The Van Courtlandt Family Papers: Volume IV by Jacob JuddThe Van Courtlandt Family Papers: Volume IV by Jacob Judd

The Van Courtlandt Family Papers: Volume IV

byJacob Judd

Hardcover | January 1, 1981

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On April 26, 1865, as Abraham Lincoln's funeral cortege paused in Union Square, New York, before being taken by rail to Springfield, Illinois, William Cullen Bryant listened as his own verse elegy for the slain president was read to a great concourse of mourners by the Reverend Samuel Osgood.Only five years earlier and a few blocks downtown, at Cooper Union, Bryant had introduced the prairie candidate to his first eastern audience. There his masterful appeal to the conscience of the nation prepared the way for his election to the presidency on the verge of the Civil War. Now, Bryantstood below Henry Kirke Brown's equestrian statue of George Washington, impressing Osgood as if he were the 19tth Century itself thinking over the nation and the age in that presence. Bryant's staunch support of the Union cause throughout the war, and of Lincoln's war efforts, no less than his known influence with the president, led several prominent public figures to urge that he write Lincoln's biography. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote him, "No man combines the qualities for hisbiographer so completely as yourself and the finished task would be a noble crown to a noble literary life." But Bryant declined, declaring his inability to record impartially critical events in which he had taken so central a part. Furthermore, while preoccupied with the editorial direction of theNew York Evening Post, he was just then repossessing and enlarging his family's homestead at Cummington, Massachusetts, where he hoped his ailing wife might, during long summers in mountain air, regain her health. But in July 1866, Frances died of recurrent rheumatic fever, and, Bryant confessed toRichard Dana, he felt as one cast out of Paradise.After France's death Bryant traveled with his daughter Julia for nearly a year through Great Britain and the Continent, where he met British statesman and novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton and French literary critic Hyppolyte Taine, renewed his friendship with Spanish poet Carolina Coronado, Italianliberator Giuseppe Garibaldi, and British and American artists, and visited the family of the young French journalist Georges Clemenceau, as well as the graves of earlier acquaintances Francis Lord Jeffrey and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In his spare moments Bryant sought solace by beginning the translation of Homer, and Longfellow had found relief after his wife's tragic death by rendering into English Dante's Divine Comedy. Home again in New York, Bryant bought and settled in a house at 24 West 16th Street which would be his cityhome for the rest of his life. Here he completed major publications, including the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer and an exhaustive Library of Poetry and Song, and added to published tributes to earlier friends, such as Thomas Cole, Fenimore Cooper, and Washington Irving, memorial discourses onFitz-Greene Halleck and Gulian Verplanck. In addition to his continued direction of the New York Homeopathic Medical college and the American Free Trade League, he was elected to the presidency of the Williams College Alumni Association, the International Copyright Association, and the Century Association, the club of artists and writers ofwhich, twenty years earlier, he had been a principal founder and which he would direct for the last decade of his life.
Jacob Judd is a well-respected Fordham University Press author.
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Title:The Van Courtlandt Family Papers: Volume IVFormat:HardcoverDimensions:800 pages, 8.5 × 5.75 × 0.02 inPublished:January 1, 1981Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0912882417

ISBN - 13:9780912882413

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