Field, Eugene, 1850-1895

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1850-09-03
Death 1895-11-04
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Eugene Field, an American writer, was born in 1850 to Rosewell Field and Frances Reed. After his mother's death in 1856, he and his brother were sent to live with a cousin in Amherst, Massachusetts. He studied at Williams College from 1868-69. He then studied for a short time at Knox College in Illinois and at the University of Missouri. He married Julia Sutherland Comstock on October 16, 1873. He wrote weekly newspaper columns and also published volumes of poetry and prose. Field died on November 4, 1895.

From the guide to the Field letter, Buena Park, Illinois, to W. I. Way MS 0004., 1894 Nov. 17., (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)

Eugene Field was a midwestern American journalist, humorist, and poet. His style was irreverent, witty, and sharp, and both his columns and collections of his columns were very popular. Perhaps his most lasting achievements were columns written to popularize book collecting, which have influenced bibliophiles ever since, and his efforts to promote reading as a popular activity.

From the description of Eugene Field letters and poem, 1886-1893. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 54049994

Eugene Field was born in St Louis (Mo.) on Sept. 3, 1850, the son of Roswell Martin Field and his wife, Frances Field. Roswell was a well-known attorney who in 1853 served as the attorney for the slaves Dred and Harriet Scott and their daughters, Eliza and Lizzy, who sued in federal court for their freedom. Ultimately, the slaves were not recognized as citizens by the US Supreme Court, an action believed by many to precipitate the Civil War. Following their mother's death in Nov. 1856, Eugene and his brother, Roswell, were sent to Amherst (Mass.) in 1857 to attend school and live with an aunt and cousin until the boys entered college. Later, Eugene attended the University of Mo., where he co-founded and edited the Mis-sourian, a campus newspaper. In May 1873 Field joined the staff of the St. Louis Journal. In Oct. 1874 he married Julia Sutherland Comstock in St. Joseph (Mo.). Field's career as a newspaper writer took him between St. Joseph and St. Louis (Mo.), Kansas City, Denver, and Chicago, where he worked for the Chicago Daily News, later the Record. He wrote a column "Sharps and Flats", with humor, political commentary and children's verse, which established his reputation as a writer. He also wrote a number of books, including: A little book of western verse (1889); Echoes from the Sabien farm (with his brother) (1892); the Denver Tribune primer; Culture's garland; Love affairs of a bibliomaniac; and With trumpet and drum. A poet of rare sympathy, Field wrote only children's poems. His most famous children's poems include "Little boy blue" and "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod." His poems earned him the title "The Children's Poet". At the age of 45, while at the height of his career, Field died in his sleep on Nov. 4, 1895. He was survived by his five children and widow. His body was buried in the churchyard of the Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth (Ill.) (Information from the collection.).

From the description of Poem, 18uu,2003. (Clarke Historical Library). WorldCat record id: 51648365

Epithet: of Kenmare, county Kerry

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001088.0x0001b2

Field was an American poet and journalist.

From the description of Papers relating to the publication of "Second book of verse", 1892 (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 78824260

From the guide to the Eugene Field papers relating to the publication of "Second book of verse", 1892-1895., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Eugene Field, Chicago poet and journalist.

From the guide to the Eugene Field collection, 1880-1894, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Epithet: American author

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001088.0x0001b1

American poet.

From the description of Casey's table d'hote : autograph manuscript signed of the poem, 1888 Dec. 28. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270536065

From the description of The Christmas stocking : poem in the author's autograph (in pencil) unsigned, undated. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270536118

From the description of the Stanza Omitted from Casey's Table d'Hote : [n.p.] : autograph manuscript signed, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270539095

From the description of When I was broke in London in the fall of '89 : [n.p.] : autograph manuscript of the poem signed, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270539929

From the description of Doctors : autograph manuscript signed of the poem : London, 1890 Aug. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270536383

From the description of Modjesky as Cameel : London : autograph manuscript of the poem signed, 1890 Sept. 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270538370

Eugene Field was born September 3, 1850, in St. Louis, MO, and died on November 4, 1895, of heart failure at the Sabine Farm in Chicago, IL. He worked on the editorial staff of several newspapers but is best known for the poetry he wrote for children. Biographical Source: Something About the Author, Vol. 16, p. 105-115

From the guide to the Eugene Field Papers, Unavailable, (University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections [clrc])

Eugene Field (1850-1895) was an American poet and journalist.

