Charles Parker Ilsley, journalist, poet, and novelist, was born in Portland, Maine, January 16, 1807. In his early life he was a bookkeeper, but later turned to newspaper work. In 1836 he started The Portland Daily Times, one of the first of the one-cent newspapers, but it was not successful and failed. On the 12th of April, 1837, he started the Portland Transcript and edited it for a while, and in 1856 was associate editor of the Eclectic. He wrote "Forest and Shore; or, Legends of the Pine-Tree State," which was published in Boston in 1856 and was reprinted in 1860 as "The Wrecker's Daughter and Other Tales." The fourth of the seven tales in the book is entitled "The Settlers." This story originally appeared as a serial entitled "The Captives, a Tale of the Wilderness," and was begun in the November 22, 1854, issue of the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper. Here the author's name was misspelled "Isley." Irwin P. Beadle, in his American Novels, reprinted many tales from this paper, and when "The Captives" was reprinted as "The Trail of the Ossipees," the error in the author's name was repeated, and it continued as "Isley" in all other Beadle reprints.
Ilsley contributed to various periodicals of the times, and was connected with the Portland press for fifty-one years. He died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 29, 1887. He was twice married; first to Mary E. Barnes, by whom he had one daughter, and second to Sarah Bartells, by whom he had another and with whom he lived until his death.
REFERENCES: S. Herbert Lancey, Gift Book of Gems, Bangor, Maine, 1856, 290, (a few words); G. B. Griffith, The Poets of Maine, Portland, 1888, 96; John S. C. Abbott, History of Maine (a few words); Portland Transcript, L, February 2, 1887, 350.
Irwin's American Novels. No. 11
Starr's American Novels. No. 26
Pocket Novels. No. 164
Boy's Library (octavo). No. 243