Frederick Wadsworth Loring

Frederick Wadsworth Loring (December 12, 1848 – November 5, 1871) was an American journalist, novelist and poet. Loring was born on December 12, 1848, in Boston, Massachusetts to David and Mary Hall Stodder Loring.[1] He was a fifth great grandson to immigrant Thomas Loring.[1] He attended Phillips Academy, Andover, Class of 1866, and then Harvard University, where he first made his mark with contributions to the Harvard Advocate. He graduated in 1870. Inheriting a love of literature from his mother, who died when he was eleven, he quickly gained in stature as an up-and-coming American author.[2] In 1871, he published a novel, Two College Friends, and a book of poems, The Boston Dip and Other Verses. Two College Friends, which featured highly charged scenes of young men in battle during the Civil War, has been singled out as an important work in the history of romantic male friendship.[3] He also made numerous journalistic and creative contributions to such periodicals as The Atlantic Monthly, Appleton's Journal, Old and New, The Independent, and Every Saturday during this time.

Wickenburg Massacre

In the spring of 1871, Appleton's Journal sent Loring as a correspondent on an expedition to Arizona to be led by Lieutenant George M. Wheeler. The articles Loring wrote for the journal included "A Council of War," "A Glimpse of Mormonism,"[4] "Silver Mining in Nevada," and "The Valley of Death." Their party suffered several setbacks, and in August 1871 Loring wrote to his employers from Death Valley, "I am bootless, coatless, everything but lifeless. I have had a fortnight of horrors. This morning an Indian fight capped the climax. However, I am well and cheerful."[5] Although they escaped from the valley, his party's carriage was attacked on 5 November by a band of Yavapai near Wickenburg, Arizona, while on the way to La Paz in an ambush that came to be known as the Wickenburg Massacre. The driver, Loring, and four other passengers were killed.

After his death, he was mourned by Charles Reade as having been the most promising of all young American authors.[5] Several of Loring's poems, such as "In the Old Churchyard at Fredericksburg" and "The Old Professor", were posthumously included in American verse anthologies.


  • Cotton Cultivation in the South (1869, with Charles F. Atkinson)
  • Two College Friends (1871)
  • The Boston Dip and Other Verses (1871)


  1. Charles Henry Pope, Loring Genealogy, (1917), p.260
  2. Nissen, Axel. The Romantic Friendship Reader: Love Stories Between Men in Victorian America. Page 85. 2003.
  3. Katz, Jonathan Ned. Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homosexuality. Page 141. University of Chicago Press, 2001.
  4. Frederick W. Loring, Appleton's Journal: A Magazine of General Literature, Volume 6, pp. 214-5 accessed 12 October 2015
  5. Wilson, James Grant & John Fiske (editors). Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Volume IV, Lodge-Pickens. Page 27. D. Appleton and Company, 1900.
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