Bibliography on 19th Century Rhetoric, by Janice M. Smith

Antczak, Frederick J. Thought and Character: The Rhetoric of Democratic Education. Ames: Iowa State UP, 1985.

This book looks both at how 19th century rhetoric shaped the development of democratic education in America and was shaped by it. Many citizens of this new democracy were ill-equipped to govern it; therefore, adult-education became increasingly important. The newly developed phenomena of the chautauqua, a combined cultural convention and circus, and the appearance of orators on lecture circuits tried to fill this need. Antczak explores three popular lecturers, their respective styles and influence, in depth: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and Henry James. The development of these speakers' ethos is explained and illustrated.

Berlin, James A. Writing Instruction in Nineteenth-Century American College. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1984.

According to Berlin, society creates rhetorics according to its values, needs and social conditions. Berlin asserts that whatever rhetoric is presented to students in composition affects not only their writing, but also their perceptions of the world around them and the choices they make concerning that world. He identified three main rhetorics, one of which branched off into two, in the 19th century: classical (Aristotelian), psychological-epistemological (roots in 18th century, Blair, Campbell, Whately, etc.), and romantic (Emerson). Berlin calls this work "interpretive," an attempt "to make sense out of the multiplicity of theories, practices, textbooks, and the like." And Berlin's commentary does go beyond the mere defining and chronicling of the rhetorics. Although he admits to his bias against eighteenth century rhetoric and to his preference for romantic rhetoric, he treats them all with a similar thoroughness. He credits the work of Albert Kitzhaber and Warren Guthrie with helping to shape his interpretation.

Bradley, Bert E. and Jerry L. Tarver. "John C. Calhoun's Rhetorical Method in Defense of Slavery." Oratory in the Old South: 1828-1860. Ed. Waldo W. Braden. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1970.

As do all the chapters in this collection, this reading shows rhetoric in action in the 19th century. Though Calhoun was well-known and spoke widely on many topics, Bradley and Tarver selected his treatment of the slavery issue for close inspection of his rhetoric. Calhoun presented himself as merely informative, when he was actually persuasive; this was his method, seemingly objective. Bradley and Tarver call Calhoun's rhetoric expository persuasion. He employed the rhetorical process of implication which depended on listeners accepting his "facts" to reach his desired conclusion. Calhoun employed the enthymeme to this end. Analogy, even an intentionally faulty or loosely woven one, was another favorite tool of Calhoun's, as well as the manipulation of historical narratives to push his listeners in the desired direction. Though Calhoun was often thought to be a master logician, according to Bradley some critics, upon close inspection of Calhoun's work, poked holes in his logic, and posit why his methods of rhetoric ultimately failed.

Buell, Lawrence. "Teaching English in American Universities -- 1895." PMLA Vol. 112, 1, Jan. (1997): 76-84.

In the introduction, Buell discusses issues surrounding the teaching of both literature and composition in the 19th century. By the end of that century, the study of rhetoric was beginning to take a back seat to the study of literature, though literary studies often did include rhetorical analyses. Though thought by some "that literary studies was not considered as rigorous as certain other disciplines (77)," many professors had great ambitions and felt "that the teaching of literature should serve cultural and civic purposes, as well as aesthetic ones" (77). Buell includes four excerpts from the 19th century English in American Universities (Boston: Heath, 1895) in his article: Martin W. Sampson's "English at the University of Indiana, F.A. March's "English at Lafayette College, Melville B. Anderson's "English at Stanford University," and Charles Mills Gayley's "A Society of Comparative Literature." Sampson encouraged both the systematic analysis of literature and the teaching of how to intelligently "apprehend" literature before being influenced by it. March's motto, "English should be studied like Greek," illustrates his theory that language should be studied through its masterpieces of literature using the resources of several disciplines: philology, psychology, rhetoric and oratory, etymology, etc. Anderson believed in exposing students to a variety of literary styles before expecting them to be able to develop effective style in their own writing. And Gayley promoted the formation of the Society of Comparative Literature so that the study of literature could be a collaborative effort, and therefore, more thorough. Results from these studies would then be used to produce texts with updated critical theories. Buell proposes that relevance to pedagogy today can be found among these century-old essays.

Bryant, John. "Playing Along: America and the Rhetoric of Deceit." Melville and Repose: The Rhetoric of Humor in the American Renaissance. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.

