Heilprin, Michael

Heilprin, Michael

(1823–88) scholar, encyclopedist; born in Piotrow, Poland. Educated solely by his father, he showed an early propensity for learning. His family removed to Hungary in 1842 to escape Russian oppression and he soon mastered Magyar. His revolutionary poetry was widely popular before the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and after the collapse of the Revolution he fled to avoid imprisonment. He emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1856 and took an interest in politics and the abolition of slavery. He was engaged in 1858 to work on the New American Cyclopaedia; the thorough revision of the American Cyclopaedia (1872–76) owes much to his scholarship. He wrote regularly for the Nation and contributed notably to its reputation for accuracy. Because much of his writing was anonymous, his own reputation, though excellent, was limited in extent. His only published book is a two-volume study of Old Testament poetry, The Historical Poetry of the Ancient Hebrews (1879–80).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.