of this book marked the culmination of his
literary career. It is his most characteristic and important work, and
on it and his "History," his fame rests.

He lived for forty years thereafter, a number of which were spent in
Spain, first as secretary of legation, and afterwards as United States
minister to that country. It was during these years that he gathered
the materials for his "Life of Columbus," his "Conquest of Granada," and
his "Alhambra," which has been called with some justice, "The Spanish
Sketch Book." A tour of the western portion of the United States
resulted also in three books, "The Adventures of Captain Bonneville,"
"Astoria," and "A Tour on the Prairies." His last years were spent at
"Sunnyside," his home at Tarrytown, on the Hudson, where he amused
himself by writing biographies of Mahomet, of Goldsmith, and of George

All of this was, for the most part, what is called "hack work," and his
turning to it proves that he himself was aware that his fount of
inspiration had run dry. This very fact marks his genius as of the
second order, for your real genius--your Shakespeare or Browning or
Thackeray or Tolstoi--never runs dry, but finds welling up within him a
perpetual and self-renewing stream of inspiration, fed by thought and
observation and every-day contact with the world.

Irving's closing years were rich in honor and affection, and found him
unspoiled and uncorrupted. He was always a shy man, to whom publicity of
any kind was most embarrassing; and yet he managed to be on the most
intimate of terms with his time, and to possess a wide circle of friends
who were devoted to him.

Such was the career of America's first successful man of letters. For,
strangely enough, he had succeeded in making a good living with his pen.
More than that, his natural and lambent humor, his charm and grace of
style, and a literary power at once broad and genuine, had won him a
place, if not among the crowned heads, at least mong the princes of
literature, side by side with Goldsmith and Addison. Thackeray called
him "the first ambassador whom the New World of letters sent to the
Old," and from the very first he identified American literature with
purity of life and elevation of character, with kindly humor and grace
of manner--qualities which it has never lost.

Two years after the appearance of the "Sketch Book," another star
suddenly flamed out upon the literary horizon, and for a time quite
eclipsed Irving in brilliancy. It waned somewhat in later years, but,
though we have come to see that it lacks the purity and gentle beauty of
its rival, it has still found a place among the brightest in our
literary heaven--where, indeed, only one or two of the first magnitude
shine. J. Fenimore Cooper was, like Irving, a product of New York state,
his father laying out the site of Cooperstown, on Lake Otsego, and
moving there from New Jersey in 1790, when his son was only a year old.
James, as the boy was known, was the eleventh of twelve
children--another instance of a single swan amid a flock of ducklings.

Cooperstown was at that time a mere outpost of civilization in the
wilderness, and it was in this wilderness that Cooper's boyhood was
passed. And just as Irving's boyhood left its impress on his work, so
did Cooper's in even greater degree. Mighty woods, broken only here and
there by tiny clearings, stretched around the little settlement; Indians
and frontiersmen, hunters, traders, trappers--all these were a part of
the boy's daily life. He grew learned in the lore of the woods, and laid
up unconsciously the stores from which he was afterwards to draw.

At the age of eleven, he was sent to a private school at Albany, and
three years later entered Yale. But he had the true woodland spirit; he
preferred the open air to the lecture-room, and was so careless in his
attendance at classes that, in his third year, he was dismissed from
college. There is some question whether this was a blessing or the
reverse. No doubt a thorough college training would have made Cooper
incapable of the loose and turgid style which characterizes all his
novels; but, on the other hand, he left college to enter the navy, and
there gained that knowledge of seamanship and of the ocean which make
his sea stories the best of their kind that have ever been written. His
sea career was cut short, just before the opening of the war of 1812, by
his marriage into an old Tory family, who insisted that he resign from
the service. He did so, and entered upon the quiet life of a well-to-do
country gentleman.

For seven or eight years, he showed no desire nor aptitude to be
anything else. He had never written anything for publication, had never
felt any impulse to do so, and perhaps never would have felt such an
impulse but for an odd accident. Tossing aside a dull British novel,
one day, he remarked to his wife that he could easily write a better
story himself, and she laughingly dared him to try. The result was
"Precaution," than which no British novel could be duller. But Cooper,
finding the work of writing congenial, kept at it, and the next year saw
the publication of "The Spy," the first American novel worthy of the
name. By mere accident, Cooper had found his true vein, the story of
adventure, and his true field in the scenes with which he was himself
familiar. In Harvey Birch, the spy, he added to the world's gallery of
fiction the first of his three great characters, the other two being, of
course, Long Tom Coffin and Leatherstocking.

The book was an immediate success, and was followed by "The Pioneers"
and "The Pilot," both remarkable stories, the former visualizing for the
first time the life of the forest, the latter for the first time the
life of the sea. Let us not forget that Cooper was himself a pioneer and
blazed the trails which so many of his successors have tried to follow.
If the trail he made was rough and difficult, it at least possesses the
merits of vigor and pristine achievement. "The Spy," "The Pioneers," and
"The Pilot" established Cooper's reputation not only in this country,
but in England and France. He became a literary lion, with the result
that his head, never very firmly set upon his shoulders, was completely
turned; he set himself up as a mentor and critic of both continents, and
while his successive novels continued to be popular, he himself became
involved in numberless personal controversies, which embittered his
later years.

The result of these quarrels was apparent in his work, which steadily
decreased in merit, so that, of the thirty-three novels that he wrote,
not over twelve are, at this day, worth reading. But those twelve paint,
as no other novelist has ever painted, life in the forest and on the
ocean, and however we may quarrel with his wooden men and women, his
faults of taste and dreary wastes of description, there is about them
some intangible quality which compels the interest and grips the
imagination of school-boy and gray-beard alike. He splashed his paint on
a great canvas with a whitewash brush, so to speak; it will not bear
minute examination; but at a distance, with the right perspective, it
fairly glows with life. No other American novelist has added to fiction
three such characters as those we have mentioned; into those he breathed
the breath of life--the supreme achievement of the novelist.

For seventeen years after the publication of "The Spy," Cooper had no
considerable American rival. Then, in 1837, the publication of a little
volume called "Twice-Told Tales" marked the advent of a greater than he.
No one to-day seriously questions Nathaniel Hawthorne's right to first
place among American novelists, and in the realm of the short story he
has only one equal, Edgar Allan Poe.

We shall speak of Poe more at length as a poet; but it is curious and
interesting to contrast these two men, contemporaries, and the most
significant figures in the literature of their country--Poe, an actor's
child, an outcast, fighting in the dark with the balance against him,
living a tragic life and dying a tragic death, leaving to America the
purest lyrics and most compelling tales ever produced within her
borders; Hawthorne, a direct descendant of the Puritans, a recluse and a
dreamer, his delicate genius developing gradually, marrying most
happily, leading an idyllic family life, winning success and substantial
recognition, which grew steadily until the end of his career, and which
has, at least, not diminished--could any contrast be more complete?

[Illustration: HAWTHORNE]

Nathaniel Hawthorne was a direct descendant of that William Hawthorne
who came from England in 1630 with John Winthrop in the "Arabella," and
was born at Salem, Massachusetts, the family's ancestral home, in 1804.
He was a classmate of Longfellow at Bowdoin College, graduating without
especial distinction, and spending the twelve succeeding years at Salem,
living a secluded life in accordance with his abnormally shy and
sensitive disposition. He was already resolved on the literary life, and
spent those years in solitary writing. The result was a morbid novel,
"Fanshawe," and a series of short stories, none of which attracted
especial attention or gave indication of more than average talent. Not
until 1837 did he win any measure of success, but that year saw the
publication of the first series of "Twice-Told Tales," which, by their
charm and delicacy, won him many readers.

Even at that, he found the profession of letters so unprofitable that
he was glad to accept a position as weigher and gauger at the Boston
custom-house, but he lost the place two years later by a change in
administration; tried, for a while, living with the Transcendentalists
at Brook Farm, and finally, taking a leap into the unknown, married and
settled down in the old manse at Concord. It was a most fortunate step;
his wife proved a real inspiration, and in the months that followed, he
wrote the second series of "Twice-Told Tales," and "Mosses from an Old
Manse," which mark the culmination of his genius as a teller of tales.

Four years later, the political pendulum swung back again, and Hawthorne
was offered the surveyor-ship of the custom-house at Salem, accepted it,
and moved his family back to his old home. He held the position for four
years, completed his first great romance, and in 1850 gave to the world
"The Scarlet Letter," perhaps the most significant and vital novel
produced by any American. Hawthorne had, at last, "found himself." A
year later came "The House of the Seven Gables," and then, in quick
succession, "Grandfather's Chair," "The Wonder Book," "The Snow-Image,"
"The Blithedale Romance," and "Tanglewood Tales."

A queer product of his pen, at this time, was a life of Franklin Pierce,
the Democratic candidate for the Presidency; and when Pierce was
elected, he showed his gratitude by offering Hawthorne the consulship at
Liverpool, a lucrative position which Hawthorne accepted and which he
held for four years. Two years on the continent followed, and in 1860,
he returned home, his health breaking and his mind unsettled, largely by
the prospect of the Civil War into which the country was drifting. He
found himself unable to write, failed rapidly, and the end came in the
spring of 1864.

Of American novelists, Hawthorne alone shows that sustained power and
high artistry belonging to the masters of fiction; and yet his novels
have not that universal appeal which belongs to the few really great
ones of the world. Hawthorne was supremely the interpreter of old New
England, a subject of comparatively little interest to other peoples,
since old New England was distinguished principally by a narrow
spiritual conflict which other peoples find difficult to understand. The
subject of "The Scarlet Letter" is, indeed, one of universal appeal, and
is, in some form, the theme of nearly all great novels; but its setting
narrowed this appeal, and Hawthorne's treatment of his theme, symbolical
rather than simple and concrete, narrowed it still further. Yet with all
that, it possesses that individual charm and subtlety which is apparent,
in greater or less degree, in all of his imaginative work.

Contemporary with Hawthorne, and surviving him by a few years, was
another novelist who had, in his day, a tremendous reputation, but who
is now almost forgotten, William Gilmore Simms. We shall consider
him--for he was also a maker of verse--in the next chapter, in
connection with his fellow-townsmen, Henry Timrod and Paul Hamilton
Hayne. So we pause here only to remark that the obscurity which enfolds
him is more dense than he deserves, and that anyone who likes frontier
fiction, somewhat in the manner of Cooper, will enjoy reading "The
Yemassee," the best of Simms's books.

Hawthorne stands so far above the novelists who come after him that one
rather hesitates to mention them at all. With one, or possibly two,
exceptions, the work of none of them gives promise of permanency--so far
as can be judged, at least, in looking at work so near that it has no
perspective. Prophesying has always been a risky business, and will not
be attempted here. But, whether immortal or not, there are some five or
six novelists whose work is in some degree significant, and who deserve
at least passing study.

Harriet Beecher Stowe is one of these. Born in 1811, the daughter of
Lyman Beecher, and perhaps the most brilliant member of a brilliant
family, beginning to write while still a child, and continuing to do so
until the end of her long life, Mrs. Stowe's name is nevertheless
connected in the public mind with a single book, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," a
book which has probably been read by more people than any other ever
written by an American author. Mrs. Stowe had lived for some years in
Cincinnati and had visited in Kentucky, so that she had some surface
knowledge of slavery; she was, of course, by birth and breeding, an
abolitionist, and so when, early in 1851, an anti-slavery paper called
the "National Era" was started at Washington, she agreed to furnish a
"continued story."

The first chapter appeared in April, and the story ran through the year,
attracting little attention. But its publication in book form marked the
beginning of an immense popularity and an influence probably greater
than that of any other novel ever written. It crystallized anti-slavery
sentiment, it was read all over the world, it was dramatized and gave
countless thousands their first visualization of the slave traffic. That
her presentation of it was in many respects untrue has long since been
admitted, but she was writing a tract and naturally made her case as
strong as she could. From a literary standpoint, too, the book is full
of faults; but it is alive with an emotional sincerity which sweeps
everything before it. She wrote other books, but none of them is read
to-day, except as a matter of duty or curiosity.

And let us pause here to point out that the underlying principle of
every great work of art, whether a novel or poem or painting or statue,
is sincerity. Without sincerity it cannot be great, no matter how well
it is done, with what care and fidelity; and with sincerity it may often
attain greatness without perfection of form, just as "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
did. But to lack sincerity is to lack soul; it is a body without a

We must refer, too, to the most distinctive American humorist of the
last half century, Samuel Langhorne Clemens--"Mark Twain." Born in
Missouri, knocking about from pillar to post in his early years,
serving as pilot's boy and afterwards as pilot on a Mississippi
steamboat, as printer, editor, and what not, but finally "finding
himself" and making an immense reputation by the publication of a
burlesque book of European travel, "Innocents Abroad," he followed it up
with such widely popular stories as "Tom Sawyer," "Huckleberry Finn,"
"The Prince and the Pauper," and many others, in some of which, at
least, there seems to be an element of permanency. "Huckleberry Finn,"
indeed, has been hailed as the most distinctive work produced in
America--an estimate which must be accepted with reservations.

Three living novelists have contributed to American letters books of
insight and dignity--William Dean Howells, George W. Cable and Henry
James. Mr. Howells has devoted himself to careful and painstaking
studies of American life, and has occasionally struck a note so true
that it has found wide appreciation. The same thing may be said of Mr.
Cable's stories of the South, and especially of the Creoles of
Louisiana; while Mr. James, perhaps as the result of his long residence
abroad, has ranged over a wider field, and has chosen to depict the
evolution of character by thought rather than by deed, in his early work
showing a rare insight. Of the three, he seems most certain of a lasting

Others of less importance have made some special corner of the country
theirs, and possess a sort of squatter-right over it. To Bret Harte
belongs mid-century California; to Mary Noailles Murfree, the Tennessee
mountains; to James Lane Allen and John Fox, present-day Kentucky; to
Mary Johnston, colonial Virginia; to Ellen Glasgow, present-day
Virginia; to Stewart Edward White, the great northwest. Others cultivate
a field peculiar to themselves. Frank R. Stockton is whimsically
humorous, Edith Wharton cynically dissective; Mary Wilkins Freeman is
most at home with rural New England character; and Thomas Nelson Page
has done his best work in the South of reconstruction days.

But of the great mass of fiction being written in America to-day, little
is of value as literature. It is designed for the most part as an
amusing occupation for idle hours. Read some of it, by all means, if you
enjoy it, since "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"; but
remember that it is only the sweetmeat that comes at the end of the
meal, and for sustenance, for the bread and butter of the literary diet,
you must read the older books that are worth while.

       *       *       *       *       *

It may be questioned whether America has produced any poet or novelist
or essayist of the very first rank, but, in another branch of letters,
four names appear, which stand as high as any on the scroll. The writing
of history is not, of course, pure literature; it is semi-creative
rather than creative; and yet, at its best, it demands a high degree of
imaginative insight. It appears at its best in the works of Prescott,
Motley, Bancroft and Parkman.

George Bancroft was, of this quartette, the most widely known half a
century ago, because he chose as his theme the history of America, and
because he was himself for many years prominent in the political life of
the country. Born in Massachusetts in 1800, graduating from Harvard,
and, after a course of study in Germany, resolving to be a historian, he
returned to America and began work on his history, the first volume of
which appeared in 1834. Three years later, came the second volume, and
in 1840, the third.

Glowing with national spirit as they did, they attracted public
attention to him, and he was soon drawn into politics. During the next
twelve years he held several government positions, among them Secretary
of the Navy and Minister to England, which gave him access to great
masses of historical documents. It was not until 1852 that his fourth
volume appeared, then five more followed at comparatively frequent
intervals. Again politics interrupted. He was sent as Minister to
Prussia and later to the German Empire, again largely increasing his
store of original documents, with which, toward the last, he seems to
have been fairly overburdened. In 1874, he published his tenth volume,
bringing his narrative through the Revolution, and eight years later,
the last two dealing with the adoption of the Constitution. His last
years were spent in revising and correcting this monumental work.

It is an inspiring record--a life devoted consistently to one great
work, and that work the service of one's country, for such Bancroft's
really was. Every student of colonial and revolutionary America must
turn to him, and while his history has long since ceased to be generally
read, it maintains an honored place among every collection of books
dealing with America. It is easily first among the old-school histories
as produced by such men as Hildreth. Tucker, Palfrey and Sparks.

At the head of the other school, which has been called cosmopolitan
because it sought its subjects abroad rather than at home, stands
William Hickling Prescott. Of this school, Washington Irving may fairly
be said to have been the pioneer. We have seen how his residence in
Spain turned his attention to the history of that country and resulted
in three notable works. Prescott, however, was a historian by
forethought and not by accident. Before his graduation from Harvard, he
had determined to lead a literary life modelled upon that of Edward
Gibbon. His career was almost wrecked at the outset by an unfortunate
accident which so impaired his sight that he was unable to read or to
write except with the assistance of a cumbrous machine. That any man,
laboring under such a disability, should yet persevere in pursuing the
rocky road of the historian seems almost unbelievable; yet that is just
what Prescott did.

Let us tell the story of that accident. It was while he was at Harvard,
in his junior year. One day after dinner, in the Commons Hall, some of
the boys started a rude frolic. Prescott took no part in it, but just as
he was leaving, a great commotion behind him caused him to turn quickly,
and a hard piece of bread, thrown undoubtedly at random, struck him
squarely and with great force in the left eye. He fell unconscious, and
never saw out of that eye again. Worse than that, his other eye soon
grew inflamed, and became almost useless to him, besides causing him,
from time to time, the most acute suffering. But in spite of all this,
he persisted in his determination to be a historian.

After careful thought, he chose for his theme that period of Spanish
history dominated by Ferdinand and Isabella, and went to work. Documents
were collected, an assistant read to him for hours at a time, notes were
taken, and the history painfully pushed forward. The result was a
picturesque narrative which was at once successful both in Europe and
America; and, thus encouraged, Prescott selected another romantic theme,
the conquest of Mexico, for his next work. Following this came the
history of the conquest of Peru, and finally a history of the reign of
Philip II, upon which he was at work, when a paralytic stroke ended his

Prescott was fortunate not only in his choice of subjects, but in the
possession of a picturesque and fascinating style, which has given his
histories a remarkable vogue. Fault has been found with him on the
ground of historical inaccuracy, but such criticism is, for the most
part, unjustified. His thoroughness, his judgment, and his critical
faculty stand unimpeached, and place him very near the head of American

Prescott's successor, in more than one sense, was John Lothrop Motley.
A Bostonian and Harvard man, well-trained, after one or two unsuccessful
ventures in fiction, he turned his attention to history, and in 1856
completed his "Rise of the Dutch Republic," for which he could not find
a publisher. He finally issued it at his own expense, with no little
inward trembling, but it was at once successful and seventeen thousand
copies of it were sold in England alone during the first year. It
received unstinted praise, and Motley at once proceeded with his
"History of the United Netherlands." The opening of the Civil War,
however, recalled his attention to his native land, he was drawn into
politics, and did not complete his history until 1868. Six years later
appeared his "John of Barneveld"; but his health was giving way and the
end came in 1877.

In brilliancy, dramatic instinct and power of picturesque narration,
Motley was Prescott's equal, if not his superior. The glow and fervor of
his narrative have never been surpassed; his characters live and
breathe; he was thoroughly in sympathy with his subject and found a
personal pleasure in exalting his heroes and unmasking his villains. But
there was his weakness; for often, instead of the impartial historian,
he became a partisan of this cause or that, and painted his heroes
whiter and his villains blacker than they really were. In spite of that,
or perhaps because of it--because of the individual and intensely
earnest personal point of view--his histories are as absorbing and
fascinating as any in the world.

The last of this noteworthy group of historians, Francis Parkman, is
also, in many respects, the greatest. He combined the virtues of all of
them, and added for himself methods of research which have never been
surpassed. Through it all, too, he battled against a persistent
ill-health, which unfitted him for work for months on end, and, even at
the best, would permit his reading or writing only a few minutes at a

Like the others, Parkman was born in Boston, and, as a boy, was so
delicate that he was allowed to run wild in the country, acquiring a
love of nature which is apparent in all his books. In search of health,
he journeyed westward from St. Louis, in 1846, living with Indians and
trappers and gaining a minute knowledge of their ways. The results of
this journey were embodied in a modest little volume called "The Oregon
Trail," which remains the classic source of information concerning the
far West at that period.

Upon his return to the East, he settled down in earnest to the task
which he had set himself--a history, in every phase, of the struggle
between France and England for the possession of the North American
continent. Years were spent in the collection of material--and in 1865
appeared his "Pioneers of France in the New World," followed at periods
of a few years by the other books completing the series, which ends with
the story of Montcalm and Wolfe.

The series is a masterpiece of interpretative history. Every phase of
the struggle for the continent is described in minute detail and with
the intimate touch of perfect knowledge; every actor in the great drama
is presented with incomparable vividness, and its scenes are painted
with a color and atmosphere worthy of Prescott or Motley, and with
absolute accuracy. His work satisfies at once the student and the lover
of literature, standing almost unique in this regard. His flexible and
charming style is a constant joy; his power of analysis and presentment
a constant wonder; and throughout his work there is a freshness of
feeling, an air of the open, at once delightful and stimulating. He said
the last word concerning the period which his histories cover, and has
lent to it a fascination and absorbing interest which no historian has
surpassed. The boy or girl who has not read Parkman's histories has
missed one of the greatest treats which literature has to offer.

Other historians there are who have done good service to American
letters and whose work is outranked only by the men we have already
mentioned--John Bach McMaster, whose "History of the People of the
United States" is still uncompleted; James Ford Rhodes, who has
portrayed the Civil War period with admirable exhaustiveness and
accuracy; Justin Winsor, Woodrow Wilson, William M. Sloane, and John
Fiske. John Fiske's work, which deals wholly with the different periods
of American history, is especially suited to young people because of its
simplicity and directness, and because, while accurate, it is not
overburdened with detail.

We have said that, during the Colonial period of American history, most
of the New England divines devoted a certain amount of attention to the
composition of creaking verse. More than that, they composed histories,
biographies and numberless works of a theological character, which
probably constitute the dullest mass of reading ever produced upon this
earth. The Revolution stopped this flood--if anything so dry can be
called a flood--and when the Revolution ended, public thought was for
many years occupied with the formation of the new nation. But in the
second quarter of the nineteenth century there arose in New England a
group of writers who are known as Transcendentalists, and who produced
one of the most important sections of American literature.

Transcendentalism is a long word, and it is rather difficult to define,
but, to put it as briefly as possible, it was a protest against
narrowness in intellectual life, a movement for broader culture and for
a freer spiritual life. It took a tremendous grip on New England,
beginning about 1830, and kept it for nearly forty years; for New
England has always been more or less provincial--provincialism being the
habit of measuring everything by one inadequate standard.

The high priest of the Transcendental movement was Amos Bronson Alcott,
born on a Connecticut farm in 1799, successively in youth a clockmaker,
peddler and book-agent, and finally driven by dire necessity to teaching
school. But there could be no success at school-teaching for a man the
most eccentric of his day--a mystic, a follower of Oriental philosophy,
a non-resistant, an advocate of woman suffrage, an abolitionist, a
vegetarian, and heaven knows what besides. So in the end, he was sold
out, and removed with his family to Concord, where he developed into a
sort of impractical idealist, holding Orphic conversations and writing
scraps of speculation and criticism, and living in the clouds generally.

Life would have been far less easy for him but for the development of an
unexpected talent in one of his daughters, Louisa May Alcott. From her
sixteenth year, Louisa Alcott had been writing for publication, but with
little success, although every dollar she earned was welcome to a family
so poor that the girls sometimes thought of selling their hair to get a
little money. She also tried to teach, and finally, in 1862, went to
Washington as a volunteer nurse and labored for many months in the
military hospitals. The letters she wrote to her mother and sisters were
afterwards collected in a book called "Hospital Sketches." At last, at
the suggestion of her publishers, she undertook to write a girls' story.
The result was "Little Women," which sprang almost instantly into a
tremendous popularity, and which at once put its author out of reach of

Other children's stories, scarcely less famous, followed in quick
succession, forming a series which has never been equalled for
long-continued vogue. Few children who read at all have failed to read
"Little Men," "Little Women," "An Old-Fashioned Girl," "Eight Cousins,"
and "Rose in Bloom," to mention only five of them, and edition after
edition has been necessary to supply a demand which shows no sign of
lessening. The stories are, one and all, sweet and sincere and helpful,
and while they are not in any sense literature, they are, at least, an
interesting contribution to American letters.

But to return to the Transcendentalists.

The most picturesque figure of the group was Margaret Fuller. Starting
as a morbid and sentimental girl, her father's death seems suddenly to
have changed her, at the age of twenty-five, into a talented and
thoughtful woman. Her career need not be considered in detail here,
since it was significant more from the inspiration she gave others than
from any achievement of her own. She proved herself a sympathetic
critic, if not a catholic and authoritative one, and a pleasing and
suggestive essayist.

What she might have become no one can tell, for her life was cut short
at the fortieth year. She had spent some years in Italy, in an epoch of
revolutions, into which she entered heart and soul. A romantic marriage,
in 1847, with the Marquis Ossoli, served further to identify her with
the revolutionary cause, and when it tumbled into ruins, she and her
husband escaped from Rome and started for America. Their ship
encountered a terrific storm off Long Island, was driven ashore, broken
to pieces by the waves, and both she and her husband were drowned.

[Illustration: EMERSON]

By far the greatest of the Transcendental group and one of the most
original figures in American literature was Ralph Waldo Emerson--a
figure, indeed, in many ways unique in all literature. Born in Boston in
1803, the son of a Unitarian clergyman and a member of a large and
sickly family, he followed the predestined path through Harvard College,
graduating with no especial honors, entered the ministry, and served as
pastor of the Second Church of Boston until 1832. Then, finding himself
ill at ease in the position, he resigned, and, settling at Concord,
turned to lecturing, first on scientific subjects and then on manners
and morals. His reputation grew steadily, and, especially in the
generation younger than himself, he awakened the deepest enthusiasm.

In 1836, the publication of a little volume called "Nature" gave
conclusive evidence of his talent, and, followed as it was by his
"Essays," "Representative Men," and "Conduct of Life," established his
reputation as seer, interpreter of nature, poet and moralist--a
reputation which has held its own against the assaults of time.

And yet no personality could be more puzzling or elusive. He was at once
attractive and repulsive--there was a certain line which no one crossed,
a charmed circle in which he dwelt alone. There was about him a certain
coldness and detachment, a self-sufficiency, and a prudence which held
him back from giving himself unreservedly to any cause. He lacked
heart and temperament. He was a homely, shrewd and cold-blooded Yankee,
to put it plainly. Yet, with all that, he was a serene and benignant
figure, of an inspiring optimism, a fine patriotism, and profound
intellect--a stimulator of the best in man. Upon this basis, probably,
his final claim to memory will rest.

Another Transcendental eccentric with more than a touch of genius was
Henry David Thoreau, and it is noteworthy that his fame, which burned
dimly enough during his life, has flamed ever brighter and brighter
since his death. This increase of reputation is no doubt due, in some
degree, to the "return to nature," which has recently been so prominent
in American life and which has gained a wide hearing for so noteworthy a
"poet-naturalist"; but it is also due in part to a growing recognition
of the fact that as a writer of delightful, suggestive and inspiring
prose he has had few equals.

Thoreau is easily our most extraordinary man of letters. Born in Concord
of a poor family, but managing to work his way through Harvard, he spent
some years teaching; but an innate love of nature and of freedom led him
to seek some form of livelihood which would leave him as much his own
master as it was possible for a poor man to be. To earn money for any
other purpose than to provide for one's bare necessities was to Thoreau
a grievous waste of time, so it came about that for many years he was a
sort of itinerant tinker, a doer of odd jobs. Another characteristic,
partly innate and party cultivated, was a distrust of society and a
dislike of cities. "I find it as ever very unprofitable to have much to
do with men," he wrote; and finally, in pursuance of this idea, he built
himself a little cabin on the shore of Walden pond, where he lived for
some two years and a half.

It was there that his best work was done, for, at bottom, Thoreau was a
man of letters rather than a naturalist, with the most seeing eye man
ever had. "Walden, or Life in the Woods," and "A Week on the Concord and
Merrimac Rivers" contain the best of Thoreau, and any boy or girl who is
interested in the great outdoors, as every boy and girl ought to be,
will enjoy reading them.

The last of the Transcendental group worthy of mention here is George
William Curtis, a versatile and charming personality, not a genius in
any sense, but a writer of pleasant and amusing prose, an orator of no
small ability, and one of the truest patriots who ever loved and labored
for his country. It is in this latter aspect, rather than as the author
of "Nile Notes" and "The Potiphar Papers," that Curtis is best
remembered to-day. The books that he produced have, to a large extent,
lost their appeal; but the work he did during the dark days of
reconstruction and after entitles him to admiring and grateful

       *       *       *       *       *

It is scarcely possible to close a chapter upon American prose writers
without referring to at least one of the great editors who have done so
much to mould American public opinion. To James Gordon Bennett and
Charles A. Dana only passing reference need be made; but Horace Greeley
deserves more extended treatment.

[Illustration: GREELEY]

Early in the last century, on a rocky little farm in New Hampshire,
lived a man by the name of Zaccheus Greeley, a good neighbor, but a bad
manager--so bad that, in 1820, when his son Horace was nine years old,
the farm was seized by the sheriff and sold for debt. The proceeds of
the sale did not pay the debt, and so, in order to escape arrest, for
they imprisoned people for debt in those days, Zaccheus Greeley fled
across the border into Vermont, where his family soon joined him. He
managed to make a precarious living by working at odd jobs, in which, of
course, the boy joined him whenever he could be of any use.

He was a rather remarkable boy, with a great fondness for books, and
when he was eleven years old, he tried to get a position in a printing
office, but was rejected because he was too young. Four years later, he
heard that a boy was wanted in an office at East Poultney, and he
hastened to apply for the position. He was a lank, ungainly and
dull-appearing boy, and the owner of the office did not think he could
ever learn to be a printer, but finally put him to work, with the
understanding that he was to receive nothing but his board and clothes
for the first six months, and after that forty dollars a year

The boy soon showed an unusual aptitude for the business, and finally
decided that the little village was too restricted a field for his
talents. With youth's sublime confidence, he decided to go to New York
City. He managed to get a position in a printing office there, and two
years later, at the age of twenty-two, he and a partner established the
first one-cent daily newspaper in the United States. It was ahead of the
times, however, and had to be abandoned after a few months.

But he had discovered his peculiar field, and in 1840 he established
another paper which he called the "Log Cabin," in which he supported
William Henry Harrison through the famous "log cabin and hard cider"
campaign. The paper was a success, and in the year following he
established the New York "Tribune," which was destined to make him both
rich and famous. For more than thirty years he conducted the "Tribune,"
making it the most influential paper in the country. He became the most
powerful political writer in the United States, and in every village
groups gathered regularly to receive their papers and to see what "Old
Horace" had to say. He was to his readers a strong and vivid
personality--they had faith in his intelligence and honesty, and they
believed that he would say what he believed to be right, regardless of
whose toes were pinched. It was as different as possible to the
anonymous journalism of to-day, when not one in a hundred of a
newspaper's readers knows anything about the personality of the editor.

We have already referred to the fact that, at the beginning of
secession, Greeley doubted the right of the North to compel the seceding
states to remain in the Union. Indeed, he counselled peaceful separation
rather than war, as did many others, but he was later a staunch
supporter of President Lincoln's policy.

We have also spoken of the fact that, when Grant was re-nominated for
President in 1872, a large section of the party, believing him
incompetent, broke away from the party and named a candidate of their
own. The party they formed was called the Liberal Republican, and their
candidate was Horace Greeley. They managed to secure for him the support
of the Democratic convention, which placed him at the head of the
Democratic ticket, but they could not secure the support of the
Democrats themselves, who could not forget that Greeley had been
fighting them all his life; and the result was that he was
overwhelmingly defeated. He had not expected such a result, his health
had been undermined by the labors and anxieties of the campaign, and
before the rejoicing of the Republicans was over, Greeley himself lay


IRVING, WASHINGTON. Born at New York City, April 3, 1783; went abroad
for health, 1804; returned to America, 1806; published "Knickerbocker's
History of New York," 1809; attaché of legation at Madrid, 1826-29;
secretary of legation at London, 1829-32; minister to Spain, 1842-46;
died at Sunnyside, near Tarrytown, New York, November 28, 1859.

COOPER, JAMES FENIMORE. Born at Burlington, New Jersey, September 15,
1789; entered Yale, 1802, but left after three years; midshipman in
United States navy, 1808-11, when he resigned his commission; published
first novel, "Precaution," anonymously, 1820, and followed it with many
others; died at Cooperstown, New York, September 14, 1851.

HAWTHORNE, NATHANIEL. Born at Salem, Massachusetts, July 4, 1804;
graduated at Bowdoin College, 1825; served in Custom House at Boston,
1838-41; at Brook Farm, 1841; settled at Concord, Massachusetts, 1843;
surveyor of the port of Salem, 1846-49; United States consul at
Liverpool, 1853-57; published "Twice-Told Tales," 1837; "Mosses from an
Old Manse," 1846; "The Scarlet Letter," 1850; "The House of the Seven
Gables," 1851; and a number of other novels and collections of tales;
died at Plymouth, New Hampshire, May 19, 1864.

STOWE, HARRIET BEECHER. Born at Litchfield, Connecticut, June 14, 1812;
educated at Hartford, Connecticut; taught school there and at
Cincinnati; published "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 1852; "Dred," 1856; and a
number of other novels; died at Hartford, Connecticut, July 1, 1896.

CLEMENS, SAMUEL LANGHORNE. Born at Florida, Missouri, November 30, 1835;
apprenticed to printer, 1847; alternated between mining and newspaper
work, until the publication of "Innocents Abroad," 1869, made him
famous as a humorist; died at Redding, Connecticut, April 22, 1910;
published many collections of short stories and several novels.

BANCROFT, GEORGE. Born at Worcester, Massachusetts, October 3, 1800;
graduated at Harvard, 1817; collector of the port of Boston, 1838-41;
Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts, 1844; secretary of
the navy, 1845-46; minister to Great Britain, 1846-49; minister to
Berlin, 1867-74; published first volume of his "History of the United
States," 1834, last volume, 1874; died at Washington, Jan. 17, 1891.

PRESCOTT, WILLIAM HICKLING. Born at Salem, Massachusetts, May 4, 1796;
published "History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella," 1838;
"Conquest of Mexico," 1843; "Conquest of Peru," 1847; "History of the
Reign of Philip II," 1858; died at Boston, January 28, 1859.

MOTLEY, JOHN LOTHROP. Born at Dorchester (now part of Boston),
Massachusetts, April 15, 1814; graduated at Harvard, 1831; studied
abroad, 1831-34; United States minister to Austria, 1861-67, and to
Great Britain, 1869-70; published "Rise of the Dutch Republic," 1856;
"History of the United Netherlands," 1868; "Life and Death of John of
Barneveld," 1874; died in Dorset, England, May 29, 1877.

PARKMAN, FRANCIS. Born at Boston, September 16, 1823; graduated at
Harvard, 1844; published "The Conspiracy of Pontiac," 1851, and
continued series of histories dealing with the French in America to "A
Half Century of Conflict," 1892; died at Jamaica Plain, near Boston,
November 8, 1893.

ALCOTT, AMOS BRONSON. Born at Wolcott, Connecticut, November 29, 1799; a
book-peddler and school-teacher, conducting a school in Boston, 1834-37;
removed to Concord, 1840; published "Orphic Sayings," 1840; "Tablets,"
1868; "Concord Days," 1872; "Table-Talk," 1877; "Sonnets and Canzonets,"
1882; died at Boston, March 4, 1888.

ALCOTT, LOUISA MAY. Born at Germantown, Pennsylvania, November 29, 1832;
teacher in early life and army nurse during Civil War; published "Little
Women," 1868; "Old-Fashioned Girl," 1869; "Little Men," 1871, and many
other children's stories; died at Boston, March 6, 1888.

Massachusetts, May 23, 1810; edited _Boston Dial_, 1840-42; literary
critic _New York Tribune_, 1844-46; published "Summer on the Lakes,"
1843; "Woman in the Nineteenth Century," 1845; "Papers on Art and
Literature," 1846; went to Europe, 1846; married Marquis Ossoli, 1847;
drowned off Fire Island, July 16, 1850.

EMERSON, RALPH WALDO. Born at Boston, Massachusetts, May 25, 1803;
graduated at Harvard, 1821; Unitarian clergyman at Boston, 1829-32;
commenced career as lecturer, 1833, and continued for nearly forty
years; edited the _Dial_, 1842-44; published "Nature," 1836; "Essays,"
1841; "Poems," 1846; "Representative Men," 1850; and other books of
essays and poems; died at Concord, Massachusetts, April 27, 1882.

THOREAU, HENRY DAVID. Born at Concord, Massachusetts, July 12, 1817;
graduated at Harvard, 1837; lived alone at Walden Pond, 1845-47;
published "A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers," 1849; "Walden, or
Life in the Woods," 1854; died at Concord, May 6, 1862. Several
collections of his essays and letters were published after his death.

CURTIS, GEORGE WILLIAM. Born at Providence, Rhode Island, February 24,
1824; joined the Brook Farm Community, 1842, and afterwards spent some
years in travel; published "Nile Notes of a Howadji," "The Howadji in
Syria," "The Potiphar Papers," and other books; prominent as an
anti-slavery orator and as the editor of "Harper's Weekly"; died at West
New Brighton, Staten Island, August 31, 1892.

GREELEY, HORACE. Born at Amherst, New Hampshire, February 3, 1811;
founded _New York Tribune_, 1841; member of Congress from New York,
1848-49; candidate of Liberal-Republican and Democratic parties for
President, 1872; died at Pleasantville, Westchester County, New York,
November 29, 1872.



"Poetry," says the Century dictionary, "is that one of the fine arts
which addresses itself to the feelings and the imagination by the
instrumentality of musical and moving words"; and that is probably as
concise a definition of poetry as can be evolved. For poetry is
difficult to define. Verse we can describe, because it is mechanical;
but poetry is verse with a soul added.

It is for this very reason that there is so wide a variance in the
critical estimates of the work of individual poets. The feelings and
imagination of no two persons are exactly the same, and what will appeal
to one will fail to appeal to the other; so that it follows that what is
poetry for one is merely verse for the other. Tastes vary in poetry,
just as they do in food. Indeed, poetry is a good deal like food. We all
of us like bread and butter, and we eat it every day and get good, solid
nourishment from it; but only the educated palate can appreciate the
refinements of caviar, or Gorgonzola cheese, or some rare and special
vintage. So most of us derive a mild enjoyment from the works of such
poets as Longfellow and Tennyson and Whittier; but it requires a
trained taste to appreciate the subtle delights of Browning or Edgar
Allan Poe.

Now the taste for the simple and obvious is a natural taste--the child's
taste, healthy, and, some will add, unspoiled; but poetry must be judged
by the nicer and more exacting standard, just as all other of the fine
arts must. I wonder if you have ever read what is probably the most
perfect lyric ever written by an American? I am going to set it down
here as an example of what poetry can be, and I want you to compare your
favorite poems, whatever they may be, with it. It is by Edgar Allan Poe
and is called


    Helen, thy beauty is to me
      Like those Nicæan barks of yore;
    That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
      The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
      To his own native shore.

    On desperate seas long wont to roam;
      Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
    Thy Naiad airs, have brought me home
      To the glory that was Greece
      And the grandeur that was Rome.

    Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
      How statue-like I see thee stand,
    The agate lamp within thy hand!
      Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
      Are Holy Land!

In 1821--the same year which saw the publication of _The Spy_, the first
significant American novel--there appeared at Boston a little pamphlet
of forty-four pages, bound modestly in brown paper boards, and
containing eight poems. Two of them were "To a Waterfowl" and
"Thanatopsis," and that little volume marked the advent of the first
American poet--William Cullen Bryant. Out of the great mass of verse
produced on our continent for two centuries after the Pilgrim Fathers
landed on Plymouth Rock, his was the first which displayed those
qualities which make for immortality.

Before him our greatest poets had been Philip Freneau, the "Poet of the
Revolution"; Francis Scott Key, whose supreme achievement was "The
Star-Spangled Banner"; Fitz-Greene Halleck, known to every school-boy by
his "Marco Bozzaris," but chiefly memorable for a beautiful little
lyric, "On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake"; and Drake himself, perhaps
the greatest of the four, but dying at the age of twenty-five with
nothing better to his credit than the well-known "The American Flag,"
and the fanciful and ambitious "The Culprit Fay." But these men were, at
best, only graceful versifiers, and Bryant loomed so far above them and
the other verse-makers of his time that he was hailed as a miracle of
genius, a sort of Parnassan giant whose like had never before existed.
We estimate him more correctly to-day as a poet of the second rank,
whose powers were limited but genuine. Indeed, even in his own day,
Bryant's reputation waned somewhat, for he never fulfilled the promise
of that first volume, and "To a Waterfowl" and "Thanatopsis" remain the
best poems he ever wrote.

William Cullen Bryant was born at Cummington, Massachusetts, in 1794,
the son of a physician, from whom he received practically all his early
training, and who was himself a writer of verse. The boy's talent for
versification was encouraged, and some of his productions were recited
at school and published in the poet's corner of the local newspaper. In
1808, when Bryant was fourteen years old, the first volume of his poems
was printed at Boston, with an advertisement certifying the extreme
youth of the author. It contained nothing of any importance, and why
anyone should care to read dull verse because it was written by a child
is incomprehensible, but the book had some success, and Bryant's father
was a very proud man.

Three years later, Bryant entered Williams College, but soon left, and,
not having the means to pay his way through Yale, gave up the thought of
college altogether, and began the study of law. He also read widely in
English literature, and while in his seventeenth year produced what may
fairly be called the first real poem written in America, "Thanatopsis,"
a wonderful achievement for a youth of that age. Six months later came
the beautiful lines, "To a Waterfowl," and Bryant's career as a poet was
fairly begun. In 1821 came the thin volume in which these and other
poems were collected, and its success finally decided its author to
relinquish a career at the bar and to turn to literature.

In the years that followed, Bryant produced a few other noteworthy
poems, yet it is significant of the thinness of his inspiration that,
though he began writing in early youth and lived to the age of
eighty-four, his total product was scant in the extreme when compared
with that of any of the acknowledged masters. His earnings from this
source were never great, and, removing to New York, he secured, in 1828,
the editorship of the _Evening Post_, with which he remained associated
until his death.

In his later years, he became an imposing national figure. But his
poetry never regained the wide acceptation which it once enjoyed,
largely because taste in verse has changed, and we have come to lay more
stress upon beauty than upon ethical teaching.

America has never lacked for versifiers, and Bryant's success encouraged
a greater throng than ever to "lisp in numbers"; but few of them grew
beyond the lisping stage, and it was not until the middle of the century
that any emerged from this throng to take their stand definitely beside
the author of "Thanatopsis." Then, almost simultaneously, six others
disengaged themselves--Longfellow, Whittier, Poe, Lowell, Holmes and
Emerson--and remain to this day the truest poets in our history.

Of Emerson we have already spoken. His poetry has been, and still is,
the subject of controversy. To some, it is the best in our literature;
to others, it is not poetry at all, but merely rhythmic prose. It is
lacking in passion, in poetic glow--for how can fire come out of an
iceberg?--but about some of it there is the clean-cut beauty of the
cameo. You know, of course, his immortal quatrain,

    Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
    This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
    Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
    Then Beauty is its own excuse for being.

More than once he hit the bull's-eye, so to speak, in just that splendid

Of the others, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is easily first in popular
reputation, if not in actual achievement. Born at Portland, Maine, in
1807, of a good family, he developed into an attractive and promising
boy; was a classmate at Bowdoin College of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and
after three years' study abroad, was given the chair of modern languages
there. For five years he held this position, filling it so well that in
1834 he was called to Harvard. He entered upon his duties there after
another year abroad, and continued with them for eighteen years. The
remainder of his life was spent quietly amid a congenial circle of
friends at Cambridge. He was essentially home-loving, and took no
strenuous interest in public affairs; for this reason, perhaps, he won a
warmer place in public affection than has been accorded to any other
American man-of-letters, for the American people is a home-loving
people, and especially admires that quality in its great men.

From his earliest youth, Longfellow had written verses of somewhat
unusual merit for a boy, though remarkable rather for smoothness of
rhythm than for depth or originality of thought. His modern language
studies involved much translation, but his first book, "Hyperion," was
not published until 1839. It attained a considerable vogue, but as
nothing to the wide popularity of "Voices of the Night," which appeared
the same year. Two years later appeared "Ballads and Other Poems," and
the two collections established their author in the popular heart beyond
possibility of assault. They contained "A Psalm of Life," "The Reaper
and the Flowers," "The Village Blacksmith," and "Excelsior," which,
however we may dispute their claims as poetry, have taken their place
among the treasured household verse of the nation.

Four years later, in "The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems," he added
two more to this collection, "The Day is Done" and "The Bridge." The
publication, in 1847, of "Evangeline" raised him to the zenith of his
reputation. His subsequent work confirmed him in popular estimation as
the greatest of American poets--"Hiawatha," "The Courtship of Miles
Standish," and such shorter poems as "Resignation," "The Children's
Hour," "Paul Revere's Ride," and "The Old Clock on the Stairs."

But, after all, Longfellow was not a really great poet. He lacked the
strength of imagination, the sureness of insight and the delicacy of
fancy necessary to great poetry. He was rather a sentimentalist to whom
study and practice had given an exceptional command of rhythm. The
prevailing note of his best-known lyrics is one of sentimental
sorrow--the note which is of the very widest appeal. His public is
largely the same public which weeps over the death of little Nell and
loves to look at Landseer's "The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner."
Longfellow and Dickens and Landseer were all great artists and did
admirable work, but scarcely the very highest work. But Longfellow's
ballads "found an echo in the universal human heart," and won him an
affection such as has been accorded no other modern poet. His place is
by the hearth-side rather than on the mountain-top--by far the more
comfortable and cheerful position of the two.

The year of Longfellow's birth witnessed that of another American poet,
more virile, but of a narrower appeal--John Greenleaf Whittier.
Whittier's birthplace was the old house at East Haverhill,
Massachusetts, where many generations of his Quaker ancestors had dwelt.
The family was poor, and the boy's life was a hard and cramped one, with
few opportunities for schooling or culture; yet its very rigor made for
character, and developed that courage and simplicity which were
Whittier's noblest attributes.

What there was in the boy that moved him to write verse it would be
difficult to say--some bent, some crotchet, which defies explanation.
Certain it is that he did write; his sister sent some of his verses to a
neighboring paper, and the result was a visit from its editor, William
Lloyd Garrison, who encouraged the boy to get some further schooling,
and afterwards helped him to secure a newspaper position in Boston. But
his health failed him, and he returned to Haverhill, removing, in 1836,
to Amesbury, where the remainder of his life was spent.

He had already become interested in politics, had joined the
abolitionists, and was soon the most influential of the protestants
against slavery. Into this battle he threw himself heart and soul. It is
amusing to reflect that, though a Quaker and advocate of non-resistance,
he probably did more to render the Civil War inevitable than any other
one man. During the war, his lyrics aided the Northern cause; and as
soon as it was over, he labored unceasingly to allay the evil passions
which the contest had aroused. He lived to the ripe age of eighty-five,
simply and bravely, and his career was from first to last consistent and
inspiring, one of the sweetest and gentlest in history.

Although Whittier was endowed with a brighter spark of the divine fire
than Longfellow, he himself was conscious that he did not possess

    The seerlike power to show
    The secrets of the heart and mind.

He was lacking, too, in intellectual equipment--in culture, in mastery
of rhythm and diction, in felicitous phrasing. And yet, on at least two
occasions, he rang sublimely true--in his denunciation of Webster,
"Ichabod," and in his idyll of New England rural life, "Snow-Bound."

The third of these New England poets, and also the least important, is
Oliver Wendell Holmes. Born at Cambridge, in the inner circle of New
England aristocracy, educated at Harvard, and studying medicine in
Boston and Paris, he practiced his profession for twelve years, until,
in 1847, he was called to the chair of anatomy and physiology at
Harvard, continuing in that position until 1882. He lived until 1894,
the last survivor of the seven poets whom we have mentioned.

During his student days, Holmes had gained considerable reputation as a
writer of humorous and sentimental society verse, and during his whole
life he wrote practically no other kind. Long practice gave him an easy
command of rhythm, and a careful training added delicacy to his diction.
He became remarkably dexterous in rhyme, and grew to be the recognized
celebrant of class reunions and public dinners. Urbane, felicitous and
possessing an unflagging humor, he was the prince of after-dinner
poets--not a lofty position, be it observed, nor one making for immortal
fame. His highwater mark was reached in three poems, "The Chambered
Nautilus," "The Deacon's Masterpiece," and that faultless piece of
familiar verse, "The Last Leaf," all of which are widely and
affectionately known. He lacked power and depth of imagination, the
field in which he was really at home was a narrow one, and the verdict
of time will probably be that he was a pleasant versifier rather than a
true poet.

His claim to the attention of posterity is likely to rest, not on his
verses, but upon a sprightly hodgepodge of imaginary table-talk, called
"The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table"--a warm-hearted, kindly book,
which still retains its savor.

And this brings us to our most versatile man-of-letters--James Russell
Lowell. Born at Cambridge, in the old house called "Elmwood," so dear to
his readers, spending an ideal boyhood in the midst of a cultured
circle, treading the predestined path through Harvard, studying law and
gaining admission to the bar--such was the story of his life for the
first twenty-five years. As a student at Harvard, he had written a great
deal of prose and verse of considerable merit, and he continued this
work after graduation, gaining a livelihood somewhat precarious, indeed,
yet sufficient to render it unnecessary for him to attempt to practice
law. But it was not until 1848 that he really "struck his gait."

Certainly, then, he struck it to good purpose by the publication of the
"Biglow Papers" and "A Fable for Critics," and stood revealed as one of
the wisest, wittiest, most fearless and most patriotic of moralists and
satirists. For the "Biglow Papers" mark a culmination of American
humorous and satiric poetry which has never since been rivalled; and the
"Fable for Critics" displays a satiric power unequalled since the days
when Byron laid his lash along the backs of "Scotch Reviewers."

Both were real contributions to American letters, but as pure poetry
both were surpassed later in the same year by his "Vision of Sir
Launfal." These three productions, indeed, promised more for the future
than Lowell was able to perform. He had gone up like a balloon; but,
instead of mounting higher, he drifted along at the same level, and at
last came back to earth.

The succeeding seven years saw no production of the first importance
from his pen, although a series of lectures on poetry, which he
delivered before the Lowell Institute, brought him the offer of the
chair at Harvard which Longfellow had just relinquished. Two years
later, he became editor of the _Atlantic Monthly_, holding the position
until 1861. During this time, he wrote little, but the opening of the
Civil War gave a fresh impetus to his muse, his most noteworthy
contribution to letters being the "Commemoration Ode" with which he
marked its close--a poem which has risen steadily in public estimation,
and which is, without doubt, the most notable of its kind ever delivered
in America. The poems which he published during the next twenty years
did little to enhance his reputation, which, as a poet, must rest upon
his "Biglow Papers," his odes, and his "Vision of Sir Launfal."

Yet poetry was but one of his modes of expression, and, some think, the
less important one. Immediately following the Civil War, he turned his
attention to criticism, and when these essays were collected under the
titles "Among My Books" and "My Study Windows," they proved their author
to be the ablest critic, the most accomplished scholar, the most
cultured writer--in a word, the greatest all-around man-of-letters, in

This prominence brought him the offer of the Spanish mission, which he
accepted, going from Madrid to London, in 1880, as Ambassador to Great
Britain, and remaining there for five years. The service he did there is
incalculable; as the spokesman for America and the representative of
American culture, he took his place with dignity and honor among
England's greatest; his addresses charmed and impressed them, and he may
be fairly said to have laid the foundations of that cordial friendship
between America and Great Britain which exists to-day. "I am a bookman,"
was Lowell's proudest boast--not only a writer of books, but a mighty
reader of books; and he is one of the most significant figures in
American letters.

So we come to the man who measures up more nearly to the stature of a
great poet than any other American--Edgar Allan Poe. Outside of America,
there has never been any hesitancy in pronouncing Poe the first poet of
his country; but, at home, it is only recently his real merit has come
to be at all generally acknowledged.

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston in 1809--a stroke of purest irony on
the part of fate, for he was in no respect a Bostonian, and it was to
Bostonians especially that he was anathema. His parents were actors,
travelling from place to place, and his birth at Boston was purely
accidental. They had no home and no fortune, but lived from hand to
mouth, in the most precarious way, and both of them were dead before
their son was two years old. He had an elder brother and a younger
sister, and these three babies were left stranded at Richmond,
Virginia, entirely without money. Luckily they were too young to realize
how very dark their future was, and the Providence which looks after the
sparrows also looked after them. The wife of a well-to-do tobacco
merchant, named John Allan, took a fancy to the dark-eyed, dark-haired
boy of two, and, having no children of her own, adopted him.

It was better fortune than he could have hoped for, for he was brought
up in comfort in a good home, and his foster-parents seem to have loved
him and to have been ambitious for his future. He was an erratic boy,
and was soon to get into the first of those difficulties which ended by
wrecking his life. For, entering the University of Virginia, he made the
mistake of associating with a fast set, with whom he had no business,
and ended by losing heavy sums of money, which he was, of course, unable
to pay, and which his foster-father very properly refused to pay for
him. Instead, he removed the boy from college and put him to work in his
office at Richmond.

Edgar felt that, in refusing to pay his debts, his foster-father had
besmirched his honor. The thought rankled in his soul, and he ended by
running away from home. He got to Boston, somehow, and enlisted in the
army, serving for three years as a private. At the end of that time,
there was a reconciliation between him and his foster-father, and the
latter provided a substitute for him in the army, and secured him an
appointment to the military academy at West Point.

