Joseph Dennie - Autograph Letter Signed 05/24/1790
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Joseph Dennie - Autograph Letter Signed 05/24/1790:
JOSEPH DENNIE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 05/24/1790 JOSEPH DENNIE
Recently suspended from Harvard and seeking employment, Dennie - not yet a prominent author himself - writes to classmate and future Congressman Roger Vose in praise of another writer.
Autograph Letter signed: "Jos. Dennie", 4 pages 6¼8. Boston, 1790 May 24. Addressed on integral leaf to "Mr. Roger Vose/Student/Cambridge University". [This was Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts,not the British institution.] In full: "Dear Friends, In pursuing Beattie, we immediately perceive that he possessed a nice, fertile & educated imagination. Such is the beautiful energy & dignity of his language that he post breaths in every page. His periods are correct in a high degree. He is happy, both in the selection, & collocation of words. His knowledge of both poetry & music is wined by the melody, and just balance of his sentences. Beattie is himself a poet, & one of a high rank. He has, in addition to many others, written a poem entitled The Minstrel, so rich that the critics acclaim on of the best productions, that has appeared since the demise of Queen Ann". Author Joseph Dennie (1768-1812) was a major literary figure of late 18th and early 19th century America. His Port Folio (1801-1812), was the leading American literary journal of the era. When he wrote this letter, however, Dennie, recently suspended from Harvard for ridiculing for disrespecting faculty members, was in search of employment. (He would later be reinstated and graduated from the institution.) Dennie found success first as a journalist, writing for several papers supportive of the Federalist Party, including the semi-official Gazette of the United States. Dennie himself was quite an ardent Federalist, openly scornful of democracy and very supportive of the Alien and Sedition Acts. (The latter law would later be turned against him, when he himself was prosecuted for seditious libel for his strong attacks on President Jefferson, but he was not convicted.) His most famous longer work was The Lay Preacher (1817). Dennie also served as private secretary to Secretary of State Timothy Pickering (1798-1800). Multiple folds. Heavy surface creases. Corners worn. Stained throughout. 1 inch tear on bottom margin. Small tears where folds meet.
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