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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HATHAWAY, Benjamin, poet, , born in Cayuga county, New York, 30 September, 1822. He was the eldest of eight children, and was taken from school and put to work at the age of eleven on account of family reverses. Although shut out from libraries and deprived for many years of all literary association, he made the most of his meagre opportunities for culture. His taste for poetry found congenial themes in the woods, fields, and flowers. Many of the poems afterward collected in his "Art, Life" were first, written with chalk upon barrel heads during his employment as a cooper. They were composed amid the noise and clatter of the shops, and in the evening, often after nine o'clock, as he usually worked until that hour, they were transcribed upon paper. An early developed fondness for trees and plants and their cultivation led Mr. Hathaway to add to his other enterprises the business of nurseryman, which he followed in connection with the farm for over thirty years. It was late in life before he could devote much time to his favorite studies so as to plan or prosecute any large or eonseeutive work. For ten years, however, intellectual pursuits occupied much of his attention. He spent several winters at the University library, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in researches for his "League of the Iroquois" (Chicago, 1880), and several more in Chicago, engaged upon that work and upon a collection of miscellaneous poems entitled "Art Life" (1876).
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