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Collection Wm. Oland Bourne Papers


A chronology of key events in the life of William Oland Bourne, 1819-1901.

William Oland Bourne (1819-1901)

  1. 1819

    Born in Germantown, Pa., sixth son of Rev. George Bourne (1780-1845) and Mary Oland Stibbs Bourne (1780-1851)

  2. 1829

    Bourne family moved to New York

  3. 1844

    Elected correspondent, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in March

    Married Adelia Martin (1814-Apr. 17, 1882), daughter of Francis Martin, on November 25; Rev. George Bourne officiated

  4. 1845

  5. 1846

    Daughter Ella Oland Bourne born in December

  6. 1849

    Registrar and assistant librarian of the New York Free Academy

  7. 1850

    Lived in Lowville, N.Y., while editor of the Lowville Journal

    Published Poems of Hope and Action External (New York: G. P. Putnam)

  8. 1853

    Published Little Silverstring, or, Tales and Poems for the Young (New York: Charles Scribner)

    Published Gems from Fable Land: A Collection of Fables Illustrated by Facts External (New York: Charles Scribner)

  9. 1854

    Published Goldenlink, or, Tales and Poems for the Young (New York: Charles Scribner)

  10. 1856

    Publication of The Iron Platform began with Bourne as a contributor. Bourne began editing the workingman’s publication in 1861.

  11. 1857

    Received patent for an ore separator; additional patents awarded in 1859 and 1860

    Secretary, New York Association of Sunday School Teachers

  12. 1861

    Published The Republic. A Poem External (New York: Richard Brinkerhoff)

  13. 1864

    Corresponding secretary, Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association in New York

    Chaplain, Central Park Hospital in New York City

    Published Poems of the Republic External(New York: E.O. Jenkins)

  14. 1864-1870

    Editor, The Soldier's Friend newspaper

  15. 1865

    First Left-Handed Penmanship contest announced in the June issue of The Soldier’s Friend

  16. 1866

    Exhibition of Left-Handed Penmanship contest entries in New York City in February; closed at noon on March 1

    Left-Handed Penmanship award committee issued report on March 2

    Bourne and committee from Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Union in Washington, D.C. met with President Andrew Johnson on April 28 to invite him to attend left-handed penmanship exhibition

    Exhibition of Left-Handed Penmanship contest entries opened on May 1 at Seaton Hall in Washington, D.C.

    The Soldier’s Friend became The Soldier’s Friend, and Grand Army of the Republic with December 1866 issue

  17. 1867

    Second Left-Handed Penmanship contest announced in the March issue of The Soldier’s Friend, and Grand Army of the Republic

    Daughter Ella married to John Maxwell on August 21; Rev. Roland H. Bourne officiated, assisted by Rev. Samuel Maxwell, Jr.

  18. 1870

  19. 1873

    Editor, The Prisoner's Friend and National Reformer's Journal

    Clerk, New York City Board of Education

  20. 1876

    Published, with George Henry Curtis, The Centennial School Singer, Containing Songs of Patriotism and Peace, for the Children of the American Union (New York and Chicago: Biglow & Main)

  21. 1881

    Published, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. The Prayer of Childhood in Literature and Song (New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company). New and enlarged edition published in 1894.

  22. 1882

    Wife Adelia Martin Bourne died on April 17

  23. 1901

    Died, June 6, in Montclair, N.J., at the home of his daughter Ella Bourne Maxwell.

    Buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Death notices appeared in newspapers across the country, including one with a photograph of Bourne in the June 7, 1901 issue of New York Tribune, the paper once edited by his friend Horace Greeley.