From the description of Papers of Eugene Field, 1872-1899. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122386393

American journalist and poet. He wrote the most notable of the early newspaper columns and was known for his sentimental verse.

From the description of Poems, 1880-1894. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122494575

Born in St. Louis, Mo. in 1850. Field attended Williams College, Knox College, and the University of Missouri. He worked at numerous newspapers in Mo., Kan., Ill., and Colo.: St. Louis Evening Journal, St. Joseph Gazette, St. Louis Times-Journal, Kansas City Times, Denver Tribune and the Chicago Morning News. He also wrote numerous books and traveled extensively in Europe and throughout the U.S.

From the description of Eugene Field papers, 1860-1930 [manuscript]. (Denver Public Library). WorldCat record id: 47920299

Poet.

From the description of Eugene Field papers, 1886-1942. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79455081

From the description of Papers, 1874-1893. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 36428906

Field was an American poet and journalist, best known as the "poet of childhood."

From the description of Papers, 1872-1895. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 81895896

From the guide to the Papers, 1872-1895., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

American author.

From the description of Letters to Professor Child [manuscript], 1891 August 21 and 1892 May 27. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647882175

Writer.

From the description of Papers, 1884-1895 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 45478648

American poet and journalist.

From the description of Letter : to Mr. Morehouse, 1892 Dec. 26. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122481684

Biography

Eugene Field (1850-1895), American poet and journalist, was born and raised in St. Louis and in 1873 he married Julia Sutherland Comstock, also of Missouri. Before marrying Julia Comstock, Field took an extended trip to Europe and on his return he began working for a number of newspapers around the country, including St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, and Chicago.

From the guide to the Eugene Field Papers, 1872-1899, (The Huntington Library)

Eugene Field, American author, was born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 2, 1850. After the death of their mother in 1856, Eugene and his younger brother Roswell were placed under the care of a cousin, Mary Field French, of Amherst, Massachusetts. Field spent the remainder of his boyhood in the eastern United States, attending for a time a private school at Monson, Massachusetts. In the autumn of 1868 he began his advanced studies at Williams College. After the death of his father the following summer, Field moved back to the Midwest and entered Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Upon completion of a less than profitable year at Knox, he changed schools once again, joining his brother at the University of Missouri. Failing in his final attempt to receive a degree, he went abroad in the autumn of 1872, spending the greater portion of a substantial inheritance from his father. Upon his return to the States a year later, he married Julia Sutherland Comstock of St. Joseph, Missouri. Turning to newspaper work, Field held successive positions of the St. Joseph's Gazette, the St. Louis Journal, the Kansas City Times, and the Denver Tribune. In 1883 he joined the editorial staff of the Chicago Morning News (later renamed the Chicago Record), where he quickly became known for his editorial column "Sharps and Flats." Field remained with the News until his death on November 4, 1895.

While working for the News, Field gained considerable recognition as a poet and author. He is most popularly known, perhaps, for his poems of childhood and Christmas-time, including "Little Boy Blue," "A Dutch Lullaby," and "Wynken, Blyken, and Nod." Although most of Field's important writings appeared first in the newspapers he worked for, he did manage to publish several books of poetry and prose during his lifetime. His first booklet, The Tribune Primer, appeared in 1882 followed by Culture's Garland (1887); A Little Book of Western Verse (1889); A Little Book of Profitable Tales (1890); With Trumpet and Drum (1892); A Second Book of Verse (1892); Echoes from the Sabine Farm (1892); The Holy Cross and Other Tales (1893); and Love Songs of Childhood (1894).

From the guide to the Field, Eugene. Correspondence, 1884-1895, (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Eugene Field (1850-1895) was an American author, journalist, and editor, best remembered for his children's poems such as "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod."

Eugene Field was born in September 1850 to Roswell and Frances (Reed) Field. Field's father was an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri and served as legal counsel to Dred Scott during the Dred Scott Case, 1846-1857 (Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)). When Field was six years old, his mother died and Field and his brother, Roswell Jr. were placed in the custody of his cousin, Mary Field French in Massachusetts.

