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Much of what we know about the Early Modern era comes from the writings of that time. With the proliferation of the printing press and a somewhat more literate population, much more literature of this period is preserved (as opposed to earlier times). Whether from a novel, play, travel journal or scientific paper, these writings add greatly to our knowledge of our history.
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Cross-listed in Educators

Alonzo Jackman

borndied
1809, Mar 201879, Feb 24
a Vermont educator and military officer. He is prominent for developing and implementing a system for receiving and training troops for the Union Army during the American Civil War. Jackman wrote several articles and treatises on mathematics and other topics. In the 1840s he prepared an article on constructing an underwater telegraph, including methods of in...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Performers

Antoine Jacob

aka: Montfleury
borndied
16391685
a French actor and playwright and a rival of Molière. Antoine worked as a lawyer at first and turned to drama in 1660. His first productions, Le Mariage de rien (The void marriage) and Les Bestes raisonnables (The Reasoning Beasts), were the kind of one act farces that were fashionable at the time. The latter allowed him to satirise contemporary society.
Links (1)


Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi

borndied
1743, Jan 251819, Mar 10
an influential German philosopher, literary figure, socialite, and the younger brother of poet Johann Georg Jacobi. He is notable for popularizing the term nihilism (coined by Obereit in 1787) and promoting it as the prime fault of Enlightenment thought. Instead of speculative reason, he advocated Glaube (variously translated as faith or "belief") and revela...
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Johann Georg Jacobi

borndied
1740, Sep 21814, Jan 4
a German poet. Jacobi issued a number of anacreontic lyrics and sonnets that are not at all appreciated by the intellectuals of his time. Herder called Jacobi's anacreontic poetry tasteless nonsense, Goethe criticised the jingling verses as only impressing women, and Lichtenberg ridiculed Jacobi as a doctorem jubilatum. From 1774 to 1776, Gleim and Jacobi ed...
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Harriet Ann Jacobs

borndied
1813, Feb 111897, Mar 7
an African-American writer who escaped from slavery and was later freed. She became an abolitionist speaker and reformer. In late 1852 or early 1853, Amy Post suggested that Jacobs should write her life story. She also suggested that Jacobs contact the author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was working on A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin. When Stowe wanted to use Jacob...
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Links (1)


Richard Jago

borndied
17151781
an English clergyman poet and minor landscape gardener from Warwickshire. Although his writing was not highly regarded by contemporaries, some of it was sufficiently novel to have several imitators.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Artists

Dura Jaksic

aka: Jakšic
borndied
18321878
a Serbian poet, painter, writer, dramatist, bohemian and patriot. Jakšic is one of the most expressive representatives of Serbian Romanticism. Passionate, impetuously imaginative, emotional, rebellious and imbued with romantic nationalist sentiment, his poems about freedom, his invectives against tyranny and his verses of lyric confession resonate with roma...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in ClergyGovernance

King James I

aka: James VI of Scotland
bornactivedied
1566, Jun 191603-16251625, Mar 27
King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland (and Supreme Head of the Church of England) from 1603 until his death. He achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. Under James, the "Golden Age" of Eliza...
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Timeline (14)Links (1)Notes (1)


Anna Brownell Jameson

borndied
1794, May 171860, Mar 17
a British writer. The first work which displayed her powers of original thought was her Characteristics of Women (1832). These analyses of William Shakespeare's heroines are remarkable for their delicacy of critical insight and fineness of literary touch. ...
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Links (1)


Francoise Marguerite Janicon

aka: Françoise Marguerite Janiçon
borndied
17111789
a Swedish writer. She belonged to the few females who participated in the political debate under their own name rather than under a pseudonym during the Swedish Age of Liberty. She was at one point referred to by Carl Christoffer Gjörwell the Elder as the most learned female in Sweden, and upheld a political correspondence with Carl Reinhold Berch. Alongsid...
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Links (1)


Pierre de Jarric

borndied
15661617, Mar 2
a French Catholic missionary writer from Toulouse. Although he desired to join the missionaries of his order, his wish was not fulfilled. Instead, he dedicated himself to writing on their behalf. The result was Histoire des choses plus memorables advenues tant ez Indes orientales, que autres païs de la descouverte des Portugois, which appeared in three part...
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Links (1)


Antoine Jay

borndied
1770, Oct 201854, Apr 9
a French writer, journalist, historian and politician. He came to note for his Histoire du ministère du cardinal de Richelieu (1815) and his elogies of Corneille and Montaigne (published in his Tableau littéraire de la France pendant le XVIIIe siècle in 1818).
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Governance

