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Thomas Dunn English (29 Jun 1819 - 1 Apr 1902)
migration: Philadelphia, PA - Mt. Pleasant, New Castle Co., DE - New York - Newark, New Jersey
Author and representative, Thomas Dunn English was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of an Irish family and a descendant of an English who came to America from Ireland in 1683, settling in Delaware at a place called Mt. Pleasant. At the age of sixteen Thomas began writing for Paulson's "The Advertiser" and other Philadelphia journals. He also studied medicine and was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839. After graduation he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1842.

Although qualified for several professions, Thomas English preferred journalism. He was the author of the ballad "Ben Bolt" in 1843, which became a national favorite. Dr. English authored many other poems and ballads. Some of his more notable works were, " Ballads of Irish History" and "Boy's Book of Ballads".

He was politically active and after moving to Newark, New Jersey from New York in 1857 he became a member of the New Jersey state assembly in 1863 and 1864 and was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Fifty-fourth. Dr. English then resumed his literary pursuits until his death in Newark.Thomas Dunn English died in Newark, New Jersey, and is buried in Fairmont Cemetery.

Source_bio 1:
American Genealogical Research Institute
Heritage Press, Inc.
Washington, D.C.; 1978


Thomas Dunn ENGLISH, author, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 29 June 1819. His ancestors were Quakers, who settled in Mount Pleasant, New Jersey, in 1684. The name was originally Angeles, which has been corrupted to the present form.

He was educated chiefly in private academies and at the Friends' boarding school in Burlington, New Jersey when only seventeen years of age he wrote for the Philadelphia press. He was graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1839, but after a short practice he studied law in Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar in 1842. He edited a daily paper in New York in 1844, and in the following year began the publication of a literary magazine, "The Aristidean," of which only a single volume was issued.

In 1848 he edited a humorous periodical entitled "John Donkey," and in the same year he wrote a work on the French Revolution of that period, in conjunction with G. G. Foster. He removed to Virginia in 1852, where he remained five years, after which he wrote in New York the " Logan Grazier" and other poems descriptive of life and character in that region. In 1859 he settled in New Jersey, where he has since practiced medicine.

Thomas Dunn English was actively engaged in politics, and served in the New Jersey legislature in 1863-1864. William and Mary gave him the degree of LL.D. in 1876. He is the author of several novels, mostly pseudonymous, and of more than twenty dramas, of which "The Mormons" is the only one printed. He wrote "Ben Bolt," a popular song, which first appeared in the New York " Mirror" in 1843, and the "Gallows Goers," a rough but vigorous poem, which had an immense circulation during the agitation of the question of capital punishment from 1845 till 1850.

Among Mr. English's other publications are "Walter Woolfe" (Philadelphia, 1842); "MDCCCXLIV., or the Power of the S. F.," a political satire (New York, 1845); "Poems" (New York, 1855; edition suppressed); "Ambrose Fecit, or the Peer and the Painter" (1869); " American Ballads" (1882); and "Book of Battle Lyrics " and "Jacob Schuyler's Millions" (1886). He has also written numerous pamphlets, and has contributed lyrics and essays to various periodicals.


Source_bio 2:
Edited Appletons Encyclopedia
Copyright © 2001

another reference:
ENGLISH, Thomas Dunn, 1819-1902
ENGLISH, Thomas Dunn, a Representative from New Jersey; born in Philadelphia, Pa., June 29, 1819; attended the Friends' Academy, Burlington, N.J., and was graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1839; studied law; was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1842, but mainly pursued journalism; wrote the song Ben Bolt in 1843, and was the author of many poems, ballads, and lyrics; moved to Virginia in 1852; moved to New York City in 1857, and to Newark, N.J., a year later; member of the State house of assembly in 1863 and 1864; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses (March 4, 1891-March 3, 1895); chairman, Committee on Alcoholic Liquor Traffic (Fifty-third Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1894 to the Fifty-fourth Congress; resumed his former literary pursuits in Newark, N.J., until his death on April 1, 1902; interment in Fairmont Cemetery.

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