Leland, Charles Godfrey

Leland, Charles Godfrey

(lē`lənd), pseud.

Hans Breitmann

(häns` brītmän), 1824–1903, American author, b. Philadelphia, grad. College of New Jersey (now Princeton), 1845, studied at Heidelberg, Munich, and Paris. While editor of Graham's Magazine in 1857, he printed in it his German dialect poem, "Hans Breitmann's Party," which became so popular that he wrote others. In 1869 he published Hans Breitmann's Ballads. He founded and edited the Continental Monthly in Boston in 1862 to further the Union cause. After other journalistic ventures he devoted himself to traveling and studying languages and folklore. Leland wrote more than 50 books, including The English Gypsies (1873), Algonquin Legends (1884), and Legends of Florence (1895–96). In the 1880s he also successfully introduced industrial and craft arts into American schools.


See his memoirs (1893); E. R. Pennell, Charles Godfrey Leland (2 vol., 1906, repr. 1970).

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Leland, Charles Godfrey (Hans Breitmann, pen name)

(1824–1903) writer; born in Philadelphia. He studied at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) (1841–45), and in Heidelberg, Munich, and Paris. He returned to Philadelphia, and after studying law he turned to a career as a journalist for periodicals in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. While he was the editor of Graham's Magazine in 1857, he published a German dialect poem, "Hans Breitmann's Party." This was so well received that he continued to write other verses and ballads under his pen name; several collections were published, such as Hans Breitmann About Town (1869). He was also an advocate of introducing industrial and craft arts into American schools. From 1869 on he lived mostly in Europe; he settled in London (1884) and died in Florence, Italy. An accomplished linguist and historian, he wrote on a variety of subjects, including books on the gypsies of Europe and on the ancient Etruscans; he was also known for his translations of Heine's works.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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