Dubuque County Historical Society Images

The Artists, Writers, and Musicians

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Constance Lindsay Skinner

The idea of telling the saga of American history through its rivers originated with Constance Lindsay Skinner. In 1935, Farrar and Rhinehart initiated the Rivers of America series with Constance Lindsay Skinner as general editor. The Kennebec: Cradle of Americans, the first in a projected series of 24 volumes, appeared in 1937. At the time of her death in 1939, six of the seven volumes she edited had been published. Skinner had planned to write the Missouri River volume, but she died before she could complete it.

In successive years, the Rivers of America series has been greatly expanded and has proven to be a commercial and popular success with approximately 50 volumes published to date. Henry Steele Commager wrote that Constance Skinner's dedicated work for the Rivers of America series was "inspired by a lyric affection for the land and its people."

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