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The American Spirit in Literature, by Bliss Perry

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potency of the spirit of the beloved and departed woman. The
unity of effect is absolute, the workmanship consummate. So with
the theme of revenge in "The Cask of Amontillado," the theme of
mysterious intrigue in "The Assignation." In Poe's detective
stories, or tales of ratiocination as he preferred to call them,
he takes to pieces for our amusement a puzzle which he has
cunningly put together. "The Gold Bug" is the best known of
these, "The Purloined Letter" the most perfect, "The Murders in
the Rue Morgue" the most sensational. Then there are the tales
upon scientific subjects or displaying the pretence of scientific
knowledge, where the narrator loves to pose as a man without
imagination and with "habits of rigid thought." And there are
tales of conscience, of which "The Black Cat" is the most fearful
and "William Wilson" the most subtle; and there are landscape
sketches and fantasies and extravaganzas, most of these poor

It is ungrateful and perhaps unnecessary to dwell upon Poe's
limitations. His scornful glance caught certain aspects of the
human drama with camera-like precision. Other aspects of life,
and nobler, he never seemed to perceive. The human comedy
sometimes moved him to laughter, but his humor is impish and his
wit malign. His imagination fled from the daylight; he dwelt in
the twilight among the tombs. He closed his eyes to dream, and
could not see the green sunlit earth, seed-time and harvest, man
going forth to his toil and returning to his hearthstone, the
America that laughs as it labors. He wore upon his finger the
magic ring and the genii did his bidding. But we could wish that
the palaces they reared for him were not in such a somber land,
with such infernal lights gleaming in their windows, and crowded
with such horror-haunted forms. We could wish that his
imagination dealt less often with those primitive terrors that
belong to the childhood of our race. Yet when his spell is upon
us we lapse back by a sort of atavism into primal savagery and
shudder with a recrudescence of long forgotten fears. No doubt
Poe was ignorant of life, in the highest sense. He was caged in
by his ignorance, Yet he had beautiful dusky wings that bruised
themselves against his prison.

Poe was a tireless critic of his own work, and both his standards
of workmanship and his critical precepts have been of great
service to his careless countrymen. He turned out between four
and five short stories a year, was poorly paid for them, and
indeed found difficulty in selling them at all. Yet he was
constantly correcting them for the better. His best poems were
likewise his latest. He was tantalized with the desire for
artistic perfection. He became the pathbreaker for a long file of
men in France, Italy, England, and America. He found the way and
they brought back the glory and the cash.

I have sometimes imagined Poe, with four other men and one woman,
seated at a dinner-table laid for six, and talking of their art
and of themselves. What would the others think of Poe? I fancy
that Thackeray would chat with him courteously, but would not
greatly care for him. George Eliot, woman-like, would pity him.
Hawthorne would watch him with those inscrutable eyes and
understand him better than the rest. But Stevenson would be
immensely interested; he would begin an essay on Poe before he
went to sleep. And Mr. Kipling would look sharply at him: he has
seen that man before, in "The Gate of a Hundred Sorrows." All of
them would find in him something to praise, a great deal to
marvel at, and perhaps not much to love. And the sensitive,
shabby, lonely Poe--what would he think of them? He might not
care much for the other guests, but I think he would say to
himself with a thrill of pride: "I belong at this table." And he

Walt Whitman, whom his friend O'Connor dubbed the "good gray
poet," offers a bizarre contrast to Edgar Allan Poe. There was
nothing distinctively American about Poe except his ingenuity; he
had no interest in American history or in American ideas; he was
a timeless, placeless embodiment of technical artistry. But
Whitman had a passion for his native soil; he was hypnotized by
the word America; he spent much of his mature life in brooding
over the question, "What, after all, is an American, and what
should an American poet be in our age of science and democracy?"
It is true that he was as untypical as Poe of the average citizen
of "these states." His personality is unique. In many respects he
still baffles our curiosity. He repels many of his countrymen
without arousing the pity which adds to their romantic interest
in Poe. Whatever our literary students may feel, and whatever
foreign critics may assert, it must be acknowledged that to the
vast majority of American men and women "good old Walt" is still
an outsider.

Let us try to see first the type of mind with which we are
dealing. It is fundamentally religious, perceiving the unity and
kinship and glory of all created things. It is this passion of
worship which inspired St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle to the
Sun." It cries, "Benedicite, Omnia opera Domini: All ye Green
Things upon the Earth, bless ye the Lord!" That is the real motto
for Whitman's "Leaves of Grass." Like St. Francis, and like his
own immediate master, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Whitman is a mystic.
He cannot argue the ultimate questions; he asserts them. Instead
of marshaling and sifting the proofs for immortality, he chants
"I know I am deathless." Like Emerson again, Whitman shares that
peculiarly American type of mysticism known as Transcendentalism,
but he came at the end of this movement instead of at the
beginning of it. In his Romanticism, likewise, he is an end of an
era figure. His affiliations with Victor Hugo are significant;
and a volume of Scott's poems which he owned at the age of
sixteen became his "inexhaustible mine and treasury for more than
sixty years." Finally, and quite as uncompromisingly as Emerson,
Thoreau, and Poe, Whitman is an individualist. He represents the
assertive, Jacksonian period of our national existence. In a
thousand similes he makes a declaration of independence for the
separate person, the "single man" of Emerson's Phi Beta Kappa
address. "I wear my hat as I please, indoors and out." Sometimes
this is mere swagger. Sometimes it is superb.

So much for the type. Let us turn next to the story of Whitman's
life. It must here be told in the briefest fashion, for Whitman's
own prose and poetry relate the essentials of his biography. He
was born on Long Island, of New England and Dutch ancestry, in
1819. Lowell, W. W. Story, and Charles A. Dana were born in that
year, as was also George Eliot. Whitman's father was a carpenter,
who "leaned to the Quakers." There were many children. When
little "Walt"--as he was called, to distinguish him from his
father, Walter--was four, the family moved to Brooklyn. The boy
had scanty schooling, and by the time he was twenty had tried
typesetting, teaching, and editing a country newspaper on Long
Island. He was a big, dark-haired fellow, sensitive, emotional,
extraordinarily impressible.

The next sixteen years were full of happy vagrancy. At twenty-two
he was editing a paper in New York, and furnishing short stories
to the "Democratic Review," a literary journal which numbered
Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Poe, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among
its contributors. He wrote a novel on temperance, "mostly in the
reading-room of Tammany Hall," and tried here and there an
experiment in free verse. He was in love with the pavements of
New York and the Brooklyn ferryboats, in love with Italian opera
and with long tramps over Long Island. He left his position on
"The Brooklyn Eagle" and wandered south to New Orleans. By and by
he drifted back to New York, tried lecturing, worked at the
carpenter's trade with his father, and brooded over a book--"a
book of new things."

This was the famous "Leaves of Grass." He set the type himself,
in a Brooklyn printing-office, and printed about eight hundred
copies. The book had a portrait of the author--a meditative,
gray-bearded poet in workman's clothes--and a confused preface on
America as a field for the true poet. Then followed the new
gospel, "I celebrate myself," chanted in long lines of free
verse, whose patterns perplexed contemporary readers. For the
most part it was passionate speech rather than song, a
rhapsodical declamation in hybrid rhythms. Very few people bought
the book or pretended to understand what it was all about. Some
were startled by the frank sexuality of certain poems. But
Emerson wrote to Whitman from Concord: "I find it the most
extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet

Until the Civil War was half over, Whitman remained in Brooklyn,
patiently composing new poems for successive printings of his
book. Then he went to the front to care for a wounded brother,
and finally settled down in a Washington garret to spend his
strength as an army hospital nurse. He wrote "Drum Taps" and
other magnificent poems about the War, culminating in his
threnody on Lincoln's death, "When Lilacs last in the Dooryard
Bloomed." Swinburne called this "the most sonorous nocturn ever
chanted in the church of the world." After the war had ended,
Whitman stayed on in Washington as a government clerk, and saw
much of John Burroughs and W. D. O'Connor. John Hay was a staunch
friend. Some of the best known poets and critics of England and
the Continent now began to recognize his genius. But his health
had been permanently shattered by his heroic service as a nurse,
and in 1873 he suffered a paralytic stroke which forced him to
resign his position in Washington and remove to his brother's
home in Camden, New Jersey.

He was only fifty-four, but his best work was already done, and
his remaining years, until his death in 1892, were those of
patient and serene invalidism. He wrote some fascinating prose in
this final period, and his cluttered chamber in Camden became the
shrine of many a literary pilgrim, among them some of the
foremost men of letters of this country and of Europe. He was
cared for by loyal friends. Occasionally he appeared in public, a
magnificent gray figure of a man. And then, at seventy-three, the
"Dark mother always gliding near" enfolded him.

There are puzzling things in the physical and moral constitution
of Walt Whitman, and the obstinate questions involved in his
theory of poetry and in his actual poetical performance are still
far from solution. But a few points concerning him are by this
time fairly clear. They must be swiftly summarized.

The first obstacle to the popular acceptance of Walt Whitman is
the formlessness or alleged formlessness of "Leaves of Grass."
This is a highly technical question, involving a more accurate
notation than has thus far been made of the patterns and tunes of
free verse and of emotional prose. Whitman's "new and national
declamatory expression," as he termed it, cannot receive a final
technical valuation until we have made more scientific progress
in the analysis of rhythms. As regards the contents of his verse,
it is plain that he included much material unfused and
untransformed by emotion. These elements foreign to the nature of
poetry clog many of his lines. The enumerated objects in his
catalogue or inventory poems often remain inert objects only.
Like many mystics, he was hypnotized by external phenomena, and
he often fails to communicate to his reader the trancelike
emotion which he himself experienced. This imperfect transfusion
of his material is a far more significant defect in Whitman's
poetry than the relatively few passages of unashamed sexuality
which shocked the American public in 1855.

