Tag Archives: 19th Century

Jewett, Sarah Orne

JEWETT, SARAH ORNE (1849-1909). Sarah Orne Jewett was born and raised in South Berwick, Maine, a dwindling shipping and manufacturing center. As a girl she listened to her paternal grandfather’s tales of life as a sea captain, skirting the embargo Continue reading & text links

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James, Henry

JAMES, HENRY (1843-1916). Henry James made nineteen Atlantic crossings and lived for much of his life in seacoast cities and villages. In his longer fiction, scenes near the English Channel in What Maisie Knew (1897) and in Venice in The Continue reading & text links

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Irving, Washington

IRVING, WASHINGTON (1783-1859). The first American to succeed as a professional author, Washington Irving was born in New York City in the last year of the American Revolution. Although he is best known today as the author of “Rip Van Continue reading & text links

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Ingraham, Joseph Holt

INGRAHAM, JOSEPH HOLT (1809-1860). Born in Portland, Maine, Joseph Holt Ingraham was a teacher, minister, and popular writer who produced more than 100 novels, 25 in 1845 alone at the peak of his career. Until the late 1840s Ingraham wrote Continue reading & text links

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Howells, William Dean

HOWELLS, WILLIAM DEAN (1837-1920). A native of Ohio, William Dean Howells began to work in his father’s printing shop at age nine. A self-taught student of languages and literature, he early entered a career in journalism. After writing a campaign Continue reading & text links

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Holmes, Oliver Wendell

HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL (1809-1894). Oliver Wendell Holmes, a writer and distinguished academic physician, spent his life around Boston. He was the social leader of a group of intellectual luminaries that included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, and Ralph Waldo Continue reading & text links

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Hine, Ephraim Curtiss

HINE, EPHRAIM CURTISS (1818?-1853). Sailor and author raised in Genoa, New York, Ephraim Curtiss Hine is best known today as the model for the nautical poet Lemsford in Herman Melville’s novel White-Jacket (1850). Melville, who was Hine’s shipmate on the Continue reading & text links

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Herne, James A.

HERNE, JAMES A[HERN]. (1839-1901). James A. Herne was an actor, manager, and playwright whose early reputation as a successful melodramatist was established on the basis of his collaborations with playwright/producer/director David Belasco. Later in his career, however, he made a Continue reading & text links

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Herbert, Henry William (“Frank Forester”)

[HERBERT, HENRY WILLIAM], “FRANK FORESTER” (1807-1858). Born in England and arriving in America in 1831, Henry William Herbert initiated a career as a writer of romances: his best-known fiction, Ringwood the Rover, was serialized in 1839 and published as a Continue reading & text links

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Hearn, Lafcadio

by Christopher Lee (2000) HEARN, [PATRICIO] LAFCADIO [TESSIMA CARLOS] (1850-1904). Lafcadio Hearn was born in Greece and migrated to the United States, where he drifted from New York, to Cincinnati, to New Orleans. In New Orleans he wrote Chita: A Continue reading & text links

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Hawthorne, Nathaniel

HAWTHORNE, NATHANIEL (1804-1864). Born in Salem, Massachusetts, when the town was still one of the most active seaports in America, Nathaniel Hawthorne spent most of his youth within sight of the town’s busy wharves. His grandfather, Daniel, had been a Continue reading & text links

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Harte, Bret

HARTE, [FRANCIS] BRET[T] (1836-1902). Born in Albany, New York, Bret Harte rose to literary prominence as editor of the Overland Monthly (first pub. 1868), a San Francisco-based magazine of western lore. In this forum Harte produced his best sketches, stories, Continue reading & text links

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Hart, Joseph C.

HART, JOSEPH C. (1798-1855). A New Yorker whose mother’s family came from Nantucket Island, Joseph C. Hart is known today as the author of Miriam Coffin, or The Whale-Fishermen (1834), a novel that was an important source for Moby-Dick (1851). Continue reading & text links

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Harlow, Frederick Pease

HARLOW, FREDERICK PEASE (1856-1952). Frederick Pease Harlow was born in Mount Morris, Illinois, on 12 December 1856. He was the youngest son of Frances Ann Winsor and William T. Harlow, an educator and Methodist minister originally from Duxbury, Massachusetts. Harlow’s Continue reading & text links

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Halyard, Harry

“HALYARD, HARRY” (dates unknown). “Harry Halyard” is the pseudonym of the unknown author of twelve novels published in the mid-nineteenth century. Five of them were intended to exploit public interest in the Mexican War: The Chieftain of Churubusco (1848), The Continue reading & text links

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Hale, Edward Everett

HALE, EDWARD EVERETT (1822-1909). Born in Boston, Edward Everett Hale belonged to an old New England family. His great-uncle, Captain Nathan Hale, uttered the memorable cry, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” Continue reading & text links

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Hains, Thornton Jenkins (“Captain Mayn Clew Garnett”)

[HAINS, THORNTON JENKINS], “CAPTAIN MAYN CLEW GARNETT” (1866-1953). Named for his maternal grandfather, Admiral Thornton Jenkins, U.S.N., Thornton Jenkins Hains had a career of indefinite length as a working seaman and was licensed in both England and the United States Continue reading & text links

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Gould, John W.

