Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kimber Lynn Peel

facebook photos from her great grandma Jean (Flanagan) Frisbie. Kimber was born April 24, 2010 at 5:23 PM New Mexico time. weight: 5 lbs 1 oz length: 17.5 inches
grandparents Keith & Cathie (Frisbie) Parkhurst
parents Andrew & Jamie Lynn (Parkhurst) Peel

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the newest member of the family!

Jean Frisbie posted on facebook:
Kimber Lynn Peel born 5:23pm april 24, 2010. 5lbs 1oz. 17.5 in long.5 minutes ago via Mobile Web

Congratulations Jamie & Andrew!!!!!·

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kindred Spirits

Asher Durand's Kindred Spirits depicts William Cullen Bryant with Thomas Cole, in this quintessentially Hudson River School work.

Bryant Statue

Statue of William Cullen Bryant in Bryant Park adjacent to the New York Public LibraryIn 1884, New York City's Reservoir Square, at the intersection of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, was renamed Bryant Park in his honor. The city later named a public high school in Long Island City, Queens in his honor.

Although he is now thought of as a New Englander, Bryant, for most of his lifetime, was thoroughly a New Yorker—and a very dedicated one at that. He was a major force behind the idea that became Central Park, as well as a leading proponent of creating the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was one of a group of founders of New York Medical College[10]. He had close affinities with the Hudson River School of art and was an intimate friend of Thomas Cole. He defended immigrants and, at some financial risk to himself, championed the rights of workers to form labor unions.

As a writer, Bryant was an early advocate of American literary nationalism, and his own poetry focusing on nature as a metaphor for truth established a central pattern in the American literary tradition.

A recently-published book[11], however, argues that a reassessment is long overdue. It finds great merit in a couple of short stories Bryant wrote while trying to build interest in periodicals he edited. More importantly, it perceives a poet of great technical sophistication who was a progenitor of Walt Whitman, to whom he was a mentor[11].


Poet and literary critic Thomas Holley Chivers said that the "only thing [Bryant] ever wrote that may be called Poetry is 'Thanatopsis', which he stole line for line from the Spanish. The fact is, that he never did anything but steal—as nothing he ever wrote is original."[8] Contemporary critic Edgar Allan Poe, on the other hand, praised Bryant and specifically the poem "June" in his essay "The Poetic Principle":

"The rhythmical flow, here, is even voluptuous—nothing could be more melodious. The intense melancholy which seems to well up, perforce, to the surface of all the poet's cheerful sayings about his grave, we find thrilling us to the soul—while there is the truest poetic elevation in the thrill... the impression left is one of a pleasurable sadness."[9]

surfing the web on William Cullen Bryant

Writing poetry could not financially sustain a family. From 1816 to 1825, he practiced law in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and supplemented his income with such work as service as the town's hog reeve. Distaste for pettifoggery and the sometimes absurd judgments pronounced by the courts gradually drove him to break with the profession.

With the help of a distinguished and well-connected literary family, the Sedgwicks, he gained a foothold in New York City, where, in 1825, he was hired as editor, first of the New-York Review, then of the United States Review and Literary Gazette. But the magazines of that day usually enjoyed only an ephemeral life-span. After two years of fatiguing effort to breathe life into periodicals, he became Assistant Editor of the New-York Evening Post, a newspaper founded by Alexander Hamilton that was surviving precariously. Within two years, he was Editor-in-Chief and a part owner. He remained the Editor-in-Chief for half a century (1828-78). Eventually, the Evening-Post became not only the foundation of his fortune but also the means by which he exercised considerable political power in his city, state, and nation.
Ironically, the boy who first tasted fame for his diatribe against Thomas Jefferson and his party became one of the key supporters in the Northeast of that same party under Jackson. Bryant's views, always progressive though not quite populist, in course led him to join the Free Soilers, and when the Free Soil Party became a core of the new Republican Party in 1856, Bryant vigorously campaigned for John Frémont. That exertion enhanced his standing in party councils, and 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.)

Bryant edited the very successful Picturesque America which was published between 1872 and 1874. This two-volume set was lavishly illustrated and described scenic places in the United States and Canada. [7]

Later years
In his last decade, Bryant shifted from writing his own poetry to translating Homer. He assiduously worked on the Iliad and The Odyssey from 1871 to 1874. He is also remembered as one of the principal authorities on homeopathy and as a hymnist for the Unitarian Church—both legacies of his father's enormous influence on him.

Bryant died in 1878 of complications from an accidental fall suffered after participating in a Central Park ceremony honoring Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini.

William Cullen Bryant

Bryant was born on November 3, 1794,[1] in a log cabin near Cummington, Massachusetts; the home of his birth is today marked with a plaque.[2] He was the second son of Peter Bryant, a doctor and later a state legislator, and Sarah Snell. His maternal ancestry traces back to passengers on the Mayflower; his father's, to colonists who arrived about a dozen years later. His paternal father's line goes from Peter, to Phillip, to Icabod and Mr. Stephen Bryant who came to America and married Mehitable Standish the granddaughter of Capt. Myles Standish also of the Mayflower.

