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Chapter 16 - The Ferment of Reform and Culture

John Geenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier lived from 1807-1892. He was insulted and stoned for writing against slavery. Whittier rose the awareness of the people of America about slavery through his poems.

American Temperance Society
An organization group in which reformers are trying to help the ever present drink problem. This group was formed in Boston in 1826, and it was the first well-organized group created to deal with the problems drunkards had on societies well being, and the possible well-being of the individuals that are heavily influenced by alcohol.

Hudson River School
A type of painting with a romantic, heroic, mythic style that flourished in the 19th century. It tended to paint American landscapes as beautiful and brooding.

Women's Rights Convention
Meeting in Seneca Falls, New York of feminists; 1848; First meeting for women's rights, helped in long struggle for women to be equal to men

The Transcendentalist movement of the 1830's consisted of mainly modernizing the old puritan beliefs. This system of beliefs owed a lot to foreign influences, and usually resembled the philosophies of John Locke. Transcendentalists believe that truth transcends the body through the senses, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were two of the more famous transcendentalists.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
American poet and professor of modern languages at Harvard. Lived 1807-1882. During a period which was dominated in the literary field by Transcendentalists, Longfellow was an urbane poet who catered to the upper classes and the more educated of the citizens. He was also popular in Europe, and is the only American poet to have a bust in Westminster Abbey.

William H. Prescott
He was an historian who lived from 1796-1859. He published classic accounts of the conquest of Mexico and Peru. Prescott lost sight in one eye during college

Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828)
A painter from Rhode Island who painted several portraits of Washington, creating a sort of idealized image of Washington. When Stuart was painting these portraits, the former president had grown old and lost some teeth. Stuart's paintings created an ideal image of him.

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman was a poet who lived in Brooklyn from 1819-1892. His most famous collection of poems entitled Leaves of Grass, gained him the title "Poet Laureate of Democracy."

John J. Audubon
Audubon lived from 1785 to 1851. He was of French descent, and an artist who specialized in painting wild fowl. He had such works as Birds of America and Passenger Pigeons. Ironically, he shot a lot of birds for sport when he was young. He is remembered as America's greatest ornithologist.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
He wrote the Scarlet Letter in 1850. This was his masterpiece. He also wrote The Marble Faun. Many of his works had early American themes. The Scarlet Letter is about a woman who commits adultery in a Puritan village. Hawthorn's upbringing was heavily influenced by his puritan ancestors.

Robert Owen
Robert Owen was a wealthy and idealistic Scottish textile manufacturer. He sought to better the human race and set up a communal society in 1825. There were about a thousand persons at New Harmony, Indiana. The enterprise was not a success.

Henry David Thoreau
He was a poet, a mystic, a transcendentalist, a nonconformist, and a close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson who lived from 1817-1862. He condemned government for supporting slavery and was jailed when he refused to pay his Mass. poll tax. He is well known for his novel about the two years of simple living he spent on the edge of Walden Pond called "Walden" , Or Life in the Woods. This novel furthered many idealistic thoughts. He was a great transcendentalist writer who not only wrote many great things, but who also encouraged, by his writings, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an author born in New York in 1819. He was uneducated and an orphan. Melville served eighteen months as a whaler. These adventuresome years served as a major part in his writing. Melville wrote Moby Dick in 1851 which was much less popular than his tales of the South seas. Herman Melville died in 1891.

Louis Agassiz
Louis Agassiz was a professor at Harvard College. He was a student of biology who insisted on original research. He hated the overemphasis on memory work. Agassiz was one of the most influential American scientists in the nineteenth century.

William Gilmore Simms
Novelist, "the Cooper of the South" mostly wrote about southern frontier and revolutionary war

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a member of the women's right's movement in 1840. She was a mother of seven, and she shocked other feminists by advocating suffrage for women at the first Women's Right's Convention in Seneca, New York 1848. Stanton read a "Declaration of Sentiments" which declared "all men and women are created equal."

William Cullen Bryant
Bryant was born in Cummington, Mass. on Nov. 3, 1794. He was a journalist, literary critic, public speaker, and the first significant poet in 19th century American Literature. He supported Andrew Jackson and the Democrats, defended the right of workers to strike, spoke out against slavery, proposed a central park for the city, helped to organize the Republican party, and fought the Tweed ring.

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe lived from 1809-1849 and was cursed with hunger, cold, poverty, and debt. He was orphaned as a child and when he married his fourteen year old wife, she died of tuberculosis. He wrote books that deal with the ghostly and ghastly, such as "The Fall of the House of Usher." (pg. 345)

Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony was a lecturer for women's rights. She was a Quaker. Many conventions were held for the rights of women in the 1840s. Susan B. Anthony was a strong woman who believed that men and women were equal. She fought for her rights even though people objected. Her followers were called Suzy B's.

Washington Irving
Irving published Knickerbockers History of New York in 1809 which had interesting caricatures of the Dutch. Washington Irving's The Sketch Book, published in 1819-1820, was an immediate success. This book made Irving world renown. The Sketch Book was influenced by both American and English themes, and therefore popular in the Old and New World.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
An anatomy teacher at Harvard Medical school who was regarded as a prominent poet, essayist, novelist, lecturer and wit from 1809-1894. Poem " the Last Leaf" in honor of the last "white Indian" at the Boston Tea Party, which really applied to himself.

