AHA President, 1900


Historian and Novelist

From the American Historical Review 8:1 (October 1902)

Edward Eggleston (December 10, 1837–September 3, 1902) died in Lake George, New York. Born in Indiana in 1837, he was chiefly educated in the country schools of that state. In 1857 he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and served in Indiana and Minnesota. For some years after 1866 he was mostly engaged in editorial work, being for a time editor of the Independent. His earlier literary work was in the field of fiction, as the author of clever character studies like The Hoosier Schoolmaster and The Circuit Rider. One may indeed attribute to such works as these something of historical value and interest, for they describe with strength, humor and insight the life and activities of the Indiana of forty years ago. In later years he devoted his attention almost exclusively to historical writing, publishing successively History of the United States and its People, for the Use of Schools (1888); Household History of the United States and its People (1888); First Book in American History (1889), and also other smaller texts for school classes. His most important contributions to historical literature are The Beginners of a Nation (1896), which is a charming narrative of parts of our early colonial history, and The Transit of Civilization from England to America in the Seventeenth Century (1901). These two volumes were to constitute portions of what the author called “A History of Life in the United States”—portions of a task for which Dr. Eggleston’s studies and talents specially fitted him, but which he has not lived to accomplish.



A first book in American history, with special reference to the lives and deeds of great Americans. By Edward Eggleston. New York, Cincinnati [etc.] American Book Company, 1915; Reprint, Lake Wales, Fla.: Lost Classics Book Co., 1996.

A history of the United States and its people, for use of schools. By Edward Eggleston. New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, American book company, 1888; Reprint, Lake Wales, Fla.: Lost Classics Book Co., 1998.

The circuit rider: a tale of the heroic age. By Edward Eggleston. New York: J. B. Ford & Company, 1874; Reprint, St. Clair Shores, Mich.: Scholarly Press, 1974.

The end of the world: A love story. New York, AMS Press, 1969.

The Hoosier school-master. A novel. By Edward Eggleston. With twenty-nine illustrations. New York, C. Scribner’s sons, 1883; Reprint with an introduction by B. Edward McClellan; illustrated by Frank Beard. 1st Midland book ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.

Montezuma and the conquest of Mexico. By Edward Eggleston and Lillie Eggleston Seelye. New York, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1880.

Stories of American life and adventure: third reader grade. By Edward Eggleston. New York: American Book Company, 1895.

The transit of civilization from England to America in the seventeenth century, by Edward Eggleston. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1901.

The beginners of a nation; a history of the source and rise of the earliest English settlements in America, with special reference to the life and character of the people. By Edward Eggleston. New York, D. Appleton and company, 1896; Reprint, New York, Johnson Reprint Corp., 1970.