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Title: A Manual of American Literature
Author: Various, - To be updated
Language: English
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    A Manual
    American Literature

    Edited by
    Theodore Stanton, M.A. (Cornell)

    In Collaboration with
    Members of the Faculty of
    Cornell University

    G. P. Putnam’s Sons
    New York and London
    The Knickerbocker Press

    COPYRIGHT, 1909

    The Knickerbocker Press, New York




This book has been prepared for publication as No. 4000, a “Memorial
Volume,” of the “Tauchnitz Edition.” Perhaps it may be well to explain
to American readers what the “Tauchnitz Edition” is and what a
“Memorial Volume” is in this collection.

The “Collection of British Authors,” or, as it is more popularly known
on the European Continent, the “Tauchnitz Edition,” was instituted
in 1841, at Leipsic, by one of the most distinguished of German
publishers, the late Baron Bernhard Tauchnitz, whose son is now at
the head of the house. The father records that he was “incited to the
undertaking by the high opinion and enthusiastic fondness which I have
ever entertained for English literature: a literature springing from
the selfsame root as the literature of Germany, and cultivated in the
beginning by the same Saxon race.... As a German-Saxon it gave me
particular pleasure to promote the literary interest of my Anglo-Saxon
cousins, by rendering English literature as universally known as
possible beyond the limits of the British Empire.” In another place,
Baron Tauchnitz describes “the mission” of his Collection to be the
“spreading and strengthening the love for English literature outside of
England and her Colonies.”

Baron Tauchnitz early felt that the general title of the series,
“Collection of _British_ Authors,” was a misnomer, which might even
give offence to an important branch of the English-speaking race; for,
though Bulwer and Dickens led off in the Collection, “Pelham” being the
first volume issued and “The Pickwick Papers” the second, the fourth
volume, added at the beginning of the second year of publication, in
1842, was Fenimore Cooper’s “The Spy,” followed in the same year by a
second volume of the same author. Furthermore, the year 1843 opened
with Washington Irving’s “Sketch Book,” immediately followed by a third
novel by Cooper; and, though it was not till 1850 that another American
work gained admittance into this charmed circle, not fewer than three
of Irving’s books succeeded one another in the single twelvemonth.
In 1852, Hawthorne was welcomed with “The Scarlet Letter” and Mrs.
Stowe with “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”; from that time on, scarcely a year has
passed without some new American book being included in the Collection,
and under the present routine each year’s issue, comprising some
seventy-five volumes, includes several American works.

In fact, the representation of American authors in the “Tauchnitz
Edition” is now so considerable that the list calls for a place by
itself at the end of this volume, where it presents an interesting
evidence of the growth of the popularity of American literature in
Europe. The reader will notice that there are cases where some of the
best works of an author are not included in the “Tauchnitz Edition.”
The cause of these omissions is sometimes other than taste or choice.
But the catalogue is suggestive just as it stands.

The “Memorial Volumes” form a little series of special issues published
at turning-points. This Manual has been made a Memorial Volume out
of compliment to American literature and is dedicated, with his
permission, to President Roosevelt. In this way, the present Baron
Tauchnitz has striven to show his high appreciation of the group of
American authors in the Edition, and to follow in the footsteps of his
high-minded father.

In his Preface to the first Memorial Volume, No. 500, entitled “Five
Centuries of the English Language and Literature,” being a collection
of characteristic specimens of British writers from Wycliffe to Thomas
Gray, the first Baron Tauchnitz refers to the literature “on the other
side of the Atlantic,” and says in a footnote to this Preface: “A
glance at my list of authors will show that America has contributed no
small part to my Collection. Nevertheless I did not deem it necessary
to alter the title under which my undertaking was started, as I thought
that the term ‘British Authors’ might not improperly be applied to
writers employing the language common to the two nations on either
side of the Atlantic.” No. 1000--Tischendorf’s edition of The New
Testament--is dedicated “to my English and American Authors,” while
in No. 2000--“Of English Literature in the Reign of Victoria, with
a Glance at the Past”--the author, the late Professor Henry Morley,
who long filled the chair of English Literature at the University of
London, opens his Preface with these words: “When Baron Tauchnitz asked
me to write this little book, he also wished me to include in it some
record of the literature of America. But Baron Tauchnitz cordially
agreed to a suggestion that the kindred literature of America,
though we are proud in England to claim closest brotherhood with our
fellow-countrymen of the United States, has a distinct interest of its
own, large enough for the whole subject of another memorial volume,
and that an American author would best tell the story of its rise and

Another work in the “Tauchnitz Edition,” but not a Memorial Volume,
offered a good opportunity to present American literature to the
attention of the European public. I refer to the two volumes of the
late George L. Craik, sometime Professor of English Literature at
Queen’s College, Belfast, entitled “A Manual of English Literature,
and of the History of the English Language, from the Norman Conquest;
with Numerous Specimens.” Here again no space is given to our authors,
though they are mentioned once in a reference to “the leading poetical
writers who have arisen in the American division of the English race,
two or three of whom may be reckoned as of the second rank, though
certainly not one as of the first.”

Towards the end of 1893, as the time was approaching for the issuing
of No. 3000, and again, in 1900, when No. 3500 was soon to be reached,
I hinted to my Leipsic friends the peculiar fitness of singling out
one of these possible Memorial Volumes and making it a sketch of
our literary life, in accordance with the promise made in Professor
Morley’s Preface. I even suggested that Professor Moses Coit Tyler, who
had then just completed his great work on our literature, be invited
to perform the task. The last letter I ever received from this genial
spirit, dated from the Isle of Wight, September 5, 1897, contains
this passage: “I appreciate the honour you have done me in mentioning
my name to Baron Tauchnitz, in connection with a proposed volume on
American literature.” Nothing, however, came of this; and when, some
ten years later, I was invited to prepare the present volume, my first
thought was to utilise the _magnum opus_ of Professor Tyler, who had,
in the meanwhile, passed away. So my chief care has been the first two
chapters, drawn, with the kind permission of the publishers, Messrs.
G. P. Putnam’s Sons, and of the family of Professor Tyler, from his
four authoritative volumes, “A History of American Literature during
the Colonial Period,” and “The Literary History of the American
Revolution,” to which Sir George Otto Trevelyan refers in his “American
Revolution” as “a remarkable specimen of the historical faculty.”

The chief labour in the preparation of this volume has fallen upon my
friends and collaborators of the Department of English and the Sage
School of Philosophy of my Alma Mater. Acknowledgment is, further,
particularly due to Professors J. M. Hart and M. W. Sampson, also of
Cornell University, for valuable suggestions and considerable help. The
work of seeing the American edition through the press has been done by
Professors Northup and Cooper.


    PARIS, September, 1908.


                          COLONIAL LITERATURE.

          By the late MOSES COIT TYLER, LL.D., Professor of American
            History in Cornell University. Abridged by the Editor.

     I. First Period (1607-1676)                                       1

    II. Second Period (1676-1765)                                     19

   III. General Literary Forces in the Colonial Time                  30

                       THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD.

         By the late MOSES COIT TYLER. Abridged by the Editor.

     I. A General View                                                39

    II. The Principal Writers                                         48

                        THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.

     I. The Historians                                                89
         By ISAAC MADISON BENTLEY, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of
             Psychology in Cornell University.

    II. The Novelists                                                115
         By CLARK SUTHERLAND NORTHUP, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
             of the English Language and Literature in Cornell

   III. The Poets                                                    240
         By LANE COOPER, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the English
             Language and Literature in Cornell University.

    IV. The Essayists and the Humorists                              321
         By ELMER JAMES BAILEY, A.M., Instructor in English in
             Cornell University.

     V. The Orators and the Divines                                  359
         By LANE COOPER.

    VI. The Scientists                                               392

   VII. The Periodicals                                              434


   INDEX.                                                            457
         By JOSEPH Q. ADAMS, JR., Ph.D., Instructor in English
             in Cornell University.

    Colonial Literature
    The Literature of the Revolutionary Period

A Manual of American Literature


I. FIRST PERIOD (1607-1676)

_The Beginning._--The present race of Americans who are of English
lineage--that is, the most numerous and decidedly the dominant portion
of the American people of to-day--are the direct descendants of the
crowds of Englishmen who came to America in the seventeenth century.
Our first literary period, therefore, fills the larger part of that
century in which American civilisation had its planting; even as its
training into some maturity and power has been the business of the
eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Of course, also, the most
of the men who produced American literature during that period were
immigrant authors of English birth and English culture; while the
most of those who have produced American literature in the subsequent
periods have been authors of American birth and of American culture.
Notwithstanding their English birth, these first writers in America
were Americans: we may not exclude them from our story of American
literature. They founded that literature; they are its Fathers; they
stamped their spiritual lineaments upon it; and we shall never deeply
enter into the meaning of American literature in its later forms
without tracing it back, affectionately, to its beginning with them. At
the same time, our first literary epoch cannot fail to bear traces of
the fact that nearly all the men who made it were Englishmen who had
become Americans merely by removing to America. American life, indeed,
at once reacted upon their minds, and began to give its tone and hue to
their words; and for every reason, what they wrote here, we rightfully
claim as a part of American literature; but England has a right to
claim it likewise as a part of English literature. Indeed England and
America are joint proprietors of this first tract of the great literary
territory which we have undertaken to survey.

Since the earliest English colonists upon these shores began to make a
literature as soon as they arrived here, it follows that we can fix the
exact date of the birth of American literature. It is that year 1607,
when Englishmen, by transplanting themselves to America, first began
to be Americans. Thus may the history of our literature be traced back
from the present hour, as it recedes along the track of our national
life, through the early days of the republic, through five generations
of colonial existence, until, in the first decade of the seventeenth
century, it is merged in its splendid parentage--the written speech of

_The First Writer._--Among those first Englishmen huddled together
behind palisadoes in Jamestown in 1607, were some who laid the
foundations of American literature, and there was one who still has a
considerable name in the world. When he first set foot in Virginia,
Captain John Smith was only twenty-seven years old; but even then he
had made himself somewhat famous in England as a daring traveller in
Southern Europe, in Turkey and the East. This extremely vivid and
resolute man comes before us for study, not because he was the most
conspicuous person in the first successful American colony, but
because he was the writer of the first book in American literature.
_A True Relation of Virginia_ is of deep interest to us, not only on
account of its graphic style and the strong light it throws upon the
very beginning of our national history, but as being unquestionably the
earliest book in American literature. It was written during the first
thirteen months of the life of the first American colony, and gives a
simple and picturesque account of the stirring events which took place
there during that time, under his own eye. After all the abatements
which a fair criticism must make from the praise of Captain John Smith
either as a doer or as a narrator, his writings still make upon us
the impression of a certain personal largeness in him, magnanimity,
affluence, sense, and executive force. As a writer his merits are
really great--clearness, force, vividness, picturesque and dramatic
energy, a diction racy and crisp; and during the first two decades of
the seventeenth century he did more than any other Englishman to make
an American nation and an American literature possible.

_William Strachey._--During the first decade of American literature
a little book was written in Virginia, which, as is believed by some
authors, soon rendered an illustrious service to English literature by
suggesting to Shakespeare the idea of one of his noblest masterpieces,
_The Tempest_. It was in May, 1610, that Sir Thomas Gates, with two
small vessels and 150 companions, had at last found his way into
the James River after a voyage of almost incredible difficulty and
peril. Among those who had borne a part in this ghastly and almost
miraculous expedition was William Strachey, of whom but little is known
except what is revealed in his own writings. He was a man of decided
literary aptitude. Soon after his arrival here he was made secretary
of Virginia, and in July, 1610, he wrote at Jamestown and sent off to
England _A True Reportory of the Wrack and Redemption of Sir Thomas
Gates, Kt., upon and from the Islands of the Bermudas_. Whoever reads
this little book will be quite ready to believe that it may have
brought suggestion and inspiration even to the genius of William
Shakespeare. It is a book of marvellous power. Its account of Virginia
is well done; but its most striking merit is its delineation of his
dreadful sea-voyage, and particularly of the tempest which, after the
terror and anguish of a thousand deaths, drove them upon the rocks of
the Bermudas. Here his style becomes magnificent; it has some sentences
which for imaginative and pathetic beauty, for vivid implications of
appalling danger and disaster, can hardly be surpassed in the whole
range of English prose.

_George Sandys._--The last one of this group of early writers, George
Sandys, was perhaps the only one of all his fellow-craftsmen here
who was a professed man of letters. He was well known as a traveller
in Eastern lands, as a scholar, as an admirable prose-writer, but
especially as a poet. His claim to the title of poet then rested
chiefly on his fine metrical translation of the first five books of
Ovid’s _Metamorphoses_. This fragment was a specimen of literary
workmanship in many ways creditable; and that he was able, during the
next few years, robbing sleep of its rights, to complete his noble
translation of the fifteen books, is worthy of being chronicled among
the heroisms of authorship. In 1626, he brought out in London, in a
folio volume, the first edition of his finished work. The writings
which precede this book in our literary history were all produced for
some immediate practical purpose, and not with any avowed literary
intentions. This book may well have for us a sort of sacredness, as
being the first monument of English poetry, of classical scholarship,
and of deliberate literary art, reared on these shores. And when we
open the book, and examine it with reference to its merits, first, as
a faithful rendering of the Latin text, and, second, as a specimen of
fluent, idiomatic, and musical English poetry, we find that in both
particulars it is a work that we may be proud to claim as in some sense
our own, and to honour as the morning-star at once of poetry and of
scholarship in the New World.

_The Burwell Papers._--In the year 1676 there occurred in Virginia
an outburst of popular excitement which, for a hundred and fifty
years afterward, was grotesquely misrepresented by the historians,
and which only within recent years has begun to work itself clear of
the traditional perversion. This excitement is still indicated by the
sinister name that was at first applied to it, Bacon’s Rebellion. With
this remarkable event the literary history of Virginia now becomes
curiously involved.

In the spring of 1676, at the very moment when the minds of men
were torn by anxieties at the lawless interference of the King and
Parliament with their most valuable rights, suddenly there swept
toward them the terror of an aggressive Indian war. The people called
upon the royal Governor, Sir William Berkeley, to take the necessary
measures for repelling these assaults. For reasons of jealousy,
indolence, selfishness, and especially avarice, this Governor gave
to the people promises of help, and promises only. Then the people
arose in their anger, and since their Governor would not lead them
to the war, with unanimous voice they called upon one of their own
number to be their leader, Nathaniel Bacon, a man only thirty years
of age, of considerable landed wealth, of high social connections, a
lawyer trained in the Inns of Court in London, an orator of commanding
eloquence, a man who by his endowments of brain and eye and hand was
a natural leader and king of men. He obeyed the call of the people
and led them against the Indians, whom he drove back with tremendous
punishment. But by the jealous and haughty despot in the governor’s
chair, he was at once proclaimed a rebel; a price was set upon his
head; and the people who followed him were put under ban. Then followed
a series of swift conflicts, military and political, between Bacon
and the Governor; and at last, in that same year, Bacon himself died,
suddenly and mysteriously, and twenty-five persons were hung or shot.

Shortly after our Revolutionary War, it was discovered that in an
old and honourable family in the Northern Neck of Virginia, some
manuscripts had been preserved, evidently belonging to the seventeenth
century, evidently written by one or more of the adherents of Nathaniel
Bacon. These manuscripts are sometimes called the Burwell Papers,
from the name of a family in King William County by whom they were
first given to the public. The author of the prose portion of these
manuscripts reflects, on this side of the ocean, the literary foibles
that were in fashion on the other side of the ocean. But apart from the
disagreeable air of verbal affectation and of effort in these writings,
they are undeniably spirited; they produce before us departed scenes
with no little energy and life; and the flavour of mirth which seasons
them is not unpleasant.

As the cause of Bacon’s death was a mystery, so a mystery covered even
the place of his burial; for his friends, desiring to save his lifeless
body from violation at the hands of the victorious party, placed it
secretly in the earth. And the love of Bacon’s followers, which in
his lifetime had shown itself in services of passionate devotion, and
which, after his death, thus hovered as a protecting silence over his
hidden grave, found expression also in some sorrowing verses that,
upon the whole, are of astonishing poetic merit. Who may have been the
author of these verses, it is perhaps now impossible to discover. They
are prefaced by the quaint remark that after Bacon “was dead, he was
bemoaned in lines drawn by the man that waited upon his person as it
is said, and who attended his corpse to their burial-place.” Of course
this statement is but a blind; the author of such a eulogy of the
dead rebel could not safely avow himself. But certainly no menial of
Bacon’s, no mere “man that waited upon his person,” could have written
this noble dirge, which has a stateliness, a compressed energy, and a
mournful eloquence, reminding one of the commemorative verse of Ben

_Early Literature in Virginia and New England._--During the first epoch
in the history of American literature, there were but two localities
which produced in the English language anything that can be called
literature,--Virginia and New England. As we have seen, there were in
Virginia, during the first twenty years of its existence, authors who
produced writings that live yet and deserve to live. But at the end of
that period and for the remainder of the century, nearly all literary
activity in Virginia ceased; the only exception to this statement being
the brief anonymous literary memorials which have come down to us from
the uprising of the people under Nathaniel Bacon. Even of those writers
of the first two decades, all excepting one, Alexander Whitaker, “the
Apostle of Virginia,” flitted back to England after a brief residence
in Virginia: so that besides Whitaker, the colony had during all
that period no writer who gave his name to her as being willing to
identify himself permanently with her fate, and to live and die in her
immediate service. This, as we shall see, is in startling contrast to
the contemporaneous record of New England, which, even in that early
period, had a great throng of writers, nearly all of whom took root in
her soil.

_New England Traits in the Seventeenth Century._--Did the people of New
England in their earliest age begin to produce a literature? Who can
doubt it? With their incessant activity of brain, with so much both of
common and of uncommon culture among them, with intellectual interests
so lofty and strong, with so many outward occasions to stir their
deepest passions into the same great currents, it would be hard to
explain it had they indeed produced no literature. Moreover, contrary
to what is commonly asserted of them, they were not without a literary
class. In as large a proportion to the whole population as was then
the case in the mother-country, there were in New England many men
trained to the use of books, accustomed to express themselves fluently
by voice and pen, and not so immersed in the physical tasks of life as
to be deprived of the leisure for whatever writing they were prompted
to undertake. It was a literary class made up of men of affairs,
country-gentlemen, teachers, above all of clergymen; men of letters who
did not depend upon letters for their bread, and who thus did their
work under conditions of intellectual independence.

For the study of literature, they turned with eagerness to the ancient
classics; read them freely; quoted them with apt facility. Though their
new home was but a province, their minds were not provincial: they
had so stalwart and chaste a faith in the ideas which brought them to
America as to think that wherever those ideas were put into practice,
there was the metropolis. In the public expression of thought they
limited themselves by restraints which, though then prevalent in all
parts of the civilised world, now seem shameful and intolerable: the
printing-press in New England during the seventeenth century was in
chains. The first was set up at Cambridge in 1639, under the auspices
of Harvard College; and for the subsequent twenty-three years the
president of that college was in effect responsible for the good
behaviour of the terrible machine. His control of it did not prove
sufficiently vigilant. The fears of the clergy were excited by the
lenity that had permitted the escape into the world of certain books
which tended “to open the door of heresy”; therefore, in 1662 two
official licensers were appointed, without whose consent nothing was
to be printed. Even this did not make the world seem safe; and two
years afterward the law was made more stringent. Other licensers were
appointed; excepting the one at Cambridge no printing-press was to be
allowed in the colony; and if from the printing-press that was allowed,
anything should be printed without the permission of the licensers, the
peccant engine was to be forfeited to the government and the printer
himself was to be forbidden the exercise of his profession. But even
the new licensers were not severe enough. In the leading colony of New
England legal restraints upon printing were not entirely removed until
about twenty-one years before the Declaration of Independence.

The chief literary disadvantages of New England were, that her writers
lived far from the great repositories of books, and far from the
central currents of the world’s best thinking; that the lines of their
own literary activity were few; and that, though they nourished their
minds upon the Hebrew Scriptures and upon the classics of the Roman
and Greek literatures, they stood aloof, with a sort of horror, from
the richest and most exhilarating types of classic writing in their
own tongue. In many ways their literary development was stunted and
stiffened by the narrowness of Puritanism. Nevertheless, what they
lacked in symmetry of culture and in range of literary movement, was
something which the very integrity of their natures was sure to compel
them, either in themselves or in their posterity, to acquire.

_William Bradford._--William Bradford, of the _Mayflower_ and Plymouth
Rock, deserves the pre-eminence of being called the father of American
history. After he had been in America ten years and had seen proof of
the permanent success of the heroic movement in which he was a leader,
his mind seems to have been possessed by the historic significance of
that movement; and thenceforward for twenty years he gave his leisure
to the composition of a work in which the story of the settlement of
New England should be told in a calm, just, and authentic manner. The
result was his _History of Plymouth Plantation_. There is no other
document upon New England history that can take precedence of this
either in time or in authority. Governor Bradford wrote of events that
had passed under his own eye, and that had been shaped by his own hand;
and he had every qualification of a trustworthy narrator. His mind was
placid, grave, well-poised; he was a student of many books and of many
languages; and being thus developed both by letters and by experience,
he was able to tell well the truth of history as it had unfolded itself
during his own strenuous and benignant career. His history is an
orderly, lucid, and most instructive work; it contains many tokens of
its author’s appreciation of the nature and requirements of historical
writing; and though so recently--1855--published in a perfect form, it
must henceforth take its true place at the head of American historical
literature, and win for its author the patristic dignity that we have
ascribed to him.

_John Winthrop._--In the early spring of 1630, a fleet of four vessels
sailed out into the sea from a beautiful harbour in the Isle of Wight,
their prows pointed westward. On board that fleet were the greatest
company of wealthy and cultivated persons that have ever emigrated
in any one voyage from England to America. They were prosperous
English Puritans. Foremost among them in intellectual power and in
weight of character was John Winthrop, already chosen Governor of the
Massachusetts Company, and qualified by every personal trait to be the
conductor and the statesman of the new Puritan colony of Massachusetts
Bay. Immediately upon going on board ship he began a piece of writing,
which he continued to work at not only during the rest of the voyage
but during the rest of his life, and which is a treasure beyond price
among our early historic memorials,--_The History of New England_. His
plan was to jot down significant experiences in the daily life of his
company, not only while at sea but after their arrival in America.
For almost twenty years the story went forward, from 1630 until a
few weeks before the writer’s death in 1649. It is quite evident
that Winthrop wrote what he did with the full purpose of having it
published as a history; but he wrote it amid the hurry and weariness
of his unloitering life, with no anxiety about style, with no other
purpose than to tell the truth in plain and honest fashion. There is
one portion of this History that has acquired great celebrity: it is
the one embodying Winthrop’s speech, in 1645, in the general court, on
his being acquitted of the charge of having exceeded his authority as
deputy-governor. One passage of it, containing Winthrop’s statement
of the nature of liberty, is of pre-eminent merit, worthy of being
placed by the side of the weightiest and most magnanimous sentences of
John Locke or Algernon Sidney. A distinguished American publicist has
declared that this is the best definition of liberty in the English
language, and that in comparison with it what Blackstone says about
liberty seems puerile.[1]

_Descriptions of Nature._--A delightful group of writings belonging to
our earliest age is made up of those which preserve for us, in the very
words of the men themselves, the curiosity, the awe, the bewilderment,
the fresh delight, with which the American Fathers came face to face
for the first time with the various forms of nature and of life in the
New World. Examples of this class of writings were produced by the
early men of Virginia; and among the founders of New England there was
no lack of the same sensitiveness to the vast, picturesque, and novel
aspects of nature which they encountered upon the sea and the land, in
their first journeys hither. The evidence of this fact is scattered
thick through all their writings, in letters, sermons, histories,
poems; while there remain several books, written by them immediately
after their arrival here, describing in the first glow of elated
feeling the vision that unfolded itself before them of the new realms
of existence upon which they were entering.

_Theological Writers._--Without doubt, the sermons produced in
New England during the colonial times, and especially during the
seventeenth century, are the most authentic and characteristic
revelations of the mind of New England for all that wonderful epoch.
The theological and religious writings of early New England may not
now be readable; but they are certainly not despicable. They represent
an enormous amount of subtile, sustained, and sturdy brain-power. They
are, of course, grave, dry, abstruse, dreadful; to our debilitated
attentions they are hard to follow; in style they are often uncouth
and ponderous; they are technical in the extreme; they are devoted
to a theology that yet lingers in the memory of mankind only through
certain shells of words long since emptied of their original meaning.
Nevertheless, these writings are monuments of vast learning, and of a
stupendous intellectual energy both in the men who produced them and
in the men who listened to them. Of course they can never be recalled
to any vital human interest. They have long since done their work in
moving the minds of men. Few of them can be cited as literature. In
the mass, they can only be labelled by the antiquarians and laid away
upon shelves to be looked at occasionally as curiosities of verbal
expression, and as relics of an intellectual condition gone for ever.
They were conceived by noble minds; they are themselves noble. They are
superior to our jests. We may deride them, if we will; but they are not

Of all the great preachers who came to New England in our first age,
there were three who, according to the universal opinion of their
contemporaries, towered above all others,--Thomas Hooker, Thomas
Shepard, John Cotton. These three could be compared with one another;
but with them could be compared no one else. They stood apart, above
rivalry, above envy. In personal traits they differed; they were
alike in bold and energetic thinking, in massiveness of erudition,
in a certain overpowering personal persuasiveness, in the gift of
fascinating and resistless pulpit oratory.

“_The Simple Cobbler of Agawam._”--Soon after his arrival in
Massachusetts, Nathaniel Ward became minister to a raw settlement
of Puritans at Agawam, the beautiful Indian name of that district,
afterward foolishly exchanged for Ipswich. Early in 1645, he commenced
writing the remarkable book, _The Simple Cobbler of Agawam_, which
will keep for him a perpetual place in early American literature. It
had the good fortune to fit the times and the passions of men; it was
caught up into instant notice, and ran through four editions within
the first year. _The Simple Cobbler of Agawam_ may be described as
a prose satire upon what seemed to the author to be the frightful
license of new opinions in his time, both in New England and at
home; upon the frivolity of women and the long hair of men; and
finally upon the raging storm of English politics, in the strife then
going forward between sects, parties, Parliament, and King. It is a
tremendous partisan pamphlet. After all, the one great trait in this
book which must be to us the most welcome, is its superiority to the
hesitant, imitative, and creeping manner that is the sure sign of a
provincial literature. The first accents of literary speech in the
American forests seem not to have been provincial, but free, fearless,
natural. Our earliest writers, at any rate, wrote the English language
spontaneously, forcefully, like honest men. We shall have to search
in some later period of our intellectual history to find, if at all,
a race of literary snobs and imitators--writers who in their thin and
timid ideas, their nerveless diction, and their slavish simulation of
the supposed literary accent of the mother-country, make confession of
the inborn weakness and beggarliness of literary provincials.

_Roger Williams._--From his early manhood even down to his late old
age, Roger Williams stands in New England a mighty and benignant form,
always pleading for some magnanimous idea, some tender charity, the
rectification of some wrong, the exercise of some sort of forbearance
toward men’s bodies or souls. He became an uncompromising Separatist.
By the spectacle of the white men helping themselves freely to the
lands of the red men, he became an assailant of the validity, in that
particular, of the New England charters. Roger Williams also held that
it was a shocking thing--one of the abominations of the age--for
men who did not even pretend to have religion in their hearts, to
be muttering publicly the words of religion with their mouths; and
that such persons ought not to be called on to perform any acts of
worship, even the taking of an oath. Finally, he held another doctrine,
that the power of the civil magistrate “extends only to the bodies
and goods and outward state of men,” and not at all to their inward
state, their consciences, their opinions. For these four crimes,
particularly mentioned by Governor Haynes in pronouncing sentence upon
him, Massachusetts deemed it unsafe to permit such a nefarious being as
Roger Williams to abide anywhere within her borders.

The illustrious Westminster Assembly of Divines had been in session
since July, 1643. Already the Presbyterians in it had come to hard
blows with the Congregationalists in it, with respect to the form
of church government to be erected in England upon the ruins of the
Episcopacy. On that subject Roger Williams had a very distinct opinion.
While some were for having the new national church of this pattern, and
others were for having it of that, Roger Williams boldly stepped two
or three centuries ahead of his age, and affirmed that there should be
no national church at all. Putting his argument into the differential
form of mere questions, he published, in 1644, what he called _Queries
of Highest Consideration_. This, of course, was stark and dreadful
heresy; but it was heresy for which Roger Williams had already suffered
loss and pain, and was prepared to suffer more. Above all, his nature
had become absolutely clear in its adjustment of certain grand ideas,
of which the chief was liberty of soul. On behalf of that idea, having
now an opportunity to free his mind, he resolved to do so, keeping
nothing back; and accordingly, almost upon the heels of the little
book that has just been mentioned, he sent out another--not a little
one; a book of strong, limpid, and passionate argument, glorious for
its intuitions of the world’s coming wisdom, and in its very title
flinging out defiantly a challenge to all comers. He called it _The
Bloody Tenet of Persecution for Cause of Conscience_. His book reached
in due time the library of John Cotton, and stirred him up to make a
reply, which bore a title reverberating that given by Roger Williams
to his book: _The Bloody Tenet washed and made white in the Blood of
the Lamb_. Cotton’s book quickly found Roger Williams, at his home
in Rhode Island, and of course aroused him to write a rejoinder.
Its title is a reiteration of that given to his former work, and is
likewise a characteristic retort upon the modification made of it by
his antagonist: _The Bloody Tenet yet more Bloody, by Mr. Cotton’s
Endeavour to wash it white in the Blood of the Lamb_. This book is
the most powerful of the writings of Roger Williams. There are three
principal matters argued in it,--the nature of persecution, the limits
of the power of the civil sword, and the tolerance already granted by

With Roger Williams, the mood for composition seems to have come in
gusts. His writings are numerous; but they were produced spasmodically
and in clusters, amid long spaces of silence. He is known to have
written two or three works which were never printed at all, and which
are now lost. In 1652, he published, in addition to his rejoinder to
John Cotton, two small treatises. From that time, no book of his was
given to the press until the year 1676, when he published at Boston a
quarto volume of nearly 350 pages, embodying his own report of a series
of stormy public debates, which he had held in Rhode Island, not long
before, with certain robust advocates of Quakerism. This book bears a
punning title, _George Fox Digged out of his Burrows_. Besides those of
his writings that were intended for books, there are many in the form
of letters, some addressed to the public, most of them to his personal
friends. In these letters, which cover his whole life from youth to
old age, we seem to get very near to the man himself.

_Puritanism and Poetry._--A happy surprise awaits those who come to
the study of the early literature of New England with the expectation
of finding it altogether arid in sentiment, or void of the spirit and
aroma of poetry. The New Englander of the seventeenth century was
indeed a typical Puritan; and it will hardly be said that any typical
Puritan of that century was a poetical personage. In proportion to
his devotion to the ideas that won for him the derisive honour of his
name, was he at war with nearly every form of the beautiful. He himself
believed that there was an inappeasable feud between religion and
art; and hence the duty of suppressing art was bound up in his soul
with the master-purpose of promoting religion. Hence, very naturally,
he turned away likewise from certain great and splendid types of
literature,--from the drama, from the playful and sensuous verse of
Chaucer and his innumerable sons, from the secular prose writings of
his contemporaries, and from all forms of modern lyric verse except
the Calvinistic hymn. Nevertheless, the Puritan did not succeed in
eradicating poetry from his nature. Of course, poetry was planted there
too deep even for his theological grub-hooks to root it out. Though
denied expression in one way, the poetry that was in him forced itself
into utterance in another. If his theology drove poetry out of many
forms in which it had been used to reside, poetry itself practised a
noble revenge by taking up its abode in his theology. Though he stamped
his foot in horror and scorn upon many exquisite and delicious types of
literary art, yet the idea that filled and thrilled his soul was one in
every way sublime, immense, imaginative, poetic. How resplendent and
superb was the poetry that lay at the heart of Puritanism, was seen by
the sightless eyes of John Milton, whose great epic is indeed the epic
of Puritanism.

Turning to Puritanism as it existed in New England, we may perhaps
imagine it as solemnly declining the visits of the Muses of poetry,
sending out to them the blunt but honest message--“Otherwise engaged.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. It is an extraordinary fact
about these grave and substantial men of New England, especially during
our earliest literary age, that they all had a lurking propensity
to write what they sincerely believed to be poetry,--and this, in
most cases, in unconscious defiance of the edicts of nature and of a
predetermining Providence. It is impressive to note, as we inspect
our first period, that neither advanced age, nor high office, nor
mental unfitness, nor previous condition of respectability, was
sufficient to protect any one from the poetic vice. Here and there,
even a town-clerk, placing on record the deeply prosaic proceedings
of the selectmen, would adorn them in the sacred costume of poetry.
Remembering their unfriendly attitude towards art in general, this
universal mania of theirs for some forms of the poetic art--this
unrestrained proclivity toward the “lust of versification”--must seem
to us an odd psychological freak. Or, shall we rather say that it was
not a freak at all, but a normal effort of nature, which, being unduly
repressed in one direction, is accustomed to burst over all barriers in
another? As respects the poetry which was perpetrated by our ancestors,
it must be mentioned that a benignant Providence has its own methods of
protecting the human family from intolerable misfortune; and that the
most of this poetry has perished.

_Anne Bradstreet._--There was, however, belonging to this primal
literary period, one poet who, in some worthy sense, found in poetry a
vocation. The first professional poet of New England was a woman. In
the year 1650 there was published, in London, a book of poems written
by a gifted young woman of the New England wilderness, Anne Bradstreet
by name. She was born in England, in 1612. She was the laborious wife
of a New England farmer, the mother of eight children, and herself
from childhood of a delicate constitution. The most of her poems were
produced between 1630 and 1642, that is, before she was thirty years
old; and during these years she had neither leisure, nor elegant
surroundings, nor freedom from anxious thoughts, nor even abounding
health. Somehow, during her busy lifetime, she contrived to put upon
record compositions numerous enough to fill a royal octavo volume of
400 pages,--compositions which entice and reward our reading of them,
two hundred years after she lived.

II. SECOND PERIOD (1676-1765)

_The Two Periods._--I have taken the year 1676 as the year of partition
between the two periods into which our colonial age seems to fall.
Before 1676, the new civilisation in America was principally in the
hands of Americans born in England; after 1676, it was principally
in the hands of Americans born in America, and the subjects of such
training as was to be had here. Our first colonial period, therefore,
transmits to us a body of writings produced by immigrant Americans;
preserving for us the ideas, the moods, the efforts, the very phrases
of the men who founded the American nation; representing to us, also,
the earliest literary results flowing from the reactions of life in
the New World upon an intellectual culture formed in the Old World.
Our second colonial period does more: it transmits to us a body of
writings, produced in the main by the American children of those
immigrants, and representing the earliest literary results flowing from
the reactions of life in the New World upon an intellectual culture
that was itself formed in the New World.

Our first colonial period, just seventy years long, we have now briefly
examined. For my part, I have no apology to make for it: I think it
needs none. It was a period principally engaged in other tasks than the
tasks of the pen; it laid, quietly and well, the foundation of a new
social structure that was to cover a hemisphere, was to give shelter
and comfort to myriads of the human race, was to endure to centuries
far beyond the gropings of our guesswork. Had it done that deed alone,
and left no written word at all, not any man since then could have
wondered; still less could any man have flung at it the reproach of
intellectual lethargy or neglect. But if, besides what it did in the
founding of a new commonwealth, we consider what it also did in the
founding of a new literature--the muchness of that special work, the
downright merit of it--we shall find it hard to withhold from that
period the homage of our admiration.

From the year 1676, when our first colonial period ends, there
stretches onward a space of just eighty-nine years, at the end of which
the American colonies underwent a swift and portentous change,--losing,
all at once, their colonial content, and passing suddenly into the
earlier and the intellectual stage of their struggle for independence.
This space of eighty-nine years forms, of course, our second colonial

_New England Verse-Writers._--Urian Oakes, born in 1631, was reared
in the woods of Concord. The splendid literary capacity of this early
American--this product of our pioneer and autochthonous culture--is
seen in this: as his sermons are among the noblest specimens of prose
to be met with, in that class of writings, during the colonial time,
so the one example that is left to us of his verse reaches the highest
point touched by American poetry during the same era. The poem thus
referred to is an elegy upon the death of a man to whom the poet seems
to have been bound by the tenderest friendship,--a poem in fifty-two
six-lined stanzas; not without some mechanical defects; blurred also by
some patches of the prevailing theological jargon; yet, upon the whole,
affluent, stately, pathetic; beautiful and strong with the beauty and
strength of true imaginative vision.

In contemporaneous renown, far above all other verse-writers of the
colonial time, was Michael Wigglesworth, the explicit and unshrinking
rhymer of the Five Points of Calvinism; a poet who so perfectly uttered
in verse the religious faith and emotion of Puritan New England that,
for more than a hundred years, his writings had universal diffusion
there, and a popular influence only inferior to that of the Bible
and the Shorter Catechism. No one holding a different theology from
that held by Michael Wigglesworth can do justice to him as a poet,
without exercising the utmost intellectual catholicity. His verse
is quite lacking in art; its ordinary form being a crude, swinging
ballad-measure, with a sort of cheap melody, a shrill, reverberating
clatter, that would instantly catch and please the popular ear, at
that time deaf to daintier and more subtile effects in poetry. In the
multitude of his verses, Michael Wigglesworth surpasses all other poets
of the colonial time, excepting Anne Bradstreet. Besides numerous minor
poems, he is the author of three poetical works of considerable length.
One of these, _God’s Controversy with New England_, was “written in the
time of the great drought,” 1662. The argument of the poem is this:
“New England planted, prospered, declining, threatened, punished.”
The poet holds the opinion, common enough in his day, that before the
arrival of the English in America, this continent had been the choice
and peculiar residence of the Devil and his angels. Another large poem
of Wigglesworth’s is _Meat out of the Eater; or, Meditations concerning
the Necessity, End, and Usefulness of Afflictions unto God’s Children,
all tending to prepare them for and comfort them under the Cross_.
Here we have simply the Christian doctrine of comfort in sorrow,
translated into metrical jingles. It was first published, probably,
in 1669; ten years afterward, it had passed through at least four
editions; and during the entire colonial age, it was a much-read manual
of solace in affliction. But the masterpiece of Michael Wigglesworth’s
genius, and his most delectable gift to an admiring public, was
that blazing and sulphurous poem, _The Day of Doom; or, A poetical
Description of the great and last Judgment_. This great poem, which,
with entire unconsciousness, attributes to the Divine Being a character
the most execrable and loathsome to be met with, perhaps, in any
literature, Christian or pagan, had for a hundred years a popularity
far exceeding that of any other work, in prose or verse, produced in
America before the Revolution. The eighteen hundred copies of the first
edition were sold within a single year; which implies the purchase of
a copy of _The Day of Doom_ by at least every thirty-fifth person then
in New England,--an example of the commercial success of a book never
afterward equalled in this country. Since that time, the book has been
repeatedly published; at least once in England, and at least eight
times in America--the last time being in 1867.

_The Dynasty of the Mathers._--At the time of his arrival in
Boston--August, 1635--Richard Mather was thirty-nine years of age;
a man of extensive and precise learning in the classics, in the
Scriptures, and in divinity; already a famous preacher. This man, “the
progenitor of all the Mathers in New England,” and the first of a line
of great preachers and great men of letters that continued to hold sway
there through the entire colonial era, had in himself the chief traits
that distinguished his family through so long a period;--great physical
endurance, a voracious appetite for the reading of books, an alarming
propensity to the writing of books, a love of political leadership in
church and state, the faculty of personal conspicuousness, finally,
the homiletic gift. His numerous writings were, of course, according
to the demand of his time and neighbourhood;--sermons, a catechism,
a treatise on justification, public letters upon church government,
several controversial documents, the preface to the Old Bay Psalm Book,
and many of the marvels of metrical expression to be viewed in the body
of that work.

Of the six sons of Richard Mather, four became famous preachers, two
of them in Ireland and in England, other two in New England; the
greatest of them all being the youngest, born at Dorchester, June 21,
1639, and at his birth adorned with the name of Increase, in graceful
recognition of “the increase of every sort, wherewith God favoured the
country about the time of his nativity.” Even in childhood he began to
display the strong and eager traits that gave distinction and power
to his whole life, and that bore him impetuously through the warfare
of eighty-four mortal years. In 1657, on his eighteenth birthday, he
preached in his father’s pulpit his first sermon. From 1661 to 1664
he divided his services between his father’s church at Dorchester and
the North Church of Boston. At last, in 1664, he consented to be made
minister of the latter church, which, thenceforward, to the end of his
own life, and to the end of the life of his more famous son, continued
to be the tower and the stronghold of the Mathers in America. Here,
then, was a person, born in America, bred in America,--a clean specimen
of what America could do for itself in the way of keeping up the brave
stock of its first imported citizens. As to learning, he even exceeded
all other New Englanders of the colonial time, except his own son,
Cotton. His power as a pulpit-orator was very great. It was a common
saying of his contemporaries, that Increase Mather was “a complete
preacher.” From a literary point of view, his writings certainly have
considerable merit. The publications of Increase Mather defy mention,
except in the form of a catalogue. From the year 1669, when he had
reached the age of thirty, until the year 1723, when he died, hardly
a twelvemonth was permitted to pass in which he did not solicit the
public attention through the press. An authentic list of his works
would include at least ninety-two titles. Of all the great host of
Increase Mather’s publications, perhaps only one can be said to have
still any power of walking alive on the earth,--the book commonly known
by a name not given to it by the author, _Remarkable Providences_.
It cannot be denied that the conception of the book is thoroughly
scientific; for it is to prove by induction the actual presence of
supernatural forces in the world. Its chief defect, of course, is its
lack of all cross-examination of the witnesses, and of all critical
inspection of their testimony, together with a palpable eagerness on
the author’s part to welcome, from any quarter of the earth or sea or
sky, any messenger whatever who may be seen hurrying toward Boston with
his mouth full of marvels.

In the intellectual distinction of the Mather family, there seemed to
be, for at least three generations, a certain cumulative felicity. The
general acknowledgment of this fact is recorded in an old epitaph,
composed for the founder of the illustrious tribe:

    Under this stone lies Richard Mather,
    Who had a son greater than his father,
    And eke a grandson greater than either.

This overtopping grandson was, of course, none other than Cotton
Mather, the literary behemoth of New England in our colonial era; the
man whose fame as a writer surpasses, in later times and especially
in foreign countries, that of any other pre-Revolutionary American,
excepting Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin. The most famous
book produced by him--the most famous book, likewise, produced by any
American during the colonial time--is _Magnalia Christi Americana; or,
The Ecclesiastical History of New England, from its first Planting,
in the Year 1620, unto the Year of our Lord 1698_. The Magnalia is,
indeed, what the author called it, “a bulky thing,”--the two volumes
of the latest edition having upwards of thirteen hundred pages. The
_Magnalia_ has great merits; it has, also, fatal defects. In its mighty
chaos of fables and blunders and misrepresentations, are of course
lodged many single facts of the utmost value, personal reminiscences,
social gossip, snatches of conversations, touches of description,
traits of character and life, that can be found nowhere else, and that
help us to paint for ourselves some living picture of the great men
and the great days of early New England; yet herein, also, history
and fiction are so jumbled and shuffled together that it is never
possible to tell, without other help than the author’s, just where the
fiction ends and the history begins. On no disputed question of fact
is the unaided testimony of Cotton Mather of much weight. The true
place of Cotton Mather in our literary history is indicated when we
say that he was the last, the most vigorous, and, therefore, the most
disagreeable representative of the Fantastic School in literature;
and that he prolonged in New England the methods of that school even
after his most cultivated contemporaries there had outgrown them,
and had come to dislike them. The expulsion of the beautiful from
thought, from sentiment, from language; a lawless and a merciless fury
for the odd, the disorderly, the grotesque, the violent; strained
analogies, unexpected images, pedantries, indelicacies, freaks of
allusion, monstrosities of phrase;--these are the traits of Cotton
Mather’s writing, even as they are the traits common to that perverse
and detestable literary mood that held sway in different countries
of Christendom during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Its
birthplace was Italy; New England was its grave; Cotton Mather was its
last great apostle.

Samuel Mather, the son of Cotton Mather, was born in 1706. In him,
evidently, the ancestral fire had become almost extinct. He had
abundant learning; was extremely industrious; published many things;
but there was not in them, as there was not in him, the victorious
energy of an original mind, or even the winning felicity of an
imitative one. He was a sturdy and a worthy man. He left no successor
to continue the once-splendid dynasty of his tribe. He was the last,
and the least, of the Mathers.

_The Laity in New England Literature._--In the history of literature
in New England during the colonial time, one fact stands out above
all others,--the intellectual leadership of the clergy, and that,
too, among a laity neither ignorant nor weak. This leadership was
in every sense honourable, both for the leaders and the led. It was
not due alone to the high authority of the clerical office in New
England; it was due still more to the personal greatness of the men
who filled that office, and who themselves made the office great. They
were intellectual leaders because they deserved to be; for, living
among a well-educated and high-spirited people, they knew more, were
wiser, were abler, than all other persons in the community. Of such a
leadership, it was an honour even to be among the followers. And in
the literary achievements of New England in the colonial time, the
clergy filled by far the largest space, because, in all departments
of writing, they did by far the largest amount of work. After the
first half-century of New England life, another fact comes into
notice,--the advance of the laity in literary activity. By that time,
many strong and good men, who had been educated there in all the
learning of the age, either not entering the clerical profession or not
remaining in it, began to organise and to develop the other learned
professions--the legal, medical, and tuitionary--and, appealing to the
public through various forms of literature, to divide more and more
with the clergy the leadership of men’s minds. Moreover, in the last
decade of the seventeenth century, an attempt was made to establish a
newspaper in New England. The attempt failed. In the first decade of
the eighteenth century, another attempt was made, and did not fail; and
long before the end of our colonial epoch, a new profession had come
into existence, having a power to act on the minds of men more mightily
than any other,--the profession of journalism.

_The Almanac._--No one who would penetrate to the core of early
American literature, and would read in it the secret history of the
people in whose minds it took root and from whose minds it grew, may
by any means turn away, in lofty literary scorn, from the almanac. The
earliest record of this species of literature in America carries us
back to the very beginning of printed literature in America; for, next
after a sheet containing _The Freeman’s Oath_, the first production
that came from the printing-press in this country was _An Almanac
calculated for New England, by Mr. Pierce_, and printed at Cambridge,
in 1639. Thenceforward for a long time, scarcely a year passed over
that solitary printing-press at Cambridge without receiving a similar
salute from it. In 1676, Boston itself grew wise enough to produce
an almanac of its own. Ten years afterward, Philadelphia began to
send forth almanacs--a trade in which, in the following century, it
was to acquire special glory. In 1697, New York entered the same
enticing field of enterprise. The first almanac produced in Rhode
Island was in 1728; the first almanac produced in Virginia was in
1731. In 1733, Benjamin Franklin began to publish what he called _Poor
Richard’s Almanac_, to which his own personal reputation has given a
celebrity surpassing that of all other almanacs published anywhere
in the world. Thus, year by year, with the multiplication of people
and of printing-presses in this country, was there a multiplication
of almanacs, some of them being of remarkable intellectual and even
literary merit. Throughout our colonial time, when larger books were
costly and few, the almanac had everywhere a hearty welcome and
frequent perusal.

_History and Biography in New England._--The one form of secular
literature for which, during the entire colonial age, the writers of
New England had the most authentic vocation is history. Our second
literary period produced four considerable historians,--William
Hubbard, Cotton Mather, Thomas Prince, Thomas Hutchinson: the first two
excelling in popularity all other historians of the colonial time; the
last two excelling all others in specific training for the profession
of history, and in the conscious accumulation of materials for historic
work. Of that species of history which is devoted to the lives of
individuals rather than of communities, there were many specimens
produced in the colonial epoch. But it is a singular fact that, in
literary quality, the biographies written in colonial New England are
far inferior to its histories.

_Pulpit Literature in New England._--In our progress over the various
fields of literature in New England during the colonial time, we
encounter not one form of writing in which we are permitted to lose
sight of the clergy of New England,--their tireless and versatile
activity, their learning, their force of brain, their force of
character. The immigrant clergy of New England--the founders of this
noble and brilliant order--were, in nearly all qualities of personal
worth and greatness, among the greatest and the worthiest of their
time, in the mother-country,--mighty scholars, orators, sages, saints.
And by far the most wonderful thing about these men is, that they
were able to convey across the Atlantic, into a naked wilderness, all
the essential elements of that ancient civilisation out of which they
came; and, at once, to raise up and educate, in the New World, a line
of mighty successors in their sacred office, without the least break
in the sequence, without the slightest diminution in scholarship, in
eloquence, in intellectual energy, in moral power.

_Jonathan Edwards._--Jonathan Edwards, the most original and acute
thinker yet produced in America, was born in 1703; in 1758 he was
installed as president of the College of New Jersey, and died a few
weeks afterward. Both by his father and by his mother, he came of
the gentlest and most intellectual stock in New England. In early
childhood, he began to manifest those powerful, lofty, and beautiful
endowments, of mind and of character, that afterward distinguished
him,--spirituality, conscientiousness, meekness, simplicity,
disinterestedness, and a marvellous capacity for the acquisition of
knowledge and for the prosecution of independent thought. It is,
perhaps, impossible to name any department of intellectual exertion,
in which, with suitable outward facilities, he might not have achieved
supreme distinction. Certainly, he did enough to show that had he given
himself to mathematics, or to physical science, or to languages, or to
literature--especially the literature of imagination and of wit--he
would have become one of the world’s masters. The traditions of his
family, the circumstances of his life, the impulses derived from his
education and from the models of personal greatness before his eyes,
all led him to give himself to mental science and divinity; and in
mental science and divinity, his achievements will be remembered to the
end of time.


_Colonial Isolation._--The study of American literature in the colonial
time is the study of a literature produced, in isolated portions, at
the several local seats of English civilisation in America. Before
the year 1765, we find in this country, not one American people,
but many American peoples. At the various centres of our colonial
life--Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New
York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts--there were, indeed,
populations of the same English stock; but these populations differed
widely in personal and social peculiarities--in spirit, in opinion,
in custom. The germs of a future nation were here, only they were far
apart, unsympathetic, at times even unfriendly. No cohesive principle
prevailed, no centralising life; each little nation was working out
its own destiny in its own fashion. In general, the characteristic
note of American literature in the colonial time is, for New England,
scholarly, logical, speculative, unworldly, rugged, sombre; and as one
passes southward along the coast, across other spiritual zones, this
literary note changes rapidly toward lightness and brightness, until it
reaches the sensuous mirth, the satire, the persiflage, the gentlemanly
grace, the amenity, the jocular coarseness, of literature in Maryland,
Virginia, and the farther South.

_Colonial Fellowship._--On the other hand, the fact must not be
overlooked that, while the tendency toward colonial isolation had its
way, throughout the entire colonial age, there was also an opposite
tendency--a tendency toward colonial fellowship--that asserted itself
even from the first, and yet at the first faintly, but afterward
with steadily increasing power as time went on; until at last, in
1765, aided by a fortunate blunder in the statesmanship of England,
this tendency became suddenly dominant, and led to that united
and great national life, without which a united and great national
literature here would have been for ever impossible. This august fact
of fellowship between the several English populations in America--a
fellowship maintained and even strengthened after the original occasion
of it had ceased--has perhaps saved the English language in America
from finally breaking up into a multitude of mutually repellent
dialects; it has certainly saved American literature from the pettiness
of permanent local distinctions, from fitfulness in its development,
and from disheartening limitations in its audience. Besides these
general causes leading toward colonial union,--kinship, religion,
commerce, dependence on the same sovereign, peril from the same
enemies,--there were three other causes that may be described as purely
intellectual--the rise of journalism, the founding of colleges, and the
study of physical science. They worked strongly for the development
of that intercolonial fellowship without which no national literature
would ever have been born here, and, also, were in themselves literary
forces of extraordinary importance.

_Early American Journalism._--The first newspaper ever published in
America appeared in Boston in 1690, and was named _Public Occurrences_.
For the crime of uttering “reflections of a very high nature,” it was
immediately extinguished by the authorities of Massachusetts,--not
even attaining the dignity of a second number. Under this rough blow,
the real birth of American journalism hesitated for fourteen years. On
April 4, 1704, was published in Boston the first number of an American
newspaper that lived. It was called _The Boston News-Letter_. For
fifteen years, it continued to be the only newspaper in America. At
last, on December 21, 1719, a rival newspaper was started, named _The
Boston Gazette_; and on the twenty-second day of the same month, in
the same year, there appeared in Philadelphia the first newspaper
published in this country outside of Boston. This was called _The
American Weekly Mercury_. From that time onward, the fashion of
having newspapers spread rapidly. Nearly all of these newspapers were
issued once each week; many of them were on diminutive sheets; and
for a long time all of them clung to the prudent plan of publishing
only news and advertisements, abstaining entirely from the audacity
of an editorial opinion, or disguising that dangerous luxury under
pretended letters from correspondents. News from Europe,--when it was
to be had,--and especially news from England, occupied a prominent
place in these little papers; but, necessarily, for each one, the
affairs of its own colony, and next, the affairs of the other colonies,
furnished the principal items of interest. Thus it was that early
American journalism, even though feeble, sluggish, and timid, began
to lift the people of each colony to a plane somewhat higher than its
own boundaries, and to enable them, by looking abroad, this way and
that, upon the proceedings of other people in this country, and upon
other interests as precious as their own, to correct the pettiness
and the selfishness of mere localism in thought. Colonial journalism
was a necessary and a great factor in the slow process of colonial
union. Besides this, our colonial journalism soon became, in itself,
a really important literary force. It could not remain for ever a
mere disseminator of public gossip, or a placard for the display of
advertisements. The instinct of critical and brave debate was strong
even among those puny editors, and it kept struggling for expression.
Moreover, each editor was surrounded by a coterie of friends, with
active brains and a propensity to utterance; and these constituted
a sort of unpaid staff of editorial contributors, who, in various
forms,--letters, essays, anecdotes, epigrams, poems, lampoons,--helped
to give vivacity and even literary value to the paper.

Our early journalism, likewise, included publications of a more
explicit literary intention than the newspapers; publications in which
the original work was done with far greater care, and in which far more
space was surrendered to literary news and literary criticism, and to
the exercise of many sorts of literary talent. The generic name for
these publications is the magazine; and the first one issued in this
country was by Benjamin Franklin, at Philadelphia, in 1741. By far the
most admirable example of our literary periodicals in the colonial
time was _The American Magazine_, published at Philadelphia from
October, 1757, to October, 1758, and conducted, according to its own
announcement, “by a society of gentlemen.”

_Early American Colleges._--No other facts in American history are
more creditable to the American people than those which relate to
their early and steady esteem for higher education, and especially
to their efforts and their sacrifices in the founding of colleges.
Before the year 1765, seven colleges were established here: Harvard, in
1636; William and Mary, in 1693; Yale, in 1700; New Jersey, in 1746;
King’s--now Columbia--in 1754; Philadelphia--now the University of
Pennsylvania--in 1755; Rhode Island--now Brown University--in 1764.
Though all these little establishments bore the name of colleges, there
were considerable differences among them with respect to the grade
and extent of the instruction they furnished,--those founded latest
being, in that particular, the most rudimental. Nevertheless, at them
all one noble purpose prevailed,--the study of the ancient classics.
This extraordinary training in the ancient languages led to forms of
proficiency that have no parallel now in American colleges. So early
as 1649, President Dunster wrote to Ravius, the famous Orientalist,
that some of the students at Harvard could “with ease dexterously
translate Hebrew and Chaldee into Greek.” In 1678, there was in that
college even an Indian student who wrote Latin and Greek poetry; and
this accomplishment continued to be an ordinary one there as late as
the Revolutionary War; while the facile use of Latin, whether for
conversation or for oratory, was so common among the scholars of
Harvard and of Yale as to excite no remark. Nearly all the superior
men in public life, after the immigrant generation, were educated at
these little colleges; and in all the studies that then engaged the
attention of scholars in the Old World, these men, particularly if
clergymen, had a scholarship that was, in compass and variety, fully
abreast of the learning of the time. The existence here of these early
colleges was in many ways a means of colonial fellowship. Each college
was itself, in all portions of the country, a point of distinction for
its own colony; at each college were gathered some students from other
colonies; between all the colleges there grew a sense of fraternity
in learning and letters, and this re-enforced the general sense of
fraternity in civic destinies; finally, at these colleges was trained
no little of that masterly statesmanship of our later colonial time,
which, at a glance, interpreted the danger that hung upon the horizon
in 1765, proclaimed the imminent need of colonial union, and quickly
brought it about. The vast influence that our early colleges exerted
upon literary culture can hardly be overstated. Among all the people,
they nourished those spiritual conditions out of which, alone, every
wholesome and genuine literature must grow; and in their special
devotion to classical studies, they imparted to a considerable body
of men the finest training for literary work that the world is yet
possessed of. It was of incalculable service to American literature
that, even in these wild regions of the earth, the accents of Homer,
of Thucydides, of Cicero, were made familiar to us from the beginning;
that a consciousness of the æsthetic principle in verbal expression
was kept alive here, and developed, by constant and ardent study of
the supreme masters of literary form; and that the great, immemorial
traditions of literature were borne hither across the Atlantic from
their ancient seats, and were here housed in perpetual temples, for
the rearing of which the people gladly went to great cost. The tribute
of most eloquent homage, which, in 1775, in the House of Lords, the
Earl of Chatham paid to the intellectual force, the literary symmetry,
and the decorum of the state-papers then recently transmitted from
America, and then lying upon the table of that House, was virtually an
announcement to Europe of the astonishing news,--that, by means of an
intellectual cultivation formed in America, in its own little colleges,
on the best models of ancient and modern learning, America had already
become not only an integral part of the civilised world, but even a
member of the republic of letters.

_The Study of Physical Science in America._--The study of physical
science in this country began with the very settlement of the
country. The writings of the first Americans are strewn with sharp
observations on the geography of America, on its minerals, soils,
waters, plants, animals; on its climates, storms, earthquakes; on its
savage inhabitants, its diseases, its medicines; and on the phenomena
of the heavens as they appeared to this part of the earth. There were
here, even in our earliest age, several men of special scientific
inclination, such as William Wood, John Josselyn, John Sherman, John
Winthrop of Massachusetts, and John Winthrop of Connecticut. Indeed,
the latter was recognised as an eminent physicist even among the
contemporaneous physicists of England; and in Connecticut, where
he founded the city of New London, and where he was for many years
Governor, he pursued with great zeal his scientific researches,
carrying them even into the fatal chase for the philosopher’s stone.
He was on terms of endearing intimacy with Watkins, Robert Boyle, and
other great leaders of science in England; and it is said that under
the menace of public calamities there, and drawn, likewise, by their
friendship for Winthrop, these men had proposed to leave England,
and to establish in the American colony over which Winthrop presided
“a society for promoting natural knowledge.” They were, however,
induced by Charles II. to remain in England; and accordingly, with the
co-operation of Winthrop, who happened to be in London at the time,
they founded there, instead of in New London, the association that soon
became renowned throughout the world as the Royal Society. Perhaps
there was no one of these early American students of nature whom it
is now pleasanter to recall than the Quaker naturalist, John Bartram.
Born in Pennsylvania, in 1701, he founded near Philadelphia the first
botanic garden in America. He was appointed American botanist to George
III., and won from Linnæus the praise of being “the greatest natural
botanist in the world.” As John Bartram represents high attainments
in science reached under all outward disadvantages, so John Winthrop
of Harvard College represents still higher attainments in science
reached under all outward advantages. A descendant of the first
Governor of Massachusetts, from 1738 until his death in 1779 he served
his Alma Mater with great distinction as professor of mathematics and
natural philosophy. For extent and depth of learning in his special
departments, he was probably the foremost American of his day. All
things considered, he was probably the most symmetrical example both
of scientific and of literary culture produced in America during the
colonial time; representing what was highest and broadest in it, what
was most robust and most delicate; a thinker and a writer born and
bred in a province, but neither in thought nor in speech provincial;
an American student of nature and of human nature, who stayed at home,
and bringing Europe and the universe to his own door, made himself

Thus, from the earliest moment of American civilisation, there
were, here and there in this country, eager and keen students of
nature,--their number greatly multiplying with the passing of the
years. But it belongs to the essence of such studies that they
who pursue them should seek the fellowship of their own brethren,
either for help in solving difficulties or for delight in announcing
discoveries; and it is, beyond question, true that the union of the
American colonies was first laid in the friendly correspondence and
intellectual sympathies of students of physical science, who from an
early day were dispersed through these colonies. By the year 1740,
the American students of nature had become a multitude; and from
that year to the year 1765, the glory of physical research among us
culminated in the brilliant achievements of Benjamin Franklin, whose
good fortune it then was to enable his country to step at once to the
van of scientific discovery, and for a few years to be the teacher of
the world on the one topic of physical inquiry then uppermost in men’s
thoughts. In proposing the formation of the American Philosophical
Society, this wonderful man had announced to his own countrymen that
the time had come for them to make new and greater exertions for the
enlargement of human knowledge. Inspired by the noble enthusiasm of
Franklin, whose position brought him into large personal acquaintance
in all the colonies, the activity and the range of scientific studies
in America were then greatly increased,--a bond of scientific communion
that helped to prepare the way for political communion, whenever the
hour for that should come. The direct impulse given by all this eager
study of physical science to the development of American literature
is to be seen not only in scientific writings like those of Winthrop
and of Franklin, which have high and peculiar literary merit, but in
the general invigoration of American thought, in the development of
a sturdy rational spirit, and in a broadening of the field of our
intellectual vision.

But, in spite of all these influences working toward colonial
fellowship, the prevailing fact in American life, down to the year
1765, was colonial isolation. With that year came the immense event
that suddenly swept nearly all minds in the several colonies into the
same great current of absorbing thought, and that held them there for
nearly twenty years. From the date of that event, we cease to concern
ourselves with an American literature in the East or the South, in
this colony or in that. Henceforward American literature flows in
one great, common stream, and not in petty rills of geographical
discrimination,--the literature of one multitudinous people, variegated
indeed, in personal traits, but single in its commanding ideas and in
its national destinies.



_The Three Stages._--In the intellectual process of the American
Revolution, are to be observed three well defined stages of development
on the part of the men who began and carried through that notable
enterprise. The first stage--extending from the spring of 1763 to the
spring of 1775--represents the noble anxiety which brave men must feel
when their political safety is imperilled, this anxiety, however, being
deepened in their case by a sincere and even a passionate desire, while
roughly resisting an offensive ministerial policy, to keep within
the bounds of constitutional opposition, and neither to forsake nor
to forfeit that connection with the mother-country which they then
held to be among the most precious of their earthly possessions. The
second stage--extending from the spring of 1775 to the early summer
of 1776--represents a rapidly spreading doubt, and yet at first no
more than a doubt, as to the possibility of their continuing to be
free men without ceasing to be English colonists. This doubt, of
course, had been felt by not a few of them long before the day of
the Lexington and Concord fights; but under the appalling logic of
that day of brutality, it became suddenly weaponed with a power which
mere words never had,--the power to undo swiftly, in the hearts of
a multitude of liegemen, the tie of race, the charm of an antique
national tradition, the loyalty, the love, and the pride of centuries.
The third stage--extending from the early summer of 1776 to the very
close of the whole struggle--represents a final conviction, at least on
the part of a working majority of the American people, that it would be
impossible for them to preserve their political rights and at the same
time to remain inside the British Empire,--this conviction being also
accompanied by the resolve to preserve those rights whether or no, and
at whatsoever cost of time, or effort, or pain.

Of course, the intellectual attitude of the Loyalists of the
Revolution--always during that period an immense and a very
conscientious minority--correlated to that of the Revolutionists in
each one of these three stages of development: in the first stage, by a
position of qualified dissent as to the gravity of the danger and as to
the proper method of dealing with it; in the second and third stages,
by a position of unqualified dissent, and of implacable hostility, as
regards the object and motive and method of the opposition which was
then conducted by their more masterful fellow-countrymen.

_The Predominant Note._--The chief trait of American literature
during the period now under view is this: its concern with the
problems of American society, and of American society in a peculiar
condition--aroused, inflammable, in a state of alarm for its own
existence, but also in a state of resolute combat for it. The
literature which we are thus to inspect is not, then, a literature of
tranquillity, but chiefly a literature of strife, or, as the Greeks
would have said, of agony; and, of course, it must take those forms
in which intellectual and impassioned debate can be most effectually
carried on. The literature of our Revolution has almost everywhere
the combative note; its habitual method is argumentative, persuasive,
appealing, rasping, retaliatory; the very brain of man seems to be in
armour; his wit is in the gladiator’s attitude of offence and defence.
It is a literature indulging itself in grimaces, in mockery, in
scowls: a literature accented by earnest gestures meant to convince
people, or by fierce blows meant to smite them down. In this literature
we must not expect to find art used for art’s sake.

Our next discovery is the rather notable one that such a period
actually had a literary product very considerable in amount. Even in
those perturbed years between 1763 and 1783, there was a large mass of
literature produced in America. More than with most other epochs of
revolutionary strife, our epoch of revolutionary strife was a strife
of ideas: a long warfare of political logic; a succession of annual
campaigns in which the marshalling of arguments not only preceded the
marshalling of armies, but often exceeded them in impression upon the
final result. An epoch like this, therefore,--an epoch in which nearly
all that is great and dear in man’s life on earth has to be argued
for, as well as to be fought for, and in which ideas have a work to
do quite as pertinent and quite as effective as that of bullets,--can
hardly fail to be an epoch teeming with literature, with literature,
of course, in the particular forms suited to the purposes of political
co-operation and conflict.

We shall be much helped by keeping in mind the distinction between
two classes of writings then produced among us: first, those writings
which were the result of certain general intellectual interests and
activities apart from the Revolutionary movement, and, secondly, those
writings which were the result of intellectual interests and activities
directly awakened and sustained by that movement. The presence of the
first class we discover chiefly in the earlier years of this period,
before the Revolutionary idea had become fully developed and fully
predominant; and, again, in the later years of the period, when, with
the success of the Revolution assured, the Revolutionary idea had begun
to recede, and men’s minds were free to swing again toward the usual
subjects of human concern, particularly toward those which were to
occupy them after the attainment of independence and of peace.

_Literary Centres._--We shall find, within the first decade of this
period and before its culmination into the final violence of the
Revolutionary controversy, the beginnings of a new and a truer life in
America. Of this new literary life there were, in general, two chief
centres, one in the New England, one in the Middle Colonies. The New
England literary centre was at New Haven, and was dominated by the
influence of Yale College, within which, especially between 1767 and
1773, was a group of brilliant young men passionately devoted to the
Greek and Roman classics, and brought into contact with the spirit of
modern letters through their sympathetic study of the later masters
of English prose and verse. The foremost man in this group was John

The new literary life of the Middle Colonies had its seat in the
neighbourhood of New York and Philadelphia, and was keenly stimulated
by the influence of their two colleges, and also by that of the College
of New Jersey under the strong man--Witherspoon--who came to its
presidency in 1768. The foremost representative of this new literary
tendency was Philip Freneau, a true man of genius, the one poet of
unquestionable originality granted to America prior to the nineteenth
century. Of him and of his brother poet in New England, it is to be
said that both began to do their work while still in youth; both seemed
to have a vocation for disinterested literature in prose as well as
in verse; both were reluctantly driven from that vocation by the
intolerable political storm that then burst over the land; both were
swept into the Revolutionary movement, and, thenceforward, the chief
literary work of both was as political satirists. From about the year
1774, little trace of an æsthetic purpose in American letters is to be
discovered until after the close of the Revolution.

_Classification of the Revolutionary Writings._--The characteristic
life of the period we now have in view was political, and not political
only, but polemic, and fiercely polemic, and at last revolutionary; and
its true literary expression is to be recognised in those writings,
whether in prose or in verse, which gave utterance to that life. Such
writings seem naturally to fall into nine principal classes.

First, may here be named the correspondence of the time; especially,
the letters touching on public affairs which passed between persons in
different portions of America, and in which men of kindred opinions
found one another out, informed one another, stimulated, guided, aided
one another, in the common struggle. Indeed, the correspondence of
our Revolution, both official and unofficial, constitutes a vast, a
fascinating, and a significant branch of its literature. Undoubtedly,
the best of all the letter-writers of the time was Franklin; and next
to him, perhaps, were John Adams, and Abigail Adams, his wife. Indeed
the letters of Mrs. Adams, mostly to her husband, and covering this
entire period, are among the most delightful specimens of such work as
done by any American. Not far behind these first three letter-writers,
if indeed they were behind them, must be mentioned Jefferson and
John Dickinson; and, for shrewdness of observation, for humour, for
lightness of touch, for the gracious _negligée_ of cultivated speech,
not far behind any of them was a letter-writer now almost unknown,
Richard Peters of Philadelphia. Of course, no one goes to the letters
of Washington, in the expectation of finding there sprightliness of
thought, flexibility, or ease of movement; yet, in point of diligence
and productiveness, he was one of the great letter-writers of that age.

The second form of literature embodying the characteristic life of our
Revolutionary era is made up of those writings which were put forth
at nearly every critical stage of the long contest, either by the
local legislatures, or by the General Congress, or by prominent men in
public office, and which may now be described comprehensively as State
Papers. It is probable that we have never yet sufficiently considered
the extraordinary intellectual merits of this great group of writings,
or the prodigious practical service which, by means of those merits,
they rendered to the struggling cause of American self-government,
particularly in procuring for the insurrectionary colonists, first, the
respectful recognition, and then the moral confidence, of the civilised

The third class of writings directly expressive of the spirit and
life of the Revolution consists of oral addresses, either secular or
sacred,--that is, of speeches, formal orations, and political sermons.
“In America, as in the Grand Rebellion in England,” said a Loyalist
writer--Boucher--of our Revolutionary time, “much execution was done by
sermons.” Had it been otherwise, there would now be cause for wonder.
Indeed, the preachers were then in full possession of that immense
leadership, intellectual and moral, which had belonged to their order,
in America ever since its settlement, in England ever since the middle
of the sixteenth century; and though this tradition of leadership
was beginning to suffer under the rivalry of the printing-press and
under the ever-thickening blows of rationalism, yet, when aroused
and concentrated upon any object, they still wielded an enormous
influence over the opinions and actions of men,--even as to the
business of this world. Without the aid “of the black regiment,” as he
facetiously called them, James Otis declared his inability to carry
his points. Late in the year 1774, the Loyalist, Daniel Leonard, in an
essay accounting for the swift and alarming growth of the spirit of
resistance and even of revolution in America, gave a prominent place to
the part then played in the agitation by “our dissenting ministers.”
“What effect must it have had upon the audience,” said he, “to hear
the same sentiments and principles, which they had before read in a
newspaper, delivered on Sundays from the sacred desk, with a religious
awe, and the most solemn appeals to heaven, from lips which they had
been taught from their cradles to believe could utter nothing but
eternal truths!” The literary history of the pulpit of the American
Revolution is virtually a history of the pulpit-champions of that
movement; since those preachers who were not its champions could seldom
find a printer bold enough to put their sermons to press, or even an
opportunity to speak them from the pulpit. Nor was it necessary that
ministers should seem to go out of their way in order to discourse upon
those bitter secular themes: indeed, they would have been forced to go
out of their way in order to avoid doing so. Fast days, thanksgiving
days, election days, the anniversaries of battles and of important
acts of Congress and of other momentous events in the progress of the
struggle, brought such topics to the very doors of their studies, and
even laid them upon the open Bibles in their pulpits. Moreover, if any
clergyman held back from political preaching, he was not likely to
escape some reminder, more or less gentle, as to what was expected of
him in such a time of awful stress and peril. “Does Mr. Wibird preach
against oppression and the other cardinal vices of the time?” wrote
John Adams to his wife, from Philadelphia, shortly after the battle
of Bunker Hill. “Tell him, the clergy here of every denomination, not
excepting the Episcopalian, thunder and lighten every Sabbath. They
pray for Boston and the Massachusetts. They thank God most explicitly
and fervently for our remarkable successes. They pray for the American

More than in all other publications, it was in the fourth class of
writings, namely, the political essays of the period, that the American
people, on both sides of the great controversy, gave utterance to their
real thoughts, their real purposes, their fears, their hopes, their
hatreds, touching the bitter questions which then divided them. The
political essay, whether in the shape of the newspaper article or in
that of the pamphlet, gives us the most characteristic type of American
literature for that portion of the eighteenth century.

Closely associated with the political essay as the most powerful form
of prose in the literature of the American Revolution, should be
mentioned the political satire, as being likewise the most powerful
form of verse during the same period, and as constituting the fifth
class of writings directly expressive of its thought and passion.
The best examples of satire to be met with among us before the
Revolutionary dispute had reached its culmination may be seen in the
earlier and non-political verse of Freneau and John Trumbull. It is
true that no great place was given to satire until about the year
1775--that is, until the debate had nearly passed beyond the stage of
argument. From that time, however, and until very near the close of the
Revolution, this form of literature rivalled, and at times almost set
aside, the political essay as an instrument of impassioned political
strife. On the Revolutionist side, the chief masters of political
satire were Francis Hopkinson, John Trumbull, and Philip Freneau. On
the side of the Loyalists, the satirical poet who in art and in power
surpassed all his fellows, was Jonathan Odell.

For the sixth class of writings characteristic of the period, we may
take the popular lyric poetry of the Revolution,--the numberless
verses, commonly quite inelaborate and unadorned, that were written to
be sung at the hearth-stone, by the camp-fire, on the march, on the
battle-field, in all places of solemn worship.

Our seventh class gathers up the numerous literary memorials of the
long struggle as a mere wit-combat, a vast miscellany of humorous
productions in verse and prose. The newspapers of the Revolutionary
period are strewn with such productions,--satirical poems, long and
short, of nearly all degrees of merit and demerit, some of them gross
and obscene, some of them simply clownish and stupid, some absolutely
brutal in their partisan ferocity, some really clever--terse, polished,
and edged with wit.

For the eighth class, partly in prose, chiefly in verse, are brought
together the dramatic compositions of the period,--a class not
inconsiderable in number, in variety, in vigour, and thoroughly
representative both of the humour and of the tragic sentiment of the
period. Tentative and crude as are nearly all of these writings, they
are not unworthy of some slight attention, in the first place, as
giving the genesis of a department of American literature now become
considerable; but, chiefly, as reproducing the ideas, the passions, the
motives, and the moods of that stormful time in our history, with a
frankness, a liveliness, and an unshrinking realism not approached by
any other species of Revolutionary literature.

Finally, to the ninth class belong those prose narratives that sprang
out of the actual experiences of the Revolution, and that have embodied
such experiences in the several forms of personal diaries, military
journals, tales of adventure on land or sea, and especially records of
suffering in the military prisons. Besides these, there are several
elaborate contemporary histories of the Revolution.

Perhaps no aspect of the Revolutionary War has touched more powerfully
the imagination and sympathy of the American people, than that relating
to the sufferings borne by their own sailors and soldiers who chanced
to fall as prisoners into the hands of the enemy; and for many years
after the war, the bitterness which it brought into the hearts of
men was kept alive and was hardened into a perdurable race-tradition
through the tales which were told by the survivors of the British
prison-pens and especially of the British prison-ships.


_James Otis._--After his graduation at Harvard, at the age of eighteen,
James Otis spent a year and a half at home in the study of literature
and philosophy; then, devoting himself to the law, he had begun its
practice at Plymouth in 1748; after two years of residence there,
he had removed to Boston, and in spite of his youth, he had quickly
risen to the highest rank in his profession. Throughout his whole
career, he held to his early love of the Roman and Greek classics,
particularly of Homer; while in English his literary taste was equally
robust and wholesome. He was a powerful writer, and he wrote much;
but in the structure and form of what he wrote, there are few traces
of that enthusiasm for classical literature which we know him to
have possessed. Perhaps his nature was too harsh, too passionate and
ill-balanced, to yield to the culture even of a literary perfection
which he could fully recognise and enjoy in others. He was, above all
things, an orator; and his oratory was of the tempestuous kind--bold,
vehement, irregular, overpowering.

In July, 1764, he published his gravest and most moderate pamphlet,
_The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved_. Of all
his political writing, this is the most sedate. It has even a tone
of solemnity. Indeed, its moderation of tone, at the time, gave
considerable offence to some of his own associates. The pamphlet
was said to have satisfied nobody. Yet it gave food for thought to
everybody; and it is the one work of Otis on which rests his reputation
as a serious political thinker. The real object of Otis in this
powerful pamphlet was not to bring about a revolution, but to avert
one. But its actual effect was to furnish the starting-point for the
entire movement of revolutionary reasoning, by which some two millions
of people were to justify themselves in the years to come, as they
advanced along their rugged and stormy path toward independence. It
became for a time one of the legal text-books of the opponents of
the ministry; it was a law-arsenal, from which other combatants, on
that side, drew some of their best weapons. It expounded, with perfect
clearness, even if with some shrinking, the constitutional philosophy
of the whole subject; and it gave to the members of a conservative and
a law-respecting race a conservative and a lawful pretext for resisting
law, and for revolutionising the government.

_John Adams._--Among the most striking of the literary responses to the
news that, in disregard of all appeals from America, the Stamp Act had
become a law, was one by a writer of extraordinary vigour in argument,
of extraordinary affluence in invective, who chose to view the whole
problem as having logical and historical relations far more extensive
than had then been commonly supposed. This writer was John Adams, then
but thirty years old, a rising member of the bar of Massachusetts,
already known in that neighbourhood for his acuteness, fearlessness,
and restless energy as a thinker and for a certain truculent and
sarcastic splendour in his style of speech. To the very end of his long
life, even his most offhand writings, such as diaries and domestic
letters, reveal in him a trait of speculative activity and boldness.
With the exception of Jefferson, he is the most readable of the
statesmen of the Revolutionary period. A series of four essays by John
Adams, which were first published, though without his name and without
any descriptive title, in _The Boston Gazette_, in August, 1765, by
their wide range of allusion, their novelty, audacity, eloquence, by
the jocular savagery of their sarcasms on things sacred, easily and
quickly produced a stir, and won for themselves considerable notoriety.
In 1768, they were welded together into a single document, and as such
were published in London under the somewhat misleading title of _A
Dissertation on the Canon and the Federal Law_.

_Francis Hopkinson._--On September 5, 1774, forty-four respectable
gentlemen, representing twelve “colonies and provinces in North
America,” made their way into Carpenters’ Hall, Philadelphia, and there
began “to consult upon the present state of the colonies.” Thus came
into life the first Continental Congress, and with it the permanent
political union of the American people. As they came out from that
hall, some of them may have found, on stepping into Mr. John Dunlap’s
shop not far away, a lively-looking little book--_A Pretty Story_--just
come from the printer’s hands, in which book, under the veil of playful
allegory, they could read in a few minutes a graphic and indeed a
quite tremendous history of the very events that had brought them
together in that place. Even a glance over this little book will show
that here at last was a writer, enlisted in the colonial cause, who
was able to defend that cause, and to assail its enemies, with a fine
and a very rare weapon--that of humour. The personages included in _A
Pretty Story_ are few; its topics are simple and palpable, and even
now in but little need of elucidation; the plot and incidents of the
fiction travel in the actual footsteps of well-known history; while
the aptness, the delicacy, and the humour of the allegory give to the
reader the most delightful surprises, and are well sustained to the
very end. Indeed, the wit of the author flashes light upon every legal
question then at issue; and the stern and even technical debate between
the colonies and the motherland is here translated into a piquant and a
bewitching novelette. It soon became known that its author was Francis

By this neat and telling bit of work, Hopkinson took his true place as
one of the three leading satirists on the Whig side of the American
Revolution,--the other two being John Trumbull and Philip Freneau. In
the long and passionate controversy in which these three satirists
bore so effective a part, each is distinguishable by his own peculiar
note. The political satire of Freneau and of Trumbull is, in general,
grim, bitter, vehement, unrelenting. Hopkinson’s satire is as keen as
theirs, but its characteristic note is one of playfulness. They stood
forth the wrathful critics and assailants of the enemy, confronting
him with a hot and an honest hatred, and ready to overwhelm him with
an acerbity that was fell and pitiless. Hopkinson, on the other hand,
was too gentle, too tender-hearted--his personal tone was too full of
amenity--for that sort of warfare. As a satirist, he accomplished his
effects without bitterness or violence. No one saw more vividly than he
what was weak, or despicable, or cruel, in the position and conduct of
the enemy; but in exhibiting it, his method was that of good-humoured
ridicule. Never losing his temper, almost never extreme in emotion or
in expression, with an urbanity which kept unfailingly upon his side
the sympathies of his readers, he knew how to dash and discomfit the
foe with a raillery that was all the more effective because it seemed
to spring from the very absurdity of the case, and to be, as Ben Jonson
required, “without malice or heat.”

Francis Hopkinson was born in Philadelphia in 1737. Even in these days,
he would have been regarded as a man of quite unusual cultivation,
having in reality many solid as well as shining accomplishments. He
was a distinguished practitioner of the law; he became an eminent
judge; he was a statesman trained by much study and experience; he was
a mathematician, a chemist, a physicist, a mechanician, an inventor,
a musician and a composer of music, a man of literary knowledge and
practice, a writer of airy and dainty songs, a clever artist with
pencil and brush, and a humourist of unmistakable power. For us
Americans, the name of Francis Hopkinson lives--if indeed it does
live--chiefly on account of its presence in the august roll-call of the
signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was a devotee to the
law, who never took farewell of the Muses. And thus it came about that,
from the autumn of 1774 on until the very close of the long struggle,
the cause of the Revolution, at nearly every stage and emergency of it,
was rescued from depression, was quickened, was cheered forward, was
given strength, by the vivacity of this delightful writer.

For the development among the Americans in 1776 of the robust political
courage invoked by their new doctrine of national separation, it was
necessary that the amiable note of provincialism--the filial obtuseness
of the colonial mind--should be broken up, and that the Englishmen
who lived in America should begin to find food for mirth and even
for derision in the peculiarities of the Englishmen who lived in
England. Toward this important political result, Hopkinson made some
contribution in his so-called _Letter written by a Foreigner on the
Character of the English Nation_. Under an old device for securing
disinterested judgments on national peculiarities, Hopkinson here
represents a cultivated foreigner as spending some time in England in
the latter part of 1776, and as giving to a friend in his own country
a cool but very satirical analysis of the alleged vices, foibles, and
absurdities of the English people, and of the weak and wrong things
in their treatment of their late colonists in America. From these
character-sketches by the supposed foreigner in London in the year
1776--themselves by no means despicable for neat workmanship and for
humorous power--it is not difficult to make out just how Hopkinson’s
playful writings were adapted to the achievement of serious political
results, as ridding colonial-minded Americans of the intellectual
restraint imposed almost unconsciously by their old provincial awe
of England, and helping them to subject the metropolitan race to
caustic and even contemptuous handling, as a necessary condition of
national free-mindedness and of bold dissent on questions of political
authority and control.

The expedition of the year 1777, under the command of Sir William Howe,
resulted in considerable temporary disaster to the American cause.
Nevertheless, it was this very expedition, so full of prosperity for
the British, which in its sequel gave to Hopkinson the occasion for his
most successful stroke as a humorous writer. Sir William, having gained
a brief succession of victories, finding Philadelphia an agreeable
place of repose, concluded to settle himself down in that city. The
surrounding inhabitants, who had at first regarded him and his army
with no little terror, soon came to regard both with some derision, and
to conceive the idea of practising upon both certain experiments which
had in them an element of covert mirthfulness, as it were. By a very
imaginative and a very rollicking expansion of the actual facts of this
small affair, Hopkinson was enabled to compose his celebrated ballad,
_The Battle of the Kegs_. The actual facts of the case are as follows,
according to his own later testimony in prose: “Certain machines, in
the form of kegs, charged with gunpowder, were sent down the river
to annoy the British shipping at Philadelphia. The danger of these
machines being discovered, the British manned the wharfs and shipping,
and discharged their small arms and cannons at everything they saw
floating in the river during the ebb tide.” This jingling little story
of _The Battle of the Kegs_--mere doggerel though it is--flew from
colony to colony, and gave the weary and anxious people the luxury of
genuine and hearty laughter in very scorn of the enemy. To the cause
of the Revolution, it was perhaps worth as much, just then, by way
of emotional tonic and of military inspiration, as the winning of a
considerable battle would have been. From a literary point of view,
_The Battle of the Kegs_ is very far from being the best of Hopkinson’s

Nevertheless, for its matter and its manner and for the adaptation
of both to the immediate enjoyment of the multitude of readers, it
became in his own day the best known of all its author’s productions,
even as, since then, it is the only one that has retained any general
remembrance in our literature.

_Philip Freneau._--The work of Philip Freneau as poet and satirist
in direct contact with the American Revolution was broken into two
periods,--these periods being separated from each other by an interval
of about two years. The first period embraces those months of the
year 1775 wherein his own fierce passions, like the passions of his
countrymen, were set aflame by the outbreak of hostilities. Thereafter
occurred a mysterious lapse in his activity as a writer on themes
connected with the great struggle to which he had professed his undying
devotion;--he was absent from the country until some time in the year
1778. With the middle of the year 1778 began the second period of his
work as Revolutionary poet and satirist, and it did not come to an end,
except with the end of the Revolution itself.

After a considerate inspection of the writers and the writings of our
Revolutionary era, it is likely that most readers will be inclined to
name Philip Freneau as the one American poet of all that time who,
though fallen on evil days and driven from his true course somewhat by
stormy weather, yet had a high and questionless vocation for poetry.
Of his own claim to recognition he was proudly conscious. Nor was he
unconscious of all that was malign to his poetic destiny, both in the
time and in the place on which his lot was cast. Even in the larger
relations which an American poet in the eighteenth century might hold
to the development of English poetry everywhere, Freneau did some
work, both early and late, so fresh, so original, so unhackneyed, so
defiant of the traditions that then hampered and deadened English
verse, so delightful in its fearless appropriation of common things
for the divine service of poetry, as to entitle him to be called a
pioneer of the new poetic age that was then breaking upon the world,
and therefore to be classed with Cowper, Burns, Wordsworth, and their
mighty comrades,--those poetic iconoclasts who, entering the temple of
eighteenth-century English verse, broke up its wooden idols, rejected
its conventionalised diction, and silenced for ever its pompous,
monotonous, and insincere tune. Finally, of Freneau, it remains to be
said that, in a certain eminent sense, he was the first American poet
of Democracy; and that from the beginning to the end of his career,
and in spite of every form of temptation, he remained true--fiercely,
savagely true--to the conviction that his part and lot in the world
was to be a protagonist on behalf of mere human nature, as against
all its assailants whether in church or state. In the year 1795, this
combat-loving poet sent forth a second and an enlarged edition of his
poems, which had been first issued seven years before; and in some
verses which he therein inserted, entitled “To my Book,” one may still
hear the proud voice with which he claimed for himself that, whether
in other ways successful or not, he was at least a poet militant--ever
doing battle on the people’s side.

_John Trumbull._--John Trumbull, with an inward vocation for a life of
letters, turned away to a calling far more likely to supply him with
bread--the profession of the law. It was in November, 1773, that he
was admitted to the bar of Connecticut. Being then but twenty-three
years of age, he wrote in verse an eternal farewell to verse-making.
Notwithstanding all his vows of devotion to the new mistress whom he
was to serve, Trumbull could not forget his earlier love. Henceforward,
all his fine literary accomplishments, his subtlety, his wit, his gift
for ridicule, his training in satire, are to be at the service of the
popular cause, and are to produce in _M’Fingal_ one of the world’s
masterpieces in political badinage. The time of the poem is shortly
after April, 1775. The scene is laid in a certain unnamed New England
town, apparently not far from Boston. No literary production was ever
a more genuine embodiment of the spirit and life of a people, in the
midst of a stirring and world-famous conflict, than is _M’Fingal_ an
embodiment of the spirit and life of the American people, in the midst
of that stupendous conflict which formed our great epoch of national
deliverance. Here we find presented to us, with the vividness of a
contemporary experience, the very issues which then divided friends
and families and neighbourhood, as they did entire colonies, and at
last the empire itself; the very persons and passions of the opposing
parties; the very spirit and accent and method of political controversy
at that time; and at last, those riotous frolics and that hilarious
lawlessness with which the Revolutionary patriots were fond of
demonstrating their disapproval of the politics of their antagonists.

Satire is, of course, one of the less noble forms of literary
expression; and in satire uttering itself through burlesque, there
is special danger of the presence of qualities which are positively
ignoble. Yet never was satire employed in a better cause, or for
loftier objects, or in a more disinterested spirit. The author of
_M’Fingal_ wrote his satire under no personal or petty motive. His poem
was a terrific assault on men who, in his opinion, were the public
enemies of his country; and he did not delay that assault until they
were unable to strike back. _M’Fingal_ belongs, indeed, to a type of
literature hard, bitter, vengeful, often undignified; but the hardness
of _M’Fingal_, its bitterness, its vengeful force are directed against
persons believed by its author to be the foes--the fashionable and the
powerful foes--of human liberty; if at times it surrenders its own
dignity, it does so on behalf of the greater dignity of human nature.
That _M’Fingal_ is, in its own sphere, a masterpiece, that it has
within itself a sort of power never attaching to a mere imitation,
is shown by the vast and prolonged impression it has made upon the
American people. Immediately upon its first publication, it perfectly
seized and held the attention of the public. It was everywhere read.
Probably as many as forty editions of it have been issued in this
country and in England. It was one of the forces which drove forward
that enormous movement of human thought and passion which we describe
as the American Revolution; and in each of the great agitations of
American thought and passion which have occurred since that time,
occasioned by the French Revolution, by the War of 1812, and by the
war which extinguished American slavery, this scorching satire against
social reaction, this jeering burlesque on political obstructiveness,
has been sent forth again and again into the world, to renew its
mirthful and scornful activity in the ever-renewing battle for human

_John Dickinson._--Among all the political writings which were the
immediate offspring of the baleful Stamp Act dispute, there stand
out, as of the highest significance, certain essays which began to
make their appearance in a Philadelphia newspaper in the latter part
of the year 1767. These essays very soon became celebrated, on both
sides of the Atlantic, under the short title of the _Farmer’s Letters_.
Their full title was _Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the
Inhabitants of the British Colonies_. Though published without the
author’s name, they were instantly recognised as the work of John
Dickinson; and their appearance may perhaps fairly be described as
constituting, upon the whole, the most brilliant event in the literary
history of the Revolution. One distinction attaching to them is that
they were written by a man who shared in the general excitement over
the new attack upon colonial rights, but who desired to compose it
rather than to increase it, and especially to persuade his countrymen
so to bear their part in the new dispute as to save their rights as
men, without losing their happiness as British subjects. Here was
a man of powerful and cultivated intellect, with all his interests
and all his tastes on the side of order, conservatism, and peace, if
only with these could be had political safety and honour. No other
serious political essays of the Revolutionary era quite equalled the
_Farmer’s Letters_ in literary merit, including in that term the merit
of substance as well as of form; and, excepting the political essays
of Thomas Paine, which did not begin to appear until nine years later,
none equalled the _Farmer’s Letters_ in immediate celebrity, and in
direct power upon events. As they first came forth, from week to week,
in the Philadelphia newspaper that originally published them, they
were welcomed by the delighted interest and sympathy of multitudes of
readers in that neighbourhood, and were instantly reproduced in all
the twenty-five newspapers then published in America, with but four
known exceptions. Within less than four weeks after the last letter had
made its appearance, they were all collected and issued as a pamphlet,
of which at least eight editions were published in different parts of
America. On both sides of the Atlantic, the _Farmer’s Letters_ gained
universal attention among the people interested in the rising American
dispute. The name of John Dickinson became a name of literary renown
surpassing that of any other American, excepting Benjamin Franklin.
On the continent of Europe, these essays of the Pennsylvania Farmer
became, for a time, the fashion: they were talked of in the salons of
Paris; the Farmer himself was likened to Cicero; and almost the highest
distinction then possible for any man was bestowed upon him through
the notice and applause of Voltaire. Even in England, the success
of these writings was remarkable, and was shown quite as much in the
censures as in the praises which were lavished upon them. Among the
English admirers of the _Farmer’s Letters_ was Edmund Burke, who gave
his sanction to their principle. In America, the admiration and the
gratitude of the people were expressed in almost every conceivable
form. Thanks were voted to the Farmer by political associations, by
town-meetings, by grand juries. The College of New Jersey conferred
on him the degree of Doctor of Laws. He became the favourite toast at
public banquets. He was offered the membership of the choicest social
clubs. On his entrance, one day, into a court-room, whither business
called him, the proceedings were stopped in order to recognise his
presence, and to make acknowledgment of the greatness and splendour of
his services to the country. Songs were written in his praise.

The last of the _Farmer’s Letters_ was published in February, 1768. In
the following May, the new commissioners of customs arrived at Boston;
in June, these commissioners, attempting to execute their odious office
on John Hancock’s sloop, _Liberty_, were fiercely assaulted by the
populace of Boston, and were driven for refuge to Castle William in
Boston Harbour; whereupon Governor Bernard summoned thither General
Gage with his troops from Halifax. Of these most ominous events in
Boston, John Dickinson was an observer from his distant home on the
Delaware; and even he, with all his deep loyalty and conscientious
hesitation, was so stirred by them as then to utter what seems
almost a ringing war-cry. Taking for his model Garrick’s _Hearts of
Oak_--the air of which was then so familiar to every one--he wrote the
stanzas which he christened _A Song for American Freedom_,--a bit of
versification obviously the work of a man neither born nor bred to that
business; yet being quickly caught up into universal favour under the
endearing name of the _Liberty Song_, its manly lines soon resounded
over all the land; and thenceforward, for several years, it remained
the most popular political song among us.

If we attempt to estimate the practical effects of John Dickinson’s
work as a political writer during the American Revolution, we shall
find it not easy to disentangle and to separate them from the practical
effects of his work as a politician. The two lines of power were
closely interwoven; each, in the main, helped the other, as each was
liable, in its turn, to be hindered by the other. At any rate, just
as the politico-literary influence of James Otis was, upon the whole,
predominant in America from 1764 until 1767, so, from the latter
date until some months after the outbreak of hostilities in 1775,
was the politico-literary influence of John Dickinson predominant
here. Moreover, as he succeeded to James Otis in the development of
Revolutionary thought, so was he, at last, succeeded by Thomas Paine,
who held sway among us, as the chief writer of political essays, from
the early part of 1776 until the close of the Revolution itself. The
prodigious decline in the influence of John Dickinson, at the approach
of the issue of independence, is a thing not hard to explain; it was
due in part to his personal characteristics, in part to the nature of
his opinions. From the beginning of the troubles until some months
after the first shedding of blood, in 1775, public opinion in America
had set strongly in favour of making demand--even armed demand--for our
political rights, but without any rupture of the colonial tie. It was,
therefore, a period calling for clear and resolute statements of our
claims, but with loyalty, urbanity, and tact. To be the chief literary
exponent of such a period, John Dickinson was in every way fitted by
talent, by temperament, by training. A man of wealth, cultivation, and
elegant surroundings, practically versed in the law and in politics,
considerate, cautious, disinclined to violent measures and to stormy
scenes, actuated by a passion for the unity and the greatness of the
English race and for peace among all men, it was his sincere desire
that the dispute with the mother country should be so conducted as to
end, at last, in the perfect establishment of American constitutional
rights within the empire, but without any hurt or dishonour to England,
and without any permanent failure in respect and kindness between her
and ourselves. Nevertheless, in 1775, events occurred which gave a
different aspect to the whole dispute, and swept an apparent majority
of the American people quite beyond the sphere of such ideas and
methods. John Dickinson’s concession to Parliament of a legislative
authority over us, even to a limited extent, was roughly discarded;
instead of which was enthroned among us the unhistoric and makeshift
doctrine that American allegiance was due not at all to Parliament, but
to the Crown only. Moreover, the moderation of tone, the urbane speech,
the civility in conduct, exemplified by Dickinson in all this dispute
with England, then became an anachronism and an offence. We were
plunged at last into civil war--we had actually reached the stage of
revolution; and the robust men who then ruled the scene were disposed,
with no little contempt, to brush aside the moderate, conservative,
and courteous Dickinson, who, either for advice or for conduct, seemed
to them to have no further function to perform in the American world.
His _Farmer’s Letters_ were declared by Jefferson to have been “really
an ‘ignis fatuus,’ misleading us from true principles.” Even Edward
Rutledge, who, in June, 1776, agreed with Dickinson in his opposition
to the plan for independence, nevertheless expressed some impatience
with his intellectual fastidiousness and nicety,--declaring that the
“vice of all his productions, to a considerable degree,” was “the vice
of refining too much.”

_Alexander Hamilton._--Within two or three weeks from the day on which
the Congress announced its grand scheme for an agreement among the
American colonists not to import or to consume the chief materials of
the English carrying-trade, nor to export the chief products of their
own farms, there came from the press of New York a pamphlet--_Free
Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Continental Congress_--ostensibly
written by a farmer, and addressed to farmers, and from the level of
their particular interests subjecting the proposal of Congress to
a sort of criticism that was well fitted to arouse against it the
bitterest and most unrelenting opposition of the great agricultural
class. The writer of this pamphlet--Samuel Seabury, a Loyalist
clergyman--professed to be a “Westchester Farmer,”--a signature which
at once became the target for vast applause and for vast execration.
The first pamphlet was dated November 16, 1774. Twelve days from
that date came his second one--as keen, as fiery, as powerful as the
first. In less than four weeks from the day of his second pamphlet,
the undaunted farmer was ready with a third one. No sooner was this
pamphlet off his hands, than the “Westchester Farmer” seems to have set
to work upon his fourth pamphlet.

Among the throng of replies which burst forth from the press in
opposition to the tremendous pamphlets of the “Westchester Farmer,”
were two which immediately towered into chief prominence: _A Full
Vindication of the Measures of the Congress_, and _The Farmer Refuted_.
The extraordinary ability of these two pamphlets--their fulness in
constitutional learning, their acumen, their affluence in statement,
their cleverness in controversial repartee, their apparent wealth in
the fruits of an actual acquaintance with public business--led both the
“Westchester Farmer” and the public in general to attribute them to
some American writer of mature years and of ripe experience--to some
member of the late Congress, for example--particularly to John Jay or
to William Livingston. It is not easy to overstate the astonishment
and the incredulity with which the public soon heard the rumour that
these elaborate and shattering literary assaults on the argumentative
position of the Loyalists were, in reality, the work of a writer who
was then both a stripling in years and a stranger in the country--one
Alexander Hamilton, a West Indian by birth, a Franco-Scotsman by
parentage, an undergraduate of King’s College by occupation, a resident
within the Thirteen Colonies but little more than two years, and at the
time of the publication of his first pamphlet only seventeen years of
age. In the exposition of his views touching the several vast fields
of thought here brought under consideration,--constitutional law,
municipal law, the long line of colonial charters, colonial laws and
precedents, international polity as affecting the chief nations of
Christendom, justice in the abstract and justice in the concrete, human
rights both natural and conventional, the physical and metaphysical
conditions underlying the great conflict then impending,--it must be
confessed that this beardless philosopher, this statesman not yet out
of school, this military strategist scarcely rid of his roundabout,
exhibits a range and precision of knowledge, a ripeness of judgment, a
serenity, a justice, a massiveness both of thought and of style, which
would perhaps make incredible the theory of his authorship of these
pamphlets, were not this theory confirmed by his undoubted exhibition
in other ways, at about the same period of his life, of the same
astonishing qualities.

_Thomas Paine._--As the bitter events of 1775 rapidly unfolded
themselves, not a few Americans became convinced that there was no true
solution of the trouble except in that very independence which they
had but a short time before dreaded and denounced. Of such Americans,
Thomas Paine was one; and towards the end of the year, through
incessant communication with the foremost minds in America, he had
filled his own mind with the great decisive elements of the case, and
was prepared to utter his thought thereon. Early in January, 1776, he
did utter it, in the form of a pamphlet, published at Philadelphia,
and entitled _Common Sense_,--the first open and unqualified
argument in championship of the doctrine of American independence.
During the first ten or twelve years of the Revolution, in just one
sentiment all persons, Tories and Whigs, seemed perfectly to agree;
namely, in abhorrence of the project of separation from the empire.
Suddenly, however, and within a period of less than six months, the
majority of the Whigs turned completely around, and openly declared
for independence, which, before that time, they had so vehemently
repudiated. Among the facts necessary to enable us to account for this
almost unrivalled political somersault, is that of the appearance of
_Common Sense_. This pamphlet was happily named: it undertook to apply
common sense to a technical, complex, but most urgent and feverish,
problem of constitutional law. In fact, on any other ground than that
of common sense, the author of that pamphlet was incompetent to deal
with the problem at all; since of law, of political science, and
even of English and American history, he was ludicrously ignorant.
But for the effective treatment of any question whatsoever that was
capable of being dealt with under the light of the broad and rugged
intellectual instincts of mankind,--man’s natural sense of truth, of
congruity, of fair-play,--perhaps no other man in America, excepting
Franklin, was a match for this ill-taught, heady, and slashing English
stranger. From the tribunal of technical law, therefore, he carried
the case to the tribunal of common sense; and in his plea before
that tribunal, he never for a moment missed his point, or forgot his
method. The one thing just then to be done was to convince the average
American colonist of the period that it would be ridiculous for him
any longer to remain an American colonist; that the time had come for
him to be an American citizen; that nothing stood in the way of his
being so, but the trash of a few pedants respecting the authority of
certain bedizened animals called kings; and that, whether he would or
no, the alternative was at last thrust into his face upon the point
of a bayonet,--either to declare for national independence, and a
wide-spaced and resplendent national destiny, or to accept, along with
subserviency to England, the bitterness and the infamy of national
annihilation. With all its crudities of thought, its superficiality,
and its rashness of assertion, _Common Sense_ is a masterly pamphlet;
for in the elements of its strength it was precisely fitted to the
hour, to the spot, and to the passions of men. Even its smattering of
historical lore, and its cheap display of statistics, and its clumsy
attempts at some sort of political philosophy, did not diminish the
homage with which it was read by the mass of the community, who were
even less learned and less philosophical than Paine, and who, at any
rate, cared much more just then for their imperilled rights, than they
did either for philosophy or for learning. The immediate practical
effects of this pamphlet in America, and the celebrity which it soon
acquired in Europe as well as in America, are a significant part of
its history as a potential literary document of the period. In every
impassioned popular discussion there is likely to spring up a leader,
who with pen or voice strikes in, at just the right moment, with just
the right word, so skilfully, so powerfully, that thenceforward the
intellectual battle seems to be raging and surging around him and
around the fiery word which he has sent shrilling through the air. So
far as the popular discussion of American independence is concerned,
precisely this was the case, between January and July, 1776, with
Thomas Paine and his pamphlet _Common Sense_. Within three months from
the date of its first issue, at least 120,000 copies of it were sold in
America alone. By that time, the pamphlet seemed to be in every one’s
hand and the theme of every one’s talk.

Noble-minded and important as were the various services rendered by
Paine to the American cause, on sea and land, in office and field, they
could in no way be compared, as contributions to the success of the
Revolution, with the work which he did during those same imperilled
years merely as a writer, and especially as the writer of _The Crisis_.
Between December, 1776, when the first pamphlet of that series was
published, down to December, 1783, when the last one left the printer’s
hands, this indomitable man produced no less than sixteen pamphlets
under the same general title, adapting his message in each case to the
supreme need of the hour, and accomplishing all this literary labour in
a condition of actual poverty.

_Thomas Jefferson._--On June 21, 1775, Thomas Jefferson took his seat
for the first time as a member of the Continental Congress. He had
then but recently passed his thirty-second birthday, and was known
to be the author of two or three public papers of considerable note.
Early in June, 1776, Thomas Jefferson, receiving the largest number
of votes, was placed at the head of the committee of illustrious men
to whom was assigned the task of preparing a suitable Declaration of
Independence, and thereby he became the draftsman of the one American
state paper that has reached to supreme distinction in the world, and
that seems likely to last as long as American civilisation lasts.
Whatever authority the Declaration of Independence has acquired in the
world has been due to no lack of criticism, either at the time of its
first appearance or since then,--a fact which seems to tell in favour
of its essential worth and strength. From the date of its original
publication down to the present moment, it has been attacked again
and again, either in anger or in contempt, by friends as well as by
enemies of the American Revolution, by liberals in politics as well
as by conservatives. It has been censured for its substance, it has
been censured for its form; for its misstatements of fact, for its
fallacies in reasoning, for its audacious novelties and paradoxes, for
its total lack of all novelty, for its repetition of old and threadbare
statements, even for its downright plagiarisms; finally, for its
grandiose and vapouring style. Yet, probably no public paper ever more
perfectly satisfied the immediate purposes for which it was sent forth.
From one end of the country to the other, and as far as it could be
spread among the people, it was greeted in public and in private with
every demonstration of approval and delight. To a marvellous degree, it
quickened the friends of the Revolution for their great task. Moreover,
during the century and more since the close of the Revolution, the
influence of this state paper on the political character and the
political conduct of the American people has been great beyond all

No man can adequately explain the persistent fascination which
it has had, and which it still has, for the American people, or
for its undiminished power over them, without taking into account
its extraordinary literary merits--its possession of the witchery
of true substance wedded to perfect form:--its massiveness and
incisiveness of thought, its art in the marshalling of the topics
with which it deals, its symmetry, its energy, the definiteness and
limpidity of its statements, its exquisite diction, at once terse,
musical, and electric; and, as an essential part of this literary
outfit, many of those spiritual notes which can attract and enthrall
our hearts,--veneration for God, veneration for man, veneration
for principle, respect for public opinion, moral earnestness,
moral courage, optimism, a stately and noble pathos, finally,
self-sacrificing devotion to a cause so great as to be herein
identified with the happiness, not of one people only, or of one race
only, but of human nature itself. We may be altogether sure that no
genuine development of literary taste among the American people in any
period of our future history can result in serious misfortune to this
particular specimen of American literature.

_Samuel Adams._--Samuel Adams was a man of letters, but he was so only
because he was above all things a man of affairs. Of literary art,
in certain forms, he was no mean master; of literary art for art’s
sake, he was entirely regardless. He was perhaps the most voluminous
political writer of his time in America, and the most influential
political writer of his time in New England; but everything that he
wrote was meant for a definite practical purpose, and nothing that he
wrote seemed to have had any interest for him aside from that purpose.
Deep as is the obscurity which has fallen upon his literary services
in the cause of the Revolution, the fame of those services was, at the
time of them, almost unrivalled by that of any other writer, at least
in the colonies east of the Hudson River. Born in Boston in 1722,
graduated at Harvard in 1740, he early showed an invincible passion
and aptitude for politics. One principal instrument by means of which
Samuel Adams so greatly moulded public opinion, and shaped political
and even military procedure, was the pen. Of modern politicians,
he was among the first to recognise the power of public opinion in
directing public events, and likewise the power of the newspaper in
directing public opinion. It was, therefore, an essential part of his
method as a politician to acquire and to exercise the art of literary
statement in a form suited to that particular end. He had the instinct
of a great journalist, and of a great journalist willing to screen
his individuality behind his journal. In this service, it was not
Samuel Adams that Samuel Adams cared to put and to keep before the
public,--it was the ideas of Samuel Adams. Accordingly, of all American
writers for the newspapers between the years 1754 and 1776, he was
perhaps the most vigilant, the most industrious, the most effective,
and also the least identified. Ever ready to efface himself in what he
did, he realised that the innumerable productions of his pen would make
their way to a far wider range of readers, and would be all the more
influential, if they seemed to be the work, not of one writer, but of
many. Therefore, he almost never published anything under his own name;
but, under a multitude of titular disguises which no man has yet been
able to number, this sleepless, crafty, protean politician, for nearly
a third of a century, kept flooding the community with his ideas,
chiefly in the form of essays in the newspapers,--thereby constantly
baffling the enemies of the Revolutionary movement, and conducting
his followers victoriously through those battles of argument which
preceded and then for a time accompanied the battles of arms. In the
long line of his state papers--the official utterances of the several
public bodies with which he was connected and which so long trusted
him as their most deft and unerring penman--one may now trace, almost
without a break, the development of the ideas and the measures which
formed the Revolution. If we take into account the strain of thought
and of emotional energy involved in all these years of fierce political
controversy and of most perilous political leadership, we shall hardly
fear to overestimate the resources of Samuel Adams in his true career
of agitator and iconoclast;--especially the elasticity, the toughness,
the persistence of a nature which could, in addition to all this,
undertake and carry through, during the same long period, all the work
he did in literary polemics,--work which alone might seem enough to
employ and tire the strength even of a strong man who had nothing else
to do.

