Bryant, William Cullen
1847 ALS to an aunt from the popular 19th century American poet & editor
Autograph ID: 4296
Condition: Very good, mail folds
Description: “(1794-1878) American romantic poet (Thanatopsis, To A Waterfowl, etc.), New York Evening Post owner-editor 1829-78, Democratic then Free Soil later Republican organ. In 1860, he was one of the prime Eastern exponents of Abraham Lincoln, whom he introduced at Cooper Union. That speech lifted Lincoln to the nomination, and then the presidency. In his last decade, Bryant shifted to translating Homer, working on the Iliad and the Odyssey 1871-74. Bryant edited the very successful Picturesque America, published between 1872 & 1874, a two-volume set lavishly illustrated which described scenic places in the US and Canada. He was also one of the principal authorities on homeopathy and as a hymnist for the Unitarian Church. Bryant was a major force behind the idea that became Central Park, and a leading proponent of creating the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He had close affinities with the Hudson River School of art and was an intimate friend of Thomas Cole.
ALS, 2-¼ pps (folded letter) on 10 x 8 blue-grey paper, New York, May 4 1847, to Miss C(harity). Bryant, his aunt in Vermont, responding to her letter and her inquiries concerning his mother’s health. As Bryant has just received letters from his brother Arthur and his niece Sarah, he is able to answer “with some precision.” He quotes from their letters noting Bryant’s mother’s frail and feeble condition, Bryant is glad she is not confined to her bed. He discusses railway plans between Burlington and Boston and possibly to New York, invites her to to visit Bryant and his wife, discusses New York vs. Vermont weather, Bryant’s daughters Julie & Fanny, his wife at their Long Island home planting dill and sweet marjoram. Bryant’s mother, Sarah, died on May 6, 1847, 2 days after the date of this letter.”