Rev. Timothy Flint
he painted on his glowing page the peerless valley of the west,
that shall in every coming age his genius and his toils attest.
But wouldst thou, gentle pilgrim, know what worth,
what love endeared the man?
This the love, hearts that miss him,
show better than storied marble can.
Western historian, author, editor, Methodist clergyman. In the years before the U.S.-Mexican War he became a popular chronicler of western expansion into the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. He graduated from Harvard College in 1800 and was ordained pastor of the Congregational Church in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, in 1802. Struggling with a fragile health, he moved his family to the Ohio Valley hoping a change of scene and climate would reinvigorate him. This began an intinerant life throughout the western territories to the Mississippi Valley and the Spanish frontier. A series of letters to his cousin, the Rev. James Flint in Salem, was collated into a "Recollection of the Last Ten Years ... Passed in the Valley of the Mississippi," that became an immediate success among Americans insatiably curious about the nation's western territories and opportunities. He followed that success up with a "History and Geography of the Mississippi Valley." He was also the author of a biography of Daniel Boone, still in print, and several western-set romance novels that were widely praised for their descriptions of the west, if not for their plot and characterizations. His literary successes led to his accepting editorships of The Knickerbocker magazine in New York and the Western Monthly Magazine, published in Cincinnati. He settled in Alexandria, Louisiana, but in 1840 his health began to deteriorate and he left for a visit to New England hoping a cooler climate might ease his ailment. He died at the home of his brother, Thomas. His descriptions and accounts of the western territories and the settlers, emmigrants and Indians he encountered there continue to be mined as a source for historians studying America's western exapansion.