The traits of Samuel Adams the writer are easily defined--for they are
likewise the traits of Samuel Adams the politician, and of Samuel Adams
the man. His fundamental rule for literary warfare was this--“Keep
your enemy in the wrong.” His style, then, was the expression of his
intellectual wariness,--a wariness like that of the scout or the
bushwhacker, who knows that behind any tree may lurk his deadly foe,
that a false step may be his ruin, that a badly-aimed shot may make it
impossible for him ever to shoot again. Whether in oral or in written
speech his characteristics were the same,--simplicity, acuteness,
logical power, and strict adaptation of means to the practical end
in view. Nothing was for effect--everything was for effectiveness.
He wrote pure English, and in a style severe, felicitous, pointed,
epigrammatic. Careful as to facts, disdainful of rhetorical excesses,
especially conscious of the strategic folly involved in mere
overstatement, an adept at implication and at the insinuating light
stroke, he had never anything to take back or to apologise for. In
the wearisome fondness of his country for Greek and Roman analogies,
he shared to the full; and, in a less degree, in its passion for the
tags and gewgaws of classical quotation. Of course, his style bears
the noble impress of his ceaseless and reverent reading of the English
Bible. To a mere poet, he seldom alludes. Among secular writers of
modern times, his days and nights were given, as occasion served, to
Hooker, Coke, Grotius, Locke, Sidney, Vattel, Montesquieu, Blackstone,
and Hume.

_John Witherspoon._--Although John Witherspoon did not come to America
until the year 1768,--after he had himself passed the middle line
of human life,--yet so quickly did he then enter into the spirit of
American society, so perfectly did he identify himself with its nobler
moods of discontent and aspiration, so powerfully did he contribute
by speech and act to the right development of this new nation out of
the old cluster of dispersed and dependent communities, that it would
be altogether futile to attempt to frame a just account of the great
intellectual movements of our Revolution without some note of the part
played in it by this eloquent, wise, and efficient Scotsman--at once
teacher, preacher, politician, law-maker, and philosopher, upon the
whole not undeserving of the praise which has been bestowed upon him as
“one of the great men of the age and of the world.” Born in 1722, at
the age of forty-six he accepted an invitation to the presidency of the
College of New Jersey. At the time of his removal to America, he had
achieved distinction as a preacher and an ecclesiastical leader. Even
as an author, also, he had become well known. His advent to the college
over which he was to preside was like that of a prince coming to his
throne. The powerful influence which, through his published writings,
Witherspoon exerted upon the course of Revolutionary thought, may be
traced in the very few sermons of his which touch upon the political
problems of that time, in various Congressional papers, and especially
in the numerous essays, long or short, serious or mirthful, which he
gave to the press between the years 1775 and 1783, and commonly without
his name. As a writer of political and miscellaneous essays, it is
probable that Witherspoon’s activity was far greater than can now be
ascertained; but his hand can be traced with certainty in a large group
of keen and sprightly productions of that sort. Of all these writings,
the chief note is that of a virile mind, well-balanced, well-trained,
and holding itself steadily to its own independent conclusions,--in
short, of enlightened and imperturbable common sense, speaking out in a
form always temperate and lucid, often terse and epigrammatic.

_John Woolman._--It is no slight distinction attaching to American
literature for the period of the Revolution, that in a time so often
characterised as barren of important literary achievement, were
produced two of the most perfect examples of autobiography to be
met with in any literature. One of these, of course, is Franklin’s
_Autobiography_, the first, the largest, and the best part of which
was written in 1771,--a work that has long since taken its place among
the most celebrated and most widely read of modern books. Almost at
the very time at which that fascinating story was begun, the other
great example of autobiography in our Revolutionary literature
was finished--_The Journal of John Woolman_, a book which William
Ellery Channing long afterward described as “beyond comparison the
sweetest and purest autobiography in the language.” It is a notable
fact, however, that while these two masterpieces in the same form
of literature are products of the same period, they are, in respect
of personal quality, very nearly antipodal to each other; for, as
Franklin’s account of himself delineates a career of shrewd and
somewhat selfish geniality, of unperturbed carnal content, of kindly
systematic and most successful worldliness, so the autobiography
of Woolman sets forth a career which turns out to be one of utter
unworldliness, of entire self-effacement, all in obedience to an Unseen
Leadership, and in meek and most tender devotion to the happiness of
others--especially slaves, poor toiling white people, and speechless
creatures unable to defend themselves against the inhumanity of man.

John Woolman, who was of a spirit so unpresuming that he would have
wondered and have been troubled to be told that any writing of his was
ever to be dealt with as literature, was born in 1720 in Northampton,
New Jersey, his father being a farmer, and of the Society of Friends.
Until his twenty-first year, he lived at home with his parents, and,
as he expressed it, “wrought on the plantation.” Having reached his
majority, he took employment in the neighbouring village of Mount
Holly, in a shop for general merchandise. In this occupation he passed
several years; after which he began to give himself almost wholly to
the true work of his life--that of an apostle, with a need to go from
land to land in fulfilment of his apostleship, and able, like one of
the greatest of all apostles, to minister to his own necessities by
the labours of a lowly trade. For, long before he set out upon these
travels, even from his early childhood, he had entered, as he thought,
into the possession of certain treasures of the spirit which he could
not hoard up for himself alone,--which, if he could but share them
with others, would make others rich and happy beyond desire or even

The autobiography of John Woolman was the gradual and secret growth
of many years, beginning when he was of the age of thirty-six, and
added to from time to time until, at the age of fifty-two, being in
the city of York, in England, about the business of his Master, he was
stricken down of the smallpox, whereof he died. Besides this story
of his life, he left several ethical and religious essays. All these
writings are, as Whittier has said, in the style “of a man unlettered,
but with natural refinement and delicate sense of fitness, the purity
of whose heart enters into his language.” “The secret of Woolman’s
purity of style,” said Channing, “is that his eye was single, and that
conscience dictated the words.” There is about John Woolman’s writings
that unconventionality of thought, that charity without pretence,
that saintliness without sanctimony or sourness, that delicacy, that
untaught beauty of phrase, by which we are helped to understand the
ardour of Charles Lamb’s love for him, as uttered in his impulsive
exhortation to the readers of the _Essays of Elia_: “Get the writings
of John Woolman by heart.” “A perfect gem!” wrote Henry Crabb Robinson,
in 1824, of Woolman’s _Journal_, which Lamb had shortly before made
known to him. “His is a ‘schöne Seele.’ An illiterate tailor, he writes
in a style of the most exquisite purity and grace. His moral qualities
are transferred to his writings.” Perhaps, after all, the aroma that
lingers about Woolman’s words is best described by Woolman’s true
spiritual successor in American literature--Whittier--in the saying,
that he who reads these writings becomes sensible “of a sweetness as of

_Benjamin Franklin._--For the period of the Revolution the writings
of Franklin fall naturally into two principal divisions--first, those
connected with the Revolutionary controversy, and, secondly, those
almost entirely apart from it. Among the latter, of course, are to be
reckoned his numerous papers on scientific discoveries and mechanical
inventions; a considerable number of his personal letters--these
being, perhaps, the wisest and wittiest of all his writings; many
short sketches, usually playful in tone, often in the form of
apologues or parables; finally, the first, and the best, part of his
_Autobiography_, which, during the hundred years succeeding its first
publication in 1791, has probably been the most widely read book of its
class in any language. Here, then, as a product of Franklin’s general
literary activity during the Revolutionary period, is a considerable
body of literature not concerned in the strifes of that bitter time,
almost faultless in form, and so pervaded by sense, gaiety, and
kindness, as to be among the most precious and most delightful of the
intellectual treasures of mankind.

In Franklin’s literary contributions to the Revolutionary controversy
between 1763 and 1783, we find that his relation to that controversy
had two strongly contrasted phases: first, his sincere and most
strenuous desire that the dispute should not pass from the stage
of words to that of blows, and thence to a struggle for American
secession from the empire; and, secondly, after the stage of blows
had been reached, his championship of American secession through war
as the only safe or honourable course then left to his countrymen.
The line of division between these two phases of opinion and action
falls across the spring and early summer of 1775. Prior to that time,
all his writings, serious or jocose, are pervaded by the one purpose
of convincing the English people that the American policy of their
government was an injustice and a blunder, and of convincing the
American people that their demand for political rights would certainly
be satisfied, if persisted in steadily and without fear, but also
without disloyalty and without unseemly violence. Subsequent to that
time, having accepted with real sorrow the alternative of war and of
war for American secession, all his writings, serious and jocose, are
pervaded by the one purpose of making that war a successful one,--a
result to which, as a writer, he could best contribute by such appeals
to public opinion in America as should nourish and quicken American
confidence in their own cause, and by such appeals to public opinion
in Europe as should win for that cause its moral and even its physical
support. For reasons that must be obvious, his general literary
activity was far greater during the first phase of this controversy
than during the second.

Probably no writer ever understood better than he how to make dull
subjects lively, and how, by consequence, to attract readers to the
consideration of matters in themselves unattractive. As he well knew,
the European public, whether upon the Continent or in Great Britain,
were not likely to give their days and nights to the perusal of long
and solemn dissertations on the rights and wrongs of his countrymen
in the other hemisphere. Accordingly, such dissertations he never
gave them, but, upon occasion, brief and pithy and apparently casual
statements of the American case; exposing, also, the weak points of the
case against his own, by means of anecdotes, epigrams, _jeux-d’esprit_;
especially contriving to throw the whole argument into some sort of
dramatic form.

Franklin’s favourite weapon in political controversy--a weapon which,
perhaps, no other writer in English since Dean Swift has handled with
so much cleverness and effect--was that of satire in the form of
ludicrous analogue, thereby burlesquing the acts and pretensions of his
adversary, and simply overwhelming him with ridicule. Moreover, with
Franklin, as had been the case with Dean Swift before him, this species
of satire took a form at once so realistic and so comically apt, as
to result in several examples of brilliant literary hoaxing--a result
which, in the controversy then going on, was likely to be beneficial to
the solemn and self-satisfied British Philistine of the period, since
it compelled him for once to do a little thinking, and also to stand
off and view his own portrait as it then appeared to other people, and
even in spite of himself to laugh at his own portentous and costly
stupidity in the management of an empire that seemed already grown too
big for him to take proper care of. As Franklin was by far the greatest
man of letters on the American side of the Revolutionary controversy,
so a most luminous and delightful history of the development of thought
and emotion during the Revolution might be composed, by merely bringing
together detached sayings of Franklin, humorous and serious, just as
these fell from his tongue or pen in the successive stages of that long
conflict: it would be a trail of light across a sea of storm and gloom.
Nevertheless, not by illustrative fragments of what he wrote or said,
any more than by modern descriptions, however vivid, can an adequate
idea be conveyed of the mass, the force, the variety, the ease, the
charm, of his total work as a writer during those twenty tremendous
years. Undoubtedly, his vast experience in affairs and the sobriety
produced by mere official responsibility had the effect of clarifying
and solidifying his thought, and of giving to the lightest products of
his genius a sanity and a sureness of movement which, had he been a
man of letters only, they could hardly have had in so high a degree.
It is only by a continuous reading of the entire body of Franklin’s
Revolutionary writings, from grave to gay, from lively to severe, that
any one can know how brilliant was his wisdom, or how wise was his
brilliancy, or how humane and gentle and helpful were both. No one
who, by such a reading, procures for himself such a pleasure and such
a benefit, will be likely to miss the point of Sydney Smith’s playful
menace to his daughter,--“I will disinherit you, if you do not admire
everything written by Franklin.”

_Thomas Hutchinson._--Within the two decades of the American Revolution
are to be found two distinct expressions of the historic spirit among
this people. In the first place, from a consciousness of the meaning
and worth of the unique social experiments then already made by each
of the thirteen little republics, came the impulse which led to the
writing of their local history. Afterward, from a similar consciousness
of the meaning and worth of the immense events which began to unfold
themselves in the collective political and military experience of these
thirteen little republics, then rapidly melting together into a larger
national life under the fires of a common danger, came the impulse
which led to the writing of their general history.

Reaching the line which divides colonial themes from those of the
Revolution, we confront a writer who, in his capacity as historian, not
only towers above all his contemporaries, but deals with themes which
are both colonial and Revolutionary. This writer is the man so famous
and so hated in his day as a Loyalist statesman and magistrate, Thomas
Hutchinson, the last civilian who served as governor of Massachusetts
under appointment by the king. That he deserves to be ranked as,
upon the whole, the ablest historical writer produced in America
prior to the nineteenth century, there is now substantial agreement
among scholars. In writing the early history of Massachusetts, Thomas
Hutchinson was in effect writing the history of his own ancestors,
some of whom had been eminent, some of whom had been notorious, in the
colony almost from the year of its foundation. He was born in Boston
in 1711. From the age of twenty-six when he was elected to his first
office, until the age of sixty-three when he resigned his last one, he
was kept constantly and conspicuously in the public service. Before
the outbreak of the great controversy between the colonies and the
British government, no other man in America had, to so high a degree
as Hutchinson, the confidence both of the British government on the
one hand, and of his own countrymen on the other. Had his advice been
taken in that controversy by either of the two parties who had so
greatly confided in him, the war of the Revolution would have been
averted. While the writing of history was for Hutchinson but the
recreation and by-play of a life immersed in outward business, the
study of history seems to have been a passion with him almost from his
childhood. It should be added that Hutchinson had the scientific idea
of the importance of primary documents. Through his great eminence in
the community, and through his ceaseless zeal in the collection of such
documents, he was enabled in the course of many years to bring together
a multitude of manuscript materials of priceless value touching the
history of New England. With such materials at his command, and using
with diligence those fragments of time which his unflagging energy
enabled him to pluck from business and from sleep, he was ready, in
July, 1764, amid the first mutterings of that political storm which
was to play havoc with these peaceful studies and to shatter the hopes
of his lifetime, to send to the printer, in Boston, the first volume
of _The History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay_. He published his
second volume in the early summer of the year 1767,--not far from
the very day on which Parliament, by the passage of the Townshend
Act, perpetrated the ineffable folly of plunging the empire into
such tumults as led to its disruption. Notwithstanding the lurid and
bitter incidents amid which it was written, the second volume of
Hutchinson’s history of Massachusetts, like the first one, has the tone
of moderation and of equanimity suggestive of a philosopher abstracted
from outward cares, and devoted to the disinterested discovery and
exposition of the truth.

From the time of the publication of the second instalment of his work,
sixty-one years were to elapse before the public should receive ocular
evidence that the author had had the fortitude, amid the calamities
which overwhelmed his later years, to go on with his historical
labours, and to complete a third and final volume, telling the story of
Massachusetts from the year 1750 until the year 1774--the year in which
he laid down his office as governor and departed for England. Borne
down with sorrow, amazed and horror-stricken at the fury of the storm
that was overturning his most prudent calculations, and was sweeping
him and his party from all their moorings out into an unknown sea, he
found some solace in resuming in England the historical task which he
had left unfinished. In his diary for October 22, 1778, its completion
is recorded in this modest note: “I finished the revisal of my History,
to the end of my Administration, and laid it by.” Laid by certainly it
was, and not until the year 1828 was it permitted to come forth to the
light of day, and then, largely, through the magnanimous intervention
of a group of noble-minded American scholars in the very city which, in
his later lifetime, would not have permitted his return to it.

A great historian Hutchinson certainly was not, and, under the most
favourable outward conditions, could not have been. He had the
fundamental virtues of a great historian--love of truth, love of
justice, diligence, the ability to master details and to narrate them
with accuracy. Even in the exercise of these fundamental virtues,
however, no historian in Hutchinson’s circumstances could fail to be
hampered by the enormous preoccupation of official business, or to
have his judgment warped and coloured by the prepossessions of his own
political career. While Hutchinson was, indeed, a miracle of industry,
it was only a small part of his industry that he was free to devote
to historical research. However sincere may have been his purpose to
tell the truth and to be fair to all, the literary product of such
research was inevitably weakened, as can now be abundantly shown,
by many serious oversights and by many glaring misrepresentations,
apparently through his failure to make a thorough use of important
sources of information then accessible to him, such as colonial
pamphlets, colonial newspapers, the manuscripts of his own ancestors
and of the Mathers, and especially the General Court records of
the province in which he played so great a part. As to the rarer
intellectual and spiritual endowments of a great historian,--breadth of
vision, breadth of sympathy, the historic imagination, and the power of
style,--these Hutchinson almost entirely lacked. That he had not the
gift of historical divination, the vision and the faculty divine to see
the inward meaning of men and events, and to express that meaning in
gracious, noble, and fascinating speech--Hutchinson was himself partly

His first volume seems to have been written under a consciousness that
his subject was provincial, and even of a local interest altogether
circumscribed. In the second volume, one perceives a more cheery and
confident tone, due, probably, to the prompt recognition which his
labours had then received not only in Massachusetts but in England.
In the third volume are to be observed signs of increasing ease in
composition, a more flowing and copious style, not a few felicities
of expression. That, in all these volumes, he intended to tell the
truth, and to practise fairness, is also plain; to say that he did not
entirely succeed, is to say that he was human. Of course, the supreme
test of historical fairness was reached when he came to the writing
of his third volume,--which was, in fact, the history not only of
his contemporaries but of himself, and of himself in deep and angry
disagreement with many of them. It is much to his praise to say that,
throughout this third volume, the prevailing tone is calm, moderate,
just, with only occasional efforts at pleading his own cause, with
only occasional flickers of personal or political enmity. But no one
should approach the reading of Hutchinson’s _History of Massachusetts
Bay_ with the expectation of finding in it either brilliant writing or
an entertaining story. From beginning to end, there are few passages
that can be called even salient--but almost everywhere an even flow
of statesmanlike narrative; severe in form; rather dull, probably,
to all who have not the preparation of a previous interest in the
matters discussed; but always pertinent, vigorous, and full of pith.
Notwithstanding Hutchinson’s modest opinion of his own ability in the
drawing of historical portraits, it is probable that in such portraits
of distinguished characters, both among his contemporaries and among
his predecessors, the general reader will be likely to find himself the
most interested.

_Samuel Peters._--Somewhere in the debatable land between history,
fiction, and burlesque, there wanders a notorious book, first published
anonymously in London in 1781, and entitled _A General History of
Connecticut_. Though the authorship of this book was never acknowledged
by the man who wrote it, there is no doubt that it was the work
of Samuel Peters, an Anglican clergyman and a Loyalist, a man of
commanding personal presence, uncommon intellectual resources, powerful
will, and ill-balanced character. He opposed with frank and bitter
aggressiveness the Revolutionary politics then rampant. He sailed for
England in October, 1774. There he abode until his return to America in
1805. During the five or six years immediately following his arrival
in England, he seems to have had congenial employment in composing his
_General History of Connecticut_, as a means apparently of wreaking an
undying vengeance upon the sober little commonwealth in which he was
born and from which he had been ignominiously cast out. The result of
this long labour of hate was a production, calling itself historical,
which was characterised by a contemporary English journal--_The
Monthly Review_--as having “so many marks of party spleen and idle
credulity” as to be “altogether unworthy of the public attention.”
In spite, however, of such censure both then and since then, this
alleged _History_ has had, now for more than a hundred years, not only
a vast amount of public attention, but very considerable success in
a form that seems to have been dear to its author’s heart--that of
spreading through the English-speaking world a multitude of ludicrous
impressions to the dishonour of the people of whom it treats. It cannot
be denied that for such a service it was most admirably framed; since
its grotesque fabrications in disparagement of a community of Puritan
dissenters seem to have proved a convenient quarry for ready-made
calumnies upon that sort of people there and elsewhere.

_Jonathan Carver._--In the year 1763, at the close of that famous war
which resulted in the acquisition of Canada by the English, there was
in New England an enterprising young American soldier, named Jonathan
Carver, stranded as it were amid the threatened inanities of peace and
civilisation, and confronting a prospect that was for him altogether
insipid through its lack of adventure, and especially of barbaric
restlessness and discomfort. “I began to consider,” so he wrote a few
years afterward, “having rendered my country some services during the
war, how I might continue still serviceable, and contribute, as much as
lay in my power, to make that vast acquisition of territory gained by
Great Britain in North America, advantageous to it. To this purpose, I
determined to explore the most unknown parts of them.” The project thus
clearly wrought out in 1763 by this obscure provincial captain in New
England anticipated by forty years the American statesmanship which,
under President Jefferson, sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to
penetrate the passes of the Rocky Mountains and to pitch their tents by
the mouth of the Columbia River; even as it anticipated by a hundred
years the Canadian statesmanship which, under Sir John Macdonald, has
in our time beaten out an iron way across the continent at its greatest

It seems to have taken Carver about three years to complete his
preparations for the tremendous enterprise which then inspired him. Not
until June, 1766,--in the political lull occasioned by the repeal of
the Stamp Act--was he able to start. After passing Albany, he plunged
at once into the wilderness which then stretched its rough dominion
over the uncomputed spaces to the western sea. In June, 1768, he began
his journey homeward. In the October following, he reached Boston,
“having,” as he says, “been absent from it on this expedition two years
and five months, and during that time travelled near seven thousand
miles. From thence, as soon as I had properly digested my journal
and charts, I set out for England, to communicate the discoveries I
had made, and to render them beneficial to the kingdom.” In 1778,
nine years after his arrival there, he succeeded in bringing out his
noble and fascinating book of _Travels through the Interior Parts
of North America_. It was in consequence of the publication, soon
after his death, in the year 1780, of the tale of Carver’s career
as an explorer in America, and especially of the struggles and the
miseries he encountered as an American man of letters in London,
that, for the relief in future of deserving men of letters there, the
foundation was laid for that munificent endowment, now so celebrated
under the name of “The Royal Literary Fund.” His best monument is
his book. As a contribution to the history of inland discovery upon
this continent, and especially to our materials for true and precise
information concerning the “manners, customs, religion, and language
of the Indians,” Carver’s book of _Travels_ is of unsurpassed value.
Besides its worth for instruction, is its worth for delight; we have
no other “Indian book” more captivating than this. Here is the charm
of a sincere, powerful, and gentle personality--the charm of novel and
significant facts, of noble ideas, of humane sentiments, all uttered
in English well-ordered and pure. In evidence, also, of the European
celebrity acquired by his book, may be cited the fact that it seems to
have had a strong fascination for Schiller, as, indeed, might have been
expected; and Carver’s report of a harangue by a Nadowessian chief over
the dead body of one of their great warriors--being itself a piece of
true poetry in prose--was turned into verse by the German poet, and
became famous as his _Nadowessiers Totenlied_,--a dirge which pleased
Goethe so much that he declared it to be among the best of Schiller’s
poems in that vein, and wished that his friend had written a dozen

_St. John Crèvecœur_.--In 1782, there was published in London an
American book written with a sweetness of tone and, likewise, with a
literary grace and a power of fascination then quite unexpected from
the western side of the Atlantic. It presented itself to the public
behind this ample title-page:--“Letters from an American Farmer,
describing certain provincial situations, manners, and customs, not
generally known, and conveying some idea of the late and present
interior circumstances of the British Colonies in North America:
written for the information of a friend in England, by J. Hector
St. John, a farmer in Pennsylvania.” The name of the author as thus
given upon his title-page, was not his name in full, but only the
baptismal portion of it. By omitting from the book his surname, which
was Crèvecœur, he had chosen to disguise to the English public the
fact--which could hardly have added to his welcome among them--that
though he was an American, he was not an English American, but a
French one,--having been born in Normandy, and of a noble family
there, in 1731. While really an American farmer, Crèvecœur was a man
of education, of refinement, of varied experience in the world. When
but a lad of sixteen, he had removed from France to England; when but
twenty-three, he had emigrated to America.

As an account of the American colonies, this book makes no pretension
either to system or to completeness; and yet it does attain to a sort
of breadth of treatment by seizing upon certain representative traits
of the three great groups of colonies,--the northern, the middle,
and the southern. There are in this book two distinct notes--one of
great peace, another of great pain. The earlier and larger portion
of the book gives forth this note of peace: it is a prose pastoral
of life in the New World, as that life must have revealed itself to
a well-appointed American farmer of poetic and optimistic temper, in
the final stage of our colonial era, and just before the influx of the
riot and bitterness of the great disruption. This note of peace holds
undisturbed through the first half of the book, and more. Not until,
in the latter half of it, the author comes to describe slavery in the
Far South, likewise the harsh relations between the colonists and the
Indians, finally the outbreak of the tempest of civil war, does his
book give out its second note--the note of pain. By its inclusion of
these sombre and agonising aspects of life in America, the book gains,
as is most obvious, both in authenticity and literary strength. It is
not hard to understand why, at such a time, a book like this should
soon have made its way into the languages of Europe, particularly those
of France, Germany, and Holland; nor why it should have fascinated
multitudes of readers in all parts of the Continent, even beguiling
many of them--too many of them, perhaps--to try their fortunes in that
blithe and hospitable portion of the planet where the struggle for
existence seemed almost a thing unknown. In England, likewise, the book
won for itself, as was natural, a wide and a gracious consideration;
its praises lasted among English men of letters as long, at least,
as until the time of Hazlitt and Charles Lamb; while its idealised
treatment of rural life in America wrought quite traceable effects
upon the imagination of Campbell, Byron, Southey, and Coleridge, and
furnished not a few materials for such captivating and airy schemes of
literary colonisation in America as that of “Pantisocracy.”



=Early Dearth of Good Writers.=--Among the consciously useful forms
of literature there is none in which, by common consent, American men
of letters have so uniformly distinguished themselves as in history.
Bradford and Winthrop in the seventeenth century are as conspicuous
among their countrymen and as respectable before the world as Prescott
and Parkman in the nineteenth. Prince and Stith are as minutely
conscientious--and almost as dull--as the most scientific of modern
students; and Hutchinson, when judged by the prevailing standards of
his own times, will be found not less diligent or judicious than Adams
and Rhodes are thought to-day. Indeed, there is in our literature but
one period destitute of historians of merit, and that period falls in
the years immediately after the Revolution, precisely in the years when
we should most expect historical writing to flourish; for those last
years of the eighteenth century seem, as we look back upon them, to
be full of encouragement for national pride. In 1781, Lord Cornwallis
had surrendered at Yorktown. In 1783, King George acknowledged
the independence of his rebellious subjects in America. Under a
constitution since renowned, they soon instituted for themselves
a federal government upon a continental scale. The prediction of
Jefferson’s Declaration seemed to be justified. The United States were
ready “to assume among the powers of the earth that separate and equal
station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them.”

Popular revolutions such as this have often been followed by a period
of great literary fruitfulness, particularly in history. So it proved
in Holland, in France, in Italy. But in America nothing of the sort
occurred. The twenty-five years after Yorktown, barren in literature
of every kind, are exceptionally devoid of historical writers who deal
with large subjects in a large way. There were, of course, narratives
of the war by participants and panegyrists. Such were David Ramsay’s
“History of the American Revolution” (1789), Mrs. Mercy Warren’s “Rise,
Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution” (1805), and the
“History of the American Revolution” which appeared in 1819 under the
name of Paul Allen. But none of these works shows largeness of view,
and none is distinguished by literary qualities. They serve a good
purpose, however, in reflecting the feeling of the Revolution. This
is particularly true of Mrs. Warren’s book. She was a sister of James
Otis, whose argument against the writs of assistance in 1761 marks
the beginning of the Revolutionary agitation, and the wife of General
Joseph Warren, who fell on Bunker Hill; and her intimacy with these and
other New England patriots lends a certain representative value to her
forgotten discursiveness. A similar value attaches also to the more
readable, but not less bitter “Life of James Otis, containing Notices
of Contemporary Characters and Events,” written by William Tudor;
likewise, though in a less degree, to several other early biographies
of Revolutionary worthies, among which the most weighty is the “Life
of George Washington,” in five volumes (1804-1807), based upon his
original papers and compiled by his fellow-Virginian John Marshall,
afterwards famous as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. For students
of American history, this is a useful book, such as a man of Marshall’s
ability could not fail to produce when dealing with subjects
with which he was thoroughly familiar and in which he was deeply
interested. But it is hastily written, far too long, and, save for
its partisanship, altogether colourless. Nevertheless, it occupies a
relatively high rank among its coevals, for, taken all in all, American
writers on national history in the years 1780-1820 are few and weak.

_Causes of this Inferiority._--In explanation of this circumstance
various conjectures have been advanced. Indubitably, the proscription
of the Loyalists after the war deprived the thirteen States of wealth
and intelligence which might otherwise have afforded to American
literature an American support. But the effect upon letters of
that social loss is easily exaggerated. The promptness with which
serious English books were reprinted in America, even in the years
when, as Goodrich discovered, it was “positively injurious to the
commercial credit of a bookseller to undertake American works,”
proves sufficiently that a reading public still remained. Another
reason why, in the earlier years of our national life, there were few
historians, may be found in the exaggerated value which most Americans
then set upon certain abstract and therefore absolute theories in
politics. Among the leaders of the Anti-Federalist or Democratic party,
especially, a sort of political orthodoxy grew up. Theirs became a
party with a creed, but without a programme. In the Southern States,
they developed, in defence of their principles, an extensive literature
of political and economic theory, far surpassing in variety of
argument, subtlety of reasoning, and clearness of exposition anything
that the North could show. But throughout it all, they appealed for
support to the unchanging text of written constitutions, or to the
immemorial prescriptions of natural law; upon history they looked as
a tedious tale of ignorance and error. The Federalists, on the other
hand, like the Whigs and the Republicans who succeeded them, were
a party rather of measures than of principles. For their practical
aims, a knowledge of human experience was serviceable. They inclined,
therefore, to historical studies, and it is in New England, where
their hold had been strongest, that the most significant of American
historians at length appear. But even the stoutest Federalist among
the contemporaries of Jefferson could discern in the recent experience
of the nation at large little to stimulate patriotic ardour. In the
estimation of men as yet unaccustomed to “think continentally,” the new
government had brought few blessings: its burdens seemed innumerable.
Taxes were high. Money was bad, and scarce as well. The Revolution had
loosened the bonds of traditional authority, and internal disorder
was rife. The mutual obligations assumed by England and by the United
States at the Peace of 1783 were disregarded on both sides; and a
new treaty, whose stipulations the vast majority of Americans deemed
humiliating to themselves and dishonourable towards their French
allies, served chiefly to prolong internal dissensions by introducing
as an unwelcome issue in American politics the conflicting sympathies
of the Federalists with England and of the Democrats with France. What
wonder, then, that those who concerned themselves with the history of
America at all turned from the Union to their several States, each
of which, in their view, had been made separately sovereign by the
events of the Revolution. Their temper is well expressed by the title
of David Ramsay’s “History of the Revolution of South Carolina from
a British Province to an Independent State” (1785). Ramsay’s “South
Carolina” was soon followed by Belknap’s “New Hampshire” (1784-92),
Proud’s “Pennsylvania” (1797), Minot’s “Continuation of the History
[Hutchinson’s] of Massachusetts” (1798), Burke’s “Virginia” (1804),
Williamson’s “North Carolina” (1812), and Trumbull’s “Connecticut”
(1818). Among these books, Belknap’s justly holds the highest
rank. Its style is vigorous and flexible, and in the opinion of de
Tocqueville, “the reader of Belknap will find more general ideas and
more strength of thought than are to be met with in other American
historians” of the same period.

_Washington Irving._--The life of Washington Irving as a man of letters
is followed elsewhere in this volume; but no account of American
historical writers, however slight, can omit his name. In the more
laborious paths of the historian’s vocation he seldom walked. Research
was foreign to his temperament, and in his histories references to
authorities are few. He makes no pretence of disclosing new facts,
or even of suggesting new theories concerning facts already known.
But “the picturesque distances of earth’s space and the romantic
remoteness of history” kindled his imagination, and his travels, which
were extended for an American of his day, produced enduring results
in a series of books dealing with the countries, and in part with
the history of the countries, which he visited. One reason for his
assuming the duties, not over-serious, of an _attaché_ of the American
legation in Madrid was Minister Everett’s suggestion that he make
an English version of the matter relating to America in Navarrete’s
work on the voyages and discoveries of the Spanish at the end of the
fifteenth century, which had then been recently published. This project
presently expanded into Irving’s “Life and Voyages of Christopher
Columbus, to which are added Those of his Companions” (1828). It was
followed in the next year by “The Conquest of Granada,” and in 1832
by “Tales of the Alhambra.” Returning to America, Irving travelled
extensively west of the Mississippi, and presently published his
“Astoria” (1836) and “The Adventures of Captain Bonneville” (1837).
Of these books, which, with an unimportant “Life of Mahomet and his
Successors” (1849) and a five-volume “Life of Washington” (1855-59),
constitute Irving’s historical writings, the “Columbus” is justly the
most esteemed. It gained for its author the gold medal of the Royal
Society of Literature and the Oxford degree of D.C.L. And not without
reason, for it embodies, in a skilful narrative, not merely the
substance of Navarrete’s documents, which Irving rendered with fidelity
into excellent English, but also the results of other studies which
were, for him, exceptionally thorough. Modern criticism has been very
busy with the life of Columbus since Irving wrote. The narratives of
Ferdinand Columbus and of Las Casas, upon which he largely relied, have
been somewhat discredited, and the character of the discoverer himself
has not altogether escaped. Nor can it be denied that Irving’s lively
fancy led him to embellish his account of certain dramatic passages
in the life of Columbus with details which, while not improbable in
themselves, are unsupported by documentary or other direct evidence.
But the attempt of some subsequent writers, and notably of Irving’s
countryman Winsor, to discredit him on that account has been carried
beyond reason. Irving’s narrative of facts in the “Columbus” is
conscientiously based upon primary sources; and his judgments, though
occasionally over-indulgent of his hero, are in general sound. Columbus
may not have been in all respects such a man as Irving represents him,
but it is, at least, ennobling for the reader to believe that he was
such a man.

In writing his “Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada from the MSS. of
Fray Antonio Agapida,” Irving recurred to a device which he had already
employed with success. Fray Antonio is no less mythical than the “small
elderly gentleman, dressed in an old black coat and cocked hat, by
the name of Knickerbocker,” who was supposed to have left behind him,
in his rooms at the Independent Columbian Hotel, that “very curious
kind of a written book in his own handwriting” which, being presently
printed “to pay off the bill for his board and lodging,” brought
to its real author his first popularity. Nor can the “Granada” lay
much stronger claim to be considered authentic history than Irving’s
burlesque account of New York “from the beginning of the world to
the end of the Dutch dynasty.” It is not, of course, predominantly
humorous; but it is, in reality, merely a historical romance, adorned
with bits from old chroniclers. In it Irving gave his imagination loose
rein; and for that reason it is the most readable of his Spanish books.

His writings upon American history are less sympathetic. The matter
of “Captain Bonneville” was fine in its facts, but it contained too
little of the last to stimulate Irving’s romantic imagination, and it
remained cold and almost crude under his shaping hand. In the founding
of the settlement by which a butcher’s boy from Waldorf hoped to seize
the mighty river of the West, there was also the stuff “of Romance,”
and Irving’s “Astoria, or Anecdotes of Enterprise beyond the Rocky
Mountains,” should transport the reader to

            the continuous woods
    Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
    Save his own dashings.

In fact it continually brings his mind back to the ledgers of a too
prosperous counting-house. Into the “Life of Washington” Irving
was never able to put his heart. The book was the task-work of his
declining years. It was undertaken at the suggestion of enterprising
publishers, to whom he listened the more readily because the number of
those dependent upon him had increased as the income from his earlier
works declined. Its composition dragged from the outset. When at length
the volumes appeared, they achieved a pronounced _succès d’estime_; but
the work shows neither the firm grip of its subject nor the sustained
vigour of treatment which might rank it among great biographies. It
is rather a history of the United States during the latter half of
the eighteenth century. There are entertaining anecdotes in it, vivid
descriptions of battles, and sturdy American feeling. But of Washington
himself there is only a pale shadow.

Irving’s position in American historiography is a peculiar one. He
was not primarily a historian. In a sense he stands outside the main
currents of our historical writing. Nevertheless, he had a strong
influence in determining their course. His “Knickerbocker History
of New York,” essentially a work of humour, was taken seriously by
various of his fellow-townsmen, who were thus incited, much to Irving’s
amusement, to undertake extensive studies in local history for the
purpose of clearing their Dutch progenitors from his ridicule. He
was the earliest among American men of letters to choose historical
subjects for the exercise of his craft, and thus became the founder of
the “picturesque school” of American historians, in which Prescott,
Motley, and Parkman are his followers. And he was the first to feel the
fascination which the power of Spain, in the Old World and in the New,
has not ceased to exercise upon American writers of history ever since.

=The New England School.=--When the events of 1814, which promised
a prolonged peace to Europe, had put an end likewise to the second
war between Great Britain and her former colonists, the people of
the United States, freed at last from their long subserviency to
the inherited animosities of Europe, turned with confident elation
to face the future problems of America. For the next half-century,
while the frontier was advancing from the Ohio to the Mississippi,
to the Missouri, to the “Great Stony Mountains,” and beyond them to
the shores of the Pacific, the Western man was too much engrossed in
the bustling business of making an empire to find time for writing
its annals. It was, therefore, only in New England, in the section of
the country farthest removed from the course of that breathless rush
across the continent, that there existed the leisure as well as the
wealth necessary for the study of historical books and documents. To
wealth and leisure we must add, moreover,--as important conditions
underlying the historical productiveness of New England--literary and
political traditions, the possession of documents and other instruments
of research, and, finally, the general intellectual tone of the extreme
Eastern States--that part of the country most strongly affected by the
civilisation of Europe. As Tyler points out, the earliest development
of New England letters had taken place in those fields of half-literary
effort which seek to provide the instruments or to record the acts of
statesmen, in oratory and in history. And when, at the close of the
Napoleonic wars, the intellectual influence of Europe upon America
began to revive, and those forces which were to produce upon the
Continent the Revolution of 1830 helped, on this side of the Atlantic,
to excite the democratic turmoil of the Jacksonian era, it is not
surprising that the new literary strivings, which manifested themselves
somewhat widely in fiction and poetry, should take on in New England
the form of historical narrative. The manner of this new historical
movement was, in large measure, determined by the influence of German
scholarship. It was from Göttingen that George Ticknor, afterward the
historian of Spanish literature, wrote to his father in 1815, lamenting
the “mortifying distance there is between an European and an American
scholar. We do not know,” said he, “what a Greek scholar is; we do
not even know the process by which a man is to be made one.” And it
was in those bare halls of the old Georgia Augusta, at the feet of
Heeren and Eichhorn and Dissen and Blumenbach, that other grateful New
Englanders--among them George Bancroft and Edward Everett in Ticknor’s
time, and Longfellow and Motley at a later day--learned something of
the spirit of Continental scholarship. In this spirit the New England
School of historians attempted, on the whole, to work. They were
somewhat swerved, no doubt, by the esteem in which their countrymen
still held the elaborate formalism of such orators as Webster and
Everett, and, also, more to their advantage, by their own admiration
for the picturesqueness of Irving, whose example encouraged them to
treat by preference of foreign subjects. Still they stood firmly upon
their native soil. Born among a people whose temperament, though shot
through with a strain of idealism and even dashed at times with a touch
of imagination, was still fundamentally sober, they were predisposed
to honest care in inquiry and, save when the temptations of rhetoric
seduced them, to accuracy of statement.

Thus even those historians of the New England School who had not
enjoyed the advantage of European study preserved most of the traits of
those who had. If Jared Sparks, a home-bred scholar who successfully
conducted _The North American Review_ in its earlier days (1817-18,
1823-30) and lived to become professor of history (1839-49) and
president (1849-53) of Harvard University, had better understood
the standards of Ranke and the “Monumenta Germaniæ Historica,” he
might, indeed, have allowed himself less latitude than he actually
took in editing the “Diplomatic Correspondence of the American
Revolution” (1829-30, 12 volumes), the “Works of Benjamin Franklin”
(1836-40, 10 volumes), and especially the “Life and Writings of George
Washington” (1834-37, 12 volumes). But the extent of his fault was
greatly exaggerated by certain of his critics, and not even the most
rigorous training could have enhanced the diligence with which he
preserved these and other less important sources of our Revolutionary
history. Mention of Sparks naturally suggests the name of Peter Force
(1790-1868), another diligent compiler of facts. Force’s “American
Archives ... a Documentary History” etc. (1837-53, 9 volumes, left
incomplete) was published by Congress.

When we pass to the more illustrious writers of what has been called
the classical period of historical writing in America, we discover two
tolerably distinct tendencies. The one tendency appears in those men
who were led to write by the spirit of the time and the place, and who
wrote of America out of an ardent interest and a profound belief in the
country and its political and social institutions. Foremost among these
men stands George Bancroft. The other tendency appears in Prescott,
Motley, and Parkman, who, though trained in the same atmosphere, were
first men of letters and afterward Americans. They sought, not national
and political, but picturesque and dramatic subjects, and these
subjects lay, in large part, outside the history of their own country.

_George Bancroft._--Bancroft spent the greater part of his long life
(1800-91) upon his monumental history of the United States, a work that
has occupied a high position among historical writings upon America. It
was his ambition, as he announces in the Preface to his first volume
(1834), to write “a history of the United States from the discovery of
the American continent to the present time.” Although he anticipated
years of work in the completion of the task, he could not have
foreseen either that it was to consume more than half a century of his
industrious life, or that the history itself was to end near the real
beginning of the Republic. Bancroft was a writer inspired by his theme
and exalted by the conception of his undertaking. Witness the opening

  The United States of America constitute an essential portion of
  a great political system, embracing all the civilised nations of
  the earth. At a period when the force of moral opinion is rapidly
  increasing, they have the precedence in the practice and the
  defence of the equal rights of man. The sovereignty of the people
  is here a conceded axiom, and the laws, established upon that
  basis, are cherished with faithful patriotism. While the nations
  of Europe aspire after change, our constitution engages the fond
  admiration of the people, by which it has been established....

The rhetorical flavour of the passage is characteristic. Critics have
been inclined to regard the style of the “History” as extravagant and
perfervid. They have, perhaps, tended to overlook the influence of the
sincere enthusiasm and robust patriotism of the early days of national
organisation and growth. The book was undoubtedly suited to the spirit
and the national ideals of the period. Note the tenor of contemporary
opinion. Bancroft’s friend, Edward Everett, devoured the first volume
as it fell from the press and hastened to congratulate the author
(October 5, 1834): “I think that you have written a work which will
last while the memory of America lasts; and which will instantly take
its place among the classics of our language.... I could almost envy
you to have found so noble a theme, while yet so young.” On the score
of method, the “History” was generously applauded for its “exceedingly
scrupulous care” by A. H. L. Heeren, the German historian and
Bancroft’s earlier teacher at Göttingen. It was inevitable, however,
that the patriotic fervour and sanguine tone of the book should suggest
to wise heads a danger and a source of weakness. “Let me entreat you,”
writes Gov. John Davis, the author’s brother-in-law, “not to let the
partisan creep into the work. Do not imbue it with any present feeling
or sentiment of the moment which may give impulse to your mind....
The historian is the recorder of truth and not of his own abstract
opinions.” In still plainer speech did Thomas Carlyle complain that
Bancroft was too didactic, going “too much into the origin of things
generally known, into the praise of things only partially praisable,
only slightly important.” And at a later time (1852) Henry Hallam
wrote: “I do not go along with all your strictures on English statesmen
and on England, either in substance, or, still more, in tone....
Faults there were, but I do not think that all were on one side. At all
events, a more moderate tone would carry more weight. An historian has
the high office of holding the scales.” In the midst of public affairs
and political duties, the great labour of the “History” progressed.
A second volume appeared in 1837, and a third in 1840. These volumes
covered the colonial period down to 1748. Their conspicuous success
contributed to Bancroft’s appointment, in 1846, as Minister to
England; and there, as subsequently in Germany, his official position,
added to his established reputation, opened to him unusual stores of
historical material. He writes from England to Prescott, his “brother
antiquary”: “I am getting superb materials, and had as lief a hundred
should treat the same subject as not. If they do it with more heart
than I, don’t you see that as a good citizen of the Republic I must
applaud and rejoice in being outdone?” Under the circumstances, the
democratic humility of the man is perhaps slightly overdone; although
the unusual riches laid under contribution might well have offered a
temptation to pride, for both public and private collections of great
value were placed absolutely at his disposal. An unrivalled collection
of historical manuscripts (now in the Lenox Library, New York City)
bears testimony to his thoroughness and his wisdom in the use of
extraordinary advantages.

But Bancroft, once established in London, soon found his literary
labours pushed into the background. He confesses in 1849: “Here in
London, to write is impossible.... Mr. Macaulay says, one man can
do but one thing well at a time.... I am of his opinion, now in my
approaching old age.” The eighteen years of private life at home that
followed the ministry to England (1846-49) were much more productive.
Between 1849 and 1867 six more volumes (iv. to ix.) of the “History”
were brought out, a volume of “Literary and Historical Miscellanies”
(1855), and the official eulogy pronounced upon Abraham Lincoln in
the House of Representatives (1866). A passage from the “Miscellanies”
on the conception of history displays Bancroft’s style in his more
oratorical vein:

  But history, as she reclines in the lap of eternity, sees
  the mind of humanity itself engaged in formative efforts,
  constructing sciences, promulgating laws, organising commonwealths,
  and displaying its energies in the visible movement of its
  intelligence. Of all pursuits that require analysis, history,
  therefore, stands first. It is equal to philosophy; for as
  certainly as the actual bodies forth the ideal, so certainly
  does history contain philosophy. It is grander than the natural
  sciences; for its study is man, the last work of creation, and the
  most perfect in its relations with the Infinite.

It was with gratification that Bancroft accepted in 1867 and held
until 1874 the ministerial post at Berlin. The honour may have come
as Bancroft’s reward for writing President Johnson’s first annual
message (1865). At the close of the ministry appeared the tenth volume
of the History: “The American Revolution. Epoch Fourth Continued.
Peace between America and Great Britain, 1778-82” (1874). This at
seventy-four years of age!

It was impossible, of course, that Bancroft should, at his advanced
age, carry his work, as originally planned, through the nineteenth
century. He determined, instead, to write the history of the
organisation of the Federal Government. In 1882 came, accordingly, his
“History of the Formation of the Constitution of the United States of
America” (2 volumes). Thus, at eighty-two, he had set forth in twelve
generous volumes what may be called an introduction to the history of
the country. It is indeed more than that, for, as the author himself
somewhere remarks, the history of the United States begins with the
united resistance of the colonies to Great Britain.

As an historical writer, Bancroft belongs to the period of his first
volumes and not to that of his last. His interpretation of men
and events rests upon his political philosophy, and his political
philosophy was a heritage of the times of Andrew Jackson. To this
philosophy he was faithful. Ranke, the German historian, once said to
him, “Your history is the best book ever written from the democratic
point of view.” Bancroft was aware of his democratic bias; but he would
have denied with vehemence that this bias infused a subjective taint
into his candour or laid a tinge of partiality upon his judgment. The
“History” has been called an “epic of liberty.” It is philosophical,
at times rhapsodical--not scientific--history. It treats an heroic
theme in an heroic manner. Recent criticism of his method and political
theories tends to obscure the brilliancy of his services to American
historiography. Over and above the serious spirit in which he set about
his task, the exacting search among contemporary sources, the unceasing
devotion to truth, and an unsparing and prodigious industry, the broad
and national character of the whole achievement calls for grateful
recognition. Bancroft raised the history of America above the plane of
provincialism and local interests, and set forth both the total march
of internal events incident to national development and the manifold
relations of the United States to the history of Europe. This wide
perspective of events and causes would hardly have been possible except
for years of residence, both as student and diplomat, in the capitals
of Germany and Great Britain. In the matter of method also, Bancroft’s
services to historical research must not be overlooked. He presented
to Americans an object-lesson in the collection, criticism, and use of
scattered materials. His distinction, then, as the founder of a new
American school rests upon a double basis: his wide conception of a
national history and his improved methodology in research. He reaped
abundant success, both in the popular enthusiasm with which his books
were hailed and in the extraordinary personal honours bestowed upon
him until the time of his death. And it is no disparagement of his
services to say that his great popularity rests rather upon a genius
for catching up and reflecting the youthful spirit of genuine and
uncritical Americanism than upon a capacity for setting down without
passion and for interpreting without prejudice the human events of an
inspiring epoch.

_Contemporaries of Bancroft._--The writers of American history who came
nearest to rivalling Bancroft in his own day were Richard Hildreth
(1807-65), a vigorous New England leader writer and anti-slavery
pamphleteer, and George Tucker (1775-1861), a Southern lawyer, who
served for twenty years as professor of philosophy and political
economy in the University of Virginia. Hildreth’s “History of the
United States” (1849-52, 6 volumes) comes down to 1821, Tucker’s
(1856-58, 4 volumes) to 1841. Both did careful work, though both have
been criticised for their partisan leanings. Each gives a relatively
large space to the Colonial and Revolutionary history of his own
section. In the constitutional period, Hildreth commonly accepts the
view of events most favourable to the Federalist party, whereas Tucker
inclines to side even more strongly with the Democrats, of whose
leader, Jefferson, he had published, in 1837, a sympathetic life.
In connection with this branch of the New England School should be
mentioned John Gorham Palfrey’s illustrious “History of New England”
(1858-75, 4 volumes; a supplemental volume, edited by F. W. Palfrey,
1890). Palfrey was a graduate of Harvard and for several years the
editor of _The North American Review_. His work is commonly regarded as
the best of the colonial histories of New England; it occupies besides
a secure place in American literature.

_William Hickling Prescott._--Eminent among the men of the “classical”
period who wrote picturesque and romantic histories, stands Prescott
(1796-1859), author of “The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and
Isabella the Catholic” (1838), “The History of the Conquest of Mexico
with a Preliminary View of the Ancient Mexican Civilization and the
Life of the Conqueror Hernando Cortés” (1843), “The History of the
Conquest of Peru, with a Preliminary View of the Civilization of the
Incas” (1847), “The History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King
of Spain” (1855-58), and other historical and literary works. “The
Reign of Philip” was not finished, as Prescott suffered, during its
preparation (1858), a shock of apoplexy, and died the following year.
After working for ten years--so quietly that but few of his friends
knew of the undertaking--upon his “Ferdinand and Isabella,” Prescott,
upon its publication, found himself suddenly famous. “Love of the
author gave the first impulse,” declared the author’s friend, Gardiner;
“the extraordinary merits of the work did all the rest.” The American
demand for the “History” was unparalleled, and all Europe sent liberal
and judicious praise. Translations were called for in Russia, France,
Spain, Italy, and Germany.

A bodily affliction, the partial loss of sight in early manhood, has
lent a peculiar personal interest to Prescott’s heroic performances. He
has been called, with but little exaggeration, “the blind historian.”
During his junior year at Harvard, an accident destroyed the sight of
one eye, and not long afterward the uninjured eye became permanently
affected. A career in the practice of law had to be abandoned.
Much of his subsequent life was spent in the dark. A great part of
his historical labours had to be done with the aid of readers and
secretaries. The task of mastering a language (he began Spanish at
twenty-eight) and of collecting materials from libraries and archives
would have seemed to be impossible. Nevertheless it was accomplished.
The histories bear but little evidence of the writer’s physical
infirmities. They are renowned for their accuracy and thoroughness.
Recent ethnological discovery and advancement in historical method
have, it is true, necessitated revision in certain statements of fact
(_e. g._, regarding the social and private life of the Aztecs); but
that is an accident of time. His thoroughness is attested by Jared
Sparks, who knew of no historian, “in any age or language, whose
researches into the materials with which he was to work have been so
extensive, thorough, and profound as those of Mr. Prescott.” But the
wide popularity of Prescott’s historical writings rests first upon
their literary merits. He wrote in a clear, graceful, and dignified
style upon epochs and personages that were surrounded by charm and
romance. His power for pictorial representation was great. The
admirable qualities of his books strongly suggest the author himself.
He was cheerful, amiable, spontaneous, warm-hearted, and much beloved.
At forty-five, Sumner said of him that he possessed the “freedom and
warmth and frolic of a boy.” At the same time, Prescott’s capacity
for self-criticism and for rigorous discipline was unusual. Without
these qualities, he would hardly have succeeded in the face of painful
disabilities. For many years it was his custom to analyse his powers
and weaknesses, and to formulate exacting rules for his own guidance.
At twenty-eight he wrote in his journal: “To the end of my life I trust
I shall be more avaricious of time and _never_ put up with a smaller
average than seven hours’ intellectual occupation per diem.” About this
time he wrote down a list of “rules for composition.” Among them are
to be found these: “Rely upon myself for estimation and criticism of
my composition;” “write what I think without affectation upon subjects
I have examined;” “never introduce what is irrelevant or superfluous
or unconnected for the sake of crowding in more facts.” He was early
attracted toward historical writing, although he devoted much time
to biography and critical reviews. The interest in Spanish history
seems to have come from Ticknor’s lectures on Spanish literature,
which Prescott heard at Harvard. The Ferdinand and Isabella theme
first came to him in 1826. “The age of Ferdinand,” he remarks at
this time, “is most important as containing the germs of the modern
system of European politics.... It is in every respect an interesting
and momentous period of history; the materials ample, authentic,--I
will chew upon this matter, and decide this week.” The decision came,
however, only after two years of further consideration. With Irving,
Ticknor, and Motley, Prescott stands as one of the men who gave to the
English-speaking world a clear and brilliant account of the history and
literature of Spain. It is, however, a fact of still greater moment to
American letters that Prescott should have embodied in permanent form
a series of histories of great men and great events that is the common
possession of the Old World and the New, and that marks the advancement
of American historical writing beyond the limits of national feeling
and national interest.

_John Lothrop Motley._--Bancroft, Prescott, Motley (1814-77), and
Parkman were all born and reared in the vicinity of Boston, and all
were graduated from Harvard University. Motley and Bancroft continued
their studies at Göttingen and Berlin. While in Germany, Motley enjoyed
the friendship of Prince Bismarck, who was his fellow-student. “We
lived,” said Bismarck, “in the closest intimacy, sharing meals and
outdoor exercise.” In 1841 Motley was appointed secretary to the
American Legation at St. Petersburg; but he soon relinquished the post
and returned to America. Ten years later he took up his residence
in Europe, where he remained for half a decade pursuing historical
studies. At the end of this time (1856) appeared “The Rise of the
Dutch Republic: A History.” In 1860 came the first two volumes of
“The History of the United Netherlands,” and in 1868 the last two.
The continuation of the Dutch history came out in biographical form
(1874) as “The Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of
Holland; with a View of the Primary Causes and Movements of the Thirty
Years’ War.” Meanwhile, Motley had been appointed to the American
Ministry to Austria (1861) and to England (1869). Both appointments
ended unhappily. An interesting circumstance connects Motley’s career
with Prescott’s and, indirectly, with Washington Irving’s. With noble
generosity, Irving had abandoned his well-formed plan of writing
a Conquest of Mexico when he learned, through a common friend, of
Prescott’s intentions in the same field. This act involved real
sacrifice. “I had,” Irving afterward confesses, “no other subject
at hand to supply its place. I was dismounted from my _cheval de
bataille_, and have never been completely mounted since.” Prescott
was presently to realise the cost of Irving’s surrender. For Motley,
in turn, essayed to enter the field made illustrious by the author of
“Ferdinand and Isabella.” In ignorance of Prescott’s plans for “The
History of Philip,” Motley began his study of related subjects. The
news then came to him as a blow. “For I had not,” Motley says, “first
made up my mind to write a history, and then cast about to take up a
subject. My subject had taken me up, drawn me on, and absorbed me into
itself.” Prescott listened to the younger man’s proposal to retire,
“with frank, ready, and liberal sympathy,” and insisted that Motley
should proceed. More than this, he made handsome allusion, in the
Preface to his “Philip,” to the forthcoming work on the revolt of the
Netherlands. Motley wrote with zeal and enthusiasm. He loved liberty.
The story of a people fighting for freedom fired his imagination.
His ardour led him, naturally, toward the advocacy of favourite
characters and parties; and the greater moderation of the Dutch
historians themselves tends to support the charge of partiality. But
Motley’s partiality was not mere partisanship. It rested upon a nice
discrimination of the good and the bad, of the noble and the mean. His
Dutch history is classic. It is renowned for its scholarly qualities
and for its vivid colouring. Froude, without previous knowledge of the
writer or of his work, placed “The Rise of the Dutch Republic” among
“the finest histories in this or in any language.” While, by the more
exacting standards of current schools, it is criticised for its lack of
philosophical insight, it is still justly regarded as a faithful and
striking picture of an heroic people.

_Francis Parkman._--The New England School had told the story of the
Spaniard in America and in the Netherlands. It was further to enrich
its native literature by another brilliant history of the struggle for
conquest of a great nation in foreign lands. Parkman (1823-93) is the
historian of the rise and decline of France’s power in North America.
Like Motley, he was captivated by an impressive and dramatic cycle of
events, and--again like Motley--he possessed breadth of vision and
tenacity of purpose sufficient to his task. Parkman had a passion for
the wilderness;--a passion which he fed in youth and early manhood
by excursions, large and small, to the woods, the prairies, and the
mountains. In his twenties, he appears, a picturesque figure in the
great West, living and hunting with Indians, eating pemmican, and
playing host at a feast of dog-meat and tea. In spite of outdoor life
and travel, Parkman was seldom well. A serious affection of the eyes,
and nervous troubles which may have emanated from it, kept him, from
his undergraduate days, either incapacitated or on the border-line
of invalidism. He was tortured till his death by pain, lameness,
insomnia, and at times almost complete blindness. His suffering and
infirmities recall Prescott. It is not easy to decide which of the two
men struggled more heroically against overwhelming odds. As early as
his sophomore year at Harvard, Parkman planned to write the history
of the “Old French War” for the conquest of Canada; “for here, as it
seems to me,”--so he writes--“the forest drama was more stirring and
the forest stage more thronged with appropriate actors than in any
other passage of our history.” “The Oregon Trail”--an account of his
adventures on the great plains and beyond--began to appear in _The
Knickerbocker Magazine_ in 1847, and “The Conspiracy of Pontiac” came
out in 1851. Later, the plan widened to include the whole course of
the conflict in America between France and England. The result was a
series of books unexcelled in western historiography: “The Pioneers
of France in the New World” (1865), “The Jesuits in North America”
(1867), “La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West” (1869), “The
Old Régime” (1874), “Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV”
(1877), “Montcalm and Wolfe” (1884), and, finally, “A Half-Century of
Conflict” (1892). The series received the general title, “France and
England in North America.” In his “Montcalm and Wolfe,” Parkman reached
the height of his fame. Wretched health turned the author’s attention
to horticultural diversions. In 1871 he was appointed professor of
horticulture in Harvard University; in 1866 he published his famous
“Book of Roses.” His intimate knowledge of the scenes and peoples
of whom he wrote and an engaging and finished manner impart to his
historical books an unusual vivacity and charm. His work, while it
is, as he intended, “a history of the American forest,” is also the
history of two powerful and opposing systems of civilisation--“feudal,
militant, and Catholic France in conflict with democratic, industrial,
and Protestant England.” Less impulsive than Motley and less serene
than Prescott, Parkman possessed at once the ardour and the restraint
necessary to the vivid and impartial rendering of a glowing theme
vastly important in the history of the New World. Himself cast in
an heroic mould and exhibiting a fine type of the Puritan spirit,
he was at home among chivalrous men and bold and impressive deeds.
Jameson, writing of him shortly before his work was finished (see
“The History of Historical Writing in America,” 1891), declares him
to be, “next after one or two who survived from the preceding period,
the most conspicuous figure in the American historiography of the
last twenty-five years, the only historian who can fairly be called

=Recent Historical Writings.=--Since the Civil War America has been
prolific in historical records. General histories and local histories
abound; histories of administrations, of periods, of popular movements,
indefatigable and scholarly researches in politics, war, finance, and
social and economic institutions. The literary value of these records
is not, however, to be inconsiderately judged from their bulk. Times
and standards in American historiography have changed. Among the
multitude of authors one must not look for many names which may be
written down with those of Prescott, Motley, and Parkman. Not that
the modern period is wanting in good work or able writers. These are
to be found in abundance. But most of the work belongs to science and
not to letters; and besides, eminence is not fostered by the catholic
distribution of talent and training. Jameson picks up Amiel’s blunt
opinion that “the era of mediocrity in all things is commencing” and
applies it to American historians. At the same time, this wise critic
inclines to the belief that the vast improvement in technical process
and workmanship realised within the present generation is the natural
means to the development of a more substantial and more profound
school of historians than the West has thus far created. The term
“mediocrity” does not, indeed, do full justice to the period and the
authors in question, and we must seek other grounds of excuse for the
brevity of our review of them. These grounds are found, first, in the
indirect importance to literature of the great mass of recent work,
and, secondly, in the impossibility of setting the achievements of
contemporary workers in just perspective.

The writers, great and little, of the periods already surveyed were,
in large measure, self-trained. Until the last two or three decades,
colleges and universities offered little incentive to methodical work
upon historical subjects. Even Harvard, from whose doors went one
after another the men who were to make the New England School famous,
taught history only incidentally. Now, an academic school has arisen.
Young men and women are trained in undergraduate and graduate studies
by teachers who are themselves historical writers and investigators.
Students are taught the discriminating use of historical instruments,
and sound methods of reconstruction and interpretation. The change
has been wrought under the unequal pressure of external influence,
emphasis laid upon scientific method, a quickened consciousness of
the importance and dignity of American history, and, finally, the
example of those graceful and inspiring writers who gave to Western
historiography an honourable place in the world’s literature. The
academic school owes its existence to no single founder. It is, by
its nature, a school of coöperative endeavour,--coöperation, first,
between teacher and pupil, and coöperation, later, in the conjoint
and organised labour of productive hands and brains. Among its early
advocates and promoters were Charles Kendall Adams, university
professor and president, teacher and historian, who adapted the
German seminary method to the American university; Henry Adams,
professor at Harvard University and author of a brilliant history in
nine volumes (1889-91) of the country under Jefferson and Madison
(1801-17); Justin Winsor, librarian, bibliographer, and editor of
the useful and scholarly “Narrative and Critical History of America”
(1884-89), and Herbert Baxter Adams, of Johns Hopkins, historian and
instructor of historical students. The coöperative labours of the
period have borne abundant fruit. Besides Winsor’s volumes should be
mentioned “The American Nation: a History from Original Sources by
Associated Scholars,” a gigantic work in twenty-seven volumes just
finished (1904-8) under the editorship of Albert Bushnell Hart. The
authorship is divided among a number of competent historical writers.
The collection lays claim to being “the first comprehensive history
of the United States, now completed, which covers the whole period”
from the discovery of America to the present. Similar undertakings
are, however, in progress, and a number of coöperative works of
smaller scope are already in print. Other notable histories covering
comparatively long periods of time are Edward Channing’s “A History
of the United States,” to be completed in eight volumes; a series of
nine volumes relating to preconstitutional times written by John Fiske,
after the manner of Parkman, and including “The Critical Period of
American History” (1888), “The Beginnings of New England” (1889), “The
American Revolution” (1891), “The Discovery of America” (1892), etc.;
James Schouler’s “History of the United States under the Constitution”
(1880-99); “A Popular History of the United States” (1876-81), by
William Cullen Bryant and Sydney H. Gay; “A History of the People of
the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War” (6 of the 7
volumes published, 1883-1906), by John B. McMaster; “The Constitutional
and Political History of the United States,” (1877-92), by Hermann E.
von Holst, and “A History of the American People” (1902), by President
Woodrow Wilson of Princeton University. Channing’s attempt to cover,
by the labours of a single competent scholar, the entire history of
the country is comparable to that of George Bancroft. John Fiske wrote
readable and popular narratives of historical events. He did much,
both by books and lectures, to arouse general interest in matters of
American life past and present. McMaster’s substantial and illuminating
history is social rather than political. He seeks to portray the
whole life of the people. Von Holst’s aim was, on the other hand,
political. The author was a German-American. He held, among academic
posts, professorships at Freiburg and the University of Chicago. His
critical review, often disparaging to democratic institutions, may
be taken as a counterblast to the ebullient patriotism of earlier,
native writers. As the work of a foreign observer of American affairs,
it suggests the reflections of de Tocqueville, of James Bryce, and
of Goldwin Smith. President Wilson’s five volumes contain a wise and
judicial commentary, in the form of a long and attractive essay, on the
main course of events since the days of discovery. For the multitude
of American historical writers who have treated single epochs, space
permits mention of only one or two names. James Ford Rhodes’ “History
of the United States from the Compromise of 1850” (7 volumes, 1902-6),
the work of “nineteen years’ almost exclusive devotion,” is commonly
regarded as the most thorough and best balanced study of the Civil War,
its causes and its consequences. Henry Adams has, in his “History of
the United States,” etc., investigated with competence and penetration
the administrations of Jefferson and Madison.

This meagre list of the more important productions of the academic
school clearly reveals the attraction of the American theme for the
present American historian. Capable and impressive studies of foreign
subjects there have been, it is true;--David Jayne Hill’s “History
of Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe” and Henry
C. Lea’s work on the medieval church are conspicuous instances;--but
the great mass of research and writing has been gathered at home.
Governmental affairs and political events loom large. Less interest has
been taken in the subtler phases of national character and individual
motive; although Fiske and McMaster and Woodrow Wilson and certain of
the best biographers (whose important service to literature deserves
separate consideration) represent a current tendency toward reflective
and philosophical writing of a literary quality, which augurs well for
the future of American historiography.


=The Beginnings.=--American fiction was one of the latest types of
native literature to appear. The hard conditions of life imposed on
the colonists by the necessity of clearing the forests and keeping the
Indians in check were evidently unfavourable to sustained efforts in
imaginative writing. And there were other reasons for the late growth
of the novel. Except as they had a religious turn or an evident moral,
stories were likely to be looked upon by the Puritans as a species of
useless frivolity, which could have no part in the saving of souls.[3]
Again, in the struggle with the mother country the robust and scholarly
intellects of America had other matters to think of besides the
elements of pure literature. The rights of man, the basis of resistance
to tyranny, the principles of statecraft, the elements of democracy,
were among the interests that absorbed the Washingtons, the Otises, and
the Hamiltons of the latter part of the eighteenth century. But perhaps
the most important reason for the tardy appearance of American fiction
was the lack of tradition and legend. Of this Hawthorne complained as
late as 1859, in the preface to “The Marble Faun”:

  No author, without a trial, can conceive of the difficulty of
  writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no
  antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor
  anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple
  daylight, as is happily the case with my dear native land. It
  will be very long, I trust, before romance-writers may find
  congenial and easily handled themes, either in the annals of our
  stalwart republic, or in any characteristic and probable events
  of our individual lives. Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens, and
  wall-flowers need ruin to make them grow.

Thus it was that for a long time Defoe and Fielding, Smollett and
Sterne found no imitators in America. The American novel-reader, for
the most part, was content with British provender, and satisfied his
appetite for the marvellous with Walpole’s “Castle of Otranto,” Lewis’
“Monk,” and Mrs. Radcliffe’s “Romance of the Forest” and “The Mysteries
of Udolpho.” Toward the end of the eighteenth century several writers
essayed the novel, but not with lasting success. In “The Foresters”
(published serially in _The Columbian Magazine_, and in book form in
1792), Jeremy Belknap (1774-98) produced an ingenious though trivial
allegorical tale of the colonisation of America and the rebellion
of the colonies. In this, Peter Bullfrog stood for New York, Ethan
Greenwood for Vermont, Walter Pipeweed for Virginia, Charles Indigo for
South Carolina, and so on. Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752-83) was the author
of “The History of Maria Kittle,” which in the form of a letter sets
forth some harrowing experiences among the savages during the French
and Indian War; and of “The Story of Henry and Anne,” a tale, “founded
on fact,” of the misfortunes of some German peasants who finally
settled in America; both of these were published posthumously in her
“Works” in 1793. Mrs. Susanna Haswell Rowson’s “Charlotte Temple”
(1790), a story of love, betrayal, and desertion, despite its absurdly
stilted phrases and its long-drawn melancholy, has ever been popular
with a certain class of readers; the editor of the latest edition
(1905), Mr. Francis W. Halsey, has examined 104 editions, and his list
is incomplete. An avowed antidote to “Charlotte Temple,” Mrs. Tabitha
G. Tenney’s satirical “Female Quixotism” (1808), suggests to Professor
Trent “an expurgated Smollett”; it is now unknown. Mrs. Hannah W.
Foster, the wife of a clergyman in Massachusetts, wrote “The Coquette,
or The History of Eliza Wharton, a Novel Founded on Fact” (1797), a
story of desertion, showing the marked influence of Richardson. In
the same year, appeared “The Algerine Captive,” by Royall Tyler, who
was one of the first to turn to American life as a fruitful subject
for fiction. His story is a broadly humorous picaresque tale, of the
Smollett type, which introduces rather too many wearisome details of
customs in Algiers; a fault for which his generally spirited style and
his powerful description of the horrors of a slave-ship partially atone.

Hugh Henry Brackenridge (1748-1816), the classmate at Princeton of
James Madison and Philip Freneau, wrote “Modern Chivalry, or The
Adventures of Captain John Farrago and Teague O’Regan, His Servant”
(Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, published in four parts, 1792-7),
a modern “Don Quixote” narrating his experiences in the Whisky
Insurrection of 1794. Though widely read in its day, especially by
artisans and farmers, its literary worth was not sufficient to preserve
it. “The Gamesters,” published in 1805 by Mrs. Catharine Warren, was
likewise popular in its day; it attempted “to blend instruction with

_Charles Brockden Brown._--The history of the novel in America,
therefore, properly begins with Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810), who
has been called “the first professional man of letters and important
creative writer of the English-speaking portion of the New World.” He
was born in Philadelphia of a good Quaker family; just forty years
earlier, his uncle, Charles Brockden, had drawn up the constitution of
the old Philadelphia Library Company. From early childhood, books were
familiar to the youthful Brown, who became an omnivorous reader, and
at Robert Proud’s school undermined his health by excessive devotion
to reading and study, so that he was always an invalid. He took up the
study of law, but soon abandoned it, despite the protest of his family,
for the career of “book-making.” After some writing of verse and of
essays, he published in 1798 a successful novel, “Wieland, or The
Transformation,” and at once followed this with five others, “Ormond,
or The Secret Witness,” (1799), “Arthur Mervyn, or Memoirs of the Year
1793” (1799-1800), in which he gave an account of the ravages of the
yellow fever in Philadelphia, “Edgar Huntly, or The Adventures of a
Sleep-Walker,” “Clara Howard” (1801), and “Jane Talbot” (published
in England in 1804). From 1798 till 1801, Brown lived amid congenial
surroundings in New York; in the former year he nearly died of yellow
fever, to which his friend Dr. Elihu H. Smith succumbed. Returning
to Philadelphia in 1801, he spent the remainder of his life there;
marrying happily in 1804, editing _The Literary Magazine_, and writing
political pamphlets and works on geography and Roman history, until
consumption brought his busy and useful life to a premature end.

Brown’s novels mostly belong with the “tales of terror” so popular
in his day. A radical thinker and analyst, he rejects supernatural
agencies in his explanation of events, and relies wholly on natural
causes; but this does not diminish the number of marvels in his
tales. The plots of one or two of his stories will give an idea of
the character of all. The scene of “Wieland” is laid on the banks of
the Schuylkill, in Pennsylvania. The Wielands are a cultivated German
family. Wieland’s father has died mysteriously by what is explained as
self- or spontaneous combustion, and the son has inherited a melancholy
and superstitious mind, which develops into fanaticism. The family hear
strange voices giving commands or warnings or telling of events beyond
the reach of human knowledge. A mysterious man, Carwin, appears, with
such powers of pleasing that he becomes very intimate with the family.
At length Wieland, at the command of what he takes to be a heavenly
voice, sacrifices to God his wife and children. Confined in a maniac’s
dungeon, he bears his fate with a sense of moral exaltation. Having
escaped, he attempts to offer up also his sister, the narrator of the
story, when he learns that he has been deceived by the ventriloquism
of Carwin, whom malice has thus led to trick the family. In a frenzy,
Wieland kills himself; Carwin disappears; and the story ends with the
marriage of the sister and Pleyel, a brother of Wieland’s late wife
and now a widower. Less powerful than “Wieland,” but still superior to
Brown’s other works, is “Ormond.” An artist, Stephen Dudley, engaging
in pharmacy to support his family, is brought to beggary through the
villainy of his partner. His daughter Constantia bears up bravely
through severe trials. Just when life appears brighter, Ormond comes
upon the scene, a mysteriously powerful man, much like Falkland in
Godwin’s “Caleb Williams,” of great wealth, strong mind, and base
morals; he deserts Helena Cleves, who commits suicide, and pursues
Constantia. Stephen Dudley is murdered by an unknown hand. Having a
legacy from Helena, Constantia is about to sail for Europe with her
friend (who narrates the story) when Ormond, finding her invincible,
assaults her in a lonely house and meets death by her hand, after he
has himself slain Craig, now revealed as the assassin of Dudley at
Ormond’s instigation. Constantia afterward lives quietly with her
friend in Europe. Brown’s plots are usually disfigured by irrelevant
incidents and superfluous characters; he frequently changed his plans
and even his heroines, and, writing with great rapidity, often with a
greedy printer at his elbow, he utterly failed to weld together the
elements of his stories and often to give them proper motivation. His
characters are drawn in bold and clear outlines, but are frequently
uninteresting--being too sentimental or inconsistent, or given to long
and prosy soliloquies. It cannot be affirmed that Brown understood
human nature well. Of style he had none; his pages are innocent of
epigram or humorous turn; he employs very little dialogue and makes
but scanty and awkward use of dialect. Yet in certain passages, in
describing great crises, he exhibits considerable vividness and power.
Brown’s chief merit consists in the sense of reality with which he
contrives to invest his scenes of gloom and terror.

  The power possessed by this rare genius, says Mr. James H.
  Morse,[4] of throwing gloomy characteristics into his theme, was
  equalled by no other American writer. In the matter of morbid
  analysis, Poe, in comparison with Brown, was superficial, Hawthorne
  was cheerful, and the modern school of French writers are feeble.
  With Poe, we can see that the gloom came by an effort of a spurred
  imagination; with Hawthorne, that it was the work of an artistic
  sense; but with Brown, it seems to have been constitutional--the
  gift at once of temperament and circumstances.

Brown was an admirer of William Godwin and obviously imitated not only
his method of developing characters but also his style. It may be added
that Brown in turn found many readers in England, where several of his
novels were republished and where, as we have seen, “Jane Talbot” was
first published. Professor Dowden quotes Peacock as saying that of all
the works with which Shelley was familiar, those which took the deepest
root in his mind were Brown’s four novels, Schiller’s “Robbers,” and
Goethe’s “Faust.” Brown’s influence upon subsequent American writers,
moreover, was not inconsiderable, and his place in our literature, if
not high, is at least honourable.

_John Davis_, an Englishman about whom little is known, wrote several
novels of American life, most of which were published here, and became
somewhat popular. He lived in the United States from 1798 till 1802,
and travelled over a large part of the country. His first novel, “The
Original Letters of Ferdinand and Elizabeth” (1798), was a conventional
story of seduction and suicide. It was followed by “The Farmer of New
Jersey” (1800), “The First Settlers of Virginia” (1805), a pioneer
historical novel, crude and ill managed, “Walter Kennedy, an American
Tale” (London, 1805), and “The Post Captain” (1813). The most that can
be said of these stories is that their author was shrewd and observant,
and had some journalistic skill.

_Mrs. Sally Keating Wood_ (1760-1855), wife of General Abiel Wood, of
Maine, may be mentioned as the author of “Julia and the Illuminated
Baron” (1800), which recalls the mysterious evil power and atheistic
tendencies attributed to the Bavarian order of the Illuminati,
established in 1775, which, though suppressed in 1780 by the Elector,
was supposed to have secretly persisted and spread over Europe. Mrs.
Wood wrote also “Dorval, or The Speculator” (1801), “Amelia, or The
Influence of Virtue” (1802), “Ferdinand and Elmira, a Russian Story”
(1804), and “Tales of the Night” (1827), besides several novels that
were never published. Mrs. Wood placed many of her scenes in Europe.

_Isaac Mitchell._--At Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1811, was published
in two volumes “The Asylum, or Alonzo and Melissa, an American Tale,
Founded on Fact.” Of the author of this Gothic romance, Isaac
Mitchell,[5] little is known save that he was successively the editor
of _The Farmer’s Journal_, _The Political Barometer_, and _The
Republican Crisis_, all of Albany, New York, and that after losing his
position through political changes, he moved to Poughkeepsie. The story
was later abridged and compressed into one volume by Daniel Jackson,
Jr. (Mitchell’s name disappearing from the title-page), and in this
form was long popular throughout America; Mr. Reed thinks that for
nearly a quarter of a century a new edition appeared practically every
year. The narrative is full of elaborate descriptions of nature.

_Washington Irving._--In general Irving will be discussed rather with
the essayists than with the novelists; but his stories and tales must
be considered here. They have contributed largely if not chiefly to
his enduring reputation. His first book, “Knickerbocker’s History
of New York” (1809), in which he works out a grotesquely humorous
drama of the Dutch fathers wrestling with the weighty problems of
statecraft, is of course in the main fictitious. No doubt it is at
times pretentious or overdone, and the humour is occasionally a little
too broad for the decorum of to-day; but the irrepressible spirit
of comedy, the delightfully burlesqued descriptions of stolid Dutch
character, the vivid though leisurely narrative, give it a supreme
place in our humorous literature. “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of
Sleepy Hollow” are doubtless the most read parts of “The Sketch Book”
and have long since become classics; no more faithful narratives of
quaint old Dutch life have ever been written. In them the boisterous
exuberance of the “History” gives way to a more graceful, refined,
and mature style, which invests the homely simplicity and contentment
of colonial Dutch life with a kind of idyllic charm. Only a little
less successful were Irving’s other stories of early New Amsterdam
life--notably “The Money-Diggers” in “Tales of a Traveller,” and “Dolph
Heyliger” in “Bracebridge Hall.” Inferior because more conventional
and less spontaneous are the first three parts of the “Tales”; yet
even here, in dealing with the sentimental and the terrible, Irving
compares favourably with other story-tellers of his day. In the stories
scattered through “The Alhambra,” Irving showed clearly that he had
found another source of inspiration in the romantic legends of Spain
and the Moors--legends full of Oriental mystery and of the splendid
glories of old Spain, so charmingly and truthfully set forth that the
Spaniards themselves spoke of him as “the poet Irving.” And “poet”
he is in the large sense that he has created imperishable scenes and
characters in that realm of romance in which we delight to wander, far
from the prosaic world and the madding crowd.

_James Kirke Paulding._--A contrast with Irving in more than one
respect is afforded by James K. Paulding (1778-1860), the friend and
collaborator of Washington Irving and the brother-in-law of William
Irving. The author of “The Sketch Book” gave his whole life to the
profession of letters; for Paulding, on the other hand, literary
composition was only an avocation. The genial humour of Irving, too,
differs from the satirical and ironical vein too often indulged in by
his friend. Born in Dutchess County, New York, Paulding went to New
York City while a young man and became associated with the Irvings in
writing _Salmagundi_, the success of which gave Paulding confidence in
himself and led him to further literary efforts. “The Diverting History
of John Bull and Brother Jonathan” (1812), a loosely constructed and
amateurish satire in the style of Arbuthnot, became very popular both
in America and in England. “Koningsmarke, the Long Finne” (1823), now
remembered only for the familiar assertion that “Peter Piper picked
a peck of pickled peppers,” was a burlesque on Cooper’s “Pioneers.”
Paulding’s most successful work, which deserves to live, was “The
Dutchman’s Fireside” (1831), in which are charming descriptions of
quaint Dutch customs and personages, of the picturesque scenery of the
Hudson, and of the vast expanse of wilderness that stretched to the
westward. In general, however, Paulding’s work was characterised by
a too harsh and obstreperous Americanism, an immoderate and amusing
hostility to foreigners, and a carelessness of workmanship which
prevented it from enduring long.

_Samuel Woodworth._--As a curiosity must here be mentioned the
long-forgotten “Champions of Freedom” (1816) of Samuel Woodworth
(1785-1842). It was his one essay in fiction; a history of the War
of 1812 in the style of a romance. It must be described as a chaotic
miscellany, blending wild romance with commonplace realism, and
conducting the reader from ballroom to battlefield and back again with
the least possible suspicion of method or motive.

_John Neal._--Born in Portland, Maine, and beginning life as a shop-boy
in Boston, John Neal (1793-1876) became in turn a wholesale dry-goods
merchant, a lawyer, and a voluminous critic, poet, and novelist. He
boasted that in thirty-six years he had written enough altogether to
fill a hundred octavo volumes; yet to-day he is little more than a
name. His first novel, “Keep Cool,” which he afterward spoke of with
justice as a “paltry, contemptible affair,” appeared in 1817. His best
novels are “Seventy-Six” (1823), a lively story of the Revolution,
“Rachel Dyer” (1828), a story of the Salem Witchcraft, and “The
Down-Easters” (1833), an extravagant tale which deals with the ways of
steamboat passengers, and into which he manages to introduce plenty
of horrors. Neal has been well styled “the universal Yankee, whittling
his way through creation, with a half-genius for everything, a robust
genius for nothing.” He is said to have been the originator of the
woman’s suffrage movement, the first person to establish a gymnasium in
America, and the first to encourage Edgar A. Poe.[6]

_James Fenimore Cooper._--The first American to win universal
recognition as a powerful novelist was James Fenimore Cooper. Born at
Burlington, New Jersey, on September 15, 1789, of English Quaker and
Swedish parentage, he was taken, when a year old, to the Central New
York wilderness, where his father, having become the owner of large
tracts of land, had laid out the village of Cooperstown. Here, on the
shores of the beautiful Otsego Lake, in a motley frontier settlement,
the boy Cooper passed his earliest years. In due time entering the
family of an Albany clergyman as a private pupil, Cooper proceeded in
1803 to Yale College, where he became a member of the class of 1806. An
escapade in his third year led to his dismissal; after which he served
a marine apprenticeship of a year and then entered the navy, serving
as midshipman for nearly four years. In 1811, he married Susan A. De
Lancey, a lady of Huguenot and Tory family, and a sister of Bishop De
Lancey of Western New York; and at her request resigned his commission,
to become an amateur farmer, successively at Mamaroneck, on Long Island
Sound, at Cooperstown, and at Scarsdale, Westchester County, all in New
York State. Thus he arrived at the age of thirty without having even
dreamed of a career of authorship. One day, reading a novel descriptive
of English society, he impatiently threw down the book and exclaimed
that he could write a better story himself. Challenged by his wife
to do so, he wrote and published “Precaution” (1820), a dull and
conventional story of English social life, purporting to be the work of
an Englishman. Although the novel was not very successful, his friends
urged Cooper to try again, and this time to write of scenes of which
he had some personal knowledge. The publication of “The Spy, a Tale of
the Neutral Ground,” in December, 1821, marks the beginning of a long
series of successes. “The Spy” met with a large sale both in America
and in England. It was soon translated into most of the cultivated
languages of Europe; and its popularity has never greatly waned. It is
a story of the American Revolution, in which the patriotic hero, Harvey
Birch, signally aids the American cause and exhibits a rare combination
of the spy and the gentleman.

During the twenty-nine years remaining to Cooper, he produced
thirty-two further volumes, chiefly romances. Of these, many are now
rarely read, but the following have retained their popularity for
successive generations:

“The Spy,” already referred to.

“The Leatherstocking Tales,” comprising (in the chronological order not
of their production, but of the narrative):

“The Deerslayer, or The First War Path,” 1841.

“The Last of the Mohicans, a Narrative of 1757,” 1826.

“The Pathfinder, or The Inland Sea,” 1840.

“The Pioneers,” 1823, and “The Prairie,” 1827; and ten volumes of the
“Sea Tales”:

“The Pilot,” 1823.

“The Red Rover,” 1828.

“The Two Admirals,” 1842.

“Homeward Bound, or The Chase,” 1838.

“The Water-Witch, or The Skimmer of the Seas,” 1830.

“The Wing-and-Wing, or Le Feu-Follet,” 1842.

“Afloat and Ashore,” 1844.

“Miles Wallingford,” 1844, published in England as “Lucy Hardinge.” A
sequel to “Afloat and Ashore.”

“Jack Tier, or The Florida Reefs,” 1848.

“The Sea Lions, or The Lost Sealers,” 1849.

The popularity which Cooper achieved, and which reached its height with
the publication of “The Last of the Mohicans,” was most remarkable;
no other American has ever enjoyed anything like it. Not only were
his stories read in well-nigh every household, but they were promptly
dramatised, and furnished subjects for numerous paintings and poetical
effusions. In Europe, his fame fairly rivalled that of Scott. In
1833, Samuel F. B. Morse, the inventor of the electric telegraph,
wrote: “In every city of Europe that I visited the works of Cooper
were conspicuously placed in the windows of every bookshop. They are
published, as soon as he produces them, in thirty-four different places
in Europe. They have been seen by American travellers in the languages
of Turkey and Persia, in Constantinople, in Egypt, at Jerusalem, at

In 1822 Cooper removed with his family to New York, in order to be
near his publisher and to put his daughters into school. There he
founded a club, commonly known as the Bread and Cheese, to which many
of the noted men of the time belonged. The years 1826-33 he spent in
Europe, being for a part of this time United States consul at Lyons.
On his return, he lived a few winters in New York; he then took up
his permanent residence at Otsego Hall, Cooperstown, where he died in
September, 1851.

In his later years, Cooper presented the singular spectacle of a
popular novelist who was the most cordially hated man of his time.
The fact is significant and helps to account for the failure of
many of Cooper’s later stories. An ardent lover of his country and
its republican institutions, he boldly rebuked the ignorance and
supercilious condescension of European critics; he wrote “The Bravo”
(1831), “The Heidenmauer” (1832), and “The Headsman” (1833), for the
avowed purpose of assailing monarchical and praising democratic
institutions, and kept this purpose in mind much too constantly to
produce artistic work. On his return to America, contrasting the
restless exertion and bustle, the material progress which obscured
higher ideals than money-making, with the leisure and dignified culture
of European lands, he did not hesitate to speak plainly of the defects
in the American character. This naturally brought him much abuse from
the press; and an unfortunate dispute with the citizens of Cooperstown
over the ownership of Three-Mile Point on Otsego Lake, though the right
was wholly on his side, only made him more intensely disliked.

In the early ’40’s, certain issues arose in New York State between
the tenants of the old Patroons who held their large estates under
original grants, and their landlords, the tenants attempting to secure
under State legislation a title in fee to their rented lands. Cooper,
whose family interests were themselves likely to be affected by these
claims, threw himself with full force and bitterness into the contest.
In addition to a number of magazine articles and speeches, he devoted
three volumes to the presentation of the claims of the landlords,
volumes which are now read but little, excepting by special students of
the subject. They are entitled respectively:

“Satanstoe, or The Littlepage Manuscripts,” 1845;

“The Chainbearer,” 1846; and

“The Redskins, or Indian and Injin,” 1846.

“The Ways of the Hour” (1850) was also a novel with a purpose, which
overweighted its interest as a story; the purpose was the reform of
court procedure in the State of New York.

In “Homeward Bound” and its sequel, “Home as Found” (1838), the latter
being one of his worst stories, Cooper lashed the petty vices of his
countrymen and sought to show them what ought to be. As he might have
expected, he only confirmed the public in its hatred of him, while he
materially impaired his reputation as a story-teller. Had he been more
tactful, philosophical, and far-seeing, he would have saved himself
years of stormy conflict.

In Lakewood Cemetery at Cooperstown, on the hill overlooking Otsego
Lake, is a majestic monument to Fenimore Cooper, twenty-five feet
in height, and surmounted by a statue of the hunter Leatherstocking
and his dog. As enduring as bronze is this character in our American
fiction; the hero that will live longest of Cooper’s creations. In
him Lowell found “the protagonist of our New World epic, a figure as
poetic as that of Achilles, as ideally representative as that of Don
Quixote, as romantic in his relation to our homespun and plebeian myths
as Arthur in his to the mailed and plumed cycle of chivalry.” The
series in which he appears, “The Deerslayer,” “The Pathfinder,” “The
Last of the Mohicans,” “The Pioneers,” and “The Prairie,” the group
which Cooper himself preferred to his other stories, is now (excepting
always “The Spy”) more read than all Cooper’s other works put together.
Drawn at first from life, Natty Bumppo becomes an idealised character,
the perfect type of the bold frontiersman and scout, who read nature
as an open book, and who was most at home when farthest from the
haunts of the civilised world. Worthy to stand by his side is the
noble Indian Chingachgook, “grave, silent, acute, self-contained,” as
Mr. James H. Morse says of him; “sufficiently lofty-minded to take in
the greatness of the Indian’s past, and sufficiently farsighted to
see the hopelessness of his future,--with nobility of soul enough to
grasp the white man’s virtues, and with inherited wildness enough to
keep him true to the instincts of his own race.” Famous among Cooper’s
sailor folk is Long Tom Coffin, of “The Pilot”--type of the rough but
honest seaman, superstitious like all seamen but devoutly religious,
faithful to the last and capable of the most heroic self-sacrifice.
Other characters scarcely less well drawn, if less famous, move through
Cooper’s pages--rough, uncouth waifs and strays of border life,
grizzled old sea-dogs, soldiers’ and sailors’ wives and sweethearts,
such as the wife of Ishmael Bush, Hetty and Judith Hutter, and

That he exhibited marked imperfections in style and technique no one
will deny. He wrote too rapidly to attain to anything like elegance
of style, and he is not infrequently obscure. He continually repeats
words and expressions, to the great annoyance of the reader. The same
carelessness that characterises his style is occasionally seen in the
construction of his stories. Scenes are repeated. Mistakes due to
forgetfulness occur, as in “Mercedes of Castile,” where the heroine
presents her lover, on his outward voyage, with a cross of sapphire
stones, emblems, she tells him, of fidelity, which later appear as
turquoise stones. Peculiarities of habit or manner are referred to
so continually that the reader becomes weary and disgusted. Numerous
characters are, it must be admitted, conventional in the extreme.
Cooper failed signally in his fine women. They are not creatures of
flesh and blood; they are purely imaginary creatures in petticoats,
mere simulacra, invariably paragons of sweetness, discretion, and
artlessness, ever saying and doing the correct thing until the reader
longs for a little less of the angel and a good deal more of Mother
Eve. Finally, his introductions are exceedingly prolix and tedious,
though in this respect he sinned in company with Scott and many another
of the time.

But we must not let this catalogue of Cooper’s defects obscure his
virtues. In spite of occasional carelessness of construction, all
his best stories are highly interesting; he spins a good yarn. Never
straining after effects, never loading his sentences with ornaments,
when once started he moves straight ahead to his goal; one stirring
scene follows another; there is wonderful fertility of resource, set
forth with the confidence that begets faith. His was a large genius,
which, though unsuccessful at miniature work, could manage a large
canvas marvellously well. It must not be forgotten that Cooper was a
pioneer; that he was the creator of our American romance of forest and
prairie and sea. His descriptions of nature are done with the hand of
a master. “If Cooper,” remarked Balzac, “had succeeded in the painting
of character to the same extent that he did in the painting of the
phenomena of nature, he would have uttered the last word of our art.”
Moreover, Cooper’s stories are honest and wholesome like himself; they
breathe the same genuineness, the same sincerity and hatred of shams
and meanness; they uniformly hold up noble and worthy ideals; their
tone is always as healthful and invigorating as a breath of ozone. As
Professor Trent remarks, he “lifted the story of adventure into the
realms of poetry”; and as the poet of the primeval American forest he
has never been superseded.

Professor Lounsbury, whose Life of Cooper, in the “American Men of
Letters” Series, remains the authoritative biography, sums up the man
and his work as follows:

  America has had among her representatives of the irritable race of
  writers many who have shown far more ability to get on pleasantly
  with their fellows than Cooper. She has had several gifted with
  higher spiritual insight than he, with broader and juster views of
  life, with finer ideals of literary art, and, above all, with far
  greater delicacy of taste. But she counts on the scanty roll of her
  men of letters the name of no one who acted from purer patriotism
  or loftier principle. She finds among them all no manlier nature,
  and no more heroic soul.

Mr. W. C. Brownell prepared for the Iroquois Edition of Cooper’s Works
a critical introduction which may safely be accepted as the most just,
most delicate, and most comprehensive analysis of the man and of his
work. Mr. Brownell writes:

  There is a quality in Cooper’s romance, however, that gives it
  as romance an almost unique distinction. I mean its solid and
  substantial alliance with reality. It is thoroughly romantic, and
  yet--very likely owing to his imaginative deficiency, if anything
  can be so owing--it produces, for romance, an almost unequalled
  illusion of life itself.... Cooper’s ... work is in no sense a
  _jardin des plantes_; it is like the woods and sea that mainly form
  its subject and substance. Only critical myopia can be blind to
  the magnificent forest, with its pioneer clearings, its fringe of
  “settlements,” its wood-embosomed lakes, its neighbouring prairie
  on the one side, and on the other the distant ocean with the cities
  of its farther shore--the splendid panorama of man, of nature, and
  of human life unrolled for us by this large intelligence and noble
  imagination, this manly and patriotic American representative in
  the literary parliament of the world.

_The Elder Dana._--Richard Henry Dana (1787-1879), lawyer, politician,
poet, critic, and novelist, was one of the group of Boston writers
that laid the foundations of New England literature. His tales, “Tom
Thornton” and “Paul Felton,” are romantic stories of villainy and
insanity, and give evidence of the influence of Brockden Brown. The
narrative has at times an impetuous sweep that hurries the reader along
in spite of himself; and the characterisation is wrought with powerful
strokes. A collective edition of his “Poems and Prose Writings”
appeared in 1833.

_Miss Sedgwick and Mrs. Child._--Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867)
was the daughter of Judge Theodore Sedgwick and was born at
Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where she was principal of a young
ladies’ school for half a century. Her duties as a teacher did not
prevent her from becoming a voluminous novelist. Her first story was
“A New England Tale” (1822), which at once found favour. “Redwood”
(1824) was translated into three or four Continental languages; on
the title-page of the French translation, the novel was ascribed to
Fenimore Cooper. Other novels which achieved great popularity for their
faithful portraiture of early and contemporary New England life were
“Hope Leslie, or Early Times in Massachusetts” (1827), “Clarence, a
Tale of Our Own Times” (1830), “The Linwoods, or Sixty Years Since in
America” (1835), and “Married or Single” (1857). While Miss Sedgwick
never rises to the height of absorbing interest, she is rarely dull,
and some of her women, if we allow for the difference in time, do not
suffer in comparison with those of Mrs. Stowe and Mrs. Wilkins Freeman.
Her descriptions of simple country life were superior to any that had
hitherto appeared. Mrs. Child, born Lydia Maria Francis (1802-1880),
who likewise spent her life in Massachusetts, began writing early,
producing her first novel, “Hobomok,” in 1824 and her second, “The
Rebels,” a year later. The former deals with Salem life in colonial
times; the latter is a story of the Revolution, describing the sack
of Governor Hutchinson’s house and the Boston massacre. Although they
give true pictures of early Puritan customs, they are not powerful as
fiction. In 1836 she essayed a more ambitious flight in “Philothea,”
a romance of the days of Pericles, which, in spite of its stilted
rhetoric, reveals some imaginative power and deserves mention as a
pioneer attempt to interpret Greek life to America.

_Timothy Flint._--A voluminous writer and in his day a well-known
figure was Timothy Flint (1780-1840), a native of Reading,
Massachusetts, and a graduate of Harvard in the class of 1800. Becoming
a Congregational minister, in 1815, in search for health, he crossed
the Alleghany Mountains with his family, and after travelling in Ohio,
Indiana, and Illinois, became a missionary, first at St. Charles,
Missouri, and then in Arkansas. The success of his “Recollections
of the Last Ten Years” (1826) led him to publish a novel, “Francis
Berrian, or The Mexican Patriot” (1826), dealing with adventures with
the Comanche Indians, and with the Mexican struggle of 1821, which
resulted in the fall of Iturbide. The story was crude and improbable,
but some of its descriptions found favour. “Arthur Clenning,” his
second novel, published in 1828, includes a shipwreck in the Southern
Ocean, after which the hero and heroine arrive in New Holland and later
settle in Illinois. He wrote some other novels, but none has survived.
For a time (1833), Flint edited _The Knickerbocker_; and in 1835 he
contributed some “Sketches of the Literature of the United States” to
the London _Athenæum_.

_William Austin_ (1788-1841) a lawyer of Charlestown, Massachusetts,
deserves to be noticed for the remarkable story of “Peter Rugg,
the Missing Man,” which he wrote for _The New England Galaxy_
(1827-8; reprinted in “The Boston Book,” 1841, and in other books
and papers). The theme is the same as that of “The Wandering Jew.”
While “originating in the inventive genius of its author,” as Joseph
Buckingham says of it, it doubtless owed something also to German

_Nathaniel Hawthorne._--The greatest genius among American writers of
romance, by many held to be the supreme literary artist of America,
was Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was peculiarly a product of New England
and frankly admitted that New England was quite as large a lump of
earth as his heart could take in. His ancestor, William Hathorne,
came to the New World in 1630, in the ship with John Winthrop and
Thomas Dudley, and became a leader in the colony. Hathorne’s son John
was one of the judges in the witchcraft trials at Salem in 1691. The
grandfather and father of Nathaniel Hawthorne were both sea-captains.
The novelist was born at Salem on July 4, 1804. Four years later,
his father, never apparently a robust man, died at Surinam, and the
widowed mother began to live in a deep seclusion which could not fail
to have its effect upon the quick sensibilities of her son. In 1818,
the family removed to Raymond, on the shore of Sebago Lake, in Maine,
where his grandfather Manning owned large tracts of land. Hawthorne’s
boyhood environment, therefore, was not widely different from that
of Fenimore Cooper. But he was more of a reader than Cooper. As a
boy, he became familiar with Shakespeare, Milton, Bunyan, Clarendon,
Froissart, Rousseau, and Godwin. Entering Bowdoin College, he was
graduated in 1825 in the class with Longfellow. While he did not
distinguish himself in his studies, he became a respectable Latin and
English scholar; and he devoted much time to reading in the little
library of the Athenæan Society. At graduation, he ranked eighteenth
in a class of thirty-eight. Meanwhile his family had returned to
Salem, and thither Hawthorne now went, to begin a period of literary
apprenticeship. It was seemingly a bold undertaking to attempt to live
by his pen; however, he seems to have drifted into the attempt through
aversion to a more active life. In 1828, he published anonymously a
novel called “Fanshawe,” dealing with some of his college experiences
and recalling vaguely the methods of Scott. Some characters, it must
be said, are vigorously conceived, and here and there the volume gave
promise of the author’s future skill; but there is about the whole a
suggestion of unreality, not to say crudeness. The book found, as it
deserved, an indifferent public, and Hawthorne subsequently recalled
as many copies as he could procure and burned them. For several years,
he continued to live in seclusion, contributing stories and sketches
to various annuals and periodicals. For the stories he got $35 each.
In March, 1837, having been encouraged by his friend Horatio Bridge,
he published the first volume to appear with his name, “Twice-Told
Tales.” They were eighteen in number, being only half of the stories he
is known to have printed up to this time. The “Tales” gave Hawthorne a
considerable reputation; Longfellow praised it in _The North American
Review_, then influential in literary affairs. Again helped by his
friends, in January, 1839, Hawthorne assumed the position of weigher
and gauger in the Boston Custom-House. At first, the novelty of contact
with the practical world interested him; but he soon found that his
work, always monotonous, left him no time or strength for writing, and
he was not sorry to lose his post when the Whigs came into power in
1841. For a few months, he tried life at Brook Farm, thinking that in
this new community he should find a suitable way of combining manual
and intellectual labour; but the work was too hard, and he had too
little opportunity for writing. Accordingly in 1842 he left the Farm,
married Miss Sophia A. Peabody, to whom he had been engaged for four
years, and settled at the Old Manse, an idyllic retreat at Concord,
Massachusetts. Meanwhile, he had published (1841) two volumes of
historical tales for young people, “Grandfather’s Chair” and “Famous
Old People”; and to these he now added a third series, “The Liberty
Tree,” as well as a second series of “Twice-Told Tales” and a volume of
“Biographical Stories for Children” (1842). Of these, none except the
“Tales” rises much above the level of respectable writing to sell. In
the next four years, Hawthorne wrote for periodicals some eighteen more
tales, which, together with a number of earlier uncollected stories,
he republished in 1846 as “Mosses from an Old Manse.” Hawthorne now
returned to his native Salem as surveyor of customs (1846-9), and
proved an able administrator of the office. Another period of literary
barrenness ensued, but in 1847 he resumed his writing and produced a
few tales. The idea of a longer romance had come to him, and after
his dismissal from office in 1849 he found the leisure necessary for
writing “The Scarlet Letter.” Once more, then, he exchanged the world
of affairs for that realm of the imagination where he was so much more
at home. Working resolutely amid sickness and poverty, he at length
completed the splendid romance, the publication of which distinguishes
the year 1850 in American letters as Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” and
Wordsworth’s “Prelude” do in English poetry. Hawthorne had now entered
upon a period of great productivity. In the next two years he published
“The House of the Seven Gables” (1851), “A Wonder-Book for Girls and
Boys” (1851), “The Snow Image and Other Tales” (1851), “Tanglewood
Tales,” (1852), “The Blithedale Romance” (1852), a tale based on
his Brook Farm life, and a campaign “Life of Franklin Pierce,” his
college friend, now a candidate for the Presidency. Promptly after
his election, President Pierce made Hawthorne consul at Liverpool, an
office which he held from July, 1853, until September, 1857. Though
rich in experience and in fruitful observation, his life in England was
outwardly quiet and uneventful. The years 1857-9 the Hawthornes spent
in Italy, where they mingled somewhat more with the world than had
been their wont. The fruit of the Italian life was “The Marble Faun”
(1860), written in Italy and at Redcar, on the shore of the North Sea,
and published in England as “Transformation.” Returning to America in
1860, Hawthorne passed the next four years at the Wayside, Concord. In
1863 he contributed “Our Old Home” to _The Atlantic Monthly_ and began
“The Dolliver Romance,” which he was destined not to finish. He died
suddenly on May 18, 1864, at Plymouth, N. H., while on a journey to the
New Hampshire lakes in search of health.

His literary remains must be at least mentioned. In 1868 appeared
“Passages from American Note-Books”; in 1870, “Passages from
English Note-Books”; and in 1871, “Passages from French and Italian
Note-Books.” These volumes throw much light on Hawthorne’s favourite
haunts and wandering propensities, as well as his eagerness for minute
observation. “Septimius Felton, or, The Elixir of Life” (1871) was
to be a story, placed in Revolutionary times, of a man who sought
earthly immortality. The theme was a powerful one; but Hawthorne’s
strength was evidently exhausted, and the story must be pronounced a
failure. The last works to appear were “The Dolliver Romance” (1876)
and “Doctor Grimshaw’s Secret,” which are fragmentary and ineffective
studies of the same theme as “Septimius Felton.” Their failure, in all
probability, was due not only to the waning of Hawthorne’s powers but
also to the difficulties attending the theme itself.

Hawthorne was one of the shyest of men. Kenyon, in “The Marble Faun,”
says: “Between man and man there is always an insuperable gulf”; such a
gulf at any rate separated Kenyon’s creator from the rest of mankind.
Always fond of solitude, he lived in a world of his own, apart from
humankind; longing at times for more familiar converse with men, but
never quite successful in establishing cordial relations (outside of
his own family) with any but a few friends. Possessed of an exquisitely
sensitive nature, he made no effort to conceal the pleasure which
honest praise afforded him; and he was easily rebuffed by the coolness
of his public. Perhaps the bane of his life was self-distrust. Each
of his books when first written seemed to him well-nigh worthless.
James T. Fields has told of the difficulty with which he extracted
from Hawthorne the first manuscript of “The Scarlet Letter.” “Thus
it is with winged horses,” says Hawthorne in “The Chimæra,” “and
with such wild and solitary creatures. If you can catch and overcome
them, it is the surest way to win their love.” Such was the devotion
with which Hawthorne repaid those who had “captured” him that their
confident encouragement greatly strengthened and inspired him. As
might be supposed, however, with the world at large he was lacking in
sympathy. His point of view was fixed; he could not see the world with
the eyes of another. This helps to account for the effect of harshness
and asperity which his chapter on “The Custom House” in “The Scarlet
Letter” had upon the people of Salem whom he there described; and
for the similar effect of the descriptions of English life in “Our
Old Home” upon the English people in general. As Professor Woodberry
remarks, too, he had “the critical spirit which is a New England
trait, and with this went its natural attendant, the habit of speaking
his mind.” He had, moreover, deeply rooted prejudices and a natural
hatred of shams. He disliked literary friendships. While in England,
for example, he remained a stranger to the brilliant literary set
in London where he might have been warmly welcomed. He saw Tennyson
once in Manchester, but made no effort to meet the poet. Another of
his aversions concerned the manifestations of spiritualism--rappings,
tipping of tables, spirit writing, and the like; he was a good hater of
shams in general.

To his family, Hawthorne was always deeply devoted. When his
mother died, although there had always been “a sort of coldness of
intercourse” between them, he spoke of the time as the darkest hour
he had ever lived through. His wife worshipped him, and the attitude
of his children is sufficiently indicated by the words of his son
Julian: “In my thought of him he has a quality not to be described;
that is associated with the early impressions which make the name of
home beautiful; with a child’s delight in the glory of nature; with a
boy’s aspirations towards a pure and generous career; with intimate
conceptions of truth, bravery, and simplicity.”

So much for the man; what now, shall be said of the artist? In the
first place, as he was the peculiar product of New England Puritanism,
so his genius was in a sense confined to setting forth New England and
the problems of New England Calvinism. Even when he lays the scene of
his tale in Rome, there is the same interest in the working out of the
consequences of sin, and part of the characters are Americans living
in the Eternal City. Hawthorne still stands alone in having given
supreme literary expression to that earnest and virile if narrow and at
times misguided life of early New England; its pathos, its tragedy, its
legacy to modern times. Then it must be observed that in doing this he
places himself in the ranks of the great masters in deducing from the
individual the general experience; from the particular the universal
moral life. In his earlier years he delighted in allegory, of which the
“Tales” and the “Mosses” are full; and he was always fond of symbolism.
Lady Eleanore’s mantle, for example, is a symbol of pride; the scarlet
letter is a symbol of sin; no less is Donatello a symbol, a type of
universal innocence tasting of the knowledge of good and evil--the
missing link, as it were, in the evolution of moral instincts.
Hawthorne constantly describes the unseen in terms of the seen, the
spiritual world by means of the every day, material world.

The “Tales” have been most elaborately characterised by Professor
Woodberry in his admirable biography.[7] Many of them are intrinsically
slight--descriptions of the common events of daily life, always
somewhat moralised, and to an increasing extent as the author grew
older. In some the fancy has free rein, as in “The Seven Vagabonds”
and “The Great Stone Face.” In “Tales of the Province House” and
many others Hawthorne skilfully wove threads of colonial history
with the rich woof of his imagination to produce a splendid romantic
pageant. Sometimes he treats of individuals, as in “David Swan” and
“Rappaccini’s Daughter”; often he studies the group, or the crowd,
as in the “The Celestial Railroad,” “The Christmas Banquet,” “The
Procession of Life.” In all, he studies the moral life and tries to
understand the significance of some phase of universal human experience.

