Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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RYAN, Abram Joseph, poet, born in Norfolk Va., 15 August, 1839; died in Louisville, Kentucky, 22 April, 1886. At an early age he decided to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood, and, after the usual classical and theological studies, he was ordained, and shortly afterward became a chaplain in the Confederate army, serving until the close of the war. He wrote "The Conquered Banner" soon after Lee's surrender. In 1865 he removed to New Orleans, where, in addition to his clerical duties, he edited the "Star," a weekly Roman Catholic paper. From New Orleans he went to Knoxville, Tennessee, after a few months to Augusta, Georgia, and founded the "Banner of the South," a religious and political weekly. This he soon relinquished, and for several years was pastor of St. Mary's church, Mobile, Alabama, but in 1880 his old restlessness returned, and he went to the north for the twofold object of publishing his poems and lecturing. He spent the month of December in Baltimore. where his "Poems. Patriotic, Religious, and Miscellaneous," were published. There also, about the same time, he delivered his first lecture, the subject being " Some Aspects of Modern Civilization." During this visit he made his home at Loyola college, and in return for the hospitality of the Jesuit fathers he gave a public reading from his poems, and devoted the proceeds, $300, to found a medal for poetry at the college. His lecturing tour was not successful, and in a few months he returned to the south, where he contin-ned to lead the same restless mode of life. Father Ryan was engaged on a "Life of Christ" at the time of his death. His most popular poems, besides that mentioned above, are "The Lost Cause," "The Sword of Lee," "The Flag of Erin," and the epic "Their Story runneth Thus."
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