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 Edwin Markham

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Edwin Markham

  • Birth 23 Apr 1852 Oregon City, Clackamas County, Oregon, USA
  • Death 7 Mar 1940 Westerleigh, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA
  • Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot Section E, Lot 2005, Grave 9
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  • Memorial ID 3161

Poet. He was born Charles Edwin Anson Markham, in Oregon City in what at that time was still the Oregon Territory to Elizabeth (Winchell) and Samuel Barzillai Markham. His parents divorced shortly after his birth. His mother moved with his siblings and him to a ranch in California in 1856. Her oppressive nature drove most of them off at an early age and he too took off in 1867, but returned when his mother agreed to help pay for his education. He received his teacher's certification after studies at California College at Vacaville, San Jose Normal School and Christian College at Santa Rosa. He was married three times first in 1875 to Annie Cox and after that marriage failed he under duress married Caroline Bailey in 1887. She moved out when his mother moved in. His third and final marriage was in 1898 to Anna Catherine Murphy by whom he had a son and she was his "collaborator and editor" until her death in 1938. His first published success was inspired by Jean François Millet's 1862 woodcut "The Man with the Hoe." First published in 1899 it was an inspiration to the trials of the working class and its success led to his being requested to write a poem to commemorate Abraham Lincoln's birthday in 1900. "Lincoln, the Man of the People" was first read by him in New York City at the celebration and the newspapers carried it nationwide. He would again read this piece at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. He published collections around these first two successes followed by "The Shoes of Happiness" (1915); "The Gates of Paradise" (1920) and his final book "New Poems: Eighty Songs at Eighty" (1932). He lectured and wrote in other genres as well, but he is best know for his poetry and was honored in 1908 by election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. At his home on Staten Island, New York, school children got a holiday and would cover his lawn with flowers. On his eightieth birthday, he was honored at Carnegie Hall at an event that included US President Herbert Hoover. One of his well known poems that carries his social concerns: "He drew a circle to shut me out--heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win; we drew a circle and took him in!"

Bio by: D C McJonathan-Swarm


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Jul 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3161
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edwin Markham (23 Apr 1852–7 Mar 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3161, citing Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .