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A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Character of Joseph Charless In a Series of Letters to his Grandchildren   By:

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In "A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Character of Joseph Charless In a Series of Letters to his Grandchildren," Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless takes readers on an insightful journey through the life of her grandfather, Joseph Charless. Through a series of letters addressed to her grandchildren, the author provides a comprehensive account of Joseph Charless’ remarkable life and showcases his character as a pioneer, entrepreneur, and journalist.

One of the most captivating aspects of this biographical sketch is the meticulous research carried out by the author. Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless leaves no stone unturned in her exploration of Joseph Charless’ life. Drawing from personal correspondence, diaries, and historical records, she effortlessly reconstructs the significant events and milestones that shaped not only his life but also the 19th-century American society in which he lived.

The author's writing style is both engaging and intimate. Through her letters, Charless emerges as a relatable and admirable figure. The reader is treated to vivid descriptions of his early years in England, his journey to America, and his subsequent settlement in St. Louis. As the narrative progresses, we witness the young Joseph's determination to succeed in his printing and publishing ventures. It is this same drive that propels him to establish the first newspaper in the Louisiana Territory, a compelling highlight in the book.

Apart from being a historical account, this book also serves as a reflection on values and character, with Joseph Charless serving as an exemplar. Throughout the letters, the author delves into his unwavering commitment to the principles of truth, justice, and freedom of the press. This dedication to speaking the truth, even in the face of adversity, undoubtedly left an indelible mark on his family and the community at large. Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless paints a heartfelt portrait of her grandfather, emphasizing not only his achievements but also his qualities as a loving husband, father, and community leader.

While the book is certainly dense with historical details, the author ensures that the narrative remains accessible to readers from all walks of life. She weaves these details seamlessly into the fabric of Joseph Charless' story, offering a holistic view of his life without becoming overwhelming. Additionally, the inclusion of historical photographs and images enriches the reading experience, allowing readers to visualize the people and places discussed.

In conclusion, "A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Character of Joseph Charless In a Series of Letters to his Grandchildren" is a beautifully crafted tribute to a man who played a significant role in the development of 19th-century America. Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless' meticulous research, engaging writing style, and her personal connection to the subject matter make this book a truly delightful read. Whether one is interested in American history, journalism, or simply appreciates a well-drawn biography, this book is sure to captivate and inspire.

First Page:


Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil., chap.4, verse 8.



Letter One


We are reminded daily of the uncertainty of human life: for the young and the old, the gay and the grave, the good and the wicked, are subject to death. Young people do not realize this, but it is nevertheless true, and before you are old enough, my children, to understand and lay to heart all that your mother would tell you of her dearly beloved father, she may be asleep with grandma, close beside him in Bellefontaine. An earthly inheritance is highly esteemed among men. For this reason great efforts are made by them to lay up treasures for their children. They know not, however, who shall gather them, for “riches take to themselves wings and fly away.” But a good man leaveth an inheritance to his children, and to his children’s children, which is as stable as the throne of the Most High... Continue reading book >>

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