This chapter of Bryant's work provides a look at the shaping of an American identity through comic lying which was becoming increasingly popular, and what purposes it served. This "national comic voice," both satirical and good-natured, was becoming evident in the creation of tall tales and the appearance of confidence men in literature. They provided the message to this newly democratic, American audience to be wary of belief without reason and discernment. Saying that Melville saw the inclusion of this comic lying in his works as "a metaphysical imperative," Bryant cites examples from Mardi, The Confidence Man, and Moby Dick. Bryant explains the significance of this lying mode in relation to the necessity of the self questioning "truth" and accepting its flexibility, so as to guard against either hardened cynicism or victimization.

Connors, Robert J. "Mechanical Correctness as a Focus in Composition Instruction." College Composition and Communication Vol. 36, 1, Feb. (1985): 61-71.

Connors discusses what happened to turn "rhetoric" into "composition" in the 19th century -- what "transmogrified the noble discipline of Aristotle, Cicero, Campbell into a stultifying error-hunt?" By the middle of the 19th century, Connors says, Americans were looking for validation as a group, yet recognized the current system of education was making them look inferior. Connors calls "the desire for self-improvement and 'getting ahead' . . . an important part of the American mythos during the nineteenth century." Americans attempted to raise themselves linguistically but ended up with a new trend encouraging prescriptive hyper-correction. This trend away from classical rhetoric filtered its way into the universities and produced rule-governed, freshman composition class which, according to Connors, focused on the avoidance of error rather than the teaching of effective communication. This culminated in the new and highly favored textbook: the handbook of composition, the first of which was Edwin C. Woolley's Handbook of Composition: A Compendium of Rules in 1907.

---. "Overwork/Underpay: Labor and Status of Composition Teachers since 1880." Rhetoric Review Vol. 9, No. 1, Fall (1990): 108-125.

Connors takes a look at why and when the field of rhetoric and its teachers went from highly respected to the bottom of the hierarchical university barrel. He claims that the increased enrollment in American colleges in the second half of the 19th century and the rise of co-education both contributed to rhetoric's fall from grace. Increased enrollment and "a shift from oral to written discourse within rhetorical training" (108) caused work overload for rhetoric's theme-reading instructors. Additionally, co-education indirectly encouraged more written and less oral discourse due to the fact that men were often unwilling or uncomfortable debating or competing orally with women. Freshman composition became mandatory after Harvard (with other institutions quickly following suit) instituted its first written English entrance exams in 1874, and many entrants failed. With this mandate, rhetoric became looked upon more and more as drudgery, its teaching fell to inexperienced, disgruntled teachers.

Crowley, Sharon. "Invention in Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric." College Composition and Communication Vol. 36, 1, Feb. (1985): 51-61.

Crowley looks at 19th century notions of invention as typified by those of Wendell, Quackenbos, and Genung. They fairly agreed upon 3 stages of invention: 1) the writer brings knowledge and talent to the composition; 2) teachers offer instruction in how to enhance these through discipline and exercise (recommended were reading, observation of the world, journal keeping, and verbal exercise through conversation); 3) there is an ordering of assertions (called "method" in the 18th century, and "planning" in the 19th) into an understandable and effective line of reasoning. Crowley says that James McCrimmon's 1980 edition of Writing with a Purpose shows much in common with stage 2 of this 19th century process of invention. She credits 18th century concept of method with the eventual 19th century splitting of rhetoric into 2 divisions: invention and style. She also discusses some Alexander Bain theory, explaining his reason for a focus on style as a result of his tie to association psychology.

Douglas, Wallace. "Barrett Wendell." Traditions of Inquiry. Ed. John Brereton. New York: Oxford UP, 1985.

According to Douglas, Barrett Wendell, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric, and Harvard English professor from 1880-1917, was more concerned with emphasizing form than content. He expected students to be clear about what effects they desired to have on their readers, and had them look to arrangement, and to sentence and paragraph structure to achieve the intended effects. What they had to say (no preoccupation with truth, beauty, justice, etc., here) was secondary to how it was said. Douglas paints an interesting picture of the young Wendell, describing him at one point as being "somewhat neurasthenic," as he traveled, graduated from Harvard, and drifted in and out of both the law and business at his father's expense. Wendell's popular work English Composition was primarily concerned with style, and Douglas says it "reduces composing to consideration of abstractions." Douglas, not an overly complimentary biographer, includes a criticism of Wendell by Santayana, and makes it difficult to understand how Wendell's name has remained linked with significant contributors to 19th century rhetoric.

Halloran, S. Michael. "Rhetoric in the American College Curriculum: The Decline of Public Discourse." Pre/Text Vol. 3,3 (1982): 245-269.

In this article, Halloran attempts to answer the question, "How did we get from the rhetorical tradition to current traditional rhetoric?" He traces the development of the teaching of rhetoric, defined by him as "the art of effective communication," from the classical Greek and Roman preparation of a student to perform effective political discourse, through the revival in the Middle Ages, to a Ciceronian emphasis on forensic disputation in the 18th century, into its deterioration into nothing more than freshman composition exercises in the 19th century, which is where current traditional rhetoric began. Halloran sees some hope of recovering useful aspects of classical rhetoric: research is being done into the composing process which reinforces the ancients' idea of rhetoric as an art. But he also sees the need for rhetoric to once again join "the arts of discourse" with "the arts of citizenship," bringing rhetoric out of its isolation in the English classroom and into the "discourse of public life."

Harned, Jon. "The Intellectual Background of Alexander Bain's 'Modes of Discourse'." College Composition and Communication Vol. 36, 1, Feb. (1985): 42-49.

Harned credits Bain with a paradigm shift away from the belletristic and toward the acceptance of the five forms -- description, narration, exposition, persuasion, and poetry -- the modes of discourse. Included is a detailed explanation of Bain's two associationist laws thought to regulate and explain thinking and learning: the law of contiguity, which considers both spatial and temporal relationships in the process of learning through a sequence of acts, and the law of similarity, which produces two kinds of knowledge: the knowledge of synchronous relations and the knowledge which comes from observing successive acts over time, such as cause and effect. Since Bain's notions of rhetoric were partially formed by his interest in science and strong grasp of logic, it is not surprising that he theorized about the reasoning processes relied on by science and divided them into categories: abstraction, induction, deduction, and analogy, all instances of his law of similarity. Harned discusses the development of narration, exposition and description into separate genres with their respective laws and functions. All in all, Harned's piece is in defense of Bain's theories of rhetoric, calling for understanding and tolerance despite the fact that many critics blame Bain for "the impoverishment of rhetoric in the late nineteenth century."

Johnson, Nan. "A Profile of Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric." Nineteenth Century Rhetoric in North America. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1991.

In this introductory chapter, Johnson provides a strong, and rather detailed overview of nineteenth century rhetoric with its transitions and major trends. This book is not for the beginning student of rhetoric, as she writes from the assumption that her terminology is understood by her reader and that the reader is bringing some prior knowledge to this discussion.

---. "Foundations of Nineteenth-Century Theory: The New Rhetoric." Nineteenth Century Rhetoric in North America. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1991.

This chapter discusses the basic underlying assumptions of "The New Rhetoric" especially through the input of Campbell, Blair, and Whately. Campbell's epistemological approach was a more scientific philosophical and psychological look at rhetoric with a renewed interest in rhetorical stance. Johnson calls his redesign of the purpose and goals of rhetoric ('to enlighten the understanding, to please the imagination, to move the passions or to influence the will') the "most powerful accomplishments of the New Rhetoric." She posits that Campbell would have set up new categories of common topoi based upon logic: experience, analogy, and testimony. She credits Blair with popularizing the belles lettres approach to rhetoric with its attendant focus on taste and with redefining the scope of rhetoric to include the study and practice of oratory, writing and criticism. Johnson credits Whately with adding a more detailed treatment of argument, especially concerning arrangement and persuasion, to the New Rhetoric. The most helpful inclusion are the two lists at the end of the chapter which lay out New Rhetoric features that were incorporated into 19th century rhetoric.

Kitzhaber, Albert R. "Rhetoric, 1850-1900: Definitions, Relations, Scope." Rhetoric in American Colleges, 1850-1900. Dallas: Southern Methodist UP, 1990.

In this chapter Kitzhaber looks at trends in rhetoric during the second half of the 19th century. He viewed the 3rd quarter as a period of transition where British rhetoric lost ground and American theories were gaining validity, along with the perceived need for practical instruction. After 1880, interest waned in the new philosophical and psychological approaches, and in the attempts to relate rhetoric to other subjects. This eventually led to the scope of rhetoric being limited to the guidance of rules governing written composition by the turn of the century. Throughout these years, many theorists, not unlike classical rhetoricians, argued over the definition of rhetoric: whether it was an art or a science; and whether or not it included both the spoken and written word. Some even included literature in it, along the lines of the older belletrists. Kitzhaber calls Fred Newton Scott an original thinker of his time who saw rhetoric as a discipline closely related to literary criticism. Most disagreed, and by the end of the century, literary criticism was gaining ascendancy while both interest and the importance attached to rhetoric dwindled.

---. "Rhetorics and Rhetoricians." Rhetoric in American Colleges, 1850-1900. Dallas: Southern Methodist UP, 1990.

