John Milton Mackie (1813-1894)

The author of the essay on Shelley, in the last number of the first volume of “The Dial,” was John Milton Mackie who was born in Wareham, Mass., December 19, 1813. He graduated from Brown University in 1832 at the head of his class, was a student at Andover Theological Seminary in 1833-84, spent some months at Berlin in 1834, and was a tutor at Brown in 1834-35. He studied law, but seems not to have entered upon its practice. He went to New York about 1836 and devoted himself to literature for twenty years. In 1845 he published a biography of Leibnitz, in 1848 a life of Samuel Gorton in Sparks’s series of American biographies, in 1855 a volume of Spanish travels, in 1856 a life of Schamyl, in 1857 an account of the Chinese insurrection of that year, and in 1864 a volume of Southern travel. He was a contributor to “The North American Review,” “The American Whig Review,” “The Christian Review,” and other periodicals.

In 1858, his health having become impaired, he moved to Great Barrington, Mass., bought the Pine Cliff  estate, and devoted himself to agriculture. He wrote for various papers and magazines, but his chief occupation was that of breeding fine Jersey cattle, and he was one of the earliest importers of these animals. He was one of the founders of the American Jersey Cattle Club, and its president from 1876 to 1879. He was an Episcopalian in his church connections, and had no intimate relations with the writers for “The Dial” Although he was an admirer of Emerson and Margaret Fuller, he was not a transcendentalist. He died at his home in Great Barrington, August 25, 1894.

—George Willis Cooke, A Historical
and Biographical Introduction to the Dial
(Cleveland: Rowfant Club, 1902) v. 2, p. 98