Celebrating 17 years

Connecticut Wits:

Intimations of American Romanticism

« Continued from page 1

The squire also mentioned that the Tories also had saints like "Saint Hutchinson."[49] Thus Trumbull through the words of a Tory placed doubt on the Tories spiritually and their motives for not supporting the American cause. Honorius replied to the claim of Hutchinson as a saint by pointing out that he was caught lying.[50] Again M'Fingal conceded the point but claimed that lying was "the highest privilege of speech."[51] From the debate Trumbull's point was clear: the Americans seeking independence were thoughtful, pious, people while the British and the Tories were corrupt, impious liars. Trumbull saw those on the side of America as the only people with a rational argument to be presented.

Another key Connecticut Wit was David Humphreys.  William Dowling pointed out that that a most of Humphreys' poems should be taken within the context of classical republican ideology. He wrote that some of his works were "unintelligible" if not read within frame of classical republicanism.[52] In Humphreys' Poem on the Industry of the United States of America he "deliberately invokes" themes of Virgil, Hesiod, and other Roman poets.[53] Dowling's assessment of Humphreys' poetry clearly placed it in neoclassic literature. To further the neoclassic claim, Humphreys also wrote about Cincinnatus returning to the "sweet fruition of domestic life."[54] He asserted that ancient Athens, Sparta, Rome, and Lusitania were all destroyed because of sloth.[55] He referred to the shores of the mythological river Styx.[56] Humphreys also mentioned the Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece at Colchis.[57] The classical references along with the idea of civic virtue that appeared throughout the poem were neoclassic.

There were also Romantic ideas and values throughout the poem. There were plenty of references to the common man and marginalized people. One of the first lines in the poem commanded "lowly labour" to "teach my lips to sing."[58] Than concerning American farmers he said "creation springs where'er thy ploughshare drives."[59] He wrote about the "rustic youth."[60] He then moved to the extremely marginalized by mentioning the "savage-men," or Native Americans, who had "midnight orgies."[61] Later he moved on to black slaves.[62]

A Poem on the Industry of the United States of America was also an example of Romantic literature because of the social agenda it showed in regards to slavery. Humphreys wrote the following about slavery:

Thou Slavery, (maledictions blast thy name!)
Fell Scourge of mortals, reason's foulest shame.
Fly fiend infernal! To the Stygean shore,
And let thy deeds defile my song no more.[63]

Humphreys evidently held a deep enough contempt for slavery to curse the institution in the first line of the stanza. The second line in the stanza could have multiple interpretations, all of which was a condemnation of slavery. One interpretation would be that reason had rationalized the existence of slavery. The ancient Greeks and Romans who stood for all logic and reason had allowed for slavery. Logic in that case was completely evil. The heart should have been followed to the conclusion that slavery was wrong. Another possible reading of "reason's foulest shame" could be that reason was not utilized properly when the conclusion was reached to allow slavery. The arguments for slavery were specious but convincing enough to lead reasonable people to be deceived and come to the wrong conclusion. Either of these interpretations strongly denounced the thinking that led to slavery. Both of them do not support complete rationalism. The small step away from complete reliance on rational thought was one step closer to Romanticism. The next line essentially sent the immoral practice of slavery to hell or to the underworld. The last line in the stanza was the attempt to leave behind what was wrong with America and move back to the wonderful industry of Humphrey's beloved country.

David Humphreys took another step towards Romanticism when he wrote sonnets. David Humphreys might have been America's first sonneteer.[64] An Italian poet named Petrarch perfected sonnets in the fourteenth century. The sonnet was popular during the time of Shakespeare through the time of Milton. Soon after Milton the sonnet vanished from English poetry until about 1750. The sonnet became a staple of Romantic poetry.[65] Between the years of 1776 to 1799 or 1780 Humphreys wrote twelve sonnets. Humphreys explained "upon lately looking over my papers, I found a few sonnets which recalled to recollection some of the feelings with which they were written."[66]

None of Humphreys' sonnets followed perfectly the Shakespearian sonnet's or the Petrarchian sonnet's rhyme scheme. The Shakespearian sonnet had a rhyme scheme of a b a b c d c d e f e f g g. The Petrarchian sonnet's rhyme scheme was a b b a a b b a c d e c d e.[67] Humphreys' sonnets had an unique rhyme schemes usually similar to a b a b c d c d d e f e f f. thus, not only did Humphrey's write sonnets like most other Romantic poets, he was also abandoning the strict form that sonnets had taken before him.