The gospel or burden of "Leaves of Grass" is no more difficult of
comprehension than the general drift of Emerson's essays, which
helped to inspire it. The starting point of the book is a
mystical illumination regarding the unity and blessedness of the
universe, an insight passing understanding, but based upon the
revelatory experience of love. In the light of this experience,
all created things are recognized as divine. The starting-point
and center of the Whitman world is the individual man, the
"strong person," imperturbable in mind, athletic in body,
unconquerable, and immortal. Such individuals meet in
comradeship, and pass together along the open roads of the world.
No one is excluded because of his poverty or his sins; there is
room in the ideal America for everybody except the doubter and
sceptic. Whitman does not linger over the smaller groups of human
society, like the family. He is not a fireside poet. He passes
directly from his strong persons, meeting freely on the open
road, to his conception of "these States." One of his typical
visions of the breadth and depth and height of America will be
found in "By Blue Ontario's Shore." In this and in many similar
rhapsodies Whitman holds obstinately to what may be termed the
three points of his national creed. The first is the newness of
America, and its expression is in his well-known chant of
"Pioneers, O Pioneers." Yet this new America is subtly related to
the past; and in Whitman's later poems, such as "Passage to
India," the spiritual kinship of orient and occident is
emphasized. The second article of the creed is the unity of
America. Here he voices the conceptions of Hamilton, Clay,
Webster, and Lincoln. In spite of all diversity in external
aspects the republic is "one and indivisible." This unity, in
Whitman's view, was cemented forever by the issue of the Civil
War. Lincoln, the "Captain," dies indeed on the deck of the
"victor ship," but the ship comes into the harbor "with object
won." Third and finally, Whitman insists upon the solidarity of
America with all countries of the globe. Particularly in his
yearning and thoughtful old age, the poet perceived that humanity
has but one heart and that it should have but one will. No
American poet has ever prophesied so directly and powerfully
concerning the final issue involved in that World War which he
did not live to see.

Whitman, like Poe, had defects of character and defects of art.
His life and work raise many problems which will long continue to
fascinate and to baffle the critics. But after all of them have
had their say, it will remain true that he was a seer and a
prophet, far in advance of his own time, like Lincoln, and like
Lincoln, an inspired interpreter of the soul of this republic.


"There is what I call the American idea," declared Theodore
Parker in the Anti-Slavery Convention of 1850. "This idea
demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy--that
is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all
the people; of course, a government on the principle of eternal
justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake, I will
call it the idea of Freedom."

These are noble words, and they are thought to have suggested a
familiar phrase of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, thirteen years
later. Yet students of literature, no less than students of
politics, recognize the difficulty of summarizing in words a
national "idea." Precisely what was the Greek "idea"? What is
today the French "idea"? No single formula is adequate to express
such a complex of fact, theories, moods--not even the famous
"Liberty, Fraternity, Equality." The existence of a truly
national life and literature presupposes a certain degree of
unity, an integration of race, language, political institutions,
and social ideals. It is obvious that this problem of national
integration meets peculiar obstacles in the United States.
Divergencies of race, tradition, and social theory, and clashing
interests of different sections have been felt from the beginning
of the nation's life. There was well-nigh complete solidarity in
the single province of New England during a portion of the
seventeenth century, and under the leadership of the great
Virginians there was sufficient national fusion to make the
Revolution successful. But early in the nineteenth century, the
opening of the new West, and the increasing economic importance
of Slavery as a peculiar institution of the South, provoked again
the ominous question of the possibility of an enduring Union.
>From 1820 until the end of the Civil War, it was the chief
political issue of the United States. The aim of the present
chapter is to show how the theme of Union and Liberty affected
our literature.

To appreciate the significance of this theme we must remind
ourselves again of what many persons have called the civic note
in our national writing. Franklin exemplified it in his day. It
is far removed from the pure literary art of a Poe, a Hawthorne,
a Henry James. It aims at action rather than beauty. It seeks to
persuade, to convince, to bring things to pass. We shall observe
it in the oratory of Clay and Webster, as they pleaded for
compromise; in the editorials of Garrison, a foe to compromise
and like Calhoun an advocate, if necessary, of disunion; in the
epochmaking novel of Harriet Beecher Stowe; in the speeches of
Wendell Phillips, in verse white-hot with political passion, and
sermons blazing with the fury of attack and defense of principles
dear to the human heart. We must glance, at least, at the lyrics
produced by the war itself, and finally, we shall observe how
Abraham Lincoln, the inheritor of the ideas of Jefferson, Clay,
and Webster, perceives and maintains, in the noblest tones of our
civic speech, the sole conditions of our continuance as a nation.

Let us begin with oratory, an American habit, and, as many
besides Dickens have thought, an American defect. We cannot argue
that question adequately here. It is sufficient to say that in
the pioneer stages of our existence oratory was necessary as a
stimulus to communal thought and feeling. The speeches of Patrick
Henry and Samuel Adams were as essential to our winning
independence as the sessions of statesmen and the armed conflicts
in the field. And in that new West which came so swiftly and
dramatically into existence at the close of the Revolution, the
orator came to be regarded as the normal type of intellectual
leadership. The stump grew more potent than schoolhouse and
church and bench.

The very pattern, and, if one likes, the tragic victim of this
glorification of oratory was Henry Clay, "Harry of the West," the
glamour of whose name and the wonderful tones of whose voice
became for a while a part of the political system of the United
States. Union and Liberty were the master-passions of Clay's
life, but the greater of these was Union. The half-educated young
immigrant from Virginia hazarded his career at the outset by
championing Anti-Slavery in the Kentucky Constitutional
Convention; the last notable act of his life was his successful
management, at the age of seventy-three, of the futile Compromise
of 1850. All his life long he fought for national issues; for the
War of 1812, for a protective tariff and an "American system,"
for the Missouri Compromise of 1820 as a measure for national
safety; and he had plead generously for the young South American
republics and for struggling Greece. He had become the perpetual
candidate of his party for the Presidency, and had gone down
again and again in unforeseen and heart-rending defeat. Yet he
could say honorably: "If any one desires to know the leading and
paramount object of my public life, the preservation of this
union will furnish him the key." One could wish that the speeches
of this fascinating American were more readable today. They seem
thin, facile, full of phrases--such adroit phrases as would catch
the ear of a listening, applauding audience. Straight, hard
thinking was not the road to political preferment in Clay's day.
Calhoun had that power, as Lincoln had it. Webster had the
capacity for it, although he was too indolent to employ his great
gifts steadily. Yet it was Webster who analyzed kindly and a
little sadly, for he was talking during Clay's last illness and
just before his own, his old rival's defect in literary quality:
"He was never a man of books . . . . I could never imagine him
sitting comfortably in his library and reading quietly out of the
great books of the past. He has been too fond of excitement--he
has lived upon it; he has been too fond of company, not enough
alone; and has had few resources within himself." Were the
limitations of a typical oratorical temperament ever touched more
unerringly than in these words?

When Webster himself thundered, at the close of his reply to
Hayne in 1830, "Union AND Liberty, now and forever, one and
inseparable," the words sank deeper into the consciousness of the
American people than any similar sentiment uttered by Henry Clay.
For Webster's was the richer, fuller nature, nurtured by "the
great books of the past," brooding, as Lincoln was to brood
later, over the seemingly insoluble problem of preserving a union
of States half slave, half free. On the fateful seventh of March,
1850, Webster, like Clay, cast the immense weight of his
personality and prestige upon the side of compromise. It was the
ruin of his political fortune, for the mood of the North was
changing, and the South preferred other candidates for the
Presidency. Yet the worst that can fairly be said against that
speech today is that it lacked moral imagination to visualize, as
Mrs. Stowe was soon to visualize, the human results of slavery.
As a plea for the transcendent necessity of maintaining the old
Union it was consistent with Webster's whole development of
political thought.

What were the secrets of that power that held Webster's hearers
literally spellbound, and made the North think of him, after that
alienation of 1850, as a fallen angel? No one can say fully, for
we touch here the mysteries of personality and of the spoken
word. But enough survives from the Webster legend, from his
correspondence and political and legal oratory, to bring us into
the presence of a superman. The dark Titan face, painted by such
masters as Carlyle, Hawthorne, and Emerson; the magical voice,
remembered now but by a few old men; the bodily presence, with
its leonine suggestion of sleepy power only half put forth--these
aided Webster to awe men or allure them into personal idolatry.
Yet outside of New England he was admired rather than loved.
There is still universal recognition of the mental capacity of
this foremost lawyer and foremost statesman of his time. He was
unsurpassed in his skill for direct, simple, limpid statement;
but he could rise at will to a high Roman stateliness of diction,
a splendid sonorousness of cadence. His greatest public
appearances were in the Dartmouth College Case before the Supreme
Court, the Plymouth, Bunker Hill, and Adams-Jefferson
commemorative orations, the Reply to Hayne, and the Seventh of
March speeches in the Senate. Though he exhibited in his private
life something of the prodigal recklessness of the pioneer, his
mental operations were conservative, constructive. His lifelong
antagonist Calhoun declared that "The United States are not a
nation." Webster, in opposition to this theory of a confederation
of states, devoted his superb talents to the demonstration of the
thesis that the United States "IS," not "are." Thus he came to be
known as the typical expounder of the Constitution. When he
reached, in 1850, the turning point of his career, his countrymen
knew by heart his personal and political history, the New
Hampshire boyhood and education, the rise to mastery at the New
England bar, the service in the House of Representatives and the
Senate and as Secretary of State. His speeches were already in
the schoolbooks, and for twenty years boys had been declaiming
his arguments against nullification. He had helped to teach
America to think and to feel. Indeed it was through his oratory
that many of his fellow-citizens had gained their highest
conception of the beauty, the potency, and the dignity of human
speech. And in truth he never exhibited his logical power and
demonstrative skill more superbly than in the plea of the seventh
of March for the preservation of the status quo, for the
avoidance of mutual recrimination between North and South, for
obedience to the law of the land. It was his supreme effort to
reconcile an irreconcilable situation.

