Lanier, Sidney, 1842-1881

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1842-02-03
Death 1881-09-07
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Sidney Lanier was a noted Southern poet and composer, born in Macon, Georgia, on Feb. 3, 1842. He graduated from Oglethorpe University and voluntarily fought for the Confederacy as a member of the 2nd Battalion Infantry (Georgia), and the Signal Corps. It is likely that Lanier contracted tuberculosis during his stay at at Union prison camp, and the complications from that disease would affect Lanier his entire life. After the war, Lanier worked as a tutor and headmaster at an academy in Alabama before returning home to Macon in 1867 and marrying Mary Day. He worked at his father's law firm and wrote poetry concerning conditions during Reconstruction. In 1873, Lanier moved to Baltimore to accept a position as lead flutist in the Peabody Orchestra. In Baltimore, he wrote poetry and musical works, and lectured in literature at Johns Hopkins University. Near the end of his life, he moved to the mountains of North Carolina near Lynn. He died at the age of 39 on Sept. 7, 1881. After her husband's death, Mary Day Lanier compiled, edited, and published collections of Sidney Lanier's lectures, poems, and letters. Clare deGraffenreid knew Sidney Lanier primarily through his wife. But, as the letters in this collection show, Sidney Lanier and Clare deGraffenreid shared a close relationship that lasted until Lanier's death. Clare deGraffenreid, 1849-1921, lived in Macon until 1875, when she moved to Washington, D.C., to teach at Georgetown Seminary for Young Ladies. She later worked in the U.S. patent office and the Dept. of Labor.

From the description of Sidney Lanier papers, 1875-1886. (Tulane University). WorldCat record id: 426264723

American poet.

From the description of Papers of Sidney Lanier, [manuscript], 1867-1895. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647810672

From the description of Corn : New York : autograph manuscript signed of the poem, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270598800

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Baltimore, to James Maurice Thompson, 1875 Mar. 22. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270595517

Sidney Lanier contributed significantly to the arts in nineteenth century America. His accomplishments as a poet, novelist, composer, and critic reflect his eclectic interests, and his melodic celebrations of Georgia's terrain are among his most widely read poems. His works reflect a love of the land, as well as his concern over declining values and commercial culture in the Reconstruction South. Some of his writings extol the rhythmic natural world and the religious vision it evokes. Lanier's works reflect his education, his love of literature and music, and his concerns for the Reconstruction South. His first major publication was his only novel, Tiger-Lilies (1867). Depicting the moral and actual tension between devilish Yankee materialist John Cranston and Southern Rebel humanist Philip Sterling before and during the Civil War, the novel balances romantic views of good and evil with realistically portrayed battle scenes. While the novel was unsuccessful, it mirrored some of the painful struggles of the war-torn South. Lanier found his purest voice in the religious vision of "The Marshes of Glynn," which was inspired by the poet's visit to Brunswick. Set in southeastern Glynn County, the poem begins with a rhythmic description of the thick marsh as the narrator feels himself growing and connecting with the sinews of the marsh itself. Then as his vision expands seaward, he recognizes in an epiphanal moment that the marshes and sea, in their vastness, are the expression of "the greatness of God" and are filled with power and mystery. The New Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-533&hl=y Retrieved 3/6/2009.

From the description of Sidney Lanier poem, 18uu. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 313373995

Sidney Lanier (1842-1881) was an American musician and poet whose verse often suggests the rhythms and thematic development of music. Lanier was reared by devoutly religious parents in the traditions of the Old South. As a child he wrote verses and was especially fond of music. After graduation in 1860 from Oglethorpe College (now University), Atlanta, Ga., he served in the Civil War until his capture and subsequent imprisonment at Point Lookout, Md., where he contracted tuberculosis. In 1867 he married Mary Day, also of Macon; and in the same year he published his first book, the novel Tiger-Lilies, a mixture of German philosophy, Southern traditional romance, and his own war experiences. After working in his father's law office at Macon, teaching school at Prattville, Ala., and traveling for his health in Texas, he accepted in 1873 a position as first flutist in the Peabody Orchestra, Baltimore. With numerous poems already published in magazines, he wrote several potboilers and played private concerts and delivered lectures to small groups. He died in 1881 in Lynn, N. C. from advanced tuberculosis. Encyclopedia Britannica Online http://www.britannica.com (Retrieved December 18, 2008)

From the description of Sidney Lanier poem, "The Power of Prayer", 18--. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 307747058

Sidney Lanier (1842-1881) was an American musician and poet.

From the guide to the Sidney Lanier Collection, ., 1899-1931, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)

Author and composer.

