Journal, 1803

Journal, 1803

Journal, 1803

Journal, 1803

Excerpt

This manuscript, whose publication is made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Sheldon Tilney, of New York City, relates briefly the story of Washington Irving's expedition to Ogdensburg (Oswegatchie) in the year 1803. The little volume, one of the very earliest pieces of writing from his pen, may, perhaps, be fairly called the first journal of our first man of letters. Fifty-seven pages in Irving's boyish handwriting, not yet illegible, but characteristically inaccurate in spelling and punctuation, commence in this record the long series of journals which to-day remains our most authoritative source of knowledge concerning the mind of Washington Irving. Of all this he was unaware. In keeping this first journal -- no earlier, I believe, is extant -- he could hardly have known, at the age of twenty, that he was experimenting with a talent which was to win him the praise of Byron and Scott and the enduring affection of his countrymen.

In 1803, he was merely a youngster on . . .

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