James Russell Lowell 1853 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT LETTER BY FAMED POET, SATIRIST, WRITER, DIPLOMAT AND ABOLITIONIST
Elmwood Massachusetts MA 1853 Very Good Manuscript
James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), American Romantic Poet, Critic, Satirist, Writer, Diplomat and Abolitionist. A letter, signed with initials, written by James Russell Lowell, dated 19th March, 1853 on embossed stationery stamped JRL, being a thank you for a gift, personal relations with a friend and best wishes to see the addressee soon. BIO NOTES: James Russell Lowell was the son of the Rev. Charles Russell Lowell, Sr. (1782 – 1861) and uncle of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr, a Brigadier General in the American Civil War who fell at the battle of Cedar Creek. On his mother's side he was descended from the Spences and Trails, who made their home in the Orkney Islands. His great-grandfather, Robert Trail, had returned to Britain on the outbreak of hostilities in 1775. He was brought up near open countryside, and always felt close to nature; he also became acquainted with the work of Edmund Spenser and Sir Walter Scott in childhood, and was taught old ballads by his mother. His schoolmaster was an Englishman, and before he entered Harvard College he had a more familiar acquaintance with Latin verse than most. He graduated from Harvard University in 1838, after an undistinguished academic career. During his college course he wrote a number of trivial pieces for a college magazine, and shortly after graduating printed for private circulation the poem his class had asked him to write for their graduation festivities. He was a member of the Porcellian Club. Not knowing what vocation to choose, he vacillated among business, the ministry, medicine and law. Having decided to practice law, he took a course at the Harvard law school, and was admitted to the bar. While studying law, however, he contributed poems and prose articles to various magazines and was one of the five members of the group known as the Fireside Poets. After an unhappy love affair, he became engaged to Maria White in the autumn of 1840, and the next twelve years of his life were deeply affected by her influence. Maria White Lowell was herself a noted poet. Her character and beliefs led her to become involved in the movements directed against the evils of intemperance and slavery. Lowell was already regarded as a man of wit and poetic sentiment; Miss White was admired for her beauty, her character and her intellectual gifts, and the two became hero and heroine of their social circle. VG.