Bret Harte was an American writer, poet, and journalist who was best known for his stories about the people in California during the Gold Rush. Francis Brett was his great-grandfather, so he was named after him. However, he chose to spell his name “Bret” instead of “Brett.” His father was a rich trader and one of the first people to join the New York Stock Exchange. His education in school was all over the place, and he dropped out soon after to become a writer. He went to California and worked in many different jobs, which showed him how people lived there during the gold rush. He was an assistant editor for the newspaper “Northern Californian,” but he had to leave the city because his safety was at risk because of how he felt about something. Before becoming a founding member of “The Overlord Monthly,” he worked as a writer for “The Atlantic Monthly” and helped start “The Californian.” Overlord Monthly published one of his most famous stories, “The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches.” Later, he signed a contract with “The Atlantic Monthly” for $10,000 per year, which was the most any writer had ever been paid at the time.
Early years and childhood
Francis Bret Harte, who was better known as Bret Harte, was born in Albany, New York, in the United States on August 25, 1836. Henry Harte, his father, was a Jewish immigrant who became a wealthy merchant and one of the first people to join the New York Stock Exchange.
He was born in New York, and his family moved to Brooklyn in 1845. His schooling was all over the place. We don’t know much about his education, but from a young age on, he loved to read and write. When he was only 11, his poem “Autumn Musings” came out.
In 1854, he moved to California and began working as a miner. This gave him an idea of how people lived in a camp. Three years later, he got a job as a reporter for the Northern Californian, a weekly newspaper. During his time with the paper, he learned a lot about local issues.
Bret Harte’s Career
During his time at the “Northern Californian,” he wrote an editorial against the killing of Indians in 1860. He also always opposed how Mexicans were treated. After writing about the killings and taking a stand on them, he got death threats, so he quit the paper. He quit his job and moved to San Francisco as his new home.
In 1860, he became the editor of a San Francisco newspaper called “The Golden Era.” While he was there, his first set of “Condensed Novels,” in which he made fun of some of the best-known works by famous authors like Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo, came out.
In 1863, he sent his first story to an American magazine called “The Atlantic Monthly.” The next year, he worked with Charles Henry Webb to make a literary magazine called “The Californian.” During this time, he kept writing parodies. His story “The Stolen Cigar-Case,” which was a parody of Sherlock Holmes, was very well received.
In 1868, he was named editor of a new literary magazine called The Overland Monthly because of the stories he had written about Spanish legends. “The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches,” one of his most famous works, was published in “The Overlord Monthly” two years after he became the editor. In the same year, the poem “The Heathen Chinee” was also published, making him a well-known writer all over the world.
In 1871, when he was at the top of his game as a writer, “The Atlantic Monthly” gave him a contract worth $10,000 a year. At the time, it was the most money a writer had ever made in a year. But it didn’t do as well as he had hoped, and the next year he was out of work. During the next few years, he couldn’t find much work, so he worked in advertising and gave a lot of lectures.
In 1880, he became the U.S. Consul in Glasgow, Scotland. Five years later, he moved to London for good. He kept writing a lot, but he didn’t get the same attention as he had in the past. He lived out the rest of his life in Europe, but he was alone and sent money back to his family in the U.S.
Works of note
In 1870, “The Luck of the Roaring Camp,” his most important work, was published in “Overlord Monthly.” It is one of his most well-known works and helped people all over the world learn about him.
Personal History and Legacies
He married Anna Griswold on August 11, 1862. The man and woman had four kids: Griswold, Francis, Jessamy, and Ethel.
He died on May 5, 1902, in Camberley, England, of throat cancer at the age of 62.
Estimated Net worth
Bret Harte is estimated to have a net worth of $9 million, most of which comes from his work as a typesetter, poet, writer, journalist, and playwright. We don’t know enough about Bret Harte’s cars or his way of life.