Feldman's and Robinson's book also mentioned that Romantic poets took the form of the sonnet and changed the typical themes of sonnets before them.[68] Many of Humphreys' sonnets do that. Unlike Shakespeare and Petrarch, Humphreys did not write about love in his sonnets. Most of Humphreys' sonnets were political. Some of the sonnets were about the Revolutionary War. "Sonnet I" was about him leaving Yale to join the army. He claimed to hear "Columbia" call him to defend her from the "chains" the British would put her in.[69] "Sonnet IV" related Humphreys' feelings when the army was disbanded. "Sonnet IV" explained how he was saddened to have to bid "a long farewell" to his friends he had made in the service of his country. He wrote that "friendship made their cups of suffering sweet."[70]

"Sonnet V" is unique amongst Humphreys' sonnets because it deals with life, time, and death. Some of Shakespeare's sonnets also were about time and its passing; however, for Shakespeare time was almost always negative—it was time cutting a love short or leading to decay. Humphreys' poem is positive. He asserted that "true life begins at death." He wrote that past, present, and future mingle together. His footnote to the poem stated that "with the Deity, past, present, and future areÉ the same."[71] Humphreys' emphasized that the positive and the afterlife, while Shakespeare emphasized the losses time brought.[72]

In "Sonnet X" Humphreys discussed what he considered murders committed by the Jacobins. He prophesied that the murderous Jacobins would eventually receive the same barbarous treatment they gave to their former rulers. He wrote that the revolutionary Frenchmen murdered in the guise of freedom. In Humphreys' beloved "Columbia" the revolutionaries performed no such atrocities.[73] Humphreys showed a little exoticism in this poem by showing the foreign French folks behaving so poorly. At the same time he displayed his nationalism by showing that the American Revolutionaries performed their revolution in a manner that they need not be ashamed.

Humphreys' final sonnet was elegiac. He mourned the death of George Washington. Humphreys referred to Washington as "our living light." In the last stanza Humphreys stated that Washington's "bright example still illumes the way." Humphreys explained that the reason Washington was an exemplar was the fact that he "relied on heavenly help alone." The couplet to finish the poem continued to praise the future good that the life of Washington would do:

Then from his hallow'd track, who shall entice
Columbia's sons to tread the paths of vice.[74]

Humphreys clearly believed that the life of the virtuous George Washington would affect Americans and keep on a noble path.

Another fascinating poem by Humphreys was "An Ode Addressed to Laura." The poem described the beauty and charm of a girl simply known as Laura.[75] Petrarch also wrote many of his poems, in his case sonnets, to a Laura.[76] Humphreys could have been invoking Petrarch, an early fourteenth century poet by using the name Laura for the love poem. If that was the case, and Humphreys was influenced by a writer from the Middle Ages that was one step even closer to Romanticism.

Another Hartford Wit whose poetry was considered similar in nature to David Humphreys' poetry was Timothy Dwight. Dowling wrote that both Humphreys' and Dwight's work invoke classical republican ideas.[77]

One of Timothy Dwight's most important works was Greenfield Hill. Dwight wrote this poem in response to European critics who declared that America lacked grand themes or impressive settings to inspire its own poetry. Dwight strove to prove America's critics wrong. He fashioned the poem after Denham's Cooper's Hill, and at different times he seemed to imitate different English poets like Thomson, Goldsmith, Beattie, Gay, and Pope.[78] Those English poets, for the most part, were neoclassic writers. Given, the classical republican themes and the neoclassic authors that Dwight imitated classifying his poetry as neoclassic literature would only be logical but Dwight provided Romantic ideas to his poetry too. Peter Kafer wrote that Timothy Dwight was both neoclassic and Romantic.[79]

Greenfield Hill was written in iambic pentameter but it had no rhyme scheme. The absence of a rhyme scheme was a clear departure from typical epic poetry in the neoclassic period.  Still, there was plenty in the poem to call it neoclassic. Dwight mentioned Virgil and Horace.[80] He extolled the value of  common sense.[81] The poem included the fable "the Lion, the Bear, and the Fox" by the ancient Phrygian sage, "Esop."[82] The references to ancient Roman and Greek poets and the great fable dispenser along with the many ideology that Dowling pointed out were strong evidence that the poem was neoclassic.

