Willis, Nathaniel Parker

Willis, Nathaniel Parker

Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1806–67, American author, b. Portland, Maine, grad. Yale, 1827. He was editor of the periodical the Legendary and later of the Token before founding (1829) the American Monthly Magazine in Boston. In 1831 he merged his magazine with George Pope Morris's New-York Mirror and went abroad to write for the Mirror and for English magazines. As editor of the Mirror after 1840 and of the National Press (later the Home Journal), which he and Morris founded in 1846, Willis attracted many prominent contributors. His books, popular but ephemeral, were collections of his journalistic work; among them are Pencillings by the Way (1835), Inklings of Adventure (1836), and short stories in Dashes at Life with a Free Pencil (1845).


See biographies by H. A. Beers (1885, repr. 1969) and C. V. Wedgewood (1944, repr. 1996); study by C. P. Auser (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Willis, Nathaniel Parker (Roy, Cassius, Philip Slingsby, pen names)

(1806–67) poet, writer, editor; born in Portland, Maine. He and his family moved to Boston (1812), and he studied at Yale (B.A. 1927), where he was known as a poet. He became a journalist and founded the American Monthly magazine (1829). After moving to New York City, he worked as a foreign correspondent for the New York Mirror until 1836, and eventually became coeditor there. He traveled to England often, maintained a home by the Hudson River, and was noted for epistolary essays, as seen in Pencillings by the Way (1844).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.