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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Edward L. Burlingame


Centurion, 1877–1922

Full Name Edward Livermore Burlingame

Born 30 May 1848 in Boston, Massachusetts

Died 15 November 1922 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Proposed by Bayard Taylor and Henry Holt

Elected 10 March 1877 at age twenty-eight

Archivist’s Note: Father of Frederic A. Burlingame and Roger Burlingame

Century Memorial

Edward Livermore Burlingame was a worthy son of that famous Massachusetts Congressman [Anson Burlingame] who, after the cowardly physical assault on Sumner, denounced Preston Brooks to his face “in the name of that fair play which bullies and prize-fighters respect” and who, on being challenged for these words, named Canada as the place and rifles as the weapon and waited at the Clifton House for the Southern fire-eater who never came. Burlingame’s own life was passed in more peaceful surroundings than those of the sturdy Northern legislator, but something of his father’s resolute purpose marked his career as editor and man of letters. With the background of training at the best European universities and of wide acquaintance with American men of mark, he entered the house of Scribner’s in 1879, taking charge of the newly-founded Scribner’s Magazine seven years later. His work of the next quarter-century in that capacity was a notable series of achievements in the discovery and development of previously unknown writers of poetry and fiction. Many of our best-known novelists, essayists and poets of today and the past generation have frankly acknowledged what Burlingame’s appreciation and friendly suggestion meant for them when they were finding themselves in the first uncertain steps of their literary career. He was the most loyal of Centurions. If the criterion by which he measured fitness for membership in the Century was severe, that was at least an indication of how he looked upon the Club itself.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1923 Century Association Yearbook