Biography: 

As a child slave, Phillis Wheatley was shipped on the Phillis to Boston from West Africa, possibly the Gambia river region, on July 11, 1761, when she was about 7-8 years of age. Susanna Wheatley, a Christian and wife of merchant John Wheatley, purchased her. Taught by Susanna's daughter Mary, Phillis began writing by 1765.

Biography: 

Frances Ellen Watkins was born September 25, 1825, in Baltimore, Maryland. After receiving an education at her uncle's school, and working in a book store, she turned to publishing. A book of poetry entitled Forest leaves came out in 1845, no copy of which has survived.

Biography: 

Born November 10, 1852, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and educated in theology at Brooklyn Polytechnic, Princeton, and Berlin, Henry Van Dyke worked twenty years as a minister, first in Newport, Rhode Island, from 1879 to 1883 and next in New York until 1899. His Christmas sermons, his essays, and his short stories made him a popular writer.

Biography: 

Pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the American journalist, novelist and humorist born and raised in Missouri, Mark Twain is best known for his novels, The Prince and the Pauper (1882), A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).

Biography: 

Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and raised in Worcester, Thayer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in philosophy in 1885 after editing the Harvard Lampoon. Its business manager, William Randolph Hearst, hired Thayer as humour columnist for the San Francisco Examiner 1886-88. His last piece, dated June 3, 1888, was a ballad entitled Casey.

Biography: 

Celia Laighton was born June 29, 1835, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and grew up on the Isles of Shoals. In 1851 she and Levi Thaxter married, came to live in Newtonville, Massachusetts, by 1856, and had several children.

Biography: 

Joseph Trumbull Stickney was born in Geneva on June 20, 1874, and grew up (to a height of six feet four inches) as his parents travelled widely ... Wiesbaden, Florence, Nice, London, and New York. After being educated by his father Austin at home in Latin and Greek, Trumbull entered Harvard University in 1891. He graduated magna cum laude in June 1895.

Biography: 

Wallace Stevens was born October 2, 1879, in Reading, Pennysylvania, and was educated in classics at Reading Boys' High School and at Harvard as a special student 1897-1900. There he acted as President of the Harvard Advocate and published some verse. After several years as a reporter in New York, Stevens entered New York Law School in 1901 and eventually clerked for W. G.

Biography: 

Arabella Eugenia Smith was born in 1844 in Lichfield, Ohio, and resided from 1850 to 1874 in Percival, Iowa. She graduated from Tabor College (originally Tabor Literary Institute, 1853-66, open to both sexes) in Tabor, Iowa. This Christian College offered four-year courses in classics, science, and literature and was located on a plateau between the Nishnabotna and Missouri Rivers.

Biography: 

Born in New York and Harvard-educated in Italian studies, Seeger edited the Harvard Monthly in 1906. He had travelled to Paris and settled in his Latin Quarter in 1912, where he enlisted in the Foreign Legion and served in World War I. He was killed at Belloy-en-Santerre and received posthumously the Croix de Guerre and the Medaille Militaire.

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