After attending several different colleges including Williams College, Knox College, and the University of Missouri, Field travelled abroad to Great Britain, France, and Italy with a friend. Upon returning from Europe, Field married Julia Sutherland Comstock on October 16, 1873, with whom he had eight children.

During this time Field began exploring editorial careers, working for several newspapers such as the St. Joseph Gazette, St. Louis' Journal, Kansas City Times, and Denver Tribune . In 1883, Field was hired at the Morning News where he would spend the rest of his career.

Field died suddenly on November 4, 1895 at his home in Buena Park, Chicago at the age of 45.

  • 1881: The Tribune Primer
  • 1887: Culture's Garland: Being Memoranda of the Gradual Rise of Literature, Art, Music and Society in Chicago, and Other Western Ganglia
  • 1889: A Little Book of Western VerseSelected Poems"Little Boy Blue""Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" A Little Book of Profitable Tales
  • 1892: With Trumpet and Drum Second Book of Verse
  • 1893: Echoes from the Sabine Farm The Holy-Cross and Other Tales
  • 1894: Love-Songs of ChildhoodSelected Poems"The Dinkey Bird""The Duel""The Fly-Away Horse""Seein' Things"
  • 1896: The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac The House: An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife Alice Songs and Other Verse Second Book of Tales

From the guide to the Eugene Field Papers, 1885-1895, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Among the important figures in American journalism during the Gilded Age, Eugene Field stands out for his originality, productivity and energy, as well as for his odd and occasionally outrageous sense of humor. A native westerner of New England extraction, Field made efforts -- only partially successful -- to study at Williams College, Knox College, and the University of Missouri, before leaving behind his education in 1873 to marry sixteen year old Julia Sutherland Comstock. While it cannot be said that Field's marriage sobered him up, it provided him with a partner to share in his eccentricities and to watch over his finances that were perpetually imperiled by his headlong rush into any number of new enthusiasms.

Having disposed of the remnants of a once substantial inheritance on his wedding trip, Field turned to newspaper editing to earn a living. Climbing the journalistic ladder through Saint Joseph, Saint Louis, and Kansas City, Mo., and Denver, Colo., Field arrived at the apex of his profession in 1883 when he joined the staff of the Chicago Morning News. His editorial column, "Sharps and Flats," earned him a wide readership, providing an original concoction of serious poetry and prose leavened with broad doses of humor, whimsy and satire. As his column drew a larger and larger readership, Field basked in the light of minor celebrity, becoming a much sought-after speaker on the lecture circuit, and a best-selling author of light verse, serious poetry and prose. After moving to Chicago, he indulged an increasingly serious interest in collecting rare books and fine printing, and wrote two popular works on the subject, including a posthumously-published "imaginary autobiography," Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac . Although suffering from ill health for many years, Field's productivity continued unabated up to the day of his death in 1895. Julia and eight of their children survived him.

From the guide to the Eugene Field papers, Field, Eugene, 1873-1923, 1873-1896, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)

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Subjects:

  • Newspaper editors
  • Manuscripts, American
  • Authors, American--19th century
  • Book collecting
  • Journalism--United States--History--19th century
  • American literature--19th century
  • Journalism
  • Booksellers and bookselling
  • American poetry--19th century
  • Bibliomania--Humor
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • Journalists--Correspondence
  • Book collectors
  • Journalism--History--19th century
  • Journalists--Biography--Sources
  • Courtship--19th century
  • Children's poetry, American
  • Poets, American--19th century
  • Poets, American--19th century--Correspondence
  • Poets, American--19th century--Biography--Sources
  • Courtship
  • Letters
  • Journalists--19th century
  • Journalists--Personal narratives
  • Proofs (Printing)
  • Literature--American Poetry
  • Railroads--Trains--Pictorial works
  • Book collecting--Humor
  • Poetry
  • Journalists--United States

Occupations:

  • Editors
  • Poets
  • Journalists
  • Authors

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • Tipperary, county of, Ireland (as recorded)
  • Dublin, Ireland (as recorded)
  • Cork, Ireland (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Lichfield, Staffordshire (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Drogheda, Ireland (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States--Chicago (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Galway, county of, Ireland (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Dublin, Ireland (as recorded)
  • Colorado (as recorded)