GOULD, JOHN W. (1814-1838). John W. Gould was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the seventh son of influential judge and educator James Gould. He was christened “John Gould” but added the middle initial “W.” in 1835 to avoid confusion. Gould’s health Continue reading & text links

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Glaspell, Susan

GLASPELL, SUSAN [KEATING] (1876-1948). Associated with the Provincetown Players, a group that included Eugene O’Neill, Jig Cook, and Floyd Dell in the early years of their illustrious collaboration (1916- 1922), Susan Glaspell is best known for her novels and the Continue reading & text links

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Fuller, Margaret

FULLER, [SARAH] MARGARET (1810-1850). Born in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, Margaret Fuller was the eldest of nine children. Her father, a lawyer and congressman, educated her at home, and under his demanding regimen she developed her remarkable intellectual gifts. She later taught Continue reading & text links

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Frost, Robert

FROST, ROBERT [LEE] (1874-1963). Though Robert Frost was not a nautical writer, he did treat the sea as a subject in several poems. Best known among these are “Once by the Pacific” (1926), “Neither Out Far nor in Deep” (1934), Continue reading & text links

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Freneau, Philip

FRENEAU, PHILIP [MORIN] (1752-1832). An “occasional” poet born in New York City, Philip Freneau during his long life wrote lyric and narrative poems on a wide range of subjects. Since he spent many years working on ships, a sizable number Continue reading & text links

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Fanning, Edmund

FANNING, EDMUND (1769-1841). Captain Edmund Fanning of Stonington, Connecticut, was the younger brother of naval officer Nathaniel Fanning. In a memorial to the U.S. Congress in 1833, Edmund Fanning urged the legislature to support funding for an exploring expedition to Continue reading & text links

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Ellms, Charles

ELLMS, CHARLES (1805-1851). The elusive Charles Ellms was a Boston stationer who, after 1830, turned to popular writing and compiling almanacs. Little is known of Ellms, his birth, education, or even his death. Before he turned to writing a series Continue reading & text links

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Ellis, Edward Sylvester

ELLIS, EDWARD SYLVESTER (1840-1916). A prolific, versatile author, Edward Sylvester Ellis was born in Geneva, Ohio, near Lake Erie. While young, he moved to New Jersey, only later to return to the Great Lakes in his writing. Ellis wrote during Continue reading & text links

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Eliot, T. S.

ELIOT, T[HOMAS]. S[TEARNS]. (1888-1965). T. S. Eliot, perhaps the greatest poet of the twentieth century, was born on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. Educated at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford, he became a British subject Continue reading & text links

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Dunlap, William

DUNLAP, WILLIAM (1766-1839). William Dunlap, born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, showed considerable artistic aptitude at an early age and in 1784 was sent to England to study painting under Benjamin West. There, however, he became fascinated with the theater Continue reading & text links

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Dunbar, Paul Laurence

DUNBAR, PAUL LAURENCE (1872-1906). Best known for the dialect poetry suggested by the titles of his four published volumes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, the son of former slaves, also wrote a number of short stories and novels. His interest in the Continue reading & text links

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Douglass, Frederick

DOUGLASS, FREDERICK (1818-1895). Abolitionist, orator, social reformer, editor, author, and consul general to Haiti, Frederick Douglass was born into slavery as Frederick Augustus Bailey. He spent the early years of his childhood in Talbot County, Maryland, on the eastern shore Continue reading & text links

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Disturnell, John

DISTURNELL, JOHN (1801-1877). A printer and book dealer, as well as librarian of the Cooper Union, John Disturnell, who lived most of his life in New York City when he was not traveling, was a prolific writer of travel books Continue reading & text links

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Dickinson, Emily

DICKINSON, EMILY [ELIZABETH] (1830-1886). Although the great American poet Emily Dickinson is frequently quoted as saying she “never saw the Sea” (P 1052), it seems probable that the reclusive native of Amherst, Massachusetts, may have glimpsed the Atlantic coast on Continue reading & text links

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Delano, Amasa

DELANO, AMASA (1763-1823). Amasa Delano, whose Voyages and Travels (1817) was the source for Herman Melville’s “Benito Cereno” (1855), was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts. After serving briefly in the Continental army during the American Revolution, Delano began a lifelong career Continue reading & text links

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Dean, Harry

DEAN, HARRY [FOSTER] (1864-1935). Published in 1929 in Boston, Berlin, and London, Harry Dean’s unique sea narrative and remarkable autobiography was entitled Umbala in Britain and The Pedro Gorino in the United States. Dean was born in Philadelphia in 1864, Continue reading & text links

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Davis, Richard Harding

DAVIS, RICHARD HARDING (1864-1916). Born in Philadelphia, Richard Harding Davis was the first child born to the journalist L. Clarke Davis and the fiction writer Rebecca Harding Davis. He soon followed in his parents’ footsteps as a newspaperman and later Continue reading & text links

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Davis, Rebecca Harding

DAVIS, REBECCA HARDING (1830-1910). Although best known for her gritty depiction of factory life in her story “Life in the Iron-Mills” (1861), Rebecca Harding Davis frequently used vivid sea imagery in her writings. Intimately familiar with marshes, sand dunes, shipwreck Continue reading & text links

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Dana, Richard Henry, Sr.