There are also a number of pieces of evidence that suggested that Greenfield Hill was a Romantic poem too. The poem was nationalistic, the point being to show that Connecticut specifically and American in general were as worthy if not more so than anywhere in Europe to have poetry written about it.[83] Dwight praised the beauty of America's forest, groves, lawns, and rivers.[84] Dwight praises the American people and their distribution of education throughout the land.[85]

Another way Timothy Dwight showed his Romanticism in Greenfield Hill was through the social causes he threw his support to. One of these causes was education. He was proud of the fact that "education opens, spreading" to the common man instead of being open just for the Aristocrat as in other countries.[86] He was ecstatic that there was a "schoolhouse in every hamlet."[87] The cause of education was extremely important to Timothy Dwight.  With evidence from his life, it was oblivious that for Dwight "spreading" education meant spreading it to women too. The academically vigorous school that he ran at Greenfield Hill was coeducational. In his school boys and girls were taught the same curriculum. He wrote that "it isÉ high time that women should be considered less as pretty, and more as rational and immortal beings." His beliefs on women's education were similar to the famous Romantic writer Mary Wollstonecraft.[88]

Another Romantic cause supported by Timothy Dwight was the abolition of  slavery. In Greenfield Hill Dwight stated that slavery caused "Liberty" to lose its soul. It caused slaves to lose intelligence. Dwight called slavery the "laurel of the infernal mind."[89] Like many other Romantic artist, Timothy Dwight used his art to condemn slavery and its effects on all of the parties involved with it.

Another aspect of Romanticism in Greenfield Hill was the exoticism in the poem. He mentioned the frozen Russian archipelago called Zembla, "silken Asia,"  "Korean gales," and the Pyramids.[90] Dwight took his readers on a brief Romantic trip to exotic locals around the world.

A second work by Timothy Dwight was The Triumph of Infidelity. Wells called this work the "preeminent" American neoclassical satire.[91] He also wrote that this poem imitated Alexander Pope's The Dunciad.  He also explained that the poem's main satiric target was Charles Chauncey and espousal of Universalism.[92] Universalist believed that everyone will eventually be saved. The Triumph of Infidelity had Satan narrate the successes he had achieved in leading men to infidelity. The last false doctrine he dwelled on was the doctrine of universal salvation. The poem than explained why universal salvation was a folly. Essentially Dwight wrote that if all men and women were to be saved in the end, regardless of behavior during their lives, why should they be obedient on earth.[93] One fascinating footnote in which Dwight rewrote the scriptures to act as the "spiritual basis for Universalism" read:

Matthew vii 13-14: Straight is the gate, and narrow the way, that leadeth to destruction, and no body there is, who goes in thereat: Because wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth unto life, and all they be, who find it.

Dwight continued the footnote by calling this new version of the Bible as popular amongst "thieves, whoremongers, idolaters, and all liars; with others who mean to go to heaven via hell.[94]

This poem could be considered neoclassic because it imitates and alludes to other Enlightenment poets like Pope, Swift, and Dryden.[95] The Triumph of Infidelity was composed of heroic couplets without enjambment. It also alludes to and places, events, and people from ancient Greece and Rome like the "Tartarean fires" and the sacking of Rome by the Goths and Huns, Plato, and the Sophists.[96]

The reference to Sophist could also be an example of the Romanticism of The Triumph of Infidelity. The poem said, "Sweet sophism led the soul astray."[97] Dwight essentially called neoclassic philosophers Sophist who deceived men with convincing albeit false arguments. Elsewhere in the poem, Dwight called dismissed "the oracles of man" or the "oracles of reason" as "Clodhopping."[98] Timothy Dwight clearly was dissecting pure logic as the ultimate path to understanding.