It failed, as we know. Whittier, Emerson, Theodore Parker, and
indeed most of the voters of New England, believed that Webster
had bartered his private convictions in the hope of securing the
Presidential nomination in 1852. They assailed him savagely, and
Webster died, a broken man, in the autumn of the Presidential
year. "I have given my life to law and politics," he wrote to
Professor Silliman. "Law is uncertain and politics are utterly
vain." The dispassionate judgment of the present hour frees him
from the charge of conscious treachery to principle. He was
rather a martyr to his own conception of the obligations imposed
by nationality. When these obligations run counter to human
realities, the theories of statesmen must give way. Emerson could
not refute that logic of Webster's argument for the Fugitive
Slave Law, but he could at least record in his private Journal:
"I WILL NOT OBEY IT, BY GOD!" So said hundreds of thousands of
obscure men in the North, but Webster did not or could not hear

While no other orator of that period was so richly endowed as
Daniel Webster, the struggle for Union and Liberty enlisted on
both sides many eloquent men. John C. Calhoun's acute, ingenious,
masterly political theorizing can still be studied in speeches
that have lost little of their effectiveness through the lapse of
time. The years have dealt roughly with Edward Everett, once
thought to be the pattern of oratorical gifts and graces. In
commemorative oratory, indeed, he ranked with Webster, but the
dust is settling upon his learned and ornate pages. Rufus Choate,
another conservative Whig in politics, and a leader, like Wirt
and Pinkney, at the bar, had an exotic, almost Oriental fancy, a
gorgeousness of diction, and an intensity of emotion unrivaled
among his contemporaries. His Dartmouth College eulogy of Webster
in 1853 shows him at his best. The Anti-Slavery orators, on the
other hand, had the advantage of a specific moral issue in which
they led the attack. Wendell Phillips was the most polished, the
most consummate in his air of informality, and his example did
much to puncture the American tradition of high-flown oratory. He
was an expert in virulent denunciation, passionately unfair
beneath his mask of conversational decorum, an aristocratic
demagogue. He is still distrusted and hated by the Brahmin class
of his own city, still adored by the children and grandchildren
of slaves. Charles Sumner, like Edward Everett, seems sinking
into popular oblivion, in spite of the statues and portraits and
massive volumes of erudite and caustic and high-minded orations.
He may be seen at his best in such books as Longfellow's "Journal
and Correspondence" and the "Life and Letters" of George Ticknor.
There one has a pleasant picture of a booklover, traveler, and
friend. But in his public speech he was arrogant, unsympathetic,
domineering. "Sumner is my idea of a bishop," said Lincoln
tentatively. There are bishops and bishops, however, and if Henry
Ward Beecher, whom Lincoln and hosts of other Americans admired,
had only belonged to the Church of England, what an admirable
Victorian bishop he might have made! Perhaps his best service to
the cause of union was rendered by his speeches in England, where
he fairly mobbed the mob and won them by his wit, courage, and by
his appeal to the instinct of fair play. Beecher's oratory, in
and out of the pulpit, was temperamental, sentimental in the
better sense, and admirably human in all its instincts. He had an
immense following, not only in political and humanitarian fields,
but as a lovable type of the everyday American who can say
undisputed things not only solemnly, if need be, but by
preference with an infectious smile. The people who loved Mr.
Beecher are the people who understand Mr. Bryan.

Foremost among the journalists of the great debate were William
Lloyd Garrison and Horace Greeley. Garrison was a perfect example
of the successful journalist as described by Zola--the man who
keeps on pounding at a single idea until he has driven it into
the head of the public. Everyone knows at least the sentence from
his salutatory editorial in "The Liberator" on January 1, 1831:
"I am in earnest--I will not retreat a single inch--AND I WILL BE
HEARD." He kept this vow, and he also kept the accompanying and
highly characteristic promise: "I will be as harsh as truth and
as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to
think, or write, or speak, with moderation." But there would be
little political literature in the world if its production were
entrusted to the moderate type of man, and the files of "The
Liberator," though certainly harsh and full of all
uncharitableness towards slave-owners, make excellent reading for
the twentieth century American who perceives that in spite of the
triumph of emancipation, in which Garrison had his fair share of
glory, many aspects of our race-problem remain unsolved. Horace
Greeley, the founder and editor of the "New York Tribune" was a
farmer's boy who learned early to speak and write the vocabulary
of the plain people. Always interested in new ideas, even in
Transcendentalism and Fourierism, his courage and energy and
journalistic vigor gave him leadership in the later phases of the
movement for enfranchisement. He did not hesitate to offer
unasked advice to Lincoln on many occasions, and Lincoln enriched
our literature by his replies. Greeley had his share of faults
and fatuities, but in his best days he had an impressively loyal
following among both rural and city-bred readers of his paper,
and he remains one of the best examples of that obsolescent
personal journalism which is destined to disappear under modern
conditions of newspaper production. Readers really used to care
for "what Greeley said" and "Dana said" and "Sam Bowles said,"
and all of these men, with scores of others, have left their
stamp upon the phrases and the tone of our political writing.

In the concrete issue of Slavery, however, it must be admitted
that the most remarkable literary victory was scored, not by any
orator or journalist, but by an almost unknown little woman, the
author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." No American novel has had so
curious a history and so great or so immediate an influence in
this country and in Europe. In spite of all that has been written
about it, its author's purpose is still widely misunderstood,
particularly in the South, and the controversy over this one
epoch-making novel has tended to obscure the literary reputation
which Mrs. Stowe won by her other books.

Harriet Beecher, the daughter and the sister of famous clergymen,
was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1811. For seventeen
years, from 1832 to 1849, she lived in the border city of
Cincinnati, within sight of slave territory, and in daily contact
with victims of the slave system. While her sympathies, like
those of her father Lyman Beecher, were anti-slavery, she was not
an Abolitionist in the Garrisonian sense of that word. At twenty
five she had married a widowed professor, Calvin Stowe, to whom
she bore many children. She had written a few sketches of New
England life, and her family thought her a woman of genius. Such
was the situation in the winter of 1849-1850, when the Stowes
migrated to Brunswick, Maine, where the husband had been
appointed to a chair at Bowdoin. Pitiably poor, and distracted by
household cares which she had to face single-handed--for the
Professor was a "feckless body"--Mrs. Stowe nevertheless could
not be indifferent to the national crisis over the Fugitive Slave
Law. She had seen its working. When her sister-in-law wrote to
her: "If I could use a pen as you can, I would write something
that would make this whole nation feel what an accursed thing
slavery is," Mrs. Stowe exclaimed: "God helping me, I will write
something; I will if I live."

"Uncle Tom's Cabin," begun in the spring of 1850, was a woman's
answer to Webster's seventh of March speech. Its object was
plainly stated to be "to awaken sympathy and feeling for the
African race; to show, their wrongs and sorrows, under a system
so necessarily cruel and unjust as to defeat and do away the good
effects of all that can be attempted for them, by their best
friends under it." The book was permeated with what we now call
the 1848 anti-aristocratic sentiment, the direct heritage of the
French Revolution. "There is a dies irae coming on, sooner or
later," admits St. Clare in the story. "The same thing is
working, in Europe, in England, and in this country." There was
no sectional hostility in Mrs. Stowe's heart. "The people of the
free states have defended, encouraged, and participated [in
slavery]; and are more guilty for it, before God, than the South,
in that they have NOT the apology of education or custom. If the
mothers of the free states had all felt as they should in times
past, the sons of the free states would not have been the
holders, and proverbially the hardest masters, of slaves; the
sons of the free states would not have connived at the extension
of slavery in our national body." "Your book is going to be the
great pacificator," wrote a friend of Mrs. Stowe; "it will unite
North and South." But the distinctly Christian and fraternal
intention of the book was swiftly forgotten in the storm of
controversy that followed its appearance. It had been written
hastily, fervidly, in the intervals of domestic toil at
Brunswick, had been printed as a serial in "The National Era"
without attracting much attention, and was issued in book form in
March, 1852. Its sudden and amazing success was not confined to
this country. The story ran in three Paris newspapers at once,
was promptly dramatized, and has held the stage in France ever
since. It was placed upon the "Index" in Italy, as being
subversive of established authority. Millions of copies were sold
in Europe, and "Uncle Tom's Cabin," more than any other cause,
held the English working men in sympathy with the North in the
English cotton crisis of our Civil War.

It is easy to see the faults of this masterpiece and impossible
not to recognize its excellencies. "If our art has not scope
enough to include a book of this kind," said Madame George Sand,
"we had better stretch the terms of our art a little." For the
book proved to be, as its author had hoped, a "living dramatic
reality." Topsy, Chloe, Sam and Andy, Miss Ophelia and Legree are
alive. Mrs. St. Clare might have been one of Balzac's indolent,
sensuous women. Uncle Tom himself is a bit too good to be true,
and readers no longer weep over the death of little Eva--nor, for
that matter, over the death of Dickens's little Nell. There is
some melodrama, some religiosity, and there are some absurd
recognition scenes at the close. Nevertheless with an instinctive
genius which Zola would have envied, Mrs. Stowe embodies in men
and women the vast and ominous system of slavery. All the tragic
forces of necessity, blindness, sacrifice, and retribution are
here: neither Shelby, nor Eliza, nor the tall Kentuckian who aids
her, nor John Bird, nor Uncle Tom himself in the final act of his
drama, can help himself. For good or evil they are the products
and results of the system; and yet they have and they give the
illusion of volition.

Mrs. Stowe lived to write many another novel and short story,
among them "Dred," "The Minister's Wooing," "Oldtown Folks,"
"Oldtown Fireside Stories." In the local short story she deserves
the honors due to one of the pioneers, and her keen affectionate
observation, her humor, and her humanity, would have given her a
literary reputation quite independent of her masterpiece. But she
is likely to pay the penalty of that astounding success, and to
go down to posterity as the author of a single book. She would
not mind this fate.