Why Poe should have felt that he was fitted for army life is difficult
to understand, since he had always been impatient of discipline; but to
West Point he went and very promptly got into trouble there, which
culminated, at the end of the year, in court-martial and dismissal. He
knew that his foster-father's patience was exhausted, and that he could
expect nothing more from him, and he soon proved himself incapable of

He drifted from New York to Baltimore, often without knowing where his
next meal was coming from, and finally, at Baltimore, his father's
widowed sister gave him a home, and he soon married her fragile
daughter, Virginia Clemm. But he had long been a prey to intemperance,
and his habits in consequence were so irregular that he was unable to
retain any permanent position. The truth seems to be that Poe was of a
temperament so intensely nervous and sensitive that the smallest amount
of alcoholic stimulant excited him beyond control, and he lacked the
will-power to leave it alone altogether, which was his only chance of

Yet he had gained a certain reputation with discerning people by the
publication of a few poems of surprising merit, as well as a number of
tales as remarkable and compelling as have ever been written in any
language. That is a broad statement, and yet it is literally true. Not
only is Poe America's greatest poet, but he is still more decidedly her
greatest short-story writer--so much the greatest, that with the
exception of Nathaniel Hawthorne, she has never produced another to
rival him.

If further testimony to his genius were needed, it might be found in the
fact that he was still unable to make a living with his pen, and was
forced to see his wife growing daily weaker without the means to provide
her proper nourishment. His sufferings were frightful; he was compelled
to bend his pride to an appeal for public charity, and the death of his
wife wrecked such moral self-control as he had remaining.

The rest is soon told. There was a rapid deterioration, and on October
3, 1849, he was found unconscious in a saloon at Baltimore, where an
election had been in progress and where Poe had been made drunk and then
used as an illegal voter. He was taken to a hospital, treated for
delirium tremens, and died three days later, a miserable outcast, at an
age where he should have been at the very zenith of his powers. The
pages of the world's history show no death more pathetically tragic.

Such a death naturally offended right-thinking people. Especially did it
offend the New England conscience, which has never been able to divorce
art from morals; and as the literary dominance of New England was at
that time absolute, Poe was buried under a mass of uncharitable
criticism. It should not be forgotten that he had struck the poisoned
barb of his satire deep into many a New England sage, and it was,
perhaps, only human nature to strike back. So it came to pass that Poe
was pointed out, not as a man of genius, but as a horrible example and
degrading influence to be sedulously avoided.

With foreign readers, all this counted for nothing. They were concerned
not with the life of the man, but with the work of the artist, and they
found that work consummately good. They were charmed and thrilled by the
haunting melody of his verse and the weird horror of his tales. In his
own country, recognition of his genius has grown rapidly of recent
years. Within his own sphere, he is unquestionably the greatest artist
America can boast--he climbed Parnassus higher than any of his
countrymen, and if he did not quite attain a seat among the immortals,
he at least caught some portion of their radiance.

After Poe, the man whom foreign critics consider America's most
representative poet is another who has been without honor in his own
country, and about whom, even yet, there is the widest difference of
opinion--Walt Whitman. Whitman was ostracized for many years not because
of his life, which was regular and admirable enough, but because of his
verse, which is exceedingly irregular in more than one respect.

Whitman was by birth and training a man of the people. His father was a
carpenter, and, after receiving a common-school education, the boy
entered a printer's office at the age of thirteen. A printer's office
is, in itself, a source of education, and Whitman soon began to write
for the papers, finally going to New York City, where, for twelve years,
he worked on Newspaper Row, as reporter or compositor, making friends
with all sorts and conditions of men and entering heart and soul into
the busy life of the great city. The people, the seething masses on the
streets, had a compelling fascination for him.

Tiring of New York, at last, he started on a tramp trip to the
southwest, worked in New Orleans and other towns, swung around through
the northwest, and so back to Brooklyn, where he became, strangely
enough, a contractor--a builder and seller of houses. He had been
reading a great deal, all these years, but as yet had given no
indication of what was to be his literary life-work.

And yet, fermenting inside the man and at last demanding expression, was
a strange new philosophy of democracy, all-tolerant, holding the
individual to be of the first importance, male and female equal, the
body to be revered no less than the soul. For the promulgation of this
philosophy, some worthy literary form was needed--poetry, since that was
the noblest form, but poetry stripped of conventions and stock phrases,
as "fluent and free as the people and the land and the great system of
democracy which it was to celebrate." With some such idea as this, not
outlined in words, nor, perhaps, very clearly understood even by
himself, Whitman set to work, and the result was the now famous "Leaves
of Grass," a collection of twelve poems, printed by the author in
Brooklyn in 1855.

Like most other philosophies and prophecies, it fell on heedless ears.
Few people read it, and those who did were exasperated by its
far-fetched diction or scandalized by its free treatment of delicate
topics. In the next year, a second edition appeared, containing
thirty-two poems; but the book had practically no sale.

Then came the Civil War, and Whitman, volunteering not for the field,
but for work in the hospitals, proved that the doctrine of brotherly
love, so basic to his poems, was basic also to his character. "Not till
the sun excludes you, neither will I exclude you," he had declared; and
now he devoted himself to nursing, on battlefield, in camp and hospital,
doing what he could to cheer and lighten the worst side of war, an
attractive and inspiring figure.

Lincoln, looking out of a window of the White House, saw him go past one
day; a majestic person with snow-white beard and hair, his cotton shirt
open at the throat, six feet tall and perfectly proportioned; and the
President, without knowing who he was, but mistaking him probably for a
common laborer, turned to a friend who stood beside him and remarked,
"There goes a man!" And Whitman was a man. Up to that time, he had never
been ill a day; but two years later, at the age of fifty-three, his
health gave way, under the strain of nursing, and from that time until
his death he was, physically, "a man in ruins." Mentally, he was as
alert and virile as ever.

He was given a clerical position in one of the departments at Washington
after that, remaining there until, in 1873, an attack of paralysis
incapacitated him even for clerical labor. Meanwhile he had issued his
poems of the war, under the title "Drum-Taps," and had softened some
hostile hearts by the two noble tributes to Lincoln there included, "O
Captain, my Captain!" and "When Lilacs last in the Dooryard Bloom'd."
But his poetry brought him no income and, for a time, after his removal
to Camden, New Jersey, where the remainder of his life was to be passed,
he was in absolute want. Friends increased, however; his poems were
re-issued, and his last years were spent in the midst of a circle of
disciples, who hailed Whitman as a seer and prophet and were guilty of
other fatuities which made the judicious grieve and did much to keep
them alienated from the poet's work.

Since his death, his fame has become established on a firmer basis than
hysterical adulation; but it is yet too soon to attempt to judge him, to
say what his ultimate rank will be. It seems probable that it will be a
high one, and it is possible that, centuries hence, the historian of
American letters will start with Whitman as the first exponent of an
original and democratic literature, disregarding all that has gone
before as merely imitative of Europe.

Of our lesser poets, only a few need be mentioned here. Bayard Taylor,
born in Pennsylvania in 1825, of Quaker stock and reared in the tenets
of that sect, at one time loomed large in American letters, but it is
doubtful whether anything of his has the quality of permanency. His
personality was a picturesque and fascinating one and his life
interesting and romantic.

A poor boy, burning with the itch to write and especially to travel; at
the age of nineteen making his way to England, and from there to
Germany; spending two years in Europe, enduring hardships, living with
the common people; and finally returning home to find that his letters
to the newspapers had been read with interest and had won a considerable
audience--these were the first steps in his struggle for recognition. He
collected his letters into a book called "Views Afoot," which at once
became widely popular, and his reputation was made.

But it was a reputation as a reporter and traveller, and Taylor, much as
he despised it, was never able to get away from it. He became, perforce,
a sort of official traveller for the American people, journeyed in
California, in the Orient, in Russia, Lapland--in most of the
out-of-the-way corners of the world--and his books of travel were
uniformly interesting and successful. They do not attract to-day, not,
as Park Benjamin put it, because Taylor travelled more and saw less than
any other man who ever lived, but because they lack the charm of style,
depth of thought, and keenness of observation which the present
generation has come to expect.

During all this time, Taylor was struggling with pathetic earnestness
for recognition as a novelist and poet, but with poor measure of
success. His novels were crude and amateurish, and have long since
become negligible; but his verse is somewhat more important. His travels
in the East furnished him material for his "Poems of the Orient," which
represent him at his best.

His ambition, however, was to write a great epic; but for this he lacked
both intellectual and emotional equipment, and his attempts in this
field were virtual failures. These failures were to him most tragic; not
only that, but he found himself financially embarrassed, and was forced
to turn to such hack work as the writing of school histories in order to
gain a livelihood. But his friends, of whom he had always a wide circle,
secured him the mission to Germany, and he entered on his duties in high
spirits--only to die suddenly one morning while sitting in his library
at Berlin. A generous, impulsive and warm-hearted man, Bayard Taylor
will be remembered for what he was, rather than for what he did.

Two other poets, whose deaths occurred not many months ago, have made
noteworthy contributions to American letters--Edmund Clarence Stedman
and Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Of the two, Aldrich was by far the better
craftsman, his verse possessing a wit, a daintiness and perfection of
finish which sets it apart in a class almost by itself. In prose, too,
Aldrich wrote attractively, but always rather with the air of a
dilettante, and without the depth and passion of genius. Stedman also
possessed wit and polish, though in less degree, and the verse of both
these men is delightful reading.

More recent still has been the death of a man whose verse ranks with
that of either Stedman or Aldrich--Richard Watson Gilder. Some of his
lyrics are very beautiful, but they appeal to the intellect rather than
to the heart. Perhaps for this reason, as well as for a certain lack of
substance and virility, his verse has never had a wide appeal.

Two men whose names have become household words because of their
delightful verses for and about children are Eugene Field and James
Whitcomb Riley. Field is the greater of the two, for he possessed a
depth of feeling and insight which is lacking in Riley. Few lyrics have
been more widely popular than his "Little Boy Blue" and "Dutch Lullaby";
while Riley's "Little Orphant Annie" and "The Raggedy Man" are equally
well known.

Alice and Phoebe Cary are remembered for a few simply-written lyrics;
Julia Ward Howe's "Battle-Hymn of the Republic" lives as the worthiest
piece of verse evoked by the Civil War; and Joaquin Miller is known for
a certain rude power in song; but none of them is of sufficient
importance to demand extended study.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be noted that, among all the poets who have been mentioned here,
not one was distinctively of the South. Poe's youth was spent in
Richmond, but he was in no sense Southern. Indeed, the South has only
three names to offer of even minor importance--Sidney Lanier, Henry
Timrod, and Paul Hamilton Hayne. None of these men produced anything of
the first order, and much of their verse is marred by amateurishness and
want of finish--the result, in the first place, of defective training,
and, in the second place, of an incapacity for taking pains, of a habit
which relied too much on "inspiration" and too little on intellectual

For verse, to be perfect, must be polished like a diamond, slowly and
carefully, until every facet sparkles. This means that the right word or
phrase must be searched for until it is found. Perhaps you have read Mr.
Barrie's inimitable story "Sentimental Tommy," and you will remember how
Tommy failed to write the prize essay because he couldn't think of the
right word, and would be satisfied with no other. Well, that is the
spirit. Somebody has said that "easy writing makes hard reading," and
this is especially true of poetry. Inspiration doesn't extend to
technic--that must be acquired, like any art, with infinite pains.

Of the three poets, Lanier, Timrod, and Hayne, Lanier was by far the
greatest, and has even become, in a small way, the centre of a cult; but
his voice, while often pure and sweet, lacks the strength needed to
carry it down the ages. He is like a little brook making beautiful some
meadow or strip of woodland; but only mighty rivers reach the ocean.
Lanier is memorable not so much for his work as for the gallant fight he
made against the consumption which he had contracted as the result of
exposure in the Confederate army during the Civil War. The war also
played a disastrous part in the lives of both Hayne and Timrod, for it
impoverished both of them, and did much to hasten the latter's death.

Timrod, too, rose occasionally to noble utterance, but his voice is
fainter and his talent more slender than Lanier's. His life was a
painful one, marred by poverty and disease, and he died at the age of
thirty-eight. Hayne's work is even less important, for he did not, like
Timrod and Lanier, touch an occasional height of inspired utterance. His
name is cherished in his native state of South Carolina, and in Georgia,
where his last years were spent; but his poems are little read

Timrod and Hayne were both born at Charleston, South Carolina, as was a
third poet and novelist, who, in his day, loomed far larger than either
of them, but who is now almost forgotten, except by students of American
literature--William Gilmore Simms. Few American writers have produced so
much--eighteen volumes of verse, three dramas, thirty-five novels and
volumes of short stories, and about as many more books of history,
biography and miscellany--and none, of like prominence in his day, has
dropped more completely out of sight. In common with the other Southern
writers we have mentioned, Simms lacked self-restraint and the power of

Genius has been defined as the capacity for taking pains; and perhaps it
is because Southern writers have lacked this capacity that none of them
has proved to be a genius. Elbert Hubbard says that Simms "courted
oblivion--and won her" by returning to the South after having achieved
some success in the North; but it is doubtful if this had anything to do
with it. The truth is that Simms's work has lost its appeal because of
its inherent defects, and there is no chance that its popularity will
ever be regained. And yet, while his verse is negligible--although he
always thought himself a greater poet than novelist--some of his tales
of the Carolinas and the Southwest possess a rude power and interest
deserving of a better fate. Certainly Simms seems to have been the best
imaginative writer the antebellum South produced.

American imaginative literature to-day resembles a lofty plateau rather
than a mountain range. It shows a high level of achievement, but no
mighty peaks. Novelists and poets alike have learned how to use their
tools; they work with conviction--but in clay rather than in marble. In
other words, they work without what we call inspiration; they have
talent, but not genius. This is, perhaps, partly the fault of the age,
which has come to place so high a value upon literary form that the
quality of the material is often lost sight of. Let us hope that some
day a genius will arise who will be great enough to disregard form and
to strike out his own path across the domain of letters.

Meanwhile, it is safe to advise boys and girls to spend their time over
the old things rather than over the new ones. There is so much good
literature in the world that there is really no excuse for reading bad,
and the latest novel will not give half the solid entertainment to be
got from scores of the older ones. One of the most valuable and
delightful things in the world is the power to appreciate good
literature. To have worthy "friends on the shelf," in the shape of great
books, is to insure oneself against loneliness and ennui.


BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN. Born at Cummington, Massachusetts, November 3,
1794; studied at Williams College, 1810-11; admitted to the bar, 1815;
published "Thanatopsis," 1816; editor-in-chief _New York Evening Post_,
1829; published first collection of poems, 1821, and others from time to
time until his death, at New York City, June 12, 1878.

LONGFELLOW, HENRY WADSWORTH. Born at Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807;
graduated at Bowdoin College, 1825; travelled in Europe, 1826-29;
professor of modern languages at Bowdoin, 1829-35; professor of modern
languages and _belles lettres_ at Harvard, 1836-54; published "Voices of
the Night," 1839; "Ballads and Other Poems," 1841; "Poems on Slavery,"
1842; and many other collections of his poems, until his death at
Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 24, 1882.

WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF. Born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, December 17,
1807; attended Haverhill Academy; edited "American Manufacturer," at
Boston, 1829; edited the _Haverhill Gazette_, 1830; became secretary of
the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1836; member of Massachusetts
legislature, 1835-36; settled at Amesbury, Massachusetts, 1840;
published "Legends of New England," 1831; "Moll Pitcher," 1832; and many
other collections of his poems until his death at Hampton Falls, New
Hampshire, September 7, 1892.

HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL. Born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 29,
1809; professor of anatomy and physiology, Harvard Medical School,
1847-82; published "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table," 1858; "Elsie
Venner," 1861; "Songs in Many Keys," 1861; and other collections of
poems and essays; died at Cambridge, October 7, 1894.

LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL. Born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 22,
1819; graduated at Harvard, 1838; professor of _belles lettres_ at
Harvard, 1855; editor _Atlantic Monthly_, 1857-62; editor _North
American Review_, 1863-72; minister to Spain, 1877-80; minister to Great
Britain, 1880-85; published "A Year's Life," 1841; "Vision of Sir
Launfal," 1845; "A Fable for Critics," 1848; "The Biglow Papers," 1848;
and many other collections of essays, criticisms, and poems; died at
Cambridge, August 12, 1891.

POE, EDGAR ALLAN. Born at Boston, January 19, 1809; entered University
of Virginia, 1826; ran away from home, 1827; published "Tamerlane and
Other Poems, by a Bostonian," 1827; enlisted in the army as Edgar A.
Perry, rising to rank of sergeant-major, 1829; entered West Point, July
1, 1830; dismissed, March 6, 1831; married Virginia Clemm, 1835, who
died in 1847; published "Poems," 1831; "Tales of the Grotesque and
Arabesque," 1840; died at Baltimore, October 7, 1849.

WHITMAN, WALT OR WALTER. Born at West Hills, Long Island, May 31, 1819;
a printer, carpenter, and journalist in early life; volunteered as army
nurse, 1861; seized with hospital malaria, 1864; held government
position at Washington, 1864-73; disabled by paralysis and removed to
Camden, New Jersey, where he died, March 26, 1892. "Leaves of Grass,"
published originally in 1855, was many times revised, a final edition
appearing in 1892.

TAYLOR, BAYARD. Born at Kennett Square, Chester County, Pennsylvania,
January 11, 1825; apprenticed to a printer, 1842; travelled on foot
through Europe, 1844-46; in Egypt, Asia Minor, and Syria, 1851-52; in
India, China, and Japan, 1852-53; secretary of legation at St.
Petersburg, 1862-63; minister to Berlin, 1878; died at Berlin, December
19, 1878. He published collections of poems and travel letters.

STEDMAN, EDMUND CLARENCE. Born at Hartford, Connecticut, October 8,
1833; entered Yale, 1839, leaving in junior year; was correspondent _New
York World_, 1861-63; later became stockbroker in New York City,
retiring only a short time before his death in New York, January 18,
1908. Published several collections of poems.

ALDRICH, THOMAS BAILEY. Born at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, November 11,
1836; editor of _Every Saturday_, 1870-74; editor of _The Atlantic
Monthly_, 1881-90; published "Bells," 1855; "Ballad of Baby Bell," 1856;
and many other collections of poetry, together with several novels and
collections of short stories; died March 19, 1907.

FIELD, EUGENE. Born at St. Louis, Missouri, September 2, 1850; began
newspaper work at age of twenty-three, and ten years later became
associated with the _Chicago Daily News_, where most of his work
appeared; his first book of verse, "A Little Book of Western Verse," was
published in 1889, and a number of others followed; died at Chicago,
Illinois, November 4, 1895.

RILEY, JAMES WHITCOMB. Born at Greenfield, Indiana, 1853; entered
journalism at Indianapolis, 1873; wrote first verses, 1875; first book
of verse, "The Old Swimmin'-Hole and 'Leven More Poems," published in
1883; numerous volumes since then.

LANIER, SIDNEY. Born at Macon, Georgia, February 3, 1842; served in
Confederate Army, and suffered exposure which resulted in consumption;
studied and practised law till 1873; then decided to devote life to
music and poetry; played first flute in the Peabody Symphony Orchestra
at Baltimore; lecturer on English literature at Johns Hopkins
University, 1879-81; complete poems published 1881; died at Lynn, North
Carolina, September 7, 1881.

TIMROD, HENRY. Born at Charleston, South Carolina, December 8, 1829;
educated at the University of Georgia, studied law and supported himself
as a private tutor until the Civil War; war correspondent and then
assistant editor of _The South Carolinian_, at Columbia, until Sherman
burned the town; died at Columbia, South Carolina, October 6, 1867; his
poems, edited by Paul Hamilton Hayne, published 1873.

HAYNE, PAUL HAMILTON. Born at Charleston, South Carolina, January 1,
1830; graduated at the University of South Carolina, edited _Russell's
Magazine_ and the _Literary Gazette_, and served for a time in the
Confederate Army; first poems published 1855; complete edition, 1882;
died near Augusta, Georgia, July 6, 1886.

SIMMS, WILLIAM GILMORE. Born at Charleston, South Carolina, April 17,
1806; admitted to bar, 1827, but abandoned law for literature and
journalism; first poems published 1827; resided at Hingham,
Massachusetts, 1832-33, where longest poem, "Atalantis," was written;
first novel, "Martin Faber," published 1833, and followed by many
others; returned to South Carolina, 1833, and died at Charleston, June
11, 1870.



If background and tradition are needed for literature, they are even
more needed for art, and it is curiously worth noting that the
background and traditions of England did not serve for her child across
the sea. In both literature and art, so far as vital and significant
achievement is concerned, the young nation had to find itself, and,
starting from a rude and rough beginning, work its way upward of its own
strength. Perhaps in no other way may the youth of America be so
completely realized as by the thought that all of real importance in
both literature and art which she can boast has been produced within the
past ninety years--little more than the three score years and ten which
the Psalmist assigned as the span of a single life.

We do not mean to say that European influence is not plainly to be
traced in both our art and literature. There is a family resemblance, so
to speak, as between a child and its parents, and yet the child has an
individuality of its own. In literature, Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne,
Longfellow, Whitman are distinctively American; and, as we shall find,
so are our masters of painting and sculpture.

American art begins with John Singleton Copley. There had been daubers
before him, as there were after, but Copley was the first man born in
America who produced paintings which the world still contemplates with
pleasure. Copley was born in Boston in 1737, his father dying shortly
afterwards, and his mother supporting herself by keeping a tobacco shop.
About 1746 she married again, most fortunately for her son, for her
second husband was Peter Pelham, a mezzotint engraver of considerable
merit, who gave the boy lessons in drawing. He proved an apt and
precocious pupil, and by the time he had reached seventeen had executed
a number of portraits.

His reputation steadily increased, and his income from his work was so
satisfactory that he hesitated to try his fortunes in the larger field
of London. Finally, in 1774, he sailed for England, and in the next year
sent for his family to join him there. The opening of the Revolution
persuaded him to stay in England, as there would be no demand for his
work in America in so tumultuous a time. In London his talents brought
him ample patronage, his income enabled him to live the stately and
dignified life he loved, so that, when the Revolution ended, there
seemed no reason why he should abandon it for the crudities of Boston.
He therefore continued in London until the end of his life, which came
in 1815.

Copley was a laborious and painstaking craftsman, setting down what he
saw upon canvas with uncompromising sincerity. He worked very slowly
and many stories are told of how he tried the patience of his sitters.
The result was a series of portraits which preserve the very spirit of
the age--serious, self-reliant and capable, pompous and lacking humor.
His later work has an atmosphere and repose which his early work lacks,
but it is less important to America. His early portraits, which hang on
the walls of so many Boston homes, and which Oliver Wendell Holmes
called the titles of nobility of the old Boston families, are priceless
documents of history.

Copley was an artist from choice rather than necessity; he followed
painting because it assured him a good livelihood, and he was a patient
and painstaking craftsman. His life was serene and happy; he was without
the tribulations, as he seems to have been without the enthusiasms of
the great artist. Not so with his most famous contemporary, Benjamin
West, whose life was filled to overflowing with the contrast and
picturesqueness which Copley's lacked.

West was born in 1738 at a little Pennsylvania frontier settlement. His
parents were Quakers, and to the rigor and simplicity of frontier life
were added those of that sect. But even these handicaps could not turn
the boy aside from his vocation, for he was a born painter, if there
ever was one. At the age of six he tried to draw, with red and black
ink, a likeness of a baby he had been set to watch; a year later, a
party of friendly Indians, amused by some sketches of birds and leaves
he showed them, taught him how to prepare the red and yellow colors
which they used on their ornaments. His mother furnished some indigo,
brushes were secured by clipping the family cat--no doubt greatly to its
disgust--and with these crude materials he set to work.

His success won him the present of a box of paints from a relative in
Philadelphia. With that treasure the boy lived and slept, and his
mother, finally discovering that he was running away from school, found
him in the garret with a picture before him which she refused to let him
finish lest he should spoil it. That painting was preserved to be
exhibited sixty-six years later.

The boy's talent was so evident, and his determination to be a painter
so fixed, that his parents finally overcame their scruples against an
occupation which they considered vain and useless, and sent him to
Philadelphia. There he lived as frugally as possible, saving his money
for a trip to Italy, and finally, at the age of twenty-two, set sail for

His success there was immediate. He gained friends in the most
influential circles, spent three years in study in Italy, and going to
London in 1764, received so many commissions that he decided to live
there permanently. He wrote home for his father to join him, and to
bring with him a Miss Shewell, to whom West was betrothed. He also wrote
to the young lady, stating that his father would sail at a certain time,
and asking her to join him. The letter fell into the hands of Miss
Shewell's brother, who objected to West for some reason, and who
promptly locked the girl in her room. Three friends of West's concluded
that this outrage upon true love was not to be endured, smuggled a
rope-ladder to her, and got her out of the house and safely on board the
vessel. These three friends were Benjamin Franklin, Francis Hopkinson
and William White, the latter the first Bishop of the American Episcopal
Church, and the exploit was one which they were always proud to
remember. Miss Shewell reached London safely and the lovers were happily

Meanwhile West's success had been given a sudden impetus by his
introduction to King George III. The two men became lifelong friends,
and the King gave him commission after commission, culminating in a
command to decorate the Royal Chapel at Windsor. His first reverse came
when the King's mind began to fail. His commissions were cancelled and
his pensions stopped. He was deposed from the Presidency of the Royal
Academy, which he had founded, and was for a time in needy
circumstances; but the tide soon turned, and his last years were marked
by the production of a number of great paintings. He died at the age of
eighty-two, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral with splendid
ceremonies. So ended one of the most remarkable careers in history.

West was, perhaps, more notable as a man than as an artist, for his fame
as a painter has steadily declined. His greatest service to art was the
example he set of painting historical groups in the costume of the
period instead of in the vestments of the early Romans, as had been the
custom. This innovation was made by him in his picture of the death of
General Wolfe, and created no little disturbance. His friends, including
Reynolds, protested against such a desecration of tradition; even the
King questioned him, and West replied that the painter should be bound
by truth as well as the historian, and to represent a group of English
soldiers in the year 1758 as dressed in classic costume was absurd.
After the picture was completed, Reynolds was the first to declare that
West had won, and that his picture would occasion a revolution in
art--as, indeed, it did.

It is difficult to understand the habit of thought which insisted on
clothing great men in garments they could never by any possibility have
worn, yet it persisted until a comparatively late day. The most famous
example in this country is Greenough's statue of Washington, just
outside the Capitol. One looks at it with a certain sense of shock, for
the Father of His Country is sitting half-naked, in a great arm chair,
with some drapery over his legs, and a fold hanging over one shoulder.
We shall have occasion in the next chapter to speak of it and of its

Another of West's services to art was the wholehearted way in which he
extended a helping hand to any who needed it. He was always willing to
give such instruction as he could, and among his pupils were at least
four men who added not a little to American art--Charles Willson Peale,
Gilbert Stuart, John Trumbull, and Thomas Sully.

Peale was born in Maryland in 1741, and was, among other things, a
saddler, a coach-maker, a clock-maker and a silversmith. He finally
decided to add painting to his other accomplishments, so he secured some
painting materials and a book of instructions and set to work. In 1770,
a number of gentlemen of Annapolis furnished him with enough money to go
to England, a loan which he promised to repay with pictures upon his
return. West received him kindly, and when Peale's money gave out, as it
soon did, welcomed him into his own house. Peale remained in London for
four years, returning to America in time to join Washington as a captain
of volunteers, and to take part in the battles of Trenton and

After the war he continued painting, but, in 1801, his mind, always
alert for new experiences, was led away in a strange direction. The
bones of a mammoth were discovered in Ulster County, New York, and Peale
secured possession of them, had them taken to Philadelphia, and started
a museum. It rapidly increased in size, for all sorts of curiosities
poured in upon him, and he began a series of lectures on natural
history, which, whether learned or not, proved so interesting that large
and distinguished audiences gathered to hear him. In 1805, he founded
the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the oldest and most
flourishing institution of the kind in the country. He lived to a hale
old age, never having known sickness, and dying as the result of
incautious exposure. Like West, his life is more interesting than his
work, for while he painted fairly good portraits, they were the work
rather of a skilled craftsman than of an artist.

[Illustration: STUART]

The second of West's pupils whom we have mentioned, Gilbert Stuart, was
by far the greatest of the earlier artists. He was born near Newport, R.
I., in 1755, his father being a Jacobite refugee from Scotland. He began
to paint at an early age, worked faithfully at drawing, and finally, at
the age of nineteen, began portrait painting in earnest. One of his
first pictures was a striking example of a remarkable characteristic,
the power of visual memory, which he retained through his whole life.
His grandmother had died five or six years before, but he painted a
portrait of her, producing so striking a likeness that it immediately
brought him orders for others. But Newport had grown distasteful to him,
and in 1775, he started for London.

How he got there is not certainly known, but get there he did, without
money or friends, or much hope of making either, and for three years
lived a precarious life, earning a little money, borrowing what he
could, twice imprisoned for debt, and with it all so gay and brilliant
and talented that those he wronged most loved him most. Finally, he was
introduced to Benjamin West, and found in him an invaluable friend and
patron. For nearly four years, Stuart worked as West's student and
assistant, steadily improving in drawing, developing a technique of
astonishing merit, and, more than that, one that was all his own.

His portraits soon attracted attention, and at the end of a few
years, he was earning a large income. But he squandered it so recklessly
that he was finally forced to flee to Ireland to escape his creditors.
They pursued him, threw him into prison, and the legend is that he
painted most of the Irish aristocracy in his cell in the Dublin jail.

At last, in 1792, he returned to America, animated by a desire to paint
a portrait of Washington. Arrangements for a sitting were made, but it
is related that Stuart, although he had painted many famous men and was
at ease in most society, found himself strangely embarrassed in
Washington's presence. The President was kindly and courteous, but the
portrait was a failure. He tried again, and produced the portrait which
remains to this day the accepted likeness of the First American. You
will find it as the frontispiece to "Men of Action," and it is worth
examining closely, for it is an example of art rarely surpassed, as well
as a remarkable portrait of our most remarkable citizen.

Gilbert Stuart still holds his place among the greatest of American
portrait painters. His heads, painted simply and without artifice, and
yet with high imagination, are unsurpassed; they possess insight, they
accomplish that greatest of all tasks, the delineation of character.
Stuart's portraits--as every portrait must, to be truly great--show not
only how his sitters looked but _what they were_. Art can accomplish no
more than that.

The anecdotes which are told of him are innumerable, and most of them
have to do with his hot temper, which grew hotter and hotter as his
years increased and he became more and more a public character. One day,
a loving husband, whose wife Stuart had put on canvas in an unusually
uncompromising way, complained that the portrait did not do her justice.

"What an infernal business is this of a portrait painter," Stuart cried,
at last, his patience giving way. "You bring him a potato and expect him
to paint you a peach!"

But look at his portrait at the beginning of this chapter, and you will
see a witty and kindly old gentleman, as well as an irascible one.

John Trumbull was a student of West's at the same time that Stuart was.
He was a year younger, and was a son of that Jonathan Trumbull,
afterwards governor of Connecticut, whose title of Brother Jonathan,
given him by Washington, became afterwards a sort of national nickname.
He was an infant prodigy, graduating from Harvard at an age when most
boys were entering, and afterwards going to Boston to take lessons from
Copley. The outbreak of the Revolution stopped his studies; he enlisted
in the army, won rapid promotion, and finally resigned in a huff because
he thought his commission as colonel incorrectly dated.

In 1780, he sailed for France, on his way to London, met Benjamin
Franklin in Paris and from him secured a letter of introduction to
Benjamin West, who welcomed him with his unfailing cordiality; but he
had scarcely commenced his studies when he was arrested and thrown into
prison. The reason was the arrest and execution at New York of Major
André, who was captured with Benedict Arnold's treasonable
correspondence hidden in his boot, and who was hanged as a spy. Knowing
that Trumbull had been an officer in the American army, and anxious to
avenge André's death, the King ordered his arrest, but West interceded
for him and secured his release several weeks later.

Warned that England was unsafe for him, Trumbull returned to America and
remained there until after the close of the Revolution. The beginning of
1784 saw him again in London, at work on his two famous paintings, "The
Battle of Bunker Hill" and "The Death of General Montgomery," and from
that time until his death he was occupied almost exclusively with the
painting of pictures illustrating events in American history--"The
Surrender of Cornwallis," "The Battle of Princeton," "The Capture of the
Hessians at Trenton," to mention only three. In 1816 he received a
commission to paint four of the eight commemorative pictures in the
Capitol at Washington, and completed the last one eight years later,
this being his last important work.

Trumbull is in no respect to be compared with Gilbert Stuart, but his
work was done with a painstaking accuracy which makes it valuable as a
historical document. For the personages of his pictures he painted a
great number of miniatures from life, which, in many cases, are the only
surviving presentments of some of the most prominent men of the time.

After Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully was by far the greatest of the men
who studied in West's studio. Stuart aside, there was no American
painter of the day to equal him. He was born in England in 1783, but was
brought to this country by his parents at the age of nine. The Sullys
were actors of some talent and secured an engagement at Charleston,
South Carolina, and there the boy was placed first in school, and then
in the office of an insurance broker. He spent so much time making
sketches that his employer decided he was destined for art and not for
business, and secured another clerk.

Young Sully thoroughly agreed with this and started out to be an artist.
He had no money, nor means of earning any, but he managed to secure some
desultory instruction, and this, added to his native talent, enabled him
to begin to paint portraits for which uncritical persons were willing to
pay. But it was a hard road, and none was more conscious of his
deficiencies than himself. He knew that he needed training, and finally
started for England with a purse of four hundred dollars in his pocket,
which had been subscribed by friends, who were each to be repaid by a
copy of an old master.

Arrived at London, Sully at once got himself introduced to Benjamin
West, who received him "like a father," admitted him to his studio, and
aided him in many ways. He remained there, painting by day, drawing by
night, studying anatomy in every spare moment, and living on bread and
potatoes and water in order to make his money last as long as possible.
At the end of nine months it was gone, and he was forced to return to

But those nine months of study had given him just what he needed, and
his talent soon gained recognition. Orders poured in upon him at good
prices; and though his prosperity afterwards dwindled somewhat, he never
again experienced the pangs of poverty. He made Philadelphia his home,
and for nearly half a century occupied a house on Chestnut Street which
had been built for him by Stephen Girard. His work is in every way
worthy of respect--firm and serious and rich with a warm and mellow

Benjamin West had many other pupils--indeed, his studio was a sort of
incubator for American artists--but none of them won any permanent fame.
One, Washington Allston, achieved considerable contemporary reputation,
but it seems to have resulted more from his own winning personality than
from his work. He possessed a charm which fairly dazzled all who met
him, notably Coleridge and Washington Irving. His smaller canvasses,
graceful figures or heads, to which he attached little importance, are
more admired to-day than his more ambitious ones.

Another pupil was John Vanderlyn, of Dutch stock, as his name shows, a
protégé of Aaron Burr, and the painter of the best known portrait of his
daughter, Theodosia, as well as of Burr himself. When Burr, an outcast
in fortune and men's eyes, fled to Paris, Vanderlyn, who had made some
reputation there, was able to repay, to some extent, the kindness which
Burr had shown him. His work shows care and serious thought, but his
last years were embittered by the indifference of the public, and he
died in want.

       *       *       *       *       *

That versatile genius and hale old man, Charles Willson Peale, to whom
we have already referred, had many children, and he christened them with
most distinguished names, so that, in the end, he could boast himself
the father of Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian. Alas that the name
does not make the man! Only one of them, Rembrandt, achieved any
distinction in art, and that but a faint and far-off reflection of the
master whose name he bore.

Like his father, he was interested in many things besides his art; he
conducted a museum at Baltimore, introduced illuminating gas there,
wrote voluminous memoirs, and, living until 1860, became a sort of dean
of the profession. An example of his work will be found in "Men of
Action," the likeness of Thomas Jefferson given there being a
reproduction from a portrait painted by him. His portraits are not held
in high estimation at the present day, for, while correct enough in
drawing, they show little insight. We have come to demand something more
than mechanical skill, and that "something more," which makes the artist
and divides him from the artisan, is exactly what Rembrandt Peale did
not possess.

It is interesting, too, to note that one of the most promising painters
of the time was S. F. B. Morse. In the Yale School of Fine Arts hangs a
portrait of Mrs. De Forest, and in the New York City Hall one of
Lafayette, both of them from his brush, and both not unworthy the best
traditions of American art. But a chance conversation about electricity
turned his thoughts in that direction, and he abandoned painting for
invention--the result being the electric telegraph. We shall speak of
him further in the chapter on inventors.

       *       *       *       *       *

The passing of Washington Allston and his group marked the end of
Benjamin West's influence, and, in a way, of English influence, on
American painting. It marked, too, a lapse in interest, for it was a
long time before it found for itself an adequate mode of expression.
There are, however, two or three men of the period whom we must mention,
not so much because of their achievements, which had little
significance, as because of their remarkable and inspiring lives.

Chester Harding, reared on the New York frontier, a typical
back-woodsman, by turns a peddler, a tavern-keeper, and house-painter,
and a failure at all of them, got so deeply in debt that he ran away to
Pittsburgh to escape his creditors, and there, to his amazement, one day
saw an itinerant painter painting a portrait. Before that, he had
secured work of some sort, and his wife had joined him. Filled with
admiration for the artist's work, he procured a board and some paint,
and sat down to paint a portrait of his wife. He actually did produce a
likeness, and, delighted at the result, practiced a while longer, and
then, proceeding to Paris, Kentucky--perhaps through some association of
the name with the great art centre of Europe--boldly announced himself
as a portrait painter, and got about a hundred people to pay him
twenty-five dollars apiece to paint them.

He spent some time at Cincinnati, and got as far west as St. Louis,
where he journeyed nearly a hundred miles to find Daniel Boone living in
his log cabin on his Missouri land, and painted the portrait of that old
pioneer which is reproduced in "Men of Action." Boone was at that time
ninety years of age, and Harding found him living almost alone, roasting
a piece of venison on the end of his ramrod, as had been his custom all
his life.

One of the most surprising things in the history of American art is the
facility with which men of all trades turned to portrait painting,
apparently as a last resort, and managed to make a living at it. During
the first half of the last century, the country seems to have been
overrun with wandering portrait painters, whose only equipment for the
art was some paint and a bundle of brushes. They had, for the most part,
no training, and that anyone, in a time when money was scarce and hardly
earned, should have paid it out for the wretched daubs these men
produced is a great mystery. But they did pay it out, and, as we have
seen, Harding earned no less than twenty-five hundred dollars in a
comparatively short time.

With such of this money as he had been able to save, he went to
Philadelphia and spent two months in study there; then he returned to
his old home, and astonished his neighbors by paying his debts. He
astonished them still more when they found he was making money by
painting portraits, for which he now charged forty dollars each, and his
aged grandfather felt obliged to protest.

"Chester," he said, having called him aside so that none could overhear,
"I want to speak to you about your present mode of life. I think it no
better than swindling to charge forty dollars for one of those effigies.
Now I want you to give up this way of living and settle down on a farm
and become a respectable man."

However excellent this advice may have been, Chester had gone too far to
heed it. He had decided to go to England, but he stayed in America long
enough to earn money to buy a farm for his parents and to settle his own
family at Northampton. This duty accomplished, he set sail for London,
and his success there was immediate, due as much to his remarkable
personality as to his work. He returned to America in 1826, and spent
the rest of his life here, painting most of the political leaders of the
country. It has been said of his portraits that his heads are as solid
as iron and his coats as uncompromising as tin, while his faces shine
like burnished platters.

Remarkable as Harding's story is, it is no more so than that of many of
his contemporaries. Francis Alexander, for instance, born in Connecticut
in 1800, a farm boy and afterwards a school teacher, never attempted
painting until he was over twenty. Then one day, having caught a
pickerel, its beauty reminded him of a box of water-colors a boy had
left him, and he attempted to paint the fish, with such success that he
was filled with amazement and delight. He practiced a while longer,
decorating the white-washed walls of a room with rude landscapes filled
with cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and chickens. All the neighbors came to
see his work and marvelled at it, though none of them cared to have his
house similarly decorated; but finally one of them offered Alexander
five dollars if he would paint a full-length portrait of a child.

Other orders followed, and finally with sixty dollars in his pocket, he
started for New York. Some years later, he sought Gilbert Stuart, at
Boston, got some systematic instruction and ended by painting very
passable portraits.

Some amusing stories are told of the persistency with which he hunted
for orders. In 1842, Charles Dickens visited America for the first time,
and while his ship was yet out of sight of land, the pilot clambered on
board, and after him Alexander, who begged the great novelist for the
privilege of painting his portrait. Dickens, amused at his enterprise,
consented, and Alexander's studio, during the sittings, became the
centre of literary Boston. It is a curious commentary upon Alexander's
development that, after a trip or two abroad, he professed to find the
crudities of his native land unbearable, and spent his last years in

A third self-made artist was John Neagle, whose portrait of Gilbert
Stuart, which heads this chapter, is the best that exists. Neagle was
apprenticed, when a boy, to a coach-painter, and soon was spending his
spare time practicing a more ambitious branch of the painting
profession. As soon as he was through his apprenticeship he set up as a
portrait painter, and travelled over the mountains to Lexington,
Kentucky, hoping to fare as well as Harding had. But he found the field
already pre-empted by two other painters, one of whom, Matthew Jouett,
was an artist of considerable skill.

Neagle had a hard time getting back home again, but he finally reached
Philadelphia, and spent most of the remainder of his life there.
Practice and study gave him a certain skill; he visited Boston and had
the advantage of some instruction from Gilbert Stuart, but his work
remained to the end inferior to either Harding's or Alexander's.

Henry Inman had a more varied talent than any of these men, for besides
portraits he painted genre scenes and landscapes, and excelled in all of
them. At the age of fourteen, he had been apprenticed to a painter by
the name of John Wesley Jarvis, a picturesque character, better
remembered by his anecdotes than by his work; and when his
apprenticeship was over he began painting on his own account in New
York and afterwards in Philadelphia. For a time his popularity was very
great and his income large; but reverses came, ill health followed, and
he died in poverty at the age of forty-five.

It is worth noting that, up to this time, practically no landscapes had
been produced by American artists. A few of them had tried their hands
at landscape work, but soon abandoned it for the more profitable field
of portraiture. The first of the American school of landscapists may be
fairly said to be Asher Brown Durand. Durand was the eighth of eleven
children, and his father, who managed a small farm on the slope of
Orange Mountain, in New Jersey, was renowned throughout the neighborhood
for his mechanical ingenuity. Much of this ingenuity his son inherited,
and his first artistic effort was an attempt to reproduce the woodcuts
in his school books by engraving them on little plates which he had
beaten out of copper cents. This led to his being apprenticed to an
engraver, and after his apprenticeship was over, he devoted three years
to engraving the plate of Trumbull's "Signing of the Declaration of
Independence." The work was excellently done and established Durand's

But he was not satisfied with engraving, and soon abandoned it for the
more creative work of painting. He tried his hand first at portraiture,
in which he had considerable success; but he turned more and more to
landscape work as the years went on. He practiced it continuously until
his eighty-third year. Then he laid down his brush forever, saying, "My
hand will no longer do my bidding," and the remaining seven years of his
life were passed peacefully on the farm where he was born.

Durand's work is marked throughout by sincerity and skill, if not by
genius. His portraits were in a style especially his own, thorough in
workmanship, delicately modelled and strongly painted. His landscapes,
too, are his own, clearly and definitely finished, and with a bewitching
silvery gray tone, which could have come only by painting direct from
his subject in the open air, a practice exceptional at the time. His
pictures are not "compositions," in the artistic sense of the term--that
is, he did not combine detail into a balanced whole; they are rather
studies or sketches from nature, with a central point of interest. But
the work is done so truly and with such patience and enthusiasm that it
deserves the sincerest admiration.

Joined with Durand as the earliest of the landscapists is Thomas Cole.
Cole was born in England and did not come to America until he had
reached his nineteenth year, but he afterwards became so good an
American that he declared he would give his left hand to have been
identified with America by birth instead of adoption. He found
employment in Philadelphia as an engraver. Then, after some practice, he
got together a kit of painting materials, and started to tramp about the
country as a portraitist. He found the woods full of them, and
competition so fierce that he was unable to make a living; but,
determining to be an artist at any cost, he returned to Philadelphia and
passed a fearful winter there, living on bread and water, half frozen by
the cold, with only a cloth table-cover for overcoat and bed, and
suffering tortures from inflammatory rheumatism. A second trying winter
followed, but in the spring of 1825 he removed to New York, and his
privations were at an end.

For in those years of suffering he had developed a delicate art as a
landscapist, and he found a ready sale for his pictures, at first at low
prices, it is true; but his fame spread rapidly, and he was able, in
1829, to go abroad and spend three years in Italy and England. He lived
only to the age of forty-seven, his last years being passed principally
in his studio in the Catskills, where some of his most famous pictures
were painted.

Cole was widely known for many years for the various series of moral and
didactic pictures which he was fond of painting. Perhaps the most famous
of these was his "Voyage of Life," showing infancy, youth, manhood, and
old age floating down the stream of time. The taste of the period
approved them, and they were especially popular for schoolrooms,
lecture-halls and other places where youth would have a chance to gaze
upon and gather edification from them. It has since come to be
recognized that the proper way to tell a story is by words and not by
pictures, and "The Voyage of Life," and "Course of Empire," and "The
Cross and the World" have, for the most part, been relegated to the

Durand and Cole were the founders of the famous Hudson River, or White
Mountain school, which loomed so large in American art half a century
ago. Its members, now rather regarded in the light of primitives,
gloried in the views of the Hudson, especially as seen from the
Catskills, and journeyed into the wilds of the Rockies and the
Yellowstone in search of sublime subjects--too sublime to be transferred
to canvas. They loved nature--loved to copy her minutely and literally,
loved to live in her hills and woods. Some of them came afterwards to
see that, after all, this was not art, or only one of her lower
forms--that to achieve a great result, a picture must express an idea.

Cole had a pupil and disciple, who did some admirable work, in Frederick
Edwin Church. Church was born in 1826, and lived with Cole in his house
in the Catskills until the latter's death. He then established himself
in New York, and proceeded to visit the four corners of the earth in
search for grandiose scenes. For he made the mistake of thinking that
the greatness of a landscape lay in its subject rather than in its
execution; so he painted views of the Andes, and Niagara, and Cotopaxi,
and Chimborazo, and the Parthenon, throwing in rainbows and sunsets and
mists for good measure. These pictures were welcomed with the wildest
enthusiasm--just as Clarke Mills's statue of General Jackson had been,
fifteen years before. Strange to say, they were not absurd, as that
amazing figure is, but were really fine examples of clever handling and
of a true, if untrained, feeling.

Two men attempted to duplicate Church's success, but with very
indifferent result. They were Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. The
former sought the Rocky Mountains for his subjects; the latter, the
Yosemite and the Yellowstone; but neither of them succeeded in
transferring to canvas more than a pale and unconvincing presentment of
the wonders of those regions.

Durand also had a disciple, more famous than Cole's, in Frederick
Kensett, the best known of the so-called Hudson River school. He was a
close follower of Durand in believing that nature should be literally
rendered, but he missed the truth of the older man by working in his
studio from drawings and sketches, instead of in the open air direct
from his subject. So he got into the habit of painting all shadows a
transparent brown, and of making his rocks and trees brilliant by
touching in high-lights where he thought they ought to be instead of
where they actually should have been. He surpassed Durand, however, in
his range of subject, for all hours and seasons had their charm for him,
while Durand was really at home only in the full light of a summer day.

On this foundation a loftier structure was soon built and the builders
were George Inness, Alexander Wyant and Homer D. Martin. Inness was the
oldest of the three, having been born in 1825, and was contemporary
with some of the most arbitrary and hide-bound of the nature copyists.
But he felt the weakness of the method and himself attained a much
fuller and completer art. He seems to have dabbled with paint and
brushes from his youth, but had little regular instruction, studying,
for the most part, from prints of old pictures, and finally, in 1847,
getting a chance to see the original when a friend offered to send him
to Europe. He passed fifteen months in Rome, and afterwards a year at

A long period of assimilation followed, in which he developed a theory
of art and struggled to transfer it to canvas. It was a sound and true
theory, and is worth setting down here for its own sake. "The purpose of
the painter," Inness held, "is to reproduce in other minds the
impression which a scene had made upon him. A work of art does not
appeal to the intellect or to the moral sense. Its aim is not to
instruct, not to edify, but to awaken an emotion. It must be a single
emotion, if the work has unity, as every such work should have, and the
true beauty of the work consists in the beauty of the sentiment or
emotion which it inspires. Its real greatness consists in the quality
and force of this emotion."

To the very last, Inness's work was changing and developing to fit this
theory. He steadily gained mastery of tone and breadth of handling, of
true harmony, and it is his crowning merit that he does to some extent
succeed in "reproducing in other minds the impression which the scene
made upon him."

Alexander H. Wyant was a pupil of Inness, journeying from the little
Ohio town where he was born to see him and to ask for advice and aid,
which Inness freely gave. Wyant's boyhood had been the American artist's
usual one--an early fondness for drawing, a little practice, and then
setting up as a painter. In 1873 he joined an expedition to Arizona and
New Mexico. The hardships which he endured resulted in a stroke of
paralysis and he was never again able to use his right hand. With an
inspiring patience, he set to work to learn to use his left hand, and
grew to be more skillful with it than he had been with his right.

But even at his best, Wyant's appeal is more limited than Inness's. He
learned to paint a typical picture, a glimpse of rolling country seen
between the trunks of tall and slender birches or maples, and was
content to paint variations of it over and over. That he sometimes did
it superbly cannot be denied, and he possessed a certain delicate
refinement, an ability to throw upon his pictures the silvery shimmer of
summer sunshine, in which no other American artist has ever surpassed

The third, and in some respects the most interesting member of the group
is Homer D. Martin. Born in Albany in 1838, he turned naturally to
painting and began to produce pictures after only two weeks'
instruction. At first, he was a disciple of Kensett, with brown shadows
and artificial high-lights, but study of nature soon cured these
mannerisms, and he grew steadily in skill and power, until he succeeded
in imparting to his pictures the deep, grave and sobering sentiment,
which is the keynote of his work. His coast views, with their swirl and
almost audible thunder of billow, are considered his crowning

This culmination of the Hudson River school brings us fairly to our own
times and to the work of men still living, for the period just preceding
and following the Civil War was marked by no new impulse in American art
and by no work which demands attention. But in the early seventies,
there were a number of Americans studying at home or in Europe who have
since won a wide reputation for inspiring achievement.

Foremost among these is Elihu Vedder, born in New York City in 1836, and
following, in his manhood, the manifest bent of his childish years. He
went to Paris before he was of age, and from there to Rome, where he
spent five years. The five succeeding years were spent in America, and
finally, in 1866, he settled in Rome and has since made it his home. He
represents a revival of the classical quality of Raphæl or Michæl
Angelo, though he belongs to no school, and his work has from the very
first possessed a distinct originality. He has held to the old
simplicity, which minimized detail and exalted the subject. General
recognition came to him in 1884, when he published his illustrations to
the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam--the most sympathetic and beautiful
pictorial comment which has ever been given any book of poetry. Since
then he has executed much decorative work of a high order, though the
mastery in this branch of the art is held by another.

That other is John LaFarge, admittedly the greatest mural painter the
world has seen in recent years. His life was a fortunate one. His
father, an officer of the French marine, came to this country in 1806,
married, and purchased a great plantation in Louisiana, from which he
derived a large revenue. His son, born in 1835, grew up in an artistic
atmosphere of books and pictures, and was early taught to draw. When,
after some study of law, he visited Paris, his father advised him to
take up the study of art as an accomplishment, and he entered one of the
studios, merely as an amateur, at the same time gaining admittance,
through his family connections, to the inner artistic circles of the
capital. For some years he studied art, not to become a painter, but
because he wished to understand and appreciate great work, and at the
end of that time, he returned to New York and entered a lawyer's office.

But he was ill at ease there, and finally definitely decided upon an
artistic career, went to Newport and worked under the guidance of
William Morris Hunt, painting everything, but turning in the end to
decorative work, and afterwards to stained glass. In these he has had no
equal, and his high achievement, as well as the wide appreciation his
work has won, is peculiarly grateful to Americans, since LaFarge's
career has been characteristically American. He had little actual study
in Europe, and yet possesses certain great traditions of the masters to
a degree unequalled by any compatriot.

Of his work as a whole, it is difficult to speak adequately. Perhaps its
most striking characteristic is the thought that is lavished upon it, so
that the artist gives us the very spirit of his subjects. In
inspiration, in handling, in drawing, and in color, LaFarge stands
alone. No man of his generation has equalled him in the power to lift
the spectator out of himself and into an enchanted world by the
consummate harmony of strong, pure color. This feeling for color
culminated in his stained-glass work--probably the richest color
creations that have ever been fashioned on this earth. In all his varied
mass of production there is nothing that lacks interest and charm.

We have referred to LaFarge's study under William Morris Hunt, and we
must pause for a moment to speak of the older artist. His artistic
career was in some respects an accident, for, developing a tendency to
consumption in his late boyhood, his mother took him to Rome and
remained there long enough to enable him to imbibe some of the artistic
traditions of the Eternal City and to begin work with H. K. Brown, the
sculptor. He found the work so congenial that he persuaded his mother to
omit the course at Harvard which had been expected of him, and to permit
him to devote his life to art.

For five or six years thereafter, he studied at Rome and Paris, then
for three years he was with Millet at Barbizon. Finally, in 1855, he
returned to America, settling first at Newport and afterwards at Boston.
He painted many portraits and figure pieces, and was an active social
and artistic influence to the day of his death. As an artist, he lacked
training, and remained to the end an amateur of great promise, which was
never quite fulfilled.

And this brings us to the most eccentric, the most striking, and in some
respects the greatest artist of his time--James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
Whistler was born at Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1834. His grandfather, of
an English family long settled in Ireland, had been a member of
Burgoyne's invading army, but afterwards joined the American service,
and, after the close of the Revolution, settled at Lowell. His father
was a distinguished engineer, and major in the army, and after his death
in 1849, it was natural that young Whistler should turn to the army as a
career. He entered West Point in 1851, remained there three years, and
was finally dropped for deficiency in chemistry.

