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O'HARA, THEODORE (1822-1867). Born at Danville, Kentucky, of Irish parentage. Educated at St. Joseph's College, Bardstown, Kentucky. He enlisted in the army during the Mexican War, and was brevetted major for gallant service. Subsequently he fought for the liberation of Cuba, and went with Walker on his filibustering expedition to Central America. Returning, he embarked in journalism, becoming noted as one of the most brilliant of Southern editors. At the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the Confederacy and performed efficient service as staff officer under Gen. A. S. Johnston and Gen. John C. Breckinridge. He wrote very little; however, his Bivouac of the Dead is sufficient to immortalize his name. It was written to commemorate his comrades who fell in the Mexican War and who were buried in a lot set apart for them in the Frankfort, Kentucky, cemetery, where his own body now lies among them.
PAYNE, JOHN HOWARD (1792-1852). Born at New York. He appeared on the New York stage at the age of seventeen and played abroad as well as throughout America, being known as “The American Juvenile Wonder.” He retired from the stage in 1832 and devoted himself to playwriting, being the author and adapter of more than sixty plays and operas. He was American Consul in Tunis from 1843 to 1845, and from 1851 to his death in 1852. He lives in fame as the author of “Home, Sweet Home,” a song in his opera Clari, the Maid of Milan. The melody he adapted from the song of an unknown Italian street singer.
PIERPONT, JOHN (1785-1866). Born in Litchfield, Connecticut. Educated at Yale. After studying law he went into business in Baltimore. Becoming bankrupt, he studied theology at Harvard and was ordained as a Congregational pastor in Boston; later he became a Unitarian. He wrote a volume of verse entitled Airs of Palestine and a number of patriotic lyrics, which, says James L. Onderdonk, in his History of American Verse, are "among the best and most spirited in our literature.”
POE, EDGAR ALLAN (1809-1849). Born at Boston, of theatrical parentage. Being left an orphan at an early age, he was adopted by a Mr. Allan of Virginia. He received a broken, unfinished education at the University of Virginia and West Point. Poe is known as a short-story writer, poet, and literary critic, his work in each branch being memorable. His first volume of poems appeared in 1829; others followed in 1831 and 1845. He had a morbid mind, prone to dwell on the horrors of death and insanity. Afflicted with poverty, and grieved by the death of his young wife (in Fordham, near New York, 1847), he resorted in the last years of his life to drink, and death came to him, as the result of a debauch, in Baltimore, as he was returning to New York from a visit to his old home in Richmond, Virginia.
PROCTER, ADELAIDE ANNE (1825-1864). Born in London, the daughter of Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall), the poet. As a young woman she contributed poems to Charles Dickens magazine, Household Words, under the pseudonym of Mary Ber
wick. She became a Roman Catholic and engaged in charitable work, writing a volume, A Chaplet of Verses, for the benefit of homeless women in London. Her best known poem, "A Lost Chord,” was set to music by Sir Arthur Sullivan,
RILEY, JAMES WHITCOMB (1853). Born at Greenfield, Indiana, and educated in the common schools. Since 1873 his work has been appearing, at first in magazines, then in book form. He is popularly known as the “Hoosier Poet,” his verse being for the most part in that dialect. Among his best known poems are “The Old Swimmin' Hole," "An Old Sweetheart of Mine,” and “Out to Old Aunt Mary's.”
ROGERS, SAMUEL (1763-1855.) Born at StokeNewington, England. He was educated there and at Hackney. He entered his father's bank at the age of twelve, and succeeding his father, continued in this business until his death; travel, the pursuit of literature, and the study of the fine arts being his recreations. He wrote several volumes of verse, the chief being Pleasures of Memory and a book of Recollections published after his death.
RYAN, ABRAM JOSEPH (1839-1886). Born at Norfolk, Virginia. A Roman Catholic, he entered the priesthood, and served as chaplain in the Confederate army. Shortly after Lee's surrender, he wrote a poem entitled, “The Conquered Banner," which was received with praise in the North as well as in the South. He published three volumes of verse. At the time of his death, which took place in Louisville, Kentucky, he was engaged on a Life of Christ.
SANGSTER, MARGARET ELIZABETH (MUNSON) (1838-1912). Born in New Rochelle, New York, and educated privately in New York City. Soon after her marriage to George Sangster in 1858, she began contributing to the magazines. She held a number of editorial positions, and published quite an array of volumes in both prose and verse. Her muse was religious and domestic, causing her to be one of the most popular household poets of the day in America.
SARGENT, EPES (1812-1880). Born at Gloucester, Massachusetts, and died at Boston.
He was American miscellaneous author and journalist and was, for a number of years, editor of the Boston Evening Transcript, from which he retired in order to devote himself to authorship. He published The Bride of Genoa in 1836; Velasco in 1837; Change Makes Change, The Priestess; poems including “Life on the Ocean Wave"; tales; lives of Henry Clay and Benjamin Franklin; edited English poets and public-school readers and other school text books. He also published The Modern Drama (1846), Proof Palpable of Immortality; an Account of the Materialization Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism in 1875, and other works on spiritualism, Cyclopedia of English and American Poetry in 1891, and other compilations.
SAXE, JOHN GODFREY (1816-1887). Born in Highgate, Vermont; educated at Wesleyan University and Middlebury. He practised law with success, but his fondness for literature led him into journalism and in 1850 he purchased the Burlington Sentinel. Settling in New York he devoted himself to literature and lec
tured until 1872, when he moved to Albany and be came editor of the Evening Journal. He contributed to the leading magazines of his day and achieved great reputation by his poetry, numerous collections of which have been published.
SCOTT, SIR WALTER (1771-1832). Born in Edin. burgh, Scotland; was connected through both parents with several old border families. As a child he began to follow the irresistible bent which ultimately led to such brilliant results in a course of insatiable reading of ballads and romances. He studied for the bar, to which he was called in 1792. The year 1802 saw the pu cation of Scott's first work of real importance, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. In 1805 he produced his first great original work, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, which was received with great favor, and decided that literature was thenceforth to be the main work of his life. The Waverley Novels were published between 1814 and 1831, and on these his chief fame rests. Scott was ruined by the failure of the Ballantynes in 1826 and devoted the rest of his life to clearing off his debt. Scott's overworked body at last gave way and he died at Abbotsford in 1832.
SILL, EDWARD ROWLAND (1841-1887). Born in Windsor, Connecticut. He was educated at Yale. He studied for the ministry, but shortly abandoned his purpose and engaged in teaching, marrying and settling in Brooklyn, New York. In 1871 he went to California and, in 1874, became Professor of English Literature in the University of California, doing much for the development of original literature in that State. In 1883