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Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, son of Elias T. and Sara (Bailey) Aldrich, was born in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, N. H., November 11, 1836.
He received his early education at the common schools in New Orleans, La., and at the Temple grammar school in Portsmouth. He commenced a course of study preparatory to entering college, but having the misfortune, in his fifteenth year, to lose his father, he abandoned that purpose, and entered the counting-room of an uncle, a merchant in New York. Her he remained for three years, and it was during that period that he began to contribute verses to the New York journals. A collection of his poems was published in 1855, the volume taking its name from the initial poem, “The Bells.” Mr. Aldrich’s most successful poem, “Babie Bell,” which was published in 1856, was copied and repeated all over the country.
His next position was that of proofreader, and then reader for a publishing house. He became a frequent contributor to the New York “Evening Mirror,” “Putnam’s Magazine,” “The Knickerbocker,” and the weekly newspapers, for one of which he wrote “Daisy’s Necklace and What Came of It,” a prose poem which was afterwards issued in a volume, and attained a wide popularity.
In 1856 Mr. Aldrich joined the staff of the “Home Journal,” continuing in this position for three years. He was also connected with the “Saturday Press,” and a frequent contributor to “Harper’s Monthly,” and the “Atlantic Monthly,” of which latter magazine he has for some years been the editor.
Mr. Aldrich was married in New York, November 28, 1865. In 1866 he removed to Boston, where he has since resided.
The following may be mentioned among Mr. Aldrich’s best-known writings: “ The Story of a Bad Boy,” “Marjorie Daw and Other Stories,” “Prudence Palfrey,” “The Queen of Sheba,” “The Stillwater Tragedy,” “Poems,” “From Ponkapog to Pesth,” “Cloth of Gold and Other Poems,” “Flower and Thora,” “Babie Bell,” “XXXVI Lyrics and XII Sonnets,” “Friar Jerome’s Beautiful Book and Other Poems,” “Mercedes and Later Lyrics,” and “The Story of a Cat,” translated from the French.