There was one study, however, in which he had distinguished himself, and
that was drawing; and after his dismissal he went to Paris, where he
studied for two or three years. Then he removed to London, where most of
the remainder of his life was spent. His work, striking and original,
was at first utterly misunderstood by the public. The most famous piece
of hostile criticism to which he was subjected was Ruskin's remark,
after looking at "The Falling Rocket" in 1877, that here was a fellow
with the effrontery to charge a hundred guineas for flinging a pot of
paint in the public's face. Some further years of abuse followed, and
then the pendulum swung the other way, and the eccentric artist became a
sort of cult. In the end, he won a wide reputation, and before his death
was recognized as one of the leading painters of his time.

And this reputation was deserved, for his work possesses a rare and
delicate beauty, individual to it. His portraits of his mother and of
Thomas Carlyle are admirable in their simplicity and quiet dignity; and
many of his "harmonies," as he liked to call them, are so complete and
flawless that they are works of pure delight. Whistler always declared
that he had no desire to reproduce external nature, but only beautiful
combinations of pattern, and tone; what he meant, probably, was that he
sought, not external realities, but the spirit which underlies them.
That, of course, has been the quest of every great painter.

If Whistler was a law unto himself, so, in another sense, is Winslow
Homer, who has worked out for himself an individual point of view and
method of expression. Born in Boston in 1836, and early developing a
taste for drawing, he entered a lithographer's shop at the age of
nineteen and two years later set up for himself. During the Civil War he
acted as correspondent and artist for _Harper's Weekly_, and, when peace
came, began his paintings with a series of army scenes. After that he
tried his hand at landscape, and finally found his real vocation as a
painter of the sea. From the first, his pictures possessed obvious
sincerity. More than that, they convince by their absolute veracity, as
a reproduction of the thing seen--seen, be it understood, by the eyes of
the artist--and so they have lived and been remembered where more
ambitious work would have been forgotten. Again, he chooses his subjects
with a fine disregard of what other men have done or decided that it was
impossible to do, and painted them in a manner wholly independent and
original. No other artist has so conveyed on canvas the weight and
buoyancy and enormous force of water; no one else approaches his as an
interpreter of the power of the sea.

Lineal successor of Inness is Dwight William Tryon, not that his work
resembles the older man's, but because both paint the American landscape
with a deep personal feeling and with a superb technique. Tryon has not
yet developed into so commanding a figure as Inness, but there is no
telling what the future holds for him, for his work seems as full of
poetry and emotion as the older man's, with a spirit more delicate and a
foundation more firm.

The work of Francis D. Millet has attracted wide attention and is also
full of promise and inspiration. Millet has the American versatility--he
has been a war-correspondent, an illustrator, has written travels,
criticism, and even fiction, has acted as an expert on old pictures,
raised carnations, and even, in time of need, performed surgical
operations on wounded soldiers--all of it, not as an amateur, but as a
professional asking no odds of anyone. In addition to which, he has
been a painter, and a painter whose work has shown no sign of haste or
distraction. The quiet, human side of English life in the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries is what has most appealed to him, the country
parlors and white-washed kitchens, peopled with travellers and buxom
serving-maids, and these groups are unusually attractive and well

Allied with Millet in taste and viewpoint, and with a much wider
popularity, is Edwin A. Abbey. Beginning his career as an illustrator,
he soon reached the front rank in that profession, especially with his
illustrations of classic English poems, into whose spirit he has entered
so completely that he might better be called their interpreter than
their illustrator. From pen-and-ink work, he progressed naturally to
oil, and here, too, he has achieved some notable triumphs--so notable,
indeed, that, though American, he was chosen by the English government
to paint the official picture of the coronation of King Edward VII. It
is a curious coincidence that the official picture of the coronation of
Queen Victoria was also painted by an American, C. R. Leslie.

More important than Abbey, and perhaps the greatest American artist
alive to-day is John Singer Sargent, whose nationality has occasioned no
little controversy. Born in Florence of American parents, receiving his
artistic training in Paris, residing since in England, though with much
travelling through Europe and only two or three trips to the land of
his allegiance, he may still be held an American, if descent counts for
anything. His paintings have been shown wherever pictures are to be seen
and he has received for them all honors that a painter can receive.

Before the freedom and certainty of Sargent's art criticism stands
abashed. His portraits have a wonderful effect of vitality, and a purity
and brilliancy of color which have never been surpassed; but most
noteworthy of all, he achieves the supreme triumph of the portrait
painter by comprehending and displaying character. He shows the very
soul of his sitter, without malice but also without mercy. Only towards
children does he show tenderness, and then he paints with a wonderful
and varied charm. Not only of people but of places does he give the
character--a room takes on personality; silks, velvets, furniture,
bric-à-brac are all eloquent. On the whole, his qualities are such that
he may rightly be considered the greatest portrait painter since
Reynolds and Gainsborough. The portrait of Edwin Booth, at the beginning
of the chapter dealing with the stage, is an excellent specimen of his

Sargent's portraits have placed him among the masters of all time, but
perhaps he is most widely known by his remarkable decorations in the
Boston Public Library, which in the original and in photographic
reproductions, have given the keenest delight to thousands and thousands
of persons. It is impossible to give any detailed description here of
these masterpieces of decorative art, so perfect technically that they
might almost serve as a canon to decorative painters.

American painting may be said to have reached its culmination in
Sargent, yet there are two other painters, who, if they fall below him
in sheer genius, possess a charm and originality all their own. One of
these is George de Forest Brush, who, somewhat after the fashion of
Holbein, looks for a beauty of spirit independent of form or feature. He
paints mothers and children not as young goddesses rollicking with
cherubs, but as grave and tender women, who have sacrificed without
regret something of their health and youthful freshness to the children
they hold in their arms. In such groups there is a note of penetrating
peace, a delicate distinction, which give Brush a position by himself.

The other is John W. Alexander, whose work is interesting as introducing
a certain new element into art--a concentration of energy on the
originality of the first general effect, including nothing that does not
interest, and yet giving the effect of completeness. In Alexander's
portraits there is nothing to distract the interest from the personality
of the sitter, and he usually achieves a delineation of character direct
and truthful.

Here this short review of the great personalities of American art must
end. There are many other painters alive to-day whose work is full of
promise, and who may yet achieve great places in the world's Pantheon.
Indeed, it would almost seem that a renascence of American art is at
hand. The country has emerged from the crudities of its first years,
and from the mediocre conventionality of its middle period, without
having lost the freshness and enthusiasm conducive to high achievement.
Its face is toward the sunrise.


COPLEY, JOHN SINGLETON. Born at Boston, July 3, 1737; went to Europe,
1771, and spent the remainder of his life there, principally in London;
associate of Royal Academy, 1771; full member, 1773; died at London,
September 9, 1815.

WEST, BENJAMIN. Born at Springfield, Chester County, Pennsylvania,
October 10, 1738; studied in Italy, 1760-63; settled in London, 1763;
became court historical painter, 1772; president of the Royal Academy
for many years; died at London, March 11, 1820.

PEALE, CHARLES WILLSON. Born at Chestertown, Maryland, April 16, 1741;
with Copley at Boston, 1768-69; went to London, 1770; and studied under
Benjamin West; returned to America, 1774; served in Revolution, 1776-77;
opened "Peale's Museum," 1802; died at Philadelphia, February 22, 1827.

STUART, GILBERT. Born at Narragansett, Rhode Island, December 3, 1755;
went to London and became pupil of West, 1775; returned to United
States, 1792; died at Boston, July 27, 1828.

TRUMBULL, JOHN. Born at Lebanon, Connecticut, June 6, 1756; served in
Revolution, attaining rank of colonel; studied under West in London, and
returned to America, 1804; died at New York City, November 10, 1843.

SULLY, THOMAS. Born at Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England, June 8, 1783;
brought to America at the age of nine; went to London, 1809, and studied
under West; settled in Philadelphia in 1810, and spent the remainder of
his life there, dying November 5, 1872.

ALLSTON, WASHINGTON. Born at Naccamaw, South Carolina, November 5, 1779;
graduated at Harvard, 1800; studied at Royal Academy and at Rome,
returning to America, 1809; died at Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 9,

VANDERLYN, JOHN. Born at Kingston, New York, October 15, 1775; studied
art abroad, 1796-1801; and spent subsequent years in Europe, returning
to America in 1815; died at Kingston, September 24, 1852.

PEALE, REMBRANDT. Born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1778;
went to London and studied under West, 1801-03; died at Philadelphia,
October 3, 1860.

HARDING, CHESTER. Born at Conway, Massachusetts, September 1, 1792;
studied in London, 1823-26; died at Boston, April 1, 1866.

ALEXANDER, FRANCIS. Born in Connecticut, 1800; went to Europe in 1831,
finally taking up his residence in Florence, where he died.

NEAGLE, JOHN. Born at Boston, November 4, 1796; died at Philadelphia,
September 17, 1865.

INMAN, HENRY. Born at Utica, New York, October 20, 1801; served seven
years' apprenticeship with John Wesley Jarvis; died at New York City,
January 17, 1846.

DURAND, ASHER BROWN. Born at Jefferson, New Jersey, August 21, 1796;
apprenticed to Peter Maverick, an engraver, 1812; president of National
Academy of Design, 1845-61; died at South Orange, New Jersey, September
17, 1886.

COLE, THOMAS. Born at Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, England, February 1,
1801; came to America, 1819; settled in New York, 1825; died at
Catskill, New York, February 11, 1848.

CHURCH, FREDERIC EDWIN. Born at Hartford, Connecticut, May 4, 1826;
pupil of Thomas Cole; National Academician, 1849; died at New York City,
April 7, 1900.

BIERSTADT, ALBERT. Born at Düsseldorf, Germany, January 7, 1830; brought
to America, 1831; early developed a taste for art, and studied at
Düsseldorf, 1853-57; returned to America and remained here, except for
brief visits to Europe; died at New York City, February 18, 1902.

MORAN, THOMAS. Born at Bolton, England, January 12, 1837; came to
America, 1844; National Academician, 1884; still living in New York

KENSETT, JOHN FREDERICK. Born at Chester, Connecticut, March 22, 1818;
in Europe, 1840-44; National Academician, 1849; died at New York City,
December 16, 1872.

INNESS, GEORGE. Born at Newburgh, New York, May 1, 1825; National
Academician, 1868; died at Bridge of Allan, Scotland, August 3, 1894.

WYANT, ALEXANDER H. Born at Port Washington, Ohio, January 11, 1836;
studied in Germany and settled in New York, 1864; suffered paralytic
stroke, 1877, and afterwards painted with left hand; died at New York
City, November 29, 1892.

MARTIN, HOMER DODGE. Born at Albany, New York, October 28, 1836; opened
New York studio, 1862; National Academician, 1875; died at St. Paul,
Minnesota, February 12, 1897.

VEDDER, ELIHU. Born at New York City, February 26, 1836; in Paris and
Italy, 1856-61; and, after a year or two in America, returned to Italy,
where he has since resided; National Academician, 1865.

LA FARGE, JOHN. Born at New York City, March 31, 1835; studied under
Couture and Hunt; National Academician, 1869; president Society of
American Artists and Society of Mural Painters.

HUNT, WILLIAM MORRIS. Born at Brattleboro, Vermont, March 31, 1824;
studied under Couture and Millet, 1846-55; opened Boston studio, 1856;
died at Appledore, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, September 8, 1879.

WHISTLER, JAMES ABBOTT MCNEILL. Born at Lowell, Massachusetts, 1834;
entered West Point Academy, 1851, but soon left; settled in Paris, 1856,
and studied art two years, and then settled in London, where the
remainder of his life was passed; died there, July 17, 1903.

HOMER, WINSLOW. Born at Boston, February 24, 1836; accompanied Army of
Potomac in its campaigns, 1861-62; National Academician, 1865.

TRYON, DWIGHT WILLIAM. Born at Hartford, Connecticut, August 13, 1849;
National Academician, 1891.

MILLET, FRANCIS DAVIS. Born at Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, November 3,
1846; drummer 60th Massachusetts Volunteers, 1864; graduated at Harvard,
1869; studied at Antwerp, 1871-72; correspondent Russo-Turkish war,
1877-78; director of decorations World's Columbian Exposition, 1892-93.

ABBEY, EDWIN AUSTIN. Born at Philadelphia, April 1, 1852; educated at
Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; went to England, 1878, and has since
made that his home.

SARGENT, JOHN SINGER. Born at Florence, Italy, 1856; studied under
Carolus Duran; has made England his home; Royal Academician, 1891;
National Academician, 1897.



If background and tradition are needed for painting, how much more are
they needed for sculpture! America was settled by a people entirely
without sculptural tradition, for, in the early seventeenth century,
British sculpture did not exist. More than that, to most of the
settlers, art, in whatever form, was an invention of the devil, to be
avoided and discouraged. So it is not surprising that two centuries
elapsed before the first American statue made its shy and awkward

In considering the achievements of American sculpture, we must remember
that it is still an infant. That it is a lusty infant none will deny,
though some may find it lacking in that grace and charm which come only
with maturity.

The first man born in America who was foolhardy enough deliberately to
choose sculpture as a profession was Horatio Greenough, born in 1805, of
well-to-do parents, and carefully educated. It is difficult to say just
what it was that turned the boy to this difficult and exacting art--an
unknown art, too, so far as America was concerned. But he seems to have
begun woodcarving at an early age, and to have progressed from that to
chalk and on to plaster of Paris. The American national habit of
whittling was perhaps responsible for the development of more than one

At any rate, by the time he was twelve years old, Horatio Greenough had
produced some portrait busts in chalk, and, after having tried
unsuccessfully to learn clay-modelling from directions in an old
encyclopedia, took some lessons from an artist who chanced to be in
Boston, and from a maker of tombstones, got a little insight into the
method of carving marble.

These lessons, elementary as they must have been, were very valuable to
the boy, and his work showed such promise that his father finally
consented to his adopting this strange profession, insisting only that
he first graduate from Harvard, on the ground that a college education
would be of value, whatever his vocation. So he entered college at the
age of sixteen, devoting all his spare time to reading works of art, to
drawing and modelling, and the study of anatomy. He had also the good
fortune to meet and win the friendship of Washington Allston, who
advised him as to plans of study.

Immediately upon graduation, he sailed for Italy, which was, sadly
enough, to be the Mecca of American sculptors for many years to come.
For Italian sculpture was bound hand and foot by the traditions of
classicism, to which our early sculptors soon fell captive. Greenough
was no exception, and some years of study in the Italian studios
rivetted the chains.

His first commission was given him by J. Fenimore Cooper. It was a group
called the "Chanting Cherubs," and when it was sent home for exhibition,
it awakened a tempest of the first magnitude. Puritan ideas were
outraged at sight of the little naked bodies, the group was declared
indecent, and the bitter controversy was not stilled until it was
withdrawn from view. Greenough wrote of Cooper, "he saved me from
despair; he employed me as I wished to be employed; and has, up to this
moment, been a father to me in kindness"--a singularly interesting
addition to the portrait of the great novelist, famous for his enmities
rather than for his friendships.

The tragedy of Greenough's life was the fate of his great statue of
Washington, of which we have already spoken. He conceived the work on a
high plane, "as a majestic, god-like figure, enthroned beneath the dome
of the Capitol at Washington, gilded by the filtered rays of the
far-falling sunlight." Perhaps it was too high, but on its execution
Greenough labored faithfully for eight years. "It is the birth of my
thought," he wrote. "I have sacrificed to it the flower of my days, and
the freshness of my strength; its every lineament has been moistened by
the sweat of my toil and the tears of my exile. I would not barter away
its association with my name for the proudest fortune that avarice ever

It will be seen from the above that Greenough's epistolary style was
florid and grandiose in the extreme, but no doubt there was a foundation
of sincerity beneath it. A bitter disappointment awaited him. The
ponderous figure reached Washington safely in 1843, and was conveyed to
the Capitol, where, beneath the rotunda, its predestined pedestal
awaited it. But the statue was found too large to pass the door, and
when the door was widened and the great stone rolled inside, the floor
settled so ominously that it was hastily withdrawn.

It does not seem to have occurred to anyone that the floor might be
braced; instead, the pedestal was set up outside, facing the building,
and the statue hoisted into place. It speedily became the butt of public
ridicule. Once the fashion started, no one looked at it without a smile.

Greenough was in despair. "Had I been ordered to make a statue for any
square or similar situation at the metropolis," he wrote, still in his
inflated style, "I should have represented Washington on horseback and
in his actual dress. I would have made my subject purely a historical
one. I have treated my subject poetically, and confess I would feel pain
in seeing it placed in direct flagrant contrast with every-day life."

But that is exactly how it was placed, and it is the incongruity of this
contrast which strikes the beholder and blinds him to the merits of the
work. For Greenough has represented Washington seated in a massive
armchair, naked except for a drapery over the legs and right shoulder,
one hand pointing dramatically at the heavens, the other extended
holding a reversed sword. It shows sincerity and faithful work, and had
it been placed within the rotunda, would no doubt have been impressive
and majestic. Where it stands, it is a hopeless anachronism.

This was the first colossal marble carved by an American. Fronting it on
one of the buttresses of the main entrance of the Capitol, is the
second, also by Greenough. It is a group called "The Rescue," and shows
a pioneer saving his wife and child from being tomahawked by an Indian,
while his dog watches the struggle with a strange apathy--almost with a
smile. Like most of his other work, it is stilted and unconvincing; but
let us remember that Greenough was the pathfinder, the trail-blazer, and
as such to be honored and admired.

Greenough's fame, such as it was, was soon to be eclipsed by that of a
man born in the same year, but later in development because he had a
harder road to travel. Hiram Powers was born into a large and
poverty-stricken family. While he was still a boy, his father removed
from the sterile hills of Vermont to the almost frontier town of
Cincinnati, Ohio. He seems to have had little schooling, but was put to
work as soon as he was old enough to contribute something toward the
family exchequer. He did all sorts of odd jobs, and soon developed an
unusual talent, that of modelling faces.

Those were the halcyon days of the dime museum, and there was one at
Cincinnati. Its proprietor chanced to hear of the boy's gift for
modelling, and offered him employment as a modeller of wax figures. Of
course Powers accepted, for this was work after his own heart, and he
succeeded not only in producing some figures which resembled definite
human beings, but "breathed the breath of life into them" by means of
clock-work devices, which enabled them to move their heads and arms in a
manner sufficiently jerky, but at the same time astonishing to the
simple people who visited the museum to behold its wonders.

Emboldened by this success, the young genius produced an "Inferno," or
"Chamber of Horrors," which, when completed, was an immense success--too
immense, indeed, for it had to be closed because of the fearful
impression it made upon the ladies, who fainted in their escorts' arms
whenever they gazed upon its terrors. One is inclined to suspect that
the ladies might have withstood the horrors of the sight, but for a
desire to prove their extreme sensibility. Fainting was more fashionable
eighty years ago than it is to-day.

Powers soon developed from this work a talent for catching likenesses,
and, searching for a wider field, proceeded finally to Washington, where
he modelled busts in wax of Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, John C.
Calhoun, John Marshall, and other celebrities of the period. From wax,
he naturally wished to graduate into marble, and in 1837, left America
for Italy, never to return. Greenough, then laboring away at his
Washington, assisted him in various ways; and Hawthorne met him in Italy
and was much impressed by him, as his "Italian Note-Book" shows.

In 1843, he completed the figure which was destined to make him famous,
the "Greek Slave." The statue was supposed to represent a maiden
captured by the Turks, "stripped and manacled and offered for sale in
the market place," and so had a sentimental appeal which went straight
to the heart of a sentimental people, and overcame any antagonism which
her nudity might have produced. It inspired Elizabeth Barrett Browning
to a not very noteworthy sonnet, clergymen gave it certificates of
character, so to speak, and "it made a sensation wherever shown, and was
fondly believed to be the greatest work of sculpture known to history."
Let us say at once that it is an engaging and creditable piece of work,
and worthy, in the main, of the enthusiasm which it excited.

The "Greek Slave" was only the beginning. Powers turned out one statue
after another with considerable rapidity, but his reputation rests
mainly to-day on his portrait busts of men. It is characteristic of
artists that the things they do best and easiest they value least, and
this was so with Powers. His portrait busts were, in a sense, mere
pot-boilers; he lavished himself upon his ideal figures. But these are
now ranked as unimaginative and commonplace.

Third among our early sculptors of importance was Thomas Crawford, born
eight years later than Greenough and Powers, and preceding the latter to
the grave by many years, yet leaving behind him a mass of work which, if
it shows no great imagination, displays considerable poetic refinement.
Driven to Italy because it was only there that marble work could be
well and economically done, he lived there for some years, earning a
bare subsistence by the production of second-rate portrait busts and
copies of antique statuary. Then he attracted the attention of Charles
Sumner, and with his help, was enabled, in 1839, to produce his first
important work, the "Orpheus," now in the Boston Museum. Many others
followed, but they were of that ideal and sentimental type, very foreign
to modern taste.

Crawford was an indefatigable workman, and few American museums are
without one or more examples of his product. In the public square at
Richmond, Virginia, stands one of his most important monuments, crowned
by an astonishing equestrian figure of Washington, which he himself
executed. Two of the subordinate statues are also his--those of Patrick
Henry and Thomas Jefferson--and represent the best work he ever did.

Another of his productions is the great figure of Freedom which crowns
the dome of the Capitol at Washington, not unworthily. By a fortunate
chance, which the sculptor could hardly have foreseen, the bulky and
roughly modelled figure gains airiness and majesty from its lofty
position, where its sickly-sweet countenance and clumsy adornment are
refined by distance. It has become, in a way, a national ideal, a part
of the Republic.

The success of these three men and the immense reputation which they
attained naturally attracted others to a profession whose rewards were
so exalted. The first to achieve anything like an enduring reputation
was Henry Kirke Brown, born in Massachusetts in 1814. He early displayed
some talent for portrait painting, and went to Boston to study under
Chester Harding. Chance led him to model the head of a friend, and the
result was so interesting that he then and there renounced painting for

Naturally, his eyes turned to Italy, but he had no money to take him
there, so perforce remained at home, getting such instruction as he
could. In 1837, at the age of twenty-three, he produced his first marble
bust, and within the next four years, had carved at least forty more,
besides four or five figures. From all this work, he managed to save the
money needed for the trip to Italy, but after four years in the Italian
studios, he sailed for home again. On July 4, 1856, the second
equestrian statue to be set up in the United States was unveiled in
Union Square, New York City, and gave Brown a reputation which still

It is a statue of Washington, and, in some amazing fashion, Brown
succeeded in producing a work of art, which, in some respects, has never
been surpassed in America, and which has served as a pattern and guide
to other sculptors from that day to this. It is a sincere, honest and
dignified embodiment of the First American. Brown did some notable work
after that, but none of it possesses the high inspiration which produced
the noble and commanding figure which dominates Union Square.

We have said that it was the second equestrian statue produced in
America. The first may still be seen by all who, on entering or leaving
the White House, glance across the street at the public square beyond.
One glance is certain to be followed by others, for that statue is not
only the first, it is the most amazing ever set up in a public place in
this country. It has divided with Greenough's "Washington," at the other
end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the horrors of being a national joke. Its
author was Clarke Mills, and its inception is probably unparalleled in
the history of sculpture.

Mills was born in New York State in 1815, lost his father while still a
child, and at the age of thirteen was driven by harsh treatment to run
away from the uncle with whom he had made his home. Thenceforward he
supported himself in any way he could--as farm-hand, teamster,
canal-hand, post-cutter, and finally as cabinet maker. He drifted about
the country; to New Orleans, and finally to Charleston, South Carolina,
where he learned to do stucco work, and whiled away his leisure hours by
modelling busts in clay.

With Yankee ingenuity, he invented a process of taking a cast from the
living face, and this simple method of getting a likeness enabled him to
turn out busts so rapidly and cheaply that he had all the work he could
do. He was, of course, anxious to try his hand at marble, and procuring
a block of native Carolina stone, hewed out, with infinite labor, a bust
of that South Carolina idol, John C. Calhoun. It was the best bust ever
made of that celebrated statesman, and was the beginning of Mills's good
fortune, and of the sequence of events which resulted in his statue of
the hero of New Orleans.

For his Calhoun attracted much attention and secured him other
commissions--among them, one for the busts of Webster and Crittenden. To
get these, he was forced to go to Washington, and there he met the Hon.
Cave Johnson, President of the Jackson Monument Commission, which had
got together the funds for an equestrian statue of that old hero.
Johnson suggested to Mills that he submit a design for this statue. As
Mills had never seen either General Jackson or an equestrian statue, and
had only the vaguest idea of what either was like, he naturally felt
some doubt of his ability to execute such a work; but Johnson pointed
out that this was only modesty, and so Mills finally evolved a design,
which the commission accepted.

Then he went to work on his model, and executed it on an entirely new
principle, which was to secure a balanced figure by bringing the hind
legs of the horse under the centre of its body. Congress donated for the
bronze of the statue the British cannon which Jackson had captured at
New Orleans, and after many trials and disheartening failures, it was
finally cast, hoisted into place, and dedicated on the eighth of
January, 1853.

The whole country gazed at it in wonder and admiration, for surely never
had another work of art so unique and original been unveiled in any
land. Mills had balanced his horse adroitly on his hind legs, and
represented the rider as clinging calmly to this perilous perch and
doffing his chapeau to the admiring multitude. A delighted Congress
added $20,000 to the price already paid, while New Orleans ordered a
replica at an even higher figure. Absurd as the statue is, it yet must
command from us a certain respect for the enthusiast who designed it.
Remember, he had never seen an equestrian statue, because there was none
in the country for him to see; he had no notion of dignified sculptural
treatment; but he did what he could, as well as he was able.

Mills was the last of the primitives, for following him came Erasmus D.
Palmer and Thomas Ball, the two men who, more than any others, shaped
the course and guided the development of American sculpture.

Erasmus Palmer was born in 1817, and followed the trade of a carpenter.
But in the odd moments of 1845, he made a cameo portrait of his wife,
which was a rather unusual likeness. Encouraged by this success, he
practised further, and ended by abandoning his saws and planes to devote
his whole time to carving portraits. But the constant strain so weakened
his eyes, that he was about to return to carpentering, when a friend
suggested that he try his hand at modelling in clay. The result was the
"Infant Ceres," modelled from one of his own children, which, reproduced
in marble, created a sensation at the exhibitions in 1850.

From that moment, Palmer's career was steadily upwards. It culminated
eight years later in his delightful figure, the "White Captive,"
reminiscent in a way of the "Greek Slave," but a better work of art,
and one which stands among the most charming achievements of American
sculpture. One of its wonders, too--wonder that an untrained hand and an
unschooled brain should have been able to create a work of art at once
so tender and so firm. Following it came some admirable portrait busts;
and finally, in 1862, his "Peace in Bondage." No doubt the sculptor's
beautiful and adequate conception sprang from the tragic period which
gave it birth; for "Peace in Bondage" shows a winged female figure
leaning wearily against a tree-trunk, and gazing hopelessly into space.
It is carved in high relief, with great skill and insight. In fact,
nothing finer had been produced in America.

With this work, American art may be said to have found itself. It not
only raised the standard of achievement, but it put an end at once and
forever to the idea that study in Italy was necessary to artistic
success. For only once did Palmer visit Europe, and then it was to stay
but a short time. In fact, Italy was artistic poison for many men; its
art lacked originality and vigor, and it sapped the native strength of
many of the Americans who worked in its studios.

Thomas Ball was an exception to this; for, in spite of many years
abroad, he remained always characteristically American. He comes next to
Palmer in strength and rightness of achievement; his work, like his
life, was earnest and noble.

Thomas Ball's father was a house and sign painter of Boston, with some
artistic skill, which he passed on to his son. That was the boy's only
inheritance, and when his father died, he undertook the support of the
family, first as a boy-of-all-work in the New England Museum, and then
as a cameo-cutter. From that he graduated naturally to engraving,
miniature painting, and finally to portraiture.

His first attempt at modelling resulted in a bust of Jenny Lind, done
entirely from photographs, which had a wide vogue, for the Swedish
Nightingale was then at the height of her popularity. Other more
ambitious work followed, and finally, at the age of thirty-five, he was
able to realize his ambition to study in the studios of Florence. But he
found the Italian environment less inspiring than he had hoped, and two
years later he was back in Boston, working on an equestrian statue of
Washington--the first equestrian group in New England and the fourth in
the United States. He built his plaster model with his own hands, and
was three years getting it ready. The result was a work which ranks
among the first equestrian statues of the country. Other works of
importance followed, among them the well-known emancipation group
showing Lincoln blessing a kneeling slave, which was unveiled at
Washington in 1875.

The years touched Ball lightly, and at seventy years of age, he
undertook his greatest work, an elaborate Washington monument for the
town of Methuan, Massachusetts. The principal figure, a gigantic
Washington in bronze, was exhibited at the Columbian Exposition of
1893, and received the highest honors of the exposition--a distinction
it richly merited by its nobility of a conception and execution. Thomas
Ball, indeed, set a new standard in public statuary, and one which no
successor has dared to disregard. The far-reaching effects of his
influence and that of Erasmus Palmer can hardly be over-estimated.

One of the most engaging and versatile personalities in the whole range
of American art was that of William Wetmore Story. Born at Salem,
Massachusetts, in 1819, graduated at Harvard, admitted to the bar, the
author of a volume of graceful verse and of a valuable life of his
father, Chief Justice Story, he yet, in 1851, put all this work aside,
adopted sculpture as a profession, and, proceeding to Rome, opened a
studio there.

It was from the first an extraordinary studio, attracting the most
brilliant people of Rome in literature as well as art; and if Story did
not quite practise the perfection he was somewhat fond of preaching, it
was because of his very versatility, which absorbed his talent in so
many directions that it could not be concentrated in any. His
imagination outran his achievement, and the most famous of his works,
his statue of Cleopatra, owes its reputation not so much to its own
merit, which is far from overwhelming, as to the ecstatic description of
it which Nathaniel Hawthorne included in "The Marble Faun." A master of
literature is not necessarily an inspired critic of art, and it is to be
suspected that Hawthorne permitted some of the fire of his imagination
to play about the cold and uninspired marble.

"Cleopatra" marked Story's culmination. He fell away from it year by
year, producing a long line of figures whose only impressive features
were the names he gave them--"The Libyan Sibyl," "Semiramis," "Salome,"
"Medea," and so on. However, he did much to increase the popularity of
sculpture, for the stories he attempted to tell in stone by means of
heavy-browed, frowning women in classic costume and with classic names,
were exactly suited to the child-like intelligence of his public. He
gave art, too--as William Penn gave the Quakers--a sort of social
sanction because of his own social position. If the son of Chief Justice
Story could turn sculptor, surely that profession was not so irregular,
after all!

Another sculptor who shared with Story the admiration of the public was
Randolph Rogers, born at Waterloo, New York, in 1825. Until the age of
twenty-three such modelling as he did was done in the spare moments of a
business life; but when he gave an exhibition of the results of this
labor, his employers were so impressed that they provided the money
needed to send him to Italy, where he was to spend the remainder of his
life, with the exception of five years' residence in New York. Two of
his earlier figures are his most famous, his "Nydia" and his "Lost
Pleiad." Scores of replicas in marble of these two figures were made
during their author's life time, and they still retain for many people a
simple and pathetic charm. Nearly every one, of course, has made the
acquaintance of Nydia, the blind girl, in Bulwer-Lytton's "The Last Days
of Pompeii," and so gaze at Rogers's fleeing figure with eyes too
sympathetic to see its faults.

Far more important is the work of William H. Rinehart, of the same age
as Rogers, and resembling him somewhat in development. Born on a
Maryland farm, his early years were those of the average farmer's boy,
but at last some blind instinct led him to abandon farming for
stonecutting, and he became assistant to a mason and stonecutter of the
neighborhood. As soon as he had learned his trade, at the age of
twenty-one, he went to Baltimore, where there was work in plenty, and
where he could, at the same time, attend the night schools of the
Maryland Institute. This sounds much easier than it really was. To
devote the evenings to study, after ten and often twelve hours of the
hardest of all manual labor, required grit and moral courage such as few

He was soon trying his hand at modelling, and convinced, at last, that
sculpture was his vocation, he managed, by the time he was thirty, to
save enough money for a short period of study at Rome. Three years of
work at Baltimore, after that, gave him some reputation, and he then
returned to Rome, to spend the remainder of his life there.

If you have ever visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
City, you have seen, in the hall of statuary, one of Rinehart's most
characteristic groups, "Latona and Her Children." The mother half
seated, half lying upon the ground, gazes tenderly down at the two
sleeping children, sheltered in the folds of her mantle. The whole work
possesses a serene poetic charm and dignity very noteworthy; and this
and other groups are among the most beautiful that any American ever
turned out of an Italian studio.

Rinehart was one of the last American disciples of the classic school.
Certainly no art could have been more opposed to his than the frank and
vivid realism of his immediate successor, John Rogers. Born in Salem,
Massachusetts, the son of a family of merchants, he was educated in the
common schools, worked for a time in a store, and then entered a machine
shop as an apprentice, working up through all the grades, until finally
he was in charge of a railroad repair shop.

During all these years he had no suspicion of artistic talent within
himself, but one day in Boston he happened to see a man modelling some
images in clay. In that instant, the artist instinct clutched him, and
procuring some clay and modelling tools, he spent all his leisure in
practice. This leisure was scant enough, for his trade kept him employed
fourteen hours of every day; but at the age of twenty-nine he was able
to secure an eight months' vacation, which he spent in Europe,
principally at Paris and Rome. He returned to America greatly
discouraged, for the only thing he saw in Europe was classic sculpture,
with which he had no sympathy and which, indeed, he could not

So, abandoning all thought of making sculpture a profession, he went to
work as a draughtsman in Chicago, amusing himself, at odd hours, by the
construction of a group of small figures, which he called "The Checker
Players." It was exhibited at a charity fair, and awakened so much
interest and delight that Rogers burned his bridges behind him by
resigning his position, and proceeded to New York, and rented a studio,
determined to be a sculptor in spite of classicism.

The outbreak of the Civil War furnished him a host of subjects which he
treated with a patriotic fervor that went straight to the heart of an
overwrought people. "The Returned Volunteer," "The Picket-Guard," "The
Sharp-shooters," "The Camp-fire," "One More Shot," and many others, came
from his studio in rapid succession. They were all thoroughly American,
and some were even admirably sculptural. They, at least, stood for an
original idea, and deserve better treatment than the silent contempt
which, in these days, is about all that has been accorded them.

At about this time, there came upon the scene the first and only really
famous woman sculptor in the history of American art, Harriet Hosmer.
She had had an unusual childhood, and had grown into an original and
engaging woman. Born in 1830, at Watertown, Massachusetts, the daughter
of a physician, she inherited her mother's delicate constitution, and
her father encouraged her in an outdoor life of physical exercise such
as only boys, at that time, were accustomed to. She became expert in
rowing, riding, skating and shooting, developed great endurance, filled
her room with snakes and insects and birds' nests, and in a clay pit at
the end of her father's garden modelled rude figures of animals.

A few years of schooling followed this wild girlhood; then she was sent
to Boston to study drawing and modelling; but finding that no woman
would be admitted to the Boston Medical School, whose course in anatomy
she was anxious to take, she went to St. Louis and entered the medical
college there. Finally, in 1852, accompanied by her father and Charlotte
Cushman, she set sail for Italy.

She remained there for eight years, turning out a number of very
creditable figures, which, if not great, at least possess some measure
of grace and charm. Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his "Italian Note-Book," has
left a vivid impression of Miss Hosmer, whose eccentricity of dress and
manner impressed him deeply, as did also the work which she showed him.
But she never reached any high development.

Which brings us to the present of American art, for the sculptors we
have yet to consider are either yet alive or have died so recently that
they belong to the present rather than the past.

The first and one of the most important of these is John Quincy Adams
Ward, born in 1830 on an Ohio farm. An accident showed the possession of
latent talent, for some good pottery clay happened to be discovered on
his father's farm, and his guardian angel inspired the boy to take a
handful of it and model the grotesque countenance of a negro servant.
The result was striking, and no doubt he felt within himself some of the
stirrings of genius, but not until 1849 did he realize his vocation.
Then, while on a visit to a sister in Brooklyn, he happened to pass the
open door of H. K. Brown's studio. The glimpse he caught of the scene
within fascinated him; he returned again and again, and ended by
entering the studio as a pupil.

He could have found no better master, and for seven years he remained
there, assisting Brown in every detail of his work. His first group,
modelled after long study, was his "Indian Hunter," now placed in
Central Park, New York--a group instinct with vitality--a glimpse of a
forgotten past, evoked with the skill of a master. It was the first of a
long line of statues, many of them portraits of contemporaries, a field
in which Ward has no superior. It is perhaps the highest tribute which
could be paid the man to say that, with all his great production, he has
never done bad work, never produced anything trifling or unworthy.

A fellow student with Ward in Henry Kirke Brown's studio was Larkin G.
Meade, the first indication of whose talent was a unique one. One winter
morning, about the middle of the century, the good people of
Brattleboro, Vermont, were astonished to find set up in one of the
public squares of the town a colossal snow image, in the form of a
majestic angel--crude, no doubt, in execution, but singularly effective.
Inquiry developed that it was the work of young Meade, then only fifteen
years of age. The incident got into the newspapers, magnified
considerably, and attracted the attention of old Nicholas Longworth, of
Cincinnati, who, on more than one occasion, had himself appeared as
angel to struggling artists.

It was so in this case. Mr. Longworth wrote to Brattleboro, making some
inquiries as to the essential truth of the story, and having satisfied
himself on that point, offered to help the boy to get an artistic
education. The offer was accepted, and young Meade was placed in Brown's
studio, going afterwards to Italy. While there, he heard of the
assassination of President Lincoln, and prepared an elaborate design in
plaster for a national monument to the martyred President's memory. As
soon as this was completed, he started for home with it, arriving at
precisely the right moment. The rage for monument building was sweeping
up and down the land. Councils, legislatures, all sorts of public and
private bodies, were making appropriations to commemorate some
particular hero of the Civil War, which was just ended; Meade's design
appealed to the popular imagination, and the commission was awarded him.

The monument, which was destined to cost a quarter of a million dollars,
was by far the most important that had ever been erected in this
country, and the inexperienced young sculptor sailed back to Italy to
begin work. Not until 1874 was it sufficiently completed to dedicate,
and the last group of statuary was not put in place until ten years
later. All this time, the sculptor had spent quietly in his studio at
Florence, quite apart from the world of progress or of new ideas in art,
and long before his work was finished, public taste had outgrown it and
found it uninspired and commonplace.

Much more important to American art is the work of Olin Levi Warner, the
son of an itinerant Methodist preacher, whose wanderings prevented the
boy getting any regular schooling. During his childhood, he had shown
considerable talent for carving statuettes in chalk, and he finally
decided to immortalize his father by carving a portrait bust of him. For
a stone, he "set" a barrel of plaster in one solid mass and then,
breaking off the staves, began hacking away at it with such poor
implements as he could command. It was a well-nigh endless task, but
"it's dogged that does it," and the boy worked doggedly away until the
bust was completed. It was considered such a success that young Warner,
convinced of his vocation, set to work to earn enough money to go
abroad. For six years he worked as a telegrapher, and it was not until
1869, when he was twenty-five years old, that he had saved the money

Three years later he returned to New York, and opened a studio, but met
with a reception so dismal and indifferent that, after a four years'
desperate struggle, he was forced to abandon the fight and return to his
father's farm. Anxious for any employment, he applied to Henry Plant,
President of the Southern Express Company, for work. Mr. Plant was
interested, and instead of offering him a job as messenger or teamster,
gave him a commission for two portrait busts.

It was the turning point in Warner's career, for the busts he produced
were of a craftsmanship so delicate and beautiful that they at once
established his position among his fellow-sculptors, though years
elapsed before he received any wide public recognition. The truth is
that he was too great and sincere an artist to cater to a public taste
which he had himself outgrown; so that, until quite recently, he has
remained a sculptor's sculptor. His untimely death, in 1896, from the
effects of a fall while riding in Central Park, brought forth a notable
tribute from his fellow-craftsmen, and students of sculpture have come
to recognize in him one of the most delicate and truly inspired artists
in our history.

But the most powerful influence in the recent development of American
sculpture has been that great artist, Augustus Saint Gaudens. Born in
1848, at Dublin, Ireland, of a French father and an Irish mother, he was
brought to this country while still an infant. Perhaps this mixed
ancestry explains to some degree Saint Gaudens's peculiar genius. At the
age of thirteen, he was apprenticed to a cameo-cutter in New York City,
and worked for six years at this employment, which demands the utmost
keenness of vision, delicacy of touch, and refinement of manner. His
evenings he spent in studying drawing, first at Cooper Union and then,
outgrowing that, at the National Academy of Design. So it happened that,
at the age of twenty, when most men were just beginning their special
studies, Saint Gaudens was thoroughly grounded in drawing and an expert
in low relief.

Another thing he had learned; and let us pause here to lay stress upon
it, for it is the thing which must be learned before any great life-work
can be done. He had learned the value of systematic industry, of putting
in so many hours every day at faithful work. The weak artist, whether in
stone or paint or ink, always contends that he must wait for
inspiration, and so excuses long periods of unproductive idleness,
during which he grows weaker and weaker for lack of exercise. The great
artist compels inspiration by whipping himself to his work and setting
grimly about it, knowing that the "inspiration," so-called, will come.
For inspiration is only seeing a thing clearly, and the one way to see
it clearly is to keep the eyes and mind fixed upon it.

At the age of twenty, then, Saint Gaudens was not only a trained artist,
but an industrious one. Three years in the inspiring atmosphere of
Paris, and three years in Italy, followed; and finally, in 1874, he
landed again at New York with such an equipment as few sculptors ever
had. And seven years later he proved his mastery when his statue of
Admiral Farragut was unveiled in Union Square, New York. That superb
work of art made its author a national figure, and Saint Gaudens took
definitely that place at the head of American sculpture which was his
until his death.

Six years later Saint Gaudens's "Lincoln" was unveiled in Lincoln Park,
Chicago, and was at once recognized as the greatest portrait statue in
the United States. It has remained so--a masterpiece of exalted
conception and dignified execution. Other statues followed, each
memorable in its way; but Saint Gaudens proved himself not only the
greatest but the most versatile of our sculptors by his work in other
fields--by portraits in high and low relief, by ideal figures, and
notably by the memorial to Robert Gould Shaw, a work distinctively
American and without a counterpart in the annals of art. It is the
spiritual quality of Saint Gaudens's work which sets it apart upon a
lofty pinnacle--the largeness of the man behind it, the artist mind and
the poet heart.

Saint Gaudens's death in 1907 deprived American art of one of its most
commanding figures, but there are other American sculptors alive to-day
whose work is noteworthy in a high degree. One of these is Daniel
Chester French. Born of a substantial New England family, and showing no
especial artistic talent in youth, one day, in his nineteenth year, he
surprised his family by showing them the grotesque figure of a frog in
clothes which he had carved from a turnip. Modelling tools were secured
for him, and he went to work. The schooling which prepared him for his
remarkable career was of the slightest. He studied for a month with J.
Q. A. Ward, and for the rest, worked out his own salvation as best he

His first important commission came to him at the age of
twenty-three--the figure of the "Minute Man" for the battle monument at
Concord, Massachusetts. It was unveiled on April 19, 1875, and
attracted wide attention. For here was a work of strength and
originality produced by a young man without schooling or
experience--produced, too, without a model, or, at least, from nothing
but a large cast of the "Apollo Belvidere," which was the only model the
sculptor had. But there was no hint of that famous figure under the
clothes of the "Minute Man." It had been entirely concealed by the
personality and vigor he had impressed upon his work.

After that Mr. French spent a year in Florence, but he returned to
America at the end of that period to remain. He has grown steadily in
power and certainty of touch, rising perhaps to his greatest height in
his famous group, "The Angel of Death and the Young Sculptor," intended
as a memorial to Martin Milmore, but touching the universal heart by its
deep appeal, conveyed with a sure and admirable artistry. Mr. French's
great distinction is to have created good sculpture which has touched
the public heart, and to have done this with no concession to public

Another sculptor who has gained a wide appreciation is Frederick
MacMonnies, who for sheer audacity and dexterity of manipulation is
almost without a rival. He was born in Brooklyn in 1863, his father a
Scotchman who had come to New York at the age of eighteen, and his
mother a niece of Benjamin West. The boy's talent revealed itself early,
and was developed in the face of many difficulties. Obliged to leave
school while still a child and to earn his living as a clerk in a
jewelry store, he still found time to study drawing, and at the age of
sixteen had the good fortune to attract the attention of Saint Gaudens,
who received him as an apprentice in his studio.

No better fate could have befallen the lad, and the five years spent
with Saint Gaudens gave him the best of all training in the fundamentals
of his art. Some years in Paris followed, where he replenished his
slender purse with such work as he could find to do, until, in 1889, his
"Diana" emerged from his studio, radiant and superb. A year later came
his statue of "Nathan Hale," and there was never any lack of commissions
after that. "Nathan Hale" stands in City Hall Park, New York City, the
very embodiment of that devoted young patriot. The artist has shown him
at the supreme moment when, facing the scaffold, he uttered the
memorable words which still thrill the American heart, and expression
and sentiment were never more perfectly in accord. He struck the same
high note with his famous fountain at Chicago Exposition, where hundreds
of thousands of people suddenly discovered in this young man a national
possession to be proud of.

A year later his name was again in every mouth, when the Boston Public
Library refused a place to perhaps his greatest work, the dancing
"Bacchante," which has since found refuge in the Metropolitan Museum at
New York--a composition so original and daring that it astonishes while
it delights.

Like MacMonnies, George Gray Barnard began life as a jeweller's
apprentice, became an expert engraver and letterer, and finally, urged
by a ceaseless longing, deserted that lucrative profession for the
extremely uncertain one of sculpture. A year and a half of study in
Chicago brought him an order for a portrait bust of a little girl, and
with the $350 he received for this, he set off for Paris. That meagre
sum supported him for three years and a half--with what privation and
self-denial may be imagined; but he never complained. He lived, indeed,
the life of a recluse, shutting himself up in his studio with his work,
emerging only at night to walk the streets of Paris, lost in dreams of
ambition. That from this period of ordeal came some of the deep emotion
which marks his work cannot be doubted.

This quality, which sets Barnard apart, is well illustrated in his
famous group, "The Two Natures," suggested by a line of Victor Hugo, "I
feel two natures struggling within me." Two male figures are shown,
heroic in size and powerfully modelled, a victor half erect bending over
a prostrate foe.

Besides these men, who are, in a way, the giants of the American
sculptors of to-day, there are, especially in New York, many others
whose work is graceful and distinctive. Paul Wayland Bartlett, Herbert
Adams, Charles Niehaus, John J. Boyle, Frank Elwell, Frederick
Ruckstuhl, to mention only a few of them, are all men of originality and
power, whose work is a pleasure and an inspiration, and to whose hands
the future of American sculpture may safely be confided.


GREENOUGH, HORATIO. Born at Boston, September 6, 1805; graduated at
Harvard, 1825; went to Italy, 1825, and made his home there, with the
exception of short visits to America and France; died at Somerville,
Massachusetts, December 18, 1852.

POWERS, HIRAM. Born at Woodstock, Vermont, July 29, 1805; modelled wax
figures at Cincinnati, Ohio, for seven years; went to Washington, 1835,
and to Florence, 1837; died there, June 27, 1873.

CRAWFORD, THOMAS. Born at New York City, March 22, 1814; went to Italy,
1834, and took up residence at Rome for the remainder of his life;
afflicted with sudden blindness in 1856, and died at London, October 16,

BROWN, HENRY KIRKE. Born at Leyden, Massachusetts, February 24, 1814;
studied in Italy, 1842-46; opened Brooklyn studio, 1850; died at
Newburgh, New York, July 10, 1886.

MILLS, CLARKE. Born in Onondaga County, New York, December 1, 1815; died
at Washington, January 12, 1883.

PALMER, ERASTUS DOW. Born at Pompey, Onondaga County, New York, April 2,
1817; opened studio in Albany, 1849; in Paris, 1873-74; died at Albany,
New York, March 9, 1904.

BALL, THOMAS. Born at Charlestown, Massachusetts, June 3, 1819;
practised painting, 1840-52; adopted sculpture, 1851; resided in
Florence, Italy, 1865-97; opened New York studio, 1898.

STORY, WILLIAM WETMORE. Born at Salem, Massachusetts, February 19, 1819;
graduated at Harvard, 1838; admitted to the bar, 1840; published a
volume of poems, 1847; went to Italy, 1848, and lived at Florence until
his death, October 5, 1895.

ROGERS, RANDOLPH. Born at Waterloo, New York, July 6, 1825; removed to
Italy, 1855; died at Rome, January 15, 1892.

RINEHART, WILLIAM HENRY. Born in Maryland, September 13, 1825; removed
to Rome, 1858, and died there, October 28, 1874.

ROGERS, JOHN. Born at Salem, Massachusetts, October 30, 1829; visited
Europe, 1858-59; died, July 27, 1904.

HOSMER, HARRIET G. Born at Watertown, Massachusetts, October 9, 1830;
studied in Rome, 1852-60; opened Boston studio, 1861; died at Cambridge,
Massachusetts, February 21, 1908.

WARD, JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. Born at Urbana, Ohio, June 29, 1830; studied
under H. K. Brown, 1850-57; studio in New York City since 1861.

MEADE, LARKIN GOLDSMITH. Born at Chesterfield, New Hampshire, January 3,
1835; studied under Brown and in Florence; artist at the front for
_Harper's Weekly_ during Civil War; afterwards returned to Florence and
made his home there.

WARNER, OLIN LEVI. Born at Suffield, Connecticut, April 9, 1844; studied
in Paris, 1869-72; opened New York studio, 1873; died there, August 14,

SAINT GAUDENS, AUGUSTUS. Born at Dublin, Ireland, March 1, 1848; came to
America in infancy; learned trade of cameo cutter; studied at Paris,
1867-70; Rome, 1870-72; opened New York studio, 1872; died at Corinth,
N. H., August 3, 1907.

FRENCH, DANIEL CHESTER. Born at Exeter, New Hampshire, April 20, 1850;
studied in Boston and Florence; studio in Washington, 1876-78; in
Boston, 1878-87; in New York since 1887.

MACMONNIES, FREDERICK. Born at Brooklyn, New York, September 20, 1863;
studied under Saint Gaudens, 1880-84; also at Paris, and has spent many
of the succeeding years in France.

BARNARD, GEORGE GRAY. Born at Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1863;
studied at Paris, 1884-87; spent some years in New York, and then
returned to France.



The golden age of American acting was not so very long ago. Most
white-haired men remember it, and love to talk of the days of Booth and
Forrest and Charlotte Cushman. Joseph Jefferson, the last survivor of
the old régime, died just the other day, and to the very end showed the
present generation the charm and humor of Bob Acres and Rip Van Winkle.

No doubt that golden age is made to appear more golden than it really
was by the mists of time; but undoubtedly the old actors possessed a
mellowness, a solidity, a sort of high tradition now almost unknown.
These qualities were due in part, perhaps, to the long and arduous stock
company training, where, in the old days, every actor must serve his
apprenticeship, and in part to the study of the classic drama which had
so large a place in stock company repertoire.

Success was infinitely harder to win than it is to-day. There were fewer
theatres, so that the great actors were forced to play together, to
their mutual advantage and improvement. The multiplication of theatres
at the present time, and the vast increase of the theatre-going public,
has led to the "star" system--to the placing of an actor at the head of
a company, as soon as he has won a certain reputation. And, since care
is taken that the "star" shall outshine all his associates, it follows
that he has no one to measure himself with, he is no longer on his
metal, and his growth usually stops then and there.

But let us be frank about it. The attitude of the public toward the
theatre has changed. To-day we would not tolerate the heavy melodramas
which enchained our parents and grandparents. The age of rant and
fustian has passed away, and Edwin Forrest could never gain a second
fortune from such a combination of these qualities as "Metamora." We are
more sophisticated; we refuse to be thrilled by Ingomar, no matter how
loudly he bellows. What we ask for principally is to be amused, and
consequently the great effort of the theatre is to amuse us, for the
theatre must cater to its public. So, if the stage to-day is not what it
was fifty years ago, the fault lies principally in front of the
footlights and not behind them.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BOOTH]

To the student of American acting, one name stands out before all the
rest, the name of Booth. No other actors in this country have ever
equalled the achievements of Junius Brutus Booth and of his son, Edwin
Booth. They possessed the genius of tragedy, if any men ever did, and no
one who saw them in their great moments can forget the impression of
absolute reality which they conveyed.

Junius Brutus Booth was the son of an eccentric silversmith of London,
and was born there in 1796. Let us pause here to remark that, just as
the greatest Frenchman who ever lived was an Italian, and the greatest
Russian woman a German, so most of the early American actors were either
English or Irish. This sounds rather Irish itself; but it is true.
Certainly, in the end Napoleon Bonaparte became as French as any
Frenchman and the Empress Catherine II Russian to the core; and the
English and Irish actors who came to these shores in search of fame and
fortune, and who found them and spent the remainder of their lives here,
have every right to be considered in any account of the American stage
which they did so much to adorn.

Junius Brutus Booth, then, was born in London in 1796. Twenty years
before, his father had been so carried away by Republican principles
that he had sailed for America to join the ranks of the army of
independence, but he was captured and sent back to England. So it will
be seen that he was something more than a mere silversmith; but he was
very successful at his trade, and was able to give his son a careful
classical education, to fit him for the bar. Imagine his chagrin when
the boy, after a short experience in amateur theatricals, announced his
intention of becoming an actor.

He secured some small parts, made a tour of the provinces, and finally,
in London, engaged in a remarkable war with the great tragedian, Edmund
Kean, which divided the town into two factions. But Booth tired of the
struggle, in which the odds were all against him, and in 1821 sailed for
America. He won an instant success, and was a great popular favorite
until the day of his death. He was a short, spare, muscular man, with a
pale countenance, set off by dark hair and lighted by a pair of piercing
blue eyes, and he possessed a voice of wonderful compass and thrilling
power. Upon the stage he was formidable and tremendous, giving an
impression of overwhelming power, in which his son, perhaps, never quite
equalled him.

