youngest of 14 children, eight of whom were alive when he came into the world,
he was writing letters to his grandmother at age three and already amusing his
siblings by repeating back to them five and six syllable words.
A year later, after having taught himself, he was reading James
Fenimore Cooper novels.
survived a serious poisonous snake bite at age 7, had his
most famous literary work published at 23, and within the following 11 months
thereafter, during which time he befriended a New York City police
Commissioner who would become president of the United States,
he publicly criticized the Commissioner's officers for their brutal behavior at a political rally held
in Manhattan's Madison Square Garden.
a steamboat on which he was traveling to Cuba floundered and sank 16 miles off the Florida
coast he rallied an effort to save the vessel and was one of the last three
men - among whom was the captain - to escape on a lifeboat before the
craft went under. At
that time he was two months into his 25th year.
poet, war correspondent, and empathetic defender of the impoverished, abused,
and disenfranchised, his early success contributed to his ultimate
demise. His end came in Badenweiler, Germany where he succumbed
to uncontrolled bleeding in his lungs caused by the tuberculosis.
Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage and many other notable, if generally lesser
died not six months shy of his 29th birthday. Citizens
of Port Jervis, New York, mourned his passing as if he was one of their
own for to them, indeed he was.
is the story of the influence that Port Jervis and nearby locales had on
Stephen Crane's life and work and how he and his family, in turn, made an
impression on that area which continues to this day.