Bryant and his family moved to a new home when he was two years old. The William Cullen Bryant Homestead, his boyhood home, is now a museum. After just two years at Williams College, he studied law in Worthington and Bridgewater in Massachusetts, and he was admitted to the bar in 1815. He then began practicing law in nearby Plainfield, walking the seven miles from Cummington every day. On one of these walks, in December 1815, he noticed a single bird flying on the horizon; the sight moved him enough to write "To a Waterfowl".[3]

Bryant developed an interest in poetry early in life. Under his father's tutelage, he emulated Alexander Pope and other Neo-Classic British poets. The Embargo, a savage attack on President Thomas Jefferson published in 1808, reflected Dr. Bryant's Federalist political views. The first edition quickly sold out—partly because of the publicity earned by the poet's young age—and a second, expanded edition, which included Bryant's translation of Classical verse, was printed. The youth wrote little poetry while preparing to enter Williams College as a sophomore, but upon leaving Williams after a single year and then beginning to read law, he regenerated his passion for poetry through encounter with the English pre-Romantics and, particularly, William Wordsworth.

Although "Thanatopsis", his most famous poem, has been said to date from 1811, it is much more probable that Bryant began its composition in 1813, or even later[citation needed]. What is known about its publication is that his father took some pages of verse from his son's desk and submitted them, along with his own work, to the North American Review in 1817. The Review was edited by Edward Tyrrel Channing at the time and, upon receiving it, read the poem to his assistant, who immediately exclaimed, "That was never written on this side of the water!"[4] Someone at the North American joined two of the son's discrete fragments, gave the result the Greek-derived title Thanatopsis (meditation on death), mistakenly attributed it to the father, and published it. With all the errors,[clarification needed] it was well-received, and soon Bryant was publishing poems with some regularity, including "To a Waterfowl" in 1821.

On January 11, 1821,[5] Bryant, still striving to build a legal career, married Frances Fairchild. Soon after, having received an invitation to address the Harvard University Phi Beta Kappa Society at the school's August commencement, Bryant spent months working on "The Ages," a panorama in verse of the history of civilization, culminating in the establishment of the United States. That poem led a collection, entitled Poems, which he arranged to publish on the same trip to Cambridge. For that book, he added sets of lines at the beginning and end of "Thanatopsis." His career as a poet was launched. Even so, it was not until 1832, when an expanded Poems was published in the U.S. and, with the assistance of Washington Irving, in Britain, that he won recognition as America's leading poet.

His poetry has been described as being "of a thoughtful, meditative character, and makes but slight appeal to the mass of readers."[6]

William Cullen Bryant 1876

Quotes from WCB

"Pain dies quickly, and lets her weary prisoners go; the fiercest agonies have shortest reign."

"Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness."

"The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, Of wailing winds, and naked woods and meadows brown and sear."

"Weep not that the world changes -- did it keep a stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep."

"Truth gets well if she is run over by a locomotive, while error dies of lockjaw if she scratches her finger."

"Difficulty, my brethren, is the nurse of greatness --a harsh nurse, who roughly rocks her foster-children into strength and athletic proportion."


William Cullen Bryant, detail of an oil painting by Daniel Huntington, 1866; in the Brooklyn Museum … (credit: Courtesy of The Brooklyn Museum, New York)

a different school address or different school???

William Cullen Bryant High School

About William Cullen Bryant High School
William Cullen Bryant High School is located in Long Island City, NY and is one of 8 high schools in New York City Geographic District #30. It is a public school that serves 3172 students in grades 9-12

48-10 31ST Ave, Long Island City, NY 11103

more on WCB High

William Cullen Bryant High School

School Number:

48-10 31 AVENUE

Student Enrollment:
Grades Served:
09, 10, 11, 12, SE

Aaron M. Perez

Police Precinct:

William Cullen Bryant High School

William Cullen Bryant High School, or Bryant High School for short, is a secondary school located in Queens, New York City, New York, United States serving grades 9 through 12. It is named in honor of William Cullen Bryant, an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. He is most known for his work as one of the creators of Central Park in Manhattan, New York.

As of 2008, the school principal is Mr. Aaron Perez. Approximately 3,200 students are enrolled. The ethnic make-up of the school is 47% Hispanic, 29% Asian, 17% White, and 9% African American. The school has a relatively low graduation rate of 71.3% and an attendance rate of 88.8%[1]

The school in popular culture
William Cullen Bryant was the school in the popular film A Bronx Tale. Robert DeNiro visited the school.[citation needed]
An episode of the hit TV show Ugly Betty was shot in the school's lunch room. The episode featured Lindsay Lohan who also visited the school. The episode was called "Granny Pants".[

