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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 biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Charles Godfrey Leland

LELAND, Charles Godfrey, author, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 15 August, 1824. Before he was fifteen years of age he began to contribute short poems to newspapers. He was graduated at Princeton in 1846, afterward studied aesthetics, history, philosophy, and the modern languages in the universities of Heidelberg and Munich, and then went to Paris, where he attended lectures at the Sorbonne and the College Louis-le-Orand, and was one of the American deputation that congratulated the provisional government after the revolution of February, 1848. In October, 1848, he returned to Philadelphia, where he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1851. He soon relinquished that profession, and became a contributor to the "Knickerbocker Magazine," for which he had begun to write while a student in college, the "International Magazine," "Sartain's," "Graham's," and other periodicals. He resided for some time in New York city, where he edited the "Illustrated News," but returned to Philadelphia in 1855, and was connected with the " Evening Bulletin" three years. At the beginning of the civil war he wrote in support of a vigorous National policy in the "Knickerbocker Magazine," and established in Boston the "Continental Magazine," in which he proposed and urged the emancipation of the slaves. He returned to Philadelphia in 1863, and wrote and made the illustrations for a political satire entitled "The Book of Copperheads." In 1865 he engaged in speculations in the coal and petroleum fields, and travelled through Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. On his return to Philadelphia he became editor of the "Press," which was prosperous under his management. After travelling through the west he went to Europe in May, 1869, and remained till 1880, residing chiefly in London, and while there he pursued original investigations into the history, language, and customs of the Gypsy race. When he returned to Philadelphia he introduced and supervised a system of industrial art education in the public schools. Mr. Leland is the author of "The Poetry and Mystery of Dreams," containing the fruit of curious researches in ancient and modern literature (Philadelphia, 1855): "Meister Karl's Sketch Book," a collection of sketches of foreign travel and other articles reprinted from magazines (1855); "Pictures of Travel," translated from the German of Heinrich Heine (1856); "Sunshine in Thought" (New York, 1862); "Legends of Birds" (Philadelphia, 1864); "To Kansas and Back," a pamphlet describing a journey to the far west (1866); and a pamphlet on the "Union Pacific, Eastern Division" (1867). His most popular works were the "Hans Breitmann Ballads" (complete ed., Philadelphia, 1871), the first of which humorous dialect poems were so much admired that he composed an extended series, burlesquing peculiarities of character, as well as of thought and speech among the ruder type of German Americans. His later works are "The Music Lesson of Confucius, and other Poems," in which he seeks to harmonize the Christian religion with the antique sentiments of joy and beauty (London, 1870); "Gaudeamus," a translation of humorous poems by Josef V. Schefel and other German writers (1871); "Egyptian Sketch Book" (1873); "The English Gypsies and their Language" (1873); "Fu Sang, or the Discovery of America by Chinese Buddhist Priests in the Fifth Century" (1875); "English Gypsy Songs," in collaboration with Janet Tuckey and Professor Edward H. Palmer (1875); "Johnnykin and the Goblins" (1876); "Pidgin-English Sing-Song" (1876); "Abraham Lincoln" (1879); "The Minor Arts" (1880); "The Gypsies" (1882); and "The Algonquin Legends of New England" (1884). In connection with the educational movement that he set on foot he edited a series of "Art Work Manuals" (1885), containing instructions for ceramic painting, brass repoussd work, leather work, papier mache work, stencilling, and wood carving, he now (1887) resides in London, England.--His brother, Henry Perry, author, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 28 October, 1828; died there, 22 September, 1868, was a frequent contributor in prose and verse to newspapers and magazines. He was an extensive traveller, and a student in various departments of knowledge, and possessed a vein of humor that pervades his writings. While serving as a lieutenant in the 118th Pennsylvania regiment during the civil war, he was prostrated by a sunstroke, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. He published "The Grey Bay Mare, and other Humorous American Sketches" (Philadelphia, 1856), and a volume of sketches of foreign travel, entitled "Americans in Rome" (1863).

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