Shortly after his arrival in America, Booth bought a farm near
Baltimore, and there, on November 13, 1833, Edwin Booth was born. There
was a great shower of meteors that night, which, if they portended
nothing else, may be taken as symbolical of the career of America's
greatest tragedian. He was the seventh of ten children, all of whom
inherited, in some degree, their father's genius. It was not without a
trace of madness, and reached a fearful culmination in John Wilkes
Booth, when he shot down Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in

From the first, Edwin Booth felt himself destined for the stage. His
father did not encourage him, but finally, in 1849, consented to his
appearance with him in the unimportant part of Tressel, in "King Richard
the Third." From that time on, he accompanied his father in all his
wanderings, and partook of the strange and sad adventures of that
wayward man of genius. In 1852, he went with his father to California,
and was left there by the elder Booth, who no doubt thought it the best
school for the boy's budding talent. There, in the Sandwich Islands, and
in Australia, among the rough crowds of the mining camps, he had four
years of the most severe training that hardship, discipline, and stern
reality can furnish. Amid it all his genius grew and deepened, and when
he returned again to the east in 1856 he was no longer a novice, but an
accomplished actor.

His last years in California had been shadowed by a great sorrow--the
sudden and pitiful death of his father. The elder Booth had for years
been subject to attacks of insanity, brought on, or at least
intensified, by extreme intemperance. On one occasion he had attempted
to commit suicide. On another, he had had his nose broken, an accident
which so interfered with his voice that he did not regain complete
control of it for nearly two years. On his return from California, where
he had left his son, he stopped at New Orleans, and remained there a
week, performing to crowded houses. He then started north by way of the
Mississippi, and was found dying in his stateroom a few days later. He
had been caught in a severe rain as he left New Orleans, a cold
developed, complications followed, and for forty-eight hours he lay
unattended in his stateroom, without that medical attention which he was
unable or unwilling to summon. He died November 30, 1852, and his body
was interred at Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, in a grave afterwards
marked by a monument erected by his son Edwin.

This was only one of many tragedies which darkened the life of Edwin
Booth, for, to use the words of William Winter, he was "tried by some of
the most terrible afflictions that ever tested the fortitude of a human
soul. Over his youth, plainly visible, impended the lowering cloud of
insanity. While he was yet a boy, and while literally struggling for
life in the semi-barbarous wilds of old California, he lost his beloved
father, under circumstances of singular misery. In early manhood he laid
in her grave the woman of his first love, the wife who had died in
absence from him, herself scarcely past the threshold of youth, lovely
as an angel and to all who knew her precious beyond expression. A little
later his heart was well nigh broken and his life was well nigh blasted
by the crime of a lunatic brother that for a moment seemed to darken the
hope of the world. Recovering from that blow, he threw all his resources
and powers into the establishment of the grandest theatre in the
metropolis of America, and he saw his fortune of more than a million
dollars, together with the toil of some of the best years of his life
frittered away. Under all trials he bore bravely up, and kept the even,
steadfast tenor of his course; strong, patient, gentle, neither elated
by public homage nor embittered by private grief."

It has been said that Booth returned from California a finished actor.
He had, besides, the prestige of a great name, and he was welcomed with
open arms. He had not yet reached the summit of his skill, but he showed
an extraordinary grace and "a spirit ardent with the fire of genius."
From that time forward, his career was one of lofty endeavor and of
high achievement. In the great characters of Shakespeare, especially in
those of Hamlet, Richard the Third, and Iago, he had no rivals, and no
one who witnessed him in any of these parts ever outlived the deep
impression the performance made. During the last two or three years of
his life his health failed gradually, and he was finally compelled to
leave the stage. On April 19, 1893, he suffered a stroke of paralysis
from which he never rallied, lingering in a semi-conscious state until
June 7th, when he sank rapidly and died.

Of his art no words can give an adequate idea. It was essentially
poetic, full of a strange and compelling charm. His great moments laid
upon his audience the spell of his genius, and rank with the highest
achievements of any actor who ever lived. His countenance--

    "That face which no man ever saw
      And from his memory banished quite,
    The eyes in which are Hamlet's awe
      And Cardinal Richelieu's subtle light"--

as Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote of Sargent's portrait, which heads this
chapter--was a strange and moving one, and in range of expression
unsurpassed. His eyes were especially wonderful, dark brown, but seeming
to turn black in moments of passion, and conveying, with electrical
effect, the actor's thought. He was unique. He stood apart. The American
stage has never produced another like him.

Second only to Edwin Booth in sheer glory of achievement stands Edwin
Forrest. He fell far below Booth in grace, in charm, and in poetic
insight, but he surpassed him in physical equipment for the great parts
of tragedy, particularly in his voice, magnificent, vibrating, with an
extraordinary depth and purity of tone.

Unlike Booth, Forrest came from no family of actors, nor inherited a
name famous in the annals of the stage. He was born in Philadelphia in
1806, his father being a Scotchman, employed in Stephen Girard's bank,
and making just enough money to keep his family of six children from
actual want. He died when Edwin was thirteen years old, and his widow,
by opening a little store, managed to support the children. She was a
serious and devout woman and decided that Edwin should enter the
ministry. But meantime, he must earn a living, so he was apprenticed to
a cooper.

How long he stayed with the cooper nobody knows; but it could not have
been long, for already he was fired with an ambition to be an actor, and
after some experience as an amateur, astonished and grieved his mother
by announcing that he was going on the stage. He made his first
appearance on the 27th of November, 1820, as Young Norval, in Home's
tragedy of "Douglas," and was an immediate success. His youth--remember,
he was but fourteen--his handsome face and manly bearing, and, above
all, that wonderful and resonant voice, won the audience at once, and
his career was begun.

But many hardships awaited him. The theatres of New York and
Philadelphia had their companies of well-known and well-trained actors.
There was no hope for him in either of those cities; but at last he
secured an engagement to play juvenile parts at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati,
Lexington, and other towns of the middle west, at a salary of eight
dollars a week. This, of course, was scarcely enough to keep body and
soul together, but all Forrest wanted was a chance, and he did not
murmur at the suffering and hardship which followed.

For business was poor, and Forrest did not always receive even that
eight dollars. The end came at Dayton, Ohio, where the company went to
pieces. Forrest, without money and almost without clothes, walked the
forty miles to Cincinnati, where, after a time, he found another
position. Such was the beginning of his career, and this hard novitiate
lasted for four years, until, in 1826, at the age of twenty, he was able
to return to New York and secure an engagement at the old Bowery
Theatre. He was an instant success, and from year to year his wonderful
powers seemed to increase, until he became easily the most famous actor
of the day.

But his fame was soon to be dulled by unfortunate personalities.
Conceiving a jealousy of Macready, the famous English actor, he hissed
him at a performance in Edinburgh, and when Macready came to America in
1849, Forrest's followers broke in upon a performance at the Astor Place
opera house, and a riot followed in which twenty-two men were killed. A
quarrel with his wife led to the divorce court, and the suit was decided
against him.

The end was pathetic. He had been troubled with gout for a long time,
and in 1865, it took a malignant turn, paralyzing the sciatic nerve, so
that he lost the use of one hand, and could not walk steadily. His power
had left him, and in the five years that followed, he played to empty
houses and an indifferent public, not content to retire, but hoping
against hope that he might in some way regain his lost prestige. A
stroke of paralysis finally ended the hopeless struggle.

Forrest's art was of a cruder and more robust sort than Edwin Booth's
who, by the way, was named after him. He was greatest in characters
demanding a great physique, a commanding presence and--yes, let us say
it!--a loud voice. Coriolanus, Spartacus, Virginius--those were his
roles, and no man ever looked more imposing in a Roman toga.

Forrest, during his English engagement of 1845, and on other occasions,
shared the honors with a remarkable actress, Charlotte Cushman. And
perhaps none ever had a more astonishing career. Born in Boston in 1816,
her youth was one of poverty, for her father died while she was very
young, leaving no property. The girl was remarkably bright, and soon
developed a contralto voice of unusual richness and compass. She sang in
a choir and assisted to support the family from the age of twelve,
securing such musical instruction as she could. In 1834, she made her
first appearance in opera and scored a tremendous success. A splendid
career seemed opening before her, when suddenly, a few months later, her
voice, strained by the soprano parts which had been, assigned her,
failed completely.

Her friends advised her to become an actress, and she went diligently to
work, not allowing herself to despond over that first great
disappointment. For the next seven years, she worked faithfully learning
the new profession from the very bottom. "I became aware," she said,
"that one could never sail a ship by entering at the cabin windows; he
must serve and learn his trade before the mast." In that way she learned
hers, playing minor parts, doing cheerfully the drudgery of her
profession, refusing all offers for more important work until she felt
herself thoroughly capable of undertaking it. One would wish that her
example might be taken to heart by her sisters of the present day.

At last her chance came. In 1842, William C. Macready, the great English
tragedian, visited the United States, and in Charlotte Cushman he found
a splendid support. Indeed, she divided the honors with him. A year
later, she went to London and won immense applause. "Since the first
appearance of Edmund Keane, in 1814," said a London journal, in speaking
of her first night as "Bianca," "never has there been such a début on
the stage of an English theatre." For eighty-four nights she appeared
with Edwin Forrest. "All my successes put together," she wrote to her
mother, "would not come near my success in London."

In the winter of 1845 she tried one of the most daring experiments ever
made by an actress, appearing as Romeo to her sister, Susan Cushman's,
Juliet. It was a notable success. Her deep contralto voice made it
possible for her to give a complete illusion of the young and handsome
lover. She played other male characters in after years, notably Hamlet,
and created a deep impression in them. Her sister was a lovely girl, and
an accomplished actress, and their "Romeo and Juliet" ran for two
hundred nights. Susan Cushman would no doubt also have won high fame as
an actress, but she soon retired from the stage, marrying the
distinguished chemist and author, James Sheridan Muspratt, of Liverpool.

Charlotte Cushman returned to America in the fall of 1849, and was
received with acclamation. There was never any question, after that, of
her position as the greatest English-speaking actress, and that position
she easily maintained until her death. She gathered wealth as well as
fame, built a villa at Newport, and in 1863 earned nearly nine thousand
dollars for the United States Sanitary Commission by benefit
performances. Energetic, resolute, faithful, impatient of any
achievement but the highest, she seemed the very embodiment of many of
Shakespeare's greatest creations. She possessed a strange, and weird
genius, akin, in some respects, to that of Edwin Booth, and her
delineation of the sublime, the beautiful, the terrible has never been
surpassed. A noble interpreter of noble minds, Charlotte Cushman stands
for the supreme achievement of the actress.

What Booth and Forrest were to tragedy, William J. Florence was to
comedy. Indeed, he may be said to have gone farther than either Booth or
Forrest, for he founded a school and gave to the stage the chivalrous,
light-hearted and lucky Irishman, who has since become so familiar to
the drama, however rare he may be outside the theatre.

Florence was born in Albany, New York, in 1831. His family name was
Conlin, from which it will be seen that he came naturally by his insight
into Irish character; but he changed this name when he went upon the
stage to the more romantic and euphonious one of Florence. He gave
evidence of possessing unusual dramatic talent while still a boy, and
made his début on the regular stage at the age of eighteen. He had the
usual hardships of the young actor, playing in various stock companies
without attracting especial attention, and finally, in 1853, marrying
Malvina Pray, herself an actress of considerable ability.

It was at this time that Florence began to find his field in the
delineation of Irish and Yankee characters, his wife appearing with him,
and together they won a wide popularity. Florence wrote some plays and a
number of sprightly songs, which his wife sang inimitably. He himself
improved steadily in his acting, and, especially in the gentle humor and
melting pathos with which he clothed his characters, stood quite alone.
A tour through England added to his fame, and his songs were soon being
sung and whistled in the streets pretty generally wherever the English
tongue was spoken. One song in particular, called "Bobbing Around," had
immense popularity.

But Florence was more than a mere song-writer Irish comedian. In his
later years he proved himself to be an actor of high attainments and no
one who ever witnessed a performance of "The Rivals," with Jefferson as
Bob Acres, and Florence as Sir Lucius O'Trigger, will ever forget his
finished and glowing impersonation.

When Edwin Forrest, heart-broken and discredited, died in 1872, he left
his manuscript plays to another great tragedian, whom he regarded as his
legitimate successor, John McCullough. In some respects McCullough was a
greater actor than Forrest, for he possessed that quality of poetic
insight and high imagination which Forrest lacked, while in physical
equipment for the great characters of tragedy he was in no whit his

John McCullough was born in Coleraine, Ireland, in 1837, his parents,
who were small farmers, bringing him to this country at the age of
sixteen. They settled at Philadelphia and the boy was apprenticed to a
chair-maker, but he soon broke away from that hum-drum employment, and
in 1855, appeared in a minor part in "The Belle's Strategem." His story,
after that, was the usual one of long years of training in various stock
companies. He gradually worked his way into prominence, and finally in
1866, became associated with Edwin Forrest, taking the second parts in
the latter's plays; and, after Forrest's death, taking his place as the
first impersonator of robust tragedy in America.

For ten years his success was tremendous--then came the sad ending.
McCullough had always been supremely great in characters requiring the
delineation of madness--Virginius, King Lear, Othello. Whether this had
anything to do with the final tragedy cannot be said, but in 1884, while
playing at Chicago, he broke down in the midst of a performance, and had
to be led from the stage. His mind was gone; he never rallied, and ended
his days in an asylum for the insane.

One of the most successful engagements McCullough ever had was in 1869
and for some years thereafter, when, with Lawrence Barrett, he appeared
at the Bush Street theatre in San Francisco. Barrett's name is also
closely associated with that of Edwin Booth, for he played opposite
Booth through many seasons--Othello to Booth's Iago, Cassius to Booth's
Brutus, and so on; and the two formed a combination which for sheer
genius has never been surpassed. But Barrett never commanded the
adoration of the public as Booth did, because he lacked that power of
enchantment which Booth possessed in a supreme degree. His mind was
austere, he could win respect but not affection, and, as a result,
criticism was more captious, honors came grudgingly or not at all, and
the fight for recognition was up-hill all the way.

Lawrence Barrett was born in 1838, and he began his theatrical career at
the age of fifteen. After the usual hard stock-company experience, he
secured a New York engagement, where, for nearly two years, he
supported such actors as Charlotte Cushman and Edwin Booth. From New
York he went to Boston for a similar engagement, but at the outbreak of
the Civil War he left the stage, accepted a captaincy in the
Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Infantry, and served through the war with
distinction. Then he returned to the theatre, gaining an ever-increasing
reputation until his death.

Clara Morris called him "The Man with the Hungry Eyes," and they were
hungry, for life was always a battle to him. From an obscure and humble
position, without fortune, friends, or favoring circumstances he had
fought his way upward in the face of indifference, disparagement and
cold dislike.

Clara Morris has told the story of her own life better than anyone else
could tell it, and has shown in doing it the very qualities which made
most for her success--a wide sympathy, an impetuous heart, and an
invincible optimism. She, too, had a hard struggle at the
first--entering the ballet at the age of fifteen to help her mother
after her father's death, and working her way up until she secured a New
York engagement with Augustin Daly's famous stock company, where she
soon was sharing the honors with Ada Rehan. Ill health shortened her
acting career, and compelled her retirement from the stage when at the
very height of her powers.

Just the other day there died in California another woman who won a
great public a generation ago by a genius and charm seldom equalled.
Helena Modjeska's story was an unusual one. Born in Cracow, Poland, in
1844, the daughter of a great musician, her early years were passed in
an inspiring atmosphere, and almost from the first she felt an impulse
toward the stage. But her family refused to permit her to become an
actress, and it was not until after her marriage that her chance came.
Her husband consented to a few trial appearances, and her success was so
great that she was soon engaged as leading lady for the theatre at

But her husband incurred the ill-will of the authorities by his
political writings, and she herself got into trouble with them by
resisting the Russian censorship of the Polish theatre. It was evident
that arrest and banishment for either or both of them might come at any
moment, and under this incessant and increasing worry, her health began
to fail. So she renounced the theatre, as she thought, forever, came to
America, purchased a ranch in California, and settled down to spend the
remainder of her life in quiet. But Edwin Booth, John McCullough, and
others, encouraged her to study English and appear upon the American
stage. She did so, and four months later appeared at San Francisco as
Adrienne Lecouvreur. She had an instant success, and for more than
thirty years maintained her position as one of the greatest actresses of
the day.

Her personal fascination was of an exceedingly rare kind, her figure
tall and graceful, her face wonderfully attractive in its intellectual
charm and eloquent mobility. Shakespeare was her chief delight, and as
Juliet, Rosalind and Ophelia she enchanted thousands.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the evening of Thursday, November 25, 1875, an audience assembled at
one of the theatres of Louisville, Kentucky, to witness "the first
appearance upon any stage" of "a young lady of Louisville." The young
lady in question had chosen as her vehicle Shakespeare's Juliet, which
was certainly beginning at the top; she was only sixteen years of age
and had never received any practical stage training; her experience of
life was narrow and provincial--and yet, when the curtain rang down for
the last time, the discerning ones in that audience knew that, despite
the crudity of the performance, a new star had arisen and a great career
begun. For that "young lady of Louisville" was Mary Anderson. Her story
is unique in the history of the American stage.

Born in California in 1859, but taken to Louisville a year later; her
father, Charles Joseph Anderson, dying in 1863, an officer in the
Confederate army, Mary Anderson was reared by her mother in the Roman
Catholic faith and received her education in a parochial school at
Louisville. She left school before she was fourteen, and two years
later, as we have seen, was upon the stage. Her first appearance won her
an engagement at Louisville, and for thirteen years thereafter she was
an actress, never in a stock company, but always a star. Then, at the
very meridian of her career, she married and retired forever from the

Mary Anderson's charm was not that of a great actress, for a great
actress she never became. She had not the training necessary to finished
and rounded work. Her charm was rather that of a sweet and gracious
personality, of a beautiful nature and a high sincerity. Sumptuously
beautiful, and possessed of a clear and resonant voice, such statuesque
characters as Galatea and Hermione attracted her irresistibly, and in
these she achieved her greatest triumphs.

Scarcely second to her was Ada Rehan, born a year later, appearing on
the stage two years earlier, in other words, at the age of thirteen. Ada
Rehan, appropriately enough, was born at Limerick, Ireland, and the
roguish and perverse Irish spirit was ever uppermost in her acting. She
was brought to America when she was five years old, and lived and went
to school in Brooklyn. Two of her elder sisters were upon the stage, but
she does not seem to have indicated any especial desire to imitate them,
and her first appearance was by accident. An actress playing a small
part in "Across the Continent" was taken suddenly ill, and the child,
who happened to be at the theatre, was hastily dressed for it and taught
her few lines; but she displayed so much readiness and natural talent
that, at a family council which followed the performance, it was decided
that she should proceed with a stage career, and she was soon regularly

This meant a long and severe course of training in the stock companies
maintained at the various theatres throughout the country to support
such wandering stars as Booth and McCullough, and Barrett, and Adelaide
Neilson, and she emerged from this training well grounded in all the
business of the actress. In 1879, she attracted Augustin Daly's
attention, and from that time forward until Daly's death, she was the
leading woman at his famous New York house, becoming one of the most
admired figures upon the stage. Her art, luminous and sparkling,
especially fitted her for high comedy, and it was there that she
achieved her greatest distinction.

Ada Rehan's name was closely associated for many years with that of John
Drew, also a member of the Daly company, and a son of the famous "Mr.
and Mrs. John Drew," two of the most versatile, charming and popular
members of the old school. The elder John Drew was born in Ireland in
1825, but came to America at the age of twenty and spent the remainder
of his life here, except for a few absences on tour. He was considered
the best Irish comedian on the American stage. His wife, born in London
in 1820 of a theatrical family, appeared in child's parts at the age of
eight, came to this country at the age of twenty, and made a great
success here in high comedy parts. Their son can scarcely be said to
have fulfilled the promise of his early years, but seems to be content
with an achievement which shows him to be an accomplished and finished,
but by no means inspired or imaginative, actor.

Another family as celebrated in American theatrical annals as that of
John Drew was E. L. Davenport's. Davenport himself had received his
training in the old stock companies, and notably as Junius Brutus
Booth's support in a number of plays. He was equally at home in tragedy
and comedy. Associated with him after their marriage in 1849 was his
wife, Fanny Elizabeth Vining, an actress of considerable ability.

No less than six of their children followed the stage as a career. The
most famous of them was Fanny Davenport, whose stage career began when
she was a mere baby. Her young girlhood was occupied with soubrette
parts, but she soon developed unusual emotional powers, and attracted
Augustin Daly's notice. He added her to his stock company in 1869, and
she soon won a notable success in such parts as Lady Gay Spanker, Lady
Teazle and Rosalind.

Perhaps no American actor ever had a more remarkable career than William
Warren. Born in 1812, the son of a player of considerable reputation,
his first appearance was at the age of twenty. For twelve years his
history was that of most other struggling actors, but in 1846 he became
connected with the Howard Athenæum at Boston, where he remained for
thirty-five years, retiring permanently from the stage in 1882.

During his career, he had given 13,345 performances and had appeared in
577 characters, a record which has probably never been approached. He
was especially notable in his representations of the "fine old English
gentleman," and he became to Boston a sort of Conservatory of Acting in
himself. That he was appreciated both as man and artist his long
residence in Boston proves.

He was a cousin of one of the best loved actors who ever trod the
American stage--Joseph Jefferson; but their careers were very different,
for Jefferson, in the last quarter century of his life confined himself
to a few parts--practically to four, Bob Acres, Rip Van Winkle, Dr.
Pangloss and Cabel Plummer. In these he was inimitable. Something is
gained and lost, of course, by either of these methods; one is inclined
to think the wiser plan, that making for the greatest achievement, is a
wide diversity of parts, and constant creation of new ones. And yet,
when one looks back upon Jefferson's delicate and cameo-clear
impersonations, one would not have him different.

Joseph Jefferson was the third of his name to challenge American
theatre-goers. His grandfather, born in England, in 1774, came to
America twenty-three years later and spent the remainder of his life
here, gaining some reputation as a comedian. His father is said to have
had little ability, and to have been careless and improvident. The third
of the name was born in Philadelphia in 1829, and began his stage career
at the age of three, appearing as the child in "Pizarro," which must
have frightened him nearly to death.

His father died when he was only fourteen, and the lad joined a company
of strolling players, who made their way through Texas, and during the
war with Mexico, followed the American army into Mexican territory.
American drama was in no great demand, so at Matamoras Jefferson opened
a stall for the sale of coffee and other refreshments, making enough
money to get back to the United States.

For the next ten years he appeared in stock companies in the larger
eastern cities, meeting such players as Edwin Forrest, James E. Murdoch,
and Edwin Adams; but the one who influenced him most was his own
half-brother, Charles Burke, an unusually accomplished serio-comic.
William Warren also ranked high in his affections.

The turning point of his career came in 1857 when he became associated
with Laura Keene at her theatre in New York. Here his first part was one
with which he was afterwards so closely identified, that of Dr.
Pangloss, and then came "Our American Cousin," in which he gained a
notable success as Asa Trenchard, and in which Edward A. Sothern laid
the foundation of the fantastic character of Lord Dundreary, which was
to make him famous. A year later, he created another of his great
characters, Caleb Plummer, in "The Cricket on the Hearth," and soon
afterwards, the most famous of all, Rip Van Winkle, which remained to
the end his supreme impersonation.

After that time, his career was a golden and happy one. He won the
affection of the American public as perhaps no recent player has ever
done. His art had a peculiarly wide appeal because it was fine and
sweet; he won sympathy and inspired affection; and seemed the very
embodiment of the tender, artless and lovable characters it was his joy
to represent.

Jefferson's death marked the passing of the last of the "old
school"--that mellow, fluent, and accomplished circle of players who
seem so different to their successors. But public taste is different
too. We care no longer for the rantings and heroics of Virginius and
Spartacus and all the rest of those toga-clothed gentlemen who differed
from each other only in their names. We demand something more subtle,
more--yes, let us say it!--intellectual. The modern who came nearest to
answering this demand, to showing us the complex thing which we know
human nature to be, was Richard Mansfield. A great artist, whom no
difficulty appalled, he gave the American public, season after season,
the most significant procession of worthy dramas that one man ever

Mansfield was born in Heligoland in 1857, and studied for the East
Indian civil service, but came to Boston and opened a studio, studied
art, and then suddenly abandoned it for the stage. Curiously enough, he
began with small parts in comic opera, and a few years later, made one
of the funniest Kokos who ever appeared in "The Mikado." But he soon
changed to straight drama, and the first great success of his career was
as Baron Chevrial in "A Parisian Romance," a part which was given him
after other actors had refused to take it, and in which he created a
real sensation. His reputation was secure after that, and grew steadily
until the swift and complete collapse from over-work, which ended his
life at the age of fifty-one.

Are there any great players alive in America to-day? E. H. Sothern,
perhaps, comes nearest to greatness, and has at least won respectful
attention by a sincerity and earnestness which have accomplished much.
He is the son of Edward Askew Sothern, whose career was a most peculiar
one. Intended for the ministry, he chose the stage instead, apparently
with no talent for it, and for six or seven years, only the most
unimportant of minor parts were entrusted to him.

One of these was that of Lord Dundreary in "Our American Cousin." It
consisted of only a few lines and Sothern accepted it under protest, but
he made such a hit in it that it was amplified and became the principal
part of the play. In fact, the play became, in the end, a series of
monologues for Dundreary. It had some remarkable runs, one, for
instance, in London, for four hundred and ninety-six consecutive nights.
Sothern continued playing the part until his death. His son is
undoubtedly a far greater actor, and may achieve a high and lasting

Associated with him in many of his later and more ambitious productions
has been Julia Marlowe, undoubtedly the most finished and accomplished
actress in America. She had a thorough training, having been on the
stage since her twelfth year, and devoting herself closely to the study
of her art. Her sincerity, too, promises much for the future. After
Sothern, Otis Skinner is perhaps the most noteworthy, and after him,
well, anyone of a dozen, whom it is needless to name here.

It was Joseph Jefferson who remarked that "all the good actors are
dead." He meant, of course, that the present seems always of little
worth when compared with the past; and this is the case not only with
the theatre, but in some degree with all the arts. It is especially true
of the theatre, however, because the player lives only in the memories
of those who saw him, and memory sees things, as it were, through a
golden glow.


BOOTH, JUNIUS BRUTUS. Born at London, May 1, 1796; first appearance,
1813; came to America, 1821; died on a Mississippi steamboat, November
30, 1852.

BOOTH, EDWIN. Born at Bel Air, Maryland, November 13, 1833; first
appearance, 1849; first appearance as "star," as Sir Giles Overreach,
1857; played under management of Lawrence Barrett, 1886-91, in "Hamlet";
founded "The Players' Club," 1888; died at its club-house, in New York
City, June 7, 1893.

FORREST, EDWIN. Born at Philadelphia, March 9, 1806; first appearance,
1820; first notable success as Othello, 1826; last appearance in March,
1871; died at Philadelphia, December 12, 1872.

CUSHMAN, CHARLOTTE. Born at Boston, July 23, 1816; first appearance,
1835; played with Macready, 1842-44; in London, 1844-48; died at Boston,
February 8, 1876.

FLORENCE, WILLIAM JAMES. Born at Albany, New York, July 26, 1831; first
appearance, 1849; died at Philadelphia, November 19, 1891.

MCCULLOUGH, JOHN. Born at Coleraine, Ireland, November 2, 1837; came to
America, 1853; first appearance, 1855; broke down mentally and
physically, 1884; died in insane asylum at Philadelphia, November 8,

BARRETT, LAWRENCE. Born at Paterson, New Jersey, April 4, 1838; first
appearance, 1853; enlisted in 28th Massachusetts Volunteers, 1861; from
1887 until his death closely associated with Edwin Booth; died at New
York City, March 21, 1891.

MORRIS, CLARA. Born at Toronto, Canada, 1849; first appearance, 1861;
leading lady, 1869; joined Daly's company, 1870; married Frederick C.
Harriott, 1874.

MODJESKA, HELENA. Born at Cracow, Poland, October 12, 1844; first
appearance, 1861; first appearance in English at San Francisco, 1877;
died in California, April 8, 1909.

ANDERSON, MARY. Born at Sacramento, California, July 28, 1859; first
appearance, 1875; married Antonio de Navarro, 1889, and retired from the

REHAN, ADA. Born at Limerick, Ireland, April 22, 1860; came to America
in childhood; first appearance, 1874; joined Daly's company, 1879;
leading lady there until his death in 1899.

DREW, JOHN. Born at Philadelphia, in 1853; first appearance, 1873;
leading man in Daly's company, 1879-99.

DREW, JOHN, SR. Born at Dublin, Ireland, September 3, 1825; first
appearance in New York, 1845; died at Philadelphia, May 21, 1862.

DREW, MRS. JOHN, SR. (LOUISA LANE). Born at London, January 10, 1820;
first appearance when mere child; came to America, 1828; married John
Drew, 1850; died at Larchmont, New York, August 31, 1897.

DAVENPORT, EDWARD LOOMIS. Born at Boston, Massachusetts, November 15,
1814; first appearance, 1836; played in England, 1847-54; died at
Canton, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1877.

DAVENPORT, FANNY ELIZABETH VINING. Born at London, July 6, 1829; began
playing baby parts at age of three; made first appearance, 1847, as
Juliet; married E. L. Davenport, January 8, 1849; first appearance in
New York, 1854.

DAVENPORT, FANNY LILY GIPSY. Born in London, April 10, 1850; first
American appearance, 1862; died at Danbury, Massachusetts, September 26,

WARREN, WILLIAM. Born at Philadelphia, November 17, 1812; first
appearance, 1832; died at Boston, September 21, 1888.

JEFFERSON, JOSEPH. Born at Philadelphia, February 20, 1829; first
appearance on stage as child; first became prominent as Asa Trenchard,
in "Our American Cousin," 1858; died at West Palm Beach, Florida, April
23, 1905.

SOTHERN, EDWARD ASKEW. Born at Liverpool, England, April 1, 1826; first
appearance, 1849; first American appearance, 1852; made his mark as Lord
Dundreary, 1858; died at London, January 20, 1881.

SOTHERN, EDWARD H. Born in London; appeared as child; first took leading
part, 1887.



To give even the briefest account, within the limits of a single
chapter, of the lives of noteworthy American scientists and educators
is, of course, quite beyond the bounds of possibility. All that can be
done, even at best, is to mention a few of the greatest names and to
indicate in outline the particular achievements with which they are
associated. That is all that has been attempted here. There are at least
a hundred men, in addition to those mentioned in this chapter, whose
work is of consequence in the development of American science and
education. The record of their achievements is an inspiring one which,
if properly told, would occupy many volumes.

In the annals of American science, two names stand out with peculiar
lustre--John James Audubon and Louis Agassiz. Neither was, strictly
speaking, American, for Agassiz was born in Switzerland and did not come
to this country until he was nearly forty years of age; while Audubon
was born in French territory, the son of a French naval officer, and was
educated in France. But the work of both men was distinctively American,
for Audubon devoted his life to the study of American birds, and
Agassiz the latter part of his to the study and classification of
American fishes--as well as to services of the most valuable kind in the
field of geology and paleontology.

Audubon's story is a curious and interesting one. His father, the son of
a Vendean fisherman, after working his way up to the command of a French
man-of-war, purchased a plantation in Louisiana, which at that time
belonged to France. He married there, and there, in 1780, John James
Audubon was born. He was a precocious child, and early developed a love
for nature, which his parents encouraged in every way they could. He was
especially fond of drawing birds and coloring his drawings. He acquired
so much skill in doing this that his father sent him to Paris and placed
him in the studio of the celebrated painter, David.

It is related of young Audubon that his drawings for many years fell so
far short of his ideal, that on each of his birthdays he regularly made
a bonfire of all he had produced during the previous year. He cared for
nothing else, however, and after his return to America, his home became
a museum of birds' eggs and stuffed birds. He took long tramps through
the wilderness, with no companions save dog and gun, all the time adding
new drawings to his collection. Some birds he was obliged to shoot,
afterwards supporting them in natural positions while he painted them;
others which he could not approach, he drew with the aid of a telescope,
representing them amid their natural surroundings, and all with
painstaking care and exactitude.

This work, occupying years of time, and accompanied by every sort of
suffering and exposure, by long trips through the wilderness of the
west, in heat and cold, snow and rain, was carried forward from pure
love of nature and enthusiasm for the work itself, without thought or
hope of reward. Audubon's friends began to consider him a kind of
harmless madman, for what sane person would devote his life to a work so
laborious and seemingly so useless? He made a little money occasionally
by giving drawing lessons; but he was never content except when roaming
the plains and forests, hunting for some new specimen. For his ambition
was to study and draw every kind of bird which lived in America.

In 1824 he happened to be in Philadelphia, and met there a son of Lucien
Bonaparte, to whom he showed his drawings. The Frenchman was at once
deeply interested, for he saw their beauty and value, and he urged upon
Audubon that some arrangement be made by which they could be published
and given to the world. The obstacles in the way of such an enterprise
were enormous, for the processes of color reproduction at that time were
slow and expensive, and it was estimated that the cost of the entire
work would exceed a hundred thousand dollars.

But Audubon had overcome obstacles before that, and three years later he
issued the prospectus of his famous "Birds of America." It was to
consist of four folio volumes of plates, and the price of each copy was
fixed at a thousand dollars. Three years more were spent in securing
subscriptions, and then the work of publication began, though Audubon
had barely enough money to pay for a single issue. Funds came in,
however, after the appearance of the first number, and the work went
steadily forward to completion in 1839. It was called by the great
naturalist, Cuvier, "the most magnificent monument that art ever raised
to ornithology." It contained 448 beautifully colored plates, showing
1065 species of North American birds, each of them life size.

Before it was completed, Audubon had planned another work on similar
lines, to be known as "The Quadrupeds of America," and set to work at
once to gather the necessary material, which meant the study from life
of each of these animals. He even projected an extensive trip to the
Rocky Mountains in search of material, but was pursuaded by his friends
to give it up, as he was then nearly sixty years of age, and suffering
from the effects of his long years of exposure. His sons assisted him in
the preparation of the work, the first volume of which appeared in 1846,
the last in 1854, three years after his death.

Audubon's life illustrates strikingly the compelling power of devotion
to an ideal. Few men have met such discouragements as he, and fewer
still have overcome them. For many years, in all climates, in all
weathers, pausing at no difficulty or peril, his life frequently
endangered by wild beasts or still wilder savages, he trudged the
pathless wilderness, quite alone, sleeping under a rude shelter of
boughs or in a hollow tree, living on such game as he could shoot,
seeking only one thing, new birds, and when he found them, observing
their habits and setting them on paper with an infinite patience. On one
occasion, rats got into the room where his drawings were stored, and
destroyed almost all of them; but he set to work at once re-drawing
them, where most men would have given up in despair. His work remains to
this day the standard one on American birds--a mighty monument to the
ideals of its maker.

[Illustration: AGASSIZ]

Jean Louis Rudolphe Agassiz was also a born naturalist, but no such
obstacles confronted him as Audubon surmounted, nor did he strike out
for himself a field so absolutely original. Born in Switzerland in 1807,
the descendent of six generations of preachers, but destined for the
profession of medicine, he refused to be anything but a naturalist. From
his earliest years, he showed a passion for gathering specimens, and his
first collection of fishes was made when he was ten years old. He
received the very best training to be had in Switzerland, France and
Germany, and early attracted attention for original work of the most
important description. He came to be recognized as the greatest
authority on fishes in Europe, and his work on fossil fishes, published
in 1843, was a contribution to science of the first importance.

In 1846, Agassiz came to the United States, partly to deliver a course
of lectures at Boston and partly to make himself familiar with the
geology and natural history of this country. His reception was so
cordial and he found so much to interest him here, that he accepted
the chair of zoology and geology in the Lawrence Scientific School at
Cambridge, Massachusetts, and decided to make the United States his
home. He soon made Cambridge a great scientific centre, and proved
himself the most inspiring, magnetic and influential teacher of science
this country has ever seen.

In succeeding years, he traversed practically the entire country,
accumulating vast collections of specimens which formed the foundation
of the great natural history museum at Cambridge. He was preparing
himself for the publication of a comprehensive work to be called
"Contributions to the Natural History of the United States," the first
volume of which appeared in 1857. Succeeding years were occupied with a
journey to Brazil, another around Cape Horn, and the establishment of
the Pekinese Island school of natural history, where he was able to
carry out his long contemplated plan of teaching directly from nature.
But his labors had impaired his health, and he died in Cambridge in
1873, after a short illness. His grave is marked by a boulder from the
glacier of the Aar, and shaded by pine trees brought from his native

Agassiz was one of the most remarkable teachers of science that ever
lived. Handsome, enthusiastic, overflowing with vitality, and with a
learning broad and deep, his students found in him a real inspiration to
intellectual endeavor. His lectures, however technical and abstruse
their subjects, were of an incomparable clarity and simplicity. He was
one of the first to advocate the teaching of science to women, not in
its technical details, but in its broad outlines.

"What I wish for you," he said, one day, addressing a class of girls,
"is a culture that is alive and active. My instruction is only intended
to show you the thoughts in nature which science reveals.

"A physical fact is as sacred as a moral principle," he used to say.
"Our own nature demands from us this double allegiance."

Of the pupils of Agassiz, not the least famous was his son, Alexander,
who, after graduating from Harvard, assisted his father in his work,
collected many specimens for the museum at Cambridge, and was finally
appointed assistant in zoology there. In the following years he put his
scientific knowledge to a very practical use. In his geological surveys
of the country, he had been impressed with the richness of the copper
mines on Lake Superior. For five years, he acted as superintendent of
the famous Calumet and Hecla mines, developing them into the most
successful copper mines in the world, and himself gaining wealth from
them which permitted his making gifts to Harvard aggregating half a
million dollars. It was characteristic of him that, after his service
with the Calumet and Hecla, he resumed his duties at the museum at
Cambridge, and continued as curator until ill health compelled his
resignation in 1885.

Among other pupils of Agassiz who won more than ordinary fame as
naturalists may be mentioned Albert Smith Bickmore, Alonzo Howard
Clark, Charles Frederick Hartt, Alpheus Hyatt, Theodore Lyman, Edward
Sylvester Morse, Alpheus Spring Packard, Frederick Ward Putnam, Samuel
Hubbard Scudder, Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, William Stimpson, Sanborn
Tenney, Addison Emory Merrill, Burt Green Wilder and Henry Augustus
Ward--as brilliant a galaxy of names as American science can boast,
bearing remarkable testimony to the inspiring qualities of their great

What Agassiz did for geology and natural history, Asa Gray to some
extent did for botany. Born at Paris, N. Y., in 1810, and at an early
age abandoning the study of medicine for that of botany, he accepted, in
1842, a call to the Fisher professorship of natural history at Harvard,
a post which he held for over thirty years. Gray's work began at the
time when the old artificial system of classification was giving way to
the natural system, and he, perhaps more than any other one man,
established this system firmly on the basis of affinity.

In 1864, he presented to Harvard his herbarium of more than two hundred
thousand specimens, and his botanical library. He remained in charge of
the herbarium until his death, adding to it constantly, until it became
one of the most complete in the world. His publications upon the subject
of botany were numerous and of the highest order of scholarship, and
long before his death he was recognized as the foremost botanist of the

Scarcely inferior to him in reputation was John Torrey. It was to
Torrey that Gray owed his first lessons in botany, and if the pupil
afterwards surpassed the master, it was because he was able to build on
the foundations which the master laid. John Torrey, born in New York
City in 1796, was the son of a Revolutionary soldier, and in early life
determined to become a machinist, but afterwards studied medicine and
began to practice in New York, taking up the study of botany as an
avocation. He found the profession of medicine uncongenial, and finally
abandoned it altogether for science, serving for many years as professor
of chemistry and botany at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New
York City. The succeeding years brought him many honors, and saw many
works of importance issue from his hands.

The progress of the last century in the various branches of science is
an interesting study, and America has made no inconsiderable
contributions to every one of them. In astronomy, six names are worthy
of mention here. The first of these, John William Draper, was noted for
his devotion to many other lines of science, especially to photography,
and was the first person in the world to take a photograph of a human
being. His service to astronomy was in the application of photography to
that science. In 1840, he took the first photograph ever made of the
moon, and a few years later published his "Production of Light by Heat,"
an early and exceedingly important contribution to the subject of
spectrum analysis.

His work in astronomy and more especially in physics was carried
on most worthily by his son, Henry Draper, who, at his home at
Hastings-on-the-Hudson, built himself an observatory, mounting in it a
reflecting telescope, which he also made. His description of the
processes of grinding, polishing, silvering, testing and mounting it has
remained the standard work on the subject. With this telescope he took a
photograph of the moon which remains one of the best that has ever been
made. Among his other noteworthy achievements were his spectrum
photographs of 1872 and 1873, and in 1880 his photograph of the great
nebula in Orion, the first photograph of a nebula ever secured. Perhaps
the most brilliant discovery ever made in physical science by an
American was that by Draper in 1877, when he demonstrated the presence
of oxygen in the sun so conclusively that it could not be disputed. It
was a sort of _tour de force_ that took the scientific world by surprise
and gained its author the widest recognition.

The services of Lewis Morris Rutherford to astronomy resembled in many
ways those of Draper. Starting in life as a lawyer, he abandoned that
profession at the age of thirty-three to devote his whole time to
science, principally to the perfection of astronomical photography and
spectrum analysis. The service which photography has rendered to
astronomy can scarcely be overestimated, and these pioneers in the art
were laying the foundations for its recent wonderful developments. He
was the first to attempt to classify the stars according to their
spectra, and invented a number of instruments of the greatest service in
star photography. All in all, it is doubtful if anyone added more to the
development of this branch of the science than did he.

Very different from the services of these men were those rendered the
science of astronomy by Charles Augustus Young. Called to the chair of
astronomy at Princeton University in 1877, he held that important
position for thirty years, his courses a source of inspiration to his
students. He was a member of many important scientific expeditions,
invented an automatic spectroscope which has never been displaced,
measured the velocity of the sun's rotation, and was a large contributor
to public knowledge of the science.

Equally important have been the contributions made by Samuel Pierpont
Langley, perhaps the greatest authority on the sun alive to-day. He
showed a decided fondness for astronomy even as a boy, and at the age of
thirty was assistant in the observatory at Harvard. Two years later, he
was invited to fill the chair of astronomy in the Western University of
Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh, and his work there began with the
establishment of a complete time service, the first step toward the
present daily time service conducted by the government. In 1870, he
began the series of brilliant researches on the sun which have placed
him at the head of authorities on that body. His scientific papers are
very numerous and his series of magazine articles on "The New
Astronomy" did much to acquaint the public with the rapid development of
the science. In 1887, he was chosen to the important post of secretary
of the Smithsonian Institution, and his recent years have been spent in
experimenting with aëronautics.

Simon Newcomb is another who rendered yeoman service to the science.
Born in Nova Scotia, the son of the village schoolmaster, he lived to
become one of the eight foreign associates of the Institute of France,
the first native American since Franklin to be so honored; to win the
Huygens medal, given once in twenty years to the astronomer who had done
the greatest service to the science in that period, and to receive the
highest degree from practically every American college.

In his autobiography he tells how, at the age of five, he began to study
arithmetic, at twelve algebra, and at thirteen Euclid. At the age of
eighteen, planning to make his way to the United States, he set out on
foot, taught school for a year or so, and then attracted the attention
of Prof. Joseph Henry, of the Smithsonian Institution, by sending him a
problem in algebra. The unusual aptitude for mathematics which the boy
possessed so impressed Prof. Henry, that he set him to work as a
computer on the Nautical Almanac; but he was soon attracted to "exact,"
or mathematical astronomy, which became his life work. Some idea of its
importance may be gained when it is stated that every astronomer in the
world to-day uses his determinations of the movements of the planets
and the moon; every skipper in the world guides his ship by tables which
Newcomb devised; and every eclipse is computed according to his tables.
He supervised the construction and mounting of the equatorial telescope
in the naval observatory at Washington, the Lick telescope, and Russia
applied to him, in 1873, for aid in placing her great telescope.

A man of humor, sympathy and anecdote, he found, in the fall of 1908,
that he was suffering from cancer, and hastened the work on the moon,
which was to be his masterpiece. Ten months later, he was told that his
course was nearly run--and his great work was still incomplete.

"Take me to Washington," he said, "I must work while there is time."

And there, lying in agony on his bed, for three weeks he dictated
steadily to stenographers on a subject which required the utmost
concentration. His indomitable will alone supported him, and a week
after the last word had been written, came the end. Verily, there was a

The last of the great American astronomers whom we shall mention here is
Edward Charles Pickering, whose name is so closely connected with the
development of the great observatory at Harvard. Born at Boston, and
educated at the Lawrence Scientific School, his first work was in the
field of physics, but in 1876, he was appointed professor of astronomy
and geodesy, and director of the Harvard observatory, which, under his
management, has become of the first importance. His principal work has
been the determination of the relative brightness of the stars, and many
thousands have been charted. On the death of Henry Draper, the study of
the spectra of the stars by means of photography was continued as a
memorial to that great scientist, and the results obtained have been of
the most important character, including a star map of the entire
heavens. Other phases of the science of scarcely less importance have
been carefully developed, and the work which has been done under
Pickering's direction, is second to none in the history of the science.
Not satisfied with the Northern hemisphere, a branch has been
established in Peru, in which the observatory's methods of research have
been extended to the south celestial pole. So for eighteen years and
more, it has kept ceaseless watch of the heavens, with an accuracy of
which the world has hardly a conception. For this great work the
scientific world must pay tribute to the genius and perseverance of
Edward Charles Pickering.

The second department of science claiming our attention is that of
paleontology. Here one of the most eminent of American names is that of
Othniel Charles Marsh. A graduate of Yale and firmly grounded in zoology
and kindred sciences by a course of study at Heidelberg and Berlin, he
returned to the United States in 1866 to accept the chair of
paleontology which had been established for him at Yale. The remainder
of his life was devoted to the original investigation of extinct
vertebrates, especially in the Rocky Mountain regions. In these
explorations, more than a thousand new species of extinct vertebrates
were brought to light, many of which possess great scientific interest,
representing new orders never before discovered in America. So important
was this work that the national geological survey undertook the
publication of his reports, which formed the most remarkable
contributions to the subject ever written in this country, attracting
the attention and admiration of the whole scientific world.

Associated with Marsh as paleontologist for the Geological Survey was
Edward Drinker Cope, whose work was second only to the older man's in
importance. He also devoted much of his attention to the exploration of
the Rocky Mountain region, and found that there, in the strata of the
ancient lake beds, records of the age of mammals had been made and
preserved with a fulness surpassing that of any other known region on
earth. The profusion of vertebrate remains brought to light was almost
unbelievable. Prof. Marsh, who was first in the field, found three
hundred new tertiary species between 1870 and 1876, besides unearthing
the remains of two hundred birds with teeth, six hundred flying dragons,
and fifteen hundred sea serpents, some of them sixty feet in length. In
a single bed of rock not larger than a good sized lecture room, he found
the remains of no less than one hundred and sixty mammals.

It was this work which Prof. Cope took up and carried forward. Its
importance may be appreciated when it is stated that among these
remains are found examples of just such intermediate types of organisms
as must have existed if the succession of life on the earth has been an
unbroken lineal succession. Here are snakes with wings and legs, and
birds with teeth and other snakelike characteristics, bridging the gap
between modern birds and reptiles. The line of descent of the horse, the
camel, the hippopotamus and other mammals has been traced to a single
ancestor, the result being the proof of the theory of evolution.

The whole work of American paleontology has, of course, been along these
lines. Agassiz himself was a living and vital force in it, as were such
men as Joseph Leidy and H. F. Osborne.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a remarkable fact that one of the few truly original and novel
ideas the past century can boast, and the one which has had the deepest
influence on geology, had its origin in the brain of an illiterate Swiss
chamois hunter named Perraudin. Throughout the Alps, on lofty crags,
great bowlders were often found, which had no relation to the geology of
the region and which were called erratics, because they had evidently
come there from a distance. But how? Scientists explained it in many
ways, but it remained for the mountaineer to suggest that the bowlders
had been left in their present positions by glaciers. The scientific
world laughed at the idea, but ten years later, it was brought to the
attention of Louis Agassiz; he investigated it, became a convert, and
saw that its implications extended far beyond the Alps, for these
erratic bowlders were found on mountains and plains throughout the
northern hemisphere. Agassiz found everywhere evidences of glacial
action, and became convinced that at one time a great ice cap had
covered the globe down to the higher latitudes of the northern
hemisphere. So came the conception of a universal Ice Age, now one of
the accepted tenets of geology.

The dean of American geologists was Benjamin Silliman, who, at the very
beginning of the nineteenth century, took up at Yale University the work
which he was to carry on so successfully for more than fifty years. As
an inspiring teacher he was scarcely less successful than Agassiz at a
later day. His popular lectures began in 1808 and soon attracted to New
Haven the brightest young men in the country. Among them was James
Dwight Dana, who was to carry on most worthily the work which Prof.
Silliman had begun.

James Dwight Dana was attracted to Yale by Prof. Silliman's great
reputation and received there the inspiration which started him upon a
scientific career. Three years after his graduation, he was appointed
assistant to his former instructor, and two years later sailed for the
South Seas as mineralogist and geologist of the United States exploring
expedition commanded by Charles Wilkes. He was absent for three years
and spent thirteen more in studying and classifying the material he had
collected. He then resumed his work at Yale, succeeding Prof. Silliman
in the chair of geology and mineralogy. His work was recognized
throughout the world as most important, and many honors were conferred
upon him.

Another famous name in American geology is that of John Strong Newberry.
His name is connected principally with the explorations of the Columbia
and Colorado rivers. He was afterwards appointed professor of geology
and paleontology at the Columbia College School of Mines, and took
charge of that department in the autumn of 1866. During his connection
with the institution, he created a museum of over one hundred thousand
specimens, principally collected by himself, containing the best
representation of the mineral resources of the United States to be found

Among the pupils of Prof. Silliman who afterwards won a wide reputation
was Josiah Dwight Whitney. Graduating from Yale in 1839, he spent five
years studying in Europe, and then, returning to America, was connected
with the survey of the Lake Superior region, of Iowa, of the upper
Missouri, and of California, issuing a number of books giving the
results of these investigations, and in 1865, being called to the chair
of geology at Harvard.

Still another of Prof. Silliman's pupils was Edward Hitchcock, whose
life was an unusually interesting one. His parents were poor and he
spent his boyhood working on a farm or as a carpenter, gaining such
education as he could by studying at night. Deciding to enter the
ministry, he managed to work his way through Yale theological seminary,
graduating at the age of twenty-seven. It was here that he came under
the influence of Prof. Silliman, and after a laboratory course and much
field work, he was chosen professor of chemistry and natural history at
Amherst College. He held this position for twenty years, and in 1845 was
chosen president of the college, transforming it, before his retirement
nine years later, from a poor and struggling institution into a
well-endowed and firmly established one. He had meanwhile served as
state geologist of Massachusetts, and completed the first survey of an
entire state ever made by authority of a government.

The most important recent contribution to American geology has been the
three volume work issued in 1904-5, under the joint editorship of Thomas
C. Chamberlain and Rollin D. Salisbury. Both are geologists of wide
experience, and their work presents the present status of the science
interestingly and simply.

       *       *       *       *       *

America has had her full share of daring and successful surgeons, and in
the science of surgery stands to-day second to no nation on earth, but
perhaps the most famous American surgeon who ever lived was Valentine
Mott. Dr. Mott was descended from a long line of Quaker ancestors, and
was born in 1785. His father was a physician, and Dr. Mott began his
medical and surgical studies at the age of nineteen, first in New York
City, and afterwards in the hospitals of London, where he made a
specialty of the study of practical anatomy by the method of dissection.
At that time there was in this country a deep-seated prejudice against
the use of the human body for this purpose, and the experience which Dr.
Mott secured in London, and which stood him in such good stead in after
years, would have been impossible of attainment here. A year was also
spent in Edinburgh, and finally, in 1809, Dr. Mott returned to America
with an exceptional equipment.

His skill won him a wide reputation and he was soon recognized as one of
the first surgeons of the age. His boldness and originality were
exceptional, and his success was no doubt due in some degree to his
constant practice throughout his life of performing every novel and
important operation upon a cadaver before operating upon the living
subject. To describe in detail the operations which he originated would
be too technical for such a book as this, but many of them were of the
first importance. Sir Astley Cooper said of him: "Dr. Mott has performed
more of the great operations than any man living, or that ever did
live." He possessed all the qualifications of a great operator,
extraordinary keenness of sight, steadiness of nerve, and physical
vigor. He could use his left hand as skillfully as his right, and
developed a dexterity which has never been surpassed.

It should be remembered that in those days the use of anæsthetics had
not yet been discovered, and every operation had to be performed upon
the conscious subject, as he lay strapped upon the table shrieking with
agony. To perform an operation under such circumstances required an iron
nerve. Dr. Mott was one of the first to recognize the value of
anæsthetics, and his use of them, immediately following their discovery,
greatly facilitated their rapid and general introduction.

It is one of the boasts of American medicine that the first man in the
world to conceive the idea that the administration of a definite drug
might render a surgical operation painless was an American--Crawford W.
Long. Dr. Long graduated from the medical department of the University
of Pennsylvania in 1839. When a student, he had once inhaled ether for
its intoxicant effects, and while partially under the influence of the
drug, had noticed that a chance blow to his shin produced no pain. This
gave him the idea that ether might be used in surgical operations, and
on March 30, 1842, at Jefferson, Georgia, he used it with entire
success. He repeated the experiment several times, but he did not
entirely trust the evidence of these experiments. So he delayed
announcing the discovery until he had subjected it to further tests, and
while these experiments were going on, another American, Dr. W. T. G.
Morton, of Boston, also hit upon the great discovery and announced it to
the world.