The poetry of the idea of Freedom and of the sectional struggle
which was necessary before that idea could be realized in
national policy is on the whole not commensurate with the
significance of the issue itself. Any collection of American
political verse produced during this period exhibits spirited and
sincere writing, but the combination of mature literary art and
impressive general ideas is comparatively rare. There are single
poems of Whittier, Lowell, and Whitman which meet every test of
effective political and social verse, but the main body of
poetry, both sectional and national, written during the thirty
years ending with 1865 lacks breadth, power, imaginative daring.
The continental spaciousness and energy which foreign critics
thought they discovered in Whitman is not characteristic of our
poetry as a whole. Victor Hugo and Shelley and Swinburne have
written far more magnificent republican poetry than ours. The
passion for freedom has been very real upon this side of the
Atlantic; it pulsed in the local loyalty of the men who sang
"Dixie" as well as in their antagonists who chanted "John Brown's
Body" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic;" but this passion has
not yet lifted and ennobled any notable mass of American verse.
Even the sentiment of union was more adequately voiced in
editorials and sermons and orations, even in a short
story--Edward Everett Hale's "Man Without a Country"--than by
of the poets who attempted to glorify that theme.

Nevertheless the verse of these thirty years is rich in
provincial and sectional loyalties. It has earnestness and
pathos. We have, indeed, no adequate national anthem, even yet,
for neither the words nor the music of "The Star-Spangled Banner"
fully express what we feel while we are trying to sing it, as the
"Marseillaise," for example, does express the very spirit of
revolutionary republicanism. But in true pioneer fashion we get
along with a makeshift until something better turns up. The lyric
and narrative verse of the Civil War itself was great in
quantity, and not more inferior in quality than the war verse of
other nations has often proved to be when read after the
immediate occasion for it has passed. Single lyrics by Timrod and
Paul Hayne, Boker, H. H. Brownell, Read, Stedman, and other men
are still full of fire. Yet Mrs. Howe's "Battle Hymn," scribbled
hastily in the gray dawn, interpreted, as no other lyric of the
war quite succeeded in interpreting, the mystical glory of
sacrifice for Freedom. Soldiers sang it in camp; women read it
with tears; children repeated it in school, vaguely but truly
perceiving in it, as their fathers had perceived in Webster's
"Reply to Hayne" thirty years before, the idea of union made
"simple, sensuous, passionate." No American poem has had a more
dramatic and intense life in the quick breathing imagination of

More and more, however, the instinct of our people is turning to
the words of Abraham Lincoln as the truest embodiment in
language, as his life was the truest embodiment in action, of our
national ideal. It is a curious reversal of contemporary
judgments that thus discovers in the homely phrases of a frontier
lawyer the most perfect literary expression of the deeper spirit
of his time. "How knoweth this man letters, having never
learned?" asked the critical East. The answer is that he had
learned in a better school than the East afforded. The story of
Lincoln's life is happily too familiar to need retelling here,
but some of the elements in his growth in the mastery of speech
may at least be summarized.

Lincoln had a slow, tireless mind, capable of intense
concentration. It was characteristic of him that he rarely took
notes when trying a law case, saying that the notes distracted
his attention. When his partner Herndon was asked when Lincoln
had found time to study out the constitutional history of the
United States, Herndon expressed the opinion that it was when
Lincoln was lying on his back on the office sofa, apparently
watching the flies upon the ceiling. This combination of bodily
repose with intense mental and spiritual activity is familiar to
those who have studied the biography of some of the great
mystics. Walter Pater pointed it out in the case of Wordsworth.

In recalling the poverty and restriction of Lincoln's boyhood and
his infrequent contact with schoolhouses, it is well to remember
that he managed nevertheless to read every book within twenty
miles of him. These were not many, it is true, but they included
"The Bible," "Aesop's Fables," "Pilgrim's Progress," "Robinson
Crusoe," and, a little later, Burns and Shakespeare. Better food
than this for the mind of a boy has never been found. Then he
came to the history of his own country since the Declaration of
Independence and mastered it. "I am tolerably well acquainted
with the history of the country," he remarked in his Chicago
speech of 1858; and in the Cooper Union speech of 1860 he
exhibited a familiarity with the theory and history of the
Constitution which amazed the young lawyers who prepared an
annotated edition of the address. "He has wit, facts, dates,"
said Douglas, in extenuation of his own disinclination to enter
upon the famous joint debates, and, when Douglas returned to
Washington after the debates were over, he confessed to the young
Henry Watterson that "he is the greatest debater I have ever met,
either here or anywhere else." Douglas had won the senatorship
and could afford to be generous, but he knew well enough that his
opponent's facts and dates had been unanswerable. Lincoln's
mental grip, indeed, was the grip of a born wrestler. "I've got
him," he had exclaimed toward the end of the first debate, and
the Protean Little Giant, as Douglas was called, had turned and
twisted in vain, caught by "that long-armed creature from
Illinois." He would indeed win the election of 1858, but he had
been forced into an interpretation of the Dred Scott decision
which cost him the Presidency in 1860.

Lincoln's keen interest in words and definitions, his patience in
searching the dictionary, is known to every student of his life.
Part of his singular discrimination in the use of language is due
to his legal training, but his style was never professionalized.
Neither did it have anything of that frontier glibness and
banality which was the curse of popular oratory in the West and
South. Words were weapons in the hands of this self-taught
fighter for ideas: he kept their edges sharp, and could if
necessary use them with deadly accuracy. He framed the "Freeport
dilemma" for the unwary feet of Douglas as cunningly as a
fox-hunter lays his trap. "Gentlemen," he had said of an earlier
effort, "Judge Douglas informed you that this speech of mine was
probably carefully prepared. I ADMIT THAT IT WAS."

The story, too, was a weapon of attack and defense for this
master fabulist. Sometimes it was a readier mode of argument than
any syllogism; sometimes it gave him, like the traditional
diplomatist's pinch of snuff, an excuse for pausing while he
studied his adversary or made up his own mind; sometimes, with
the instinct of a poetic soul, he invented a parable and gravely
gave it a historic setting "over in Sangamon County." For
although upon his intellectual side the man was a subtle and
severe logician, on his emotional side he was a lover of the
concrete and human. He was always, like John Bunyan, dreaming and
seeing "a man" who symbolized something apposite to the occasion.
Thus even his invented stories aided his marvelous capacity for
statement, for specific illustration of a general law. Lincoln's
destiny was to be that of an explainer, at first to a local
audience in store or tavern or courtroom, then to upturned
serious faces of Illinois farmers who wished to hear national
issues made clear to them, then to a listening nation in the
agony of civil war, and ultimately to a world which looks to
Lincoln as an exponent and interpreter of the essence of

As the audience increased, the style took on beauty and breadth,
as if the man's soul were looking through wider and wider windows
at the world. But it always remained the simplest of styles. In
an offhand reply to a serenade by an Indiana regiment, or in
answering a visiting deputation of clergymen at the White House,
Lincoln could summarize and clarify a complicated national
situation with an ease and orderliness and fascination that are
the despair of professional historians. He never wasted a word.
"Go to work is the only cure for your case," he wrote to John D.
Johnston. There are ten words in that sentence and none of over
four letters. The "Gettysburg Address" contains but two hundred
and seventy words, in ten sentences. "It is a flat failure," said
Lincoln despondently; but Edward Everett, who had delivered "the"
oration of that day, wrote to the President: "I should be glad if
I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of
the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes." Today the
"Address" reads as if Lincoln knew that it would ultimately be
stamped in bronze.

Yet the real test of Lincoln's supremacy in our distinctly civic
literature lies not so much in his skill in the manipulation of
language, consummate as that was, but rather in those large
elements of his nature which enabled him to perceive the true
quality and ideal of American citizenship and its significance to
the world. There was melancholy in that nature, else there had
been a less rich humor; there was mysticism and a sense of
religion which steadily deepened as his responsibilities
increased. There was friendliness, magnanimity, pity for the
sorrowful, patience for the slow of brain and heart, and an
expectation for the future of humanity which may best be
described in the old phrase "waiting for the Kingdom of God." His
recurrent dream of the ship coming into port under full sail,
which preluded many important events in his own life--he had it
the night before he was assassinated--is significant not only of
that triumph of a free nation which he helped to make possible,
but also of the victory of what he loved to call "the whole
family of man." "That is the real issue," he had declared in
closing the debates with Douglas; "that is the issue that will
continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas
and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between
these two principles--right and wrong--throughout the world. They
are the two principles that have stood face to face from the
beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is
the common right of humanity, and the other the divine right of

For this representative Anglo-Saxon man, developed under purely
American conditions, maturing slowly, keeping close to facts,
dying, like the old English saint, while he was "still learning,"
had none of the typical hardness and selfishness of the
Anglo-Saxon. A brooder and idealist, he was one of those
"prophetic souls of the wide world dreaming on things to come,"
with sympathies and imagination that reached out beyond the
immediate urgencies of his race and nation to comprehend the
universal task and discipline of the sons of men. In true
fraternity and democracy this Westerner was not only far in
advance of his own day, but he is also far in advance of ours
which raises statues to his memory. Yet he was used to loneliness
and to the long view, and even across the welter of the World War
of the twentieth century Lincoln would be tall enough to see that
ship coming into the harbor under full sail.


The changes that have come over the inner spirit and the outward
expression of American life since Lincoln's day are enough to
startle the curiosity of the dullest observer. Yet they have been
accomplished within the lifetime of a single man of letters. The
author of one of the many campaign biographies of Lincoln in 1860
was William Dean Howells, then an Ohio journalist of
twenty-three. In 1917, at the age of eighty, Mr. Howells is still
adding to his long row of charming and memorable books. Every
phase of American writing since the middle of the last century
has fallen under the keen and kindly scrutiny of this loyal
follower of the art of literature. As producer, editor, critic,
and friend of the foremost writers of his epoch, Mr. Howells has
known the books of our new national era as no one else could have
known them. Some future historian of the period may piece
together, from no other sources than Mr. Howells's writings, an
unrivaled picture of our book-making during more than sixty
years. All that the present historian can attempt is to sketch
with bungling fingers a few men and a few tendencies which seem
to characterize the age.

