From his sixth to his fourteenth year he lived in Charlemont, Mass., the scene of the experiences pictured in his delightful study of childhood, Being a Boy (1877). He removed thence to Cazenovia, New York, and in 1851 graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. He worked with a surveying party in Missouri; studied law at the university of Pennsylvania; practised in Chicago (1856–1860); ,was assistant editor (1860) and editor (1861–1867) of The Hartford Press, and after The Press was merged into The Hartford Courant, was co-editor with Joseph R Hawley; in 1884 he joined the editorial staff of Harper's Magazine, for which he conducted The Editors Drawer until 1892, when he took charge of The Editor's Study. He died in Hartford on the 20th of October 1900.
He travelled widely, lectured frequently, and was actively interested in prison reform, city park supervision and other movements for the public good. He was the first president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and, at the time of his death, was president of the American Social Science Association. He first attracted attention by the reflective sketches entitled My Summer in a Garden (1870; first published in The Hartford Courant), popular for their abounding and refined humour and mellow personal charm, their wholesome love of outdoor things, their suggestive comment on life and affairs, and their delicately finished style, qualities that suggest the work of Washington Irving.
Among his other works are:
He also edited The American Men of Letters series, to which he contributed an excellent biography of Washington Irving (1881), and edited a large Library of the Worlds Best Literature.
His other works include his graceful essays:
And his novels:
See the biographical sketch by TR Lounsbury in the Complete Writings (15 vols, Hartford, 1904) of Warner.