Theodore Tilton

(1835 - 1907 / New York City / United States)

Biography of Theodore Tilton

Theodore Tilton poet

Theodore Tilton (October 2, 1835 – May 29, 1907) was an American newspaper editor, poet and abolitionist. He was born in New York City to Silas Tilton and Eusebia Tilton (same surname). On his twentieth birthday of October 2, 1855, he married Elizabeth Richards, known as "Libby Tilton". Tilton's newspaper work was fully supportive of abolitionism and the Northern cause in the American Civil War.
From 1860 to 1871, he was the assistant of Henry Ward Beecher; however, in 1874, he filed criminal charges against the clergyman for "criminal intimacy" with his (Tilton's) wife. During this period, he was the 1869 commencement speaker for the Irving Literary Society.
Following the apparent acquittal of Beecher in the trial (the public view was ambivalent to his acquittal), Tilton moved to Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. In the 1880s, ironically enough, Tilton frequently played chess with fellow American exile (but ex-Confederate) Judah Benjamin until the latter died in 1884.
The rock singer Robert Plant has put Tilton's poem "Even This Shall Pass Away" to music in a song of the same name, a recording of which is featured on the singer's Band of Joy album (2010).

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God Save the Nation

THOU who ordainest, for the land's salvation,
Famine, and fire, and sword, and lamentation,
Now unto Thee we lift our supplication,—
O, save the Nation!

By the great sign foretold of Thy appearing,
Coming in clouds, while mortal men stand fearing,
Show us, amid the smoke of battle clearing,
Thy chariot nearing.

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