Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton poet, priest, educator and historian, was born at Kentville, Nova Scotia, the eldest son of William Eaton, a descendant of a Puritan family and at one time Inspector of Schools for his county, and Anna Augusta Willoughby Hamilton, of New England Puritan stock.
His higher education was received at Dalhousie College, Halifax, and at Harvard University where he graduated in arts with the class of 1880. [Of this class, Theodore Roosevelt was a member. The honorary degree, D.C.L., was conferred on him in 1905, by King's College University, in recognition of his literary achievements and high scholastic attainments.
Ordained deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in 1884, and priest the next year, he was, for a time, incumbent of the parish of Chestnut Hill, Boston.
In 1888, Dr. Eaton's first notable work, The Heart of the Creeds: Historical Religion in the Light of Modern Thought, was published. This was followed, in 1889, by his first book of verse, Acadian Legends and Lyrics, so favourably reviewed by the critics. His third publication, The Church of England in Nova Scotia, and the Tory Clergy of the Revolution, a permanently valuable historical work, was issued in 1891. His historical researches have resulted also in a number of authoritative genealogical and family monographs, in the History of King's County, N.S.: Heart of the Acadian Land, and in an important History of Halifax, Nova Scotia, now being published in instalments, in 'Americana.' Two other volumes of verse appeared in 1905,–Acadian Ballads, and De Soto's Last Dream, and Poems of the Christian Year–and, in 1907, was published The Lotus of the Nile and Other Poems.
As Professor of English Literature for years, in a New York college, Dr. Eaton gained a wide reputation as an educator.
Dr. Eaton has made an enviable record as a Canadian litterateur. His Legends and Ballads must continue to hold their distinctive place in Canadian verse whilst his historical writings must ever increase in value and importance.
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