Notable alumni
Winifred Lenihan (1898–1964), stage actress and director who played Joan of Arc in George Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan on its debut in 1923.
Ethel Merman (1908–1984), star of musical comedies on Broadway and in Hollywood, was born in Astoria and graduated from Bryant. The school's auditorium was named the Ethel Merman Theater in 1989 during it's centennial celebration.
Veronica Gedeon (1917–1937), Long Island City native, commercial model (person), 1937 New York City murder victim.
Billy Loes, former Major League Baseball pitcher who played in the World Series, winning for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955, was born in the area and attended Bryant High School. He also played for the Baltimore Orioles and the San Francisco Giants.
Richard Kline (1944– ), played "Larry Dallas" on classic ABC-TV sitcom "Three's Company". He also performed on Broadway in "City of Angels" and is a member of the Lincoln Center Repertory Company.
Joel Klein, New York City Department of Education Chancellor

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gotham Yankee cont...

his son in law Parke Godwin, native of New Jersey, graduate of Princeton, came to the Evening Post in 1837, age 21, & grew up with the paper. his editorials "had not the eloquence or finish of Bryant's". they saw eye to eye on everything. Yes, Parke Godwin was an editor & a man after Bryant's own heart. he was constitutionally a bit lazy, but Fanny had made an excellent choice.

with Fanny's failing health, he decided to buy back the family farm at Cummington, it was only a story and a half,too small for comfort. but it could be enlarged & remodeled. the plans pictured a beautiful two and a half story Dutch colonial house of white clapboards, with a new wing on each side. she was excited about the move.
Dr Gray pronounced Fanny Byrant's ailment a liver obstruction, complicated by water on the heart, neither drugs or surgery could cure. she lingered & suffered 10 weeks with Cullen or Julia almost constantly at her side. On July 27 the end came. she had been his constant companion & helpmeet for 45 years. he wrote his most beautiful memorial poem to her.

as summer wore on, he was worried about the ordeal Fanny's illness & death had upon Julia, a NY homeopathist prescibed a complete change of scenery, especially a sea voyage. In October they sailed from New York on one of the new screw steamers of the day, the Periere. letters he wrote home complained about the trip. in Germany suffered a severe cold & a touch of fever. In Dresden he received a telegram from Geneva, informing him of the death of his six year old grandson Walter Godwin.

In England he found a book of Spanish Homer, which he decided to translate....Iliad & Odyssey.

he had slipped and fell on icy Broadway pavement & now had a limp. he was proud of Central Park, he had editorialized for years about the need ofr a metropolis public park. he had served upon the first board of Park Commissioners.

the week of Jan. 1875 was exceedingly cold. Julia thought it was too cold for him to go. He put on his caped ulster & artic galoshes. at the Governor's Mansion Senator Robinson presented the guest of honor as "the most distinguished citizen of our state-I might say of our country-William Cullen Bryant."

Bryant did a commencement address at William's College about the controversial evolutionary hypothesis set forth by Charles Darwin. Bryant did not like Darwinism.

MArch 1876 Bryant consented to write a brief centennial hymn.

"By gracious!" was the strongest oath he ever used.

he had at one time been mentioned as a Presidential candidate. he was liberal & idealistic. his low tariff attitude would appeal to intelligent Democrats, his staunch Unionism, to intelligent Republicans, his anti carpetbagism to fair minded independents, his anti Tweedism to decent citizens in & out of NY. he was a gentleman of poise & dignity, a gentleman who would grace the highest of official offices, a gentleman who would command universal respect at home & abroad.

in 1876 he wrote on of him most excellent & noteable poems...The Flood Years.

the years dealt kindly with the poet-editors heart & mind & body. sound in health, clear in mind, serene & benevolent in spirit. he had a nationwide circle of admirers. he didn't life fan mail or autograph hunters, he did enjoy being a guest of honor & making a few well chosen remarks. at age 84 he was a joint guest of honor at at German-American kommer at the Clergymen's Club, a NY Episcopal organization held April 8 1878.

3 weeks later he attended a Episcopal Clergyman's Club breakfast.

"Whatever you do," he once cautioned his brother John, "don't commit the folly of marrying a woman whose religious notions are fanatical. Such a woman would be a plague to you."

May 29 1878 a considerable crowd had gathered at the West 72 nd St entrance to Central Park for an unveiling of a statue of Guiseppe Mazzini, the great Italian patriot & liberator. WCB was a bit unwell that afternoon, suffering from a cold, his voice & vitality were low. he went to the office to work that morning. Julia was in Atlantic City recuperating from an illness of her own. it was unseasonably warm weather, but he dressed for the calander, not the weather: a high silk hat, a long black frock coat, striped gray trousers.
He was the speaker & started out feebly & hoarsely. nervous energy lifted him to wonted eloquence, surely as vibrant & moving as any speech he had ever delivered.
immediately following the ceremony, he wanted to return to his townhouse at 24W 15th. General Wilson insisted Bryant accompany him home for a short rest first, he lived only a few steps from that section of the park. at the very door of the Wilson house Cullen collapsed, hitting his head upon a stone step, rendered unconscious. carried by the General & a servant to a divan in the sitting room, revived by a glass of sherry, he complained of severe pains in the head, & begged to go home.
he had come to the park in his own carriage, but sent the driver home. he wanted to get home. he wanted his own trusted homeopathic physician, Dr John F Gray. General Wilson helped him into a Madison Street Horseca & accompanied him home. the long slow ride downtown must have been a great tribulation. when he got home, he didn't quite know his whereabouts. he didnt' remember the events of the last hour. automatically he pulled out his latch key, opened the door, demaned to know whether the General had come to see Miss Fairchild (Fanny's brother's daughter) who was acting as the Bryant Housekeeper in Julia's absence.
Miss Fairchild sent for Dr Gray, the same Dr who had attended Fanny Bryant in her last illness. he consulted specialists. The patient regained consciousness, rallied, within the next few days even walked about the room & sat in his favorite chair. Julia came home. Fanny & family were in Europe & couldn't get home.
8 days after the accident, hemorrhage of the brain set in & he never rallied. lapsing into a coma,he peacefully breathed his last June 12. in "June"a lyric written early in his career, he had averred that it would be pleasant to be laid at rest
in flowery June,
When brooks send up a cheerful tune
And groves a joyous sound.

