This Goodly Land
Samuel Minturn Peck (November 4, 1854–May 3, 1938)
- Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County: birthplace, childhood residence, education, adult residence
- Peck, Samuel Minturn. Cap and Bells. New York: White, Stokes & Allen, 1886. An online version of Cap and Bells is available from Google Book Search.
- Peck, Samuel Minturn. Rings and Love Knots. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1892. An online version of Rings and Love Knots is available from Google Book Search.
- Peck, Samuel Minturn. Rhymes and Roses. New York and London: Frederick A. Stokes and Company, 1895. An online version of Rhymes and Roses is available from Google Book Search.
- Peck, Samuel Minturn. Alabama Sketches. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1902. Rpt. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1972. An online version of Alabama Sketches is available from Google Book Search.
- Peck, Samuel Minturn. Maybloom and Myrtle. Boston: D. Estes, 1910. An online version of Maybloom and Myrtle is available from Google Book Search.
- Peck, Samuel Minturn. The Autumn Trail. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Torch Press, 1925.
- Poet Laureate of Alabama, recommended by the Alabama Writers' Conclave, 1930, and designated by the State Legislature, 1931-1938
Samuel Minturn Peck was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He began writing poetry as a boy. When his father disapproved, he wrote in secret and sent his poems to newspapers under an assumed name. Peck attended the University of Alabama, graduating in 1876 with an MA in literature. To please his father, he then attended Bellevue Hospital Medical School in New York City. He obtained his MD in 1878, although he never practiced medicine. Peck's first publication under his real name was also in 1878, when the New York Evening Post published his poem "The Orange Tree." Peck studied literature briefly at Columbia University and in Paris, then returned to Tuscaloosa to live and write. His articles, short stories, and poems were published in prominent newspapers and nationally circulated magazines. Several of his poems, including the most famous, "The Grapevine Swing," were set to music and performed in minstrel shows. Peck became Alabama's first Poet Laureate in 1930, holding the post until his death.
Interests and Themes
Samuel Minturn Peck's poems celebrate a nostalgic vision of an idyllic South. His short stories are most notable for their Alabama settings.
For More Information
Please check your local library for these materials. If items are not available locally, your librarian can help you borrow them through the InterLibrary Loan program. Your librarian can also help you find other information about this author.
There may be more information available through the databases in the Alabama Virtual Library. If you are an Alabama citizen, AVL can be used at your public library or school library media center. You can also get a username and password from your librarian to use AVL at home.
- Going, William T. "Samuel Minturn Peck, Late Laureate of Alabama. A Fin de Siecle Study". Georgia Review 8. (1954): 190-200.
- Going, William T. "The Prose Fiction of Samuel Minturn Peck". Alabama Review 8.1. (1955): 36-42.
Reference Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries
- Going, William T. "Samuel Minturn Peck, Gentleman of Letters"; Essays on Alabama Literature. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, . 61-79.
- Williams, Benjamin Buford. "Samuel Minturn Peck, Alabama's First 'Poet Laureate'"; A Literary History of Alabama: The Nineteenth Century. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, . 135-138.
Location of Papers
Photo from Maybloom and Myrtle, 1910.
Last updated on May 30, 2008.