“The Scarlet Letter” has been called by Mr. James “the most
distinctive piece of prose fiction that was to spring from American
soil.” It is a grim tragedy, in which the consequences of sin are
depicted with a simplicity, a steady movement, and a relentlessness
characteristic of the tragedies of Euripides. Hester Prynne and Arthur
Dimmesdale living agonised lives which moved steadily towards the day
of expiatory shame; Roger Chilingworth, outwardly the wise, benevolent
physician, inwardly the ghastly demon gloating over his victim--these
figures indeed move us to pity and fear, and give us a new sense of the
depth and mystery of our human life, which no man liveth to himself
alone, but which must be interpreted as the expression and result of
racial upstriving through myriads of years. “The Scarlet Letter” is
indeed, as Mr. W. C. Brownell says,[8] the Puritan “Faust”; and many
will doubtless agree with him in calling it “our one prose masterpiece.”

In “The House of the Seven Gables,” Hawthorne returns to the present
and studies the workings of heredity. Less gloomy than the earlier
story, this one is still sombre and in part removed from the world
of objective reality. Real enough, to be sure, are the commonplace
features of daily life at the Seven Gables, the pinched features and
heroic heart of Hepzibah, and the homely philosophising of Uncle
Venner; but Jaffrey and Clifford Pyncheon are at best shadowy and
unreal. Holgrave, too, belongs to a type which, common enough in the
days of Brook Farm Fourierism, has now well-nigh passed away. Phœbe
Pyncheon is one of the most delicate and exquisite of all Hawthorne’s
portraits; as Dr. Holmes wrote to the author, “the flavour of the
sweet-fern and the bayberry are not truer to the soil than the native
sweetness of our little Phœbe.” It is interesting to note that when the
book appeared Hawthorne wrote to his friend Horatio Bridge:

  “The House of the Seven Gables,” in my opinion, is better than
  “The Scarlet Letter”; but I should not wonder if I had refined upon
  the principal character a little too much for popular appreciation,
  nor if the romance of the book should be somewhat at odds with the
  humble and familiar scenery in which I invest it. But I feel that
  portions of it are as good as anything I can hope to write.

More able critics than one have pronounced “The Blithedale Romance”
the most perfect of Hawthorne’s stories. Although he wrote to George
William Curtis that the story had essentially nothing to do with Brook
Farm, it is certain that the community formed more than a background
for the story, and furnished some of its incidents and the traits
of some of the characters. Thus the romance may be said to approach
more closely to real life than any other of the greater works. The
characters are drawn with great distinctness of outline: Hollingsworth
the reformer, earnest, stern, engrossed in his reform undertaking to
the point of selfishness; Miles Coverdale, the dreamer, who bears the
ear-marks of his artist creator, always a spectator of, rather than a
participant in, the life at Blithedale; Priscilla, the timid maid who
seemed to have dropped down from the clouds and sought protection in
this retreat; Zenobia with her splendid beauty, her refinement, her
ardour, her despair when disillusionment comes--all these are highly
individualised. It has been complained, and with justice, that neither
Zenobia nor Priscilla is a typical New England girl; but something may
perhaps be conceded to the romantic atmosphere of the tale; the author
did not promise a transcript from prosaic real life. The plot halts now
and then, and does not move steadily and convincingly to its climax.
The inserted story of “The Veiled Lady” does not materially further
the plot. Yet as a whole the romance is a searching and remarkable
presentment of Hawthorne’s views of reform. He was never a reformer;
he distrusted the excess of zeal, the narrowness of vision too often
characteristic of the more ardent reformers of his day; and with great
skill he has here set forth the illusory hopes, the discouragement, the
sense of impotence and defeat that must attend the outcome of radical
schemes for human improvement which are not grounded on sound and wide
knowledge of man’s nature.

Probably the most popular, as it was the most ambitious, of all the
romances, has been “The Marble Faun.” With consummate skill the author
maintains the mystery necessary for the romantic atmosphere and at the
same time draws in clear outlines the four characters in the little
drama--this miniature world-tragedy, this “story of the fall of man
repeated,” as Miriam says. As Mr. Lathrop has pointed out, moreover,
with the main theme, itself of abiding interest, is joined a study of
the psychology of Beatrice Cenci’s story; but, without stopping where
Shelley stopped, Hawthorne went on to show how Miriam and Donatello
might “work out their purification.” Thus while the romance may, as
one critic avers, “begin in mystery and end in mist,” the end is
nevertheless full of hope.

Hawthorne has never been, and doubtless never will be, a popular
novelist. His stories are for the few, the thoughtful readers who
are willing to read old favourites over and over again. But there
will always be such persons, haply in increasing numbers; and for
them Hawthorne will continue to be a unique personality, the “high
untrammelled thinker,” the interpreter of spiritual mysteries.

_Charles Sealsfield._--Although not mentioned by most historians
of American literature, the Austrian novelist Carl Postl (“Charles
Sealsfield,” 1793-1864) deserves to be recalled here from the fact
that his works deal chiefly with American life and in their English
form enjoyed considerable popularity in America. Born in Poppitz,
Moravia, he became at first a priest of the order of the Kreuzherren
von Pöltenberg; but, having broken with Catholic dogma, he fled from
the cloister and arrived in New York in 1823 as Charles Sealsfield.
He remained in America until 1832, travelling extensively and making
close studies of life and character. His first novel, “Tokeah, or The
White Rose; an Indian Tale” (Philadelphia, 1828), was republished
at Zurich in 1833 as “Der Legitime und die Republikaner”; while
never a popular story in America, it seems, as Professor Faust has
discovered,[9] to have furnished Mrs. Jackson with some hints for
her “Ramona” and Charles F. Hoffman with a _motif_ for his “Vigil of
Faith.” After his return to Europe Sealsfield published, among other
things, “Transatlantische Reiseskizzen” (1833), translated as “Life
in the New World, or Sketches of American Society” (1844), which
originally appeared in _The New York Mirror_ in 1827-8 and which
furnished Simms with some scenes for “Guy Rivers”; “Nathan der Squatter
Regulator” (1837), translated as “Life in Texas” (1845); “Der Virey und
die Aristokraten, oder Mexiko im Jahre 1812” (1834); “Morton, oder Die
grosse Tour” (1835); “Das Cajütenbuch, oder Nationale Charakteristiken”
(1841), translated as “The Cabin Book” (1844), which furnished Mayne
Reid with the last ten chapters of his “Wild Life” without change; and
“Süden und Norden” (1842-3), translated as “North and South, or Scenes
and Adventures in Mexico” (1844). In his vigorous delineations of the
crude American life of the twenties and thirties, Sealsfield exhibited
great enthusiasm, a wide range of observation which overlooked nothing
and which measured impartially, and a comprehension of the true
inwardness of our young institutions such as no native American of his
day possessed. If his exaggerating brush failed of the touch of an
artist, he created some characters, such as Morton and Nathan Strong,
who deserve immortality as typical Americans, and described with
inimitable fidelity “the dauntless squatter and sturdy pioneer, the
Southern planter and patriarchal slave-holder, the grasping millionaire
and his emissaries, the New York dandy and the society belle, the
taciturn Yankee sea-captain and the hot-blooded Kentuckian, the
utilitarian alcalde and the reformed desperado.”

_William Leggett_ (1802-39), after spending some time at Georgetown
College, accompanied his family in 1819 to make a settlement on the
prairies of Illinois. He spent the years 1822-26 as a midshipman in
the navy. His experiences of pioneer and sea life were graphically
portrayed in “The Rifle,” published in 1828 in _The Atlantic Souvenir_,
and in “Tales by a Country Schoolmaster” (1835). For the remainder of
his life he was engaged in journalism, from 1829 till 1836 as one of
the editors of _The Evening Post_.

_Southern Novelists._--Thus far we have considered no native Southern
writer of fiction. The novel ripened late in the South; indeed, only
one writer of fiction of the first rank was produced by the South
before the Civil War. Yet in the varied and picturesque life of the
aristocratic planters, the frontiersmen, the “poor whites,” and the
negroes there were rich materials for the artist and the story-teller,
who in due time began to avail themselves of their opportunity. “The
Valley of the Shenandoah” (1824) by George Tucker (1775-1861), though
reprinted in England and translated into German, possesses slight
worth, and little more can be said of his “Voyage to the Moon” (1827),
a satirical romance; yet these works gave promise of better things from
the South. William A. Carruthers (1806-72), a voluminous contributor
to magazines, wrote two novels, “The Cavaliers of Virginia” (1832)
and “The Knights of the Horseshoe” (1845), which, in spite of serious
defects, deal with colonial days in Virginia in a genial, vigorous, and
unhackneyed manner.

“Davy” Crockett (1786-1836), crude, unlettered hunter, backwoodsman,
and Congressman, published, in his “Autobiography” (1834), a collection
of thrilling narratives of adventure remarkable for directness,
vividness, and virility. The “Georgia Scenes, Characters, and
Incidents” (1835) of Augustus B. Longstreet (1790-1870), who was for
many years a college president, revealed the curious traits of the
poor whites or “Crackers” of Georgia. “The Partisan Leader” (1836) by
Nathaniel Beverley Tucker (1784-1851) dealt with the encroachments of
the Federal Government upon the rights of the States, and prophesied
with startling and accurate logic the terrible disruption which
occurred a quarter of a century later. If artistically imperfect, it
is a stirring tale, intense in its action, and of heroic strain. But
it can scarcely be said that any of these works now survive. They are
mainly important as illustrating the evolution of Southern fiction.
With Kennedy and Simms, however, the South takes a high place in the
fiction of America.

_John Pendleton Kennedy._--For John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870),
literature was never more than a pastime, a fact much to be regretted.
Kennedy belonged to a prominent and wealthy family. He was born in
Baltimore, was graduated from Baltimore College in 1812, and studied
law. Entering political life, he employed his pen effectively in the
defence of his political principles, but occasionally amused himself
with ventures in lighter forms of literature. His first work of
importance, “Swallow Barn” (1832), was distinctly declared not to be a
novel; and indeed the action is of slight importance. His main purpose
in writing it was to give, in connection with a slender plot, a picture
of manners and customs in Virginia toward the end of the eighteenth
century. Here is no subtle characterisation; the persons of the
narrative are drawn broadly and naturally and the story moves easily,
if a little slowly, to its end. The local scenery and institutions are
delineated with the utmost fidelity. Frank Meriwether, the prosperous
country gentleman and magistrate, has been called a Virginia Sir Roger
de Coverley; and there is throughout observed the same quiet good
humour, the same cheerful atmosphere, the same genial optimism that
one finds in the pages of Addison. “Horse-Shoe Robinson, a Tale of
the Tory Ascendency” (1835), was a story of early Tory days in South
Carolina, and is now generally considered the best novel written in
the South before the Civil War. The action centres about the battle of
King’s Mountain (1780), which is vividly and accurately described. The
intrepid valour of the backwoods patriot, the bitterness and horror
of civil war, the relieving and characteristic humour of primitive
frontier life, are well portrayed. The blacksmith Galbraith Robinson
is a typical American, worthy to rank with Cooper’s Leatherstocking,
and possibly truer to nature than Cooper’s more famous creation.
In 1838 appeared Kennedy’s third novel, “Rob of the Bowl: a Legend
of St. Inigoes,” a story of Colonial Maryland and the struggles of
the Catholic settlers, with which are interwoven traditions of the
piratical “Brethren of the Coast.” Nor must we fail to mention the
humorous chronicle entitled “Quodlibet: Containing some Annals thereof,
by Solomon Secondthought, Schoolmaster” (1840), in which are described
the vagaries and absurdities of an early Presidential election. Had
Kennedy made literature the serious business of life he would have won
more lasting fame. As it is, he deserves to be more widely read than he

_William Gilmore Simms._--One of the most prolific of American
novelists was William Gilmore Simms. Born in Charleston, South
Carolina, April 17, 1806, he was early left, by the death of his
mother and the removal of his father to Tennessee, to the care of
his grandmother, from whom he learned many a weird tale of peril and
adventure. From the poor schools of his time he gained little, though
he became an omnivorous reader. Apprenticed to a druggist, at eighteen
he turned to the study of law. A long visit to his father in the
South-west gave him a good opportunity to study the primitive life
of the backwoodsmen, a life which he afterward described inimitably.
At twenty he married and in another year he was admitted to the bar.
Successful from the first, he resolutely turned, however, from the
practice of law to a literary life. He had become well known as a poet
when his first prose tale, “Martin Faber, the Story of a Criminal,”
appeared in 1833, revealing the influence of William Godwin and
Brockden Brown, but also independent skill in the construction of an
interesting narrative. In “Guy Rivers” (1834), a description of Georgia
in the turbulent days of the gold fever, Simms began a series of border
romances which, though marred by a slipshod style and by roughness
of construction, are nevertheless in the main readable on account of
the rapidity and energy of the narrative. In “The Yemassee” (1835), a
story of the strife between South Carolina and the Indians in 1715,
Simms is perhaps at his best, and his stirring narrative strongly
reminds one of, though it does not rival, the work of Cooper. Then
came a trilogy, “The Partisan” (1835), “Mellichampe: a Legend of the
Santee” (1836), and “Katharine Walton, or The Rebel of Dorchester”
(1851), in which he portrays every phase of social life in Charleston
during the Revolutionary War, and delineates the military careers of
Marion, Pickens, Moultrie, Sumter, and Hayne. Between 1836 and 1859 he
published some twenty-five other novels and stories, generally in two
volumes each, the best of which are “The Kinsmen” (1841), afterwards
known as “The Scout,” (1854), “The Sword and the Distaff,” now known
as “Woodcraft” (1852), “The Forayers, or The Raid of the Dog-Days”
(1855), its sequel, “Eutaw” (1856), and “The Cassique of Kiawah”
(1859). He also wrote numerous short stories for various periodicals;
one of these, “Grayling, or Murder Will Out,” published in _The Gift_
for 1842, was pronounced by Poe the best ghost story he had ever read.
A collection of thirteen of Simms’ best stories was published in
1845-46 under the title of “The Wigwam and the Cabin.” Notwithstanding
his immense popularity before the Civil War, Simms is now well-nigh
forgotten. Although a conscientious workman, he wrote much too rapidly
to produce permanent literature, and his faulty style and his excessive
fondness for portraying in detail scenes of carnage and crime strongly
repel the reader of to-day. After the Civil War, which Simms did much
to bring on and from which he suffered severe losses, his popularity
rapidly waned, and he tried in vain to make good his losses. He died
in his native city on June 11, 1870, having composed this epitaph
for himself: “Here lies one who, after a reasonably long life,
distinguished chiefly by unceasing labours, has left all his better
works undone.”

His remarkable achievement in the pioneer days of American letters,
on the whole, entitles him to be remembered with gratitude; and the
verdict of Poe, who ranked Simms, as a novelist, just below Cooper and
Brockden Brown, has not been impugned.[11]

_Edgar Allan Poe._--No American writer is more difficult to judge
than Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49), whether as a man or as a writer; and
perhaps no other writer has received more attention from critics,
not only in America but also in Europe. Poe was born in Boston of
Southern parents, in the year which saw the birth of Tennyson, Darwin,
Gladstone, and Holmes. His mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was an
actress, who died in 1811 of consumption; his father, David Poe, Jr.,
for a time a strolling player, was a man of little force; tradition
represents him as dying young, a victim of consumption and alcoholism.
Adopted after his mother’s death by John Allan of Richmond, Virginia,
the boy Edgar Poe was wondered at and spoiled by his foster-parents,
who were people of means and position. When they went abroad in 1815,
Poe was entered at the Manor House School, Stoke Newington, near
London; here he remained five years, imbibing the influences of a
half-rural scene whose ancient buildings and historical associations
have since been swallowed up by the metropolis. From 1820 to 1825 he
was at school in Richmond. As a child, Poe was beautiful and clever; as
a youth he was superior rather than abnormal. He learned quickly though
not accurately; for the inaccuracy his teachers were in part to blame.
He was lithe, swift of foot, an excellent swimmer, and, though proud
and self-centred, could play the leader among his fellows. By the time
he was ready for college, he showed the effects of indulgence on the
part of the Allans, being imperious and wilful, unduly sensitive as to
his state of orphanage, and squandering his too abundant pocket-money.
During his brief residence at the University of Virginia (1826), Poe
maintained high scholarship in Latin and French, but lived the life
of his companions, drinking (though apparently not to excess) and
incurring gambling debts which his guardian repudiated. Set to work
in the counting-room of Mr. Allan, the young man rebelled and ran
away to Boston, probably under an assumed name, and without capital
save a sheaf of immature poems. He soon enlisted as a private in the
army, made his peace with his guardian, and was sent to West Point.
Here again he proved a clever student; but, purposely neglecting the
routine, in 1831 he was discharged.

Obliged henceforth to depend on his own resources, Poe now approached
almost to the point of starvation, when by his “Manuscript Found in
a Bottle” (1833) he gained a prize of one hundred dollars offered by
the Baltimore _Saturday Visiter_, and through John P. Kennedy, whom
Poe called “the first true friend I ever had,” obtained temporary
relief for his wants and help in getting literary work. He now became a
contributor to, and soon the literary editor of, _The Southern Literary
Messenger_. His numerous stories and criticisms did much to make the
magazine successful and famous. In 1836 Poe married his beautiful
cousin Virginia Clemm, who lacked three months of being fourteen years
of age; but family ties could not prevent his morally weak nature from
occasional indulgence in drugs and intoxicants, and his irregularities
in January, 1837, brought about his dismissal from the editorial chair
of the _Messenger_, for which, however, he continued to write. For a
time the Poes now lived in New York, practically supported by Mrs.
Clemm, who conducted a boarding-house. Here he completed and published
his longest story, “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym” (1838), a
tale of an Antarctic cruise as far south as the 84th parallel, based
on Benjamin Morell’s “Narrative of Four Voyages to the South Seas and
Pacific” (1832) with frequent dashes of Coleridge’s “Ancient Mariner,”
but full of such situations of blood-curdling horror and such highly
imaginative landscape-painting as only the genius of Poe could produce.
The years 1838-44 Poe spent in Philadelphia. In 1839 he collected
and published his “Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque.” He
wrote constantly for _Graham’s Magazine_, of which he was editor from
1840 till 1843; critiques, essays, and tales flowed from his pen. In
imaginative story-telling, this was the period of his best work. His
occasional lapses into intoxication are partly explained by the fits
of insanity brought on by anxiety over the precarious condition of
his wife, who in 1841 ruptured a blood-vessel while singing and who
hovered between life and death for six years. The year 1844 found him
back in New York, associated first with N. P. Willis on _The Evening
Mirror_ and later with Charles F. Briggs on _The Broadway Journal_.
The publication of “The Raven” in the _Mirror_ (January 29, 1845)
and of his “Tales” (1845) greatly increased his reputation; but with
curious and fatal perversity he proceeded to make enemies by trying to
palm off upon the Boston Lyceum (October 16, 1845) a juvenile poem,
“Al Aaraaf,” as a new work and by sharply castigating his literary
contemporaries in “The Literati of New York.” The next year he removed
his family to Fordham, a suburb of New York. Here his young wife died
in 1847, of consumption; and he never really recovered from the shock.
He conceived various literary enterprises; but he had become virtually
a physical and moral wreck, unable to work except at long intervals.
Toward the end of 1848 he proposed marriage to Mrs. Sarah Helen
Whitman, a Providence poet, and was accepted; but the match was broken
off in consequence of Poe’s drinking to excess. He now determined
to go South to lecture and procure funds with which to publish a
magazine to be called _The Stylus_. At Philadelphia he had an attack of
delirium tremens. Recovering, he went on to Richmond, where he spent
the summer of 1849. He proposed marriage to an old flame, Mrs. Sarah
Elmira Shelton, then a widow, who gave him some encouragement. About
this time he signed a pledge to abstain from all intoxicating drinks,
and made a new start in life. A lecture at the Exchange Hotel brought
him some $1500; and with this in his pocket he started for New York to
close up some business and take Mrs. Clemm back with him; but stopping
in Baltimore _en route_ he was induced to drink some wine, went on
a debauch, and a few days later (October 7th) died in a hospital of
brain fever. There is ground for believing that he had been drugged by
political toughs on election day (October 3d) and carried to various
polls to vote for the Whig candidates.

Such was the pathetic and tragic career of one of the most brilliant
of American literary men. Few lives have been the subjects of so much
controversy. In estimating his character, justice must be tempered
with mercy; and this is the easier now that it is seen that, during at
least the latter part of his life, his mental condition was abnormal if
not pathological.[12] He inherited tendencies which he was unable to
control, and with which his environment wholly unfitted him to cope.
When sober and sane, he was a quiet, well-bred, and refined gentleman,
who could talk fascinatingly and in whom women found “a peculiar and
irresistible charm”; he was capable, moreover, of working hard and
efficiently. When under the influence of opium or intoxicating liquors,
he was a wholly different man, with whom, fortunately, we are not here
concerned. With the two exceptions of his wife and mother-in-law,
he formed no close and lasting attachments. He was always deeply
self-centred and found it impossible to enter sympathetically into
the lives, sorrows, and aspirations of others. Thus his sensitive
temperament more and more withdrew into itself and found its kindred in
the phantasms of his powerful imagination.

Poe’s genius is probably best expressed in his tales. They are not
bulky in extent; in the Putnam edition they fill five octavo volumes.
Many of them are marred by journalistic looseness and mannerisms--too
much use of the parenthesis, the too constant recurrence of favourite
words and phrases. Occasionally he misses good opportunities for
telling dramatic effects and contrasts; and in general it may be
admitted that the element of human passion, “save in its minor chords
of sorrow and despair,” is notably absent from his works. A passionate
lover himself, his artistic genius was not concerned with the ordinary
love-story. His lack of a sense of humour, too, has been remarked.
His attempts to be humorous cannot be pronounced successful. Finally,
some of his tales, “Arthur Gordon Pym” for example, contain matter so
repulsive that the wonder is that any person could endure reading them,
much less writing them.

Yet the fact remains that on a large number of these tales is
the unmistakable stamp of genius. It may be well to recall the
classification of them adopted by Messrs. Stedman and Woodberry. We
have first the “Romances of Death,” of which the most famous are “The
Fall of the House of Usher,” “Ligeia,” and “Eleonora”; then come the
“Old World Romances,” of which “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The
Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Pit and the Pendulum” are probably most
read. In the second volume we find three groups, “Tales of Conscience,
Natural Beauty, and Pseudo-Science,” the last including his “MS.
Found in a Bottle” and “Hans Pfaall.” In the third are “Tales of
Ratiocination,” including the famous “Gold-Bug,” the harrowing “Murders
in the Rue Morgue,” and the perfect detective story “The Purloined
Letter”; and “Tales of Illusion,” including the horrible “Oblong Box.”
Then come the “Extravaganzas and Caprices” and lastly the two “Tales
of Adventure and Exploration,” namely, “Arthur Gordon Pym” and “Julius
Rodman.” It will be evident that Poe achieved success in two markedly
distinct classes of tales: those in which a purely intellectual puzzle
is worked out, and those in which a definite emotional effect is
produced. The “Tales of Ratiocination” were the forerunners of a long
line of “detective stories”--by Gaboriau, De Boisgobey, Wilkie Collins,
Conan Doyle, and others,--in none of which does one find a keener
analytical mind than that of Monsieur Dupin. “The Gold-Bug” undoubtedly
suggested to Stevenson some features of “Treasure Island.” Likewise
in such stories as “Hans Pfaall,” Poe was the pioneer in compounding
flights of imagination with bits of popular science, being followed by
Jules Verne and others of his class. Of the tales charged with emotion,
the best are probably the three “Romances of Death” mentioned above.
In these, it has been said, we see the highest reach of the romantic
element in Poe’s genius. The lady Ligeia is pure spirit, without human
qualities, the maiden of a dream. The framework of the tale is slight;
it is merely a prose-rhapsody on the theme expressed in the words of
old Glanvill, “Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death
utterly, save only through the weakness of his own feeble will.” This
theme, the supremacy of mind over matter, was one over which Poe busied
himself much; but to scientific thought on the subject he contributed
little of value. It has been pointed out, however, that Poe was the
first to write this sort of tale, the “psychical story,” in which
Stevenson and others later outdid him. He was a subtle psychologist of
certain moods and qualities, and understood the fiercer passions of
terror and remorse as have few other men; of this, “William Wilson”
furnishes abundant proof. But his range is limited, and most readers,
tired, like the Lady of Shalott, of shadows, soon long to change his
world of mystery and madness and death for the real world of sane and
kindly, if commonplace, men and women.

According to the old maxim, however, we must take the artist for what
he is. Poe chose his material and his setting as his artistic genius
guided him; that he made skilful use of this material there can be
little doubt. Within his narrow range, he is absolute master. His
intensity, his eloquence, his skill in the choice and repetition of
words force the reader to yield to the spell and believe for the moment
even in the impossible. His limitations have been well set forth by
Professor Woodberry:

  Being gifted with the dreaming instinct, the myth-making faculty,
  the allegorising power, and with no other poetic element of high
  genius, he exercised his art in a region of vague feeling, symbolic
  ideas, and fantastic imagery, and wrought his spell largely through
  sensuous effects of colour, sound, and gloom, heightened by lurking
  but unshaped suggestions of mysterious meanings.

Symbolism is indeed evident throughout his imaginative works; in “The
Black Cat,” for example, remorse is indicated by the cat’s flaming
eye; in “William Wilson,” a guilty conscience is the man’s double. Of
ornamentation there is plenty; Poe revelled in a wealth of beautiful
images of Oriental and Gothic splendour.

In some of his tales, Poe reveals a certain kinship with Hawthorne.
Both are fond of dwelling in a remote world. Both depict states of the
soul; brief experiences; evanescent dreams. But Hawthorne’s is always
a moral world; Poe’s, while never immoral, is prevailingly unmoral. In
Hawthorne’s tales we are never long forgetful of the Puritan heritage
of conscience; Poe’s indifference to moral issues is a not surprising
result of his cavalier temperament. Both writers undoubtedly owe
something to the weird imagination of Ernst Hoffmann (1776-1822); Poe
also continues the literary tradition of Mrs. Radcliffe, “Monk” Lewis,
and the “Tales of Terror.” Comparison with these writers suggests
two other facts: first, that Poe was not a novelist, but a writer of
short stories; he knew little about ordinary life, and nothing of
human character, save through study of his own; he preferred a small
canvas whereon his picture should be painted with Pre-Raphaelite
fidelity and elaborate pains, and was unable or unwilling to undertake
a work on the scale of what we now call novels; secondly, that he was
always a romancer, with a bias for medievalism as pronounced as if
his characters wore armour and his pages were full of tournaments and

If Poe has often been without honour in his own country and in England,
he has been enthusiastically received on the Continent. In France he
early became known through the magnificent translation of Charles
Baudelaire, and his influence has never waned.[13] In Spain, Italy,
and Germany he continues to be widely read and is generally regarded as
the foremost man of letters hitherto produced by America. Time, that
relentless and perverse critic, has given him a place of honour among
the makers of world-literature, and his fame is secure.

=Some Minor Writers.=--At the novel-writing contemporaries of
Kennedy, Simms, and Poe we can take but a passing glance. James
Lawson (1799-1880), a Scotchman who, graduating from the University
of Glasgow, came to America in 1815 and engaged in the mercantile and
insurance business, is remembered for his “Tales and Sketches by a
Cosmopolite” (1830), mainly relating to Scottish domestic life and
romance. He was a friend of Edwin Forrest and Gilmore Simms. Richard
Penn Smith (1799-1854) was the author of “The Forsaken” (1831), a novel
of the American Revolution still worth reading. Henry William Herbert
(1807-58), eldest son of the Rev. William Herbert, dean of Manchester,
was graduated from the University of Cambridge with distinction in
1829 and in 1830 came to America, engaging in teaching Greek and
writing for magazines. In 1834 he published a historical novel, “The
Brothers, a Tale of the Fronde,” which he had begun in _The American
Monthly Magazine_; following it up with “Cromwell” (1837), “Marmaduke
Wyvil” (1843), and “The Roman Traitor” (1848), a romance founded on
the conspiracy of Catiline. He also wrote many tales and sketches of
romantic incidents in European history. As a writer on sports, under
the name of “Frank Forester,” he became a popular authority, and may
be said to have been the first writer who introduced field sports into
American fiction.

Robert Montgomery Bird (1805-54), a native of Delaware, began his
literary career by writing tragedies; one of these, “The Gladiator,”
was frequently played by Edwin Forrest. His first two novels, “Calavar”
(1834) and “The Infidel” (1835), were descriptions of life in Mexico
during the Spanish conquest; while “Nick of the Woods, or The
Jibbenainosay” (1837), powerfully portrayed the thirst for vengeance
aroused in American backwoodsmen, and thus sharply contrasted the
real Indians with the somewhat idealised types in Cooper’s stories.
He also wrote “Sheppard Lee” (1836), “The Hawks of Hawk Hollow”
(1835), and “The Adventures of Robin Day” (1839), a romantic novel
of adventure. Although conscientious, he was not a skillful writer,
and his extravagant and exciting tales are no longer read. Theodore
Sedgwick Fay (1807-98), a New York lawyer and journalist, was the
author of “Norman Leslie” (1835), a somewhat tame and highly moralised
picture of life in New York City at the beginning of the century; its
poverty of artistic merit excited the wrath of Poe, who helped to
consign it to a merciful oblivion. Fay also wrote two novels directed
against the practice of duelling: “The Countess Ida” (1840), the scene
of which is laid in Europe, and “Hoboken, a Romance of New York”
(1843), the action of which takes place in a locality notorious for the
duels fought there. In 1835 appeared “Grace Seymour” by Hannah F. Lee
(1780-1865), a story for the young, and, like the stories of Fay, with
a moral purpose. In “Clinton Bradshaw” (1835), Frederick William Thomas
(1811-66) painted with moderate success the social life of New York
in the early years of the century. Like Fay, however, Thomas was too
easily led from the path of artistic virtue by his desire to improve
the minds of his readers. Thomas also wrote “East and West” (1836),
in which he ably described a Mississippi steamboat race, and “Howard
Pinckney” (1840), a novel of contemporary life in which both plot and
character are handled not without skill.

_Daniel Pierce Thompson._--The moral and educational improvement of
the reader is likewise an evident purpose in the work of Daniel Pierce
Thompson (1793-1868), a Vermont jurist, whose “May Martin, or The
Money-Digger” appeared in 1835. His most famous work, which is still
widely read, was “The Green Mountain Boys, a Romance of the Revolution”
(1840), in which are described the early methods of fighting the
Indians. Other stories of New England life from his pen were “Locke
Amsden, or The Schoolmaster” (1845), in which he evidently drew upon
his own experience, “Lucy Hosmer” (1848), “The Rangers, or The Tory’s
Daughter” (1851), a story dealing with the Revolutionary campaigns of
1777 in Vermont, “Tales of the Green Mountains” (1852), “Gaut Gurley,
or The Trappers of Lake Umbagog” (1857), and “The Doomed Chief” (1860).

_Hall_, _Hildreth_, _Hoffman_.--While Thompson was delineating Vermont
life, James Hall (1793-1868) wrote of the then far West. Born in
Philadelphia, Hall saw service in the War of 1812, and in 1820 went
to Illinois and engaged in law and newspaper work. His “Sketches of
History, Life, and Manners in the West” (1835) and several later
volumes of tales are characterised by a natural and easy style, much
skill in narrative, and general fidelity to detail. The distinction
of writing the first of the army of anti-slavery novels belongs
to the historian Richard Hildreth (1807-65). “Archy Moore” (1837)
was republished in England, being reviewed by _The Spectator_ and
other papers. A rather extravagant narrative, it purports to be the
autobiography of a Virginia slave during the War of 1812. A second
edition with a continuation was published in 1852 as “The White Slave.”
Charles Fenno Hoffman (1806-84), after studying at Columbia College
and preparing for the bar, practised law for three years in New York,
then abandoned it for journalism and literature. He was the founder of
_The Knickerbocker Magazine_, associated later, for many years, with
the name of its editor, Lewis Gaylord Clark, and was connected with
various other periodicals. His two novels, “Greyslaer” (1840), founded
on the celebrated Beauchamp murder case in Kentucky,--a novel of
intense interest which reminds some readers of Cooper,--and “Vanderlyn”
(published serially in _The American Monthly Magazine_ in 1837), like
his other writings, reflect a generous and refined character. His
promising career was cut short in 1849 by insanity.

_William Ware._--In March, 1836, there appeared in _The Knickerbocker
Magazine_ the first of a series of “Letters from Palmyra,” which
aroused much interest. They purported to be written by a young Roman
noble who visited Palmyra in the reign of Zenobia. They vividly
presented the everyday life of the Roman Empire and at once gave their
author high rank as a classical scholar. William Ware (1797-1852)
graduated from Harvard College in 1816 and became a Unitarian
clergyman; for some years he edited _The Christian Examiner_. The
“Letters from Palmyra” were published in book form in 1837; the book
is now called “Zenobia,” from the title of the English reprint. It was
followed in 1838 by a sequel, “Probus,” in which the last persecution
of Roman Christians is ably and energetically described. The title
of this book was afterward changed to “Aurelian.” His third novel,
“Julian, or Scenes in Judea” (1841), narrated many episodes in the life
of Jesus of Nazareth, the crucifixion forming a powerful climax to the

_Mathews and Briggs._--A highly imaginative and somewhat absurd romance
entitled “Behemoth, a Legend of the Mound-Builders” (1839) was the work
of Cornelius Mathews (1817-89), a New York dramatist and magazine
writer. His “Career of Puffer Hopkins” (1841) set forth some phases of
contemporary political life; it first appeared serially in _Arcturus_,
which Mathews edited in 1840-42. Another novel of his was “Moneypenny,
or The Heart of the World” (1850), a story of city and country life.
All of Mathews’ stories, however, have a journalistic flavour. In the
same year with Mathews, Charles Frederick Briggs (1840-77), a New York
journalist, entered the ranks of the novelists with his “Adventures of
Harry Franco, a Tale of the Great Panic” (1839), following it with “The
Haunted Merchant” (1843) and “The Trippings of Tom Pepper” (1847). All
of his novels have a certain value as humorous pictures of New York
City life; through them runs a vein of amusing satire. Briggs was later
the first editor of _Putnam’s Monthly_.

_Henry W. Longfellow._--It was in 1839 also that Longfellow published
his once popular “Hyperion, a Romance,” in which, in connection with
a pathetic love story, he mainly sought, in the style of Richter, to
convey his romantic impressions of the life and traditions of the
Old World. The volume is charged, if not surcharged, with sentiment.
Paul Flemming’s enthusiasm for the quaint and picturesque in European
lore and scenery takes us back to the days when Continental Europe
was for Americans a land of romance, and when visits to the Old World
were still not accomplished without difficulty and had not lost their
novelty. Of a wholly different texture is the only other prose tale
written by Longfellow, “Kavanagh, a Tale,” which appeared in 1849 and
which probably suffered by coming so near the romantic and fascinating
“Evangeline.” It is a bookish and uneventful story of New England
life; Hawthorne said of it, “Nobody but yourself would dare to write
so quiet a book.” Yet it is written in a characteristically graceful
style, and shows that the scholar-poet was a good observer of the life
around him, though he could not give that life an air of reality in his

_John Lothrop Motley._--The fame of Motley’s historical work has
obscured the reputation of his fiction. “Morton’s Hope, or The Memoirs
of a Provincial” (1839), like “Hyperion,” recalls the interest in
German university life which was becoming general in America--a life
which Motley vividly describes. From Germany the hero returns to
participate in the American Revolution, in which he distinguishes
himself. In “Merry Mount, a Romance of the Massachusetts Colony”
(1849), Motley utilised the story of Thomas Morton, the jolly Royalist
who with his followers settled near Boston in 1626 and whose revelry
shocked his staid Puritan neighbours. As a historical picture, it
has high value. Both of these novels, abounding in carefully wrought
descriptions and gleams of genuine humour, deserved greater success
than they had.

_Caroline M. Kirkland._--A similar service was done for life in
Michigan by Caroline M. Kirkland (1801-64), whose humorous and lively
descriptions of frontier life, “A New Home; Who’ll Follow?” (1839),
“Forest Life” (1842), and “Western Clearings” (1846), were in their
day successful and popular. Mrs. Kirkland’s early works were published
over the pen-name of “Mrs. Mary Clavers.” Her literary career extended
over a quarter of a century, and she was long a popular contributor to
magazines and annuals.

=The Forties.=--The decade of 1840-50 saw the advent of no writers
of enduring reputation. “Charles Elwood, or The Infidel Converted”
(1840), a kind of philosophical autobiography by Orestes A. Brownson
(1803-76), is really an essay in the guise of a novel, and can here
only be mentioned. Brownson was successively a Presbyterian, a
Universalist, a Unitarian, and a Roman Catholic; as a thinker, he might
be called a Christian Socialist. Epes Sargent (1813-80), a student
at Harvard College, who became a journalist and a popular dramatist,
was the author of several juveniles, two of which, “Wealth and Worth”
(1840) and “What’s to be Done?” (1841), had a large sale; and of two
now forgotten novels, “Fleetwood, or The Stain of Birth” (1845) and
“Peculiar, a Tale of the Great Transition” (1864), a story of changes
in the South in the Civil War. Washington Allston’s “Monaldi” (1841),
an Italian romance with an Othello-like _motif_, really belongs to an
earlier generation, having been written as early as 1821, and intended
apparently for publication in Dana’s _Idle Man_. It is a powerful but
harrowing story in which the progress of jealousy is traced throughout
its course. Maria J. McIntosh (1803-78), losing her fortune in the
panic of 1837, adopted authorship as a means of support and wrote a
number of juveniles, the first of which was “Blind Alice” (1841), and
all of which were intended to illustrate the moral sentiments. Some of
her stories were reprinted in London; and she continued to write for
more than twenty years. Maria Brooks (1795-1845), a once highly praised
but now forgotten poet, in 1843 privately printed a prose romance,
“Idomen, or The Vale of Yumuri,” which was really an autobiography,
including much poetical description and reflection.

_Sylvester Judd._--The most successful picture of old New England
life ever written, down to the time of its publication (1845), was
“Margaret, a Tale of the Real and Ideal.” It was this book which
Lowell, in his “Fable for Critics,” spoke of as

                                  the first Yankee book
    With the _soul_ of Down East in ’t, and things farther East,
    As far as the threshold of morning, at least,
    Where awaits the fair dawn of the simple and true,
    Of the day that comes slowly to make all things new.

The author, Sylvester Judd (1813-53), was a native of Massachusetts and
a graduate of Yale College, who had become a Unitarian clergyman and
settled in Augusta, Maine; and his purpose in writing was “to promote
the cause of liberal Christianity.” Had he kept this purpose more in
the background, his place among the greater novelists would have been
sure; for he had observed closely every phase of Puritan life and
possessed rare gifts of realistic and dramatic story-telling. Not only
does he correctly describe the externals of New England places and
people, down to the niceties of dialect; but he also interprets with
rare and poetic insight the moral and spiritual conflicts into which
his characters are drawn. Another novel similar to “Margaret,” “Richard
Edney and the Governor’s Family,” appeared in 1850; it deals with the
career of a New England country youth. Like Margaret, the hero has
altogether too many “experiences”--introduced in order to point the
moral. Yet on the whole the realism of these novels is wholesome and
fresh and true.

_Herman Melville._--A follower of Cooper--though at some distance in
point of quality--in writing stories of the sea, was Herman Melville
(1819-91). A native of New York, he spent the greater part of the years
1837-44 in voyages to the Pacific. Of his observations and exciting
experiences he made good use in a long series of tales, the first of
which, “Typee” (1846), narrated his adventures in the Marquesas. The
general perception of the growing importance of the Pacific doubtless
aided in securing for Melville’s stories the most favourable reception,
both in America and in England. “Omoo, a Narrative of Adventures in
the South Seas” (1847) continued the earlier story, with no less vivid
pictures of sailor life, fights with savages, and thrilling escapes.
His next story, “Mardi, and a Voyage Thither” (1849), was an attempt
at a philosophical romance contrasting European civilisation and
Polynesian savagery, and, though it contained some able descriptions,
its vagaries and lack of sobriety doomed it to failure. “Redburn, His
First Voyage” (1849) tells of a journey to England, and includes some
realistic horrors; it could hardly be popular. “The White Jacket,
or The World in a Man-of-War” (1850) is a photographic narrative of
experiences on board a United States frigate. Melville’s masterpiece
was “Moby Dick, or The Whale” (1851); though an uneven work of
excessive length, written partly in a strained, Carlylesque style, it
nevertheless fills the reader with the fascination of the sea. The
fierce contest of Captain Ahab with the great whale, which “becomes a
representative of moral evil in the world,” is not unworthy of the pen
of a greater writer. Melville never afterward came up to the standard
of this work, though he wrote several other stories and novels, among
them “Pierre, or The Ambiguities” (1852), “Israel Potter” (1855),
narrating the adventures of a Revolutionary soldier, and praised by
Hawthorne for its portraits of Paul Jones and Benjamin Franklin, “The
Piazza Tales” (1856), and “The Confidence Man” (1857).

_Mrs. Judson and Others._--Mrs. Emily Chubbuck Judson (1817-54), third
wife of the celebrated Baptist missionary Dr. Adoniram Judson, and best
known by her pen name of “Fanny Forester,” in her “Alderbrook” (1846),
a collection of village sketches, described girl life in New England,
winning a reputation which lasted for many years. Peter Hamilton Myers
(1812-78), a Brooklyn lawyer, was for a brief time remembered for
his historical romances, “The First of the Knickerbockers, a Tale of
1673” (1848), “The Young Patroon, or Christmas in 1690” (1849), “The
King of the Hurons” (1849), and “The Prisoner of the Border, a Tale of
1838” (1857). Charles Wilkins Webber (1819-56), the son of a Kentucky
physician, inherited from his mother a fondness for out-of-door life,
and spent some years in Texas. Then he tried in succession medicine,
theology, and authorship. His stories and descriptions of South-western
life and adventure include “Old Hicks the Guide” (1848), “The Hunter
Naturalist” (1851-53), illustrated by his wife, “Tales of the Southern
Border” (1852), and “Shot in the Eye” (1853), his best story. He died
in the battle of Rivas, in Central America.

_Mayo_, _Kimball_, _and Wise_.--William Starbuck Mayo (1812-95), a
New York physician, travelled in the Barbary States, and on returning
home wrote two popular novels, “Kaloolah, or Journeyings in the Djebel
Kumri” (1849) and “The Berber, or The Mountaineer of the Atlas”
(1850). The former purports to be the autobiography of Jonathan
Romer, who, after numerous exciting adventures in the American woods,
goes to Africa, has various hair’s-breadth escapes, fights with
slave-traders and natives, and marries a beautiful dusky princess. In
its satirical remarks on civilised usages it imitates “Gulliver.” “The
Berber,” a story of more regular construction, is still enjoyable.
It recounts events supposed to take place in Africa at the close of
the seventeenth century, and like its predecessor contains minutely
accurate descriptions of tropical scenery and animal life. Richard
B. Kimball’s “St. Leger, or The Threads of Life” (1849), reprinted
from _The Knickerbocker_, was a serious attempt to depict a mind in
pursuit of truth in a story in which romantic adventure plays some
part; but the characters are not strongly marked. Henry Augustus
Wise (1819-69), son of a naval officer and himself a lieutenant in
the Navy, saw the humorous and comic side of the seaman’s life, and
chronicled his impressions in “Los Gringos, or An Inside View of Mexico
and California” (1849), and still more successfully in his sprightly
and sentimental “Tales for the Marines” (1855), in which all sorts of
marvellous and amusing things happen.

=The Decade of 1850-60.=--It can hardly be said that the next decade,
1850-60, saw any great improvement in the quality of our fiction; but
there is evident an increasing preference for realistic studies of home
life, and a growing indifference to the highly wrought and more or less
melodramatic romances which had delighted the readers of an earlier
day. For many reasons, Americans desired to see themselves in fiction,
doing their daily work, struggling with everyday temptations, yielding
or conquering according to their native strength or weakness. There was
a growing sense of the artistic--and moral or didactic--value of common
life. The reaction against romance was inevitable, and was no doubt
accelerated by the coming of railroads, telegraphs, Atlantic cables,
and the controversy over slavery.

_Ik Marvel._--Significant, then, was the popularity, which has scarcely
waned, of “Ik Marvel’s” two books, “Reveries of a Bachelor” (1850) and
“Dream Life” (1851). The author, Donald G. Mitchell (born in 1822),
was a product of Connecticut and a graduate of Yale, whose experience
had been enriched by European travel. The pernicious influence of
Carlyle upon Mitchell’s style is too evident; but the sentiment, or
sentimentality, the enthusiasm, the tender pathos of these slight
stories have appealed to thousands. In his “Dr. Johns” (1866), Mitchell
brought the stern Calvinistic theology of New England into relief by
contrasting it with French frivolity.

_Edward Everett Hale._--Edward Everett Hale’s literary activity has
extended over something like sixty years. Born in Boston in 1822,
and graduated from Harvard at seventeen, he became a journalist,
story-teller, minister, historian, and antiquarian. His “Margaret
Percival in America,” a religious novel, appeared in 1850, and he has
since written others, “If, Yes, and Perhaps” (1868), “Ten Times One
Is Ten” (1870), “In His Name” (1874), a truthful and glowing narrative
of the Waldenses, “Philip Nolan’s Friends” (1876), the gallant hero of
which, the Kentuckian Philip Nolan, was “the protomartyr to Mexican
treachery,” “The Fortunes of Rachel” (1884), a slight but clever tale,
and “East and West” (1892). But Dr. Hale is best known in literature by
his short stories. “My Double and How He Undid Me,” published in _The
Atlantic_ for September, 1859, was a clever and amusing piece which
made a great hit and immortalised some of the bores of his parish. “The
Man Without a Country” (_The Atlantic_, December, 1863) brought its
author national reputation and has become a classic. It has been justly
pronounced “the best sermon on patriotism ever written.” Speaking of
sermons recalls the criticism often applied to Dr. Hale’s stories, that
the moral is too obvious; in general, however, the moral cannot be
called obtrusive and hardly interferes with the general effect of the

_Alice Cary._--Alice Cary (1822-71), better known as a poet, wrote
pleasantly appreciative sketches of her Ohio home under the title of
“Clovernook, or Recollections of our Neighbourhood in the West” (1852);
a second series of similar sketches was published in 1853. Her three
novels, “Hagar” (1852), “Married, not Mated” (1856), and “The Bishop’s
Son” (1857), were characterised by power of observation and by careful
literary workmanship.

_The Warners._--Susan Warner (1819-1885), whose earlier work was done
under the pen name of “Elizabeth Wetherell,” became well known through
the publication (1850) of her first book “The Wide, Wide World.” This
was a story of domestic life on the upper Hudson, which showed an
exceptional power of description and of character study, and which
secured very promptly wide acceptance on both sides of the Atlantic.
With the single exception of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” it proved to be the
most popular novel written up to that date in America, and it had the
compliment of reproduction in a long series of unauthorised editions
in Europe. “The Wide, Wide World” was followed by a series of stories,
of which the most important were “Queechy” (1852), “The Hills of the
Shatemuc” (1858), “Diana” (1859), “Wych Hazel” (1860), and “The Gold
of Chickaree” (1861). She collaborated with her sister, Anna Bartlett
Warner (born in 1820), in the production of “Dollars and Cents,” which
was issued in 1853, and in some successful books for the young, “Mr.
Rutherford’s Children,” etc.

_Harriet Beecher Stowe._--A diligent and painstaking writer of fiction
for thirty years, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96) is to-day remembered
only as the author of a single book, and that one almost her first.
The daughter of Dr. Lyman Beecher of Connecticut, she was born into
a remarkably gifted family and inherited the best that New England
Puritan culture could give. At twenty-one she was married to Professor
Calvin E. Stowe, then a teacher in the divinity school in Cincinnati.
Here she had an opportunity of studying the workings of slavery, and
as a result entered heart and soul into the anti-slavery movement.
In the year in which Hawthorne published his “House of the Seven
Gables,” Longfellow “The Golden Legend,” and Melville “Moby Dick,” she
began in _The National Era_ a serial which aroused wide and bitter
discussion. The next year (1852), “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” appeared in book
form. Over three hundred thousand copies, according to the author,
were sold within a year. The part played by the book in hastening the
“irrepressible conflict” of the Civil War cannot be estimated. It is
not hard to see blemishes in the story: tame description, careless and
loose construction, the tone of the preacher; but these are rendered
insignificant by the great merits of the book, its frequent touches
of humour, its range and variety of characters, who are not merely
types but are graphically individualised, its broad humanity, its
fierce earnestness, its kindling emotion. These may not suffice to put
the story among the great and enduring works of literature; but it
will be long before America outgrows her fondness and admiration for
it. Mrs. Stowe followed this book in 1856 with “Dred” (republished in
1866 as “Nina Gordon”), in which she continued to depict effectively
the position of slavery with reference to the church and the law, and
the defeat by mob violence of a high-minded slave-owner who sought to
purify the unholy system. A more deliberate and carefully planned work
than “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” it has generally been considered as inferior
in power, though Harriet Martineau thought it superior. Old Tiff is
one of the great creations of negro character. As a picture, in the
main true, of old-fashioned Southern life, it has a lasting charm.
In “The Minister’s Wooing” (1859), Mrs. Stowe turned to New England
life at the beginning of the century, and dealt with the influence
of the older Calvinism upon devout and sensitive minds. In artistic
construction and effect it has been pronounced superior to all her
other works; some of the characters, for example, Mary Scudder and Dr.
Hopkins, are notably strong and impressive. Yet, like all her later
works, it has been overshadowed by that one which was struck out in a
white heat of passionate appeal. “The Pearl of Orr’s Island” (1861)
is a quiet story of Puritan life on the Maine coast, insufficiently
relieved by a few thrilling episodes. In “Agnes of Sorrento” (1862),
the result of a visit to Europe, Mrs. Stowe turned to Italy in the days
of Savonarola, but achieved even less success than George Eliot did in
the next year with “Romola.” In 1863, the Stowes settled permanently
at Hartford, Connecticut; and after the war they acquired a winter
residence in Florida. The best of Mrs. Stowe’s numerous later books is
probably “Oldtown Folks” (1869), dealing with life in Norfolk County,
Massachusetts, about the year 1800, and portraying some very realistic
characters. Such stories as “Pink and White Tyranny” (1871), “My Wife
and I” (1871), and “We and Our Neighbours” (1875), in which she aimed
to reform fashionable society, though successful in respect to sales,
were from an artistic point of view decided failures. In “Sam Lawson’s
Fireside Stories” (1871) and “Poganuc People” (1878), she returned to
New England Yankees and the life she most successfully drew. On the
whole it must be said that her reputation, while it lasts, will rest
chiefly upon “Uncle Tom” and the New England stories.

_John T. Trowbridge._--One of the most popular of writers for boys
is John Townsend Trowbridge (born in 1827). Educated in the common
schools, he learned Latin, Greek, and French by himself, taught school,
worked a year on an Illinois farm, and then settled down to writing
in New York City. Some of his books are “Father Brighthopes” (1853),
“Burrcliff” (1853), “Martin Merrivale” (1854), “Neighbour Jackwood”
(1857), a famous anti-slavery novel, perhaps a good second to “Uncle
Tom’s Cabin” in influence and popularity, “Cudjo’s Cave” (1864), and
“Coupon Bonds, and Other Stories” (1871). He has been a prolific writer
of healthful and finished stories for boys. John Burroughs has well
said of him: “He knows the heart of a boy and the heart of a man, and
has laid them both open in his books.”

_John Esten Cooke._--A romancer of the old school was John Esten Cooke
(1830-86), a younger brother of Philip Pendleton Cooke. A native
of Virginia, he found inspiration in the romantic history of that
State, drawing many of his characters from life. His first important
publication was “Leather Stocking and Silk, or Hunter John Myers
and His Times” (1854); his best story proved to be “The Virginia
Comedians, or Old Days in the Old Dominion” (1854), which deals with
the period just preceding the Revolution, and which, with its youthful
enthusiasm and interesting descriptions of colonial manners, has been
called by some critics the best novel written in the South down to
the Civil War. After serving in the Confederate army, Cooke sought to
utilise his military experiences in several dramatic stories; but his
reputation had been made, and his day had gone by.

_Maria S. Cummins._--In “The Lamplighter” (1854), Maria S. Cummins
(1827-66) achieved a success comparable to that of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
and “Ben Hur.” In “Mabel Vaughan” (1857) she produced probably a better
book. Both of her stories, however, while in the main true delineations
of girl and home life, are too evidently written with a didactic aim,
and are at times laboured and diffuse. Her other stories, “El Fureidis”
(1860), a story of Palestine, and “Haunted Hearts” (1864), are now
entirely forgotten.

_Mrs. Ann Sophia Stephens._--Mrs. Ann Sophia Stephens (1813-86) was
in the fifties and sixties an immensely popular novelist. She was the
daughter of John Winterbotham, an English woollen manufacturer who had
come to America, and was born at Humphreysville, Connecticut. In 1831,
she married Edward Stephens, a publisher, and began in 1835 to edit
_The Portland Magazine_, founded by her husband. Later, she edited
_The Ladies’ Companion_ and became an associate editor of _Graham’s_
and _Peterson’s_, to which she contributed over twenty serials. Her
first elaborate novel, “Fashion and Famine” (1854), had a very large
circulation and was three times translated into French. A novel
of affected intensity, it contained some excellent delineation of
character. Among her other works were “Zana, or The Heiress of Clare
Hall” (1854), republished as “The Heiress of Greenhurst,” “The Old
Homestead” (1855), “Sibyl Chase” (1862), “The Rejected Wife” (1863),
“Married in Haste” (1870), “The Reigning Belle” (1872), and “Norton’s
Rest” (1877). She was attentive to details and wrote in a condensed and
forcible style.

_Marion Harland._--Marion Harland is the pseudonym under which Mrs.
Mary Virginia Terhune (born in 1831), a Virginian of New England
ancestry, became known for a number of short stories, novels, and
miscellaneous matter. Her fiction is of the romantic type, full of
incident, and dealing with brave personages. Some of her stories are
“Alone, a Tale of Southern Life and Manners” (1854), “The Hidden Path”
(1855), “Moss-Side” (1857), “Miriam” (1860), “Nemesis” (1860), “Husks”
(1863), “Sunnybank” (1866), “At Last” (1870), “Judith” (1883), and “A
Gallant Fight” (1888). She has been editorially connected with a number
of juvenile magazines.

_Curtis_, _Willis_, _Holland_.--George William Curtis belongs in the
main, of course, with the essayists, where his life will be narrated.
He was the author of “Prue and I” (1856), a series of papers written
originally for _Putnam’s_, and together forming a slight story of
charming domestic life, in which sentiment, fancy, and a broad
optimistic philosophy are pervasive features; and of an unsuccessful
novel, “Trumps” (1861), which he began in 1859 as a serial in _Harper’s
Weekly_. In view of the broad experience of its author, his fondness
for good novels, his discriminating taste, his facility in expression,
this failure of “Trumps” was remarkable. The truth is that Curtis had
not rightly estimated his powers. He could not manage an elaborate
plot with skill, and he also made the same mistake that marred the
work of many writers already noticed--he was too much concerned to
point the moral. The general effect, as Mr. Cary points out,[14] is
that “Trumps” becomes “a Sunday-school story, written by a man of
rare gifts, some of which betray the elusive charm of genius, but
still essentially of that class, producing, and apparently intended
to produce, the impression that in the end virtue triumphs and vice
comes to a miserable end.” In the long run, this is eternally true; but
the great artists do not talk about it very much. A similar failure,
though for different reasons, was the one novel written by the prolific
Nathaniel P. Willis, “Paul Fane, or Parts of a Life Else Untold”
(1857), an early and dull experiment in the field of international
novels. It was a story whose general distortion of things amounted
almost to caricature, since it was based on superficial rather than
deep and careful observation of character. In the same year Josiah
Gilbert Holland (1819-81) made his _début_ in the field of fiction with
“The Bay Path,” a story of the settlement of the Connecticut Valley,
filled largely with historical characters, and generally faithful to
the manners and thought of the age portrayed. A more ambitious story,
“Miss Gilbert’s Career” (1860), is a realistic modern novel in which a
characteristic Yankee community is described with great fidelity. His
later novels, “Arthur Bonnicastle” (1873), “The Story of Sevenoaks”
(1875), and “Nicholas Minturn” (1877), cannot on the whole be said to
possess high literary merit; the author was avowedly a moralist, and
the best that can be said of them is that they did no harm.

_Major John William de Forest._--Major John William de Forest (born in
1826) began writing fiction with a very romantic and very poor novel
called “Witching Times,” published serially in _Putnam’s_, 1856-57,
and followed it with a number of works which made him one of the most
popular novelists of the seventies--“Seacliff” (1859), “Miss Ravenel’s
Conversion” (1867), a book out of his own experience, and his first in
realistic vein, “Overland” (1871), “Kate Beaumont” (1872), “Honest John
Vane” (1875), “Playing the Mischief” (1875), and many others. Of “Miss
Ravenel’s Conversion” Mr. Howells has said: “It was one of the best
American novels that I had known, and was of an advanced realism before
realism was known by that name.”

_Robert Lowell._--In 1858 appeared “The New Priest of Conception Bay,”
in which the Rev. Robert Traill Spence Lowell (1816-91), an elder
brother of James Russell Lowell, and an Episcopal clergyman, painted
in bright and cheerful colours the rural life of Newfoundland with
which he became familiar during his sojourn at Bay Roberts in 1843-47.
No truer picture of the simple fisher folk of Newfoundland was ever
produced--even to a delicate discrimination of dialects. Mr. Lowell’s
reputation was not ill sustained by his later though less known books,
“Antony Brade” (1874) and “A Story or Two from an Old Dutch Town”
(1878), which dealt with the quaint life in the Dutch villages of
eastern New York.

_Mrs. Harriet Prescott Spofford._--Mrs. Harriet Prescott Spofford
(born in 1835), a native of Maine who has passed most of her life in
Massachusetts, made her reputation with a short story of Parisian
life, “In a Cellar,” in _The Atlantic_ in 1859. In “Sir Rohan’s Ghost”
(1859), “The Amber Gods” (in _The Atlantic_, 1860), which gave her a
considerable reputation, “Azarian,” (1864), and “A Thief in the Night”
(1872), she produced sombre works vividly imaginative and intense in
feeling. She was among the first to work the mine of ghostly romance.
Her stories have never been very popular; her fondness for the sensuous
and the splendid repels many readers. Yet for sheer and overwhelming
intensity and for complete success in producing the effect sought, “A
Thief in the Night” must be given a high place as a work of art.

_Mrs. Miriam Coles Harris._--Mrs. Miriam Coles Harris (born in 1834),
who has spent most of her life in and near New York City, wrote a
number of stories popular in their day, some of them being still read.
“Rutledge” (1860) and “The Sutherlands” (1862) were widely circulated.
Her later stories include “A Perfect Adonis” (1875), “Phœbe” (1884),
“Missy” (1885), and “An Utter Failure” (1890).

_Theodore Winthrop._--Theodore Winthrop (1828-61) deserves more than
passing mention, not so much for what he actually accomplished as
for what his brief life gave promise of doing. Born in New Haven,
Connecticut, a descendant of Governor John Winthrop of Connecticut
and at twenty a graduate of Yale, he travelled much abroad, went
to Panama in the employment of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company,
and afterward sojourned in California and Oregon, visiting also the
island of Vancouver and some of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s stations.
He was admitted to the bar in 1855, but became more fond of politics
and literature than of law. For several years, he worked on his
novels; but though one was accepted for publication, none appeared
in his lifetime. At the opening of the war he went to the front with
the Seventh New York Regiment, and fell, bravely fighting, at Great
Bethel. His descriptions of his march to Washington, in _The Atlantic
Monthly_, had attracted much attention, and after his death his novels
appeared in rapid succession, “Cecil Dreeme” in 1861 and “John Brent”
and “Edwin Brothertoft” in 1862. The first is a gruesome tale of life
in New York, full of broad sweep and passion, immature but not devoid
of power. “John Brent,” the best of his stories, is an imaginative
tale into which he wove a record of his Western experiences; it “had
the merit, in its day especially, of delineating Western scenes and
characters with sympathy and skill, at a time when the West was almost
virgin soil to literature.” “Edwin Brothertoft” is a melodramatic story
of the American Revolution, at times crude in expression, but strong
in plot and in its play of light and shade. Had Winthrop lived, our
literature beyond question would have been far richer. He comprehended
as did few others the deep throbbing life of America, not only in its
externals but in its less obvious features; and abating his youthful
“breeziness,” he would doubtless have reproduced some parts of that
life on enduring canvas.

_Fitz-James O’Brien._--Another brilliant writer whose career was cut
short by the war was Fitz-James O’Brien (1828-62), a native of County
Limerick, Ireland. He was educated at the University of Dublin; and
after spending his inheritance of £8,000 in London, he came to America
in 1852 and from that time on devoted himself to literature. In New
York he became a prominent figure among the Bohemian set and won
distinguished social and literary success. Besides much clever verse,
he wrote for the magazines some marvellously ingenious tales, for
example “The Diamond Lens,” “The Wondersmith,” “The Golden Ingot,”
and “Mother of Pearl.” The reader is occasionally reminded of Poe and
Hawthorne, but is more often led to wonder why O’Brien has so long lain
in neglect; for some of his stories are powerful in a high degree. Like
Winthrop, O’Brien in 1861 became a soldier in the Seventh New York
Regiment and went to the front. On February 26, 1862 he was severely
wounded in a skirmish, and in April he died. Nearly twenty years later,
his friend William Winter edited “The Poems and Stories of Fitz-James
O’Brien” (1881).

=The Civil War.=--It is not surprising that the Civil War partially,
at least, dried up the springs of literature and art in America. It
was an epoch of concentration, of action; men had little time for
reading novels or writing them; the newspaper any day might chronicle
as sublimely heroic or as pathetic events as could be found in fiction.
Comparatively few novels of distinction were written, therefore, during
the war and the two or three years following it, the Reconstruction
period. Some worthy novels which appeared in those years, for example
Mrs. Stoddard’s “Morgesons,” failed of an appreciative audience.

The close of the war marked the beginning of a new era in American
fiction. As Mr. Morse points out, people no longer cared for stories
about the Indians and about the Revolution. The Indians had retreated
into that world of romance with which the modern world, ignorant of
“Nick of the Woods,” associates them; the Revolution was ancient
history by the side of the more terrible conflict just ended, and a
quarter of a century must elapse before the earlier war would make a
background for fiction. Romance, which, as we have seen, had already
begun to lose favour, must now yield to realism; there must be pictures
of life at home, in the market-place, in the fields, in the teeming
cities; there must be greater skill in handling the narrative so as
to make it a transcript from daily life. The lover of romance will
doubtless deplore this tendency; but it was inevitable, and it has
dictated the path of fiction almost to the present day.

_Oliver Wendell Holmes._--The many-sided activity of Dr. Holmes
extended to the writing of three novels--“medicated novels” they have
been called, but the term does not apply to all equally well. Certainly
they all belong to the large and increasing group of “problem novels.”
The first, “Elsie Venner: a Romance of Destiny” (1861), published
when the author had passed the half-century mark, made its first
appearance as “The Professor’s Story” in _The Atlantic Monthly_. The
mother of Elsie Venner, a short time before giving birth to her child,
was fatally bitten by a _crotalus_ or rattlesnake, and from birth the
child is partially endowed with a serpent nature, which enables her
to exercise a peculiar influence over those with whom she is brought
into contact, especially the sensitive schoolmistress Helen Darley.
“The real aim of the story,” says Dr. Holmes himself, “was to test the
doctrine of ‘original sin’ and human responsibility for the disordered
volition coming under that technical denomination. Was Elsie Venner,
poisoned by the venom of a _crotalus_ before she was born, morally
responsible for the ‘volitional’ aberrations which, translated into
acts, become what is known as sin, and, it may be, what is punished
as crime? If, on presentation of the evidence, she becomes by the
verdict of the human conscience a proper object of divine pity and
not of divine wrath, as a subject of moral poisoning, wherein lies
the difference between her position at the bar of judgment, human
or divine, and that of the unfortunate victim who received a moral
poison from a remote ancestor before he drew his first breath?” It
will thus be seen that what the author intended was nothing less than
an onslaught upon one of the great fundamental dogmas of orthodox
theology. Fifty years ago, this was a bold undertaking indeed. The
intensely tragic motive of the novel is relieved by some chapters of
pure comedy, in which figure the mean, calculating, money-making Silas
Peckham, the vulgar splurging Sprowles, and a varied group of other
minor characters. “The Guardian Angel” (1867) forms a natural sequel
to “Elsie Venner”; it deals with some of the problems of heredity,
attempting “to show the successive evolution of some inherited
qualities in the character of Myrtle Hazard,” the heroine. Less tragic
than the earlier tale, “The Guardian Angel” is more pleasant to read,
and a more artistic creation. An interesting plot is skilfully worked
out and the characterisation is subtle and true. In his third novel,
“A Mortal Antipathy” (1885), Dr. Holmes at seventy-six plainly showed
that he had passed his creative period. He yielded, to a much greater
degree than in the other stories, to the rambling propensity which,
charming and natural enough in “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,”
seriously mars the continuity of a novel in which plot-interest is
intended to figure. In this the author deals with the influence on a
man’s after-life of an antipathy (toward womankind) arising from a
severe shock received in early childhood--an antipathy which is happily
removed when the hero, helpless on a sick-bed in a burning house, is
borne out by a brave and athletic girl. In spite of its “medicated”
character, the story is full of delightful gossip, amusing descriptions
and characterisation, and thoughtful speculation over miscellaneous
matters connected with the healing art. If, as some contend, Dr.
Holmes has in these books emphasised the moral issue at the expense
of artistic perfection, they still have great value as records
of personality. In Mr. Noble’s words, the author “is a man whose
temperament makes him intensely interested in human nature, and whose
bent of mind gives him a special interest in any development of human
nature which, by exhibiting exceptional possibilities or limitations,
casts some strange side-light upon its more ordinary and normal

_Mrs. Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard._--Mrs. Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard
(1823-1902), wife of the poet Richard Henry Stoddard, wrote three
novels remarkable in their day, “The Morgesons” (1862), “Two Men”
(1865), and “Temple House” (1867), which found few readers in
their time and are now almost forgotten, but which evinced careful
observation of life and customs, and decided if not eccentric
individuality. Republished in 1888 and again in 1901, “The
Morgesons” was praised by such judicious critics as Mr. Stedman, Mr.
Julian Hawthorne, and Professor Beers (who declared he had read it
four times); but it again failed of popular favour; it had become

_Edmund Kirke._--Under this pen name, James Roberts Gilmore (1822-1903)
was for many years a well known writer. In 1857 he retired from
business with a competency, and thereafter devoted himself mainly
(except 1873-83) to literature. His earlier novels, “Among the Pines”
(1862), “My Southern Friends” (1862), “Among the Guerillas” (1863),
“Down in Tennessee” (1863), “Adrift in Dixie” (1863), and “On the
Border” (1864), were concerned with the Southern life with which he
became acquainted in war-time. In later life, he wrote “The Last of the
Thorndikes” (1889) and “A Mountain-White Heroine” (1889). His earlier
stories were popular and did much to acquaint readers with slavery.

_Thomas Bailey Aldrich._--Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907) began his
career as a novelist in 1862 with the publication in _The Atlantic
Monthly_ (June) of a little romance, “Père Antoine’s Date Palm,” which
secured sympathetic recognition from Hawthorne. In the same year, he
also published “Out of His Head, a Romance in Prose,” a collection of
six short stories; but these remained his sole efforts in fiction until
1869, when he published his largely autobiographical “Story of a Bad
Boy.” The hero of this little idyl of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Tom
Bailey, who is after all “not a very bad boy,” has become a classic
character in the fiction of boyhood. “Marjorie Daw, and Other Stories”
(1873) are ingenious tales, in the first of which a surprising hoax
is managed with consummate skill. “Prudence Palfrey” (1874) is an
old-fashioned novel of incident in which a well-nigh impossible plot
is made plausible. “The Queen of Sheba” (1877) is perhaps the most
skilfully done of all his stories; the action takes place in New
Hampshire and Switzerland, and the story is full of humour. “The
Stillwater Tragedy” (1880) is a realistic portrayal of life in a New
England manufacturing village, the _motif_ being the detection of a
murderer, and the sombreness of the situation being relieved by a love
story. “Two Bites at a Cherry, and Other Tales,” subtle, amusing,
ingenious, appeared in 1893. Probably most of us will agree with Mr.
Howells when he says that Aldrich was a worker in the novel with the
instinct of a romancer, and was at his best in the romantic parts of
his stories. Of his prose works his short stories will probably endure

_Mrs. Adeline D. T. Whitney._--Mrs. Adeline D. T. Whitney (born in
1824), a native of Boston and sister of the eccentric George Francis
Train, wrote a number of stories for young people, beginning with
“Boys at Chequasset” (1862) and “Faith Gartney’s Girlhood” (1863) and
including also “The Gayworthys” (1865), which ranks among the best of
New England novels, “A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite’s Life” (1866),
“Patience Strong’s Outings” (1868), “Hitherto” (1869), “We Girls”
(1870), “Bonnyborough” (1885), and “Ascutney Street” (1888). To some
critics the didactic tone of her stories has seemed so prominent as to
impair their artistic value; others, like Mrs. Stowe, defend her from
the charge of being “preachy.” A vein of mysticism runs through her
stories. Her style is effective and her creations are real and lifelike.

_Bayard Taylor._--The writing of novels did not play a great part in
the life of Bayard Taylor, who felt himself to be first of all a poet;
but his four novels are not without interest. Taylor had already tried
his hand at writing stories for _The Atlantic Monthly_ when he began
in 1861 the writing of a novel. Before he left America for Russia he
had written seven chapters. He finished the book in St. Petersburg and
published it in 1863 under the title of “Hannah Thurston, a Story of
American Life.” Although the scene is nominally laid in central New
York, the life is essentially that of Chester County, Pennsylvania.
The plot is similar to that of Tennyson’s “Princess.” It is, however,
of secondary importance; the author’s main purpose apparently was to
satirise the more or less superficial reforms of the time--abolition,
total abstinence, spiritualism, vegetarianism, and the like. The homely
and commonplace village life of his time Taylor described vividly and
truthfully; but it cannot be said that his characters, amusing as many
of them are, are distinctly individualised. Even so, the book was
received with favour. It was promptly translated into German, Swedish,
and Russian. Its success encouraged Taylor to further efforts. “John
Godfrey’s Fortunes, Related by Himself” appeared late in 1864. This is
a story of life in Pennsylvania and in New York City. A good plot is
worked out, and some of the characters are interesting, though for the
most part they are too obviously good or bad. John Godfrey in a sense
was Taylor himself, but the book can hardly be called an autobiography.
In 1866 appeared “The Story of Kennett,” in some respects the best of
Taylor’s novels. For it he drew largely upon his memories of Chester
County, and most of the characters were drawn from life. The scene at
the funeral of Abiah Barton, where the hero discovers his worthless and
cowardly father, has been sharply censured; but Taylor contended that,
because of the vein of superstition in Mary Potter, it was the most
justifiable chapter in the book. “Joseph and His Friend: a Story of
Pennsylvania,” the last of Taylor’s novels, appeared serially in _The
Atlantic_, and was published in book form in 1870. It is a disagreeable
story of duplicity, in Bismarck’s view of which many have shared, that
the villain gets off too easily. To the above should be added a volume
of shorter stories issued under the title of “Beauty and the Beast.” In
general, Taylor’s novels exhibit skilful workmanship and sympathetic
and often vivid delineations of character.

_Louisa May Alcott._--Louisa May Alcott (1832-88), daughter of Amos
Bronson Alcott, became well known as a writer of wholesome fiction,
especially for young readers. She began life as a teacher and during
the Civil War was an army nurse. “Moods” (1864), her first novel,
was widely read, and contains passages of strength. “Little Women”
(1868-69), written as a girls’ book, remains her best. A kind of
sequel to it was “Little Men; Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys”
(1871), followed in its turn by “Jo’s Boys and How They Turned Out”
(1886). Other similar stories were “An Old-Fashioned Girl” (1870),
“Work, a Story of Experience” (1873), partly autobiographical, “Eight
Cousins” (1875) and its sequel, “Rose in Bloom” (1876), and “A Modern
Mephistopheles” (1877), a disagreeable but vigorous and imaginative
study of moral deterioration. Her stories continue to be popular with
the young, though the newer juvenile fiction will in time supersede

_Richard Malcolm Johnston._--Richard Malcolm Johnston (1822-98) was
one of the most popular of the Southern writers of his time. The son
of a Georgia planter and Baptist clergyman, he in time became a Roman
Catholic. Graduating from Mercer University, Georgia, in 1841, he
practised law for some years, in 1857 declining a judgeship to become
professor of belles-lettres in the University of Georgia. From 1861
till 1882, he was engaged in conducting a boys’ boarding-school, first
at Sparta, Georgia, then near Baltimore. In 1864 he published, as
“Georgia Sketches,” four stories of life in Georgia. To these, others
were added in 1874 under the title of “Dukesborough Tales,” his best
book. He afterward wrote “Old Mark Langston” (1884), “Mr. Absalom
Billingslea and Other Georgia Folk” (1888), “Ogeechee Cross-Firings”
(1889), “The Primes and Their Neighbours” (1891), “Mr. Billy Downs and
His Likes” (1892), “Mr. Fortner’s Marital Claims, and Other Stories”
(1892), “Widow Guthrie” (1893), “Little Ike Templin, and Other Stories”
(1894), “Old Times in Middle Georgia” (1897), and “Pearce Amerson’s
Will” (1898). In all he published more than eighty stories. He was not
a master of plot, and the structure of his tales is loose and faulty in
sequence; but his characters have the magic touch of reality, and his
descriptions of ante-bellum Georgia days cannot be neglected.

_William Mumford Baker._--William Mumford Baker (1825-83), a Princeton
graduate and Presbyterian clergyman, was once popular but is now little
read. From 1850 till 1865 he was minister of a church in Austin, Texas,
where he had many of the experiences utilised in his stories. His most
important fiction was “Inside, a Chronicle of Secession,” which was
written secretly during the war, ran as a serial in _Harper’s Weekly_,
and appeared in book form in 1866; it gives a vivid picture of Southern
life and feeling. Some of his later books were “Oak Mot” (1868), “The
New Timothy” (1870), “Mose Evans” (1874), “Carter Quarterman” (1876),
“A Year Worth Living” (1878), “Colonel Dunwoodie” (1878), “His Majesty
Myself” (1879), and “Blessed Saint Certainty” (1881). While not
striking their roots very deeply into life and character, his books are
marked by sincerity and intense earnestness.

_S. Weir Mitchell._--Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell (born in 1830) is a
distinguished physician of many-sided fame. A native of Virginia, he
studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Jefferson Medical
College, from which he was graduated in 1850. He began writing fiction
during the Civil War, and in July, 1866, contributed to _The Atlantic_
a remarkable story, “The Case of George Dedlow.” But it was not
until about 1880 that he began to devote himself more seriously to
literature. He has written “Hephzibah Guinness” (1880), three stories
of Quaker life in Philadelphia; “In War Time” (1885); “Roland Blake”
(1886), the earlier part of which deals with the Civil War; “Far in
the Forest” (1889), a story of character influence, the scene of which
takes place in the forest of Pennsylvania before the Revolutionary
War; “Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker” (1897), a story of Philadelphia during
the War of Independence, which ranks among the few great American
novels; “The Adventures of François” (1898), a romance of the French
Revolution, the hero being a light-hearted little waif who has some
strange adventures; “The Autobiography of a Quack” (1900), a study of
the mind of a professional medical knave; “Constance Trescot” (1905), a
study of an unusual character, skilfully handled, the scene being Paris
in the sixties; and “A Diplomatic Adventure” (1906). Dr. Mitchell’s
interest in problems of abnormal psychology has led him to treat some
themes which in the hands of any but a born story-teller would have
resulted in merely sensational novels. His stories all show keen powers
of analysis and character-drawing and a kindly and wholesome optimism.

_Beecher and Higginson._--Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87), amid the many
activities of a busy clerical and journalistic life, found time to
write one novel, “Norwood, or Village Life in New England” (1867),
in which occur descriptive and narrative passages rich in insight
and humour. There is only a slight plot; the movement is leisurely;
we are chiefly interested in the characters, who include the usual
personages to be found in a village and some curious and amusing people
as well. The book is partly autobiographical, with a vein of romance
running through it. Thomas Wentworth Higginson (born in 1823) is
chiefly known as an essayist, but wrote one capital story, “Malbone,
an Oldport Romance” (1869), which deserves wider reading as a subtle
study of temperament; the scene is obviously Newport, Rhode Island. It
“is largely a transcript from actual life, the chief character being
drawn from the same friend of Higginson, William Hurlbert, who figures
as Densdreth in Winthrop’s ‘Cecil Dreeme.’”[15] In “Madame Delia’s
Expectations” (_The Atlantic_, January, 1871, reprinted in “Oldport
Days,” 1873), Colonel Higginson showed that he could tell a short story

_Mark Twain._--The literary productions of Mr. Clemens will be recorded
elsewhere; here a few words may be said of his place as a writer of
fiction. In technique, it cannot be maintained that he stands high; his
narrative wanders whither it listeth, blameless of compact construction
or climax; his style is not free from faults. Yet in spite of these
defects his name has become “a household word in all places where
the English language is spoken, and in many where it is not.” He has
created two characters--Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn--who will
live long as humorously conceived but true American boys. Pudd’nhead
Wilson and the Connecticut Yankee may fade into oblivion, but it seems
unlikely that the heroes of Mark Twain’s most typical books will soon
be allowed to withdraw from our group of favourites. Moreover, Mr.
Clemens has enshrined the Mississippi River of his youth in a kind
of homely, virile prose-poetry; he has recorded, in narrative which
Mr. Thompson rightly calls “firm and vigorous,” the impression which
the great river made upon his youthful mind. Nowhere else shall we
find such descriptions of Mississippi River life in the fifties.
Artistically defective his work is indeed; but to it cannot be denied
the qualities of eloquence, naturalness, and sincerity. The work, like
the man, is genuine.

_Bret Harte._--The stirring, primitive, lawless life of early
California found its painter in Francis Bret Harte, who early dropped
his first name from his literary signature. He was a native of Albany,
New York (1839), his ancestors being English, German, and Hebrew.
His father, a teacher of Greek, died when the son was but a child.
Receiving only a common-school education, Harte went with his family
in 1854 to California, which for five years had been the Mecca of the
gold-hunter and the gambler. At first he tried teaching and mining,
gaining from either business little more than experience, of which he
was to make good use in later years. In 1857 he became a compositor
for the San Francisco _Golden Era_. Some of his unsigned sketches
attracted the notice of the editor, who ordered him to exchange his
composing-stick for a writer’s desk in the office. He later joined
the staff of _The Californian_, to which he contributed the clever
parodies on contemporary writers of fiction later published (1867) as
“Condensed Novels.” From 1864 till 1870, he was secretary of the United
States Branch Mint; during this time he wrote much of his best poetry.
When _The Overland Monthly_ was projected in 1868, no other name than
Harte’s was considered for the editorship. Mr. Noah Brooks has told
how he and Harte agreed to write each a short story for the first
number, and how Harte with his usual fastidiousness about words was
unable to finish his in time. When it did appear, however, “The Luck of
Roaring Camp” and the story which followed it, “The Outcasts of Poker
Flat,” made Harte famous; the latter story is generally considered the
most perfect of his works. In 1870, Mr. Harte was appointed professor
of recent literature in the University of California; but in the
following year he resigned this post, settled in New York, and devoted
himself to lecturing and to writing, especially for _The Atlantic
Monthly_. In 1878, he was appointed United States consul at Crefeld,
Germany; from 1880 till 1885 he held a similar post at Glasgow. From
1885 until his death, in 1902, Harte lived in London, busily engaged in
literary work. His best-known works are “Mrs. Skagg’s Husbands” (1872),
“Tales of the Argonauts, and Other Stories” (1875), “Gabriel Conroy,”
his only long novel (1876), “Drift from Two Shores” (1878), “The Twins
of Table Mountain” (1879), “Flip; and Found at Blazing Star” (1882),
“In the Carquinez Woods” (1883), effectively expressing the wonder
and mystery of the forest, “On the Frontier” (1884), “Maruja” (1885),
a melodramatic novel, “Snow-Bound at Eagle’s” (1886), “A Millionaire
of Rough and Ready” (1887), “The Crusade of the Excelsior” (1887),
“A Phyllis of the Sierras” (1888), “The Argonauts of North Liberty”
(1888), “A Sappho of Green Springs” (1891), “Colonel Starbottle’s
Client and Some Other People” (1892), “Sally Dows” (1893), “A Protégée
of Jack Hamlin’s” (1894), “The Three Partners” (1897), “Under the
Redwoods” (1901). Throughout his life, it will be seen, he continued
to write of the old California days, of a régime which has long since
passed away, but which he immortalised.

It was Harte’s rare privilege to be the first to work in a mine which
has yielded rich ores to many since his day; to write of an elemental,
half-savage life in which convention was all but unknown, and the
background of which was the rugged simplicity and majesty of the
Sierras. “His actual discovery,” says Mr. Logan, “was Nature in an
aspect always grand, sometimes awful, at a moment when her primeval
solitude was invaded by a host that had cast human relationships
behind, and came surging towards an unknown land, all under the sway
of a devouring passion--the thirst for gold.” He had his own way
(possibly influenced by Dickens) of presenting these rough scenes.
He did not idealise this primitive life; he did not as a rule weave
it into romance (even Mr. Boyesen cites only “Gabriel Conroy” as
a romantic novel); he did not seek to interpret it or to make it
symbolise religious or moral ideas. To him it was a very real world;
and with true eye and sure touch he sought to portray it impartially,
as it was; the reader might draw his own moral--if he happened to need
one. It is this unerring instinct of the artist that places Harte in
the ranks of the greater story-tellers.

His powers, however, had their limitations. He found himself unable
to sustain interest in a long story. “Gabriel Conroy,” though it
contains interesting scenes and some of his best characters, is quite
without unity--a bundle of impressions in which the same characters are
presented hardly twice alike. He has been criticised, too, for endowing
otherwise worthless characters with some marked virtue; but perhaps it
is only fair to say, with Mr. Logan, that “the virtue is generally a
primitive one, and is rarely either inconsistent or improbable.”

In his later years, Harte did little to increase his reputation. The
same characters, the same types, appear again and again; but there is
no added source of interest, no maturer observation of men and manners.
His reputation continues to rest on the score of early tales, terse and
full of energy, with which he dazzled and delighted the reading public
of the later sixties and the seventies.

_Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward._--It is of course a far cry from Harte
to Mrs. Phelps Ward, who came into notice in the East in the same year
in which _The Overland_ was started. Mrs. Ward was born at Andover,
Massachusetts, and was the daughter of Professor Austin Phelps of
Andover Theological Seminary. In 1888 she was married to the Rev.
Herbert D. Ward. She is the author of a long list of kindly and
readable stories, none of which quite attains to distinction in point
of quality, but several of which have been popular and influential.
Beginning with “The Gates Ajar” (1868), half novel, half threnody,
she continued with “The Silent Partner” (1870), “The Story of Avis”
(1877), a favourite with many, “An Old Maid’s Paradise” (1879) and its
sequel “Burglars in Paradise” (1886), “Friends, a Duet” (1881), “Doctor
Zay” (1882), “Beyond the Gates” (1883), which elaborates the idea of
her first story, “A Singular Life” (1894), her best book, and “The
Man in the Case” (1906). Her plots, sometimes conventional, are never
complicated and are skilfully managed; and her women characters are
generally true to life. Of her men, for example Emanuel Bayard, so much
cannot be said. She collaborated with her husband in writing two or
three novels which were not very successful.

_Constance Fenimore Woolson._--A grandniece of Fenimore Cooper, Miss
Woolson (1848-94) has taken a place among women novelists scarcely
less honourable than that held by her kinsman among American novelists
in general. Born at Claremont, New Hampshire, she was educated in
Cleveland, Ohio, and at a French school in New York City. After her
father’s death in 1869, she spent her summers at Cooperstown, New
York, or on the Great Lakes, and her winters in the South. Her first
literary effort, “The Happy Valley” (_Harper’s_, July, 1870) met with
immediate approval. From then till her death, she contributed regularly
to _Harper’s_. She published “The Old Stone House” (1873), “Castle
Nowhere; Lake Country Sketches” (1875), “Rodman the Keeper; Southern
Sketches” (1880), “Anne” (1882), “For the Major” (1883), “East Angels”
(1886), her most elaborate and perhaps her best novel, dealing with
ante-bellum Georgia coast life, “Jupiter Lights” (1889), and “Horace
Chase” (1894), by many preferred to any of her other works. Possessing
decided gifts as a novelist, she had a high standard of excellence.
Some of her plots are intricate, but all are skilfully worked out.
Charles Dudley Warner spoke of her as one of the first in America
to bring the short story as a social study to its present degree of
excellence. Her best work should have more than a merely ephemeral life.

_Henry James, Jr._--A subject of contention among critics, having
an ardent if not a large following, but standing for something like
caviare to the general public, Henry James is to-day one of the most
striking figures among American novelists. He was born in New York,
April 15, 1843, the son of Henry James the theologian, and a younger
brother of William James the psychologist. His family was Irish on the
father’s side and Scotch on the mother’s. He has told us of his early
years and of how, while the other boys were at their games, he used
to sit on the hearth-rug studying _Punch_ and learning about the life
which John Leech’s pictures suggested to him. At eleven he was sent
abroad and spent six years in England, France, and Switzerland, deeply
interested in European culture, art, and social tradition. On his
return, his family made their home at Newport, Rhode Island. In 1862 he
entered the Harvard Law School, but found more pleasure in the lectures
of James Russell Lowell on literature than in the reading of law. Soon
after leaving Cambridge, having succeeded with some early ventures in
_The Galaxy_ and other magazines, he began to devote himself wholly to
literature. Since 1869 he has lived abroad, chiefly in Paris, London,
and Italy. His life has been a quiet, uneventful study of men and
women, of books, of places.

Mr. James has been a fairly prolific writer, of constantly increasing
subtlety and attention to finish. His first stories, curiously enough,
revealed a romantic, at times even sensational, bent, which he soon
outgrew. His first novel, “Watch and Ward” (1871), was promising but
not otherwise significant; “Roderick Hudson” (1875) was quite equal to
the best of his later work, combining profound analysis of character
with perhaps more sentiment than appears in his later works. It is a
study of the artistic temperament in the person of a young American
sculptor who is taken to Italy by a rich virtuoso. The story deals with
two favourite studies of Mr. James: the contrast between Americans and
the older races with which they come into contact in Europe, and the
contrast between the artistic and the prosaic person. The first of
these contrasts forms the subject of “A Passionate Pilgrim” (1875),
including that exquisite story “The Madonna of the Future,” of “The
American” (1877), and of “Daisy Miller, a Comedy” (1878), in which a
burlesque element is noticeable. From the year 1875, then, may be said
to date the “international novel” of comparison or contrast, which
has become so immensely popular. In “The Europeans” (1878), the scene
changes to Boston and the author shows how the life of the Puritans
appears to foreign visitors. Other international studies are found in
“An International Episode” (1879), “The Portrait of a Lady” (1881),
one of his most popular longer novels, and “The Siege of London, The
Pension Beaurepas, and The Point of View” (1883). In 1880 (dated
1881) appeared “Washington Square,” a quiet story laid in a formerly
aristocratic quarter of New York; the tale has been called “a miracle
in monotone.” Then came “The Bostonians” (1886), which Professor
Richardson speaks of as typically “long, dull, and inconsequential,
but mildly pleasing the reader, or at times quite delighting him,
by a deliberate style which is enjoyable for its own sake, by a
calm portraiture which represents the characters with silhouette
clearness, and by some very faithful and delicately humorous pictures
of the life and scenery of Eastern Massachusetts.” “The Princess
Casamassima” (1886) continues the career of an American adventuress,
Christina Light, who has figured in “Roderick Hudson,” to which it
thus forms a kind of sequel. Less read than some others, it is one
of the most remarkable of Mr. James’ stories. In 1888 appeared “The
Aspern Papers, and Other Stories” and “The Reverberator,” a comedy of
manners recalling “The American,” and dealing with the incompatibility
between the cultivated and the vulgar relatives of two lovers and
with the odious violation of private life by modern journalism. “The
Tragic Muse” (1890), a study of a psychological problem of art and
love, is complicated and difficult in the extreme; a friend expressed
a sound view of it to Mr. James: “I will say it is your best novel if
you promise never to do it again,” probably meaning that the extreme
limit of elaboration had been reached. Three collections of stories,
“The Lesson of the Master, and Other Stories” (1892), “The Real Thing,
and Other Tales” (1893), and “Terminations” (1895), include various
comic sketches, with some preciosities, and a well-told ghost-story,
“Sir Edmund Orme,” the _motif_ of which was later repeated in “The
Turn of the Screw” (1898), a horrible, nerve-racking tale. “The
Other House” (1896) is a highly dramatic, even sensational, story of
passion, culminating, strange to say, in a murder; yet Rose Armiger
is Mr. James’ one supremely passionate woman. In 1897 were published
“The Spoils of Poynton” and “What Maisie Knew,” the latter a rather
unpleasant story of domestic unhappiness and sordid intrigue; Maisie
being a little girl whose life was spent alternately in the company
of divorced parents, equally guilty, each of whom had remarried. “In
the Cage” (1898) is a tissue of shrewd guess-work woven by a lively
telegraph girl who becomes interested in the love affair of two others.
“The Two Magics” (1898) includes “The Turn of the Screw” and “Covering
End,” a pleasant comedy about an English country house. “The Awkward
Age” (1899) is a unique example of subtle, often elusive, analysis of
character--of character which some might say was not worth analysis,
with unimportant incidents and little action. “The Soft Side” (1900)
is a collection of studies of abnormal character and curious psychical
phenomena, in which the rhythm of the prose is at times remarkable for
its suggestiveness. “The Sacred Fount” (1901) is a fanciful sketch
dealing with the idea of youth as a rejuvenator of age. “The Wings of
the Dove” (1902) has been called the most remarkable book that Mr.
James has written. It is a long story of the old warfare between the
flesh and the spirit, in which the unseen forces from another world
play an unlooked-for part. Mr. James’ most recent stories are “The
Better Sort” (1903), “The Ambassadors” (1904), and “The Golden Bowl”

It is difficult to sum up in a few words the leading traits of
Mr. James. It is easy to speak of him as reeling off volumes of
abstruseness in which the petty ambitions of worthless Americans are
analysed with a minuteness like that in which the leisurely student of
anatomy delights; but such innocuous “criticism” does not even touch
Mr. James. Undoubtedly it has been increasingly hard of late years
to follow him; his later stories, with their proneness to excessive
psychological delving, have a certain analogy to Browning’s later
poems, which became harder to follow. But judged by his best works,
such as “Roderick Hudson,” “The Princess Casamassima,” and “The Other
House,” he must be pronounced a great artist, a keen analyst of the
small section of life and the few types of character which he has
chosen to study (and if one does not care for the types, one may still
recognise the art with which they are presented); and as always a loyal
American. He is not a master of style; yet at his best he embodies
certain qualities of supreme excellence in style--ease, intimacy,
suggestiveness, lucidity, sincerity. He is never a preacher, nor is
he ever the mere idler and _dilettante_. He is very much in earnest;
and in consequence the moral effect of his exposition of life is
wholesome. “Out of the corruption,” says Miss Cary,[16] “of a society
which Mr. James depicts with unsparing detail and without satire
or didactic comment, rises the flame of purity. Some one among his
characters is sure to stand for invincible goodness.” If the language
of his later books becomes unintelligible, it will of course be a pity;
but it seems quite unlikely that the great works of his middle period
will soon cease to have a large body of appreciative and delighted

_Edward Eggleston._--The Hoosier life of southern Indiana has been
described by Edward Eggleston (1837-1902). A native of Vevay, Indiana,
he received only a brief school education, but taught himself several
languages. He first became (1857) an itinerant Methodist minister in
southern Indiana and then for nine years was a Bible Society agent in
Minnesota. From 1866 till 1879, he was engaged partly in journalism and
partly in a Brooklyn pastorate; then he retired to his country place on
Lake George to devote himself entirely to literature.

His first book to win attention was “The Hoosier Schoolmaster” (1871),
which first appeared as a serial in _Hearth and Home_. Having read
Taine’s “Art in the Netherlands,” he says, he proceeded to apply
Taine’s maxim, that an artist ought to paint what he has seen. The
result was so faithful a picture that in spite of its faults it has a
permanent value as a record of one phase of early Western life. Dr.
Eggleston also wrote “The End of the World” (1872), which deals with
the Millerites, who in 1842-3 proved by the Book of Daniel that the
end of the world was at hand; “The Mystery of Metropolisville” (1873);
“The Circuit Rider, a Tale of the Heroic Age” (1874), in which he drew
on his own early experiences; “Roxy” (1878), a story of picturesque
incident and character development laid in the time of the Tippecanoe
campaign of 1840; “The Graysons, a Story of Illinois” (1888), a
realistic picture of pioneer life in which Abraham Lincoln figures as
a character; “The Faith Doctor” (1891), which deals with Christian
Science and kindred phenomena in New York, and which shows the
influence of Mr. Howells; and “Duffels” (1893), a collection of stories.

Dr. Eggleston himself spoke of his attitude in literature as a constant
struggle “between the lover of literary art and the religionist, the
reformer, the philanthropist, the man with a mission.” We are not of
course surprised to find an editor of _The Sunday School Teacher_
making his moral too prominent. But while this mars much of his work,
his novels may still be said to be fresh and genuine transcripts of

_Julian Hawthorne._--Julian Hawthorne (born in 1846) inherited literary
ability from his father, the romancer. As an infant he was delicate; at
seven his health was good, but having been kept out of school he could
neither read nor write. Entering Harvard in 1863, he became known as
an all-around athlete. After leaving Harvard without graduating, he
lived in Dresden for some years, then returned to America and became a
hydrographic engineer in New York. In 1871 he began to win attention
to his short stories, and since 1872 has devoted himself to literature
and journalism, living successively in Dresden, London, and New York.
“Bressant,” his first novel, published in _Appleton’s Journal_ in 1872,
is somewhat crude and not without sensational elements, but holds the
interest. Then came “Idolatry” (1874), which, though rewritten in whole
or in part seven times, is now unknown, “Garth” (1877), a long story of
New Hampshire, the chief part being a painter’s love-story, “Sebastian
Strome” (1880), a study of the chastening of a selfish character,
strongly reminding us of “Adam Bede,” “Dust” (1883), a story of extreme
self-sacrifice, “Fortune’s Fool” (1884), “Archibald Malmaison” (1884),
a novelette, and “Beatrix Randolph” (1884). In general his stories
are not pleasant reading. Impossible characters are not infrequent
and there is a tendency toward the choice of morbid subjects. Many
descriptive passages, however, are superbly done, and the general
impression one gets is that of power, but of power unrestrained,
a strong imagination capable of greater things than Mr. Hawthorne
has done. Yet the qualities characteristic of his best books, like
“Archibald Malmaison,” are such as led the late Richard Henry Stoddard,
a man by no means deficient in judgment, and familiar with the best in
modern literature, to pronounce Mr. Hawthorne “clearly and easily the
first of living romancers.”

In recent years, Mr. Hawthorne has forsaken the paths of pure
literature, with which he seems never to have been in love,[17] for
those of journalism.

_William Dean Howells._--The apostle of latter-day realism, and one
of the most noted of our writers of fiction, is Mr. Howells. He has
been prominent in literary circles for more than forty years. The son
of a journalist and printer, Mr. Howells was born at Martin’s Ferry,
Belmont County, Ohio, in 1837. His father had adopted Swedenborgian
tenets and the boy was reared in this faith. His boyhood life has been
admirably described in “A Boy’s Town.” The family lived successively
at several places in Ohio, and young Howells was in turn compositor,
correspondent, and news editor. In 1859 he began contributing to _The
Atlantic Monthly_, his first poem, “Andenken,” appearing anonymously
in January, 1860. Nearly every volume of _The Atlantic_ down to 1900
contains some of his work. A campaign “Life of Abraham Lincoln” (1860)
netted him $160, and enabled him to make his first trip East and to
meet Emerson, Lowell, and other New England writers; it also won for
him the post of Consul at Venice, which he held from 1861 till 1865.
The first fruits of his Italian residence were “Venetian Life” (1866)
and “Italian Journeys” (1867), two descriptive works which revealed a
truly poetic temperament and a refined taste. On his return to America,
Mr. Howells became an editorial writer for the New York _Times_ and a
contributor to _The Nation_. The next year (1866), removing to Boston,
he became assistant editor of _The Atlantic_; in 1871 he became the
editor and made the magazine a stronger force than ever in criticism.
On resigning this post in 1880, he spent a year or two abroad; since
1888 he has lived in New York, engaged chiefly in literary work. From
1886 till 1891 he conducted the Editor’s Study in _Harper’s_.

While Mr. Howells has been prolific in criticism, description,
narratives of travel, literary and personal reminiscences, and lighter
essays, his most significant work has been done in his novels. His
first appearance as a writer of fiction was in 1871, with “Their
Wedding Journey,” a slight but delicately humorous tale of a Boston
couple, the Marches, who go to Canada to spend their honeymoon. “A
Chance Acquaintance” (1873) is a subtle study of incompatibility of
temperament. “A Foregone Conclusion” (1875) transports us to Venice,
where we watch the unhappy love story, dramatically told, of an
agnostic priest and an American girl. “The Lady of the Aroostook”
(1879) is an amusing, healthy story of New England provincial manners.
The theme of “The Undiscovered Country” (1880) is spiritualism and
mesmerism. “A Fearful Responsibility” (1881) is the story of an
American professor in Venice whose charge, a young girl, is loved by an
Austrian officer. In “Dr. Breen’s Practice” (1881) we have pictures of
summer life in a small seaside village in Maine and a study of modern
Puritanism. With “A Modern Instance” (1881) may be said to begin the
extremely realistic stories in Mr. Howells’ later manner; others are:
“A Woman’s Reason” (1883), “The Rise of Silas Lapham” (1885), “Indian
Summer” (1886), “The Minister’s Charge, or The Apprenticeship of Lemuel
Barker” (1887), “April Hopes” (1887), “Annie Kilburn” (1888), “A Hazard
of New Fortunes” (1890), in which the Marches have characteristic
experiences in New York, “The Quality of Mercy” (1892), a painful
but well told story, “The Coast of Bohemia” (1893), “An Open-Eyed
Conspiracy” (1897), “Ragged Lady” (1899), “The Flight of Pony Baker”
(1902), a captivating boys’ story, belonging with “A Boy’s Town,”
“The Kentons” (1903), and “The Son of Royal Langbrith” (1905). From
these novels, after the manner of Tolstoi, the romantic and even the
ideal are rigorously excluded; we are treated to exhaustive, minutely
detailed accounts of the daily lives of ordinary, generally commonplace
people. Plot and incident are of secondary importance, although some
chapters fairly bristle with incident; Mr. Howells holds that any
transcript of real life, even though made at random, if skilfully
handled, is of sufficient interest to form a good story. Naturally
this view of the novel has found many opponents, and Mr. Howells’
books have been somewhat less popular of late years than they were in
the eighties. After all, the hunger for the ideal cannot be wholly
appeased by disagreeable actualities; and there are people whom we know
all too well in the flesh to care to see them, in all their pettiness
and meanness and duplicity, in the pages of fiction. Mr. Howells’
followers, however,--and there are many of them--contend that nothing
is so interesting as real, actual, present life; that no detail of our
daily round is without its significance; that the slightest act or
omission of an act may affect our destiny. After all, the realists and
the romanticists we have always with us; the former are just now in the
majority; but the reaction is just as inevitable as the return of the

In some of his later stories, as “The Traveller from Altruria” (1894)
and “Through the Eye of the Needle” (1907), Mr. Howells has shown an
increasing interest in the more serious problems of society--poverty,
strikes, the causes of crime, “the tyranny of individualism,” and the
conditions that hinder the spread of sympathy and human brotherhood.
The effect of this increased ethical and human interest has probably
not been to enhance the artistic value of his work; and some deplore
his lapse from the high ideal of art for art’s sake. Others see in
Mr. Howells’ recent works a greater attention to substance, a firmer
tissue, a broader humanity. And always, be it said, in reading Mr.
Howells, one is conscious of that fine and careful workmanship, that
care for correct and proper form, that artistic conscience, without
which, whatever his literary creed, Mr. Howells could never have become
the foremost and representative American novelist of his time.

_Frances Hodgson Burnett._--Frances H. Burnett was born in Manchester,
England, in 1849, but came to America with her parents in 1865
and lived for eight years, until her marriage, in New Market and
Knoxville, Tennessee. Since then she has lived in Washington and in
Kent, England. She first gained notice with “Surly Tim’s Trouble”
(_Scribner’s Monthly_, June, 1872), a story of Lancashire, as were
also “That Lass o’ Lowrie’s” (1877), “Dolly” (1877, republished in
1883 as “Vagabondia”), and “Haworth’s” (1879) said to be a favourite
with its author. With “Louisiana” (1880) she turned to America for
material, describing life in the mountains of North Carolina. “Through
One Administration” (1883) is a pathetic and powerful story of social
and political life in Washington. “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (1886), the
Anglo-American story of a seven-year-old hero, has become a children’s
classic; similar but less known are the tales in “Sara Crewe, and
Other Stories” (1888), and “The Captain’s Youngest, Piccino, and Other
Stories” (1894). In “The Pretty Sister of José” (1889), Mrs. Burnett
deals with picturesque and striking Spanish characters and scenes. “A
Lady of Quality” (1896) and its sequel, “His Grace of Osmonde” (1897),
are melodramatic stories of English aristocrats in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. “In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim”
(1899) deals with country life in Tennessee in the early sixties.
Her latest stories are “The Dawn of a To-Morrow” (1906) and “The
Shuttle” (1907), the latter a fascinating international novel. She has
thoroughly demonstrated her power to delineate character as moulded by

_Philander Deming._--Philander Deming (born in Carlisle, New York,
in 1829), a lawyer by profession, in 1873 began publishing in _The
Atlantic Monthly_ stories and sketches the scene of which is laid in
the Adirondack region of northern New York. Devoid of sensationalism,
these stories portray simply and effectively the rude but sound life of
plain country folk. Mr. Deming has published in book form “Adirondack
Stories” (1880), “Tompkins and Other Folks” (1885), and “The Story of a
Pathfinder” (1907).

_Lew Wallace._--General Lewis Wallace (1827-1905), an Indiana lawyer
and soldier in the Mexican and Civil Wars, was the author of three
novels, “The Fair God” (1873), “Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ” (1880),
and “The Prince of India” (1893), which deserve mention chiefly because
of their popularity. The second, especially, in this respect, ranks
close to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Written in a spirit of deep reverence for
the traditional view of Jesus of Nazareth, and making small demands
upon the imagination, it could hardly fail to make a strong appeal to a
large body of readers. As literature, however, Wallace’s books are of
only transient importance.

_Charles Dudley Warner._--Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) belongs
mainly with the essayists, but wrote a few novels that deserve to live.
With Mark Twain he wrote “The Gilded Age” (1873). “Their Pilgrimage”
(1887) has a slight plot, but gives minute and accurate descriptions of
Southern watering-places. “A Little Journey in the World” (1889) and
its sequel, “The Golden House” (1895), are vivid pictures of decadent
New York society. “That Fortune” (1899) is a picture, drawn from expert
knowledge, of the New York financial world.

_Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen._--Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen (1848-95) realised
the dream of many in successfully combining the careers of authorship
and teaching. Born at Frederiksvärn, Norway, and educated at
Christiania, he came to America in 1869. He first became editor of a
Scandinavian journal in Chicago. Then he studied philology at Leipsic
for two years (1872-74). From 1874 till 1880 he was professor of
German at Cornell University, and from 1881 till his death he filled a
similar chair at Columbia University. Besides some poetry and essays,
he wrote “Gunnar, a Norse Romance” (1874), his one effort in romance,
“Tales from Two Hemispheres” (1876), “Falconberg” (1879), “Ilka on the
Hilltop” (1881), a collection of short stories, “Queen Titania” (1881),
“A Daughter of the Philistines” (1883), “Social Strugglers” (1893),
“The Mammon of Unrighteousness” (1891), and “The Golden Calf” (1892).
His later stories were realistic novels concerned with vital problems,
such as the conflict between wealth and essential culture. Their vogue
was not great, but their workmanship was genuine.

_Blanche Willis Howard._--Blanche Willis Howard (1847-98) was born in
Bangor, Maine, was educated in New York, and in 1878 went to Stuttgart,
Germany, to engage in teaching and writing. In 1890 she was married
to Baron von Teuffel, a physician. She wrote a number of novels,
of which “One Summer” (1875), “Aunt Serena” (1880), “Guenn” (1882),
“Aulnay Tower” (1886), “The Open Door” (1889), “No Heroes” (1893), a
boys’ story, and “Seven on the Highway” (1897), a collection of short
stories, may be mentioned. In collaboration with William Sharp she
wrote “A Fellowe and His Wife” (1892), in which a comic atmosphere
prevails. Perhaps “Guenn,” the pathetic story of a Breton maiden’s
hopeless love, is the book by which she will be longest remembered.

_Edgar Fawcett._--Edgar Fawcett (1847-1904) was in his day a prominent
and popular poet, dramatist, and novelist. Born and reared in New
York, and at twenty graduated from Columbia College, he early saw the
rich possibilities of the life around him, and confined himself to the
delineation of New York people. The best of his novels are “Rutherford”
(written in 1876, but not published in book form till 1884), “A
Hopeless Case” (1880), “A Gentleman of Leisure” (1881), “An Ambitious
Woman” (1883), “The House at High Bridge” (1886), perhaps his best
story, “Fair Fame” (1894), “Outrageous Fortune” (1894), and “The Ghost
of Guy Thyrle” (1897). He was fond of attacking the petty conventions
of social life and his satire was not ineffective. Partly because of
this unpleasant realism his books have already ceased to be much read.

_Edwin Lassetter Bynner._--Edwin L. Bynner (1842-93), a New England
lawyer and journalist, for a time librarian of the Boston Law Library,
achieved success in the field of the historical romance. Beginning
with “Nimport” (1877), he produced a large number of novels and short
stories, of which the best are “Penelope’s Suitors” (_The Atlantic_,
December, 1884), “Agnes Surriage” (1887), “The Begum’s Daughter”
(1889), a story of New Amsterdam in 1689, and “Zachary Phips” (1892),
which introduces the mysterious Western expedition of Aaron Burr.
Accurate on the historical side, his works are not distinguished
artistic successes; yet they make the past live again.

_Sarah Orne Jewett._--Sarah Orne Jewett (born in 1849) has written some
interesting and even powerful stories of the coast of New England. She
was reared at South Berwick, near the Maine coast. While accompanying
her father, a physician, on his rounds, she heard from him many local
and family histories and traditions. Her first story was “Deephaven”
(1877); and she has since written, among others, “Country By-Ways”
(1881), eight sketches; “The Mate of the _Daylight_, and Friends
Ashore” (1884), short stories and sketches; “A Country Doctor” (1884),
“A Marsh Island” (1885), and “A White Heron” (1886), three stories
of rural New England; “Strangers and Wayfarers” (1890); “A Native of
Winby, and Other Tales” (1893); “The Country of the Pointed Firs”
(1896), which contains her most successful character studies; “The
Queen’s Twin, and Other Stories” (1899); “The Tory Lover” (1901), a
love-story of the Revolution, introducing John Paul Jones, which cannot
be pronounced successful. Miss Jewett is at her best in her kindly
humorous and sympathetic interpretations of humble but self-respecting
New Englanders of the present day. Her humour is healthy and contagious
and her style is for the most part simple, clear, and vigorous.

_Mrs. Ellen Olney Kirk._--Ellen Olney Kirk (“Henry Hayes,” born in
Connecticut in 1842) has been popular as a novelist. She received her
education at Stratford, Conn., and was married to John Foster Kirk,
the historian, in 1879. Her stories include “Love in Idleness” (1877),
“A Lesson in Love” (1883), a study in character, “A Midsummer Madness”
(1885), “The Story of Margaret Kent” (1886), “Queen Money” (1888), “The
Story of Lawrence Garth” (1894), her best book, in which the difficult
character of an adventuress is well drawn, “The Revolt of a Daughter”
(1898), “Dorothy Deane” (1899), “Our Lady Vanity” (1901), “The Apology
of Ayliffe” (1904), and “Marcia” (1907). The moral in her stories is
generally not obtrusive and the humour is genial.

