Making His Way With Words

Making His Way With Words (HM1A16)

Location: Dayton, OH 45402 Montgomery County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 45.467', W 84° 13.15'

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Paul Laurence Dunbar

— Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park —

As a poet, novelist, and popular lecturer, Paul Laurence Dunbar used his extraordinary way with words to achieve international fame. In just ten years, Dunbar rose from a job running a downtown Dayton elevator to receiving an invitation to President McKinley's inauguration.

In 1903, the 30-year-old author returned to his hometown after a decade of living in New York, Washington, D.C., and Denver. In 1891 Dunbar had been the sole African American graduate at Dayton's Central High School, where he was a classmate and friend of Orville Wright.

At the age of 18, Dunbar began a newspaper for African Americans, the Dayton Tattler. Wilbur and Orville printed the paper at their nearby print shop.

(Inscription over the photo at the bottom left of the marker)

In the 1890s, Dunbar was one of the first African American writers to be widely read by whites.

Dunbar's first published book of poems, Oak and Ivy, sold for a dollar each. When asked why such a small book had such a hefty price, he replied, "A book sells on ist merits, sir, no on its size."
HM NumberHM1A16
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 11th, 2014 at 6:04am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 738224 N 4404572
Decimal Degrees39.75778333, -84.21916667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 45.467', W 84° 13.15'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 45' 28.02" N, 84° 13' 9.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)937
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 227 N Paul Laurence Dunbar St, Dayton OH 45402, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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