William Cullen Bryant (American, 1794-1878)

Bryant was a prominent figure in the development of American literature and worked for over 50 years as the editor of the New York Evening Post. Bryant’s success in literature began when he was 17 years old through the publication of his acclaimed poem Thanatopsis in the North American Review. Early in his career, Bryant worked as an attorney before finding his calling as an editor at the New York Review and then The New York Evening Post. He used his position to publish works on a variety of controversial topics including free trade, workingmen’s rights, abolition, and free speech. Along with using his role to advance social causes, Bryant was also a key member of the Democratic Party, and later a founding member of the Republican Party.