Author: Edwin Markham

Edwin Markham, 1907, by A. F. Bradley

Charles Edwin Anson Edwin Markham (1852–1940) was born in the Oregon Territory and later in his childhood moved with his mother and sister to California. It was in California that he decided become a teacher, receiving his teaching certification from California College. He soon moved to El Dorado County to teach literature, and there began writing and publishing his own poems. In 1899, his poem “The Man With the Hoe,” published in the San Francisco Examiner, brought him significant attention, leading him to publish The Man with the Hoe and Other Poems the same year. In 1922, he read his poem “Lincoln, the Man of the People” at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. 

Lincoln, the Man of the People

Edwin Markham
This poem was selected from 250 submissions to be read at the dedication ceremony of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on Memorial Day, 1922. Its author, Oregon poet Edwin Markham (1852–1940), was already internationally famous as the “Laureate of Labor” for his advocacy of the working class.

Washington the Nation Builder

Edwin Markham

In this poem (written for the bicentennial celebration of Washington’s birth), Edwin Markham (1852–1940) pays tribute to the life of Washington, from his Spartan mother who “called him into Time and kindled duty in him as a flame,” until past his end, when “he flamed with God.”