A Dictionary of Selected Jacksonian Writers

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

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WALSH, Robert 1784-1859 – Deafness ended his career in law. In 1810, he wrote a "Letter on the Genius and Disposition of the French Government” which became very popular in England. He founded (1811) The American Review of History and Politics, the first quarterly in the United States. From 1819 to 1839 he was connected to the National Gazette, which he founded. During the same time he also worked on the Magazine of Foreign Literature and the American Review. He also wrote a number of biographical sketches and other factual works. After moving to Paris in 1836, he was consul from 1845-1851 and ended his days in that city.

WARE, Henry 1794-1843 – A Massachusetts clergyman who edited the Unitarian organ The Christian Examiner (1819 – 1822). He published Hints on Extemporaneous Preaching (1824), Sermons on the Offices and Character of Jesus Christ (1825), The Formation of Christian Character (1831) and The Life of the Saviour (1832), as well as various memoirs, sermons, essays, and poems.

WETMORE, Prosper Montgomery 1798-1876. - A military man, merchant and lobbyist who also wrote poetry, he was one of the founders of the American Art Union, where he was president from 1847 to 1849. He was also co-editor of the New York Courier and Enquirer when it was established in 1829.

WHITTIER John Greenleaf 1807-1892 – New England poet, novelist, and journalist. Also a devout Quaker and a fervent abolitionist., long associated with the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. He worked with several publications, including the New England Weekly (1830) and, from its founding (1857), the Atlantic Monthly. Legends of New England (1831) was his first book of poems. He published several others, including Snowbound (1866), which included his best-known poem of the same name. His prose works include The Stranger in Lowell (1845), Supernaturalism in New England (1847), and Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal (1849).

WILD, Horatio Hastings 1811-1888 - A Northeastern journalist and minister, ordained in 1845. Among his works were Corrected Proofs (1837) a volume of sketches, a Life of Christ (1850) and Sacred Poetical Quotations (1851). He also edited books of scenes from the Scriptures, as well as Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, with a Narrative of his Public Life and Services (1849).

WILDE, Richard Henry 1789-1847 - Born in Ireland, he was a lawyer, then congressman from Georgia, before moving to Europe. In 1843 he became professor of law at the University of Louisiana. The only work he published himself was Conjectures and Researches concerning the Love, Madness, and Imprisonment of Torquato Tasso (1842). His lyric “The Lament of the Captive”, published in 1815 without his authorization, became very popular as “My Life is like the Summer Rose” and was both set to music and presented (falsely) as a translation from the Greek.

WILLIS, Nathaniel Parker 1806-1867 - Poet, novelist and journalist. He founded The American Monthly Magazine (1829-31) which then merged with the New York Mirror. In 1831 he became foreign correspondent from Europe and Asia Minor He later helped found the New Mirror which became the more successful New York Home Journal. He wrote popular versions of scripture such as "Absalom” and "The Leper". His secular pieces, "The Belfry Pigeon,” "Unseen Spirits,”and "Parrhasius the Painter” were widely anthologized. However, long poems like “Melanie”(1835) and "The Lady Jane”(1844) and his novel Paul Fane (1857) were less successful, as were the plays Bianca Visconti (1839) and Tortesa, the Usurer (1839). He also wrote short stories and travel pieces. He was one of the most widely read American authors in his lifetime. A good friend of Poe’s, he employed him several times and first published “The Raven” (1845).

WILMER, Lambert A. 1805-1863 - An author and journalist, he edited the Baltimore Saturday Visitor and was connected with the Pennsylvanian. He wrote a New System of Grammar, The Quacks of Helicon (1851), Life, Travels, and Adventures of Ferdinand de Soto (1858); and Our Press-Gang, or a Complete Exposition of the Corruptions and Crimes of the American Newspapers (1859).

copyright 2004, 2006 Jim Chevallier.
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