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Bret Harte
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    (August 25, 1836-May 6, 1902)
    Born in Albany, New York
    Birth name was Francis Brett Hart
    Author and poet
    Best known for his accounts of pioneer life in California
    Works include the short story 'The Outcasts of Poker Flats' and the narrative poem 'The Heathen Chinee'
    He (almost) shares a name with pro wrestler Bret 'The Hitman' Hart.
    He borrowed money from friends and never repaid it.
    After he settled in England, Mark Twain called him 'an invertebrate without a country.'
    'The Heathen Chinee' was written as a satire of anti-Chinese prejudice, but was embraced by opponents of Chinese immigration as support for their cause.
    He later called 'The Heathen Chinee' 'the worst poem I ever wrote, possibly the worst poem anyone ever wrote.'
    He was fired as a newspaper reporter after taking advantage of the boss's absence to publish an editorial condemning a massacre of American Indians by white settlers (1860).
    He signed a contract with the Atlantic Monthly paying a then-record $10,000 a year for twelve stories (1871).
    Twain said, 'Though I am generally placed at the head of my breed of scribblers in this part of the country, the place properly belongs to Bret Harte.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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