Dec. 30 1878 crowds gathered at the Academy of Music at Eleventh St. & Irving Place for a memorial tribute to the late William Cullen Bryant sponsored by the NY Historical Society, which he was a member of. the orator George William Curtis praised Bryant as "the oldest of our poets, a scholar familiar wtih many languages and literatures", a lover & interpreter of nature, a serious musing country boy turned metropolitan editor & political leader, public servant devoid of selfish ambition, our Patiarch, our Mentor, our most conspicious citizen. How much greater was than the scholar...his character was as fine as his genius!

posterity if not likely to reverse that verdict. As Vernon Parrington said of William Cullen Bryant in 1927, " He may not have been a great poet, but he was a great American."

Betsey Gurney is not mentioned by any previous biographer of Bryant. papers presented to the Geauga County Ohio Historical Museum by Betsey's granddaughter reveal :
1. she lived in Cummington when she & William Cullen Bryant were in their late teens
2. she was considered the prettiest girl in the village.
3. Cullen was for a time infatuated with her
4. she greatly admired him
5. a few years later she left Cummington, married Luther Snow & migrated to the Western
Reserve of Ohio.
6. in 1836 while out west, Cullen went 25 miles from Cleveland to Chesterland, to call on
7. learning that Betsey had died 2 years previously he walked to the cemetery & tenderly
placed flowers on her grave.

and that's the end!

Gotham Yankee cont....

Bryant never lacked for editiorial topics...the tariff, the Bank of the United States, paper currency, reckless speculation, & other business practices that brought on the financial practices that caused serious depressions in 1837 & 1857, improving local municipal conditions, dangerous & insanitary working conditions, excessive hours of labor & low wages, crowded & noisy buildings, exploitation of immigrants, sharp practices of shop keepers, smallness of public parks, lack of free library, a spirit of rowdyism. as early as the 1830s slavery was becoming an issue....thru the crisis he presented the Northern point of view at its best.

he was committed to the Democratic party, in the presidential election 1844 he supported pro-slavery James K. Polk. as early as 1837, in ofe of the most vigorous of leaders, Bryant had praised unstintingly those Abolitionists who had had the courage to suffer persuction or even death for their beliefs.
Bryant lent the support of his paper to ex-President Van Buren on the Free Soil ticket.
1852 they supported the Deomocratic party again.
1856 Bryant & the Post deserted the Democratic party for good & supported the new Republican party.

a glass of sherry was the strongest bracer that he would ever allow himself.

Feb 1860: Cullen was the chairman of the evening, and shook hands with Abraham Lincoln, at Peter Coopers Institute at the confluence of the Bowery & Third & Fourth Avenues. The Republican party had an admirable candidate for the next election.

during the next 2 yearws his enthusiasm for Lincoln waned considerably. after using his editorial pen to get Lincoln elected, he wondered if he had done the wise thing. causitc editorials appeared in the NY papers, esp. Evening Post & Tribune. indigation meetings were held. If Mr. Lincoln did not bother to read the editorials in NY papers, even papers that had supported him for nomination & election-perhaps he would at least be willing to grant some responsible editor a few minutes interview.
Bryant made the trip to Washington. he was 67. At the White House the President recieved the distinguished editor courteously, even cordially .

April 1865 Cullen was stroling through his Cedarmere orchards alone because Fanny had become to delicate to stroll with him, he had taken her out of town in the hope that the quiet & pure air would strengthen her. he was startled to hear footsteps behind him, his son in law had traveled from the city to tell him Lee had surrendered.

Cullen made a patriotic speech at the Union League Club in NY.

during the entire Civil War period, Cullen produced just one little book....Thirty Poems...1964. why did he not write more poems than he did? what silenced his muse?
{deb votes for a demanding job, a sick wife...} Bryant believed that a poet had to experience what he wrote about..he was too old to go to war, had no son or grandson to send, so he couldn't tell the soldiers or their kin what their wartime emotions were.

