Epes Sargent (1813 - 1880) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Cause of death: Oral cancer
Occupation: Editor, poet, playwright, author of children's literature
Managed by: Erica Howton, (c)
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Immediate Family

About Epes Sargent

Epes Sargent (1813–1880) was an American editor, poet and playwright.

Summarized from Wikipedia:

Epes Sargent was the son of Epes Sargent (1784–1853) and Hannah Dane Coffin (1787–1819), and was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on September 27, 1813, where his father was a ship master. He attended Harvard University (did not graduate), where he contributed to the Harvard Collegian, a college literary journal which was started by his older brother, John Osborn Sargent.

In 1837, he wrote the tragedy Velasco for British actress Ellen Tree. It was produced in several theaters in the United States and had moderate success in London. Velasco was critically admired by Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote:

  • "His prose is not quite so meritorious as his poetry. He writes “easily,” and is apt at burlesque and sarcasm — both rather broad than original. Mr. Sargent has an excellent memory for good hits and no little dexterity in their application.
  • "To those who meddle little with books, some of his satirical papers must appear brilliant. In a word, he is one of the most prominent members of a very extensive American family — the men of industry, talent and tact."
  • "In stature he is short — not more than five feet five — but well proportioned. His face is a fine one; the features regular and expressive. His demeanor is very gentlemanly. Unmarried, and about thirty years of age."

Around this time, Sargent wrote the words to the song, "A Life on the Ocean Wave".

In New York Sargent was considered a member of the "Knickerbocker group", writers who also included Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, James Kirke Paulding, Gulian Verplanck, Fitz-Greene Halleck, Joseph Rodman Drake, Robert Charles Sands, Lydia M. Child, and Nathaniel Parker Willis.

Sargent was a very respected literary figure by the time he returned to Boston in 1847, when he became editor to The Boston Evening Transcript. In 1848 he married Elizabeth Weld (1820–1902); the couple had no children.

He developed a series of school books, The Standard Speaker and The Standard Reader, which were used in Boston schools for many years. He continued to publish poems, fiction and dramas prodigiously.

Sargent became captivated with the notion of communicating with "the beyond". He hosted many séances, philosophical discussions, and wrote books.

His monumental book, Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poets (1881), was not published until after his death.

Sargent died in Boston from oral cancer on December 30, 1880.

Sources

  1. Vital Records of Gloucester MA - Births Epes, s. Epes, jr. and Hannah D., Sept. 27, 1813.
  2. "The Literati of New York City by Edgar A. Poe". Epes Sargent.

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Epes Sargent's Timeline

1813
September 27, 1813
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1848
1848
Age 34
1880
December 30, 1880
Age 67
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States