George Pope Morris

An important poet, editor, and songwriter, George Pope Morris wrote the text to perhaps the first environmental protest song in American history: "Woodman, Spare that Tree," set by Henry Russell in 1837.

Photo: George Pope Morris, 1836, public domain.

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A native of Philadelphia, George Pope Morris co-founded New York Evening Mirror with Nathaniel Parker Willis in 1831. This publication was the first to publish Edgar Allan Poe‘s “The Raven” with Poe’s name. The two partners also published an important anthology: The Prose and Poetry of America in 1845.

Morris and Willis left the Mirror in 1846 and started the periodical National Press, quickly renamed Home Journal. In 1901, this publication became Town and Country, which is still in print today. Morris wrote the texts to several popular songs, including “Woodman, Spare that Tree,” which is still quoted by environmentalists today. A few other songs for which he provided lyrics: “Not Married Yet!: A Comic Song” (Henry Russell), “The Pastor’s Daughter: A Rural Ballad” (Daniel Decatur Emmett), and “The Battle of Liberty: A Patriotic Song and Chorus” (Richard Culver). He published several volumes of poetry as well.

–Christie Finn

Related Information




The Civil War

(Henry T. Burleigh, Daniel Decatur Emmett, Stephen Foster, John Hill Hewitt, Abraham Lincoln, George Frederick Root, Henry Russell, Joseph Philbrick Webster and Henry Clay Work)


Robert E. Lee Remembered

(Daniel Decatur Emmett, Stephen Foster and John Hill Hewitt)



Sheet Music

A Life in the West

Composer(s): Henry Russell

Find it at your Local Library

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