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Thomas W. Knox
Thomas W. Knox-cropped.jpeg
Portrait of Knox, published in the New York Times on January 7, 1896, on the occasion of his death.
Born Thomas Wallace Knox
(1835-06-26)June 26, 1835
Pembroke, New Hampshire, U.S.
Died January 6, 1896(1896-01-06) (aged 60)
New York City, New York
Occupation Journalist, Author
Notable credit(s) New York Herald Civil War reporting
The Boy Travelers series

Thomas Wallace Knox (June 26, 1835 - January 6, 1896)[1] was a journalist, author, and world traveler, known primarily for his work as a New York Herald correspondent during the American Civil War. As an author, Knox wrote over 45 books, including a popular series of travel adventure books for boys.[1]

Knox was well known for his written attacks on William Tecumseh Sherman and his Union soldiers, which reintroduced into the public debate the issue of Sherman's sanity, and also was controversial for its publishing of important information pertaining to the Vicksburg Campaign. Knox was acquitted on spy charges but found guilty of disobeying orders.[2]


Knox grew up in Pembroke, New Hampshire, and became a teacher, founding an academy in Kingston, New York.[1] In 1860, at the age of 25, Knox headed west to take part in the gold rush. He soon latched on with the Denver Daily News. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Knox enlisted in the California National Guard, where he was made a lieutenant colonel. He was wounded in Missouri skirmish, and subsequently discharged. At that point, Knox returned to journalism, as a correspondent for the New York Herald. He soon ran afoul of Sherman.

After the war, Knox traveled the world widely, at first with the Russo-American Telegraph Company. These experiences led to more travels and then books for adults and children.[1]

Knox never married. From the 1880s onward, when not traveling abroad, he lived at the Lotos Club in Manhattan and spent his summers at the Olympic Club in Bay Shore, Long Island. Knox died at the Lotos Club in January 1896,[1] shortly after returning from the Sahara.


Selected bibliographyEdit

  • Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field: Southern Adventure in Time of War, Life with the Union Armies, and Residence on a Louisiana Plantation (1865)
  • Overland Through Asia: Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tatar Life (1870)
  • Backsheesh! or Life and Adventures in the Orient (1875)
  • Decisive Battles Since Waterloo. The Most Important Military Events from 1815 to 1887 (1887)
  • The Boy Travelers series (20 books)
    • The Boy Travellers in the Far East, Part First: Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey to Japan & China (New York: Harper, 1879)
    • The Boy Travelers in the Far East, Part Fourth: Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey to Egypt and the Holy Land (Harper & Bros., 1882)
    • The Boy Travelers in the Congo: Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey with Henry M. Stanley "Through the Dark Continent" (1887)



External linksEdit

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