Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Browne, Charles F.

Charles Farrar Browne born in Waterford on April 26, 1836. His father operated a store in Waterford, engaged in farming and did some surveying.

Browne attended local schools and, though he did well, he was more likely to be a prankster and a doodler than a serious student. When he was thirteen his father died and he soon entered the printing trade. He worked for a short time in Norway, Augusta, and Skowhegan, but soon got restless for new vistas.

After traveling throughout New England, he settled in Boston and began his writing career, influenced to a degree by fellow Mainer, Seba Smith. Before long he was traveling again, now giving humorous lectures throughout the United States, adopting the name Artemus Ward and the character of an illiterate old showman.

Ward was a favorite of Abraham Lincoln and influenced Mark Twain’s approach to satire.

He died on March 6, 1867, not yet thirty-three years old, in Southhampton, England awaiting passage to America. Clifton Johnson, in a biographical sketch, noted, “He was given an impressive funeral in London, and later his body was transferred to his native town of Waterford. Both in his home land and in England he was universally beloved, and in the literary world the death of no man since that of Washington Irving, in 1859, had caused such general and wide-spread regret.”

The Complete Works of Artemus Ward contains over one hundred of his short sketches, stories and poems.

Additional resources

Albert, Sandra M. “Charles Farrar Browne: 1834-1867: A Bibliographical Essay.” 196-? [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

Austin, James C. Artemus Ward.  New York. Twayne Publishers. c1964.

Hingston, Edward P. The Genial Showman, Being the Reminiscences of The Life Of Artemus Ward. Barre, MA. Imprint Society. 1971.

The Complete Works of Artemus Ward. London. Chatto and Windus. 1910

Clifton Johnson, Ed. Artemus Ward’s Best Stories. Harper and Brothers: New York and London, 1912.

Project Gutenberg. Online Book Catalog. http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/w (accessed October 1, 2011)

Pullen, John J. Comic Relief: The Life and Laughter of Artemus Ward, 1834-1867. Hamden, Conn. Archon Books. 1983.

Seitz, Don Carlos. Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne): A Biography And Bibliography. New York. Harper & Brothers. c1919.

Ward, Artemus. Artemus Ward, His Travels, with comic illustrations by Mullen. Montreal, CA. C.K. Chisholm. [1867?]

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