_Edward Bellamy._--Edward Bellamy (1850-98), a native of Massachusetts,
studied at Union College and in Germany, and in 1871 was admitted to
the bar, but devoted his life to journalism and literature. After a
year in the Sandwich Islands, in 1878 he published his first novel,
“A Nantucket Idyl,” which was followed by “Dr. Heidenhoff’s Process”
(1880), in its own way a supremely effective romance, and “Miss
Ludington’s Sister, a Romance of Immortality” (1884), none of them very
successful with the public. His best known work, “Looking Backward,
or 2000-1887” (1888), a Utopian romance, was unexpectedly received as
a gospel of socialism; it was widely read and translated into many
languages. Much inferior artistically was its sequel, “Equality”
(1897). In his best work Bellamy showed a rare gift of romantic
portraiture of average types “in the village environment by which he
interpreted the heart of the American nation.”

_Mrs. Burton N. Harrison._--Mrs. Burton Harrison (born Constance
Cary, at Vaucluse, Virginia, in 1846) has written interesting and
highly realistic novels of New York City life, full of local colour
and effective in background; and some novels of Virginia life. Mr.
Harrison, to whom she was married in 1867, had been private secretary
to President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy. The couple soon
removed to New York, which has since been their permanent home. Mrs.
Harrison’s first venture in literature was “A Little Centennial Lady”
(_Scribner’s Monthly_, July, 1876), a sprightly historical sketch. Her
novels dealing with Northern society are “Golden Rod” (1878), “Helen
Troy” (1881), “The Anglomaniacs” (1890), “Sweet Bells out of Tune”
(1893), “A Bachelor Maid” (1894), “An Errant Wooing” (1895), “Good
Americans” (1897), “A Triple Entanglement” (1897), “The Carcelline
Emerald” (1899), and “The Circle of a Century.” Perhaps the chief
excellence of these stories is the dialogue, in the management of
which Mrs. Harrison shows great skill. Although the attitude of the
author is that of a satirist, her laughter at the foibles of society is
not unkindly. Of Virginia she has written “Crow’s Nest and Bellhaven
Tales” (1892) and “A Son of the Old Dominion” (1897), which deals
with pre-Revolutionary times. “A Daughter of the South” (1892) is an
exquisitely told story of New Orleans Creole life thrown into the
environment of Paris under the Second Empire.

_Charles Egbert Craddock._--Charles Egbert Craddock is the pen name
of Mary Noailles Murfree (born in 1850), who contributed to _The
Atlantic_ for several years before it was suspected that her stories
were written by a woman. She is the daughter of a once prominent lawyer
of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who in 1883 removed to St. Louis. Because
of an accident, Miss Murfree was for several years unable to walk. She
was a diligent student and somehow gained an intimate knowledge of the
mountaineers of Eastern Tennessee, who figure in all of her stories.
Her first story of any importance was “The Dancin’ Party at Harrison’s
Cove” (_The Atlantic_, May, 1878). It was largely due to Mr. Aldrich’s
urgent representations that her first collection of stories, “In the
Tennessee Mountains,” found a publisher (1884). Of this a writer in
_The Nation_ said, with justice: “We have not only one mountain valley,
but a whole country of hills--not a man and a woman here and there,
but the people of a whole district--not merely a day of winter or of
summer, but all the year--not lives, but life.” This is substantially
true of all her works, in which she described prosaic and pathetic
mountaineer life, being always inspired, however, by the solitude and
grandeur of the Great Smoky Mountains. The list of her works is a long
one: “Where the Battle was Fought” (1884); “Down the Ravine” (1885);
“The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains” (1885), which recounts the
history of “a Bunyan worsted by his doubts”; “In the Clouds” (1887), a
tragic story likewise dealing with religious experiences; “The Story
of Keedon Bluffs” (1887); “The Despot of Broomsedge Cove” (1889), the
plot of which hinges on a mysterious murder; “In the Stranger People’s
Country” (1891); “His Vanished Star” (1894); “The Mystery of Witch-Face
Mountain, and Other Stories” (1895); “The Juggler” (1897); “The Young
Mountaineers” (1897), short stories; “The Champion” (1902); “A Spectre
of Power” (1903), which is laid in the year 1763 and is full of Indian
love; “The Frontiersmen” (1904); and “The Storm Centre” (1905). Her
later work suffers from repetition of certain mannerisms and from
excessive attention to description; possibly also from too rapid
production. On the whole, however, in her ability to present the pathos
and tragedy of simple lives, Miss Murfree has a place of honour among
present-day writers.

_Anna Katharine Green._--Through the publication, in 1878, of “The
Leavenworth Case,” a clever detective story, this author, then a girl
of nineteen, was brought into immediate notice on both sides of the
Atlantic. “The Leavenworth Case” was followed in successive years by
“A Strange Disappearance,” “The Sword of Damocles,” “Hand and Ring,”
“Behind Closed Doors,” “Marked ‘Personal,’” “That Affair Next Door,”
“Lost Man’s Lane,” “One of My Sons,” and other volumes. Some critics
have spoken of Miss Green (who is now Mrs. Charles Rohlfs) as the
“Wilkie Collins of America.” Nearly all of her books have appeared in
transatlantic editions. Mrs. Rohlfs is also responsible for two volumes
of poems, “The Defence of the Bride” (1882) and “Risifi’s Daughter”

_Frank R. Stockton._--The unique and kindly humour of Mr. Stockton’s
books attracted many readers. He was born in Philadelphia in 1834 and
was the son of William S. Stockton, an ardent temperance reformer,
abolitionist, and Methodist layman who helped to establish the
Methodist Protestant Church. Educated in the schools of Philadelphia,
young Stockton first tried the study of medicine, then worked as a
wood-engraver for some years, devoting his leisure time to prose and
verse writing. In 1872, he gave up wood-engraving to join the staff of
the Philadelphia _Morning Post_, and for the next ten years was engaged
in editorial and journalistic work on _Scribner’s Monthly_, _St.
Nicholas_, _Hearth and Home_, etc. From 1882 until his death in 1902,
Mr. Stockton was independently engaged in literary work, producing a
large number of delightfully humorous stories and novels. The tale
which made him famous was “Rudder Grange” (1879), which recounts the
experiences of a young married couple who begin housekeeping in a
castaway barge with an absurd handmaid named Pomona. “The Lady or the
Tiger? and Other Stories” appeared in 1884; the title story is the
best known of Stockton’s works. Other stories are “The Late Mrs. Null”
(1886); “The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine” (1886), a
Crusoe-like narrative, a sequel to which is “The Dusantes” (1888); “The
Hundredth Man” (1887); “The Merry Chanter” (1890); “The Squirrel Inn”
(1891); “Pomona’s Travels” (1894), which narrates the wedding journey
of the amusing Pomona through England and Scotland; “The Adventures
of Captain Horn” (1895) and its sequel, “Mrs. Cliff’s Yacht” (1896),
which deal with adventures in quest of the treasure of the Incas of
Peru; “A Bicycle of Cathay” (1900); and “Afield and Afloat” (1901),
a collection of short stories. While his style is remarkably simple
and free from mannerisms, “the art that conceals art, until it can
pass for nature itself,” his method of handling plot and character
is distinctively his own. His reasoning is always logical, but he
contrives that it shall bring about the most amusing absurdities
conceivable. If, as one writer alleges, “his whimsicality played on the
surface of men and things,” one may reply that that is precisely where
it should play. His stories are none the less wholesome, even though he
rarely or never touches on the pathetic. He was equally at home with
the novel and the short story; but probably it is by his short stories
that he will be longest known.

_George Washington Cable._--George W. Cable (born in 1844) has
immortalised the picturesque Creole life of Louisiana in the nineteenth
century. Born in New Orleans of Virginian and New England stock, he
had little school training and early became a clerk. At nineteen he
entered the Confederate Army, serving till the close of the war.
Then he became in succession a civil engineer and an accountant,
contributing meanwhile to the New Orleans _Picayune_. Seven of his
stories were collected and published in 1879 as “Old Creole Days.”
“The Grandissimes” (1880), which remains his best work, is a graphic
and faithful picture of New Orleans life of a century ago, embodying
romance and realism. “Madame Delphine” (1881) is a touching story of a
heroic old quadroon woman. In “Dr. Sevier” (1884), Cable has studied
in romantic vein an exceptional type of character, though not with
marked success. “Bonaventure, a Prose Pastoral of Arcadian Louisiana”
(1888), a better book, is a chapter of ethical history. “Strange True
Stories of Louisiana” appeared in 1889. Less interesting as fiction,
but valuable as a social study, is “John March, Southerner” (1894), a
story of Southern Reconstruction. “The Cavalier” (1901) goes back to
the Civil War, but subordinates interest in the conflict to interest
in character; while “Bylow Hill” (1902) is a tragic story of insane
jealousy, the scene being New England. Since 1885, Mr. Cable has lived
at Northampton, Massachusetts. His later work, like that of many
another, has probably suffered from a natural tendency to subordinate
the artistic to the ethical. But in the province which he has made his
own, the pioneer remains supreme. “Few recent American novelists,”
Professor Richardson justly remarks, “have shown so uniform an average
of attainment in thought and art, or have thrown upon the quaintly real
such new tints of ideal light.”

_Albion Winegar Tourgee._--Albion W. Tourgee (1838-1905), an Ohioan,
studied (1858-61) at the University of Rochester, saw service
in the Union Army, and afterward became an editor and lawyer at
Greensboro, North Carolina. Most of his novels deal with phases of the
Reconstruction Period in the South. The best of these were: “A Fool’s
Errand, by One of the Fools” (1879), doubtless his best known work,
“Bricks Without Straw” (1880), and “The Invisible Empire” (1883). “Figs
and Thistles” (1879) is a realistic story of early Ohio, in which the
career of President Garfield is introduced; “Pactolus Prime” (1890) is
the story of a Washington bootblack who has views on the negro problem.
A man of strong opinions, Judge Tourgee could not write a novel which
did not provoke thought; and he was by no means devoid of the true
story-teller’s cunning.

=The Eighties.=--The decade of 1880-90 beheld the growth of realism to
vigorous maturity. Romances not a few were written, to be sure, such
as the “Ramona” (1884) of Mrs. Helen Fiske Jackson (“H. H.,” 1831-85),
in which a romantic narrative clothes a strong plea for more humane
treatment of the Indians, and the two Italian romances of William
Waldorf Astor (born in 1848), “Valentino” (1885) and “Sforza, a Story
of Milan” (1889). But these can hardly be called representative stories
in a decade which saw the best work of Howells, James, Craddock,
Fawcett, Bunner, Cable, and many others who wrote of the life they had
seen and were content to employ present-day settings.

A few writers may here be grouped together for convenience. To the
decade in question belong the best stories of George Parsons Lathrop
(1851-98), the son-in-law of Hawthorne: “In the Distance” (1882),
“An Echo of Passion” (1882), and “Would You Kill Him?” (1889), which
amounts to a plea against capital punishment; and most of the fiction
of Professor Arlo Bates (born in 1850): “The Pagans” (1884) and its
sequel “The Philistines” (1889), “A Lad’s Love” (1887), though “The
Puritans” dates from 1898. Fine pictures of Italian life have been
drawn by Julia Constance Fletcher (“George Fleming,” born in 1853) in
“Vestigia” (1882) and “Andromeda” (1885), the latter a story of high
ideals and noble self-sacrifice. Illinois life in the unattractive
baldness of pioneer days is portrayed by Major Joseph Kirkland
(1830-94) in “Zury, the Meanest Man in Spring County” (1887) and “The
McVeys, an Episode” (1888), in which Lincoln again figures as in
Eggleston’s “Graysons.”

_Henry Adams and John Hay._--“Democracy” (1880), an anonymous novel the
authorship of which has hitherto baffled the critics, and which the
present writer can now announce definitely to have been the work of
the historian Henry Adams, is a keen and incisive study of political
society in Washington, vividly portraying the corruption which perhaps
inevitably attends the growth of the people’s power, but concerning
which the author is all too pessimistic. The bribery case which aids
Mrs. Lee in unmasking the real character of Silas P. Ratcliffe finds
a parallel in our contemporary history; and several of the characters
are thought to have been drawn from real life. Happily, whatever may
have been the state of affairs in Washington in 1880, the story would
be very far from a true picture of the Washington of to-day. John Hay
(1838-1905), lawyer, journalist, diplomatist, and statesman, was the
author of a single novel, and his connection with that has been, up
to the appearance of the present volume, only a conjecture. Prudence,
however, obviously, required that “The Bread-Winners” (1883) should
appear anonymously. As a politician, and as acting editor of _The
Tribune_, Mr. Hay did not then wish to avow himself the author of a
“frivolous novel”; besides, in the story he had spoken rather plainly
about strikes and labour troubles. The story itself is well written,
natural, and for the most part true to life. Of the two love scenes,
the proposal of Maud Matchin is more convincing than is Farnham’s to
Alice Belding. The plot is well worked out; our interest in the story
for itself almost never flags.

_Joel Chandler Harris._--Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908) used
to describe himself as a journalist who became a literary man by
accident. Few accidents have been luckier. He was born at Eatonton,
Putnam County, Georgia. At fourteen he began to set type in a country
newspaper office, contributing surreptitiously to its columns, setting
his articles from the case instead of committing them to paper. Then he
studied law and practised for a time at Forsyth, Georgia, at the same
time doing literary work. In 1876, he joined the staff of the Atlanta
_Constitution_, of which he became editor in 1890. To this paper he
contributed the beast stories collected in 1881 under the title of
“Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings,” which have ever since been
immensely popular. Uncle Remus, a shrewd and witty old negro, has
an inexhaustible supply of stories of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and the
other creatures; these “the little boy” and the rest of us never
tire of hearing. The stories themselves, brought from Africa by the
negroes, are interesting variant forms of the great beast epic, the
classic example of which is “Reynard the Fox.”[18] They celebrate the
victory of craft over strength, of brain over brawn. Two other series
afterward appeared, “Nights with Uncle Remus” (1883) and “Uncle Remus
and His Friends” (1892); and now there is an _Uncle Remus’ Magazine_.
Mr. Harris’ other books have helped to complete an admirably faithful
picture of Middle Georgia rural life before, during, and after the
Civil War. They include “At Teague Poteet’s” (published in 1883 in _The
Century_), “Mingo, and Other Sketches in Black and White” (1884), “Free
Joe” (1887), “Balaam and His Master, and Other Sketches and Stories”
(1891), in which melancholy and pathos predominate, “Aaron in the
Wildwoods” (1897), “Tales of the Home Folks in Peace and War” (1898),
“The Chronicles of Aunt Minervy Ann” (1899), “On the Wing of Occasions”
(1900). With the single exception of “Gabriel Tolliver” (1902), which
was not successful, Mr. Harris’ constant work in journalism prevented
him from undertaking any long novel of plantation life; shorter flights
were better suited to his ability.

_Maurice Thompson._--Maurice Thompson (1844-1901), of Indiana, wrote
several romances. The first three, dealing with Southern life, “A
Tallahassee Girl” (1882), “His Second Campaign” (1883), and “At
Love’s Extremes” (1885), were not very successful. In “A Banker of
Bankersville” (1886) he succeeded better, giving a true and fresh
picture of life in Indiana. The novel by which he is best known is
“Alice of Old Vincennes” (1901), a stirring tale of French Indiana and
the War of Independence. “Sweetheart Manette” (1901) gives an agreeable
sketch of life in a Creole town on the Gulf Coast.

_Francis Marion Crawford._--“The most versatile and various of modern
novelists,” if Mr. Andrew Lang’s opinion is to be accepted, is Mr.
F. Marion Crawford. Not only has he been prolific in a high degree,
having written over thirty novels, but his scenes and characters have
a wide range both in time and in place. He was born at Bagni di Lucca,
Italy, in 1854, the son of Thomas Crawford the sculptor (who was of
Scotch-Irish parentage) and Louisa Ward Crawford, a sister of Mrs.
Julia Ward Howe. Prepared for college at St. Paul’s School, Concord,
New Hampshire, he entered Harvard, but remained there only a short
time. He spent the years 1870-74 mainly at Trinity College, Cambridge,
1874-76 at Karlsruhe and Heidelberg, and 1877-78 at the University of
Rome, where he studied Sanskrit. In 1879 he went to India and for two
years was connected with the Allahabad _Indian Herald_. Returning to
America, he spent two years in New York and Boston, continuing his
Sanskrit and Zend studies under Professor Lanman of Harvard. No other
American novelist save Mr. James has had so cosmopolitan a training.
Relating a story of a Persian jewel merchant’s adventure in India to
his uncle, Samuel Ward, he was advised to make a novel of it; the
result was the fascinating “Mr. Isaacs” (1882). Soon afterward Mr.
Crawford returned to Italy, where, near Sorrento, he has since lived.

Mr. Crawford has a gift of rapid composition, sometimes completing
a novel in less than a month; but his work as a whole is markedly
free from slovenliness or signs of undue haste. His stories can be
only briefly described: “Dr. Claudius” (1883), a highly romantic
old-fashioned love-story of a learned Heidelberg Ph.D.; “To Leeward”
(1883), a clever story of a wife’s infidelity and of Roman society; “A
Roman Singer” (1884), the story of an Italian peasant boy who became
a great tenor and married a German countess; “An American Politician”
(1885), which deals, in the style of Henry James, and with indifferent
success, with the corruption in American politics; “Zoroaster” (1885),
a strong romance written also in French, and brilliantly treating of
the court of King Darius and the prophet Daniel; “A Tale of a Lonely
Parish” (1886), a quiet and charming story of English rural life;
“Paul Patoff” (1887), “a tale and nothing else,” the scene of which
is laid in modern Constantinople; “Marzio’s Crucifix” (1887, written
also in French), which is exceptional among his works in that it
portrays Italian lower- and middle-class life, and which is considered
by many his best work; “Saracinesca” (1887), “Sant’ Ilario” (1889),
“Don Orsino” (1892), and “Corleone” (1898), four novels forming a
sequence and presenting on a broad canvas a remarkable picture of Roman
society in the last third of the nineteenth century; “Greifenstein”
(1889), a tragedy of the Black Forest, “a true story,” containing
accurate descriptions of German student life; “A Cigarette-Maker’s
Romance” (1890), a perfectly constructed romantic and absorbing story
of Russian and Polish people living in Munich; “Khaled, a Romance of
Arabia” (1891), of which a genie is the hero; “The Witch of Prague”
(1891), which deals with hypnotism, a theme difficult to handle in
fiction; “The Three Fates” (1892), a realistic story of New York
society life and the best of Mr. Crawford’s American studies; “Marion
Darche” (1893), another story of New York and of the devotion of a
forger’s wife; “The Children of the King” (1893), a melodramatic
story of Calabrian peasant life; “Pietro Ghisleri” (1893), in which
both romantic and realistic elements are found and which pictures
the gay society of Rome; “Katharine Lauderdale” and its sequel “The
Ralstons” (1894), chronicles of a New York family; “Casa Braccio”
(1895), a melodrama of passion; “Taquisara” (1896), an unpleasant story
of the last representative of a great Saracen family and a princess
of Acireale; “Via Crucis” (1899), a historical romance of the Second
Crusade; “In the Palace of the King” (1900), a tale of passion, the
hero of which is Don John of Austria, and the scene of which is the
court of Philip II. of Spain; “Marietta, a Maid of Venice” (1901),
a fifteenth-century story; “The Heart of Rome” (1903), the _motif_
of which is modern Rome’s treatment of its artistic heritage; “Fair
Margaret” (1905), published in London as “Soprano, a Portrait,”
recounting the fascinating career of Margaret Donne, who becomes a
successful opera singer; “Whosoever Shall Offend” (1905), an effective
story of crime; and “A Lady of Rome” (1906), a study of character
moulded by strong religious belief.

Of this remarkable series, the most noteworthy, though probably not the
most popular, are those dealing with Italian life. Mr. Crawford has
been markedly successful in his portraiture of Italian middle-class
life, and only a little less so in writing of the aristocracy. He
excels in representing agreeable, well-bred men and women; under his
touch they are natural, human, lifelike. He is fertile in invention and
lavish of characters and plot-incident, using in quite a subordinate
connection materials which other novelists would reserve for the
main plots of future novels. In general, his plots are skilfully
constructed; occasionally, as in “Taquisara” (which is almost two
separate stories), he fails to weld his material insolubly together. He
has a remarkably bold and vigorous imagination, and does not hesitate
to introduce daring conceptions and incidents; a romantic cast of mind
is necessary if one would fully enjoy him. A Roman Catholic himself, he
has had the amplest opportunity for studying the Catholic temperament
and point of view, which he interprets admirably; it is natural that
he should be weakest in portraying the characters of unbelievers or
heretics. He is always dispassionate, calm, never losing himself in
any storm of passion. His fiction as a whole is remarkably even,
and it cannot be affirmed that his latest work shows deterioration.
For the skill with which he has utilised vast stores of learning,
for the effective though restrained use of a virile and picturesque
imagination, for “astonishing literary tact” and breadth of view, Mr.
Crawford has not his equal among living American writers, and his place
is among the writers who only just miss the first rank.

_Frederic Jesup Stimson._--Frederic J. Stimson, a native of Dedham,
Massachusetts (born in 1855), has led a busy life as lawyer, legal
writer, Harvard professor, and novelist. His earlier novels were
published over the pen name of “J. S. of Dale.” He has written, among
others, “Guerndale” (1882), “The Crime of Henry Vane” (1884), the plot
of which is unconvincing, “First Harvests” (1888), “Mrs. Knollys and
Other Stories” (1894), “Pirate Gold” (1896), “King Noanett” (1896),
carefully worked out, an exciting story of mystery and adventure,
“Jethro Bacon of Sandwich” (1902), and “In Cure of Her Soul” (1906).
Mr. Stimson has not taken high rank as a novelist, but his stories are
generally interesting and the later ones may be commended to those who
are fond of good romances. “The Weaker Sex” (_The Atlantic_, April,
1901) is a powerful short story.

_Henry Cuyler Bunner._--Henry C. Bunner (1855-96), for many years the
editor of _Puck_, wrote many short stories and some good novels. He
was a native of Oswego, New York, and received his literary training
in the school of journalism, being connected first with _The Sun_
and then with _The Arcadian_, a literary weekly. “A Woman of Honor”
(1883) gave some promise in plot and incident. “Love in Old Cloathes”
(_The Century_, September, 1883) brought him a reputation as a clever
story-teller. His next novel, “The Midge,” an ingenious story of the
New York French quarter, appeared in 1886; it was followed by “The
Story of a New York House” (1887), the somewhat melancholy history of
a house, typifying the family which occupies it. “Natural Selection”
appeared serially in _Scribner’s_ (1888). “Zadoc Pine, and Other
Stories” (1891) are tales the skilful construction of which shows how
carefully Bunner studied Boccaccio; while in “Short Sixes” (1891), his
most popular stories, he avowed his discipleship to Maupassant. He was
more successful in his short stories than in his novels.

_Arthur Sherburne Hardy._--Arthur S. Hardy (born in 1847 at Andover,
Mass.), in 1902-6 United States Minister Plenipotentiary at Madrid,
has had a varied career. Graduating at West Point in 1869, he served
for a year in the Third United States Artillery, then became in
succession professor of civil engineering, first at Iowa College,
later at Dartmouth, professor of mathematics at Dartmouth, editor of
_The Cosmopolitan_, and United States Minister to Persia, to Greece,
Roumania, and Servia, and to Switzerland. Well known for several
mathematical publications, he is the author of three novels, two of
which are distinguished for happy description, graceful diction, and
profound reflection rather than for individuality of plot or able
development of character. “But Yet a Woman” (1883) is a story, somewhat
deficient in local colour, of the coming of love to a French maiden
destined for the convent. “The Wind of Destiny” (1886) is a story of
a weak woman and two men which, though it lacks dramatic interest,
offers some compensation in “the peculiarly noble air which pervades
it, the extreme beauty of many of its passages, the revelation of
life flashed occasionally as from a diamond of light, and perhaps
more than all for the very subtle charm which hangs over the whole
movement of the story.”[19] “Passe Rose” (1889) is a charming poetical
romance of Provence in the stirring times of Charles the Great, and is
decidedly Mr. Hardy’s most successful novel. His latest story is “His
Daughter First” (1903). With rare sympathy, which he makes no attempt
to conceal, he has interpreted several diverse types, and his men and
women are alive.

_Mary Hallock Foote._--Born at Milton-on-the-Hudson, New York, in
1847, Mary Hallock early showed artistic talent and at sixteen began
to study design in Cooper Institute, New York City. She was married in
1876 to Arthur D. Foote, a California mining engineer, and travelled
extensively in the Southwest. Her varied experiences have been utilised
with marked literary skill in a series of stories, the first of which
was “The Led Horse Claim” (1883), in which the story of Romeo and
Juliet was repeated in a California mining camp, though with a happy
ending. “The Chosen Valley” (1892) is a study in contrasts, recounting
an episode in the reclaiming by irrigation of the waste lands of the
West. In 1894 appeared “Cœur d’Alene,” a love-story with a background
in the labour troubles. She has also written “John Bowdoin’s Testimony”
(1886), “The Last Assembly Ball” (1889), “In Exile” (1894), and “The
Cup of Trembling” (1895). Her latest stories, “The Desert and the Sown”
(1902), a study of ideal self-sacrifice, and “A Touch of Sun, and Other
Stories” (1903), are hardly up to the level of her earlier work, which,
in its vivid representation of wild Western life, entitles her to a
place with Bret Harte.

_Wolcott Balestier._--The promise of the too short life of Charles
Wolcott Balestier (1861-91) deserves record. He was born at Rochester,
New York, studied at Cornell University and the University of
Virginia, and became first the editor of _Tid-Bits_ and then the junior
partner of Heinemann & Balestier, publishers of _The English Library_,
an attempt to popularise British and American books on the Continent.
His interest in literature was intense, and that he would have produced
stories worth remembering, doubtless in the vein of Mr. Howells, whom
he greatly admired, is evidenced by his few published works: “A Patent
Philtre” (1884), “A Fair Device” (1884), “A Victorious Defeat” (1886),
“A Common Story” (1891), “The Average Woman” (1892), three stories,
with a memorial note by Henry James, and “Benefits Forgot” (1891),
first published serially in _The Century_. With Mr. Kipling, his
brother-in-law, he collaborated in “The Naulahka” (1892).

_Robert Grant._--Born in Boston (1852), Robert Grant graduated from
Harvard in 1873 and became Ph.D. in 1876 and LL.B. in 1879. He has
followed law and letters side by side. In 1893 he was appointed Judge
of the Probate Court and the Court of Insolvency for Suffolk County,
Massachusetts. He has written, among other things, “The Confessions
of a Frivolous Girl” (1880), “An Average Man” (1884), “The Knave
of Hearts” (1886), “The Reflections of a Married Man” (1892), “The
Opinions of a Philosopher” (1893), “The Bachelor’s Christmas, and Other
Stories” (1895), and “Unleavened Bread” (1900), his best known and most
powerful story. Mr. Grant is a trenchant satirist of the foibles of
certain aspirants to social prominence. Selma, in “Unleavened Bread,”
is a veritable incarnation of ignoble social ambition.

_Henry Harland._--Henry Harland (1861-1905) was born in St.
Petersburg, Russia, and was educated at the College of the City of
New York, Harvard, Paris, and Rome. In 1886 he removed to London,
where he became well known as the editor of _The Yellow Book_. His
earlier stories, including “As It Was Written” (1885), a musician’s
story, “Mrs. Peixada” (1886), “The Land of Love” (1887), “My Uncle
Florimond” (1888), and others, were published as by “Sidney Luska”;
they circulated widely but were later condemned by Harland himself
as trashy. He later wrote “Mea Culpa” (1893), “Comedies and Errors”
(1898), “The Cardinal’s Snuff-Box” (1900), which scored a decided
success, and “My Lady Paramount” (1902). His brilliance and geniality
are reflected in his works, but his vein was not an extensive one.

_Thomas Nelson Page._--One of the leading novelists of the South
to-day is Thomas Nelson Page. Born in 1853 at Oakland, Virginia, he
studied (1869-72) at Washington and Lee University and (1873-74) at
the University of Virginia. After practising law for some years, he
turned, like many other lawyers, to literature. “Marse Chan” (_The
Century_, April, 1884) met with great favour, and was followed by other
short stories, which were collected in 1887 under the title “In Ole
Virginia.” The life in Virginia before and during the war was further
presented in “Two Little Confederates” (1888), “On New Found River”
(1891), “Elsket, and Other Stories” (1891), “The Burial of the Guns,
and Other Stories” (1894), “Red Rock, a Chronicle of Reconstruction”
(1898), “The Old Gentleman of the Black Stock” (1900), and “Gordon
Keith” (1903). Mr. Page has a strong affection for the Old South, and
vividly and powerfully delineates the life of the aristocracy and
the negroes. While sympathetic, his descriptions of the system of
slavery are free from bitterness and are entitled to consideration as
truthful and convincing. Probably he has never surpassed his earlier
short stories, which exhibit most distinctively the charm of his
style; but “Red Rock,” at least, has demonstrated his ability to write
successfully also on a larger scale.

_Thomas Allibone Janvier._--Thomas A. Janvier (born in 1849), a native
of Philadelphia, became a New York journalist and then a writer of
stories. He has been especially successful in depicting the Bohemian
life of the metropolis. His “Color Studies: Four Stories” (1885),
reprinted from _The Century_, narrate the struggles of a painter in New
York; though slight, they are realistic and agreeable. Having made an
exhaustive study of Mexico, he put his knowledge to good use in “The
Aztec Treasure House: a Romance of Contemporaneous Antiquity” (1890),
a successful romantic novel dealing with a legend of buried treasure
and a story of wholesome flavour and sustained interest. He has also
written “Stories of Old New Spain” (1895) and several others.

_Some New England Women._--Here may be grouped several gifted daughters
of the Puritans, some of whom deserve more space than can be given
them. Mrs. Jane Goodwin Austin (1831-94) wrote several readable
historical romances of colonial New England. Among her works are “A
Nameless Nobleman” (1881), “Dr. Le Baron and His Daughters” (1890),
sequel to the first, “Standish of Standish” (1889), and “David Alden’s
Daughter and Other Stories” (1892).

Mrs. Rose Terry Cooke (1827-92), a native of Connecticut, was known
as a poet for many years before she began to write short stories. She
published the following collections: “Happy Dodd” (1879), “Somebody’s
Neighbours” (1881), “Root-Bound” (1885), “The Sphinx’s Children”
(1886), and “Huckleberries Gathered from New England Hills” (1891).
“The Deacon’s Week” (1884) may count as her best story. In all her
stories the humours of New England Yankee character are set forth with
vigour and relish. She wrote a single novel, “Steadfast, the Story of a
Saint and a Sinner” (1889), dealing with early New England church life,
and ranking much above the average novel.

Mrs. Annie Trumbull Slosson, likewise of Connecticut, has shown skill
in dialect stories, of which “Fishin’ Jimmy” (1889), “Seven Dreamers”
(1890), “The Heresy of Mehetabel Clark” (1892), and “Dumb Foxglove, and
Other Stories” (1898) may be mentioned. The grotesque elements of New
England life especially appeal to her.

Mrs. Clara Louise Burnham (born at Newton, Massachusetts, in 1854) has
lived in Chicago since childhood, but is fond of locating her scenes in
New England. She has written many stories, among them “No Gentleman”
(1881), “A Sane Lunatic” (1882), “Dearly Bought” (1884), “Next Door”
(1886), “Young Maids and Old” (1888), “Miss Bagg’s Secretary” (1892),
“Dr. Latimer” (1893), “The Wise Woman” (1895), “A West Point Wooing”
(1899), and “The Right Princess” (1902).

Alice Brown (born in New Hampshire in 1857), after teaching school for
several years, devoted herself to literature, and is now a member of
the staff of _The Youth’s Companion_. She has written “Fools of Nature”
(1887), “Meadow-Grass” (1895), short tales of New England village life,
“The Day of His Youth” (1897), a story of disillusionment, “Tiverton
Tales” (1899), “King’s End” (1901), “Margaret Warrener” (1901), “The
Mannerings” (1903), and “High Noon” (1904). Her stories are skilfully
constructed, and she writes with commendable restraint and dignity.

_Mary E. Wilkins Freeman._--The more sombre and less attractive aspects
of New England village and country life have been presented with great
success in the numerous stories of Mary E. Wilkins (since 1902 Mrs.
Charles M. Freeman). Born at Randolph, Massachusetts, in 1862, she
was educated at Mt. Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, Mass. Her stories
include “The Adventures of Ann” (1886), “A Humble Romance” (1887),
“A New England Nun, and Other Stories” (1891), “Jane Field” (1892),
her first novel, “Pembroke” (1894), generally considered her greatest
work, and distinguished for beauty of style and truthful and delicate
character-drawing, “Madelon” (1896), “Jerome, a Poor Man” (1897), by
some ranked higher than “Pembroke” in that it has a stronger central
interest, “Silence and Other Stories” (1898), which includes some of
her best work, especially “Evelina’s Garden,” one of her most artistic
tales, “The Love of Parson Lord” (1900), “The Heart’s Highway” (1900),
a historical romance of Virginia in 1682, “The Portion of Labour”
(1901), “Understudies” (1901), “Six Trees” (1903), “The Wind in the
Rose Bush” (1903), “The Givers,” eight stories (1904), and several
magazine stories. Her place is easily in the first rank of those who
have delineated New England life.

_Harold Frederic._--Harold Frederic (1856-98) wrote a number of
realistic stories, chiefly of country life in New York. A native
of Utica, in that State, he began his career as proof-reader; at
twenty-six he was editor of the Albany _Evening Journal_, and in
1884 he took charge of the foreign bureau of the New York _Times_,
with headquarters in London. “Seth’s Brother’s Wife” (1887), first
published serially in _Scribner’s_, minutely describes the prosaic
round of farming life and country journalism and elections. “The Lawton
Girl” (1890) gives us the turmoil of a small manufacturing town. “In
the Valley” (1890) is a Mohawk Dutchman’s story of the Revolutionary
struggle. “The Copperhead, and Other Stories of the North” (1893)
and “Marséna, and Other Stories” (1894) are collections of Civil War
stories, vigorous and daring. His best stories are “The Damnation
of Theron Ware” (1896, published in England as “Illumination”), an
absorbing study of the intellectual career of an earnest but narrow
young Methodist minister and of the struggle of two religious ideals in
his life, and “The Market-Place” (1899), a thoroughgoing study of the
London Stock Exchange. His untimely death cut short a career of notable
achievement and great promise.

_Archibald Clavering Gunter._--Archibald Clavering Gunter (1847-1907),
a native of Liverpool who became a California mining and civil
engineer, chemist, and stock-broker, at forty began to write novels
which violated most of the literary canons, but which in plot and
incident were of absorbing interest. It was his avowed rule to make
something happen in every five hundred words. This explains why a
million copies of his first novel, “Mr. Barnes of New York” (1887),
have been sold. He wrote thirty-nine novels in all, the best of
which, in addition to his first, are “Mr. Potter of Texas” (1888),
“That Frenchman” (1889), “Jack Curzon” (1899), and “A Manufacturer’s
Daughter” (1901). He also became well known as a playwright.

_Octave Thanet._--Octave Thanet is the well known pen name of Alice
French (born at Andover, Massachusetts, in 1850), who has achieved
enviable success in her short stories of life in Iowa and Arkansas,
a field in which she has few rivals. These stories include “Knitters
in the Sun” (1887), “Expiation” (1890), vigorous, truly coloured, and
accurate in details, “Stories of a Western Town” (1893), Iowa sketches,
“The Missionary Sheriff” (1897), and “The Heart of Toil” (1898), full
of the pathos of an unequal struggle with economic forces. Miss French
writes sympathetically, with her eyes on the men and women who furnish
her with characters.

_Margaret Deland._--One of the most popular of living novelists, and
justly so, is Mrs. Margaret Deland. Born Margaretta Campbell, in 1857,
in Manchester, now a part of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, then a village
“of dignified houses, pleasant gardens, and meadows sloping to a
picturesque river,” she was left an orphan at three and was cared for
by an aunt. At sixteen, like Mrs. Foote, she entered a class in drawing
and design in Cooper Institute, New York; she graduated at the head of
her class, and won an appointment as instructor in design in the Girls’
Normal College, a post which she filled till 1880. Then she was married
to Mr. Lorin F. Deland and went to Boston. Eight years later appeared
her first novel, “John Ward, Preacher.” It is the story of the conflict
of rigid Calvinism and modern liberalism, and it has been compared with
Mrs. Ward’s “Robert Elsmere.” Two love-stories, one of which recalls
Mrs. Gaskell’s “Cranford,” relieve the tragic gloom of the narrative.
Ashurst is an idealised Manchester. In “Sidney” (1890) the author
studies the question of the value of mortal sexual love; the problems
of faith and doubt also recur. “The Story of a Child” (1892) delineates
an uncontrolled imagination. “Mr. Tommy Dove, and Other Stories”
(1893) is a collection including typical humour and pathos. “Philip
and His Wife” (1894) has to do with an unhappy marriage. Her recent
stories are “The Wisdom of Fools” (1898), “Old Chester Tales” (1899),
“Dr. Lavendar’s People” (1904), and “The Awakening of Helena Richie”
(1906). Big-hearted, shrewd Dr. Lavendar, who figures in her last two
stories, is one of the most lovable characters in American fiction; and
her latest books show a distinctly stronger grasp of life and greater
narrative power.

_Mrs. Mary Hartwell Catherwood._--Mary Hartwell Catherwood (1847-1902)
made a name for herself with some very successful historical romances
of the French and Indian Wars and French Canadian and early Illinois
life. “The Romance of Dollard” (1889), “The Lady of Fort St. John”
(1891), “The White Islander” (1893), and “The Chase of Saint Castin,
and Other Stories” (1894) are spirited narratives of battle and siege,
of intrigue and jealousy, in which bold and noble characters play
their parts well, and which contain vivid descriptions of scenery--in
sunshine and storm. Of the early Middle West she wrote “Old Kaskaskia”
(1893), “The Spirit of an Illinois Town” (1897), “Little Renault”
(1897), “Spanish Peggy” (1899), “The Queen of the Swamp, and Other
Plain Americans” (1899), and “Lazarre” (1901).

_Rowland E. Robinson._--The dialect and manners of Vermont are
reproduced with remarkable fidelity by Rowland E. Robinson (1833-1900)
in “Sam Lovel’s Camps” (1889), “Danvis Folks” (1894), and “Uncle
’Lisha’s Shop” (1897). These stories are among our most valuable
transcripts of the life of Northern New England.

_Francis Hopkinson Smith._--F. Hopkinson Smith (born in Baltimore,
1838) had a varied career before he essayed the novel, at fifty-three.
He began life as a clerk in some iron works; then, becoming an engineer
and contractor, he took to building sea-walls and lighthouses, and
afterwards became well known as an artist. In “Colonel Carter of
Cartersville” (1891) he drew an alluring picture of the old _régime_
in the South. “A Gentleman Vagabond, and Some Others” (1895) are
varied character stories. “Tom Grogan” (1896) and “Caleb West, Master
Diver” (1898) draw upon Mr. Smith’s engineering experiences. He has
also written “The Other Fellow” (1899), “The Fortunes of Oliver Horn”
(1902), “The Under Dog” (1903), “Colonel Carter’s Christmas” (1904),
“At Close Range” (1905), and “The Wood Fire in No. 3” (1905). If some
of his persons are conventional and indistinct, others stand out as
skilfully characterised and permanent figures in his literary gallery.

_James Lane Allen._--James Lane Allen has done for Kentucky what Mr.
Page has done for Old Virginia and Miss Murfree for the Tennessee
mountaineers. A native of Kentucky (born in 1849), he graduated from
Transylvania University, at Lexington, Kentucky, and taught in schools
and colleges for some years. Since 1884, however, he has devoted
himself to literary work. Besides writing much for magazines he has
published “Flute and Violin, and Other Kentucky Tales and Romances”
(1891), “The Blue Grass Region, and Other Sketches” (1892), “John Gray”
(1893), rewritten and enlarged into “The Choir Invisible” (1897), “A
Kentucky Cardinal” (1894) and its sequel “Aftermath” (1895), “Summer in
Arcady” (1896), “The Reign of Law” (1900), published in England as “The
Increasing Purpose,” and “The Mettle of the Pasture” (1903). A tendency
toward didacticism and a lack of spontaneity mar the latest works of
Mr. Allen; he is at his best in his earlier works, in which he revels
in the beauty of the Blue Grass region and writes in the spirit of a
disciple of Thoreau and Audubon. The romanticist in him was gradually
transformed into the objective realist. Yet in all his work there
are elements of strength and poetic beauty. By a curious coincidence
another Kentucky James Lane Allen (born in 1848) a graduate of Bethany
College, in which the first Mr. Allen taught, and now a Chicago lawyer,
has also written numerous magazine sketches and stories.

_Hamlin Garland._--The grim, dull life of the hard-worked farmer in the
Middle West has been effectively recorded by Hamlin Garland. A native
of La Crosse, Wisconsin (born in 1860), Mr. Garland saw at close range
the life he was to describe, in Iowa, Illinois, and Dakota. His first
book was a collection of six realistic stories, “Main-Travelled Roads”
(1891), which gave him a reputation, and he has continued to write
in similar vein, publishing “Prairie Folks” (1892), “A Little Norsk,
or Ol’ Pap’s Flaxen” (1892), “A Spoil of Office” (1892), “Rose of
Dutcher’s Coolly” (1895), his best novel, “The Eagle’s Heart” (1900),
“Her Mountain Lover” (1901), and “Money Magic” (1907). Mr. Garland has
for the most part wisely obeyed his own dictum, to write only of what
one knows; and his later work shows a notable increase in vigour and
grasp of the story-teller’s art.

_Henry Blake Fuller._--Henry B. Fuller (born in Chicago, 1857) was
intended for a mercantile career, but preferred literature. “The
Chevalier of Pensieri-Vani” (1890), first published anonymously, was
praised by Lowell and Norton. In 1892 appeared “The Chatelaine of La
Trinité.” In “The Cliff-Dwellers” (1893), he turned from the romantic
to a sure realism in a story of Chicago life. “With the Procession”
followed in 1895, being in similar vein. These stories show skill in
individualisation, intense earnestness, facility, and ability to make
an old theme interesting. “His picture,” says Mr. Whibley, “is never
overcharged; his draughtsmanship is always sincere.”

_Stephen Crane and Frank Norris._--Stephen Crane (1870-1900), born in
Newark, New Jersey, and educated at Lafayette College and Syracuse
University, first entered journalism and won some distinction as a
war correspondent of the New York _Journal_. His first story, dealing
with slum life, was “Maggie, a Girl of the Streets” (1891), which, as
Mr. Howells thinks, remains his best work. “The Red Badge of Courage”
(1895), a thoroughly realistic study of the mind of a soldier in
action at the battle of Chancellorsville, was altogether a remarkable
achievement; it took the public by storm and brought the author a
wide reputation, which was not sustained by his later work. He also
wrote “George’s Mother” (1896), another slum story, “The Little
Regiment” (1896), “Active Service” (1899), “The Monster, and Other
Stories” (1899); and two collections of stories, “Wounds in the Rain”
and “Whilomville Stories” (1900), tales of child life, which were
published posthumously. His impressionism, though at times too little
restrained, was often effective, and his highly coloured stories have
found many admiring readers.

In the death of Frank Norris (1870-1902), another promising career was
cut short. Norris managed to see a good deal of life. Born in Chicago,
he studied art in Paris (1887-89) and literature at the University
of California and Harvard. Like Crane he became a journalist. At the
time of the Jameson Raid in South Africa he was the South African
correspondent for a San Francisco paper and in 1898 did similar work
in Cuba. He began publishing fiction as early as 1891 (“Yberville”),
but it was not till 1899 that he became well known for “McTeague.” His
later stories were thoroughly realistic. With “The Octopus” (1901) he
began a trilogy which should form “an epic of the wheat.” In the first
novel is described the growth of the wheat and the oppressive railroad
monopoly encountered in its transportation. “The Pit” (1903) deals with
the battles of the wheat speculators. “The Wolf,” unfinished, was to
have dealt with the struggle for bread in a European famine-stricken
community. “The story of the wheat was for him,” as Mr. Howells puts
it, “the allegory of the industrial and financial America which is the
real America.” The largeness of the scope of his undertaking and the
robust courage and confidence with which he attacked it deserve our
admiration. What he accomplished shows that he would have been equal to
his task.

_Mrs. Ruth McEnery Stuart._--Mrs. Stuart has written highly amusing
stories of negro life in the South. Born in the parish of Avoyelles,
Louisiana, she was married in 1879 to Alfred O. Stuart, a cotton
planter. Since 1885 she has lived in New York. Her stories include “The
Golden Wedding, and Other Tales” (1893), “Carlotta’s Intended” (1894),
“The Story of Babette” (1894), “Moriah’s Mourning” (1898), “Sonny”
(1896), “Holly and Pizen” (1899), “The Woman’s Exchange” (1899), and
“River’s Children” (1905). Writing in a natural and witty style, she
has brought out with great skill the humour and pathos of the old
plantation. She is a favourite contributor to the magazines.

_Paul Leicester Ford._--Paul Leicester Ford (1865-1902), whose most
serious and permanently valuable work was done in the field of
American history, was the author of some notable works of fiction.
“The Honourable Peter Sterling and What People Thought of Him” (1894)
introduces an ideally noble statesman whose integrity triumphs over
the sordid corruption of politics. Some points in the book are said
to have been suggested by the career of President Cleveland. “Janice
Meredith” (1899) is a sentimental romance of the Revolutionary War, in
which a fascinating love-story is projected on an accurate historical
background. Of less importance, but still most readable, are “The Great
K. & A. Train Robbery” (1897) and “The Story of an Untold Love” (1897).

_Edward Noyes Westcott._--Edward N. Westcott (1847-98), a banker of
Syracuse, New York, was the author of a single book, which he was
unable to get published in his lifetime, but which gave him posthumous
fame. The hero of “David Harum” (1898) is a shrewd Central New York
Yankee, a son of the soil who with characteristic energy rose to be a
banker and successful man of affairs, and who retained all his amusing
traits, including a weakness for trading horses--“an optimist who has
wrung from the harsh conditions of life all that it can yield.” The
other characters are rather wooden, but the delineation of David Harum
is strong, vital, and hence lasting. The plot is weak, but the story is
true to the phases of life it depicts.

_The Younger Generation._--Space forbids more than a mention of some
of the other living writers. Owen Wister (born in Philadelphia, 1860)
has become well known through “The Dragon of Wantley: His Tail” (1892)
and “The Virginian” (1902), in which latter we have an exciting story
of a Wyoming cowboy. The much-travelled Richard Harding Davis (also a
Philadelphian, born in 1864) has written racy and characteristically
humorous stories of New York club and street life in “Gallegher, and
Other Stories” (1891), “Van Bibber, and Others” (1892), and “Episodes
in Van Bibber’s Life” (1899). Of his other stories the best known are
“The Princess Aline” (1895), “Soldiers of Fortune” (1897), in which a
South American revolution figures prominently, “In the Fog” (1901), a
clever London tale, “Ranson’s Folly” (1902), and “The Bar Sinister”
(1904). Robert W. Chambers (born in Brooklyn, 1865) is well known both
as an artist and a romancer, a weaver of strange and exciting plots.
Among his best books are “The Red Republic” (1894), “A King and a Few
Dukes” (1894), “The Haunts of Men” (1898), stories of American or
Canadian life, “The Cambric Mask” (1899), “A Gay Conspiracy” (1900),
which shows the influence of Anthony Hope’s “Prisoner of Zenda,”
“Cardigan” (1901), and “Iole” (1905). Newton Booth Tarkington (born
in 1869 in Indianapolis, a graduate of Princeton) won fame in 1899
with “The Gentleman from Indiana” and has followed this with “Monsieur
Beaucaire” (1900), a romance laid in Bath in the eighteenth century,
“The Two Vanrevels” (1902), “Cherry” (1903), “In the Arena” (1905),
“The Conquest of Canaan” (1905), and “The Beautiful Lady” (1905). His
later work shows a gain in power. Winston Churchill (born in 1871), a
graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and now a resident of New
Hampshire, published “The Celebrity” in 1898. “Richard Carvel” (1899)
made him famous; it is a Revolutionary story of Maryland and London.
He has since written “The Crisis” (1901), a substantial story of the
Civil War, “Mr. Keegan’s Elopement” (1903), “The Crossing” (1904),
and “Coniston” (1906), a New England story of love and politics.
The mountaineer life of Kentucky furnishes John Fox, Jr., with the
materials for his well told stories, “A Cumberland Vendetta, and Other
Stories” (1896), “The Kentuckians” (1897), “The Little Shepherd of
Kingdom Come” (1903), and “A Knight of the Cumberland” (1906).

Mrs. Gertrude Franklin Atherton (born in San Francisco, 1857) has
made a wide reputation with her stories of early California life;
some critics declare, however, that they do not accurately represent
the California of old days. The first of them was “The Doomswoman”
(1892). Other novels are “A Whirl Asunder” (1895), “Patience Sparhawk
and Her Times” (1897), “The Californians” (1898), “American Wives and
English Husbands” (1898), and “The Conqueror” (1902), which is based
on the life of Alexander Hamilton. Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin (born in
Philadelphia in 1857 and married to Samuel B. Wiggin in 1880) has
written charming juvenile stories, “The Birds’ Christmas Carol” (1888),
“The Story of Patsy” (1889), and “Timothy’s Quest” (1890), besides
some stories of travel, such as “A Cathedral Courtship” (1893) and
“Penelope’s Progress” (1898). Her husband died in 1889, and in 1895 she
was married to George C. Riggs.

Irving Bacheller (born in 1859), a New York journalist, attracted
attention by his stories, “The Master of Silence” (1890) and “The
Still House of O’Darrow” (1894). His “Eben Holden” (1900), a novel of
northern New York, was very successful. He has since written “Darrel of
the Blessed Isles” (1903) and “Vergilius” (1904). Robert Herrick (born
in 1868), a Harvard graduate and now a Chicago University professor,
has written searching studies of American society in “The Gospel of
Freedom” (1898), “The Web of Life” (1900), “The Real World” (1901),
and “The Common Lot” (1904). He is something of a pessimist, but not

Edith Wharton (born in New York in 1862) began her literary career
with short stories of the metropolitan society with which she had been
familiar from birth: “The Greater Inclination” (1899), eight stories,
“A Gift from the Grave” (1900), and “Crucial Instances” (1901). In
“The Valley of Decision” (1902), “Sanctuary” (1903), and “The House
of Mirth” (1905), she deals with scenes and characters of deep human
interest but not easily managed; and she acquits herself with credit.
Lily Bart is distinctly individualised and is worthy to be compared
with Becky Sharp and Gwendolen Harleth.

Upton Sinclair (born in Baltimore, 1878), after writing a number of
novels, produced in “Manassas” (1904) a thrilling romantic novel of
the years just preceding the Civil War. “The Jungle” (1906), though
much better known, is artistically far inferior to it. The creed of
socialism is professed by both Mr. Sinclair and Jack London (born in
San Francisco in 1876). London left the University of California to go
to the Klondike, afterward went to Japan, and has since tramped through
America and Canada for sociological study. In his best works, “The Son
of the Wolf” (1900), “The Call of the Wild” (1903), and “The Sea Wolf”
(1904), he has chosen to depict the tragedies of the animal world and
the elemental passions in man.

Three Virginia women novelists have won distinction in recent years.

Molly Elliot Seawell (born in Gloucester County, Virginia, in 1860),
a resident of Washington, began writing fiction in 1886. Among her
stories are “Throckmorton” (1890), “Little Jarvis” (1890), a _Youth’s
Companion_ prize story, “Midshipman Paulding” (1891), “The Sprightly
Romance of Marsac” (1896), a lively story that won a New York _Herald_
prize of $3000, “The Lively Adventures of Gavin Hamilton” (1899), “The
House of Egremont” (1901), “Children of Destiny” (1903), and “The Great
Scoop” (1905). Her plots are sometimes slight and inconsequential, and
her narrative lacks reserve; but she shows skill in the management of
dialogue, and is a favourite writer.

Ellen Glasgow (born in Richmond in 1874) has found many readers with
her “Descendant” (1897), “Phases of an Inferior Planet” (1898),
“The Voice of the People” (1900), “The Battle-Ground” (1902),
and “The Deliverance” (1904). She does not manage to escape from
improbabilities, and some of her plots are desultory; yet on the whole
her work maintains a high average.

Mary Johnston (born at Buchanan, Virginia, in 1870) has realised the
possibilities of early Virginia history in her successful romances,
“Prisoners of Hope” (1898), published in England as “The Old Dominion,”
“To Have and to Hold” (1900), in England called “By Order of the
Company,” “Audrey” (1902), and “Sir Mortimer” (1904). She has a sure
touch, and her narrative moves rapidly.

But we have already exceeded the limits of our space. The work of
Margaret Sherwood, William A. White, Brand Whitlock, Will Payne,
Meredith Nicholson, George Barr McCutcheon, Jesse Lynch Williams, David
Graham Phillips, Mary R. Shipman Andrews, James B. Connolly, Nelson
Lloyd, George Cary Eggleston, William N. Harben, Justus Miles Forman,
and many others, excellent as much of it is, can only be referred to
summarily. The great number of promising writers of to-day is a matter
of congratulation.

=Retrospect and Conclusion.=--We have thus traced the American novel
from its first crude beginnings through a little more than a century of
healthy and constant growth. It took the American novelist some three
or four decades to learn to stand on his own feet; since he has learned
to walk he has required very little assistance from abroad. More and
more the possibilities of American life have attracted the writers of
prose fiction. In the earlier decades of the last century, as was the
case in Europe, the romance was the only fiction in demand; and the
romance has ever been the favourite of many readers who maintain that
the chief function of literature is to give reality through the alembic
of the imagination. Perhaps the creed of romanticism has never been
better put than by Mr. Julian Hawthorne:

  The value of fiction lies in the fact that it can give us what
  actual existence cannot; that it can resume in a chapter the
  conclusions of a lifetime; that it can omit the trivial, the vague,
  the redundant, and select the significant, the forcible, and the
  characteristic; that it can satisfy expectation, expose error, and
  vindicate human nature. Life, as we experience it, is too vast, its
  relations are too complicated, its orbit too comprehensive, ever
  to give us the impression of individual completeness and justice;
  but the intuition of these things, though denied to sense, is
  granted to faith, and we are authorised to embody that interior
  conviction in romance.... And stories of imagination are truer
  than transcripts of fact, because they include or postulate these,
  and give a picture not only of the earth beneath our feet, but of
  the sky above us, of the hope and freshness of the morning, of the
  mystery and magic of the night. They draw the complete circle,
  instead of mistrustfully confining themselves to the lower arc.[20]

Notwithstanding the attractiveness of this artistic creed, the ranks
of the out-and-out romancers have gradually thinned, as we have seen.
Professor Boyesen believed that Bret Harte was the last of these.
Slowly the realists, led by Howells and James, have gained ground, and
for the last twenty years have almost steadily held the field. Of late,
indeed, there have been some signs of a reaction; but it has as yet
taken no very pronounced form.

A necessary concomitant of this tendency toward realism has been an
increase in the number of “novels of the soil.” Writers have drawn
what they knew best: Miss Woolson, the Lake region; Cable, Creole
New Orleans; Ella Higginson and Emma Wolf, the Pacific coast; Allen,
Kentucky; Miss Murfree, Tennessee; Fawcett and Bunner, New York;
Henry B. Fuller and Miss Wyatt, Chicago; Miss Jewett and Mrs. Wilkins
Freeman, New England. One reason why the “great American novel” has
not yet been written is the very bigness of the country. No great
personality has yet risen who can combine all the elements of our
vast modern life into one harmonious structure. Meanwhile we have had
most of the various sections of our country described in fiction by
skilful hands. Types of a life that is passing away have been caught
and preserved in a fiction which, though assuredly not immortal, is
destined, we believe, to a long life.

Our critics have justly complained, however, of the limited range
of our novelists. They are timid. They are content to paint a small
canvas. They do not rise to great conceptions. They do not probe
life to its depths; neither do they rise to the height of all its
grandeur. This is, of course, only another way of saying that we have
no supremely great novelists. But doubtless the mediocrity of our
fiction is partly due to the disastrous effect of commercialism and
professionalism on the novelist’s trade; though Mr. Whibley’s account
of this (_Blackwood’s_, March, 1908) is exaggerated. Certainly our
writers must be less eager for immediate and substantial rewards.
_Poeta nascitur, non fit_; too many “made” writers are pouring out
fiction to-day.

Our fiction possesses one characteristic which has often been commented
upon--a general excellence of moral atmosphere. There is little
American fiction that must be kept from the curious Young Person.
Some critics allege that the obligation to write what anyone may be
permitted to read has prevented American novelists from discussing
those darker problems of sex-relations which confront us, and which
should find expression in a literature adequately reflecting our
intellectual and moral life; that missing any rigorous attack on these
problems they find our fiction tame, insipid, wanting in vitality.
But such an opinion carries with it its own condemnation. If our
fiction lacks vitality, it is probably from other causes; at any rate
Americans are generally content to leave matters of moral pathology
to their moral surgeons, whose diagnoses and discussions are not
expected to circulate promiscuously; and it is not likely that our
novelists will consent to defile their pages for the sake of securing
comprehensiveness in their pictures of life.

The short story has been brought by American writers to a high degree
of perfection. Irving was its American father; and in the hands of
Hawthorne, Poe, Fitz-James O’Brien, Edward Everett Hale, Miss Woolson,
Brander Matthews, Miss Jewett, Stockton, Page, Mark Twain, Mrs.
Freeman, and many others, it has become a highly flexible instrument,
capable of subtle adaptations. The limitations of range and environment
have made for great delicacy and precision in the minute portraits and
the _genres_ to be found in large numbers throughout our short stories.

Yet notwithstanding the increase in the number and the advance in
quality of our short stories, the novel continues as popular as ever.
The immense vogue of the novel in America has been commented upon many
times. The “best sellers” are almost always novels; and so many novels
of more than average excellence are produced every year that many
really superior stories do not get the immediate hearing, at least,
which they deserve. That this demand for novels will continue unabated
for some time is altogether likely. That another form of literature
will soon take its place is quite improbable.

Apparently we have no great living poets; for various reasons we have
no dramatists of note; of novelists who are at least possibilities, we
have several.

What will be the type of the American novel of the future? Probably
it is rash to make any prediction; but one may venture to believe
that the prevailing attitude of our future novelists will be that of
a sane and optimistic realism. The morbid books like “The Jungle” do
not wear well; and, while such books may have their use in promoting
needed reforms, they do not constitute additions to literature and can,
therefore, secure no permanent place. The pleasant paths of romance
will always tempt bold and imaginative writers; but they will be more
than ever restrained by the demand of enlightened readers that they
shall not wander far from the probable, and shall present, clear and
undistorted, the best there is in the actual present. That there are
immense possibilities in the varied and complex life of to-day, few
will doubt; that the great artists are to appear who will make the most
of these opportunities we may assume with confidence.


=English Influence on American Poetry.=--If we accept the popular
belief, and identify poets with makers of verse, it must be allowed
that American poetry at its best--in the nineteenth century--is in a
peculiar sense unoriginal and derivative. To be derivative, to have
a traceable pedigree, may, indeed, be no disadvantage, either for a
national or an individual genius. In their way, all modern literatures
are derivative and unoriginal; not merely influenced by each other,
but ultimately dependent for the sources of their inspiration upon the
basal civilisations of Palestine and Greece. “We are all Greeks,” said
Shelley. Milton might have said, “We are all Hebrews.” And our best
American poets might have added, “_We_ are all Englishmen.” Particular
scenes on this continent, and the vast and ever growing extent of our
territory, have both left their impress on our poets during the last
five generations; they have touched the poetry of ten or twelve decades
here and there with the undeniable stamp of reality, and given it now
and then a largeness of range and freedom of atmosphere very proper
to a nation whose sense of geography has been so elastic. Yet one can
hardly say that our natural scenery has ever been really incarnate
in our literature as a whole, or that a pervasive national spirit,
a spirit at once large and precise, has entered fundamentally into
our verse. What has been most effectual in our literature has been
closely imitative, has followed at a little distance, yet step for
step, the development of the English literature from which it sprang.
This continuous imitation, now more superficial, now more indirect
and elusive, has been the mainspring of our poetry even more than our
prose, during the century just gone by.

American poetry, it is true, has probably been more plastic and mobile
in its outer form than American prose, has been less steadily patterned
after those literary standards in England which were bequeathed by the
eighteenth century. The prose style of Irving betrays its descent from
the essays of Addison; the style of Franklin was developed through
conscious and painstaking emulation of the same models. Even fairly
late in the eighteen hundreds, when perhaps only a trained ear can
detect the lingering echoes of Pope and his school in our verse, the
“Autocrat” of Wendell Holmes still retains an accent and a flavour from
eighteenth-century, Ciceronian eloquence. No doubt the age of Pope
and Johnson survived by many vestiges much longer in English prose
than in English verse, for its habits of thought were more or less
suited to argument and exposition in every time. Yet in the history
of American letters it is easier to find parallels to Wordsworth and
Shelley than to duplicate the prose rhapsodies--characteristic in
nineteenth-century Europe--of De Quincey and Ruskin. To the transition
in English literature that was marked by the appearance of “Lyrical
Ballads” in 1798 our poetry was, in the main, more quickly responsive
than our prose. None the less our prose, more conservative though it
has been, less changeful in its manner of expression, has struck its
roots far more deeply into our national being; and our verse, like the
other fine arts, is still an exotic.

For our lack of a national art, a national poetry, a superficial reason
is often assigned: in the conditions of a new country, in the struggle
for existence, in the development of agriculture and commerce, in the
assimilation of foreign races, there has been very little time for
the nourishment of letters, very little of that leisure which the
Greeks called _scholé_, and which is indispensable for a productive
scholarship and for the flourishing of imagination. Yet we have had,
or have taken, sufficient leisure to write and publish an immense
amount of verse, judged merely by its bulk. Scarcely an American author
can be mentioned in the nineteenth century that did not try his hand
at metrical composition. The truth is, rather, that we have seldom
approached the art of poetry with enough seriousness; that, having
rebelled against the Puritan’s unkindly conception of life, we have
nevertheless to some extent acquiesced in his belittling estimate
of imaginative art; that we have failed to recognise in the poet a
necessary servant of the commonwealth, a leader worthy of a high and
severe training. Our versifiers have rushed into print before they
were ripe, and they have praised each other’s work too easily; while
the standards set by the public taste have been readily met when the
rhymers succeeded in being “patriotic.” Real patriotism demands such an

Not that our poets have been wholly without a philosophy of criticism;
though it is significant that the most subtle and sympathetic
understanding of the poetic temperament, of its function as well
as its perils, is to be found, not in the writings of any maker of
verses but in those of a novelist, Hawthorne--for example, in “The
House of Seven Gables” and “The Great Stone Face.” Yet Bryant read,
meditated, and wrote upon the art of poetry; Poe thought somewhat, if
not deeply, upon it; Lanier made a worthy contribution to the science
of meter; Longfellow was conversant with the literature of criticism;
and Emerson’s stimulating essay on “The Poet,” while it may not
have been the sort of medicine that our men of letters most needed,
has doubtless exerted a wholesome influence. In Poe’s day, several
magazines were discussing the principles of imaginative composition.
However, an “Art of Poetry” like Timrod’s (published in _The Atlantic
Monthly_ for September, 1905) could lie for forty years in manuscript,
without exciting any strong suspicion of its value; and in the long run
there has been an amazing disproportion between the slender thread of
fundamental tradition and sound critical theory on the one hand, and
the swollen and rapid stream of naïve, uncultivated verse, gathering
from every quarter, on the other. Whatever English poets furnished the
models, the imitation was largely on the surface. First Pope and his
successors in England, then Wordsworth and Coleridge, then Shelley and
Keats, and Scott and Bryon, and subsequently Tennyson,--all had in turn
their American devotees. But there seems to have been relatively little
understanding like that of Bryant and Timrod for the conscious theory
underlying the “experiments” in “Lyrical Ballads,” or for the ideal
demands which Shelley laid upon poetry and poets; nor did cisatlantic
readers of Lord Byron much concern themselves about that Longinus whom
he studied “o’er a bottle,” or for the structural frame upon which was
reared Tennyson’s “Palace of Art.”

=Characteristics of the Period.=--Of course in the following pages
we shall deal as briefly as possible with those American poets in
the last century who are touched to any great extent by strictures
like these; for a history of literature is bound to treat as far as
may be of writers that have made a wise use of tradition, and whose
native insight has enabled them to train their genius in accordance
with universal canons of art, and with a due appreciation of masterly
technique. Meanwhile we may attempt to summarise the characteristics
of the poetical era under consideration, and, in particular, of
the earlier rather than the latter half of that era. The nearer we
advance toward our own day, the wiser it is to refrain from general

1. The relation between English literature and American in the initial
twenty or thirty years of the last century has already been suggested.
Aside from that, or very often through that, the influence of Rousseau
was paramount. The doctrine that upheld the innocence of “man in a
state of nature,” and maintained the equality of all individuals,
and the feeling, half pantheistic, for an external nature opposed to
civilisation, since they entered into the vital tissue of our national
thought,--and though they are at bottom contrary to science and all
demonstrable experience--are among the very conditions, so to speak,
of much of our poetry. From these sources, for example, it came about
that while in actual practice we despised and maltreated that “natural
man” the cruel Indian, we idealised him in poetical effusions; just as
Fenimore Cooper, treading in the footsteps of Chateaubriand, idealised
him in prose.

2. Our earlier poets, that is, immediately after the Revolution, but
again, and especially, after the War of 1812 had confirmed our sense
of national solidarity, are much given to the utterance of their
patriotism; albeit only a few out of many more or less pretentious or
tasteful efforts have survived. Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” (1814),
conceived at the close of the second war, antedates “The American Flag”
(1819) of Drake by but five years; these two, with Hopkinson’s “Hail
Columbia” (1798), and “America” (1832), the well-known hymn by S. F.
Smith, whatever their relative or absolute merits as literature, remain
our most cherished national poems.

3. However frequent or insistent the note of patriotism, the general
temper of American poets has not been strongly optimistic. As one
glances over a long list of the subjects chosen for treatment, a
leaning toward the more sombre and melancholy elements and aspects
of life becomes more and more apparent. Nor is this leaning confined
to the multitude. Exceptions like Walt Whitman to the contrary
notwithstanding, it is characteristic, in the main, of the leaders,
whenever they escape from common or inherited themes, and give rein
to their own personalities. That joy which is the well-spring of
Wordsworth’s vitality is greatly diminished in even his nearest
American counterpart, Bryant; assuredly it is not akin to the subdued
sadness of Longfellow, though this be not strictly “akin to pain.”

4. On the other hand, the noblest American poetry has not been tragic.
Tragedy and serious epic have been attempted, but, as in the case of
Dwight, Barlow, and so many others, largely as academic exercitations,
savouring of the desk and the library. With our national life they have
had no essential connection. A central motive in our history like the
death of Lincoln still awaits the imagination of a master-dramatist.

5. Though few have devoted their entire lives to it, most of our poets
have begun the profession betimes, conceiving very often in haste,
and publishing in their immaturity. The painful advice of Horace has
not been to our liking. With the examples of Milton, Wordsworth, and
Tennyson continually before us, we have yet failed to profit by
their insistence upon generous preparation, meticulous technique, and
laborious delay in publication. We have realised the brevity of life
more fully than the length of art.

6. Our respect for the “practical” and for “common sense” is allied to
a fondness shown in our poetry for common, everyday subjects. Here,
of course, we have succeeded better in the comic than in the serious
vein. To treat of homely topics so as to invest their essential dignity
with the light of imagination--in painting the world about us, to “add
the gleam”--was the task set for himself by an English mystic. It
is a dangerous trade for men whose talk is of oxen. Homely minds on
homely matters are prone to slip into the trivial or the pathetic. Even
Longfellow cannot be freed from the charge of too much attention to the
obvious commonplace, and, as a versifier at least, of too much love for
the merely sentimental. For adequate imaginative handling of themes
that are serious, complete, and of sufficient magnitude to produce the
loftier effects of great literary art, we are in general forced to go
to our best prose fiction.

7. So long as Puritan ideals, however modified and softened, continued
to dominate any considerable part of American education, that is, up
to a point somewhere within the past twenty-five years, our poetry
has tended to be obviously didactic. Not only clerical but secular
poets have seemed to regard themselves as direct teachers of morality.
In satirical writers,--Freneau, Halleck,--or in literature that by
virtue of its kind is pietistic, such a tendency is altogether normal
and effective. But in supposedly imaginative poems such as “The
Vision of Sir Launfal,” though the basic moral order of the universe
doubtless ought to be inherent, it just as certainly ought to contrive
its own effect, without the adventitious aid of sermonising. To the
present writer, much of the best--not of course the very best--in
American poetry loses in ethical as well as æsthetic value through
the intrusion of argument and exhortation on the subject of conduct
or belief. The finest work of Holmes, for instance, “The Chambered
Nautilus,” may be thought to lose in this way. The spirit of the
United States is a prosaic spirit, hence our verse, when it is at all
substantial, rarely lacks some element or other from the style of the
forensic orator.

8. On the other hand, since we can make no pretence to the possession
of a tragic drama, and none to a truly national epic, it may safely
be affirmed that our poetry has risen to its greatest heights in
meditative and religious lyric; in meditative verse on nature, that
is, such “nature-poetry” as assumes the Divine immanence throughout
the world of objective reality--in Bryant’s “Thanatopsis”; and in the
religious lyric, that is, in a few of our hymns.

_The Earlier Poets._--We commence this survey of American poetry at
the date to which the sections adapted from Tyler have conducted the
literature as a whole, namely, the year 1784. The chief poets of the
Revolutionary period, Barlow, Dwight, Trumbull, and Freneau, all lived
well on into the next century, Barlow, in fact, being the only one of
these who did not survive the War of 1812.

In Barlow’s day, heroics were the fashion. His _magnum opus_, a rhymed
epic on the discovery of America, had already taken shape in manuscript
as early as 1781; in 1787 it appeared as “The Vision of Columbus”; by
1807 it had grown into the ponderous “Columbiad.” It is an uninspired,
pseudo-classical narrative, schematically and metrically correct, but
organically lifeless, full of the “printer’s devil personification” so
characteristic of its time. With gratuitous industry, as it supplies
all the lineage of personified abstractions like “Discord,” so it
begins the history of America at Creation, fetches the story down
through colonial times to the Revolution, and includes in its sweep a
glance at events yet to come. Similarly in his mock-heroic, “The Hasty
Pudding” (1793), which is touched with fancy and is in every way more
attractive than his “Columbiad,” Barlow commences with the growth and
harvesting of the maize which is to furnish the flour.

Dwight, who was at first a tutor, but from 1795 until his death, in
1817, president, of Yale College, in 1785 brought forth a Biblical epic
entitled “The Conquest of Canaan,” in which the narrative of Exodus is
diversified by allusions to heroes in the American War of Independence,
and by a tale of romantic love superadded. Dwight was a diligent
reader of Pope and Goldsmith, but he did not confine his interest
to the eighteenth century; he knew the enchantment of the poets’
poet, Spenser; and like Thomson he could at times, as in “Greenfield
Hill,” look with his own eyes at things about him. He was a friend
of Trumbull, Humphreys, and Barlow; on occasion he penned a bitter
invective. But as a writer he will be remembered for his noble hymn,
whose second stanza commences,

    I love Thy Church, O God,

which is the key-note of his life.

Trumbull, though he lived to a great age (1750-1831), had completed his
remarkable mock-heroic, “M’Fingal,” prior to 1784; hence at this point
he interests us chiefly on account of his friendship with Dwight and
Barlow, and his effect on later satirists.

With Freneau the case is different. Some of his choicest verse did not
appear until 1786, when he published a collection containing “The House
of Night”; and in 1795 he brought together in another collection what
he apparently considered best in his output for twenty-five years or
more preceding. This was very uneven, including much that might better
have been left unprinted, and other work which stamps Freneau as the
one American of true poetical genius before 1800. He was not unaware
of his powers, and aimed to develop them by frequent perusal of good
models in ancient and modern literature; but he was not sufficiently
self-critical. He prolonged a career of travel and rapid composition,
in both poetry and prose, beyond the normal span of life, making
still another collection of his works in 1815. His latter years were
darkened by the thought that he was being unwarrantably neglected for
men of lesser talent. A man of great bodily vigour, he was meditating
yet another, a final, edition of his writings, when he came to his
unfortunate end. In 1832 he lost his way as he was returning home
through a snow-storm, and died from exposure. His once maligned
personality has of late been duly vindicated, and his work has received
generous praise. It is claimed that Scott and Campbell were content to
borrow lines from him. Furthermore, he has been deemed a co-worker with
Coleridge and Wordsworth in bringing about in literature the so-called
“return to nature.” The parallel might easily be carried too far.
Until literary scholarship has broadened and deepened its knowledge of
the entire period in which Freneau was active, neither the worth of
his poetry nor the possible extent of his influence can be judicially
determined. There can be no question that such poems as “The Wild
Honeysuckle,” “The Hurricane,” “The Dying Indian,” and “Eutaw Springs”
have more than a transitory value. However, it is by his satirical
verse that Freneau might seem more likely to persist; for the nature
of satire tolerates in some measure a free and easy style such as he

_Early Minor Poets._--Of the minor poetry prior to 1815 there is
little to be said by way of praise. We see in it how the influence of
Akenside and other English didactic writers of a previous age gives
ground before the newer spirit of Wordsworth and Coleridge; although
the satires of the Revolution had a lineage, in Paine and others, that
did not quickly die away; and although several other literary fashions
had their intervals of existence, as, for example, the imitation of
“Ossian” and the cult of the Della Cruscans. The intellect of Akenside
made itself felt in such work as “The Power of Solitude” (1804),
by Joseph Story (1779-1845), and the anonymous “Pains of Memory,”
published four years later. “Of much higher merit,” thinks Professor
Bronson, “are the didactic poems of Robert Treat Paine (1773-1811), a
man of versatile and brilliant parts, but dissipated character. His
lyrics, orations, and dramatic criticisms all show ability. But his
best work is ‘The Ruling Passion,’ a poem delivered before the Phi Beta
Kappa at Harvard in 1797.” This is “frankly on the model of Pope, but
so witty, vigorous, and pointed that it does honour to its original.”
William Cliffton’s “Poems” (1800), and Thomas G. Fessenden’s “Original
Poems” (1804), can only be mentioned.

A word may be added on the poetesses of the time, several of whom, for
example Mrs. Mercy Warren (1728-1814), having made themselves heard
during the American struggle for liberty, continued to find an audience
in the early years of the Republic. Mrs. Warren’s poems were collected
in 1790, Mrs. Susanna H. Rowson’s in 1804. The sentimental Mrs. Sarah
W. Morton may also be noted; she flourished somewhat later than the
others (1759-1846). She is no longer interesting as the “American
Sappho,” nor is it generally recalled that she considered Paine to
be the American “Menander.” She was an exponent of the inane “Della
Cruscan” style, which had its vogue in England until it was attacked
by William Gifford, and in the United States until Gifford’s “Baviad”
and “Mæviad” were republished at Philadelphia (1799), seconded by a
poetical epistle to their author from the pen of the young Quaker

Not less pernicious than the Della Cruscans were the imitators of
MacPherson’s “Ossian,” including Joseph B. Ladd (1764-1786), Jonathan
M. Sewall (1746-1808), and John Blair Linn (1777-1804). Both schools
gave place when the Wordsworthian reaction set in against “poetic
diction” and the habit of writing verse about natural objects without
having looked at them.

When party spirit runs high, satire is likely to be thriving. Political
tension during the latter part of Washington’s presidency and during
the administrations of Adams and Jefferson gave birth to a brood of
satiric poems, many of them unacknowledged by their authors. Anonymous
or otherwise, in most of them the writer’s pen was wielded as a
bludgeon rather than a knife. Freneau himself was none too delicate in
his censure of the government, although he ill deserved the reputation
of a man lacking in love for his country; but Freneau was merely the
most gifted among a number, more partisan than he, who, according as
they were Federalists or Democrats, bitterly assailed the measures
of the opposing faction. The “Democratiad” and the “Guillotina” were
anonymous attacks in 1795 and 1796 upon the Democrats. William Cobbett,
the Englishman, and Alexander Hamilton, whose private life offered an
easy target, were pilloried as representatives of the Federalist party,
in Carey’s “Porcupiniad” (1799) and a collection entitled “Olio” (1801).

Nor was factional spleen unrelated to a variety of patriotic sentiment
which displayed itself in verse for holidays and state occasions; but,
like all the satires, most of the post-Revolutionary effusions of
patriotism have long since ceased to excite emotion. As has been noted,
Hopkinson’s “Hail Columbia” (1798) is one of the exceptions. Colonel
David Humphreys (1753-1818), a large part of whose verse amounted to
eulogies on Washington, to the general public is hardly so much as a
memory; and his intention “to make use of poetry for strengthening
patriotism, promoting virtue, and extending happiness” has gone the
way of many similar purposes of great excellence unaided by genius.

_Washington Allston._--The first poet of distinction who evidently
represents the tradition of Wordsworth was the artist Washington
Allston (1779-1843), a friend of Coleridge, and declared by him to have
a genius for literature and painting “unsurpassed by any man of his
age.” Southey too was an enthusiastic admirer; and Wordsworth, who was
chary of praise for the age in which he lived, commended the American
painter ungrudgingly. In Allston’s “Sylphs of the Seasons” (1813)
there is evidence of the exact eye of an artist, and there is much
delicacy of sentiment and gentle play of fancy; but great constructive
and imaginative vigour are not present, and a certain tameness in the
rhymes and obviousness in the succession of thoughts serve to explain
why the poem has not secured a more lasting recognition. His “America
and Great Britain” was included by Coleridge in “Sibylline Leaves”
(1817), “for its moral no less than its patriotic spirit.” As an
attempt to incorporate in language the conception of abstract, so to
speak, intellectual, beauty, “The Angel and the Nightingale” reminds
one of Shelley.

Before Allston, there had been ballad-writers who dealt with themes
that are now familiar to readers of Wordsworth and Coleridge. In
particular, the motive of the young and innocent girl who has been
betrayed, and through her betrayal crazed, was a notable favourite.
Lucius M. Sargent’s “Hubert and Ellen” (1812) is described as a poor
imitation of Wordsworth, taking its cue, like Joseph Hutton’s ballad
on Crazy Jane (“Leisure Hours,” 1812) and Henry C. Knight’s “Poor
Margaret Dwy,” from one study or another of mental derangement in
“Lyrical Ballads” or the “Poems” (by Wordsworth) of 1807. Doubtless
a large number of parallels could be found in American literature
to Wordsworth’s “Ruth,” and to his sympathetic treatment of other
lowly types of humanity. In like manner, just as the same English
poet fraternises with the robin and the butterfly, and Coleridge
hails a young ass as his “brother,” and as Shelley in 1815 claims
kindred with “bright bird, insect, or gentle beast,” so Knight
addresses “The Caterpillar” (1821) as “cousin reptile.” The Puritans
had averred, Most sins, and all sinners, are equal; Rousseau and the
French Revolutionists went further, declaring, All men are equal; and
now, responsive to the doctrine of Coleridge and his Pantisocrats,
American poets were implying, All creatures are equal. Thus thrives
the principle of democracy and fraternity. Themistocles is at length
no better than the boorish islander, and the Apostles have lost their
superiority to sparrows. “Cousin reptile,” of course, is an extreme

On its saner side, the new impulse set in motion several writers of
not a little promise. Such was John Neal (1793-1876), whose poem “The
Battle of Niagara” (1818) reflects Wordsworthianism at second hand
through Shelley and Keats, with a touch of Byronic grandiloquence
and tameness, but with a touch, too, of aboriginal nature, however
crude. The native powers of Neal were later dissipated in journalism,
novel-writing, and the like.

_Joseph Rodman Drake._--Of great promise likewise, but cut short by a
premature demise, was the career of Joseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820).
Drake was a precocious spirit, working swiftly, and valuing his easily
produced and quickly moving verses perhaps a little below their true
worth. A friend of Halleck, and like Halleck under the sway of the
novelist Fenimore Cooper, he reveals also how familiar he was with
the half-luminous, half-misty style of Coleridge. In Drake’s happiest
attempt, “The Culprit Fay” (1816), he aimed to find an utterance for
the poetry of the great American rivers, hitherto neglected, as he
and his friends decided, in the native literature. The outcome of a
discussion between Drake, Freneau, and Cooper, this fanciful story is
nevertheless replete with the cadences of Coleridge’s “Christabel”
(1816), however difficult it may be to explain the resemblance.
Needless to say, “The Culprit Fay” could not make a general appeal
like that of “The American Flag,” by the same author--a rhetorical and
manneristic piece that, up to a few years ago, was on the lips of every
American school-boy:

    When Freedom from her mountain height
    Unfurled her standard to the air,
    She tore the azure robe of night,
    And set the stars of glory there.

Set them where? In spite of the fact that it is grandiose and
unprecise, “The American Flag” may yet be yielded an advantage in point
of style over Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” with which one naturally
compares it.

_Fitz-Greene Halleck._--The final quatrain of “The American Flag” was
written by Drake’s associate in the “Croaker Papers,” Fitz-Greene
Halleck (1790-1867). Halleck was a witty poet, who aimed at no lasting
fame, but humorously chastised the passing follies of New York society,
much as Lord Byron scourged society in London. He wrote clearly and
gracefully, and was greatly overpraised in his time. His satiric poem
“Fanny” (1819) was highly popular. “Marco Bozzaris,” a lyric recital
of the Byronic type, portrayed with a good deal of life, but with a
suspicion of rant too, a dramatic incident in the struggle of modern
Greece against the Turk. His tribute to Burns (1827) was warmly
approved by the Scottish bard’s sister: “nothing finer,” she said in
1855, “has been written about Robert.” “Red Jacket” and the monody
on “Drake” also belong to Halleck’s early period. In fact, his main
activity as a poet was confined to the ten or eleven years commencing
with the death of Drake (1820). As Allston was the first of our poets
to arouse much admiration abroad, so Halleck was the first to receive
notable posthumous honours at home. In general, he owed a large measure
of his inspiration to Washington Irving.

_James Kirke Paulding._--So did James Kirke Paulding (1779-1860),
though his “Lay of the Scotch Fiddle” (1813) was a parody of Walter
Scott’s “Lay of the Last Minstrel,” and though his title to enduring
fame, as he supposed, was an epic, “The Backwoodsman” (1818),
representing life on the American frontier. Neither the clever ballad,
nor the prosy epic, nor his second instalment of _Salmagundi_ has
outwitted the envy of time. In its own day Paulding’s effort to repeat
the first success of Irving was eclipsed by “The Croakers” of Halleck
and Drake. His “Peter Piper” still lingers.

_John Howard Payne._--A case similar to “Peter Piper” is that of a song
in “Clari” (1823), one of the dramas by John Howard Payne (1791-1852).
Payne, who tried his hand at various pursuits, was a friend of Irving,
and acquainted with Coleridge and Lamb. At one time he was United
States consul at Tunis. As an actor and a journalist he knew the temper
of his American public; hence he was able to enjoy a considerable
reputation as playwright. His “Brutus” (1818) was well received; yet he
would be totally forgotten save for a single lyric in “Clari,” “Home,
Sweet Home,” which successive generations of his countrymen have handed
down as an heirloom of the people.

_Woodworth_, _Morris_, _Hoffman_, _Willis, etc._--Two other writers
of the same period, now known chiefly through brief and homely songs
or rhetorical selections, were Samuel Woodworth (1785-1842), still
remembered for “The Old Oaken Bucket” (1826), and George P. Morris
(1802-64), whose “Woodman, Spare That Tree” and “The Main Truck”
(otherwise called “A Leap for Life”) have re-echoed from the platform
of many a village schoolhouse, and given many a young rustic his
principal conceptions of impassioned eloquence. The songs of Charles
Fenno Hoffman (1806-84), while by no means so familiar as these, are
not at all inferior. Hoffman was a student at Columbia College, bred
up in the literary traditions of New York City. So also were James W.
Eastburn (1797-1819) and Robert C. Sands (1799-1832). Under a rather
indefensible nomenclature, all three would be included with Paulding
and Halleck as members of the “Knickerbocker School,” the bright
luminary in which is Irving (“Diedrich Knickerbocker”). To these we may
add McDonald Clarke (1798-1842), “the mad poet,” irritatingly personal
in his allusions to the belles of the metropolis; Park Benjamin
(1809-64); and N. P. Willis (1806-67), whose reign of cleverness
succeeded that of Halleck. Flippant, careless how or whom he hit,
Willis made an extraordinary name at home, and was able to create a
stir abroad. In America he published where and what he pleased, for the
editors were glad to pay him well, so eager were people to read him.
But he had the reward of a lightly won popularity: when the generation
for whom he wrote had passed away he was deservedly neglected. His
championship of American literature against the strictures of Lockhart
and Marryat, and the redeeming candour of his opinions, make poor
amends for his abuse of talents that might have improved, rather than
satisfied, the taste of the garish day.

_William Cullen Bryant._--However different in aim and permanence from
the last mentioned adherent of the “Knickerbocker School,” to the same
general category may be assigned William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878),
who from 1826 until his death was an active force in the literary
life of New York. The author of “Thanatopsis” and one of the best
verse translations of Homer was born in Cummington, Massachusetts,
attended a local school, was taught Latin and Greek by private tutors,
two clergymen of ability, and studied for part of a year at Williams
College, where the standard of scholarship was then low. Leaving that
institution in 1811, he made ready to enter the profession of law.
During his preparation he had an interval of experience as adjutant in
the State militia. After that, he practised as a lawyer in his native
State, at Plainfield and Great Barrington, until 1825, when he yielded
to the strong propensity of nature, and took up literature for the
business of life.

As a mere child, Bryant showed an exceptional leaning toward poetry.
He was unweariedly studious, and an omnivorous reader. He wrote verses
before he was nine; in his youth, so he says, he varied his private
devotions from the ordinary Calvinistic models, by supplicating that
he “might receive the gift of poetic genius and write verses that
might endure.” The gift came to him through the instrumentality of
Wordsworth’s “Lyrical Ballads” (the American edition of 1802), whose
mastery over him he afterwards acknowledged, and bore witness to in his
practice. At first, however, he was imbued with the tendencies of his
own predecessors in America. A Federalist in his political sympathies,
he opposed the aims of Jefferson’s administration--although later he
grew to be a staunch supporter of “Jeffersonian Democracy.” Encouraged
by his father, a well-known physician, who himself indulged in verse,
young Cullen, before he was fifteen, saw in print his political satire
“The Embargo” (1808), a work in the manner of Freneau and Trumbull, in
which Jefferson was invited to resign the presidency. In Wordsworth,
fortunately, Byrant had a model choicer than the satirists. He became
acquainted with “Lyrical Ballads” in 1810. Sometime in the autumn of
1811, his inward eye having been taught to see the operation of a
benign and healing spirit in the world of nature, this thoughtful
youth, now about to begin the study of law, and, as it were, to
commence the effort of life, was moved to record his sentiments on the
all-pervading fact of death: the universal debt is not an evil; to pay
it is as natural as to be born; and to obey the voice of nature, to
confide in her will, is the source of human satisfaction. That is the
burden of “Thanatopsis.”

When “Thanatopsis” was submitted by the poet’s father to _The North
American Review_ (in 1817), people would hardly believe that such an
exalted strain had been conceived outside of England. “Thanatopsis”
and “To a Waterfowl” (written in 1815) are indeed in many ways
Wordsworthian; the similarity is immediately noticeable. Yet the
similarity is not complete. In the first place, they are founded, and
very definitely founded, upon the natural scenery of Bryant’s own
New England environment; and they sprang out of a unified individual
experience to which his personal observation contributed as much as
his reading. But, as has been remarked before, the note of Bryant is
a less joyous note than that of his great English exemplar, not only
because of a difference in the selection of subjects, but through a
difference in the treatment of detail as well. It is not to be expected
that in perfection of technique a boy of seventeen could equal a
poet who at the age of thirty-two (when Wordsworth first became at
all generally known in America) was virtually master of his craft.
Moreover, “Thanatopsis” as we now have it is actually an immense
improvement upon the version that came out in _The North American_; yet
in finality of expression it cannot vie with the “Lines” associated
with Tintern Abbey, not to speak of certain portions of “The Prelude”
or “The Excursion” written in the zenith of Wordsworth’s power. Still,
“Thanatopsis” was the first great American poem; in its ultimate
form it bids fair to please most readers in all ages. The majesty of
Thucydides is borrowed in the conception that the whole earth is the
sepulchre of famous men; there is Homeric splendour of epithet in such
expressions as the “all-beholding sun.” The “healing sympathy” of
nature, of course, is Wordsworthianism pure and simple; but the poem as
a whole is tinged with a pantheism much more stoical than the pantheism
of Wordsworth, and curiously out of keeping with the touch of New
England moralising toward the end. This touch is even more pronounced
in the verses “To a Waterfowl.”

“To a Waterfowl” was published with several other poems, including
“Thanatopsis,” in 1821. According to that wayward genius Hartley
Coleridge, it is the best short poem in the English language; a
perilously sweeping judgment, like Shelley’s on “France,” the
magnificent ode by Hartley’s father. At all events, “To a Waterfowl”
is hardly surpassed by any of Bryant’s later work, and probably
unsurpassed by anything of comparable subject and scope ever written in

In 1821, Bryant, then practising law at Great Barrington, was married
to Miss Frances Fairchild. In 1825, he gave up the law and a secure
livelihood, and, removing to New York, assumed the editorship of
_The New York Review_. After a brief connection with _The United
States Review_, he became assistant editor of _The Evening Post_; in
1829 he was made editor-in-chief. His lifelong guidance of this most
influential paper is briefly touched upon elsewhere. It may be readily
thought that Bryant’s prolonged editorial labours interfered with his
subsequent development as a poet. Yet his partial ownership of _The
Post_ finally gave him abundant means for travel and a widening of his
experience in his own and foreign lands; and his habits of industry,
supported by a temperate bodily régime, enabled him to achieve during
his extended career a noble literary monument outside of journalism.

By 1832 he was ready to publish another edition of his “Poems,” adding
more than eighty pieces that were new--notably, the “Forest Hymn,” the
“Song of Marion’s Men,” and “The Death of the Flowers.” At intervals of
a few years (1834, 1836, 1842, 1844, etc.) other editions or volumes
followed; giving evidence that his imagination was not dormant, for
they contained in each case material in part or wholly fresh. Thus the
“Poems” of 1854 included “O Mother of a Mighty Race” and “Robert of
Lincoln,” the latter a favourite with many, though inferior to Bryant’s
general standard. Of the “Thirty Poems” issued ten years later (1864),
twenty-seven were new; the presence of selections, in English, from
Book V of the Odyssey is worthy of particular remark. They had already
appeared, a few months before, in _The Atlantic Monthly_.

The achievement of Bryant’s declining years was his translation of
Homer. He had at various times amused himself with renderings of
one or another passage that pleased him in foreign tongues. He was
an ardent admirer of the Greek epics. He was dissatisfied with the
versions of Cowper and Pope. It is possible that he was acquainted with
the counsels of Matthew Arnold, called forth by the Homer of Francis
Newman. The favour met by his attempts with the Odyssey encouraged
him to try his hand at the Iliad. On the death of his wife, in 1866,
he felt the need of some employment to distract his attention, and
resolved to translate the Iliad entire. By 1869 he had finished the
first twelve books, at the rate of from forty to seventy-five lines a
day. These twelve books were published in February, 1870, the remainder
of the Iliad in June. By the first of July he was engaged upon the
Odyssey; on December 7, 1871, he sent his printers “the twenty-fourth
and concluding book of [his] translation of Homer’s Odyssey, together
with the table of contents for the second volume.” To misunderstand the
repression of feeling in these simple words, with which the venerable
Bryant takes leave of his final work, is to miss the hidden fire
animating his whole existence. In a great poet there is little waste
of energy in the outward expression. The moment feeling shows itself,
it is transmuted into artistic form. The form is adequate, but it is
something different from the sentiment that gives it life.

The excellence of Bryant’s blank-verse translation of Homer is
not a theme for long discussion here. He aimed at simplicity and
faithfulness. He rejected several of the customary ornaments of modern
verse, choosing for his medium that rhythm which is most nearly
related to the cadence of everyday speech. Tested by its effect on
the layman of the present day, his attempt is more successful than
other well-known metrical versions, less than the cadenced prose of
translators, like Myers and Lang, who have profited by the advice of
Arnold with respect to diction, but in avoiding the trammels of metre
have followed the example set by the scholars of King James in the
Authorised Version of the Scriptures. However, Bryant’s rendering is
too noble a piece of imaginative scholarship to be passed over.

Bryant spent something like six years upon his Homer. He survived its
completion by six years more, full of honours, rejoicing in a hale
old age, still visited occasionally by poetical inspiration, still
influential in the political thought of his nation, able at four score
and four to make a public address in honour of the Italian patriot
Mazzini. During this address, “his uncovered head was for a time
exposed to the full glare of the sun. Shortly after, while entering
a house, he fell backwards, striking his head upon the stone steps;
concussion of the brain and paralysis followed.” He died in New York,
June 12, 1878, and was buried at Roslyn, on Long Island Sound, near the
beautiful country home where for thirty-five years his literary toils
had been “sweetened to his taste.”

Owing to his artistic reserve, Bryant had the reputation of a
temperamental coldness, a reputation that is belied both by the
tenderness of his domestic ties and by his well chosen and enduring
friendships. His patriotism also was unswerving. If he “let no empty
gust of passion find an utterance in his lay,” nevertheless he knew and

    ... feelings of calm power and mighty sweep,
    Like currents journeying through the boundless deep.

He was a devoted lover of humanity and life; he was a devoted lover of
his art. For him, art and life were one. It is easy for the uninitiated
to credit him with a lack of warmth. The fully emancipated are aware
what union of fire and self-restraint, of vigour and delicacy, goes to
the rearing of a fabric like the orderly and effective career of Bryant.

Like most, or all, great poets, Bryant wrote admirable prose. His
essays in criticism have already been alluded to. As a stylist he was
indefatigably painstaking even to the smallest detail: “He was not a
fluent nor a very prolific writer.... His manuscripts, as well as his
proofs, were commonly so disfigured by corrections as to be read with
difficulty even by those familiar with his script.” His capacity for
intense application was a partial measure of his success both as poet
and as critic. For oratory, his legal training stood him in good stead,
and his later prominence in New York and in the country as a whole
gave him many an occasion. If Bryant, as Matthew Arnold believed, was
“_facile princeps_” among American poets, this eminence arose from no
merely capricious outburst of genius; it was the natural efflux of a
noble, well rounded, and representative human life.

_Saxe_, _Melville_, _Alice and Phoebe Cary.--_After Bryant it is
convenient to speak of a few poets, very different from him, and for
the most part from each other, whose contemporaneous presence in
New York is almost the only thing that connects them. John G. Saxe
(1816-87), a native of Vermont, in his time was counted a leader
among satirists. He staggers now under the accusation of extreme
superficiality; none the less is he lively and readable. He consciously
imitated Hood; he could scarcely avoid imitating Wendell Holmes. Of
himself he had a remarkable turn for epigram and for punning in rhyme.
His burlesque adaptations of Ovid are smart and amusing. On the whole
it may be said that Saxe was at his best in “The Proud Miss MacBride,”
where he girds at an upstart aristocracy:

    Of all the notable things on earth,
    The queerest one is pride of birth,
      Among our “fierce Democracie.”

Herman Melville (1819-91), who wrote a fascinating account (“Typee,”
1846) of his stay among the aborigines of the Marquesas, also published
“Battle-Pieces” (1866) and other poems. His verse is less objective and
sincere than his prose. Alice Cary (1820-71) and her sister, Phoebe
(1824-71), were born in Ohio, where they were locally appreciated.
Removing first to Philadelphia, then to New York, they supported
themselves by their pens. The talents of Alice Cary were manifestly
superior; yet for a time, yielding to her admiration of Poe, she
allowed the element of harmonious sound in her poetry to overbalance
that of meaning. Her hymns, one of which is almost a classic, are noble
in their purity of sentiment.

_Dana_, _Sprague_, _Hillhouse, etc._--Although his life and activity
were centred elsewhere, Bryant, as we have seen, was a product of
western Massachusetts. From him and the city of his adoption we
naturally turn to a number of writers whose careers are to be more
closely identified with New England. Many of these, like Richard Henry
Dana senior (1787-1879), of Boston, were poets only secondarily.
Dana was a journalist and politician--an admirer of Wordsworth and a
lecturer on Shakespeare. An edition of his prose and verse in 1833
contained a poem, “The Buccaneer,” inspired by Coleridge’s “Rime of the
Ancient Mariner.” His shorter poems are moral--

          Oh, listen, man!
    A voice within us speaks the startling word,
    “Man, thou shalt never die”--

and are mostly tame and artificial. Though inferior in native talent
to his brother-in-law, Washington Allston, Dana was more widely known
as a writer, partly because of his ability as literary critic. His
verse was melancholy and his meditation not virile. As a poet he won
a smaller audience than did Charles Sprague (1791-1875), also of
Boston; yet it is not now easy to understand why Sprague’s longest
poem, “Curiosity” (1823), should have been “largely read and quoted in
this country, and grossly plagiarised in England” (Onderdonk). James
A. Hillhouse (1789-1841), who wrote a Biblical drama called “Hadad”
(1824), published “Dramas, Discourses, and Other Pieces” in 1839. He
is interesting as an early exponent of the dramatic art in America.
His style shows a strange blending of elements from Lord Byron and the
Scriptures. It would probably be fairer to judge him by “Demetria” than
by “Hadad.” A Byronic sentimentalism runs through the work of James
Gates Percival (1795-1856), whose “Prometheus” (1820) luxuriates in
the sorrows of men and the vanity of human wishes. His poetry often
belies his everyday life, since for all his facile pessimism he was a
man of genuine attainments and solid interest in science. He could not
make his own experience the fundamental thing in his verse;--unlike
his contemporary John Pierpont (1785-1866), a clergyman of Boston. In
his hymns and patriotic odes, Pierpont was masculine and sane, a good
representative of the New England abolitionist, as may be gathered from
“The Fugitive Slave’s Apostrophe to the North Star.” “Warren’s Address
to the American Soldiers” is even better known, and still withholds
the name of Pierpont from oblivion. John G. C. Brainard (1796-1828)
died before his poetical gift could find complete expression. He dealt
with the scenery and legends of Connecticut, but is hardly remembered
outside the histories of American literature.

_Mrs. Brooks and Mrs. Sigourney._--The same generation produced several
women of note, whose poetry demands some attention; in particular,
Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791-1865), a prolific maker of books, not to
speak of “more than two thousand articles in prose and verse” which
were issued during her long and quiet life in Hartford. Mrs. Sigourney
was no genius, albeit she passed for “the American Hemans.” She was a
person of great moral worth and the most charitable disposition. It has
been suggested that the beauty of her character was responsible for
her extraordinary vogue. More probably the attention she gave to the
legends of her own country, the not unwholesome cast of sentimentalism
in her thought, and her readiness to contribute verses for any
occasion, however slight, will in large part account for the unbounded
admiration which she enjoyed. In 1822 appeared her poem, in five
cantos, “Traits of the American Aborigines”; her “Lays of the Heart”
were published in 1848. Besides her innumerable shorter articles, she
is said to have been responsible for something like fifty volumes.
“Maria del Occidente” (Mrs. Maria Gowen Brooks, 1795-1845) was of a
different cast, less homely in her sentiments, a romantic soul, filled
with the spirit of Southey and Moore, leaning toward the sensuous and
exotic. When she bent her energies to verse, as in “Judith, Esther, and
Other Poems” (1820), and “Zophiel, or The Bride of Seven” (1833)--a
story based on the Apocryphal Book of Tobit--she showed herself far
removed from Mrs. Sigourney and “The Power of Maternal Piety” or “The
Sunday School.” On the whole, the taste of “Maria del Occidente,” as
Southey called her, was worse than that of “the American Hemans”;
and if Southey termed Mrs. Brooks “the most impassioned and most
imaginative of all poetesses,” he paid an astounding tribute to his own
acumen as a critic. Emma H. Willard (1787-1870), like Mrs. Sigourney,
was prominent as an educator, accomplishing more as the head of a
female seminary in Troy, N. Y., than by her writings. She was the
author of “Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep.” In the next generation
were Sarah H. Whitman (1803-78) and Frances S. Osgood (1811-50), who
composed verse not lacking in merit, but who are recalled rather for
their championship of Edgar Allan Poe. Mrs. Whitman was at one time
betrothed to him.

_Minor Poets of New England._--Among the minor New England poets who
came slightly later, was Samuel Longfellow (1819-92)--younger brother
of Henry W. Longfellow--a hymn-writer of singular purity. Sylvester
Judd (1813-53), a Unitarian minister, wrote an epic entitled “Philo”
(1850). William Wetmore Story (1819-95), who edited the life and
letters of his distinguished father, Chief Justice Story, forsook the
bar at an early age and went to Italy to engage in sculpture. He was
a poet of refinement, touched with melancholy, intellectual rather
than passionate--yet with a fondness for the intangible--influenced
by Longfellow and Holmes, by Tennyson and Browning. In verse, his
chief works were “Poems” (1847), “Graffiti d’Italia” (1868), “A Roman
Lawyer in Jerusalem” (1870), “He and She” (1883), and “Poems” (1886).
Among his individual pieces “Cleopatra” seems to be the best known.
Theophilus W. Parsons (1819-92) shows a similar Continental influence,
whose most valuable result was his free translation of Dante’s
“Inferno” (cantos I-X, 1843, completed in 1867); this was preceded by
his fine lines “On a Bust of Dante” (1841), which are justly admired.
Henry H. Brownell (1820-72) attracted notice by a poem on Farragut, and
through Farragut’s good offices entered the United States Navy. His
“War Lyrics and Other Poems” (1866) contained a stirring piece, “The
River Fight,” on the exploits of Farragut, somewhat in the style of
Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade.”

=Poetry in the South.=--The major poets of New England, Longfellow,
Lowell, Whittier, Emerson, and perhaps one or two others, constitute
the one group in America that may rightfully be dignified with the
name of school. Before approaching them, however, let us give some
consideration to the poets of the South.

Though the institution of slavery gave the dominant classes in the
Southern States a leisure comparable to that enjoyed by classic Greece,
plantation life was not favourable to a thorough and imaginative
education; nor were there great civic centres to collect, for mutual
inspiration, such individuals as showed artistic and literary bent.
Furthermore, in modern times most of the poets have been furnished by a
restless and aspiring middle class, which was virtually lacking in the
South. Among the owners of plantations, personal ambition rarely soared
much higher than local, state, or sectional politics, and political and
occasional oratory, with some noteworthy exceptions, was flamboyant
and insincere. Save for a few noteworthy exceptions, accordingly, the
career of poet languished, and literature of a high order failed of
appreciation. The leading poets of the South realised only too well the
weight of inertia against which they strove, in a civilisation where
the odds were continually against their success.

_The Forerunners._--Early and minor poets in the South need not long
detain us. William Crafts (1789-1826), of Charleston, South Carolina,
a graduate of Harvard, and an orator of repute, composed a “Raciad,”
or epic on horse-racing, and “Sullivan’s Island.” His “Miscellaneous
Writings” (1828) were published posthumously. William J. Grayson
(1788-1863), who was more voluminous, attempted in his poem “The
Hireling and the Slave” (1856) to represent slavery as a preferable
state for the negro. Richard H. Wilde (1789-1847), Edward C. Pinkney
(1802-28), George H. Calvert (1803-89), Philip P. Cooke (1816-50)
and others, show a range of imitation running all the way from Byron
through Scott and Moore to Tennyson. Cooke’s “Florence Vane” was warmly
admired by Poe. Albert Pike (1809-91), should be remembered as the
author of “Dixie,” which, “set to a popular air which has been traced
back to slavery times in New York State, became, in a multitude of
variations, a Southern Marseillaise” (Onderdonk).

_Timrod_, _Hayne_, _and Simms_.--Of a high order was the poetry of that
champion of the Southern cause Henry B. Timrod (1829-67). Denied by
fortune the sort of education that he craved, striving throughout much
of his life with poverty and sickness, and finally defeated, saddened
by personal bereavement as well as by the downfall of the South, Timrod
died before he could make adequate report of his endowments. His volume
of “Poems” (1860), issued at the beginning of the Civil War, was almost
unnoticed; and even yet he has not obtained the recognition due him.
His devotion to the South was not greater than his reverence for his
art. Few of our poets have so clearly understood themselves and their
craft. Unusual courage breathes in all he wrote. In the year of his
death, a prey to disease and sorrow, he could say to the Confederate
soldiers buried “At Magnolia Cemetery”:

    Sleep sweetly in your humble graves,
      Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause;
    Though yet no marble column craves
      The pilgrim here to pause.

    In seeds of laurel in the earth
      The blossom of your fame is blown,
    And somewhere, waiting for its birth,
      The shaft is in the stone.

Timrod’s works were brought to light again in 1873 by Paul Hamilton
Hayne (1830-86), who, prior to the war, had united with Simms and
Timrod to erect, if possible, the drooping spirit of poetry in the
South. Hayne’s “Poems” (1855) and “Sonnets and Other Poems” (1857) had
a chance to make their way before the outbreak of hostilities; and
he survived the conflict long enough to publish “Legends and Lyrics”
(1872) and “The Mountain of the Lovers, and Other Poems” (1873). A
complete edition of his poems appeared in 1882. “The Laureate of the
South,” as he was called, was an enthusiast in sub-tropical life and
scenery, a word-painter and word-musician after the manner of Poe.
His music is more obvious than Timrod’s and not so likely to please
a delicate ear; and he did not have Timrod’s unity and clearness of

Less careful still in his workmanship, and still more lacking in
concentration, was the third of the trio, William Gilmore Simms
(1806-70). Simms was a most abundant writer, known later for his novels
and biographies rather than his poems. In his earlier poetry he was
under the sway of Byron and Moore. His scanty advantages in the way
of schooling were atoned for in part by voluminous indiscriminate
reading; yet he never overcame certain defects in thinking to which
self-taught men are prone. His first publication was “Lyrical and Other
Poems” (1827). “Atalantis” (1832), a closet-drama in blank verse, in
its general structure harks back to Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound.” His
selected works, in nineteen volumes, were published in 1859. Simms’
commanding presence, the vigour of his personality, his determination
to conquer all obstacles in his own path, and to vitalise the literary
atmosphere of the South, make him an impressive, even heroic, figure.

_Edgar Allan Poe._--The life of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) is duly
recounted in another place, where his prose fiction is handled at some
length. When Poe ran away from the ledgers in his guardian’s office,
he carried with him in manuscript the first heir of his invention,
“Tamerlane and Other Poems,” for which he found a publisher at Boston
(1827). “Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems” followed in 1829.
In 1831, the year of his discharge from West Point, appeared the
volume of “Poems” with which Poe thought to win the interest of the
cadets. Thereafter, most of his poetry first saw the light in various
periodicals; for example, “The Raven” (1845) in the New York _Evening
Mirror_, “The Bells” (1849) in _Sartain’s Magazine_, “Annabel Lee”
(1849) in _The New York Tribune_.

