Born in Oregon City, Oregon, April 23, 1852; [died, 1940]. Removed
at an early age to California, where his childhood was spent
upon a ranch in herding sheep and riding the ranges after the
cattle. During his boyhood he attended school but three months
in the year, but later studied at San José Normal School
and the University of California. After leaving the University,
Mr. Markham became a teacher in California and was principal
and superintendent of several schools until 1899, when he sprang
suddenly into fame by the publication in the "San Francisco
Examiner" of his poem "The Man With the Hoe."
This poem, crystallizing as it did the spirit of the time, and
emphasizing one's obligation to Society, became the impulse of
the whole social movement in poetry, a movement which largely
prevailed during the early years of the twentieth century. After
the great success of "The Man With the Hoe," Mr. Markham
removed from California to New York City, where he continued
to engage in literary work.
This biographical note is reprinted
from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed.
Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.