Biography of William Cullen Bryant
Famous American Biographies





WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT - The ear for rhythm and the talent for graceful expression are the gifts of nature, and they were plentifully endowed on the above named poet. The principal characteristic of his poetry is the thoughtfulness and intellectual process by which his ideas ripened in his mind, as all his poems are bright, clear and sweet. Mr. Bryant was born November 3, 1794, at Cummington, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, and was educated at Williams College, from which be graduated, having entered it in 1810. He took up the study of law, and in 1815 was admitted to the bar, but after practicing successfully for ten years at Plainfield and Great Barrington, he removed to New York in 1825. The following year he became the editor of the "Evening Post," which he edited until his death, and under his direction this paper maintained, through a long series of years, a high standing by the boldness of its protests against slavery before the war, by its vigorous support of the government during the war, and by the fidelity and ability of its advocacy of the Democratic freedom in trade. Mr. Bryant visited Europe in 1834, 1845, 1849 and 1857, and presented to the literary world the fruit of his travels in the series of ''Letters of a Traveler," and ''Letters from Spain and Other Countries." In the world of literature he is known chiefly as a poet, and here Mr. Bryant's name is illustrious, both at home and abroad. He contributed verses to the ''Country Gazette" before he was ten years of age, and at the age of nineteen he wrote "Thanatopsis," the most impressive and widely known of his poems. The later outgrowth of his genius was his translation of Homer's "Iliad" in 1870 and the ''Odyssey" in 1871. He also made several speeches and addresses which have been collected in a comprehensive volume called "Orations and Addresses." He was honored in many ways by his fellow citizens, who delighted to pay tributes of respect to his literary eminence, the breadth of his public spirit, the faithfulness of his service, and the worth of his private character. Mr. Bryant died in New York City June 12, 1878.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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