Edwin Markham Archive


Digitized content from the Edwin Markham Archive.

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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.

Collection Items

[Letter] 1904 September 15, New York [to] Mr. Markham
Abbott discusses a possible brief visit to Markham. Abbott also expresses his interest in Markham's articles in the Homiletic Review.

[Letter] 1901 September 29, New York [to] Mr. Markham
Abbott states disappointment with LeGallienne's poem for the first issue of The Comrade. Used Markham's poem in its place; enclosed $10 payment. Abbott also expresses displeasure with the first issue due to various obstacles.

[Letter] 1926 June 15, New York City [to] Mr. Markham
Abbott discusses the creation of a new monthly magazine: The Square Dealer: A Champion of Justice and the People's Rights. Requests a key-note poem from Markham and names other authors sending in material on various topics including theā€¦
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