One result of the Civil War was picturesquely set forth in
Emerson's "Journal." The War had unrolled a map of the Union, he
said, and hung it in every man's house. There was a universal
shifting of attention, if not always from the province or section
to the image of the nation itself, at least a shift of focus from
one section to another. The clash of arms had meant many other
things besides the triumph of Union and the freedom of the
slaves. It had brought men from every state into rude jostling
contact with one another and had developed a new social and human
curiosity. It may serve as another illustration of Professor
Shaler's law of tension and release. The one overshadowing issue
which had absorbed so much thought and imagination and energy had
suddenly disappeared. Other shadows were to gather, of course.
Reconstruction of the South was one of them, and the vast
economic and industrial changes that followed the opening of the
New West were to bring fresh problems almost as intricate as the
question of slavery had been. But for the moment no one thought
of these things. The South accepted defeat as superbly as she had
fought, and began to plough once more. The jubilant North went
back to work--to build transcontinental railroads, to organize
great industries, and to create new states.

The significant American literature of the first decade after the
close of the War is not in the books dealing directly with themes
involved in the War itself. It is rather the literature of this
new release of energy, the new curiosity as to hitherto unknown
sections, the new humor and romance. Fred Lewis Pattee, the
author of an admirable "History of American Literature since
1870," uses scarcely too strong a phrase when he entitles this
period "The Second Discovery of America"; and he quotes
effectively from Mark Twain, who was himself one of these
discoverers: "The eight years in America from 1860 to 1868
uprooted institutions that were centuries old, changed the
politics of a people, transformed the social life of half the
country, and wrought so profoundly upon the entire national
character that the influence cannot be measured short of two or
three generations."

Let us begin with the West, and with that joyous stage-coach
journey of young Samuel L. Clemens across the plains to Nevada in
1861, which he describes in "Roughing It." Who was this Argonaut
of the new era, and what makes him representative of his
countrymen in the epoch of release? Born in Missouri in 1835, the
son of an impractical emigrant from Virginia, the youth had lived
from his fourth until his eighteenth year on the banks of the
Mississippi. He had learned the printer's trade, had wandered
east and back again, had served for four years as a river-pilot
on the Mississippi, and had tried to enter the Confederate army.
Then came the six crowded years, chiefly as newspaper reporter,
in the boom times of Nevada and California. His fame began with
the publication in New York in 1867 of "The Celebrated Jumping
Frog of Calaveras County." A newspaper now sent him to Europe to
record "what he sees with his own eyes." He did so in "Innocents
Abroad," and his countrymen shouted with laughter. This, then,
was "Europe" after all--another "fake" until this shrewd river
pilot who signed himself "Mark Twain" took its soundings! Then
came a series of far greater books--"Roughing It," "Life on the
Mississippi," "The Gilded Age (in collaboration ), and "Tom
Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn"--books that make our American
"Odyssey", rich in the spirit of romance and revealing the magic
of the great river as no other pages can ever do again. Gradually
Mark Twain became a public character; he retrieved on the lecture
platform the loss of a fortune earned by his books; he enjoyed
his honorary D. Litt. from Oxford University. Every reader of
American periodicals came to recognize the photographs of that
thick shock of hair, those heavy eyebrows, the gallant drooping
little figure, the striking clothes, the inevitable cigar: all
these things seemed to go with the part of professional humorist,
to be like the caressing drawl of Mark's voice. The force of
advertisement could no further go. But at bottom he was far other
than a mere maker of boisterous jokes for people with frontier
preferences in humor. He was a passionate, chivalric lover of
things fair and good, although too honest to pretend to see
beauty and goodness where he could not personally detect
an equally passionate hater of evil. Read "The Man Who Corrupted
Hadleyburg" and "The Mysterious Stranger." In his last years,
torn by private sorrows, he turned as black a philosophical
pessimist as we have bred. He died at his new country seat in
Connecticut in 1910. Mr. Paine has written his life in three
great volumes, and there is a twenty-five volume edition of his

All the evidence seems to be in. Yet the verdict of the public
seems not quite made up. It is clear that Mark Twain the writer
of romance is gaining upon Mark Twain the humorist. The
inexhaustible American appetite for frontier types of humor
seizes upon each new variety, crunches it with huge satisfaction,
and then tosses it away. John Phoenix, Josh Billings, Jack
Downing, Bill Arp, Petroleum V. Nasby, Artemus Ward, Bill Nye--
these are already obsolescent names. If Clemens lacked something
of Artemus Ward's whimsical delicacy and of Josh Billings's
tested human wisdom, he surpassed all of his competitors in a
certain rude, healthy masculinity, the humor of river and
mining-camp and printing-office, where men speak without
censorship. His country-men liked exaggeration, and he
exaggerated; they liked irreverence, and he had turned iconoclast
in "Innocents Abroad." As a professional humorist, he has paid
the obligatory tax for his extravagance, over-emphasis, and
undisciplined taste, but such faults are swiftly forgotten when
one turns to Huckleberry Finn and the negro Jim and Pudd'nhead
Wilson, when one feels Mark Twain's power in sheer description
and episode, his magic in evoking landscape and atmosphere, his
blazing scorn at injustice and cruelty, his contempt for quacks.

Bret Harte, another discoverer of the West, wears less well than
Mark Twain as a personal figure, but has a sure place in the
evolution of the American short story, and he did for the
mining-camps of California what Clemens wrought for the
Mississippi River: he became their profane poet. Yet he was never
really of them. He was the clever outsider, with a prospector's
eye, looking for literary material, and finding a whole rich mine
of it--a bigger and richer, in fact, than he was really qualified
to work. But he located a golden vein of it with an instinct that
did credit to his dash of Hebrew blood. Born in Albany, a
teacher's son, brought up on books and in many cities, Harte
emigrated to California in 1854 at the age of sixteen. He became
in turn a drug-clerk, teacher, type-setter, editor, and even
Secretary of the California Mint--his nearest approach,
apparently, to the actual work of the mines. In 1868, while
editor of "The Overland Monthly," he wrote the short story which
was destined to make him famous in the East and to release him
from California forever. It was "The Luck of Roaring Camp." He
had been writing romantic sketches in prose and verse for years;
he had steeped himself in Dickens, like everybody else in the
eighteen-sixties; and now he saw his pay-gravel shining back into
his own shining eyes. It was a pocket, perhaps, rather than a
lead, but Bret Harte worked to the end of his career this
material furnished by the camps, this method of the short story.
He never returned to California after his joyous exit in 1871.
For a few years he tried living in New York, but from 1878 until
his death in 1902 Bret Harte lived in Europe, still turning out
California stories for an English and American public which
insisted upon that particular pattern.

That the pattern was arbitrary, theatrical, sentimental, somewhat
meretricious in design, in a word insincere like its inventor,
has been repeated at due intervals ever since 1868. The charge is
true; yet it is far from the whole truth concerning Bret Harte's
artistry. In mastery of the technique of the short story he is
fairly comparable with Poe, though less original, for it was Poe
who formulated, when Bret Harte was a child of six, the
well-known theory of the unity of effect of the brief tale. This
unity Harte secured through a simplification, often an
insulation, of his theme, the omission of quarreling details, an
atmosphere none the less novel for its occasional theatricality,
and characters cunningly modulated to the one note they were
intended to strike. "Tennessee's Partner," "The Outcast of Poker
Flat," and all the rest are triumphs of selective skill--as
bright nuggets as ever glistened in the pan at the end of a hard
day's labor. That they do not adequately represent the actual
California of the fifties, as old Californians obstinately
insist, is doubtless true, but it is beside the point. Here is no
Tolstoi painting the soul of his race in a few pages: Harte is
simply a disciple of Poe and Dickens, turning the Poe
construction trick gracefully, with Dickensy characters and
consistently romantic action.

The West has been rediscovered many a time since that decade
which witnessed the first literary bonanza of Mark Twain and Bret
Harte. It will continue to be discovered, in its fresh sources of
appeal to the imagination, as long as Plains and Rockies and
Coast endure, as long as there is any glow upon a distant
horizon. It is not places that lose romantic interest: the
immemorial English counties and the Bay of Naples offer
themselves freely to the artist, generation after generation.
What is lost is the glamour of youth, the specific atmosphere of
a given historical epoch. Colonel W. F. Cody ("Buffalo Bill") has
typified to millions of American boys the great period of the
Plains, with its Indian fighting, its slaughter of buffaloes, its
robbing of stage-coaches, its superb riders etched against the
sky. But the Wild West was retreating, even in the days of Daniel
Boone and Davy Crockett. The West of the cowboys, as Theodore
Roosevelt and Owen Wister knew it and wrote of it in the eighties
and nineties, has disappeared, though it lives on in fiction and
on the screen.

Jack London, born in California in 1876, was forced to find his
West in Alaska--and in alcohol. He was what he and his followers
liked to call the virile or red-blooded type, responsive to the
"Call of the Wild," "living life naked and tensely." In his talk
Jack London was simple and boyish, with plenty of humor over his
own literary and social foibles. His books are very uneven, but
he wrote many a hard-muscled, clean-cut page. If the Bret Harte
theory of the West was that each man is at bottom, a
sentimentalist, Jack London's formula was that at bottom every
man is a brute. Each theory gave provender enough for a
short-story writer to carry on his back, but is hardly adequate,
by itself, for a very long voyage over human life.

"Joaquin" (Cincinnatus Heine) Miller, who was born in 1841 and
died in 1918, had even less of a formula for the West than Jack
London. He was a word-painter of its landscapes, a rider over its
surfaces. Cradled "in a covered wagon pointing West," mingling
with wild frontier life from Alaska to Nicaragua, miner, Indian
fighter, hermit, poseur in London and Washington, then hermit
again in California, the author of "Songs of the Sierras" at
least knew his material. Byron, whom he adored and imitated,
could have invented nothing more romantic than Joaquin's life;
but though Joaquin inherited Scotch intensity, he had nothing of
the close mental grip of the true Scot and nothing of his humor.
Vast stretches of his poetry are empty; some of it is grandiose,
elemental, and yet somehow artificial, as even the Grand Canyon
itself looks at certain times.

