Fletcher S. Bassett

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The International folk-lore congress, Fletcher S. Bassett.png

Fletcher Stewart Bassett (1847–1893) was an American Naval Officer and author. He was instrumental in establishing the international Folk-Lore Congress of 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition and founded the Chicago Folk-Lore Society.

Bassett was born in Adams County, Kentucky[dubious ], on December 21, 1847. His literary career began at college, and he volunteered for military service at this time, participating in the American Civil War. He first served with the 188th regiment before enlisting in the US Navy, he was promoted to Lieutenant 1875 and was listed as retired in 1882. While enlisted he developed as a professional writer, submitting articles to newspaper and journals, and contributing to Hammersly's Naval Encyclopedia. His first book was Legends and Superstitions of the Sea (Chicago, London. 1885), and the subject of folklore would become a special interest. Bassett is given much credit for generating popular interest in a field that was acquiring scholarly recognition and developing as a 'science'. In 1892 he published The Folk-Lore Manual; or Questionnaire of the Folk-Lore Society, having assembled the material from a sources provided by a number of sources he had solicited. He became a member of many international societies of literature and folklore, and was active in leading and founding these.[1] Bassett's interest and activism was in an area alive with vigorous disputes as workers sought define the field and gain respectability for its study, his alliance in these theoretical disputes was associated with those investigating the material as literature. In founding the Chicago Folk-Lore Society in 1891, the group's charter took a literary approach to folklore, a position regarded as s with similar societies who sought to establish a scientific treatment of folklore.[2] Through his experience in the navy Bassett had become proficient in many modern languages, and gained experience of foreign peoples, assets which saw him appointed as the Chief Interpreter and Translator of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 and chairman of the Folklore Congress of the same year.[1]


  1. ^ a b Bonney, Charles C. "Sketch of Lieutenant Fletcher S. Bassett". The International Folk-Lore Congress of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, July, 1893. Charles H. Sergel. pp. 15–16. 
  2. ^ Zumwalt, Rosemary Lévy (1988). "The Schism in Folklore". American folklore scholarship: a dialogue of dissent. Folkloristics Series (Electronic ed.). Indiana University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-253-20472-1. 

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