by Charlotte M. Yonge
Hannah More was born in 1745 in the village of Fishponds, located near Bristol. Her father was a teacher, which helped to ensure that Hannah and her siblings were educated. She was once engaged, but the nuptials did not take place. Instead, More enjoyed an annual payment from the broken engagement from her would-be husband, William Turner. More used the money to allow her to live her dreams–to be a writer. She wrote a great deal, especially poetry in her younger days. In 1787 she became more involved in the abolition movement. A year later, her poem, “Slavery, A Poem” became a powerful call to action against slavery by bringing attention to Britain’s role and the blight on Christianity from the ungodly practice.
She continued to fight against slavery, but also turned her attentions towards building schools for impoverished children. More also became more involved in her religious community, and her writing took on more evangelical, including writing several religious tracts. She worked in conjunction with Sunday schools to create programs to combat illiteracy. She passed away in 1833, after seeing Britain finally abolish slavery.
by Charles Francis Adams
Charles Francis Adams enjoyed a variety of roles during his life. He was born on May 27, 1835 in Boston into a life of prominence, being the grandson of John Quincy Adams. In 1856, Adams graduated from Harvard University. A few years later he served in the Union Army during the Civil War in 1861. He was considered to have served the Union Army well as a lieutenant colonel. After he resigned from the Army in 1865, he began working with the Massachusetts Railroad Commission. He eventually found his way as the president of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1884. Adams pursued policies that supported business rights over those of consumers, feeling that the general public was sometimes hostile or unstable. However, these sentiments backfired while he was the president of Union Pacific, since businesses refused to collaborate and forward Adams’ policies. Adams refused to work with labor unions, like the Knights of Labor, which resulted in a horrific massacre of Chinese workers that Adams brought in. By 1890, owner Jay Gould had Adams forced out of his role.A few years later, Adams began working for the Massachusetts Park Commission, where he primarily assisted with planning park developments across the state. He also focused on historical writing, and became president of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1895. This particular work is autobiographical, but was published posthumously. Adams passed away on May 20, 1915 and is buried in Quincy, Massachusetts.
by Sergei Michailovich Trufanov
Sergei Michailovich Trufanov, also known as Hieromonk Iliodor, was born on October 19, 1880 in a small village near the Don River. Despite crushing poverty, which claimed several of his siblings, Trufanov was able to attend several years of school and then entered the local seminary. He went on to attend and graduate the St. Petersburg Theological Academy in 1905. Shortly after, he gave several sermons that attacked a variety of people and organizations, including politicians, aristocrats, revolutionaries, Jews, nationalists, and more. Soon after he apparently blackmailed Rasputin. He later apologized for his slander of Jewish people, then renounced the Russian Orthodox Church, and ultimately was defrocked.
After being banned from several monasteries, he fled to what is currently Norway. He continued to plot against Rasputin, starred as himself in a silent film, The Fall of the Romanovs in 1917, and then returned to Russia in 1918. A few years later, he moved to New York City and lived a relatively quiet life with his family while working as a janitor until his death on January 28, 1952. This story focuses on his earlier life, a time when one critic deemed him, “extravagantly psychopathic.”
by Mason Long
Mason Long was born on September 10, 1842 in Luray, Ohio. He had a very difficult childhood, and then went on to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. He spent three years in the service, and discusses drinking and gambling, and their popularity among soldiers during the War. Afterwards, he drifted among various occupations, including running variety and minstrel shows, and much time in and out of jail. He was by his own account a degenerate gambler. Later, he turned to religion, went sober and wrote this book to help others avoid going down the same path as him, as well as to support the Temperance Movement.
This new edition is dedicated to Bruce Rich, by no means drifter, gambler or teetotaler, but certainly an explorer of human nature and human folly.
by George Preston Mains
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James Monroe Buckley was born in Rahway, NJ on December 16, 1836. He became a Methodist Church minister in 1858. He worked in Delaware, New York and Michigan. He also became the editor of The Christian Advocate in 1881 and served until 1912. In 1872, he received the degree of D. D. from Wesleyan University, and then later an LL. D. from Emory and Henry College in Virginia. He was highly regarded in the Methodist denomination and served in many important roles. In addition, he wrote a great deal, including ‘Two Weeks in the Yosemite Valley’ (1872); ‘Oats or Wild Oats’ (1885); ‘The Land of the Czar and the Nihilist’ (1886); ‘Travels in Three Continents.’
by Adeline Adams
John Quincy Adams Ward (June 29, 1830 – May 1, 1910) was a sculptor. He was born in Ohio to a family of means. He enjoyed playing on their 600 acre estate, and in his early childhood enjoyed making sculptures out of malleable sediment from a nearby creek. He began studying with a local family friend and potter in his adolescence, but then became discouraged after seeing talented artists at a sculpture show. He studied medicine until he became quite ill. Afterwards, he decided to return to sculpture. He was most well-known for creating busts of famous male figures, most notably his work of George Washington which still stands in New York City. In addition to sculpting, Ward served as the President of the National Academy of Design for a number of years. He also founded, and then became President of the National Sculpture Society. He served on numerous boards and committees which sought to advance art, including being one of the original members of the Board of Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Adeline Adams (1859–1948) was predominantly a writer who focused on artist biographies, but she also wrote poetry. She was born in Boston, well educated and had a lifelong appreciation for the arts. She was also involved in the women’s suffrage movement.