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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MORGAN, James Appleton, author, born in Portland, Maine, 2 October, 1850. His grandfather, Abner, was the first lawyer in Brim field, Massachusetts, and as major of a Massachusetts regiment commanded part of the troops in the long retreat from Quebec in 1776; and his father, Pevton R. Morgan, engaged in the fur-trade in the west, and founded the city of Saginaw, Mich. The son was graduated at Racine college, Wisconsin, and at Columbia law-school, New York city, in 1869, and began the practice of his profession in New York in 1871, but gave much time to literary pursuits. In 1877, through the columns of "Appletons' Journal," he suggested a theory of the authorship of the plays of William Shakespeare, developing his proposition that these plays as printed in 1623 are not monographs, but the product of the growth--through a generation of stage performances--of plays that were originally mounted by Shakespeare, the interpolations and localisms of actors, and the hackings of stage censors, all contributing to the state of the text when it was printed, as it stood in the acting copies, collected from particular actors by Heminge and Condell in 1623. Mr. Morgan's peculiar theories as to Shakespeare have excited wide comment and criticism. He founded, in 1885, the Shakespeare society of New York, for the purpose of free discussion of any and all Shakespeare questions. Of this society Mr. Morgan was the first president, and he was re-elected in 1886, 1887, and 1888. in the development of his theory Mr. Morgan has published "The Shakespearean Myth, or William Shakespeare and Circumstantial Evidence" (Cincinnati, 1881)" "Some Shakespearean Commentators" (1882)" "Venus and Adonis, a Study in the Warwickshire Dialect" (New York, 1885)" and "Shakespeare in Fact and in Criticism" (1887). He has also published " Digesta Shakespeareana," an exhaustive classification by topics of all Shakespearean publications, except editions, from the Elizabethan and Jacobean dates to 1 January, 1887 (1887)" and is the author of "Macaronic Poetry" (1872), and several legal treatises, including notes to "De Colyar on Guaranty and Suretyship" (1874) ; "The Law of Literature" (2 vols., 1875)" notes to Best's " Principles of Evidence" (2 vols., 1876); and notes to "Addison on the Law of Contract" (3 vols., 1876).
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