William Cullen Bryant

The first song settings of William Cullen Bryant's poetry were composed in the 1830s, and several American composers have set his verse since then, including choral settings by Margaret Ruthven Lang and Elinor Remick Warren.

Photo: William Cullen Bryant, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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Born in Cummington, Massachusetts, William Cullen Bryant studied law and passed the bar in 1815 in his birth state. In 1825, however, he moved to New York and began a career as a journalist, landing the position of editor of the New York Evening Post in 1829.

Active as a Unitarian minister as well as a member of the Republican party, Bryant played an important role in the development of American life.

According to Michael Hovland, Bryant’s verse has been set to music by American composers Leslie Bassett, Bainbridge Crist, Henry Cutler, W.R. Dempster, Luther Emerson, Howard Hanson, Margaret Ruthven Lang, and Huntington Woodman.

For more information about William Cullen Bryant, please visit the links below.

–Christie Finn Source: Michael Hovland’s article in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Related Information


William C. Bryant Bicentennial Concert

(William Cullen Bryant)



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