In another shot at Enlightenment philosophers Dwight described David Hume as Satan's "best Amanuensis," and he said that Satan inspired Voltaire.[99] Again, Timothy Dwight showed his contempt for at least part of neoclassic thought. As a preface to The Triumph of Infidelity, Dwight wrote a letter addressed to Voltaire. In the letter Dwight accuses Voltaire of using the "shining talents" that God gave him to elevate his own character above God's character.[100] Timothy Dwight displayed his disapproval of the Enlightenment Humanism in the writings and philosophy of Voltaire.

Timothy Dwight's younger brother, Theodore Dwight, was another poet within the Connecticut Wits. Young Dwight and a few other poets made up the Minor Connecticut Wits. Often the poetry of the Minor Wits would have little to no neoclassic markers within them. For instance, Theodore Dwight wrote an untitled antislavery poem. This antislavery poem had a few clear Romantic elements in it. For one thing, it took up the social cause of abolition. Secondly the poem made no appeal to logic; but rather, it played on the emotions of the reader. In the beginning of the poem the reader hears an African woman crying out to the "God of Christians." She asked Him to save her from "despair" because her children are taken from her. She saw her son "stripp'd and bleeding" with a "reeking wound!" Later these important questions were asked to Christians:

Christians! Who's this God you worship?
Is he cruel, fierce, or good?
Does he take delight in mercy?
Or in spilling human blood?

At the end of the poem the mother was struck dead by the captain of a ship.[101] The use of pathos instead of logos was typical of Romantic literature.

Another poem by Theodore Dwight was "Lines Addressed to a Mother, Who had Been Absent from Home Several Weeks, on Her Seeing Her Infant Child Asleep" also was full of Romantic thoughts and techniques. Like the previous poem, "Lines Addressed to a Mother" relied on emotions to convey its point. The title alone was a prime example of the use of emotion.[102] Most parents have had the experience of being gone all day to return home to a sleeping baby.  People could relate to the feelings of the mother in the poem.

When the Mother saw her sleeping baby her mind wandered and she tried to imagine where the spirit of the child went while he slept. The mother wondered if the baby's spirit was carried by an angel to heaven while he slept. Or if possibly it lingered close to the crib. Another possibility the mother imagined was "Death's insidious power" laid hold of the infant child's spirit for a few hours.[103] A long portion of the poem was the mother's imagination. Imagination was an important part of Romantic literature

The mother reached a happy conclusion when she noticed the baby smiling. She decided that "Fancy" flew the spirit of the infant "to a mother's arms of love."[104] The mother's conclusion along with the other possible destinations of the sleeping child's spirit all seemed mystical or magical. Romantic authors often wrote about the mystical or magical world.

Another Minor Connecticut Wit named Richard Alsop wrote about Fancy and imagination called The Charms of Fancy.  In this poem Fancy was the fairy that inspired dreams and imaginations in all. Fancy inspired Edmund Spenser, John Trumbull, Timothy Dwight, and Joel Barlow. Fancy also inspired the mysticism of Persia, India, Egypt, and many other countries full of superstition.[105]

Another way that this poem was Romantic was in its images allusions to the Medieval Times. This was scene when Alsop mentioned Spenser. Edmund Spenser was an Rennaissaince writer but he intentionally wrote in the archaic style of the Middle Age.[106] The poem made reference to stories of knights and giant's castles.[107]

The poem was full of exoticism. It described Fancy's journey through India, Cambodia, China, Persia, Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt. It describes the Pyramids "in all their hoary majesty of time. The Charms of Fancy described the superstition in all these countries saying Egypt was the most superstitious.[108]

The last Minor Connecticut Wit in this paper was Elihu Hubbard Smith. Wrote a number of sonnets. As previously stated, a sonnet was a typical form for the Romantic poet to write. One of his most interesting sonnets was an untitled sonnet about a young lady named Kate. Kate fell in love with a man named William. William "sullied" her name "by a villains art."[109] This poem essentially mourned the treatment of Kate received from William. This poem was a unique take on a love sonnet.