In the opinion of the present writer, Poe’s verse is generally
rated above its value, even for those qualities in which it is
supposed particularly to excel. Certain poetical gifts this author
unquestionably had in abundance. He had the _copia verborum_ which is
indispensable to every literary artist. His sensations were vivid, if
not numerous. He knew how to choose the symbols with which to attain
his ends. If we are to trust the substance of his remarks in “The
Philosophy of Composition,” and of those which he made regarding “The
Raven,” his choice and manipulation of literary artifice were for the
most part very conscious. He was able through the use of carefully
selected diction and imagery to produce in his reader precisely the
shade of feeling--the glimmer of the supernatural, the sense of grey
and subdued, occasionally the sense of Weird and poignant, grief--which
he desired. He never forgets the music of his words, and through
habit, almost without trying, he can write continuously in a minor key.
And yet, his music is not inevitable enough, nor does it undergo enough
variation, or variation sufficiently delicate. It is too forced, too
repetitious. His effects all lie within narrow limits, and he runs his
gamut over and over again. This is altogether aside from his failure to
make his music grow out of that strong underlying poetical good sense
which is to be confidently expected of every great imagination. People
too often forget how far Poe falls short of his master, Coleridge, in
the mere element of harmonious sound; just as they too often forget
how far Coleridge falls short of _his_ master, Milton, in the union of
ethereal as well as sonorous cadences with a finely modulated or robust
thought and sentiment. Were Poe’s appeals to the external senses more
wonderful than they are, he would still lag behind those poets--and in
the history of literature they are not after all so few--who can touch
every chord, whether sad or joyous, known to the human ear, and still
maintain that basis of firm reason without which human communication
ceases to be broadly human. The intellect also has its music, lacking
which no poetry has ever long survived.

Furthermore, all allowance being made for the tragic outcome of Poe’s
career, for the part of his fate which was not the outgrowth of his
own character, or could not, humanly considered, be attributed at
some point in his development to his own will, his poetry is not
uplifting. True, in his handling of material he is, in the ordinary
acceptation, entirely clean. That is, he is wholly free from obscenity,
as he is free also from that more perilous seeming cleanness which so
often cloaks real impurity. Nevertheless may he be dangerous food for
those whom he most readily attracts. Poe is essentially pessimistic,
hopeless, toward general human experience. His favourite topic is
death; and his vision does not pierce beyond the worm and the grave.
Nay, like his predecessors in England and on the Continent, he
luxuriates in the tomb and the charnel. As in his stories, so in his
verse, though less patently, he follows some of the most pernicious
motives in art that the older civilisation afforded his age. And it
is the lethal progeny--Baudelaire and the rest--of that movement in
European literature typified by Ann Radcliffe and “Monk” Lewis that
has been quickest to take up with Poe and exploit him abroad. We may
seek to explain and exculpate him; we may sorrow for his blighted life;
but the fact remains that what Poe wrote sprang out of his career,
hence, on the whole, was morbid. The flowers of his poetry are the
flowers of Lethe. The stimulants with which he catches the reader are
violent and exciting. His ideal of intellectual beauty was detached
and unnatural. It is little wonder, then, that he would not enter into
sympathy with the English poet by whom the normal Bryant was inspired,
and whose works, the most normalising and healthful influence that
American literature thus far has felt, were purposely reactive against
artificial and abnormal stimulation.

_Sidney Lanier._--Among the representatives of the “New South,” Sidney
Lanier (1842-81), musician, poet, teacher of English, is easily
foremost. He was born in Macon, Georgia, and received his education
at Oglethorpe College, where, on graduating, he became a tutor; he
volunteered in the Confederate Army (1860), toward the end of the
war was captured, and perhaps owed his subsequent ill-health to his
imprisonment of five months at Point Lookout. When the war was over, he
taught again, in Alabama, read law, supported himself by his music--he
was an adept on the flute--wrote for magazines, and by private study in
Baltimore eventually fitted himself to take a lectureship in English
literature at Johns Hopkins University. Courageous in his struggle
with adverse circumstances, buoyant and energetic in spite of his long
battle with disease, Lanier greatly resembles Timrod. Like Timrod,
too, dying early, he left but a slender volume of poetry, uneven in
excellence, an earnest of what he might have accomplished, hardly a
standard by which to appraise him. Lanier’s was a delicate and sensuous
rather than a profound imagination; however, both in his observation of
external nature and in the thoroughness and extent of his acquaintance
with general literature, he was unusually well prepared for the
office of poet. His interest in science fortified and disciplined his
contemplation of the outer world; his poetical instinct was nurtured
through industrious and select reading; and he brought to bear upon
his own literary craftsmanship, and upon the literary work of others,
the ear of a trained musician. His musical ear helped him greatly
in his studies on metre, where his contributions to scholarship are
distinctly more valuable than in his lectures on the English novel.
Deeply sympathetic and generous and sane in all relations of life,
Lanier had a subtle understanding for the realm that lies outside
the haunts of men--for the domain of wild fauna and flora, for the
seldom heeded and the escaping phenomena of the woods and the marsh
and the sea. The poor reception given to his “Tiger Lilies” (1867),
a novel based on experiences in the army, did not dishearten him. In
1875 he definitely announced himself by his poem entitled “Corn,”
published in _Lippincott’s Magazine_, a vision of the South restored
through agriculture. This brought him the opportunity of writing
the “Centennial Cantata” for the Philadelphia Exposition, where he
expressed the faith he now had in the future of the reunited nation.
The Cantata finished, he immediately began a much longer centennial
ode, his “Psalm of the West” (1876), which appeared in _Lippincott’s
Magazine_, and which, with “Corn” and “The Symphony,” made part of
a small volume published in the autumn of 1876. Lanier’s important
critical works were the product of the years between 1876 and his
death. Some three years after he died, his poems were collected and
edited by his wife. If we had to rely upon one poem to keep alive the
fame of Lanier, thinks his biographer, Mr. Edwin Mims, we “could single
out ‘The Marshes of Glynn’ with assurance that there is something so
individual and original about it, and that, at the same time, there is
such a roll and range of verse in it, that it will surely live not only
in American poetry but in English.” “He is the poet of the marshes as
surely as Bryant is of the forests.”

_Maurice Thompson and Mrs. Preston._--Our notice of Southern writers
may conclude with Maurice Thompson and Mrs. Margaret Preston. James
Maurice Thompson (1844-1901) is commonly associated with the Middle
West, since he was born and died in Indiana. His early life, however,
was spent in Kentucky and Georgia, he saw service in the Confederate
Army, and much of his verse and prose carries the stamp of his
experiences in the South and his acquaintance with Southern literature.
He was a lawyer by profession, but by instinct a natural scientist.
In 1885 he was appointed State Geologist of Indiana. From 1890 on he
was connected with the New York _Independent_. His style was crisp and
neat, sometimes over-elaborate; but he kept an eye on the thing he was
talking about, so that in general what he has said of nature is very
acceptable. His devotion to the pastimes of fishing and archery gave
him a good deal of literary material. His extensive and exact knowledge
of the ways of birds enters into many of his poems, as for example “An
Early Bluebird.” The strain of regenerate patriotism in “Lincoln’s
Grave” is the same that we find in Lanier. Mrs. Preston (1820-97) was
the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Junkin, founder of Lafayette College and
afterward president of Washington and Lee University, in Virginia.
Before her marriage, in 1857, she had done some writing. In 1866 she
published “Beechenbrook, a Rhyme of the War”; in 1870, “Old Songs and
New.” Her “Cartoons” (1875) and “Colonial Ballads” (1887) show her at
her best. She has been styled “the greatest Southern poetess”; there
have been few claimants to dispute the title.

=Major Poets of New England.=--With this caption we return to the main
stream of American verse, and reach the men whose lives and works may
be said to justify a connected account of poetry in the United States.
We shall take up Longfellow first. Whatever vicissitudes his literary
standing has suffered, or is likely to suffer, he is bound for a long
time to appear as the central figure among our poets.

_Henry Wadsworth Longfellow._--The subject of this sketch was born in
Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807. He came of a gifted stock. His
father was a lawyer of ability, and his mother a woman of artistic
temperament and varied attainments, so that the boy grew up in an
atmosphere of study and refinement. Longfellow was a wise and gentle
child, fond of books, not too sensitive, always normal and sane. Until
1821 he went to school in Portland; in 1822 he entered the sophomore
class at Bowdoin College. Here he attained a good rank in scholarship,
and became acquainted, not intimately, with the future novelist
Hawthorne. Upon graduation in 1825, Longfellow went abroad, in order
to fit himself for a professorship in modern languages which lay open
to him at Bowdoin. He visited France, Germany, England, and the South
of Europe; on his return in 1829 he gave himself up with ardour and
success to the activity of teaching. In 1831 he was married to Miss
Mary S. Potter. In 1835, having received an invitation to the chair of
modern languages at Harvard, he went abroad again for further travel
and study, this time mainly to Germany and the North. The death of
his young wife, shortly after their arrival in Holland, filled his
cup with bitterness, but did not swerve him from preparation for the
duties of his chair at Cambridge. Nevertheless, as may be read beneath
the surface of his romance “Hyperion,” his determination that he must
ultimately become a poet, and not end as a teacher in the classroom,
can be traced to this critical epoch in his life.

Longfellow taught at Harvard from 1836 until 1854, with but one
intermission, in 1842, when on account of his health he made his third
trip to Europe. In 1843 he married Miss Frances E. Appleton, whom he
had met in Switzerland sixteen years before, and whose presence and
influence are likewise traceable in “Hyperion.” Through the generosity
of his father-in-law, he was able to establish a home in Craigie House,
where he had been a lodger since 1837, a dwelling of Revolutionary
fame. For a while, Longfellow’s study was the room once occupied by
Washington. Here, surrounded by his books and, as the years went on,
by a growing family circle, he lived in comfort and felicity. His
reputation spread, and the number of his acquaintances increased. Among
his friends he reckoned Sparks and Prescott, the historians; Ticknor,
his predecessor at Harvard, and Lowell, who afterward succeeded
Longfellow; Fields, Emerson, Holmes, and Hawthorne; Felton, Sumner,
Agassiz, and Norton. He read and wrote variously and extensively; he
counted it a privilege to be interpreting Dante “to young hearts.” In
time, however, his duties as a teacher, above all the preparation of
lectures, gradually wore upon him. He felt that he could not serve two
masters, and he clave to poetry. At length, in 1854, he resigned his
professorship, to devote himself exclusively to authorship. Seven years
later, under the most distressing circumstances, he lost his second
wife. From this catastrophe, Longfellow, though he eventually regained
his outward cheerfulness, never inwardly recovered. “He bore his grief
with courage and in silence. Only after months had passed could he
speak of it; and then only in fewest words.” In 1868 he made his last
visit to Europe, where he was met with “a flood of hospitality.” In
London “he breakfasted with Mr. Gladstone, Sir Henry Holland, the Duke
of Argyll; lunched with Lord John Russell at Richmond, ... received
midnight calls from Bulwer and Aubrey de Vere.... The Queen received
him cordially and without ceremony in one of the galleries of Windsor
Castle.” After a visit of two days with Tennyson, Longfellow and his
party crossed to the Continent. They spent the summer in Switzerland,
the autumn in France, the winter in Florence and Rome. When he returned
to America, he “found Cambridge in all its beauty; not a leaf faded.”
“How glad,” he wrote, “I am to be at home. The quiet and rest are
welcome after the surly sea. But there is a tinge of sadness in it,
also.” The last ten years of Longfellow’s life were quiet and serene,
with a tinge of sadness in them, also. Yet they were filled with
literary projects which, for a man of his age, he carried through
with remarkable energy; and, until toward the end, his correspondence
was enormous. In 1880 his health showed signs of failing. In 1882 he
suffered a brief and sharp illness, and on Friday, March 24, “he sank
quietly in death.” “The long, busy, blameless life was ended.”

At the age of thirteen, Longfellow printed four stanzas, “The Battle
of Lovell’s Pond,” in a corner of _The Portland Gazette_. Within the
next six years he wrote a considerable number of poems for _The United
States Literary Gazette_. By 1833, in addition to text-books for his
classes, he had, in various magazines, published original articles,
stories, and several reviews; among them an important estimate of
poetry, especially the poetry of America, in a notice of Sidney’s
“Defense of Poesy” contributed to _The North American Review_;
as well as translations from the Spanish of Manrique and others,
with an “Introductory Essay on the Moral and Devotional Poetry of
Spain” (1833). “Outre-Mer,” first published as a series of sketches,
appeared in book form in 1835, “Hyperion” in 1839, and “Voices of
the Night” in the same year as “Hyperion.” “Voices of the Night”
made Longfellow’s reputation as a poet; the edition was immediately
exhausted. “Hyperion,” which eventually sold well, though at present
it is not often enough read, was at first unfortunate, the publisher
failing before this book had a fair start. Of Longfellow’s better
known works, published during the latter half of his lifetime, his
“Ballads and Other Poems” appeared in 1841, “The Spanish Student” in
1843, “Evangeline” in 1847, “Kavanagh,” another prose romance, in
1849, “Hiawatha” in 1855, “The Courtship of Miles Standish” in 1858,
“The Golden Legend” in 1872, and “Aftermath” in 1873. The “Tales
of a Wayside Inn” came out in 1863, 1872, and 1873, the First Day
separately, the Second and the Third Day in company with other writings.

In consequence, it may be, of a latter-day tendency to disparage
Longfellow’s verse, there has been an effort of late to rehabilitate
his prose; not so much, indeed, for its own sake, as for its importance
in the history of our literature. “Hyperion,” for example, is not
merely what Longfellow called it, “a sincere book, showing the passage
of a morbid mind into a purer and healthier state”; that is, it is
not merely the veiled autobiography of our most popular poet. Its
final reception and large sale are a proof that in the forties not a
few Americans could be interested in German student life and in the
discussion of Continental literatures. With this romance, one might
say, began an American literature that, without ceasing to be native,
could claim to be cosmopolitan. Possibly no single work produced
in this country ever effected more in the dissemination of European
culture. Its faults are on the surface. The style is not seldom forced
and florid, having the colour of Jean Paul rather than Irving; and the
sentiment here and there is gushing. Nevertheless, parts of “Hyperion”
are good prose, the prose of a scholar who is aware of what he is
saying and of a poet who knows how to avoid scraps of metre when he is
not writing verse. The poet-scholar knows, too, on what sort of basis
the best poetry is founded: “O thou poor authorling!... to cheer thy
solitary labour, remember that the secret studies of an author are the
sunken piers upon which is to rest the bridge of his fame, spanning the
dark waters of Oblivion. They are out of sight; but without them no
superstructure can stand secure.”

The nature of Longfellow’s secret studies is partly indicated by the
extent of his published translations. Although one could hardly aver
that the poet was anything like a linguistic investigator in the
modern sense, he had a wide acquaintance with Germanic and Romance
literatures; he spoke several modern tongues with fluency; and he
had a sufficient command of idiom to translate with seeming ease
from Swedish, German, Old English, French, Spanish, and Italian.
His renderings from Tegnér’s “Frithiof’s Saga” seemed so true to
the original that the Swedish poet urged Longfellow to complete the
translation. The versions of Uhland and others which he made in Germany
during the year 1836 were later on extraordinarily efficacious in
popularising German literature for America. He may likewise be counted
one of the pioneers among American students of Old English or, as
he called it, “Anglo-Saxon.” As a teacher of modern languages, he
naturally gave heed to Greek and Latin secondarily, and there came a
time when he deplored the fact that his familiarity with Greek had
slipped away. Yet he loved the classics, his favourite among the Latin
poets being Horace. In Horace, he said, one could find all that was
worth while in the message of Goethe, expressed just as well, and
uttered earlier. Of course the most considerable piece of scholarship
undertaken by Longfellow was his translation of the “Divine Comedy,”
a task for which his enthusiastic teaching of Dante had helped to fit
him, and one which he had commenced (1839) years before the death
of his second wife; yet one which he resumed and mainly completed
relatively late in life, and, like Bryant’s Homer, something taken
up as the resource of a soul bitterly bereaved, unable to accomplish
spontaneous creative work. In compassing this task, Longfellow had
the encouragement and the direct assistance of Norton and Lowell, to
whose knowledge and taste the translation as it now stands is greatly
indebted. Even so, it cannot rank high in artistic workmanship. First
of all, the translator found that, in order to reproduce the sense with
fidelity, he must sacrifice the rhyme, a dubious concession so long
as metrical structure was to be retained at all. Still, Longfellow’s
translation is pure and lucid English; for the beginner in Dante the
critical apparatus is valuable even now; and the three sonnets prefixed
to the “Inferno,” “Purgatorio,” and “Paradiso” are in themselves an
introduction to Dante of a sort hardly to be surpassed. The best spirit
of America is blended in them with the best of the Middle Ages.

In considering Longfellow as an original poet, we shall not go
astray if we remember his own conception of originality. To him the
poetic gift meant, not the power of creating new material--as the
vulgar suppose--but insight, the power of seeing things according to
their eternal values. Doubtless he realised that one needs insight
to discover how far the vulgar supposition is blind. At all events,
we need not look for new ideas or new sentiments in the poetry of
Longfellow, but for an attempt to make us see things as he sees them,
after he has tried to see them as they are. In his dramas, and in
his narratives--these latter being more important--he frankly took
material furnished by his wide reading, or lying ready to his hand,
and strove to clothe it in a new and more permanent form. “Evangeline”
is an instance of his method. The story was given him by Hawthorne; in
elaborating it, Longfellow consulted such works on Nova Scotia and the
exile of the Acadians as were accessible to him; he was true to his
sources. Had he known of better authorities, he would have read them,
and his account of the exile would have been historically more precise.
The metre of “Evangeline,” suggested by that of Goethe’s “Hermann und
Dorothea,” is one of the rare instances where dactylic hexameter has
succeeded in English. One can truthfully say that whatever Longfellow
took he really appropriated, that is, made his own. It was but seldom
that his materials would not fuse, for he had a thorough command of
technique. In “Hiawatha,” which has been called “the nearest approach
to an American epic,” he employed a form of verse borrowed from the
Finnish “Kalevala,” in which to embody traditions of the Indians.
As Freiligrath remarked, there is something odd in the notion of
Hiawatha, child of the West Wind, meeting with historical Christian
missionaries. However, Longfellow’s daring synthesis of heterogeneous
elements pleased that great authority on American antiquities Henry R.
Schoolcraft; after many failures, a native poet had at length arisen to
portray our aborigines, in a long poem, with fidelity and imagination.
Ten thousand copies were sold in this country within four weeks, and
the poem was translated into six modern languages.

The dramatic works of Longfellow have suffered in comparison with his
narrative poems and lyrics. The causes of this are partly internal and
partly external. In his “Christus,” which he fancied would endure, he
probably chose a subject of too great magnitude for his powers. Yet
the second part at least, “The Golden Legend,” at present operates
less vitally than it should, largely because of its sympathy with the
ideals of the Middle Ages--with ideals which we, still living in the
Renaissance, are not ready to comprehend. “‘The Golden Legend,’” said
G. P. R. James, “is like an old ruin with the ivy and the rich blue
mould upon it.” Is it not more like a Gothic church before mould and
ruin have crept in? It is a bit of wholesome, rejuvenated medievalism,
an edifice whose threshold the intellectual pride of our age feels
discomfort in crossing.

It is by his shorter poems that Longfellow now chiefly lives. Brief
narratives such as “The Skeleton in Armour,” and “The Wreck of the
Schooner Hesperus,” lyrics of sentiment and pathos--“Psalms of
Life”--more rarely bits of humour like the German mechanic’s song,
“I know a maiden, fair to see,” were soon established in the popular
memory. It would be ungracious to say that the popular taste has been
wrong in preferring what is sentimental and pathetic in Longfellow.
A poet whose love of the hearth was so strong, and whose personal
acquaintance with domestic happiness and domestic grief was so
profound, did well to pour out his soul in verses which add sunshine
to daylight for the happy, and in which the deeply afflicted may find
pensive solace. Yet the popular taste has clung to “Tell me not in
mournful numbers,” where the sentiment is not above suspicion, and to
“The Skeleton in Armour,” where character, sentiment, and historical
setting are for the most part incongruous; and it has almost let the
sonnet on Milton fall asleep.

Longfellow was the most popular poet ever brought forth on this
continent. His unparalleled vogue was destined to undergo a reaction.
Among those who want better bread than is made of wheat, his poetry is
not now counted a stimulating diet. However, when American scholarship
shall succeed in reducing American literature to a true perspective,
he will come to his own again. His patriotism will be rediscovered; his
technical skill will be carefully appraised; the honours heaped upon
him throughout the civilised world will be recognised as just; and the
character from which flowed a well of undefiled poetry will stand out
as one of the noblest products of occidental civilisation.

_James Russell Lowell._--By general consent, Longfellow is our American
poet, _par excellence_, Emerson our philosopher, James Russell Lowell
our man of letters. Others, Lowell among them, have shared more richly
than Longfellow in a distinctively lyrical temperament; others have
thought more consecutively than Emerson. No one, however, when his
initial talents are considered, has produced so much good poetry as
Longfellow; no one in the realm of philosophic thought has been so
patently influential as Emerson; and no one, not even Irving, has
fared well in so many avenues of literature and popular scholarship
as Lowell. He was poet, critic, professor, editor, diplomat, patriot,
humanist; and withal he was a man and a friend.

He was born on Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1819, at “Elmwood,”
Cambridge, a house still in the possession of his family. On his
father’s side he was of English blood, being descended from Percival
Lowell, who came from Somersetshire to Massachusetts Colony in 1639;
through his mother he drew his lineage from the folk of the Orkney
Islands. His father was a well educated clergyman, faithful and
affectionate; his mother, whether really gifted with second sight
or not, was of a less usual type, imaginative, high-strung, with a
tendency to mental derangement. During his infancy her youngest son
heard ballads for lullabies. As a child he was read to sleep with
Spenser’s “Faerie Queene.” When he grew older, he had the range of
his father’s generously stocked library. At the age of nine, he
was devouring Walter Scott, and, like Scott at the same age, was
astonishing his companions with improvised tales of fear and wonder.
His imagination was not unduly stimulated; he lived a wholesome
outdoor life, and he had a sound schooling in the classics. When he
went to Harvard, in 1834, “he was a shy yet not very tractable youth,
given, like so many boys who are shy from excess rather than from
defect of ability, to occasional violence and oddity of expression
or act.” At Harvard, he gradually rebelled against the rigour of a
fixed curriculum, but read omnivorously in English literature of the
sixteenth and the nineteenth century, and, following the English
romanticists of a generation previous, paid particular attention to
Spenser and Milton. “Milton,” he observes, “has excited my ambition
to read all the Greek and Latin classics which he did.” Lowell had
gone through a precocious love affair at the age of ten; while in
college he was again “hopelessly in love.” His efforts in the way of
serious writing were at this time facile and, naturally, not profound;
his humour was naïve, and more engaging. His gradual neglect of the
prescribed routine, in spite of his father’s attempts to stir up in
the young man a respect for academic honours, at length brought upon
Lowell the open displeasure of the Harvard faculty; so that in his
senior year he was temporarily suspended, and directed to regain his
standing under the private instruction of the Rev. Barzillai Frost
at Concord. Longfellow was one of his teachers in Cambridge; in his
retirement, he met Emerson and Thoreau. When he left his tutor and
returned to Harvard, Class Day was past; but he brought back his Class
Poem finished, and allowed it to circulate among his friends. It is
interesting as an evidence of Lowell’s early freedom in using a variety
of metres, of his feeling for nature, of his New England heritage of
conservatism, of his inability as yet to enter into sympathy with
the movement for the abolition of slavery, or with Emerson and
Transcendentalism. It is interesting as a mixture of the old and the
new; its touches of enthusiasm are in odd contrast with its general
manner, which is strongly reminiscent of post-Revolutionary satire.

His course at Harvard over--for better or worse,--Lowell consigned
himself, with misgivings and vacillation, to the study of law. An
unfortunate love affair, the financial reverses of his father,
uncertainty about his own livelihood, and his seemingly thwarted
longing to become an author conspired to render him at times almost
desperate. It appears that he even meditated suicide. His humour
saved him. He continued his study of ancient and modern poets and
certain aspects of their art; through this study, as well as through
his mental sufferings, his knowledge of humanity was broadened and
enriched. He began to understand the position of the Abolitionists.
With his engagement to Miss Maria White, the horizon finally cleared.
He had taken his degree in law. Though he could not immediately be
married, the constant influence of Miss White, herself a poetess, and
his contact with the circle of young people in which she moved--“the
Band”--were from now on vital elements in his spiritual development.
His head was full of literary plans. He would write a life of Keats; he
would compose a “psycho-historical” tragedy. He became a contributor
of verse to _Graham’s Magazine_. In 1840 he brought out the volume of
poetry entitled “A Year’s Life,” labelled by reviewers as “humanitarian
and idealistic”; and in the next year or so he wrote for other
periodicals an assortment of sonnets, prose sketches, and literary
essays on the Elizabethan dramatists. By the close of 1842, he had
resolved to abandon the law, and associated himself with Robert Carter
in founding a magazine to be known as _The Pioneer_. The venture was
short-lived, owing to Lowell’s enforced removal to New York, where he
was under the care of an eye-specialist. The failure of his periodical
involved him in debt; however, he had gained valuable experience as an
editor, and had widened his acquaintance among men of letters. Settling
once more at Cambridge, he watched over the persons of his mother,
whose mind was now astray, and his eldest sister, who already began
to show signs of a similar malady. The fruit of two years of poetical
activity appeared at the end of 1843 in his first series of “Poems.”
He married Miss White on December 26, 1844. Immediately afterward,
he assumed for a brief space a position in Philadelphia on _The
Pennsylvania Freeman_, he and his wife eking out a slender income by
writing for The _Broadway Journal_ of New York. An ardent Abolitionist
now, Lowell, on his return to Cambridge, gave his attention during
the next four years mainly to articles for _The National Anti-Slavery
Standard_. From this point it is impossible in so short an account as
the present to record many details of his productivity as a writer.
In 1846 appeared the first of the “Biglow Papers,” published in _The
Boston Courier_; three more came out the next year. In 1848, besides
a large sheaf of articles, Lowell issued the second series of his
“Poems,” his “Fable for Critics”--in which he handled contemporary
American poets with levity but also with insight--and “The Vision of
Sir Launfal,” significant titles in any list of his works. His powers
were near their height. His humour was almost as sure as it ever
became; his criticism almost as pregnant, his imagination as vital,
his attitude toward national issues as uncompromising. The defects in
his style and treatment are such as we find even in his later work.
Until 1853 Lowell’s life was in the main happy, darkened indeed by the
death of several children, and by anxiety over the fading health of
his wife. From the grief and loneliness following her death, he sought
relief in the preparation of a course of lectures on the English poets,
to be delivered before the Lowell Institute in Boston. Their signal
success brought him a call to the chair left vacant at Harvard by
Longfellow. He gave a year or more to study abroad; returning in 1856,
he spent the next sixteen years of his life in the duties of a college
professor. He lectured on poetry and fine art, and offered courses in
German, Spanish, and Italian literature. He was at his best in teaching
Dante, where he could put in motion his belief “that the study of
imaginative literature tends to sanity of mind”; that it is “a study
of order, proportion, arrangement, of the highest and purest Reason,”
and shows “that chance has less to do with success than forethought,
will, and work.” Latterly he turned his attention to the literature of
Old French. For a man who has been taxed with hereditary indolence, his
industry was surprising. His connection with _The Atlantic Monthly_
from its launching, in 1857, until 1861, and with _The North American
Review_ from 1864 until 1872, is mentioned elsewhere. His private
reading was continuous and discursive. With the approach and outbreak
of the Civil War, his heart and pen were enlisted in the service of
the North. He wrote perhaps the most stirring political articles in
American literature; and his verse ran all the way from a new series
of “Biglow Papers” to the “Commemoration Ode” recited at the memorial
exercises, July 21, 1865, in honour of the Harvard graduates who had
given their lives for their country. After the war, _The North American
Review_ provided him with an outlet for many of his best known articles
in literary criticism, for example, his essays on Chaucer, Pope,
Spenser, and Dante. “The Cathedral,” his most notable poem after the
“Commemoration Ode,” appeared in 1870. In 1869, and again in 1870, he
delivered a number of lectures, on the poets, at Cornell University.
In 1872, unable to secure a leave of absence from Harvard, he resigned
his position there, in order to go abroad. After a stay of two years
in Europe, where he was the recipient of distinguished honours, he
resumed his post at Harvard, retaining it until 1877, when President
Hayes appointed him Minister to Spain (1877-80). In 1880 Garfield made
him Minister to England; here honours were showered upon him. “The
Queen is recorded to have said that during her long reign no ambassador
or minister had created so much interest and won so much regard as
Mr. Lowell.” Shortly after the death of his second wife, in 1885, he
was supplanted in his diplomatic post. For a time he lived with his
daughter at Southborough, Massachusetts. Among the later collections
of his poetry was “Heartsease and Rue,” published in 1887. The last
two years of his life were passed at Cambridge, devoted in part to an
edition of his works, in ten volumes. After a season of weakness and
pain, borne with fortitude and humour, he died, where he first saw the
light, at Elmwood, on August 12, 1891.

It is well-nigh impossible to characterise Lowell briefly. An attempt
to sum up a personality that chose so many avenues of expression,
and that at bottom was not thoroughly unified, can hardly do justice
to the component parts. The most striking thing about the man was
his fertility, if not in great constructive ideas, at all events in
separate thoughts. What he writes is full of meat. His redundancy is
not in the way of useless verbiage; he wants to use all the materials
that offer. A less obvious thing in Lowell is what we may term his lack
of complete spiritual organisation. He lived in an age of dissolving
beliefs and intellectual unrest. Though he was not tormented, as were
some others, by fierce internal doubts, he yet failed ever to be quite
clear with himself on fundamental questions of philosophy and religion.
He was never quite at one with himself. As a writer, his serious and
his humorous moods were continually interrupting each other. Partly on
this account, he did not possess an assured style. Partly, of course,
a kind of indifference, inherited or developed, was to blame; in his
formative stage, he did not have the patience--as he himself told
Longfellow--to write slowly enough. The result is, our enjoyment of his
poetry comes from separate passages, not from organically constituted,
harmonious wholes. In the occasional felicitous expression of an
individual thought, few can surpass him:

    Coy Hebe flies from those that woo,
      And shuns the hands would seize upon her;
    Follow thy life, and she will sue
      To pour for thee the cup of honour.

As a colourist in words, when he happens not to overdo the impression,
his art often seems masterly. Yet if we look closely, even in the much
lauded “Commemoration Ode,” his technique is seldom if ever inevitable.
His prose is stylistically more continuous than his verse, owing to his
experience as an editor. He healed others; himself he could heal at
least partially. But even as a prose writer, in spite of his studies
in the history of literature, he did not reach the point where science
and the understanding are seen to be in harmony with poetry and the
imagination. It appears that he did not succeed in distinguishing
between what was temporary and what was permanent in science, so that
he did not escape the danger of confusing the errors of scientists with
their ideals; and as he was not in full sympathy, as Dante was, with
minute literary research, so he was not willing to subject himself
to the last, exacting, and detailed labours of the poet or essayist
who determines to write verse or prose that shall endure. It follows
that most of his writing, both poetry and prose, lacks finality. Thus
in his article on Chaucer, though he met the approval of no less an
authority than Professor Child, he could not ultimately have satisfied
that great scholar and critic, since Lowell did not confine himself to
generalisations based upon exhaustive induction. He does not clearly
discriminate between “I think” and “I know.”

The fact is that he wrote mainly for his own time, and was bound to
have but a temporary reward. This is not saying that the reward was
not worth while. His interpretations of Spenser, of Dante, of Milton,
of the elder dramatists, sent to those poets many a reader who would
not otherwise have gone; for America, he opened the road in the study
of Chaucer; and his own “Vision of Sir Launfal” has unlocked many a
hard heart to divine influences. When he wrote in dialect, as in the
“Biglow Papers,” he was manifestly writing for a time; but in their
time the second series did more to justify the Northern cause than
almost any other publication that could be mentioned, Whittier’s
poems not excepted. It may be thought that his wonderful command of
dialect, contrasted with a less perfect and less instinctive success
in any higher medium, marks him as above all else a satiric poet.
When he was once sitting for his portrait, he so denominated himself,
speaking generally--“a bored satiric poet.” Yet were we to name
Lowell the greatest of all American satirists, his urgent poems of
patriotism--“The Washers of the Shroud,” the “Commemoration Ode”--his
“Vision of Sir Launfal,” and “The Cathedral” would immediately proclaim
him something greater than any satiric poet could be. Last of all,
nobler than the sum of his writings was the work which he effected in
bringing together his native land and the mother country, England, in a
bond of sympathy unknown since their separation.

_Ralph Waldo Emerson._--Emerson usually passes for a philosophical
mystic and lay preacher. He deemed himself more of a poet than anything
else, for he always hoped to attain perfect utterance in rhythmical
language. Yet the fact that he wrote much more prose, however
imaginative, than verse, has relegated the main treatment of him to
another section of this volume. Such an arrangement, of course, is
grounded in uncritical custom, not in reason.

Arbitrarily limiting ourselves here to his compositions in metre, we
find that throughout his life (1803-82), or throughout the years in
which he was productive, Emerson was responsible for much more poetry,
in the narrower sense, than most of his readers are aware of, and that
his poems are as well worth attention as his essays. In his verse,
which was written for himself, he is, to be sure, less at home so far
as concerns the form, but being less hampered by any regard for an
audience, he is more spontaneous in his thought. At the same time, his
stock of fundamental ideas and sentiments, however vivid and pure, was
pretty much exhausted in his prose, so that, to a considerable extent,
he repeated himself when he changed his medium of expression. Moreover,
as the hierophant of intellectual independence, he did not come to a
practical realisation of the way in which the opulence of the greatest
poets and thinkers is related to the wealth and continuity of their
reading. Emerson, indeed, read multifariously if not thoroughly; and
it is true that his essays are liberal in the use of borrowed matter;
the production of an essay on Montaigne might appear to mean little
more than throwing together an anthology of excerpts, cemented with
Emerson’s own marginal notes. He rarely mastered any single author
entire. His insight went by leaps and bounds, and he appropriated what
he found congenial, not being pliant enough to enter steadily and long
into the thought of another. His prose in general lacks plan. Some
of his poems, on the contrary, are more unified, having an organic
wholeness which is absent from his longer essays. In an essay, mere
continuity of sentiment and preservation of individual style do not
constitute an adequate link between the parts. In a lyric poem, such
consistency may suffice. Virtually, all of Emerson’s poetry is lyrical
and meditative. The technique is seldom smooth, not for want of pains,
since it was laboured and continually retouched, but for want of
capacity in the artist. The style is apt to be brittle, the cadence
is not maintained through passages of any length, and the separate
sentences are easily detached from their context. Even so, they are not
always clear, but may need commentary and parallel from the “Essays” to
explain them. Emerson’s poetry is largely autobiographical and, in no
harsh sense, egoistic, a picture of the successive and recurrent states
of his own soul. His vision of the universe in each of its parts, his
belief in the immanence of God and the educational potency of solitude,
and his confidence in the ability of Nature to prepare and suddenly to
produce ideal or “representative” men, are ever near the surface. In
his descriptions of the external world he is faithful to detail; but as
he discovers in each individual thing an intrinsic value transcending
the value of its dependence on the whole, he is likely to see the
parts without being ready to seize the perspective. Among details his
selection, if he makes any, seems altogether an affair of his mood, not
of logic. His power of choice is nevertheless stronger than Whitman’s.
He has a more than Wordsworthian distaste for analytic science:

    But these young scholars, who invade our hills,
    Bold as the engineer who fells the wood,
    And travelling often in the cut he makes,
    Love not the flower they pluck, and know it not,
    And all their botany is Latin names.

None the less have science and scientific terms invaded his poetry; nor
is it simply the larger and the elemental aspects of modern discovery
that claim his regard. With his individualistic turn of mind, he can
not choose but have an eye for the precise and specific:

    Ah! well I mind the calendar,
    Faithful through a thousand years,
    Of the painted race of flowers,
    Exact to days, exact to hours.

           *       *       *       *       *

    I know the trusty almanac
    Of the punctual coming-back,
    On their due days, of the birds.

He understands his own interest in such matters; not being very
objective, he cannot understand the impulse of the young botanist.
Lacking the dramatic and historical impulse, he wrote no long poems.
“May-Day” is his longest and most sustained, although he never quite
succeeded in ordering its parts. It “was probably written in snatches
in the woods on his afternoon walks, through many years.” The volume to
which it gave its name (1867) marked a distinct advance in fluency over
the collection of his poems that had appeared twenty years earlier. But
even considering his own final selection (1876) or considering the now
standard text of all his poetry (published in 1904), we can scarcely
affirm that the longing he expressed in 1839 was ever fully satisfied:
“I am naturally keenly susceptible to the pleasures of rhythm, and
cannot believe but one day I shall attain to that splendid dialect,
so ardent is my wish; and these wishes, I suppose, are ever only the
buds of power; but up to this hour I have never had a true success in
such attempts.” It is probable that in spite of his New England good
sense, his inherent esteem for propriety, his insight into the subtler
workings of nature, he did not have the initial impulse of a Bryant and
a Longfellow toward what he most needed in his education. Nature works
also through the scientist and the pedagogue. Emerson doubts it:

    Can rules or tutors educate
    The semigod whom we await?
    He must be musical,
    Tremulous, impressional,
    Alive to gentle influence
    Of landscape and of sky,
    And tender to the spirit-touch
    Of man’s or maiden’s eye;
          But, to his native centre fast,
          Shall into Future fuse the Past,
    And the world’s flowing fates in his own mould recast.

_Henry David Thoreau._--Emerson had the originality that enables a seer
to pierce beneath the surface, and to find a likeness in things where
passive minds detect no brotherhood; he did not have the originality by
virtue of which amply creative minds gather a multitude of elements,
properly subordinated one to another, into new, harmonious, and
embracing wholes. His is a crucial defect in American poetry, a defect
in the constructive imagination. This defect is intimately associated
with an unscholarly dread of minute research. Emerson’s attitude of
distrust toward science was shared by his friend and disciple Thoreau
(1817-62), in whom the creed of individualism ran almost to the point
of caricature. In his youth and prime, Thoreau wrote a great deal of
verse, only a little of which has been preserved. The conception of
Prometheus, suffering and isolated friend of humanity, tenacious in
the assertion of his own will, was to Thoreau’s taste; hence his rough
but stirring translation from the tragedy by Æschylus. He had the
Emersonian fondness for gnomic sentences and verses, such as he found
scattered through the “Odes” of Pindar. His versions of Pindaric gnomes
show that he was not afraid of difficult Greek; still, he hovered
between belief and disbelief in scholarship. His ear was better than
Emerson’s. It is unfortunate that his unrivalled gift of observation
did not more frequently leave a record of itself in lines like those
“To a Stray Fowl.” His mind was not without the New England love of the
startling and paradoxical. Yet his search for hidden analogies borders
oftener on true imagination than was the case with Holmes.

_Oliver Wendell Holmes._--“The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table” has
already given evidence that it will outlast “Elsie Venner” and “The
Guardian Angel”; yet if the miscellanies of Dr. Holmes (1809-94)
possess more vitality than his novels, this is in some measure
due to the “Autocrat’s” occasional employment of verse. In the
“Breakfast-Table” series appeared “The Chambered Nautilus” and “The
Wonderful ‘One-Hoss Shay,’” which, with his youthful “Old Ironsides,”
and “The Broomstick Train,” have retained the firmest hold on the
popular memory. Holmes was pleased to trace his ancestry back to Anne
Bradstreet, the first American poetess. His own poetry commenced with
a schoolboy rendering into heroic couplets from Virgil, and hardly
ended with his tribute to the memory of Whittier in 1892. In the
standard edition of his works his poems occupy three volumes. Many
of them, corresponding to his turn for the novel, are narrative; for
story-telling he had a knack amounting to a high degree of talent. His
sense of order and proportion is stronger than that of other members
of the New England school, and he has a command of at least formal
structure. One may not unreasonably attribute this command in part to
his studies in human anatomy. At the same time Holmes is beset with the
temptation to value manner and brilliancy rather than substance, and he
will go out of his way for a fanciful conceit or a striking expression.
In the use of odds and ends of recondite lore his cleverness is
amazing. He had a tenacious memory and a habit of rapid association,
so that as a punster he is almost without a match. However, his glance
is not deeply penetrating; he sees fantastic resemblances between
things that are really far removed from one another, not so often the
fundamental similarities in things whether near or apart. One may in
vain search through Holmes for anything so truly poetic as Thoreau’s
comparison of sex in human beings and flowers. Accordingly, his mind
may be classed as fanciful rather than imaginative. It ought not to
be misunderstood, and will not be unduly detracting from his great
excellence, if we say that the poetry of Holmes does not always evince
the highest moral seriousness--a lack that is not fully supplied when
he attempts moral subjects, as in “The Chambered Nautilus,” where,
though the comparison of the growing mollusk with the expanding human
soul is beautiful, the preaching is a little trite.

As regards the form of his poetry, Holmes is a survival of the
eighteenth century. In his boyhood, he was a devoted admirer of Pope,
but instead of abandoning the style of the Augustans, as Bryant and
Lowell abandoned or outgrew it, he chose rather to perfect himself in
it; until, somewhat more plastic than it was in his models, somewhat
modernised and provincial, that style became his normal accent. Having
Holmes’ purpose in view, one may add that no poet in America has
acquired a surer control over his medium. Within this medium he was
able to unite sparkle, humour, clearness, good sense, and oratorical
emphasis. It is the opinion of several very able critics that no one
in his century can vie with him in the art of writing verses for an
occasion. Here is the source not only of his strength but also of
his weakness. A large proportion of his verse is of mainly local or
temporary interest. The poems which he offered year by year at the
exercises of the Harvard Commencement will year by year engender less
enthusiasm. A constructive criticism, however, will lay stress, not on
his inheritance of New England provincialism or his slight tendency
to be flippant, but on his kindliness, his inexhaustible good humour,
his quick and darting intellectual curiosity, and on the appeal which
his sprightly moralising makes to the young. It is not a little
thing to say of a wit and a power of epigram like his that they were
ever genial, and ever on the side of something better than a merely
conventional morality.

_John Greenleaf Whittier._--In so brief a section, it has seemed
impossible to offer more than a few scattered remarks on the poetry
that arose in both the North and the South in connection with slavery
and the Civil War. Something has been said of Confederate writers,
including Timrod and Lanier; more might be added on the patriotic
verse of Lowell and Longfellow, Emerson and Holmes, and a throng of
lesser men, who sang to the North of courage and consolation, or
attacked those whom they considered the foes of the Republic at home or
abroad. One poetess, yet living, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe (born in 1819),
immortalised herself in 1862 by her “Battle-Hymn of the Republic,” a
piece breathing the very essence of righteousness and love of country,
and having a value out of all proportion to the rest of her work.
Something similar must be said of Thomas B. Read (1822-72) and his
popular “Sheridan’s Ride” (1865). The true bard of the battle-field
and bivouac, of course, was Walt Whitman, who, as a nurse in the Union
army, had actual experience of war. If, however, any one person is to
be singled out from his century as the proclaimer of American freedom,
this must be Whittier; and that too, it might almost be said, in spite
of his heredity, his early hopes, and his natural bent. At least,
his Quaker blood and his love for the peaceful ways of nature would
not designate him for the office of poet militant. Furthermore, if
Whittier’s art and sentiment in the progress of years elicit more and
more admiration from qualified arbiters, such admiration will be mainly
bestowed, not on his war lyrics or his denunciations of slavery, but on
his hymns, his legends of New England, and his rustic idyls--above all,
on “Snow Bound.”

He was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, on December 17, 1807,
springing from pious English stock, in a family that belonged to the
Society of Friends. A minute and animated picture of his home and its
inmates is given in “Snow Bound.” Whittier’s opportunities for regular
schooling were slender. Though he did not inherit the rugged strength
of his ancestors, his help was required on the farm; and his father,
without absolutely discouraging the lad’s effort to win an education,
was reluctant to see him busied with a useless or dangerous plaything
such as their sect generally regarded poetry. The boy attended district
school, read the few books that were in his home, and even managed to
obtain copies of Burns and Shakespeare, and a novel, perused in secret,
of Scott. His mother was inwardly gratified by the lines which he wrote
under the inspiration of Burns. When his sister clandestinely forwarded
one of his poems to _The Free Press_ of Newburyport, and thus paved
the way for an acquaintance between Whittier and the editor, William
Lloyd Garrison, the trend of the young man’s life was determined.
Thanks to the influence of Garrison, and by the strictest husbanding
of his own means, Whittier was able to pass, in all, a year at the new
Haverhill Academy. “Thus ended his school-days,” says his biographer,
Pickard; “but this was only the beginning of his student life. By
wide and well-chosen reading, he was constantly adding to his stores
of information. While revelling in the fields of English literature,
he became familiar through translations with ancient and current
literature of other nations, and kept abreast of all political and
reformatory movements.” In the development of his thought, he owed most
to the Bible, to the tracts of the Friends, and to the poetry of Burns.
The mainspring of his activity, whether as student, poet, politician,
or anti-slavery agitator, was an intense desire to be useful to his
kind, coupled with a burning belief in the sacredness of individual
liberty. During his early manhood, he continued to write verse,
sending it to various New England periodicals; and he became editor,
successively of a Boston trade journal, of _The Haverhill Gazette_, and
of _The New England Magazine_. Journalism helped him to enter politics,
and in 1832 the Whigs of his native place seemed ready to elect him
to Congress. After careful deliberation, he renounced his political
aspirations, not without an inward struggle, and decided to lend his
energies to the abolition of negro slavery, to assist the discredited
and obscure band led by Garrison. “My lad,” so in after years he
counselled a youth of fifteen, “if thou wouldst win success, join
thyself to some unpopular but noble cause.” With all his idealism--let
us rather say, on account of his thoroughgoing idealism--Whittier was
thoroughly practical. He had keen insight into the characters of men,
and knew how to turn their motives, both good and bad, to account;
his political sagacity, which, with his untiring industry, made him
one of the most capable workers on the side of Abolition, was largely
responsible for the rise of Charles Sumner to a position of beneficent
influence. Ever frail in health, yet labouring on, and subjected more
than once to personal violence at the hands of opponents, Whittier had
the satisfaction of seeing the movement which he championed emerge from
persecution into triumph. Regarded superficially, his devotion delayed
his own progress as an artist, and his best poetry came late. In a
deeper sense, he could not have developed into the poet that he became
without living the life that he did.

In a general way his work may be divided into two parts--that produced
during his more active interest in journalism and politics, and that
produced after his retirement. In 1831 he published his “Legends of
New England in Prose and Verse,” a pamphlet, and in 1832, another
pamphlet, “Moll Pitcher,” neither of them of much interest save in
comparison with his better choice of subjects and better handling
at a later date. A third pamphlet, “Justice and Expediency” (1833),
published at his own expense and with a full consciousness of its
probable effect, was the document that severed him from the dominant
party and openly leagued him with the Abolitionists. “Mogg Megone”
(1836), his first bound volume, which he afterward vainly tried to
suppress, was published after he became a secretary of the American
Anti-Slavery Society. The next year (1837), Isaac Knapp, without
consulting Whittier, issued a collection of “Poems Written during the
Progress of the Abolition Movement in America.” It was followed in 1838
by an authorised collection. The poet represented Haverhill in the
Massachusetts Legislature in 1835; ill-health prevented his finishing
a second term. In 1837 he went to Philadelphia to aid “the venerable
anti-slavery pioneer Benjamin Lundy, who was editing _The National
Enquirer_,” afterward called _The Pennsylvania Freeman_. In 1840 he
retired to Amesbury, Massachusetts, taking up his abode with his mother
and his sister Elizabeth. He never married. At Amesbury and at Danvers,
in the same county, he spent the remainder of his life in quiet. The
record is one of domestic peace and literary endeavour, whose first
fruits were “Lays of my Home, and Other Poems” (1843). With this
volume Whittier’s writings began to be remunerative. Some of the more
noteworthy subsequent dates in his life are as follows: Of his prose
works, “The Stranger in Lowell” appeared in 1845, “Supernaturalism
in New England” in 1847, “Literary Recollections” in 1854. From the
founding of _The Atlantic Monthly_, in 1857, Whittier was a most
welcome contributor. He also edited John Woolman’s _Journal_, and in
other ways displayed interest in the writings of the Friends. “Voices
of Freedom” (1849) was the first comprehensive edition of his poems.
He published “Songs of Labour” in 1850, “A Sabbath Scene” in 1853,
“Home Ballads” in 1860, “National Lyrics” in 1865. After the war,
his most important publications included “Snow Bound” (1866), “Maud
Muller” (1867), “Ballads of New England” (1869), “Miriam and Other
Poems” (1871), “Mabel Martin” (1874), “Hazel Blossoms” (1875), “Poems
of Nature” (1885), “St. Gregory’s Quest, and Recent Poems” (1886). His
last collection, “At Sundown” (1890), was dedicated to E. C. Stedman,
and closed with a valediction to Dr. Holmes. Many of Whittier’s poems
were first published in magazines; “Maud Muller” appeared in _The
National Era_, in 1854.

Whittier’s personality was one of indescribable attractiveness. He was
gentle, yet full of repressed fire, an ardent nature that had steadily
submitted to the Christian spirit of self-control. He had the inward
beauty that springs from generous impulses under the habitual guidance
of principle and forethought. Toward his opponents he showed no
rancour; he strove against parties, not individuals; and he commanded
the respect of his adversaries. If he had a foible, it was his delight
in playful teasing. He never visited a theatre or a circus in his
life. He is described in his early manhood as “tall, slight, and very
erect,” of a distinguished presence, yet bashful--but never awkward.
His eye was brilliant and expressive. In maturity, his face in repose
was almost stern, but a smile would light up his entire countenance.
“His voice in reading was of a quality entirely different from that in
conversation--much fuller and deeper.” In later years, “while retaining
a lively interest in all literary and political matters and keeping
abreast of current events, he dwelt most intently ... upon the great
spiritual and eternal realities of God. By the open fire in the evening
he would talk for hours upon sacred themes, ever grateful for the rich
blessings of his life and looking with reverent curiosity towards the
future.... There was not the shadow of a doubt in his mind concerning
the immortality of the soul.” He died after a stroke of paralysis, on
September 7, 1892, and was buried at Amesbury.

In a recent and praiseworthy volume of “The Chief American Poets,” Dr.
C. H. Page has included a longer list of selections from Whittier than
from Longfellow, although the contributions representing Whittier
occupy less space. This is significant. Whittier was mainly a writer
of short poems. In the ballad he had a form suited to the general
taste, and to his aim of stinging a sluggish populace into revolt
against slavery. He painted that institution in its most repellent
aspects, seeing nought of the glamour which Southern writers have
shed over plantation life as it existed before the war. Living in
the North, he saw something of escaping and recaptured negroes. His
glance was very direct; he described matters simply; he accomplished
the task that he set himself. Among his lyrics of the war, “Barbara
Frietchie” is altogether the best known--not with complete justice
to others, for example “The Watchers.” To his treatment of tales and
legends of colonial New England Whittier brought an inveterate hatred
of persecution and oppression in every shape. Accordingly, many of his
narratives, like “Cassandra Southwick,” touch on wrongs attempted or
inflicted upon the early Quakers. As an interpreter of colonial life
Whittier comes second only to Hawthorne. As a herald of the beauty
in flower and hill and stream, in “The Trailing Arbutus,” “Among the
Hills,” “The Merrimac,” he is second to none in America. True, he does
not always refrain from what Ruskin has called the pathetic fallacy,
so that he descries in the face of nature moods that are really in the
heart of man; but he does this more rarely than his contemporaries. In
his revelation of humble and rustic types, “Maud Muller,” “The Barefoot
Boy,” “The Huskers,” he is almost the equal of Burns or Wordsworth. He
is not their rival in perfection of style. More frequently than they
he suffers from a bad line; and his rhymes are often defective. Yet
one must not conclude that he was inattentive to technique. On the
contrary, Whittier was a born artist. But the nice discipline of the
ear which so many English poets have owed to the cultivation of Greek
and Latin prosody was not vouchsafed to him; and for his manner he
missed the advantage of rigorous criticism. The positive excellence of
Whittier’s verse is due to the harmonious blending and interworking in
him of varied powers. His senses were alert and sure, his humour was
fine, his intellect strong, his pathos firm. He was not afraid of a
theme that was tragic. His realism might be compared to that of Crabbe,
but it is more hopeful. In his religious poems there is a belief more
satisfying than transcendental pantheism; and there is a quality of
personal joy and optimism which, as we have previously observed, is not
typical of American literature.

    Best loved and saintliest of our singing train,
      Earth’s noblest tributes to thy name belong.
    A lifelong record closed without a stain,
      A blameless memory shrined in deathless song.

Such was Holmes’ eulogy of Whittier. With it we may take leave of New

_Bayard Taylor._--A Quaker poet of a different stamp was the meteoric
Bayard Taylor (1825-78). His boyhood was distinguished by a passion
for roving and for collecting objects of natural history. His devotion
to books and his distaste for labour on a Pennsylvania farm did not
always please his father, who laughed boisterously, however, when a
phrenologist said of the son: “You will never make a farmer of him to
any great extent: you will never keep him home; that boy will ramble
around the world, and furthermore, he has all the marks of a poet.”
At the age of nineteen, having just published “Ximena: or The Battle
of Sierra Morena, and Other Poems,” and armed with some introductions
from N. P. Willis, Taylor engaged in a Byronic pilgrimage on the
Continent. A half-year at Heidelberg rendered him fluent in German. By
a circuitous route through northern Germany and Austria he proceeded
on foot to Italy, and from Italy through France back to England,
supporting himself by correspondence which he sent to _The New York
Tribune_, _The Saturday Evening Post_, and _The United States Gazette_,
and which on his return to America he collected in “Views Afoot”
(1846). Our account of his life thus far gives a faint impression
of his physical and mental activity. No adequate narrative may here
be essayed of his wandering and eventful career throughout. “Views
Afoot” made his reputation. By 1848 he had become head of the literary
department of _The New York Tribune_. In 1849, as correspondent
for _The Tribune_, he spent five months with the gold-diggers in
California. In 1850 he married Miss Mary Agnew, who was dying of
consumption, and who survived her wedding but two months. In 1851-53
he travelled in Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Ethiopia, Spain, India, and
China. In 1856 he broke down from overwork in America--lecturing and
writing--and he went to Europe again. In Germany (1857) he married the
daughter of an eminent astronomer, P. A. Hansen. In 1857-58 he visited
Greece. Two years later, at an expense of $17,000, he had built a
home, near his birthplace, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, calling his
estate “Cedarcroft.” To settle down in affluence had been his cherished
ambition; but this dream, and his haste to realise it, embarrassed him
financially, cost him much peace of mind, and eventually cost him his
life. He never succeeded in resting. In 1862-63 he was Secretary of
the Legation at St. Petersburg. During other intervals, he lectured
in America. Among his lectures may be mentioned those delivered at
Cornell University in 1870, 1871, 1875, and 1877. A large part of his
correspondence is at present housed in the Cornell University Library.
His translation of Goethe’s “Faust,” Part First, appeared in 1870;
nearly all of the first edition was sold in one day. The Second Part
came out in 1871. Excessive labour, an irregular and not abstemious
way of life, and, more especially, financial worry told upon his
constitution. He was destined never to finish his projected “Life of
Goethe.” He had barely entered upon his duties as Minister to Germany
when the collapse came. His last words were, “I must be away.”

“Taylor,” says Albert H. Smyth, “wrote with such rapidity that he
could complete a duodecimo volume in a fortnight.... In a night and a
day, he read Victor Hugo’s voluminous ‘La Légende des Siècles,’ and
wrote for _The Tribune_ a review of it which fills eighteen pages of
his ‘Essays and Literary Notes,’ and contains five considerable poems
that are translations in the metre of the original.” His powers of
memory are said to have been prodigious. He could repeat not only from
his favourite authors but from the futile compositions of poetasters
whose manuscripts he had read as an editor and rejected. He was in
the habit of carrying his own poetry in his head until the process of
correction was ended. Accordingly, the perfection of his “copy,” which
was written in the neatest hand imaginable, has led various critics
into the error of thinking that he did not revise. His poetry was much
more carefully worked out than his prose, upon which he had no thought
of building a reputation. He would spend hours on the chiselling of a
single couplet. His style resounds with echoes of word and phrase from
Byron and Shelley, indeed from the whole circle of his reading in both
English and German. Nor is it deficient in individuality. Taylor has
a pronounced cadence of his own. Nevertheless his poetry wants some
quality or other that would make it lasting. Although in 1896 there was
a cult of younger men that studied and imitated him, his immense vogue
as a prose writer had already waned; and his eclipse as a poet is now
almost complete. In the history of American literature there is nothing
stranger than this eclipse. Taylor’s learning was wide and substantial.
He shrank from no drudgery of preparation. At the age of fifty he was
willing to begin the study of Greek. And it was not merely that he
was in touch with his time on all sides, and able by brilliant arts to
snare the popular fancy. When he wrote, he knew what he was talking
about. His “Poems of the Orient” (1854), containing the Shelley-like
“Bedouin Song,” show deep sympathy with the customs and passions of
the East. “Ross Browne’s Syrian dragoman, when he listened to the
reading of ‘Hassan to his Mare,’ ‘sprang up with tears in his eyes,
and protested that the Arabs talked just that way to their horses.’”
Taylor had the suffrages of educated critics too. “The Picture of St.
John” (1866) Longfellow reckoned “a great poem”; while Lowell said
that, except “The Golden Legend,” no American poem could match it
in finish and sustained power. “The Masque of the Gods” (1872), an
endeavour to combine the ideals of Christianity and Hellenism, also
pleased Longfellow. “Lars, a Pastoral Poem” (1873), is a curious tale,
with some historical basis; the unwonted background of Norwegian fiords
makes part of the setting for a tragic romance among the Quakers. Of
Taylor’s dramatic poems we shall hazard no discussion; besides “The
Masque of the Gods,” he published “The Prophet” (1874), whose scene
is laid among the Mormons, and “Prince Deukalion” (1877), a piece of
symbolism in which the author tried to objectify his total conception
of human life both here and hereafter. He felt as sure of the other
world as of this. In such assurance he possessed the most vitalising
belief that can inspire a poetic soul. Why, then, is his poetry now
disregarded? Why is it that the production for which the present age is
most ready to thank him is his version of Goethe’s “Faust”? A tentative
explanation is this. Taylor’s life was full of disquiet. He never
enjoyed the solitude necessary to the maturing of poetic sentiment.
He was betrayed by temporal ambition into posting over land and ocean
without rest. He was too determined to achieve fame. There are times
for action, and there are times for a wise passiveness. They also
serve who only stand and wait.

_Walt Whitman._--His belief in immortality, in the absolute and
eternal value of each individual person and thing, constitutes the
main element of permanence in the writings of Walt (= Walter) Whitman.
He too had in his veins a strain of blood from the Quakers; though he
was born (May 31, 1819) in a family that took little cognisance of
religion. His mother, Louisa Van Velsor, was of mingled Dutch and Welsh
descent, illiterate, but in the eyes of her second child, the poet,
always “perfect.” When this child was four years old, his father and
name-sake, a good carpenter and of honest Connecticut ancestry, but a
slipshod householder, removed from West Hills, Huntington Township,
Long Island, to the “village,” as it then was, of Brooklyn; not before
the impresses of rural life had entered unawares into the heart of the
child; and not too late for the life of the future metropolis to become
an imperishable part of his experience. The poet’s formative years were
passed in the midst of the growing population centred at New York. He
attended the public schools of Brooklyn until he was thirteen, then,
with a scanty knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, entered
a lawyer’s office as errand-boy, his employers giving him access
during free hours “to a big circulating library.” “Up to that time,”
he says, “this was the signal event of my life.” “For a time I now
revel’d in romance-reading of all kinds; first the ‘Arabian Nights,’
all the volumes, an amazing treat. Then, with sorties in very many
other directions, took in Walter Scott’s novels, one after another,
and his poetry.” From errand-boy he became typesetter, varying his
desultory labours for _The Patriot_, and _The Star_, by excursions on
Long Island, by contributing “sentimental bits” to local newspapers,
and by active participation in several debating societies. At eighteen
he turned country schoolmaster; and shifting from that, he set up as
editor of _The Long Islander_, hiring some help, but himself doing
most of the work, including the distribution of his weekly sheet to
its patrons. In 1841 he returned to New York, became editor of _The
Daily Aurora_, wrote for _The Tattler_, and published stories in _The
Democratic Review_. In later years it was his “serious wish to have all
these crude and boyish pieces quietly dropp’d in oblivion.” Meanwhile
he attended the theatre, continued his observation of the crowds at
the Brooklyn ferries and in the streets of New York, and his study
of nature on the shores of Long Island, read newspapers, “went over
thoroughly the Old and New Testaments, and absorbed ... Shakespeare,
Ossian, the best translations [available] of Homer, Æschylus,
Sophocles, the old German Nibelungen, the ancient Hindoo poems, and one
or two other masterpieces, Dante’s among them.” A brief connection with
_The Brooklyn Eagle_ was terminated by Whitman’s falling out with the
radical faction of the Democrats; whereupon he seized “a good chance to
go down to New Orleans on the staff of _The Crescent_, a daily to be
started there.” Accompanied by his younger brother, “Jeff,” he crossed
the Alleghanies, and took steamer down the Ohio and the Mississippi--“a
leisurely journey and working expedition”; then “after a time plodded
back northward, up the Mississippi, and around to and by way of the
Great Lakes, ... to Niagara Falls and Lower Canada, finally returning
through central New York and down the Hudson; travelling altogether
probably 8000 miles this trip, to and fro.” In the experiences of his
life up to this point lay the materials for his “Leaves of Grass,”
which he published at his own expense in 1855, having done part of
the typesetting himself. A copy sent to Emerson elicited from him a
letter in which the book was characterised as “the most extraordinary
piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed.” The next
year Whitman brought out a second and amplified edition, printing
Emerson’s laudatory letter and his own answer in the Preface, and
on the back the quotation, “I greet you at the beginning of a great
career,” with Emerson’s name beneath. This act of questionable taste
failed to augment the sale of the volume; nor was the edition of 1860
more successful. In 1862, Whitman’s younger brother having been wounded
during service in the Union Army, the poet was brought into contact
with the army hospitals. He continued his ministrations to the sick
and suffering almost uninterruptedly until the hospitals in Washington
were closed. “From cot to cot they called him, often in tremulous tones
or in whispers; they embraced him, they touched his hand, they gazed
at him. To one he gave a few words of cheer, for another he wrote a
letter home, ... to another, some special friend, very low, he would
give a manly farewell kiss. He did the things for them which no nurse
or doctor could do, and he seemed to leave a benediction at every
cot as he passed along.” By sheer personal magnetism he saved many
lives. The record of his connection with the war is to be found in
his “Specimen Days,” in the posthumous collection of letters entitled
“The Wound-Dresser” (1898), in “Drum Taps,” published in 1865, and in
the “Sequel to Drum Taps,” which contained his poems on Lincoln (among
them the threnody, “O Captain! My Captain!”), published later in the
same year. Shortly after the war was over, Whitman, who had found a
place as clerk in the Department of the Interior, was discharged by
Secretary Harlan, Harlan having discovered the authorship of “Leaves
of Grass,” in his opinion “an indecent book.” The poet quickly
received another position, in the office of the Attorney-General;
and his enthusiastic friend and champion, W. D. O’Connor, brought
out a defence of Whitman, written in terms of exaggerated praise,
under the famous title of “The Good Grey Poet.” A fourth edition
of “Leaves of Grass,” revised, and supplemented by “Drum Taps,” was
published in 1867; a fifth, including the “Passage to India,” in 1871.
The sixth and seventh editions appeared in 1876 and 1881-1882; the
eighth (1888-1889) contained in addition “November Boughs,” and the
ninth (1891-1892) “Good-bye my Fancy.” In 1873, Whitman, disabled by
a stroke of paralysis, gave up his position in Washington and removed
to Camden, New Jersey, where he lived with George Whitman until 1879.
By this time he had so far recovered that he could make a journey to
the West, followed by another, the next year, to Canada. In 1881, the
sale of his works allowed him to settle, at Camden, in a home of his
own. Here he lived in comparative comfort, the object of a good deal of
curiosity, receiving visitors, some of them very distinguished, and, as
his strength allowed, adding to his stock of verse. In 1888, he had a
second stroke of paralysis, but he lived on, preserving his courage and
mental alertness, until 1892. He died on March 26th of that year. If we
can credit his statement made in 1890, he was probably survived by four
out of six children that were not born in wedlock.

In many ways, Whitman corresponds to the ideal presented in the
“natural man” of Rousseau; if space allowed, a profitable comparison
might be made between “the good grey poet” and the French forerunner
of American democracy. At the outset, the excessive sentimentalism of
Rousseau would constitute a patent difference. But Whitman’s assumption
of equality among individuals, in so far as they are not spoiled by
what he deems a false and artificial education, is nothing new to the
reader of Rousseau; and his preference of the “powerful, uneducated,”
raw material of humanity has its counterpart in the sympathetic
attitude of Rousseau toward the burgher and peasant classes which
formed the part of society that he really understood. Moreover, both of
these authors demand an individual standard--which is no standard--of
judgment. Both desire to be appreciated, yet refuse to be appraised
according to standards which the cumulative wisdom of mankind in the
past, of the greatest democracy, has attained to and approved. Both try
to regard organisation and the subordination of one person or thing to
another as unnatural. In the case of Whitman at least, it is for want
of philosophical standards, and for want of a consistent effort to
determine what is meant by _nature_ and _natural_, that the so-called
literature of democracy has been so hard to measure.

In the first place, then, if we are to measure Whitman at all, we must
make certain postulates. For example, we must postulate that restraint
in literature, as in life, is a law of nature. This, Whitman is not
disposed to admit. In private life, it is true, he was more temperate
and continent than certain passages in “Leaves of Grass” led casual
readers to surmise. But he saw fit to beget children, out of wedlock,
without assuming the responsibility of their nurture and education. Are
the duties which modern society lays upon parents less natural than the
alleged practice of Rousseau, or are they more? Again, Whitman decides
to address the public in the guise of a poet. Now in practice, be it
observed, he is much truer to the demands of a poetic ear than are many
of our conventional versifiers; and though he has a predilection for
colloquial diction and syntax, he is in his own way not unscrupulous
in the matter of technique. The changes that he made in successive
editions of his main work, “Leaves of Grass,” are of deep interest to
the student of poetic art. At the same time, he repudiates literary
convention, and recognizes no law as binding upon one who contracts to
write for his fellow men, save the law of his individual being. There
is, however, no law, or science, or art, of the individual as such.
Poetry, according to the deepest thinkers on this subject, is the
rhythmical utterance of the individual in harmony with universal law;
and criticism has for its province the recognition of that universal
law in the particular poet. In so far, then, as Whitman’s irregularly
trained personality succeeds in expressing what is true for all men, or
for many, or for representative and typical men, uttering that truth in
terms that are both choice and generally intelligible,--in so far as he
actually conforms to the best conventions--he is a great poet, perhaps
our greatest native poet. He succeeds often. It is to be noted that
he is most successful when, as in his lament for Lincoln, he adopts a
regular metrical form.

On Whitman’s achievement as spokesman of modern democracy perhaps
too much stress has already been laid. Following his own lead, his
interpreters have been inclined to associate his idiosyncrasies, his
departures from the normal, his lapses from good taste in referring to
the physiology of sex, too closely with the nature of this achievement.
In dealing with the “poetry of democracy,” it seems to have escaped
observation that an age of popular freedom and republican ideals may
produce a literature of high refinement and perfect balance between
literary tradition and the impulses of the individual author. It is
well to remember that the masterpieces of art which ennobled Athens
under Pericles were the expression of--for Greece--an age of democracy;
and that the epics of Milton, however conventional in one sense, were
the outpourings of a nobler champion of liberty than Whitman. Referring
to the practice of studying his illustrious predecessors, Whitman
has said: “Now, if eligible, O that the great masters might return
and study me!” Something like this is sure to take place. In order
to appreciate him rightly, we must confront him, full of the spirit
of those authors, Sophocles, Dante, Milton, and their peers, by the
standard of whom one is bound to estimate poetry. If thus confronted,
Whitman’s lustre, so bright in the eyes of his cult, begins to
wane; still, the tributes paid him by W. M. Rossetti, Freiligrath,
Dowden, Björnson, Symonds, may not lightly be set aside. Taken at its
best, his poetry, as Emerson said, “has the best merits, namely, of
fortifying and encouraging.” His prose works ought not to be dismissed
so summarily as must here be the case; being less subject to suspicious
innovation than his verse, conforming naturally to expected canons, his
prose, in particular his prose criticism, is well worth study. It is
direct. Genius, said Whitman, is almost one hundred per cent directness.

_Bret Harte_, _Joaquin Miller_, _Edward Rowland Sill_.--We turn to the
poetry of the Far West. Francis Bret Harte (1839-1902), born at Albany,
New York, after a varied youth in California won a sudden renown
through his “Heathen Chinee” and “Condensed Novels.” His later success
as a prolific writer of short stories tended to obscure his talent as a
humourist in verse; and even in the present decade, when his death has
called fresh attention to the value of his literary work as a whole,
his poetry is hardly known as it should be. Probably in the course of
years his “East and West Poems” (1871) and “Echoes of the Foothills”
(1874) will entertain more readers than they now do in comparison with
“The Luck of Roaring Camp.” There is likely to come a time when pioneer
life among the gold-mines will appeal less than it does to the present
generation; whereas the permanent aspects of external nature, as Harte
has caught them in “Crotalus,” can never cease to interest. The details
of his life are recounted in another part of this volume.

Cincinnatus Hiner Miller (born 1841), another celebrity of the West,
was reared in a log-cabin in Indiana. After a few years of life on a
farm in Oregon, he went to the gold-fields of California. When he had
met almost every kind of experience imaginable, he studied law, and
practised in Oregon. In 1870 he brought out a small volume of poems,
one of them entitled “Joaquin,” the name of a Mexican brigand, Joaquin
Murietta, in whose defence he had already written, and henceforth his
pen-name. His volume, “Songs of the Sierras,” for which he at first
vainly tried to find a publisher, produced, when finally accepted and
issued, a sensation that recalled the days of Byron. His vogue has
since declined, though he is still read, a collective edition of his
poems having been published in 1897.

Much less famous than either Harte or Miller, not having the virility
of the former, yet possessing a finer sensibility than the latter,
was Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887), a third poet of the Far West.
Sprung from a family in Connecticut, a teacher in Cuyahoga Falls,
Ohio, finally professor of English literature in the University of
California, Sill, in “Hermione, and Other Poems,” “The Hermitage, and
Later Poems” (1867), “The Venus of Milo, and Other Poems,” published
(1888) after his death, sent forth a rill of poetry, slender but pure.
In the opinion of his friends and many besides, Sill’s death cut short
a poetic career of unusual promise. His poems were collected in 1902,
in a single volume, and again in 1906; in the latter edition they are
arranged chronologically.

=Miscellaneous and Later Poets.=--Under this heading must be gathered
a handful of writers whom the classification thus far adopted has not
accounted for, some of whom would not easily admit of classification.
However, it is not the purpose of this Manual to consider in detail the
current writers of verse throughout America, among whom distinctions of
value can rarely be established.

_Hans Breitmann._--Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903) might be
associated with Bayard Taylor. He is said to have neglected mathematics
at Princeton for Carlyle and Spinoza; he studied abroad, returned
to Philadelphia to engage in the practice of law, but gave this up
for work as an editor. During the Civil War his pen was active in
defence of the Union. Afterward he became popular through his “Hans
Breitmann Ballads,” in picturesque dialect displaying the humour
of the shrewd jovial German immigrant before the war. Leland made
himself an authority on gypsy lore, and was busy in several fields
as a translator. During his long residence abroad, he enjoyed an
acquaintance with many distinguished men of letters in Europe. Besides
his ballads in dialect and translations from J. V. Scheffel, he wrote
verse of serious intent; for example, “The Music Lesson of Confucius,
and Other Poems,” in which, like Taylor, he desired to unite the
ideals of Christianity with those of Hellenism. The deaths of Leland,
Stoddard, Aldrich, and Stedman within the last five years took almost
the last survivors of an elder generation in American letters.

_Richard Henry Stoddard._--In the year of his death, 1903, R. H.
Stoddard was called by his friend, E. C. Stedman, “the most
distinguished of living American poets.” He was born in Hingham,
Massachusetts, July 2, 1825. Educated in the schools of New York City,
he supplemented by private reading his brief opportunities for regular
study, and from worker in a foundry became connected with Bayard Taylor
as a journalist. In 1853, Hawthorne aided him in securing a position
in the New York Custom-House. From 1860 to 1870 he was literary editor
of the New York _World_; in 1880 he took a similar post on _The Mail
and Express_. His first volume of poetry, “Footprints” (1849), was
afterwards suppressed; his second, “Poems” (1852), secured him an
audience. “Songs of Summer” (1857) was a collection of poems that
had been printed in various magazines. The latter part of his life
was marked by great activity as an editor and biographer, somewhat
after the fashion of Stedman. Most of his poetry subsequent to the
collective edition of 1880 is included in “The Lion’s Cub, with Other
Verse” (1890). He preserved his lyrical quality to a great age. Like
several of our leading poets, Stoddard reached his highest level in
dealing with the theme of Abraham Lincoln.

_Thomas Bailey Aldrich._--With his “Ballad of Babie Bell” (1855) in
the New York _Journal of Commerce_, Aldrich (1836-1907) began a career
whose high-water mark was the editorship of _The Atlantic Monthly_ from
1881 to 1890. His initial volume of poetry, published in 1854, was
“The Bells,” which was succeeded in 1858 by “The Ballad of Babie Bell,
and Other Poems.” Of his numerous later poetical works, “Pampinea, and
Other Poems” (1861), “Cloth of Gold, and Other Poems” (1874), “Flower
and Thorn” (1876), etc., perhaps the tragedy of “Mercedes” (“Mercedes,
and Later Lyrics,” 1884) deserves particular notice, having been
successfully staged, a test which few dramas by American poets have
been able to endure. Aldrich was a master of his craft. Deep in his
reverence for Tennyson, whom he ranks third in English poetry--after
Shakespeare and Milton,--he sometimes exercises an almost Tennysonian
harmony in the selection of detail; witness the Oriental luxury and
splendour in “When the Sultan Goes to Ispahan.”

_Edmund Clarence Stedman._--Stedman’s services to literature as a
critic and anthologist are doubtless of much greater importance than
his own poetry; but neither the one nor the other may be disparaged. He
was born at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1833, his mother (by her second
marriage Mrs. J. C. Kinney, the friend of the Brownings) being a woman
of educated taste and herself a poet. Entering Yale at the age of
fifteen, Stedman showed ability in Greek and in English composition,
and shortly gained a prize by his poem on “Westminster Abbey.” On
account of a boyish prank he was compelled to leave college before
the end of the course. Prior to the Civil War he was connected with
_The Norwich Tribune_ and _Winsted Herald_, and for a time with _The
New York Tribune_; in this he printed his “Tribune Lyrics” (among
them “Osawatomie Brown”). From 1861 to 1863 he was war correspondent
of the New York _World_; later he was assistant to Edward Bates,
Attorney-General under Lincoln. His interest in the first Pacific
railroad brought him into relations with Wall Street, where, in 1869,
he became an active member of the New York Stock Exchange. Here he
remained until 1900, an influential man of affairs, respected by
financiers as well as literary men, amassing and enjoying the means
which he desired for the pursuits of literature. He was a thorough
patriot, an earnest advocate of international copyright, above all a
steady labourer for the education of public taste. His lectures on
“The Nature and Elements of Poetry,” delivered first at Johns Hopkins
University, subsequently at the University of Pennsylvania, and again
at Columbia, unfolded the dignity of a subject that is often regarded
as a matter of indifference. By his “Victorian Anthology” (1895) he
gave further evidence of the powers of selection displayed in “A
Library of American Literature” (1888-1889), on which he collaborated
with Ellen M. Hutchinson. His “American Anthology” (1901, etc.),
several times reissued, contains selections from about six hundred
American poets, with brief biographies, and is, to say the least,
an indispensable volume to the general student of our literature.
The present section of this Manual is much indebted to Stedman’s
“Anthology.” One would hardly make too liberal an assertion in saying
of Stedman that he was the most thoroughly read man of his time in the
poetry of his own nation. It is possible that he was over generous in
his recognition of the work of inferior authors; but let us not impute
this to him as too serious a fault. Of the fifteen poems of his own
to which he allowed admission in the “American Anthology” (sixteen,
counting the “Prelude” to the volume), the best known are “The
Discoverer,” “Pan in Wall Street,” and “The Hand of Lincoln.” He died
on January 18, 1908.

_James Whitcomb Riley._--This artist in the “Hoosier” dialect of
Indiana (born 1853), though still in middle life, seems to belong
with the older rather than the younger generation of American poets.
Unwilling to follow his father’s profession of attorney, he early
betook himself to a wandering life, gaining experience of the world
as a vendor of patent medicines, sign-painter, actor, and the like.
Settling at Indianapolis, he became known by his contributions to
various newspapers, and when his reputation was established, won
additional success by public readings from his poetry. His verse
is bright and crisp, and he has pathos, humour, and good powers of
description and narrative. He has an unusually keen understanding for
the experiences of country life, particularly of youth and boyhood in
rural villages and on the farm. “The Old Swimmin’-Hole, and ‘Leven More
Poems” (1883) was his first notable venture. “Afterwhiles” appeared in
1888. Within ten years or so he then published “Old-Fashioned Roses”
(1888), “Pipes o’ Pan at Zekesbury” (1889), “Rhymes of Childhood”
(1890), “Neighbourly Poems” (1891), and, among other volumes, “A
Child-World” (1896), and the “Rubaiyat of Doc Sifers” (1899). As a
writer of dialect in verse, he falls not very far short of Lowell. His
allusions to nature, to insect life for example, are simple and true.
If but a bird or butterfly sit down beside him, he is as happy as if
the same were a maiden-queen.

       *       *       *       *       *

Space forbids any delay upon George Henry Boker (1823-1890), diplomat
and dramatist, and his metrical drama, “Francesca da Rimini” (1856);
or Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907), professor in Cornell University,
and his celebrated poem “The Blue and the Gray” (in _The Atlantic
Monthly_, 1867), a gift of healing from the North to the South; or
John Hay (1838-1905), whose manifold services to his country were
roofed and crowned with an abiding interest in literature (“Pike County
Ballads,” published in _The New York Tribune_); or Richard Watson
Gilder (born 1844), editor of _The Century Magazine_, social reformer,
and author of several volumes of finished verse; or Stephen Collins
Foster (1836-1864), composer, whose songs, “The Old Folks at Home,”
“The Suwanee River,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” familiar the country over,
are significant of the influence which the negroes have exerted on the
language and art of the whites; or Will H. Thompson (born 1848), and
“The High Tide at Gettysburg”; or John Townsend Trowbridge (born 1827),
one of the original contributors to _The Atlantic Monthly_, author
of “The Vagabonds” (1863), and steeped in the spirit of New England;
or John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890), the Fenian, who escaped from
imprisonment in Australia, and became a journalist in Boston (“Songs,
Legends, and Ballads,” “Songs of the Southern Seas,” etc.); or Eugene
Field (1850-1895), witty, eccentric, friend and student of children;
or Richard Hovey (1864-1900), cut off in the flower of his promise
(“Taliesin: a Masque,” 1899); or Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), the
negro poet, dead before his time, who wrote good and stirring English
as well as pathetic dialect; or William Vaughn Moody, professor in
the University of Chicago (“The Masque of Judgment,” 1900); or Bliss
Carman (born 1861) and Clinton Scollard (born 1860). All these and many
more must pass with insufficient notice or none; otherwise the page
would contain only a meaningless enumeration of names and dates. As
was implied at the beginning, very few American writers who have won
distinction in other ways have refrained from publishing a volume of
lyrics “and other poems.” Also, in spite of the slender encouragement
from publishers to new authors of original verse, the occasional volume
from the hitherto and hereafter unknown poetaster, who foots the bill
for printing, continues to emerge and sink again at the present day.

The immediate outlook for poetry in the United States is not bright.
It does not appear that with the material growth of the country we
have developed a unified national spirit capable of expression at the
hands of a great poet, were he to arise. It does not appear that we
have among the younger men a first-class poet capable of expressing
the national soul, were this more unified and precise. Furthermore,
the type of humanistic education which fostered our elder poets of New
England is generally discredited, and seems to be passing away without
leaving any hope of a popular training in the near future worthy to
succeed it. Simplicity, rigour, precision, and accuracy, all of them
friendly to the poetic spirit, and among its necessary conditions, have
fewer and fewer champions in the schools. Many subjects are studied,
and almost nothing is mastered and retained. Memory, the mother of the
Muses, is not in esteem. “Literature” is taught--though not learned;
yet the children know no poetry. Worst of all, and a primary cause of
much of the evil, the reading of standard works within the family is
becoming less and less common. In particular, though there is much talk
about the Bible, the Bible, like the classics, is becoming unfamiliar,
to the great detriment of popular thought and style.

On the other hand, to offset the deficiency of our secondary
schools and the decay of culture in the home, the last thirty years
have witnessed an immense expansion in advanced scholarship, most
notable, perhaps, in the investigation of the vernacular and related
literatures. Graduate study of English, and of the literatures
from which English literature has sprung, offers a refuge to such
persons as have a serious and abiding interest in belles-lettres; it
is undoubtedly developing the personalities of investigators to the
highest point of efficiency possible under present conditions, and
making ready for another generation, more fortunate, whose poetry shall
find root in the fields that are to-day so thoroughly cultivated;
working downward, it is already tending to bring about salutary changes
here and there in the procedure of the schools, and hence eventually to
have an influence in the home. A generation of scholars to clear the
way, as in the beginning of the Renaissance--to produce the literary
atmosphere which now is wanting--may be regarded as a hopeful sign of
a generation of poets to come. Finally, if American poetry now seems
moribund, we must yet remember the eternal power that the true poet is
always in alliance with; the power that at any time can make the poet
say of any literature: The maid is not dead, but sleepeth.[21]


=English Influences on American Letters.=--Springing from a common
stock, the two branches of eighteenth-century English literature showed
many similarities. The charge of imitation and even of plagiarism has
been brought against the American writers of that period; but it seems
in no way unsafe to point to the single origin as the probable cause
of the same characteristics appearing in the literature produced
here, and that produced in the mother-country. No one can deny, of
course, that not a few of our authors went to school to Englishmen,
but the assertion that America until recently has produced nothing but
pinchbeck literature is as false as it is absurd. That like produces
like may be a trite saying, but its frequent repetition does not impair
its truth. The English mind, whether expressing itself at home or in
the colonies, naturally put forth the same kind of shoots: that their
development was not in all respects equally rapid, that in time they
became so much unlike as to appear unrelated, can be traced, no doubt,
to the unsheltered fortune of the American scion in early days, and to
the complete removal of the slip from the parent stem in after-years.

With this thought in mind, the most thorough-going American may admit,
without apologetic reserve, that the essayists of eighteenth-century
England have counterparts in Irving and certain of his contemporaries,
and that those of a slightly later date have much in common with
Emerson and Thoreau. Should one feel, however, that excusable pride
is to be taken only in those authors who exhibit qualities indigenous
to America, one may triumphantly mention Warner, and Lowell, and
Margaret Fuller; for, although these essayists show the racial instinct
of English writers, they are none the less emphatically American in
thought, tone, and expression. In passing, it is perhaps well to notice
that a large number of American writers have tried their hands at
more than one form of literature. For this reason Irving is discussed
as an essayist, although he might be placed with the humourists, or
perhaps better still, with fiction-writers, since he has the right to
dispute with Poe the claim to be regarded as the progenitor of the
American short story. Again, Emerson, like George Eliot, felt that his
fame would eventually rest upon his poetry, but his readers almost
always think and speak of him as an essayist. Lowell, Longfellow,
and Whittier, on the other hand, are properly reviewed at large as
poets, despite the fact that their prose work is not inconsiderable nor
unimportant and must therefore receive some attention in even a rapid
survey of the American essay.

_Washington Irving._--Washington Irving (1783-1859), the first essayist
of importance in the National Period of American Literature, was born
in New York City. Unable on account of ill-health to continue his
education, Irving went abroad in 1804. Returning two years later, he
was admitted to the bar, but he never engaged in the actual practice
of law. In 1815 Irving again went to Europe, this time upon matters
connected with the cutlery business in which, as silent partner, he
was engaged with his brothers. It was seventeen years before he again
set foot upon his native soil, but when he did come back, he was
widely known, both for his writings and for his diplomatic service
as member of the American legations, first at Madrid (1826-1829) and
later at London (1829-1831). During the next decade, Irving was in
this country, living quietly at Sunnyside, as he called his home at
Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson. In 1842, accepting an appointment as Minister
to Spain, he went to Europe for a third time and remained abroad four
years. Upon his return home, he gave himself up entirely to writing,
finishing his monumental work upon Washington but a short time before
his death. He is buried in the Tarrytown Sleepy-Hollow Cemetery--within
sight of the road down which one of his characters, Ichabod Crane, made
his precipitous flight in mad endeavour to escape the headless horseman.

Irving’s first book, “A History of New York,” published as from the pen
of “Diedrich Knickerbocker,” appeared in 1809. It attracted immediate
attention and established its author’s reputation as a humourist;
but unfortunately its fun at the expense of the ancestors of certain
American families roused not a little rancour. Irving’s next work,
“The Sketch Book,” was published, first in parts in 1819, and then in
two volumes in the following year. This book and “Bracebridge Hall, or
The Humourists” (1822), “Tales of a Traveller” (1824), “The Alhambra”
(1832), and “Wolfert’s Roost” (1855), are all miscellaneous collections
of sketches, short stories, and character studies, of which one
volume is not inferior to another. The first of them received cordial
recognition from Scott, who arranged for its publication in London; and
the last had a wide circulation both in America and in England.

During Irving’s first visit to Spain, he became interested in certain
biographical and historical material there easily accessible, and put
it to use when he was writing “The Life and Voyages of Christopher
Columbus” (1828), “The Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada” (1829),
“The Voyages of the Companions of Columbus” (1831), “The Alhambra,”
already mentioned, and “The Life of Mahomet” (1849). Upon Irving’s
return to America his interest in the same kind of material continued,
and led him to publish “The Life of Goldsmith” (1849), and “The Life
of Washington” in six volumes (1855-1859). Irving’s other works are “A
Tour on the Prairies” (1835), “Astoria” (1836), and “The Adventures of
Captain Bonneville” (1837).

Irving was the first American writer to gain literary reputation
abroad; nor was the interest which he awakened there merely that of
curiosity wondering what would come out of a wilderness. It may be that
the great bulk of his work is not widely read at present, but such
stories as “Rip Van Winkle,” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” such
sketches as “The Stout Gentleman” and “Moonlight on the Alhambra” are
perennial. Irving was hardly skilful in his use of pathos, degenerating
not infrequently into the sentimental and even into the maudlin; yet
the buoyancy of his fascinating and delicate humour has seldom been
matched by any other American writer. His graceful, almost faultless
style is akin to that of the writers of _The Spectator_, although it
savours now and then of Goldsmith, and has, according to Scott, a dash
of Swift. Perhaps Lowell best summed up the matter of Irving and his
style in “A Fable for Critics”:

    “To a true poet-heart add the fun of Dick Steele,
    Throw in all of Addison, _minus_ the chill,

           *       *       *       *       *

    Sweeten just to your own private liking, then strain,
    That only the finest and clearest remain,

           *       *       *       *       *

    And you’ll find a choice nature, not wholly deserving
    A name either English or Yankee,--just Irving.”

_Bryant and Others._--William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) is generally
thought of as a poet, but his prose was not inconsiderable either
in amount or in value. During his long connection with the New York
_Evening Post_, from 1826 until the end of his life, he wrote daily
editorials of high literary quality, contributed to many other
journals, and delivered frequent orations upon various subjects. A
collection of Bryant’s prose works in two volumes was published in
1894: one who reads them is convinced that their author was possessed
of a clear, smooth style, an accurate, careful judgment, and good
common sense. Whittier (1807-1892) and Longfellow (1807-1882) may not
improperly be mentioned here, although, like Bryant, they also are
best known as poets. Whittier was closely associated with William
Lloyd Garrison in the Abolition movement and contributed much to
its literature. Controversial writing, however, seldom lives, and
Whittier’s has not proved an exception to the rule. In addition to one
or two attempts at novel-writing, Whittier published “Supernaturalism
in New England” (1847), “Old Portraits and Modern Sketches” (1850), and
“Literary Recreations” (1854); but these works are not important in
style or in matter. The demands of metre and rhyme upon Whittier seem
to have prevented the appearance, in his poetry, of certain crudities
which sadly mar his prose. Longfellow’s prose, on the other hand, is
more important. It is marked by a delicacy and refinement which would
go far towards keeping it well known, if the author’s greater fame as
a poet did not eclipse his renown as a prose writer. In addition to
two romances, he published “Outre Mer” (1825), a volume in aim and
content somewhat like Irving’s “Sketch Book”; and under the title of
“Drift Wood” he included in the first edition of his “Complete Prose
Works” (1857) a collection of stray essays and book reviews originally
contributed to various periodicals.

_Edgar Allan Poe._--Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1869), like the three authors
just mentioned, was a poet, yet to his own time he was perhaps even
better known as a short story writer and essayist. Opinions about the
value of his literary work have been as various as those respecting
his character; but it is safe to claim for him no mean place among
writers of criticism. In this department of literature he undertook to
bring about a reform among American authors who had passed from timid
deference to English opinion into the stage of noisy and indiscriminate
praise of every piece of writing produced in this country. From a study
of Coleridge, Poe had come to the conclusion that poetry was a matter
of “intellectual happiness”; its soul was the imagination. A person of
metaphysical acumen, therefore, by noting how poetic moods are excited,
could produce a finer poem than one who, lacking the analytical
faculty, could only feel the emotions he desired to arouse in his
readers. Poe laid great stress, too, on perfection of form as of the
utmost importance in producing an effect; truth was a secondary matter,
except in detail, and as a means of securing assent to a conclusion
which might be essentially untruthful. The object of poetry, he
thought, is to arouse a subtle, indefinite pleasure; this was imparted
by music; hence the necessity of melody, of the refrain.

As a critic, Poe was often savage in the extreme; but it must be
remembered, as we look back upon him, that the urbanity of the modern
book reviewer was then a thing unknown. Poe’s literary judgments have
in the main been justified, although some of his unsparing attacks in
“The Literati of New York” arouse resentment even at this late day,
while his equally unrestrained laudation of certain of his now wholly
forgotten contemporaries leads one near to contemptuous amusement.
Poe’s most important contribution to the theory of writing are two
essays usually reprinted with his poems; of these “The Philosophy of
Composition” first appeared in _Graham’s Magazine_ for April, 1846,
and “The Poetic Principle,” originally a lecture, was printed in
_Sartain’s Magazine_ for October, 1850. Perhaps an essay “On Critics
and Criticism” ought also to be mentioned; it was first published in
_Graham’s Magazine_ for January, 1850.

_Ralph Waldo Emerson._--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), serious,
high-minded, and well balanced, affords a striking contrast in almost
every way to Poe. Born in Boston, he was graduated from Harvard College
at the age of nineteen. After teaching school for a time, he became
minister of the Old North Church in his native city, but in 1835
withdrew from his charge because of his aversion to the rite of the
Lord’s Supper. Taking up his residence at Concord, Massachusetts, he
spent the rest of his years in writing and lecturing. While engaged in
the latter work he went as far west as California and made two visits
abroad. During the first, Emerson met Wordsworth, Coleridge, Landor,
and De Quincey, who received him graciously, George Eliot, who referred
to him as “the first man she had ever seen,” and Carlyle, who found
in the visitor a hero well worthy of sincere admiration. Dignified
and simple in manner, deep and kindly in thought, he found contentment
in an uneventful career; sympathising strongly with those who would
live the life of the spirit, he supported in theory the Brook Farm
experiment; advocating anti-slavery ideas, he opened his church to
Abolition agitators; but objecting on principle to war, he proposed
to buy the slaves and educate them morally. He went down to his grave
loved by his neighbours and honoured by many who knew him only through
his works.

Emerson made his earliest appearance as a writer in a book entitled
“Nature” (1836), but he first attracted real attention by his Phi
Beta Kappa oration before Harvard College in 1837. This address, now
published in his collected works as “The American Scholar,” made so
strong an appeal to his listeners to break away from the influence of
England in matters of authorship that Holmes with his usual felicity
termed it “our literary Declaration of Independence.” For three or
four years, beginning in 1840, Emerson was editor of _The Dial_.
In 1841 he published his first collection of “Essays”; and three
years later his second. From then on at irregular intervals other
volumes of like content appeared; of these the most important, in
all probability, are “Representative Men” (1850), “The Conduct of
Life” (1860), and “Society and Solitude” (1870). There is no need
of an enumeration of Emerson’s books, since they are all similar
in form, content, and purpose. While Emerson is in no true sense a
philosopher, he did project a theory of life. Sincerity he regarded as
fundamental, and his belief in the formative influence of great men
was almost identical with that held by Carlyle. By the possession of
“transcendental reason,” man, according to Emerson, becomes intuitively
aware of the truth. This truth or doctrine has been reduced by some
critic to three propositions: (1) God is in all things and all things
are in God. (2) Each created existence is essential to every other
created existence. (3) Nothing which has once existed ever ceases to
exist. To the average reader these ideas are bewildering and have been
collectively designated as “a new philosophy maintaining that nothing
is everything in general, and everything is nothing in particular.” It
is related as a fact, that after an address by Emerson before a college
society, the minister in charge of the meeting devoutly prayed that the
hearers might be preserved from ever again being compelled to listen
to such transcendental nonsense. At the close of the meeting Emerson
imperturbably remarked that the gentleman seemed a very conscientious,
plain-spoken man.

The distance between Emerson’s thought and that of most men laid him
open to the charge of obscurity, an accusation which is still widely
repeated by those who do not trouble themselves to read or to think.
It cannot be denied that Emerson is often mystical, and that he must
find spiritual insight and almost poetic imagination in those who
would penetrate to the heart of his teachings; but it is unfair to
give the impression that, save to the initiated, he is nearly always
incomprehensible. Page after page of his writings offers no difficulty
whatever to the most cursory reader, and his work as a whole is within
the ken of any serious and unprejudiced reader. In style Emerson is
sometimes forbidding through a strong tendency to condensation of
expression; but the beauty of his thought frequently draws to itself a
diction and order which transform his prose into veritable poetry. His
strong, earnest spirituality is never fanatical, his perfect trust in
what he called the Over-Soul is never sentimental, his full confidence
that the world is making for ultimate good is never unpractical.
Looking upon the universe as “one vast symbol of God,” he escaped
pantheism on one hand and materialism on the other. As a teacher
uttering his uplifting thought through literature, Emerson, it may be
confidently said, stands without a rival among American writers.

_Henry David Thoreau._--Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is by many
readers coupled with Emerson. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, he spent
the greater part of his life in his native town and its vicinity.
He was graduated at Harvard College in 1837, although he refused
his diploma on the ground that it was not worth five dollars. He
gave occasional lectures and wrote many books: of these he himself
published but two, “A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers” (1849)
and “Walden, or Life in the Woods” (1854). To these have been added
from time to time since Thoreau’s death several volumes entitled
“Excursions in Field and Forest” (1863), “The Maine Woods” (1864),
“Cape Cod” (1865), and “A Yankee in Canada” (1866). The greater part
of his voluminous journal was published in 1906 and 1907, though
extensive selections had been previously printed in four volumes
bearing respectively the names of the four seasons of the year. More
than any other well-known American author, Thoreau strove to get at
Nature’s inmost heart. Withdrawing to Walden Pond, he spent the larger
part of his time for two years in reading and meditation; feeling
then that his object had been accomplished, he returned to town life.
For a brief period, Thoreau lived as an inmate of Emerson’s household
and became an unconscious disciple of the man who entertained him. A
transcendentalist imbued with a strong spirit of otherworldliness,
he may perhaps be best summed up in Emerson’s words. “He was bred to
no profession; he never married; he lived alone; he never went to
church; he never voted; he refused to pay a tax to the state; he ate no
flesh; he drank no wine; he never knew the use of tobacco; and though
a naturalist he used neither rod nor gun.” Thomas Wentworth Higginson
has pointed out that Thoreau’s fame has survived two of the greatest
dangers that can beset reputation--a brilliant satirist for critic
(Lowell), and an injudicious friend for biographer (Channing).

_Minor Transcendentalists._--Minor transcendentalists, and connected
therefore with Emerson and Thoreau, were Amos Bronson Alcott
(1799-1888), and Sarah Margaret Fuller (1810-1850). Both, like Emerson,
were contributors to _The Dial_ but unlike him did not hold aloof from
the Brook Farm experiment. Alcott’s chief works were “Tablets” (1868),
“Concord Days” (1872), and “Table Talk” (1877); Margaret Fuller’s, “A
Summer on the Lakes” (1843), “Woman in the Nineteenth Century” (1844),
and “Papers on Literature and Art” (1846). Other essayists who may be
mentioned as identifying themselves with the Brook Farm movement or
with the Transcendental Club out of which it grew, were three noted
clergymen, William Ellery Channing (1780-1842), the founder of the
club; Theodore Parker (1810-1860), the pulpit representative of its
theories, and James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888), a frequent contributor
to its organ, _The Dial_. In later years each of these men published
works which are still occasionally read. Channing’s numerous writings
were brought together in five volumes in 1841, and, under the title
“The Perfect Life,” a selection from them was made in 1872. He must
not be confused with a younger William Ellery Channing (1818-1901),
his brother’s son, the author of a monograph on “Thoreau, the Poet
Naturalist” (1873) and of “Conversations from Rome” (1902). Parker’s
chief works aside from his sermons were “Miscellaneous Writings” (1843)
and “Historic Americans” (1870); Clarke’s, “Orthodoxy, its Truths and
Errors” (1866) and “Ten Great Religions” (1871).

The Transcendental Movement appealed to all sorts and conditions of
men: philosophers exchanged ideas with journalists, and ministers with
writers of fiction. Of the members who later became known as editors
the most important were George Ripley (1802-1880), Charles Anderson
Dana (1819-1897), and George William Curtis (1824-1892), all of whom
at some time or other were upon the staff of _The New York Tribune_.
Ripley and Dana were joint editors of “The American Encyclopedia”
(1857-1863); but they also worked independently, the former putting
together fourteen volumes entitled “Specimens of Foreign Standard
Literature” (1838-1842), the latter making that still famous collection
“The Household Book of Poetry and Song” (1857). Curtis’ interests were
so many and so various that he has been classified as journalist,
orator, publicist, and author. His most important works were “Lotus
Eating” (1852), “Potiphar Papers” (1853), and “Essays from the Easy
Chair” (1891), the last a collection of brief papers originally
contributed to _Harper’s Magazine_.

_Oliver Wendell Holmes._--Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) stands
in some contrast to the chief writers of the Transcendental School.
On the whole they were marked by deliberate seriousness, but he
possessed a clear, crisp spontaneity which often broke forth into
sparkling fun. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a member of what he
facetiously styled “The Brahmin Caste” of New England, he counted among
his ancestors more than one English governor of the Colonial period
and that famous woman of her time, Anne Bradstreet, “the Tenth Muse.”
After being graduated from Harvard College in 1829, he studied law
for a year and then turned to medicine. Completing his education in
Paris, Holmes returned to America in 1835 to enter upon the practice
of his profession, but in 1839 accepted a professorship of anatomy at
Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire. The following year he entered
upon a similar position in the Harvard Medical School, and remained
there until 1882. In 1886, Holmes visited Europe and received honorary
degrees from Edinburgh, Oxford, and Cambridge. The eight remaining
years of his life he spent quietly at his home in Boston, graciously
receiving even strangers, who felt that they had not really seen that
city unless they had shaken Dr. Holmes by the hand.

Of Holmes’ prose work his “Breakfast Table” series best defends
his right to claim a permanent place of fame. “The Autocrat of the
Breakfast Table,” after appearing serially in the first and second
volumes of _The Atlantic Monthly_ (1857-1858), was immediately
republished in book form, and was succeeded by “The Professor at the
Breakfast Table” (1859), “The Poet at the Breakfast Table” (1872),
and “Over the Tea-Cups” (1891). These works, which have been rather
aptly characterised as “a cross between an essay and a drama,” contain
comments on almost everything in the heavens above, the earth beneath,
and the waters under the earth. The books are at times delightfully
whimsical and scintillatingly witty, at others deeply serious and
minutely analytic, and at still others tenderly generous and movingly
pathetic. Holmes’ other important works in prose are two volumes of
biography, a “Memoir of John Lothrop Motley” (1879) and a “Life of
Ralph Waldo Emerson” (1884); one book of essays, “Pages from an Odd
Volume of Life” (1883); and one diary of travel, “Our Hundred Days in
Europe” (1887).

_Willis_, _Mitchell_, _and Warner_.--Nathaniel Parker Willis
(1806-1867), Donald Grant Mitchell (born in 1822), and Charles Dudley
Warner (1829-1900) are suggested by the mention of Holmes, for they,
like him, were writers of the “genial” essay. Willis was born in
Portland, Maine, and was graduated from Yale at the age of twenty-one.
Entering upon a journalistic career in 1828, he spent a considerable
number of years abroad, whence he sent home for the periodicals of
his day frequent accounts of his foreign travel and experiences. His
complete works have been collected into thirteen volumes, but the best
of his writing may be found in two books published during his lifetime,
“Pencillings by the Way” (1835) and “Letters from Under a Bridge”
(1840). Willis wrote with most painstaking care. It has been left upon
record by James Parton that Willis “bestowed upon everything he did
the most careful labour, making endless erasures and emendations. On
an average he blotted one line out of every three that he wrote, and
on one page of his editorial writing there were but three lines left
unaltered.” It may be added, in passing, that Willis’ father in 1827
founded the well known and widely read _Youth’s Companion_. Mitchell,
for many years better known as “Ik Marvel,” was, like Willis, a New
Englander by birth and a graduate of Yale College. He, also, spent a
few years abroad, acting, in fact, as United States Consul at Venice
in 1853-1855. His works were many, but he is best known as the author
of “Reveries of a Bachelor” (1850) and “Dream Life” (1851). Warner was
in many respects the strongest writer of this group. A New Englander
by birth, he was graduated at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York,
then studied law at the University of Pennsylvania, and finally began
the practice of his profession in Chicago. In 1860 he was called to
Hartford, Connecticut, as editor of a daily paper, and from then on
gave himself up to journalism and other literary interests. His works
were many and varied; the most important are “My Summer in a Garden”
(1870), “Backlog Studies” (1872), “My Winter on the Nile” (1876), and a
“Life of Washington Irving” (1881).

_Some Travellers._--Bayard Taylor’s experiences abroad found their
expression in a number of books; but, readable as they all are, the
first, “Views Afoot” (1846), is the best. It is a work to be compared
with Irving’s “Sketch Book” and Longfellow’s “Outre Mer”; it may not
be far wrong to assign it to a place between the two, inferior to the
first, superior to the second. From Taylor’s numerous works in other
departments of pure literature, “Studies in German Literature” (1879)
and “Essays and Notes” (1880) may be chosen for mention.

At the risk of departing somewhat from chronological order, one may
mention at this point a few authors who, like Taylor, left records
of their travels and adventures. The earliest of these, an older man
in fact than Taylor, was Elisha Kent Kane (1820-1857), the Arctic
explorer, who related in “The Grinnell Expeditions” (1854-1856), the
story of the two unsuccessful attempts to find Sir John Franklin. Much
nearer to our time were Henry M. Stanley (1841-1890) and George Kennan
(born in 1845). Stanley was born in Wales, it is true, and was knighted
by Queen Victoria in 1890; but his explorations in Africa were made
while he was a citizen of the United States. His best-known work is his
first, “How I Found Livingston” (1872). Kennan experienced adventures
in still another part of the world. Sent to Siberia by the American
Telegraph Association to superintend the construction of lines, he
published, in 1870, “Tent Life in Siberia.” Several years later he
returned to the same country as correspondent of _The Century Magazine_
to investigate social and political conditions there. He published the
results of his observations in “Siberia and the Exile System” (1891).

_Holland_, _Lowell_, _and Others_.--The essay of travel, it will have
to be admitted, has carried us pretty well out of the realm of pure
literature and brought us down to very recent times. If we have seemed
to ignore certain writers, some less and some greater, it was but to
return to them for fuller mention. Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881)
was born in Belchertown, Massachusetts, and while still a young man
became associate editor of _The Springfield Republican_. In 1870 he
assisted in the foundation of _Scribner’s Monthly_ and became its
editor-in-chief. He tried his hand at various forms of literature
and at one time was not far from being the most popular writer in
the United States. To this day there is hardly an American household
unprovided with a copy of one of the early editions of “Timothy
Titcomb’s Letters” (1858), “Gold Foil” (1859), or “Plain Talks on
Familiar Subjects” (1865). James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) contributed
many articles to _The Atlantic_ and _The North American Review_; some
of this work has not yet been collected, but the best of it may be
found scattered through the seven volumes of his complete prose works
(1890-1891). During his lifetime Lowell published several collections
of essays; the most valuable are “Fireside Travels” (1864), “Among
my Books” (1870), and “My Study Windows” (1871). As one looks over
their contents, one is surprised at the versatility of their writer.
The essay of reminiscence, “A Moosehead Journal” or “Cambridge Thirty
Years Ago,” balances the essay of travel, “At Sea” or “A Few Bits of
Roman Mosaic”; the historical essay, “New England Two Centuries Ago,”
is matched by the nature study, “My Garden Acquaintance”; the purely
literary sketch, “Shakespeare Once More,” stands beside the book
review “Witchcraft” or “A Great Public Character”; and the political
speech, “Democracy” or “Tariff Reform,” adds a certain virility to the
notes of a response to the toast “Our Literature” or to the address on
“Books and Reading” delivered at the opening of a free public library.
Lowell is ironical in “On a Certain Condescension in Foreigners,” witty
in “A Good Word for Winter,” genial in “A Library of Old Authors,”
sympathetic in “Emerson the Lecturer,” just in “Thoreau,” firm in
“Reconstruction” and “Abraham Lincoln,” thoughtful in “The Rebellion:
Its Causes and Consequences,” and scholarly in “Chaucer” and “Dante.”
Aristocratic in the best sense of that much abused term, cultured in
manner, robust and vigorous in thought, clean and fresh in mind, Lowell
still stands forth as America’s finest representative man of letters.

The greatness of Lowell has by no means dimmed the renown of certain
of his lesser contemporaries. Edward Everett Hale (born in 1822),
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (born in 1823), and Charles Eliot Norton
(1827-1908) deserve at least passing mention, although the first two
are better known for contributions to magazines than for books, and
the last has gained attention mainly through his biographical work
and his translation of Dante. Owing to the popularity of a story,
“The Man Without a Country,” Dr. Hale has unfortunately become known
as an author of one book, but his “Puritan Politics in England and
New England” (1869) is valuable, and his “Franklin in France” (1887),
written with the assistance of his son, is interesting and trustworthy.
Mr. Higginson has tried his hand at biography, historical memoranda,
criticism, and fiction: probably his best work is found in “Outdoor
Papers” (1863), “Atlantic Essays” (1871), and “The New World and the
New Book” (1891). Of the three authors here mentioned, Dr. Norton
is the most important; he is more than a writer; he is in addition
a scholar. Knowing intimately all of the foremost writers of this
country, he was hardly less well acquainted with the most important
English authors of the middle and later Victorian period. In addition
to his monumental prose translation of Dante’s “New Life” (1858) and
“Divine Comedy” (1892), he has edited such books as “The Early Letters
of Thomas Carlyle” (1886), “The Letters of James Russell Lowell”
(1893), and “The Letters of John Ruskin” (1904). His chief original
works are “Notes of Travel and Study in Italy” (1859) and “Historical
Studies of Church-Building in the Middle Ages” (1880). The scholarship
of Dr. Norton immediately suggests that of other men. George Ticknor
(1791-1887) by the date of his birth seems to belong to a period
slightly earlier than that of Norton; in fact he immediately preceded
Longfellow as professor of belles-lettres at Harvard. His chief work
was “A History of Spanish Literature” (1849). As a valuable piece of
criticism, it has not been superseded, and even in Spain is accepted
as authoritative. Somewhat later than Ticknor in point of time was
Francis James Child (1825-1896). Educated at Harvard College, he
was a professor there for nearly half a century. Devoting himself to
the study of the ballad as a literary form, he published the results
of his work in eight volumes under the title “English and Scottish
Popular Ballads” (1857-1859). Closely connected with these several
authors was James Thomas Fields (1817-1881). Founder of _The Atlantic
Monthly_ and member of a famous publishing house, he was acquainted
more or less intimately with every important American writer of the
last half of the nineteenth century. He was not without literary skill
himself, publishing among other works “Yesterdays with Authors” (1872)
and “Underbrush” (1881). His wife, Annie Adams Fields (born in 1834),
has written a number of books in a similar vein: the most valuable,
perhaps, are “A Shelf of Old Books” and “Authors and Friends,” both
published in 1896.

