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Dunn, Caleb (1834?-1897)


Caleb Dunn was born into an old Westchester family in Port Chester, NY around 1835. He went on to study law and was admitted to the bar but decided against pursing the law profession. Instead, Dunn became involved in the world of newspapers, which according to his obituary in the New York Times "was more to his liking." Throughout his lifetime, Dunn held several prominent positions of leadership at newspapers in New York including being associated with Horace Greeley's Tribune, as well as serving as the editor of The Sun for a period of time. In addition, he also was the editor for the New York Sun and the political editor for The World. In addition to his work as work as a newspaper editor, Dunn, himself, was also an writer and poet. He wrote several short stories and was considered a "poetic genius" (New York Times, Sept. 11, 1897, 2). According to an article written about "Bohemians in America," Caleb Dunn wrote poems occasionally for Robert Bonner's publications, which included the New York Ledger ("Bohemians in America" 514). He also published a poem commemorating President Abraham Lincoln in the New York Tribune following his assassination (New York Tribune, April 26, 1865).

The exact level of interaction Dunn had with the Pfaffian crowd remains somewhat unclear; however, there are some clues that he played an integral role within the group. For example, in an obituary for Charles Pfaff, Caleb Dunn is included among the list of the "Knights of the Round Table" of Bohemian writers and artists who frequented Pfaff's establishment ("Deaths in the Profession"). Dunn is also mentioned in an article from the Brooklyn Eagle during the 1880s as one of "the best known writers who frequented" Pfaff's ("Bohemianism" 9).

Dunn died in September 1897. He is not only remembered for his literary talents but also as being one of the founders of the Press Club, which was a social organization created for newspaper workers (New York Times,Sept. 11, 1894, 2; Rowe 1-2).