the advancing years were kind to him. the delicate slender child of the 1790s grew into the small but wiry & agile old man of the 1860s. he was rarely ill, never had to wear spectacles, preferred climbing the stairs to his 9th floor office instead of the elevator. at 70 he was as active & well as his 50 year old colleagues. he had a bald head, bushy gray beard, shaggy brows, long flowing back locks, his skin remained surprisingly young & fresh & unwrinkled & free from sallowness, his gray eyes luminous & expressive. he sought the open air at every opportunity. he could outwalk & outrun most of his middle aged associates. he exercised every morning & night religiously with dumbbells & Indian clubs. his eating & drinking habits were are regular as ascetic. he ate meals punctually & Leisurely, more fruits & vegetables than meats. graham bread instead of white bread. milk & cocoa instead of tea & coffee. no tabacco. a glass of wine now & then or a glass of lager beer.

his family stayed intact. the younger daughter Julia was unmarried & dwelt with them. the elder daughter Fanny Godwin was a near neighbor to her parents & visited frequently at both West Fifteenth Street & to Cedarmere. her children had more contact with Papa & Mamma By. Their family was never scattered and seperated as the family of Peter & Sarah had been.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gotham Yankee cont....

he bragged about his home brew. guests had the library, billard table, the view, they could stroll in the grounds or row on the pond, or take the family coach for a tour of the surrounding country.

Cullen would regale his guests with impersonations of individuals whom he had observed traveling abroad. often he would be the vain Wordsworth, or don turban & gown , jabber in broken english like an Arab sheik.

The Fountain and Other Poems published 1842
The White Footed Deer and Other Poems published 1844.

most of his time was spent in NY instead of at Cedarmere. EVen after buying the farm, he kept a townhouse, in his middle years, a red brick dwelling on Carmine Street in Greenwich Village, in later years, a brownstore-fronted mansion at 24West Fifteenth Street.

the public knew him as the able, forceful, colorful editor of the New York Evening Post. adn despite his reserve &dignity was a truly colorful figure. he was a very memorable, very individualistic editor. people who saw him sitting at his desk or emerging into PArk Row or Broadway, or lunching on milk & fruit & graham bread at his favorite chophouse got the impression of a middlesized, middle aged man whose fastidious dress, conservative in cut & quite in color scheme, just escaped foppishness. he carried an old faded blue cotton umbrella. the Bryant women often tried hiding & replacing it, but gave it back. he had well trimmed side whiskers now turned a little gray, always harmonized with the spotless white cravat and perfectly fitting navy blue or black coat.

his big office desk littlered with manuscripts, documents, memoranda, clippings, pencils, quill pens, paste pots, what not, he scribbled his editorials on the backs of old letters and envelopes. once a colleague tried to tidy his desk while he was gone...there was such a scene no one ever did it again.

his stately deportment matched his neat correct attire. Diginity was the rule at the Evening Post. every one was addressed as Mr So & so, never by first name. Parke always called his father in law Mr Bryant at work.

Bryants' editorials were the most distinguished of their day.models of excellent sentence structure, apt diction, abounded in illusions that only an extraordinarily well read person could command. he didn't tolerate slovenly english, no inflated words, no improprieties, vague generalities, inane phrases, or vulgarisms. he practiced & encouraged witticisms. as long as they were in good taste.

Gotham Yankee cont...

during a 1842 visit to the states, Charles Dickens declared that next to the incomparable Washington Irving, Bryant was the one man in America that he had most desired to meet. And he went on to describe a cherished volume of Bryant's poems that he had thumbed and fondled so much as to wear the gilt inscription almost completely off the cover. and Bryant avowed that he had few greater pleasures than the reading of good novels...particularly those of the greatest living English novelist.
off the record, Bryant & Dickens did not altogether approve of each other in later days, Dickens reported to an intimate friend that he had found Bryant to be 'a little sad & very reserved.' Bryant confided to a few cronies that Dicken's dandyism was too obviously Cockney, his waistcoat too flashy, his jewelry too profuse.

Bryant pointed out in a Post editorial Nov. 9 that there was a modicum of truth in the unpleasant things Dickens wrote about America.

in summer 1842 Cullen was unhappy with the cottage at Hoboken. seated on the east verenda with Fanny, he would complain about Hoboken & the whole Jersey shore. either there was not a breath of air stirring, or there was a sultry breeze from the south-a breeze that brought the stench of the Jersey City slaughter houses. when Fanny would protest that they had a lovely view from pu there on Castle Point, Cullen would grudgingly admit the view was good enough. the little village house had not been a bad place to bring up young ones. Fan had married Parke Godwin that spring-the cottage seemed cramped for the 3 Bryants that remained.
he wanted to go to Long Island. on a tour of western Long Island they found the house they wanted, spring 1843 they moved into a large Dutch colonial with dormer windows & a 2 story front verenda, built in 1787 by a well to do Quaker. they christened the farm Cedarmere. he loved the rose bushes & wrote about them in his autobiographical poem A Lifetime. Cedarmere was 23 miles from lower Broadway, a few minutes walk from the village & the RR station. the village was new, and Bryant named it Roslyn.

they did a lot of entertaining there. despite a natural reserve, even a cold formality in his greeting of strangers, Cullen had a surprisingly large circle of intricate friends. Fanny became accustomed to haveing guests come on short notice.