_Shakespearean Scholars._--Harking back to Norton and Ticknor as
representative American students of foreign literatures, one naturally
takes pleasure in seeing that the field of Shakespearean scholarship
has been by no means neglected in this country. Henry Norman Hudson
(1814-1886) may be said to have been the first American to turn a
furrow; for, after publishing “Lectures on Shakespeare” (1848), he
devoted himself to a critical study of the plays and finally produced
a work still mentioned with respect, “Shakespeare: His Life, Art, and
Characters” (1872). Meanwhile Richard Grant White (1822-1885) had
published “The Authorship of the Three Parts of Henry VI.” (1859)
and “Memoirs of the Life of Shakespeare” (1865). Interested in other
subjects for a time, he wrote “Words and Their Uses” (1870) and
“England Without and Within” (1881); then, returning to his early
interests, he produced “Studies in Shakespeare” (1885). Perhaps Edwin
Percy Whipple (1819-1886) deserves mention at this place, for after
writing “Essays and Reviews” (1849), and “Character and Characteristic
Men” (1866), he published “The Literature of the Age of Elizabeth”
(1869). Nor is it possible to overlook Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury
(born in 1838), who added to his extensive “Studies in Chaucer”
(1892) a trilogy of studies entitled “Shakespeare as a Dramatic
Artist” (1901), “Shakespeare and Voltaire” (1902), and “The Text of
Shakespeare” (1906). But easily the foremost Shakespearean scholar
in America is Horace Howard Furness (born in 1833), whose “Variorum
Shakespeare” as a painstaking and authoritative work stands unsurpassed
in any language. Recently Mr. Furness has associated his son with him
in his investigations, and we may therefore expect with some confidence
that a study of Shakespeare on the largest scale up to this time
attempted may be completed according to the traditions with which it
was begun.

_Literary Historians._--Widely interested as the scholars of this
country have been in the greater writers and the more important
literature of other lands, there has been no dearth of attention to
our own. Moses Coit Tyler (1835-1900), sometime professor of American
history at Cornell University, was the author of two valuable works,
“History of American Literature during the Colonial Times” (1878) and
“Literary History of the American Revolution” (1897). Charles Francis
Richardson (born in 1851), professor of English in Dartmouth College,
has covered the whole range of our literary history down to 1885 in
his “American Literature” (1887); and Barrett Wendell (born in 1855)
of Harvard University, in his “Literary History of America” (1901),
has brought his treatment of the same topic down to the beginning of
the present century. Professor Wendell has written upon other American
topics in “Stelligeri” (1893), and “A Life of Cotton Mather” (1891).
More recently he has published two works, both the result of his
residence abroad as a lecturing professor: the substance of the first,
“The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature” (1904),
was delivered before Trinity College, Cambridge; that of the second,
“The France of To-Day” (1907) was gathered while he was giving a course
of lectures in Paris.

Members of other American college faculties have given evidence of
minute research and strong inspiration in books not a few. James
Brander Matthews (born in 1852) of Columbia University, and George
Edward Woodberry (born in 1855), for many years connected with the same
university, have both written books that have gained popular approval;
of the former, “French Dramatists of the Nineteenth Century” (1881)
and “The Historical Novel” (1901) certainly deserve mention; of the
latter, “The Life of Poe” (1885) and “The Appreciation of Literature”
(1907). No less significant than these men are Felix Emmanuel Schelling
(born in 1858) of the University of Pennsylvania, whose latest work is
“The Elizabethan Drama” (1908), and Vida Dutton Scudder (born in 1861)
of Wellesley College, who cannot be left unnoticed, so thorough and
satisfactory are her “Life of the Spirit in the Modern English Poets”
(1895) and “Social Ideals in English Letters” (1898). Woodrow Wilson,
president of Princeton University, has spared time from his political
and historical studies to write an interesting volume of essays
called “Mere Literature” (1896); President Wilson’s former colleague,
Bliss Perry (born in 1860), now editor of _The Atlantic Monthly_ and
professor of belles-lettres at Harvard, has published a valuable “Study
of Prose Fiction” (1902), and another Princeton professor, Henry
Jackson Van Dyke (born in 1852), has written an especially useful
study called “The Poetry of Tennyson” (1889), and has also shown
himself a master of the leisurely essay in “Little Rivers” (1895) and
“Fisherman’s Luck” (1899).

_The Nature Writers._--Professor Van Dyke’s “outdoor essays,” as they
are sometimes called, carry us back to the earlier nature writers,
for between him and Thoreau there is no wide hiatus. John Burroughs
(born in 1837) has written a considerable number of books dealing with
his observations out of doors, although he has by no means neglected
the purely literary topic. The mention of his earlier works gives an
adequate index of all his subject-matter. “Wake-Robin” appeared in
1870, “Birds and Poets” in 1875, and “Whitman, a Study” in 1896. To
be closely associated with Mr. Burroughs is Bradford Torrey (born in
1843); his chief works are “Birds in the Bush” (1885), “The Footpath
Way” (1892), and “A World of Green Hills” (1898). Nor can Olive Thorne
Miller (born in 1831) be overlooked: she began to write studies of
birds about 1880, and among other works, all of considerable interest,
she has published “In Nesting Time” (1888), “A Bird-Lover in the West”
(1894), and “Under the Tree-Tops” (1897). The writers just mentioned
are not to be regarded, of course, as scientists or even as scientific
writers in the commonly accepted sense of those terms. They look upon
nature with the loving rather than the analytic eye, and register their
appreciative feelings rather than their minute observations. They have
much in common, therefore, with the purely literary essayists whose
names are not far from legion. Although unable to mention all who have
recently attracted attention, we must not forget William Winter (born
in 1836), whose best prose works date back but a quarter of a century:
he published “Shakespeare’s England” in 1888, “Gray Days and Gold” in
1891, and “The Life and Art of Edwin Booth” in 1894. Neither can we
ignore Hamilton Wright Mabie (born in 1845), literary editor of _The
Outlook_. His books are many and widely popular: probably the series
of three volumes called “My Study Fire” (1890, 1894, and 1899) and
“Shakespeare: Poet, Dramatist, and Man” (1900) are best known. Not less
significant is Paul Elmer More (born in 1864) of the editorial staff
of _The Nation_. In addition to translations from Sanskrit and from
Greek, he has published five books all bearing the title “Shelburne
Essays” (1904-1908).

_Other Essayists._--Finally, so far as essayists are concerned, some
rapid review must be made of the novelists and the later poets who have
not restricted themselves to the fields of their chief labour. This
takes us back as far as Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), whose “Our
Old Home” (1863) is a collection of valuable essays on various English
topics. The saying “Like father, like son” was exemplified when Julian
Hawthorne (born in 1846) brought out “Saxon Studies” (1876), a book of
like purport with his father’s. The mention of more than one writer in
a family suggests the elder Henry James (1811-1882) and his two sons,
William and Henry. The father is best remembered as a theological and
philosophical writer through his “Moralism and Christianity” (1852)
and “Lectures and Miscellanies” (1852). The elder son, William James
(born in 1842), for many years professor of psychology in Harvard
University, besides being the author of several technical works in the
science to which he is devoted, has written “The Will to Believe, and
Other Essays” (1897), “Is Life Worth Living?” (1898), and “Pragmatism”
(1906). The younger Henry James (born in 1843), in addition to being
a novelist, is also the author of “A Little Tour in France” (1884),
“Partial Portraits” (1888), and “Essays in London and Elsewhere”
(1893). For some reason not strongly apparent, William Dean Howells
(born in 1837) is almost always associated in the minds of readers
with Henry James the novelist. Editor for a time of _The Atlantic
Monthly_, and later connected first with the staff of _Harper’s
Magazine_, and afterwards with that of _The Cosmopolitan_, he has made
many books of essays. The best are “Venetian Life” (1866), “Italian
Journeys” (1867), and “Criticism and Fiction” (1895). Belonging by
birth to a later decade, Francis Marion Crawford (born in 1854) is
near to being America’s most prolific writer. His most important
work, outside the domain of the novel, is a small volume connected in
content with the art which he chiefly affects, “The Novel, What It Is”
(1903). It attracted much attention upon its appearance, and is still
often quoted. Mr. Crawford is also the author of “The Rulers of the
South” (1900) and “Gleanings from Venetian History” (1905). The woman
novelists cannot be ignored as writers of essays, for not only do they
possess powers of penetration and insight, but two of them, at least,
have swayed public opinion to no inappreciable extent. Harriet Beecher
Stowe (1811-1896) in addition to her many books of fiction wrote a very
much discussed study entitled “Lady Byron Vindicated” (1870) and “The
American Woman’s Home” (1869), at one time thought to be the final word
upon domestic questions. A writer of hardly less importance was Helen
Hunt Jackson (1831-1885), still popularly known by her pseudonym of
“H. H.” Her most valuable study was “A Century of Dishonour” (1881), in
which she laid bare the ill-treatment accorded the American Indians;
she succeeded through its pages in doing much to ameliorate their
unfortunate condition. Mrs. Jackson’s “Bits of Travel” (1873) and
“Between Whiles” (1887) are interesting and readable.

The more important later poets who have contributed to essay
literature are led by that erratic but remarkable genius, Walt Whitman
(1819-1892). His collected “Prose Works,” published in the year of
his death, contain much more true common sense than his writings are
popularly assumed to show. The main titles included in the contents
are those of small volumes printed at various intervals: “Specimen
Days” (1882), “November Boughs” (1888), and “Good-Bye, My Fancy”
(1891). Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833-1908) and Thomas Bailey Aldrich
(1836-1907), who in their poetry followed the traditions established
by Longfellow and Lowell, were the authors of not unimportant prose
works. The former wrote three valuable books: “Victorian Poets”
(1875), “Poets of America” (1885), and “The Nature and Elements of
Poetry” (1892); the latter author produced two volumes of travel and
reminiscence: “From Ponkapog to Pesth” (1883) and “An Old Town by the
Sea” (1893). Possibly allied rather with Whitman than with the other
poets just mentioned, Sidney Lanier (1842-1881) may justly stand at
the close of our list of American critical writers. He subjected the
methods of metrical composition to minute scrutiny, and published the
results of his investigations as “The Science of English Verse” (1881).
Turning then to a study of fiction, he wrote an important work entitled
“The English Novel and Its Development” (1885). Since Lanier’s death,
his executors have brought together many of his lectures and papers
under the titles of “Music and Poetry” (1898), and “Shakspere and his
Forerunners” (1902).

=The Humourists.=--It is a far cry from the serious thought of Sidney
Lanier to the ludicrous perversities of Mark Twain; yet between these
two lies an extensive territory freely admitted by foreign critics
to be distinctly and perhaps typically American. The humour of this
country is different from that found anywhere else in the world. At
times, it is true, it exhibits the sparkling characteristics of the
Irishman’s wit, at others the keen shrewdness of the Frenchman’s
_bon-mot_; certainly it is never less sprightly than the work of the
English joker, nor less spontaneous than that of the German jester. In
fact it may savour of any one, or of all the qualities just mentioned,
and even of many others. The truth of the matter is, composite as a
nation, we preserve in our humour the best traits of the elements out
of which we are formed, and pretty generally add to the mixture a
flavour indigenous to the soil upon which we flourish.

_Humour of the Colonial Period._--In the early periods of our history,
conscious humour did not exist. The colonists were too intent upon
subduing the wilderness and safeguarding their religion to spend time
in making fun. Their steeple-crowned hats, their staid garb, and the
severe simplicity of their speech and conduct may seem ridiculous
to us now; but, depend upon it, these were very serious matters to
the Puritans themselves. A sudden outbreak of frivolity, whether it
showed in a departure from the accepted dress or in an unusual use
of language, would have been looked upon as sufficient cause for
an immediate ecclesiastical investigation and solemn condemnation.
Surely a community that in all seriousness could pass a law making
it a finable offence in a man to kiss his wife on Sunday, would have
been horror-stricken at the irreverent flippancy of Eli Perkins and of
George Ade, and would no doubt have called down anathema upon Bill Nye
and possibly even upon Carolyn Wells.

_Humour of the Revolutionary Period._--Nor did circumstances permit
the rise of humour in the Revolutionary period. The great joke of that
time was the struggle between the pigmy and the giant, ending in the
discomfiture of the latter to the tune of

    “Yankee Doodle came to town.”

A few grim remarks have come down to us, it must be admitted, remarks
which amuse us now, but which could have been little provocative
of laughter when they were uttered. Certainly we have no record
of hilarious mirth filling the chamber when at the signing of the
Declaration of Independence, Franklin sharply replied to the remark,
“Well, in this matter I suppose we must all hang together,” with the
words, “Yes, or we shall all hang separately!” Life indeed was far too
serious in both the earlier periods of American history and literature
to be made a source of amusement. True, we have not a little work,
satiric in tone, from such writers as the patriot, John Trumbull
(1750-1831), and the Tory, Jonathan Odell (1737-1881), of whom the
first in his “M’Fingal” (1775-1782) imitated Butler’s “Hudibras,”
and the second in his “Word of Congress” (1779) and “The American
Times” (1780) followed models set up by Dryden, Pope, and Churchill.
Joel Barlow (1754-1812), too, deserves passing mention here for his
mock-heroic poem, “The Hasty Pudding” (1793); and Philip Freneau
(1752-1832) must be named on account of several briefer pieces of verse
intended, no doubt, to be funny, but succeeding only in being abusive
and vituperative of British leaders and British methods. On the whole,
the efforts of all these writers, so far as humour is concerned, were
little better than clumsy; and nowadays, if we bother with their works
at all, we laugh at the authors rather than with them.

_The Imitative School._--Conscious or deliberate American humour, then,
can hardly be said to have shown itself before the early years of the
nineteenth century. When it did appear, moreover, it was strongly
imitative of English models and exhibited itself not as the most
striking trait, but as only one of many qualities characterising an
author’s style. Indeed, barring the work of a mere handful of writers,
we find such American humour as is likely to live woven into books
which endure for other reasons than because they awaken laughter. For
the earliest instance of any importance, we may mention Washington
Irving, a writer already discussed as an essayist. He exhibits in
various parts of his work a sparkling effervescence which, if a little
more spontaneous than that found in _The Spectator_, is none the less
strongly suggestive, like his more serious work, of Addison and Steele,
and perhaps also of Goldsmith and Swift.

_The Restrained School._--Less noticeably imitative of foreign work,
the whimsicalities of Oliver Wendell Holmes, of James Russell Lowell,
and of Charles Dudley Warner have been deemed sufficiently important
to make each the subject of a chapter in more than one English work
vainly endeavouring to analyse and classify that subtle something which
makes American humour funny. With apparent gravity Holmes could ask
the startling question, “Why is an onion like a piano?” and in answer
convulse his readers with the atrocious pun, “Because it smell odious!”
His characterisation of an afternoon reception as “Giggle, gabble,
gobble, git,” is worthy of frequent quotation; and one passage in his
“Music Grinders” is of perennial value. Wearied by the discordant tunes
issuing from a hurdy-gurdy, the distracted poet at last exclaims:

    “But hark! the air again is still
      The music all is ground,
    And silence, like a poultice, comes
      To heal the blows of sound.”

The man who has had the experience here set down, appreciates both the
pathos and the humour of a passage like that. Lowell’s humour is akin
to that of Holmes. It breaks out in nearly every essay that he wrote,
and almost runs riot in some of his poems. Speaking of the destruction
of a certain hill that a city street might be improved, he remarked in
“Cambridge Thirty Years Ago” (1854): “The landscape was carried away
cart-load by cart-load, and, dumped down on the roads, forms a part
of that unfathomable pudding which has, I fear, drawn many a teamster
and pedestrian to the use of phrases not commonly found in English
dictionaries.” There is much humour in Lowell, more stirring than this,
but the quotation exhibits the readiness with which he would give an
unexpected turn to a sentence, or throw in an unlooked-for reference
or expression, too delicate to be shocking, too subtle to arouse loud
laughter, but capable none the less of sending a ripple of amusement
over the calmest gravity. For work professedly humorous throughout,
we must turn to “A Fable for Critics” (1848) or to “The Biglow Papers”
(1848). Both contain much good hard common sense, but the humour
instead of being a mere accident of expression is the real reason for
the existence of the greater part of each work. More closely allied to
Lowell, perhaps, than to either Irving or Holmes, Warner produced no
work exclusively funny. Still there is hardly a page of “My Summer in a
Garden” (1870) or of “In the Wilderness” (1878) which does not have at
least one laughable sentence. For this reason Warner defies quotation:
his chapters must be read in their entirety rather than in chance

_The Professional Humourists._--Turning now from those writers of
humour who have been looked upon by some critics as forming an
“imitative school” and by others as constituting what they have
more happily termed a “restrained school,” we come upon a widely
extended group of writers who profess to have no higher calling
than the awakening of mere laughter. If we call them collectively
the “professional school of American humourists,” we need not feel
ourselves debarred from regarding them as falling naturally into
several classes, to each of which we may give some special name, such
as “the milder school,” “the women humourists,” “the boisterous group,”
and the like. We must not forget, however, that no hard and fast
dividing lines can be drawn between the different classes, since the
fact that a writer is a woman does not necessarily prevent her writing
boisterous humour, or that a man who is generally almost clown-like may
not sometimes produce a rare and refined piece of fun. Furthermore, it
happens that the very naturalness with which the humourists fall into
groups and classes prevents their being discussed in chronological
order. The milder fun-makers have existed side by side with their
hilarious brethren from the beginning, so that one must ignore, except
in the slightest way, the order determined mainly by accidents of
birth, or dates of publication.

_The Women Humourists._--Politeness demands that we speak of the women
humourists first: in the fore-front of these we must place Mrs. Frances
Miriam Whitcher (1811-1852). She made her first appearance as a writer
in _Neal’s Saturday Gazette_ about 1845, and to that paper contributed
a long series of articles purporting to come from the pen of “the Widow
Bedott.” From the first she attracted attention, and interest in her
work has never wholly ceased. Such was the demand for her writings that
after her death two collections of articles from her pen were made and
published as “The Widow Bedott Papers” (1855), and “Widow Sprigg, Mary
Elmer, and Other Sketches” (1867).

Closely related in form and content to “The Widow Bedott Papers” was a
book published in 1873 with the title “My Opinions and Betsy Bobbet’s.”
Although immediately popular, it was for many years supposed to be the
work of its professed author, Samanthy Allen; but by the time “P. A.
and P. I. or Samanthy at the Centennial” appeared, in 1876, the secret
had leaked out that “Josiah Allen’s Wife” was the pseudonym of Marietta
Holley (born in 1844), a native of Adams, New York. A contributor to
_Peterson’s Magazine_, _The Christian Union_, _The Independent_, and
other periodicals, and the author of numerous books, she has gained
considerable renown. Her earlier works are her best; for as time went
on she diluted her skill in fun-making by permitting her interest
in the temperance question, the woman-suffrage movement, and negro
education to interfere with the power of her wit. Miss Holley’s work
has attracted some attention abroad, and has been translated into
several foreign languages. Merely pausing to mention Mary Abigail Dodge
(1830-1896), a native of Hamilton, Massachusetts, who, forming her
pseudonym from a part of her own name and from that of her birthplace,
made herself famous as “Gail Hamilton” in work both grave and gay; and
stopping only to call attention to the fact that Harriet Beecher Stowe
in “Old Town Folks” (1869) gave us an unusually funny book, we may
choose from the host of women who are moving us to laughter the most
industrious of them all, Carolyn Wells. As a writer of the verse form
called the _limerick_ she has more than once equalled Edward Lear, and
as a parodist she shocks a reader to silence by her audacity.

_The Milder Humourists._--In what may be called the milder school of
American humourists Seba Smith (1792-1868) was the leader in point
of time. Graduated from Bowdoin College in 1818, Smith began almost
immediately to contribute editorially to the papers of Portland, Maine.
In addition to more serious works, he wrote, under the pen-name of
“Major Jack Downing,” a series of political articles in New England
dialect, thus anticipating Lowell’s “Biglow Papers” by several years.
Smith was the author of a number of books, the best known of which
are probably “Way Down East” (1853) and “My Thirty Years Out of the
Senate” (1859), the latter a homely and vigorous parody of Senator
T. H. Benton’s “Thirty Years’ View of the American Government.” Writing
not long after Seba Smith, John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) early sprang
into fame. The author of a considerable amount of prose, he attracted
far wider attention by his verse. In the latter he showed the working
of a strong English influence; indeed, it is not too much to say that
had there been no Thomas Hood, there would have been no Saxe. Born
at Highgate, Vermont, and graduated from Middlebury College in 1843,
he soon became interested in both journalism and politics; but he is
now best remembered by his work in verse. His “Humorous and Satirical
Poems” (1850) fairly bristle with puns from beginning to end, and the
surprising fact about them is that they are so good and so well set in
their places that rarely does a reader feel inclined to accuse Saxe of
overstraining his powers.

_Leland_, _Field_, _Riley_, _and Harris_.--Merely mentioning in
passing the name of Saxe’s contemporary, Frederick Swartwout Cozzens
(1818-1869), author of “The Sparrowgrass Papers” (1856), we call
attention to Robert Henry Newell (1836-1901), whose “Orpheus C. Kerr
Papers” in three volumes (1861-1869) contained presumably funny
comments on the Civil War, and to David Ross Locke (1833-1888), who,
writing under the pseudonym of “Petroleum Vesuvius Naseby,” wittily
supported the administration of Lincoln, and attacked that of Johnson,
in newspaper articles afterward collected into a book entitled
“Divers Views, Opinions, and Prophecies of Yours Truly” (1865). These
three men, although deserving mention on account of the position
they once held, are now little read, but their contemporary Charles
Godfrey Leland (1824-1903) seems to have established something like
permanent renown for himself. Graduated from Princeton in 1846, he
became prominent in various fields of journalism and authorship. His
best-known work is “Hans Breitmann’s Ballads,” of which a collected
edition appeared in 1895. These poems are written in the dialect known
as Pennsylvania Dutch, and relate the exploits of their clownish hero
in various exigencies and circumstances. In this same school of mild
humourists we may class also a number of writers most of whom are still
in the prime of life. From the host we select three as typical. Eugene
Field (1850-1895), whose untimely death cut short a career of promise
already blossoming into fulfilment, may be mentioned first. In addition
to much serious work, he published “The Tribune Primer” (1882), a mock
imitation of a child’s first reading-book, and “Culture’s Garden”
(1887), a series of clever skits directed against those who make
a pretence of ultra-refinement. With Field for some reason James
Whitcomb Riley (born in 1853) has always been popularly associated,
possibly because both wrote poems having childhood as subject-matter.
Mr. Riley’s humorous work is scattered through his several books, of
which “Rhymes of Childhood” (1890) and “Home Folks” (1900) are typical,
if not the best. An author of a series of books which appeal at once
to students of popular tradition and to general readers whether young
or old is found in Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908). Publishing a book
in 1880 on Afro-American folk-lore under the title “Uncle Remus, His
Songs and His Sayings,” Mr. Harris found to his surprise that he had
an audience who listened to him with mirth instead of gravity. It is
improbable that more than a mere handful of his readers suspect for
even a moment that the several stories put into the mouth of Uncle
Remus are a real contribution to anthropological data. In his later
years, Mr. Harris wisely threw all his reports into literary form, with
the result that there was a steady rise in his popularity as he gave
us successively “Nights with Uncle Remus” (1883), “Mingo, and Other
Sketches” (1884), and “Daddy Jake, the Runaway” (1889).

_The Boisterous Humourists._--Turning now to the “boisterous school” of
American humour, we may dwell for a time upon the chief characteristics
exhibited by members of the group. In the first place, most of them
have forgotten how to spell. There is something ludicrous in the
appearance of the word “through” masquerading in the garb “thru,”
whatever may be the plea of the society of spelling reformers to the
contrary; and certainly no one, except a school-teacher, can be other
than amused to see such common words as “laugh,” “feel,” “funny,” and
the like making their bows as “laff,” “feal,” and “phuny.” Laughable
as this may be, however, it is not too much to insist that, if the
appeal is only to the eye, if the wit evaporates when the words are
not seen but merely heard, then the humour is not of very high order.
In the second place, most of the members of the boisterous school,
along with their loss of power as spellers, have also forgotten how to
tell the truth. “This inclination towards outrageous exaggeration,”
said Lowell, “is a prime characteristic of American humour.” “There
is,” he says elsewhere, “something irresistibly comic in the conception
of a negro so black that charcoal made a white mark on him, or in the
idea of a soil so fertile that a nail planted in it becomes a railroad
spike before morning.” This example of untruthfulness might also be
taken as an illustration of the third trait of the group now under
discussion--that of producing the most absurd paradoxes and of bringing
into juxtaposition the most diverse uses of the same word. This is more
than mere word-play; it is rather what might be termed the apotheosis
of the pun. It underlies the majority of jokes that are found in the
American newspaper, and is at once the admiration and the despair of
those who try to analyse or to imitate the subtlety of our humour.

_Josh Billings._--With these three characteristics in mind we may
now give some brief attention to the humourists themselves. Of the
“boisterous school” the earliest were Henry Wheeler Shaw, Benjamin
Penhallow Shillaber, and Charles Farrar Browne. If by chance these
names seem quite unfamiliar, the strangeness will disappear when
attention is called to the fact that the three men respectively wrote
under the _noms de plume_ of “Josh Billings,” “Mrs. Partington,”
and “Artemus Ward.” Shaw (1818-1885) was born in Lanesborough,
Massachusetts, and died in Monterey, California. To complete his
formal education he entered Hamilton College in Clinton, New York; but
tiring of the life there, he went on to the West and spent a number
of years undergoing the many experiences offered by frontier life.
Returning East in 1858, he became an auctioneer in Poughkeepsie,
New York, where he also began to contribute to various magazines and
newspapers. He attracted little attention until he invented an amusing
system of phonetic spelling supposed to represent his homely method of
pronunciation. His chief works were his “Farmer’s Allminax” published
annually between 1870 and 1880, “Every Boddy’s Friend” (1876), and
“Josh Billings’ Spice Box” (1881). A quotation or two will exhibit both
the thought and the form which characterise the contents of his several
volumes of writing:

“Fallin’ in luv is like fallin’ in molases--sweet but drefful dobby.”

“Yu can’t tell what makes a kis taste so good eny more than you kin a
peech. Eny man who kin set down wher it is cool and tell what a kis
tastes like hain’t got eny more taste in his mouth than a knot-hol hez.”

_Mrs. Partington._--Benjamin P. Shillaber (1814-1890) was influenced
by Sheridan even more strongly than was Saxe by the elder Hood. Mrs.
Partington is America’s Mrs. Malaprop. Her misuse of the English
language Shillaber recorded in three books bearing the several titles,
“Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington” (1854), “Partingtonian Patchwork”
(1873), and “Ike and his Friend” (1879). Mrs. Partington’s likeness to
her English predecessor, or, as she would undoubtedly have said, her
“predecessoress,” may be seen in her chance remark: “I am not so young
as I was once, and I don’t believe I shall ever be, if I live to the
age of Samson, which, heaven knows as well as I do, I don’t want to,
for I wouldn’t be a centurion or an octagon and survive my factories
and become idiomatic by any means. But then there is no knowing how a
thing will turn out till it takes place, and we shall come to an end
some day, though we may never live to see it.”

_Artemus Ward._--Charles F. Brown (1834-1867), the third of the
humourists writing about the middle of the last century, was born in
Waterford, Maine, and lived in various parts of the United States as
his newspaper work called him first to one town and then to another.
He made extensive lecture trips, and finally went in 1866 to England,
where he died in March of the following year. He had the distinction of
being the first American contributor to _Punch_. He published during
his lifetime a number of books, among which were “Artemus Ward: His
Book” (1865), “Artemus Ward: His Book of Goaks” (1865), and “Artemus
Ward in London” (1867). Undoubtedly his best single work was a lecture
giving an account of his visit to the Mormons. Learning from Brigham
Young that he was married to eighty wives and sealed to as many more,
Artemus remarked that the prophet was “the most marriedest man” he ever
saw. Ward then went on to say: “In a privit conversashun with Brigham I
learnt the follerin’ fax: It takes him six weeks to kiss his wives. He
don’t do it only onct a year and sez it’s wuss nor cleanin’ house. He
don’t pretend to know his children, there is so many of ’em, tho they
all know him. He sez about every child he meats call him Par and he
takes it for granted it is so.”

_Later Writers of Boisterous Humour._--Taking up now the writers who
were born in the decade immediately preceding the turning point of the
nineteenth century, we may regard as worthy of special mention Charles
Heber Clark, Charles Bertrand Lewis, Robert Jones Burdette, and Edgar
Wilson Nye. Of these, all save one are still living and still writing.
Mr. Clark was born in Berlin, Maryland, in 1841. For many years he has
been the editor of _The Textile Record_, published in Philadelphia,
to which he has contributed a number of articles on economic themes.
He is best known, however, by two books of humour: “Out of the Hurly
Burly” and “Elbow Room,” both written under the _nom de plume_ of “Max
Adeler.” Mr. Lewis (born in 1842) is best known by his pseudonym, “M.
Quad,” a title drawn from the parlance of printers. Mr. Lewis’ earlier
work was much more spontaneous than that which he is producing now.
Connected with _The Detroit Free Press_, he contributed to it a steady
stream of character sketches of great variety. Collecting them later,
he published them under various titles. Of these volumes the best are
“Brother Gardener’s Lime-Kiln Club,” “Quad’s Odds,” and “Mr. and Mrs.

Edgar W. Nye (1850-1896), best known as “Bill Nye,” was born in
Shirley, Maine, and died near Asheville, North Carolina. Educated
in Wisconsin, he first turned his attention to the study of law.
Abandoning that pursuit after having been admitted to the bar, he
dabbled in several different occupations, and finally became a
newspaper correspondent. For a short time he travelled with James
Whitcomb Riley, the two giving a series of entertainments which
proved widely popular. Nye’s published works were many, but they have
little chance of permanent life. As good as any are “Bill Nye and the
Boomerang” (1881), “A Comic History of the United States” (1894), and
“The Railroad Guide” (1888), the last written in partnership with Mr.
Riley. Mr. Burdette, the last of the quartette here mentioned together,
was born in Greensboro, Pennsylvania, in 1844, and received his
schooling in Peoria, Illinois. During the Civil War he was a soldier
in the Union Army. At the close of the struggle, Mr. Burdette returned
to Peoria, where he was connected with first one and then another of
the newspapers published there. Finally, failing in a paper issued
under his own proprietorship, he went to Burlington, Iowa, and became a
member of the staff of _The Hawkeye_. While engaged in newspaper work,
Mr. Burdette began to write funny things to amuse his invalid wife; and
these, published later in the columns of the paper, have made him known
throughout the United States. He was licensed as a Baptist preacher in
1887, since when he has signed himself Robert Burdette, D., on the
ground that the abbreviation _D._ is the next thing to that of _D.D._
Mr. Burdette’s best humorous work may be read in “The Rise and Fall of
the Moustache and other Hawkeyetems” (1877) and “Chimes from a Jester’s
Bells” (1897).

_Mark Twain._--Of American humourists “Mark Twain,” known in private
life as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is readily placed foremost by critics
and admirers both at home and abroad. He has the right to be considered
the Nestor of our writers, for, born in 1835, he began to produce his
earliest work when Irving was in his prime, and has therefore seen at
least one phase of every school in our literature. His younger years
were those of the decline of the Knickerbocker writers; he saw the
rise and fall of the Concord group, the Cambridge poets, and the New
York writers; and now he is present at the general upward movement
all over the country, including the South and the West. His relation
to our literature is not unlike that of Fanny Burney to the novel;
she was born before Richardson published “The History of Sir Charles
Grandison,” and did not die until twelve years after the birth of
George Meredith, thus being contemporaneous with the greatest English
novelists from the first to the last. Mr. Clemens was born in Florida,
Missouri, and when scarcely thirteen years old was apprenticed to a
printer. Barring a few years spent as pilot upon the Mississippi,
he has devoted his life to literary work. His writings include “The
Innocents Abroad” (1869), the humorous record of a trip in the
countries of the Eastern Hemisphere; “The Gilded Age” (1873), a novel
written conjointly with Charles Dudley Warner; “The Adventures of
Tom Sawyer” (1876), and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884),
both books about boys whose exploits are interesting to young and old
alike; “A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur” (1889), a
cruel parody of Malory’s “Morte d’Arthur”; and “Christian Science,”
an attempt, despite all the fun it makes, to report sincerely upon a
careful investigation of the claims of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy and her
disciples. It is unfortunate for Mr. Clemens that he is a humourist,
for he has had to suffer the lot long ago mentioned by Holmes as the
fate of the fun-producer: no one can ever take such a man seriously;
no one can believe that he ever has any other purpose than to tickle
our fancy or awaken our laughter. Yet it is not impossible that future
critics may come to regard “The Prince and the Pauper” (1882) and
“The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc” (1896), two serious and
dignified pieces of writing, as Mr. Clemens’s best work.

Within recent years Oxford University has conferred the degree of
D.C.L. upon Mr. Clemens in recognition of his contributions to
literature. This action by a great institution of learning has filled
many minds with surprise, nor have all of them quite recovered their
mental equilibrium yet. Some, indeed, are still asking the old
question, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” and can hardly believe
their ears when they receive the answer, “Yea, verily!” Humour at last
seems to be coming to its own. Said Mr. Meredith a few years ago:
“Comedy, we have to admit, was never one of the most honoured of the
Muses. She was in her origin, short of laughter, the loudest expression
of the little civilisation of men.” While it must be admitted that
when he wrote this the greatest English writer now living had in mind
something much more delicate, much more refined, much more subtle,
than anything yet produced in America, it is not beyond thought that
even he would let us classify the fun-makers of this country as true
humourists. They deal little in satire, little in irony, but they have
much in common with those to whom Mr. Meredith said: “If you laugh all
round a person, tumble him, roll him about, deal him a smack, and drop
a tear on him, own his likeness to you, and yours to your neighbour,
spare him as little as you shun, pity him as much as you expose, it is
a spirit of Humour that is moving you.”


=The Historical Background.=--In America, oratory has been the most
fortunate of all the arts. Whether in the era prior to the Revolution,
or in the formative years of the Republic before 1800, or in the first
half and more of the nineteenth century--in the pulpit as well as at
the bar and in the forum, American orators have drawn their inspiration
directly from the political or religious life of the nation. From the
nature of things, no other art, neither poetry, nor painting, nor
music, could bear so intimate a relation to the course of our national
existence as the utterance of the public speaker. Every crisis in our
history, the Revolution itself, the War of 1812, the struggle between
North and South, was hastened by the spoken word. Trained poets have
been wanting among us; trained speakers, in so far as their powers
could develop without a correspondingly high development of poetry and
music, we have always possessed; men skilled in rousing enthusiasm and
reverence throughout congregations of the pious, men alert to kindle
the intelligence of a legislature or to sway the minds of judge and
jury. From the first, this training was continuous and effective. In
the bare colonial churches thought, word, and action of the pastor
were criticised by an audience that had braved the sea and the savage
for the privilege of listening. From the colonial courts of justice
spread the education which warranted Burke in saying of a litigious
populace: “In no country perhaps in the world is the law so general
a study. The profession itself is numerous and powerful.... But all
who read, and most do read, endeavour to obtain some smattering in
that science.” With this knowledge of law, every other colonist was a
keen debater for his private rights and, when the time came, for the
rights of his community or nation. From a population thus educated
sprang the forensic leaders of the Revolution; and to its sources in
eighteenth-century popular education we follow back the steady stream
of American eloquence which in the nineteenth century runs strong and
full in the noblest efforts of American literature--say Webster’s
tribute to Massachusetts in the reply to Hayne, and Lincoln’s undying
speech at Gettysburg.

So close indeed is the bond between juridic and political history on
the one hand, and the achievement of the great American orators on the
other, that they can be sundered, as in the following pages, only for
purposes of general reference. Since a political history of the United
States from the year 1783 is not here expected, we must limit ourselves
to brief notice of a few representative men, taken in something like
chronological order, and mainly between the years 1800 and 1865.
With the Civil War, or perhaps with the second inaugural address of
President Lincoln, ended the golden age of national eloquence.

=Precursors of the Nineteenth Century.=--The careers of James Otis
(1725-83), Samuel Adams (1722-1803), Josiah Quincy, Junior (1744-75),
and Patrick Henry (1736-99), fall largely in the period covered by
the pages from Tyler; and the orations and political writings of the
Revolutionary Period itself do not come within the scope of the present
sketch. Of course it is impossible to make a line of sharp division in
the case of public men whom we instinctively couple with the earliest
days of the Republic, but whose voices were heard to the verge of the
next century, or even beyond. The “Farewell Address” of Washington
to his countrymen in 1796, so long regarded with veneration, was, in
spite of its conservative form, its Johnsonian balance, a document
with matter for the coming age. However, it is clear that statesmen
who were in their prime at the time of Washington’s death in 1799 more
particularly require our attention.

_Fisher Ames._--Among these is Fisher Ames (1758-1808). Admitted to
Harvard at the age of twelve, after graduation he first engaged in
teaching, then studied law, and entering politics, became a force among
the Federalists. Long the victim of ill health, he nevertheless made
his superior mental endowment felt in the counsels of the nation. His
“Tomahawk Speech” (1796), on Jay’s treaty with Great Britain, contained
passages of splendour on the fear of Indian massacres. For the
eloquence of this speech he has been compared to Wilberforce, Brougham,
Burke, Pitt, and Fox. He could not have resembled them all. Ames had
a fastidious taste, was cautious and dignified in his utterances, and
was not desirous of a cheap popularity. “To be the favourite of an
ignorant multitude,” he observed, “a man must descend to their level.”
Four years before he died, his health constrained him to decline the
presidency of Harvard.

=The Early Nineteenth Century.=--The activity of Rufus King (1755-1827)
and others continued somewhat later. This friend of Alexander Hamilton,
and collaborator with him in the political essays signed “Camillus,”
was in 1796 accorded the delicate function of Minister to England.
In 1813 the Legislature of New York elected him to the United States
Senate; here he won laurels for his speech on the destruction of
Washington by the British. He returned to the Senate in 1820, and he
was Minister to England again under President Adams.

_John Marshall._--The name of John Marshall (1755-1835) we naturally
associate with his momentous work of interpreting the Constitution. The
dry light of his intellect and his lack of passion were more suited to
purely legal exposition than to the eloquence of debate. When he went
to Congress in 1798, the cogency of his argument was already known. It
is sufficiently demonstrated by his speech in Robbins’ case (1800), a
case that involved the international law governing murder committed
upon the high seas by a citizen of one country sailing on the ship of
another. Marshall’s uninspiring “Life of Washington” is valuable as a
repository of plain fact.

_Morris and De Witt._--Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) was early famous
for his eloquence. His thought was orderly, his style finished.
Successful in the practice of law, and distinguished for his services
during the Revolution, he became a zealous Federalist, entering the
United States Senate in 1800. Here his most notable effort was his
“Speech on the Judiciary” (1802). Clinton De Witt (1769-1828), who was
Mayor of New York City most of the time between 1803 and 1815, was
also in the Senate for two years, and opposed the redoubtable Morris
on the question of navigation on the Mississippi. De Witt was a man
of wide interests, being something of a scientist and historian; his
practical sense recognised the value of inland waterways. He merits
more attention than can here be given him.

_Gore_, _Dexter_, _and Others_.--The same is true of the following:
Christopher Gore (1758-1829), who in 1814 reached the Senate, to remain
three years, and who spoke on “The Prohibition of Certain Imports”
(1814) and on “Direct Taxation” (1815); Samuel Dexter (1761-1816),
Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury; James A. Bayard
(1767-1815), lawyer, Senator, Commissioner at Ghent in 1814; William
Branch Giles (1762-1840); Edward Livingston (1764-1836), jurist,
diplomat, Secretary of State; John Sergeant (1779-1852), candidate
for Vice-President on the Clay ticket of 1832; John J. Crittenden
(1787-1863), lawyer and statesman; James Hillhouse (1789-1846), orator
as well as poet.

_William Pinkney._--Among the noteworthy orators during the first
twenty years of the last century was William Pinkney (1764-1822).
The son of a sympathiser with England, he was himself devoted to the
cause of American freedom. His prominence in the affairs of Maryland
ushered him into national concerns. He took part in the War of 1812,
and was wounded. He was Attorney-General under Madison, but resigned
for the sake of his private practice. He was made Minister to Russia in
1816; in 1820 he entered the United States Senate. A specimen of his
eloquence may be seen in his argument before the Supreme Court (1815)
in the case of the prize ship _Nereide_. Pinkney was fond of classical
learning, and well versed in current literature. He prided himself on
his accuracy in the use of English. This made him over-conscious in his
style, so that his thought seems artificial. His death is said to have
been partly caused by his labours in the preparation and delivery of an

_Quincy_, _Gallatin_, _and Emmet_.--Josiah Quincy (1772-1864), son of
Josiah Quincy of Revolutionary fame, was president of Harvard from
1829 to 1845. Besides his “History of Harvard University,” he was the
author of many pamphlets and public addresses. “His career in Congress
was distinguished chiefly for his opposition to the Embargo, to the
War of 1812, and to the admission of Louisiana.” Albert Gallatin
(1761-1849), leaving his birthplace, at Geneva, Switzerland, came to
Boston in 1781, taught French in Harvard, went to Virginia, and there
became the friend of Patrick Henry. He was sent to Congress in 1795,
and thereafter entrusted with special missions to Holland and England.
He was also Minister to France (1816), and Minister to England (1826).
Gallatin’s intuitions were as quick and sure as his character was
upright and urbane. His information, as in his speech (1796) on the
earlier British treaty, was ample and exact. Among his innumerable
services to the country of his adoption, not the least were his efforts
on behalf of internal commerce and the improvement in methods of
banking. Thomas Addis Emmet (1764-1827) was also a foreigner--a native
of Cork. He studied medicine in Edinburgh, but turning to law, was
admitted to practice in 1791 and settled at Dublin. For his share in
the Irish insurrectionary movement he was imprisoned; after his release
he emigrated to New York, where he became an eminent pleader. He had a
“dignified but earnest attitude, forcible and unstudied gestures,” and
a “powerful and expressive voice.” “No orator knew better how to enlist
his hearers on the side of his client.”

_Red Jacket and Tecumseh._--Foreign, likewise, although bred within our
borders, was the eloquence of the Indians, Red Jacket and Tecumseh. Red
Jacket was the nickname of Sa-go-ye-wat-ha (“He keeps them awake”),
otherwise known as “the last of the Senecas.” He was a lover of peace,
resisting entanglements, counselling the Indians neither to fight, nor
yet to mingle, with the whites, dissuading them against the adoption
of Christianity, settled in his ancestral reverence for “the Great
Spirit.” His simple and direct language was full of sudden poetic
energy. He died at a great age in 1830. Tecumseh (1770?-1812), in many
things his opposite, was killed at the Battle of the Thames, where
he fought with the English against the United States. A born leader
was Tecumseh, magnificent in his proportions, noble in his bearing,
fiery and magnetic. Prior to the War of 1812 he tried to enlist the
Indians of the South and West in a general insurrection against
the government. He went from tribe to tribe, reproaching them with
their debasement through white civilisation, and abusing the Federal

_William Wirt._--Of Swiss descent, one of the ablest men this country
developed in his time was William Wirt (1772-1834). His arraignment
of Aaron Burr at the latter’s trial in 1807 was masterly, and made
Wirt’s name familiar to the public ear. From 1817 to 1828 he was
Attorney-General. In private as in national life his character was
without stain; his correspondence discloses an honesty and consistency
of statement and purpose almost unequalled. His imaginative “Letters
of the British Spy” (1803) described Virginian society and American
eloquence as they might appear to an unbiassed traveller. “The Life and
Character of Patrick Henry” (1817) was roundly praised by Jefferson. Of
Wirt’s occasional addresses none was more admired than that delivered
in 1830 before the students of Rutgers College.

_Judge Story._--The voluminous works of Joseph Story (1779-1845),
including text-books on law, are in part made up of his discourses.
He began life as a poet, but attained his first eminence as a lawyer.
Before his appointment to the United States Supreme Court, he was heard
on the floor of the House of Representatives. As professor in the
Harvard Law School he proved an acceptable lecturer.

_John Quincy Adams._--The younger Adams (1767-1848), sixth President
of the United States, received from his father, the second President,
specific training for the career of statesman; even his boyhood
was passed in the midst of political and diplomatic life. He
studied at Leyden, then at Harvard, where, during an interim in
his public activities, he afterward held the chair of rhetoric and
belles-lettres. He saw diplomatic service in Holland, Russia, England,
was in the Senate, and was in the House of Representatives. He was a
foe of slavery, but not a Garrisonian Abolitionist. In 1836 he urged
upon Congress its right under the Constitution, as he believed, to
abolish slavery by legal enactment. His influence was strong for
freedom of debate. This “old man eloquent” continued speaking when he
was over eighty, and died on the floor of the House of Representatives.
He was a diarist, a poet, a translator. He was a clear, fluent, not
very terse speaker, having the agglomerative and developing style of
the parliamentary orator. When he desired, he could be ironical.

=The High Tide of American Oratory.=--The burning questions of the
rights of an individual state as against its duties to the central
government, of the extension of negro slavery, or its territorial
limitation, or its entire abolition, brought on the crisis of the Civil
War, which is the central fact in American history. Correspondingly,
during the interval between the War of 1812 and the War of the
Rebellion, their eloquence fired by these and related questions, lie
the careers of our greatest orators.

“_Old Bullion._”--Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858) cannot be reckoned
one of these. Indifferent to the spread of slavery, he was in favour
of developing the great Western territories at any cost. He urged a
reduction of the prices charged by the government in the sale of public
lands, and promoted the interests of a railroad to the Pacific. As an
advocate of specie currency he acquired the sobriquet of “Old Bullion.”
Retiring from the Senate after extended usefulness there, he published
his “Thirty Years’ View,” a history of the workings of the American
Government from 1820 to 1850, highly commended by Bryant for its taste
and simplicity of style.

_Henry Clay._--Slightly the senior of Benton, Henry Clay (1777-1852)
was in public life for an even longer time. By birth he was a
Virginian. In the face of early hardship he rose to be Senator from
Kentucky (1806-1807); from 1811 until 1852, for forty-one years, he
was almost steadily in the eye of the nation. A leader of the Whig
party, he sided with his great opponent, Calhoun, against the more
timid Madison, in precipitating the second war with England; and
he was prominent in the negotiations for peace that followed. Clay
was four times Speaker of the House of Representatives, and four
times unsuccessful candidate for President of the United States. The
influence which he had shown over juries in Kentucky he likewise
exercised in the national legislature. In the management of conflicting
interests, and in furthering the measures of his party, he had a genius
for detecting what was possible or expedient. The Missouri Compromise
of 1820, the Tariff Compromise of 1833, and the Slavery Compromise
of 1850 were largely owing to him. He was a master in effecting
legislation. According to Blaine, “Mr. Webster argued the principle,
Mr. Clay embodied it in a statute.” Among his celebrated speeches were
those on the New Army Bill (1813), on the Seminole War (1819), and on
the Tariff (1824). At his death, a colleague, Joseph R. Underwood, said
in the Senate:

  The character of Henry Clay was formed and developed by the
  influence of our free institutions. His physical and mental
  organisation eminently qualified him to become a great and
  impressive orator. His person was tall, slender, and commanding;
  his temperament ardent, fearless, and full of hope; his countenance
  clear, expressive, and variable--indicating the emotion which
  predominated at the moment with exact similitude; his voice
  cultivated and modulated in harmony with the sentiment he desired
  to express ...; his eye beaming with intelligence, and flashing
  with coruscations of genius; his gestures and attitudes graceful
  and natural. These personal advantages won the prepossessions of
  an audience, even before his intellectual powers began to move his
  hearers; and when his strong common sense, his profound reasoning,
  his clear conceptions of his subject in all its bearings, and his
  striking and beautiful illustrations, united with such personal
  qualities, were brought to the discussion of any question, his
  audience was enraptured, convinced, and led by the orator as if
  enchanted by the lyre of Orpheus.

_John Caldwell Calhoun._--The character and intellect of John Caldwell
Calhoun (1782-1850) were admired even by those who least cared for his
opinions. A South Carolinian of Scotch-Irish extraction, he graduated
from Yale, in 1804, with the highest honours. He towered in political
life from 1808 until he died: as leader of the war party under Madison;
in upholding the doctrine of nullification--that is, the right of each
state to resist a Congressional enactment which the state might deem
injurious; in the annexation of Texas; and in the defence of slavery.
Calhoun was fearless and precise in the discharge of his duties as
Secretary of War under Monroe, reducing expenses, and rendering petty
defalcation impossible. He was Vice-President in 1825. His ruling ideas
are contained in his “Disquisition on Government” and “Discourse on the
Government of the United States” (in the first volume of his works),
and in speeches before the Senate--for example, on Nullification and
the Force Bill (1833) and on the Slavery Question (1850). He was thus
characterised by Webster:

  The eloquence of Mr. Calhoun ... was plain, strong, terse,
  condensed, concise; sometimes impassioned--still always severe.
  Rejecting ornament, not seeking far for illustration, his power
  consisted in the plainness of his propositions, in the clearness
  of his logic, and in the earnestness and energy of his manner....
  His demeanour as a Senator is known to us all--is appreciated,
  venerated by us all.

_Hayne and Randolph._--When Calhoun was Vice-President, his spokesman
in the Senate was a fellow Carolinian, Robert Young Hayne (1791-1840),
who was a soldier in the War of 1812, but who, in his vindication of
state rights, refused the Attorney-Generalship of the country to be
Attorney-General of South Carolina. He also retired from the Senate to
be Governor of his State. In his unlucky debate with Webster in 1830
he carried sectional jealousy--of the South against New England--into
the question concerning the sale of public lands in the West. Graceful
in person, of a fine countenance, industrious, commonly amiable, Hayne
“had a copious and ready elocution, flowing at will in a strong and
steady current, and rich in the material that constitutes argument.”
His prejudices, however, could distract him from the subject in hand.
The bellicose Virginian, John Randolph of Roanoke (1773-1833), was
in Congress at the age of twenty-six. His bitterness toward England
seems excessive. Eccentric, singular also in appearance, biting and
unexpected in retort, he was a figure of interest when he came to the
Senate in 1825. His duel with Henry Clay is a matter of unpleasant
history. Enthusiastic contemporary estimates of him by Paulding and
others have not worn well.

_Daniel Webster._--The prince of American orators, and one of the great
orators of modern times, was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, on
January 18, 1782. His ancestry was Scotch. He had the stinted education
of a village school whose doors were open for a short term in winter.
Yet he could never recollect the time when he could not read the Bible;
and this and the few other books that he could obtain he perused so
often that he virtually had them by heart. He was fond of committing
passages to memory. But at Exeter, where he prepared for college, there
was one thing which he could not do: “I could not speak before the
school.” The efforts of his father made it possible for him to attend
Dartmouth College. He read by himself with the avidity of a Lowell--but
he also pursued with good intent the regular course of studies.
Finishing this course in 1801, he studied law, earned a little money
by teaching in Maine, and at length entered the office of Christopher
Gore in Boston--“a tall, gaunt young man, with rather a thin face,
but all the peculiarities of feature and complexion by which he was
distinguished in later life.” There followed some years of practice
with meagre remuneration, but of unceasing study. In 1813 he was sent
to Congress from New Hampshire. His speech in that year on the repeal
of the Berlin and Milan Decrees elicited praise from Chief Justice
Marshall, and throughout the country. Webster immediately advanced to
the front rank of debaters. It is baffling even to suggest the range
and importance of his subsequent labours. When the famous Dartmouth
College case, apparently a forlorn hope, was carried before the United
States Supreme Court in 1818, Webster’s opening argument as junior
counsel brought an unlooked for settlement in favour of the College;
since then the case has furnished a ruling precedent in interpreting
the Constitutional clause which prohibits state interference with the
terms of a past contract. In 1820 he was engaged on the revision of the
Massachusetts State Constitution. From 1823 to 1827 he was in the House
of Representatives; from 1827 to 1841, and again from 1845 to 1850, in
the Senate. He was Secretary of State under Harrison and Tyler, and
under Fillmore. Through supposed concessions to slavery in his speech
of March 7, 1850, on the Constitution and the Union, he estranged his
best friends in the North, and had to endure the taunt of faithlessness
in Whittier’s “Ichabod.” Historians, however, have justified the
loftiness of his statesmanship even here. He died as Secretary of State
under Fillmore, October 24, 1852.

During his reply to Hayne in 1830, when Webster uttered his encomium on
the State of Massachusetts, strong men were moved to tears. One cannot
read it at this distance without strange emotion. Passages in the
second address at Bunker Hill, or the argument in Knapp’s trial--the
passage on the conscience of the murderer, or more especially that
at the end on the universal sense of duty--rise to the point where
the ethical and æsthetic values of eloquence are one and eternal.
One might go on to mention his eulogy on “Adams and Jefferson,” his
“First Settlement of New England”--but we should hardly finish a mere
enumeration of the speeches he delivered during his forty years of
public life.

  Consider [said Choate] the work he did in that life of forty
  years--the range of subjects investigated and discussed; composing
  the whole theory and practice of our organic and administrative
  politics, foreign and domestic; the vast body of instructive
  thought he produced and put in possession of the country; how much
  he achieved in Congress as well as at the bar; to fix the true
  interpretation, as well as to impress the transcendent value of the
  Constitution itself ...; how much to establish in the general mind
  the great doctrine that the government of the United States is a
  government proper, established by the people of the States, not a
  compact between sovereign communities ...; to place the executive
  department of the government on its true basis ...; to secure to
  that department its just powers on the one hand, and on the other
  hand to vindicate to the legislative department, and especially
  to the Senate, all that belonged to them ...; to develop the vast
  material resources of the country, and push forward the planting
  of the West ...; to protect the vast mechanical and manufacturing
  interests ...; how much for the right performance of the most
  delicate and difficult of all tasks, the ordering of the foreign
  affairs of a nation, free, sensitive, self-conscious ...; how much
  to compose with honour a concurrence of difficulties with the first
  power of the world.

His style is simple, clear, free from tricks, unstudied in its details,
the easy outflow of a mind nourished on choice and repeated reading,
with the English Bible as its main source; not avoiding allusion
to himself, but quickly mounting with the subject to universal
application; not deficient in grace, yet on the whole massive,
orderly, and neglectful of lighter emotions. In private life Webster
was genial. He was fond of the open country, delighting in the rod
and gun. “Black Dan” he was familiarly called, on account of his
deep-set, lustrous eyes, over-shadowing brows, and commanding, swarthy
countenance. The proportions and majesty of his head were in keeping
with the dignity of his figure.

_William Lloyd Garrison._--With the main agitator of the Abolitionist
movement there was no thought of compromise. Orator as well as
writer, William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), though the herald of
self-restraint, and preaching the doctrine of non-resistance, carried
his principles to their extreme length. He condemned the churches
for their tolerance of slavery, and disliked the Constitution for
permitting it. He favoured ending the Union, if the national disease
could be removed by amputation. He could not tolerate gradual treatment
or the doubtful promise of an incomplete cure.

_Charles Sumner._--Garrison’s brave, handsome, and gifted friend, and
the friend of Longfellow, Charles Sumner (1811-1878), was trained in
the law under Judge Story. It was partly through Whittier’s influence
that he entered politics, but when he succeeded Webster in the Senate
his place as a leader was assured. The infamous assault upon him
by Brooks in 1856, during the debate over the affairs of Kansas,
left Sumner incapacitated until 1859. When “the eloquent vacant
chair” was filled again, crowds gathered whenever announcement was
made that Sumner would speak. His intellect was not equal to that
of his illustrious predecessor; yet his sound judgment and winning
personality, aided by a captivating delivery, put him, in the Senate,
at the head of the new Republican party. His “Orations” have been
published in eight volumes.

_Thaddeus Stevens._--While Sumner was in the Senate, Thaddeus Stevens
(1792-1868), a less admirable character, led the Republicans in the
House. He also was a bitter foe of slavery, and was urgent with Lincoln
to emancipate the negroes. “A clear, logical, and powerful debater,”
he was feared for his mordant invective. Influential with the rank and
file of politicians, he rejoiced in the borrowed title of the “Great

_Wendell Phillips._--Of course the trumpet of the Abolitionists was the
impassioned Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), ever supporting the hands of
Garrison, and similarly uncompromising. On graduating from Harvard in
1831, he studied law; but he refused to engage in its practice, since
this would entail his swearing to uphold a national Constitution which
tolerated slavery. He was a master of sarcasm, irony, and epigram, of
choice and varied wit; serene in the presence of his enemies, capturing
and holding their attention. When the Civil War was over, and the cause
of Abolition won, he turned to the remedy of other evils, speaking in
favour of woman’s rights, and championing labour reform. In the guise
of a general redresser of wrongs he lost prestige as well as something
of his own sense of dignity.

_Rufus Choate._--The most famous of a famous family, Rufus Choate
(1799-1859) was distinguished for his pleading at the bar, his literary
attainments, and, during the time that he was there (1841-1845), the
exercise of his talents in the Senate. A pupil of no less a lawyer than
William Wirt, Choate, in his unrivalled success with juries, and his
stirring if florid occasional addresses, was indebted not alone to his
natural ardour and personal magnetism, but also to thorough analysis
and unremitting preparation. His eulogy on Webster at Dartmouth
College, July 27, 1853, was the tribute of an eminent graduate of that
institution to the noblest.

_Stephen A. Douglas._--Stephen Arnold Douglas (1813-1861) was born
in Brandon, Vermont, studied law in Canandaigua, New York, continued
this study in Ohio, and proceeded thence to Illinois to teach, and to
practise his calling of lawyer. He was in the United States Senate from
1847 to 1861, doing his best to avert the Civil War. In 1858 and 1860
the “Little Giant” boldly appeared before audiences in the South and
denied the right of any state to secede from the Union. His speech on
the Kansas-Nebraska Bill (1854) shows his attitude of _laissez-faire_
in the matter of slavery. When he matched his wits with Lincoln in
their joint debate, he unintentionally hastened his antagonist’s
advance toward the Presidency.

_William H. Seward._--Cautious, clear, incisive, firm in his grasp
of the laws of political history, William Henry Seward (1811-1872)
foresaw what Douglas could not, that the struggle with slavery was an
irrepressible conflict. In New York State, of which he became Governor,
he was the untiring enemy of political opportunism in every shape.
An unsuccessful aspirant in 1860 for the Presidency, he eventually
overcame his lack of confidence in Lincoln, and as Lincoln’s Secretary
of State was of inestimable service in maintaining our relations with
England during the course of the Rebellion. His “Diplomatic History of
the Civil War in America” was published posthumously.

_Salmon P. Chase._--Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon
Portland Chase (1808-1873), was not a facile speaker, but, tall and
commanding, one of the handsomest men in the Senate, he was both
dignified and impressive. Like Choate, he graduated from Dartmouth and
studied with William Wirt. As a practising lawyer he engaged (1837) in
the defence of persons on trial for alleged violation of the Fugitive
Slave Act; in the debate upon the Kansas-Nebraska Bill (1854) he
advocated “free soil,” and insisted upon “the absolute divorce of the
General Government” from all connection with slavery. He was a Senator
both before and after holding the governorship of Ohio, and again just
before Lincoln summoned him into the Cabinet. In 1864 he was made Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court, a position which he honoured till his

_Edward Everett._--In the delivery of Edward Everett (1794-1865)
“there was nothing in manner, person, dress, gesture, tone, accent,
or emphasis too minute for his attention.” From boyhood he had
the gift of eloquence, which he developed by assiduous practice.
Taking high honours at Harvard when but seventeen, he went into
the Unitarian ministry, and began preaching at the Brattle Street
Church in Boston, with immediate success. Invited to assume a chair
at Harvard, he studied abroad in preparation, and then from 1819 to
1825 taught Greek. He left his professorship to become a member of
the House of Representatives. Ten years later he was elected Governor
of Massachusetts. In 1841 General Harrison appointed him Minister
to England; on his return he accepted the presidency of Harvard. He
succeeded Webster as Secretary of State under Fillmore; and in the
national election of 1860, representing the forces that desired a
compromise between North and South, he was candidate for Vice-President
of the United States. During his stay in the Senate Everett also was
heard on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. His orations were published in
four volumes. His “Lecture on the Character of Washington” (1856),
frequently repeated, and his “Eulogy on Webster” (1859) were among his
most splendid efforts. He made a remarkable address at Gettysburg,
though it now seems academic beside that of Lincoln on the same

_Abraham Lincoln._--For a manual of literature the essential thing in
the life of President Lincoln (1809-1865) is the ennoblement that went
on in his eloquence, as his character developed under the increasing
gravity and tension of his public career, and as his individual spirit
became more and more identified with the agonising soul of a nation.
The simplicity and directness of his mental operations are apparent
in any of his earlier letters and speeches; they were sufficiently
evident to those who heard his debate with Douglas. But his utterance
gained in dignity and closeness of texture when his native impulses
for good became free from idiosyncrasy, and when his innate moral
rightness grew into a deep and conscious religion. In all literature
there are few things more significant than the chastening of style
that accompanied the chastening of Lincoln’s personality. There is a
noticeable difference even between the manner of his first and that of
his second inaugural address. In the meantime he had pronounced his
speech at the dedication of the National Cemetery on the battlefield
of Gettysburg, November 19, 1863. There, devoid of all pretence to
rhetorical artifice, yet in the perfection of English style, Lincoln
gave to the world a masterpiece of literature, issuing as it were from
the life-blood of the people; a masterpiece in which art and life are
married, and imaginative and literal truth are become one flesh. Says
Mr. Bryce:

  That famous Gettysburg speech is the best example one could desire
  of the characteristic quality of Lincoln’s eloquence. It is a
  short speech. It is wonderfully terse in expression. It is quiet,
  so quiet that at the moment it did not make upon the audience, an
  audience wrought up by a long and highly-decorated harangue from
  one of the prominent orators of the day, an impression at all
  commensurate to that which it began to make as soon as it was read
  over America and Europe. There is in it not a touch of what we
  call rhetoric, or of any striving after effect. Alike in thought
  and in language it is simple, plain, direct. But it states certain
  truths and principles in phrases so aptly chosen and so forcible,
  that one feels as if those truths could have been conveyed in no
  other words, and as if this deliverance of them were made for all
  time. Words so simple and so strong could have come only from one
  who had meditated so long on the primal facts of American history
  and popular government that the truths those facts taught him had
  become like the truths of mathematics in their clearness, their
  breadth, and their precision.

=Miscellaneous and Later Orators.=--It is obvious that the lives of
many ante-bellum orators overlapped upon the era of Reconstruction;
and the fifty years of political activity since the Civil War have
brought forth an ever growing number of men concerned in affairs of
state. However, there are few in this last to compare in eloquence with
those of the preceding half-century. Among recognised orators a quieter
tone on the whole has prevailed; not altogether that of Lincoln, nor
yet that characteristic of the best speakers in the time of Madison
and the younger Adams; nevertheless marking an improvement upon the
flowery and pedantic effusions of an intermediate age represented by
Choate, Winthrop, and, to a certain extent, Everett. The passage of
laws and the expediting of other public business have come to depend
more upon influence and effort exerted off the floor of the House and
the Senate, and less upon forensic argument and persuasion. With the
enormous growth of the population and the corresponding increase in the
size of our legislative bodies, public orators have in most cases been
satisfied, perforce, with a local reputation. The following are chosen

John B. Gough (1817-1886) was an English editor, who fell a victim to
alcoholism, and being rescued from his habit by a friend of temperance,
dedicated himself to the cause of rescuing others. He lectured widely
in America, enthralling large audiences by his descriptions of the ruin
worked by alcoholic beverages, and by his graphic narratives of lapsing
and reformed drunkards.

George William Curtis (1824-1892) was in youth (1842) attached to the
community at Brook Farm. On returning from studies in Berlin and
Italy, he became connected with the publishers of Putnam’s Magazine.
The management of this periodical failing, Curtis assumed a financial
liability for which he was not legally responsible, and spent twenty
years in lecturing, to pay off the indebtedness. He was noted as
editor of _Harper’s Monthly_, and as a writer for _Harper’s Weekly_
and _Harper’s Bazar_. He was a virile speaker on civil-service reform
and other subjects involving the national welfare. Wherever he went he
inculcated high political ideals. His “Orations and Addresses” were
edited by Professor Charles Eliot Norton.

James G. Blaine (1830-1893), a Pennsylvanian, commenced life as an
editor in Maine, became a member of the State Legislature there,
and thence proceeded to Congress. He made a brilliant record as
Speaker of the House of Representatives (1869-1875). In 1876 he
was appointed United States Senator from Maine. Several times a
Presidential possibility, he was the Republican nominee in 1884, when
he was unexpectedly defeated by Cleveland. Blaine’s speech on the
remonetisation of silver (1878) has been often cited. He was clear and
forcible, save for a slight lisp, but his character was not such as to
force conviction home.

It is impossible in the space allotted to proceed further with recent
or contemporary orators in political or secular life. One ought not to
neglect such men as Carl Schurz (1829-1906) or Bourke Cockran (born in
1854), or among the last few presidents, Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901).
Mr. Harrison, an astute lawyer, could, on short notice, and seemingly
without effort, deliver the choicest of addresses, well turned, fluent,
and of a convenient length. An account of American political eloquence
properly ends with a reference to the distinguished statesman, now
President, and after Washington and Lincoln the third among our sons of
light, to whom this volume is dedicated. From the most conspicuous of
public orators at the present day, we return to the early divines and

=American Divines.=--In his “Annals of the American Pulpit”--“from the
Early Settlement of this Country to the Close of the Year 1855”--the
Reverend William B. Sprague (1795-1875) collected the biographies of
thirteen hundred or more divines who had earned as he thought a lasting
memorial.[22] “From the commencement of this work,” he observes, “I
have been quite aware that nothing pertaining to it involves more
delicacy than the selection of its subjects, and that no degree of
care and impartiality can be a full security against mistakes.” Far
more difficult is the matter of selection, when in a sketch of barely
a dozen pages we try to include the names of those who, during the
nineteenth century, have most deeply wrought upon the private life of
our citizens. The separation of church and state in America renders
all the wider the ordinary cleft between public and private life, and
the multiplicity of religious sects still further tends to keep the
eloquence and motive force of great spiritual leaders from becoming
generally known. Even among those whose power and fame have overleaped
the confines of their own parish or denomination, our choice is
necessarily limited to a scanty few.

=Clergymen as Educators.=--The influence of notable preachers--not to
speak of the clergy as a whole--in American life is incalculable.
Outside of the church and the home, it has been most evident in higher
education; until a short time since, educational leadership was
vested, as it should be, in the ministers of religion. As significant
as the important colleges more or less directly founded for the
training of pastors is the long line of college presidents taken from
the ranks of that profession. At Princeton, Jonathan Edwards, head
of that institution (1758) during the last month of his life, was
succeeded ten years later by John Witherspoon (1722-1794), a lineal
descendant of John Knox, and a signer of the American Declaration of
Independence. The philosopher, James McCosh (1811-1894), was eleventh
president in the same illustrious succession. At Yale we have such
men as the poet, Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), and his grandson of the
same name (born in 1828); Jeremiah Day (1773-1867), mathematician and
commentator on Edwards; Theodore Dwight Woolsey (1801-1889), classical
scholar and authority on international law, under whose presidency
was trained a generation of organisers to guide the affairs of newer
universities; and Noah Porter (1811-1892), whose treatise on “The
Human Intellect” became a general text-book. At Union College was
Eliphalet Nott (1773-1866), who, during an administration of sixty-two
years, manifested consummate wisdom in the management of students.
On the death of Hamilton at the hands of Aaron Burr, Nott eloquently
attacked the barbarous practice of duelling. In his “Lectures on
Temperance” (1823), he assisted the vigorous movement of Lyman
Beecher and others against “even the common use of ardent spirits.”
At Harvard was the versatile Edward Everett (1794-1865), to mention
none of his predecessors. At Brown was Francis Wayland (1796-1865),
the metaphysician; at Williams, Mark Hopkins, in his teaching a
veritable Gamaliel. Aside from presidents, the peaceful army of college
instructors chosen from the ministry is beyond reckoning--men like
Frederick Henry Hedge (1805-1890), a Unitarian, professor of the
German language and literature at Harvard, author of “Ways of the
Spirit, and Other Essays,” “Prose Writers of Germany,” “Atheism in
Philosophy,” etc.; or Edwards Amasa Park (1808-1900), descended, as
his first name suggests, from a celebrated stock. Park was professor
of philosophy at Amherst College, and afterward professor at Andover
Theological Seminary. He was a hymnologist as well as a theologian, a
biographer, as in his “Life of Nathanael Emmons,” and a contributor to
the _Bibliotheca Sacra_. He had an individual, curiously periphrastic,
way of putting things.

=Divines as Special Students.=--Although the large denominations of
the Methodists and Baptists have not insisted on the possession of
learning by their ministers, in their own province of scholarship
American clergymen, while rarely independent of foreign, especially
German investigators, have undertaken many researches of much value.
Edward Robinson (1794-1863), a professor at Andover and then at
Union Seminary, made a harmony of the Gospels in Greek, and another
in English, compiled a lexicon to the New Testament, and wrote on
the topography of the Holy Land. In this he assisted the sagacious
missionary, Eli Smith (1801-1857), whose long residence in the Orient
gave him peculiar advantages as a Biblical geographer. Similar
advantages were enjoyed by William McClune Thomson (1806-1894), and
bore good fruit in “The Land and the Book” (illustrations of the
Bible from customs and scenery in the East) and “The Land of Promise,
or Travels in Modern Palestine.” Nor should the translation of the
Scriptures into Burmese by that great apostle, Adoniram Judson
(1788-1850), go unmentioned. At home, George Rapall Noyes (1798-1868),
professor of Hebrew at Harvard Divinity School, translated the New
Testament into English. Leonard Bacon (1802-1881), pastor of the
Centre Church in New Haven, takes rank with the ecclesiastical
historians for his “Genesis of the New England Churches.” Thomas
Jefferson Conant (1802-1891), of the same generation, a Baptist, was a
Hebrew scholar of repute, in the main devoting himself to studies on
the Old Testament, and editing critical texts of the Book of Job, of
Proverbs, of Genesis, and of the Psalms. Thomas F. Curtis (1815-1872),
President of Lewisburg University, Pennsylvania, compiled a history
of the Baptist Church, publishing it in the year, 1857, when Sprague
began to issue his monumental “Annals of the American Pulpit,” already
referred to. Still another Baptist, Horatio Balch Hackett (1808-1875),
for thirty-one years professor at Newton Seminary, and for five at
Rochester, made himself an authority on Christian antiquities. Henry
Boynton Smith (1815-1877) from 1854 to 1874 taught the subject of
systematic theology at Union Seminary; he is important among the
church historians--not so important, of course, as the indefatigable
Philip Schaff (1819-1893). Born in Switzerland, educated in Germany,
and recommended by the most distinguished German theologians,
Schaff in 1844 accepted a call from this country to the Seminary at
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania; here he quickly established his reputation
as an encyclopedist of religious knowledge. His greatest work was an
edition, thoroughly revised, of Lange’s “Commentary on the Bible.”
Professor William Greenough Thayer Shedd (1820-1894), who taught
English literature in the University of Vermont, from there migrated
to the chair of Biblical literature in Union Seminary (1863-1890).
Besides a “History of Christian Doctrine,” and other theological
works, he published an edition, which has not yet been improved upon,
of the works of Coleridge. William Henry Green (1825-1900), of the
Theological Seminary at Princeton, an Orientalist, was a frequent
writer for _The Princeton Review_. Crawford Howell Toy (born in 1836),
since 1890 professor of Hebrew and related languages in the Harvard
Divinity School, is the author of meritorious published researches,
including a work on “The Religion of Israel” (1892) and a commentary
on the Book of Proverbs. If Charles Augustus Briggs (born in 1841)
had preserved all the objectivity of a scientific historian, and not
turned controversialist, he probably would not have been subjected to
trial by the Presbyterians on the charge of heresy. To his studies in
Biblical history and the growth of dogma has often been attached the
badly chosen term, “Higher Criticism,” that misnomer for the historical
interpretation of the Scriptures. A severe loss to American scholarship
has recently come through the death of Alexander Viets Griswold Allen
(1841-1908), biographer of Jonathan Edwards and Phillips Brooks, and
author of “The Continuity of Christian Thought” (1884) and “Christian
Institutions” (1897). In him the scholar became the constructive artist.

_Writers of Hymns._--Between the publication of “The Bay Psalm Book”
(1640) and the revision of Watts’ version of the Psalms by Joel Barlow
and by the elder Dwight at the end of the eighteenth century, sacred
poetry in America underwent much refinement. From Dwight and his
generation down, the writers of hymns have been many and able. Henry
Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858), William Augustus Muhlenberg (1796-1877),
George Washington Doane (1799-1859), Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New
Jersey at the age of thirty-three, Leonard Bacon (1802-1881), George W.
Bethune (1805-1862), Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895), George Duffield
(1818-1888), Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892), above all, Ray Palmer
(1808-1887), are a few of the most eminent.

=Miscellaneous Preachers.=--_Samuel Hopkins._--A disciple of Jonathan
Edwards, the institutor of the Hopkinsian form of divinity (1721-1803)
sought, according to Hildreth, “to add to the five points of Calvinism
the rather heterogeneous ingredient that holiness consists in pure,
disinterested benevolence, and that all regard for self is necessarily
sinful.” He inculcated the doctrine of the free agency of sinners. A
forerunner of the Garrisons, Whittiers, and Sumners, he was an early
and persistent foe of negro slavery.

_Nathanael Emmons._--A typical predecessor of the nineteenth century,
whose great age brought him far into it, was Nathanael Emmons
(1745-1840), of Connecticut, and of Wrentham, Massachusetts. He wished
to be “a consistent Calvinist,” yet to harmonise a difficult creed
with the truths of common experience. He was an excellent reasoner on
the evidences of moral government, establishing unexpected chains of
inference, and from gladly accepted premises leading his hearers to
less pleasant but unavoidable conclusions. “He was skilled,” says Park,
“in disentangling a theory from its adscititious matter, and scanning
it alone.” “He made but few gestures; his voice was not powerful;
but men listened to him with intense curiosity, and often with awe.”
Emmons had his own conception of eloquence: “I read deep, well-written
tragedies for the sake of real improvement in the art of preaching.
They appeared to me the very best books to teach true eloquence.”
Again: “Style is only the frame to hold our thoughts. It is like the
sash of a window: a heavy sash will obscure the light.” And once more:
“First, have something to say; second, say it.” His writings--essays,
sermons at ordinations, sermons at installations, funeral sermons,
thanksgiving sermons, “A Sermon on Sacred Music” (1806)--are numberless.

_Henry Ernst Muhlenberg._--Of a different but well-known type was
the son (1753-1815) of the German-American Henry Melchior Muhlenberg
(1742-1787). Henry Ernst was sent abroad while a boy, studied at
Halle, returned, became a pastor among the Germans of Pennsylvania,
and finally died at Lancaster in that State. He was endowed with an
exceptional physique, walking with ease from Lancaster to Philadelphia,
a distance of sixty miles. Discursive in his studies--he was an
Oriental scholar and a botanist--he was tolerant in his belief,
clinging to the fundamental truths of Christianity. In his discourses,
he took the familiar attitude of a parent addressing his children.

_Alexander Campbell._--The founder (1788-1866) of the sect known to
the rest of the world as the Campbellites, a man of prodigious energy,
was without question one of the remarkable spirits of his time. His
writings, over fifty volumes, represent but a moiety of his labours: he
built printing-presses in the interests of his movement for religious
reform; he debated in public with all comers--for example, in 1829
with the infidel, Robert Owen. Self-possessed on the platform, he
indulged in little action, and he spared his voice. But his distinct
and beautiful enunciation expected and received attention, his audience
listening, as to a master, in perfect silence.

_William Ellery Channing._--Although “he lacks critical acumen,” “lacks
also the sentiment of great originality,” “lacks that which America
has so far lacked--high intellectual culture, critical knowledge,”
“does not know the general result of what is known to his age,” still
Channing (1780-1842), in the words of Renan, “has been unquestionably
the most complete representative of that exclusively American
experiment--of religion without mystery, of rationalism without
criticism, of intellectual culture without elevated poetry--which seems
to be the ideal to which the religion of the United States aspires.”
An exemplary student at school and college (Harvard), Channing went
to the South as a private tutor. His path being deflected into the
ministry, he returned to New England, and was installed (1803) in the
Federal Street Church at Boston. In this church he was active for
twenty years, and he was at least the nominal head of it for forty. His
health was delicate, and his capacity for continued exertion limited.
Channing’s religion might be described as a form of ethics, allied
to the political doctrines of Rousseau, too simple and theoretical
for common life, and in the main salutary so far as it was a generous
reaction against the harsher tenets of Calvin. The severity of
Calvinism, that “vulgar and frightful theology,” in his eyes inevitably
led to gloomy superstition. “God is good,” he kept repeating, and
human nature in its origin also good. “He ... fell in with those who
consider the human race to be actually degenerated by the abuse of free
will. In Jesus Christ he recognised a sublime being, who had wrought a
crisis in the condition of humanity, had renewed the moral sense, and
touched with saving power the fountains of good that were hidden in
the depths of the human heart.” Channing wrote no books; his literary
remains consist of essays, sermons, and addresses. His “Discourse on
the Fall of Bonaparte” (1814), his lecture on “Self-Culture,” and his
“Address on West India Emancipation” (1842) display various aspects of
a beautiful and courageous personality.

_Horace Bushnell._--“I have never been a great agitator, never
pulled a wire to get the will of men, never did a politic thing,”
said Bushnell (1802-1876). He graduated at Yale in 1827; from 1833
until 1859, when he retired on account of ill-health, he had charge
of the North Church in Hartford, Connecticut. Thereafter he devoted
his time to the preparation of special sermons and addresses and to
researches in American history and the history of his own State. He
took a vital interest in political questions. Bushnell was a clear
and independent thinker, without bias, not given to controversy,
none the less eloquent and persuasive. His sermons were collected and
widely circulated. The problems of religious experience, of suffering
and evil, and of education he attempted to solve in “Nature and the
Supernatural,” “The Vicarious Sacrifice,” and “Christian Nurture.” In
the last-named work he objected to the doctrine of natural depravity,
contending for a gradual development in the child of the religious
sentiment and the higher imagination, as against a sudden and crucial
“conversion.” Among Congregationalists the supposed latitude of his
theological opinions involved him in the charge of a leaning toward

_Theodore Parker._--In his day, Theodore Parker (1810-1860) was
considered the most daring of rationalists, and so “advanced,” as we
now call it, in his beliefs or disbeliefs as to be outside the pale of
Christianity. Present-day rationalists find him a congenial spirit. He
was a man of undoubted genius, caustic, flashing, vehement, incessant
in labour, dying early from sheer exhaustion. His collected works in
fourteen volumes (edited by Cobbe) reveal the nature of his industry.
He was unweariedly accurate in detail, being determined to leave no
pebble unturned in his search for truth. His sermon on “The Transient
and the Permanent in Christianity” (1841) and “A Discourse of Matters
Pertaining to Religion” (1842) gave evidence of his departure from the
accepted form of Unitarianism. In 1845 he openly broke away, regarding
the Church as an unnecessary organisation. In general, his criticism
was destructive, and his attention to detail not balanced by powers
of synthesis. His own convictions like iron and brooking no denial,
he disregarded the tenderest feelings of other men, and in a mistaken
sense of duty would trample underfoot those things which his neighbour
might hold most sacred. His intellect flourished at the expense of
his imagination, and his want of perspective resolves itself into a
defect of taste, all the more injurious through the violence of his
affections. This man, most cordially hated and feared by those whom he
opposed, most ardently loved by his friends, would shed tears like a
child when he met with a trivial act of kindness.

_The Beechers._--Lyman Beecher (1775-1863) represents the other
extreme, of traditional orthodoxy, and the reaction against the trend
of Unitarianism. He was a stern and virile personality, rigorous in
habit, and in his expectation of righteousness in others, withal
friendly and benign. His son, Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), according
to the testimony of the daughter and sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe,
as a child was deficient in verbal memory--a thing which he never
outgrew,--diffident, sensitive, thick and indistinct in his speech.
In the midst of a talented family that was much given to theological
argument, his powers were gradually developed. At Laurenceburg, Ohio,
his first charge, he was sexton as well as preacher. He came before the
public through his defence of the negro in _The Cincinnati Journal_.
At Indianapolis his reputation grew, for his independent spirit and
direct, informal style proved very attractive; and when he had been
called to Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, the people crowded over from
New York to hear him. Beecher studied every-day life in the streets
and shops of the metropolis; his discourses on popular topics, good
government and the like, unconventionally treated, gave his audiences
what they liked. His sympathies were non-sectarian, he had his
finger on the pulse of every gathering, his well of common sense was
overflowing, and he was fearless to the point of audacity, carrying
the art of the mimic into the very pulpit. His preaching, in fact,
sometimes bordered upon dangerous self-assertion. He rose to eminence,
as Bacon might say, by a combination of good with questionable arts.
But the mixture was mainly good. In Beecher’s discussion of slavery,
Calhoun, who was not easily deceived, saw that the preacher knew how
to get to the bottom of his subject. His good-humour, and pluck, and
immense patriotism before hostile crowds in England (1863) greatly
helped to deter that nation from recognising the Southern Confederacy.

=Theorists on Pulpit Eloquence.=--Beecher’s “Yale Lectures on
Preaching” disclose how large an element there was in his oratory of
conscious adaptation of means to ends. They belong to an extensive and
interesting branch of American literature, to which Phillips Brooks,
J. A. Broadus, E. G. Robinson, R. S. Storrs, J. W. Alexander, and many
others have made contributions. James Waddell Alexander (1804-1859),
son of Archibald Alexander of Princeton Seminary, left his “Thoughts on
Preaching” to be published in 1864. “The Preparation and Delivery of
Sermons,” by John Albert Broadus (1827-1895), President of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary, represents the theory of a trainer of
preachers, himself a winning orator with a consciously developed
instinct: “Everybody who can speak effectively knows that the power
of speaking depends very largely upon the way it is heard, upon the
sympathy one succeeds in gaining from those he addresses.” To insure
sympathy--his watchword,--Broadus preached without manuscript. In
general, as here, his syntax is not finely moulded. With these might be
mentioned another clergyman, Chauncey Allen Goodrich (1790-1860), for
forty-three years professor at Yale, whose “Select British Eloquence”
set a standard of illuminating scholarship.

_Richard Salter Storrs._--Dr. Storrs (1821-1900), descended from a
line of clergymen, was from 1846 on in high repute as a preacher in
the Church of the Pilgrims, Brooklyn. He was also in demand as a
lecturer, and contributed freely to the _Bibliotheca Sacra_ and other
periodicals. His “Conditions of Success in Preaching without Notes”
partly tells the secret of his own eminence; his rich voice, distinct
utterance, and stately bearing further explain it. In youth a student
of the law, he caught something of his eloquence from Rufus Choate. But
the moral elevation of character in Storrs was the ultimate support of
all his art.

_T. De Witt Talmage._--In Brooklyn, where he preached from 1869 to
1894, Thomas De Witt Talmage (1832-1902) had a “Tabernacle,” as it
was called, to which everyone was welcome, and which commonly was
filled by an audience of four thousand. In 1894 he removed to New
York. For twenty-nine years the sermons of Talmage were published
every week, latterly in countless journals; they have had an immense
circulation, not alone in his own country, being translated into
many foreign, even Asiatic languages. It is possible that no other
preacher in the world has during life enjoyed so extensive and regular
a following. His physical activity was unbounded; his utterance clear,
though his voice was not pleasing, and his message simple, violent,
and undiscriminatingly conservative. In espousing what he took to
be orthodox, he was hasty and inaccurate; he was utterly careless,
too, what means he used to work upon his hearers. To the cultured his
writings have little worth. His value to the state and the great world
is not so easily decided.

_Phillips Brooks._--Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), after Henry Ward
Beecher the greatest pulpit orator in America since the Civil War, was
a native of Boston, nurtured in the best traditions of New England. A
brilliant and popular undergraduate at Harvard, he strangely enough
failed in his subsequent brief experience in teaching. He then
studied for the ministry, at the Episcopal Seminary in Alexandria,
Virginia. As a young rector in Philadelphia, he showed his power and
fearlessness in his patriotic sermons during the Rebellion. “In their
relation to the politics of the land,” he contended, “the great vice
of our people ... is cowardice.” He himself dared openly to lay the
crime of Lincoln’s martyrdom, not alone upon the assassin, but upon
the supporters of slavery in the South. From Philadelphia, he went
to Trinity Church, Boston, in 1869. Two years prior to his death he
was made Bishop of Massachusetts. “The Yale Lectures on Preaching,”
delivered in 1877, “constitute,” says Allen, his best interpreter, “the
autobiography of Phillips Brooks.... It is a book which owes nothing
to predecessors in the same field.... He confines himself to preaching
as he had experienced its workings, or studied its method, or observed
its power.... The book captivates the reader, simply for this reason
alone,--the transparency of the soul of its writer, between whom and
the reader there intervenes no barrier.” This was the quality also of
his sermons.

  He stands in the pulpit [reported an observer] smooth-faced,
  full-voiced, as self-reliant a man as ever occupied such a station.
  He indulges in few gestures; he has no mannerisms. If, under any
  circumstances, he might realise the popular conception of an
  orator, he does not betray the possibilities here. He provokes
  no attention to predominant spirituality by inferior vitality.
  There is a splendid harmony of strength, bodily and mental, which
  prevents the measurement of either. It is only when he is out of
  his desk and level with his audience that you realise his stature.
  In the lecture-room or crowded street, he stands like Saul among
  the people. The well-balanced head and strong shoulders draw
  your eyes at once. He dresses well, lives well, and holds his
  own decidedly in social circles.... His power is not limited to
  his church ministrations, nor is he making himself known by some
  brilliant special development. It is the whole man--mentally,
  morally, and spiritually, leader, helper, friend--which is
  attaining such pre-eminence. But when he preaches, you are carried
  away to the need of men and of your own shortcomings, and have
  no present consciousness of the personality of the speaker. A
  transparent medium is the purest. You do not think of Phillips
  Brooks till Phillips Brooks gets through with his subject.

Brooks was a wide reader and a careful and original student of church
history and theological discussion; he was not the profound and
searching scholar that Renan vainly sought in America. He had a roomy
mind, a teeming imagination, and a heart full of generosity, energy,
and optimism. He lived by admiration, hope, and love. His ideas, which
were large and luminous, although they did not have the final tempering
that comes from passage through the slow fire of a rigorous critical
method, became vital from sharing in his warmth and purity of sentiment.

  In regard to his intellectual habits and methods [remarks Allen]
  one thing is clear, that Phillips Brooks worked through the
  poetic imagination rather than by the process of dialectics,
  although he could show great dialectic subtlety when occasion
  demanded. When we conjoin this power of the poetic imagination and
  his other gifts, the “unparalleled combination of intensity of
  feeling with comprehensiveness of view and balance of judgment,”
  we can understand how he could quickly penetrate to the heart of
  intellectual systems, how a hint to his mind was like a volume to
  others, and he preferred to work out the hint in his own way.


=General Remarks.=--The beginnings of science in America date from
colonial days and have been touched upon by Professor Tyler. The
interest of Americans in science has never abated. Readers of standard
scientific literature are numerous. _The Scientific American_, founded
in 1845, _The Popular Science Monthly_, founded in 1872, _Science_,
dating from 1883, and several other journals of science are read by
many non-professional persons. The various sciences have, in the
last quarter-century at least, won a place of prominence in our
college curricula. The number of disinterested scientific observers
and investigators has always been large. The largest scientific
organisation in the United States, the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, which developed from the old Association of
American Geologists and Naturalists in 1847, now has a membership
of over five thousand; and in addition to this and other general
scientific bodies there is for workers in nearly every individual
science a national organisation, meeting regularly and publishing the
results of investigations. In almost every science America has produced
scholars of note; in some she has furnished leaders of the world.

This is not, of course, the place, even if the writer were competent
to furnish it, for a narrative of American scientific achievement. We
can only touch upon a few of the greater names in mental and moral,
political and legal, ethnological and linguistic, and natural and
physical science.

=Mental and Moral Science.=--It cannot be said that America has
taken a place of pre-eminence in the philosophical thought of the
nineteenth century. English, French, and German savants still lead
in this realm of thought. Yet American philosophy has made enormous
strides in the last half-century and many of its exponents have won
universal recognition. Porter and McCosh have expounded the views of
the Scottish School; German thought has been elucidated and criticised
by Harris, Bowne, and Royce; the writings of Draper, Fiske, and
Schurman on the evolutionary theories of Darwin and Spencer are well
known. The psychologists Ladd, Stanley Hall, Baldwin, Titchener, and
James have international reputations. In the number and equipment of
her psychological laboratories America leads the world. The number
of periodicals devoted to psychology, ethics, and cognate sciences
is considerable. Philosophical studies enjoy great favour at our
universities, both as electives and as required subjects. Some of the
men briefly considered below are perhaps more famous as teachers than
as writers; yet all have left their mark on the philosophical thought
of their day.

_Francis Wayland._--Francis Wayland (1796-1865), a Baptist clergyman
and for twenty-eight years (1827-1855) president of Brown University,
wrote several well-known works on moral and political science. After
graduating from Union College in 1813, he studied medicine and began
practice at Troy, New York; but from 1816 on devoted himself to the
ministry. His “Elements of Moral Science” (1835), his greatest work,
was long a standard text-book. “The Elements of Political Economy”
appeared in 1837; “Limitations of Human Reason,” in 1840; “Thoughts
on the Present Collegiate System of the United States,” in 1842;
and “Elements of Intellectual Philosophy,” in 1854. Wayland is most
important as a teacher of morals. For him education and religion went
hand in hand. Although he was not a thinker of the highest order, his
treatises were lucid, exact, and attractive. He was one of the great
educational and religious leaders of his day.

_Mark Hopkins._--Another great educator was Mark Hopkins (1802-1887),
whose birthplace was Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and who graduated from
Williams College in 1824. Like Wayland, he first practised medicine,
then became a minister and teacher of moral philosophy. He was
professor of moral philosophy at Williams for fifty-seven years, and
president from 1836 till 1872. He wrote “The Influence of the Gospel in
Liberalising the Mind” (1831), “The Connexion between Taste and Morals”
(1841), “The Evidences of Christianity” (Lowell Institute lectures,
1844), “Miscellaneous Essays and Reviews” (1847), “Moral Science” (also
Lowell lectures, 1862), “The Law of Love and Love as a Law” (1869),
“An Outline Study of Man” (1873), “Strength and Beauty” (1874), and
“The Scriptural Idea of Man” (1883). Few men in America have been
more potent as intellectual and moral forces than was Mark Hopkins.
President Garfield used to say that a student on one end of a log and
Mark Hopkins on the other would make a university anywhere. Great as an
original thinker and expounder, he was greater as a teacher; “he built
himself into the mental fabric of two generations of men.”

_Laurens P. Hickok._--Laurens P. Hickok (1798-1888), a Congregational
clergyman, and professor successively in Western Reserve College,
Auburn Theological Seminary, and Union College (of which he was
virtually president 1860-1868), wrote a number of philosophical and
theological works, among which are “Rational Psychology” (1848),
“Moral Science” (1853), “Mental Science” (1854), “Rational Cosmology”
(1858), “Humanity Immortal” (1872), “Creator and Creation” (1872), and
“The Logic of Reason” (1875). He also contributed to theological and
philosophical reviews.

_Francis Bowen._--A conservative resolutely opposed to the teachings
of Fichte, Kant, and Mill on the one hand and of Darwin on the other,
Francis Bowen (1811-1890) is remembered as a strong and clear writer
and an enthusiastic teacher. Nine years after his graduation from
Harvard (in 1833), we find him editing Virgil and publishing “Critical
Essays on Speculative Philosophy.” He edited _The North American
Review_ from 1843 till 1854, then became Alford professor of natural
religion, moral philosophy, and civil polity in Harvard College. Of
his voluminous writings we can mention only a few: “Lectures on the
Application of Metaphysical and Ethical Science to the Evidences
of Religion” (1849), “Lectures on Political Economy” (1850), “The
Principles of Political Economy” (1856), an edition of “The Metaphysics
of Sir William Hamilton” (1862), “Modern Philosophy from Descartes to
Schopenhauer and Hartmann” (1877), and “A Layman’s Study of the English
Bible” (1885).

_Noah Porter._--Professor of moral philosophy and metaphysics at Yale
College for forty-six years, and president of Yale University for
fifteen years, Noah Porter (1811-1892) made a strong impression in both
the philosophical, and the educational world. He was the son of the
Rev. Noah Porter, for fifty years minister of the Congregational Church
in Farmington, Connecticut, and graduated at Yale in 1831. He was a
minister at New Milford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts,
for ten years; then he assumed his chair at Yale. His chief work,
“The Human Intellect” (1868), ably champions the theistic view of
the universe, and has had wide use as a text-book, as has also his
“Elements of Intellectual Science” (1871). He wrote also “The Elements
of Moral Science” (1885) and “A Critical Exposition of Kant’s Ethics”
(1886); besides several books on education, of which we may mention
“American Colleges and the American Public” (1870) and “Books and
Reading” (1870). He also edited the revised editions (1864, 1890) of
Webster’s Dictionary.

_James McCosh._--The Scottish philosophy was vigorously championed
in America by President James McCosh (1811-1894). Born in Ayrshire,
Scotland, of a sturdy middle-class family, he was educated at Glasgow
and Edinburgh. His graduation essay on the Stoic philosophy won him
the honorary degree of A.M. Becoming a minister of the Established
Kirk, he seceded with Chalmers and rendered valuable service to the
Free Church. His “Method of the Divine Government, Physical and Moral”
(1850) laid the foundation of his fame as a philosophical writer, and
doubtless led to his appointment in 1852 to the professorship of logic
and metaphysics in Queen’s College, Belfast. From Belfast, after an
active literary and educational career, he was called to the presidency
of Princeton College, and thenceforward was a distinguished figure
in the American intellectual world. His numerous writings after 1868
include “The Scottish Philosophy, Biographical, Expository, Critical”
(1874), “The Emotions” (1880), “Philosophical Series” (1882-1885, eight
volumes), “Psychology of the Cognitive Powers” (1886), “Realistic
Philosophy Defended” (1887), “The Religious Aspect of Evolution”
(1887), and “First and Fundamental Truths” (1894). Dr. McCosh was one
of the first to point out the theological bearing of Darwinism and to
announce his acceptance of it when properly understood. “Touching the
thought of his time,” says Professor Sloane, “at its salient points and
with tremendous vitality, he constantly insisted on the few central
truths of his system in their application to each new question as it
arose. Incisive, intense, and real, or rather concrete in his thinking,
he felt a loyalty to truth which he sought to instil with all his might
into the minds of others.”

_William Torrey Harris._--William T. Harris (born in 1835) left Yale in
1857 to become a teacher in St. Louis, where he was superintendent of
schools from 1867 till 1888. From 1889 till 1906 he was United States
Commissioner of Education. Although leading a busy life as a teacher,
he found time for philosophical work. He founded (1867) and has since
edited _The Journal of Speculative Philosophy_, the first philosophical
periodical in English. His “Hegel’s Logic” (1890), while highly
technical, is one of the clearest and most scholarly expositions of
Hegelian thought. He has written also “An Introduction to the Study of
Philosophy” (1889), “Psychologic Foundations of Education” (1898), and
many smaller educational and philosophical studies.

_John Fiske._--One of the greatest of modern expositors of science was
John Fiske (1842-1901). He was born at Middletown, Connecticut, and
entered Harvard as a sophomore in 1860, graduating in 1863. The works
of Spencer and Darwin opened a new world to his vigorous imagination
and he devoted many years to elucidating and applying their doctrines,
in “Myths and Myth Makers” (1872), “Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy”
(1874), “The Unseen World” (1876), “Darwinism, and Other Essays”
(1879), “Excursions of an Evolutionist” (1883), “The Destiny of Man
Viewed in the Light of His Origin” (1884), and “The Idea of God as
Affected by Modern Knowledge” (1885). His later years were devoted to
studies in American history, the events of which he interpreted as the
result of evolutionary processes. His work reveals a uniform optimism.

=Some Living Writers.=--Among living writers on philosophical themes
space will permit the mention of only two or three. The son of Henry
James, the theologian, and the brother of Henry James, Jr., the
novelist, William James (born in 1842) was educated privately and
at Harvard, from which he received the degree of M.D. in 1870. Two
years later he became an instructor and in 1881 a full professor, the
subjects of his later interest being psychology and philosophy. He has
written, among a large number of books and articles, “Principles of
Psychology” (1890), “The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular
Philosophy” (1897), “Human Immortality” (the Ingersoll Lecture, 1898),
“The Varieties of Religious Experience” (Gifford Lectures at Edinburgh
University, 1902), and “Pragmatism” (1907). Especially noteworthy is
his work in analytical psychology. Always clear and fresh in style, his
writings have exerted a marked influence on thought both in Europe and
in America.

Borden Parker Bowne (born in 1847), who, after graduating at New York
University in 1871, studied at Halle, Göttingen, and Paris, in 1876
became professor of philosophy at Boston University. He has written
“The Philosophy of Herbert Spencer” (1874), “Studies in Theism” (1879),
“Metaphysics” (1882), “Introduction to Psychological Theory” (1886),
and “Principles of Ethics” (1892).

Jacob Gould Schurman (born in 1854) has made some worthy contributions
to the literature of ethics; it is a matter of regret that
administrative work has of late kept him from writing more for the
general public. He was born at Freetown, Prince Edward Island, and
studied at Acadia College. In 1875 he won the Gilchrist Dominion
Scholarship in the University of London, from which he graduated in
1877. He later studied at Edinburgh, Heidelberg, Berlin, and Göttingen,
and in Italy. From 1886 till 1892 he was professor of philosophy in
Cornell University, of which he became president in 1892. He has
written lucid studies of “Kantian Ethics and the Ethics of Evolution”
(1881), “The Ethical Import of Darwinism” (1888), “Belief in God”
(1890), and “Agnosticism and Religion” (1896).

Josiah Royce (born in 1855), a Californian who studied at the
University of California, Leipsic, Göttingen, and Johns Hopkins,
has done much to interpret and popularise the thought of Hegel, and
has made valuable original contributions to contemporary idealistic
thought. His philosophical works include “The Religious Aspect of
Philosophy” (1885), “The Spirit of Modern Philosophy” (1892), “The
Conception of God” (1895), “Studies of Good and Evil” (1898), “The
Conception of Immortality” (1900, an Ingersoll Lecture), and “The
World and the Individual” (1900-1901). A close thinker, he writes in a
remarkably fresh, vigorous, and informal style.

=Political and Legal Science.=--In the fields of political, economic,
social, and legal science the most that can be claimed for American
writers is that a fair number of them have achieved genuine
distinction and enjoy international reputations. America is still too
young to be expected to have produced independent schools of thought in
these lines. What Dr. Sherwood says of the economists may have a larger
application here:

  The chief reason for our failure to make large contributions
  to economic science [he remarks in his “Tendencies in American
  Economic Thought”] is the same reason which explains the meagreness
  of our contribution to general science, viz., the all-absorbing
  problem of making use of the advantages within our grasp. Within a
  century we have been compelled to work out several most difficult
  problems: how to unite in a solid empire many vigorous, large,
  and discordant nationalities; how to stretch this empire over the
  adjacent territories, so as to remove dangerous enemies; how to
  get rid of slavery without disrupting the Union; how to make our
  general education keep pace with our growth in numbers and with
  the advance of science; how, with the rapidly shifting forms of
  industrial organisation, to maintain purity of government and
  social order; how to govern an empire without an emperor; how to
  push forward material civilisation without going backwards in
  intellectual and moral civilisation; how to stimulate invention so
  as to win wealth for all, with inadequate labour and capital.

These practical problems have kept us from producing men with wealth
and leisure for working out solutions of the large abstract questions
raised in these sciences. Nor have our writers yet succeeded in
handling large masses of facts with the skill of some foreign writers.
The best comprehensive work on American institutions remains Bryce’s
“American Commonwealth,” the work of an Englishman. Yet in Marshall,
Kent, and Story we have produced some great jurists; in Wheaton,
Lawrence, and Woolsey some great writers on legal science; in Carey,
Wells, Walker, and George writers of commanding importance in the
sphere of political economy.

_John Marshall._--Pre-eminent among the jurists of America is John
Marshall (1755-1835), for thirty-four years Chief-Justice of the
United States Supreme Court. Marshall served as an officer in the
Revolution; in 1780, being without a command, he attended Chancellor
Wyeth’s lectures on law at William and Mary College. Entering upon the
practice of law, he quickly became known for his acumen. His accession
to the Supreme Court bench (1801) marks an epoch in our legal and
constitutional history. He had, as it were, to blaze a trail. The
Constitution had been adopted; it had yet to be construed. A thousand
questions arose as to what it meant, what it included, what it was
meant not to include. Marshall’s decisions, recorded in thirty-two
volumes of reports, reveal the impartial workings of a master legal
mind. Such men do not often appear; it was fortunate that the American
Government in its early years was guided by Marshall’s constitutional
constructions. They virtually form a system of law, a system which
has not since been seriously modified. “The judge who rears such a
monument to his memory,” says Mr. Magruder, his biographer, “will
never be forgotten; in the united domain of English and American
jurisprudence there are not half a dozen such memorials; but not the
least distinguished is that of Marshall.”

_James Kent._--It has been said of Kent’s “Commentaries upon American
Law” (1826-1830) that they had a deeper and more lasting influence upon
the American character than any other secular book of the nineteenth
century. James Kent (1763-1847) graduated from Yale in 1781 and then
practised law, first at Poughkeepsie, and after 1793 in New York City.
In the same year he became professor of law in Columbia College. The
Federalist leaders rapidly advanced him; he was made Chief-Justice of
the New York Supreme Court in 1804 and Chancellor in 1814. Retiring in
1823, he resumed his teaching at Columbia, and later published many of
his lectures in the “Commentaries.” His Chancery decisions, to be found
in Caines’ and Johnson’s reports, were of fundamental importance and
form the basis of American equity jurisprudence.

_Joseph Story._--With Chancellor Kent, Joseph Story (1779-1845)
shares the glory of having laid the foundations of American equity
jurisprudence. Story graduated from Harvard in 1798 and was admitted
to the bar in 1801. Becoming a leader of what was later the Democratic
party, in 1808 he entered Congress and in 1811 was appointed an
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. From 1829 on he
was also a professor of law at Harvard. For some time after Marshall’s
death he was acting Chief-Justice. Many of his opinions in patent
and admiralty law are still authoritative. Some of his writings are
“Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” (1833), “The
Conflict of Laws” (1834), “Commentaries on Equity Jurisprudence”
(1835-1836), and treatises on agency, partnership, bills, and notes.

_Henry Wheaton._--Less known than Story, yet in his day a prominent
figure in the legal world, was Henry Wheaton (1785-1848), of
Providence, Rhode Island, a graduate of Brown University in the
class of 1802. He was a lawyer, an editor, and a diplomatist (from
1837 till 1846 Minister Plenipotentiary to Prussia). His “Elements
of International Law” (1836, republished in several editions, and
translated into French, Chinese, and Japanese) remains one of the
leading authorities. Another important work was his “Histoire du
progrès des gens en Europe depuis le paix de Westphalie jusqu’au
Congrès de Vienne” (1841, English translation 1846). He was widely
respected for sound learning and diplomatic ability.

_Francis Lieber._--Francis Lieber (1800-1872), a native of Berlin and
a Ph.D. of the University of Jena (1820), came to America virtually
a political exile, and, though an ardent worshipper of freedom, was
at first, as Dr. Harley remarks, obliged to make his home in the
very heart of the slave power. For twenty-one years he was professor
of history and political economy in South Carolina College, being
“the first great teacher in this country of history and politics as
co-ordinated subjects.” From 1856 till 1860 he held the chair of
political economy in Columbia College; and from 1860 till his death
he was professor of political science in the Columbia Law School.
The great works on which his fame rests are his “Political Ethics”
(1838), “Legal and Political Hermeneutics” (1839), and “Civil Liberty
and Self-Government” (1853). In writing these books he was a pioneer,
and pointed out some important principles of American liberty. In his
later years he gave much attention to international and military law.
From his proposals originated the Institut de Droit International,
started at Ghent in 1873, “the organ for the legal consciousness of the
civilised world.”

_William Beach Lawrence._--Another writer whose name is linked with
Columbia College is William B. Lawrence (1800-1881). Born in New York
City, he graduated from Columbia in 1818, was admitted to the bar in
1823, and gave attention chiefly to international law. For a time
he lectured at Columbia on political economy, defending free trade.
Removing to Rhode Island, he served as acting Governor in 1852. In
1872-1873 he lectured on international law in the Columbian University
at Washington. His works are marked by breadth of view and soundness
of judgment. They include “The Bank of the United States” (1831),
“Institutions of the United States” (1832), “Discourses on Political
Economy” (1834), “The Law of Charitable Uses” (1845), “Commentaire sur
les éléments du droit international” (1868-1880), and “The Treaty of
Washington” (1871).

_Theodore Dwight Woolsey._--Theodore D. Woolsey (1801-1889) had a
varied preparation for his notable career. Graduating at Yale in 1820,
he studied law in Philadelphia, theology at Princeton, and Greek at
Leipsic, Bonn, and Berlin. From 1831 till 1846 he was professor of
Greek at Yale. Becoming president of Yale in 1846, he thenceforward
confined his teaching to history, political science, and international
law, and became eminent as a writer on subjects in these fields. Among
his works are “An Introduction to the Study of International Law”
(1860), “Essays on Divorce and Divorce Legislation” (1869), “Political
Science” (two volumes, 1877), and “Communism and Socialism, in Their
History and Theory” (1880).

_Henry Wager Halleck._--Chiefly known as a soldier, and as general
of the armies of the United States from July, 1862, till March,
1864, Henry W. Halleck (1815-1872) was after all more skilled in
the science of war than in its practice in the field. He studied at
Union College and West Point, from which he graduated in 1839. Before
the Lowell Institute in 1845 he lectured on the science of war; his
lectures, published as “Elements of Military Art and Science,” were
much used later as a training manual. The chief of his other works,
“International Law, or Rules Regulating the Intercourse of States in
Peace and War” (1861), abridged in 1866 for college use, still ranks
among the highest authorities.

_Henry Charles Carey._--In his day the foremost champion of
governmental protection to private industry was Henry C. Carey
(1793-1879). The eldest son of Matthew Carey, the Philadelphia
publisher, he devoted his early years to carrying on the bookselling
and publishing business, retiring in 1835. His essay on “The
Rate of Wages” (1835) was soon expanded into “The Principles of
Political Economy” (1837-1840), which found favour abroad and was
translated into Swedish and Italian. His other leading works were
“The Credit System of France, Great Britain, and the United States”
(1838), “The Past, the Present, and the Future” (1848), “Letters
on the International Copyright” (1853), “The Principles of Social
Science” (1858), and “The Unity of Law” (1873). Carey was originally
a free-trader, but early became a supporter of protection on the
ground of temporary expediency. Some of his views have been attacked
as unwarranted and dogmatically expressed; it must be conceded,
however, that he had a strong grasp of facts and that his works are an
invaluable contribution to economic and social science.

