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American Literature:




 Mrs. Stowe

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Southern Authors

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

In the South, before the Civil War, literature was not generally favored. Men of intellectual ability there became statesmen, ministers, orators and jurists. Yet some of these gave occasional attention to literary work, and a few devoted themselves to it almost entirely. William Wirt (1772-1834), of German descent, and famous as a lawyer, published in 1803 "Letters of a British Spy," describing the scenery and prominent persons of Virginia, and contributed to the volume of essays, called "The Old Bachelor" (1812). His best known work is the "Life of Patrick Henry" (1817), which preserved the fame of that orator.

John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), born in Baltimore, became a lawyer, member of Congress, leader of the Whig party, and in 1852 Secretary of the Navy. His chief literary work was "Swallow Barn" (1832), in which he sought to do for Virginia country life what Irving had done for the Hudson, and some novels, of which the best are "Horse-shoe Robinson" (1835), a story of the Revolutionary War, and "Rob of the Bowl." He wrote also the "Memoirs of William Wirt."

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