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Percival, James Gates (1795-1856).

poet, physician, geologist. Born in Connecticut and trained in medicine at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, Percival served as medical officer and taught chemistry at West Point. He translated poetry from Russian, Serbian, and Hungarian and wrote poetry in English and German. He was a journalist for the Connecticut Herald and Bond's American Athenaeum. As state geologist for Connecticut (1835-1842) and Wisconsin (1854-1856) he made several technical contributions to the field.

His long poem "Prometheus" (published in Poems, 1821) was compared favorably with Byron's Childe Harold by American critics of his time. Percival also published Prometheus Part II with Other Poems (1822), Clio I and II (1822), and Clio III (1827). In The Dream of a Day (1843) Percival experimented with various metrical patterns. Throughout his life Percival suffered from mental illness and for ten years lived voluntarily on the grounds of the State Hospital at New Haven, Connecticut.

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Words:150
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