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poetry. His first great success was the Ballad of Babie Bell,
published in 1856, and this induced him to adopt literature as a
profession. In March 1881 he was appointed editor of the
Atlantic Monthly. Since Babie Bell appeared he has given to
the public much work of a high order. Pampinea and other Poems,
1861; Poems (two collections), 1863 and 1865; Cloth of Gold,
1874; Flower and Thorn, 1876; Lyrics and Sonnets, 1880, in
verse ; and Marjorie Daw and other People, 1873; Prudence
Palfrey, 1874; The Stillwater Tragedy, 1880; Mercedes, 1883,
in prose, are well known in Great Britain and America. Messrs.
Macmillan & Co. publish his works in England, and Houghton,
Mifflin, & Co. in America.
ALSOP, GEORGE, born 1638. When twenty years old he sailed to
Maryland, and for four years laboured as a servant. At the
restoration of King Charles he, a warm Royalist, returned to
England, and whether he returned to America or not is uncertain.
He published A Character of the Province of Maryland, a volume
of prose and verse, absurdly humorous from beginning to end.
ALSOP, RICHARD (1761-1815). Founder of a society of literary-inclined
individuals known as the “Hartford Wits.” Alsop was the chief
writer of the Echo, a series of burlesque essays published between
1791 and 1795. He also published The Enchanted Lake of Fairy
Morgana, Monody on the Death of Washington, The Natural
and Civil History of Chili, and edited the Captivity and Adven-
tures of J. R. Jewett among the Savages of Nootka Sound. He was
an accomplished linguist.
AMES, NATHANIEL (1708-1764), commenced publishing in 1725 a
yearly calendar — the great-grandfather of the present weekly
paper. He was a shrewd wit, and his almanac, which obtained
marked popularity, was full of quaint and wise sayings.
ANDERSON, MRS. ARESTINE (1855). A writer of humorous newspaper
Contributor to many of the humorous papers in America.
ANDRÉ, MAJOR JOHN (1751-1780). This unfortunate soldier wrote a
humorous piece entitled “The Cow Chase," which, strangely
enough, appeared in Rivington's Royal Gazette the same day that
the author was captured.
ARNOLD, GEORGE (1834-1865). Author of McArone Papers, The
Jolly Old Pedagogue, and other Poems.
AUSTIN, WILLIAM (1778-1841). His “Peter Rugg, the Missing Man,"
BAGBY, GEORGE WILLIAM (1828-1883). Took his degree in medicine,
adopted journalism as a profession, was appointed (1870) state
librarian for Virginia. His humorous articles were published under
the pen-name “Mozis Addums,” and after his death his sketches
were collected and published by Mrs. Bagby in three volumes.
BAILEY, JAMES MONTGOMERY, born 1841. In 1873 and 1874 America,
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was laughing at the “Danbury
News-Man's” funny articles. His work was to be found copied in
every paper in the land, and the Danbury News, which up to that
time had claimed only local attention, soon rose in circulation,
until it had readers in every state in the Union. Mr. Bailey,
whose laughable sketches made this sensation, began life as a
carpenter, served in the ranks during the war, and then entered
journalism. His humorous sketches have been collected and
published. Life in Danbury and England from a Back Window
are the best compilations.
BANGS, J. K. Has published the Tiddledywink Poetry Book. His
verse is in much request by the better-class humorous papers and
magazines in America.
BARLOW, JOEL (1754-1812). After serving with the Revolutionary
army as chaplain, he, in 1783, settled at Hartfor«, studied law,
and was admitted to the bar. He joined the “Hartford Wits,”
founded a paper, and began writing satirical verse. In 1791 he jour-
neyed to England to take part in the political movements of the day,
and published his Advice to the Privileged Orders, which the Govern-
ment proscribed. He took refuge in France, and while there
wrote “Hasty Pudding," his most popular poem. After serving
his country diplomatically on a number of trying occasions, he,
while acting as minister to France, set out to visit Napoleon,
then on his Russian campaign, and died of cold in the famous
retreat from Moscow.
BARR, JOHN, born in Canada 1858. Taught school, sailed the great
lakes, appointed marine editor of the Detroit Free Press, and is
now commercial editor of the paper. Has written under the
pen-name “Baron Joe.” The extract given is from The White
Feather, a farcical opera.
BARR, ROBERT (1851), co-editor of the Idler (1892), and for many
years connected with the Detroit Free Press. His humorous
sketches and short stories, both humorous and dramatic, under
the nom de guerre of “Luke Sharp,” first made him known to the
readers of the United Kingdom and America, but lately he has
taken to writing under his proper name. His published works
are In a Steamer Chair, and other Shipboard Stories (Chatto
& Windus), From Whose Bourn, Strange Happenings, One Day's
Courtship, Jones and 1, etc. Although inseparably connected
with American humour, and having made his first success in
America and on an American paper, he was educated in
BARTLETT, JOSEPH (1762-1827), graduated at Harvard, studied law,
and travelled to England to spend his money, which he easily suc-
ceeded in doing, and as a result found himself in prison for debt.
In prison he wrote a play, and with the money obtained for it
bought his release. Trying the stage for a while and not making
headway, he obtained a cargo of goods on credit for sale in America,
set sail, and was shipwrecked. In Boston he started in business,
failed, opened a law office in Woburn, and removed to Cam-
bridge. There he wrote “Physiognomy," a poem lampooning,
celebrities of the day, and afterwards “ The New Vicar of Bray.