Dr. Morton was a dentist who, in 1841, introduced a new kind of solder
by which false teeth could be fastened to gold plates. Then, in the
endeavor to extract teeth without pain, he tried stimulants, opium and
magnetism without success, and finally sulphuric ether. On September 30,
1846, he administered ether to a patient and removed a tooth without
pain; the next day he repeated the experiment, and the next. Then,
filled with the immense possibilities of his discovery, he went to Dr.
J. C. Warren, one of the foremost surgeons of Boston, and asked
permission to test it decisively on one of the patients at the Boston
hospital during a severe operation. The request was granted, and on
October 16, 1846, the test was made in the presence of a large body of
surgeons and students. The patient slept quietly while the surgeon's
knife was plied, and awoke to an astonished comprehension that the
dreadful ordeal was over. The impossible, the miraculous, had been
accomplished; suffering mankind had received such a blessing as it had
never received before, and American surgery had scored its greatest
triumph. Swiftly as steam could carry it, the splendid news was heralded
to all the world, and its truth was soon established by repeated

To tell of the work of the men who came after these pioneers in the
field of surgery and medicine is a task quite beyond the compass of this
little volume. There are at least a score whose achievements are of the
first importance, and nowhere in the world has this great science, which
has for its aim the alleviation of human suffering, reached a higher

Among the physicists of the country, Joseph Henry takes a high place.
His boyhood and youth were passed in a struggle for existence. He was
placed in a store at the age of ten, and remained there for five years.
At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a watchmaker, and had some
thought of studying for the stage, but during a brief illness, he
started to read Dr. Gregory's "Lectures on Experimental Philosophy,
Astronomy and Chemistry," and forthwith decided to become a scientist.
He began to study in the evenings, managed to take a course of
instruction at the academy at Albany, New York, and finally, in 1826,
was made professor of mathematics there.

Almost at once began a series of brilliant experiments in electricity
which have linked his name with that of Benjamin Franklin as one of the
two most original investigators in that branch of science which this
country has ever produced. His first work was the improving of existing
forms of apparatus, and his first important discovery was that of the
electro-magnet. His development of the "intensity" magnet in 1830 made
the electric telegraph a possibility. Two years later he was called to
the chair of natural philosophy at Princeton University, where he
continued his investigations, many of which have been of permanent value
to science. In 1846, he was elected first secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution, and removed to Washington, where the last forty years of
his life were passed in the development of the great scientific
establishment of which he was the head. He steadily refused the most
flattering offers of other positions, among them the presidency of
Princeton, and like Agassiz, he might have answered, when tempted by
larger salaries, "I cannot afford to waste my time in making money." To
his efforts is largely due the establishment of the national lighthouse
system, as well as that of the national weather bureau.

Besides his services to American science as instructor at Harvard
College, Louis Agassiz rendered another when he persuaded Arnold Guyot,
his colleague in the college at Neuchâtel, to accompany him to this
country. Guyot was at that time forty years old, and was already widely
known as a geologist and naturalist, and the delivery of a series of
lectures before the Lowell Institute, established his reputation in this
country. He was soon invited to the chair of physical geography and
geology at Princeton, which he held until his death. He founded the
museum at Princeton, which has since become one of the best of its kind
in the United States. Perhaps he is best known for the series of
geographies he prepared, and which were at one time widely used in
schools throughout the United States.

Perhaps no family has been more closely associated with American science
than that of the Huguenot Le Conte, who settled at New Rochelle, New
York, about the close of the seventeenth century, moving afterwards to
New Jersey. There, in 1782, Lewis Le Conte was born. He was graduated at
Columbia at the age of seventeen and started to study medicine, but was
soon afterwards called to the management of the family estates of
Woodsmanston, in Georgia. There he established a botanical garden and a
laboratory in which he tested the discoveries of the chemists of the
day. His death resulted from poison that was taken into his system while
dressing a wound for a member of his family.

His son, John Le Conte, after studying medicine and beginning the
practice of his profession at Savannah, Georgia, was called to the chair
of natural philosophy and chemistry at Franklin College, and after some
years in educational work, was appointed professor of physics and
industrial mechanics in the University of California, which position he
held until his death, serving also for some years as president of the
University. His scientific work extended over a period of more than half
a century, being confined almost exclusively to physical science, in
which he was one of the first authorities.

Another son of Lewis, Joseph Le Conte, like his brother, studied
medicine and started to practice it; but in 1850, attracted by the great
work being done by Louis Agassiz, he entered the Lawrence Scientific
School at Harvard, devoting his attention especially to geology. After
holding a number of minor positions, he became professor of geology and
natural history in the University of California in 1869, and his most
important work was done there in the shape of original investigations in
geology, which placed him in the front rank of American geologists.

Lewis Le Conte had a brother, John Eathan Le Conte, who was also widely
known as a naturalist of unusual attainments. He published many papers
upon various branches of botany and zoology, and collected a vast amount
of material for a natural history of American insects, only a part of
which was published. His son, John Lawrence Le Conte, was a pupil of
Agassiz, and conducted extensive explorations of the Lake Superior and
upper Mississippi regions, and of the Colorado river. He afterwards made
a number of expeditions to Honduras, Panama, Europe, Egypt and Algiers,
collecting material for a work on the fauna of the world, which,
however, was left uncompleted at his death.

American science recently suffered a heavy loss in the death of
Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, one of the most brilliant of the pupils of
Agassiz, and from 1864 until the time of his death, connected with the
geological department of Harvard University, rising to the full
professorship in geology, which he held for over twenty years, and to
the position of dean of the Lawrence Scientific School. He did much to
increase public interest in and knowledge of the development of the
science by frequent popular articles in the leading magazines, in
addition to more technical books and memoirs intended especially for

Of living scientists, we can do no more than mention a few. Perhaps the
most famous, and dearest to the popular heart is John Burroughs, a
nature philosopher, if there ever was one, a keen observer of the life
of field and forest, and the author of a long list of lovable books. One
of the leaders in the "return to nature" movement which has reached
such wide proportions of recent years, he has held his position as its
prophet and interpreter against the assaults of younger, more energetic,
but narrower men.

Prominent in the same field is Liberty Hyde Bailey, since 1903 director
of the College of Agriculture at Cornell University. His early training
took place under Asa Gray, and his attention has been devoted
principally to botanical and horticultural subjects. He has written many
books, his principal work being his Cyclopedia of American Horticulture,
which has just been completed. Other recent important contributions to
science have been made by Vernon L. Kellogg, whose work has dealt
principally with American insects, and whose recent book on that subject
has been recognized as a standard authority; by Charles Edward Bessey,
professor of botany at the University of Nebraska since 1884, a pupil of
Dr. Asa Gray and the author of a number of valued books upon the subject
which has been his life work; by George Frederick Barker, now emeritus
professor of physics in the University of Pennsylvania, and the
recipient of high honors at home and abroad; and by many others whom it
is not necessary to mention here.

It will be evident enough from the foregoing that American science can
boast no men of commanding genius--no men, that is, to rank with Darwin,
or Huxley, or Lord Kelvin, or Sir Isaac Newton, to mention only
Englishmen. Its record has been one of respectable achievement rather
than of brilliant originality, but is yet one of which we have no
reason to be ashamed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Most of the men mentioned in this chapter have, in the widest sense been
educators. Agassiz, Gray, Silliman, Guyot--all were educators in the
fullest and truest way. It remains for us to consider a few others who
have labored in this country for the spread of knowledge. That the
present educational system of the United States is not a spontaneous
growth, but has been carefully fostered and directed, goes without
saying. It is the result, first, of a wise interest and support on the
part of the state, which early recognized the importance of educating
its citizens, and, second, of the self-sacrificing efforts of a number
of intelligent, earnest, and public-spirited men.

One of the first of these was Horace Mann, born in Massachusetts in
1796, the son of a poor farmer. His struggle to gain an education was a
desperate one, and its story cannot but be inspiring. As a child he
earned his school books by braiding straw, and his utmost endeavors,
between the ages of ten and twenty, could secure him no more than six
weeks' schooling in any one year. Consequently he was twenty-three years
of age when he graduated from Brown University, instead of seventeen or
eighteen, as would have been the case had he had the usual
opportunities. He went to work at once as a tutor in Latin and Greek,
studied law, was admitted to the bar, elected to the state legislature
and afterwards to the senate, and finally entered upon his real work as
secretary to the Massachusetts board of education.

He introduced a thorough reform into the school system of the state,
made a trip of inspection through European schools, and by his lectures
and writings awakened an interest in the cause of education which had
never before been felt. His reports were reprinted in other states,
attaining the widest circulation. It is noteworthy that as early as
1847, he advocated the disuse of corporal punishment in school
discipline. After a service of some years as member of Congress, during
which he threw all his influence against slavery, he accepted the
presidency of Antioch College, at Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he
continued until his death. It was there that the experiment of
co-education was tried, and found to work successfully, and the
foundations laid for one of the most characteristic of recent great
development of higher school education in America. Oberlin College, also
in Ohio, had by a few years preceded Dr. Mann's experiment, but the
latter's great reputation as an educator caused his ardent advocacy of
co-education to carry great weight with the public. From this time on it
became a custom, as state universities opened in the west, to admit
women, and the custom gradually spread to the east and even to some of
the larger colleges supported by private endowments.

Turning to the three great universities, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton,
which have done so much for the intellectual welfare of the country, we
find a galaxy of brilliant names. On the list of Harvard presidents,
three stand out pre-eminent--Josiah Quincy, Edward Everett, and Charles
William Eliot. Josiah Quincy, third of the name of the great
Massachusetts Quincys, graduated at Harvard in 1790 at the head of his
class, studied law, drifted inevitably into politics, held a number of
offices, which do not concern us here, and finally, after a remarkable
term as mayor of Boston, was, in 1829, chosen president of Harvard. The
work that he did there was important in the extreme. He introduced the
system of marking which continued in use for over forty years;
instituted the elective system, which permitted the student to shape his
course of study to suit the career which he had chosen; secured large
endowments, and, when he retired from the presidency in 1845, left the
college in the foremost position among American institutions of
learning. Edward Everett, who was president of the college from 1846-49,
was more prominent as a statesman than as an educator, and an outline of
his career will be found in "Men of Action." The third of the trio,
Charles William Eliot, whose term as president of the college covered a
period of forty years, is rightly regarded as one of the greatest, if
not the greatest educator this country has produced.

[Illustration: ELIOT]

Graduating from Harvard in 1853, at the age of nineteen, he devoted his
attention principally to chemistry, and, after some years of teaching,
and of study in Europe, was, in 1865, appointed professor of chemistry
in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The same year, a
revolution occurred in the government of Harvard, which was transferred
from the state legislature to the graduates of the college. The effect
of the change was greatly to strengthen the interest of the alumni in
the management of the university, and to prepare the way for extensive
and thorough reforms. Considerable time was spent in searching for the
right man for president and finally, in 1869, Prof. Eliot was chosen.

That the right man had been found was evident from the first. "King Log
has made room for King Stork," wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, then
professor of anatomy and physiology at Harvard, to John Motley. "Mr.
Eliot makes the corporation meet twice a month instead of once. He comes
to the meeting of every faculty, ours among the rest, and keeps us up to
eleven and twelve o'clock at night discussing new arrangements. I cannot
help being amused at some of the scenes we have in our medical
faculty--this cool, grave young man proposing in the calmest way to turn
everything topsy turvy, taking the reins into his hands and driving as
if he were the first man that ever sat on the box.

"'How is it, I should like to ask,' said one of our members, the other
day, 'that this faculty has gone on for eighty years managing its own
affairs and doing it well, and now within three or four months it is
proposed to change all our modes of carrying on the school? It seems
very extraordinary, and I should like to know how it happens.'

"'I can answer Dr. ----'s question very easily,' said the bland,
grave young man. 'There is a new president.'

"The tranquil assurance of this answer had an effect such as I hardly
ever knew produced by the most eloquent sentences I ever heard uttered."

The bland young man's innovations did not seem to do much harm to
Harvard, for under his administration, her financial resources have been
multiplied by ten, as has the number of her teachers, while the number
of her students has been multiplied by five. Dr. Eliot has grown into
the real head of the educational system of this country; his influence
has wrought vast changes in every department of teaching, from the
kindergarten to the university. It was his idea that common school
education and college education ought to be flexible, ought to be made
to fit the needs of the pupil. The result has been the broad development
of the elective system--broader than Josiah Quincy ever dreamed of. The
same system has changed the whole aspect of the teaching profession,
resulting in the demand for a competent training in some specialty for
every teacher.

Dr. Eliot, who is in a sense the first living citizen of America, has
not attained that position merely by success in his profession. He has
devoted time and thought to the great problems of our government, and
has taken an active part in many public movements--the race question,
the relations of capital and labor, the movement for universal
arbitration. He has been honored by France, by Italy, and by Japan, and
resigned from his great office, in 1909, at the age of seventy-five,
with mental and physical powers in splendid condition, not to retire
from active life, but to devote himself even more wholly to the service
of his countrymen. In this age of commercial domination, a career such
as Dr. Eliot's is more than usually inspiring.

In the history of the administration of Yale university, the most
striking personalities are the two Timothy Dwights and Noah Porter. The
first Timothy Dwight, born in 1752, and graduating from Yale at the age
of seventeen, began to teach, and at the outbreak of the Revolution,
enlisted as Chaplain in Parson's brigade of the Connecticut line. It was
at this time he wrote a number of stirring patriotic songs, one of
which, "Columbia," still lives. At the close of the war, he continued
preaching and also opened an academy, at which women were admitted to
the same courses with men, and which soon acquired considerable
reputation. In 1795, he was called to the presidency of Yale, a position
which he held until his death. His administration marked the beginning
of a new era in the history of the college. At his accession, the
college had about one hundred students, and the instructors consisted of
the president, one professor and three tutors. He established permanent
professorships and chose such men to fill them as Jeremiah Day, Benjamin
Silliman, and James Kingsley. The result of this policy was a steady
growth in the number of students, until, at his death, they had
increased to over three hundred.

Noah Porter, who came to the presidency in 1871, had been graduated
from the college forty years before, during which time he had studied
theology, held a number of important charges, was called to the chair of
moral philosophy at Yale, and finally elevated to the presidency. His
work was most important, one feature of it being the introduction of
elective studies, though he insisted also upon a required course, as
opposed to the Harvard system. Some of the University's finest buildings
were erected during his administration, and at its close the student
body numbered nearly eleven hundred.

He was succeeded in 1886 by Timothy Dwight, grandson of the elder
president Dwight, who, for many years has been closely associated with
the University, its financial growth being largely due to his efforts.
Under his management the growth of the institution was unprecedented,
the number of students increasing nearly fifty per cent within five
years. He was also prominently identified with the general educational
movement throughout the country, and his "True Ideal of an American
University," published in 1872, attracted much attention.

Princeton has also had its share of eminent men, among them Jonathan
Edwards, John Witherspoon, and James McCosh. Jonathan Edwards was one of
the most remarkable characters in American history. Born in 1703, he was
the fifth of eleven children and the only son. As a mere child, he
developed uncommon qualities, entered Yale College at the age of twelve
and graduated at the age of seventeen. His father was a clergyman, and
the boy had been brought up in a household and community intensely
religious, so that he very early began to have "a variety of concerns
and exercises about his soul." It was inevitable, of course, that he
should become a minister, and, at the age of nineteen, was ordained and
began to preach at a small church in New York City. Edwards seems to
have been afflicted from the first with what is in these days
irreverently called an in-growing conscience, and early formulated for
himself a set of seventy resolutions of the most exalted nature, which,
however praiseworthy in themselves, were too high and good for human
nature's daily food, and must have made him a most uncomfortable person
to live with. He developed, however, into a powerful preacher, and his
services were much sought, especially at revivals. One of his sermons,
called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," is said to have created a
profound impression wherever delivered.

A difference with his congregation at Northampton caused him to resign
his pastorate there, and, declining a number of calls to established
parishes, he went as a missionary to the Housatonick Indians, at so
small an income that his wife and daughters were forced to labor with
the needle to support the family. It was while engaged in this work,
that an unexpected call came to him to take the presidency of Princeton.
He accepted and was installed as president early in 1758. At once he
began a series of reforms in the college administration, but an epidemic
of small-pox broke out in the neighborhood, and Edwards, exposing
himself to it fearlessly, contracted the disease and died thirty-four
days after his installation.

Jonathan Edwards probably came as near to the old idea of a saint as
America ever produced. Self-denying, stern, of an exalted piety, and
intensely religious, he lived in a world of his own, and was regarded
with no little awe and trembling. That he was a power for good cannot be
doubted, and his sermons are still read, where those of his
contemporaries have long since been forgotten.

Much more important to Princeton, was John Witherspoon, who came to the
presidency in 1768, after a distinguished career in Scotland, one of the
incidents of which was being taken a prisoner while incautiously
watching the battle of Falkirk. He never wholly recovered from the
effects of the imprisonment which followed. He brought with him from
Scotland a valuable library which he gave to the college, and, finding
the college treasury empty, he undertook a vigorous campaign to
replenish it, making a tour of New England, and even extending his quest
as far as Jamaica and the West Indies. Through his administrative
ability and the changes and additions which he made in the course of
study, the college received a great impetus.

The service to his adopted country by which Witherspoon will be longest
remembered, was the course he followed at the beginning of the
Revolution. From the first, he took the side of the colonies, and by
precept and example, held not only the great body of Presbyterians true
to that cause, but also the Scotch and Scotch-Irish, who were naturally
Tories by sympathy. He was a member of the Continental Congress, urged
ceaselessly the passage of the Declaration of Independence, was one of
its signers, and as a member of succeeding Congresses, distinguished
himself by his services. After the close of the war, he returned to
Princeton and devoted the remainder of his life to its administration.

Greatest of the three as an educator was James McCosh. A Scotchman, like
Witherspoon, a student of the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, a
pupil of Thomas Chalmers, he was ordained to the ministry in 1835, and
was a leading spirit in the movement which culminated in the
establishment of the Free Church of Scotland. His publications on
philosophical subjects brought him the appointment as professor of logic
and metaphysics in Queen's College, Belfast, where he remained for
sixteen years, drawing to the college a large body of students, and
publishing other philosophical works of the first importance. In 1868,
he was chosen president of Princeton, and his administration, lasting
for nearly a quarter of a century, was remarkably successful. Under him,
the student attendance nearly doubled, the teaching staff was more than
doubled, and the resources of the college enormously increased. During
these years, too, he continued his philosophical work, publishing a
series of volumes which are the most noteworthy of their kind ever
produced in America.

The temptation is great to dwell upon other educators connected with the
great universities: Ira Remsen, and his contributions to chemistry;
David Starr Jordan, and his great work on American fishes; Woodrow
Wilson, and his contributions to the study of American history; Jacob
Gould Schurman, and his work in the field of ethics;--to mention only a
few of them--but there is not space to do so here. However, this chapter
cannot be closed without some reference to the career of a remarkable
woman, an educator in the truest sense, whose influence for good can
hardly be estimated--Jane Addams.

John Burns, the English cabinet minister and labor leader, has called
her "the only saint America has produced." Her sainthood is of the
modern kind, which devotes itself by practical work to the alleviation
of suffering and the uplifting of humanity, as opposed to the old
fashioned kind of which we were speaking a moment ago in connection with
Jonathan Edwards.

Graduating at Rockford College, in 1881, Miss Addams, then a delicate
girl, spent two years in Europe. The sight which impressed her most, and
which, to a large extent, determined her future career, was that of Mile
End Road, the most crowded and squalid district of London, where she
beheld a dirty and destitute mob quarreling over food unfit to eat. This
vision of squalor and sin never left her, and the result was the
establishment, in 1889, of the Social Settlement of Hull House, in the
slums of Chicago. For Miss Addams had come to the conclusion that the
only way to reach the destitute and despairing was to dwell among them.

How right she was has been abundantly proved by the splendid work Hull
House has done. Its object, as stated in its charter, is "to provide a
center for a higher civic and social life; to institute and maintain
educational and philanthropic enterprises, and to investigate and
improve the conditions in the industrial districts of Chicago." All that
it has done, and much more; for it has been a beacon light of progress,
pointing the way for like undertakings elsewhere. But most valuable of
all has been Miss Addams's personal influence, the inspiration which her
life has been to workers everywhere for social betterment, and the
message which, by tongue and pen, she has given to the world. As an
example of a useful, devoted and well-rounded life, hers stands unique
in America to-day.


AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. Born near New Orleans, May 4, 1780; published
"Birds of America," 1830-39; "Ornithological Biography," 1831-39;
"Quadrupeds of America," 1846-54; died at New York City, January 27,

AGASSIZ, JEAN LOUIS RUDOLPHE. Born at Motier, canton of Fribourg,
Switzerland, May 28, 1807; professor of natural history at Neuchâtel,
1832; studied Aar glacier, 1840-41; came to United States, 1846;
professor of zoölogy and geology at Cambridge, 1848; curator of
Cambridge Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, 1859; travelled in Brazil,
1865-66; around Cape Horn, 1871-72; died at Cambridge, Massachusetts,
December 14, 1873.

AGASSIZ, ALEXANDER. Born at Neuchâtel, Switzerland, December 17, 1835;
came to United States, 1849; graduated at Harvard, 1855; developed Lake
Superior copper mines, 1865-69; curator of Cambridge Museum of
Comparative Zoölogy, 1874-85; died at sea, March 29, 1910.

GRAY, ASA. Born at Paris, Oneida County, New York, November 18, 1810;
professor of natural history at Harvard, 1842-88; died at Cambridge,
Massachusetts, January 30, 1888.

TORREY, JOHN. Born at New York City, August 15, 1796; professor at
Princeton and in College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York; State
Geologist of New York; United States assayer; died at New York, March
10, 1873.

DRAPER, JOHN WILLIAM. Born at St. Helena, near Liverpool, England, May
5, 1811; came to America, 1832; professor of chemistry University of New
York, 1839; president of the Medical College, 1850-73; died at
Hastings-on-the-Hudson, New York, January 4, 1882.

RUTHERFORD, LEWIS MORRIS. Born at Morrisania, New York, November 25,
1816; graduated at Williams College, 1834; admitted to bar, 1839;
abandoned law to devote himself to study of physics, 1849; died at
Tranquillity, New Jersey, May 30, 1892.

YOUNG, CHARLES AUGUSTUS. Born at Hanover, New Hampshire, December 15,
1834; graduated at Dartmouth, 1858; professor of astronomy at Princeton,
1877-1905; died at Hanover, New Hampshire, January 4, 1908.

LANGLEY, SAMUEL PIERPONT. Born at Roxbury, Boston, August 22, 1834;
secretary Smithsonian Institution, 1887-1908.

NEWCOMB, SIMON. Born at Wallace, Nova Scotia, March 12, 1835; came to
United States, 1853; graduated Lawrence Scientific School, 1858;
professor of Mathematics, U. S. navy, 1861; director Nautical Almanac
office, 1877-97; professor mathematics and astronomy Johns Hopkins
University, 1884-94; died at Washington, July 11, 1909.

PICKERING, EDWARD CHARLES. Born at Boston, July 19, 1846; graduated
Lawrence Scientific School, 1865; professor of astronomy and director of
Harvard Observatory since 1877.

MARSH, OTHNIEL CHARLES. Born at Lockport, New York, October 29, 1831;
professor paleontology Yale University, 1866, to death at New Haven,
March 18, 1899.

COPE, EDWARD DRINKER. Born at Philadelphia, July 28, 1840; professor of
natural sciences, Haverford College, 1864-67; paleontologist to United
States Geological Survey, 1868 to death at Philadelphia, April 12, 1897.

SILLIMAN, BENJAMIN. Born at North Stratford, Connecticut, August 8,
1779; graduated at Yale, 1796; tutor there, 1799, and professor, 1802;
professor emeritus, 1853; died at New Haven, Connecticut, November 24,

DANA, JAMES DWIGHT. Born at Utica, New York, February 12, 1813;
graduated at Yale, 1833; assistant to Professor Silliman, 1836-38;
professor of geology and natural history, 1850-64; died at New Haven,
April 14, 1895.

NEWBERRY, JOHN STRONG. Born at Windsor, Connecticut, December 22, 1822;
professor of geology at school of mines, Columbia College, 1866-90;
state geologist of Ohio, 1869; died at New Haven, Connecticut, December
7, 1892.

WHITNEY, JOSIAH DWIGHT. Born at Northampton, Massachusetts, November 23,
1819; graduated at Yale, 1839; geologist with New Hampshire survey,
1840-42; Lake Superior, 1847-49; state chemist of Iowa, 1855; state
geologist of California, 1860-74; professor of geology at Harvard, 1865
to death at Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, August 18, 1896.

HITCHCOCK, EDWARD. Born at Deerfield, Massachusetts, May 24, 1793;
professor of chemistry, Amherst College, 1825; president of the college,
1845-54; died at Amherst, Massachusetts, February 27, 1864.

MOTT, VALENTINE. Born at Glen Cove, Long Island, August 20, 1785;
graduated Columbia College, 1806; professor of surgery at Columbia,
1810-35; died at New York City, April 26, 1865.

LONG, CRAWFORD W. Born at Danielsville, Georgia, November 1, 1815;
graduated medical department University of Pennsylvania, 1839; died at
Athens, Georgia, June 16, 1878.

MORTON, WILLIAM THOMAS GREEN. Born at Charlton, Massachusetts, August
19, 1819; practised dentistry at Boston, 1841-58; discovered anæsthetic
properties of ether, 1864; died in New York City, July 15, 1868.

HENRY, JOSEPH. Born at Albany, New York, December 17, 1797; professor of
natural philosophy at Princeton, 1832-46; first secretary of Smithsonian
Institution, 1846; died at Washington, May 13, 1878.

GUYOT, ARNOLD HENRY. Born near Neuchâtel, Switzerland, September 28,
1807; came to America, 1847; professor of physical geography and geology
at Princeton, 1855; died at Princeton, February 8, 1884.

LE CONTE, JOHN. Born in Liberty County, Georgia, December 4, 1818;
professor of physics University of California, 1869, to death at
Berkeley, California, April 29, 1891.

LE CONTE, JOSEPH. Born in Liberty County, Georgia, February 26, 1823;
professor of geology, University of California, 1869; died in Yosemite
Valley, California, July 6, 1901.

LE CONTE, JOHN LAWRENCE. Born at New York City, May 13, 1825; surgeon of
volunteers during Civil War, and chief clerk of mint at Philadelphia
from 1878 until his death there, November 15, 1883.

SHALER, NATHANIEL SOUTHGATE. Born at Newport, Kentucky, February 22,
1841; graduated Lawrence Scientific School, 1862; professor paleontology
at Harvard, 1868-87; professor of geology, 1887, to death, April 11,

MANN, HORACE. Born at Franklin, Massachusetts, May 7, 1796; admitted to
the bar, 1823; secretary of Massachusetts Board of Education, 1837-48;
member of Congress, 1848-53; president of Antioch College, 1852-59;
died at Yellow Springs, Ohio, August 2, 1859.

QUINCY, JOSIAH. Born at Boston, February 4, 1772; member of Congress,
1805-13; mayor of Boston, 1823-28; president of Harvard, 1829-45; died
at Quincy, Massachusetts, July 1, 1864.

ELIOT, CHARLES WILLIAM. Born at Boston, March 20, 1834; graduated from
Harvard, 1853; taught mathematics and chemistry in Lawrence Scientific
School, 1858-69; president of Harvard, 1869-1909.

DWIGHT, TIMOTHY. Born at Northampton, Massachusetts, May 14, 1752;
graduated from Yale, 1769; president of Yale, 1795-1817; died at New
Haven, Connecticut, January 11, 1817.

PORTER, NOAH. Born at Farmington, Connecticut, December 14, 1811;
graduated at Yale, 1831; tutor at Yale, 1833-35; pastor of
Congregational churches at New Milford, Connecticut, and Springfield,
Massachusetts, 1836-46; professor of metaphysics at Yale, 1846-71;
president of Yale, 1871-86; died at New Haven, March 4, 1892.

DWIGHT, TIMOTHY. Born at Norwich, Connecticut, November 16, 1828;
graduated at Yale, 1849; studied divinity, 1851-55; professor of sacred
literature, 1858; president of Yale, 1886-98.

EDWARDS, JONATHAN. Born at East Windsor, Connecticut, October 5, 1703;
pastor of Congregational Church, Northampton, Massachusetts, 1727-50;
missionary to the Indians, 1751-58; president of Princeton College,
1758; died at Princeton, March 22, 1758.

WITHERSPOON, JOHN. Born in Haddingtonshire, Scotland, February 5, 1722;
president of Princeton, 1768; delegate to Continental Congress, 1774-75;
died near Princeton, September 15, 1794.

MCCOSH, JAMES. Born at Carskeoch, Ayrshire, Scotland, April 1, 1811;
president of Princeton, 1868-88; died at Princeton, November 16, 1894.

ADDAMS, JANE. Born at Cedarville, Illinois, 1860; graduated Rockford
College, 1881; opened Hull House, 1889.



This has been a country celebrated for its great fortunes, and the
makers of some of those fortunes will be considered in the chapter
dealing with "men of affairs"; but many who have been grouped under that
heading might well have been included under this, since, for the most
part, the richest men have been the freest in their benefactions. It is
worth noting that the recorded public gifts in this country during 1909
amounted to $135,000,000. The giving of money is, of course, only one
kind of benefaction, and not the highest kind, which is the giving of
self; but the good which these gifts have rendered possible is beyond

[Illustration: GIRARD]

This kind of philanthropy is no new thing in the United States. It is
almost as old as the country itself. Indeed, few of the older
institutions of learning but had their origin in some such gift. One of
the earliest of such philanthropists was Stephen Girard, whose
life-story is unusually interesting and inspiring. The son of a sailor,
and with little opportunity for gaining an education, he shipped as
cabin-boy, while still a mere child, and after some years of rough
knocking around, rose to the position of mate, and finally to a part
ownership in the vessel. In 1769, at the age of nineteen, he established
himself in the ship business in Philadelphia, but the opening of the
Revolution put an end to that business. Not until the close of the war
was he able to re-embark in it. The foundation of his fortune was soon
laid by his integrity and enterprise, but it was largely augmented in a
most peculiar manner.

Two of his vessels happened to be in one of the ports of Hayti, when a
slave insurrection broke out there, and a number of the planters hastily
removed their treasure to his vessels for safe-keeping. That night, the
insurrection reached its height, and the planters, together with their
families, were massacred. Heirs to a portion of the treasure were
discovered by Mr. Girard, but he found himself possessed of about
$50,000 to which no heirs could be traced.

With remarkable foresight, Mr. Girard invested largely in the shares of
the old Bank of the United States, and in 1812, purchased its building
and succeeded to much of its business. He was the financial mainstay of
the government during the second war with England--in fact, it was he
who made the financing of the war possible. And yet he was, to all
outward appearances, a singularly repulsive and hard-fisted old miser.
In early youth, an unfortunate accident had caused the loss of one eye,
and his other gradually failed him until he was quite blind; he was also
partially deaf, and was sour, crabbed and unapproachable. In small
matters he was a miser, ready to avoid paying a just claim if he
could in any way do so, living in a miserable fashion and refusing
charity to every one, no matter how deserving. He was forbidding in
appearance, and drove daily to and from his farm outside of Philadelphia
in a shabby old carriage drawn by a single horse. No visitor was ever
welcomed at that farm, where its owner dragged out a penurious

Yet in public matters no one could have been more open-handed, and when,
after his death in 1831, his will was opened, it created a shock of
surprise, for practically his whole fortune of $9,000,000 had been
bequeathed for charitable purposes. Large sums were given to provide
fuel for the poor in winter, for distressed ship-masters, for the blind,
the deaf and dumb, and for the public schools. Half a million was given
Philadelphia for the improvement of her streets and public buildings;
but his principal bequest was one of $2,000,000, besides real estate,
and the residue of his property, for the establishment at Philadelphia
of a college for orphans. In 1848, Girard College was opened, and has
since then continued its great work, educating as many orphans as the
endowment can support. So Girard atoned after his death, for the
mistakes of his life.

Almost equally singular was the life of the founder of that splendid
government enterprise, the Smithsonian Institution--perhaps the most
important scientific center in the world. James Smithson was in no sense
an American. Indeed, so far as known, he never even visited the United
States, and yet no account of American philanthropy would be complete
without him. He was born in France in 1765, and was the illegitimate son
of Hugh Smithson, afterwards Duke of Northumberland. He went by his
mother's name for the first forty years of his life, being known as
James Macie, until, in 1802, he assumed his father's name.

Born under this shadow, the boy soon developed unusual qualities,
graduated from Oxford, with high honors in chemistry and mineralogy, and
added greatly to his reputation by a series of scientific papers of
great importance. A large portion of his life was passed in Europe,
where he associated with the greatest scientists of the day, honored by
all of them. He died at Genoa at the age of sixty-four, and, when his
will was opened, it was seen how the circumstances of his birth had
weighed upon him. For, "in order that his name might live in the memory
of man when the titles of the Northumberlands are extinct and
forgotten," he bequeathed his whole fortune "to the United States of
America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian
Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of
knowledge among men." After a suit in chancery, the bequest was paid
over to the United States government, amounting to over half a million
dollars. In 1846, the Smithsonian Institution was formally established,
its first secretary being Joseph Henry, of whose great work there we
have already spoken. It has increased in scope and usefulness year by
year, and stands to-day without a counterpart in any country.

Peter Cooper also left a portion of his wealth for "the diffusion of
knowledge among men," but a different sort of knowledge--the knowledge
that would help a man or woman to earn a living. His own career had
shown him how necessary such knowledge is. His father was a hatter by
trade, and the boy's earliest recollection was of his being employed to
pull hair out of rabbit-skins, his head just reaching above the table.
But the hat business was unprofitable, and the elder Cooper tried a
number of businesses, brewing, brick-making, what not, the boy being
required to take part in each of them, so that he had no time for
schooling, and had to pick up such odds and ends of knowledge as he
could. Finally, in 1808, at the age of seventeen, he was apprenticed to
a carriage-maker, and remained with him until he was of age.

After that, the young man himself tried various occupations without
great success, until the establishment of a glue factory began to bring
him large returns. By the beginning of 1828, he was able to purchase
three thousand acres of land within the city of Baltimore and to
establish the Canton iron-works, which was the first of his great
enterprises tending toward the development of the iron industry in the
United States. Other plants were built or purchased, rolling mills and
blast furnaces established, and a great impetus given to this branch of
manufacture. He practically financed the Atlantic Cable Company, in the
face of ridicule, and made the cable possible, and he saved the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from bankruptcy by designing and building a
locomotive--the first ever built in this country--especially adapted to
the uneven country over which the track was laid.

The fortune thus acquired he devoted to a well-considered and practical
plan of philanthropy. His career had shown him the great value of a
trade to any man or woman. The schools taught every kind of knowledge
except that which would enable a man to earn a living with his hands,
which seemed to him the most important of all. He determined to do what
he could remedy this defect, and in 1854, secured a block of land in New
York City, at the junction of Third and Fourth Avenues, where, shortly
afterwards, the cornerstone was laid of "The Cooper Union for the
Advancement of Science and Art." It was completed five years later, and
handed over to six trustees; a scheme of education was devised and
special emphasis was laid upon "instruction in branches of knowledge by
which men and women earn their daily bread; in laws of health and
improvement of the sanitary condition of families as well as
individuals; in social and political science, whereby communities and
nations advance in virtue, wealth and power; and finally in matters
which affect the eye, the ear, and the imagination, and furnish a basis
for recreation to the working classes." Free courses of lectures were
established, a free reading room, and free instruction was given in
various branches of the useful arts. From that day to this, Cooper Union
has been an ever-growing force for progress in the life of the great
city; it has been a pioneer in the work of industrial education, which
has, of recent years, reached such great proportions.

Peter Cooper lived to see the institution which he had founded realize
at least some of his hopes for it. He himself lived a most active life,
taking a prominent part in many movements looking to the reform of
national or civic abuses. In 1876, he was nominated by the national
independent party as their candidate for president and received nearly a
hundred thousand votes. Since his death, the institution which he
founded has grown steadily in importance; other bequests have been added
to his, and Cooper Union has come to stand, in a way, for civic

The year 1795 saw the birth of two children who were destined to do a
great work for their country--George Peabody and Johns Hopkins. Both
were the sons of poor parents, with little opportunity for achieving the
sort of learning which is taught in schools; but both, by hard
experience with the world, gained another sort of learning which is
often of more practical value. At the age of eleven, George Peabody was
forced to begin to earn his own living, and a place was found for him in
a grocery store. His habits were good, he did his work well, and
finally, at the age of nineteen, was offered a partnership by another
merchant, who had noticed and admired his energy and enthusiasm. The
business increased, branch houses were established, and at the age of
thirty-five, George Peabody found himself at the head of a great
business, his elder partner having retired. He decided to make London
his place of residence, and became a sort of guardian angel for
Americans visiting the great English capital. He had never married, and
it seemed almost as if the whole world were his family. His constant
thought was of how he could elevate humanity, and he was not long in
putting some of his plans into effect.

In 1852, his native town of Danvers, Massachusetts, celebrated her
centennial, and her most distinguished citizen was, of course, invited
to be present. He was too busy to attend, but sent a sealed envelope to
be opened on the day of the celebration. The seal was broken at the
dinner with which the celebration closed, and the envelope was found to
contain two slips of paper. On one was written this toast, "Education--a
debt due from present to future generations." The other was a check for
twenty thousand dollars, afterwards increased to two hundred and fifty
thousand, for the purpose of founding an Institute, with a free library
and free course of lectures. Four years later, the Peabody Institute was
dedicated, its founder being in attendance. Soon afterwards, he decided
to build a similar Institute at Baltimore, only on a more elaborate
scale, as befitting the greater city, and gave a million dollars for the
purpose. It was opened in 1869, twenty thousand school children
gathering to meet the donor and forming a guard of honor for him.

Two other great gifts marked his life--the sum of three million dollars
for the erection of model tenements for the London poor, and a like sum
for the education of the American negro. When, in 1869 the end came in
London, a great funeral was held at Westminster Abbey, and the Queen of
England sent her noblest man-of-war to bear in state across the Atlantic
the body of "her friend," the poor boy of Danvers.

It is a strange coincidence that Baltimore, which had profited so
greatly from George Peabody's philanthropy, should also be the object of
that of Johns Hopkins. The latter was of Quaker stock, was raised on a
farm, and at the age of seventeen became a clerk in his uncle's grocery
store at Baltimore. He soon accumulated enough capital to go into
business for himself, first as a grocer, then as a banker, and finally
as one of the backers of the Baltimore & Ohio Railway. In 1873, he gave
property valued at four and a half millions to found in the city of
Baltimore a hospital, which, by its charter, is free to all, regardless
of race or color; and three and a half millions for the endowment of
Johns Hopkins University, which, opened in 1876, has grown to be one of
the most famous schools of law, medicine and science in the country.

Another Quaker, Ezra Cornell, is also associated with the name of a
great university. Reared among the hills of western New York, helping
his father on his farm and in his little pottery, the boy soon developed
considerable mechanical genius, and at the age of seventeen, with the
help of only a younger brother, he built a new home for the family, a
two-story frame dwelling, the largest and best in the neighborhood. He
soon struck out into the world, engaged in businesses of various kinds
with varying success, but it was not until he was thirty-six years old
that he found his vocation.

It was at that time he became associated with S. F. B. Morse, who
engaged him to superintend the erection of the first line of telegraph
between Washington and Baltimore. Thereafter he devoted himself entirely
to the development of the new invention; succeeded, after many rebuffs
and disappointments, in organizing a company to erect a line from New
York to Washington, and superintended its construction. It was the first
of many, afterwards consolidated into the Western Union Telegraph
Company, which, for many years, held a monopoly of the telegraph
business of the country, and which made Ezra Cornell a millionaire. He
himself was well advanced in years, and finally retired from active
life, buying a great estate near Ithaca, New York, where he lived
quietly, devising a method for the best disposition of his great

He at last decided to found an institution "where _any_ person can find
instruction in _any_ study." Work was begun at once, and in 1868,
Cornell College was formally opened, over four hundred students entering
the first year. The founder's gifts to this institution aggregated over
three millions. Many other bequests followed, which have made Cornell
one of the most liberally-endowed colleges in the country. Froude, the
great English historian, visited it on one occasion, and afterwards

"There is something I admire even more than the university, and that is
the quiet, unpretending man by whom it was founded. We have had such men
in old times, and there are men in England who make great fortunes and
who make claim to great munificence; but who manifest their greatness in
buying great estates and building castles for the founding of peerages
to be handed down from father to son. Mr. Cornell has sought for
immortality, and the perpetuity of his name among the people of a free
nation. There stands his great university, built upon a rock, to endure
while the American nation endures."

The next great benefaction we have to record is, in some respects,
unique. John Fox Slater was born in Slatersville, Rhode Island, in 1815.
He was the son of Samuel Slater, proprietor of the greatest cotton-mills
in New England, and he naturally succeeded to the business upon his
father's death. The business prospered, receiving a great impetus from
the invention of the cotton-gin, and Slater's wealth increased rapidly.

He had, on more than one occasion, visited the south and seen the
negroes at work in the cotton fields. As time went on, the idea grew in
his mind that he should do something for these poor laborers to whom,
indirectly, his own fortune was due, and in 1882, he set aside the sum
of one million dollars for the purpose of "uplifting the lately
emancipated population of the Southern States, and their posterity." For
this gift he received the thanks of Congress. No part of the gift is
spent for grounds or buildings, but the whole income is spent in
assisting negroes in industrial education and in preparing them to be
the teachers of their own race. By the extraordinary ability of the
fund's treasurer, it has been increased to a million and a half,
although half a million has been expended along the lines contemplated
by the donor. This, with the Peabody fund, comprises a powerful agency
in working out the difficult problem of negro education.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fortunes of such men as Peabody and Cornell and Hopkins and Peter
Cooper seem small enough to-day when compared with the gigantic
aggregations of money which a few men have succeeded in piling up. Not
all of them, by any means, devote their wealth to philanthropy. Here, as
in England, there are men concerned only with the idea of building up a
family and a great estate; but there are a few who have labored as
faithfully to use their wealth wisely as they did to accumulate it.

First of them is Leland Stanford, born in the valley of the Mohawk,
studying law, and moving to Wisconsin to practise it, but losing his law
library and all his property by fire, and finally joining the rush to
the newly-discovered California gold-fields, where he arrived in 1852,
being at that time twenty-eight years old. After some experience in the
mines, he decided that there were surer ways of getting gold than
digging for it, and set up a mercantile business in San Francisco, which
grew rapidly in importance and proved the foundation of a vast fortune.
He was the first president of the Central Pacific Railroad, and was in
charge of its construction over the mountains, driving the last spike at
Promontory Point, Utah, on the tenth of May, 1869. He was prominent in
the politics of state and nation, being elected to the United States
Senate in 1885.

It is not by his public life, however, that he will be remembered, for
he did nothing there that was in any way memorable, but by his gift of
twenty million dollars to found a great university at Palo Alto,
California, in memory of his only son. On May 14, 1887, the cornerstone
of this great institution was laid, and the university was formally
opened in 1891. The idea of its founder was that it should teach not
only the studies usually taught in college, but also other practical
branches of education, such as telegraphy, type-setting, type-writing,
book-keeping, and farming. This it has done, and so rapid has been its
growth, that it now has over seventeen hundred students enrolled.

After Senator Stanford's death in 1893, the university was further
endowed by his widow, Jane Lathrop Stanford, so that the present
productive funds of the university, after all of the buildings have been
paid for, amount to nearly twenty-five million dollars.

The second of the great givers of recent years is John Davison
Rockefeller, whose name is synonymous with the greatest natural monopoly
of modern times, the Standard Oil Company. His rise from clerk in a
grocery store to one of the greatest capitalists in the history of the
world is an interesting one, as well as an important one in the
commercial history of America. Born at Richford, New York, in 1839, his
parents moved to Cleveland, Ohio, when he was a boy of fourteen, and
such education as he had was secured in the Cleveland public schools. He
soon left school for business, getting employment first as clerk in a
commission house, and at nineteen being junior partner in the firm of
Clark & Rockefeller, commission merchants.

At that time the petroleum fields of Pennsylvania were just beginning to
be developed, and young Rockefeller's attention was soon attracted to
them. He seems to have been one of the first to realize the vast
possibilities of the oil business, and in 1865, he and his brother
William built at Cleveland a refinery which they called the Standard Oil
Works. They had little money, but unlimited nerve, and very soon began
the work of consolidation, which culminated in the formation of the
Standard Oil Trust in 1882. They were able to kill competition largely
by securing from the railroads lower shipping rates than any competitor,
in some cases going so far as to get a rebate on all oil shipped by
competitors. That is, if a railroad charged the Standard Oil Company one
dollar to carry its oil between two points and charged a competitor a
dollar and a quarter for the same service, that extra quarter went, not
into the coffers of the railroad, but into the coffers of the Standard
Oil Company. Such methods of business have since been made illegal, and
the Standard is compelled to do business on the same basis as its
competitors, but its vast resources and occupancy of the field give it
an advantage which nothing can counteract.

The operations of the Standard Oil Company naturally piled up a great
fortune for John D. Rockefeller--how great cannot even be estimated. Not
until comparatively recent years, did he turn his attention from making
money to spending it, but when he did, it was in a royal fashion. Ten
million dollars were given to the University of Chicago, which opened
its doors in 1892, and now has an enrollment of over five thousand
students; ten million more were given to the General Education Board,
organized in 1903, for the purpose of promoting education in the United
States, without distinction of race, sex, or creed, and especially to
promote and systematize various forms of educational beneficence; a
million was given to Yale; the great Rockefeller Institute for Medical
Research was founded at New York and liberally endowed; and Mr.
Rockefeller's total benefactions probably exceed a total of thirty
millions. This will soon be greatly increased, for he has just asked
Congress to charter an institution to be known as the Rockefeller
Foundation, which he will endow on an enormous scale to carry out
various plans of charity, through centuries to come.

He seems recently to have experienced a change of heart, too, toward the
public. During his early years, he gained a reputation for coldness and
reserve, which made him probably the best-hated man in the United
States. Then, suddenly, he changed about. Instead of refusing himself to
reporters, he welcomed them; he seemed glad to talk, anxious to show the
public that he was by no means such a monster as he was painted; and he
has even, quite recently, written his life story and given it to a great
magazine for publication. Seldom before has any public man shown such a
sudden and complete change of heart. He still remains, in a sense, an
enigma, for it seems possible that the smiling face he has lately turned
to the world conceals the real man more effectively than the frowning
countenance he wore in former years.

As the dramatist saves his finest effect for the fall of the curtain, so
we have saved for the last the most remarkable giver in history--Andrew
Carnegie, whose total benefactions amount to at least one hundred
millions of dollars. A sum so stupendous would bankrupt many a nation,
yet Mr. Carnegie is so far from bankrupt that his gifts show no sign of
diminution. The story of how, starting out as a poor boy, on the lowest
round of the ladder, he acquired this immense fortune, is a striking

Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland in 1835. His father was a weaver,
at one time fairly well-to-do, for he owned four hand looms; but the
introduction of steam ruined hand-loom weaving, and after a long
struggle, ending in hardship and poverty, the looms were sold at a
sacrifice and the family set sail for America. Mrs. Carnegie happened to
have two sisters living at Pittsburgh, and there the family settled--by
one of those curious chances of fate, the very place in all the world
best suited to the development of young Andrew Carnegie's peculiar

At the age of twelve years, he became a wage-earner, his first position
being that of bobbin-boy in a cotton mill at Alleghany City, where his
salary was $1.20 a week. Pretty soon he was set to firing a small engine
in the cellar of the mill, but he did not like this work, and finally
secured a position as messenger boy in the office of the Atlantic & Ohio
Telegraph Company, at Pittsburgh. One night, at the end of the month, he
did not receive his pay with the rest of the boys, but was told to wait
till the others had left the room. He thought that dismissal was coming,
and wondered how he could ever go home and tell his father and mother!
But he found that he was to be given an increase in salary, from $11.25
to $13.50 a month.

"I ran all the way home," said Mr. Carnegie, in telling of the incident,
long afterwards. "Talk about your millionaires! All the millions I've
made combined, never gave me the happiness of that rise of $2.25 a
month. Arrived at the cottage where we lived, I handed my mother the
usual $11.25, and that night in bed told brother Tom the great secret.
The next morning, Sunday, we were all sitting at the breakfast table,
and I said: 'Mother, I have something else for you,' and then I gave her
the $2.25, and told her how I got it. Father and she were delighted to
hear of my good fortune, but, motherlike, she said I deserved it, and
then came tears of joy."

It was at the dinner given, in 1907, in his honor as "Father of the
Corps," by the surviving members of the United States Military Telegraph
Corps of the Civil War, that Mr. Carnegie spoke these words, and he
continued as follows:

"Comrades, I was born in poverty, and would not exchange its sacred
memories with the richest millionaire's son who ever breathed. What does
he know about mother or father? They are mere names to him. Give me the
life of the boy whose mother is nurse, seamstress, washerwoman, cook,
teacher, angel and saint, all in one, and whose father is guide,
exemplar, and friend. These are the boys who are born to the best
fortune. Some men think that poverty is a dreadful burden, and that
wealth leads to happiness. They have lived only one side; they imagine
the other. I have lived both, and I know there is very little in wealth
that can add to human happiness, beyond the small comforts of life.
Millionaires who laugh are rare. My experience is that wealth is apt to
take the smiles away."

But we are getting ahead of our story. That small increase in salary
meant a good deal to the little family, whose father was working from
dawn to dark in the cotton-mill, and whose mother was contributing what
she could to the family earnings by binding shoes in the intervals of
housework. Meantime the superintendent of the company for which the boy
was working happened to meet him while visiting the Pittsburgh office,
and it was discovered that both of them had been born near the same
town in Scotland. The fact may have had something to do with the boy's
subsequent promotion, and it is worth noting that forty years later, he
was able to secure for his old employer the United States consulship to
the town of their birth. But for the time being, he was busy with his
work as messenger-boy. He soon learned the Morse alphabet and practised
making the signals early in the morning before the operators arrived. He
was soon able to send and receive messages by means of the Morse
register--a steel pen which embossed the dots and dashes of the message
on a narrow strip of paper. But young Carnegie soon progressed a step
beyond this, and was soon able to read the messages by sound, without
need of the register. It was, of course, only a short time after that
when he was regularly installed as operator.

He was not to remain long in the telegraph business, however, for Thomas
A. Scott, superintendent of the Pittsburgh division of the Pennsylvania
Railroad, offered him a position at a salary of $35 a month. Carnegie
promptly accepted, and on February 1, 1853, at the age of seventeen,
entered the employ of the road. His promotion was rapid, and he rose to
be superintendent of the Pittsburgh division before the success of his
other ventures caused him to resign from the service. These ventures
were, in the first place, investment in the newly-developed oil-fields
of Pennsylvania, which yielded a great profit, and afterwards the
establishment of a steel rolling-mill, in the development of which he
found his true vocation, building up the most complete system of iron
and steel industries ever controlled by an individual. Some idea of the
value of the business may be gained from the fact that, when the United
States Steel Corporation was organized in 1901 to take over Mr.
Carnegie's interests he received for them, first mortgage bonds to the
amount of three hundred million dollars.

It is this sum which he has been disposing of for years. Unlike most
other philanthropists, he has not used his wealth to endow a great
university, but has devoted it mainly to another branch of education,
the establishment of free public libraries. He conceived the unique plan
of offering a library building, completely equipped, to any community
which would agree to maintain it suitably, and, by the beginning of
1909, had, under this plan, given nearly fifty-two millions of dollars
for the erection of 1858 buildings, of which 1167 are in this country.
Among his other great gifts was one of $12,000,000, for the founding at
Washington of an institution "which shall, in the broadest and most
liberal manner, encourage investigation, research, and discovery, show
the application of knowledge to the improvement of mankind, and provide
such buildings, laboratories, books, and apparatus as may be needed."

The sum of ten millions was given to the great Carnegie Institute, of
Pittsburgh; still another ten millions were given to Scottish
universities, and still another for the purpose of providing pensions
for college professors in the United States and Canada; and finally
five millions for the establishment of a fund to be used for the benefit
of the dependants of those losing their lives in heroic effort to save
their fellow-men, or for the heroes themselves, if injured only. What
great benefaction will next be announced cannot, of course, be foretold,
but that some other announcement will some day be forthcoming can
scarcely be doubted, since Mr. Carnegie has announced his ambition to
die poor.

Although born in Scotland and maintaining a great estate there, he is an
American out-and-out. He proved his patriotism during the Civil War by
serving as superintendent of military railways and government telegraph
lines in the east; and has proved it more than once since by enlisting
in the fight for civic betterment and good government. Thousands of
benefactions stand to his credit, besides the great ones which have been
mentioned above, and it is doubtful if in the history of the world there
has ever been another man armed with such power and using it in such a

We will end here the story of American benefactions, although scarcely
the half of it has been told. During the last forty years, not less than
one hundred millions of dollars have been given to American colleges;
nearly as much again has been given for the endowment of hospitals,
sanitariums and infirmaries; vast sums have been given for other
educational or charitable purposes, so that, of the great fortunes which
have been accumulated in this country, at least three hundred millions
have been returned, in some form or other, to the people. And the end
is not yet. Scientific philanthropy is as yet in its infancy. Just the
other day, Mrs. Russell Sage set apart the sum of ten million dollars
for a fund whose chief and almost sole purpose it is to obtain accurate
information concerning social and economic conditions--in other words,
to furnish the data upon which the scientific philanthropy of the future
will be based. The disposition toward such employment of great fortunes,
and away from the selfish piling-up of wealth is one of the most
cheering and promising developments of the new century in this great
land of ours; the kings of finance are coming to realize that, after
all, wealth is useless unless it is used for good, and the next half
century will no doubt witness the establishment of philanthropic
enterprises on a scale hitherto unknown to history.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have already said that the highest form of philanthropy is not the
giving of money, but the giving of self, and we shall close this chapter
with a brief consideration of the careers of a few of the many men and
women who, in the course of American history, have devoted their lives
to the betterment of humanity, either as ministers of the gospel or as
laborers for some great reform.