John Muir, another immigrant Scot who reached California in 1868,
had far more stuff in him than Joaquin Miller. He had studied
geology, botany, and chemistry at the new University of
Wisconsin, and then for years turned explorer of forests, peaks,
and glaciers, not writing, at first, except in his "Journal," but
forever absorbing and worshiping sublimity and beauty with no
thought of literary schemes. Yet his every-day talk about his
favorite trees and glaciers had more of the glow of poetry in it
than any talk I have ever heard from men of letters, and his
books and "Journal" will long perpetuate this thrilling sense of
personal contact with wild, clean, uplifted things--blossoms in
giant tree-tops and snow-eddies blowing round the shoulders of
Alaskan peaks. Here is a West as far above Jack London's and
Frank Norris's as the snow-line is higher than the jungle.

The rediscovery of the South was not so much an exploration of
fresh or forgotten geographical territory, as it was a new
perception of the romantic human material offered by a peculiar
civilization. Political and social causes had long kept the South
in isolation. A few writers like Wirt, Kennedy, Longstreet,
Simms, had described various aspects of its life with grace or
vivacity, but the best picture of colonial Virginia had been
drawn, after all, by Thackeray, who had merely read about it in
books. Visitors like Fanny Kemble and Frederick Law Olmsted
sketched the South of the mid-nineteenth century more vividly
than did the sons of the soil. There was no real literary public
in the South for a native writer like Simms. He was as dependent
upon New York and the Northern market as a Virginian
tobacco-planter of 1740 had been upon London. But within a dozen
years after the close of the War and culminating in the
eighteen-nineties, there came a rich and varied harvest of
Southern writing, notably in the field of fiction. The public for
these stories, it is true, was still largely in the North and
West, and it was the magazines and publishing-houses of New York
and Boston that gave the Southern authors their chief stimulus
and support. It was one of the happy proofs of the solidarity of
the new nation.

The romance of the Spanish and French civilization of New
Orleans, as revealed in Mr. Cable's fascinating "Old Creole
Days," was recognized, not as something merely provincial in its
significance, but as contributing to the infinitely variegated
pattern of our national life. Irwin Russell, Joel Chandler
Harris, and Thomas Nelson Page portrayed in verse and prose the
humorous, pathetic, unique traits of the Southern negro, a type
hitherto chiefly sketched in caricature or by strangers. Page,
Hopkinson Smith, Grace King, and a score of other artists began
to draw affectionate pictures of the vanished Southern mansion of
plantation days, when all the women were beautiful and all the
men were brave, when the very horses were more spirited and the
dogs lazier and the honeysuckles sweeter and the moonlight more
entrancing than today. Miss Murfree ("C. E. Craddock") charmed
city-dwellers and country-folk alike by her novels of the
Tennessee mountains. James Lane Allen painted lovingly the
hemp-fields and pastures of Kentucky. American magazines of the
decade from 1880 to 1890 show the complete triumph of dialect and
local color, and this movement, so full of interest to students
of the immense divergence of American types, owed much of its
vitality to the talent of Southern writers.

But the impulse spread far beyond the South. Early in the
seventies Edward Eggleston wrote "The Hoosier Schoolmaster" and
"The Circuit Rider," faithful and moving presentations of genuine
pioneer types which were destined to pass with the frontier
settlements. Soon James Whitcomb Riley was to sing of the next
generation of Hoosiers, who frequented "The Old Swimmin' Hole"
and rejoiced "When the Frost is on the Punkin." It was the era of
Denman Thompson's plays, "Joshua Whitcomb" and "The Old
Homestead." Both the homely and the exotic marched under this
banner of local color: Hamlin Garland presented Iowa barnyards
and cornfields, Helen Hunt Jackson dreamed the romance of the
Mission Indian in "Ramona," and Lafcadio Hearn, Irish and Greek
by blood, resident of New Orleans and not yet an adopted citizen
of Japan, tantalized American readers with his "Chinese Ghosts"
and "Chita." A fascinating period it seems, as one looks back
upon it, and it lasted until about the end of the century, when
the suddenly discovered commercial value of the historical novel
and the ensuing competition in best sellers misled many a fine
artistic talent and coarsened the public taste. The New South
then played the literary market as recklessly as the New West.

Let us glance back to "the abandoned farm of literature," as a
witty New Yorker once characterized New England. The last quarter
of the nineteenth century witnessed a decline in the direct
influence of that province over the country as a whole. Its
strength sapped by the emigration of its more vigorous sons, its
typical institutions sagging under the weight of immense
immigrations from Europe, its political importance growing more
and more negligible, that ancient promontory of ideas has
continued to lose its relative literary significance. In one
field of literature only has New England maintained its rank
since the Civil War, and that is in the local short story. Here
women have distinguished themselves beyond the proved capacity of
New England men. Mrs. Stowe and Rose Terry Cooke, women of
democratic humor, were the pioneers; then came Harriet Prescott
Spofford and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, women with nerves; and
finally the three artists who have written, out of the material
offered by a decadent New England, as perfect short stories as
France or Russia can produce--Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkins
Freeman, and Alice Brown. These gifted writers portrayed, with
varying technique and with singular differences in their
instinctive choice of material, the dominant qualities of an
isolated, in-bred race, still proud in its decline; still
inquisitive and acquisitive, versatile yet stubborn, with thrift
passing over into avarice, and mental power degenerating into
smartness; cold and hard under long repression of emotion, yet
capable of passion and fanaticism; at worst, a mere trader, a
crank, a grim recluse; at best, endowed with an austere physical
and moral beauty. Miss Jewett preferred to touch graciously the
sunnier slopes of this provincial temperament, to linger in its
ancient dignities and serenities. Miss Brown has shown the pathos
of its thwarted desires, its hunger for a beauty and a happiness
denied. Mary Wilkins Freeman revealed its fundamental tragedies
of will.

Two of the best known writers of New England fiction in this
period were not natives of the soil, though they surpassed most
native New Englanders in their understanding of the type. They
were William Dean Howells and Henry James. Mr. Howells, who, in
his own words, "can reasonably suppose that it is because of the
mixture of Welsh, German, and Irish in me that I feel myself so
typically American," came to "the Holy Land at Boston" as a
"passionate pilgrim from the West." "A Boy's Town," "My Literary
Passions," and "Years of my Youth" make clear the image of the
young poet-journalist who returned from his four years in Venice
and became assistant editor of "The Atlantic Monthly" in 1866. In
1871 he succeeded Fields in the editorship, but it was not until
after his resignation in 1881 that he could put his full strength
into those realistic novels of contemporary New England which
established his fame as a writer. "A Modern Instance" and "The
Rise of Silas Lapham" are perhaps the finest stories of this
group; and the latter novel may prove to be Mr. Howells's chief
"visiting-card to posterity." We cannot here follow him to New
York and to a new phase of novel writing, begun with "A Hazard of
New Fortunes," nor can we discuss the now antiquated debate upon
realism which was waged in the eighteen-eighties over the books
of Howells and James. We must content ourselves with saying that
a knowledge of Mr. Howells's work is essential to the student of
the American provincial novel, as it is also to the student of
our more generalized types of story-writing, and that he has
never in his long career written an insincere, a slovenly, or an
infelicitous page. "My Literary Friends and Acquaintance" gives
the most charming picture ever drawn of the elder Cambridge,
Concord, and Boston men who ruled over our literature when young
Howells came out of the West, and "My Mark Twain" is his
memorable portrait of another type of sovereign, perhaps the
dynasty that will rule the future.

Although Henry James, like Mr. Howells, wrote at one time acute
studies of New England character, he was never, in his relations
to that section, or, for that matter, to any locality save
possibly London, anything more than a "visiting mind." His
grandfather was an Irish merchant in Albany. His father, Henry
James, was a philosopher and wit, a man of comfortable fortune,
who lived at times in Newport, Concord, and Boston, but who was
residing in New York when his son Henry was born in 1843. No
child was ever made the subject of a more complete theory of
deracination. Transplanted from city to city, from country to
country, without a family or a voting-place, without college or
church or creed or profession or responsibility of any kind save
to his own exigent ideals of truth and beauty, Henry James came
to be the very pattern of a cosmopolitan. Avoiding his native
country for nearly thirty years and then returning for a few
months to write some intricate pages about that "American Scene"
which he understood far less truly than the average immigrant, he
died in 1916 in London, having just renounced his American
citizenship and become a British subject in order to show his
sympathy with the Empire, then at war. It was the sole evidence
of political emotion in a lifetime of seventy-three years.
American writing men are justly proud, nevertheless, of this
expatriated craftsman. The American is inclined to admire good
workmanship of any kind, as far as he can understand the
mechanism of it. The task of really understanding Henry James has
been left chiefly to clever women and to a few critics, but ever
since "A Passionate Pilgrim" and "Roderick Hudson" appeared in,
1875, it has been recognized that here was a master, in his own
fashion. What that fashion is may now be known by anyone who will
take the pains to read the author's prefaces to the New York
edition of his revised works. Never, not even in the Paris which
James loved, has an artist put his intentions and his
self-criticism more definitively upon paper. The secret of Henry
James is told plainly enough here: a specially equipped
intelligence, a freedom from normal responsibilities, a consuming
desire to create beautiful things, and, as life unfolded its
complexities and nuances before his vision, an increasing passion
to seek the beauty which lies entangled and betrayed, a beauty
often adumbrated rather than made plastic, stories that must be
hinted at rather than told, raptures that exist for the initiated
only. The much discussed early and middle and later manners of
James are only various campaigns of this one questing spirit,
changing his procedure as the elusive object of his search hid
itself by this or that device of protective coloration or swift
escape. It is as if a collector of rare butterflies had one
method of capturing them in Madagascar, another for the Orinoco,
and still another for Japan--though Henry James found his
Japan--and Orinoco and Madagascar all in London town!

