1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Flint, Timothy

FLINT, TIMOTHY (1780–1840), American clergyman and writer, was born in Reading, Massachusetts, on the 11th of July 1780. He graduated at Harvard in 1800, and in 1802 settled as a Congregational minister in Lunenburg, Mass., where he pursued scientific studies with interest; and his labours in his chemical laboratory seemed so strange to the people of that retired region, that some persons supposed and asserted that he was engaged in counterfeiting. This, together with political differences, led to disagreeable complications, which resulted in his resigning his charge (1814) and becoming a missionary (1815) in the valley of the Mississippi. He was also for a short period a teacher and a farmer. His observations on the manners and character of the settlers of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys were recorded in a picturesque work called Recollections of the Last Ten Years passed in the Valley of the Mississippi (1826; reprinted in England and translated into French), the first account of the western states which brought to light the real life and character of the people. The success which this work met with, together with the failing health of the writer, led him to relinquish his more active labours for literary pursuits, and, besides editing the Western Review in Cincinnati from 1825 to 1828 and Knickerbocker’s Magazine (New York) in 1833, he published a number of books, including Francis Berrian, or the Mexican Patriot (1826), his best novel; A Condensed Geography and History of the Western States, or the Mississippi Valley (2 vols., 1828); Arthur Clenning (1828), a novel; and Indian Wars in the West (1833). His style is vivid, plain and forcible, and his matter interesting; and his works on the western states are of great value. He died in Salem, Mass., on the 16th of August 1840.