Smith wrote a second atypical sonnet called "Sonnet VI: to Egwina." It began as an ordinary love sonnet. Smith praised Egwina's beauty. It stated how much the sonneteer longed for her. The sonnet also praised "her mind, its radiant worth to prove."[110] It was unusual for a sonnet to praise the mind of women. It is possible that this sonnet was reemphasizing Timothy Dwight's teaching that women were more than pretty—they were rational too.[111]

Another unique sonnet by E. H. Smith was "Sonnet IX: To Mr. John Trumbull." This sonnet described the value of the paintings of John Trumbull. Smith wrote that the art of John Trumbull displayed " wisdom, liberty, and sense."[112] It is fascinating to see a sonnet written in praise of an artist.

These three sonnets were examples of Romantic art for a few reasons. For one thing they are sonnets that themes do not follow the typical sonnet themes. "Sonnet VI" took up the cause of women as more than just aesthetically pleasing objects. Smith's sonnets were yet another step towards Romantic literature in America.

The poetry of the Connecticut Wits from the late eighteenth century through the early nineteenth century contains elements from both neoclassic and Romantic literature. The Minor Connecticut Wits works were progressively more Romantic than the original Hartford Wits. Romanticism by the Wits was evidenced by the use of the sonnet by Humphries and Smith. The Romanticism crept into the epics in the form of Romantic social causes, nationalism, exoticism, and references to medieval ideas and people such as Edmund Spencer.

 

Selected Bibliography

Primary Sources

Alsop, Richard. The Charms of Fancy, in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin. Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970.

Dwight, Theodore. "Lines Addressed to a Mother, Who had Been Absent from Home Several Weeks, on Her Seeing Her Infant Child Asleep," in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin. Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970.

________. Untitled poem about slavery, in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin. Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970.

Dwight, Timothy. Greenfield Hill, in The Connecticut Wits, Ed by Vernon Parrington. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963.

________. The Triumph of Infidelity, In The Connecticut Wits, Ed by Vernon Parrington. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963.

Humphreys, David. "An Ode Addressed to Laura," in The Connecticut Wits, ed by Vernon Parrington. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963.

________. A Poem on the Industry of the United States of America, in The Connecticut Wits, ed by Vernon Parrington. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963.

________."Sonnet I: Addressed to my Friends on my Leaving them to Join the Army," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, Late Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid. New York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-street, 1804.

________."Sonnet IV: on Disbanding the Army," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, Late Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid. New York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-street, 1804.

________. "Sonnet V: on Life," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, Late Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid. New York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-street, 1804.

________. "Sonnet X: On the Murders Committed by the Jacobin Faction in the Early Period of the French Revolution," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys Late Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid. New York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-street, 1804.

________."Sonnet XII:on Receiving the News of the Death of General Washington," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys Late Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid. New York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-street, 1804.

Smith, Elihu. "Sonnet VI: To Egwina,"" in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin. Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970.

________. "Sonnet IX: To Mr. John Trumbull." in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin. Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970.

________. untitled sonnet, in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin. Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970.

Trumbull, John. "An Elegy on the Times: First Printed in Boston." New Haven: Thomas and Samuel Green, 1775; accessed online at http://infoweb.newsbank.com.erl.lib.byu.edu; last accessed 6 June 2008.

________. "An Essay on the Use and Advantages of Fine Arts." New Haven: T. and S. Green, 1770. Accessed online at http://infoweb.newsbank.com.erl.lib.byu.edu; last accessed 21 February 2007.

________. M'Fingal, 1775; accessed online at http://www.poemhunter.com; last accessed 21 March 2007.

________. "The Progress of Dullness" in The Connecticut Wits, ed by Vernon Parrington. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963.

Secondary Sources

Bushman, Richard. The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities. New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc, 1992.

Dowling, William. Poetry and Ideology in Revolutionary Connecticut. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1990.

Feldman, Paula and Daniel Robinson, A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival, 1750-1850. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Kafer, Peter. "The Making of Timothy Dwight: a Connecticut Morality Tale," in William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 47, No. 2 (April 1990) 189-209.

Wells, Colin. The Devil & Doctor Dwight: Satire & Theology in the Early American Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

References

[1] John Trumbull, "An Essay on the Use and Advantages of Fine Arts," (New Haven: T. and S. Green, 1770) 3; Accessed online at http://infoweb.newsbank.com.erl.lib.byu.edu; last accessed 21 February 2007.  There is another John Trumbull known for his paintings of the Revolutionary war. This is not that John Trumbull.

[2] Ibid, 5.

[3] Ibid, 8-13.

