Lossing, Benson John - born 12 February 1813, Dutchess County, NY - died 3 June 1891, Dover Plains, NY
Autodidact journalist, Lossing was born to a poor family, orphaned and apprentice watchmaker at 11, part owner of the Poughkeepsie Telegraph at age 22, at which point he started reading to make up for his lack of education.
A prolific writer and sketch artist, he travelled extensively collecting reminiscences of historical events – often from relatives and descendants far removed from the actual events. His style was easy to read, popular, even tabloid, rather than academic, and he died very embittered that academic institutions refused to accord him the honours that he felt were his due. His sketches, however, may be considered a valid legacy.
Please see our complete catalogue holdings
Seventeen Hundred and Seventy Six or the War of Independence; at History of the Anglo-Americans from the Period of the Union of the Colonies Against the French, to the Inauguration of Washington..., New York: Edward Walker, 1847, 510 pp plus ads
Biographical Sketches of the Signers of the Declaration of American Independence: The Declaration Historically Considered; and a Sketch of the Leading Events Connected with the Adoption of the Articles of Confederation, and the Federal Constitution, J.C. Derby, NY, 1848 [reprinted Glendale, NY: Benchmark Publishing, 1970] [reprinted WallBuilders Press, Aledo, TX, 1995]
The Pictorial Field-Book of The Revolution or, Illustrations, by Pen and Pencil, of the History, Biography, Scenery, Relics, and Traditions of the War for Independence. New York: Harper & Brothers, publishers, 1859, 1100 b/w engravings (woodcuts) by Lossing and Barritt, 2 volumes, 4to, [reprinted as Field Book Of The American Revolution, Volumes I & II, Cottonport: Polyanthos, 1972, 783pp, 772pp w/ index]
Memoirs Of Washington by his Adopted Son George Washington Parke Custis with a Memoir of the Author by his Daughter and Illustrative and Explanatory Notes, with Custis, George Washington Parke, Union, 1859
Mount Vernon and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Pictorial. Illustrated by Numerous Engravings, Chiefly from Original Drawings by the Author, Engraved by Lossing & Barritt, New York: W.A. Townsend & Company, 1859, 8vo,
A Common-School History of the United States; From the Earliest Period to the Present Time. Mason Brothers, New York: 1864. First edition
Martha Washington, J. C. Buttre, NY, 1865
The Home of Washington and Its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Pictorial. New Edition, Revised, with Additions. Illustrated by Numerous Engravings. N.Y., 1865. 376pp.
The Pictorial History of the Civil War in the United States of America, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, George W. Childs, 1866. [reprinted as Mathew Brady's Illustrated History of the Civil War?]
The Hudson, from the Wilderness to the Sea, New York: Virtue and Yorston, 1866
The Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812; or Illustrations by Pen and Pencil, of the History, Biography, Scenery, Relics and Traditions of the last War for American Independance, Harper and Brothers, NY, 1868 [reprinted facsimile New Hampshire Pub Co, 1976]
The American Historical Record, and Repertory of Notes and Queries. Concerning the History and Antiquities of America and Biography of Americans, Philadelphia, PA, USA Chase & Town, Publ. 1872
The Life and Times of Major General Philip Schuyler, 2 vols., New York, Sheldon & Co., 1872, 1873. 504; 548pp. with frontis portrait and index. 8vo.
The Empire State: A Compendious History of the Commonwealth of New York., American Publishing Company, Hartford, 1888, Frontispiece, 335 pen-and-ink drawings of H. Rosa, 618 pages,
Lossing's New History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent to the Present Time, Gay Brothers & Co., NY, 1889
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History, Based on the Plan of Benson J. Lossing. illus., portraits and maps, 10 vols. 8vo, 1902, cloth, Harper and Brothers, NY. Reprinted, revised with a Preface on the Study of American History by Woodrow Wilson, 10 vols. new Edition, revised & Enl. Harper and Brothers, NY, 1912, 10 vols.