No one who ever had the pleasure of hearing him discourse about
the art of fiction can forget the absolute seriousness of his
professional devotion; it was as though a shy celebrant were to
turn and explain, with mystical intensity and a mystic's
involution and reversal of all the values of vulgar speech, the
ceremonial of some strange, high altar. His own power as a
creative artist was not always commensurate with his intellectual
endowment or with his desire after beauty, and his frank contempt
for the masses of men made it difficult for him to write English.
He preferred, as did Browning, who would have liked to reach the
masses, a dialect of his own, and he used it increasingly after
he was fifty. It was a dialect capable of infinite gradations of
tone, endless refinements of expression. In his threescore books
there are delicious poignant moments where the spirit of life
itself flutters like a wild creature, half-caught, half-escaping.
It is for the beauty and thrill of these moments that the pages
of Henry James will continue to be cherished by a few thousand
readers scattered throughout the Republic to which he was ever an

No poet of the new era has won the national recognition enjoyed
by the veterans. It will be recalled that Bryant survived until
1878, Longfellow and Emerson until 1882, Lowell until 1891,
Whittier and Whitman until 1892, and Holmes until 1894. Compared
with these men the younger writers of verse seemed overmatched.
The "National Ode" for the Centennial celebration in 1876 was
intrusted to Bayard Taylor, a hearty person, author of capital
books of travel, plentiful verse, and a skilful translation of
"Faust." But an adequate "National Ode" was not in him. Sidney
Lanier, who was writing in that year his "Psalm of the West" and
was soon to compose "The Marshes of Glynn," had far more of the
divine fire. He was a bookish Georgia youth who had served with
the Confederate army, and afterward, with broken health and in
dire poverty, gave his brief life to music and poetry. He had
rich capacities for both arts, but suffered in both from the lack
of discipline and from an impetuous, restless imagination which
drove him on to over-ambitious designs. Whatever the flaws in his
affluent verse, it has grown constantly in popular favor, and he
is, after Poe, the best known poet of the South. The late Edmund
Clarence Stedman, whose "American Anthology" and critical
articles upon American poets did so much to enhance the
reputation of other men, was himself a maker of ringing lyrics
and spirited narrative verse. His later days were given
increasingly to criticism, and his "Life and Letters" is a
storehouse of material bearing upon the growth of New York as a
literary market-place during half a century. Richard Watson
Gilder was another admirably fine figure, poet, editor, and
leader of public opinion in many a noble cause. His "Letters,"
likewise, give an intimate picture of literary New York from the
seventies to the present. Through his editorship of "Scribner's
Monthly" and "The Century Magazine" his sound influence made
itself felt upon writers in every section. His own lyric vein had
an opaline intensity of fire, but in spite of its glow his verse
sometimes refused to sing.

The most perfect poetic craftsman of the period--and, many think,
our one faultless worker in verse--was Thomas Bailey Aldrich. His
first volume of juvenile verse had appeared in 1855, the year of
Whittier's "Barefoot Boy" and Whitman's "Leaves of Grass." By
1865 his poems were printed in the then well-known Blue and Gold
edition, by Ticknor and Fields. In 1881 he succeeded Howells in
the editorship of the "Atlantic." Aldrich had a versatile talent
that turned easily to adroit prose tales, but his heart was in
the filing of his verses. Nothing so daintily perfect as his
lighter pieces has been produced on this side of the Atlantic,
and the deeper notes and occasional darker questionings of his
later verse are embodied in lines of impeccable workmanship.
Aloof from the social and political conflicts of his day, he gave
himself to the fastidious creation of beautiful lines, believing
that the beautiful line is the surest road to Arcady, and that
Herrick, whom he idolized, had shown the way.

To some readers of these pages it may seem like profanation to
pass over poets like Sill, George Woodberry, Edith Thomas,
Richard Hovey, William Vaughn Moody, Madison Cawein--to mention
but half a dozen distinguished names out of a larger company--and
to suggest that James Whitcomb Riley, more completely than any
American poet since Longfellow, succeeded in expressing the
actual poetic feelings of the men and women who composed his
immense audience. Riley, like Aldrich, went to school to Herrick,
Keats, Tennyson, and Longfellow, but when he began writing
newspaper verse in his native Indiana he was guided by two
impulses which gave individuality to his work. "I was always
trying to write of the kind of people I knew, and especially to
write verse that I could read just as if it were spoken for the
first time." The first impulse kept him close to the wholesome
Hoosier soil. The second is an anticipation of Robert Frost's
theory of speech tones as the basis of verse, as well as a
revival of the bardic practice of reciting one's own poems. For
Riley had much of the actor and platform-artist in him, and
comprehended that poetry might be made again a spoken art,
directed to the ear rather than to the eye. His vogue, which at
his death in 1915 far surpassed that of any living American poet,
is inexplicable to those persons only who forget the sentimental
traditions of our American literature and its frank appeal to the
emotions of juvenility, actual and recollected. Riley's best
"holt" as a poet was his memory of his own boyhood and his
perception that the child-mind lingers in every adult reader.
Genius has often been called the gift of prolonged adolescence,
and in this sense, surely, there was genius in the warm and
gentle heart of this fortunate provincial who held that "old
Indianapolis" was "high Heaven's sole and only understudy." No
one has ever had the audacity to say that of New York.

We have had American drama for one hundred and fifty years,* but
much of it, like our popular fiction and poetry, has been
subliterary, more interesting to the student of social life and
national character than to literary criticism in the narrow sense
of that term. Few of our best known literary men have written for
the stage. The public has preferred melodrama to poetic tragedy,
although perhaps the greatest successes have been scored by plays
which are comedies of manners rather than melodrama, and
character studies of various American types, built up around the
known capabilities of a particular actor. The twentieth century
has witnessed a marked activity in play-writing, in the technical
study of the drama, and in experiment with dramatic production,
particularly with motion pictures and the out-of-doors pageant.
At no time since "The Prince of Parthia" was first acted in
Philadelphia in 1767 has such a large percentage of Americans
been artistically and commercially interested in the drama, but
as to the literary results of the new movement it is too soon to

* "Representative American Plays," edited by Arthur Hobson Quinn,
N. Y., 1917.

Nor is it possible to forecast the effect of a still more
striking movement of contemporary taste, the revival of interest
in poetry and the experimentation with new poetical forms. Such
revival and experiment have often, in the past, been the preludes
of great epochs of poetical production. Living Americans have
certainly never seen such a widespread demand for contemporary
verse, such technical curiosity as to the possible forms of
poetry, or such variety of bold innovation. Imagism itself is
hardly as novel as its contemporary advocates appear to maintain;
and free verse goes back far in our English speech and song. But
the new generation believes that it has made a discovery in
reverting to sensations rather than thought, to the naive
reproduction of retinal and muscular impressions, as if this were
the end of the matter.

The self-conscious, self-defending side of the new poetic impulse
may soon pass, as it did in the case of Wordsworth and of Victor
Hugo. Whatever happens, we have already had fresh and exquisite
revelations of natural beauty, and, in volumes like "North of
Boston" and "A Spoon River Anthology," judgments of life that run
very deep.

American fiction seems just now, on the contrary, to be marking
time and not to be getting noticeably forward. Few names unknown
ten years ago have won wide recognition in the domain of the
novel. The short story has made little technical advance since
the first successes of "O. Henry," though the talent of many
observers has dealt with new material offered by the racial
characteristics of European immigrants and by new phases of
commerce and industry. The enormous commercial demand of the
five-cent weeklies for short stories of a few easily recognized
patterns has resulted too often in a substitution of
stencil-plate generalized types instead of delicately and
powerfully imagined individual characters. Short stories have
been assembled, like Ford cars, with amazing mechanical
expertness, but with little artistic advance in design. The same
temporary arrest of progress has been noted in France and
England, however, where different causes have been at work. No
one can tell, in truth, what makes some plants in the literary
garden wither at the same moment that others are outgrowing their

There is one plant in our own garden, however, whose flourishing
state will be denied by nobody--namely, that kind of
nature-writing identified with Thoreau and practised by Thomas
Wentworth Higginson, Starr King, John Burroughs, John Muir,
Clarence King, Bradford Torrey, Theodore Roosevelt, William J.
Long, Thompson-Seton, Stewart Edward White, and many others.
Their books represent, Professor Canby* believes, the adventures
of the American subconsciousness, the promptings of forgotten
memories, a racial tradition of contact with the wilderness, and
hence one of the most genuinely American traits of our

* "Back to Nature," by H. S. Canby, "Yale Review," July, 1917.

Other forms of essay writing, surely, have seemed in our own
generation less distinctive of our peculiar quality. While
admirable biographical and critical studies appear from time to
time, and here and there a whimsical or trenchant discursive
essay like those of Miss Repplier or Dr. Crothers, no one would
claim that we approach France or even England in the field of
criticism, literary history, memoirs, the bookish essay, and
biography. We may have race-memories of a pine-tree which help us
to write vigorously and poetically about it, but we write less
vitally as soon as we enter the library door. A Frenchman does
not, for he is better trained to perceive the continuity and
integrity of race-consciousness, in the whole field of its
manifestation. He does not feel, as many Americans do, that they
are turning their back on life when they turn to books.