[4] William Dowling, Poetry and Ideology in Revolutionary Connecticut, (Athens:

University of Georgia Press, 1990) ix.

[5] Alessandra Luiselli, "La Literatura del Fin de la Colonia y el Comienzo de las Independencias: El Siglo de las Luces," in Huellas de las literaturas hispanoamericanas, 2nd ed, ed by John F. Garganigo and others (Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall, 2002) 170.

[6]Susan Wolfson and Peter Manning, ed, The Romantics and Their Contemporaries, Vol. 2a, The Longman Anthology of British Literature, 2nd ed, (New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 2003) 4.

[7] "The Romantic Period: The Gothic" in The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Norton Topics Online, (Norton and Company, 2003 – 2008); accessed online at http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/romantic/topic_2/welcome.htm; last accessed 20 May 2008.

[8] Susan Wolfson and Peter Manning, ed, 7.

[9] Paul Davis and others, Western Literature in a World Context: The Enlightenment Through the Present, vol. 2, (Boston: St Martin's Press, 1995) 538.

[10] Susan Wolfson and Peter Manning, ed, 8.

[11]William Dowling, Poetry and Ideology in Revolutionary Connecticut, ix.

[12] Colin Wells, The Devil & Doctor Dwight: Satire & Theology in the Early American Republic, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002) 3.

[13] Ibid, 7.

[14] Peter Kafer, "The Making of Timothy Dwight: a Connecticut Morality Tale," in William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 47, No. 2 (April 1990) 189.

[15] Ibid, 198.

[16]Paula R. Feldman and Daniel Robinson, A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival, 1750-1850, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) 4-7.

[17] Richard Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc, 1992) 188-197.

[18] Trumbull, "An Essay on the Use and Advantages of Fine Arts," 13-16.

[19] Wallace Cable Brown, "Gay's Mastery of the Heroic Couplet," in PMLA, 61, no. 1 (March 1946) 114.

[20] Trumbull, "An Essay on the Use and Advantages of Fine Arts," 14.

[21] Ibid, 15.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid, 16.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid, 14, 16.

[26] Tom Trumbull, "The Progress of Dullness" in The Connecticut Wits, ed by Vernon Parrington, (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963) 3-49.

[27] Bushman, The Refinement of America, 188-190.

[28] Trumbull, "The Progress of Dullness," 23.

[29] Ibid, 28.

[30] Ibid, 32.

[31] Ibid, 36.

[32] Mary Wollnstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women was originally published in 1792. "The Progress of Dullness" was published in 1772.

[33] John Trumbull, "An Elegy on the Times: First Printed in Boston,"  (New Haven: Thomas and Samuel Green, 1775) 5-15; accessed online at http://infoweb.newsbank.com.erl.lib.byu.edu; last accessed 6 June 2008.

[34] Ibid, 14.

[35] John Trumbull, M'Fingal, 1775; accessed online at http://www.poemhunter.com; last accessed 21 March 2007.

[36] John Trumbull, "M'Fingal," in The Connecticut Wits, ed by Vernon Parrington, (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963) 54. It is interesting that Trumbull used the name Ulysses instead of Odysseus. Trumbull wrote in his own footnote that it was Homer's character it seems he should have used the Greek name or give credit to Virgil instead.

[37] Ibid, 62.

[38] Ibid, 107.

[39] Ibid, 108.

[40] Ibid, 112.

[41] Ibid, 148.

[42] Ibid, 57.

[43] Ibid, 50.

[44] Jack McLaughlin, "Jefferson, Poe, and Ossian," in Eighteenth-Century Studies, 26, No 4, (Summer, 1993) 631.

[45] Trumbull, M'Fingal, 55.

[46] Ibid, 55-58.

[47] Ibid, 62, 64.

[48] Trumbull, M'Fingal, 67.

[49] Ibid, 67, 68.

[50] Ibid, 69.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Dowling, Poetry and Ideology in Revolutionary Connecticut, 6.

[53] Ibid, 16.

[54] David Humphreys, A Poem on the Industry of the United States of America, in The Connecticut Wits, ed by Vernon Parrington, (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963) 393.

[55] Ibid, 391.

[56] Ibid, 390.

[57] Ibid, 392.

