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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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John Darley

DARLEY, John, actor, born in England in 1765; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1853. He made his first appearance on the American stage in Philadelphia in 1794, and afterward became a lieutenant of marines in the U. S. navy, but returned to the stage, and appeared at the Park theatre, New York, 20 July 1801. He had a manly, well-proportioned person, and a handsome face, and, although not warmly attached to his profession, possessed great merit as a singer, and played Frenchmen and walking gentlemen well.--His son, Felix 0ctavius Cart, artist, born in Philadelphia, 23 June 1822. At the age of fourteen he was placed in a mercantile house, but spent his leisure hours in drawing. Some of his humorous sketches attracted attention, and he received from the publisher of the " Saturday Museum" a handsome sum for a few designs, which encouraged him to devote himself to art. For several years he was employed by large publishing-houses in Philadelphia, during which he produced the series of drawings for the "Library of Humorous American Works," which became very popular in the southern and western states. He removed in 1848 to New York, where he occupied himself in illustrating Irving's humorous writings. In 1856 he published a series of designs in outline from Sylvester Judd's novel of " Margaret," which met with such favor theft he was commissioned by the American art union to illustrate in similar style "Rip Van Winkle" and "Sleepy Hollow." His elaborate outline drawings of these subjects led to his recognition, both at home and abroad, as a worthy successor of Retzsch and Flaxman. He declined an advantageous offer to settle in London, and applied himself assiduously to his art. In addition to illustrating James Fenimore Cooper's works, for which he furnished more than 500 designs, he was also engaged in the preparation of vignettes for bank notes. He also illustrated Dickens's works and Simms's novels, and executed the " Massacre at Wyoming," and various Revolutionary pieces. Mr. Darley was elected a member of the Academy of design in 1852, became a member of the Artists' fund society, and was one of the early members of the American society of painters in watercolors. In 1859 appeared his drawing of the wedding procession in Longfellow's " Courtship of Miles Standish." Since then he has executed many large works, among which were four ordered by Prince Napoleon, viz. : "Emigrants attacked by Indians on the Prairie," "The Village Blacksmith," "The Unwilling Laborer," and "The Repose." During the civil war he delineated many dramatic and characteristic scenes, including one representing "Dahlgren's Charge at Fredericksburg," and another representing "Sherman's March to the Sea." Some of the most elaborate figures and scenes on the government bonds and legal-tender notes of the national banks were designed by him. Toward the close of the war he visited Europe, added many scores of sketches to his portfolio, studied models in Rome, and made a large number of drawings, many of which appeared in periodicals. On his return to the United States he published "Sketches Abroad with Pen and Pencil" (New York, 1868), for which he furnished both letterpress and illustrations. His "Cavalry Charge at Fredericksburg, Virginia," was at the Paris exposition of 1867. His "Street Scene in Rome," in watercolor, was at the Centennial exhibition of 1876. In 1875 he engaged in preparing 500 drawings to illustrate a "History of the United States" by B. J. Bossing. His later work consists of "Outlines to the ' Scarlet Letter'" of Hawthorne (1879), and twelve outline illustrations to the "Evangeline" of Longfellow, issued, not in lithograph print as heretofore, but in phototvpes taken from the originals (1883), and " illustrations to Shakespeare's Plays" (1886).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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