Publication Date: 09-15-2013
James T Field (born December 31, 1817, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S.—died April 24, 1881, Boston, Massachusetts), American author and leading publisher in the United States.
At 14 Fields went to Boston, working as clerk in a bookseller’s shop. While he was employed there, he began to write for the local newspapers. In 1838 he became junior partner in the bookselling firm of Ticknor, Reed and Fields, which became Ticknor and Fields in 1854 and Fields, Osgood and Co. in 1868. His Old Corner Bookstore, which served as a meeting place of the literary world, was a Boston institution. He was the publisher of the foremost contemporary American writers, with most of whom he was on terms of close personal friendship; John Greenleaf Whittier, for instance, depicted him in The Tent on the Beach. He was also the American publisher of some of the best-known British writers of his time. In 1861–70, as the successor of James Russell Lowell, he edited The Atlantic Monthly. Fields’s writings include: Poems (1849), Yesterdays With Authors (1872), and Hawthorne (1876).
We were crowded in the cabin;
Not a soul would dare to sleep
It was midnight on the waters,
And a storm was on the deep.
'Tis a fearful thing in winter
To be shattered by the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet
Thunder, "Cut away the mast!"
So we shuddered there in silence,
For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring,
And the breakers threatened death.
And as thus we sat in darkness,
Each one busy in his prayers,
"We are lost!" the captain shouted,
As he staggered down the stairs.
But his little daughter whispered,
As she took his icy hand,
"Isn't God upon the ocean,
Just the same as on the land?"
Then we kissed the little maiden,
And we spoke in better cheer;
And we anchored safe in harbor
When the morn was shining clear.