_David Ames Wells._--For many years, it is safe to say, the leading
economist in America was David A. Wells (1828-1898). He was descended
from Thomas Welles, Governor of Connecticut in 1655-1658, was born at
Springfield, Massachusetts, and was graduated from Williams College
in 1847 and from the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard in 1852.
For some years he taught physics and chemistry, and was engaged
also in writing school text-books on these subjects. An essay (“Our
Burden and Strength”) on the resources and financial ability of the
United States (1864) brought Wells into prominence, while it did much
to restore confidence in the Federal Government. President Lincoln
summoned Mr. Wells to Washington, and appointed him chairman of the
Revenue Commission of 1865-1866. As special commissioner of the revenue
(1866-1870) he completed vast reforms in the complex system of revenue
which had grown up during the war. Thereafter he was largely engaged
in writing and speaking on economic topics. Among his books are
“Robinson Crusoe’s Money,” illustrated by Nast (1876), “Our Merchant
Marine: How It Rose, Increased, Became Great, Declined, and Decayed”
(1882), “Practical Economics” (1885), “A Study of Mexico” (1887), “The
Relation of the Tariff to Wages” (1888), and “Recent Economic Changes”

_Francis Amasa Walker._--Born in Boston, Francis A. Walker (1840-1897)
graduated from Amherst at twenty, then served in the Union Army,
becoming a brigadier-general. In 1869 he was put at the head of the
Bureau of Statistics; he was superintendent of the Ninth and the Tenth
Census, and held other prominent positions, including (1873-1881)
the professorship of political economy and history at the Sheffield
Scientific School of Yale and (1881-1897) the presidency of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a prolific writer; of
his economic works we can mention only “The Indian Question” (1874),
“The Wages Question” (1876), “Money” (1878), “Money in its Relations
to Trade and Industry” (Lowell Institute lectures, 1879), “Political
Economy” (1883), “Land and its Rent” (1883), and “International
Bimetallism” (1896). Walker’s influence as an economist was felt
especially in connection with the theory of wages. “The central idea of
his theory,” says Dr. Sherwood, “that the amount of wages under free
competition tends to equal the product due to the labour, has been
generally accepted, although not altogether as the direct result of his

_Henry George._--The theories of Henry George (1839-1896) have been
widely discussed. They were first put forth in “Our Land and Land
Policy” (1871), in which he held that the burden of taxation should
be borne by the land and not by industry, and that thus opportunities
for progress would be equalised. His most important book was “Progress
and Poverty” (1879), which in a few years made George virtually the
apostle of a new economic and social creed. Conservative economists
have been slow to accept his single-tax theory; it has, however, called
attention to the enormous waste and wrong that result from granting
public franchises to private corporations without due compensation. His
theory of wages, that they arise from a value created by the efficiency
of the labourer, has been generally accepted and may be regarded as a
real contribution to economic science.

=Some Other Writers.=--More than a generation of Williams College
men sat under the teaching of Arthur Latham Perry (1830-1905), for
thirty-eight years professor of history and political economy. Perry
published his “Elements of Political Economy” in 1865; some twenty
editions have since appeared. His advocacy of free trade in the sixties
cost him many friends. He published also a work on “International
Commerce” (1866) and smaller treatises on political economy. Elisha
Mulford (1833-1885), a graduate of Yale College and an Episcopal
clergyman, was the author of two highly powerful and stimulating books:
“The Nation” (1870), dealing with the philosophy of the state, and “The
Republic of God” (1880), a religious work of similar character. William
Graham Sumner (born in 1840) became prominent for his advocacy of free
trade and of the gold standard. Graduating at Yale in 1863, he studied
at Göttingen and Oxford, then took orders in the Episcopal Church.
Since 1872 he has been professor of political and social science at
Yale. He has written “A History of American Currency” (1874), “Lectures
on the History of Protection in the United States” (1875), “What Social
Classes Owe Each Other” (1882), “Collected Essays in Political and
Social Science” (1885), “The Financier and Finances of the American
Revolution” (1892), and “A History of Banking in the United States”
(1896). Another well known political economist is Richard Theodore
Ely (born in 1854), a graduate of Columbia College (1876) and of
Heidelberg (Ph.D. _summa cum laude_, 1879), who, as director of the
School of Economics, Political Science, and History in the University
of Wisconsin, has trained more teachers of economic science than any
other American living and has exerted marked influence on the thought
of his time. He has to his credit a long list of valuable publications;
some of them are “French and German Socialism in Modern Times” (1883),
“The Labour Movement in America” (1886), “Taxation in American States
and Cities” (1888), “Socialism, an Examination of Its Nature, Its
Strength, and Its Weakness, with Suggestions for Social Reform” (1894),
“The Social Law of Service” (1896), and “Monopolies and Trusts” (1900).
The tendency of the Government to regulate economic movements is in
harmony with a doctrine of which he has been a bold champion. Another
equally high authority on trusts and currency problems is Jeremiah
Whipple Jenks (born in 1856), since 1891 professor of political economy
at Cornell University. His “The Trust Problem” (1900) and “Trusts and
Industrial Combinations” (1900) have circulated widely. President
Woodrow Wilson (born in 1856) of Princeton, discussed elsewhere as a
historian, must also be mentioned here for his standard work on “The
State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics” (1889), “An Old
Master, and Other Political Essays” (1893), and “Mere Literature, and
Other Essays,” in which large and sound views of government and its
functions are set forth in a clear and attractive style.

=Ethnological and Linguistic Science.=--In the broad field of
ethnological research the work of American scholars has been chiefly
devoted to the native and primitive races of America. This offers,
as has been pointed out by Mr. McGee,[23] “the finest field the
world affords,” exhibiting nearly every stage of development and
nearly every type of mankind; and American contributions to ethnology
and anthropology have been correspondingly important. The names
of Gallatin, Schoolcraft, Morgan, Powell, Brinton, will be at once
recalled; probably the last named is our best known ethnologist. In the
science of language our showing is, in point of numbers, somewhat more
creditable. The lexicographical work of Webster, Worcester, Whitney,
and March, and the grammatical work of Child and Gildersleeve have
been recognised and appreciated the world over. In these sciences
America’s debt to Germany is a heavy one. Most of our greater teachers
of language received their professional training in Germany; and while
fewer of our students now go to Germany for the doctor’s degree, the
influence of German scholarship is still strongly felt among us.

_Pierre Étienne Duponceau._--Duponceau (1760-1844) was one of the
pioneers of American philology. Born in France, he came to America
in 1777 as secretary to Baron Steuben, served in the American army
as captain till 1781, and afterward practised law in Philadelphia,
becoming well known. He wrote treatises on law: “Exposition sommaire de
la constitution des États-Unis d’Amérique” (1837); and in linguistics:
“English Phonology” (1818), “Mémoire sur le système grammatical des
languages de quelques nations indiennes de 1’Amérique du Nord” (1838),
which was awarded a medal by the French Institute, and “A Dissertation
on the Nature and Character of the Chinese System of Writing” (1838).

_Albert Gallatin._--The long and illustrious political career of Albert
Gallatin (1761-1849) must not detain us here. Most of his literary and
ethnological work was done in his later years. In 1836 he published his
“Synopsis of the Indian Tribes within the United States, East of the
Rocky Mountains, and in the British and Russian Possessions in North
America.” In 1845 appeared his “Notes on the Semi-Civilised Nations
of Mexico, Yucatan, and Central America.” He founded the American
Ethnological Society in 1842; and he is rightly known and will be
remembered as the father of American ethnology.

_Henry Rowe Schoolcraft._--Among the most prominent of early American
ethnologists was Henry R. Schoolcraft (1793-1864). His grandfather,
James Calcraft, formerly a British soldier under Marlborough, had kept
a large school in Albany County, New York, and because of this his
name was changed to Schoolcraft. At an early age Henry Schoolcraft
became a student of mineralogy, chemistry, natural philosophy, and
medicine. In connection with his father’s glass-making enterprises
in New Hampshire, Vermont, and western New York, he was engaged for
some time in building glass-works, and in 1817 began to publish a work
on “Vitreology.” Conceiving a desire to travel in the Far West, he
started in 1818 on a journey down the Ohio and up the Mississippi. A
book resulting from this, on the mineralogy of the West, made him well
known. Another expedition was described in “Travels in the Central
Portions of the Mississippi Valley” (1825). In 1828 he was the leader
in founding the Michigan Historical Society and in 1832 he helped found
the Algic Society, for the reclamation and study of the Indians. A
narrative of his work and experiences was embodied in “Personal Memoirs
of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American
Frontiers, 1812 to 1842,” a work full of the flavour of the primitive
West. Other works were “Algic Researches” (1839), a collection of
Indian allegories and legends; “Oneota, or The Characteristics of the
Red Race in America” (1844-1845); “The Red Race of America” (1847); and
“American Indians, their History, Condition, and Prospects” (1850), an
immense work covering a wide range of subjects. His books did much to
promote knowledge of Indian life and thought.

_Charles Pickering._--Another well-known ethnologist, Charles Pickering
(1805-1878), born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, graduated at
Harvard College in 1823 and took his degree in medicine in 1826. He
accompanied Commodore Wilkes in the _Vincennes_ on its exploring voyage
around the world in 1838-1842 and later visited India and Eastern
Africa. His great work was “The Races of Man and their Geographical
Distribution” (1848); later works of importance were “The Geographical
Distribution of Animals and Man” (1854) and “The Geographical
Distribution of Plants” (1861).

_Lewis Henry Morgan._--Lewis H. Morgan (1818-1881), born at Aurora
on Cayuga Lake, New York, and graduated from Union College in 1840,
became interested in studying the Indians through having organised a
society called “The Grand Order of the Iroquois,” which he wished to
model after the ancient Iroquois Confederacy. The first literary fruits
of his studies were his “Letters on the Iroquois” (in _The American
Review_ in 1847). Finding that he must neglect his law practice
or abandon his Indian studies, he determined to publish all his
materials and then cleave to law. In 1851, then, appeared “The League
of the Iroquois,” in which were fully explained the organisation and
government of the celebrated Iroquois Confederacy, and which formed the
first scientific account of an Indian tribe. A few years later, urged
by Henry, Agassiz, and others, he took up his studies again, and began
an investigation which was extended to embrace the whole world, and
which resulted in his scholarly “Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity
of the Human Family,” published in 1871, as No. 17 of the Smithsonian
“Contributions to Knowledge.” In 1881 he gathered his materials on
tribal organisation into an epoch-making philosophical treatise on
“Ancient Society,” which materially helped to lay the foundations of
our modern science of governmental institutions.

_John Wesley Powell._--Major John W. Powell (1834-1902) became
conspicuous both as a geologist and an anthropologist. He studied at
two or three small Western colleges, served in the Civil War, and then
taught geology in two Illinois universities. In 1867 he travelled
in the Colorado Rockies and thenceforward for many years was busied
with surveys and explorations of the Far West. From 1881 till 1894
he was director of the United States Geological Survey, resigning to
become director of the Bureau of Anthropology. He made many important
contributions to the sciences which interested him, publishing
“Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and Its Tributaries”
(1875), “Report on the Geology of the Uinta Mountains” (1876), “Report
on the Arid Region of the United States” (1879), “Introduction to the
Study of the Indian Languages” (1880), “Studies in Sociology” (1887),
“Canyons of the Colorado” (1895), and “Physiographic Processes,
Physiographic Features, and Physiographic Regions of the United States”

_Daniel Garrison Brinton._--Daniel G. Brinton (1837-1899) of
Philadelphia was one of the leading archæologists of the New World.
Graduating at Yale in 1858 and at the Jefferson Medical College,
Philadelphia, in 1860, he served as a surgeon in the war and from 1867
to 1887 was editor of _The Medical and Surgical Reporter_. From 1886
until his death he was professor of American linguistics and archæology
at the University of Pennsylvania. He has to his credit a long list
of important books and papers, only a few of which can be mentioned
here. He began to publish in 1859 (“The Floridian Peninsula, Its
Literary History, Indian Tribes, and Antiquities”). From boyhood he
took a deep interest in the study of the American Indians; and in 1868
he published “The Myths of the New World.” He also wrote, on Indian
subjects, “American Hero Myths” (1882), “The American Race” (1892),
and numerous ethnological and linguistic papers. He also both edited
(for the most part) and published “The Library of Aboriginal American
Literature” in eight volumes (1882-1885). In the controversies between
science and theological dogma he was a pronounced radical. Along with
his scientific labours Dr. Brinton found time for some studies in
poetry, especially of Browning and Whitman.

_Noah Webster._--Among students of linguistic science the first to be
mentioned in point of time, and one of the first in importance, is Noah
Webster (1758-1843), a native of Hartford, Connecticut, and a graduate
of Yale College, whose “Grammatical Institute of the English Language”
(spelling-book, grammar, and reader) appeared in 1783-1785. These books
had an immense sale. The grammar showed originality, but was partly
superseded by Murray’s. Webster published also “Dissertations on the
English Language” (1789), a more advanced “Philosophical and Practical
Grammar of the English Language” (1807), and “Origin, History, and
Connection of the Languages of Western Asia and of Europe” (1807); the
last being one of the first fruits of Sir William Jones’ identification
of Sanskrit in 1786. The great work of Webster’s life, however, was his
“American Dictionary of the English Language,” first published in 1828.
Revised in 1847, 1864, and 1890, this is now the “International” and
enjoys a large sale. The edition of 1901 contains 2528 pages.

_Lindley Murray._--Lindley Murray (1745-1826), a native of
Pennsylvania, made a fortune in trade at the time of the Revolution,
and then settled at Holdgate, near York, England. Here he wrote his
“Grammar of the English Language” (1795), which by 1816 had swollen to
two volumes. In 1818 he published an “Abridgement,” which went through
some six-score editions. It laid great stress on syntax, and was a
terror to generations of students.

_Joseph Emerson Worcester._--For many years the only rival of
Webster’s Dictionary was Worcester’s. Like Webster, Joseph Emerson
Worcester (1784-1865) was a graduate of Yale College. After teaching
for a time at Salem, Massachusetts, he settled at Cambridge. After
various lexicographical labours, he issued “A Universal and Critical
Dictionary” (1846), containing “in addition to the words found in
Todd’s edition of Johnson’s Dictionary, nearly 27,000 words for which
authorities are given.” In 1860 this was expanded into the quarto
“Dictionary of the English Language,” which included about 104,000
words. In a memoir of Dr. Worcester, Ezra Abbot said:

  The tendency of his mind was practical rather than speculative. As
  a lexicographer, he did not undertake to reform long-established
  anomalies in the English language: his aim was rather to preserve
  it from corruption; and his works have certainly contributed much
  to that end. In respect both to orthography and pronunciation, he
  took great pains to ascertain the best usage; and perhaps there
  is no lexicographer whose judgment respecting these matters in
  doubtful cases deserves higher consideration.

_Goold Brown._--Most of our grandfathers got their knowledge of
English grammar from the text-books of Goold Brown (1791-1857). His
education was obtained at the Friends’ School in Providence, Rhode
Island, his birthplace. He became a successful teacher and for twenty
years conducted an academy in New York City. His “Institutes of
English Grammar” appeared in 1823 and with an elementary work had an
enormous circulation. His “Grammar of English Grammars” (1851), which
brought him wide reputation, has been called “the most exhaustive,
most accurate, and most original treatise on the English language ever
written.” This is absurdly high praise; yet the book is undoubtedly a
monument of industry, and has been for many earnest souls “a court of
last resort on matters grammatical.”

_George Perkins Marsh._--In his day a distinguished diplomatist and man
of letters, George P. Marsh (1801-1882) made substantial contributions
to philology. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1820 and studied
law. He soon turned to studies in language and in 1838 printed
privately a translation of Rask’s “Icelandic Grammar.” His “Lectures
on the English Language” (1861) were delivered originally at Columbia;
his “Origin and History of the English Language” (1862) was a course of
Lowell Institute lectures.

_Samuel Stehman Haldeman._--Samuel S. Haldeman (1812-1880) attained a
respectable place as a philologist, but was also known as a naturalist
and an archæologist. He went to Dickinson College two years, but not
liking the course of study, left to study by himself. Shortly after his
marriage in 1835, he settled at Chickies, Pennsylvania, became a silent
partner with two brothers in the iron business, and spent most of his
time in his library, where, for many years, he worked sixteen hours a
day. His nature-studies resulted in “Fresh-Water Univalve Mollusca of
the United States” (nine parts, 1840-1845); “Zoölogical Contributions”
(1842-1843); “Zoölogy of the Invertebrate Animals” (1850); and more
than seventy papers. He began early to take interest in the Indian
languages, and published papers on them, as well as on the languages
of Europe and China, and on spelling reform. These writings are now
valuable chiefly as landmarks in the history of linguistic science;
but this does not impair Haldeman’s contemporary reputation as a
learned and accurate linguist. His last works were a monograph on
“Pennsylvania Dutch” (1872) and “Outlines of Etymology” (1878).

_James Hammond Trumbull._--Well known as a thorough student of Indian
languages was James H. Trumbull (1821-1897) of Hartford, Connecticut.
He studied at Yale in the class of 1842, but was prevented by ill
health from graduating. On linguistics he wrote “The Composition of
Indian Geographical Names” (1870), “The Best Methods of Studying the
Indian Languages” (1871), “Notes on Forty Algonkin Versions of the
Lord’s Prayer” (1873), and “Indian Names of Places in and on the
Borders of Connecticut, with Interpretations” (1881). He also edited
Roger Williams’ “Key into the Language of America” (1866).

_Francis James Child._--Francis J. Child (1825-1896), created a
tradition of zeal for broad and sound learning, the influence of which
is still strong. A Boston youth, he stood at the head of his class
at Harvard, that of 1846. For forty-five years he was a professor in
Harvard. In addition to some excellent editions of texts, he published
an epoch-making monograph, “Observations on the Language of Chaucer”
(1862), “Observations on the Language of Gower’s Confessio Amantis”
(1866), and a monumental edition of “English and Scottish Popular
Ballads” (1857-1858, revised and enlarged edition in ten volumes,
1882-1898), which is a model of accurate, comprehensive work, and which
it is safe to say will not soon be superseded. It is due largely to
Child that Harvard has become one of the leading centres of English
study in America.

_Francis Andrew March._--The Nestor of living American philologists
is Professor Francis A. March (born in 1825), since 1855 a teacher in
Lafayette College. He graduated at Amherst College in 1845. At first
he pursued philosophical studies, but was later drawn to the study of
language. His “Method of Philological Study of the English Language”
appeared in 1865. His “Comparative Grammar of the Anglo-Saxon Language”
(1870) was a pioneer, and with the “Anglo-Saxon Reader” (1870) did good
service in introducing the subject into American colleges. For many
years Dr. March has been an ardent apostle of spelling reform.

_William Dwight Whitney._--Probably William Dwight Whitney (1827-1894)
is best known as a writer of textbooks and popular expositor of
linguistic problems. Among scholars, however, his chief monument is his
work in Sanskrit. Born at Northampton, Massachusetts, he was graduated
at eighteen from Williams College. In the winter of 1848-1849 he began
the study of Sanskrit; this study he continued under Salisbury at
Yale, Weber at Berlin, and Roth at Tübingen. In 1854 he was appointed
professor of Sanskrit and comparative philology at Yale, and held this
chair until his death; being for many years accounted the leading
philologist in America. He was a most industrious and systematic
worker. His bibliography includes 360 titles. He wrote simple and lucid
grammars of English (1877), French (1886), German (1869), and Sanskrit
(1879); “Language and the Study of Language” (1867); “Oriental and
Linguistic Studies” (1873-1874); “The Life and Growth of Language”
(1875); several translations, with commentaries, of Sanskrit texts;
and numerous papers and reviews. He was also editor-in-chief of “The
Century Dictionary” (1889-1891) and read every proof of its 21,138
columns. But his greatest service to the cause of science was in
holding up to his pupils a lofty ideal and a rigorous scientific method.

  Hellenists, Latinists, and linguists of every sort [said Professor
  Perrin in a memorial address], and even historical students in the
  more restricted sense, all over this country and Europe, are now
  labouring, each in his chosen field, with a more equable spirit, a
  broader method, and a loftier ideal, because they have caught them
  all, directly or indirectly, from the master whose memory we honour.

_Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve._--Valuable work in classical philology has
been done by Basil L. Gildersleeve (born in 1831). After graduating
at Princeton in 1849, he studied at Berlin, Bonn, and Göttingen,
receiving the degree of Ph.D. from Göttingen in 1853. For twenty years
(1856-1876) he was professor of Greek (for five years, of Latin also)
at the University of Virginia. In 1876 he was called to a similar chair
at Johns Hopkins University, which he has since held. He founded (1880)
and has since edited _The American Journal of Philology_, and has
published, among other books, “A Latin Grammar” (1876, twice revised),
“Essays and Studies, Educational and Literary” (1890), “The Syntax
of Classical Greek” (part i., 1900, with Charles W. E. Miller), and
editions of Justin Martyr, Persius, and Pindar.

=Natural and Physical Science.=--It is in the natural and physical
sciences that our attempt to cover the ground will at once appear most
hopeless. In some of these sciences, for example astronomy, physics,
and geology, American scholars stand concededly among the foremost
in the world; to practically all of them Americans have contributed
noteworthy studies and discoveries. Lack of space prevents even the
mention, with one or two exceptions, of living writers.

_John James Audubon._--Among the naturalists of America no name is
more illustrious than that of the chief of our ornithologists, John
James Audubon (1780-1851). His father was a French naval officer who
had settled upon a plantation near New Orleans and married a lady
of Spanish descent. When but a child Audubon used to draw pictures
of birds; of those which were not satisfactory he made a bonfire
at each birthday. When he was about eighteen, his father settled
him on a farm near Philadelphia; here he gratified the naturalist’s
passion to such an extent that he was good for nothing else. “For a
period of twenty years,” he wrote later, “my life was a series of
vicissitudes. I tried various branches of commerce, but they all proved
unprofitable, doubtless because my whole mind was ever filled with my
passion for rambling and admiring those objects of Nature from which
alone I received the purest gratification.” He lived with his family
successively in Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi, and Louisiana; drawing
and studying birds incessantly. Visiting England in 1826, he arranged
for the publication of “The Birds of America” (1830-1839). It was to
be published in numbers of five folio plates each, the whole to be in
four volumes and to be sold for $1000 a copy. The work was to cost over
$100,000; yet he had not money enough to pay for the first number. He
supported himself by painting. He was elected (1830) a Fellow of the
Royal Society. Audubon accompanied his “Birds” with “Ornithological
Biographies” (five volumes, 1831-1839), the literary value of which is
important; “it presents,” says one writer, “in language warm from his
having been a part of the scenes, a virgin past of our country, and its
forests and prairies, which can never be restored or so well described
again.” “The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,” with 150 plates,
appeared in three volumes in 1845-1848; in this undertaking he was
assisted by his two sons and the Rev. John Bachman of Charleston,
South Carolina. The last three years of his life were spent in mental
darkness. His claim to honorable rank in American letters cannot be

_Spencer Fullerton Baird._--No American naturalist exerted a wider
and deeper influence than Spencer F. Baird (1823-1887). A native of
Pennsylvania and a graduate of Dickinson College (1840), he was the
friend and in some work the collaborator of Audubon, Agassiz, and
other zoölogists. Appointed assistant secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution in 1850, he directed much of the scientific exploration of
the West; organised the National Museum (1857); succeeded Henry in 1878
as secretary of the Smithsonian and largely developed its work; and in
1874 became head of the Commission of Fish and Fisheries, and organised
the science and practice of fish culture in America. He was besides
a voluminous writer. His books and papers down to 1882 include 1063
titles. Of them we may mention “Catalogue of North American Reptiles”
(1853), “The Birds of America” (with John Cassin, 1860), “The Mammals
of North America” (1859), and “History of American Birds” (with Thomas
M. Brewer and Robert Ridgway, 1874-1884).

_Alpheus Hyatt._--In zoölogy and palæontology one of the celebrated
scholars of his day was Alpheus Hyatt (1838-1902). Born in Washington,
D. C., he received his education at the Maryland Military Academy,
Yale College, and under Agassiz at the Lawrence Scientific School of
Harvard, from which he was graduated in 1862. After the Civil War, in
which he rose to be a captain, he continued his studies in natural
history and became active in fostering these studies in general.
He helped to found _The American Naturalist_ in 1868, and was the
principal founder of the American Society of Naturalists, organised in
1883. In 1881 he became professor of zoölogy and palæontology in the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in Boston University. He was
equally active in teaching, in popularising science, and in research.
Some of his books are “Observations on Freshwater Polyzoa” (1866),
“Revision of North American Poriferæ” (1875-1877), long the only work
on North American commercial sponges, “The Genesis of the Tertiary
Species of Planorbis at Steinheim,” a long and important monograph on
the influence of gravity on certain shells, published by the Boston
Society of Natural History in its “Memoirs” (1880), “Genera of Fossil
Cephalopods” (1883), “The Larval Theory of the Origin of Cellular
Tissue” (1884), giving his theory of the origin of sex, and “The
Genesis of the Arietidæ” (1889). He also edited a series of “Guides for
Science-Teaching,” of several of which he himself was also the author.
Few Americans indeed have done so much to make natural science popular
as did Hyatt. His work in research was immensely fruitful. He has been
called the founder of the new school of invertebrate palæontology,
while in systematic zoölogy he made several discoveries which led to
important revisions in biological classification.

_Alpheus Spring Packard._--The son of a Bowdoin College professor
of the same name, Alpheus S. Packard (1839-1905) naturally entered
Bowdoin and there came under the influence of Dr. Paul Chadbourne,
who encouraged his inclination toward zoölogical study. After
graduating from Bowdoin in 1861 and from the Maine Medical School in
1864, he worked under Agassiz at Harvard, devoting himself largely
to the study of insects. In 1867 he became curator of invertebrates
and in 1876 director, of the Peabody Academy of Science in Salem,
Massachusetts. In 1878 he was appointed professor of zoölogy and
geology in Brown University, retaining this post till his death. He
was one of the founders and for twenty years editor of _The American
Naturalist_. Besides hundreds of papers, he wrote a “Guide to the
Study of Insects” (1869); “The Mammoth Cave and Its Inhabitants,”
jointly with F. W. Putnam (1872); “Life Histories of Animals” (1876),
the first attempt since the Lowell Institute lectures of Agassiz to
attempt a summary of embryological discoveries; “Insects Injurious to
Forest and Shade Trees” (1890), “A Naturalist on the Labrador Coast”
(1891), “A Text-Book of Entomology” (1898), and “Lamarck, the Founder
of Evolution: His Life and Work” (1901). Apropos of the last book it
will be remembered that Packard, Cope, and Hyatt were the founders and
chief exponents of the Neo-Lamarckian school of evolution. Packard was
an indefatigable investigator and his contributions to entomology and
zoölogy immensely advanced those sciences.

_Edward Drinker Cope._--Another celebrated naturalist was Edward D.
Cope (1840-1897) of Philadelphia, whose studies in fossil vertebrates
were of epoch-making significance. He studied at the University of
Pennsylvania. From 1864 till 1867 he was professor of natural sciences
in Haverford College. For twenty-two years thereafter he was engaged in
exploration, research, and editorial work. In 1889 he became professor
of geology and palæontology in the University of Pennsylvania. Before
he was thirty he had laid his foundations in five chief lines of
research, ichthyology, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and evolutionary
philosophy. On all of these subjects he wrote much and wisely. He was
the author of over four hundred volumes, papers, and memoirs, to say
nothing of hundreds of editorial articles in _The American Naturalist_,
which he edited from 1878 until his death. On the subject of evolution
alone his most important works are “The Origin of Genera” (1868), “The
Origin of the Fittest” (1886), and “The Primary Factors of Organic
Evolution” (1896). His activity in research may be judged from the fact
that he himself named and described 1115 out of some 3200 known species
of North American fossil vertebrates. Naturally, in attempting so much,
he fell short of perfection in some things.

  His life-work, [says Professor Osborn,[24]] bears the marks of
  great genius, of solid and accurate observation, and at times of
  inaccuracy due to bad logic or haste and over-pressure of work. The
  greater number of his Natural Orders and Natural Laws will remain
  as permanent landmarks in our science. As a comparative anatomist
  he ranks, both in the range and effectiveness of his knowledge
  and his ideas, with Cuvier and Owen.... As a natural philosopher,
  while far less logical than Huxley, he was more creative and
  constructive, his metaphysics ending in theism rather than

_Elliott Coues._--Distinguished as an ornithologist, Elliott Coues
(1842-1899) became favourably known also for researches in biology and
comparative anatomy. After taking degrees at the Columbian University
in 1861-1863, he entered the Union Army as assistant surgeon, studying
flora and fauna wherever he went. In 1873-1876 he was surgeon and
naturalist to the United States Northern Boundary Commission and
in 1876-1880 was connected with the United States Geological and
Geographical Survey of the Territories. He helped found the American
Ornithologists’ Union and edited its organ, The Auk. His “Key to
North American Birds” (1872, rewritten 1884 and 1901) is of great
significance. He wrote also on “Birds of the Northwest” (1874), “Birds
of the Colorado Valley” (1878), and with Winfrid A. Stearns, “New
England Bird Life” (1881).

_David Starr Jordan._--David Starr Jordan (born in 1851) has in
recent years been regarded chiefly as an educator; he became known
through his studies on fishes. Entering Cornell University in 1868,
he was appointed instructor in botany in 1870 and graduated M.S. in
1872. After teaching and studying science for some years, he was
made (1879) professor of zoölogy at Indiana University, of which
he became president in 1885. Since 1891 he has been president of
Stanford University. Some of his books are “A Manual of the Vertebrate
Animals of the Northern United States” (1876), “Science Sketches”
(1887), “Fishes of North and Middle America” (1896-1899), “Footnotes
to Evolution” (1898), and “The Food and Game Fishes of North America”
(1902). He is a leader both in his chosen scientific field and in
educational thought.

_Asa Gray._--The best-known botanist of his epoch was Asa Gray
(1810-1888) a native of Paris, Oneida County, New York. He graduated
in medicine at Fairfield College in 1831, but soon gave up medicine
for botany and in 1842 was elected to the Fisher professorship of
natural history in Harvard University. Any adequate narrative of
Gray’s tremendous activity as a writer and teacher is out of the
question here; we can only say that his widely known and long standard
text-books on botany (beginning with the “Elements of Botany,” 1836,
which grew into the “Structural and Systematic Botany” of 1879, and
including his “How Plants Grow,” 1858, and “How Plants Behave,” 1872)
represent but a small part of his literary activity. With Dr. Torrey
he began (1838) the “Flora of North America”; he wrote also valuable
botanical memoirs and many valuable articles for _The North American
Review_ and _The American Journal of Science_.

_Edward Hitchcock._--Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864), a Congregational
clergyman, and for thirty-nine years a professor of science in Amherst
College, was especially devoted to geological study. A large number of
his books and papers relate to geological subjects, which he helped
to make popular; among these books are “Economical Geology” (1832),
“Geology of Massachusetts” (1841), “The Religion of Geology and Its
Connected Sciences” (1851), and “Ichnology of New England” (1858). He
was the first president of the Association of American Geologists, and
was president of Amherst College from 1845 till 1854.

_Louis Agassiz._--The celebrated naturalist Jean Louis Rodolphe
Agassiz (1807-1873) was of Swiss birth and did not come to America
to live until he was forty-one years of age, and had already become
famous for those studies of glacial phenomena set forth in “Études sur
les glaciers” (1840) and “Système glaciaire” (with Guyot and Desor,
1847). For twenty-five years (1848-1873) he was professor of natural
history at Harvard, and in that time, besides training some of the most
eminent of living American scientists, he did much to arouse popular
interest in science and scientific progress. Of the “Contributions to
the Natural History of the United States” which he planned to publish
in ten volumes, he lived to issue only four (1857-1862). For Agassiz
Nature was “the expression of the thought of the Creator.” In opposing
the Darwinians as to the origin of species, Agassiz unfortunately
took the wrong side of the question of how the Creator expressed His
thought; but he remains nevertheless distinguished both as a scientist
and as an educator; a singularly great and gentle nature, strong and

_Arnold Henry Guyot._--Less distinguished than his compatriot Agassiz,
but of enduring fame, was the geographer Arnold Guyot (1807-1884). Born
near Neuchâtel, Switzerland, he studied there and in Germany, receiving
the degree of Ph.D. from Berlin in 1835. Like Agassiz he became known
for his glacial discoveries; and like Agassiz he came to America in
the troubled year 1848. From 1854 until his death he was professor of
geology and physical geography at Princeton. His text-books and maps
revolutionised the teaching and study of geography. He wrote also many
scientific papers and memoirs, among which may be noted especially
those describing his studies in the Appalachian Mountains. American
science owes much to his unselfish devotion.

_James Dwight Dana._--James D. Dana (1813-1895), born in Utica, New
York, was attracted by the fame of the elder Silliman to Yale College,
where he graduated in 1833. To the Sillimans he became allied by his
marriage with Henrietta F. Silliman in 1844; and like them he had a
long and notable career closely connected with Yale College, where
he became (1835) Silliman professor of natural history and geology.
He wrote many reports on geological, zoölogical, and mineralogical
subjects, besides “A Manual of Mineralogy” (1851), “A Manual of
Geology” (1862), “On Coral Reefs and Islands” (1853), “Science and the
Bible” (_Bibliotheca Sacra_, 1856-1857), and “Corals and Coral Islands”

_Alexander Winchell._--Another noted geologist was Alexander Winchell
(1824-1891). Graduating from Wesleyan University in 1847, he became
a teacher of science in various schools, and in 1853 professor of
physics and civil engineering in the University of Michigan; being
soon transferred to the chair of geology, zoölogy, and botany. He
afterward taught at Syracuse and Vanderbilt Universities. From the
latter institution in 1878 he was dismissed because his views on
evolution were “contrary to the plan of redemption.” The next year he
was recalled to Michigan. Besides being a leading spirit in forming
the Geological Society of America, and in establishing _The American
Geologist_, he was a voluminous writer, especially of scientific works
for popular use, and endeavoured in these works to show the essential
harmony between science and Christian dogma. Thus he did the work of a
peacemaker in what has long been a heated conflict.

_Nathaniel Bowditch_ (1773-1838) was a pioneer in the study of
astronomy and mathematics in America. At first a cooper and then a
ship-chandler, he was studious, and learned Latin in order to read
Newton’s “Principia.” As supercargo on a merchant vessel during several
voyages, he became expert in the theory of navigation and published in
1802 “The New American Practical Navigator,” which in a revised form is
published by the United States Hydrographic Office and is the standard
compendium for navigators. In 1829 he translated Laplace’s “Méchanique
céleste,” adding valuable notes.

_Benjamin Peirce._--In the annals of mathematics and astronomy the name
of Benjamin Peirce (1809-1880) has a place of distinction. Born at
Salem, Massachusetts, he became a pupil of Bowditch, and graduated at
Harvard in 1829, in the class with Holmes. He became a tutor at Harvard
in 1831, professor of mathematics and physics in 1833, and nine years
later Perkins professor of mathematics and astronomy, holding this
chair till his death. From 1867 till 1874, succeeding Dallas Bache, he
was superintendent of the Coast Survey. He wrote an important series
of mathematical text-books; “System of Analytical Mechanics” (1857);
“Linear Associative Algebra” (communications to the National Academy
of Sciences, collected in 1870); and Lowell Institute lectures on
“Ideality in the Physical Sciences” (1881). He obtained eminence, it
has been said, equally in mathematics, physics, astronomy, mechanics,
and navigation.

_The Sillimans._--In the annals of American science no other name is so
long and favourably known as that of the Sillimans. Benjamin Silliman
(1779-1864) was for fifty years, beginning in 1802, professor of
chemistry in Yale College and founded (1818) _The American Journal of
Science and Arts_, which he edited for twenty-eight years. His son,
Benjamin, Jr. (1816-1885), taught and studied chemistry, mineralogy,
and geology in Yale, and was associate editor (1838-1846) of his
father’s _Journal_. For the rest of his life he was a professor of
chemistry, first in what is now the Sheffield Scientific School of
Yale, then at Louisville University, and later in the Academic and
Medical Departments at Yale. In 1858 he published “First Principles
of Natural Philosophy or Physics”; and he was the author of many
scientific memoirs, addresses, and reports. He was one of the pioneers
in science-teaching in America, and his influence on scientific
education was deep and abiding.

_Joseph Henry._--Joseph Henry (1797-1878) was one of the most
illustrious physicists of his day. Born and educated at Albany,
New York, he began (1827) researches which resulted in important
discoveries in the field of electro-magnetism, one of which made the
telegraph possible. From 1832 till 1846 he was professor of natural
philosophy in the College of New Jersey (Princeton), and from 1846
till his death was secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, which he
had helped to organise. He published “Contributions to Electricity
and Magnetism” (1839) and many papers, especially in the Smithsonian
reports. A brilliant and profound investigator, he did signally
important service in organising great scientific enterprises. “To
Henry,” says Dr. Woodward, “more than to any other man, must be
attributed the rise and the growth in America of the present public
appreciation of the scientific work carried on by governmental aid.”

_Alexander Dallas Bache._--Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867), a
great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, after graduating in 1825 at West
Point, at the head of his class, at twenty-two resigned a lieutenant’s
commission to become professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at
the University of Pennsylvania. Having made a name for his researches
on steam, magnetism, etc., he was called in 1843 to be superintendent
of the United States Coast Survey, and performed his duties with marked
efficiency. Gifted with quick apprehension and broad intelligence, he
possessed great powers of leadership. He published nearly two hundred
scientific papers, memoirs, and reports. “To him,” declared his
eulogist Benjamin Gould, “the scientific progress of the nation was
indebted more than to any other man who had trod her soil.”

_Matthew Fontaine Maury._--Matthew F. Maury (1806-1873) is well known
to students of meteorological science and also to the educational
world. He was a Virginian of Huguenot extraction, who went to sea at
nineteen and became not only a good sailor but also an authority on
navigation. His “Treatise on Navigation” (1835) was favourably received
abroad and was used as a text-book in the United States Navy. As “Harry
Bluff” he published in _The Southern Literary Messenger_, about 1840,
under the title of “Scraps from the Lucky-Bag,” a series of papers
on nautical matters, which brought him fame and resulted in placing
him in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments at Washington,
an office which later became the Naval Observatory and Hydrographical
Department. One of his first tasks was to compile some charts of winds
and currents. These charts proved immensely valuable by shortening
voyages and lowering the expense of commerce. His “Physical Geography
of the Sea and its Meteorology” (1855) at once took the highest rank
in its field, and the geographical text-books which he wrote in his
later years have done great service to education and in a revised form
still satisfy the needs of many schools. He was the author also of many
pamphlets and official papers.

_Josiah Parsons Cooke._--Josiah Parsons Cooke (1827-1894), a pioneer
in chemical education, was born in Boston and graduated at Harvard
in 1844. In 1851 he became professor of chemistry and mineralogy at
Harvard. He did much to further the study of chemistry in colleges and
was one of the first to urge the laboratory method of instruction.
He published, among other things, “Chemical Problems and Reactions”
(1853), “Religion and Chemistry” (1864), “The New Chemistry” (1871),
and “The Credentials of Science the Warrant of Faith” (1888).

_John William Draper._--John W. Draper (1811-1882) is known in the
annals of science as a chemist and physiologist; he won eminence
also as a historian. Born at St. Helens, near Liverpool, the son of
a Wesleyan Methodist minister, he studied chemistry under Turner in
London, and coming to America in 1833, graduated in medicine from the
University of Pennsylvania in 1836. He now began investigating the
chemical action of light, and published in 1844 a “Treatise on the
Forces which Produce the Organisation of Plants.” His memoir “On the
Production of Light by Heat” (1847), a valuable contribution to the
subject of spectrum analysis, appeared thirteen years before Kirchoff’s
celebrated memoir, which used to be thought of as marking the beginning
of spectrum analysis. He was also the first to succeed (1839) in taking
portraits of the human face by photography. In 1839 he became professor
of chemistry, and in 1850 of physiology also, in the University of
New York. His “Treatise on Human Physiology, Statical and Dynamical”
(1856) at once took its place as a standard text-book. He wrote also a
“Text-Book on Chemistry” (1846); a “Text-Book on Natural Philosophy”
(1847); “History of the Conflict between Religion and Science” (1874),
an able and comprehensive treatment of a vast subject; and “Scientific
Memoirs” (1878), a collection of papers on radiant energy. Two of his
sons, Henry and John Christopher, also became well known physiologists
and chemists.

_Charles Augustus Young._--Of the more recent astronomers of America,
Charles A. Young (1834-1908) was one of the foremost. Born in Hanover,
New Hampshire, the son of Professor Ira Young of Dartmouth College, he
graduated from Dartmouth in 1853. From 1856 till 1866 he was professor
of mathematics, astronomy, and natural philosophy in Western Reserve
University. In the latter year he returned to Dartmouth as professor
of natural philosophy and astronomy, remaining there till 1877, when
he became professor of astronomy at Princeton. He was prominently
connected with several important astronomical expeditions and produced
some notable inventions, among them an automatic spectroscope which has
been widely used by astronomers. He made some significant observations
on the sun, including a verification by experiment of Doppler’s
principle as applied to light, by which he was able to measure the
velocity of the sun’s rotation. He also discovered the thin solar shell
of gaseous matter called “the reversing layer.” He wrote “The Sun” in
“The International Scientific Series” (1882), “A General Astronomy”
(1889), “Elements of Astronomy” (1890), and “A Manual of Astronomy”

_Robert Henry Thurston._--Distinguished as an educator, an inventor,
and a writer on engineering subjects was Robert H. Thurston
(1839-1903). He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated
from Brown University in 1859. During the Civil War he served as an
engineer in the Federal Navy; in 1865 he was appointed assistant
professor of natural and experimental philosophy at the United States
Naval Academy. In 1871 he became professor of engineering at the
Stevens Institute of Technology, remaining here until 1885, when
he was made director of Sibley College in Cornell University. His
writings, always clear, exact, and authoritative, have circulated
widely among engineers. They include “A History of the Growth of the
Steam Engine” (1878, revised in 1901, and translated into French and
German), “Materials of Engineering” (three volumes, 1882-1886), “Manual
of the Steam Engine” (1890-1891), “Manual of Steam Boilers” (1890),
with other valuable works, and about 250 scientific papers. Thurston
served on several important government engineering commissions. Of him
it has justly been said that “he made engineers better scientists,
promoted engineering education, helped to put engineering upon a higher
professional plane, and constantly was on the watch to dispel the fogs
of prejudice by help of the truths of science.”

_The Youmans Brothers._--The life of Edward Livingston Youmans
(1821-1887) was spent chiefly in popularising science. Born in Albany
County, New York, he inherited a strong bent toward scientific study.
For many years he wrestled with threatening blindness, and was never
well. His “Class-Book of Chemistry” (1851) was remarkably successful.
“There was,” Mr. Fiske says of it, “a firm grasp of the philosophical
principles underlying chemical phenomena, and the meaning and functions
of the science were set forth in such a way as to charm the student
and make him wish for more.” He spent many years in delivering lyceum
lectures, for which he was well fitted. His “Handbook of Household
Science” (1857) was a carefully written treatise on the applications
of science to the problems of food, light, heat, and sanitation. Its
popularity led him to plan a comprehensive “Household Cyclopædia”
which he did not live to finish. Besides editing “The Correlation and
Conservation of Forces” (1864), a series of expositions by Grove,
Helmholtz, Mayer, Faraday, Liebig, and Carpenter, and “The Culture
Demanded by Modern Life” (1867), a collection of addresses and
arguments in favour of scientific education, Youmans published several
addresses and papers, and did much to give the views of Darwin and
Spencer a favourable reception in America. He was the originator and
general editor of “The International Scientific Series,” of which
fifty-seven volumes appeared in his lifetime. It was a difficult but
eminently useful task to secure popular scientific books by masters;
and the series of seventy-nine volumes has done much for education.
Youmans was also the founder of _The Popular Science Monthly_ (begun in
1872) and edited the first twenty-eight volumes.

  While it was his main intent [to quote Mr. Fiske again] to give in
  popular form an account of the progress of the several departments
  of science, he never lost sight of the aim to show wherein the
  scientific method was applicable to the larger questions of
  life--of education, social relations, morals, government, and

William Jay Youmans (1838-1901) first studied chemistry at Columbia and
Yale and privately with his brother Edward, then took a medical course
at New York University. After practising medicine for some three years,
he became connected with _The Popular Science Monthly_, which he edited
from 1887 till 1900. He wrote “Pioneers of Science in America” (1895).

_Henry Carrington Bolton._--Henry Carrington Bolton (1843-1903) did
much for the bibliography of chemistry; his “Select Bibliography of
Chemistry, 1492-1892” (1893-1905) comprises over 12,000 titles in
twenty-four languages. He also wrote many papers on the history of
chemistry. His “Counting-out Rhymes of Children” (1888) gave him
prominence as a folklorist, and he published also some important papers
on various other subjects in folklore.


=Their Importance.=--No apology need be offered for including in
this volume a section on the history of American periodicals. As
Professor Smyth has well said, in speaking of the early magazines
of Philadelphia, such a division “helps to exhibit the process of
American literature as an evolution.” Much of our best literature made
its first appearance in periodicals; and the remuneration received by
authors from this source has great significance in the economics of
literature. Likewise much of our best and most searching criticism,
whether reprinted or not, appeared originally in newspapers and
magazines, which have thus had a prominent part in the making of
American literature. In 1810 there were only about thirty periodicals
altogether; in 1900 there were 239 classed as general and literary,
some of them having a considerable circulation on the other side of
the Atlantic. In the brief space allotted to this section it will be
impossible to do more than to mention a few of the most important
literary periodicals; the full extent of the journalistic activity of
the United States may be inferred from the fact that in 1900 over eight
billion copies of periodicals were circulated, having a market value of
nearly $225,000,000.

=The Eighteenth Century.=--The eighteenth century will not long detain
us. Only ten years after Edward Cave had founded _The Gentleman’s
Magazine_ in London (1731), Andrew Bradford and Benjamin Franklin
founded in Philadelphia the first monthly magazines in America. Of
Bradford’s venture, _The American Magazine_, edited by John Webbe,
only three numbers appeared; while Franklin published only six numbers
of _The General Magazine_. In the course of the century several
others appeared, among them _The American Magazine and Historical
Chronicle_ (Boston, 1743-1746); _The Independent Reflector_ (New
York, 1752-1753), among whose contributors were Governor William
Livingston, John Morin Scott, and Aaron Burr; _The American Magazine_
(Philadelphia, 1757-1758, revived in 1769), which Professor Tyler calls
“by far the most admirable example of our literary periodicals in the
colonial time,” edited by Rev. William Smith, first provost of the
College of Philadelphia; _The New American Magazine_ (Woodbridge, New
Jersey, 1758-1760), edited by S. Nevil; _The Royal American Magazine_
(Boston, 1774-1775); _The Pennsylvania Magazine_ (Philadelphia,
1775-1776), edited by Thomas Paine, to which articles were sent by
Francis Hopkinson, John Witherspoon, and William Smith; _The Columbian
Magazine_ (Philadelphia, 1786-1790), edited at first by Matthew Carey
and later by Alexander J. Dallas, and changed in 1790 to _The Universal
Asylum_ (1790-1792; to this Benjamin Rush was a faithful contributor);
_The American Museum_ (Philadelphia, 1787-1792, 1798), for which Carey
abandoned _The Columbian_ and which was “the first really successful
literary undertaking of the kind in America”; _The Massachusetts
Magazine_ (Boston, 1789-1796); _The New York Magazine_ (1790-1797);
_The Farmers’ Museum_ (Walpole, New Hampshire, 1793-1799), of which
Joseph Dennie, the editor from 1796 to 1799, boasted that “it is read
by more than two thousand individuals, and has its patrons in Europe
and on the banks of the Ohio”; and _The Monthly Magazine and American
Review_ (New York, 1799-1800), founded by Charles Brockden Brown, and
carried on in 1801-1802 as _The American Review and Literary Journal_.
But the reading public of those days was small, and other conditions
were unfavourable to publishers; in consequence, almost none of these
publications lived into the next century.

=The Nineteenth Century.=--Of the literary magazines established
before 1850, only one or two have survived. Yet we now begin to see
the periodicals exhibiting greater vitality; and gradually they come
to deal more and more with native literature and to exhibit a greater
self-reliance on the part of American writers. The first half of the
century was the period in which the national spirit took deep root and
made rapid growth; and this national spirit is fully reflected in the
literature of the time.

In 1801 Joseph Dennie and John Dickins began to publish, in
Philadelphia, _The Port Folio_, which was destined to live for
twenty-six years. Among its contributors were John Blair Linn, author
of “The Powers of Genius,” “The Death of Washington,” etc.; Robert
H. Rose, author of “Sketches in Verse”; John Sanderson, who wrote a
book of Parisian sketches entitled “The American in Paris”; Alexander
Graydon; Gouverneur Morris; Joseph Hopkinson, author of “Hail,
Columbia,” and of articles on Shakespeare; and Alexander Wilson, poet
and ornithologist, whose works were edited by Alexander B. Grosart
(Paisley, Scotland, 1876).

From 1803 to 1811, the Anthology Club maintained in Boston a sprightly
magazine called _The Anthology and Boston Review_. The best minds of
Boston contributed to it; among them George Ticknor, William Tudor,
Joseph Buckminster, John Quincy Adams, Dr. John Sylvester, Edward
Everett, and John Gardiner. The magazine never paid expenses; but the
contributors cheerfully paid for their pleasure. The club did much to
give Boston its literary prestige, and was the forerunner of the famous
Boston Athenæum.

_The Literary Magazine and American Register_ (Philadelphia, 1803-1808)
was likewise founded by the novelist Brown, who published therein,
among other things, his “Memoirs of Carwin, the Biloquist.”

Washington Irving began his literary career with the publication of
_Salmagundi_, which he founded in New York in 1807, in conjunction with
his brother William and James Kirke Paulding. The little sheet, in
yellow covers, was issued by an eccentric publisher, David Longworth,
the front of whose house was entirely hidden by a colossal painting of
the crowning of Shakespeare. The magazine was modelled after Addison’s
_Spectator_. Paulding was Launcelot Langstaff and Irving was Pindar
Cockloft, the poet. “Our intention,” wrote the editors, “is simply to
instruct the young, reform the old, correct the town, and castigate
the age; this is an arduous task, and therefore we undertake it with
confidence.” The work soon became popular throughout the United
States for its clever reproductions of society foibles. After twenty
numbers, however, it was discontinued, because, as Paulding said, “the
publisher, with that liberality so characteristic of these modern
Mæcenases, declined to concede to us a share of the profits, which had
become considerable.” Twelve years later, Irving being then in Europe,
Paulding attempted a second series (Philadelphia, May to August, 1820),
which, though inferior to the first series, still contained some
interesting pages.

_The Select Reviews and Spirit of the Foreign Magazines_, begun by
Samuel Ewing in Philadelphia (1809), later became _The Analectic
Magazine_ (1812-1821). In 1813-1814 Irving was its editor and
contributed to it some biographies of heroes of the War of 1812 and
some of the essays afterwards collected in “The Sketch Book.” Other
contributors were Gulian C. Verplanck, James K. Paulding, Alexander
Wilson, and William Darlington. _The Analectic_ published in July,
1819, the first lithograph made in America.

_The Portico_ (Baltimore, 1815-1819) numbered among its contributors
John Neal, whose lengthy review of Byron appeared as a serial. Neal
continued to write for _The Portico_ “until he knocked it on the head,
it is thought, by an article on Free Agency.”

_The Idle Man_ (New York, 1821-1822) was edited by Richard H. Dana the
elder; in it were printed his novels “Tom Thornton” and “Paul Felton”
and some contributions from Bryant and from Washington Allston.

_The New York Mirror_, a weekly, was begun in 1823 by General George
P. Morris and Samuel Woodworth, the author of “The Old Oaken Bucket.”
Woodworth soon gave way to Theodore S. Fay and he in turn (1831)
to Nathaniel P. Willis. Morris and Willis conducted it with great
success until 1842. Fay contributed “The Little Genius,” satirical
letters on New York society, and “The Minute Book,” letters from
Europe. Willis spent some years abroad as foreign correspondent of the
paper (1832-1836), his letters being eagerly read and widely copied.
Morris and Willis subsequently conducted _The New Mirror_ (New York,
1843-1844), which in October, 1844, became a daily, and _The Home
Journal_ (New York, from 1846 on), which as _Town and Country_ still

_The Atlantic Magazine_ (New York, 1824-1825), edited by Robert C.
Sands, was continued till 1826 as _The New York Review and Athenæum
Magazine_. In its later form it was edited by Henry J. Anderson and
William Cullen Bryant. In it appeared many of Bryant’s poems and some
of his prose, as well as contributions by Longfellow, Dana, Willis,
Bancroft, and Caleb Cushing. In March, 1826, the _Review_ was merged
with _The New York Literary Gazette_. In July this was in turn combined
with _The United States Literary Gazette_, which had been founded in
Boston in 1825 and edited by Theophilus Parsons, the new title being
_The United States Review and Literary Gazette_. James G. Carter, and
later Charles Folsom, were the Boston editors, and Bryant was the New
York editor. The periodical did not long survive.

_The American Monthly Magazine_ (New York, 1829-1831) was established
and edited by Nathaniel P. Willis, who enlisted a number of younger
writers, such as Richard Hildreth, Park Benjamin, Isaac McLellan,
Albert Pike (“Hymns to the Gods”), Rufus Dawes, and Mrs. Sigourney.
In 1831 the _Magazine_ was absorbed by _The New York Mirror_, of which
Willis now became an associate editor.

_The Illinois Monthly Magazine_ (Vandalia, Illinois, 1830-1832), edited
and mainly written by James Hall, was the earliest literary publication
in the West; it was superseded by _The Western Monthly Magazine_
(Cincinnati, 1833-1836), edited by Timothy Flint.

One of the most popular of the Philadelphia magazines was _Godey’s
Lady’s Book_ (1830-1877), which as early as 1859 circulated 98,500
copies, and which published compositions by Paulding, Park Benjamin,
Holmes, Irving, Poe, Bayard Taylor, Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe,
Simms, Willis, Buchanan Read, Thomas Dunn English, and Lydia H.
Sigourney. Poe’s contribution on “The Literati of New York,” published
in its columns in 1846, created a great sensation at the time. For
more than thirty years _Godey’s_ was edited by Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, who
is also famous as the author of “Mary had a little lamb,” and through
whose exertions our national Thanksgiving Day was secured.

_The New England Magazine_, established in Boston in 1831 by Joseph
T. and Edwin Buckingham, published contributions from Hildreth, Park
Benjamin, Whittier, Holmes (who published here the first two papers,
never by authority reprinted, of his “Autocrat” series), Longfellow,
William and Andrew Peabody, George S. Hillard (“Literary Portraits” and
“Selections from the Papers of an Idler”), and other eminent writers.
In 1835 Park Benjamin took it to New York and continued it till 1838 as
_The American Monthly Magazine_.

_The North American Quarterly Magazine_ (Philadelphia, 1833-1838)
was conducted by Sumner Lincoln Fairfield, author of “The Cities of
the Plain,” and of an unpublished poem, “The Last Night of Pompeii”
(finished in 1830), from which he alleged that Bulwer, to whom he sent
the manuscript, stole the plot of his “Last Days of Pompeii.”

Much more successful was _The Knickerbacker or New-York Monthly
Magazine_, founded in the same year and quietly changed with the
seventh number to _The Knickerbocker_. The founder was Charles Fenno
Hoffman, who edited three numbers. Some contributors were Harry Franco,
Bryant, Irving (“Crayon Papers”), Longfellow, Lewis Gaylord Clark (for
a time the editor), William L. Stone, the brothers Duyckinck, Frederick
S. Cozzens, Simms, Park Benjamin, John L. Stephens (letters from
Egypt), and Parkman (“The Oregon Trail”). With some exceptions it must
be said that the contents of _The Knickerbocker_ were not of very great
merit; and in its later years there were too many stories on the order
of “Carl Almendinger’s Office, or, The Mysteries of Chicago,” which
ran as a serial in 1862. In 1864 the title was _The American Monthly
Knickerbocker_, and from July till October, 1865, when publication was
suspended, the title was _The Fœderal American_.

_The Southern Literary Messenger_, published monthly at Richmond,
Virginia, between 1834 and 1864, exerted a marked influence upon the
literary taste of the whole South. In it were first published many
of Poe’s stories and criticisms, and he was the editor of the second
volume. Other contributors were Paulding, Park Benjamin, John W.
Draper, Willis, Henry C. Lea, R. H. Stoddard, Simms, John B. Dabney,
Matthew F. Maury, Philip Pendleton, and John Esten Cooke, Henry Timrod,
Paul H. Hayne, Aldrich, Moncure D. Conway, Thomas Dunn English, John P.
Kennedy, James Barron Hope (“Henry Ellen”), and W. Gordon McCabe.

In 1837 William E. Burton, the comedian, established in Philadelphia
_The Gentleman’s Magazine_ to do for his sex what _Godey’s_ was doing
for the ladies. Beginning with July, 1839, Poe became joint editor.
The next year Burton sold out to George R. Graham, who combined
the magazine with _The Casket_ (begun by Samuel Coate Atkinson in
1827) to form _Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine_. For years
_Graham’s_ was the most famous and truly national periodical in
America. Graham understood the reading public as did few other men. He
paid contributors liberally for those days, and collected a brilliant
list of writers, including every name well known in letters at the
time except Irving, who confined himself to _The Knickerbocker_. To
_Graham’s_ Longfellow contributed his “Spanish Student,” “Childhood,”
“The Builders,” “The Belfry of Bruges,” “The Arsenal at Springfield,”
“Nuremberg,” etc. Poe contributed “The Mask of the Red Death,” “The
Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Conqueror Worm,” “Life in Death,” and
some minor pieces. Here were first published also many of Hawthorne’s
“Twice-Told Tales.” Simms, Paulding, Geo. H. Boker, Henry W. Herbert,
Robert T. Conrad, E. P. Whipple, and John G. Saxe were “principal
contributors.” Lowell and Bayard Taylor were editorial writers. Cooper
received $1800, then a very high price, for “The Islets of the Gulf, or
Rose Budd,” later republished as “Jack Tier, or The Florida Reefs,” and
$1000 for a series of biographies of distinguished naval commanders.
Nathaniel P. Willis wrote much between 1843 and 1851. In 1852, Graham
boasted that in the decade previous he had paid American contributors
between eighty and ninety thousand dollars. The circulation of the
magazine for a long time was 40,000 copies. About 1854 Graham sold
out. In competition with _Harper’s_ and _Putnam’s_, _Graham’s_ soon
declined. In 1859 its name was changed to _The American Monthly_, and
it quickly disappeared.

In 1839 Willis began, in connection with Dr. T. O. Porter, to issue a
weekly, _The Corsair_, from the basement of the Astor House, New York.
Willis was the chief writer, contributing romantic stories, dramatic
criticism, letters from Europe entitled “Jottings Down in London,”
and gossip. While in England he met Thackeray, whom he induced to
contribute eight letters. In all, fifty-two numbers were printed, the
last dated March 7, 1840.

The Transcendental Movement, which will be discussed elsewhere, found
expression in 1840 in a Boston quarterly called _The Dial_, which
flourished till 1844, and which was edited successively by George
Ripley, Margaret Fuller, and Emerson. The last contributed more than
thirty prose articles and poems, among them “The Conservative,”
“Chardon Street and Bible Convention,” “The Transcendentalist,” and
in verse “The Problem,” “The Sphinx,” and “Woodnotes.” Bronson Alcott
sent his “Orphic Sayings,” the mystery of some of which has never been
fathomed. Other writers were Theodore Parker, George Ripley, Thoreau,
James Freeman Clarke, William H. and William Ellery Channing, Eliot
Cabot, John S. Dwight, Christopher P. Cranch, Mrs. Ellen Hooper, and
Charles A. Dana. “Conceived and carried on in a spirit of boundless
hope and enthusiasm,” the magazine encountered much ridicule among the
Philistines. _The Knickerbocker_ said of the first number:

  It is to be devoted to that refinement upon common-sense
  literature, just now so much in vogue at the East; which, like the
  memorable science of Sir Piercie Shafton, shall indoctrinate the
  dull in intellectuality, the vulgar in nobility, and give that
  “unutterable perfection of human utterance”; that eloquence which
  no other eloquence is sufficient to praise; that art which, in
  fine, when we call it _literary Euphuism_, we bestow upon it its
  richest panegyric.

Yet in spite of such strictures, the contents of _The Dial_ are now
immensely significant of the social agitation then going on in New
England; and much of its matter has become a part of our permanent

_The New World_, a large weekly established in New York by Park
Benjamin (1840-1845), reprinted much from the English magazines, but
included also contributions from Epes and John Osborne Sargent, James
Aldrich, Herbert, Charles Lanman, Edward S. Gould, Charles Eames
(editor for a time), and John Jay. George P. Putnam, the publisher, was
for some years its London correspondent.

It was in _Peterson’s Ladies’ National Magazine_ (a fashion journal
begun in Philadelphia in 1841) that Frances Hodgson Burnett published
her first story, “Ethel’s Sir Lancelot” (November, 1868). The magazine,
long popular among readers of light literature, was a few years since
merged with _The Argosy_.

_The Union Magazine_ (New York, 1847-1848), edited by Mrs. Caroline
M. Kirkland, was bought by John Sartain, the engraver, and William
Sloanaker, who had withdrawn from the managership of _Graham’s_, and
reappeared in Philadelphia (1849-1852) as _Sartain’s Union Magazine of
Literature and Art_, attaining great popularity. It published works by
Longfellow (“The Blind Girl of Castel Cuillé,” “Resignation”), Boker,
Mrs. Sigourney, Lucy Larcom, Henry T. Tuckerman, Poe (“The Bells”),
Park Benjamin, R. H. Stoddard, and Charles G. Leland.

_Harper’s New Monthly Magazine_ (New York), established by the Messrs.
Harper in June, 1850, has long enjoyed a deservedly large circulation.
For a considerable time it contained chiefly articles, especially
fiction, reprinted from English periodicals. In later years it has
included much more from American writers, and its contents have in
general been of a high order of merit. Its records of travel and of
scientific progress have been valuable. For many years the “Easy
Chair,” conducted by George William Curtis, and later by William D.
Howells, has been an interesting feature. In _Harper’s_ first appeared
Howells’ “Annie Kilburn” and “Their Silver Wedding Journey,” Warner’s
“Studies of the Great West” and “A Little Journey in the World,”
Constance F. Woolson’s “Jupiter Lights,” “East Angels,” and “Anne,”
Poulteney Bigelow’s “White Man’s Africa,” Stockton’s “Bicycle of
Cathay” and “The Great Stone of Sardis,” John Fox, Jr.’s “Kentuckians,”
Stephen Crane’s “Whilomville Stories,” Mark Twain’s “Personal
Recollections of Joan of Arc,” Woodrow Wilson’s “Colonies and Nation,”
Mary E. Wilkins’ “Portion of Labor,” Mary Johnston’s “Sir Mortimer,”
and Margaret Deland’s “Awakening of Helena Richie.” _The International
Magazine_, founded by Rufus W. Griswold in New York in 1850, was two
years later merged with _Harper’s_.

_Putnam’s Monthly Magazine_ began publication in New York in 1853.
Its earlier editors were Charles F. Briggs (whose pen name was “Harry
Franco”), Parke Godwin, George W. Curtis, and George P. Putnam.
Among the more important of the early contributions may be mentioned
“Shakespeare’s Scholar” by Richard Grant White, “Early Years in
Europe” by George H. Calvert, “The Potiphar Papers” and “Prue and I”
by George W. Curtis, a series of political essays by Parke Godwin,
“Fireside Travels” and “A Moosehead Journal” by James Russell Lowell,
the “Sparrowgrass Papers” by Frederick S. Cozzens, “Cape Cod” by
Henry W. Thoreau, “Wensley” by Edmund Quincy, and “Israel Potter” by
Herman Melville. _Putnam’s_ was one of the first of American magazines
which restricted its pages to original contributions, and which gave
special attention to the encouragement of the work of American writers.
Published till 1857 and from 1868 till 1870, it was revived in 1906
as _Putnam’s Monthly_, under the editorial direction of Joseph B.
Gilder and George H. Putnam. _Putnam’s_ is still to be described as a
literary magazine, although space is given also to illustrated articles
on popular topics. _Putnam’s_ arranges with certain of the English
magazines, such as _The Cornhill Magazine_ and _The Fortnightly
Review_, to share contributors, English as well as American. The essays
of Mrs. Richmond Ritchie (Thackeray’s daughter) and of Mr. Arthur C.
Benson, for instance, have, under such an arrangement, been published
simultaneously in _The Cornhill_ and in _Putnam’s_.

The year 1857 is memorable for the founding of _The Atlantic Monthly_
by the publishing firm of Phillips & Sampson of Boston. James Russell
Lowell became the first editor, accepting the post on condition
that Dr. Holmes, who suggested the name, should be engaged as the
first contributor. Among those who wrote for the first number were
Longfellow, Lowell, Emerson, Motley, Holmes (who began “The Autocrat”),
Whittier, Charles Eliot Norton, J. T. Trowbridge, Harriet Beecher
Stowe, and Parke Godwin. Most of these were already well known authors.
The list of contributors to _The Atlantic_ during the half-century of
its life includes all of the most illustrious of American writers--not
only of New England, but of all parts of the country. In religious
thought its attitude has been reverent but liberal. The achievements
of science have been set forth by men like Agassiz, Percival Lowell,
Simon Newcomb, John Trowbridge, George F. Wright, and George H. Darwin.
The new political and economic questions have been discussed by such
men as President Roosevelt, former President Cleveland, Richard Olney,
Woodrow Wilson, Carl Schurz, John W. Foster, Henry Loomis Nelson,
Edward M. Shepard, Benjamin Kidd, John Jay Chapman, and Thomas Nelson
Page. The fiction of _The Atlantic_ has been produced mainly by
American writers--Hawthorne (“Septimius Felton”), Henry James, Jr.
(“Roderick Hudson,” “The Portrait of a Lady”), Aldrich (“The Stillwater
Tragedy,” “Prudence Palfrey”), Bret Harte, Howells (“Their Wedding
Journey,” “A Chance Acquaintance,” “The Lady of the Aroostook”), Mark
Twain, Marion Crawford (“A Roman Singer,” “Paul Patoff,” “Don Orsino”),
Stockton (“The House of Martha”), S. Weir Mitchell (“In War Time”),
Hopkinson Smith (“Caleb West”), Cable (“Bylow Hill”), Paul Leicester
Ford (“The Story of an Untold Love”), Mary Johnston (“To Have and to
Hold,” “Audrey”), Sarah Orne Jewett (“The Tory Lover”), Margaret Deland
(“Sidney,” “Philip and His Wife”), Kate Douglas Wiggin (“Penelope’s
Progress”), and many others. An equally brilliant list might be made of
the essayists whose best work has made its initial appearance in the
form of _Atlantic_ articles. The editors have been Lowell (1857-1861),
James T. Fields, of the firm of Ticknor & Fields, then the publishers
(1861-1871), William Dean Howells (1871-1880), Thomas Bailey Aldrich
(1880-1890), Horace E. Scudder (1890-1897), Walter H. Page (1897-1899),
and Bliss Perry--an illustrious roll. _The Atlantic_ has never changed
its original purpose.

  It is still [to quote a recent writer] an American magazine for
  American readers.... It holds that the most important service
  which an American magazine can perform is the interpretation of
  this country to itself, by the promotion of sympathy between the
  different sections of our varied population, the frank examination
  of our national characteristics, the study of our perplexing
  problems, the encouragement of our art and literature, and the
  reinforcement of those moral and religious beliefs upon which
  depends the success of our experiment in self-government.

These ideals largely explain the success and permanence of _The
Atlantic_. _The Galaxy_, founded in New York in 1866, after furnishing
for several years an entertaining literary and scientific miscellany,
was in 1878 incorporated with _The Atlantic_.

_Lippincott’s Magazine_, established in Philadelphia in 1868, continues
to devote its chief energies to fiction, though it has also published
some notable poetry. Here appeared Lanier’s “Corn,” Edward Kearsley’s
“CampFire Lyrics,” and some of the verse of Emma Lazarus, Maurice
Thompson, Paul H. Hayne, Celia Thaxter, and Philip Bourke Marston.

_The Overland Monthly_ (San Francisco, 1868-1875, 1883 to the present
time) has faithfully mirrored the picturesque and stirring life of the
Far West. It absorbed _The Californian_ (1880-1882). The first five
volumes were edited by Bret Harte, and a large number of his stories,
probably forming his best literary work, first appeared in its columns.

_Old and New_ (Boston, 1870-1875) was conducted by Edward Everett Hale
with the intention of “squeezing from the Old its lessons for the New”
and of combining amusing with instructive literature after the manner
of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_.

In 1870, Dr. Josiah G. Holland and Roswell B. Smith projected
_Scribner’s Monthly_ (New York), and for eleven years Dr. Holland
was its editor. In 1881 it was changed to _The Century Magazine_ and
under the editorship of Richard Watson Gilder has taken high rank
as a distinctively popular magazine. It has given special attention
to popular history, and its literary, historical, and scientific
articles, generally substantial and meritorious, have appealed to
a wide range of readers. Like _Harper’s_, it has drawn upon all of
the leading writers, for example Harte (“Gabriel Conroy”), Cable
(“The Grandissimes,” “Dr. Sevier”), Howells (“A Modern Instance,” “A
Woman’s Reason,” “Silas Lapham”), Stockton (“Rudder Grange,” “The
Merry Chanter,” “The Hundredth Man”), Boyesen (“Falconberg”), John
Hay (“The Bread-Winners”), Henry James, Jr. (“Confidence,” “The
Bostonians”), Eugene Schuyler (“Peter the Great”), Joel Chandler
Harris (“Uncle Remus”), Hamlin Garland (“Her Mountain Lover”), Mary
Hallock Foote (“The Led-Horse Claim,” “Cœur d’Alene”), Marion Crawford
(“Via Crucis”), Mark Twain (“Pudd’nhead Wilson”), S. Weir Mitchell
(“Characteristics,” “Hugh Wynne”). Many poems of merit have also been
printed in _The Century_.

In 1887, _Scribner’s Magazine_ was established by Charles Scribner’s
Sons, and has since taken rank as among the first of American
monthlies. It devotes proportionately more space to literature than
is given by its competitor, _The Century Magazine_, and pays less
attention to so-called popular subjects. Like _The Century_, it
contains illustrations, which are characterised by a high artistic
standard. _Scribner’s_ is under the editorial management of Mr. Edward
L. Burlingame. Like _The Century_, it is published in London as well as
in New York.

Among the other literary periodicals established within the last
quarter-century are _The Bay State Monthly_ (Boston, 1884-1885), which
became in 1886 _The New England Magazine_, and which confines itself
chiefly to the history and literature of New England; _The Forum_ (New
York, since 1886), devoted to the discussion of present-day questions;
_The Cosmopolitan_ (New York, since 1886), a typical popular monthly
miscellany; _The Arena_ (New York, since 1889), which has been a
fearless exponent of advanced liberal thought; _Munsey’s Magazine_ (New
York, since 1891), well illustrated, and claiming a circulation of over
600,000 copies; _McClure’s Magazine_, established by S. S. McClure in
New York in 1893, which by the end of its first year circulated 150,000
copies; _The Bookman_ (New York), edited since 1895 by Harry Thurston
Peck; and _The Reader_ (Indianapolis, Indiana, 1902), now merged in
_Putnam’s Monthly_.

_The Annuals._--In the twenties and thirties of the last century, too,
the annuals were popular in America as in England. Almost all of the
leading authors contributed to them. Among the best were _The Talisman_
(New York, 1828-1830), written by Bryant, Verplanck, and Sands, and
illustrated by Inman, Samuel F. B. Morse, and others; and _The Token_
(Boston, 1828-1842), edited by S. G. Goodrich (“Peter Parley”) and (in
1829) N. P. Willis, in which appeared contributions by Longfellow,
Hawthorne (some “Twice-Told Tales”), Mrs. Child, Mrs. Sigourney, and
Mrs. Hale. In general, however, the American, like the British annuals,
included a large amount of mediocre writing.

_The Reviews._--The American reviews begin with _The American Review
of History and Politics_, founded by Robert Walsh (Philadelphia,
1811-1813). In 1815 _The North American Review and Miscellaneous
Journal_ was founded in Boston and has consequently had the longest
life of all the periodicals now in existence. Its founder, William
Tudor, was, we have seen, a member of the Anthology Club, and a writer
of fine taste, who later did good service in a diplomatic career in
South America. The _Review_ was at first published every two months
in numbers of 150 pages each; after the seventh volume it appeared
quarterly in numbers of 250 pages each and at the same time ceased
to publish poetry and general news, thus conforming more closely to
the leading type of contemporary British reviews. The most voluminous
contributors to the first sixty volumes were Judge Willard Phillips
(editor in 1817), Tudor, Edward and Alexander Everett (editors in
1819-1822 and 1830-1836 respectively), Jared Sparks (editor in
1822-1830), Bancroft, Francis Bowen (editor in 1843-1853), Nathan Hale,
George S. Hillard, John G. Palfrey (editor in 1836-1843), Oliver,
William, and Andrew Peabody, Caleb Cushing, Cornelius C. Felton,
William H. Prescott, and Charles Francis Adams. Much of Whipple’s
criticism originally appeared here. Among recent editors have been
Lowell, Charles Eliot Norton, Henry Adams, and Henry Cabot Lodge.
Bryant’s “Thanatopsis” first appeared here in September, 1817. The
book reviews, especially between 1850 and 1870, were probably better
than those usually found in any other American periodical. In recent
years the character of _The North American_ has largely changed. It
now offers monthly a collection of signed articles chiefly on current
political and social problems.

Other early reviews were _The Christian Examiner and Theological
Review_ (Boston, 1824-1869, in 1870 merged with _Old and New_), in
which appeared some of the most virile criticism of the time; _The
American Quarterly Review_ (Philadelphia, 1827-1837), another of
Walsh’s ventures and a quarterly of merit; _The Southern Review_
(Charleston, 1828-1832, revived 1842-1855), started by William Elliott
and Hugh S. Legare; _The Western Review_ (Cincinnati, 1828-1830),
founded by Timothy Flint; _The New York Review_ (1837-1842),
established by Francis L. Hawks and later edited by Joseph G. Cogswell
and Caleb S. Henry; _The Boston Quarterly Review_ (1838-1842), edited
by Orestes A. Brownson, and merged with _The United States Magazine and
Democratic Review_ (Washington and New York, 1837-1852), which became
_The United States Review_ (1853-1859); _The New Englander_ (New Haven,
Conn., 1843-1892), for religious, historical, and literary articles;
_The American Whig Review_ (New York, 1845-1852), started by George
H. Colton and later edited by Dr. James D. Whelpley; _The Literary
World_ (New York, 1847-1853), ably edited by Evart A. Duyckinck; _The
Massachusetts Quarterly Review_ (Boston, 1847-1850), edited by Theodore
Parker; _The New York Quarterly Review_ (1852-1853); and _The National
Quarterly Review_ (New York, 1860-1880).

_The Nation_ was founded as a weekly in New York in 1865 by Edwin
Lawrence Godkin, who remained its editor for a third of a century.
Since 1881, when Mr. Godkin assumed the editorial control of the New
York _Evening Post, The Nation_ has been issued as the weekly edition
of _The Evening Post_. During the forty-three years of its existence,
_The Nation_ has held a leading position in American criticism and also
as an exponent of American politics considered from an independent
point of view. From 1881 to 1905, _The Nation_ was under the editorial
management of the late Wendell Phillips Garrison. It is now under the
direction of Mr. Hammond Lamont. The literary department is conducted
by Mr. Paul E. More, who had, before assuming this editorial post, made
a name for himself in literary criticism.

_The International Review_ (New York, 1874-1883) printed many articles
of solid worth. _The Dial_, semi-monthly, was established in Chicago
in 1880 by Francis F. Browne. It has made a noteworthy reputation for
a high standard of American criticism, and has retained the services
of some of the ablest of American reviewers. _The Critic_ was founded,
as a weekly literary journal, in New York, in 1881, by Jeannette L.
Gilder and Joseph B. Gilder. It did good work in literary criticism and
in the presentation of literary news for twenty-five years, when it
was absorbed by _Putnam’s Monthly_. _The Sewanee Review_, a quarterly
founded at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1892,
and _The South Atlantic Quarterly_, founded at Durham, North Carolina,
in 1902, are publishing the best literary criticism in the South to-day.

_Newspapers._--The plan of this Manual permits but a brief reference
to the more important of the newspapers which have given attention to
the interests of literature. The New York _Evening Post_ was founded
in 1801, and was for fifty-two years (1828-1880) edited by Bryant. In
1819, it printed the well-known “Croaker Papers” by Drake and Halleck.
James K. Paulding was an occasional contributor, and Whitman was one of
its Washington writers during the first year of the Civil War, 1861.
Bret Harte was for a time on the editorial staff, and the list of
the literary critics includes the names of John R. Thompson and John
Bigelow. During the years 1881-1902, _The Evening Post_ was under the
editorial control of Edwin L. Godkin, who was an Irishman by birth,
an Englishman by education, and an American by what may be called
natural selection. His editorials in _The Evening Post_ constitute a
most important contribution to the literature of journalism, or it
may be more precise to say to the journalism of literature. They were
forcible, witty, and incisive, and always represented the earnest
convictions of the writer. _The Evening Post_, which still gives a full
measure of dignified and effective consideration to literature, is now
under the editorial direction of Messrs. Rollo Ogden and Oswald G.
Villard. Its literary department is managed by Paul E. More.

_The New York Tribune_ was founded in 1841 by Horace Greeley, who
must also take rank as one of the noteworthy American editors. For
thirty-one years, George Ripley had the chief responsibility for its
literary department, and among his associates were Bayard Taylor and
Margaret Fuller. A number of the more important reviews, particularly
those having to do with English criticism and with poetry, were the
work of Edmund C. Stedman. Miss Ellen Hutchinson, later associated with
Mr. Stedman in editing the “Library of American Literature,” was for
many years on the literary staff of _The Tribune_.

_The Sun_ was founded in 1833, and was for many years managed by a
third great American editor, Charles A. Dana. The incisive force and
stirring wit of Dana’s editorials have probably never been equalled in
American journalism, unless it were in the columns of Godkin’s Post.
_The Sun_ has always given much attention to literature, and the weekly
contributions of Mr. Mayo W. Hazeltine have for many years taken first
rank among the critical literary essays of the day.

_The Times_ was founded in 1851 by Henry J. Raymond, an early associate
of Horace Greeley. During the past twelve years, _The Times_ has given
a larger measure of attention to literature than any other paper in
the country. Its literary department finally became sufficiently
important to call for a separate printing, and it is now issued as a
weekly literary supplement. The present editor of the supplement, which
presents a convenient and comprehensive summary of the publications
of each week, is Mr. William Bayard Hale. The literary supplement has
secured for its regular contributors a number of the more capable
critics of the day, among whom may be mentioned Mr. Edward Cary, Miss
Elizabeth Luther Cary, Miss Hildegarde Hawthorne, and Mr. Montgomery

Of the other New York papers, _The World_ was founded in 1860, and
during the years 1862-1876 was associated with the name of Manton
Marble, one of the scholarly editors of his day. It is now controlled
by Mr. Joseph Pulitzer. _The Express_, founded in 1836, and for a
series of years the organ of the remarkable brothers James and Erastus
Brooks, was, about 1880, merged with _The Mail_, also founded in 1836.
_The Commercial Advertiser_, founded early in the nineteenth century,
became about 1890 _The Commercial Advertiser and the Globe_, and later
_The Globe_. _The Herald_, founded in 1831 by the elder James Gordon
Bennett, is still under the control of the Bennett family. It is most
valuable to the community in its presentation of news, but has not been
distinctive on its literary side. _The Eagle_, published in what is now
the Borough of Brooklyn, was founded about 1850. It has always taken
high rank for independence of political conviction and also for the
excellent literary quality of its editorials and reviews. It has for
many years been under the editorial direction of St. Clair McKelway.

In New England, _The Boston Transcript_, founded in 1830, devotes much
space to reviews and discussions of literature and stands high for its
catholicity of judgment and discriminating taste. Among the papers in
the smaller New England cities should be specified _The Republican_, of
Springfield, Massachusetts, founded in 1824, the ownership of which
has for three generations been in the Bowles family. It has included
among its contributors some of the ablest writers of New England. _The
Courant_, of Hartford, Connecticut, had the advantage for many years of
the editorship of Charles Dudley Warner.

In the Middle West, the Chicago _Tribune_, founded in 1847, is to be
recalled for its association with the life-work of one of America’s
ablest journalists, Joseph Medill. In Cincinnati, _The Commercial_
had the advantage for many years of the editorial direction of Murat
Halsted. In the Southwest, the Louisville (Kentucky) _Journal_,
founded in 1830, will always be associated with the name of George D.
Prentice. _The Journal_ was in 1868 merged with _The Courier_ and, as
_The Courier-Journal_, has since been under the direction of Mr. Henry
Watterson, a survivor of the type of “strenuous” Southern journalism.

The Washington _National Era_, published between the years 1847 and
1860, is to be noted as having presented to the world “Uncle Tom’s
Cabin.” In the contest for abolition which this book did so much to
bring to a triumphant end, _The Liberator_ (1831-1866), carried on
by William Lloyd Garrison, and _The National Anti-Slavery Standard_
(1840-1872), conducted by Wendell Phillips, should also be mentioned.
These two men differed sharply from each other from time to time as to
the methods to be pursued, but were at one in their fierce antagonism
to slavery and in their readiness to devote their lives, if need be, to
its extinction.


    Adams, Henry                                             1838-
    Alcott, Louisa M.                                        1832-1888
    Aldrich, Thomas Bailey                                   1836-1907
    Atherton, Gertrude Franklin                              1859-
    Bellamy, Edward                                          1850-1898
    Benedict, Frank Lee                                      1834-
    Bierce, Ambrose                                          1842-
    Burnett, Frances Hodgson                                 1849-
    Carnegie, Andrew                                         1837-
    Chance, Julia Grinnell Cruger (Julien Gordon)            1859-
    Churchill, Winston                                       1871-
    Clemens, Samuel L. (Mark Twain)                          1835-
    Cooper, James Fenimore                                   1789-1851
    Craigie, Pearl Mary Teresa (John Oliver Hobbes)          1867-1906
    Crawford, F. Marion                                      1854-
    Cummins, Maria Susanna                                   1827-1866
    Davis, Richard Harding                                   1864-
    Deland, Margaret                                         1857-
    Dixon, Thomas, Jr.                                       1864-
    Eggleston, Edward                                        1837-1902
    Emerson, Ralph Waldo                                     1803-1882
    Fletcher, Julia Constance (George Fleming)               1853-
    Frederic, Harold                                         1856-1898
    Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins                                 1862-
    Gunter, Archibald Clavering                              1847-1907
    Habberton, John                                          1842-
    Halsted, Leonora B.                                      1855-
    Harland, Henry                                           1861-1905
    Harte, Francis Bret                                      1839-1902
    Hawthorne, Nathaniel                                     1804-1864
    Hay, John                                                1838-1905
    Holmes, Oliver Wendell                                   1809-1894
    Howells, William Dean                                    1837-
    Irving, Washington                                       1783-1859
    Jackson, Helen Hunt (H. H.)                              1831-1885
    James, Henry                                             1843-
    Kimball, Richard B.                                      1816-1892
    Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth                              1807-1882
    Lorimer, George Horace                                   1868-
    McKnight, Charles                                        1826-1881
    Norris, Frank                                            1870-1902
    Osbourne, Lloyd                                          1868-
    Parkes, Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)                 1862-
    Pike, Mary Hayden Green (Mary Langdon)                   1825-
    Poe, Edgar Allan                                         1809-1849
    Prentiss, Elizabeth Payson                               1818-1878
    Riggs, Kate Douglas Wiggin                               1857-
    Roosevelt, Theodore                                      1858-
    Savage, Richard Henry                                    1846-1903
    Sheppard, Nathan                                         1834-1888
    Stanton, Theodore                                        1851-
    Stockton, Frank R.                                       1834-1902
    Stowe, Harriet Beecher                                   1811-1896
    von Teuffel, Blanche Wilder Howard                       1847-1898
    Wallace, Lewis                                           1827-1905
    Warner, Anna B. (Amy Lothrop)                            1820-
    Warner, Susan (Elizabeth Wetherell)                      1819-1885
    Wetmore, Elizabeth Bisland                               1861-
    Wharton, Edith                                           1862-
    Williamson, Alice Muriel                                 1870-



  _Aaron in the Wildwoods_, 214

  Abbot, Ezra, 414

  _Active Service_, 230

  _Adam Bede_, 197

  Adams, Abigail, 43, 45

  Adams, Charles Francis, 449

  Adams, Charles Kendall, 112

  Adams, Henry, 89, 112, 114, 212, 449

  Adams, Herbert Baxter, 113

  Adams, John, 43, 45, 49, 251, 371

  Adams, John Quincy, 361, 365-6, 377, 436

  Adams, Samuel, 68-70, 360

  Addison, D. D., 379

  Addison, Joseph, 147, 241, 325, 346, 437

  _Address on West India Emancipation_, 386

  Ade, George, 345

  Adeler, Max. See Clark, Charles H.

  _Adirondack Stories_, 202

  _Adrift in Dixie_, 181

  _Adventures of Ann, The_, 224

  _Adventures of Captain Bonneville_, 93, 95, 324

  _Adventures of Captain Horn_, The, 209

  _Adventures of François, The_, 186

  _Adventures of Harry Franco, The_, etc., 161

  _Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The_, 357

  _Adventures of Robin Day, The_, 158

  _Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The_, 357

  _Æschylus_, 294, 308

  _Afield and Afloat_, 210

  _Afloat and Ashore_, 126

  _Aftermath_, 229, 278

  _Afterwhiles_, 318

  Agapida, Fray Antonio, 94

  Agassiz, Jean Louis Rodolphe, 276, 411, 420, 421, 425, 445

  _Agnes of Sorrento_, 170

  _Agnes Surriage_, 204

  Akenside, Mark, 249, 250

  _Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems_, 270

  Alcott, Amos Bronson, 331, 442

  Alcott, Louisa May, 184

  _Alderbrook_, 165

  Aldrich, James, 440, 443

  Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 181-2, 207, 315, 316, 343-4, 445, 446

  Alexander, Archibald, 389

  Alexander, James Waddell, 389

  _Algerine Captive, The_, 117

  _Alhambra, The._ See _Tales of the Alhambra_.

  _Alice of Old Vincennes_, 215

  Allen, Alexander V. G., 383, 391, 392

  Allen, James Lane, 228-9, 238

  Allen, James Lane (of Chicago), 229

  Allen, Paul, 90

  Allen, Samanthy. See Holley, Marietta.

  Allston, Washington, 163, 252, 254, 264, 438

  Almanac, 27-8

  _Almanac Calculated for New England by Mr. Pierce, An_, 27

  _Alone_, etc., 173

  _Ambassadors, The_, 195

  _Amber Gods, The_, 175

  _Ambitious Woman, An_, 204

  _Amelia, or The Influence of Virtue_, 121

  _America_, 245

  _America and Great Britain_, 252

  _American, The_, 193, 194

  _American Anthology_, 317, 318

  _American Archives_, etc., 98

  _American Colleges and the American Public_, 396

  _American Commonwealth, The_, 400

  _American Dictionary of the English Language_, 413

  _American Eloquence_, etc., 379

  _American Encyclopedia, The_, 332

  _American Flag, The_, 245, 254

  _American Geologist, The_, 426

  _American in Paris, The_, 436

  _American Journal of Philology, The_, 418

  _American Journal of Science, The_, 424, 427

  _American Literature_, 339

  _American Magazine, The_, 33, 434, 435

  _American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, The_, 434

  _American Monthly, The_, 441

  _American Monthly Knickerbocker, The_, 440

  _American Monthly Magazine, The_, 157, 160, 438, 439

  _American Museum, The_, 435

  _American Nation, The_, etc., 113

  _American Naturalist, The_, 420, 422

  _American Orations_, etc., 379

  American Philosophical Society, The, 37

  _American Politician, An_, 216

  _American Quarterly Review, The_, 450

  _American Review, The_, 411

  _American Review and Literary Review, The_, 435

  _American Review of History and Politics, The_, 449

  _American Revolution, The_, 113

  _American Scholar, The_, 328

  _American Times, The_, 346

  _American Weekly Mercury, The_, 32

  _American Whig Review, The_, 450

  _American Wives and English Husbands_, 234

  _American Woman’s Home, The_, 343

  _Ames, Fisher_, 361

  Amiel, H. F., 111

  _Among my Books_, 336

  _Among the Guerillas_, 181

  _Among the Hills_, 302

  _Among the Pines_, 181

  _Analectic Magazine, The_, 437

  _Andenken_, 198

  Anderson, Henry J., 438

  Andrews, Mary R. Shipman, 236

  _Andromeda_, 212

  _Angel and the Nightingale, The_, 252

  _Anglomaniacs, The_, 207

  _Annabel Lee_, 270

  _Annals of the American Pulpit_, 379, 382

  _Anne_, 191, 444

  _Annie Kilburn_, 200, 443

  _Anthology and Boston Review, The_, 436

  Anthology Club, The, 436

  _Antony Brade_, 175

  _Apology of Ayliffe, The_, 206

  _Appleton’s Journal_, 197

  _Appreciation of Literature, The_, 340

  _April Hopes_, 200

  _Arabian Nights, The_, 307

  Arbuthnot, John, 123

  _Arcadian, The_, 218

  _Archibald Malmaison_, 197-8

  _Archy Moore_, 159

  _Arcturus_, 161

  _Arena, The_, 448

  _Argonauts of North Liberty, The_, 189

  _Argosy, The_, 443

  Argyll, Duke of, 277

  Arnold, Matthew, 260, 261, 262

  _Art in the Netherlands_, 196

  _Art of Poetry_, 243

  _Artemus Ward: His Book_, 355

  _Artemus Ward: His Book of Goaks_, 355

  _Artemus Ward in London_, 355

  _Arthur Bonnicastle_, 174

  _Arthur Clenning_, 134

  _Arthur Mervyn_, etc., 118

  _As It Was Written_, 222

  _Ascutney Street_, 182

  _Aspern Papers, The_, etc., 194

  Astor, William Waldorf, 212

  _Astoria_, etc., 93, 95, 324

  _Asylum, The; or Alonzo and Melissa_, 121

  _At Close Range_, 228

  _At Last_, 173

  _At Love’s Extremes_, 214

  _At Magnolia Cemetery_, 268-9

  _At Sundown_, 301

  _At Teague Poteet’s_, 214

  _Atalantis_, 269

  _Atheism in Philosophy_, 381

  Athenæan Society, 135

  _Athenæum, The_ (London), 134

  Atherton, Gertrude Franklin, 234

  Atkinson, Samuel Coate, 441

  _Atlantic Essays_, 337

  _Atlantic Magazine, The_, 438

  _Atlantic Monthly, The_, 137, 168, 175, 176, 179, 181, 182, 183, 186,
          187, 189, 198, 199, 202, 204, 207, 218, 220, 243, 260, 287,
          300, 316, 319, 333, 336, 338, 340, 342, 408, 445-6

  _Atlantic Souvenir, The_, 145

  _Audrey_, 236, 446

  Audubon, John James, 229, 418-9

  _Auk, The_, 423

  _Aulnay Tower_, 204

  _Aunt Serena_, 204

  _Aurelian_, 160

  Austin, Jane Goodwin, 223

  Austin, William, 134

  _Authors and Friends_, 338

  _Autobiography of a Quack, The_, 186

  _Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, The_, 180, 294-5, 333

  _Average Man, An_, 221

  _Average Woman, The_, 221

  _Awakening of Helena Richie, The_, 227, 444

  _Awkward Age, The_, 194

  _Azarian_, 175

  _Aztec Treasure House, The_, etc., 223


  Bache, Alexander Dallas, 427, 428-9

  Bacheller, Irving, 234

  _Bachelor Maid, A_, 207

  _Bachelor’s Christmas, The_, etc., 221

  Bachman, Rev. John, 419

  _Backlog Studies_, 334

  _Backwoodsman, The_, 255

  Bacon, Francis, 388

  Bacon, Leonard, 381-2, 383

  Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 419-20

  Baker, William Mumford, 185

  _Balaam and His Master_, etc., 214

  Baldwin, James M., 393

  Balestier, Charles Wolcott, 220-1

  _Ballad of Babie Bell_, etc., 316

  _Ballads and Other Poems_, 278

  _Ballads of New England_, 300

  Balzac, Honoré de, 131

  Bancroft, George, 97, 99-104, 113, 438, 449

  _Banker of Bankersville, A_, 214

  _Bar Sinister, The_, 233

  _Barbara Frietchie_, 302

  _Barefoot Boy, The_, 302

  Barlow, Joel, 245, 247, 248, 346, 383

  Bartram, John, 36

  Bates, Arlo, 212

  Bates, Edward, 317

  _Battle-Ground, The_, 236

  _Battle-Hymn of the Republic_, 297

  _Battle of Lovell’s Pond, The_, 277

  _Battle of Niagara, The_, 253

  _Battle of the Kegs, The_, 53-4

  _Battle-Pieces_, 263

  Baudelaire, Charles, 156, 272

  _Baviad_, 250

  _Bay Path, The_, 173

  _Bay Psalm Book, The_, 383

  _Bay State Monthly, The_, 448

  Bayard, James A., 362

  _Beatrix Randolph_, 198

  _Beautiful Lady, The_, 233

  _Bedouin Song_, 306

  _Beechenbrook, a Rhyme of the War_, 275

  Beecher, Henry Ward, 186-7, 388-9, 390

  Beecher, Lyman, 169, 380, 388

  Beers, Henry A., 181

  _Beginnings of New England, The_, 113

  _Begum’s Daughter, The_, 204

  _Behemoth, a Legend of the Mound-Builders_, 160

  _Behind Closed Doors_, 208

  Belknap, Jeremy, 92, 116

  Bellamy, Edward, 206

  _Bells, The_, 270, 316

  _Ben Hur_, 172, 202

  _Benefits Forgot_, 221

  Benjamin, Park, 256, 438, 439, 440, 443

  Bennett, James Gordon, Sr., 453

  Benson, Arthur C., 445

  Benton, Thomas Hart, 350, 366

  _Berber, The_, etc., 166

  Bethune, George W., 383

  _Better Sort, The_, 195

  _Between Whiles_, 343

  Betz, Louis P., 157

  _Beyond the Gates_, 191

  _Bibliotheca Sacra_, 381, 389

  _Bicycle of Cathay, A_, 209, 444

  Bigelow, John, 451

  Bigelow, Poulteney, 444

  _Biglow Papers_, 286, 287, 290, 348, 350

  _Bill Nye and the Boomerang_, 356

  Billings, Josh. See Shaw, H. W.

  _Biographical Stories for Children_, 136

  Bird, Robert Montgomery, 158, 178

  _Bird-Lover in the West, A_, 341

  _Birds and Poets_, 341

  _Birds’ Christmas Carol, The_, 234

  _Birds in the Bush_, 341

  _Bishop’s Son, The_, 168

  Bismarck, Prince, 107, 184

  _Bits of Travel_, 343

  Björnson, B., 313

  Blackstone, William, Sir, 11, 70

  _Blackwood’s_, 238

  Blaine, James G., 367, 378

  Bleecker, Ann Eliza, 116

  _Blessed Saint Certainty_, 185

  _Blind Alice_, 163

  _Blind Girl of Castel Cuillé, The_, 443

  _Blithedale Romance, The_, 137, 142

  _Bloody Tenet of Persecution, The_, 16

  _Bloody Tenet Washed, The_, etc., 16

  _Bloody Tenet yet more Bloody, The_, 16

  _Blue and the Gray, The_, 319

  _Blue Grass Region, The, etc._, 229

  Bluff, Harry. See Maury, M. F.

  Blumenbach, J. F., 97

  Boccaccio, 219

  Boisgobey, Fortuné Abraham de, 154

  Boker, George Henry, 318-9, 441, 443

  Bolton, Henry Carrington, 433

  _Bonaventure_, etc., 210

  _Bonnyborough_, 182

  _Book of Roses_, 110

  _Bookman, The_, 448

  _Books and Reading_, 396

  Booth, Edwin, 341

  Boston Athenæum, 436

  _Boston Book, The_, 134

  _Boston Courier, The_, 286

  _Boston Gazette, The_, 31, 49

  _Boston News-Letter, The_, 31

  _Boston Quarterly Review, The_, 450

  _Boston Transcript, The_, 453

  _Bostonians, The_, 193, 447

  Boucher, 44

  Bowditch, Nathaniel, 427

  Bowen, Francis, 395-6, 449

  Bowne, Borden Parker, 393, 398-9

  Boyesen, Hjalmar Hjorth, 190, 203, 237, 447

  Boyle, Robert, 35

  _Boys at Chequasset_, 182

  _Boy’s Town, A_, 198, 200

  _Bracebridge, Hall_, 123, 324

  Brackenridge, Hugh Henry, 117

  Bradford, Andrew, 434

  Bradford, William, 9-10, 89

  Bradstreet, Anne, 18-19, 21, 295, 332

  Brainard, John G. C., 265

  _Bravo, The_, 127

  Bread and Cheese Club, 127

  _Bread-Winners, The_, 213, 447

  Breitmann, Hans. See Leland, Charles Godfrey.

  _Bressant_, 197

  Brewer, Thomas, 420

  _Bricks without Straw_, 211

  Bridge, Horatio, 135, 141

  Briggs, Charles Augustus, 383

  Briggs, Charles Frederick, 152, 161, 440, 444

  Brinton, Daniel Garrison, 409, 412-13

  Broadus, John Albert, 389

  _Broadway Journal, The_, 152, 286

  Brockden, Charles, 118

  Bronson, W. C., 250, 321

  _Brooklyn Eagle, The_, 308

  Brooks, Erastus, 453

  Brooks, James, 453

  Brooks, Maria Gowen, 163, 265-6

  Brooks, Noah, 188

  Brooks, Phillips, 383, 389, 390-2

  _Broomstick Train, The_, 295

  _Brother Gardener’s Lime-Kiln Club_, 356

  _Brothers, a Tale of the Fronde, The_, 157

  Brougham, Henry Lord, 361

  Brown, Alice, 224

  Brown, Charles Brockden, 117-21, 132, 148, 149, 435, 436

  Brown, Goold, 414-15

  Browne, Charles Farrar, 353, 354-5

  Browne, Francis F., 451

  Browne, Ross, 306

  Brownell, Henry H., 267

  Brownell, W. C., 131, 141

  Browning, Elizabeth B., 316

  Browning, Robert, 195, 266, 316, 413

  Brownson, Orestes A., 162-3, 450

  _Brutus_, 255

  Bryant, William Cullen, 113, 243, 245, 247, 256-62, 263, 272, 274,
          280, 293, 296, 325, 366, 438, 440, 448, 449, 451

  Bryce, James, 114, 376, 400

  _Buccaneer, The_, 264

  Buckingham, Edwin, 439

  Buckingham, Joseph T., 134, 439

  Buckminster, Joseph, 436

  Bulwer Lytton, 84, 277, 440

  Bunner, H. C., 212, 218-9, 238

  Bunyan, John, 135, 208

  Burdette, Robert Jones, 355, 356-7

  _Burglars in Paradise_, 191

  _Burial of the Guns, The_, etc., 222

  Burk, J. D., 92

  Burke, Edmund, 59, 359

  Burlingame, Edward L., 448

  Burnett, Frances Hodgson, 201-2, 443

  Burney, Fanny, 357

  Burnham, Clara Louise, 224

  Burns, Robert, 55, 254, 298, 302

  Burr, Aaron, 205, 365, 380, 435

  _Burrcliff_, 171

  Burroughs, John, 171, 341

  Burton, William E., 440

  _Burwell Papers_, 5-7

  Bushnell, Horace, 386-7

  _But Yet a Woman_, 219

  Butler, Samuel, 346

  _By Order of the Company_, 236

  _Bylow Hill_, 211, 446

  Bynner, Edwin Lassetter, 204-5

  Byron, Lord, 86, 243, 253, 254, 264, 268, 269, 305, 314, 343, 437


  _Cabin Book, The_, 144

  Cable, George Washington, 210, 212, 238, 446, 447

  Cabot, Eliot, 442

  _Cajütenbuch, Das; oder Nationale Charakteristiken_, 144

  _Calavar_, 158

  Calcraft, James, 409

  _Caleb West, Master Diver_, 228, 446

  _Caleb Williams_, 119

  Calhoun, John Caldwell, 367, 368, 389

  _Californian, The_, 188, 447

  _Californians, The_, 234

  _Call of the Wild, The_, 235

  Calvert, George H., 268, 444

  Calvin, John, 386

  _Cambric Mask, The_, 233

  _Cambridge Thirty Years Ago_, 347

  “Camillus,” 361

  _Camp-Fire Lyrics_, 446

  Campbell, Alexander, 385

  Campbell, Margaretta. See Deland, Margaret.

  Campbell, Thomas, 86, 249

  _Cape Cod_, 330, 444

  _Captain Bonneville_, 95

  _Captain’s Youngest, The_, etc., 201

  _Carcelline Emerald, The_, 207

  _Cardigan_, 233

  _Cardinal’s Snuff-Box, The_, 222

  _Career of Puffer Hopkins, The_, 161

  Carey, Henry Charles, 400, 404-5

  Carey, Matthew, 251, 404, 435

  _Carl Almendinger’s Office, or The Mysteries of Chicago_, 440

  _Carlotta’s Intended_, 231

  Carlyle, Thomas, 100, 165, 167, 314, 327, 328, 337

  Carman, Bliss, 319

  Carpenter, William Benjamin, 432

  Carruthers, William A., 145

  Carter, James G., 438

  Carter, Robert, 285

  _Carter Quarterman_, 185

  _Cartoons_, 275

  Carver, Jonathan, 82-4

  Cary, Alice, 168, 263

  Cary, Constance. See Harrison, Mrs. Burton N.

  Cary, Edward, 174, 453

  Cary, Elizabeth Luther, 196, 453

  Cary, Phœbe, 263

  _Casa Braccio_, 217

  _Case of George Dedlow, The_, 186

  _Casket, The_, 441

  _Cassandra Southwick_, 302

  Cassin, John, 420

  _Cassique of Kiawah, The_, 149

  _Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine, The_, 209

  _Castle Nowhere_, etc., 191

  _Castle of Otranto, The_, 116

  _Caterpillar, The_, 253

  _Cathedral, The_, 287, 290

  _Cathedral Courtship, A_, 234

  Catherwood, Mary Hartwell, 227-8

  _Cavalier, The_, 211

  _Cavaliers of Virginia, The_, 145

  Cave, Edward, 434

  _Cecil Dreeme_, 176, 187

  _Celebrity, The_, 233

  _Centennial Cantata_, 273

  _Century Dictionary, The_, 417

  _Century Magazine, The_, 120, 214, 219, 221, 222, 223, 319, 335, 447,
    See also _Scribner’s Monthly_.)

  _Century of Dishonour, A_, 343

  Cervantes, Miguel, 117, 129

  Chadbourne, Paul, 421

  _Chainbearer, The_, 128

  Chalmers, Thomas, 396

  _Chambered Nautilus, The_, 247, 295, 296

  Chambers, Robert W., 233

  _Champion, The_, 208

  _Champions of Freedom, The_, 124

  _Chance Acquaintance, A_, 199, 445

  Channing, Edward, 113

  Channing, William Ellery (the elder), 72, 73, 331, 385-6, 442

  Channing, William Ellery (the younger), 330, 331

  Channing, William H., 442

  Chapman, John Jay, 445

  _Character and Characteristic Men_, 339

  _Characteristics_, 447

  _Chardon Street and Bible Convention_, 442

  _Charge of the Light Brigade, The_, 267

  _Charles Elwood_, etc., 162

  _Charlotte Temple_, 117

  Chase, Salmon Portland, 374-5

  _Chase of Saint Castin, The_, etc., 227

  Chateaubriand, de, François Auguste, 244

  _Chatelaine of La Trinité, The_, 230

  Chatham, Earl of, 35, 361

  Chaucer, Geoffrey, 17, 287, 289, 290, 336, 339, 416

  _Cheerful Yesterdays_, 187

  _Cherry_, 233

  _Chevalier of Pensieri-Vani, The_, 230

  _Chicago Tribune, The_, 454

  _Chief American Poets, The_, 301

  Child, Francis James, 289, 337-8, 409, 416

  Child, Lydia Maria, 133, 449

  _Child-World, A_, 318

  _Children of Destiny_, 236

  _Children of the King, The_, 216

  _Chimæra, The_, 138

  _Chimes from a Jester’s Bells_, 357

  Choate, Rufus, 371, 373, 377, 390

  _Choir Invisible, The_, 229

  _Chosen Valley, The_, 220

  _Christabel_, 254

  _Christian Examiner, The_, 160

  _Christian Examiner and Theological Review, The_, 450

  _Christian Institutions_, 383

  _Christian Nurture_, 387

  Christian Science, 358

  _Christian Union, The_, 349

  _Christus_, 281

  _Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada_, 93, 94-5, 324

  _Chronicles of Aunt Minervy Ann, The_, 214

  Churchill, Charles, 346

  Churchill, Winston, 233

  Cicero, Marcus Tullius, 34, 58

  _Cigarette-Maker’s Romance, A_, 216

  _Cincinnati Journal, The_, 388

  _Circle of a Century, The_, 207

  _Circuit Rider, The_, etc., 196

  _Cities of the Plain, The_, 439

  _Clara Howard_, 118

  _Clarence_, etc., 133

  Clarendon, Edward Hyde, Earl of, 135

  _Clari_, 255

  Clark, Charles Heber, 355

  Clark, Lewis Gaylord, 160, 440

  Clark, William, 83

  Clarke, James Freeman, 331, 442

  Clarke, McDonald, 256

  Clavers, Mrs. Mary. See Kirkland, Caroline M.

  Clay, Henry, 366-8, 369

  Clemens, Samuel L. See Twain, Mark.

  _Cleopatra_, 266

  _Clergy in American Life and Letters, The_, 379

  Cleveland, Grover, 232, 378, 445

  _Cliff-Dwellers, The_, 230

  Cliffton, William, 250

  _Clinton Bradshaw_, 158

  _Cloth of Gold_, etc., 316

  _Clovernook_, etc., 168

  _Coast of Bohemia, The_, 200

  Cobbe, Frances Power, 387

  Cobbett, William, 251

  Cockran, Bourke, 378

  _Cœur d’Alene_, 220, 447

  Cogswell, Joseph G., 450

  Coke, Edward, Sir, 70

  Coleridge, Hartley, 259

  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 86, 151, 241, 243, 249, 252, 253, 254, 255,
          259, 264, 271, 326, 327, 382

  Collins, Wilkie, 154, 208

  _Colonel Carter of Cartersville_, 228

  _Colonel Carter’s Christmas_, 228

  _Colonel Dunwoodie_, 185

  _Colonel Starbottle’s Client_, etc., 189

  _Colonial Ballads_, 275

  _Colonies and Nation_, 444

  _Color Studies: Four Stories_, 223

  Colton, George H., 450

  _Columbiad, The_, 247, 248

  _Columbian Magazine, The_, 116, 435

  Columbus, Christopher, 93-4, 324

  Columbus, Ferdinand, 94

  _Comedies and Errors_, 222

  _Comic History of the United States, A_, 356

  _Commemoration Ode_, 287, 289, 290

  _Commercial, The_ (Cincinnati), 454

  _Commercial Advertiser, The_ (New York), 453

  _Commercial Advertiser and The Globe, The_ (New York), 453

  _Common Lot, The_, 335

  _Common Sense_, 64-6

  _Common Story, A_, 221

  Conant, Thomas Jefferson, 382

  _Conception of God, The_, 399

  _Conception of Immortality, The_, 399

  _Concord Days_, 331

  _Condensed Novels_, 188, 313

  _Conduct of Life, The_, 328

  _Confessio Amantis_, 416

  _Confessions and Criticisms_, 198

  _Confessions of a Frivolous Girl, The_, 221

  _Confidence_, 447

  _Confidence Man, The_, 165

  _Coniston_, 234

  _Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur, A_, 357-8

  _Connection between Taste and Morals, The_, 394

  Connolly, James B., 236

  _Conqueror, The_, 234

  _Conquest of Canaan, The_, 233, 248

  _Conquest of Granada._ See _Chronicle of_, etc.

