Henry Mills Alden

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Henry M. Alden
Henry Mills Alden portrait in In After Days (1910).jpg
Born Henry Mills Alden
(1836-11-11)November 11, 1836
Mount Tabor, Vermont
Died October 7, 1919(1919-10-07) (aged 82)
New York City, New York
Occupation Editor, author
Spouse Ada Foster Murray
Relatives John Alden

Henry Mills Alden (November 11, 1836 – October 7, 1919) was an American author and editor of Harper's Magazine for fifty years—from 1869 until 1919.


He was born in Mount Tabor near Danby, Vt. He graduated at Williams College in 1857 and at the Andover Theological Seminary in 1860.[1] Though he was licensed to preach, he chose other fields of endeavor.

From 1863 to 1869 he was managing editor of Harper's Weekly, and in the latter year became editor of Harper's Monthly. In 1863-64, he lectured before the Lowell Institute, Boston, on "The Structure of Paganism." He was known as a classical student of large acquirements, particularly in connection with Greek literature and thought; and his first literary ventures were two articles contributed to the Atlantic on the Eleusinian Mysteries.

His personality pervaded Harper's Magazine during his long editorial service, which was unobtrusive but distinctive. He deigned to recognize the novice and to encourage the best kind of Americanism. He collaborated with A.H. Guernsey in the preparation of Harper's Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion (1862–65). His publications include a poem, The Ancient "Lady of Sorrow" (1871),[2] two profound metaphysical essays, God in His World (1890, published anonymously), and A Study of Death (1895), both extensively read and enthusiastically received by critics, and Magazine Writing and the New Literature (1908). He married Ada Foster Murray on 22 February 1900 in Metuchen, New Jersey. His stepdaughter, Aline Murray Kilmer, was a published poet and wife of (Alfred) Joyce Kilmer, author of the famous "Trees" poem. With William Dean Howells he edited numerous collections of stories by American writers. He was an early member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He died at his home, 521 West 112th Street, in New York City.[3]


  1. ^ Leonard, John William; Marquis, Albert Nelson, eds. (1908), Who's who in America, 5, Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, Incorporated, p. 19. 
  2. ^ Harper's New Monthly Magazine (Jan 1871).
  3. ^ "Henry Mills Alden of Harper's, Dies," The New York Times, October 8, 1919.

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