Literature of the Hudson River Valley
Literature captures the rich tradition of the writers who have fallen under the spell of the majestic Hudson River and its people. Early writers, including the Knickerbockers, told the story of the colonial and Revolutionary eras. In a time of crisis, uprisings, revolution, and war many turned to satire and to humor to convey their feelings about the changing times. In the Hudson River Valley during the Revolution, authors wrote about the conflict occurring in New York. Individual writers became "fathers" of their respective categories of American literature.
In his national novel, Pioneers, James Fenimore Cooper introduced Natty Bumppo a character who personified the pioneer spirit. He depicted the struggle of Americans trying to find their identity at this time. Natty would lead readers through the Leatherstocking Tales.
Washington Irving became "The Father of the American Short Story." He portrayed the spirit and the society of the Dutch settlers in his comedy, A History of New York, written by the imaginary author "Dietrich Knickerbocker." This name later became the basis for the Knickerbocker Group or Knickerbockers, prominent writers in the Hudson River Valley, including James Kirke Paulding known for The Dutchman’s Fireside, most of whom published articles in The Knickerbocker Magazine.
The author regarded as the "Father of American Literature" and "The Poet of the Revolution," Philip Freneau began his career writing humorous poems and became the major American poet of the eighteenth century.
In Literature’s Bibliography find stories by these authors and others who wrote about life in early America.
Read some of the Marist College Summer Writing Institute participants' writing in response to our Scenic Salon visits to Locust Grove and the Marist Waterfront here.
To read an online journal of Marist College student writings visit the E-Scriptor webpage.
Author: Tara Krompinger, Marist '02