William Joseph Snelling


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(1804–48), Boston author and journalist, as a young man lived for a time among the Dakota Indians near the present St. Paul, Minn., thus gathering information for his charming and accurate Tales of the Northwest; or, Sketches of Indian Life and Character (1830). In his own day he was better known for Truth: A New Year's Gift for Scribblers (1831), a verse satire on contemporary poets. Attacks by literary and political figures who disliked his satire drove him to drink, for which he was sent to the House of Correction in Boston. He wrote of this in The Rat-Trap; or, Cogitations of a Convict in the House of Correction (1837). In the last year of his life, he edited the Boston Herald, continuing his zealous work for reforms.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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