In the last half of the 19th century American-produced rhetoric textbooks slowly began to gain acceptance. Up until that time, Kitzhaber claims that the following texts were most widely used: Hugh Blair's Lectures in Rhetoric & Belles Lettres, first published in England in 1783; George Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric, the 1818 American reprint of the 1776 English text; and Richard Whately's The Elements of Rhetoric, an 1828 English text. Blair was more concerned with literary composition and criticism than with classical oral rhetoric, and most especially with style. Kitzhaber explains Blair's influential distinction between convincing and persuading. Conversely, Campbell's textbook was aimed at oral discourse, but it was used as a composition textbook. Kitzhaber credits Campbell's extensive treatment of grammar and usage with being influential on later rhetorical theory. Differing from both Blair and Campbell, Whately's book contained a classical emphasis on logic with a focus on invention and arrangement. Kitzhaber devotes the remainder of this information-dense chapter to the four men whom he considers most important to the developing of 19th century American rhetoric: Adams Sherman Hill, John Franklin Genung, Barrett Wendell, and Fred Newton Scott.

---. "The Shift from Theoretical to Practical Rhetoric." Rhetoric in American Colleges, 1850-1900. Dallas: Southern Methodist UP, 1990.

This chapter recognizes the change in emphasis from theory to practice in composition instruction. Low competency levels among college writers, revealed by the Harvard Report, provided the impetus for change. Dr. Samuel Thurber, supported by the new field of educational psychology which affirmed the importance of imitation in the learning process, claimed students need read more literature to become more proficient writers. Harvard professor Barrett Wendell developed a journal-like "daily theme" in response to renewed interest in the importance of practice. Many textbooks began to appear which combined excerpts from literature with composition exercises. As mid-19th century rhetorical instruction, focusing on theory with little practice, gave way to the reverse by the end of the century, an increased rigidity concerning mechanical details evolved as well.

---. "Style." Rhetoric in American Colleges, 1850-1900. Dallas: Southern Methodist UP, 1990.

Since Kitzhaber claims that most American rhetoric textbooks (especially up to 1890) emphasized style over anything else, he gives a great deal of attention to what popular rhetoricians of the day acknowledged as the elements of style. Blair's theory of the origin of figures of speech, actually derived from Cicero, was that they entered the language during primitive times when means of expression were limited. Then they remained in the language as more sophisticated users became aware of the effects these figures had on their audiences. Barrett Wendell's idea that figurative language was used best by two classes: "savages, peasants, and children; and literary artists" was not far from Blair's. This chapter is also useful for its listing of several rhetoric textbooks used after 1890 as emphasis was shifting away from style. But most interesting is Kitzhaber's discussion of Gertrude Buck's dissertation on metaphor for which she received her doctorate of philosophy in rhetoric from the University of Michigan in 1898. Looking at the use of metaphor from a psychological standpoint, she refuted the idea that metaphor was mechanically crafted for ornamentation, and that it sprang from poverty of expression in primitive cultures. She claimed that metaphor was a "biologic organism." Affected by work in experimental and developmental psychology, she arrived at this conclusion, and she explained the origins of metaphor and the distinctions between radical and poetic metaphor from this psychological slant.

Logan, Shirley Wilson, ed. With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1995.

Lunsford, Andrea A. "Alexander Bain's Contributions to Discourse Theory." Essays on the Rhetoric of the Western World. Ed. Edward P. J. Corbett et al. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1990. 283-293.

Neuman, Nancy M., ed. A Voice of Our Own. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Nuernberg, Susan Marie. "The Rhetoric of Race." The Stowe Debate. Ed. Mason I. Lowance et al. Amherst: U of MA Press, 1994.

O'Connor, Lillian. "The Rhetorical Criteria." Pioneer Women Orators: Rhetoric in the Ante-Bellum Reform Movement. New York: Columbia UP, 1954.

---. "The Logical Proof." Pioneer Women Orators: Rhetoric in the Ante-Bellum Reform Movement. New York: Columbia UP, 1954.

Parker, William Riley. "Where Do English Departments Come From?" Essays on the Rhetoric of the Western World. Ed. Edward P. J. Corbett et al. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1990. 1-15.

Reid, Ronald F. "The Boylston Professorship of Rhetoric and Oratory, 1806-1904: A Case Study of Changing Concepts of Rhetoric and Pedagogy." Essays on the Rhetoric of the Western World. Ed. Edward P. J. Corbett et al. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1990. 261-282.

Schultz, Lucille M. "Elaborating Our History: A Look at Mid-19th Century First Books of Composition." College Composition and Communication 45.1, Feb. (1994): 10-29.

Wiley, Mark. "Reading and Writing in an American Grain." Rhetoric Review Vol. II, No. 1, Fall (1992): 133-145.

Woods, William F. "Nineteenth-Century Psychology and the Teaching of Writing." College Composition and Communication 36, 1 (1985): 20-41.