John Jay

borndied
1745, Dec 231829, May 17
an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, signatory of the Treaty of Paris, and first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–95). Jay was born into a wealthy family of merchants and government officials in New York City. He became a lawyer and joined the New York Committee of Correspondence and organized ...
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Timeline (6)Links (22)


Cross-listed in Clergy

Malik Muhammad Jayasi

borndied
unknown1542
an Indian Sufi poet and pir. He wrote in the Awadhi language, and in the Persian Nasta'liq script. His most notable work is the epic poem Padmavat (1540). Much of the information about Jayasi comes from legends, and his date and place of birth are a matter of debate. As the nisba "Jayasi" suggests, he was associated with Jayas, an important Sufi centr...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in ClergyInventorsScientists

Anyos Jedlik

aka: Ányos
bornactivedied
1800, Jan 111817-18731895, Dec 13
a Hungarian inventor, engineer, physicist, and Benedictine priest. He was also a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and author of several books. He is considered by Hungarians and Slovaks to be the unsung father of the dynamo and electric motor. Jedlik's best known invention is the principle of dynamo self-excitation. In 1827, Jedlik started experi...
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Links (11)


Cross-listed in ArchitectsGovernance

Thomas Jefferson

bornactivedied
1743, Apr 21767-18241826, Jul 4
an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was an ardent proponent of democracy and embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental ...
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Timeline (25)Links (28)Notes (4)


Henry Jenkes

borndied
unknown1697
a Gresham Professor of Rhetoric. He was elected a fellow of Caius College, Cambridge, in the time of the civil war. On the occasion of the opening of the Sheldonian Theatre he was incorporated M.A. at Oxford, 13 July 1669. He was elected professor of rhetoric in Gresham College, London, on 21 October 1670. He corresponded with several learned men in Holland,...
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Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Anthony Jenkinson

bornactivedied
15291550s-1570s1610/1611
one of the first Britons to explore Muscovy and present day Russia. Jenkinson was a traveller and explorer on behalf of the Muscovy Company and the English crown. He also met Ivan the Terrible several times during his trips to Moscow and Russia. He detailed the accounts of his travel through several written works over his life. Explored Russia and Persia.
Links (1)


Simon Jenko

borndied
1835, Oct 271869, Oct 18
a Slovene poet, lyricist and writer. He belonged to the group of prominent Slovenes that embraced a progressive and nationalist political ideology (often with Pan-Slavic elements) and introduced literary realism in Slovenian literature. He mostly wrote lyrical and patriotic poems, which reveal an influence of late romanticism. He also wrote short prose in a ...
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Links (1)


Soame Jenyns

borndied
1704, Jan 11787, Dec 18
an English writer. For the measure of literary repute which he enjoyed during his life Jenyns was indebted as much to his wealth and social standing as to his accomplishments and talents, though both were considerable. His poetical works, the Art of Dancing (1727) and Miscellanies (1770), contain many passages graceful and lively though occasionally verging ...
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Links (1)


Edward Jerningham

borndied
17371812, Nov 17
an English poet who moved in high society during the second half of the 18th century. A writer of liberal views, he was savagely satirised later in life. At the outset of his literary career, Jerningham mixed with the circle about Thomas Gray, although he never met the poet himself. However, like many at the time, he began by writing a close imitation of Gra...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Clergy

Thomas Jervis

borndied
17481833
an English unitarian minister. Jervis published nineteen separate sermons and addresses (1784–1820). He wrote many biographies for The Gentleman's Magazine and Monthly Repository, and several hymns for the collections of Kippis and others. One of his hymns written in 1795, ‘Sweet is the friendly voice,’ is in Martineau's collections.
Links (1)


Ana de Jesus

aka: Jesús, Ann Lobera
borndied
1545, Nov 251621, Mar 4
a Spanish Discalced Carmelite nun and writer. She was a close companion of St. Teresa of Avila, foundress of the Carmelite reform and served to establish new monasteries of the Order throughout Europe. Known as a mystic and for her writings on prayer, she has been declared Venerable by the Catholic Church. The poems of Ana de Jesús do not have as much relev...
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Links (1)


Mary Anne Jevons

aka: Mary Anne Roscoe
borndied
17951845
an English poet. he eldest daughter of William Roscoe, and inherited a good deal of his poetic talent. She contributed to Poems for Youth, by a Family Circle, 1820–1, 2 parts (3rd edition 1841), and wrote Poems by one of the Authors of “Poems for Youth,” &c., 1821, 12mo, pp. 66. From 1831 to 1838 she edited The Sacred Offering, a Poetical Annual. Her o...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