Lucretia Mott
A Quaker who attended an anti-slavery convention in 1840 and her party of women was not recognized. She and Stanton called the first women's right convention in New York in 1848

James F. Cooper
Writer who lived in New York in 1789-1851. Historical Significance: first novelist to gain world fame and make New World themes respectable.

Neal Dow
Mayor of Portland, Maine and one of the leaders against alcohol;1850s; helped pass laws against manufacturing of intoxicating liquor.

Tammany Hall
In New York, taken over by Irish, home of powerful city machines; 1850s; Helped in growing population of Irish in America.

Burned-over District
This is a term that refers to western New York. The term came at a time when revivals were rampant. Puritan sermonizers were preaching "hell-fire and damnation." Mormons. A religion, newly established by Joseph Smith, who claimed to have had a revelation from angel. The Mormons faced much persecution from the people and were eventually forced to move west. (Salt Lake City) After the difficult journey they greatly improved their land through wise forms of irrigation.

Dorthea Dix
A New England teacher and author who spoke against the inhumane treatment of insane prisoners, ca. 1830's. People who suffered from insanity were treated worse than normal criminals. Dorothea Dix traveled over 60,000 miles in 8 years gathering information for her reports, reports that brought about changes in treatment, and also the concept that insanity was a disease of the mind, not a willfully perverse act by an individual.

Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster was a white Pennsylvanian that wrote, ironically, the most famous black songs. H lived from 1826 to 1864. His one excursion into the South occurred in 1852, after he had published "Old Folks at Home". Foster made a valuable contribution to American Folk music by capturing the plaintive spirit of the slaves.

James Russell Lowell
Lowell lived from 1819 to 1891. He was an American poet, essayist, diplomat, editor, and literary critic. He is remembered for his political satire, especially in the Billow Papers ( which condemned president Polk's policy for expanding slavery). He succeeded professor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as teacher of modern languages at Harvard.

Catharine Beecher
who: unmarried daughter of a famous preacher and sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe. when: 1800's why: She urged women to enter the teaching profession. She succeeded because school teaching became a thoroughly "feminized" occupation. Other work "opportunities" for women beckoned in domestic service. Beecher helped get women jobs that would allow them to be self-supported.

Phineas T. Barnum
Phineas T. Barnum was the most famous showman of his era (1810-1891). He was a Connecticut Yankee who earned the title, "the Prince of Humbug." Beginning in New York City, he "humbugged" the American public with bearded ladies and other freaks. Under his golden assumption that a "sucker" was born every minute, Barnum made several prize hoaxes, including the 161-year-old (actually 80) wizened black "nurse" of George Washington.

Nativism antiforeignism
it was a fear of new immigrants coming to America. It was feared the new comers would bring a higher birthrate and poverty to America.

Cult of Domesticity
Widespread cultural creed that glorified the traditional functions of the homemaker around 1850. Married women commanded immense moral power, and they increasingly made decisions that altered the family. Work opportunities for women increased particularly in teaching.

a "spin-off" faith from the severe Puritanism of the past. Unitarians believed that God existed in only one person and not in the orthodox trinity. They also denied the divinity of Jesus, stressed the essential goodness of human nature, proclaimed their belief in free will and the possibility of salvation through good works, and pictured God as a loving father rather than a stern creator. The Unitarian movement began in New England at the end of the eighteenth century and was embraced by many of the leading "thinkers" or intellectuals of the day.

Horace Mann
He was an idealistic graduate of Brown University, secretary of the Massachusetts board of education. He was involved in the reformation of public education (1825-1850). He campaigned for better school houses, longer school terms, higher pay for teachers, and an expanded curriculum. He caused a reformation of the public schools, many of the teachers were untrained for that position. Led to educational advances in text books by Noah Webster and Ohioan William H. McGuffey.

Peter Cartwright
Born in 1785, he was the best known of Methodist "Circuit riders". He was a traveling frontier preacher. Ill-educated but still powerful, he reigned for 50 years going from Tennessee to Illinois. He converted thousands of people doing this. He also liked to pick a fight if someone spoke against his religion.

Noah Webster
Born in Connecticut. Educated at Yale. Lived 1758-1843. Called "Schoolmaster of the Republic." Wrote reading primers and texts for school use. He was most famous for his dictionary, first published in 1828, which standardized the English language in America.

Joseph Smith
reported to being visited by an angel and given golden plates in 1840; the plates, when deciphered, brought about the Church of Latter Day Saints and the Book of Mormon; he ran into opposition from Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri when he attempted to spread the Mormon beliefs; he was killed by those who opposed him.

Brigham Young
A Mormon leader that led his oppressed followers to Utah in 1846. Under Young's management, his Mormon community became a prosperous frontier theocracy and a cooperative commonwealth. He became the territorial governor in 1850. Unable to control the hierarchy of Young, Washington sent a federal army in 1857 against the harassing Mormons.

Carl Shurz
he was a zealous German liberal who contributed to the elevation of American political life. Shurz was a relentless foe of slavery and public corruption. Shurz could be considered on of the liberal German "Forty-fighters," who left Germany and came to America, distraught by the collapse of the democratic revolutions of 1848, and in search of a stable democratic society. (Ch 18, pg 318)

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