George Waldo Browne, novelist, poet, historian, lecturer, and public speaker, was born in Deerfield, New Hampshire, October 8, 1851. He was the oldest son of John C. and Martha L. Browne, and was raised on a farm near Deerfield, where he received his education in the grammar and high schools. He began to write when he was sixteen, and sold his first story when he was twenty-one. His first long story for Beadle was written in 1877, and for it he received fifty dollars. For a time he taught school in Deerfield, and later was superintendent of schools at that place, but in 1881 he removed to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he purchased Girls and Boys of New Hampshire and published it as a monthly until January 1, 1883, when he bought the American Young Folks, of Topeka, Kansas. He consolidated the two under the latter name and published it as a semimonthly for three years. Being very successful in writing, he disposed of the magazine to the Youth's Companion in 1886, and devoted all of his time to literature. He wrote over 100 serials and books, and more than 1000 short stories and articles, which were published in the Saturday Journal, the Banner Weekly, Golden Days, Argosy, Good News, Golden Hours, Young People, and elsewhere. He also contributed †thirteen stories to the Nickel Library. About 1900 he began writing historical and descriptive works, for here lay Mr. Browne's choice. Among the more important are "The Far East and the New America," in six volumes; "The History of Hillsborough, N. H., 1735 to 1921" (1921), "Early Records of Londonderry, Windham and Derry, N. H." in three volumes (1908-14), "Green Mountain Pioneers" (1927), "Indian Nights" (1927), "Japan, the Place and the People" (1904), and "The St. Lawrence River" (1905). He was married to Nellie M. Barber, of Townsend, Massachusetts, January 8, 1891, who, with a daughter and a son, survived him. He died August 13, 1930, at Manchester, New Hampshire.
He used the †pseudonyms "Victor St. Clair" † and Marion Glendower (the latter given to me in a letter from Mrs. G. W. Browne, June 4,1938)." (1) for some of his tales.
REFERENCES: Willis E. Hurd, "The Wood Ranger and its Author," The Argus and Spectator, Newport, N. H., November, 1899; Clipping from a Manchester (N.H.) newspaper, August 13, 1930; Nat. Cyc. Amer. Biog. XII, 1904, 92, with portrait; Who's Who, Vols. II to XII; letters and newspaper clippings from Mrs. G. W. Browne, 1940; Thomas W. Herringshaw, Local and National Poets of America, Chicago, 1890, with portrait.
Banner Weekly. No. 524
Starr's Ten Cent Pocket Library. No. 2
Half-Dime Library. Nos. 86, 90, 99, 115, 131, 164, 173, 982
Boy's Library (quarto). No. 115
Boy's Library (octavo). No. 722
Pocket Library. Nos. 110, 137, 145, 150, 167, 174, 191, 366
SPECIMEN OF GEORGE WALDO BROWNE'S STYLE
The Golden Hand; or, Dandy Rock to the Rescue." Half-Dime Library No. 131, pp. 7-8.
"Whoop—whoop-ee! I'm the roaring lion o' ther Rockers! the hard-pan o' ther Gila! Whar's the goat es shins up to ther boss king o' the South-wes'? Jess show him to me. Pick him out quick!" and the burly speaker, whose wild speech and antics had collected quite a crowd in front of the leading "shebang" of Mad River "City"—the "Miner's Home"—danced to and fro in frantic excitement.
"Whar am he? They sed he war hyar, and I hev kem all the way frum Lone Pine to spot him! Jess trot him out!" and the giant removed his broad sombrero to wipe away the great beads of perspiration that had gathered on his brow.
The lookers-on watched him in silence. Some seemed awed by his braggartism; while others gazed upon him in wonder.
"Who is he?" one at last ventured to ask.
"Dunno, 'less he is Big Sandy, the bully o' the lower lead," answered another.
"Who am I?" snorted the stranger, catching the words. "Ain't I tole ye? I'm the Gila Lion! the hard-pan o' the Rockers! Yas; I'm Big Sandy, too, right frum the Lone Pine! But whar's my game? Whar's the galoot es lifted out more coyotes at Long Meader row than enny other hoss? I want to see him! I want to put this paw on him!" and he extended the enormous member menacingly.
