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Walter Magnes Teller, novelist, columnist, and editor, was also a farmer who sank his roots deep into Bucks County soil. In 1948, he co-founded the New Hope Gazette with artist/designer Charles Evans. Teller was the paper's editor and publisher until 1952. He used its pages to disseminate his liberal opinions, support civil rights for women and minorities, and reflection on rural life in the county. Teller earned his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Columbia University and worked for the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce. During World War II, Teller served in the Navy, attaining the rank of Lieutenant. Teller wrote full time in a small log building on Mechanic Street in New Hope. His work includes Area Code 215: A Private Line in Bucks County and the biographies The Search for Joshua Slocum, 1956, and Joshua Slocum, 1971. Additionally, he wrote more than one-hundred articles and book reviews for the New York Times, Saturday Review, and the American Scholar.
Walter Teller. Image courtesy of the New Hope Gazette, New Hope, PA.
Education and Training
Literary Research, Haverford College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1931
M.A. and P.h.D., Columbia University, English, New York, New York
Teachers and Influences
Edward Hicks, Joseph Pickett, William Bartram, Harriet Jacobs, Charles Chestnutt
Connection to Bucks County
Teller and his wife, sculptor Jane Teller, moved to Bucks County in the 1930s and ran a 75-acre farm in Plumsteadville, where they raised four sons. The Tellers later moved to Lahaska and then to Princeton, New Jersey, where he died in 1993. Teller wrote full time in a small log building on Mechanic Street in New Hope. He brought his government experience with him and became active in agricultural organizations in Bucks County, even running for the Democratic nomination for Congress in 1946. In 1948, he co-founded the New Hope Gazette with artist Charles Evans.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Charles Evans, artist, designer, and co-founder of the New Hope Gazette
Jane Teller, wife and sculptor
John Root and Margaret Mullen Root
Novels and Short Stories
An Island Summer, 1951
The Search for Joshua Slocum, 1956
Area Code 215: A Private Line in Bucks County, 1963
Joshua Slocum, 1971
Cape Cod and the Offshore Islands, 1972
Author/editor of eighteen books on American landscape and literature
Criticism and Essays
Five Sea Captains, 1960
Twelve Works of Native Genius, 1972
On The River, 1976
Co-founder of the New Hope Gazette, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1948
Wrote over one-hundred articles and book reviews for the New York Times, the Saturday Review, and the American Scholar
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Co-founder and editor of the New Hope Gazette from 1948-1952
Guggenheim Fellowship for Island Summer, 1953