Image of Hezekiah Butterworth


Lifetime: 1839 - 1905 Passed: ≈ 118 years ago


Author, Poet


United States

Hezekiah Butterworth

Hezekiah Butterworth (December 22, 1839 – September 5, 1905) was an American author and poet. He was best known for his children's literature, but he also wrote poetry, hymns, and non-fiction books. Butterworth was a prolific writer, and his work was widely read during his lifetime. He was also a popular speaker, and he gave lectures and readings all over the United States.

Early Life and Education

Butterworth was born in Warren, Rhode Island, in 1839. He was the son of Gardiner M. Butterworth, a farmer, and Susan (Ritchie) Butterworth. Butterworth's family was poor, and he had to work hard from a young age. However, he was determined to get an education, and he attended Brown University for one year before dropping out to support his family.


Butterworth began his writing career in the early 1860s. He wrote articles and poems for magazines and newspapers, and he also published several books of poetry. In 1864, Butterworth published his first children's book, The Zigzag Journey in Europe. This book was a huge success, and it launched Butterworth's career as a children's author.

Over the next four decades, Butterworth wrote over 60 books for children. His books were known for their educational value and their exciting stories. Butterworth wrote about a variety of topics, including history, science, and geography. He also wrote about the lives of famous Americans, such as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

In addition to his children's books, Butterworth also wrote several non-fiction books, including The Story of the Hymns; or, Hymns That Have a History (1875) and The Story of Zigzag; or, Zigzag Journeys on the Continent (1887). He also wrote poetry, and his poems were published in magazines and newspapers.


Butterworth was a man of strong principles. He believed that education was important for everyone, and he was committed to writing books that would teach children about the world around them. He also believed in the importance of peace and social justice. He was a member of the American Peace Society and the New England Anti-Cigarette League.

Notable Works

Some of Butterworth's most notable works include:

  • The Zigzag Journey in Europe (1864)
  • The Zigzag Journey in the Orient (1878)
  • The Story of the Hymns; or, Hymns That Have a History (1875)
  • The Story of Zigzag; or, Zigzag Journeys on the Continent (1887)
  • The Zigzag Journeys in America (1888)
  • The Boys of Liberty (1894)
  • The Patriot Schoolmaster (1895)
  • The Story of Magellan (1899)


Butterworth believed that children should be taught about the world around them in a way that is both educational and entertaining. He also believed that children should be encouraged to be kind, compassionate, and patriotic.

Death and Legacy

Butterworth died in Warren, Rhode Island, in 1905. He was 65 years old. Butterworth is remembered as one of the most popular and influential children's authors of the 19th century. His books were widely read and enjoyed by children of all ages. Butterworth's books also had a significant impact on American culture. They helped to shape the way that Americans think about their history, their values, and their place in the world.

Interesting Facts

  • Butterworth was a friend of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  • Butterworth was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
  • Butterworth's books have been translated into over 20 languages.
  • Butterworth's books have been used in schools and libraries for generations.


Hezekiah Butterworth was a prolific and influential writer. His books helped to shape the way that Americans think about their history, their values, and their place in the world. Butterworth's books are still enjoyed by readers of all ages today.

Books by Hezekiah Butterworth

The Christmas Book Cover image

The Christmas Book

Fiction Religion
Family Christmas Children Explore Friends Magic Joys

What if Christmas could be celebrated every day? In The Christmas Book by Hezekiah Butterworth, the author imagines a world where Christmas is celebrated every day of the year. In this magical world, everyone is kind and compassionate, and there is...