"He's arter Rock Randel!" exclaimed a by-stander.
"Yas! that's him—The-Man-from-Texas! Whar am he?"
"Dandy Rock hes buried his buttons!"
"Rock turned up his toes in Black Pocket waller!"
"Rock Randel went under yesterday!"
As the other ceased his explanations, the giant stared upon the crowd in apparent disappointment.
"The-Man-from-Texas wiped out!" he howled at last: "my hard-fought victoree stolen from me jess es I hed my huf on him? Hev I kem all the way from Lone Pine to be bu'sted in this way?" and tearing about wildly for a moment, he flung his sombrero spitefully against the side of the building, his countenance showing a plain case of despair.
Just as the hat touched the wall and quivered there for an instant ere it began to descent, the swift gleam of a knife darted through the air, and thrown by a skillful hand, the weapon pierced its crown, pinning it to the spot!
The throng stared in surprised.
Big Sandy trembled and gazed about in amazement.
"Who did that?" he cried.
No one seemed able to answer.
"Why don't ye spoke?" the giant went on. "S'pose I'm goin' to hev my skulp-piece used like thet? Ef the goat es did thet don't show hisself less'n a mink I'll kerwallop the life right out o' his boots! Hyar?"
If the individual in question heard the demand he evidently did not care to have the "life kerwalloped out o' his boots," as no one stepped forward.
"Jess show me ennything but a sneakin' coyote!" growled the man, and advancing to the place he was in the act of wrenching his hat from its position, when another knife sped by his head, and, half severing the lobe of his left ear, struck the wall with a dull thud!
With a shriek of terror the giant bounded back, and with the blood streaming from his wound, howled most vociferously.
For a time wild commotion followed.
When at last it had become more quiet, and Big Sandy had checked the flow of blood from the cut, he looked sullenly around exclaiming fiercely:
"Ef sum o' ye don't lick thet man out fer me, I'll kerwallop the hull lot o' ye! Jess p'int me a man! Ennybody'll do; only give me a chance to spread him!"
The half-cowed stranger had hardly ceased speaking when a ringing voice from the rear of the spectators, said:
"Hyar's your beaver every shoot! Jess walk up and take your meat like ye war hungry!"
Every one present recognized the tone, and to their unspeakable astonishment Dandy Rock pushed his way forward and confronted the bully.
Big Sandy rubbed his eyes and glared upon the Texan in unfeigned amazement.
"Who mought yer be?" he finally blurted out.
"Open yer peepers and see fer yerself," said Rock, nonchalantly, as he coolly folded his arms and faced the other.
"Never see'd yer picter afore. Don't know ye!" affirmed the giant.
"Tis The-Man-from-Texas!" cried a voice from the crowd.
"But ye sed he hed taken up his walkin' papers! Wot in creation can I b'lieve ye say?"
"Look hyar, old tearer," exclaimed the Texan, "ye said ye had come from Lone Pine to see me. Ef ye hev any bizness spit it out suddint, fer I'm in a pesky hurry."
"Did ye hang my hat up there, old chap?"
"Jess look at the knives, and ef ye don't find two R's cut on the handles I won't claim 'em, and ye can walk around me jess es ye are a mind to."
Pulling them from the wall Big Sandy found they were marked as Rock had declared.
"Ken ye do thet every pop, old 'coon?"
"I reckon. It's a trick I 1'arnt from a pard o' mine onc't. Jess stand mulish and let me spot the end o' yer nose. I won't touch more'n half an inch."
Shifting his position uneasily, the boaster found his courage fast leaving him before the Texan's cool audacity.
"Shall I tickle it?" continued Rock, appearing impatient for the trial. "I won't spile yer beauty."
"Git out!" blurted Big Sandy. "All I ax o' ye is to keep away from me; I ain't anything to do with ye!" and the quondam "lion o' the Rockers" shrunk away in disgraceful retreat.
As the crowd began to jeer at him, he wheeled about and yelled savagely:
"Ef thar's a goat hyar es dares to show his face I'll pan him heavy. Hyar thet?"
The mob did seem to hear, and as no one advanced to accept the challenge, quiet was soon restored.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.
|1||Who's Who, II to XII.|