A Dictionary of Selected Jacksonian Writers

cited in Edgar Allan Poe's "A Chapter on Autography"

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HALE, Sarah Josepha 1788-1879 – Writer. the first female editor of a magazine and – author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (1830). A widow, she began writing (1822) to support her family. She edited the Ladies’ Magazine from 1828 until Godey bought it in 1837. As Godey’s Lady’s Book, it became the major woman’s magazine of its time. She collected women’s poetry in The Ladies Wreath (1837). Her Woman's Record; or, Sketches of All Distinguished Women, From "The Beginning Till A.D. 1850” (1853) includes 2,500 biographical entries.

HALLECK, Fitz-Greene 1790-1867 – Poet and satirist. With Joseph Rodman Drake, he wrote “the Croaker Papers” (1819), which appeared in the New York Evening Post. He satirized Byron in Fanny (1819). His elegy to Drake, “Green Be the Turf above Thee”, and the recital piece “Marco Bozzaris” are two of his popular pieces. He was also secretary to John Jacob Astor.

HAWKS, Francis Lister 1798-1866 - A Southern clergyman and orator who began as a lawyer, he became a deacon in 1827, then a priest in the Episcopalian Church. As historiographer of the church, he produced two of eighteen planned volumes of a history of the Church of England in America but abandoned the task after these were criticized. In 1837, he co-founded the quarterly New York Review. Financial troubles connected with St. Thomas’ Hall, a school he founded (1839), so damaged his reputation that in 1844 he refused a bishopric. Besides church history, he wrote other histories and biographies.

HEATH, James E. 1792-1862 - A Virginian lawyer who, as first editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, encouraged Southern writers to break free of Northern models. In commenting on Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher”, he suggested that Dickens had dealt a death blow to such “wild, improbable and terrible tales”.

HENRY, Caleb Sprague 1804-1884 - Journalist and minister in several different denominations. He established the American Advocate of Peace, the organ of the American Peace Society (1834). In 1834, he co-founded the New York Review. While rector of New York’s St. Clement’s from 1847 to 1850, edited The Churchman and was briefly political editor of the New York Times. He wrote several histories, essays, and lectures.

HERBERT, Henry William 1807-1858 - A prolific author despite numerous misfortunes, he was born in England, but came to America in 1830 and taught the classics. He founded the American Monthly Magazine, but later made Charles Fenno Hoffman editor. His anonymous first novel, The Brothers, a Tale of the Fronde (1834), was very successful. From 1837 to 1855, he published numerous others. He was the first sportswriter in America, writing as "Frank Forester” for sporting papers. His second wife left him after three months, announcing this in the papers. In response he held a grand dinner for old friends - only one of whom came. When the dinner was done, he walked to a full-length mirror, took aim and shot himself through the heart.

HOFFMAN, Charles Fenno 1806-1884 - Having briefly practiced law, he became the first editor of the Knickerbocker Magazine (1833). Later connected with the American Monthly Magazine, which serialized his novel Vanderlyn in 1837, and with the New York Mirror. His poetry was first collected in The Vigil of Faith and Other Poems (1842).

HOFFMAN, David 1784-1854 - Maryland lawyer who wrote extensively on the law. He also wrote Miscellaneous Thoughts on Men, Manners, and Things by "Anthony Grumbler, of Grumbleton Hall, Esq.”(1837); Viator, or a Peep into my Note-Book (1841) and two volumes of a history of the world called Chronicles selected from the Originals of Cartaphilus, the Wandering Jew.

HOLDEN, Ezra 1803-1846 - Little information is available on this journalist, editor from 1803 to 1846 of Philadelphia’s Saturday Courier, which had a wide circulation. In 1839, he reviewed Poe’s Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque in that paper.

HOLMES, Dr. Oliver Wendell 1809-1894 – Physician and humorist, father of the Supreme Court Justice. His poem on the “Constitution” helped save that ship. He is most known as the author of Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, which first appeared as pieces in the Atlantic Monthly, which he founded with Lowell (1857). This was followed by the Professor at the Breakfast Table (1859) and other works. At Boston’s Saturday Club he met Emerson, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, and other major figures and was considered the best talker among them.

copyright 2004, 2006 Jim Chevallier.
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