Analyzes the life and career of the popular nineteenth-century American historian, Benson J. Lossing.
Benson J. Lossing (1813-1891), whose career as a populizer of United States history spanned nearly sixty years, is the focus of this study of the production and uses of history in nineteenth-century American culture. After an introduction on relevant theory and methodology and the background for American historical writing, nine chronological chapters trace Lossing's career from an impoverished youth in rural New York through a thirty-year sojourn in New York City and later periods of voluminous writing. A conclusion discusses how Lossing's reputation suffered after the rise of academic historians who perceived him as lacking scholarly exactitude.
Scribblers and Scholars: An Introduction A Spark Flamed: 1813-1838 Historian on the Make: 1838-1841 A Career Revived: 1841-1848 From Dan to Beersheba: The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution Worth a Dozen Plutarchs: The 1850s Patriotic Lore: Lossing's Civil War With Redoubled Efforts: 1868-1880 Decline and Fall: 1881-1891 More (or Less) Than a Historian? Lossing's Legacies Bibliographic Essay Index