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William Cullen Bryant

editor , journalist , poet

William Cullen Bryant was an American poet and journalist


Bryant, William Cullen was born on November 3, 1794 in Cummington, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Doctor Peter and Sarah (Snell) Bryant.


Attended Williams College, 1810-1811. Studied law under Mr. Howe, Worthington, Massachusetts, 1811-1814.


Published an attack on President Jefferson called The Embargo, 1808. Admitted to Massachusetts bar, 1815. Practiced law, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 1816-1825.

Published collection of poems responsible for his fame, including Thanatopsis (1817), To a Waterfowl (1818), The Ages (1821), 1821. Editor New York Review and Athenaeum Magazine, 1825. Assistant editor New York Evening Post, 1826-1829, editor, 1829-1878.

Politically powerful as editor, backed free-trade, anti-slavery ideas, supported Democrats, 1848, gradually shifted to Republican Party. Editor one of most powerful papers in the United States during Civil War, said to have influenced Abraham Lincoln in issuance of Emancipation Proclamation. Called “First Citizen of the Republic”.

Author poetical works including: Poems, 1821. Poems, 1832; The Fountain and Other Poems, 1842. The White-Footed Doe, and other Poems, 1844.

Published Tales of the Glauber Spa (short stories), 1832. Letters of A Traveller (travelog), 1850. Translator The Iliad, 1870, The Odyssey, 1872.


  • poetry

    • The Embargo (1808, poetry)

    • Poems (1821, poetry)

    • The White-Footed Deer and Other Poems (1844, poetry)

    • Thirty Poems (1864, poetry)

    • Poetical Works (1876, poetry)


Married Frances Fairchild, June 11, 1821, 2 children.

Peter Bryant (doctor) - doctor

Sarah Snell

She was a descendant of Mayflower pilgrims

Frances Fairchild