John R. Jewitt

borndied
1783, May 211821, Jan 7
an armourer who entered the historical record with his memoirs about the 28 months he spent as a captive of Maquinna of the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) people on the Pacific Northwest Coast of what is now Canada. In 1802, an American captain, John Salter, invited him to sign on as an armourer to a round-the-world trip on his ship the Boston, out of Boston, Mass...
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Links (1)


Ji Yun

aka: Ji Xiaolan, Ji Chunfan
borndied
17241805
an influential scholar of Qing dynasty China and many anecdotes have been recorded about him. Ji Yun left behind a book entitled Notes of the Thatched Abode of Close Observations, and another book named Wenda Gong Yiji (Collected Works of Lord Wenda, i.e. Ji Xiaolan), which was edited by later generations.
Links (1)


Adolphe Joanne

borndied
1813, Sep 151881, Mar 1
a French geographical writer and author of travel books. A trip to Switzerland and the Black Forest prompted him in 1841 to write up a travel guide, which was the starting point for a whole series of similar and partly more extensive works, which covered not only the most interesting places and landscapes of France, but also of Germany, England, Switzerland,...
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Links (1)


Eloi Johanneau

aka: Éloi
borndied
17701851
a French philologist. Friend of Prosper Merimee, is the author of numerous essays on national antiques, including those of Britain, but is best known as a philologist and for its historical and philological annotations of works by authors such as Pliny the Elder, Rabelais and Montaigne.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Clergy

John of the Cross

borndied
15421591
a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, a Roman Catholic saint, a Carmelite friar and a priest who was born at Fontiveros, Old Castile. John of the Cross was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered, along with Saint Teresa of Ávila, as a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. He is also known for his writings. Both his poetry ...
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Links (1)


Johan Christian Johnsen

borndied
1815, Jul 231898, Feb 2
a Norwegian politician. He was elected to the Norwegian Parliament in 1848, 1851 and 1854, representing the constituency of Stavanger. He worked as a merchant in that city. Johnsen was also a writer. He founded the magazine Almuevennen in 1848, and wrote enlightening books such as Frihandelen (1860) and Reise i Universet (1885). He published an encyclopedia ...
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Links (1)


Captain Charles Johnson

bornactivedied
unknown1720sunknown
the British author of the 1724 book A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates, whose identity remains a mystery. No record exists of a captain by this name, with Johnson generally considered a pseudonym for one of London's writer-publishers. This pseudonym has recently resurfaced in the RSFFL Little Show. Some scholars hav...
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Links (1)


James Johnson [1]

borndied
1753 ca1811, Feb 26
a Scottish engraver, publisher and music seller known for his connection with the songbook The Scots Musical Museum and the poet Robert Burns. Johnson had a plan for a two-volume collection of Scottish, Irish and English songs, when he met Robert Burns. The natur...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Physicians

James Johnson [2]

aka: Johnston
borndied
1777, Feb1845, Oct 10
an influential British writer on diseases of tropical climates in the first half of the nineteenth century. In 1800 he took part in an expedition to Egypt and, in 1803, sailed for India. Johnson published an account of his Asian voyage. He also wrote many medical treatises.
Links (2)


Joel H. Johnson

borndied
1802, Mar 231882, Sep 24
a Latter Day Saint missionary and hymn writer, most famous as the author of "High on the Mountain Top". Johnson was also the founder of Enoch, Utah. Johnson was a prolific poet and hymn writer. His journal contains 736 hymns.
Links (1)


Samuel Johnson

aka: Dr. Johnson
bornactivedied
1709, Sep 181744-17811784, Dec 13
an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is also the subject of "the most famous single biograph...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


Susannah Willard Johnson

borndied
1729/30, Feb 201810, Nov 27
an Anglo-American woman who was captured with her family during an Abenaki Indian raid on Charlestown, New Hampshire in August 1754, just after the outbreak of the French and Indian War. In 1796, a full forty-two years after her capture by Indians, Johnson decided to record an account of her ordeal. Using her surviving letters, notes and diary, as well the m...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Legal

Charles Johnston

borndied
1770 ca1833
an American lawyer and author who spent five weeks as a captive of a Shawnee group, and later wrote a captivity narrative of his experience. In 1790, he was was with a party traveling down the Ohio River by keelboat. Near the juncture of the Ohio and Scioto Rivers, the party was lured to the bank by an Indian stratagem. Several were killed outright and the f...
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Links (1)


