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Literary Independence

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0238

In this address, given before the Psi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard College, Edward Tyrrell Channing argues that the scholar's question should not be what has been prescribed or approved by others? but rather what is the beauty that I should love, the character I should respect, the opinion I should adopt or enforce? He goes on to argue that it is the intellectual adventurer who advances society's knowledge and helps to form national literature and ends by advocating the establishment of domestic literature as a source of national dignity, a foundation of respect from foreigners. This speech is a photocopy of the original. Also included is an issue of The Key Reporter containing a copy of this address with an introduction by Richard Beale Davis entitled Edward Tyrrell Channing's American Scholar of 1818.

Dates

  • 1818 August 27, 1961

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact Special Collections.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Abstract

In this address, given before the Psi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard College, Edward Tyrrell Channing argues that the scholar's question should not be what has been prescribed or approved by others? but rather what is the beauty that I should love, the character I should respect, the opinion I should adopt or enforce? This speech is a photocopy of the original. Also included is an issue of The Key Reporter containing a copy of this address with an introduction by Richard Beale Davis entitled Edward Tyrrell Channing's American Scholar of 1818.

Biographical/Historical Note

Edward Tyrrel Channing was born to William and Lucy (Ellery) Channing in Newport, Rhode Island on December 12, 1790. He studied at Harvard from 1803 to 1807 but did not graduate due to his participation in the 1807 student rebellion. In 1819, however, Harvard granted Channing an honorary A.B. degree in recognition of his earlier work. Channing married his cousin, Henrietta A. S. Ellery, in 1826. He was admitted to the Bar (1813) and edited the North American Review (1818-1820) before becoming Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard in 1819. He remained at this post until retiring in 1851, during which time he trained a number of prominent authors. Channing's Lectures Read to the Seniors in Harvard College was published after his death in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 8, 1856.

Richard Beale Davis was born to Henry Woodhouse and Margaret Josephine (Wills) Davis in Accomack, Virginia on June 3, 1907. He earned his AB from Randolph Macon College (1927) and his AM (1933) and PhD (1936) from the University of Virginia. He was later awarded a number of honorary degrees from such institutions as Randolph-Macon College, the College of William and Mary, and Eastern Kentucky University. Davis began his career as an instructor of English at the McGuire University School in Richmond, Virginia (1927-1930) and worked as a teacher at Randolph Macon Academy (1930-1932), as a teaching fellow at the University of Virginia (1933-1936), as an associate professor at the University of Virginia's Mary Washington College (1936-1940), and as an associate professor (1940-1946) and professor (1946-1947) at the University of South Carolina before coming to the University of Tennessee as a professor of English in charge of American Literature in 1947. He was honored as an Alumni Distinguished Service Professor of American Literature in 1962 and held this position until his retirement in 1977. Additionally, Davis held a number of visiting professorships at such institutions as the University of Texas, the Claremont Graduate School, and the University of Oslo. Among his published works are George Sandys, Poet-Adventurer (1955), William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World, 1676-1701 (1963), Intellectual Life in Jefferson’s Virginia, 1790-1830 (1964), American Literature through Bryant (1969), and Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, volumes 1-3 (1978). Richard Davis died on March 30, 1981.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

Richard Beale Davis donated these materials to Special Collections on May 4, 1961.

Existence and Location of Copies

Literary Independence was published with an introduction by Richard Beale Davis in The Key Reporter XXVI, no. 3 (Spring 1961).

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480