[Illustration: BEECHER]

Among ministers, no name has been more widely known than that of
Beecher--first, Lyman Beecher, and afterwards his brilliant son, Henry
Ward Beecher. Lyman Beecher was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in
1775, the son of a blacksmith, and his youth was spent between
blacksmithing and farming. His love of books soon manifested itself,
however, and means were found to prepare him for Yale, where he
graduated at the age of twenty-two. A further year of study enabled him
to enter the ministry. For sixteen years, he was pastor of the
Congregational church at Litchfield, Connecticut, and soon took rank as
the leading clergyman of his denomination. His eloquence, zeal and
courage won a wide reputation, and in 1832, he was offered the
presidency of the newly-organized Lane seminary, at Cincinnati. This
place he held for twenty years, and his name was continued as president
in the seminary catalogue, until his death.

Soon after he assumed this position, the slavery question began to
assume the acute phase which ended in the Civil War. Mr. Beecher was, of
course, an Abolitionist, and for a time lived in a turmoil, for many of
the seminary students were from the south, while Cincinnati itself was
so near the borderline that there was a great pro-slavery sentiment
there. But during Mr. Beecher's absence, his trustees tried to allay
excitement and, in a way, carry water on both shoulders, by forbidding
all further discussion of slavery in the seminary, and succeeded in
nearly wrecking the institution, for the students withdrew in a body,
and while a few were persuaded to return, the great majority refused to
do so and laid the foundation of Oberlin College. For seventeen years,
Mr. Beecher labored to restore the seminary's prosperity, but finally
abandoned the task in despair. He resigned the presidency in 1852,
intending to devote his remaining years to the revision and publication
of his works, but a paralytic stroke put an end to his active career.

Mr. Beecher's vigor of mind and body were imparted in a remarkable
degree to his children, of whom he had thirteen. Of Harriet Beecher
Stowe we have already spoken, but by far the most famous of them was
Henry Ward Beecher. Born in 1813, and renouncing an early desire for a
sea-faring life in favor of the ministry, he secured his first charge in
1837, and ten years later entered upon the pastorate of Plymouth church,
in Brooklyn, where his chief fame was won. The church, one of the
largest in the country, soon became inadequate to hold the crowds which
flocked to hear his brilliant preaching. As a lecturer and platform
orator he soon came to be in such demand that he was at last compelled
to decline all such engagements. He took an active part in politics,
holding that Christianity was not a series of dogmas, but a rule of
everyday life, and did not hesitate to attack the abuses of the day from
the pulpit. He was as facile with the pen as with the tongue, and his
publications were many and important. All in all, he was one of the most
influential and picturesque figures that has ever occupied an American

Lyman Beecher was at all times a doughty antagonist, and in 1826 he had
been called to Boston to take up the cudgels against the so-called
Unitarian movement which had developed there, under the leadership of
William Ellery Channing. For six years and a half, he wielded the
cudgels of controversy, but with no great effect, for Channing was a
foeman in every sense his equal. Channing had graduated at Harvard in
1798, a small man of an almost feminine sensibility, with a singular
capacity for winning devoted attachment from all with whom he came in
contact. For two years, he served as tutor in a family at Richmond,
Virginia, where he acquired an abhorrence of slavery that lasted through
life. Upon his return north, he began the study of theology at
Cambridge, and in 1803, became pastor of a church in Boston, where he
soon attracted attention by sermons of a rare "fervor, solemnity, and
beauty." He was from the first identified with the movement of thought,
which came to be known as Unitarian, and gave to the body so-called a
consciousness of its position and a clear statement of its convictions
with his sermon delivered at Baltimore, in 1819, on the occasion of the
ordination of Jared Sparks. For the fifteen years succeeding, Channing
was best known to the public as the leader of the Unitarian movement,
and his sermons delivered during that period constitute the best body of
practical divinity which that movement has produced. In later years, he
was identified with many philanthropical and reform movements, and was
one of the pillars of the anti-slavery cause, though never adopting the
extreme opinions of the abolitionists. Of his rare quality and power as
a pulpit orator many traditions remain, and his death at the age of
sixty-two removed a great power for righteousness.

Even to give a list of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives
in the attempt to carry the gospel of Christianity to heathen nations is
beyond the limits of a book like this, but at least mention can be made
of two of the earliest, Adoniram Judson and his wife, whose experiences
form one of the most thrilling chapters in missionary history.

Adoniram Judson was born in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1788, and after
graduating at Brown University, and taking a special course at Andover
Theological seminary, became deeply interested in foreign missions, and
in 1810, determined to go to Burmah. Securing the support of the London
Missionary Society, he sailed for Asia on the nineteenth of February,
1812. Two weeks before, he had married Ann Haseltine, who consented to
share his work, and who sailed with him. On that long voyage, they had
ample time to discuss and consider the various dogmas of their faith,
and they became convinced that the baptism of the New Testament was
immersion, and in accordance with this view, both of them were baptized
by immersion upon reaching Calcutta. But this change of faith cut them
off from the body which had sent them to India, and it was not until
1814 that the Baptists of America took the two missionaries under their

Meanwhile, Dr. Judson mastered the Burmese language and began his public
preaching. Before long, he baptized his first convert, and pushed
forward the work with renewed zeal, translating the gospels into
Burmese, publishing tracts in that language, and undertaking the most
perilous journeys. The Burmese government had never been friendly, and
in 1824, seized the missionaries and threw them into prison. They were
confined in the "death hole," reeking with foul air, without light, and
were loaded with fetters. Just enough food was given them to keep them
alive, and at last, stripped almost naked, they were driven like cattle
under the burning sun, to another prison, where it was intended to burn
them alive. They were saved by the intercession of Sir Archibald
Campbell, but Mrs. Judson's health had been wrecked by the terrible
experience. She never recovered, dying two years later. Undaunted by
difficulties, Dr. Judson continued his work, completing his translation
of the Bible, travelling over India, compiling a Burmese grammar and
dictionary, but his labors at last undermined even his constitution and
he died at sea in 1850, while on his way to the Isle of France.

Turn we now to Lucretia Mott, one of the most extraordinary women who
ever lived in America. Born in Nantucket in 1793, the daughter of a
sea-captain named Thomas Coffin, she was raised in the strict Quaker
faith, to which her parents belonged. She began teaching while still a
girl, and at the age of eighteen, married a fellow teacher, James Mott.
It was not long after that, that she developed the "gift" of speaking at
the Quaker meetings, simply, earnestly and eloquently. The Quakers had
always opposed slavery and Lucretia Mott was soon working heart and
soul against it. When the American Anti-Slavery Society was organized in
1833, she was one of four women who joined it, and she proceeded
immediately to organize the Female Anti-Slavery Society, the first
organization of women in America working for a political purpose. Years
of abuse followed, for in those days anti-slavery lecturers were tarred
and feathered, their homes burned, and many other indignities heaped
upon them. Throughout all this, Mrs. Mott never lost her serenity, and
never suffered bodily injury. On one occasion, the annual meeting of the
Anti-Slavery Society, in New York, was broken up by a mob, and some of
the speakers were roughly handled. Perceiving that some of the women
were badly frightened, Mrs. Mott asked her escort to look after them.

"But who will take care of you?" he asked.

"This man will," she said, and smilingly laid her hand upon the arm of
one of the leaders of the mob. "He will see me safe through."

The rioter stared down at her for a moment, his conflicting thoughts
betraying themselves upon his countenance, then his better nature
triumphed and he led her respectfully to a place of safety.

She seems to have possessed the power of charming any audience, and
carried her anti-slavery campaign even into Kentucky, where she
commanded respectful attention. She was one of the first to take up the
question of woman suffrage, and in 1848, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and
a few others, called the first Woman's Suffrage Convention ever held in
this country. For fifty years she continued her public work, until she
grew to be one of the best known and best loved women in the country.
She lived to see the slave freed, and when she died, a great concourse
followed her body silently to the grave. As they stood there with bowed
heads, a low voice asked, "Will no one say anything?"

"Who can speak?" another voice responded, "The preacher is dead."

       *       *       *       *       *

In this day of pitying and enlightened treatment of the insane, it is
difficult to realize the barbarities which they were called upon to
endure a century ago. They were regarded almost as wild beasts, were
kept chained in foul and loathsome places, fed with mouldy bread, filthy
water, and allowed to die the most miserable death. For everyone used to
believe that insanity was a mark of God's displeasure, and the outcast
from His heart became equally an outcast from the hearts of men. The
insane were regarded with fear and loathing, and it was not until the
beginning of the nineteenth century that such men as Dr. Channing began
to insist on the presence in human nature, even in its most degraded
condition, of grains of good.

It was from Dr. Channing that Dorothea Lynde Dix drank in this theory
with passionate faith, and proceeded at once to convert it into action.
She was governess of Dr. Channing's children, and had long been
interested in bettering the condition of convicts; but now her
attention was turned to the insane and she proceeded at once to master
the whole question of insanity, its origin, its development, and its
treatment, so far as it was then known. Enlisting the aid of a number of
broad-minded men, among them Charles Sumner, she went to work. In one
prison, she found two insane women, each confined in a small cage of
planks; others were locked in closets, cellars, and stalls; some of them
were naked, some were chained, some were regularly beaten and scourged.
With all her data at hand, she addressed a memorial to the Massachusetts
legislature, setting forth, in page after page, the details of these
almost incredible horrors, which she herself had witnessed.

It exploded like a bombshell, for it was a terrific arraignment of the
whole state. Her statements were denounced as untrue and slanderous, but
a little investigation proved their truth, and with such men behind her
as Channing, Horace Mann, and Samuel G. Howe, it was soon apparent that
something would be done. The obstructions and delays of politicians were
swept away before a steadily rising tide of public indignation, and a
large appropriation was made by the legislature to provide proper
quarters and proper treatment for insane persons. So Miss Dix won her
first great victory, the forerunner of similar ones in almost every
state in the union; for she travelled from state to state making the
same investigations she had in Massachusetts, arousing public opinion,
and compelling legislature after legislature to make adequate provision
for the insane. The vastness of this campaign which Miss Dix planned
deliberately and which she carried through until she had visited every
state east of the Rocky Mountains, gives evidence to her extraordinary
character. During the Civil War, she was superintendent of hospital
nurses, having the entire control of their appointment and assignment.
But the care of the insane was her life work. She resumed it at the
close of the war, and carried it forward until her death.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have already referred more than once, in the course of these
chapters, to the anti-slavery agitation which ended in the Civil War.
During the second quarter of the nineteenth century, it was the one
great political question in America, upon which men were compelled to
take one side or the other. From the first, there existed in the north a
band of abolitionists--of men, in other words, who believed that the
only solution of the slavery question was to put an end to that
institution at once and forever. Of the persecutions which were visited
on the abolitionists we have spoken when telling the story of Lucretia
Mott. Social ostracism was the least of them.

Perhaps no one person in America did more to crystalize public sentiment
against slavery than Lydia Maria Child. An author at the age of
seventeen, and writing continuously until her death, coming early under
the influence of William Lloyd Garrison, that great leader of the
abolitionists, it was inevitable that she should employ her pen to
assist the cause. In 1833 appeared her "Appeal for that class of
Americans called Africans," the first anti-slavery work printed in
America in book form, antedating Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by
nineteen years. It attracted wide attention, enlisting the interest of
such men as Dr. Channing, who walked from Boston to Roxbury to thank the
author. But it was not without its penalties, for society closed its
doors to Mrs. Child, many of her friends deserted her, and she was made
the subject of much cruel comment. However, she became more and more
interested in the anti-slavery crusade, edited the "National
Anti-Slavery Standard," and wrote pamphlet after pamphlet. When John
Brown was taken prisoner, she wrote him a letter of sympathy, which drew
forth a courteous rebuke from Governor Wise, of Virginia, and a letter
from the wife of Senator Mason, the author of the fugitive slave law,
threatening her with future damnation. These letters were published and
had a circulation of three hundred thousand copies. Wendell Phillips
paid an eloquent tribute to her character and influence, at her funeral:
"She was the kind of woman," he said, "one would choose to represent
woman's entrance into broader life. Modest, womanly, sincere, solid,
real, loyal, to be trusted, equal to affairs, and yet above them; a
companion with the password of every science and all literature."

But however valuable the services of women like Lucretia Mott and Lydia
Maria Child and Harriet Beecher Stowe were in the fight against slavery,
the leader and high priest of the movement was William Lloyd Garrison.
Born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1805, his was an unhappy boyhood,
for his father, a sea-captain of intemperate and adventurous habits,
left his family, soon after the boy was born, and was never seen again.
The mother, a woman of unusual strength of character, went to work to
earn a living for herself and her son, and it was to her careful
training that his development was due. At fourteen years of age, he was
apprenticed to a printery and served until he was of age. From the first
he was remarkable for his firmness of moral principle and for an
inflexible adherence to his convictions, no matter at what cost to

He soon showed, too, that he was destined for something more than a
printer--a man who puts in print the ideas of others--that he had ideas
of his own. His apprenticeship over, he started a paper of his own, but
it was too reformatory for the taste of the day, and proved a failure.
The most noteworthy thing in connection with it was the publication of
some poems which had been sent in anonymously, and which Garrison,
recognizing their merit, discovered to be the work of John G. Whittier,
then entirely unknown. He visited the poet, encouraged him to keep on
writing, and laid the foundation of a friendship which was broken only
by death.

Going to Boston after the failure of his paper, Garrison for a time
edited the "National Philanthropist," devoted to prohibition. This
paper, too, was a failure, but at Boston Garrison met a man whose
influence changed the whole course of his life. His name was Benjamin
Bundy. He was a Quaker, and at that time thirty-nine years of age. He
was a saddler by trade, but for thirteen years had devoted his life to
the anti-slavery cause, forming anti-slavery societies and editing a
little monthly paper with a portentous name--"The Genius of Universal
Emancipation." Bundy, whose home was in Baltimore, had journeyed to New
England in the hope of interesting the clergy in the cause. In this he
was bitterly disappointed, but he mightily stirred the heart of young
Garrison, who soon became his ally and afterwards his partner in the
conduct of the paper. His vigorous editing of it was soon a national
sensation. He had seen with dismay the indifference with which the north
regarded the great issue--an indifference grounded on the belief that
slavery was intrenched by the constitution and that all discussion of it
was a menace to the Union. He realized that this indifference could be
broken only by heroic measures, and he took the ground that since
slavery was wrong, every slave had a right to instant freedom, and that
immediate emancipation was the duty of the master and of the state.

Baltimore was at that time one of the centres of the slave trade. There
were slave-pens on the principal streets, and Garrison soon witnessed
scenes which would have touched a less tender heart. In the first issue
of his paper, he denounced this traffic as "domestic piracy," and named
some men engaged in it, among them a vessel-owner of his own town of
Newburyport. This man immediately had Garrison arrested for "gross and
malicious libel," he was found guilty, fined fifty dollars and costs,
and as there was no one to pay this, was thrown into prison.

Garrison took his imprisonment calmly enough, but his old friend, John
G. Whittier, was deeply distressed and appealed to Henry Clay to secure
the release of the "guiltless prisoner." This Clay would probably have
done, but he was anticipated by another friend of Garrison's, Arthur
Tappan, of New York, who sent the money to pay the fine, and the young
agitator was free again, after an imprisonment of forty-nine days. He
had not been idle while in prison, but had prepared a series of lectures
on slavery, which he proceeded at once to deliver. Then, on the first
day of January, 1831, he began in Boston the publication of a weekly
paper called the "Liberator," which he continued for thirty-five years,
until its fight was won and slavery was abolished.

How well that fight was waged history has shown. In his first number he
announced: "I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as
justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, to speak, or write with
moderation. No! No! Tell the man whose home is on fire to give a
moderate alarm; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the
fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a
cause like the present. I am in earnest--I will not equivocate--I will
not excuse--I will not retreat a single inch--and I will be heard."

And heard he was. The whole land was soon filled with excitement; the
apathy of years was broken. From the south came hundreds of letters
threatening him with death if he did not desist, and the state of
Georgia offered a reward of $5,000 for his apprehension. In the north,
anti-slavery societies were formed everywhere, and the movement grew
with great rapidity, in spite of powerful efforts to crush it. There
were riots everywhere. Garrison was dragged through the streets of
Boston with a rope around his body and his life was saved only by
lodging him in jail; Elijah Lovejoy was slain at Alton, Illinois, while
defending his press; Marius Robinson, an anti-slavery lecturer, was
tarred and feathered in Mahoning County, Ohio; in the cities of the
south, mobs broke into the postoffice and made bonfires of anti-slavery
papers and pamphlets found there. Quarrels and dissension in the
anti-slavery ranks developed in time, but when the Civil War was over,
the leaders of the Republican party united with Garrison's friends in
raising for him the sum of $30,000, and after his death the city of
Boston raised a statue to his memory. Perhaps no better estimate of him
has ever been made than that of John A. Andrew, war governor of

"The generation which preceded ours regarded him only as a wild
enthusiast, a fanatic, or a public enemy. The present generation sees in
him the bold and honest reformer, the man of original, self-poised,
heroic will, inspired by a vision of universal justice, made actual in
the practice of nations; who, daring to attack without reserve the
worst and most powerful oppression of his country and his time, has
outlived the giant wrong he assailed, and has triumphed over the
sophistries by which it was maintained."

Closely second to Garrison in the awakening of the public conscience to
the enormities of slavery was Theodore Parker, one of the purest, most
self-sacrificing and interesting of personalities. He came of good
stock. His grandfather, John Parker, commanded the little company of
minute-men who held the bridge at Lexington on that fateful nineteenth
of April, 1775; his father a farmer, and Theodore himself the youngest
of eleven children. The family was poor and the boy was brought up to
hard labor, with short intervals of schooling now and then. But his
thirst for knowledge seems to have been insatiable, and he read
everything he could lay his hands on, even to translations of Homer and
Plutarch and Rollin's "Ancient History." A century ago, a book was a far
greater treasure than it is to-day, when their very number has made us
in a way contemptuous of them; and the few which young Parker could
secure were read and re-read and learned through and through. His memory
was amazing, and at the age of twenty he walked from his home in
Lexington to Cambridge, took the entrance examination for Harvard
College, passed with honors, and, walking home again, told his
unsuspecting father, then in bed, of his success. He could not be spared
from the farm, however, nor was there any money to pay for his
maintenance at Cambridge, so he continued working on the farm, keeping
up with his class by studying in the evenings and going to Cambridge
only to take the examinations.

He undertook teaching after that, and gradually worked his way toward
the ministry, to which he was admitted in 1837. He was soon called to
Boston, to a congregation independent of sectarian bonds, and here he
reached the culmination of his fame, attracting the most cultured people
of the city by his breadth of knowledge, warmth of feeling and intensity
of conviction. His interest in slavery began early, and by 1845, his
share in the anti-slavery struggle had become engrossing. He threw
himself into it heart and soul, and no one did more to awaken the
conscience of the north. His speeches, letters, sermons, tracts and
lectures had an immense influence; he took an active part in aiding
runaway slaves to get to Canada, and his labors were incessant and
prodigious. His health at last gave way, and the end came in 1860, at
Florence, Italy, where he lies buried.

Parker's immense influence was due to the brain rather than to the
heart. He possessed no grace of person, music of voice, or charm of
manner, none of that fascination which is a part of the great orator. He
was a white-hot flame which scorched and seared, an intellect pure and
piercing, a self-made instrument to expose the shams of society.

Closely associated with Garrison and Parker in the fight against
slavery, and in some ways more famous than either, was Wendell Phillips.
The very opposite of Parker, handsome in person, cultivated in manner,
with a charm of personality seldom equalled,--the two yet worked hand in
hand for a common cause, the one, as it were, supplementing the other.

Wendell Phillips was the son of John Phillips, the first mayor of
Boston, and was a year younger than Theodore Parker. He went the way of
all well-to-do Boston youth through Harvard, graduating there in 1831,
without distinguishing himself particularly, except by his skill in
debate and his finished elocution. During one of the revivals of
religion which followed the settlement of Dr. Lyman Beecher at Boston,
he became a convert, and this marked the beginning of his interest in
the great moral question of the day, slavery. It soon became
overwhelming, and was given point and passion by a spectacle which he
witnessed on October 21, 1835.

He had studied for the law, been admitted to the bar, and opened an
office, and looking from his office window on that October day, he saw a
mob break up an anti-slavery meeting on the street below, pull William
Lloyd Garrison off the platform, tear his clothes from his back, throw a
rope around him and drag him through the streets, ready to hang him, and
prevented from doing so only by a ruse of the mayor, who got Garrison
into the jail and locked him up for safety. That spectacle moved the
young lawyer through and through, and from that moment he was an avowed

"If clients do not come," he had said to a friend a short time before,
"I will throw myself heart and soul into some good cause and devote my
life to it."

Clients would have come, no doubt, but the good cause came first. His
opportunity came in 1837, when Elijah Lovejoy was murdered by a mob at
Alton, Illinois, for publishing an anti-slavery paper. Phillips, stirred
with indignation, arranged for a public meeting at Faneuil Hall, and was
of course present, but with no expectation of speaking. Dr. Channing
made an impressive address, and one or two others followed, when James
T. Austin, attorney-general of the state, and bitterly opposed to the
anti-slavery agitation, arose. He eulogized the Alton murderers,
comparing them with the patriots of the Revolution, and declared that
Lovejoy had "died as the fool dieth." Some instinct led the chair to
call upon Wendell Phillips to reply. He consented, and as he stepped
upon the platform won instant admiration by his dignity, his
self-possession, and his manly beauty.

"Mr. Chairman," he began, "when I heard the gentleman who has just
spoken lay down principles which placed the rioters, incendiaries, and
murderers of Alton side by side with Otis and Hancock, with Quincy and
Adams, I thought those pictured lips [pointing to the portraits in the
hall] would have broken into voice, to rebuke the recreant American, the
slanderer of the dead. Sir, for the sentiments he has uttered on soil
consecrated by the prayers of Puritans and the blood of patriots, the
earth should have yawned and swallowed him up."

The effect of the whole speech was tremendous. At last the
abolitionists had found a champion equal to the best, and from that hour
to the end of the anti-slavery conflict, he was foremost in the fight.
He accepted without reservation the doctrines which Garrison had
formulated: that slavery was under all circumstances a sin and that
immediate emancipation was a fundamental right and duty. Up and down the
land, obeying every call so far as his strength would permit, he
travelled, lecturing against slavery, asking no pecuniary reward. He was
soon a great popular favorite--the greatest, perhaps, who ever mounted a
lecture platform in America,--and gained a hearing in quarters where,
before, abolitionists had been hated and derided. His tact in winning
over a turbulent audience was extraordinary; the strongest opponents of
the anti-slavery cause felt the spell of his power, and often confessed
the justice of his arguments.

When that fight was won and the negro had gained his freedom, Wendell
Phillips remained the foremost critic of public men and measures in
America, and year after year, he devoted his great gifts to guiding
popular opinion. A champion of temperance, of the rights of labor, of
the Indians, of equal suffrage, he stood forth until his death an
inspiring and august figure--a man who devoted his life wholly to the
welfare of his country.

One of the reforms which Wendell Phillips advocated was that of woman
suffrage, but this movement has come to be particularly associated with
the name of Susan B. Anthony. Like her great predecessor in that cause,
Lucretia Mott, Miss Anthony was a Quaker, and the Quakers, it should be
remembered, made no distinction of sex when it came to speaking in their
meeting-houses. Her father was well-to-do, and she received a careful
education, and in 1847, first spoke in public. The temperance movement
absorbed her energies at first; then the Abolitionist cause; and finally
the work of securing equal civil rights for women. During the winter of
1854, she held woman suffrage meetings in every county in New York
State, and the remainder of her life was devoted to this cause.

Her most prominent co-worker was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whose
inspiration came directly from Lucretia Mott, whom she met in 1840, and
with whom she joined, eight years later, in issuing a call for the first
woman's suffrage convention. The convention was held at Mrs. Stanton's
home at Seneca Falls, New York, and from that time forward, she devoted
herself entirely to lecturing and writing upon the subject. That the
cause of woman suffrage has made so little headway is certainly not
because of a lack of devoted and accomplished advocates; it seems rather
to be due to the fact that it has not yet succeeded in winning over the
great body of women, who have held aloof and viewed the movement with
indifference, if not with suspicion.

       *       *       *       *       *

We cannot close this consideration of the anti-slavery movement without
some reference to that strange fanatic, John Brown, who headed a
forlorn hope and gave up his life for an idea. It was the custom at one
time to consider John Brown a saint, at the north, and a very emissary
of Satan, at the south. One estimate was as untrue as the other. He was
merely a misguided old man, grown a little mad, perhaps, from long
brooding over one subject.

He was born at Torrington, Connecticut, in 1800, his father being a
shoemaker and tanner, who, five years later, moved to Hudson, Ohio, then
a mere outpost in the wilderness. He was soon expert in woodcraft, and
he relates how, when he was six years old, an Indian boy gave him a
yellow marble, the first he had ever seen, and which he treasured for a
long time. He had little or no schooling, and a project to educate him
for the ministry was cut short by an inflammation of the eyes. He grew
up into a tall, handsome man, headstrong, but humane and kind, and
easily moved to tears. He married young and had many children, for some
of whom a tragic fate was waiting.

He soon became interested in the anti-slavery movement, and, by 1837,
was so absorbed by it that he made his family take a solemn oath of
active opposition to slavery. Ten years later, he unfolded to Frederick
Douglass a plan for a negro insurrection in the Virginia mountains, but
nothing came of it. From that time forward, the project seems to have
slumbered at the back of his mind, and he grew more and more certain
that the only way to end slavery was to arm the blacks and encourage
them to fight for freedom. In 1854, his sons emigrated to Kansas, then
in the throes of civil war over the slavery question, and their father
busied himself raising money to send arms and ammunition into the
troubled state. Finally, in September, 1855, he himself removed to
Kansas, became the captain of a band of Free State Rangers, took part in
the fight at Lawrence, and in some other affairs, and then, proceeding
to the shores of Pottawatomie creek, where several pro-slavery men
lived, seized five of them and put them to death.

For this deed he never experienced any compunction; he believed that he
was directed by Providence in these "executions," as he called them, and
after they were over, he held divine services. His fearful deed sent a
thrill of horror through the country, and Brown and his sons became
marked men. Their houses were burned, and one of the sons went insane
from brooding over the father's deed. Brown himself was charged with
murder, treason and conspiracy, and a price put on his head, but no one
attempted to arrest him. Another of his sons was soon afterwards shot
and killed by pro-slavery men and Brown, hastily collecting a small
force, attacked the marauders, and killed or wounded many of them,
himself being injured by a spent rifle ball. The fight was known as "the
battle of Osawatomie," and Brown was thereafterwards known as
"Osawatomie" Brown.

But the fight in Kansas was about won, and Brown again took up the idea
of a slave insurrection. He went to Boston to raise the necessary money,
and succeeded in getting it without much trouble, though most of the
people who gave it to him had only the haziest kind of an idea of what
it was he proposed to do. He bought rifles and ammunition, and also had
a thousand pikes made with which to arm the negroes, who, of course,
would not know how to use the rifle. Then he got together a band of
young men, secured a military instructor; and on July 3, 1859, he
appeared at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, hired a small farm near there, and
quietly assembled his men and munitions.

Harper's Ferry had been selected because there was a well-equipped
arsenal there which would furnish the arms and munitions which he had
been unable to buy, and would also serve as a base of operations. Brown
intended to proceed to the mountains, gathering up the slaves as he
went, and establish headquarters in some strong position, where he could
drill his forces and prepare for a raid on the rest of the state. He
believed the slaves would flock to him, and that he would soon be at the
head of a great army. He tried to get Frederick Douglass to join him,
but Douglass refused, and, at last, on the night of Sunday, October 16,
1859, at the head of a little band of twenty-two men, whites and
negroes, he moved on the arsenal. They reached the covered bridge over
the Potomac without adventure, crossed until they were near the Virginia
side, seized the solitary sentinel who challenged them, broke down the
armory gate with a sledge hammer, seized the remainder of the guard, and
a few citizens, who attempted to interfere, and were soon firmly in
possession of not only the arsenal, but also the little town.

Meanwhile, the country round about was arming, and by noon, of Monday,
Brown was so surrounded that he could not escape. Why he had not got
away to the mountains in the morning, as he had intended doing, no one
knows. The Virginia militia gathered, and in the early evening, a
company of United States marines arrived from Washington, under command
of Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart. They soon found
out how small Brown's force was, carried the arsenal by assault, and
took Brown and the survivors of his little band prisoners. Brown's two
sons were dead, as were seven others of his followers, and seven more
had succeeded in escaping, though two were afterwards captured.

The rest is soon told. Brown was swiftly tried and convicted of "treason
and conspiring and advising with slaves and others to rebel, and of
murder in the first degree," was sentenced to death, and was hanged on
December 2, 1859. The affair made the South wild with rage and
apprehension, for a slave insurrection was a thing to be trembled at,
and Brown's execution similarly affected his friends at the North. He
had once remarked, "I am worth a good deal more to hang than for any
other purpose," and this was, in a sense, true, for in the words of the
great marching song of the Northern armies during the war which
followed, "his soul was marching on."

Another branch of philanthropy with which the name of a woman is closely
identified is that of caring for the wounded and destitute in time of
war or disaster, and the woman is Clara Barton. Born in Massachusetts
about 1830, she started in life as a school-teacher, but in 1854 secured
a position in the patent office at Washington, where she remained until
the opening of the Civil War. The sight of the suffering in the
Washington hospitals revealed to her her real vocation, and she
determined to devote herself to the care of wounded soldiers on the
battlefield. This work of mercy was one that carried with it a wide
appeal, and she soon secured influential backing and support.

Her work was so effective that in 1864, she was appointed "lady in
charge" of the hospitals at the front of the Army of the James, and in
the following year was sent to Andersonville, Georgia, to identify and
mark the graves of the Union soldiers buried there. Soon afterwards she
was placed by President Lincoln in charge of the search for missing men
of the Union armies--a work of the first importance, to which she
devoted all her energies, and which she carried on for some years after
the war closed, raising the necessary money by lectures and appeals for
donations. Thousands of families at the North have reason to thank her
for definite knowledge as to the fate of their loved ones.

Her health broke down under the strain, at last, and she went for a rest
to Switzerland, but the outbreak of the Franco-German war, in 1870,
called her again to duty, assisting the grand duchess of Baden in the
preparation of military hospitals, and giving the Red Cross Society the
benefit of her experience. In 1871, at the request of the German
authorities, she superintended the supplying of work to the poor of
Strasburg, after that city had been reduced by siege; and after the fall
of Paris, she was placed in charge of the distribution of supplies to
the destitute of that great city. At the close of the war, she was
decorated with the golden cross of Baden and the iron cross of Germany.

Although the Red Cross societies in Europe had been established as early
as 1863, and an international organization completed six years later,
the society was not officially recognized by the United States until
1882. The American Association of the Red Cross was at once organized,
and Miss Barton chosen its president, a position which she held without
opposition for many years. Its object as stated by its constitution is
"to organize a system of national relief and apply the same in
mitigating suffering caused by war, pestilence, famine and other
calamities." Since then, every such occasion has found the society in
the forefront of relief work, and it has distributed many millions in
assuaging human suffering.

       *       *       *       *       *

Still another great reform, ridiculed at first, but now recognized as
one of the most beneficent movements of the age is associated with a
single name. The reform is the protection of dumb animals, and the name
is that of Henry Bergh.

Born in New York City in 1823, the son of a wealthy ship-builder and
inheriting his father's fortune at the age of twenty, Henry Bergh, after
spending some years in Europe, a portion of them in the diplomatic
service of the United States, returned to this country, determined to
devote the remainder of his life to the interests of animals.

It was a new idea which he presented to the public, met at first with
indifference, then with ridicule and opposition. But as a bold worker in
the streets of New York, by a relentless activity in carrying cases of
ill-treatment of animals to the courts, and an eloquent advocacy of his
cause on the floor of the legislature, he soon won friends and support,
as every great cause is bound to do, and finally succeeded in so winning
over public sentiment that, in 1866, the legislature passed the laws
which he had prepared, creating the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals, with himself as president. He gave not only his
time, but his property to the work, and soon had the society in a
prosperous condition, with branches forming in other cities. Indeed, the
idea which he fostered has spread to the whole country, and nowhere may
animals be mistreated with impunity. The idea that man is responsible
not only for the happiness of his fellows, but for the well-being of his
beasts marks a long stride forward in ethics.

Bergh's influence, indeed, extended beyond this country. Not only did
practically every state in the Union enact the laws for the protection
of animals which he had procured from the state of New York, but Brazil,
the Argentine Republic, and many other foreign countries did likewise.
In 1874, Bergh rescued a little girl from inhuman treatment, and this
led to the formation of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Children, which has also done a great work.

No doubt before Bergh's time, there were many people who were pained to
see either children or animals mistreated and who passed by with averted
eyes. Bergh did not pass by. He made it his business, in the first
place, to secure adequate laws for the punishment of cruelty, and in the
second place, to provide means for the enforcement of those laws.

There are many of us to-day who are shocked at the injustice and
suffering in the world, and who would welcome its regeneration. But
wishing for a thing never got it. Nor does philanthropy consist merely
in wishing men well. It means labor and self-sacrifice, and frequently
obloquy and misunderstanding. The reward of the reformer is usually a
stone and a sneer, if nothing worse. But when a man's heart is in the
work, stones and sneers seem only to spur him on. They are like wind to
a flame, fanning it white-hot. And it is a wonderful commentary on the
essential goodness of human nature that never yet, in the history of
mankind, has a real and needed reform failed, in the end, of success.

Among latter-day clergymen in America, none has achieved a wider
reputation or a greater personal popularity than Phillips Brooks. Born
in Boston in 1835, a graduate of Harvard, ordained to the Episcopal
ministry at the age of twenty-four, and ten years later called to the
rectorship of Trinity church, Boston, it was in this latter field, which
he would never leave, that he showed himself to be one of the strongest
personalities and noblest preachers of his age. No more striking figure
ever appeared in a pulpit. Of magnificent physique, with a striking and
massive head and handsome countenance, breathing the very spirit of
youth, in spite of his grey hair, he had the interest and attention of
any audience before he opened his lips.

Phillips Brooks has been compared to Henry Ward Beecher, and in many
things they were alike. But the former's culture, while perhaps less
varied than Beecher's, was deeper and richer, his sermons were less
brilliant but cast in better form, his appeal was narrower but to a far
more influential class. He was, in a word, the preacher of the
intellectual. No one who heard him preach ever failed to be startled at
first by his tremendous rapidity of delivery--averaging two hundred
words a minute--or failed to find himself, at first, lagging behind the
equal rapidity of thought. But once accustomed to these--once realizing
that, in listening to him there could be no inattention or wandering of
wits--his sermon became a source of keenest intellectual delight and
noblest spiritual inspiration.

Phillips Brooks often said that he had to preach rapidly, or not at all.
In youth he had suffered from something resembling an impediment in his
speech, and more measured utterance gave it a chance to recur.
Certainly, no one who ever listened to his fluent and limpid utterance
would have suspected it. But he was far more than a great preacher. By
his broad tolerance, his lofty character and immense personal influence,
he became, in a way, a national figure, the common property of the
nation which felt itself the richer for possessing him. A gracious and
courtly figure, with a heart as wide as the human race, he lives,
somehow, as the true type of clergyman, whose concern is humanity and
whose field the world.

Which brings us to the life of the last man we shall consider in this
chapter, a man the opposite in many ways of the great clergyman whose
career we have just noted, and yet, like him, of broadest sympathies and
most sincere convictions; a man whose life was more picturesque, whose
battle against fate was harder, and whose achievement was even more
remarkable--the greatest evangelist the modern world has ever produced,
Dwight L. Moody. If ever a man labored for his fellow-men, he did, and
the story of his life reads almost like a romance.

He was born at Northfield, Massachusetts, in 1837, the son of a
stone-mason, who, disheartened and worn out by business reverses, died
when the boy was only four years old. There were nine children, the
oldest only fifteen, and when the father's creditors came and took every
possession they had in the world, the future looked dark indeed. The
mother was urged to place the children in various homes, but she managed
to keep them together by doing housework for the neighbors and tilling a
little garden.

As soon as he was old enough, Dwight was put to work on a farm, but his
earnings were small, and finally, when he was seventeen, he started for
Boston to look for something better. He managed to get a position in a
shoe-store, and there came under the influence of Edward Kimball, who
persuaded him to become a Christian and to join a church. But he was not
admitted to membership for nearly a year; so poor was his command of
language and so awkward his sentences that it was doubted if he
understood Christianity at all, and even when he was admitted, the
committee stated that they thought him "very unlikely ever to become a
Christian of clear and decided views of gospel truth; still less to fill
any extended sphere of public usefulness." How blind, indeed, we often
are to the possibilities in human nature!

At the age of nineteen, Dwight removed to Chicago, secured another
position as shoe-salesman, and offered his services to a mission school
as a teacher. His appearance made anything but a favorable impression,
but finally he was told that he might teach provided he brought his own
scholars. The next Sunday he walked in at the head of a score of
ragamuffins he had gathered up along the wharves. The divine fire seems
to have been working in him; he was finding words with which to express
himself, and burning for a wider field. So he rented a room in the slum
districts which had been used as a saloon and opened a Sunday school
there. It was an immense success, soon outgrew the little room, and was
removed to a large hall, where, every Sunday, a thousand boys and girls
attended. For six years, Moody conducted that school, sweeping it out
and doing the janitor work himself, attending to his business as
salesman throughout the week. But in 1860, at the age of twenty-three,
he decided to devote all his time to Christian work.

He had no income, and to keep his expenses as low as possible, he slept
at night on a bench in his school, and cooked his own food. Then the
Civil War began, and he erected a tent at the camp near Chicago where
the recruits were gathered, and labored there all day, sometimes holding
eight or ten meetings. He went with the men to the front, and was at the
desperate battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, and Chattanooga. The war
over, he took up again his work in Chicago. The great fire of 1871 swept
away his church, but he soon had a temporary structure erected, and
labored on.

By this time, his fame had got abroad, and finally in 1873, his great
opportunity came. Accompanied by Ira D. Sankey, the famous singer of
hymns, he started on an evangelist tour of Great Britain. At his first
meeting only four people were present; at his last, thirty thousand
crowded to hear him. In Ireland, the crowds sometimes covered six acres,
and during the four months he spent in London, over two million people
heard him preach. Great Britain had never before experienced such a
religious awakening; but it was as nothing to the reception given him
when he returned to America two years later. There are many people still
living who remember those wonderful revivals in Philadelphia, New York,
and Boston, with their great choirs, and Ira Sankey's singing, and
Moody's soul-stirring talks. From that time forward he was easily the
first evangelist in the world--perhaps the greatest the world had ever

It is doubtful if any man ever faced and preached to so many people. He
spoke to thousands night after night, week in and week out. In his
themes he kept close to life, and few men were his equal in making
scriptural biography vivid and realistic; in reconstructing scriptural
scenes and setting them, as it were, bodily before his audience. He was
not a cultured man, as we understand the word--not a man of broad
learning; perhaps such learning would only have weakened him--nor did he
have the presence and voice which go so far toward the equipment of the
orator. But he burned with an intense conviction, and his sermons were
so free from art, so direct, so persuasive, that they were perfectly
adapted to the end he sought--the conversion of human beings.


GIRARD, STEPHEN. Born near Bordeaux, France, May 24, 1750; sailed as
cabin-boy to West Indies, and then to America; established in
Philadelphia, 1769; financial mainstay of government in war of 1812;
died at Philadelphia, December 26, 1831.

SMITHSON, JAMES LEWIS MACIE. Born in France in 1765; matriculated from
Pembroke College, Oxford, England, 1782; Fellow Royal Society, 1786;
distinguished as student of mineralogy and chemistry; died at Genoa,
Italy, June 27, 1829.

COOPER, PETER. Born at New York City, February 12, 1791; apprenticed to
carriage-maker, 1808; engaged in various enterprises and established
Canton Iron Works, Canton, Maryland, 1830; Greenback candidate for
President, 1876; died at New York, April 4, 1883.

PEABODY, GEORGE. Born at Danvers, Massachusetts, February 18, 1795;
settled in London as a banker, 1837; died there, November 4, 1869.

HOPKINS, JOHNS. Born at Waterbury, Connecticut, May 19, 1795; founded
house of Hopkins & Brothers, 1822; chairman of finance committee
Baltimore & Ohio railroad, 1855; died at Baltimore, December 24, 1873.

CORNELL, EZRA. Born at Westchester Landing, New York, January 11, 1807;
mechanic and miller at Ithaca, New York, 1828-41; member of State
Assembly, 1862-63; State Senator, 1864-67; died at Ithaca, New York,
December 9, 1874.

SLATER, JOHN FOX. Born at Slatersville, Rhode Island, March 4, 1815;
established Slater Fund, 1882; died at Norwich, Connecticut, May 7,

STANFORD, LELAND. Born at Watervliet, New York, March 9, 1824;
Republican governor of California, 1861-63; United States Senator,
1885-93; died at Palo Alto, California, June 20, 1893.

ROCKEFELLER, JOHN DAVISON. Born at Richford, New York, July 8, 1839;
partner of Clark & Rockefeller, 1858; built Standard Oil Works,
Cleveland, Ohio, 1865; organized Standard Oil Company, 1870; Standard
Oil Trust, 1882.

CARNEGIE, ANDREW. Born at Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, November 25,
1837; came to United States, 1848; telegraph messenger boy, 1851;
introduced Bessemer steel process to America, 1868; formed Carnegie
Steel Company, 1899; merged into United States Steel Corporation, 1901,
when he retired from business.

BEECHER, LYMAN. Born at New Haven, Connecticut, October 12, 1775; pastor
of various Congregational churches, 1799-1832; president Lane
Theological Seminary, 1832-51; died at Brooklyn, New York, January 10,

BEECHER, HENRY WARD. Born at Litchfield, Connecticut, June 24, 1813;
graduated at Amherst, 1834; pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church,
Brooklyn, 1847-87; founder of the _Independent_ and the _Christian
Union_; died at Brooklyn, March 8, 1887.

CHANNING, WILLIAM ELLERY. Born at Newport, Rhode Island, April 7, 1780;
graduated at Harvard, 1798; pastor of Federal Street Church, Boston,
1803-42; died at Bennington, Vermont, October 2, 1842.

JUDSON, ADONIRAM. Born at Malden, Massachusetts, August 9, 1788;
graduated at Brown, 1807; started as missionary to Burmah, 1812, and
remained in far East until his death, April 12, 1850.

MOTT, LUCRETIA. Born at Nantucket, Massachusetts, January 3, 1793;
entered ministry of Friends, 1818; assisted at formation of American
anti-slavery society, 1833; called first woman suffrage convention,
1848; died near Philadelphia, November 11, 1880.

DIX, DOROTHEA LYNDE. Born at Worcester, Massachusetts, 1805; devoted her
whole life to work for paupers, convicts, and insane persons;
superintendent of hospital nurses during Civil War; died at Trenton, New
Jersey, July 19, 1887.

CHILD, LYDIA MARIA. Born at Medford, Massachusetts, February 11, 1802;
editor _National Anti-Slavery Standard_, 1840-43; published a number of
novels; died at Wayland, Massachusetts, October 20, 1880.

GARRISON, WILLIAM LLOYD. Born at Newburyport, Massachusetts, December
10, 1805; began publication of the _Liberator_, 1831; president American
Anti-Slavery Society, 1843-65; died at New York City, May 24, 1879.

PARKER, THEODORE. Born at Lexington, Massachusetts, August 24, 1810;
studied at Cambridge Divinity School, 1834-36; Unitarian clergyman at
Roxbury, 1837; head of an independent society at Music Hall, Boston,
1846; died at Florence, Italy, May 10, 1860.

PHILLIPS, WENDELL. Born at Boston, November 29, 1811; educated at
Harvard; admitted to the bar, 1834; leading orator of the Abolitionists,
1837-61; president of the Anti-Slavery Society, 1865-70; Prohibitionist
candidate for governor of Massachusetts, 1870; died at Boston, February
2, 1884.

ANTHONY, SUSAN BROWNELL. Born at South Adams, Massachusetts, February
15, 1820; became agitator in cause of woman suffrage, organized National
American Woman Suffrage Association and was its president for many
years; died March 13, 1906.

STANTON, ELIZABETH CADY. Born at Johnstown, New York, November 12, 1815;
graduated at Willard Seminary, 1832; met Lucretia Mott, 1840; held first
woman's suffrage convention, 1848; associated with Susan B. Anthony;
died at New York City, October 26, 1902.

BROWN, JOHN. Born at Torrington, Connecticut, May 9, 1800; removed with
parents to Ohio, 1805; emigrated to Kansas, 1855; won battle of
Osawatomie, August, 1856; seized arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia,
October 16, 1859; captured, October 18; tried by Commonwealth of
Virginia, October 27-31; hanged at Charlestown, Virginia, December 2,

BARTON, CLARA. Born at Oxford, Massachusetts, 1821; superintended relief
work on battle-fields during Civil War; laid out grounds of national
cemetery at Andersonville, 1865; worked through Franco-Prussian war,
1870; distributed relief in Strasburg, Belfort, Montpelier, Paris,
1871; secured adoption of Treaty of Geneva, 1882; president American Red
Cross Society, 1881-1904.

BERGH, HENRY. Born at New York City, 1823; secretary of legation at St.
Petersburg, 1862-64; organized American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals, 1866; founded Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Children, 1874; died at New York City, March 12, 1888.

BROOKS, PHILLIPS. Born at Boston, December 13, 1835; graduated at
Harvard, 1855; graduated from Episcopal Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia,
1859; rector of Trinity Church, Boston, 1870-93; elected Bishop of
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, 1891; died at Boston, January 23,

MOODY, DWIGHT LYMAN. Born at Northfield, Massachusetts, February 5,
1837; started missionary work at Chicago, 1856; conducted revival
meetings in Great Britain, 1873-75; and devoted the remainder of his
life to this work; died at Northfield, December 22, 1899.



Almost from the first years of her existence America has been known
chiefly as a commercial nation, as a nation noted for her men of
affairs, rather than for her artists and men of letters. Which is to say
that the life of the Republic has been practical rather than artistic,
and it is only of late years, except for a sporadic instance here and
there, that any genuine artistic impulse has made itself felt.

This is not a cause of reproach. Given the circumstances, it was
inevitable that America should develop first on her commercial side.
Here was a great continent, stretching thousands of miles to the
westward, waiting for man's occupancy. Millions of acres of plain and
woodland awaited development. There were cities to found and rivers to
bridge and roads to make and soil to till and gold to dig before America
could think of writing poetry or painting pictures. Think--it is only
three centuries since Jamestown was founded; only a century and a
quarter since we became a nation--a mere handbreadth of time when
compared with the long centuries of English or French or Italian
history. We have already said that for art historic background is
necessary; a background of achievement and tradition. Such a background
we are just achieving. Besides, during our first century, there were
such great deeds of conquest and development to be done that they
challenged our strongest men. Great fortunes were made, as a matter of
course, and Europe witnessed the unique spectacle of men, born in
poverty and obscurity, rising to be captains of the world. It is this
which has never ceased to shock the European sense of the fitness of
things--that the poor boy of yesterday may be the millionaire of
to-morrow and take his place with the greatest of the nation. It is the
story of a few such boys which will be told in this chapter.

First is the man who financed the Revolution and who to a large extent
made possible its successful termination--Robert Morris. Born in
Liverpool, England, in 1734, he came to this country with his father at
the age of thirteen, and a place was soon found for him in the
counting-house of Charles Willing, a wealthy merchant of Philadelphia.
By his diligence and activity, as well as unusual intelligence, he grew
in favor and confidence, until, upon the death of the elder Willing, he
was taken into partnership by the latter's son, and by the opening of
the Revolution, the firm of Willing & Morris was one of the largest and
most prosperous in Philadelphia.

Of English birth, and bound to England by the ties of business, Morris
was nevertheless opposed to the stamp-act and was one of those who, in
1765, signed an agreement to import nothing further from England until
the act was repealed. He was, however, opposed to independence, and, as
a member of the Continental Congress, voted on July 1, 1776, against the
Declaration. Three days later he declined to vote, but when the
Declaration was adopted, he signed it, and threw in his fortunes
unreservedly with his new country. His services were more than
valuable--they were indispensable. As a member of the Committee of Ways
and Means, he backed the government's credit with his own. Without his
aid, the last campaigns of the war would have been impossible. It was he
who supplied General Green with munitions of war for the great campaign
of the south, and shortly afterwards raised a million and a half on his
own notes to assist Washington in the movement which resulted in the
capture of Cornwallis at Yorktown. A year later, when the financial
situation of the government had become desperate, he organized the Bank
of North America to assist in financing it. For three years, he acted as
superintendent of finance, with complete control of the monetary affairs
of the country. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention, and
when the new government was organized, Washington asked him to accept
the treasury portfolio, but he declined, suggesting instead Alexander
Hamilton. That was not the least of his services to America, for
Hamilton was preëminently the man for the place.

It was the striking irony of fate that the man who had controlled the
finances of a nation and by his personal exertions saved it from
bankruptcy should himself die in a debtor's prison; yet such was the
case. A series of unfortunate land speculations swept away his wealth
and ruined his credit; he found himself unable to meet his obligations
and was seized by his creditors and thrown into prison, where he
remained for some years, and where death found him in 1806.

So Robert Morris was not one of the founders of great fortunes. Turn we
to the earliest and perhaps most successful of these, John Jacob Astor,
the very type of the astute, large-minded, and far-sighted financier.
Born at Waldorf, Germany, in 1763, the son of a poor butcher in whose
shop he worked until sixteen years of age, there was nothing in his life
or circumstances to indicate the future which lay before him. One of his
brothers, however, had come to America and settled at New York, and
young John Astor resolved to join him in the land of opportunity. At the
age of twenty, he was able to do so, bringing with him some musical
instruments to sell on commission, but a chance acquaintance which he
made on shipboard changed the whole course of his life.

This acquaintance was that of a furrier, who told young Astor of the
great profits to be made by buying furs from the Indians and selling
them to the large dealers. Perhaps he exaggerated the profits of the
business; at any rate, he fired the ambition of his hearer, and the
latter decided to enter the fur business without delay. Upon landing in
New York, therefore, he at once secured a position in the shop of a
Quaker furrier, and after learning all the details of the business,
opened a shop of his own.

Perhaps no one ever worked harder in establishing a business than John
Jacob Astor did. Early and late he was at his shop, except when absent
on long and arduous purchasing expeditions into the wilderness. More
than that, he possessed admirable business judgment, so that, after
fifteen years of work, he had succeeded in accumulating a fortune of a
quarter of a million dollars. With careful and sagacious management, the
business prospered so that Astor was soon able to send his furs to
Europe in his own vessels, and bring back European goods. And about this
time, he began working on a grandiose and picturesque enterprise.

The English Hudson Bay Company, established many years before, with
hundreds of trappers and traders and scores of trading-posts, controlled
the rich fur business of Canada and the northwest. We have seen how,
years after the events which we are now narrating, the agents of the
company tried to save Oregon for England and how Marcus Whitman foiled
them. Astor's plan, in outline, was to render American trade independent
of the Hudson Bay Company by establishing a chain of trading-posts from
the great lakes to the Pacific, to plant a central depot at the mouth of
the Columbia river, and to acquire one of the Sandwich Islands and
establish a line of vessels between the western coast of America and
the ports of Japan, China and India. Surely a man who could conceive a
plan like that was something more than a mere trader, and Astor
proceeded at once to carry it into effect.

Two expeditions were sent out, one by land and one by sea, to open up
intercourse with the Indians of the Pacific coast, and the settlement of
Astoria was planted at the mouth of the Columbia river. Whether Astor
would have been able to carry out the remainder of his plan is purely
problematical, for before he had it fairly under way, the war of 1812
began, and he was forced to abandon the enterprise. The story of this
far-reaching project has been told by Washington Irving in his
"Astoria." Until his death, he continued to enlarge and increase his
business, and left a fortune estimated at twenty millions of dollars.

The Astor plan of investment is one of the safest, most sagacious in the
world. Practically all of his profits were invested by John Jacob Astor
in real estate outside the compact portion of the city of New York. As
the city grew out to his holdings, he would improve them, rent or sell
them, and reinvest further out. In this way the growth of the city
marked also the growth of his fortune, and this plan of investment has
been followed by his descendants to the present day, until they have
become by far the most important owners of real estate in New York City.
His son, William B. Astor, gave his life to the preservation and growth
of the vast property he inherited, and at his death had more than
doubled it, dividing an estate of $45,000,000 between his two sons.

Not that the whole thought of these two men was money-getting, for their
public gifts were numerous and important. The most noteworthy was the
Astor library, founded by John Jacob Astor at the suggestion of
Washington Irving, and largely added to by his son, the total amount of
the Astor donations to it exceeding a million dollars. But they stand as
two types of sagacious and hard-headed business men, to whom
money-making and the still more difficult art of money-keeping was an
instinctive accomplishment.

The second great American fortune was that founded by Cornelius
Vanderbilt, as remarkable and picturesque a character as this country
ever produced. Born on Staten Island in 1794, the son of a farmer in
moderate circumstances, the boy soon developed a remarkable talent for
trade. His father owned a sail-boat, in which he conveyed his produce
across the bay to the New York markets, and the boy soon learned to
manage this and was intrusted with these daily trips. When he was
sixteen years old, he bought a boat of his own, in which he ferried
passengers across the bay, and two years later he was owner of two boats
and captain of a third. This was the beginning of the great fleet of
steamers, sloops and schooners which he built up for the navigation of
the shores of New York bay and the Hudson river, which won him the title
of "Commodore," which clung to him all his life. Before he was forty
years old, he had accumulated a fortune of half a million dollars, and
was ready for those great financial operations which marked his later

The discovery of gold in California led him to establish a passenger
line by way of Lake Nicaragua which netted him ten millions in ten
years; he established a fast line of passenger steamships between New
York and Havre; and finally was attracted to railway development as a
field of enterprise destined to win large returns. In the course of a
few years he had secured control of both the Hudson River and New York
Central roads, and brought both of them to the highest state of
efficiency, and after consolidating them, extended the system to Chicago
by the purchase of the Lake Shore, the Canada Southern and Michigan
Central. He built a great terminal in New York City, and made the system
so profitable that, from it, and a series of fortunate speculations, he
accumulated a fortune of $100,000,000, practically all of which he
bequeathed to his eldest son, William Henry. One million was also given
for the establishment of Vanderbilt University at Nashville, Tennessee.

