(1822–91), born in England, was brought to New York (1827) and established his literary reputation with the publication of The Life of Horace Greeley (1855). His ability at realistic portrayal and the vivid ordering of comprehensive factual material made him a noteworthy biographer of his time. His other subjects were Aaron Burr (1857), Andrew Jackson (3 vols. 1859–60), Benjamin Franklin (2 vols., 1864), John Jacob Astor (1865), Jefferson (1874), and Voltaire (2 vols., 1881). In addition to these works, which remain excellent personal portraits, he wrote on contemporary political, social, and economic topics, and made collections of short biographies. His wife was Sara P. Willis.
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.