Moses Coit Tyler - Encyclopedia




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MOSES COIT TYLER (1835-1900), American author, was born in Griswold, Connecticut, on the 2nd of August 1835. At an early age he removed with his parents to Detroit, Michigan. He entered the university of Michigan in 1853, but in the next year went to Yale College, from which he graduated A.B. in 1857, and received the degree of A.M. in 1863. He studied for the Congregational ministry at the Yale Divinity School (1857-1858) and at the Andover Theological Seminary (1858-1859), and held a pastorate at Owego, New York, in1859-1860and at Poughkeepsie in 1860-1862. Owing to illhealth, however, and a change in his theological beliefs, he left the ministry. He became interested in physical training, and for some time (partly in England) wrote and lectured on the subject, besides other journalistic work. He became professor of English language and literature in the university of Michigan in 1867, and held that position until 1881, except in1873-1874when he was literary editor of the Christian Union; from 1881 until his death on the 28th of December 1900 at Ithaca, New York, he was professor of American history at Cornell University. In 1881 he was ordained deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church and in 1883 priest, but he never undertook parochial work. Most important among his works are his valuable and original History of American Literature during the Colonial Time, 16497-1766 (2 vols., 1878; revised in 1897), and Literary History of the American Revolution, 1763-1783 (2 vols., 1897). Supplementary to these two is his of Letters (1895), containing biographical and critical chapters on George Berkeley, Timothy Dwight and Joel Barlow. In addition he published The Brawnville Papers (1869), a series of essays on physical culture; a revision of Henry Morley's Manual of English Literature (1879); Memoriam: Edgar Kelsey Apgar (1886), privately printed; Patrick Henry (1887), an excellent biography, in the "American Statesmen" series; and Glimpses of England; Social, Political, Literary (1898), a selection from his sketches written while abroad.

See "Moses Coit Tyler," by Professor William P. Trent, in The Forum (Aug. 1901), and an article by Professor George L. Burr, in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1901 (vol. i.).

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