The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Dennie, Joseph

Edition of 1879. See also Joseph Dennie on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

DENNIE, Joseph, an American author and journalist, born in Boston, Aug. 30, 1768, died in Philadelphia, Jan. 7, 1812. He graduated at Harvard college in 1790, and studied law at Charlestown, N. H., where he was admitted to the bar. He read the Episcopal service to members of that communion at Claremont, and was urged to enter holy orders, with the promise of a settlement. In 1795, having acquired some reputation by literary contributions to various newspapers, under the title of “The Farrago,” he became connected with a weekly journal published in Boston, called the “Tablet.” This publication survived but three months, and in the summer of 1795 Dennie removed to Walpole, N. H., and became editor of the “Farmer's Weekly Museum,” which attained extensive popularity under his management. His most notable contributions were a series of essays entitled “The Lay Preacher.” The articles were discursive and lively, were widely copied by the newspapers of the Union, and gave their author a high reputation as a graceful and humorous essayist. The publisher became bankrupt in 1798, and Dennie was induced to become a candidate for congress, but was defeated. In 1799 he went to Philadelphia to fill the position of confidential secretary to Timothy Pickering, then secretary of state. He remained in this office but a few months, and after editing for a short time the “United States Gazette,” on Jan. 1, 1801, he commenced, in conjunction with Asbury Dickins, the publication in Philadelphia of the “Port Folio,” originally a weekly, but subsequently a monthly journal, in which he adopted the editorial cognomen of “Oliver Old-school.” The “Port Folio” was the vehicle of frequent communications from John Quincy Adams (whose letters from Silesia were originally published in it), Horace Binney, Judge Hopkinson, Robert Walsh, Charles Brockden Brown, and other literary men, and maintained for many years a high reputation. He continued to be connected with the “Port Folio” until his death, and was highly esteemed for his social qualities as well as for his literary abilities. He was the originator of the “Tuesday Club.”