Jackson Johonnet

bornactivedied
unknown1793unknown
the pseudonymous author of a spurious Indian captivity narrative that enjoyed much popularity in the mid-1790s and was thereafter incorporated into the “canonical” body of accounts of white imprisonments, tortures and sufferings due to Native Americans. The narrative tells the story of a young man of 17 who leaves his family’s farm in Falmouth, Massach...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Antoine-Henri Jomini

aka: Baron de Jomini
bornactivedied
1779, Mar 61798-18691869, Mar 24
a Swiss officer who served as a general in the French and later in the Russian service, and one of the most celebrated writers on the Napoleonic art of war. According to the historian John Shy, Jomini "deserves the dubious title of founder of modern strategy." Jomini's ideas were a staple at military academies. The senior generals of the American Civil War -...
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Links (10)


Henry Jones

borndied
17211770
a poet and dramatist active in London. In 1745 he obtained employment in the reparation of the parliament house at Dublin, Jones celebrated the arrival of Lord Chesterfield as lord-lieutenant of Ireland in a poem which was presented to Chesterfield by Singleton. Chesterfield rewarded Jones liberally, and, at his request, Jones followed him to London in 1748....
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Links (1)


John Beauchamp Jones

borndied
1810, Mar 61866, Feb 4
a writer whose books enjoyed considerable popularity during the mid 19th century. Jones was a popular novelist (particularly of the American West and the American South) and a well-connected literary editor and political journalist in the two decades leading up to the American Civil War.
Links (1)


Ben Jonson

bornactivedied
1572, Jun 111598-16371637, Aug 6
an English playwright, poet, actor and literary critic of the 17th century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours. He is best known for the satirical plays Every Man in His Humour (1598), Volpone, or The Foxe (1605), The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fayre...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in PiratesGovernance

Jorgen Jorgensen

aka: The Dog-Days King
bornactivedied
1780, Mar 291807-18081841, Jan 20
a Danish adventurer during the Age of Revolution. During the Action of 2 March 1808 his ship was captured by the British. In 1809 he sailed to Iceland, declared the country independent from Denmark and pronounced himself its ruler. He was also a prolific writer of letters, papers, pamphlets and newspaper articles covering a wide variety of subjects, and was ...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in ArtistsClergy

David Joris

aka: Jan Jorisz, Joriszoon
borndied
1501 ca1556, Aug 25
an important Anabaptist leader in the Netherlands before 1540. By trade David Joris was a glass painter or tinsel painter, having learned the art in Antwerp; in 1522 he painted windows for the church at Enkhuizen, North Holland. n 1533 he accepted the ideas of the Anabaptists, and was baptized in Delft by Obbe Philips. For a time he was a theological combata...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


John Josselyn

bornactivedied
16081638 - 16751675
a seventeenth-century English traveler to New England who wrote with credulity about what he saw and heard during his sojourn there before returning to England. Yet his books give some of the earliest and most complete information on New England flora and fauna in colonial times, and his outlook was later praised by more
Links (4)Notes (1)


Marc-Antoine Jullien de Paris

borndied
1775, Mar 101848, Apr 4
a French revolutionary and man of letters. Jullien would likely have become a major player in the Revolution had it not been for the execution, by guillotine, of Robespierre in July 1794. Made destitute, he was arrested on August 10 and sent to prison; he would be held at the maison de santé of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, and would testify at Carrier's trial. He...
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Links (1)


Junius

bornactivedied
unknown1769-1772unknown
the pseudonym of a writer who contributed a series of letters to the Public Advertiser, from 21 January 1769 to 21 January 1772. The signature had been already used, apparently by him, in a letter of 21 November 1768. These and numerous other personal letters were not included in his Letters of Junius collection, published in 1772.
Links (1)


Franciscus Junius the Elder

borndied
1545, May 11602, Oct 13
a Reformed scholar and theologian. Born in Bourges in central France, he initially studied law, but later decided to study theology in Geneva under John Calvin and Theodore Beza. He became a minister in Antwerp, but was forced to flee to Heidelberg in 1567. He wro...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Clergy

Paulus Juusten

bornactivedied
1516/201563-15751575, Aug 22
the first bishop of Viipuri, and later, bishop of Turku for the Lutheran Finish Church from 1563 until his death in 1575. He was an esteemed teacher and a Swedish royal envoy. Juusten authored the Finnish-language catechism (1574), the tale of his Moscow travel, a Mass book (1575) and the Chronicle of Finnish bishops, Suomen piispainkronikka, Chronicon episc...
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Links (1)

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