Hamlin Garland (Sept.
14, 1860—March 4, 1940)
“I acknowledge a
slumbering unrest. I suspect that I can no longer be a novelist and nothing
more. I must be part of things in the city and in the nation.”
In 1887, Garland took a
summer trip from Boston, where he was living, to the Midwest. In Chicago, he
met with writer Joseph Kirland, who encouraged him to write fiction. And so
began a prodigious output of literature—stories, poems, novels, memoirs,
biographies, and lectures--including the popular A Son of the Middle Border (1917), in which he recounts that conversation
with Kirkland. By that time, Garland had already came and left Chicago as a
resident. He moved here in 1893 and started a family with wife Zulime Taft
Garland. They lived in Chicago until 1916. Among his 44 published works is a
respected biography of Ulysses S. Grant and Rose of Dutcher's Coolly (1895), about a girl from rural Wisconsin who pursues a career as
a poet in Chicago. In his life, Garland was a cultural advocate in wide-ranging
areas impacting American society, including more humane treatment of Native
Americans, women and children. Garland was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in
biography for Daughter of the Middle
Border in 1922. In
addition to Garland’s massive literary contributions, he lectured, for 40
years, on American literature, and was a founder of the famous literary club
“Little Room” and then the Cliff Dwellers, a Chicago cultural club that still
"Like" the CLHOF on Facebook!
Sign up for our free newsletter!