Thomas Bailey Aldrich (Thomas Bailey Aldrich)

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Author, Poet, Editor. Aldrich was an only child and his father often moved the whole family as he followed business opportunities. Shortly after his birth, the family moved from New Hampshire to New York for four years, then to New Orleans for about three years. He would later fictionalize these experiences of his childhood in the book “The Story of a Bad Boy” (1870). In 1849, Aldrich returned to New Hampshire to prepare for college. His father’s death later that year, however, inspired him to give up school and move to New York with his mother. There, he attempted several odd jobs before publishing his first book of poetry in 1855 at age 18. He soon became a frequent contributor to various newspapers and journals, working alongside notable literary figures like Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Parker Willis, Bayard Taylor, and Richard Henry Stoddard throughout the 1850s. He married Lilian Woodman on November 28, 1865; they had twin boys five years later and a third son was born shortly after. After the Civil War, Aldrich moved to Massachusetts and joined the staff of Ticknor and Fields, working with authors like James Russell Lowell, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Greenleaf Whittier, and others. He then became editor of the “Atlantic Monthly” from 1881 to 1890, succeeding William Dean Howells. Throughout his career, he continuously published his own work, including several new volumes of poetry. After an extended trip to Europe, he and his wife moved for a time to Saranac Lake, New York, while his grown son was treated for tuberculosis. His son, Charles, did not survive and the couple returned to Massachusetts. At the end of January 1907, Aldrich suddenly became ill and was taken to the hospital. After six weeks, he asked to be taken back to his house, where he died two days later. His last words were recorded as: “In spite of it all, I am going to sleep; put out the lights.” (bio by: Midnightdreary)  Family links:  Spouse:  Mary Elizabeth Woodman Aldrich (1841 – 1927)*  Children:  Charles Frost Aldrich (1868 – 1906)* *Calculated relationship Inscription:”How trivial now / To him must earthly laurel be / Who wears the Amaranth on his brow / How vain the voices of mortality.””So take him Earth and his mortal part / With that shrewd alchemy thou hast transmuted / To flower and leaf in thine unending Springs.”


  • November, 11, 1836
  • USA


  • March, 03, 1907
  • USA


  • Mount Auburn Cemetery
  • Massachusetts
  • USA

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