Cornelius Vanderbilt, for many years, had a very poor opinion of his
son's financial ability, and giving him a small farm on Staten Island,
left him to shift for himself. Everyone has read of the incident which
changed this opinion. William needed some fertilizer for his farm, and
asked his father to give him a load of manure from his stables. His
father told him to go ahead and take a load, and William thereupon
brought a great scow up to the pier near the stables, proceeded to load
it, and when his father protested, pointed out that he had not specified
the kind of load, but that he had meant a scow-load. This bit of sharp
practice pleased his father, and, shortly afterwards, the great success
with which he managed the Staten Island Railroad, as receiver,
established him in his father's confidence. He continued and extended
his father's policy of railway investment, and added to the great
fortune which had been left him, and which still remains one of the
greatest in America, though it has been split up among the different
branches of the Vanderbilt family. William himself distributed about two
millions in various benevolent and public enterprises, one of the
queerest of which was the removal of one of "Cleopatra's Needles" from
Egypt to Central Park, New York City, at a cost of over a hundred
thousand dollars.

In the business world of New York City, half a century ago, no name was
more prominent than that of A. T. Stewart, whose success as a merchant
was one of the most astonishing features of the time. Born near Belfast,
Ireland, in 1803, Stewart was a descendant from one of those hardy and
thrifty Scotch-Irish, whom we have had occasion to mention before. His
father was a farmer, but died while the son was still at school, and at
the age of twenty the latter came to New York, and after looking over
the field, opened a small store on lower Broadway, with a sleeping
apartment for himself in the rear. Such was the beginning of the
greatest dry-goods business this country ever saw. It increased by leaps
and bounds, for Stewart seems to have had a sort of instinctive genius
for the business. He was continually moving to larger and larger
quarters, and in 1862, built on Broadway a store which was at that time
the largest in the world, and which, even in this day of mammoth
structures, commands attention. Its cost was nearly three millions, a
colossal sum for those days; two thousand people were employed in it and
it cost a million a year to run. But it brought a tremendous return, and
its owner soon became one of the wealthiest men in New York.

He wanted more than wealth--he hungered for political and social honors
which were never fully his. He had made a large contribution to the fund
of $100,000 presented by the merchants of New York to General Grant, and
in 1869, Grant appointed him secretary of the treasury. The senate
refused to confirm the appointment, on the ground that the law excluded
from that office anyone interested in the importation of merchandise.
Grant sent to the senate a message recommending that this law be
repealed, but the senate refused; and Stewart thereupon offered to place
his business in the hands of trustees and devote its entire profits to
charity during his term of office; but still the senate refused, and the
nomination was withdrawn. It was a bitter blow to Stewart, nor was his
fight for social prominence much more fortunate. As his last stake, as
it were, he began the erection of a great marble palace on Fifth
Avenue, designed to cost a million and to be the finest private
residence in the world, but he died before it was completed.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the great industries of the country is that of sugar refining,
and it is inseparably connected with the name of Havemeyer, for to the
Havemeyers is due its development and its formation into a so-called
trust, which practically controls the market, and which has won great
wealth for its organizers. The ancestor of the Havemeyers was a thrifty
German who came to this country in the latter part of the eighteenth
century, and, after engaging in various pursuits, opened a little sugar
refinery in New York City, which soon brought him a comfortable income.
There, in 1804, William Frederick Havemeyer was born, and after a
careful education, entered the refinery, gained a thorough knowledge of
the business and, in 1828 succeeded to it, having as a partner his
cousin, Frederick Christian Havemeyer. These two men developed the
business in a wonderful manner, installing new machinery, inventing new
processes, which reduced the manufacturing cost, acquiring possession of
other plants and securing government support in the shape of a
protective tariff, which made a naturally profitable business doubly so,
and netted its owners many millions.

William Frederick Havemeyer found time, in the intervals of running his
business, to take a prominent part in New York politics. He was mayor
of the city from 1845 to 1851, and again in 1873, dying before the last
term was finished.

As far as possible removed from Havemeyer's humdrum existence was that
of Phineas Taylor Barnum, the greatest showman the world has ever seen,
the originator of the great travelling circus, the exploiter of Tom
Thumb and Jenny Lind, the owner of Jumbo, the most famous elephant that
ever lived, whose name has passed into the English language as a synonym
for bigness.

Barnum was born at Bethel, Connecticut, in 1810. His father was an
inn-keeper and died when the boy was fifteen years old, leaving no
property. He tried his hand at store-keeping, and failed; ran a
newspaper, and was imprisoned for libel, and finally reached New York at
about the end of his resources and looking around for something to do.
That was in 1834, and by accident he hit upon his real vocation.

A man by the name of R. W. Lindsay was exhibiting through the country an
old negro woman named Joice Heth, advertising her as being 161 years
old, and as having been the nurse of George Washington. Barnum went to
see her and found her an extraordinary-looking object. He has himself
told how he was impressed by her.

"Joice Heth," he says, "was certainly a remarkable curiosity, and she
looked as though she might have been far older than her age as
advertised. She was apparently in good health and spirits, but from age
or disease, or both, was unable to change her position; she could move
one arm at will, but her lower limbs could not be straightened; her left
arm lay across her breast and she could not remove it; the fingers of
her left hand were drawn down so as nearly to close it, and were fixed;
the nails on that hand were almost four inches long and extended above
her wrist; her head was covered with a thick bush of gray hair; but she
was toothless and totally blind, and her eyes had sunk so deeply in the
sockets as to have disappeared altogether. Nevertheless she was pert and
sociable and would talk as long as people would converse with her. She
was quite garrulous about 'dear little George,' at whose birth she
declared she was present, having been at the time a slave of Elizabeth
Atwood, a half-sister of Augustine Washington, the father of George
Washington. As nurse, she put the first clothes on the infant, and she
claimed to have raised him."

Barnum was so impressed by this extraordinary object, that he bought her
for a thousand dollars, putting his last cent into the venture and
borrowing what he lacked. He proceeded to advertise her with
characteristic energy, and great crowds thronged to see her, so that his
receipts sometimes ran as high as $1,500 a week. However, the old woman
died within a year, and a post-mortem examination showed that she was
really only about eighty years old.

But Barnum had found his vocation, that of showman, and after a few
unsuccessful ventures, bought Scudder's American Museum, in New York
City, and started out on a brilliant career. It is interesting to note
that the museum which Barnum purchased consisted in part of the curios
collected years before by Charles and Rembrandt Peale. Barnum added to
it, was indefatigable in securing curiosities, really created the art of
modern advertising, and it was his proudest boast that no one ever left
the museum without having got his money's worth. He was one of the first
to realize that the best possible advertisement is a pleased customer,
and he tried honestly to keep his museum supplied with every novelty.
The public soon came to appreciate this, and perhaps his greatest asset
was public confidence in his promises. People came to believe that when
Barnum advertised a thing, he really had it. But the most fortunate day
in all his life was that November day of 1842, when he discovered at
Bridgeport, Connecticut, the midget whose real name was Charles S.
Stratton, but who was to become world-famous as General Tom Thumb.

The story of Tom Thumb's success reads like a romance. He was quite
young when Barnum got him, and the showman took great pains with his
education and training, for he wanted the midget to appear a finished
man of the world. He became a great public favorite, toured America and
Europe, was introduced to kings and princes and made a great fortune for
himself and his exhibitor. Barnum struck the apogee of his fortunes when
he discovered another midget, Lavinia Warren, who achieved a success
scarcely less than Tom Thumb's. Indeed, she and the General fell in
love with each other and were married at Grace Church, and as General
and Mrs. Tom Thumb were perhaps the greatest drawing cards in the world.
Another triumph of his career was his engagement of Jenny Lind for a
series of one hundred concerts, at a salary of a thousand dollars a
night, the receipts of the tour being over seven hundred thousand

Barnum had many ups and downs, which he met with an invincible optimism.
His museum burned down and he rebuilt it, but it soon burned down again.
It was then that the idea occurred to him to establish a travelling
museum, exhibiting under a tent, and it was this idea which developed
into "The Greatest Show on Earth." It really was the greatest and its
owner never spared money in his endeavor to keep it so. Large-hearted,
benevolent, a true entertainer, he will always occupy a bright place in
the memory of the American public.

       *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps no name in the history of America was ever more closely
connected in the public mind with money-making for its own sake than
that of Russell Sage. It will be surprising news to many, who knew him
only as a money-lender on a large scale, that he started out on a public
career, as alderman, county treasurer, and finally as member of congress
for two terms, from 1853 to 1857. He was the first person to advocate,
on the floor of congress, the purchase of Mount Vernon by the
government. His career on Wall street began shortly after that, at first
in a small way; but before his death, he had developed into the
greatest individual money-lender in the world.

That was his whole life. He took no part in any political or charitable
movement; he had no interest in art, and he lived in the simplest
manner. He used his wealth, not to procure enjoyment for himself or
other people, but to procure more wealth. He was saving to the point of
miserliness; he got the utmost he could out of his money; he never took
a vacation--and dying, at the age of ninety, left a fortune of many
millions. He had no children and the whole fortune went to his wife. She
at once proceeded to bestow it in carefully-considered benevolences, so
that the Sage millions are to benefit humanity, after all. In fact, it
is doubtful if any other fortune, amassed by a single man, will, in the
end, do so much good in the world as will this of Russell Sage, for Mrs.
Sage is devoting it to what may be called scientific charity, which has
for its object the universal betterment of mankind.

Mrs. Sage, who thus becomes one of the world's great philanthropists,
was Margaret Olivia Slocum, of Syracuse, New York, and was married to
Mr. Sage in 1869. She was of a family in only moderate circumstances,
and was a school teacher previous to her marriage. The turn of the wheel
made her the wealthiest woman in the world, and she proceeded without
delay to the carrying out of the immense benevolent enterprises which
she had doubtless long meditated.

The name of Cyrus West Field is so closely associated with his supreme
achievement, the laying of the first Atlantic cable, that we are apt to
forget that he was in the beginning a manufacturer and had amassed a
considerable fortune before his attention was called to the possibility
of linking Europe to America by a telegraph line laid on the bottom of
the Atlantic. It was under A. T. Stewart that Field received his
mercantile training, having gone to New York in 1834, at the age of
fifteen, from his home in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and entering
Stewart's employ as a clerk.

He was an apt pupil, and before he was of age, owned an establishment of
his own for the manufacture and sale of paper. In this business, in the
course of a dozen years, he had amassed a fortune so considerable that
he was able to retire from active charge of it, and to spend his time in
travel. It was in 1853 that the project of carrying a telegraph line
across the Atlantic ocean suggested itself to him during a conversation
with his brother, who was interested in building a line across
Newfoundland. The more he considered and investigated the project, the
more feasible it seemed, and he proceeded to organize the New York,
Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company, himself taking one fourth of
the capital stock, and interesting such other capitalists as Peter
Cooper, Moses Taylor, Chandler White and Marshall Roberts.

But the project which had appeared simple enough in theory and on paper,
proved extremely difficult of execution. If Field could have foreseen
the thirteen years of constant anxiety which awaited him, he would no
doubt have hesitated to undertake it. It looked, at first, as though
success would crown his efforts almost at the outset, for in 1858, the
laying of a cable was completed, and for some days, messages were sent
from one continent to the other. Then the signals began to grow fainter
and fainter, until they became imperceptible, supposedly from the water
of the ocean penetrating the cable covering.

At any rate, the work had to be done all over again, with little money
on hand, and the coming of the Civil War helped to make further progress
impossible. Field visited Europe more than twenty times in the effort to
raise money for the enterprise and to keep it before the public, but it
was not until 1865 that another effort to lay the cable could be made.
The "Great Eastern," the largest ship in the world, was secured, and
began paying out the cable; but twelve hundred miles from shore the
cable parted and could not be regained, although every effort was made
to grapple it. So the vessel had to put back to England, and Field was
confronted with the heart-breaking task of raising even more money. He
succeeded in doing so, and in 1866, another expedition started out with
a new cable. This time, it met with no serious misadventure, and on July
27, telegraphic communication was re-established between England and
America, and has never since been interrupted.

That cable was the first of the hundreds which now encircle the globe.
Congress presented the bold adventurer with a gold medal and the thanks
of the nation; John Bright pronounced him "the Columbus of modern times,
who, by his cable, has moored the New World alongside of the Old"; the
Paris exposition of 1867 gave him the grand medal, the highest prize it
had to bestow; and he received votes of thanks and medals and presents
from all parts of the world.

In 1884, two other cables were laid across the Atlantic by John W.
Mackay and James Gordon Bennett, whose private property they remained.
Mackay had had an adventurous career, and was destined to be the founder
of another of those great American fortunes which are the wonder and
admiration of Europe. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831, his
father being another of those sturdy Scotch-Irish of whom we have
already had occasion to speak. He was brought to New York at the age of
nine; but his father died a short time thereafter and the boy was thrown
practically upon his own resources.

When gold was discovered in California in 1849, Mackay joined the crowd
that rushed to the new El Dorado, and for several years, he lived a
typical miner's life, roughing it in the camps, but gaining little
except a thorough knowledge of mining. In 1860, some guiding spirit led
him eastward to Nevada; his fortunes there steadily improved, until he
became one of the leading men in the settlement, and in 1872, he made
one of the most famous and romantic discoveries in mining history, that
of the famous Comstock lode, on a ledge of rock high in the Sierras,
under which Virginia City now nestles. So rich in silver was this great
ledge of rock and its enormous production added so greatly to the
world's supply of silver that the market price fell to a point where
such countries as India and China, whose currency was on a silver basis,
were seriously embarrassed to maintain values. From one mine alone over
$150,000,000 was taken out. Mackay devoted himself personally to the
superintendence of the mines, working in the lower levels with his men,
who idolized him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us turn for a moment to the career of another great fortune-builder,
the man who was, perhaps, the greatest freebooter the American financial
world ever saw, who made his money by destroying rather than building
up, and whose wealth finally killed him--Jay Gould. Let us see if we can
get some sort of idea of the personality of this extraordinary man.

Born in 1836, a farmer's boy, with only such education as he could pick
up, he managed to find time to study surveying, and for two or three
years was engaged in making surveys of various New York counties. While
thus engaged, he fell in with a wealthy and eccentric individual named
Zadock Pratt, who sent him to the western part of the state to select a
site for a tannery. He was soon doing a large lumbering business, first
with Pratt and then in his own name; but he sold out just before the
panic of 1857, and soon after entered upon that career of speculation
in New York City which, in the end, made him the best-hated man in

Picture the man, small, only five feet six inches in height, with sallow
skin and jet black whiskers, his eyes dark and piercing, his whole
personality, as one observer put it, "reminiscent of the spider." His
reputation was that of an unscrupulous and immoral rascal, who would not
hesitate to sacrifice his best friends, if need be. His war against
Cornelius Vanderbilt for control of the Erie was one of his typical
operations--a war which, when he saw he was losing, he won by issuing
$5,000,000 worth of fraudulent stock. There was never any question about
the criminality of this proceeding, and Gould was forced to flee to New
Jersey, where he spent millions in corrupting courts and
legislatures--millions, not taken from his own pocket, but from the
treasury of the Erie, of which he had control. He was ousted, at last,
but not until he had added $62,000,000 to the indebtedness of the road,
of which amount it was asserted Gould had pocketed $12,000,000.

The culminating feature of his career was his attempt to corner gold,
which brought about the famous Black Friday panic of 1869. The scheme,
one of the most daring ever attempted by any operator, came near
success. Gould is said to have bribed the brother-in-law of President
Grant and to have persuaded the President himself not to release any of
the government supply of gold. He then succeeded in driving the price up
to 162½, when suddenly the bubble burst. Gould, himself, had been
warned and succeeded in getting away with his immense profits, covering
himself at the expense of his associates, an act of treachery
unprecedented even in the stock market.

These were only two of the remarkable operations which he engineered,
and which need not be given in detail here. The net result was a fortune
of some seventy million dollars, and a reputation for duplicity such as
perhaps no man in America ever had before. It is only fair to Gould to
say, however, that he accomplished merely what most stock gamblers would
like to accomplish, if they could, and that outside of finance, he seems
to have been an estimable man, faithful to his wife, devoted to his
children, and passionately fond of flowers. He made no gifts of any
consequence to charity during his life, nor did he make a single
benevolent bequest in his will; but one of his children, Helen Miller
Gould, has more than atoned for this by practically devoting her life
and her fortune to charitable work. It is doubtful if there is a
better-loved woman in America to-day than Helen Gould, who has shown so
notably how a life may be consecrated to good works.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WANAMAKER]

The great marble palace which A. T. Stewart built on Broadway, in New
York City, to house his business, and which was, at the time, the
largest building in the world devoted to a retail business, is now
occupied by another great merchant, who, starting from a beginning even
smaller than Stewart's, has built up a business many times as great.
John Wanamaker, whatever the growth of the country may be hereafter,
will always remain one of America's most representative and most
successful men of affairs--both representative and successful because
his business has rested from the first on the principle of honest
dealing, of making satisfied customers--in a word, upon the altogether
modern principle of "your money back, if you want it."

John Wanamaker was born in Philadelphia in 1838, a poor boy with his way
to make in the world. He received his education in the common schools,
and at the age of fourteen, entered upon his business career as an
errand boy in a book store. From that, he got a clerkship in a clothing
store, and for some years acted as salesman, until he could save enough
money to start a little store of his own. This he was able to do in
1861, in partnership with a man named Nathan Brown, and ten years later,
he was sole owner of a prosperous and growing business. It was at about
this time that an idea occurred to him which was destined to
revolutionize the retail business of the larger cities of the country.

The idea was simply this: In the great cities, most shoppers have to
travel a considerable distance to get to the business centre, and must
there waste time and energy going from one store to another to make
their purchases. Why not, then, combine all the representative retail
businesses into one store, so that the shopper could make all purchases
under a single roof, pay for them all at once, and have them all
delivered at the same time? Moreover, why could not one great business
be conducted more cheaply, and so undersell, the small ones, since a
single executive staff would do for it, rent, delivery cost, and a
hundred other fixed charges would be reduced, to say nothing of the
advantages of large buying, and the advertising which every department
would get from all the rest? The idea grew into a carefully-formulated
plan, and 1876 saw the start of the great Wanamaker department store,
perhaps the most famous retail business in the world.

Its tremendous success is an old story now, and it has found hundreds of
imitators. Twenty years after the opening of the Philadelphia store,
another was opened in New York in the old Stewart building, to which
another building, four times as large, has recently been added.
Wanamaker from the first firmly believed in P. T. Barnum's old adage
that "A satisfied customer is the best advertisement," and he made every
effort to see that none left the Wanamaker stores unsatisfied. He also
made it a rule that no visitor to his store should ever be urged to buy
anything; that every article of merchandise should be exactly as
represented, and that any purchase might be returned and the purchase
money would be refunded without question. As a result, Wanamaker got a
reputation for fair dealing which proved his greatest asset.

One would think that the management of such a business would fully
occupy any man, but Wanamaker found time for many public and benevolent
interests. He founded, in 1858, the Bethany Sunday School, which has
grown into perhaps the largest in the world and of which he has always
been superintendent; he has taken part in many movements for civic
reform, and from 1889 to 1893 was postmaster general of the United
States. He reorganized the service; set in motion the rural delivery
system, the greatest single improvement in its service the department
has ever made; and tried to secure a postal telegraph, a postal
savings-bank, a parcels post and one-cent letter postage. He was the
first official to regard the service as a business pure and simple, and
if the reforms he suggested had been carried out, the United States
postoffice would now be a model for the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

The greatest banker and financier in America at the present day is
undoubtedly J. Pierpont Morgan, who, however, is known not so well for
the millions he has accumulated as for the other millions he has spent
in collecting rare objects of art, until he has become the possessor of
a collection surpassing any ever possessed by another private
individual. That much of this will one day be bequeathed by its owner to
the public there can be little doubt.

J. Pierpont Morgan is of a family of bankers. His father, Junius Spencer
Morgan, was for many years a partner in the great London banking house
of George Peabody & Co., and on the retirement of Mr. Peabody, succeeded
him as the head of the business. There was never any doubt of the son's
vocation. Born in 1837, and carefully educated, he entered the banking
house of Duncan, Sherman & Co. at the age of twenty, and from that time,
rose steadily, until he became the head of the greatest banking house in
the country. He has been largely concerned in the reorganization of
railways and the consolidation of industrial properties, and the
magnitude of some of his operations is fairly astounding. During the
Cleveland administration, he floated a national bond issue of
$62,000,000; he marketed the securities of the United States Steel
Corporation, with a capitalization of $1,100,000,000; he secured
American subscriptions aggregating $50,000,000 for the British war loan
of 1901; he controls over fifty thousand miles of railway, and his
interests extend into practically every great financial enterprise in
America. He has given large sums of money for public enterprises in New
York City, among them a million and a half for a great lying-in
hospital. He built the "Columbia," which twice defeated the "Shamrock"
in the races for the America's cup, and he has made many valuable gifts
to the various museums and libraries of New York City. The power he
wields is enormous, but he wields it wisely and legitimately, winning
the respect, as well as the admiration of men.

       *       *       *       *       *

The greatest work of American men of affairs during the past half
century has been the upbuilding and extension of the railroad system of
the country. The railroad mileage of the United States at the present
time is over three hundred and twenty-five thousand; the total cost of
the railroad equipment of the country reaches fourteen billion dollars
and the yearly earnings average over two and a half billions. They
employ over a million and a half men, whose wages average three million
dollars a day--and, it may be added, they kill or injure nearly ninety
thousand. But that is a detail. With this vast development of the
railroad business the names of some half dozen men are so closely
connected that the great systems of the country are generally known as
the Hill lines, the Harriman lines, the Vanderbilt lines, the Gould
lines, and so on. Of these men we shall try to tell something briefly

We have already related how Cornelius Vanderbilt secured control of the
New York Central and Hudson River roads, and added to these until he had
secured an entrance into Chicago; and how his son, William Henry
Vanderbilt, added to this system until it became, and still remains, one
of the strongest in the country. We have told, too, of Jay Gould's ideas
of railroad management, which seem to have been to get the most out of
it for Jay Gould. But when Jay Gould died, he was caught, as it were,
with thousands of miles of railroads on his hands. He left four sons,
George Gould, Edwin Gould, Howard Gould and Frank Gould, of whom George
is the only one that really counts. But he, with a real genius for
railroad building, has developed the Gould lines into a great system
stretching from Buffalo and Pittsburgh southwestward to Chicago, Omaha,
Kansas City, Denver, Ogden, St. Louis, New Orleans, Galveston and away
out to El Paso. These lines have played a most important part in the
development of the great Southwest, and it is said that George Gould is
already blazing a way to the Atlantic seaboard, as an outlet for the
mighty freight traffic which his lines control.

No man connected with railroad building in this country has had a more
interesting or adventurous career than James J. Hill. Born on a little
Canadian farm in 1838, descended from the hardy Scotch-Irish of whom we
have spoken so often, his father died when he was fifteen years, and he
was left to his own resources. He found work as a wood-chopper, and one
day, while he was chopping down a tree a traveler stopped at the house
to take dinner, hitching his horse to the gate. The boy noticed that it
was tired and fagged and carried it a bucket of water. This attention
pleased the traveler, and as he drove away, tossed the boy a Minnesota
newspaper, remarking, "Go out there, young man. That country needs
youngsters of your spirit."

The boy read the paper with its glowing accounts of the new country, and
the next morning, walking to the tree he had been cutting he hit it one
last lick for luck, and announced, "I've chopped my last tree." That
tree, it is said, bears to-day a great placard with the words, "The last
tree chopped by James J. Hill." It _was_ the last one, for a day or two
later the boy started for St. Paul. He brought with him to the United
States the lusty body, frugal instincts and good principles of his
Scotch-Irish ancestry, and, in addition to those, a self-confidence and
sureness of judgment destined to take him far.

He got employment as a shipping clerk in a steamboat office in St. Paul,
and so took his first lessons in transportation problems. Pretty soon he
was agent for a steamboat line, then he established a fuel and
transportation business on his own account and managed it so well that
by 1873, he had accumulated a fortune of a hundred thousand dollars.
There was in Minnesota at the time a little railroad called the St. Paul
& Pacific. It started at St. Paul, but it stopped after it had got only
a few hundred miles toward the Pacific. Hill decided to buy it. The
price was half a million, so he tramped back to Canada and persuaded the
bank of Montreal to let him have the $400,000 he needed. That was surely
one of the most wonderful feats of a wonderful career. The directors of
the bank were severely criticised; men laughed at his purchase, pointing
out that the road had never paid, and prophesying that it never would

Yet that Jim Crow road was the foundation of the Great Northern system,
the Hill line, stretching across Dakota and Montana to Puget Sound.
Every man who went into the enterprise with Hill now owns his stock in
it as a free gift, for in the intervening years, the cost has been
returned to him in the shape of dividends and bonuses. It has never
failed to pay regular dividends, and has, perhaps, won public confidence
more surely than any other in the country. For James J. Hill has kept
faith in the smallest detail with every man who ever entrusted a dollar
to his hands. The loyalty of the employes of the Great Northern has
passed into a proverb, "Once a Hill man, always a Hill man," and it is
true. He knows his road as few other men do. Before he bought the St.
Paul & Pacific, he traveled over the route in an ox-cart, studying not
only the road, but the people along the way--there weren't many--and the
resources of the country. Before he extended his line to the Pacific, he
went the whole distance on foot and horseback.

People laughed at him when he announced that he was going to extend his
line to the Pacific. No line had ever been built across the continent
without a great subsidy from the government--to secure a subsidy was
always the first step; besides, it was believed that the country through
which the Great Northern was to extend would not even grow wheat, and
the new road was promptly dubbed "Hill's Folly." But in 1893, his line
reached the Pacific. A few years later, the owners of the great Northern
Pacific were begging him to manage that road, too. For he had created
business for his road--a great market in the Orient to fill his
west-bound freight cars, and a great market in the eastern United States
for Puget Sound lumber to fill his east-bound cars. For remember no
railroad can make money unless, after it has hauled a loaded car from
one end of the line to the other, it can find another load to put in
that same car to haul back again. Hill supplied the business and his
story is the wonderful story of the development of the Great Northwest.

       *       *       *       *       *

Which brings us to the Napoleon of the railroad world, E. H. Harriman.
America has never seen another quite like him. When the panic of 1901
was at its height and the financial world seemed trembling in ruins
about his head, he refused to break the corner, as he might have done,
but sat watching the tape, cool, quiet and calculating, while men
failed, banks tottered, and his own associates begged him to yield. For
the ambition of this man knew no limitation. His kingdom must stretch
from sea to sea and from the lakes to the gulf.

His kingdom lay to the south of Hill's, for he ruled the Union Pacific,
and between the two men there was ceaseless war. Physically and mentally
they were as far apart as two men could be. Hill is a large man, with
massive head and brow, and his eyes are steady and cool and brown, his
lips full and sensitive, his whole personality bespeaking force and
decision. Quite different was Harriman; a small, ordinary looking man,
with glasses and a scraggy mustache, giving the impression of nervous
force rather than of power; an irritable man, easily angered; a fighter
clear through, but fighting sometimes when peace were wiser--that was

Harriman was born at Hempstead, Long Island, the son of a clergyman with
a large family and a small income. The boy was renowned chiefly for his
daily fights and for his aversion to study. At the age of fourteen, he
was put to work in a broker's office in Wall street, at eighteen he had
a partnership, at twenty-two he bought a seat on the stock exchange, and
pretty soon entered the railroad field by getting control of the
Illinois Central. He at once inaugurated a new policy. Before that time,
the prevailing idea of railroad management was to run a road as cheaply
as possible and pay big dividends. Harriman's idea was that the biggest
dividends would be secured in the end by making a good road, and he
proceeded to carry the idea out by putting his road in the very pink of
condition. And it paid.

That was the beginning. His great coup was the rebuilding of the Union
Pacific. A railroad with 7,500 miles of track, a giant crushed by its
own weight, it had gone into a receivership in the panic of 1893. For
five years it stayed there, despite the utmost efforts of the giants of
finance to lift it out. Then Harriman got possession of it, and taking
an engine and a car, turned the train backward and, running in the day
time only, went over the road mile by mile. He decided that the road
must be made a good road, and he told his executive committee that he
needed for his immediate necessities one hundred millions of dollars!

Well, he got the money and he got good men and went to work. The result
was soon apparent. Earnings grew, business increased, and the company's
credit improved. Never before in the history of railroading had there
been such daring rebuilding. The line was levelled down to a maximum
grade of forty-one feet to a mile; two hundred and forty-seven feet were
scaled off the top of the Great Divide; millions of cubic yards of dirt
and stone were blasted out and moved; tunnels were drilled; and,
finally, when the Southern Pacific, too, was acquired, a trestle
twenty-three miles long was built across Great Salt Lake, through water
thirty feet deep, taking railroad trains farther from land than they had
ever yet been run, and shortening the road forty-four miles. And the
result? The gross earnings have risen to over $170,000,000 a year, and
$28,000,000 a year are distributed in dividends. Truly a transformation
from the old water-logged road which Harriman took over.

He had his reverses--he attempted to get hold of the Northern Pacific,
but it slipped through his fingers; the Burlington was cut out from
under his guns, and so was the Rock Island. James J. Hill outgeneraled
him more than once, and he was never able to "get back" at Hill

With Harriman we shall close this chapter on men of affairs. Many others
might have been noted. In fact, none of the great industries of the
country has been built up except by inspired work. Armour and Cudahy and
Swift made the packing business; Marshall Field built up a business in
Chicago rivalling Wanamaker's; August Belmont, William C. Whitney, Levi
Leiter, Robert Goelet, Pierre Lorillard, and a hundred others, amassed
great fortunes. Yet there was nothing in their career different to
those of the men already considered in this chapter. They had a genius
for money-making. Each in some special field; but, beyond that, they did
few memorable things. And so we need not pause longer over them here,
except to remark, that it is, in the main, to such men as these, that
America owes her great material prosperity.


MORRIS, ROBERT. Born at Liverpool, England, January 20, 1734; came to
America, 1747, and settled at Philadelphia; delegate to Continental
Congress, 1775-78; gave his credit to assist in financing Revolution and
elected superintendent of finance, 1781; organized Bank of North
America, 1781; member of Constitutional Convention, 1787; United States
senator, 1789-95; died in debtor's prison at Philadelphia, May 8, 1806.

ASTOR, JOHN JACOB. Born at Waldorf, Germany, July 17, 1763; came to
America, 1783, and settled at New York City; founded Astoria, at mouth
of Columbia River, 1811; died at New York City, March 29, 1848.

VANDERBILT, CORNELIUS. Born near Stapleton, Staten Island, New York, May
27, 1794; became chief owner Harlem railroad, 1863, and of Hudson River
and New York Central roads soon afterwards; died at New York City,
January 4, 1877.

STEWART, ALEXANDER TURNEY. Born near Belfast, Ireland, October 12, 1803;
came to America, 1823, and established drygoods business at New York
City; died there April 10, 1876.

BARNUM, PHINEAS TAYLOR. Born at Bethel, Connecticut, July 5, 1810;
opened Barnum's Museum in New York City, 1841; managed Jenny Lind's
concert tour, 1850-51; established "Greatest Show on Earth," 1871; died
at Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 7, 1891.

SAGE, RUSSELL. Born in Oneida County, New York, August 4, 1816; member
of Congress, 1853-57; established himself as broker and money-lender in
New York City, 1863; died there, July 22, 1906.

FIELD, CYRUS WEST. Born at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, November 30,
1819; in paper business in New York, 1840-53, retiring with a fortune;
organized New York, Newfoundland & London Telegraph Company, 1854;
Atlantic Telegraph Company, 1856; laid Atlantic cable, 1866; first
message over it, July 29; died at New York City, July 12, 1892.

MACKAY, JOHN WILLIAM. Born at Dublin, Ireland, November 28, 1831; came
with parents to America, 1840; went to California, 1850; discovered
Bonanza mines, 1872; died, July 20, 1902.

GOULD, JAY. Born at Roxbury, New York, May 27, 1836; established himself
as broker in New York City, 1859; notorious for manipulations of various
railroad and other securities, and for "Black Friday"; died at New York
City, December 2, 1892.

WANAMAKER, JOHN. Born at Philadelphia, July 11, 1838; established
clothing house of Wanamaker & Brown, 1861; established department store
in Philadelphia, 1876, and in New York City, 1896; Postmaster-General,
1889-93; founded Bethany Sunday School, 1858; president Philadelphia Y.
M. C. A., 1870-83.

MORGAN, JOHN PIERPONT. Born at Hartford, Connecticut, April 17, 1837;
entered banking business, 1857, and developed present firm of J. P.
Morgan & Co., largest private bankers of the United States.

HILL, JAMES J. Born near Guelph, Ontario, September 16, 1838; removed to
Minnesota, 1856; entered transportation business; general manager St.
Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Ry. Co., 1879-82; president since 1883;
built Great Northern, with steamship connection with Japan and China,
1883-93; president of Great Northern system since 1893.

HARRIMAN, EDWARD HENRY. Born at Hempstead, Long Island; entered Wall
Street as clerk at age of fourteen; entered New York Stock Exchange
eight years later; was president and chairman of the board of directors
of the Union Pacific, Oregon Short Line, Southern Pacific, Texas & New
Orleans, and many other great railway systems; died near New York City,
September 9, 1909.



It is a curious fact that the men to whom the world owes most generally
get the least reward. The genius in art or letters is seldom recognized
as such until long after he himself has passed away--his life is usually
embittered by derision or neglect. But, in the history of civilization,
the lot of no man has been harder or more thankless than that of the
inventor. Poverty and want have always been his portion, and even after
he had won his triumph, had compelled public recognition of some great
invention, it was usually some one else who won the reward.

America has been especially strong in the field of invention. Indeed,
practically all the great labor-saving devices of the past century and
more have originated here. "Yankee ingenuity" has passed into a proverb,
and a true one, for the country which has produced the steamboat, the
cotton gin, the sewing machine, the electric telegraph, the phonograph,
the telephone, the typewriter, the reaper and binder, to mention only a
few of the achievements of American inventors, may surely claim first
place in this respect among the nations of the world. There are few
stories more inspiring than that of American invention, and as
benefactors to their race, the long line of American inventors may
rightly rank before even the great philanthropists whose careers are
outlined elsewhere in this volume. Indeed, if we judge greatness by the
benefits which a man confers upon mankind, such men as Whitney and Howe
and Morse and Bell and Edison far surpass most of the great characters
of history.

First of the line is Benjamin Franklin, whose many-sided genius gives
him a unique place in American history. His career has been considered
in the chapter dealing with our statesmen, but let us pause for a moment
here to speak of his inventions. One of them, the Franklin stove, is
still in use in hundreds of old houses, and as an economizer of fuel has
never been surpassed; another was the lightning-rod. He introduced the
basket willow, the water-tight compartment for ships, the culture of
silk, the use of white clothing in hot weather, and the use of oil to
quiet a tempest-tossed sea. From none of his inventions did he seek to
get any return. The Governor of Pennsylvania offered to give him a
monopoly of the sale of the Franklin stove for a period of years, but he
declined it, saying, "That, as we enjoy great advantages from the
inventions of others, we should be glad to serve others by any invention
of ours"--a principle characteristic of Franklin's whole philosophy of

After Franklin, came Robert Fulton, the first man successfully to apply
the power of the steam-engine to the propulsion of boats. Everyone has
heard the story of how, years before, the youthful James Watt first got
his idea of the power of steam by noticing how it rattled the lid on his
mother's boiling teakettle. From that came the stationary engine, and
from that the engine as applied to the locomotive. It remained for
Fulton to apply it to water navigation.

Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, of Irish parents, in poor
circumstances, the boy received only the rudiments of an education, but
developed a surprising talent for painting, so that, when he was
seventeen, he removed to Philadelphia and set up there as an artist,
painting portraits and landscapes. He remained there for some years, and
finally, having made enough money to purchase a small farm for his
mother, sailed for London, where he introduced himself to that amiable
patron of all American painters, Benjamin West. West, who was at that
time at the height of his fame, received Fulton with great kindness, and
made a place in his house for him, where he remained for several years.

Those years were not devoted exclusively to painting, for Fulton had
developed an interest in mechanics, secured a patent for an improvement
in canal locks, invented a "plunging" boat, a kind of submarine, a
machine for spinning flax, one for making ropes, one for sawing marble,
and many others of minor importance. Finally abandoning art altogether,
he went to Paris, where he spent seven years with the family of Joel
Barlow, conducting with him a number of experiments; one series of which
has developed into the modern submarine torpedo. He succeeded in
interesting the French government in his submarine experiments and
constructed a boat equipped with a small engine, with which, in the
harbor of Brest, he seems actually to have made some progress under
water, remaining under on one occasion for more than four hours. But the
French government finally withdrew its support, and finding the British
government also indifferent, Fulton sailed for New York in December,

Here, he succeeded in interesting the United States government, which
granted him $5,000 to continue his submarine experiments, but interest
in them soon waned, and Fulton turned his whole attention to the subject
of steam navigation. He had been experimenting in this direction for a
number of years, and, in conjunction with Chancellor Livingston, of New
Jersey, had secured from the legislature of New York the exclusive right
and privilege of navigating all kinds of boats which might be propelled
by the force of fire or steam on all the waters within the territory of
New York for a period of twenty years, provided he would, by the end of
1807, produce a boat that would attain a speed of four miles an hour.
Fulton went to work at once, the experiments being paid for by
Livingston, and after various calculations, discarded the use of paddles
or oars, of ducks' feet which open as they are pushed out and close as
they are drawn in, and also the idea of forcing water out of the stern
of the vessel. He finally decided on the paddle-wheel, and, in August,
1807, the first American steamboat appeared on the East River. A great
concourse witnessed the first trial, incredulous at first, but converted
into enthusiastic believers before the boat had gone a quarter of a

She was christened the "Clermont," and soon afterwards made a trip up
the Hudson to Albany, to the astonishment of the people living along the
banks of that mighty river. The distance of 150 miles, against the
current of the river, was covered in thirty-two hours, and there could
no longer be any question of Fulton's success. A regular schedule
between Albany and New York was established, and the "Clermont" began
that great river traffic now carried on by the most palatial river
steamers in the world.

After that, it was merely a question of development. More boats were
built, improvements were made, and every year witnessed an increase of
speed and efficiency. In 1814, in the midst of the second war with
England, Fulton built the first steam ship-of-war the world had ever
seen, designed for the defense of New York harbor. This ancestor of the
modern "Dreadnought" was named "Fulton the First" in honor of her
designer. She indirectly caused his death, for, exposing himself for
several hours of a bitter winter day, in supervising some changes on
her, he developed pneumonia and died a few days later. Could he re-visit
the world to-day and see the wonderful and mighty ships which have grown
out of his idea, he would no doubt be as astonished as were the people
along the Hudson on that fall day in 1807 when they saw the "Clermont"
making her way up the stream against wind and tide.

The same year that Robert Fulton was born, another inventive genius
first saw the light in the little town of Westborough, Massachusetts.
His name was Eli Whitney, and the work he was to do revolutionized the
industrial development of the South, paid off its debts, and trebled the
value of its lands. It did something else, too, which was to fasten upon
the South the system of negro slavery, resulting in the Civil War. But
though he added hundreds of millions of dollars to the wealth of his
country, his own reward was neglect, indifference, countless lawsuits
and endless vexation of body and spirit.

Whitney's father ran a little wood-working shop where he made wheels and
chairs, and there the boy spent every possible hour. At the age of
twelve, he made himself a violin, and his progress was so steady, that
by the time he was sixteen, he had greatly enlarged the business and had
gained the reputation of being the best mechanic in all the country
round. He soon discovered the value of education, and managed to prepare
himself for Yale College, which he entered in 1789, at the age of
twenty-four--an age at which most men had long since graduated and
settled in life. But Whitney persevered, graduating in 1792, and almost
immediately securing a position as private tutor in a Georgia family,
which was to change the whole course of his life.

Until he reached the South, he had never seen raw cotton, only a little
of which, indeed, had been raised in the United States. It had not been
profitable because of the difficulty of picking out the green
cottonseed. To separate one pound of the staple from the seed was a
day's work, so that cotton was considered rather as a curiosity than as
a profitable crop. Whitney was impressed by the possibilities of cotton
culture, could this obstacle be overcome, and devoted his spare time to
the construction of the machine upon which his fame rests. At last it
was done, and did its work so perfectly that there could be no question
of its success. Experiments showed that with it, one man, with the aid
of two-horse power, could clean five thousand pounds of cotton a day!

A patent was at once applied for and every effort made to keep the
invention a secret until a patent had been secured. But knowledge of it
swept through the state, and great crowds of people came to see the
machine. Whitney refused to show it, and after much excitement, a mob
one night broke into the building where it was, and carried it away.
Others were at once made, using it as a model, and by the time Whitney
had secured his patent, they were in successful operation in many parts
of the state.

That was the beginning of Whitney's trials. He had not enough money to
produce machines rapidly enough to meet the tremendous demand for them,
and various rivals sprang up, some of them even claiming the honor of
the invention. Other gins were put on the market, differing from
Whitney's only in some unimportant detail, and plainly an infringement
of his patent; but he had not the means to prosecute their
manufacturers. The result was, that after two years of disheartening
struggle, Whitney was reduced to bankruptcy.

The attitude of the South toward him caused him especial distress. "I
have invented a machine," he wrote, "from which the citizens of the
South have already realized immense profits, which is worth to them
millions, and from which they must continue to derive the most important
profits, and in return to be treated as a felon, a swindler, and a
villain, has stung me to the very soul. And when I consider that this
cruel persecution is inflicted by the very persons who are enjoying
these great benefits, and expressly for the purpose of preventing my
ever deriving the least advantage from my labors, the acuteness of my
feelings is altogether inexpressible."

Finally, the states of North and South Carolina voted him a royalty upon
all the machines in use, and this enabled him to pay his debts; but
Whitney at last abandoned hope of ever receiving from his invention the
returns he had hoped for, and, turning his attention to other business,
received, in 1798, a contract from the United States government for
10,000 stand of arms. Eight years were consumed in filling this
contract. A contract for 30,000 stand followed, and so many improvements
in design and process of manufacture were made by Whitney that no other
manufacturer could compete with him.

The result of all this was that Whitney was enabled to end his life in
comparative independence. His last days were his happiest, and he found
in the care and affection of a loving family some consolation for the
injustice and ingratitude which he had suffered.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MORSE]

Sixteen years after the battle of Bunker Hill, a boy was born in a great
frame house at the foot of Breed's Hill, upon which that famous and
misnamed battle was really fought. The boy's father was a preacher named
Jedediah Morse, and the boy was named Samuel Finley, after his maternal
great grandfather, the renowned president of Princeton College, and
Breese, after his mother's maiden name, so that he comes down through
history as S. F. B. Morse. He received a thorough schooling, graduating
from Yale in 1807, and at once turned his attention to art. We have
already spoken of his achievements in that respect, which were really of
the first importance. He was an artist, heart and soul, but the whole
course of his life was to be changed in a remarkable fashion.

In the autumn of 1832, Morse, being at that time forty-one years of age,
sailed from Havre for New York in the ship Sully. It happened that there
were on board some scientists who had been interested in electrical
development, and the talk one evening turned on electricity. Morse knew
little about it, except what he had learned in a few lectures heard at
Yale; but when somebody asked how long it took a current of electricity
to pass through a wire, and when the answer was that the passage was
instantaneous, his interest was aroused.

"If that is the case," he said, "and if the passage of the current can
be made visible or audible, there is no reason why intelligence cannot
be transmitted instantaneously by electricity."

The company broke up, after a while, but Morse, filled with his great
idea, went on deck, and at the end of an hour had jotted down in his
notebook the first skeleton of the "Morse alphabet." Before he reached
New York, he had made drawings and specifications of his invention,
which he seems to have grasped clearly and completely from the first,
although its details were worked out only by laborious thought. It was
necessary for him to earn a living, and not until three years later was
the first rude instrument completed. Two years more, and he had a short
line in operation, but it was looked upon as a scientific toy
constructed by an unfortunate dreamer. Finally, in 1838, Morse appeared
before Congress, exhibited his invention and asked aid to construct an
experimental line between Washington and Baltimore. He was laughed at,
and for twelve years an extraordinary struggle ensued, Morse laboring to
convince the world of the value of his invention, and the world scoffing
at him. His own situation was forlorn in the extreme; for his painting
was his only means of livelihood, and, absorbed as he was by his great
invention, he found painting utterly impossible. His home was a single
room in the fifth story of a building at the corner of Nassau and
Beekman streets in New York City--a room which served as studio,
workshop, parlor, kitchen and bedroom. There he labored and slept,
using such money as he could earn for his experiments, and almost
starving himself in consequence.

But at last the tide turned. He was appointed to a position in the
University of the City of New York, which provided him with better means
for experiment, and in 1843, again appeared before Congress. This time,
he found some backers, and by a close vote, at the last hour of the
session, an appropriation of $30,000 was made to enable him to construct
a line between Washington and Baltimore. Wild with delight and
enthusiasm, the inventor went to work, and on the twenty-fourth day of
May, 1844, the first message flashed over the wire, "What hath God

The wonder and amazement of the public can be better imagined than
described. Morse offered to sell his invention to the government for the
sum of $100,000, but the Postmaster General, a thickheaded individual
named Cave Johnson, refused the offer, stating that in his opinion, no
line would ever pay for the cost of operation!

It was inevitable that rival claimants for the honor of the invention
should crop up on every side, but, after years of bitter litigation,
Morse succeeded in defending his title, and honors began to pour in upon
him. It is worth remarking that the Sultan of Turkey, supposedly the
most benighted of all rulers, was the first monarch to acknowledge Morse
as a public benefactor. That was in 1848; but the monarchs of Europe
soon followed, and in 1858, a special congress was called by the
Emperor of the French to devise some suitable testimonial to the great
inventor. But perhaps the most fitting testimonial of all were the
ceremonies at the unveiling of the Morse monument in New York City in
1871. Delegates were present from every state in the Union, and at the
close of the reception, William Orton, president of the Western Union
Telegraph Company, announced that the telegraph instrument before the
audience was in connection with every other one of the ten thousand
instruments in America, and that, beside every instrument an operator
was waiting to receive a message. Then a young operator sent this
message from the key: "Greeting and thanks to the telegraph fraternity
throughout the world. Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace,
good-will to men." Then the venerable inventor, the personification of
dignity, simplicity and kindliness, bent above the key, and sent out,
"S. F. B. Morse." A storm of enthusiasm swept over the audience, and the
scene will never be forgotten by any who took part in it. The proudest
boast of many an old operator is that he received that message. Death
came to the inventor a year later, and on the day of his funeral, every
telegraph office throughout the land was draped in mourning.

Although to Morse belongs all the credit for the invention of the
telegraph, it should, in justice to one man, be pointed out that it
would have been impossible but for a discovery which preceded it--that
of the electro-magnet. To Joseph Henry, the great physicist, first of
Princeton, then of the Smithsonian Institution, this invention is
chiefly due. We have already spoken of Professor Henry's work in
science, but none of it was more important than his invention, in 1828,
of the modern form of electro-magnet--a coil of silk-covered wire wound
in a series of crossed layers around a soft iron core, and in 1831, he
had used it to produce the ringing of a bell at a distance. It is this
magnet which forms the basis of every telegraph instrument--is essential
to it, and is the foundation of the entire electrical art. Let it be
added to this great scientist's credit that he never sought to patent
any of his inventions, giving them, as Franklin had done, free to all
the world.

The struggle which Morse made to perfect and secure public recognition
of his telegraph and the injustice shown Eli Whitney by the people of
the South, were as nothing when compared with the trials of that most
unfortunate of all inventors, Charles Goodyear, whose story is one of
the most tragic in American annals. No one can read of his struggles
without experiencing the deepest admiration for a man who, at the time,
was regarded as a hopeless lunatic.

Charles Goodyear was born at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1800. While he
was still a child, his father moved to Philadelphia and engaged in the
hardware business, in which his son joined him, as soon as he was old
enough to do so. But the panic of 1836 wiped the business out of
existence, and Goodyear was forced to look around for some other means
of livelihood. He had been interested for some time in the wonderful
success of some newly-established India-rubber companies, and, out of
curiosity, bought an India-rubber life-preserver. Upon examining it, he
found a defect in the valve, and inventing an improvement in it, he went
to New York with the intention of selling his improvement to the
manufacturer. The manufacturer was impressed with the new device, but
told Goodyear frankly that the whole India-rubber business of the
country was on the verge of collapse, and indeed, the collapse came a
few months later.

The trouble was that the goods which the rubber companies had been
turning out were not durable. The use of rubber had begun about fifteen
years before, first in France in the manufacture of garters and
suspenders, and then in England where a manufacturer named Mackintosh
made water-proof coats by spreading a layer of rubber between two layers
of cloth. Then, in 1833, the Roxbury India-Rubber Company was organized
in the United States, and manufactured an India-rubber cloth from which
wagon-covers, caps, coats, and other articles were made. Its success was
so great that other companies were organized and seemed on the highroad
to fortune, when a sudden reverse came. For the heat of summer melted
wagon-covers, caps and coats to sticky masses with an odor so offensive
that they had to be buried. So the business collapsed, the various
companies went into bankruptcy, and the very name of India-rubber came
to be detested by producers and consumers alike.

It was at this time that Charles Goodyear appeared upon the
scene--unfortunately enough for himself, but fortunately for
humanity--and determined to discover some method by which rubber could
be made to withstand the extremes of heat and cold. From that time until
the close of his life, he devoted himself wholly to this work, in the
face of such hardships and discouragements as few other men have ever
experienced. He began his experiments at once, and finally hit upon
magnesia as a substance which, mixed with rubber, seemed to give it
lasting properties; but a month later, the mixture began to ferment and
became as hard and brittle as glass.

His stock of money was soon exhausted, his own valuables, and even the
trinkets of his wife were pawned, but Goodyear never for an instant
thought of giving up the problem which he had set himself to solve.
Again he believed he had discovered the secret by boiling the solution
of rubber and magnesia in quicklime and water, when he found to his
dismay that a drop of the weakest acid, such as the juice of an apple,
would reduce an apparently fine sheet of rubber to a sticky mass. The
first real step in the right direction was made by accident, for, in
removing some bronzing from a piece of rubber with aqua fortis, he found
that the chemical worked a remarkable change in the rubber, which would
now stand a degree of heat that would have melted it before. He called
this "curing" India-rubber, and after careful tests, patented the
process, secured a partner with capital, rented an old India-rubber
works on Staten Island, and set to work, full of hope. But commercial
disaster swept away his partner's fortune, and Goodyear could find no
one else who would risk his money in so doubtful an enterprise.

Indeed, in all America he seemed to be the only man who had the
slightest hope of accomplishing anything with India-rubber. His friends
regarded him as a lunatic, and especially when he made himself a suit of
clothes out of his India-rubber cloth, and wore it on all occasions. One
day a man looking for Goodyear asked one of the latter's friends how he
would recognize him if he met him.

"If you see a man with an India-rubber coat on," was the reply,
"India-rubber shoes, India-rubber hat, and in his pocket an India-rubber
purse with not a cent in it, that's Goodyear."

The description was a good one, for that purse had been without a cent
in it for a long time. It was to stay empty for some weary years longer.
For he had not yet discovered the secret of making India-rubber
permanent, as he found when he tried to fill a contract for a hundred
and fifty mail bags ordered by the government. The bags were apparently
perfect, but in less than a month began to soften and ferment and were
thrown back on his hands. All his property was seized and sold for debt;
his family was reduced to the point of starvation, and friends,
relatives and even his wife joined in demanding that he abandon this
useless quest.

Goodyear was in despair, for he had just made another discovery that
seemed to promise success--the discovery that sulphur was the active
"curing" agent for India-rubber, and that it was the sulphuric acid in
aqua fortis which had wrought the changes in rubber which he had noticed
in his experiments. One day, while explaining the properties of a
sulphur-cured piece of rubber to an incredulous crowd in a
country-store, he happened to let it fall on the red-hot stove. To his
amazement it did not melt; it had shrivelled some, but had not softened.
And, at last, he had the key, which was that rubber mixed with sulphur
and subjected to a certain degree of heat, would be rendered impervious
to any extremes of temperature!

But what degree of heat? He experimented in the oven of his wife's
cooking-stove, and in every other kind of oven to which he could gain
access; he induced a brick-layer to make him an oven, paying him in
rubber aprons; he grew yellow and shrivelled, for he and his family were
living upon the charity of neighbors; more than once, there was not a
morsel of food in the house; his friends thought seriously of shutting
him up in an asylum; he tried to get to New York, but was arrested for
debt, and thrown into prison. Even in prison, he tried to interest men
with capital in his discovery, for he needed delicate and expensive
apparatus, and at last two brothers, William and Emory Rider agreed to
advance him a certain sum. The laboratory was built, and in 1844,
Goodyear astonished the world by producing perfect vulcanized
India-rubber with economy and certainty. The long and desperate battle
had been won!

Did he reap a fortune? By no means! In one way or another, he was
defrauded of his patent rights. In England, for instance, another man
who received a copy of the American patent, actually applied for and
obtained the English rights in his own name. In 1858, the United States
Commissioner of Patents said, "No inventor, probably, has ever been so
harassed, so trampled upon, so plundered by that sordid and licentious
class of infringers known in the parlance of the world as 'pirates.'"
Worn out with work and disappointment, Goodyear died two years later, a
bankrupt. But his story should be remembered, and his memory honored, by
every American.

       *       *       *       *       *

Near a little mountain hamlet of central Sweden stands a great pyramid
of iron cast from ore dug from the neighboring mountains. It is set up
on a base of granite also quarried from those mountains, and bears upon
it two names, Nils Ericsson and John Ericsson. The monument marks the
place where these two men were born. The life of the former was passed
in Sweden and does not concern us, but John Ericsson's name is closely
connected with the history of the United States.

