Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GUSTAFSON, Axel Carl Johan, author, born in Lund, Sweden, about 1847. His father is a clergyman, and Axel was educated in his native town. At the age of twenty-one he came to the United States, was naturalized, and began to write for the press. Becoming interested in the temperance movement, he contributed to a Boston journal an article on the Gottenburg system of granting licenses, which led to an investigation of the different licensing systems of the world. He also became a contributor to several of the leading periodicals. Soon after coming to this country he married Mrs. Zadel Barnes Buddington, who has since greatly assisted him in his literary work. Going to England, Mr. and Mrs. Gustafson met Samuel Morley, the philanthropist, who induced the former to change his intention of writing a work on the abuse of tobacco, and discuss the liquor question instead. "The Foundation of Death" (London, 1884) was the outcome of this change of plan. This work discusses the use of liquor among the ancients, the history of the discovery of distillation, liquor adulterations, the effects of alcohol on the physical organs and functions, the social and moral results arising from the drinking habit, heredity, the use of alcohol as a medicine, and includes an inquiry into the methods of reformation. It has passed through three editions, and been translated into Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Malagasy, Burmese, and Mahratta. Mr. and Mrs. Gustafson are now (1887) preparing a series of school books, intended to inculcate their views on the temperance question.--His wife, Zadel Barnes Buddington, author, born in Middletown, Connecticut, about 1840, early began writing verses, stories, and sketches. Subsequently a paper by her in favor of the abolition of capital punishment attracted general attention. For two years she was political editor of a Massachusetts journal. Of her tribute to the poet Bryant, John Greenleaf Whittier wrote: " I can only compare it with Milton's 'Lycidas'; it is worthy of any living poet at least." Her poem of "Little Martin Craghan," based on the true story of a boy lost in Pittston mines through an act of heroism, became very popular. Mrs. Gustafson (who by her first marriage was Mrs. Buddington) has published "Can the Old Love?" (Boston, 1871); "Meg, A Pastoral, and other Poems" (Boston, 1879); and a new edition of "Zophiel," by Maria Gowen Brooks, with a sketch of the author (Boston, 1879).
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