Richard Harding Davis
Richard Harding Davis, F.R.G.S., With Both Armies in South Africa, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901

Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

Richard Harding DavisRichard 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 conflict.

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 Rough Riders.

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 Gallegher 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), The Dictator (1904), and Miss Civilization (1906).

From "Davis, Richard Harding" Encyclopędia Britannica Online.
[Accessed 30 September 1999].

Table of Contents

Chapter I:   "With Buller's Column"
Chapter II:   "The Siege of Ladysmith"
Chapter III:   "The Relief of Ladysmith"
Chapter IV:   "My First Sight of the Boer"
Chapter V:   "Pretoria in War-Time"
Chapter VI:   "President Kruger"
Chapter VII:   "The English Prisoners"
Chapter VIII:   "The Night Before the Battle"
Chapter IX:   "The Battle of Sand River"
Chapter X:   "The Last Days of Pretoria"

Richard Harding Davis, With Both Armies in South Africa, 1900
Table of Contents
Richard Harding Davis, Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis. A thoughtfully written and enjoyable autobiography of letters and personal recollections of some of the most important events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chapter XII covers the Boer War.
Appreciations of Richard Harding Davis. On his untimely death in 1917, twelve noted personalities of the day contributed their thoughts and memories on RHD's life and work. Contributors  included Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Finley Peter Dunne.
Perspectives on the South African War. A collection of links to original and contemporary sources on the South African War.

The Pine Tree Web Home Page: A Collection of the Author's Links

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