He was the son of a poor miner, and one of his earliest recollections
was of the sheriff coming to take away all their household goods in
payment of a debt. He was put to work in the iron mines as soon as he
was able to earn a few pennies daily, and he soon developed a
remarkable aptitude for mechanics. At the age of eleven, he planned a
pumping engine to keep the mines free from water, and at the age of
twelve, was made a member of the surveying party in charge of the
construction of the Gotha ship canal, and was soon himself in charge of
a section of the work, with six hundred men under him, one of whom was
detailed to follow him with a stool, upon which he stood to use the
surveying instruments. It reminds one of Farragut commanding a war ship,
at the age of eleven.

In 1826, at the age of twenty-three, he went to England to introduce a
flame or gas-engine which he had invented. He remained there for eleven
years, and then a fortunate chance won him for the United States. He had
been experimenting with a screw or propeller for steamboats, instead of
the paddle-wheels as used by Fulton, and finally, equipping a small boat
with two propellers, offered the invention to the British admiralty. But
the admiralty was skeptical. The United States consul in Liverpool
happened to be Francis B. Ogden, a pioneer in steam navigation on the
Ohio river. He was impressed with Ericsson's invention, introduced him
to Robert F. Stockton, of the United States navy, and on their assurance
that the invention would be taken up in the United States, closed up his
affairs in England and sailed for this country.

His first experiment was disastrous--though through no fault of his. A
ship-of-war called the Princeton was ordered by the government and
completed. She embodied, besides screw propellers, many other features
which made her a nine days' wonder. A distinguished company boarded her
for her trial trip, and it was decided also to test her big guns. But at
the first discharge, the gun burst, killing the secretary of state, the
secretary of the navy, the captain of the ship, and a number of other
well known men. As a consequence, the experiment was stopped and
Ericsson was twelve years in securing from the government the $15,000 he
had spent in equipping the Princeton.

However, he was soon to render the country a service which will never be
forgotten. In 1861, he appeared before the navy department with a plan
for an iron-clad consisting of a revolving turret mounted upon an
armored raft. He secured an order for one such vessel, to be paid for
only in the event that it proved successful. The majority of the board
which gave the order doubtless laughed in their sleeves as the inventor
withdrew, for what chance of success had such a vessel? There were some
who even doubted whether she would float--among them her builders, who
took the precaution of placing buoys under her before they launched her
four months later.

Of the voyage of the little craft from New York to Hampton Roads, and of
her epoch-making battle with the Merrimac we have already told. Ericsson
had asked that she be named the "Monitor," as a warning to the nations
of the world that a new era in naval warfare had begun, and that she was
well-named no one could doubt after that momentous ninth of March,
1862. Honors were showered upon the inventor, whose great service to the
nation could not be questioned. The following ten years of his life were
devoted to the construction of his famous torpedo-boat, the "Destroyer,"
which, he believed, would annihilate any vessel afloat--the predecessor
of all the torpedo-boats, past and present, which have played so
important a part in naval warfare. He lived for more than twenty years
in a house in Beach street, New York, where he died, in 1889.

The Monitor's attack upon the Merrimac would have been ineffective but
for the remarkable guns with which the little craft was armed--two
eleven-inch rifled cannon, the invention of John Adolph Dahlgren.
Dahlgren had been connected with the ordnance department of the navy at
Washington for many years, and his inventions had revolutionized United
States gunnery.

Dahlgren was born at Philadelphia, where his father was Swedish consul,
a position which he held until his death in 1824. The boy, from his
earliest years, had been ambitious to enter the navy, and finally, at
the age of seventeen, received his midshipman's warrant. In 1847, he was
assigned to ordnance duty at Washington, and began that career of
extraordinary energy, which lasted for sixteen years. He saw almost at
once the many defects in the cannon which were at that time being
manufactured, and soon offered a design of his own, which proved a vast
advance over old guns. The Dahlgren gun, as it was called, was of iron,
cast solid, with a thick breech adjusted to meet varying pressure
strains. The invention of the rifled cannon followed, and it was this
weapon which caused even the great armored Merrimac to tremble. Admiral
Dahlgren's career was a distinguished one, but no service he rendered
his country was more noteworthy than this.

But there are triumphs of peace, as well as of war, and one of the most
notable of these was won by Cyrus Hall McCormick when he invented the
automatic reaper which bears his name. In 1859, it was estimated that
the reaper was worth $55,000,000 a year to the United States; William H.
Seward remarked that, "owing to Mr. McCormick's invention, the line of
civilization moves westward thirty miles each year"; and the London
Times declared, after it had been tested at the great international
exhibition of 1851, that it was "worth to the farmers of England the
whole cost of that exhibition." To few men is it given to confer such
benefits upon mankind, and the career of this one is well worth dwelling

Cyrus McCormick was born in 1809, in a little house at the hamlet of
Walnut Grove, Virginia. His father was a farmer, and was also something
of a mechanical genius, and as early as 1816, had tried to build a
mechanical reaper. His son inherited this aptitude, and helped his
father in mechanical experiments, soon quite outstripping him. As a
farmer's boy, his day's work in the fields began at five o'clock in the
morning, and in the harvesting season even earlier. But in the harvest
field, he found himself unable to keep up with grown men in the hard
work of swinging the scythe, and so devised a harvesting-cradle, which
made the work so much easier that he was able to do his share. At the
age of twenty-two he invented a plough, which threw alternate furrows on
either side, and two years later, a self-sharpening plough, which proved
a great success.

Then he turned his attention to a mechanical reaper, though his father
warned him against wasting time and money on so impracticable a project.
But the possibility of making a machine do the hot hand-work of the
harvest field fascinated the young man, and he set to work upon the
problem. It was not an easy one, for the machine, to be successful, must
not only work in fields where the wheat stood straight, but also where
it had become tangled and beaten down by wind and rain. In 1831, he
produced his first practicable machine, making every part of it himself
by hand. Its three essential features have never been changed--a
vibrating cutting-blade, a reel to bring the grain within reach of the
blade, and a platform to receive the falling grain. The problem had been

Three years, however, were spent in perfecting the minor working parts,
then another was built and tested. It worked well, but McCormick was
still not satisfied with it, and not until 1840, was it perfected
sufficiently to make him willing to put it on the market. This
self-restraint was remarkable, but it had this good effect, that when
the machine was finally offered to the public, it was not an
experiment. So there were no failures, but a steady increase in demand
from the very first, until the great factory, which McCormick early
located at Chicago, now turns out nearly two hundred thousand machines a
year. The whir of these machines is heard around the world--everywhere
the McCormick reaper is doing its share toward lightening man's labor.

Another of the great victories of peace was won by Elias Howe, when, in
1844, he invented a machine which would sew. Strangely enough, he was at
first regarded as an enemy of humanity, rather than as a friend; an
enemy, especially, of the poor sewing-women who earned a pitiful living
with the needle. Few had the foresight to perceive that it was these
very women whose toil he was doing most to lighten!

Elias Howe, born in Spencer, Massachusetts, in 1819, as the son of a
poor miller, and was put to work at the age of six to contribute his
mite to the support of the family. He was a frail child and slightly
lame, so that, after trying in vain to do farm labor, he went to work in
the mill, and afterwards in a machine shop, where he learned to be a
first-class machinist--knowledge which, at a later day, was to stand him
in good stead. He married, at the age of twenty-one, and three children
were born to him. Then came a period of illness, during which the young
mother supported the family by sewing; and as Howe lay upon his bed,
watching his wife at this tedious labor, the thought came to him what a
blessing it would be to mankind if a machine could be devised to do
that work.

The idea remained with him, and finally led to experiments. Of the many
disappointments, the long months of patient labor, the intense thought,
the repeated failures, there is not room to tell here; but at last he
hit upon the solution of the problem--the use of two threads, making the
stitch by means of a shuttle and a needle with the eye near the point.
In October, 1844, he produced a rude machine which would actually sew.
Another year was spent in perfecting it, while he kept his family from
starvation by doing such odd jobs as he could find, and in the winter of
1845, he was ready to introduce his machine to the public.

But here an unforeseen difficulty arose. The public refused to have
anything to do with the machine. The tailors declared it would ruin
their trade, and refused to try it; nobody could be found who would
invest a dollar in it; and Howe, in despair, was forced to put his
invention away and to accept a place as railway engineer in order to
support his family. Some disastrous years followed, his wife died, and
he was left in absolute poverty, but at last came a ray of light. A man
named Bliss became interested in Howe's invention, and a few machines
were made and marketed in New York. Riots among the workingmen followed,
so serious that for a time the use of the machines was stopped; but no
human power could stay the wheel of progress, and as the value of the
invention came to be recognized, all opposition to it faded away.
Howe's royalties grew to enormous proportions, but he had been broken in
health by his years of struggle and hardship, and lived only a few years
to enjoy them.

George Henry Corliss was another mechanical genius, who, in one respect,
anticipated Howe, for about 1842 he actually invented a machine for
stitching leather. That was two years before Howe made his discovery.
But Corliss was soon attracted to other work, and the development of the
sewing machine was left for the other inventor. It was in 1846 that
Corliss began to develop those improvements in the steam engine which
were to revolutionize its construction. One trouble with the steam
engine as then built was that it was not uniform in motion. That is, if
the engine was running a lot of machines their speed would vary from
moment to moment, as they were started or stopped. For instance, a
hundred looms, all running at once, would run at a certain speed, but if
some of them were shut off, the speed of the others would increase, so
that it was very difficult to regulate them. Again, there was a
tremendous waste of power, so that the fuel consumption was out of all
proportion to the power actually developed.

It was these defects that Corliss set himself to remedy, and he did it
simply by taking a load off the governor, which had always been used to
move the throttle-valve. In the Corliss engine, the governor simply
indicated to the valves the work to be done, and the saving of fuel was
so great that the inventor often installed his engine under a contract
to take the saving in coal-bills from a certain period as his pay. One
of his great achievements was the construction of a 1400 horse power
engine to move all the machinery at the centennial exposition at
Philadelphia, in 1876. The engine, which worked splendidly, was one of
the sights of the exposition.

What the sewing-machine is to the needle, the typewriter is to the pen.
No other one invention has so revolutionized business, and the credit
for the invention of a practicable typewriting machine is due to C.
Latham Sholes. Others had tried their hands at the problem before he
took it up, but he was the first to hit upon its solution--a number of
type-bars carrying the letters of the alphabet operated by levers and
striking upon a common centre, past which the paper was carried on a
revolving cylinder.

Sholes had a varied and picturesque career. Born in Pennsylvania in
1819, he followed the printer's trade for a number of years, and it was
no doubt from the type that he got his idea of engraved dies mounted on
type-bars. Finally he removed to Wisconsin, where he edited a paper and
soon became prominent in the politics of the state, holding a number of
appointive positions. It was in 1866 that he began to experiment with a
writing-machine, and his first one, which was patented two years later,
was as big as a sewing-machine. Still, it embodied the essential
principles of the typewriter as it is made to-day, and after spending
five years in perfecting it, Sholes made a contract with E. Remington &
Son to manufacture it. It is one of the ironies of fate that the name
principally connected with the typewriter in the public mind is that of
the manufacturer, the identity of the inventor being completely lost, so
far as applied, at least, to the name of any machine.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have spoken elsewhere of the career of John D. Rockefeller, of the
immense fortune he made from petroleum and the manner in which he
disposed of a portion of it. It is worth pausing a moment to consider
the career of the two men who discovered petroleum, who sunk the first
well in search of a larger supply, and who put it on the market. There
is scarcely any development of modern life to rank in importance with
the introduction of kerosene. It added at once several hours to every
day, and who can estimate what these evening hours, spent usually in
study or reading, have meant to humanity?

In the early part of the century, whales were so plentiful, especially
along the New England coast, that whale, or sperm, oil was used for
lighting purposes, and many of the old whale-oil lamps are still in
existence. The light they gave was dim and smoky, but it was far better
than no light at all. As the years passed, whales became more and more
scarce, until sperm oil was selling at over two dollars a gallon. Only
the richest people could afford to pay that, and the poor passed their
evenings in darkness.

In 1854, a man named James M. Townsend brought to Professor Silliman, of
Yale, a bottle of oil, asking him to test it. This was done, and the
astonished professor found that here was an oil, whose source he could
only guess, which made a splendid illuminant and which also seemed to
have some medicinal properties. The oil was from Oil Creek,
Pennsylvania, and Townsend, associating with himself a conductor named
E. L. Drake, formed the Seneca Oil Company and began gathering the oil
by digging trenches. At first it was bottled and sold for medicinal
purposes at one dollar a gallon; then Drake suggested that a larger
supply might be secured if a well was bored for it. A man familiar with
salt well boring was employed, and in 1859 the first well was begun at

Most people regarded Drake as a madman, and thought that he was simply
throwing money away. The work was costly and slow, and finally, when
$50,000 had been spent without result, the stockholders of the company
refused to go further--all except Townsend. That enthusiast managed to
rake up another $500, which he sent to Drake, with instructions to make
it go as far as possible. It did not go very far--and yet far
enough--for one day the auger, which was down sixty-eight feet, struck a
cavity, and up came a flow of oil to within five feet of the surface.
Pumping began at the rate of five hundred barrels a day, and fortune
seemed in sight. But three months later, the company's works were
destroyed by fire, and before they could be rebuilt, scores of other
wells had been sunk, many of which were "gushers," requiring no pumping,
and the supply was soon so far in excess of the demand that the price
of oil tumbled to one dollar a barrel. Discouraged by all this, the
Seneca Company sold out its leases and disbanded, leaving Townsend and
Drake poorer than they had been before their great discovery.

       *       *       *       *       *

Years ago, in 1790, to be exact, an Italian scientist named Galvani,
experimenting with the legs of a frog, happened to touch the exposed
nerves with a piece of metal, while the legs were lying across another
piece. He was astonished to see the legs contract violently. Further
experiments followed, and the galvanic battery resulted. Years later,
our own Professor Henry discovered that if an insulated wire carrying a
current of electricity was wrapped around a piece of soft iron, the
latter became a magnet. Out of these simple discoveries, came the
electric telegraph, and, still more wonderful, the telephone, by which
the human voice may be instantly projected hundreds of miles, not only
intelligibly, but with every tone and inflection reproduced. In an age
of wonders, this is surely one of the greatest.

On February 14, 1876, two applications were made at the patent office at
Washington for patents upon the conveyance of sound by electricity. One
was filed by Elisha Gray, the other by Alexander Graham Bell. They were
practically identical, but it was Bell's good fortune to be the first to
make his device practically effective, and so he may fairly be
considered the inventor of the telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1847, the son
of the famous Alexander Melville Bell, the inventor of the system by
which deaf people are enabled to read speech more or less correctly by
observing the motion of the lips. The family moved to Canada in 1872,
and Alexander Bell came to Boston, where he soon became widely known as
an authority in the teaching of the deaf and dumb. The reproduction of
the human voice by mechanical means interested him deeply, and his study
of the construction of the human ear, with its drum vibrating in
response to sound vibrations, gave him the idea of a vibrating piece of
iron in front of an electric magnet. He was, however, very poor and had
no money to expend in experiments--so poor, indeed, that when attacked
by illness, his hospital expenses were paid by his employer, and so
friendless that during his illness no one visited him except two or
three pupils from his school.

He persevered with his experiments, with such rude apparatus as he could
make himself, and the first Bell telephone was brought into existence
with an old cigar-box, two hundred feet of wire, and two magnets from a
toy fish-pond. In an improved form, it was shown at the Centennial
exhibition of 1876, where Sir William Thomson pronounced it "the
greatest marvel hitherto achieved by the electric telegraph." As is
always the case, the public was slow to appreciate the importance of the
invention, and as late as 1877, Bell was unable to secure $10,000 for a
half interest in the European rights. The rapid growth of the business
in this country is almost without a parallel in history, and no
invention has added more to the convenience of modern life.

       *       *       *       *       *

A distinguished scientist one day asked the late Clerk Maxwell what was
the greatest scientific discovery of the last half century, and Maxwell
answered without an instant's hesitation: "That the Gramme machine is
reversible." Probably the whole scientific world will agree with him,
for that discovery meant that power will not only produce electricity,
but that electricity will produce power. Let us see how that has been
applied. Falling water is one of the most powerful agents in the world,
and at a great waterfall like Niagara, millions of horsepower go to
waste every day. So at the foot of Niagara, great power-houses have been
built where the power of the water is converted into electricity. The
electricity is conducted along wires for hundreds of miles to the great
industrial centres, and there converted back again into power. In other
words, the water of Niagara is to-day turning machinery in Buffalo and
Albany. The same method of producing power, the cheapest that has ever
been discovered, is being installed all over the world, and will, in
time, produce a revolution in manufacturing processes.

The vital mechanism in the production of this power is the dynamo, and
it is to Charles F. Brush, of Cleveland, Ohio, that its development is
principally due. He was interested in electricity from his earliest
years, and when he was only thirteen, distinguished himself by making
magnetic machines and batteries for the Cleveland high-school, where he
was a pupil. During his senior year, the physical apparatus of the
school laboratory was placed under his charge, and he constructed an
electric motor having its field magnets as well as its armature excited
by the electric current. He devised an apparatus for turning on the gas
in the street lamps of Cleveland, lighting it and turning it off again,
thus doing away with the expensive process of lighting them and turning
them out by hand.

After graduating from the University of Michigan with the degree of
mining engineer, he returned to Cleveland, where, in 1875, his attention
was drawn to the great need of a more effective dynamo than the clumsy
and inefficient types then in use. In two months, Brush had made a
dynamo so perfect in every way that it was running until taken to the
Chicago Exposition, in 1893. Six months more of experimenting resulted
in the Brush arc light, and in 1879 the Brush Electric Company was
organized. A year later, the first Brush lights were installed in New
York City, and now there is scarcely a town in the country which does
not pay tribute to the inventor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us turn for a moment from the field of electricity, in which America
has been pre-eminent, to another in which Yankee ingenuity has also led
the world--the railroad. It was in this country that the sleeping-car,
the diner, the parlor-car were first used; no other country affords
such luxury of travel; and no other country has added to railroading any
device comparable in importance to the invention of George Westinghouse,
the air-brake. Before its introduction, to stop a train brakes must be
set painfully by hand, and even then were not always effective. Now, the
engineer, by pulling a single lever, sets the brakes instantly all along
his train, and so effectively that the passengers sometimes feel as
though the train had struck a rock. More than that, should any accident
occur, breaking the train in two, the brakes are instantly set
automatically. All of which is done by the power of compressed air,
working through a series of pipes and air-hose beneath the cars.

George Westinghouse's father was superintendent of the Schenectady
Agricultural Works, and it was there that the boy found his vocation.
Before he was fifteen, he had modelled and built a steam engine, and
followed that with a steel railroad frog, which was so great an
improvement over the frogs then in use that it was soon widely adopted,
and brought the young inventor both money and reputation. He moved to
Pittsburgh, as the centre of the iron and steel business, and began the
manufacture of his frogs there.

One day he came across a newspaper account of the successful use of
compressed air in the digging of the Mont Cenis tunnel, in Switzerland,
and the thought occurred to him that perhaps a railroad train could be
controlled by the same agency. He worked over the problem for a time,
but when he mentioned his idea to his friends, they were inclined to
think it absurd to suppose that a rubber-tube strung along under the
cars could work the brakes effectively. However, Westinghouse was not
discouraged, but continued to experiment, and the air-brake as we have
it to-day was the result.

       *       *       *       *       *

Which brings us to the most remarkable genius in the field of invention
the world has ever known--the man who has made invention, as it were, a
business, whose life has been devoted to rendering practical and useful
the dreams of other men, who has reduced invention to a science--Thomas
Alva Edison. There are some who are inclined to belittle Edison's
achievements because some of the greatest of them have been founded upon
the ideas of others. He is best known, for instance, as the inventor of
the modern incandescent light; but the discovery that light may be
obtained from wire heated to incandescence in a glass bulb from which
the air has been exhausted, was made when Edison was only two years old.
Experiments with this light were made by a dozen scientists, but it
remained a mere laboratory curiosity until Edison took hold of it, and
with a patience, ingenuity and fertility of resource, in which he stands
alone, made it a practicable, efficient and convenient source of light.
That the incandescent light, as it is known to-day, is his through and
through cannot be questioned.

It is as a scientific inventor that Edison likes to be known. He abhors
the word discoverer, as applied to himself. "Discovery is not
invention," he once said. "A discovery is more or less in the nature of
an accident, while an invention is purely deductive. In my own case, but
few, and those the least important, of my inventions, owed anything to
accident. Most of them have been hammered out after long and patient
labor, and are the result of countless experiments all directed toward
attaining some well-defined object."

There is, however, one modern marvel for which Edison is wholly
responsible, both for the initial idea and for its practical
working-out--the phonograph--but let us tell something of his early
life, before we relate the achievements of his manhood.

Born in a little village in Erie County, Ohio, in 1847, Edison was early
introduced to the struggle for existence. His father was very poor,
being, indeed, the village jack-of-all-trades, and living upon such odd
jobs as he was able to procure. The boy, of course, was put to work as
soon as he was old enough, and of regular schooling had only two months
in all his life. At the age of twelve, he was a train-boy on the
Michigan Central Railroad, selling books, papers, candy, and fruit to
the passengers. He managed to get some type and an old press and issued
a little paper called the "Grand Trunk Herald," containing the news of
the railroad. One day, he snatched the little child of the
station-master at Port Clements, Michigan, from under the wheels of a
train, and in return the grateful father taught the boy telegraphy.

It was the turning-point in his career, for it turned his attention to
the study of electricity, with which he was soon fascinated. At
eighteen, he was working as an operator at Indianapolis, but he was from
the very first, more of an inventor than an operator, and his inventions
sometimes got him into trouble. For instance, at one place where he had
a night trick, he was required to report the word "six" every half-hour
to the manager to show that he was awake and on duty. After a while, he
rigged up a wheel to do it for him, and all went well until the manager
happened to visit the office one night and found Edison sleeping calmly
while his wheel was sending in the word "six." But he nevertheless
developed into one of the swiftest operators in the country, all the
time devising changes and improvements in the mechanism of telegraphy.

His first great success came with the sale of an improvement in the
instruments used to record stock quotations, which enabled these
"tickers" to print the quotations legibly on paper tape, and this
success enabled him to get some capitalists to finance his experiments
with the electric light. The arrangement was that they were to pay the
expense of the experiments and to share in such inventions as resulted.
For the sake of quiet, he moved out to a little place in New Jersey
called Menlo Park, and built himself a shop. Then began that remarkable
series of experiments--one of the most remarkable in history--which
resulted in the perfection of the incandescent lamp.

The problem was to find a material for the filament which would give a
bright light and which, would, at the same time, be durable, and with
this end in view, hundreds and hundreds of different filaments were
tried. The difficulties in the way of this experimenting were enormous,
since the light only burns when in a vacuum, and the instant the vacuum
is impaired, out it goes. At one time, all the lamps he had burning at
Menlo Park, about eighty in all, went out, one after another, without
apparent cause. The lamps had been equipped with filaments of carbon and
had burned for a month. There seemed to be no reason why they should not
burn for a year, and Edison was stunned by the catastrophe. He began at
once the most exhaustive series of experiments ever undertaken by an
American physicist, remaining in his laboratory for five days and
nights, dining at his work bench on bread and cheese, and snatching a
little sleep occasionally, when one of his assistants was on duty. It
was finally discovered that the air had not been sufficiently exhausted
from the lamps.

Again success seemed in sight, but soon the lamps began acting queerly
again. Worn out with fatigue and disappointment, Edison took to his bed.
Ultimate failure was freely predicted, and the price of gas stock rose
again. In five months, the inventor had aged five years, but he was not
yet ready to give up the fight. And at last it was won, and the
incandescent lamp placed on the market. It has not displaced gas, as
some people thought it would, but it is the basis of a business which
made the inventor sufficiently rich to realize his great ambition of
building himself the finest laboratory in the world; where the most
expert iron-workers, wood-workers, glass-blowers, metal-spinners,
machinists and chemists in the world find employment. Every known metal,
every chemical, every kind of glass, stone, earth, wood, fibre, paper,
skin, cloth, may be found in its store-rooms, ready for instant use. The
library contains one of the finest collections of scientific books and
periodicals to be found anywhere. These are the tools, and with them
Edison is constantly at work upon a great variety of problems.

The first thing he turned his hand to after his installation in his new
laboratory was the phonograph. The patient thought and experiment,
extending over many years, lavished on this wonderful invention are
almost unbelievable. The idea had come to him years before, when he had
worked out an instrument that would not only record telegrams by
indenting a strip of paper with the dots and dashes of the Morse code,
but would also repeat the message any number of times by running the
indented strip of paper through it.

"Naturally enough," said Edison, in telling the story, "the idea
occurred to me that if the indentations on paper could be made to give
off again the click of the instrument, why could not the vibrations of a
diaphragm be recorded and similarly reproduced? I rigged up an
instrument hastily and pulled a strip of paper through it, at the same
time shouting 'Hallo!' Then the paper was pulled through again, and
listening breathlessly, I heard a distinct sound, which a strong
imagination might have translated into the original 'Hallo!' That was
enough to lead me to a further experiment. I made a drawing of a model,
and took it to Mr. Kruesi, at that time engaged on piece-work for me. I
told him it was a talking-machine. He grinned, thinking it a joke; but
he set to work and soon had the model ready. I arranged some tin-foil on
it and spoke into the machine. Kruesi looked on, still grinning. But
when I arranged the machine for transmission and we both heard a
distinct sound from it, he nearly fell down in his fright. I must admit
that I was a little scared myself." The words which he had spoken into
the machine and which were the first ever to be reproduced mechanically,
was the old Mother Goose quatrain, starting, "Mary had a Little Lamb."

From that rude beginning came the phonograph, with which Edison has
never ceased to experiment. He has made improvements in it from year to
year, until it has reached its present high state of efficiency--a
state, however, which Edison hopes to improve still further. In addition
to the two great inventions of the phonograph and incandescent lamp,
which we have dwelt upon here, many more stand to his credit. In fact,
he has been the greatest client the patent office ever had, nearly one
thousand patents having been issued in his name. At the age of
sixty-three, he shows no sign of falling off in either mental or
physical energy, and no doubt more than one invention has yet to come
from Llewellyn Park before he quits his great laboratory forever.

No one can ever guess at the future of electrical invention. The recent
marvelous development of the wireless telegraph, by which the impalpable
ether is harnessed to man's service, is an indication of the wonders
which may be expected in the future. It was our own Joseph Henry who, in
1842, discovered the electric wave--the "induction" upon which wireless
telegraphy depends. He discovered that when he produced an electric
spark an inch long in a room at the top of his house, electrical action
was instantly set up in another wire circuit in the cellar. After some
study, he saw and announced that the electric spark started some sort of
action in the ether, which passed through floors and ceilings and all
other intervening objects, and caused induction in the wires in the
cellar. But wireless telegraphy was made a commercial possibility not by
any great scientist, but by a young Italian named Marconi. Already
experiments with wireless telephony are going forward, and another half
century may see all the labor of the world performed by this wonderful
and mysterious force which we call electricity.

       *       *       *       *       *

From earliest times, man has longed to navigate the air. He has watched
with envy the free flight of birds, and has tried to imitate it, usually
with disastrous results. The balloon, of course, enabled him to rise in
the air, but once there, he was at the mercy of every wind. More
recently, balloons fitted with motors and steering gear have been
devised, which are to some extent dirigible; but the real problem has
been to fly as birds do without any such artificial aid as balloons

Experiments to solve this problem were begun several years ago by
Professor S. P. Langley, of the Smithsonian Institution, under
government supervision, and pointed the way to other investigators. He
proved, theoretically, that air-flight was possible, provided sufficient
velocity could be obtained. He showed that a heavier-than-air machine
would sustain itself in the air if it could only be driven fast enough.
You have all skipped flat stones across the water. Well, that is exactly
the principle of the flying machine. As long as the stone went fast
enough, it skipped along the top of the water, which sustained it and
even threw it up into the air again. When its speed slackened, it sank.
So the boy on skates can skim safely across thin ice which would not
bear his weight for an instant if he tried to stand upon it.

So, theoretically, it was possible to fly, but to reduce theory to
practice was a very different thing. Professor Langley tried for years
and failed. He built a great machine, which plunged beneath the waters
of the Potomac a minute after it was launched. All over the world,
inventors were struggling with the problem, but nowhere with any great
degree of success. It remained for two brothers, in a little workshop at
Dayton, Ohio, to produce the first machine which would really fly.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were poor boys, the sons of a clergyman, and
apparently in no way distinguished from ordinary boys, except by a taste
for mechanics. They had a little workshop, and one day in 1905, they
brought out a strange looking machine from it, and announced that it was
a flying-machine. The people of Dayton smiled skeptically, and assembled
to witness the demonstration with the thought that there would probably
soon be need for an ambulance. The gasoline motor with which the machine
was equipped, was started, one of the brothers climbed aboard and
grasped the levers, the other dropped a weight which started the machine
down a long incline. For a moment, it slid along, then its great forward
planes caught the air current and it soared gracefully up into the air.

That was a great moment in human history, so great that the crowd
looking on scarcely realized its import. They watched the machine with
bated breath, and saw it steered around in a circle, showing that it
could go against the wind as well as with it. For thirty-eight minutes
it remained in the air, making a circular flight of over twenty-four
miles. Then it was gently landed and the exhibition was over. Great
crowds flocked to Dayton, after that, expecting to see further
exhibitions, but they were disappointed. The machine had been taken back
to the shop, and the young inventors announced that they were making
some changes in it. No one was admitted to the shop, nor were any other
flights made.

One day the inventors also disappeared, and months later it was
discovered that they had built themselves a little shop on a deserted
stretch of the sandy North Carolina coast, and that they were carrying
on their experiments there, secure from observation. Enterprising
reporters tried to interview them and failed; but, ambushed afar off,
they one day saw the great machine soaring proudly in a wide circle
above the sands. A photographer even got a distant photograph of it.
There could be no doubt that the Wright brothers had solved the problem
of flight.

But not for two years more were they ready for public exhibitions. Then,
in 1908, they appeared at Fort Myer, Virginia, ready to take part in the
contest set by the United States government. No one who was present on
that first day will ever forget his sensations as the great winged
creature rose gracefully from the ground and circled about in the air
overhead. Again and again flights were made, sometimes with an extra
passenger; great speed was attained and the machine was under perfect
control. But an unfortunate accident put a stop to the trials, for one
day a propellor-blade broke while the machine was in mid-air, and it
struck the ground before it could be righted. The passenger, a member of
the United States Signal Corps, was instantly killed and Orville Wright
was seriously injured.

Meanwhile, the other brother, Wilbur, had gone to Europe, where, first
in France, and afterwards in Italy and England, he created a tremendous
sensation by his spectacular flights. They were uniformly successful.
Not an accident marred them. The governments of Europe were quick to
secure the right to manufacture the aeroplane; kings and princes vied
with each other in honoring the young inventor, and when he returned to
the United States, city, state, and nation combined in a great reception
to him and to his brother.

As these lines are being written, in August, 1909, another series of
flights has been concluded at Fort Myer. They were successful in every
way in fulfilling the government tests, and the Wrights' machine was
purchased by the government for $30,000. Everywhere air-ship flights are
being made successfully, and it is only a question of time until the
aeroplane becomes a common means of conveyance. Wilbur Wright declares
that it is already safer than the automobile, and it would seem that
there is in store for man a new and exquisite sensation, that of flight.

Surely, America has cause to be proud of her inventors!


FULTON, ROBERT. Born at Little Britain, Pennsylvania, 1765; went to
London, 1786, to study painting under Benjamin West; abandoned painting,
1793; returned to America, 1806; first successful trip in steamboat, the
Clermont, August 11, 1807; died at New York City, February 24, 1815.

WHITNEY, ELI. Born at Westborough, Massachusetts, December 8, 1765;
graduated at Yale, 1792; went to Georgia as teacher and invented
cotton-gin, 1792-93; died at New Haven, Connecticut, January 8, 1825.

MORSE, SAMUEL FINLEY BREESE. Born at Charlestown, Massachusetts, April
27, 1791; graduated at Yale, 1810; studied art under Benjamin West in
London, and opened studio in New York City, 1823; first president
National Academy of Design, 1826-42; designed electric telegraph, 1832;
applied for patent, 1837; first line completed between Baltimore and
Washington, 1844; died at New York City, April 2, 1872.

GOODYEAR, CHARLES. Born at New Haven, Connecticut, December 29, 1800;
began experiments with rubber, 1834; secured patent, 1844; died at New
York City, July 1, 1860.

ERICSSON, JOHN. Born in parish of Fernebo, Wermland, Sweden, July 31,
1803; went to England, 1826; came to America, 1839; constructed caloric
engine, 1833; applied screw to steam navigation, 1836-41; invented
turreted ironclad Monitor, 1862; died at New York City, March 8, 1889.

DAHLGREN, JOHN ADOLPH. Born at Philadelphia, November 13, 1809;
lieutenant in navy, 1837; assigned to ordnance duty at Washington, 1847;
commander, 1855; rear-admiral, 1863; took important part in naval
operations during Civil War; died at Washington, July 12, 1870.

MCCORMICK, CYRUS HALL. Born at Walnut Grove, West Virginia, February 15,
1809; invented mechanical reaper, 1831; died at Chicago, May 13, 1884.

HOWE, ELIAS. Born at Spencer, Massachusetts, July 9, 1819; invented
sewing-machine, 1844; died at Brooklyn, New York, October 3, 1867.

CORLISS, GEORGE HENRY. Born at Easton, New York, July 2, 1817; invented
Corliss engine, 1849; died at Providence, Rhode Island, February 21,

SHOLES, CHRISTOPHER LATHAM. Born at Mooresburg, Pennsylvania, February
14, 1819; state senator, Wisconsin, 1848, 1856-58; held many positions
of trust in Milwaukee, 1869-78; patented typewriter, 1868.

BELL, ALEXANDER GRAHAM. Born at Edinburgh, Scotland, March 3, 1847; came
to Canada, 1870, and to Boston, 1871; invented telephone, 1876;
graphophone, 1883.

BRUSH, CHARLES FRANCIS. Born at Euclid, Ohio, March 17, 1849; graduated
University of Michigan, 1869; invented modern arc electric lighting;
founder Brush Electric Company.

WESTINGHOUSE, GEORGE. Born at Central Bridge, Schoharie County, New
York, October 6, 1846; invented rotary engine at age of fifteen; in
Union army, 1863-64; invented air brake, 1868; also inventions in
railway signals, steam and gas engines, turbines, and electric

EDISON, THOMAS ALVA. Born at Milan, Ohio, February 11, 1847; established
workshop at Menlo Park, New Jersey, 1876; invented megaphone,
phonograph, aërophone, incandescent electric lamp, kinetoscope, and many
other things.

WRIGHT, ORVILLE. Born at Dayton, Ohio, 1871.

WRIGHT, WILBUR. Born at Dayton, Ohio, 1869.


Abbey, Edwin A., 117, 124.

Adams, Edwin, 179.

Adams, Herbert, 153.

Addams, Jane, 223-224, 230.

Agassiz, Alexander, 192, 225.

Agassiz, Louis, 186-192, 193, 201-202, 209-210, 211, 213, 224.

Alcott, Amos Bronson, 41-43, 52.

Alcott, Louisa May, 42-43, 52.

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 75-76, 82-83, 163.

Alexander, Francis, 102-103, 121.

Alexander, John W., 119.

Allen, James Lane, 33.

Allston, Washington, 97, 99, 121, 126.

Anderson, Charles Joseph, 174.

Anderson, Mary, 174-175, 183.

Andrew, John A., 266.

Anthony, Susan B., 271-272, 289.

Arnold, Benedict, 95.

Astor, John Jacob, 294-297, 324.

Astor, William B., 296-297.

Atwood, Elizabeth, 303.

Audubon, John James, 186-190, 224.

Austin, James T., 270.

Bailey, Liberty Hyde, 212.

Ball, Thomas, 136, 137-139, 155.

Bancroft, George, 34-36, 51.

Barker, George Frederick, 212.

Barlow, Joel, 329.

Barnard, George Gray, 153, 156.

Barnum, Phineas Taylor, 302-305, 314, 325.

Barrett, Lawrence, 171-172, 176, 183.

Bartlett, Paul Wayland, 153.

Barton, Clara, 277-278, 289.

Beecher, Henry Ward, 252, 254, 281, 287.

Beecher, Lyman, 31, 252-254, 269, 287.

Bell, Alexander Graham, 328, 356-358, 373.

Bell, Alexander Melville, 357.

Belmont, August, 323.

Benjamin, Park, 74.

Bennett, James Gordon, 47, 309.

Bergh, Henry, 278-280, 290.

Bessey, Charles Edward, 212.

Bickmore, Albert Smith, 193.

Bierstadt, Albert, 108, 122.

Boone, Daniel, 100.

Booth, Edwin, 118, 157, 158, 160-164, 166, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 176,
    182, 183.

Booth, John Wilkes, 161.

Booth, Junius Brutus, 158-162, 177, 182.

Boyle, John J., 153.

Brooks, Phillips, 281-282, 290.

Brown, Henry Kirke, 113, 132-133, 145, 146, 154, 155.

Brown, John, 262, 272-276, 289.

Brown, Nathan, 313.

Brush, Charles F., 358-359, 373.

Brush, George de Forest, 119.

Bryant, William Cullen, 55-58, 80.

Bundy, Benjamin, 264.

Burke, Charles, 179.

Burr, Aaron, 97, 98.

Burr, Theodosia, 97.

Burroughs, John, 211-212.

Cable, George Washington, 33.

Caffin, Charles C., 17.

Calhoun, John C., 130, 134, 135.

Campbell, Archibald, 257.

Carnegie, Andrew, 246-251, 287.

Cary, Alice, 76.

Cary, Phoebe, 76.

Chamberlain, Thomas C., 204.

Channing, William Ellery, 254-256, 259, 260, 262, 270, 288.

Child, Lydia Maria, 261-262, 288.

Church, Frederick Edwin, 107-108, 122.

Clapp, Henry Austin, 18.

Clark, Alonzo Howard, 193.

Clay, Henry, 265.

Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 32-33, 50-51.

Clemm, Virginia, 68, 81.

Coffin, Thomas, 257.

Cole, Thomas, 105-107, 108, 122.

Cooper, James Fenimore, 24-27, 31, 50, 85, 127.

Cooper, Astley, 205.

Cooper, Peter, 235-237, 242, 286, 307.

Cope, Edward Drinker, 200-201, 226.

Copley, John Singleton, 86-87, 94, 120.

Corliss, George Henry, 352-353, 373.

Cornell, Ezra, 239-241, 242, 286.

Crawford, Thomas, 131-132, 154.

Curtis, George William, 46, 53.

Cushman, Charlotte, 144, 157, 166-168, 172, 182.

Cushman, Susan, 168.

Dahlgren, John Adolph, 347-348, 372.

Daly, Augustin, 172, 176, 177, 183, 184.

Dana, Charles Anderson, 47.

Dana, James Dwight, 202-203, 226-227.

Davenport, E. L., 176-177, 184.

Davenport, Fanny, 177, 184.

Day, Jeremiah, 218.

Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 259-261, 288.

Douglass, Frederick, 273, 275.

Drake, E. L., 355-356.

Drake, Joseph Rodman, 56.

Draper, Henry, 195, 199.

Draper, John William, 194-195, 225.

Drew, John, 176, 184.

Drew, Mrs. John, 184.

Durand, Asher Brown, 104-105, 107, 108, 122.

Dwight, Timothy, 218, 219, 229.

Edison, Thomas A., 328, 361-367, 373.

Edwards, Jonathan, 219-221, 223, 229.

Eliot, Charles William, 215-218, 229.

Elwell, Frank, 153.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 44-45, 52, 58-59.

Ericsson, John, 344-347, 372.

Ericsson, Nils, 344.

Everett, Edward, 215.

Farragut, David Glasgow, 149, 345.

Field, Cyrus West, 307-309, 325.

Field, Eugene, 76, 83.

Field, Marshall, 323.

Fiske, John, 40.

Florence, William J., 169-170, 183.

Forrest, Edwin, 157, 158, 164-166, 167, 169, 170, 179, 182.

Fox, John, 33.

Franklin, Benjamin, 89, 94, 197, 208, 328, 339.

Freeman, Mary Wilkins, 34.

French, Daniel Chester, 150-151, 156.

Freneau, Philip, 56.

Fulton, Robert, 328-332, 345, 371.

Garrison, William Lloyd, 61, 261, 262-267, 268, 269, 271, 288.

Gilder, Richard Watson, 76.

Girard, Stephen, 97, 164, 231-233, 286.

Glasgow, Ellen, 34.

Goelet, Robert, 323.

Goodyear, Charles, 339-344, 372.

Gould, Edwin, 317.

Gould, Frank, 317.

Gould, George, 317-318.

Gould, Helen Miller, 312.

Gould, Howard, 317.

Gould, Jay, 310-312, 317, 325.

Grant, Ulysses S., 49, 300-311.

Gray, Asa, 193, 194, 212, 213, 225.

Gray, Elisha, 356.

Greeley, Horace, 46-49, 53.

Greeley, Zaccheus, 47.

Greenough, Horatio, 90, 125-129, 130, 131, 134, 154.

Guyot, Arnold, 209, 213, 228.

Hale, Nathan, 152.

Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 56.

Hamilton, Alexander, 293.

Harding, Chester, 99-102, 103, 121, 133.

Harriman, E. H., 321-324, 326.

Harriott, Frederick C., 183.

Harrison, William Henry, 48.

Harte, Bret, 33.

Hartt, Charles Frederick, 193.

Haseltine, Anne, 256.

Havemeyer, Frederick Christian, 301.

Havemeyer, William Frederick, 301-302.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 27-30, 31, 50, 59, 69, 85, 130, 139, 144.

Hawthorne, William, 28.

Hayne, Paul Hamilton, 30, 77, 78, 84.

Henry, Joseph, 197, 208-209, 228, 234, 338-339, 356, 367.

Henry, Patrick, 132.

Heth, Joice, 302-303.

Hildreth, Richard, 36.

Hill, James J., 318-321, 323, 326.

Hitchcock, Edward, 203-204, 227.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 58, 62-64, 81, 87, 216.

Homer, Winslow, 115-116, 123.

Hopkins, Johns, 237, 239, 242, 286.

Hopkinson, Francis, 89.

Hosmer, Harriet, 143-144, 155.

Howe, Elias, 328, 350-352, 372.

Howe, Julia Ward, 76.

Howe, Samuel G., 260.

Howells, William Dean, 33.

Hubbard, Elbert, 79.

Hunt, William Morris, 112, 113-114, 123.

Hyatt, Alpheus, 193.

Inman, Henry, 103-104, 121.

Inness, George, 108-110, 116, 122.

Irving, Washington, 20-24, 36, 49-50, 97, 296-297.

Irving, William, 20.

Isham, Samuel, 17.

Jackson, Andrew, 107, 130, 135-136.

James, Henry, 33.

Jarvis, John Wesley, 103, 121.

Jefferson, Joseph, 18, 157, 170, 178-180, 182, 184.

Jefferson, Thomas, 98, 132.

Johnson, Cave, 135, 337.

Johnston, Mary, 34.

Jordan, David Starr, 223.

Jouett, Matthew, 103.

Judson, Adoniram, 256-257, 288.

Kean, Edmund, 159.

Keene, Laura, 179.

Kellogg, Vernon L., 212.

Kensett, Frederick, 108, 110, 122.

Key, Francis Scott, 56.

Kimball, Edward, 283.

Kingsley, James, 218.

LaFarge, John, 17, 112-113, 123.

Langley, Samuel Pierpont, 196, 226, 368.

Lanier, Sidney, 77-78, 83.

Le Conte, John, 210, 228.

Le Conte, John Eathan, 210-211.

Le Conte, John Lawrence, 211, 228.

Le Conte, Joseph, 210, 228.

Le Conte, Lewis, 209-210.

Lee, Robert E., 276.

Leidy, Joseph, 201.

Leiter, Levi, 323.

Leslie, C. R., 117.

Lincoln, Abraham, 12, 49, 72, 138, 146, 149, 160.

Lind, Jenny, 138, 302, 305.

Lindsay, R. W., 302.

Livingston, Robert R., 330.

Long, Crawford W., 206, 227.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 15, 28, 54, 58, 59-61, 80, 85.

Longworth, Nicholas, 146.

Lorillard, Pierre, 323.

Lovejoy, Elijah, 266, 270.

Lowell, James Russell, 58, 64-66, 81.

Lyman, Theodore, 193.

Macie, James. See Smithson, James.

McCormick, Cyrus Hall, 348-350, 372.

McCosh, James, 219, 222, 230.

McCullough, John, 170-171, 173, 176, 183.

Mackay, John W., 309-310, 325.

McMaster, John Bach, 40.

MacMonnies, Frederick, 151-152, 156.

Macready, William C., 165, 167.

Macy, John, 17.

Mann, Horace, 213-214, 228-229, 260.

Mansfield, Richard, 180-181.

"Mark Twain." See Clemens, S. L.

Marlowe, Julia, 181.

Marsh, Othniel Charles, 199-200, 226.

Marshall, John, 130.

Martin, Homer Dodge, 108, 110-111, 123.

Maverick, Peter, 122.

Meade, Larkin G., 145-147, 155.

Merrill, Addison Emory, 193.

Miller, Cincinnatus Heine (Joaquin), 76.

Millet, Francis B., 116-117, 124.

Mills, Clarke, 107, 133-136, 154.

Milmore, Martin, 151.

Modjeska, Helena, 172-174, 183.

Moody, Dwight L., 282-285, 290.

Moran, Thomas, 108, 122.

Morgan, J. Pierpont, 315-316, 326.

Morgan, Junius Spencer, 315.

Morris, Clara, 18, 172, 183.

Morris, Robert, 292-293, 324.

Morse, Edward Sylvester, 193.

Morse, Jedediah, 335.

Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 99, 240, 328, 335-339, 372.

Morton, W. T. G., 206-207, 227-228.

Motley, John Lothrop, 34, 37-38, 40, 51, 216.

Mott, James, 257.

Mott, Lucretia, 257-259, 261, 262, 272, 288.

Mott, Valentine, 204-206, 227.

Murdock, James E., 179.

Murfree, Mary Noailles, 33.

Muspratt, James Sheridan, 168.

Navarro, Antonio de, 183.

Neagle, John, 103, 121.

Neilson, Adelaide, 176.

Newberry, John Strong, 203, 227.

Newcomb, Simon, 197-198, 226.

Nilhaus, Charles, 153.

Ogden, Francis B., 345.

Orton, William, 338.

Osborne, H. F., 201.

Ossoli, Margaret Fuller, 43-44, 52.

Packard, Alpheus Spring, 193.

Page, Thomas Nelson, 34.

Palfrey, John Gorham, 36.

Palmer, Erasmus D., 136-137, 139, 154.

Parker, John, 267.

Parker, Theodore, 267-268, 269, 288.

Parkman, Francis, 34, 39-40, 51.

Peabody, George, 237-239, 242, 286, 315.

Peale, Charles Willson, 90-92, 98, 120, 304.

Peale, Rembrandt, 98, 121, 304.

Pelham, Peter, 86.

Penn, William, 140.

Phillips, John, 269.

Phillips, Wendell, 262, 268-271, 289.

Pickering, Edward Charles, 198-199, 226.

Pierce, Franklin, 29.

Plant, Henry, 147.

Poe, Edgar Allan, 17, 27, 28, 55, 58, 66-70, 76, 81-82, 85.

Porter, Noah, 218-219, 229.

Powers, Hiram, 129-131, 154.

Pratt, Zadock, 310.

Pray, Malvina, 169.

Prescott, William Hickling, 34, 36-38, 40, 51.

Putnam, Frederick Ward, 193.

Quincy, Josiah, 215, 217, 229.

Rehan, Ada, 172, 175-176, 183.

Remsen, Ira, 222.

Rhodes, James Ford, 40.

Rider, Emory, 343.

Rider, Williams, 343.

Riley, James Whitcomb, 76, 83.

Rinehart, William H., 141-142, 155.

Roberts, Marshall, 307.

Robinson, Marius, 266.

Rockefeller, John Davison, 243-246, 287, 354.

Rogers, John, 142-143, 155.

Rogers, Randolph, 140-141, 155.

Ruckstuhl, Frederick, 153.

Rutherford, Lewis Morris, 195-196, 225.

Sage, Russell, 305-306, 325.

Sage, Mrs. Russell, 252, 306.

Saint Gaudens, Augustus, 148-150, 152, 156.

Salisbury, Rollin D., 204.

Sanders, Sarah, 20.

Sankey, Ira D., 284, 285.

Sargent, John Singer, 117-119, 124, 163.

Schurman, Jacob Gould, 223.

Scott, Thomas A., 249.

Scudder, Samuel Hubbard, 193.

Seward, William H., 348.

Shaler, Nathaniel Southgate, 193, 211, 228.

Shaw, Robert Gould, 150.

Sholes, C. Latham, 353-354, 373.

Silliman, Benjamin, 202-204, 213, 218, 226, 227, 354.

Simms, William Gilmore, 30-31, 78-79, 84.

Skinner, Otis, 181.

Slater, John Fox, 241-242, 287.

Sloane, William Milligan, 40.

Slocum, Margaret Olivia. See Sage, Mrs. Russell.

Smithson, James, 233-234, 286.

Sothern, Edward A., 179, 181, 185.

Sothern, E. H., 181, 185.

Sparks, Jared, 36, 255.

Stanford, Jane Lathrop, 243.

Stanford, Leland, 242-243, 287.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 258, 272, 289.

Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 75-76, 82.

Stewart, A. T., 299-301, 307, 312, 324.

Stimpson, William, 193.

Stockton, Frank R., 34.

Stockton, Robert F., 345.

Stoddart, J. H., 18.

Story, Joseph, 139, 140.

Story, William Wetmore, 139-140, 155.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 31-32, 50, 254, 262.

Stratton, Charles S. See "Thumb, Tom."

Stuart, Gilbert, 90, 92-94, 102, 103, 120.

Stuart, J. E. B., 276.

Sully, Thomas, 90, 96-97, 121.

Sumner, Charles, 132, 260.

Taft, Lorado, 17.

Tappan, Arthur, 265.

Taylor, Bayard, 73-75, 82.

Taylor, Moses, 307.

Tenney, Sanborn, 193.

Thomson, William, 357.

Thoreau, Henry David, 45-46, 52-53.

Thumb, Tom, 302, 304-305.

Timrod, Henry, 30, 77, 78, 83.

Torrey, John, 193-194, 225.

Townsend, James M., 354-356.

Trent, W. P., 16.

Trumbull, Jonathan, 94.

Trumbull, John, 90, 94-96, 104, 120.

Tryon, Dwight William, 116, 124.

Tucker, George, 36.

Vanderbilt, Cornelius, 297-299, 311, 317, 324.

Vanderbilt, William Henry, 298-299, 317.

Vanderlyn, John, 97-98, 121.

Van Dyke, John C., 17.

Vedder, Elihu, 111-112, 123.

Vining, Fanny Elizabeth, 177, 184.

Wanamaker, John, 312-315, 323, 325.

Ward, Henry Augustus, 193.

Ward, J. Q. A., 144-145, 150, 155.

Warner, Olin Levi, 147-148, 156.

Warren, J. C., 207.

Warren, Lavinia, 304-305.

Warren, William, 177-179, 184.

Washington, Augustine, 303.

Washington, George, 12, 23, 90, 91, 93, 94, 127, 128, 130, 132, 133, 134,
    138, 293, 302, 303.

Webster, Daniel, 130, 135.

West, Benjamin, 87-90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 120, 121, 151, 329.

Westinghouse, George, 359-361, 373.

Wharton, Edith, 34.

Whistler, James Abbott McNeill, 114-115, 123.

White, Chandler, 307.

White, Stewart Edward, 34.

White, William, 89.

Whitman, Marcus, 295.

Whitman, Walt, 70-73, 82, 85.

Whitney, Eli, 328, 332-335, 339, 371.

Whitney, Josiah Dwight, 203, 227.

Whitney, William C., 323.

Whittier, John Greenleaf, 54, 58, 61-62, 80-81, 263, 265.

Wilder, Burt Green, 193.

Wilkes, Charles, 202.

Willing, Charles, 292.

Wilson, Woodrow, 40, 223.

Winsor, Justin, 40.

Winter, William, 17, 18, 162.

Winthrop, John, 28.

Witherspoon, John, 219, 221-222, 230.

Wright, Orville, 368-371, 373.

Wright, Wilbur, 368-371, 373.

Wyant, Alexander, 108, 110, 123.

Young, Charles Augustus, 196, 225.

       *       *       *       *       *


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    | Transcriber's Note:                                            |
    |                                                                |
    | Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been     |
    | preserved.                                                     |
    |                                                                |
    | A reference to the index has been added to the ToC for         |
    | convenience.                                                   |
    |                                                                |
    | Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. These are:-- |
    |                                                                |
    | Page  99  ran away to Pittsburg                                |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           ran away to Pittsburgh                               |
    | Page 105  landscapists in Thomas Cole.                         |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           landscapists is Thomas Cole.                         |
    | Page 218  history of adminstration                             |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           history of administration                            |
    | Page 341  rubber and magnesia is quicklime                     |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           rubber and magnesia in quicklime                     |
    | Page 347  played so imporant                                   |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           played so important                                  |
    | Page 360  power of compresed air,                              |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           power of compressed air,                             |
    | Page 363  The arrrangement                                     |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           The arrangement                                      |
    | Page 376  Cary, Ph[oe]be, 76.                                  |
    |             changed (for consistency with main text) to        |
    |           Cary, Phoebe, 76.                                    |
    | Page 381  Silliman, Benjamin, 202-203-204                      |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           Silliman, Benjamin, 202-204                          |
    | Page 382  Warren, William, 177-178-179-184.                    |
    |             changed to                                         |
    |           Warren, William, 177-179, 184.                       |

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