Perhaps the truth is that although we are a reading people we are
not yet a book-loving people. The American newspaper and magazine
have been successful in making their readers fancy that newspaper
and magazine are an equivalent for books. Popular orators and
popular preachers confirm this impression, and colleges and
universities have often emphasized a vocational choice of
books--in other words, books that are not books at all, but
treatises. It is not, of course, that American journalism,
whether of the daily or monthly sort, has consciously set itself
to supplant the habit of book-reading. A thousand social and
economic factors enter into such a problem. But few observers
will question the assertion that the influence of the American
magazine, ever since its great period of national literary
service in the eighties and nineties, has been more marked in
the field of conduct and of artistic taste than in the
stimulation of a critical literary judgment: An American
schoolhouse of today owes its improvement in appearance over the
schoolhouse of fifty years ago largely to the popular diffusion,
through the illustrated magazines, of better standards of
artistic taste. But--whether the judgment of school-teachers and
schoolchildren upon a piece of literature is any better than it
was in the red schoolhouse of fifty years ago is a disputable

But we must stop guessing, or we shall never have done. The
fundamental problem of our literature, as this book has attempted
to trace it, has been to obtain from a mixed population dwelling
in sections as widely separated as the peoples of Northern and
Southern Europe, an integral intellectual and spiritual activity
which could express, in obedience to the laws of beauty and
truth, the motions stimulated by our national life. It has been
assumed in the preceding chapters that American literature is
something different from English literature written in America.
Canadian and Australian literatures have indigenous qualities of
their own, but typically they belong to the colonial literature
of Great Britain. This can scarcely be said of the writings of
Franklin and Jefferson, and it certainly cannot be said of the
writings of Cooper, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Lowell,
Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Mr. Howells. In the pages of these men
and of hundreds of others less distinguished, there is a
revelation of a new national type. That the full energies of this
nation have been back of our books, giving them a range and
vitality and unity commensurate with the national existence, no
one would claim. There are other spheres of effort in which
American character has been more adequately expressed than in
words. Nevertheless the books are here, in spite of every defect
in national discipline, every flaw in national character; and
they deserve the closest attention from all those who are trying
to understand the American mind.

If the effort toward an expression of a peculiarly complex
national experience has been the problem of our literary past,
the literary problem of the future is the expression of the
adjustment of American ideals to the standards of civilization.
"Patriotism," said the martyred Edith Cavell just before her
death, "is not enough." Nationality and the instincts of national
separatism now seem essential to the preservation of the
political units of the world-state, precisely as a healthy
individualism must be the basis of all enduring social
fellowship. Yet it is clear that civilization is a larger, more
ultimate term than nationality. Chauvinism is nowhere more
repellent than in the things of the mind. It is difficult for
some Americans to think internationally even in political
affairs--to construe our national policy and duty in terms of
obligation to civilization. Nevertheless the task must be faced,
and we are slowly realizing it.

In the field of literature, likewise, Americanism is not a final
word either of blame or praise. It is a word of useful
characterization. Only American books, and not books written in
English in America, can adequately represent our national
contribution to the world's thinking and feeling. So argued
Emerson and Whitman, long ago. But the younger of these two poets
came to realize in his old age that the New World and the Old
World are fundamentally one. The literature of the New World will
inevitably have an accent of its own, but it must speak the
mother-language of civilization, share in its culture, accept its

It has been said disparagingly of Longfellow and his friends:
"The houses of the Brahmins had only eastern windows. The souls
of the whole school lived in the old lands of culture, and they
visited these lands as often as they could, and, returning,
brought back whole libraries of books which they eagerly
translated." But even if Longfellow and his friends had been
nothing more than translators and diffusers of European culture,
their task would have been justified. They kept the ideals of
civilization from perishing in this new soil. Through those
eastern windows came in, and still comes in, the sunlight to
illumine the American spirit. To decry the literatures of the
Orient and of Greece and Rome as something now outgrown by
America, is simply to close the eastern windows, to narrow our
conception of civilization to merely national and contemporaneous
terms. It is as provincial to attempt this restriction in
literature as it would be in world-politics. We must have all the
windows open in our American writing, free access to ideas,
knowledge of universal standards, perception of universal law.


An authoritative account of American Literature to the close of
the Revolution is given in M. C. Tyler's "History of American
Literature during the Colonial Time," 2 volumes (1878) and
"Literary History of the American Revolution," 2 volumes (1897).
For a general survey see Barrett Wendell, "A Literary History of
America" (1900), W. P. Trent, "American Literature" (1903), G. E.
Woodberry, "America in Literature" (1903), W. C. Bronson, "A
Short History of American Literature" (1903), with an excellent
bibliography, W. B. Cairns, "History of American Literature"
(1912), W. P. Trent and J. Erskine, "Great American Writers"
(1912), and W. Riley, "American Thought" (1915). The most recent
and authoritative account is to be found in "The Cambridge
History of American Literature," 3 volumes edited by Trent,
Erskine, Sherman, and Van Doren.

The best collection of American prose and verse is E. C. Stedman
and E. M. Hutchinson's "Library of American Literature," 11
volumes (1888-1890). For verse alone, see E. C. Stedman, "An
American Anthology" (1900), and W. C. Bronson, "American Poems,"
1625-1892 (1912). For criticism of leading authors, note W. C.
Brownell, "American Prose Masters" (1909), and Stedman, "Poets of
America" (1885). Chapters 1-3. Note W. Bradford, "Journal"
(1898), J. Winthrop, "Journal" (1825, 1826), also "Life and
Letters" by R. C. Winthrop, 2 volumes (1863), G. L. Walker,
"Thomas Hooker" (1891), O. S. Straus, "Roger Williams" (1894),
Cotton Mather, "Diary," 2 volumes (1911, 1912), also his "Life"
by Barrett Wendell (1891), Samuel Sewall, "Diary," 3 volumes
(1878). For Jonathan Edwards, see "Works," 4 volumes (1852), his
"Life" by A. V. G. Allen (1889), "Selected Sermons" edited by H.
N. Gardiner (1904). The most recent edition of Franklin's "Works"
is edited by A. H. Smyth, 10 volumes (1907).

Chapter 4. Samuel Adams, "Works," 4 volumes (1904), John Adams,
"Works," 10 volumes (1856), Thomas Paine, "Life" by M. D. Conway,
2 volumes (1892), "Works" edited by Conway, 4 volumes (1895),
Philip Freneau, "Poems," 3 volumes (Princeton edition, 1900,
Thomas Jefferson, "Works" edited by P. L. Ford, 10 volumes
(1892-1898), J. Woolman, "Journal" (edited by Whittier, 1871, and
also in "Everyman's Library"), "The Federalist" (edited by H. C.
Lodge, 1888).

Chapter 5. Washington Irving, "Works," 40 volumes (1891-1897),
also his "Life and Letters" by P. M. Irving, 4 volumes
(1862-1864). Fenimore Cooper, "Works," 32 volumes (1896), "Life"
by T. R. Lounsbury (1883). Brockden Brown, "Works," 6 volumes,
(1887). W. C. Bryant, "Poems," 2 volumes (1883), "Prose," 2
volumes (1884), and his "Life" by John Bigelow (1890).

Chapter 6. H. C. Goddard, "Studies in New England
Transcendentalism" (1908). R. W. Emerson, "Works," 12 volumes
(Centenary edition, 1903), "Journal," 10 volumes (1909-1914), his
"Life" by J. E. Cabot, 2 volumes (1887), by R. Garnett (1887), by
G. E. Woodberry (1905); see also "Ralph Waldo Emerson," a
critical study by O. W. Firkins (1915). H. D. Thoreau, "Works,"
20 volumes (Walden edition including "Journals," 1906), "Life" by
F. B. Sanborn (1917), also "Thoreau, A Critical Study" by Mark
van Doren (1916). Note also Lindsay Swift, "Brook Farm" (1900),
and "The Dial," reprint by the Rowfant Club (1902).

Chapter 7. Hawthorne, "Works," 12 volumes (1882), "Life" by G. E.
Woodberry (1902). Longfellow, "Works," 11 volumes (1886), "Life"
by Samuel Longfellow, 3 volumes (1891). Whittier, "Works," 7
volumes (1892), "Life" by S. T. Pickard, 2 volumes (1894).
Holmes, "Works" 13 volumes (1892), "Life" by J. T. Morse, Jr.
(1896). Lowell, "Works," 11 volumes (1890), "Life" by Ferris
Greenslet (1905), "Letters" edited by C. E. Norton, 2 volumes
(1893). For the historians, note H. B. Adams, "Life and Writings
of Jared Sparks," 2 volumes (1893). M. A. DeW. Howe, "Life and
Letters of George Bancroft," 2 volumes (1908), G. S. Hillard,
"Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor," 2 volumes
(1876), George Ticknor, "Life of Prescott" (1863), also Rollo
Ogden, "Life of Prescott"(1904), G. W. Curtis, "Correspondence of
J. L. Motley," 2 volumes (1889), Francis Parkman, "Works," 12
volumes (1865-1898), "Life" by C. H. Farnham (1900), J. F.
Jameson, "History of Historical Writing in America" (1891).

Chapter 8. Poe, "Works," 10 volumes (Stedman-Woodberry edition,
1894-1895), also 17 volumes (Virginia edition, J. A. Harrison,
1900, "Life" by G. E. Woodberry, 2 volumes (1909). Whitman,
"Leaves of Grass" and "Complete Prose Works" (Small, Maynard and
Co.) (1897, 1898), also John Burroughs, "A Study of Whitman"

Chapter 9. C. Schurz, "Life of Henry Clay," 2 volumes (1887).
Daniel Webster, "Works," 6 volumes (1851), "Life" by H. C. Lodge
(1883). Rufus Choate, "Works," volumes (1862). Wendell Phillips,
"Speeches, Lectures, and Letters," 2 volumes (1892). W. L.
Garrison, "The Story of his Life Told by his Children," 4 volumes
(1885-1889). Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Works," 17 volumes (1897),
"Life" by C. E. Stowe (1889). Abraham Lincoln, "Works," 2 volumes
(edited by Nicolay and Hay, 1894).

Chapter 10. For an excellent bibliography of the New National
Period, see F. L. Pattee, "A History of American Literature since
1870" (1916).

For further bibliographical information the reader is referred to
the articles on American authors in "The Encyclopaedia
Britannica" and in "The Warner Library" (volume 30, "The
Student's Course," N. Y., 1917).

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