Thomas Robinson Hazard


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(1797–1886), Rhode Island agriculturist generally called “Shepherd Tom” because of his sheep-raising. This and his textile manufacturing were so successful that at 43 he retired from business, moved to an estate near Newport, and devoted the remainder of his life to spiritualism, to a variety of reforms that included better asylums for the poor and insane, abolition of capital punishment, antislavery, pacifism, and feminism, and to antiquarianism. His writings include Recollections of Olden Times (1879) and The Jonny-Cake Letters (1882). This collection, enlarged as The Jonny-Cake Papers of “Shepherd Tom” (1915), recounts Yankee folklore of Rhode Island in a whimsical fashion.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.