James Parton

On this date in 1822, biographer James Parton was born in Canterbury, England. His father died when he was 4 and he moved with his mother and siblings to New York the next year. He became a schoolmaster in Philadelphia and New York. He joined the staff of the Home Journal in 1848. After writing The Life of Horace Greeley (1855), Parton turned to biography and lecturing. He became a U.S. citizen in 1845.

His many biographies include Life and Times of Aaron Burr (1857), Life of Andrew Jackson (1859-61), Life of Voltaire (2 vols., 1881), Noted Women of Europe and America (1883) and biographies of such deists as Jefferson and Franklin. His first wife, Sara, whom he married in 1856, was a popular novelist under the nom de plume Fanny Fern. (D. 1891)

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