mid summer 1843 Fan & Godwin came to visit bringing Edwin Forrest the most celebrated American tragidian of the day & his brilliantly accomplished English wife & co star, Catherine Sinclair. Fanny smiled. when Cullen offered a penny for her thoughts, she wondered what poor mother Bryant would have thought of her soon playing host to actors.
Sarah Snell, he reminded his wife, had spent her life living in an age & a place that obviously had no use for plays or play houses. of course she never saw a theater-inside or outside. all she ever knew about the theater was that good people said it was a work of the devil. Mother Bryant had lived according to her lights; Cullen & Fanny were living according to theirs.

the thing about Ahser Brown Durand that appealed to Cullen was his appreciation of distinctive beauties of American scenery. Bryant was the first American poet to record this, Durand was the first American painter to paint it.

the happiest of all functions at Cedarmere was the annual pear party. children of the village were invited to romp about the grounds, play all manner of games, and eat as many of the wind fallen Cedarmore pears they could hold.

every one who ever ate at Cedarmere agreed the cuisine was excellent. most of the food came from the farm itself...Cullen always insisted the cider be made from handpicked apples.

Gotham Yankee cont.

I finished the book...but can my fingers get all the typing done? we'll see....
literature, not litigation, was WCB's true calling.

after taking Fanny to see a troupe of strolling players do The Rivals, he decided to ridicule duelling in a play of his own. he wrote The Heroes, the first, last, & only effort he made as a dramatist.Harry Sedgwick recalled WCBs successes as poet and critic, & was confident he could find an editorial opening in New York.

the last week of April 1824 WCB went to New York & dined at Robert Sedgwicks house, where he met Fenimore Cooper, Fitz-Greene Halleck, & Robert C. Sands.

he rec'd an offer from the United States Literary Gazette in Boston to pay him $200 a year for an average contribution of 100 lines of verse a month. at least 20 poems found their way into the Gazette.

he wrote A Forest Hymn in 1825 after his first visit to NY.

latter part of May 1825 WCB was in NY to stay. he was co-editor of a new periodical, The New York Review and Antenaeum Magazine. he was junior editor & made $1000 a year in his first salaried position. he left his family back home in the Berkshires, where Fanny & Frances would have pure Massachusetts air to breathe. he found pleasant living quarters on CHambers STreet, a few steps from Broadway.

he spent time at the Bread and Cheese Club, a tap-room in the Washington Hotel. he became friends with actor Edwin Forrest. realizing the magazine wasn't going well, he looked for another job. he lectured on poetry under the auspices of the Athenaeum Society, on Greek & Roman mythology under the auspices of the newly formed National Academy of Arts & Design. he also obtained a permit to practice law in the city courts of NY & assisted Henry Sedgwick in at least one case.

mid June 1826 the son of William Coleman, editor-in-chief of the Evening Post, came to ask WCB to work as temporary editor of the paper since his father had been in an accident. he took his beaver hat & walking stick, & asked the advice of Guilan Verplanck. he went to work at the Evening Post that day, where he stayed for more than half a century. since he was making more money, he decided he could afford to keep his two Fanny's in NY. the magazine ended in OCtober 1827. Mr. Coleman never recovered from his accident & died in July 1829, when WCB became the official editor.

Cullen reached the conclusion that the high protective tariffs so dear to his fathers Federalist heart was an abomination.

on a April morning in 1831 Cullen & William Leete Stone met on Broadway street, opposite City Hall park, where Cullen had a cowhide whip hidden under his cat. some heated words were exchanged. Bryant rained blow after blow upon his astounded insulter.
Stone was much larger & stronger & got the whip away from Cullen.
The next day in the editorial columns of the Post, Bryant apologized.

in 1829 Cullen made $1300 from his 1/8 share. in 1834 his 1/3 share was $4700.

he moved his family....including baby Julia from the modest boarding house of M. Evrard to a handsome brick house on Hudson Street, then a handsomer brick house on Varick Street, then a mansion on Carmine Street.

he wanted to travel abroad, but the children were too young. he decided to see more of the US. in Feb. 1832 (book said 1852, then said he was in Illinois 3 months later in May 1832....???) he spent 10 days in Washington DC. he wrote to his brother John who was living in Illinois of the trip.

May 1832 he went to see the west. he had 2 brothers, Arthur & John, living in Illinois. brother Austin was still at Cummington trying to farm the rocky Massachusetts soil. Cyrus was a schoolmaster at Northampton. poor dear sister Sarah had died 8 years ago, soon after her marriage to the estimable Mr. Shaw. He met Black Hawk War militia captain Abraham Lincoln. he wrote The Prairies about Illinois

1824 poem An Indian at the Burial Place of His Fathers..

early in 1832 a cholera epidemic broke out in Manhattan. the Bryants were living in a cottage across the Hudson in Hoboken. he could not forget that day after day, during those terrible summer weeks, he had been afflicted with a feeling in the stomach like that produced by taking lead or some other mineral poison. this affliction, probably anxiety, disappeared with the epidemic.

a cultivated editor must not allow himself to grow rusty. he must pick up a reading knowledge of Italian & Spanish & Portuguese, make metrical translations of poets like Vellegas & Iglesias & Semedo. he must tyr his hand at short prose ficiton. four of his friends had decided to collaborate in a volume of tales & invited Cullen to join them.

he published a volume of 89 poems first in NY & then in London, 1832. Bryant & Washington Iriving got into a mild quarrel, over a single line in a five stanza peom "Song Of Marion's Men." the became friends.

in a couple of years, the children would be old enough for a European June 1834 the Bryant family set sail for Havre on the Poland. they were in PAris in time for Bastille Day & the other July festivals. they proceded to Lyons, Marseilles, Genoa, Rome, Naples, Florence,Pisa. Soon after New Years Day 1835 William Leggett was sick., he had sent a letter. Cullen left at once. he ended up going home thru England. he went back in 1845.

