Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ADAMS, William Taylor ("Oliver Optic"), author, born in Medway, Massachusetts, 30 July 1822. He was for twenty years a teacher in the public schools of Boston, fourteen years a member of the school committee of Dorchester, and one year a member of the legislature. He has devoted most of his life to writing for the young, with whom he has a warm sympathy. His career began in 1850, and he has produced a thousand stories in newspapers, exclusive of his books. In earlier life he edited the "Student and Schoolmate," and in 1881 "Our Little Ones," but he is best known as an editor by his "Oliver Optic's Magazine for Boys and Girls." He published his first book in 1853, "Hatchie, the Guardian Slave, or the Heir of Bellevue," which had a large sale, and was followed by "Indoors and Out," a collection of stories. The "Riverdale Series" (6 vols.) for boys was completed in 1862. His other works, mainly in series, include " The Boat Club," "Woodville,"" Young America Abroad," "Start Flag," "Onward and Upward," "Yacht Club," and "Great Western." His published works comprise about one hundred volumes. He has written two novels for older readers, "The Way of the World" and "Living too Fast."
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