He died penniless.
BAYLES, MATHER (1706-1788), humorous verse-writer.
BEERS, HENRY AUGUSTIN, born 1847, Professor of English at Yale.
Has published Odds and Ends, The Thankless Muse, volumes of
verse, and Life of N. P. Willis, A Century of American Literature,
and an Outline Sketch of English Literature. Has written a few
BELKNAP, REV. JEREMY (1744-1798), a New England historian, and
author of The Foresters, an American Tale, a work rich in humour.
BELLAW, AMERICUS W., humorous verse-writer, contributor to most
of the humorous papers of America. He is well-known to readers
of newspaper humour in the United States.
BENJAMIN, PARK (1809-1864), a Boston attorney, who drifted into
magazine writing, and being equally at home in verse or prose,
published a great amount of matter. For a time he was asso-
ciated with Horace Greeley as editor of the New Yorker, and in
1840 he founded the New World, and, with others, edited it for
His principal works are Infatuation and Poetry, both
satires in verse.
BEVERIDGE, John, a Scotsman by birth, who in 1758 was appointed
Professor of Languages in Philadelphia College ; published some
Latin verse of a humorous description, with their English transla-
tions by his students.
BOLTON, MRS. SARAH TITTLE (1815). She wrote
BRACKENRIDGE, HUGH HENRY (1748-1816). Born in Scotland and
be one of the Justices of Pennsylvania Supreme Court (1799).
Modern Chivalry, or the Adventures of Captain Farrago and
Teague O'Regan his Servant, published in Pittsburg, 1796, a
political satire, established his reputation as a humorist.
BRAINARD, JOHN GARDINER CALKINS (1796-1828). Studied law, but
on being called to the bar he forsook his profession for that of
editor of a weekly paper.
He wrote a number of ballads, and
his “Sonnet to a Sea-Serpent” is humorous.
BROUGHAM, JOHN, born in Dublin, 1810; died in America, 1880. A
prolific writer of comedies and farces, and was editor and pro-
prietor of the Lantern, a comic paper published in 1852. Two
collections of his writings have appeared, A Basket of Chips and
The Bunsby Papers.
BROWNE, CHARLES FARRAR (1834-1867), “ Artemus Ward.” When
fifteen years old contributed com articles to the Carpet Bag, a
Boston weekly. Subsequently he secured the situation of reporter
on the Cleveland Plaindealer, a paper of good standing, and while
acting in that position commenced his showman articles. The
first of these were written in a careless style, more as a “fill up
than anything else, but finding that they met with extraordinary
success Mr. Browne began taking greater pains with them, and the
result is a series of as clever and humorous articles as America has
produced. He was a successful lecturer, and in this capacity
visited England in 1866, but his health, which had long been
failing, became so poor that he was forced to cancel engagements.
He died in Southampton, England.
BROWNE, John Ross (1817-1875), author of Yusef, American
Family in Germany, Land of Thor, and other records of his
travels in Europe, well worth reading. He was a great traveller,
The Rise and Fall of the Moustache, Hawkeyes, Sumach Garden, and
other comic sketches. His humour is of the evanescent quality,
and suited better to the columns of a daily or weekly paper than
to publication in book form..
BURTON, WILLIAM EVANS, born in England, 1804; died in America,
1860. In 1834 he emigrated to America, and for a time was the
leader of the dramatic profession in America. In 1858 he
published the Cyclopædia of Wit and Humour (2 vols.).
BUTLER, WILLIAM Allen, born 1825. lawyer of New York who
has been a frequent contributor to the periodical literature of the
country. His Nothing to Wear, first published in 1857, is to be
found in most collections of American humour.
BYLES, DR. MATHER (1707-1788), more famous for his jokes in con-
versation and in the pulpit than for his writings.
BYRD, COLONEL WILLIAM (1674-1744). Founder of Richmond, Va.,
three times agent for the colony in England, and for thirty-seven
years member of the King's Council. His Westover Manuscripts
were published in 1841. They are A Journey to the Land of
Eden, ,” “A Progress to the Mines,” and “ History of the Divid-
ing Line.” He wrote verse, and was considered a great wit.
CARLETON, Will, born 1845. Without doubt the most popular
humorous verse-writer of the day in America. His versification is
far from being irreproachable, but he takes the everyday occurrences
of life and treats them in a simple humorous style which appeals to
the great public. His works are, Farm Ballads, Farm nds,
Young Folks' Rhymes, Farm Festivals, City Ballads, City Legends,
all published by Harper's, New York, and most of them by
Sampson Low, Marston, & Co., London. For pictures of rural
life his work is invaluable.
CHENEY, JOHN VANCE (1848), public librarian of San Francisco.
He has published two dainty books of fascinating, graceful, and
wayward verse, Thistledrift and Wood Blooms. See also Poems
of Wild Life, “ Canterbury Poets."
CLARK, LEWIS GAYLORD (1810-1873). Appointed editor of the
Knickerbocker Magazine in 1834. He brought the magazine into
fame, and gathered around him as contributors, Longfellow,
Irving, Bryant, Halleck, Morris, and other well-known men. His
published works in book form are Knickerbocker Sketch-Book, and
Knick-Knacks from an Editor's Table.
CLARK, WILL W., the “Frisbee” and “Gilhooley" of the Pittsburg