Press Club recognizes William Cullen Bryant for journalism contributions

Press Club recognizes William Cullen Bryant for journalism contributions
A historical marker unveiled on Saturday that commemorates the journalistic contributions of William Cullen Bryant.

A historical road marker commemorating 19th-century poet and editor William Cullen Bryant’s role as an influential journalist was dedicated at his Cedarmere estate in Roslyn Harbor on Saturday, a Press Club of Long Island statement said.

A dozen people attended, including members of the board of directors at Friends of Cedarmere, a nonprofit that promotes maintenance of the property, as well as a representative from the office of County Executive Edward Mangano.

Bryant, who was editor of The New York Evening Post from 1829 to 1878, was also an attorney and civic leader.

“You could consider him one of most prominent residents of the town,” said Howard Kroplick, the North Hempstead town historian. “He helped place Roslyn and North Hempstead on the map.”

“This is a wonderful occasion as we celebrate some of the history Nassau County has to offer,” Mangano said in a statement.

Born in Cummington, Massachusetts, in 1794, Bryant was admitted to the bar in 1815 but turned to letters full-time after his poem, “Thanatopsis,” gained international renown, a Press Club of Long Island statement said.

“He became so good at poetry he abandoned law,” Kroplick said.

In 1829, he became the editor of The New York Evening Post, which was “one of leading papers in the day,” Kroplick said.

“He was very influential through the paper,” Kroplick added. 

In 1843, Bryant built the Cedarmere Estate where it currently stands on Bryant Avenue in Roslyn Harbor.

Cedarmere “became a magnet for writers, artists and politicians looking for his guidance and approval,” Kroplick said.

Among Bryant’s visitors were actors Edward Booth and Edwin Forrest, author James Fenimore Cooper and inventor Samuel Morse, the Press Club of Long Island said.

In 2013, a historic road marker was unveiled at Cedarmere in honor of Bryant’s varied achievements. The marker revealed on Saturday focuses on Bryant’s contributions to journalism.

“We are so proud to continue our journey of recognizing historic journalists and journalism sites on Long Island with historic markers like the one being placed in Cedarmere,” Press Club of Long Island President Chris R. Vaccaro said. “It’s been a mission of the Press Club of Long Island to pay homage to local journalism history, and we will continue to be advocates for the past, present and future of journalism on Long Island.”

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