From the description of Papers, 1857-1942; (bulk 1857-1881). (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 19931577

"Sidney Lanier contributed significantly to the arts in nineteenth-century America. His accomplishments as a poet, novelist, composer, and critic reflect his eclectic interests, and his melodic celebrations of Georgia's terrain are among his most widely read poems. His works reflect a love of the land, as well as his concern over declining values and commercial culture in the Reconstruction South. Some of his writings extol the rhythmic natural world and the religious vision it evokes. Lake Lanier was dedicated to him in 1955 in recognition of his life and accomplishments, and in 2000 he was inducted as a charter member into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame." - "Sidney Lanier." New Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org (Retrieved August 21, 2008)

From the description of Sidney Lanier letter, 5 December 1879. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 299086164

Sidney Lanier contributed significantly to the arts in nineteenth-century America. His accomplishments as a poet, novelist, composer, and critic reflect his eclectic interests, and his melodic celebrations of Georgia's terrain are among his most widely read poems. His works reflect a love of the land, as well as his concern over declining values and commercial culture in the Reconstruction South. Some of his writings extol the rhythmic natural world and the religious vision it evokes. Lanier County, formed in southwest Georgia in 1920, is named in the poet's honor, and Lake Lanier in Hall County was dedicated to him in 1955, in recognition of his life and accomplishments. In 2000 Lanier was inducted as a charter member into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Sidney Lanier was born in Macon on February 3, 1842. He graduated from Oglethorpe University, when it was located near Milledgeville, in 1860 with high honors. When the Civil War (1861-65) began, he volunteered to serve in the Confederate army. In 1864 he was captured and held as a prisoner of war for four months in Maryland, during which time he contracted the debilitating tuberculosis that plagued him for the rest of his life. His marriage to Mary Day in 1867 led to the births of four sons. Rarely fully focused on one occupational pursuit, Lanier had difficulty maintaining steady employment and providing for his family; he worked in Georgia, Alabama, and Texas as a tutor, teacher, and law clerk. He was frequently impoverished and sometimes ill with the ever-present tuberculosis, which was exacerbated by stress and worry. For one school year he was principal of an academy in Prattville, Alabama, but it closed in 1868 in the face of economic depression. From 1868 to 1873, he studied law and worked in his father's legal office in Macon. Lanier then moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he accepted a position as first flutist for the Peabody Orchestra. During his years in Baltimore, he studied English literature and eventually became a lecturer at the Peabody Institute and then at Johns Hopkins University. Lanier's health continued to worsen. He died on September 7, 1881, in Lynn, North Carolina, where he had traveled in the hope that the climate might cure him. Sidney Lanier (1842-1881) - New Georgia Encyclopedia http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org (Retrieved July 14, 2009)

Charles Scribner II (October 18, 1854 - April 19, 1930) was the president of Charles Scribner's Sons and a trustee at Skidmore College. He was born in New York City on October 18, 1854. He joined his father's publishing company in 1875 after his Princeton graduation. When the other partners in the venture sold their stake to the family, the company was renamed Charles Scribner's Sons. In 1884, Scribner's younger brother, Arthur Hawley Scribner, joined Charles Scribner's Sons. The book publishing business was highly successful and in 1886 Scribner's Magazine was relaunched. It too was a great success. In 1889 Scribner was a founding member of the American Publishers Association. He was a trustee at Skidmore College. He died on April 19, 1930.

From the description of Sidney Lanier letter to Mr. Scribner, 1880 April 1. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 424633824

Sidney Lanier was an American musician and poet.

American musician and poet.

From the description of Sidney Lanier collection, 1899-1931 [manuscript]. (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 23186405

Writer, poet, musician.

Sidney Lanier was born in Macon, Georgia. He studied at Oglethorpe University, GA, 1857-1860, was a Confederate soldier from 1861-1865, and contracted tuberculosis while a prisoner of war. He worked as a law clerk, then decided to devote himself to art. He moved to Baltimore where he played the flute for the Peabody Orchestra, 1873-1881, taught at Johns Hopkins University, and composed poems such as "Corn" and "Symphony," 1875.

In addition to his poetry, which was often based on his feeling for music, he published a novel and other books on literature, versification, and music. He died in 1881.

From the description of Sidney Lanier papers, 1873-1922. (Florida State University). WorldCat record id: 50657852

Biographical Note: Sidney Lanier (1842-1881) was a poet, musician, and lecturer on English literature at The Johns Hopkins University.

Born and educated in Georgia, Lanier served in the Confederate Army. Captured in 1864, he contracted tuberculosis in the Union prison at Point Lookout, Maryland. Devoting himself to literature and music, Lanier was first flautist in the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore (1874-80), lectured on English literature at Johns Hopkins (1879-81), published many poems, and composed music.

From the description of Sidney Lanier papers, 1838-1972. (Johns Hopkins University). WorldCat record id: 48395804

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Subjects:

  • Poets, American--Correspondence
  • Flute players
  • Musicians
  • Musicians as authors
  • Poets, American--Archives
  • American poetry--19th century
  • Authors and publishers--19th century
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
  • Photographers
  • Authors, American--19th century
  • American poetry
  • Proofs (Printing)
  • Wood-engraving
  • Poets, American--19th century
  • Poets, American--20th century
  • Poets, American
  • Pleurodyraia
  • Poets, American--Biographies
  • Musicians--Biography
  • Musicians--Archives

Occupations:

  • Musicians--United States
  • Poets, American

Places:

  • Southern States (as recorded)
  • Confederate States of America (as recorded)
  • Baltimore (Md.) (as recorded)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.) (as recorded)
  • Maryland--Baltimore (as recorded)
  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • Glynn County (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Rockingham Springs (Va.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Maryland--Maryland--Baltimore (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)