William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)
While still in his teens, poems such as “Thanatopsis” and “To a Waterfowl” gained Bryant a reputation as one of America’s most promising poets. Much of Bryant’s poetry reflects his love of the outdoors and his belief that nature is the visible manifestation of God. In 1825 he became coeditor of the New York Evening Post, and a few years later he became the editor-in-chief, a position he would hold for nearly fifty years. From the mid to late 1800s, Bryant’s love of nature was manifested in numerous articles and editorials supporting the creation of parks and forest preserves throughout the United States. As can be seen from this article, Bryant was also one of the first to recognize the importance of Marsh’s Man and Nature and to incorporate Marsh’s rationales for forest preservation into his own arguments in favor of creating forest preserves.
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