Henry Howard Brownell

1820 –

Born in Providence, Rhode Island. Son of Lucia de Wolf and Dr. Pardon Brownell; nephew of Episcopalian bishop Thomas Church Brownell. Graduated Washington College (now Trinity) in Hartford, Connecticut, 1841; taught briefly in Mobile Alabama, before retuning to Hartford to study law; admitted to the bar in 1844. Tuned to writing career, publishing Poems (1847), The People’s Book of Ancient History (1851), and Ephermerson (1855).

In 1862 wrote a poem based on Admiral Farragut’s “General Orders” to his fleet in the attack on New Orleans; published in various newspapers, the poem came to the attention of Farragut, who corresponded with Brownell and (supposedly in response to Brownell’s expressed desire to witness a naval battle) offered him a portion as acting ensign on the flagship Hartford. Wrote descriptions poem about a number of navel engagement that he witnessed, including the battle of Mobile Bay. War poems, published as Lyrics of a Day, of Newspaper Poems, earned admiration of Oliver Wendell Holmes, who called Brownell “Our Battle Laureate.” His final volume of poetry, War Lyrics and Other Poems, appeared in 1866.