John Jay Chapman (1862 - 1933)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About John Jay Chapman

John Jay Chapman (March 2, 1862 – November 4, 1933) was an American author.


He was born in New York City. His father, Henry Grafton Chapman, was a broker who eventually became president of the New York Stock Exchange. His grandmother, Maria Weston Chapman, was one of the leading campaigners against slavery and worked with William Lloyd Garrison on The Liberator. He was educated at St. Paul's School, Concord and Harvard, and after graduating in 1885, Chapman traveled around Europe before returning to study at the Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1888, and practiced law until 1898. Meanwhile he had attracted attention as an essayist of unusual merit. His work is marked by originality and felicity of expression, and the opinion of many critics has placed him in the front rank of the American essayists of his day.

He married Minna Timmins in 1889 and they had two children, including future pilot Victor Chapman. Timmins died giving birth to their third child. Chapman later married Elizabeth Astor Winthrop Chanler, second daughter of John Winthrop Chanler and Margaret Astor Ward. Chapman became involved in politics and joined the City Reform Club and the Citizens' Union. He lectured on the need for reform and edited the journal The Political Nursery (1897-1901).

He is the subject of a biographical and critical essay by Edmund Wilson in The Triple Thinkers.



John Jay Chapman's Timeline

April 17, 1890
Age 28
Age 71