Title: American Boyhood
Author: Biddle, Horace P.
Publication date: 1881
Library: University of Iowa Main Library
Call number: PS1096.B83 A5 1881 cop.1
Submitted by: Alexandra K. Janezic
Horace P. Biddle was born in 1811 in Fairfield County, Ohio. He became a lawyer and served as a judge in Logansport, Indiana from 1846-1852. In addition to being a judge he was also a poet—he contributed to a number of periodicals including the Southern Literary Messenger and Ladies Repository. Family friend, Sarah S. Pratt, has described his poems as such: “The judge was so saturated with the classics that his verse was always based on love, or hair, or eyes, or grief, or “memoree,” now the much-loved theme of radio tenors. No Hoosier schoolboy would have recited one of Biddle’s poems. They lack virility, but his prose was superior.” Biddle bought an island on the Wabash River in Logansport, Indiana where his home was situated. Pratt described his home as ”a roomy, rambling dwelling which year by year housed his ever-growing library and collection of art treasures. He might be called an early patron of the arts in Indiana for he was an enthusiast about all that was fine.” His other interests included music. Biddle invented an instrument he entitled the tetrachord that was closely related to the violin family.
(Sources: http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/imh/article/view/6902/7517, http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/inauthors/view?docId=VAB8224&brand=ia-books)
This particular copy of American Boyhood was donated to an Indiana State Soldiers home by the author. It also features a list of the Soldier’s home library rules.