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Samuel Woodworth (January 13, 1784 – December 9, 1842) was an American author, literary journalist, playwright, librettist, and poet.
Woodworth was born in Scituate, Massachusetts, to Revolutionary War veteran Benjamin Woodworth and his wife Abigail Bryant. He was apprenticed to Benjamin Russell, editor of the Columbian Sentinel. He then moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he briefly published the Belles-Lettres Repository, a weekly. He next moved to New York City, but recalled New Haven in his A Poem: New Haven.
Woodworth married Lydia Reeder in New York City on September 23, 1810. They had ten children between 1811 and 1829. Woodworth remained in New York for the rest of his life, dying there in 1842 at the age of 56.
Woodworth is best known for the poem "The Old Oaken Bucket". The first stanza reads:
How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view!
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild-wood,
And every loved spot which my infancy knew!
The wide-spreading pond, and the mill that stood by it,
The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell,
The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it,
And e'en the rude bucket that hung in the well-
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.
In 1826 the poem was set to music by George F Kiallmark (1804–1887) and has been sung by generations of American schoolchildren. It was recorded in 1899 by The Haydn Quartet, the most famous barbershop quartet of the time, and was released on Berliner Gramophone.
The Old Oaken Bucket House in Scituate, Massachusetts is on the National Register of Historic Places. A sign on the house reads: 1630-1930 THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET Homestead and well made famous by Samuel Woodworth in his poem "The Old Oaken Bucket." Homestead erected by John Northey in 1675: Poet born in Scituate January 13, 1784. Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission.
The Old Oaken Bucket trophy has been awarded every year since 1925 to the winner of the Big Ten Conference college football game between Purdue University and Indiana University. Although Woodworth was not from Indiana, the trophy's name refers to the sentiment that Hoosiers have for their home state.
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