Richard Harding Davis
WITH BOTH ARMIES
Richard Harding Davis, F.R.G.S., With Both Armies in South
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901
Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)
Harding Davis was one of the most active and influential journalists during
the Spanish-American War. Born in 1864, Davis entered the newspaper business
soon after his studies at Lehigh and Johns Hopkins University.
As a reporter for The Sun and managing editor for
Harper's Weekly, Richard Harding Davis had become a well known writer by
the 1890s. In 1896, William Randolph Hearst, owner and editor of the New
York Journal, commissioned Davis and noted illustrator Frederick
Remington to cover the Cuban rebellion against Spanish rule.
In Cuba, Davis wrote several articles that sparked U.S.
interest in the struggles of the Cuban people. Two stories in particular
captured the public's attention. The first, "The death of Rodriguez,"
described the execution of a young Cuban prisoner. The second concerned a
strip search of a young Cuban woman. Davis was outraged when Hearst printed
that the search had been conducted by male guards (Davis reported that the
search had been done by females). After this episode, Davis resigned and
refused to work for Hearst again.
During 1898, Richard Harding Davis reported for the New
York Herald, Times of London, and Scribner's Magazine.
While aboard the U.S. Navy flagship New York, Davis witnessed the bombing of
Mantanzas, giving Joseph Pulitzer's New York Herald an early "scoop"
of the war. As a result of Davis' report, the United States Navy prohibited
reporters from being aboard any U.S. ships for the rest of the Cuban
In 1898, Richard Harding Davis spent time with other
correspondents and military officers at the Tampa Bay Hotel, and then went
on to see action in the Santiago campaign. A personal favorite of Teddy
Roosevelt, Davis helped create the legend surrounding Roosevelt and the
Often perceived by other journalists and historians as naļve
and sensationalist, Richard Harding Davis had a romantic style that was
popular during the 1890s. Richard Harding Davis is considered one of the
most influential reporters of the "yellow journalist" era.
From: Crucible of Empire: The
Spanish American War, PBS, 1999. Content by Great Projects Film Company,
Inc. Copyright © 1999
From: Encyclopędia Britannica Online
Davis, Richard Harding,
b. April 18, 1864, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.
d. April 11, 1916, Mount Kisco, N.Y., U.S.
U.S. author of romantic novels and short stories and
the best known reporter of his generation. Davis studied at Lehigh and Johns Hopkins universities and in
1886 became a reporter on the Philadelphia Record. He then worked
on various newspapers in Philadelphia and New York, wrote short stories,
and in 1890 became managing editor of Harper's Weekly. On Harper's
assignments he toured various parts of the globe, recording his
impressions of the American West, Europe, and South America in a series
of books (1892-96). He was a war correspondent, reporting every war from
the Greco-Turkish to World War I. He plunged into what he reported,
defying rules in order to join in the battle of San Juan Hill in the
Spanish-American War; he was nearly shot by the Germans as a spy in
World War I. His early fiction achieved immediate success, particularly
and Other Stories (1891), a collection of newspaper stories, Van
Bibber and Others (1892), and Ranson's Folly (1902). Many of
his published works were illustrated by Charles Dana Gibson. He wrote
seven popular novels published between 1897 and 1909. Several of his 25
plays were also very successful, notably Ranson's Folly (1904),
Dictator (1904), and Miss Civilization (1906).
From "Davis, Richard Harding" Encyclopędia
[Accessed 30 September 1999].
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