[58] Ibid, 386.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Ibid, 389.

[61] Humphreys, A Poem on the Industry of the United States of America, 387.

[62] Ibid, 390.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Lewis George Sterner, The Sonnet in American Literature, (Philadelphia: 1930) vi.

[65] Paula R. Feldman and Daniel Robinson, A Century of Sonnets, 3-7.

[66] David Humphreys, The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, Late Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid, (New York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-street, 1804) 232.

[67] Paula R. Feldman and Daniel Robinson, A Century of Sonnets, 4, 5.

[68] Ibid, 5.

[69] David Humphreys, "Sonnet I: Addressed to my Friends on my Leaving them to Join the Army," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, Late Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid, (New York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-street, 1804) 232.

[70] Humphreys, "Sonnet IV: on Disbanding the Army," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, 234.

[71] Humphreys, "Sonnet V: on Life," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, 234.

[72] Shakespeare, "Sonnet 73" in The Sonnets, Ed by Gwynne Blakemore Evans, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999) 7.

[73] Humphreys, "Sonnet X: On the Murders Committed by the Jacobin Faction in the Early Period of the French Revolution," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, 237.

[74] Humphreys, "Sonnet XII: on Receiving the News of the Death of General Washington," in The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, 238.

[75] Humphreys, "An Ode Addressed to Laura," in The Connecticut Wits, ed by Vernon Parrington, (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963) 408, 409.

[76] Paula R. Feldman and Daniel Robinson, A Century of Sonnets, 4.

[77] Dowling, Poetry and Ideology in Revolutionary Connecticut, 16.

[78] Vernon Parrington, The Connecticut Wits, (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963) 183.

[79] Kafer, "The Making of Timothy Dwight: a Connecticut Morality Tale," 189.

[80] Timothy Dwight, Greenfield Hill, in The Connecticut Wits, Ed by Vernon Parrington, (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963) 211.

[81] Ibid, 190.

[82] Dwight, Greenfield Hill, 246, 247. It is interesting that Dwight compared lawyers to the fox that took the kid from the fighting bear and lion.

[83] Vernon Parrington, The Connecticut Wits, 183.

[84] Dwight, Greenfield Hill, 187.

[85] Ibid, 189, 216.

[86] Ibid, 189.

[87] Ibid, 216.

[88] Wells, The Devil and Doctor Dwight, 156, 157.

[89] Dwight, Greenfield Hill, 206, 207.

[90] Ibid,186, 208, 220, and 223.

[91] Wells, The Devil and Doctor Dwight, 3.

[92] Ibid, 24.

[93] Timothy Dwight, The Triumph of Infidelity, In The Connecticut Wits, Ed by Vernon Parrington (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963) 248-272.

[94] Ibid, 270.

[95] Wells, The Devil and Doctor Dwight, 24.

[96] Dwight, The Triumph of Infidelity, 249, 250, and 262.

[97] Ibid, 262.

[98] Ibid, 261.

[99] Dwight, The Triumph of Infidelity, 256, 257.

[100] Ibid, 248.

[101] Theodore Dwight, untitled poem about slavery, in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin, (Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970) 958-960.

[102] Theodore Dwight, "Lines Addressed to a Mother, Who had Been Absent from Home Several Weeks, on Her Seeing Her Infant Child Asleep," in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin, (Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970) 966.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Ibid, 967.

[105] Richard Alsop, The Charms of Fancy, in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin, (Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970) 398-534.

[106] Ibid, 400. For Information on Spenser's use of Archaic language see M. H. Abrams Ed, he Norton Anthology: English Literature, vol 1 7th Ed (New York: Norton & Company, Inc, 2000) 614.

[107] Ibid, 413.

[108] Ibid, 496-534.

[109] Elihu Smith, untitled sonnet, in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin, (Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970) 895.

[110] Elihu Smith, "Sonnet VI: To Egwina,"" in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin, (Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970) 895.

[111] Wells, The Devil and Doctor Dwight, 156, 157.

[112] Elihu Smith, "Sonnet IX: To Mr. John Trumbull." in The Poetry of the Minor Connecticut Wits, Ed by Benjamin Franklin, (Gainesville: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970) 914. This work was about the painter and not the writer.