Spring 1849 to Cuba

autumn 1849 a 3rd voyage to Europe.
winter 1852-3 a tour of the Near East, including a steamboat trip on the Nile, a camel back ride in the desert, a swim in the Jordan, a stroll among the ruins of the Parthenon. they met with Robert & Elizabeth Browning, first in Florence, later in Paris. he found shaving so impossible he grew a beard that he kept.

a 5th Europe trip 1857-8, was baptized by Rev. R.C. Waterson in the Unitarianism faith..probably for the 2nd time. His mother Sarah with her Calvinist belief in the damnation of unbaptized infants, could harldy have neglected having him baptized at the earliest opportunity.

a final voyage to Europe with his daughter Julia just after the death of his wife.

1872 to Mexico.

like most eminient American men of letters in the nineteenth century, he was an inveterate globe trotter.

to be continued....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gotham Yankee continued...

this book was written in 1949, published in 1950. on the dustjacket...the author tells us that Cullen wasn't a stodgy old man his whole life, that he was actually quite gay...which of course would get you sued these days, since the word gay has taken on a whole different meaning...

Gotham Yankee

I found this book (copyright 1950!) on eBay way back when, just 'discovered' it when I was looking for something to read...
the deb version of what I've learned so far...
William Cullen Bryant's official biographer was his son-in-law Parke Godwin.

on both sides of his childhood home lay four generations of Puritan ancestors...Stephen & Ichabod & Philip Bryant, & his maternal forbears-the Howards.

Cullen (as they refer to him in the book) was born undersized, had colic & the pulmonary problems that were common in the New England climate. he had an abnormally large head, his father Dr. Peter Bryant prescribed regular immersions in a spring near the house when Cullen was 4. Cullen ended up being one of the longest living Bryants!

his mathernal grandfather Ebeneezer Snell lived with them & lead regular family prayers.

His mother discouraged all bad habits in her household-drinking-tobacco chewing & smoking-idleness-profanity.

Peter Bryant signed on as a surgeon on a Yankee Merchant ship...they were shipwrecked, captured by French privateers, & spent months on the island of Mauritius.

Peter & Sarah's children were Austin, Cullen, John, Arthur, & Sarah

Cullen was the most gifted & most delicate of the Bryant boys. He clearly wouldn't be a farmer, they held a family meeting & decided he should be educated. Peter himself had qualified to go to Harvard but couldn't afford it. he was sent to study with his uncle Rev. Tom Snell at North Brookfield. he found a dusty gothic romance in the closet "Romance of the Forest" by Mrs. Ann Radcliff. his uncle said reading novels was a pernicious habit. Years later Cullen went to great pains to find this book & read it cover to cover.

he then studied with Rev. Moses Hallock of Plainfield.

he tested into William's College as a sophomore at age 16, where he was in the Philotechian Literary Society, at one program he "made an ass out of himself" (direct quote, folks!) laughing at the Washington Irving Knickerbockers he was presenting a program or whatever on.
He appeared on another program reading an original poem.

he wrote a letter to his father about going to Yale. his father told him to withdraw from Williams & he could apply for Yale in the fall. but the economy was bad, as a Dr. his patients weren't able to pay him, so they couldn't send Cullen on to Yale. while tramping thru the woods in autumn 1811 he came up with the idea for "Thanatopsis", went home & wrote it, hiding it in a desk drawer, then later putting it in his fathers desk for him to find. His father sumitted it to the North American Revue when he found it summer 1817.

Stephen Bryant was the first ancestor in America, he came to Plymouth Colony early int eh reign of Charles I.

Dr. Peter Bryant was the son of Dr. Philip Bryant & the grandson of Dr. Abiel Howard. he knew there wasnt' much money in being a doctor, so decided that Cullen should study lasw under Judge Samuel Howe in 1811. Cullen came home in Dec. 1811 & fell in love with Eveline, the beautiful & accomplished daughter of his fathers friend from Rhode Island. It didn't go well.

in 1814 he went to his Grandfather Bryant's in Bridgewater to study law under Honorable William Baylies. he wrote to his father wanting to study law in Boston. Peter replied that he had already spent $400 on him, there were other Bryant children, his health was far from good, be thankful for the advantages of studying in Bridgewater.