DANA, RICHARD HENRY, SR. (1787-1879). Richard Henry Dana Sr. was born into a prominent Cambridge, Massachusetts, family. He was educated at Harvard, leaving without a degree in 1807. He studied law and passed the bar in 1811 but showed little Continue reading & text links

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Dana, Richard Henry, Jr.

DANA, RICHARD HENRY, JR. (1815-1882). Son of a genteel poet and member of a prominent Boston family, Richard Henry Dana Jr. gained literary fame by turning his back on his Brahmin upbringing, sailing aboard a merchant vessel, and subsequently describing Continue reading & text links

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Curwood, James Oliver

CURWOOD, JAMES OLIVER (1878-1927). James Oliver Curwood, born in Owosso, Michigan, was a popular writer of nonfiction, romance and adventure fiction, and scripts for silent films. Although much of his fiction is set in the Canadian wilderness, his important early Continue reading & text links

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Cuffe, Paul

CUFFE, PAUL (1759-1817). Seaman, captain, shipowner, businessman, author, and African colonizer, Paul Cuffe was born 17 January 1759, on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, the seventh child of his African-born father and Ruth Slocum, a Wampanoag Indian. Cuffe went to the sea Continue reading & text links

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Crane, Stephen

CRANE, STEPHEN (1871-1900). Stephen Crane’s first extended trip at sea ended in a shipwreck less than thirty-five hours after he left the Florida coast, forcing Crane and three other crew members to struggle toward land for almost thirty hours, crammed Continue reading & text links

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Cooper, James Fenimore

COOPER, JAMES FENIMORE (1789-1851). With The Pilot (1824) James Fenimore Cooper invented the sea novel, for the first time employing the dominant literary form of the nineteenth century as the vehicle for a fiction in which the sea and the ship Continue reading & text links

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Colcord, Lincoln Ross

COLCORD, LINCOLN ROSS (1883-1947). Lincoln Ross Colcord, author of sea fiction and maritime historian, was born at sea aboard the bark Charlotte A. Littlefield, commanded by his father, Lincoln Alden Colcord of Searsport, Maine. Colcord spent much of his first fourteen Continue reading & text links

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Colcord, Joanna Carver

COLCORD, JOANNA CARVER (1882-1960). Born aboard the Charlotte A. Littlefield, a vessel commanded by her father, Joanna Carver Colcord spent her first eighteen years at sea. She went ashore to attend the University of Maine and graduated in 1906 with a Continue reading & text links

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Coker, Daniel

COKER, DANIEL (1780-1846). The son of a white servant and a black slave, Daniel Coker was born in Maryland as Isaac Wright, changing his name when he escaped to New York. After buying his freedom, he moved to Baltimore to Continue reading & text links

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Codman, John (“Captain Ringbolt”)

[CODMAN, JOHN], “CAPTAIN RINGBOLT” (1814-1900). John Codman, a well-traveled sea captain and writer, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1814. A pastor’s son, he enjoyed listening to lengthy theological discussions with visiting clergymen, but he realized that, like his maternal Continue reading & text links

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Chopin, Kate

by Elizabeth Schultz (2000) CHOPIN, KATE [O’FLAHERTY] (1850-1904). Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Kate Chopin had no experience of the sea until her three-month European honeymoon in 1870. On her return to the United States, she moved with her husband Continue reading & text links

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Cheever, Henry Theodore

CHEEVER, HENRY T[HEODORE]. (1814-1897). Editor of the New York Evangelist (1849-1852), Henry T. Cheever was born and educated in Maine. In the early 1840s he voyaged as a passenger on the whaleship Commodore Preble and in late 1849 or early 1850 published The Whale and Continue reading & text links

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Chase, Owen

CHASE, OWEN (1796-1869). Author of Narrative of the Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex, of Nantucket (1821), Owen Chase was first mate of the Essex when it was stove and sunk by a whale in the Pacific Ocean, 20 November 1820. The unprecedented whale attack and the Continue reading & text links

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Catherwood, Mary Hartwell

CATHERWOOD, MARY HARTWELL (1847-1902). Mary Hartwell Catherwood began her career with realistic stories of the midwest frontier but focused on stories of the French in early America after her novel The Romance of Dollard (1888). This interest merged with her love for Continue reading & text links

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Cadwell, Clara Gertrude

CADWELL, CLARA [GERTRUDE] (c.1856-l???). Other than the two facts that Clara Cadwell was born in Jefferson, Ohio, and later lived in Cleveland, almost nothing is known of her life. Her single published literary work, a novel titled De Barr’s Friends, or Continue reading & text links

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