Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MATHEWS, Cornelius, author, born in Portchester, New York, 28 October, 1817. He was graduated at the University of New York in 1835, and admitted to the bar in 1837, but abandoned his profession for literature, and from 1838 till 1850 was a voluminous writer in a variety of departments, poetry, the drama, prose fiction, satire, and journalism. In 1840-'2, with Evert A. Duyckinck, he edited "Arcturus," a monthly magazine, and he has since been connected with other similar publications. He was an early, active, and enthusiastic worker in the cause of copyright, and the chief founder in 1843 of the old copyright club, of which William Cullen Bryant was president. Originality, acute observation, fancy, satirical power, and manliness of sentiment are to be found in all of his works, but he wants finish and style to make him a popular writer. Some of his most original conceptions are striking studies rather than completed works. He was a life-long friend of Evert A. Duyckinck, and a correspondent of Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, of' whose works ha was the first American editor. Margaret Fuller, in her essay on "American Literature," devotes four of twenty-one pages to Mathews's "Poems on Man in the Republic" and "Witchcraft." Of the latter she writes: "It is a work of strong and majestic lineaments" a fine originality is shown in the conception." His works include "The Motley Book," a series of tales and sketches (New York, 1838)" "Behemoth, a Legend of the Mound-Builders" (1839)" "The Politicians," a comedy (1840) ; "Puffer Hopkins" (1841)" "Wakendah," an Indian poem (1841)" " Poems on Man" (1843)" " Big" Abel and Little Manhattan" (1845); " Witchcraft," a tragedy on the Salem delusion, performed at the New York and Philadelphia theatres (1846, reprinted in London) ; "Jacob Leisler," a drama, of Dutch colonial history, also performed in Philadelphia (1848)" " Chanticleer" a Thanksgiving Story" (1850); "Moneypenny, or the Heart of the World " (1850)" " Pen-and-Ink Panorama of New York City" (1853). "False Pretences." a comedy" and "Indian Fairy Tales" (1868).--His cousin, Albert, author, born in New York city, 8 September, 1820, was graduated at Yale in 1842, studied law, and was admitted to the New York bar in May, 1845. Ha has written under the pen-name of "Paul Siegvolk," and has published " Waiter Ashwood ; a Love Story" (New York, 1860); and "A Bundle of Papers" (1879).
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