Edwin Markham Archive

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Digitized content from the Edwin Markham Archive.

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Biography:

American poet Charles Edwin Anson Markham was born in Oregon, spent the early part of his career in California, moved to Staten Island in 1901, and remained on the island until his death in 1940.

Markham was a prolific letter writer and had correspondence with many important figures of his time, including Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, Carl Sandburg, Herbert Hoover, Amy Lowell, and Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Markham is best known for his spirited protest against the exploitation of poor laborers in "The Man with the Hoe", inspired by Jean-Francois Millet's painting of the same title. Published in the San Francisco Examiner in 1899, almost overnight it became a literary sensation. Markham had "sounded a trumpet blast of social justice," one critic wrote, for the poor and oppressed people of the world. The response was astounding. It became the single most commercially successful poem ever published. Translated into forty languages, including Arabic and Japanese, it was read worldwide and remains anthologized today.

[Letter] 1904 September 15, New York [to] Mr. Markham

Sept. 15/04

Dear Mr. Markham,

I thank you very heartily for your kind word and invitation. To come for two or three days would be, I fear, impossible, as I am now working regular office hours. It would be a great pleasure, however, to pay you a…

[Letter] 1901 September 29, New York [to] Mr. Markham

THE JOURNAL OF THE SOCIALIST SPIRIT
ONE DOLLAR A YEAR. TEN CENTS A COPY
184 WILLIAM STREET
New York, Sept. 29/01

Dear Mr. Markham,
Mr. LeGallienne disappointed us on his poem for THE COMRADE at the last moment, and we were compelled to use…

[Letter] 1926 June 15, New York City [to] Mr. Markham

C/o Psychology Publishing Company
17 West 60th Street.
New York City.
June 15, 1926

Dear Mr. Markham,
A new monthly magazine is about to be born. Henry Knight Miller and Arthur H. Howland are behind it, and I am helping them to get it out. It…