Horatio Alger Jr
Biography of Horatio Alger Jr
oratio Alger, Jr. (January 13, 1832 – July 18, 1899) was a prolific 19th-century American author, most famous for his novels following the adventures of bootblacks, newsboys, peddlers, buskers, and other impoverished children in their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of respectable middle-class security and comfort. His novels were hugely popular in their day.
Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of a Unitarian minister, Alger entered Harvard University at the age of 16. Following graduation, he briefly worked in education before touring Europe for almost a year. He then entered the Harvard Divinity School, and, in 1864, took a position at a Unitarian church in Brewster, Massachusetts. Two years later, he resigned following allegations he'd molested two teenage boys. He subsequently retired from the ministry entirely and moved to New York City where he formed an association with the Newsboys Lodging House and other agencies offering aid to impoverished children. His sympathy for the working boys of the city, coupled with the moral values learned at home, were the basis of his many juvenile "rags to riches" novels. He died in 1899.
The first Alger biography was published in 1928, and later proved to be heavily fictionalized. Other biographies followed, sometimes citing the 1928 hoax as fact. In the last decades of the twentieth century however, a few reliable biographies were published that corrected the errors and fictionalizations of the past.
Many of Alger's works have been described as rags to riches stories, illustrating how down-and-out boys might be able to achieve the American Dream of wealth and success through hard work, courage, determination, and concern for others. This widely held view involves Alger's characters achieving extreme wealth and the subsequent remediation of their "old ghosts." Alger is noted as a significant figure in the history of American cultural and social ideals.
Horatio Alger Jr Poems
Carving A Name
I wrote my name upon the sand, And trusted it would stand for aye; But, soon, alas! the refluent sea Had washed my feeble lines away.
I sit in the shadow of apple-boughs, In the fragrant orchard close, And around me floats the scented air, With its wave-like tidal flows.
Harvard Ode I
Fair Harvard, dear guide of our youth's golden days; At thy name all our hearts own a thrill,
'Twas on Lake Erie's broad expanse One bright midsummer day, The gallant steamer Ocean Queen Swept proudly on her way.
I have a beautiful castle, With towers and battlements fair; And many a banner, with gay device, Floats in the outer air.
A Soldier's Valentine
Just from the sentry's tramp (I must take it again at ten), I have laid my musket down, And seized instead my pen;
Gone To The War
My Charlie has gone to the war, My Charlie so brave and tall; He left his plough in the furrow, And flew at his country's call.
KING COTTON looks from his window Towards the westering sun, And he marks, with an anguished horror, That his race is almost run.
Harvard Ode Iii
Fair Harvard, the months have accomplished their round And a year stands full-orbed and complete,
Harvard Ode Ii
As we meet in thy name, Alma Mater, to-night, All our hearts and our hopes are as one, And love for the mother that nurtured his youth
Rose In The Garden
Thirty years have come and gone, Melting away like Southern Snows, Since, in the light of a summer's night, I went to the garden to seek my Rose.
The Price Of Victory
'A VICTORY! -a victory!' Is flashed across the wires; Speed, speed the news from State to State, Light up the signal fires!
Throw open wide your golden gates, O poet-landed month of June, And waft me, on your spicy breath, The melody of birds in tune.
Harvard Ode Iv
There's a fountain of Fable whose magical power Time's ravages all could repair, And replace the bowed form and the tottering step,
A Soldier's Valentine
Just from the sentry's tramp
(I must take it again at ten),
I have laid my musket down,
And seized instead my pen;
For, pacing my lonely round
In the chilly twilight gray,
The thought, dear Mary, came,
That this is St. Valentine's Day.