  _Conquest of Mexico, The_, etc., 105, 108

  _Conquest of Peru, The_, 105

  Conrad, Robert T., 441

  _Conservative, The_, 442

  _Conspiracy of Pontiac, The_, 110

  _Constance Trescot_, 186

  _Constitution, The_ (Atlanta), 213

  _Constitutional and Political History of the United States, The_, 113

  _Continuity of Christian Thought, The_, 383

  _Conversations from Rome_, 331

  Conway, Moncure D., 440

  Cooke, John Esten, 171-2, 440

  Cooke, Josiah Parsons, 430

  Cooke, Philip Pendleton, 171, 268, 440

  Cooke, Rose Terry, 223

  Cooper, James Fenimore, iv., 124, 125-32, 135, 147-8, 149, 158, 160,
          164, 191, 244, 253, 254, 441

  Cope, Edward Drinker, 422-3

  _Copperhead, The_, etc., 225

  _Coquette, The_, etc., 117

  _Corleone_, 216

  _Corn_, 273, 446

  _Cornhill Magazine, The_, 444, 445

  _Corsair, The_, 441

  _Cosmopolitan, The_, 219, 342, 448

  Cotton, John, 13, 16

  Coues, Elliott, 423

  _Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV._, 110

  _Countess Ida, The_, 158

  _Counting-out Rhymes of Children_, 433

  _Country By-Ways_, 205

  _Country Doctor, A_, 205

  _Country of the Pointed Firs, The_, 205

  _Coupon Bonds, and Other Stories_, 171

  _Courant, The_ (Hartford), 454

  _Courier, The_ (Louisville), 454

  _Courier-Journal, The_ (Louisville), 454

  _Courtship of Miles Standish, The_, 278

  _Covering End_, 194

  Cowper, William, 55, 260

  Cozzens, Frederick Swartwout, 351, 440, 444

  Crabbe, George, 303

  Craddock, Charles Egbert. See Murfree, Mary Noailles.

  Crafts, William, 268

  Cranch, Christopher P., 442

  Crane, Stephen, 230-1, 444

  Crane, T. Frederick, 214

  _Cranford_, 227

  Crawford, Francis Marion, 215-8, 343, 445, 447

  Crawford, Thomas, 215

  _Crayon Papers_, 440

  _Crescent, The_ (New Orleans), 308

  Crèvecœur, St. John, 84-6

  _Crime of Henry Vane, The_, 218

  _Crisis, The_, 66, 234

  _Critic, The_, 451

  _Critical Period of American History, The_, 113

  _Criticism and Fiction_, 342

  Crittenden, John J., 363

  _Croaker Papers, The_, 254, 451

  _Croakers, The_, 255

  Crockett, David, 145

  _Cromwell_, 157

  _Crossing, The_, 234

  _Crotalus_, 313

  _Crow’s Nest and Bellhaven Tales_, 207

  _Crucial Instances_, 235

  _Crusade of the Excelsior, The_, 189

  _Cudjo’s Cave_, 171

  _Culprit Fay, The_, 253-4

  _Culture Demanded by Modern Life, The_, 432-3

  _Culture’s Garden_, 351

  _Cumberland Vendetta, A_, etc., 234

  Cummins, Maria S., 172

  _Cup of Trembling, The_, 220

  _Curiosity_, 264

  Curtis, George William, 142, 173-4, 331-2, 377-8, 443, 444

  Curtis, Thomas F., 382

  Cushing, Caleb, 438, 449

  Cuvier, Georges, Baron de, 423


  Dabney, John B., 440

  _Daddy Jake, The Runaway_, 352

  _Daily Aurora, The_ (New York), 308

  _Daisy Miller_, 193

  Dallas, Alexander J., 435

  _Damnation of Theron Ware, The_, 225

  Dana, Charles Anderson, 331, 442, 452

  Dana, James Dwight, 426

  Dana, Richard Henry (the elder), 132, 163, 263-4, 438

  _Dancin’ Party at Harrison’s Cove, The_, 207

  Dante, 267, 276, 280, 287, 289, 290, 308, 312, 336, 337

  _Danvis Folks_, 228

  Darlington, William, 437

  _Darrel of the Blessed Isles_, 234

  Darwin, Charles, 150, 393, 395, 398, 399, 433

  Darwin, George H., 445

  _Daughter of the Philistines, A_, 203

  _Daughter of the South, A_, 207

  _David Alden’s Daughter_, etc., 223

  _David Harum_, 232

  Davis, Jefferson, 206

  Davis, John, 100, 121

  Davis, Richard Harding, 233

  Dawes, Rufus, 439

  _Dawn of a To-Morrow, The_, 202

  Day, Jeremiah, 380

  _Day of Doom, The_, etc., 22

  _Day of His Youth, The_, 224

  _Deacon’s Week, The_, 223

  _Dearly Bought_, 224

  _Death of the Flowers, The_, 260

  _Death of Washington, The_, 436

  _Declaration of Independence_, 51, 66-8, 89, 345

  _Deephaven_, 205

  _Deerslayer, The_, 126, 129

  _Defence of the Bride, The_, 209

  _Defense of Poesy_, 278

  Defoe, Daniel, 116

  DeForest, John William, 174-5

  Deland, Margaret, 226-7, 444, 446

  _Deliverance, The_, 236

  _Demetria_, 264

  Deming, Philander, 202

  _Democracy_, 212-3

  _Democratiad, The_, 251

  _Democratic Review, The_, 308

  Dennie, Joseph, 435, 436

  DeQuincey, Thomas, 242, 327

  _Descendant, The_, 236

  _Desert and the Sown, The_, 220

  _Despot of Broomsedge Cove, The_, 208

  _Destiny of Man Viewed in the Light of His Origin, The_, 398

  _Detroit Free Press, The_, 356

  De Vere, Aubrey Thomas, 277

  DeWitt, Clinton, 362

  Dexter, Samuel, 362

  _Dial, The_ (Boston), 328, 331, 442

  _Dial, The_ (Chicago), 451

  _Diamond Lens, The_, 177

  _Diana_, 169

  Dickens, Charles, 190

  Dickins, John, 436

  Dickinson, John, 43, 57-61

  _Diplomatic Adventure, A_, 186

  _Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution_, 98

  _Diplomatic History of the Civil War in America_, 374

  _Discourse of Matters Pertaining to Religion, A_, 387

  _Discourse on the Fall of Bonaparte_, 386

  _Discoverer, The_, 318

  _Discovery of America, The_, 113

  Dissen, G. L., 97

  _Dissertation on the Canon and the Federal Law, A_, 49

  _Divers Views, Opinions, and Prophecies of Yours Truly_, 351

  _Diverting History of John Bull, The_, etc., 123

  _Dixie_, 268

  Doane, George Washington, 383

  _Doctor Grimshaw’s Secret_, 138

  _Dr. Breen’s Practice_, 199

  _Dr. Claudius_, 215

  _Dr. Heidenhoff’s Process_, 206

  _Dr. Johns_, 167

  _Dr. Latimer_, 224

  _Dr. Lavendar’s People_, 227

  _Dr. Le Baron and His Daughters_, 223

  _Dr. Sevier_, 210, 447

  _Doctor Zay_, 191

  Dodge, Mary Abigail, 349-50

  _Dollars and Cents_, 169

  _Dolliver Romance, The_, 137, 138

  _Dolly_, 201

  _Dolph Heyliger_, 123

  _Don Orsino_, 216, 445

  _Don Quixote_, 117, 129

  _Doomed Chief, The_, 159

  _Doomswoman, The_, 234

  _Dorothy Deane_, 206

  Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 373-4, 376

  _Dorval, or the Speculator_, 121

  Dowden, Edward, 120, 313

  _Down-Easters, The_, 124

  _Down in Tennessee_, 181

  _Down the Ravine_, 208

  Downing, Major Jack. See Smith, Seba.

  Doyle, A. Conan, 154

  _Dragon of Wantley: His Tail, The_, 233

  Drake, Joseph Rodman, 245, 253-4, 255, 451

  _Dramas, Discourses, and Other Pieces_, 264

  Draper, Henry, 431

  Draper, John Christopher, 431

  Draper, John William, 393, 430-1, 440

  _Dream Life_, 167, 334

  _Dred_, 170

  _Drift from Two Shores_, 189

  _Drift Wood_, 326

  _Drum Taps_, 309, 310

  Dryden, John, 346

  Dudley, Thomas, 134

  _Duffels_, 197

  Duffield, George, 383

  _Dukesborough Tales_, 184-5

  _Dumb Foxglove_, etc., 224

  Dunbar, Paul Lawrence, 319

  Dunlap, John, 50

  Dunster, Henry, 33

  Duponceau, Pierre Étienne, 409

  _Dusantes, The_, 209

  _Dust_, 197

  _Dutchman’s Fireside, The_, 124

  Duyckinck, Evert Augustus, 440, 450

  Duyckinck, George Long, 440

  Dwight, John S., 442

  Dwight, Timothy (the elder), 245, 247, 248, 380, 383

  Dwight, Timothy (the younger), 380

  _Dying Indian, The_, 249


  _Eagle, The_ (Brooklyn), 453

  _Eagle’s Heart, The_, 230

  Eames, Charles, 443

  _Early American Novel, The_, 115

  _Early Bluebird, An_, 274

  _Early Years in Europe_, 444

  _East and West_, 158, 168

  _East and West Poems_, 313

  _East Angels_, 191, 444

  Eastburn, James W., 256

  _Eben Holden_, 234

  _Echo of Passion, An_, 212

  _Echoes of the Foothills_, 313

  _Edgar Huntly_, etc., 118

  Edwards, Jonathan, 24, 29, 380, 383

  _Edwin Brothertoft_, 176, 177

  Eggleston, Edward, 196-7, 212

  Eggleston, George Cary, 236

  Eichhorn, K. F., 97

  _Eight Cousins_, 184

  _El Fureidis_, 172

  _Elbow Room_, 355

  Eliot, George, 170, 197, 322, 327

  _Elizabethan Drama, The_, 340

  Ellen, Henry. See Hope, James Barron.

  Elliott, William, 450

  _Elsie Venner_, 178-9, 295

  _Elsket, and Other Stories_, 222

  Ely, Richard Theodore, 407-8

  _Embargo, The_, 257

  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 198, 243, 267, 276, 283, 284, 285, 290-4, 297,
          308, 313, 322, 327-9, 330, 331, 333, 336, 442, 445

  Emmet, Thomas Addis, 364

  Emmons, Nathanael, 381, 384

  _End of the World, The_, 196

  _England Without and Within_, 338

  English, Thomas Dunn, 439, 440

  _English and Scottish Popular Ballads_, 338, 416

  _English Library, The_, 221

  _English Novel and Its Development, The_, 344

  _Episodes in Van Bibber’s Life_, 233

  _Equality_, 206

  _Errant Wooing, An_, 207

  _Essays and Literary Notes_, 305

  _Essays and Notes_, 334

  _Essays and Reviews_, 338

  _Essays from the Easy Chair_, 332

  _Essays in London and Elsewhere_, 342

  _Essays of Elia_, 73

  _Ethel’s Sir Lancelot_, 443

  Euripides, 141

  _Europeans, The_, 193

  _Eutaw_, 149

  _Eutaw Springs_, 249

  _Evangeline_, 161, 278, 281

  _Evelina’s Garden_, 225

  _Evening Journal, The_ (Albany), 225

  _Evening Mirror, The_ (New York), 152, 270

  _Evening Post, The_ (New York), 145, 259, 325, 450-1, 451-2

  Everett, Alexander Hill, 93, 449

  Everett, Edward, 97, 98, 100, 375, 377, 380, 436, 449

  _Every Boddy’s Friend_, 354

  _Evidences of Christianity, The_, 394

  Ewing, Samuel, 437

  _Excursion, The_, 258

  _Excursions in Field and Forest_, 330

  _Excursions of an Evolutionist_, 398

  _Expiation_, 226

  _Express, The_ (New York), 453


  _Fable for Critics, A_, 163, 286, 325, 348

  _Faerie Queene, The_, 283

  _Fair Device, A_, 221

  _Fair Fame_, 204

  _Fair God, The_, 202

  _Fair Margaret_, 217

  Fairchild, Frances, 259

  Fairfield, Summer Lincoln, 439

  _Faith Doctor, The_, 197

  _Faith Gartney’s Girlhood_, 182

  _Falconberg_, 203, 447

  _Famous Old People_, 136

  _Fanny_, 254

  _Fanshawe_, 135

  _Far in the Forest_, 186

  Faraday, Michael, 432

  _Farmer of New Jersey, The_, 121

  _Farmer Refuted, The_, 62

  _Farmer’s Allminax_, 354

  _Farmer’s Journal, The_, 122

  _Farmer’s Letters_, 57-9

  _Farmer’s Museum, The_, 435

  _Fashion and Famine_, 172

  _Father Brighthopes_, 171

  _Faust_, 121, 141, 304, 306

  Faust, A. B., 144

  Fawcett, Edgar, 204, 212, 238

  Fay, Theodore Sedgwick, 158, 438

  _Fearful Responsibility, A_, 199

  _Fellowe and His Wife, A_, 204

  Felton, Cornelius C., 276, 449

  _Female Quixotism_, 117

  _Ferdinand and Elmira_, 121

  _Ferdinand and Isabella_, 105, 107, 108

  Fessenden, Thomas G., 250

  Fichte, Johann Gottlieb, 395

  Field, Eugene, 319, 351-2

  Fielding, Henry, 116

  Fields, Annie Adams, 338

  Fields, James Thomas, 138, 276, 338, 446

  _Figs and Thistles_, 211

  Fillmore, M., 370, 375

  Finch, Francis Miles, 319

  _Fireside Travels_, 336, 444

  _First Harvests_, 218

  _First of the Knickerbockers, The_, 165

  _First Settlers of Virginia, The_, 121

  _Fisherman’s Luck_, 340

  _Fishin’ Jimmy_, 224

  Fiske, John, 113, 115, 393, 397-8, 432, 433

  _Fleetwood_, etc., 163

  Fleming, George. See Fletcher, Julia C.

  Fletcher, Julia Constance, 212

  _Flight of Pony Baker, The_, 200

  Flint, Timothy, 133-4, 439, 450

  _Flip; and Found at Blazing Star_, 189

  _Florence Vane_, 268

  _Flower and Thorn_, 316

  _Flute and Violin_, etc., 229

  _Fæderal American, The_, 440

  Folsom, Charles, 438

  _Fool’s Errand, A_, 211

  _Fools of Nature_, 224

  Foote, Mary Hallock, 220, 227, 447

  _Footpath Way, The_, 341

  _Footprints_, 315

  _For the Major_, 191

  _Forayers, The_, etc., 149

  Force, Peter, 98

  Ford, Paul Leicester, 232, 446

  _Foregone Conclusion, A_, 199

  _Forest Hymn_, 260

  _Forest Life_, 162

  Forester, Fanny. See Judson, Emily C.

  Forester, Frank, 157

  _Foresters, The_, 116

  Forman, Justus Miles, 236

  Forrest, Edwin, 157, 158

  _Forsaken, The_, 157

  _Fortnightly Review, The_, 444

  _Fortune’s Fool_, 197

  _Fortunes of Oliver Horn, The_, 228

  _Fortunes of Rachel, The_, 168

  _Forum, The_, 448

  Foster, Hannah W., 117

  Foster, John W., 445

  Foster, Stephen Collins, 319

  Fox, C. J., 361

  Fox, John, Jr., 234, 444

  _France, An Ode_, 259

  _France and England in North America_, 110

  _France of To-Day, The_, 340

  _Francesca da Rimini_, 319

  Francis, Lydia Maria, 133

  _Francis Berrian_, etc., 133-4

  Franco, Harry. See Briggs, Charles F.

  Franklin, Benjamin, 24, 27-8, 33, 37, 43, 58, 64, 72, 74-7, 98, 165,
          241, 337, 345, 428, 434

  Franklin, Sir John, 335

  Frederic, Harold, 225-6

  _Free Joe_, 214

  _Free Press, The_ (Newburyport), 298

  _Free Thoughts on the Proceedings_, etc., 62

  Freeman, Mrs. Charles M. See Wilkins, Mary E.

  Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins. See Wilkins, Mary E.

  _Freeman’s Oath, The_, 27

  Freiligrath, F., 281, 313

  French, Alice, 226

  _French Dramatists of the Nineteenth Century_, 340

  Freneau, Philip, 42, 46, 50-1, 54-5, 117, 246, 247, 248-9, 251, 254,
          257, 346

  _Friends, a Duet_, 191

  _Frithiof’s Saga_, 279

  Froissart, Jean 135

  _From Ponkapog to Pesth_, 344

  _Frontiersmen, The_, 208

  Froude, J. A., 109

  _Fugitive Slave’s Apostrophe to the North Star, The_, 265

  _Full Vindication of the Measures of the Congress, A_, 62

  Fuller, Henry Blake, 230, 238

  Fuller, Sarah Margaret, 322, 331, 442, 452

  Furness, Horace Howard, 339


  Gaboriau, Émile, 154

  _Gabriel Conroy_, 189, 190, 447

  _Gabriel Tolliver_, 214

  _Galaxy, The_, 192, 446

  _Gallant Fight, A_, 173

  Gallatin, Albert, 363-4, 409-10

  _Gallegher, and Other Stories_, 233

  _Gamesters, The_, 117

  Gardiner, John, 436

  Garfield, James A., 211, 288, 395

  Garland, Hamlin, 229-30, 447

  Garrick, David, 59

  Garrison, Wendell Phillips, 451

  Garrison, William Lloyd, 298, 299, 325, 372, 373, 454

  _Garth_, 197

  Gaskell, Elizabeth C., 227

  _Gates Ajar, The_, 191

  _Gaut Gurley_, etc., 159

  Gay, Sydney H., 113

  _Gay Conspiracy, A_, 233

  _Gayworthys, The_, 182

  _General History of Connecticut, A_, 81-82

  _General Magazine, The_, 434

  _Genesis of the New England Churches_, 382

  _Gentleman from Indiana, The_, 233

  _Gentleman of Leisure, A_, 204

  _Gentleman Vagabond, A_, etc., 228

  _Gentleman’s Magazine, The_ (London), 434

  _Gentleman’s Magazine, The_ (Philadelphia), 440

  George, Henry, 400, 406

  _George Fox Digged out of his Burrows_, 16

  _George’s Mother_, 230

  _Georgia Scenes, Characters, and Incidents_, 146

  _Georgia Sketches_, 184

  _Ghost of Guy Thyrle, The_, 204

  Gifford, William, 250

  _Gift, The_, 149

  _Gift from the Grave, A_, 235

  _Gilded Age, The_, 203, 357

  Gilder, Jeannette L., 451

  Gilder, Joseph B., 444, 451

  Gilder, Richard Watson, 319, 447

  Gildersleeve, Basil Lanneau, 409, 418

  Giles, William Branch, 362

  Gilmore, James Roberts, 181

  _Givers, The_, 325

  _Gladiator, The_, 158

  Gladstone, William Ewart, 150, 277

  Glasgow, Ellen, 236

  _Gleanings from Venetian History_, 343

  _Globe, The_ (New York), 453

  _Godey’s Lady’s Book_, 439, 440

  Godkin, Edwin Lawrence, 450, 452

  _God’s Controversy with New England_, 21

  Godwin, Parke, 444, 445

  Godwin, William, 119, 120, 135, 148

  Goethe, Johann Wolfgang, von, 84, 121, 280, 281, 304, 305, 306

  _Gold Foil_, 335

  _Gold of Chickaree, The_, 169

  _Golden Bowl, The_, 195

  _Golden Calf, The_, 203

  _Golden Era, The_ (San Francisco), 188

  _Golden House, The_, 203

  _Golden Ingot, The_, 177

  _Golden Legend, The_, 169, 278, 282, 306

  _Golden Rod_, 207

  _Golden Wedding, The_, etc., 231

  Goldsmith, Oliver, 248, 324, 325, 346

  _Good Americans_, 207

  _Good-Bye my Fancy_, 310, 343

  _Good Gray Poet, The_, 309

  Goodrich, Chauncey Allen, 389

  Goodrich, Samuel G., 91, 448

  _Gordon Keith_, 222

  Gore, Christopher, 362, 370

  _Gospel of Freedom, The_, 234

  Gough, John B., 377

  Gould, Benjamin, 429

  Gould, Edward S., 434

  Gower, John, 416

  _Grace Seymour_, 158

  _Graffiti d’Italia_, 266

  Graham, George R., 441

  _Graham’s Magazine_, 151, 172, 285, 327, 441, 443

  _Granada._ See _Chronicle of the Conquest of_, etc.

  _Grandfather’s Chair_, 136

  _Grandissimes, The_, 210, 447

  Grant, Robert, 221

  Gray, Asa, 424

  _Gray Days and Gold_, 341

  Graydon, Alexander, 436

  _Grayling, or Murder Will Out_, 149

  Grayson, William J., 268

  _Graysons, The_, etc., 196-7, 212

  _Great K. and A. Train Robbery, The_, 232

  _Great Scoop, The_, 236

  _Great Stone Face, The_, 243

  _Great Stone of Sardis, The_, 444

  _Greater Inclination, The_, 235

  Greeley, Horace, 452

  Green, Anna Katharine, 208-9

  Green, William Henry, 382

  _Green Mountain Boys, The_, etc., 159

  _Greenfield Hill_, 248

  _Greifenstein_, 216

  _Greyslaer_, 160

  _Grinnell Expeditions, The_, 335

  Griswold, Rufus W., 444

  Grosart, Alexander B., 436

  Grotius, Hugo, 70

  Grove, Sir William Robert, 432

  _Guardian Angel, The_, 179-80, 295

  _Guenn_, 204

  _Guerndale_, 218

  _Guillotina_, 251

  _Gulliver’s Travels_, 166

  _Gunnar, A Norse Romance_, 203

  Gunter, Archibald Clavering, 226

  _Guy Rivers_, 144, 148

  Guyot, Arnold Henry, 425-6


  H., H. See Jackson, Helen Fiske.

  Hackett, Horatio Balch, 382

  _Hadad_, 264

  _Hagar_, 168

  _Hail Columbia_, 245, 251, 436

  Haldeman, Samuel Stehman, 415-6

  Hale, Edward Everett, 167-8, 239, 336-7, 447

  Hale, Nathan, 449

  Hale, Sarah J., 439, 449

  _Half-Century of Conflict, A_, 110

  Hall, G. Stanley, 393

  Hall, James, 159, 439

  Hallam, Henry, 100

  Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 246, 253, 254-5, 256, 451

  Halleck, Henry Wager, 404

  Hallock, Mary. See Foote, Mary H.

  Halsey, Francis W., 117

  Halsted, Murat, 454

  Hamilton, Alexander, 61-3, 115, 234, 251, 361, 380

  Hamilton, Gail. See Dodge, Mary Abigail.

  Hamilton, William, Sir, 395

  Hancock, John, 59

  _Hand and Ring_, 208

  _Hand of Lincoln, The_, 318

  _Handbook of Household Science_, 432

  _Hannah Thurston_, 183

  _Hans Breitmann Ballads_, 315, 351

  Hansen, P. A., 304

  _Happy Dodd_, 223

  _Happy Valley, The_, 191

  Harben, William N., 236

  Hardy, Arthur Sherburne, 219-20

  Harland, Henry, 221-2

  Harland, Marion, 173

  Harley, L. R., 402

  _Harper’s Bazar_, 378

  _Harper’s Magazine_, 191, 199, 332, 342, 378, 441, 443-4, 447

  _Harper’s Weekly_, 173, 185, 378

  Harris, Joel Chandler, 213-4, 352, 447

  Harris, Miriam Coles, 176

  Harris, William Torrey, 393, 397

  Harrison, Benjamin, 378

  Harrison, Mrs. Burton N., 206-7

  Harrison, William Henry, 370, 375

  Hart, Albert Bushnell, 113

  Hart, John S., 321, 379

  Harte, Francis Bret, 188-90, 237, 313, 314, 445, 447, 451

  _Hassan to his Mare_, 306

  _Hasty Pudding, The_, 248, 346

  _Haunted Hearts_, 172

  _Haunted Merchant, The_, 161

  _Haunts of Men, The_, 233

  _Haverhill Gazette, The_, 298

  _Hawkeye, The_, 356

  Hawks, Francis L., 450

  _Hawks of Hawk Hollow, The_, 158

  _Haworth’s_, 201

  Hawthorne, Hildegarde, 453

  Hawthorne, Julian, 139, 181, 197, 237, 342

  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, iv., 116, 120, 134-43, 156, 165, 169, 177, 181,
          212, 239, 243, 275, 276, 281, 302, 315, 342, 441, 445, 449

  Hay, John, 213, 319, 447

  Hayes, Henry. See Kirk, Ellen Olney.

  Hayes, R. B., 288

  Hayne, Paul Hamilton, 269, 440, 446

  Hayne, Robert Young, 360, 368-9, 370

  _Hazard of New Fortunes, A_, 200

  _Hazel Blossoms_, 300

  Hazeltine, Mayo W., 452

  Hazlitt, William, 86

  _He and She_, 266

  _Headsman, The_, 127

  _Heart of Rome, The_, 217

  _Heart of Toil, The_, 226

  _Hearth and Home_, 196, 209

  _Heart’s Highway, The_, 225

  _Hearts of Oak_, 59

  _Heartsease and Rue_, 288

  _Heathen Chinee, The_, 313

  Hedge, Frederick Henry, 380-1

  Heeren, A. H. L., 97, 100

  Hegel, George Wilhelm Friedrich, 397, 399

  _Heidenmauer, The_, 127

  _Heiress of Greenhurst, The_, 173

  _Helen Troy_, 207

  Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand, 432

  Henry, Caleb S., 450

  Henry, Joseph, 411, 420, 428

  Henry, Patrick, 360, 363, 365

  _Hephzibah Guinness_, 186

  _Her Mountain Lover_, 230, 447

  _Herald, The_ (New York), 235, 453

  Herbert, Henry William, 157, 441, 443

  _Heresy of Mehetabel Clark, The_, 224

  _Hermann und Dorothea_, 281

  _Hermione, and Other Poems_, 314

  _Hermitage, and Later Poems, The_, 314

  _Herrick, Robert_, 234-5

  _Hiawatha_, 278, 281

  Hickok, Laurens P., 395

  _Hidden Path, The_, 173

  Higginson, Ella, 238

  Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 187, 330, 336-7

  _High Noon_, 224

  _High Tide at Gettysburg, The_, 319

  Hildreth, Richard, 104, 159, 383, 438, 439

  Hill, David Jayne, 114

  Hillard, George S., 439, 449

  Hillhouse, James A., 264, 363

  _Hills of the Shatemuc, The_, 169

  _Hireling and the Slave, The_, 268

  _His Daughter First_, 220

  _His Grace of Osmonde_, 202

  _His Majesty Myself_, 185

  _His Second Campaign_, 214

  _His Vanished Star_, 208

  _Historic Americans_, 331

  _Historical Novel, The_, 340

  _Historical Studies of Church-Building in the Middle Ages_, 337

  _History of American Literature during the Colonial Times_, 339

  _History of Christian Doctrine_, 382

  _History of Diplomacy_, etc., 114

  _History of Historical Writing in America, The_, 111

  _History of Maria Kittle, The_, 116

  _History of New England, The_, 11

  _History of Philip_, 108

  _History of Plymouth Plantation_, 10

  _History of Sir Charles Grandison, The_, 357

  _History of Spanish Literature_, 337

  _History of the American People, A._, 113

  _History of the American Revolution_, 90

  _History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, The_, 78-81

  _History of the Conquest of Mexico, The_, etc., 105, 108

  _History of the Conquest of Peru, The_, etc., 105

  _History of the Formation of the Constitution of America_, 102

  _History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, The_, etc., 105,
          107, 108

  _History of the Reign of Philip the Second, The_, etc., 105, 108

  _History of the United Netherlands, The_, 107

  Hitchcock, Edward, 424-5

  _Hitherto_, 182

  _Hoboken_, 158

  _Hobomok_, 133

  Hoffman, Charles Fenno, 144, 159, 256, 440

  Hoffmann, Ernst, 156

  Holland, Henry, Sir, 277

  Holland, Josiah Gilbert, 173, 335-6, 447

  Holley, Marietta, 349

  _Holly and Pizen_, 232

  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 141, 150, 178-80, 241, 247, 263, 266, 276,
          294-6, 297, 301, 303, 328, 332-3, 346, 347, 348, 358, 427,
          439, 445

  Holst, von, Hermann E., 113, 114

  _Home as Found_, 128

  _Home Ballads_, 300

  _Home Folks_, 352

  _Home Journal, The_, 438

  _Home, Sweet Home_, 255

  Homer, 34, 48, 308

  Homer (Bryant’s), 257, 260, 280

  _Homeward Bound_, 126, 128

  _Honest John Vane_, 175

  _Honorable Peter Sterling, The_, etc., 232

  Hood, Thomas, 263, 350, 354

  Hooker, Richard, 70

  Hooker, Thomas, 13

  Hooper, Mrs. Ellen, 442

  _Hoosier Schoolmaster, The_, 196

  Hope, Anthony, 233

  Hope, James Barron, 440

  _Hope Leslie_, etc., 133

  _Hopeless Case, A_, 204

  Hopkins, Mark, 380, 394-5

  Hopkins, Samuel, 383-4

  Hopkinson, Francis, 46, 50-54, 435

  Hopkinson, Joseph, 245, 251, 436

  Horace, 245, 280

  _Horace Chase_, 191

  _Horse-Shoe Robinson_, etc., 147

  _House at High Bridge, The_, 204

  _House of Egremont, The_, 236

  _House of Martha, The_, 446

  _House of Mirth, The_, 235

  _House of Night, The_, 248

  _House of the Seven Gables, The_, 137, 141-2, 169, 243

  _Household Book of Poetry_, 332

  _Household Cyclopædia, The_, 432

  Hovey, Richard, 319

  _How I Found Livingstone_, 335

  Howard, Blanche Willis, 203-4

  _Howard Pinckney_, 158

  Howe, Julia Ward, 215, 297

  Howells, William Dean, 175, 182, 197, 198-201, 212, 221, 230, 231,
          237, 342-3, 443, 445, 446, 447

  Hubbard, William, 28

  _Hubert and Ellen_, 252

  _Huckleberries Gathered from New England Hills_, 223

  _Hudibras_, 346

  Hudson, Henry Norman, 338

  _Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker_, 186, 447

  Hugo, Victor, 305

  _Human Immortality_, 398

  _Human Intellect, The_, 380, 396

  _Humble Romance, A_, 224

  Hume, David, 70

  _Humorous and Satirical Poems_, 350

  Humphreys, David, 248, 251-2

  _Hundredth Man, The_, 209, 447

  _Hunter Naturalist, The_, 166

  Hurlbert, William, 187

  _Hurricane, The_, 249

  _Huskers, The_, 302

  _Husks_, 173

  Hutchinson, Ellen M., 317, 452

  Hutchinson, Thomas, 28, 77-81, 89, 92

  Hutton, Joseph, 252

  Huxley, Thomas H., 423

  Hyatt, Alpheus, 420-1, 422

  _Hymns to the Gods_, 439

  _Hyperion_, 161, 276, 278, 279


  _Ichabod_, 370

  _Idea of God as Affected by Modern Knowledge, The_, 398

  _Idle Man, The_, 163, 437-8

  _Idolatry_, 197

  _Idomen_, etc., 163

  _If, Yes, and Perhaps_, 167

  _Ike and his Friend_, 354

  _Ilka on the Hilltop_, 203

  _Illinois Monthly Magazine, The_, 439

  _Illumination_, 225

  _In a Cellar_, 175

  _In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim_, 202

  _In Cure of Her Soul_, 218

  _In Exile_, 220

  _In His Name_, 168

  _In Nesting Time_, 341

  _In Ole Virginia_, 222

  _In the Arena_, 233

  _In the Cage_, 194

  _In the Carquinez Woods_, 189

  _In the Clouds_, 208

  _In the Distance_, 212

  _In the Fog_, 233

  _In the Palace of the King_, 217

  _In the Stranger People’s Country_, 208

  _In the Tennessee Mountains_, 207

  _In the Valley_, 225

  _In the Wilderness_, 348

  _In War Time_, 186, 446

  _Increasing Purpose, The_, 229

  _Independent, The_ (New York), 274, 349

  _Independent Reflector, The_, 434-5

  _Indian Herald, The_ (Allahabad), 215

  _Indian Summer_, 200

  _Infidel, The_, 158

  _Influence of the Gospel in Liberalising the Mind, The_, 394

  Inman, John, 448

  _Innocents Abroad, The_, 357

  _Inside, a Chronicle of Secession_, 185

  _International Episode, An_, 193

  _International Magazine, The_, 444

  _International Review, The_, 451

  _Introductory Essay on the Moral and Devotional Poetry of Spain_, 278

  _Invisible Empire, The_, 211

  _Iole_, 233

  Irving, Washington, iv., 93-6, 98, 107, 108, 122-3, 239, 241, 255,
          256, 279, 322, 323-5, 326, 334, 346, 348, 357, 436-7, 437,
          439, 440, 441

  Irving, William, 123, 436

  _Is Life Worth Living?_ 342

  _Islets of the Gulf, or Rose Budd, The_, 441

  _Israel Potter_, 165, 444

  _Italian Journeys_, 199, 342


  _Jack Curzon_, 226

  _Jack Tier, or The Florida Reefs_, 127, 441

  Jackson, Andrew, 103

  Jackson, Daniel, Jr., 122

  Jackson, Helen Hunt, 144, 343

  Jackson, Helena Fiske, 211-12, 343

  James, G. P. R., 282

  James, Henry, Sr., 342, 398

  James, Henry, Jr., 140, 192-6, 212, 215, 216, 221, 237, 342, 398,
          445, 447

  James, William, 342, 393, 398

  Jameson, J. F., 111

  _Jane Field_, 224

  _Jane Talbot_, 118, 120

  _Janice Meredith_, 232

  Janvier, Thomas Allibone, 223

  Jay, John, 62, 443

  Jefferson, Thomas, 43, 49, 61, 66-8, 83, 89, 92, 104, 112, 114, 251,
          257, 365, 371

  Jenks, Jeremiah Whipple, 408

  _Jerome, A Poor Man_, 225

  _Jesuits in North America, The_, 110

  _Jethro Bacon of Sandwich_, 218

  Jewett, Sarah Orne, 205, 238, 239, 446

  Joaquin. See Miller, C. H.

  _Joaquin_, 314

  _John Bowdoin’s Testimony_, 220

  _John Brent_, 176-7

  _John Godfrey’s Fortunes_, etc., 183

  _John Gray_, 229

  _John March, Southerner_, 210

  _John Ward, Preacher_, 227

  Johnson, Andrew, 102, 351

  Johnson, Samuel, 241, 414

  Johnston, Alexander, 379

  Johnston, Mary, 236, 444, 446

  Johnston, Richard Malcolm, 184-5

  Jones, John Paul, 165, 205

  Jones, William, Sir, 413

  Jonson, Ben, 7, 51

  Jordan, David Starr, 423-4

  _Jo’s Boys_, etc., 184

  _Joseph and His Friends_, 183

  _Josh Billings’ Spice Box_, 354

  _Josiah Allen’s Wife_, 349

  Josselyn, John, 35

  _Jottings Down in London_, 442

  _Journal, The_ (Louisville), 454

  _Journal, The_ (New York), 230

  _Journal of Commerce, The_ (New York), 316

  _Journal of Speculative Philosophy, The_, 397

  Judd, Sylvester, 163-4, 266

  _Judith_, 173

  _Judith, Esther, and Other Poems_, 265

  Judson, Adoniram, 165, 381

  Judson, Emily Chubbuck, 165

  _Juggler, The_, 208

  _Julia and the Illuminated Baron_, 121

  _Julian, or Scenes in Judea_, 160

  _Jungle, The_, 235, 240

  _Jupiter Lights_, 191, 444

  _Justice and Expediency_, 299

  Justin Martyr, 418


  _Kalevala_, 281

  _Kaloolah_, etc., 166

  Kane, Elisha Kent, 335

  Kant, Immanuel, 395, 399

  _Kate Beaumont_, 175

  _Katherine Lauderdale_, 216

  _Katherine Walton_, etc., 148

  _Kavanagh_, 161, 278

  Kearsley, Edward, 446

  Keats, John, 243, 253, 285

  _Keep Cool_, 124

  Kennan, George, 335

  Kennedy, John Pendleton, 146-7, 151, 157, 440

  Kent, James, 400, 401-2

  _Kentons, The_, 200

  _Kentuckians, The_, 234, 444

  _Kentucky Cardinal, A_, 229

  Key, Francis Scott, 245, 254

  _Khaled_, etc., 216

  Kidd, Benjamin, 445

  Kimball, Richard B., 166

  King, Rufus, 361

  _King and a Few Dukes, A_, 233

  _King Noanett_, 218

  _King of the Hurons, The_, 165

  _King’s End_, 224

  Kinney, Mrs. J. C., 316

  _Kinsmen, The_, 148

  Kipling, Rudyard, 221

  Kirchoff, Gustav Robert, 430

  Kirk, Ellen Olney, 205-6

  Kirk, John Foster, 205

  Kirke, Edmund. See Gilmore, James R.

  Kirkland, Caroline M., 162, 443

  Kirkland, Joseph, 212

  Knapp, Isaac, 300

  _Knave of Hearts, The_, 221

  _Knickerbocker_ _or_ _New-York Monthly Magazine, The_, 440

  Knickerbocker, Diedrich. See Irving, Washington.

  _Knickerbocker Magazine, The_, 110, 134, 160, 166, 440, 441, 442

  _Knickerbocker’s History of New York_, 94, 96, 122, 323

  Knight, Henry C., 252, 253

  _Knight of the Cumberland, A_, 234

  _Knights of the Horseshoe, The_, 145

  _Knitters in the Sun_, 226

  Knox, John, 380

  _Koningsmarke, the Long Finne_, 123


  _La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West_, 110

  Ladd, George T., 393

  Ladd, Joseph B., 250-1

  _Ladies’ Companion, The_, 172

  _Lad’s Love, A_, 212

  _Lady Byron Vindicated_, 343

  _Lady of Fort St. John, The_, 227

  _Lady of Quality, A_, 202

  _Lady of Rome, A_, 217

  _Lady of the Aroostook, The_, 199, 445

  _Lady or the Tiger? The_, etc., 209

  Lamb, Charles, 73, 86, 255

  Lamont, Hammond, 451

  _Lamplighter, The_, 172

  _Land and the Book, The_, 381

  _Land of Love, The_, 222

  _Land of Promise, The_, etc., 381

  Landor, Walter Savage, 327

  Lang, Andrew, 215, 261

  Lange, J. P., 382

  Lanier, Sidney, 243, 272-4, 274, 297, 344, 446

  Lanman, Charles, 215, 443

  Laplace, Pierre Simon, Marquis de, 427

  Larcom, Lucy, 443

  _Lars_, etc., 306

  Las Casas, B. de, 94

  _Last Assembly Ball, The_, 220

  _Last Days of Pompeii, The_, 440

  _Last Night of Pompeii, The_, 439

  _Last of the Mohicans, The_, 126, 129

  _Last of the Thorndikes, The_, 181

  _Late Mrs. Null, The_, 209

  Lathrop, George Parsons, 143, 212

  Lauvrière, Émile, 153

  _Law of Love and Love as a Law, The_, 394

  Lawrence, William Beach, 400, 403

  Lawson, James, 157

  _Lawton Girl, The_, 225

  _Lay of Fort St. John, The_, 227

  _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, 255

  _Lay of the Scotch Fiddle_, 255

  _Layman’s Study of the English Bible, A_, 396

  _Lays of My Home and Other Poems_, 300

  _Lays of the Heart_, 265

  _Lazarre_, 228

  Lazarus, Emma, 446

  Lea, Henry C., 114, 440

  _Leap for Life, A_, 256

  Lear, Edward, 350

  _Leather Stocking and Silk_, etc., 171

  _Leatherstocking Tales, The_, 126

  _Leavenworth Case, The_, 208

  _Leaves of Grass_, 308, 309, 310, 311

  _Lectures and Miscellanies_, 342

  _Led-Horse Claim, The_, 220, 447

  Lee, Hannah F., 158

  Leech, John, 192

  Legare, Hugh S., 450

  _Légende des Siècles, La_, 305

  _Legends and Lyrics_, 269

  _Legends of New England in Prose and Verse_, 299

  Leggett, William, 145

  _Legitime und die Republikaner, Der_, 144

  _Leisure Hours_, 252

  Leland, Charles Godfrey, 314-5, 351, 443

  Leonard, Daniel, 44

  _Lesson in Love, A_, 205

  _Lesson of the Master, The_, etc., 194

  _Letter Written by a Foreigner_, etc., 52

  _Letters from a Farmer_, etc., 57-9

  _Letters from an American Farmer_, etc., 84

  _Letters from Palmyra_, 160

  _Letters from under a Bridge_, 333

  _Letters of the British Spy_, 365

  Lewis, Charles Bertrand, 355, 356

  Lewis, Matthew Gregory, 116, 156, 272

  Lewis, Merriwether, 83

  _Liberator, The_, 454

  _Liberty Song_, 60

  _Liberty Tree, The_, 136

  _Library of American Literature, A_, 317, 452

  Lieber, Francis, 402-3

  Liebig, Justus, Baron von, 432

  _Life and Death of John of Barneveld, The_, etc., 108

  _Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington_, 354

  _Life in Texas_, 144

  _Life in the New World_, etc., 144

  _Life of Mahomet and his Successors_, 93, 324

  _Life of the Spirit in the Modern English Poets_, 340

  Lincoln, Abraham, 102, 197, 198, 212, 245, 309, 312, 316, 317, 318,
          336, 351, 360, 373, 374, 375-7, 378, 392, 405

  _Lincoln’s Grave_, 274

  Linn, John Blair, 251, 436

  Linnæus, 36

  _Linwoods, The_, etc., 133

  _Lion’s Cub, with Other Verse, The_, 316

  _Lippinecott’s Magazine_, 273, 446

  _Literati of New York, The_, 152, 327, 439

  _Literary and Historical Miscellanies_, 101

  _Literary History of America_, 339

  _Literary History of the American Revolution_, 339

  _Literary Magazine, The_, 118

  _Literary Magazine and American Register, The_, 436

  _Literary Portraits_, 439

  _Literary Recollections_, 300

  _Literary Recreations_, 325

  _Literary World, The_, 450

  _Literature of the Age of Elizabeth_, 339

  _Little Centennial Lady, A_, 206

  _Little Genius, The_, 438

  _Little Ike Templin_, 185

  _Little Jarvis_, 235

  _Little Journey in the World, A_, 203, 444

  _Little Lord Fauntleroy_, 201

  _Little Men_, etc., 184

  _Little Norsk, A_, etc., 229

  _Little Regiment, The_, 230

  _Little Renault_, 228

  _Little Rivers_, 340

  _Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, The_, 234

  _Little Tour in France, A_, 342

  _Little Women_, 184

  _Lively Adventures of Gavin Hamilton, The_, 235-6

  Livingston, Edward, 362

  Livingston, William, 63, 435

  Lloyd, Nelson, 236

  Locke, David Ross, 351

  Locke, John, 11, 70

  _Locke Amsden_, etc., 159

  Lockhart, J. G., 256

  Lodge, Henry Cabot, 449

  Logan, A. M., 189, 190

  London, Jack, 235

  _Long Islander, The_, 308

  Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 97, 135, 161-2, 169, 243, 245, 246, 266,
          267, 275-83, 284, 287, 289, 293, 297, 301, 306, 323, 325-6,
          334, 337, 344, 372, 438, 439, 440, 441, 443, 445, 449

  Longfellow, Samuel, 266, 383

  Longinus, 243

  Longstreet, Augustus B., 146

  Longworth, David, 437

  _Looking Backward_, etc., 206

  _Los Gringos_, etc., 166

  Loshe, Lillie Deming, 115

  _Lost Man’s Lane_, 208

  Lothrop, Amy. See Warner, Anna B.

  _Lotus Eating_, 332

  _Louisiana_, 201

  Lounsbury, Thomas Raynesford, 131, 339

  _Love in Idleness_, 205

  _Love in Old Cloathes_, 219

  _Love of Parson Lord, The_, 225

  Lowell, James Russell, 129, 163, 175, 192, 198, 230, 267, 276, 280,
          283-90, 296, 297, 306, 318, 322, 325, 330, 336, 337, 344,
          347, 348, 350, 353, 369, 441, 444, 445, 446, 449

  Lowell, Percival, 283, 445

  Lowell, Robert Traill Spence, 175

  _Luck of Roaring Camp, The_, 188, 313

  _Lucy Hardinge_, 126

  _Lucy Hosmer_, 159

  Lundy, Benjamin, 300

  Luska, Sidney. See Harland, Henry.

  _Lyrical and Other Poems_, 269

  _Lyrical Ballads_, 242, 243, 252, 257

  Lytton. See Bulwer.


  _Mabel Martin_, 300

  _Mabel Vaughan_, 172

  Mabie, Hamilton Wright, 341

  McCabe, W. Gordon, 440

  Macaulay, T. B., 101

  _McClure’s Magazine_, 448

  McCosh, James, 380, 393, 396-7

  McCutcheon, George Barr, 236

  Macdonald, Sir John, 83

  McGee, W. J., 408

  McIntosh, Maria J., 163

  McKelway, St. Clair, 453

  McLellan, Isaac, 438

  McMaster, John B., 113, 114, 115

  MacPherson, James, 250, 308

  _McTeague_, 231

  _McVeys, The_, 212

  _Madame Delia’s Expectations_, 187

  _Madame Delphine_, 210

  _Madelon_, 225

  Madison, James, 112, 114, 117, 363, 367, 368, 377

  _Madonna of the Future, The_, 193

  _Mæviad_, 250

  _Maggie, a Girl of the Streets_, 230

  _Magnalia Christi Americana_, etc., 25

  Magruder, Allan B., 401

  Mahomet, 93, 324

  _Mail, The_ (New York), 453

  _Mail and Express, The_, 315

  _Main-Travelled Roads_, 229

  _Main Truck, The_, 256

  _Maine Woods, The_, 330

  _Malbone, an Oldport Romance_, 187

  Malory, Sir Thomas, 358

  _Mammon of Unrighteousness, The_, 203

  _Man in the Case, The_, 191

  _Man without a Country, The_, 168, 337

  _Manassas_, 235

  _Mannerings, The_, 224

  Manrique, 278

  _Manual of American Literature, A_, 379

  _Manufacturer’s Daughter, A_, 226

  _Manuscript Found in a Bottle, A_, 151

  Marble, Manton, 453

  _Marble Faun, The_, 116, 137, 138, 143

  March, Francis Andrew, 409, 416-17

  _Marcia_, 206

  _Marco Bozzaris_, 254

  _Mardi, and a Voyage Thither_, 164-5

  _Margaret, a Tale of the Real and Ideal_, 163-4

  _Margaret Percival in America_, 167

  _Margaret Warrener_, 224

  _Marietta, a Maid of Venice_, 217

  _Marion Darche_, 216

  _Marjorie Daw, and Other Stories_, 181

  _Marked Personal_, 208

  _Market Place, The_, 225

  _Marmaduke Wyvil_, 157

  _Married in Haste_, 173

  _Married, Not Mated_, 168

  _Married or Single_, 133

  Marryat, Frederick, 256

  _Marse Chan_, 222

  _Marséna, and Other Stories_, 225

  Marsh, George Perkins, 415

  _Marsh Island, A_, 205

  _Marshes of Glynn, The_, 274

  Marshall, John, 90-1, 361-2, 370, 400-1

  Marston, Philip Bourke, 446

  _Martin Faber_, etc., 148

  _Martin Merrivale_, 171

  Martineau, Harriet, 170

  _Maruja_, 189

  Marvel, Ik. See Mitchell, Donald G.

  _Mary had a little lamb_, 439

  _Marzio’s Crucifix_, 216

  _Masque of Judgment, The_, 319

  _Masque of the Gods, The_, 306

  _Massachusetts Magazine, The_, 435

  _Massachusetts Quarterly Review, The_, 450

  _Master of Silence, The_, 234

  _Mate of the Daylight, The_, etc., 205

  Mather, Cotton, 23-6, 28, 339

  Mather, Increase, 23-4

  Mather, Richard, 22-3, 24

  Mather, Samuel, 26

  Mathews, Cornelius, 160-1

  Matthews, Brander, 239, 340

  _Maud Muller_, 300, 301, 302

  Maupassant, Guy de, 219

  Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 429, 440

  _May-Day_, 293

  _May Martin_, etc., 159

  Mayer, Julius Robert, 432

  Mayo, William Starbuck, 166

  _Mea Culpa_, 222

  _Meadow-Grass_, 224

  _Meat out of the Eater_, etc., 21-2

  Medill, Joseph, 454

  _Mellichampe: a Legend of the Santee_, 148

  Melville, Herman, 164-5, 169, 263, 444

  _Memoirs of Carwin, the Biologist_, 436

  _Mercedes, and Later Lyrics_, 316

  _Mercedes of Castile_, 130

  _Mere Literature_, etc., 340, 408

  Meredith, George, 357, 358

  _Merrimac, The_, 302

  _Merry Chanter, The_, 209, 447

  _Merry Mount_, etc., 162

  _Method of the Divine Government, Physical and Moral_, 396

  _Mettle of the Pasture, The_, 229

  _M’Fingal_, 56-7, 248, 346

  _Midge, The_, 219

  _Midshipman Paulding_, 235

  _Midsummer Madness, A_, 205

  _Miles Wallingford_, 126

  Mill, John Stuart, 395

  Miller, Charles W. E., 418

  Miller, Cincinnatus Hiner, 313-4

  Miller, Joaquin. See Miller, C. H.

  Miller, Olive Thorne, 341

  _Millionaire of Rough and Ready, A_, 189

  Milton, John, 17, 135, 240, 245, 271, 282, 284, 290, 312, 316

  Mims, Edwin, 274

  _Mingo_, etc., 214, 352

  _Minister’s Charge, The_, 200

  _Minister’s Wooing, The_, 170

  Minot, G. R., 92

  _Minute Book, The_, 438

  _Miriam_, 173

  _Miriam, and Other Poems_, 300

  _Miss Bagg’s Secretary_, 224

  _Miss Gilbert’s Career_, 174

  _Miss Ludington’s Sister_, etc., 206

  _Miss Ravenel’s Conversion_, 175

  _Missionary Sheriff, The_, 226

  _Missy_, 176

  _Mr. Absalom Bilingslea_, etc., 185

  _Mr. and Mrs. Bowser_, 356

  _Mr. Barnes of New York_, 226

  _Mr. Billy Downs and His Likes_, 185

  _Mr. Fortner’s Marital Claims_, etc., 185

  _Mr. Isaacs_, 215

  _Mr. Keegan’s Elopement_, 234

  _Mr. Potter of Texas_, 226

  _Mr. Rutherford’s Children_, 169

  _Mr. Tommy Dove_, etc., 227

  _Mrs. Cliff’s Yacht_, 209

  _Mrs. Knollys, and Other Stories_, 218

  _Mrs. Peixada_, 222

  _Mrs. Skagg’s Husbands_, 189

  Mitchell, Donald G., 167, 333, 334

  Mitchell, Isaac, 121-2

  Mitchell, Silas Weir, 185-6, 446, 447

  _Moby Dick_, etc., 165, 169

  _Modern Chivalry_, etc., 117

  _Modern Instance, A_, 199, 447

  _Modern Mephistopheles, A_, 184

  _Mogg Megone_, 300

  _Moll Pitcher_, 299

  _Monaldi_, 163

  _Money-Diggers, The_, 123

  _Money Magic_, 230

  _Moneypenny_, etc., 161

  _Monk, The_, 116

  Monroe, James, 368

  _Monsieur Beaucaire_, 233

  _Monster, and Other Stories, The_, 230

  Montaigne, M., 291

  _Montcalm and Wolfe_, 110

  Montesquieu, 70

  _Monthly Magazine and American Review, The_, 435

  _Monthly Review, The_, 82

  _Monumenta Germaniæ Historica_, 98

  _Moods_, 184

  Moody, William Vaughan, 319

  Moore, Frank, 379

  Moore, Thomas, 265, 268, 269

  _Moosehead Journal, A_, 444

  _Moralism and Christianity_, 342

  More, Paul Elmer, 341-2, 451, 452

  Morell, Benjamin, 151

  Morgan, Lewis Henry, 409, 411-12

  _Morgesons, The_, 178, 180

  _Moriah’s Mourning_, 231

  _Morning Post, The_ (Philadelphia), 209

  Morris, George P., 255-6, 438

  Morris, Gouverneur, 362, 436

  Morse, James H., 120, 129, 178

  Morse, Samuel F. B., 127, 448

  _Mortal Antipathy, A_, 180

  _Morte d’Arthur_, 358

  Morton, Sarah W., 250

  _Morton, oder Die grosse Tour_, 144

  _Morton’s Hope_, etc., 162

  _Mose Evans_, 185

  _Moss-Side_, 173

  _Mosses from an Old Manse_, 136, 140

  _Mother of Pearl_, 177

  Motley, John Lothrop, 96, 97, 99, 107-9, 110, 111, 162, 333, 445

  _Mountain of the Lovers, The_, etc., 269

  _Mountain-White Heroine, A_, 181

  M. Quad. See Lewis, C. B.

  Muhlenberg, Henry Ernst, 384-5

  Muhlenberg, Henry Melchior, 384

  Muhlenberg, William Augustus, 383

  Mulford, Elisha, 407

  _Munsey’s Magazine_, 448

  Murfree, Mary Noailles, 207-8, 212, 228, 238

  Murray, Lindley, 413-4

  _Music and Poetry_, 344

  _Music Grinders_, 347

  _Music Lesson of Confucius, The_, etc., 315

  _My Double and How He Undid Me_, 168

  _My Lady Paramount_, 222

  _My Old Kentucky Home_, 319

  _My Opinions and Betsy Bobbet’s_, 349

  _My Southern Friends_, 181

  _My Study Fire_, 341

  _My Study Windows_, 336

  _My Summer in a Garden_, 334, 348

  _My Thirty Years Out of the Senate_, 350

  _My Uncle Florimond_, 222

  _My Wife and I_, 171

  _My Winter on the Nile_, 334

  Myers, E., 261

  Myers, Peter Hamilton, 165

  _Mysteries of Udolpho, The_, 116

  _Mystery of Metropolisville, The_, 196

  _Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain, The_, 208

  _Myths and Myth Makers_, 398


  _Nadowessiers Totenlied_, 84

  _Nameless Nobleman, A_, 223

  _Nantucket Idyl, A_, 206

  Napoleon, 386

  _Narrative and Critical History of America_, 112

  _Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, The_, 151, 154

  _Narrative of Four Voyages to the South Seas and Pacific, A_, 151

  Naseby, Petroleum Vesuvius. See Locke, D. R.

  Nast, Thomas, 405

  _Nathan der Squatter Regulator_, 144

  _Nation, The_ (Mulford’s), 407

  _Nation, The_, 122, 199, 207, 342, 450-1

  _National Anti-Slavery Standard, The_, 286, 454

  _National Enquirer, The_, 300

  _National Era, The_ (Washington), 169, 301, 454

  _National Lyrics_, 300

  _National Quarterly Review, The_, 450

  _Native of Winby, and Other Tales, A_, 205

  _Natural Selection_, 219

  _Nature_, 328

  _Nature and Elements of Poetry, The_, 317, 344

  _Nature and the Supernatural_, 387

  _Naulahka, The_, 221

  Navarrete, de, M. F., 93, 94

  Neal, John, 124-5, 253, 437

  _Neal’s Saturday Gazette_, 349

  _Neighbour Jackwood_, 171

  _Neighbourly Poems_, 318

  Nelson, Henry Loomis, 445

  _Nemesis_, 173

  Nevil, S., 435

  _New American Magazine, The_, 435

  _New England Galaxy, The_, 134

  _New England Magazine, The_, 298, 439, 448

  _New England Nun, A._, etc., 224

  _New England Tale, A_, 132

  _New Englander, The_, 450

  _New Home, A; Who’ll Follow?_ 162

  _New Mirror, The_, 438

  _New Priest of Conception Bay, The_, 175

  _New Timothy, The_, 185

  _New World, The_, 442-3

  _New World and the New Book, The_, 337

  _New York Literary Gazette, The_, 438

  _New York Magazine, The_, 435

  _New York Mirror, The_, 144, 438, 439

  _New York Quarterly Review, The_, 450

  _New York Review, The_, 259, 450

  _New York Review and Athenæum Magazine, The_, 438

  _New York Tribune, The_, 270, 304, 305, 317, 319, 332

  _New York World, The_, 315

  Newcomb, Simon, 445

  Newell, Robert Henry, 351

  Newman, Francis, 260

  Newton, Isaac, Sir, 427

  _Next Door_, 224

  _Nibelungen_, 308

  _Nicholas Minturn_, 174

  Nicholson, Meredith, 236

  _Nick of the Woods_, etc., 158, 178

  _Nights with Uncle Remus_, 214, 352

  _Nimport_, 204

  _Nina Gordon_, 170

  _No Gentleman_, 224

  _No Heroes_, 204

  Noble, James A., 180

  _Norman Leslie_, 158

  Norris, Frank, 230-1

  _North American Quarterly Magazine, The_, 439

  _North American Review, The_, 98, 104, 135, 258, 278, 287, 336, 395,

  _North American Review and Miscellaneous Journal, The_, 449

  _North and South_, etc., 144

  Norton, Charles Eliot, 230, 276, 280, 336-7, 338, 378, 445, 449

  _Norton’s Rest_, 173

  _Norwich Tribune, The_, 317

  _Norwood_, etc., 186-7

  _Notes of Travel and Study in Italy_, 337

  Nott, Eliphalet, 380

  _Novel, What It Is, The_, 343

  _November Boughs_, 310, 343

  Noyes, George Rapall, 381

  Nye, Bill. See Nye, Edgar W.

  Nye, Edgar Wilson, 345, 355, 356


  _O Captain! My Captain!_ 309

  _O Mother of a Mighty Race_, 260

  _Oak Mot_, 185

  Oakes, Urian, 20-1

  O’Brien, Fitz-James, 177, 239

  Occidente, Maria del. See Brooks, Maria Gowen.

  O’Connor, W. D., 309

  _Octopus, The_, 231

  Odell, Jonathan, 46, 346

  Ogden, Rollo, 452

  _Ogeechee Cross-Firings_, 185

  _Old and New_, 447, 450

  _Old Bay Psalm Book_, 23

  _Old Bullion._ See Benton, Thomas Hart.

  _Old Chester Tales_, 227

  _Old Creole Days_, 210

  _Old Dominion, The_, 236

  _Old-Fashioned Girl, An_, 184

  _Old-Fashioned Roses_, 318

  _Old Folks at Home_, 319

  _Old Gentleman of the Black Stock, The_, etc., 222

  _Old Hicks the Guide_, 166

  _Old Homestead, The_, 173

  _Old Ironsides_, 295

  _Old Kaskaskia_, 228

  _Old Maid’s Paradise, An_, 191

  _Old Mark Langston_, 185

  _Old Oaken Bucket, The_, 255, 438

  _Old Portraits and Modern Sketches_, 325

  _Old Régime, The_, 110

  _Old Songs and New_, 275

  _Old Stone House, The_, 191

  _Old Swimmin’-Hole, The_, etc., 318

  _Old Times in Middle Georgia_, 185

  _Old Town by the Sea, An_, 344

  _Oldport Days_, 187

  _Oldtown Folks_, 170, 350

  _Olio_, 251

  Olney, Richard, 445

  _Omoo_, etc., 164

  _On a Bust of Dante_, 267

  _On Critics and Criticism_, 327

  _On New Found River_, 222

  _On the Border_, 181

  _On the Frontier_, 189

  _On the Wing of Occasions_, 214

  Onderdonk, Henry Ustick, 383

  Onderdonk, J. L., 264, 268, 321

  _One of My Sons_, 208

  _One Summer_, 204

  _Open Door, The_, 204

  _Open-Eyed Conspiracy, An_, 200

  _Opinions of a Philosopher, The_, 221

  _Oregon Trail, The_, 110, 440

  O’Reilly, John Boyle, 319

  _Original Letters of Ferdinand and Elizabeth, The_, 121

  _Original Poems_, 250

  _Ormond_, etc., 118, 119-20

  _Orpheus C. Kerr Papers_, 351

  _Orphic Sayings_, 442

  _Orthodoxy, its Truths and Errors_, 331

  _Osawatomie Brown_, 317

  Osborn, Henry F., 423

  Osgood, Francis S., 266

  Ossian, 250, 308

  Ossoli, Countess. See Fuller, Sarah M.

  _Othello_, 163

  _Other Fellow, The_, 228

  _Other House, The_, 194, 195

  Otis, James, 44, 48-9, 60, 90, 115, 360

  _Our Hundred Days in Europe_, 333

  _Our Lady Vanity_, 206

  _Our Old Home_, 137, 139, 342

  _Out of His Head_, 181

  _Out of the Hurly Burly_, 355

  _Outcasts of Poker Flat, The_, 188

  _Outdoor Papers_, 337

  _Outlook, The_, 341

  _Outrageous Fortune_, 204

  _Outre-Mer_, 278, 326, 334

  _Over the Tea-Cups_, 333

  _Overland_, 175

  _Overland Monthly, The_, 188, 190, 447

  _Ovid_, 4, 263

  Owen, Richard, Sir, 423

  Owen, Robert, 385


  _P. A. and P. I. or Samanthy at the Centennial_, 349

  Packard, Alpheus Spring, 421-2

  _Pactolus Prime_, 211

  _Pagans, The_, 212

  Page, C. H., 301, 321

  Page, Thomas Nelson, 222, 228, 239, 445

  Page, Walter H., 446

  _Pages from an Odd Volume of Life_, 333

  Paine, Robert Treat, 249, 250

  Paine, Thomas, 58, 60, 63-6, 435

  _Pains of Memory_, 250

  _Palace of Art_, 243

  Palfrey, F. W., 104

  Palfrey, John Gorham, 104, 449

  Palmer, Ray, 383

  _Pampinea, and Other Poems_, 316

  _Pan in Wall Street_, 318

  _Papers on Literature and Art_, 331

  Park, Edwards Amasa, 381, 384

  Parker, Theodore, 331, 387-8, 442, 450

  Parkman, Francis, 89, 96, 99, 107, 109-11, 113, 440

  Parley, Peter. See Goodrich, S. G.

  Parsons, Theophilus, 438

  Parsons, Thomas W., 266-7

  _Partial Portraits_, 342

  Partington, Mrs. See Shillaber, B. P.

  _Partingtonian Patchwork_, 354

  _Partisan, The_, 148

  _Partisan Leader, The_, 146

  Parton, James, 333-4

  _Passage to India_, 310

  _Passages from American Note-Books_, 137

  _Passages from English Note-Books_, 137

  _Passages from French and Italian Note-Books_, 137

  _Passe Rose_, 220

  _Passionate Pilgrim, A_, 193

  _Patent Philtre, A_, 221

  _Pathfinder, The_, 126, 129

  _Patience Sparhawk and Her Times_, 234

  _Patient Strong’s Outings_, 182

  _Patriot, The_, 307

  _Paul Fane_, etc., 173

  _Paul Felton_, 132, 438

  _Paul Patoff_, 216, 445

  Paulding, James Kirke, 123-4, 255, 256, 369, 437, 439, 440, 441, 451

  Payne, John Howard, 255

  Payne, Will, 236

  Peabody, Andrew, 439, 449

  Peabody, Oliver, 449

  Peabody, William, 439, 449

  Peacock, Thomas Love, 120

  _Pearce Amerson’s Will_, 185

  _Pearl of Orr’s Island, The_, 170

  Peck, Harry Thurston, 448

  _Peculiar_, etc., 163

  Peirce, Benjamin, 427

  _Pembroke_, 225

  _Pencillings by the Way_, 333

  _Penelope’s Progress_, 234, 446

  _Penelope’s Suitors_, 204

  _Pennsylvania Freeman, The_, 286, 300

  _Pennsylvania Magazine, The_, 435

  Percival, James Gates, 264

  _Père Antoine’s Date Palm_, 181

  _Perfect Adonis, A_, 176

  _Perfect Life, The_, 331

  Perkins, Eli, 345

  Perrin, Bernadotte, 417

  Perry, Arthur Latham, 407

  Perry, Bliss, 340, 446

  Persius, 418

  _Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, The_, 358, 444

  _Peter Piper_, 255

  _Peter Rugg, the Missing Man_, 134

  _Peter the Great_, 447

  Peters, Richard, 43

  Peters, Samuel, 81-2

  _Peterson’s Magazine_, 172, 349, 443

  _Phases of an Inferior Planet_, 236

  Phelps, Austin, 190

  _Philip and His Wife_, 227, 446

  _Philip Nolan’s Friends_, 168

  _Philistines, The_, 212

  Phillips, David Graham, 236

  Phillips, Wendell, 373, 454

  Phillips, Willard, 449

  _Philo_, 266

  _Philosophy of Composition, The_, 270, 327

  _Philoteah_, 133

  _Phœbe_, 176+

  _Phyllis of the Sierras, A_, 189

  _Piazza Tales, The_, 165

  _Picayune, The_ (New Orleans), 210

  Pickard, S. T., 298

  Pickering, Charles, 411

  _Picture of St. John, The_, 306

  Pierce, Franklin, 137

  Pierpont, John, 264-5

  _Pierre, or The Ambiguities_, 165

  _Pietro Ghisleri_, 216

  Pike, Albert, 268, 438

  _Pike County Ballads_, 319

  _Pilot, The_, 126, 129

  Pindar, 294, 418

  _Pink and White Tyranny_, 171

  Pinkney, Edward C., 268

  Pinkney, William, 363

  _Pioneer, The_, 285

  _Pioneers, The_, 124, 126, 129

  _Pioneers of France in the New World, The_, 110

  _Pipes o’ Pan at Zekesbury_, 318

  _Pirate Gold_, 218

  _Pit, The_, 231

  Pitt, William. See Chatham, Earl of.

  _Plain Talks on Familiar Subjects_, 335-6

  _Playing the Mischief_, 175

  Poe, Edgar Allan, 120, 125, 149, 149-157, 158, 177, 239, 243, 263,
          266, 268, 269, 270-2, 322, 326-7, 340, 439, 440, 441, 443

  _Poems of Nature_, 300

  _Poems of the Orient_, 306

  _Poems Written during the Progress of the Abolition Movement in
          America_, 300

  _Poet at the Breakfast Table, The_, 333

  _Poetic Principle, The_, 327

  _Poets of America_, 344

  _Poganuc People_, 171

  _Political Barometer, The_, 122

  _Pomona’s Travels_, 209

  _Poor Margaret Dwy_, 252

  _Poor Richard’s Almanac_, 278

  Pope, Alexander, 241, 243, 248, 250, 260, 287, 296, 346

  _Popular Science Monthly, The_, 214, 392, 433

  _Porcupiniad, The_, 251

  _Port Folio, The_, 436

  Porter, Noah, 380, 393, 396

  Porter, T. O., 441

  _Portico, The_, 437

  _Portion of Labour, The_, 225, 444

  _Portland Gazette, The_, 277

  _Portland Magazine, The_, 172

  _Portrait of a Lady, The_, 193, 445

  _Post Captain, The_, 121

  Postl, Carl, 143-5

  _Potiphar Papers, The_, 332, 444

  Powell, John Wesley, 409, 412

  _Power of Maternal Piety, The_, 266

  _Power of Solitude, The_, 250

  _Powers of Genius, The_, 436

  _Pragmatism_, 342, 398

  _Prairie, The_, 129

  _Prairie Folks_, 229

  _Precaution_, 126

  _Prelude, The_, 258

  Prentice, George D., 454

  _Preparation and Delivery of Sermons_, 389

  Prescott, William Hickling, 89, 96, 99, 101, 104-7, 108, 109, 110,
          111, 276, 449

  Preston, Margaret, 274-5

  _Pretty Sister of José, The_, 201

  _Pretty Story, A_, 50

  _Primes and Their Neighbours, The_, 185

  Prince, Thomas, 28, 89

  _Prince and the Pauper, The_, 358

  _Prince Deukalion_, 306

  _Prince of India, The_, 202

  _Princess, The_, 183

  _Princess Aline, The_, 233

  _Princess Casamassima, The_, 193, 195

  _Princeton Review, The_, 382

  _Principia_, 427

  _Prisoner of the Border, The_, 165

  _Prisoner of Zenda, The_, 233

  _Prisoners of Hope_, 236

  _Problem, The_, 442

  _Probus_, 160

  _Professor at the Breakfast Table_, 333

  _Professor’s Story, The._ See _Elsie Venner_.

  _Prometheus_, 264

  _Prometheus Unbound_, 269

  _Prophet, The_, 306

  _Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains, The_, 208

  _Prose Writers of Germany_, 381

  _Protégée of Jack Hamlin’s, A_, 189

  _Proud Miss MacBride, The_, 263

  Proud, Robert, 92, 118

  _Prudence Palfrey_, 181, 445

  _Prue and I_, 173, 444

  _Psalm of the West_, 273

  _Public Occurrences_, 31

  _Puck_, 218

  _Pudd’nhead Wilson_, 447

  Pulitzer, Joseph, 453

  _Punch_, 192, 355

  _Puritan Politics in England and New England_, 337

  Putnam, F. W., 421

  Putnam, George H., 444

  Putnam, George P., 443, 444

  _Putnam’s Monthly_, 444-5, 448, 451

  _Putnam’s Monthly Magazine_, 161, 173, 174, 373, 441, 444


  Quad, M. See Lewis, C. B.

  _Quad’s Odds_, 356

  _Quality of Mercy, The_, 200

  _Queechy_, 169

  _Queen Money_, 205

  _Queen of Sheba, The_, 181-2

  _Queen of the Swamp, The_, etc., 228

  _Queen Titania_, 203

  _Queen’s Twin, The_, etc., 205

  _Queries of Highest Consideration_, 15

  Quincy, Edmund, 444

  Quincy, Josiah, Jr., 360, 363

  _Quodlibet_, etc., 147


  _Rachel Dyer_, 124

  _Raciad, The_, 268

  Radcliffe, Anne, 116, 156, 272

  _Ragged Lady_, 200

  _Railroad Guide, The_, 356

  _Raisifi’s Daughter_, 209

  _Ralstons, The_, 217

  _Ramona_, 144, 211

  Ramsay, David, 90, 92

  Randolph, John, 369

  _Rangers, The_; _or_ _The Tory’s Daughter_, 159

  Ranke, von, Leopold, 98, 103

  _Ranson’s Folly_, 233

  _Raven, The_, 152, 270

  Ravien, Christian, 33

  Raymond, Henry J., 452

  Read, Thomas B., 297, 439

  _Reader, The_, 448

  _Real Thing, The_, etc., 194

  _Real World, The_, 234

  _Rebels, The_, 133

  _Recollections of the Last Ten Years_, 133

  _Red Badge of Courage, The_, 230

  _Red Jacket_, 254, 364

  _Red Republic, The_, 233

  _Red Rock_, etc., 222

  _Red Rover, The_, 126

  _Redburn, His First Voyage_, 165

  _Redskins, The_; _or_ _Indian and Injin_, 128

  _Redwood_, 132

  Reed, Edward B., 122

  _Reflections of a Married Man, The_, 221

  Reid, Mayne, 144

  _Reign of Law, The_, 229

  _Reigning Belle, The_, 173

  _Rejected Wife, The_, 173

  _Religion of Israel, The_, 383

  _Religious Aspect of Evolution, The_, 397

  _Religious Aspect of Philosophy, The_, 399

  _Remarkable Providences_, 24

  Renan, Joseph Ernest, 385

  _Representative Men_, 328

  _Republic of God, The_, 407

  _Republican, The_ (Springfield), 453

  _Republican Crisis, The_, 122

  _Resignation_, 443

  _Reverberator, The_, 194

  _Reveries of a Bachelor_, 167, 334

  _Revolt of a Daughter, The_, 206

  _Revue des Deux Mondes, La_, 447

  _Reynard the Fox_, 214

  Rhodes, James Ford, 89, 114

  _Rhymes of Childhood_, 318, 352

  _Richard Carvel_, 233

  _Richard Edney and the Governor’s Family_, 164

  Richardson, Charles F., 193, 211, 237, 321, 339

  Richardson, Samuel, 117, 357

  Richter, Jean Paul Friedrich, 161, 279

  Ridgway, Robert, 420

  _Rifle, The_, 145

  Riggs, Mrs. George C. See Wiggin, Kate Douglas.

  _Right Princess, The_, 224

  _Rights of the British Colonies, Asserted and Proved, The_, 48

  Riley, James Whitcomb, 318, 352, 356

  _Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The_, 264

  Ripley, George, 331, 442, 452

  _Rise and Fall of the Mustache, The_, etc., 357

  _Rise of Silas Lapham, The_, 200, 447

  _Rise of the Dutch Republic, The_, etc., 107, 109

  _Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution_, 90

  Ritchie, Anne Thackeray, 147, 445

  _River Fight, The_, 267

  _River’s Children, The_, 232

  _Rob of the Bowl_, etc., 147

  _Robbers, The_, 120

  _Robert Elsmere_, 227

  _Robert of Lincoln_, 260

  Robinson, Edward, 381

  Robinson, Ezekiel G., 389

  Robinson, Henry Crabb, 73

  Robinson, Rowland E., 228

  _Robinson Crusoe’s Money_, 405

  _Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep_, 266

  _Roderick Hudson_, 193, 194, 195, 445

  _Rodman the Keeper_, etc., 191

  Rohlfs, Mrs. Charles. See Green, Anna Katharine.

  _Roland Blake_, 186

  _Roman Lawyer in Jerusalem, A_, 266

  _Roman Singer, A_, 216, 445

  _Roman Traitor, The_, 157

  _Romance of Dollard, The_, 227

  _Romance of the Forest, The_, 116

  _Romeo and Juliet_, 220

  _Romola_, 170

  Roosevelt, Theodore, 378-9, 445

  _Root-Bound_, 223

  Rose, Robert H., 436

  _Rose in Bloom_, 184

  _Rose of Dutcher’s Coolly_, 229

  Rossetti, W. M., 313

  Roth, von, Rudolph, 417

  Rousseau, Jean Jaques, 135, 244, 253, 310-11, 386

  Rowson, Susanna Haswell, 116-7,250

  _Roxy_, 196

  _Royal American Magazine_, 435

  Royal Literary Fund, The, 84

  Royal Society (the founding of), 36

  Royce, Josiah, 393, 399

  _Rubaiyat of Doc Sifers, The_, 318

  _Rudder Grange_, 209, 447

  _Rulers of the South, The_, 343

  _Ruling Passion, The_, 250

  Rush, Benjamin, 435

  Ruskin, John, 242, 302, 337

  Russell, Lord John, 277

  _Ruth_, 252

  _Rutherford_, 204

  _Rutledge_, 176

  Rutledge, Edward, 61


  S., J., of Dale. See Stimson, F. J.

  _Sabbath Scene, A_, 300

  _Sacred Fount, The_, 195

  Sa-go-ye-wat-ha. See _Red Jacket_.

  _St. Gregory’s Quest_, etc., 301

  St. John, J. Hector, 85-6

  _St. Leger_, _or_ _The Threads of Life_, 166

  _St. Nicholas_, 209

  Salisbury, Edward E., 417

  _Sally Dows_, 189

  _Salmagundi_, 123, 255, 436-7

  _Sam Lawson’s Fireside Stories_, 171

  _Sam Lovel’s Camps_, 228

  _Sanctuary_, 235

  Sanderson, John, 436

  Sands, Robert C., 256, 438, 448

  Sandys, George, 4-5

  _Sane Lunatic, A_, 224

  _Sant Ilario_, 216

  _Sappho of Green Springs, A_, 189

  _Sara Crewe_, etc., 201

  _Saracinesca_, 216

  Sargent, Epes, 163, 443

  Sargent, John Osborne, 443

  Sargent, Lucius M., 252

  Sartain, John, 443

  _Sartain’s Magazine_, 270, 327, 443

  _Satanstoe_, etc., 128

  _Saturday Evening Post, The_, 304

  _Saturday Vistor, The_ (Baltimore), 151

  Saxe, John Godfrey, 263, 350-1, 354, 441

  _Saxon Studies_, 342

  _Scarlet Letter, The_, iv, 136, 138, 139, 140-1, 142

  Schaff, Philip, 382

  Scheffel, J. V., 315

  Schelling, Felix Emmanuel, 340

  Schiller, Johann C. F. von, 84, 120

  Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 281, 409, 410

  Schouler, James, 113

  Schurman, Jacob Gould, 393, 399

  Schurz, Carl, 378, 445

  Schuyler, Eugene, 447

  Schuyler, Montgomery, 453

  _Science_, 392, 423

  _Science of English Verse, The_, 344

  _Scientific American, The_, 392

  Scollard, Clinton, 319

  Scott, John Morin, 435

  Scott, Walter, Sir, 127, 135, 243, 249, 255, 268, 284, 298, 307,
          324, 325

  _Scottish Philosophy, The_, etc., 397

  _Scout, The_, 149

  _Scraps from the Lucky-Bag_, 429

  _Scribner’s Magazine_, 141, 196, 219, 225, 448

  _Scribner’s Monthly_ (later _The Century Magazine_, _q.v._), 201,
          206, 209, 335, 447

  _Scriptural Idea of Man, The_, 395

  Scudder, Horace E., 446

  Scudder, Vida Dutton, 340

  _Sea Lions, The_; _or_ _The Lost Sealers_, 127

  _Sea Wolf, The_, 235

  Seabury, Samuel, 62

  _Seacliff_, 175

  Sealsfield, Charles, 143-5

  Seawell, Molly Elliot, 235-6

  _Sebastian Strome_, 197

  Sedgwick, Catherine Maria, 132-3

  _Select British Eloquence_, 389

  _Select Reviews and Spirit of Foreign Magazines, The_, 437

  _Selections from Papers of an Idler_, 439

  _Self-Culture_, 386

  _Septimus Felton_, etc., 137-8, 445

  _Sequel to Drum Taps_, 309

  Sergeant, John, 362

  _Seth’s Brother’s Wife_, 225

  _Seven Dreamers_, 224

  _Seven on the Highway_, 204

  _Seventy-Six_, 124

  Sewall, Jonathan M., 251

  _Sewanee Review, The_, 451

  Seward, William Henry, 374

  _Sforza, a Story of Milan_, 212

  Shakespeare, William, 3, 4, 135, 163, 220, 264, 298, 308, 316, 336,
          338-9, 341, 344, 436, 437, 444

  Sharp, William, 204

  Shaw, Henry Wheeler, 353-4

  Shedd, William G. T., 382

  _Shelburne Essays_, 342

  _Shelf of Old Books, A_, 338

  Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 120, 143, 240, 241, 243, 252, 253, 259, 269,
          305, 306

  Shepard, Edward M., 445

  Shepard, Thomas, 13

  _Sheppard Lee_, 158

  Sheridan, Richard B. B., 354

  _Sheridan’s Ride_, 297

  Sherman, John, 35

  Sherwood, Margaret, 236

  Sherwood, Sidney, 400, 406

  Shillaber, Benjamin Penhallow, 353, 354

  _Short Sixes_, 219

  _Shorter Catechism_, 21

  _Shot in the Eye_, 166

  _Shuttle, The_, 202

  _Siberia and the Exile System_, 335

  _Sibyl Chase_, 173

  _Sibylline Leaves_, 252

  _Sidney_, 227, 446

  Sidney, Algernon, 11, 70

  Sidney, Philip, Sir, 278

  _Siege of London, The_, 193

  Sigourney, Lydia Huntley, 265, 266, 439, 443, 449

  _Silence, and Other Stories_, 225

  _Silent Partner, The_, 191

  Sill, Edward Rowland, 314

  Silliman, Benjamin, Sr., 426, 427-8

  Silliman, Benjamin, Jr., 428

  Simms, William Gilmore, 144, 146, 147-9, 157, 269-70, 439, 440, 441

  _Simple Cobbler of Agawam, The_, 13-14

  Sinclair, Upton, 235

  _Singular Life, A_, 191

  _Sir Edmund Orme_, 194

  _Sir Mortimer_, 236, 444

  _Sir Rohan’s Ghost_, 175

  _Six Trees_, 225

  _Skeleton in Armour, The_, 282

  _Sketch Book, The_, iv, 122, 123, 324, 326, 334, 437

  _Sketches in Verse_, 436

  _Sketches of History, Life, and Manners in the West_, 159

  _Sketches of the Literature of the United States_, 134

  Sloanaker, William, 443

  Sloane, William A., 397

  Slosson, Annie Trumbull, 224

  Smith, Eli, 381

  Smith, Elihu H., 118

  Smith, Francis Hopkinson, 228, 446

  Smith, Goldwin, 114

  Smith, Henry Boynton, 382

  Smith, John, Captain, 2-3

  Smith, Richard Penn, 157

  Smith, Roswell B., 447

  Smith, Samuel Francis, 245, 383

  Smith, Seba, 350

  Smith, Sydney, 77

  Smith, William, 435

  Smollett, Tobias, 116, 117

  Smyth, Albert H., 305, 434

  _Snow Bound_, 297, 300

  _Snow-Bound at Eagle’s_, 189

  _Snow Image, and Other Tales, The_, 137

  _Social Ideals in English Letters_, 340

  _Social Strugglers_, 203

  _Society and Solitude_, 328

  _Soft Side, The_, 195

  _Soldiers of Fortune_, 233

  _Somebody’s Neighbours_, 223

  _Son of Royal Langbrith, The_, 200

  _Son of the Old Dominion, A_, 207

  _Son of the Wolf, The_, 235

  _Song for American Freedom, A_, 59-60

  _Song of Marion’s Men_, 260

  _Songs, Legends, and Ballads_, 319

  _Songs of Labor_, 300

  _Songs of Summer_, 315

  _Songs of the Sierras_, 314

  _Songs of the Southern Seas_, 319

  _Sonny_, 232

  Sophocles, 308, 312

  _Soprano, a Portrait_, 217

  _South Atlantic Quarterly, The_, 451

  _Southern Literary Messenger, The_, 151, 429, 440

  _Southern Review, The_, 450

  Southey, Robert, 86, 252, 265, 266

  _Spanish Peggy_, 228

  _Spanish Student, The_, 278

  Sparks, Jared, 98, 106, 276, 449

  _Sparrowgrass Papers, The_, 351, 444

  _Specimen Days_, 309, 343

  _Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature_, 332

  _Spectator, The_, 159, 325, 346, 437

  _Spectre of Power, A_, 208

  Spencer, Herbert, 393, 398, 399, 433

  Spenser, Edmund, 248, 283, 284, 287, 290

  _Sphinx, The_, 442

  _Sphinx’s Children, The_, 223

  Spinoza, B., 315

  _Spirit of an Illinois Town, The_, 228

  Spofford, Harriet Prescott, 175-6

  _Spoil of Office, A_, 229

  _Spoils of Poynton, The_, 194

  Sprague, Charles, 264

  Sprague, William B., 379, 382

  _Sprightly Romance of Marsac, The_, 235

  _Springfield Republican, The_, 335

  _Spy, The_, iv, 126

  _Squirrel Inn, The_, 209

  _Standish of Standish_, 233

  Stanley, Henry M., 335

  _Star, The_, 307

  _Star-Spangled Banner, The_, 245, 254

  _Steadfast_, etc., 223

  Stearns, Winfrid A., 423

  Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 154, 181, 301, 315, 316-8, 321, 343-4, 452

  Steele, Richard, 325, 346

  _Stelligeri_, 339

  Stephens, Ann Sophia, 172-3

  Stephens, Edward, 172

  Stephens, John L., 440

  Sterne, Laurence, 116

  Steuben, Frederic W., Baron, 409

  Stevens, Thaddeus, 372-3

  Stevenson, R. L., 154, 155

  _Still House of O’Darrow, The_, 234

  _Stillwater Tragedy, The_, 182, 445

  Stimson, Frederic Jesup, 218

  Stith, W., 89

  Stockton, Frank R., 209-10, 239, 444, 445, 447

  Stoddard, Elizabeth Barstow, 178, 180-1

  Stoddard, Richard Henry, 180, 198, 315, 440, 443

  Stone, William L., 440

  _Stories of a Western Town_, 226

  _Stories of Old New Spain_, 223

  _Storm Centre, The_, 208

  Storrs, Richard Salter, 389-90

  Story, Joseph, 250, 266, 365, 372, 400, 402

  Story, William Wetmore, 266

  _Story of a Bad Boy, The_, 181

  _Story of a Child, The_, 227

  _Story of a New York House, The_, 219

  _Story of a Pathfinder, The_, 202

  _Story of an Untold Love, The_, 232, 446

  _Story of Avis, The_, 191

  _Story of Babette, The_, 231

  _Story of Henry and Anne, The_, 116

  _Story of Keedon Bluffs, The_, 208

  _Story of Kennett, The_, 183

  _Story of Lawrence Garth, The_, 205

  _Story of Margaret Kent, The_, 205

  _Story of Patsy, The_, 234

  _Story of Sevenoaks, The_, 174

  _Story or Two from an Old Dutch Town, A_, 175

  Stowe, Calvin E., 169

  Stowe, Harriet Beecher, iv, 133, 169-71, 172, 182, 202, 343, 350 388
          439, 445, 454

  Strachey, William, 3-4

  _Strange Disappearance, A_, 208

  _Strange True Stories of Louisiana_, 210

  _Stranger in Lowell, The_, 300

  _Strangers and Wayfarers_, 205

  _Strength and Beauty_, 394

  Stuart, Mrs. Alfred O. See Stuart, Ruth McEnery.

  Stuart, Ruth McEnery, 231-2

  _Studies in German Literature_, 334

  _Studies of Good and Evil_, 399

  _Studies of the Great West_, 443

  _Study of Prose Fiction_, 340

  _Stylus, The_, 152

  _Süden und Norden_, 144

  _Sullivan’s Island_, 268

  _Summer in Arcady_, 229

  _Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite’s Life, A_, 182

  _Summer on the Lakes, A_, 331

  Sumner, Charles, 276, 299, 372

  Sumner, William Graham, 407

  _Sun, The_ (New York), 218, 452

  _Sunday School, The_, 266

  _Sunday School Teacher, The_, 197

  _Sunnybank_, 173

  _Supernaturalism in New England_, 300, 325

  _Surly Tim’s Trouble_, 201

  _Sutherlands, The_, 176

  _Suwanee River, The_, 319

  _Swallow Barn_, 146-7

  _Sweet Bells out of Tune_, 207

  _Sweetheart Manette_, 215

  Swift, Jonathan, 76, 166, 325, 346

  _Sword and the Distaff, The_, 149

  _Sword of Damocles, The_, 208

  _Sylphs of the Seasons_, 252

  Sylvester, John, 436

  Symonds, J. A., 313

  _Symphony, The_, 273


  _Table Talk_, 331

  _Tablets_, 331

  Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe, 196

  _Tale of a Lonely Parish, A_, 216

  _Tales and Sketched by a Cosmopolite_, 157

  _Tales by a Country Schoolmaster_, 145

  _Tales for the Marines_, 166

  _Tales from Two Hemispheres_, 203

  _Tales of a Traveller_, 123, 324

  _Tales of a Wayside Inn_, 278

  _Tales of Terror_, 156

  _Tales of the Alhambra_, 93, 123, 324

  _Tales of the Argonauts_, etc., 189

  _Tales of the Green Mountains_, 159

  _Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque_, 151

  _Tales of the Home Folks in Peace and War_, 214

  _Tales of the Night_, 121

  _Tales of the Southern Border_, 166

  _Taliesin: A Masque_, 319

  _Talisman, The_, 448

  _Tallahassee Girl, A_, 214

  Talmage, Thomas De Witt, 390

  _Tamerlane, and Other Poems_, 270

  _Tanglewood Tales_, 137

  _Taquisara_, 217

  Tarkington, Newton Booth, 233

  _Tattler, The_, 308

  Taylor, Bayard, 182-4, 303-7, 314, 315, 334-5, 439, 441, 452

  Tecumseh, 364

  Tegnér, E., 279

  _Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature_, 340

  _Temple House_, 180

  _Ten Great Religions_, 331

  _Ten Times One Is Ten_, 167-8

  Tenney, Tabitha G., 117

  Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 137, 139, 150, 183, 243, 245, 266, 267,268,
          277, 316, 340

  _Tent Life in Siberia_, 335

  Terhune, Mary Virginia, 173

  _Terminations_, 194

  Thackeray, William Makepeace, 147, 442, 445

  _Thanatopsis_, 247, 256, 258-9, 449

  Thanet, Octave. See French, Alice.

  _That Affair Next Door_, 208

  _That Fortune_, 203

  _That Frenchman_, 226

  _That Lass o’ Lowrie’s_, 201

  Thaxter, Celia, 446

  _Their Pilgrimage_, 203

  _Their Silver Wedding Journey_, 443

  _Their Wedding Journey_, 199, 445

  _Thief in the Night, A_, 175-6

  _Thirty Poems_, 260

  _Thirty Years’ View of the American Government_, 350, 366

  Thomas, Frederick William, 158

  Thompson, Charles M., 187

  Thompson, Daniel Pierce, 159

  Thompson, John R., 451

  Thompson, Maurice, 214-5, 274, 446

  Thompson, Will H., 319

  Thomson, James, 248

  Thomson, William McClune, 381

  Thoreau, Henry David, 229, 284, 294, 295, 322, 330, 331, 336, 341,
          442, 444

  _Three Fates, The_, 216

  _Three Partners, The_, 189

  _Throckmorton_, 235

  _Through One Administration_, 201

  _Through the Eye of the Needle_, 201

  Thucydides, 34, 258

  Thurston, Robert Henry, 431-2

  Ticknor, George, 97, 106, 107, 276, 337, 338, 436

  _Tid-Bits_, 221

  _Tiger Lilies_, 273

  _Times, The_ (New York), 199, 225, 452-3

  _Timothy’s Quest_, 234

  _Timothy Titcomb’s Letters_, 335

  Timrod, Henry B., 243, 268-9, 273, 297, 440

  _Tintern Abbey_, 258

  Titchener, Edward B., 393

  _Tiverton Tales_, 224

  _To a Stray Fowl_, 294

  _To a Waterfowl_, 258, 259

  _To Have and to Hold_, 236, 446

  _To Leeward_, 216

  Tocqueville, de, A. C. H. C., 93, 114

  _Tokeah, or The White Rose_, 144

  _Token, The_, 448

  Tolstoi, Count Leo, 200

  _Tom Grogan_, 228

  _Tom Thornton_, 132, 438

  _Tompkins and Other Folks_, 202

  Torrey, Bradford, 341

  Torrey, John, 424

  _Tory Lover, The_, 205, 446

  _Touch of Sun, A_, etc., 220

  _Tour on the Prairies_, 324

  Tourgee, Albion Winegar, 211

  _Town and Country_, 438

  Toy, Crawford Howell, 382-3

  _Tragic Muse, The_, 194

  _Trailing Arbutus, The_, 302

  Train, George Francis, 182

  _Traits of American Aborigines_, 265

  _Transatlantische Reiseskizzen_, 144

  _Transformation_, 137

  _Transcendalist, The_, 442

  _Transient and the Permanent in Christianity, The_, 387

  _Traveller from Altruria, The_, 200-1

  _Travels through the Interior Parts of North America_, 83-4

  _Treasure Island_, 154

  Trent, William P., 117, 131, 149

  _Triple Entanglement, A_, 207

  _Trippings of Tom Pepper, The_, 161

  _Tribune, The_ (New York), 213, 452

  _Tribune Lyrics_, 317

  _Tribune Primer, The_, 351

  Trowbridge, John Townsend, 171, 319, 445

  _True Relation of Virginia, A_, 3

  _True Reportory of the Wrack and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates,
          Kt., A_, 3-4

  Trumbull, Benjamin, 92

  Trumbull, James Hammond, 416

  Trumbull, John, 42, 46, 50-1, 55-7, 247, 248, 257, 346

  _Trumps_, 173-4

  Tucker, George, 104, 145

  Tucker, Nathaniel Beverley, 146

  Tuckerman, Henry T., 443

  Tudor, William, 90, 436, 449

  _Turn of the Screw, The_, 194

  Turner, Edward, 430

  Twain, Mark, 187-8, 203, 239, 344, 357-9, 444, 445, 447

  _Twice-Told Tales_, 135, 136, 140, 441, 449

  _Twins of Table Mountain, The_, 189

  _Two Admirals, The_, 126

  _Two Bites at a Cherry_, etc., 182

  _Two Little Confederates_, 222

  _Two Magics, The_, 194

  _Two Men_, 180

  _Two Vanrevels, The_, 233

  Tyler, John, 370

  Tyler, Moses Coit, vi, 97, 339, 392, 435

  Tyler, Royall, 117

  _Typee_, 164, 263


  Uhland, J. L., 279

  _Uncle ’Lisha’s Shop_, 228

  _Uncle Remus and His Friends_, 214, 447

  _Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings_, 213-4, 352, 447

  _Uncle Remus’ Magazine_, 214

  _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_, iv, 169, 169-70, 171, 172, 202, 454

  _Under Dog, The_, 228

  _Under the Redwoods_, 189

  _Under the Tree-Tops_, 341

  _Underbrush_, 338

  _Understudies_, 225

  Underwood, Joseph R., 367

  _Undiscovered Country, The_, 199

  _Union Magazine, The_, 443

  _United States Gazette, The_, 304

  _United States Literary Gazette, The_, 277, 438

  _United States Magazine and Democratic Review, The_, 450

  _United States Review, The_, 259, 450

  _United States Review and Literary Gazette, The_, 438

  _Universal Asylum, The_, 435

  _Unleavened Bread_, 221

  _Unseen World, The_, 398

  _Utter Failure, An_, 176


  _Vagabondia_, 201

  _Vagabonds, The_, 319

  _Valentino_, 212

  _Valley of Decision, The_, 235

  _Valley of the Shenandoah, The_, 145

  _Van Bibber and Others_, 233

  Van Dyke, Henry Jackson, 340-1

  _Vanderlyn_, 160

  _Varieties of Religious Experience, The_, 398

  Vattel, de, Emmeric, 70

  _Venetian Life_, 199, 342

  _Venus of Milo, The_, etc., 314

  _Vergilius_, 234

  Verne, Jules, 155

  Verplanck, Gulian C., 437, 448

  _Vestigia_, 212

  _Via Crucis_, 217, 447

  _Vicarious Sacrifice, The_, 387

  Victoria, Queen, 277, 288, 335

  _Victorian Anthology, A_, 317

  _Victorian Poets_, 344

  _Victorious Defeat, A_, 221

  _Views Afoot_, 304, 334

  _Vigil of Faith, The_, 144

  Villard, Oswald G., 452

  _Virey und die Aristokraten, Der_, etc., 144

  Virgil, 295 395

  _Virginia Comedians, The_, etc., 172

  _Virginian, The_, 233

  _Vision of Columbus, The_, 247

  _Vision of Sir Launfal, The_, 246, 286, 290

  _Voice of the People, The_, 236

  _Voices of Freedom_, 300

  _Voices of the Night_, 278

  Voltaire, François Marie Arouet, 59, 339

  _Voyage to the Moon, A_, 145

  _Voyages of the Companions of Columbus, The_, 324


  _Wake Robin_, 341

  _Walden, or Life in the Woods_, 330

  Walker, Francis Amasa, 400, 406

  Wallace, Lewis, 202

  Walpole, Horace, 116

  Walsh, Robert, 449, 450

  _Walter Kennedy_, etc., 121

  _Wandering Jew, The_, 134

  _War Lyrics and Other Poems_, 267

  Ward, Artemus. See Browne, Charles F.

  Ward, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, 190-1

  Ward, Mrs. Humphry, 227

  Ward, Nathaniel, 13-14

  Ware, William, 160

  Warner, Anna Bartlett, 169

  Warner, Charles Dudley, 192, 202-3, 322, 333, 347, 348, 357, 443

  Warner, Susan, 168-9

  Warren, Catharine, 117

  Warren, Mercy, 90, 250

  _Warren’s Address to the American Soldiers_, 265

  _Washers of the Shroud, The_, 290

  Washington, George, 43, 90-1, 94, 95-6, 98, 115, 251, 276, 323, 324,
          360, 362, 375, 378, 436

  _Washington Square_, 193

  _Watch and Ward_, 193

  _Watchers, The_, 302

  _Water Witch, The_, etc., 126

  Watkins, 35

  Watt, Isaac, 383

  Watterson, Henry, 454

  _Way Down East_, 350

  Wayland, Francis, 380, 394

  _Ways of the Hour, The_, 128

  _Ways of the Spirit_, etc., 381

  _We and Our Neighbours_, 171

  _We Girls_, 182

  _Weaker Sex, The_, 218

  _Wealth and Worth_, 163

  _Web of Life, The_, 234

  Webbe, John, 434

  Webber, Charles Wilkins, 165

  Weber, Friedrich A., 417

  Webster, Daniel, 98, 360, 367, 368-9, 369-72, 373, 375

  Webster, Noah, 409, 413

  _Webster’s Dictionary_, 396

  _Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers_, 330

  Welles, Thomas, 405

  Wells, Carolyn, 345, 350

  Wells, David Ames, 400, 405-6

  Wendell, Barrett, 339-40

  _Wensley_, 444

  _West Point Wooing, A_, 224

  Westcott, Edward Noyes, 232

  _Western Clearings_, 162

  _Western Monthly Magazine, The_, 439

  _Western Review, The_, 450

  _Westminster Abbey_, 317

  Wetherell, Elizabeth. See Warner, Susan.

  Wharton, Edith, 235

  _What Maisie Knew_, 194

  _What’s to be Done?_, 163

  Wheaton, Henry, 400, 402

  Whelpley, James D., 450

  _When the Sultan Goes to Ispahan_, 316

  _Where the Battle was Fought_, 208

  _Whosoever Shall Offend_, 217

  Whibley, Charles, 230, 238

  _Whilomville Stories_, 230, 444

  Whipple, Edwin Percy, 338-9, 441, 449

  _Whirl Asunder, A_, 234

  Whitaker, Alexander, 7

  Whitcher, Francis Miriam, 349

  White, Richard Grant, 338, 444

  White, William A., 236

  _White Heron, A_, 205

  _White Islander, The_, 227

  _White Jacket, The_, etc., 165

  _White Man’s Africa_, 444

  _White Slave, The_, 159

  Whitlock, Brand, 236

  Whitman, George, 310

  Whitman, Sarah H., 266

  Whitman, Walt, 245, 292, 297, 307-13, 341, 343, 413, 451

  Whitney, Adeline D. T., 182

  Whitney, William Dwight, 409, 417-18

  Whittier, John Greenleaf, 73, 74, 267, 290, 295, 296-303, 323, 325-6,
          370, 372, 439, 445

  _Wide, Wide, World, The_, 168-9

  _Widow Bedott Papers, The_, 349

  _Widow Guthrie_, 185

  _Widow Sprigg_, etc., 349

  _Wieland, or The Transformation_, 118-9

  Wiggin, Kate Douglas, 234, 446

  Wiggin, Mrs. Samuel B. See Wiggin, Kate Douglas.

  Wigglesworth, Michael, 21-22

  _Wigwam and the Cabin, The_, 149

  Wilberforce, William, 361

  _Wild Honeysuckle, The_, 249

  _Wild Life_, 144

  Wilde, Richard H., 268

  Wilkins, Mary E., 133, 224-5, 238, 239, 444

  _Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, The_,
          342, 398

  Willard, Emma H., 266

  Williams, Jesse Lynch, 236

  Williams, Roger, 14-17

  Williamson, Hugh, 92

  Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 152, 174, 256, 303, 333-4, 438, 439, 440,
          441, 448

  Wilson, Alexander, 436, 437

  Wilson, Woodrow, 113, 114, 115, 340, 408, 444, 445

  Winchell, Alexander, 426

  _Wind in the Rose Bush, The_, 225

  _Wind of Destiny, The_, 219

  _Wing-and-Wing, The_, etc., 126

  _Wings of the Dove, The_, 195

  Winsor, Justin, 94, 112, 113

  _Winsted Herald, The_, 317

  Winter, William, 177, 341

  Winthrop, John (of Mass.), 10-12, 35, 89, 134

  Winthrop, John (of Conn.), 35, 176

  Winthrop, John (of Harvard), 36, 37

  Winthrop, Robert Charles, 377

  Winthrop, Theodore, 176-7, 187

  Wirt, William, 365, 373, 374

  _Wisdom of Fools, The_, 227

  Wise, Henry Augustus, 166

  _Wise Woman, The_, 224

  Wister, Owen, 233

  _Witch of Prague, The_, 216

  _Witching Times_, 174

  _With the Procession_, 230

  Witherspoon, John, 42, 70-71, 380, 435

  Wolf, Emma, 238

  _Wolf, The_, 231

  _Wolfert’s Roost_, 324

  _Woman in the Nineteenth Century_, 331

  _Woman of Honour, A_, 218

  _Woman’s Exchange, The_, 232

  _Woman’s Reason, A_, 200, 447

  _Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys, A_, 137

  _Wonderful One-Hoss Shay, The_, 295

  _Wondersmith, The_, 177

  Wood, Sally Keating, 121

  Wood, William, 35

  _Wood Fire in No. 3, The_, 228

  Woodberry, George Edward, 139, 140, 154, 155, 340

  Woodburn, J. A., 379

  _Woodcraft_, 149

  _Woodman, Spare that Tree_, 256

  _Woodnotes_, 442

  Woodward, Robert, 428

  Woodworth, Samuel, 124, 255, 438

  Woolman, John, 71-4, 300

  Woolsey, Theodore Dwight, 380, 400, 403-4

  Woolson, Constance Fenimore, 191, 238, 329, 444

  Worcester, Joseph Emerson, 409, 414

  _Word of Congress, The_, 346

  _Words and Their Uses_, 338

  Wordsworth, William, 55, 137, 241, 242, 243, 245, 249, 251, 252, 253,
          257, 258, 264, 302, 327

  _Work_, etc., 184

  _World, The_ (New York), 317, 453

  _World and the Individual, The_, 399

  _World of Green Hills, A_, 341

  _Would You Kill Him?_ 212

  _Wound-Dresser, The_, 309

  _Wounds in the Rain_, 230

  _Wreck of the Schooner Hesperus, The_, 282

  Wright, George F., 445

  Wyatt, Edith, 238

  _Wych Hazel_, 169


  _Ximena_, etc., 303


  _Yale Lectures on Preaching_, 391

  _Yankee, The_ (Boston), 125

  _Yankee in Canada, A_, 330

  _Yberville_, 231

  _Year Worth Living, A_, 185

  _Year’s Life, A_, 285

  _Yellow Book, The_, 222

  _Yemassee, The_, 148

  _Yesterday with Authors_, 338

  Youmans, Edward Livingston, 432-3

  Youmans, William Jay, 433

  Young, Charles Augustus, 431

  Young, Ira, 431

  _Young Maids and Old_, 224

  _Young Mountaineers, The_, 208

  _Young Patroon, The_, 165

  _Youth’s Companion, The_, 224, 235, 334


  _Zachary Phips_, 204

  _Zadoc Pine_, etc., 219

  _Zana_, etc., 172-3

  _Zenobia_, 160

  _Zophiel, or The Bride of Seven_, 265-6

  _Zoroaster_, 216

  _Zury, the Meanest Man in Spring County_, 212


[1] “There is a twofold liberty, natural, and civil or federal. The
first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By this,
man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what
he lists; it is a liberty to evil as well as to good. This liberty
is incompatible and inconsistent with authority, and cannot endure
the least restraint of the most just authority. The exercise and
maintaining of this liberty makes men grow more evil, and in time to be
worse than brute beasts. This is that great enemy of truth and peace,
that wild beast, which all the ordinances of God are bent against,
to restrain and subdue it. The other kind of liberty I call civil or
federal; it may also be termed moral, in reference to the covenant
between God and man, in the moral law, and the politic covenants and
constitutions amongst men themselves. This liberty is the proper end
and object of authority, and cannot subsist without it; and it is a
liberty to that only which is good, just, and honest. This liberty you
are to stand for, with the hazard not only of your goods but of your
lives, if need be. Whatsoever crosseth this, is not authority, but a
distemper thereof. This liberty is maintained and exercised in a way
of subjection to authority.... So shall your liberties be preserved in
upholding the honour and power of authority amongst you.”--_History of
New England_, ii., 279-282.

[2] See “The Indian Death-Dirge,” in _The Poems and Ballads of
Schiller_, by Bulwer Lytton, Tauchnitz Edition, pp. 26-27.

[3] In her valuable study of “The Early American Novel,” New York,
1907 (published after these pages were in type), Miss Lillie Deming
Loshe remarks: “It is a significant fact that nearly all the directly
didactic novels are by known writers--writers of literary or
educational importance in their day--while, on the other hand, the
stories designed chiefly for amusement, but related to their didactic
contemporaries by similarity of sentiment and manner, are almost
invariably by unknown authors.” Miss Loshe enumerates only thirty-five
novels published before 1801.

[4] _The Century Magazine_, xxvi. 289.

[5] See Mr. Edward B. Reed’s note in _The Nation_, December 8, 1904,
lxxix. 458.

[6] In a note in the Boston _Yankee_ for September, 1829.

[7] “Nathaniel Hawthorne,” Boston, 1902 (“American Men of Letters”),
pp. 124-58.

[8] _Scribner’s Magazine_, January, 1908, xliii. 84.

[9] “Charles Sealsfield (Carl Postl), Materials for a Biography; a
Study of his Style; his Influence upon American Literature,” Baltimore,

[10] It has been alleged that by invitation Kennedy wrote the fourth
chapter of the second volume of Thackeray’s “Virginians” (1857-9;
Tauchnitz Edition, vols. 425, 441). Mrs. Ritchie, Thackeray’s daughter,
however, believes that Kennedy only gave her father many hints and

[11] See Professor Trent’s biography, “American Men of Letters” Series,

[12] See Émile Lauvrière, “Edgar Poe, sa vie et son œuvre, étude de
psychologie pathologique,” Paris, 1904.

[13] See Louis P. Betz, “Edgar Poe in der französischen Literatur,” in
his “Studien zur vergleichenden Literaturgeschichte der neueren Zeit,”
Frankfurt a. M., 1902; “Edgar Poe in Deutschland,” _Die Zeit_, xxxv.
8-9, 21-23, Vienna, 1903.

[14] In his “George William Curtis” (“American Men of Letters”),
Boston, 1894, p. 124.

[15] See Higginson’s “Cheerful Yesterdays,” pp. 107-111.

[16] _Scribner’s Magazine_, October, 1904, xxxvi. 399.

[17] _Cf._ “Confessions and Criticisms” (1886), pp. 15-16.

[18] See Professor T. Frederick Crane’s study of them in _The Popular
Science Monthly_, April, 1881, xviii. 824-833.

[19] _The Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1886, lviii. 133.

[20] Quoted by Professor C. F. Richardson, “American Literature,” ii.

[21] In this sketch of American poetry, I have obviously had recourse
not merely to the standard editions and biographies in the case of
important authors, but in the case of these, to some extent, as well as
of lesser authors, to a number of manuals and other compilations; among
them the well-known works on American literature by Bronson, Hart,
Richardson, and Onderdonk, and the anthologies, mentioned in the text,
by Stedman and Page. I desire to express freely my sense of obligation
to these sources.--L. C.

[22] In nine volumes, New York, 1857-1869. For the section entitled
“The Orators and the Divines,” the following works, among others, have
also been consulted: “American Eloquence, a Collection of Speeches
and Addresses by the Most Eminent Orators of America,” etc., by
Frank Moore, two volumes, New York, 1895 (published 1857); “American
Orations,” etc., edited by Alexander Johnston, re-edited by J. A.
Woodburn, four volumes, 1896-1897; “The Clergy in American Life and
Letters,” by D. D. Addison, 1900; “A Manual of American Literature,” by
John S. Hart, 1878.

[23] _The Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1898, lxxxii. 319.

[24] _Science_, May 7, 1897, n. s. v. 717.

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Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not

Simple typographical errors and occasional unbalanced quotation marks
were corrected.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

Index not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page references.

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