Cullen passed his bar exam before his 20th birthday. the certificate cost $6. at August term 1815 he qualified as an attorney.

he wrote to his dad in OCtober 1814 wanting to join the militia. he ended up going home very sick with pulmonary problems. August 25 1816 he was made an adjutant (Lt.) in Mass. Militia, didn't sign back up after his 6 month stint.

he walked 7 miles to Plainfield carrying his knapsack of belongings to hang his shingle. on the way he was inspired by a bird & wrote "To A Waterfowl." which was printed in the North American Review March 1818.

he became a partner of George H. Ives, he walked from Plainfield to Great Barrington, some 30 miles away. in a few months he bought out his partner & owned a practice worth more than $1000 a year.

March 9 1819 he was elected tithing man--preventing unseemly conduct in church & enforcing proper observance of the Sabbath. he was elected town clerk, that paid $5 a year. he was also elected a Justice of the Peace & performed at least 2 wedding ceremonies.

he was scrupulously & neatly dressed, citified & dandified, danced gracefully, played whist, flattered comely young ladies, moderately partook of wine, port, & sherry.

he was a pew holder & regular church goer.

he wasn't altogether happy with his profession & surroundings (is this where I get this from? lol) & complained to Judge Baylies that legal practice left him no time or energy to cultivate the muse. he also complained to his dad about wanting to go to Boston.

in late March 1820 the mail coach brought a letter from Cullen's mother, his father had died at age 53 after suffering from years of pulmonary problems. so, he can't move to Boston, he needs to send regular money to his mother & siblings.

he wrote "Green River" shortly after his fathers death about one of his favorite walking spots.

he attened Congregational "sociables" where he met Mrs. Hendersons sister, the orphan Miss Frances Fairchild. she lived with her sisters, traveling between the two. she was a small blonde about 23 but looked younger than 20. she liked poetry & had heard of Cullen. her mother was distantly related to Alexander Pope.

he wrote "Rural Maid" about Frances. they were married Monday June 11 1821 in the paneled SE room of the Henderson house on Taconic Street. he didn't tell his mother they were getting married, writing her a letter several days after the wedding describing the clergyman, & his wife's virtues...she had goodness of heart, ingenuous & affectionate disposition, good understanding..a character frank & single hearted.

as town clerk, he had to publish wedding banns. he was frightened of reading them to the church, so he nailed them to the church door.

they set up house in 2nd story rooms at Mr & Mrs Ralph Taylors home close to her sister & his office. their daughter Frances was born there. he was also working as a literary critic for North American Review.

he was friends with Catherine Sedgewick, who with her brother he knew from William's College talked him into writing five lyrics for a Unitarian Hymnal.

he was invited to write & read a poem at Harvard graduation in Boston! his wife told him he must go, she was proud of him & his poetic abilities. so he finally got to see Boston.

a 44 page booklet of his Poems bound in brown paper was published in autumn 1821.

that's as far as I've gotten..... more to come~!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

William Cullen Bryant surfaces again!

found him today in the book I just checked out from the Mercer County Library in Princeton, MO. Four Hundred Years Of History Through Our Cemeteries And Burial Grounds The American Resting Place by Marilyn Yalom, photographs by Reid S. Yalom

page 1:
(talking about Indian Burial Mounds....)
...and they were still visible in 1832 when the poet William Cullen Bryant eloquently exclaimed, "Are they here-the dead of other days?...Let the might mounds...answer."

(a new philisophy of death imported from England & Europe & adapted to The New World by American clergymen & writers.)
"foremost among them was William Cullen Bryant...1817 poem...Thanatopsis offered a vision of mankind more attuned to nature's was a creature of the earth...even if he died alone, he would join with others who died before....

"us at a glance"

Melissa & David & their respective children

Melissa's pictures....

got these from Melissa's facebook...she is David Dailey's girlfriend. their kids have grown up together.

KJ Dailey's Graduation Announcement & Sr. Pics

Monday, April 5, 2010

family pictures.....

updates Boyd Family from Scott Nesbitt

Thank you very much for adding my information to your Boyd family blog. I noticed today that I didn't include Darl's wife Colleen (one of my grandma's sons). Also Frank Swaney died in 2008. I don't know how difficult and time consuming it is to add this info, but if you have time, I would appreciate it.

Thank you very much!!!
Nesbitt, Scott []

Friday, April 2, 2010

Aunt Sara

aunt mary sent me these picture sometime ago...I have labeled them as she did...

Aunt Pearl

aunt mary sent me these picture sometime ago...I have labeled them as she did...

uncle roger

aunt mary sent me these picture sometime ago...I have labeled them as she did...but I DO happen to know who these people are!!!
left to grandpa Alfred Axsom, cousin Jerry Lynn Haggard, uncle Jerry Haggard, uncle Roger Axsom, grandma Pauline Shafer Axsom, & my aunt Freeda Axsom Haggard.
Uncle Roger was dying from cancer. he fought a hard fight and his loss was very hard for grandma & grandpa.

Alpha's children

aunt mary sent me these picture sometime ago...I have labeled them as she did...

Aunt Hallie

aunt mary sent me these picture sometime ago...I have labeled them as she did...

pictures from aunt mary

found today after the aftermath of open windows & big spring thunderstorm....