John Rose Greene Hassard
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An editor, historian; b. in New York, U.S.A. 4 September, 1836; d. in that city, 18 April, 1888. His parents were Episcopalians, his mother being a granddaughter of Commodore Nicholson of Revolutionary fame. He became a Catholic at the age of fifteen and, after graduating at St. John's College, New York, entered the diocesan seminary, intending to study for the priesthood. Ill-health, however, forced him to abandon this idea and turned to literature. He was the first editor of the "Catholic World Magazine", and assistant editor of the "Chicago Republican" and of the "American Cyclopedia", and joined the editorial staff of the " New York Tribune", on which paper his principal work was that of literary and musical critic. In the latter capacity he was one of the Wager school of modern music. His letters descriptive of the festivals at Bayreuth were among the first informative chapters in this department of music, where his critical judgement and cultivated taste did much for the advancement of the highest musical art. He had a peculiarly impartial mind, and in his writings displayed a remarkable purity of style and vigour of expression. Most of his literary life was spent as a journalist, but in addition to his work as such and his contributions to the magazines he wrote a very comprehensive life of Archbishop John Hughes of New York, and a short one of the Pope Pius IX. He also prepared a "History of the United States " in both extended and abridged forms for use in Catholic colleges and schools.