The New Student's Reference Work/Harte, Francis Bret


Harte, Francis Bret, an American writer, was born at Albany, N. Y., Aug. 25, 1839. Going out to California in 1854, he tried school-teaching, mining and type-setting in turn. While working in the office of the Golden Era in San Francisco, he wrote his first sketches of the mining- regions and people he was familiar with. In this he struck a new vein in literature, and became popular at once, his success gaining him a place as editor on the Golden Era. He founded the Overland Monthly in 1868, and some of his best stories were contributions to it; such as The Luck of Roaring Camp, The Outcasts of Poker Flat and Truthful James. Returning to the east, he contributed to the Atlantic Monthly, and lectured upon pioneer life in California. He was United States consul at Crefeld and Glasgow. After 1885 he lived in London. He wrote a great deal, and showed power in several directions, notably in romances, in Thankful Blossom, Two Men of Sandy Bar, A Phyllis of the Sierras and in the poems John Burns of Gettysburg, Dickens in Camp and The Heathen Chinee, but was most effective in the line of his first work. He died on May 5, 1902.