George Alfred Townsend, Sr

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George Alfred Townsend, Sr

Georgetown, Sussex County, Delaware, USA
Death 15 Apr 1914 (aged 73)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section 9, Lot 98
Memorial ID 12613560 · View Source
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Journalist, Author. He was born in Georgetown, Delaware. From the Civil War until the end of the century, he was one of the most widely read newspaper writers. With his flair for words, his prose marched across the page, vivid, often flamboyant, and sometimes inaccurate. He worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer, then for that city's Press. When the Civil War came, the New York Herald sent him to cover Major General George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. In August 1862 he went to England, where his lectures and articles argued the Union cause. Returning to the United States, he covered the final battles of the war for the New York World. These articles, and his perceptive insights into the events surrounding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, brought him to national prominence. After traveling to Europe for a few months in 1866 to report on the Austro-Prussian War for the World, he settled in Washington D.C., in 1867. He wrote for the Chicago Tribune, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the now familiar initials GAT appeared in a growing number of newspapers. At some point, he added an H to GAT, becoming known to his readers as "Gath." For the next 40 years his newspaper articles were widely published. He wrote historical books, biographies, novels, and reams of poetry, and lectured as well. His Tales of the Chesapeake and a novel, The Entailed Hat, are considered his best literary efforts, although another novel, Katy of Catoctin, is frequently consulted by researchers into Lincoln's assassination. The Life, Crime, and Capture of John Wilkes Booth, published in 1865 as a 25 cent paperback, is now highly prized. In 1884 he purchased land in Maryland at Crampton's Gap on South Mountain, near the sites of bitter Civil War battles during the Antietam Campaign, and invested heavily in construction on his estate, "Gapland." Today it is Gathland State Park. He suffered poor health in later years. Ironically, he died on the 49th anniversary of Lincoln's death.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ugaalltheway
  • Added: 5 Dec 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 12613560
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Alfred Townsend, Sr (30 Jan 1841–15 Apr 1914), Find a Grave Memorial no. 12613560, citing Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .