French came into prominence in 1875 with his Minuteman statue at “the rude bridge that arched the flood” in Concord.  French’s notable Boston sculptures include the John Harvard statue in Harvard Yard in 1884, the John Boyle O’Reiily memorial in 1897, honoring the literary leader of Boston’s Irish newcomers, a statue of the abolitionist and labor reformer, Wendell Phillips, and a series of bronze doors for the Boston Public Library from1884-1904.  French gained his greatest fame with his statue of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C, completed in 1920. 

David McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. His first book was The Johnstown Flood (1968).  He has since written books on such topics as Harry S. Truman, John Adams, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Wright Brothers. He has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history,” and “a matchless writer.”  Mr. McCullough’s other books include The Great Bridge, The Path between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, Brave Companions, and Truman. Among other numerous awards, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Gordon Steward Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor at Brown University. He received the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1993 for The Radicalism of the American Revolution. His book The Creation of the American Republic won the Bancroft Prize. In 2010, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal. 

James Carroll is the author of eleven novels and eight works of non-fiction. His autobiography, An American Requiem won the National Book Award. His other works include Constantine’s Sward, a New York Times bestseller, and an acclaimed documentary; House of War. Which won the first Pen-Galbraith Award; and Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which was named a 2011 Best Book by Publishers Weekly. He lectures widely, both in the United States and abroad, and is a columnist for the Boston Globe. 

In his best-selling novels Marquand drew from his own experience to depict the precarious role of the outsider looking in.  As a boy, his New York family in financial ruins, he was sent to live with eccentric aunts in the declining city of Newburyport. Marquand’s subsequent life as member of the privileged Harvard class of 1915 further confirmed his poor boy outsider status and fired a contrary zeal to interpret the privileged realm that was held at arm’s length from him. Marquand ‘s fame rests heavily on his novel, The Late George Apley (1938), which won him a Pulitzer Prize and acclaim as guide to the inner life of the proper Bostonian.

Katharine Lee Bates was an American songwriter and educator, remembered as the author of the words to the anthem "American the Beautiful,” one of the most universally known, beloved tunes in the United States. As a popular educator at Wellesley, Bates was vocal about women’s rights, and she was instrumental in feminist initiatives of the era. Bates lived in Wellesley with Katharine Coman, who was a history and political economy teacher. The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Coman's death in 1915. 

Howe was a central figure in chronicling the literary and civic life of Boston.  A Harvard graduate of 1888, he edited the Harvard Alumni Bulletin from then until 1913 and extended that focus by editing an account of Harvard Volunteers in Europe (1916) and Memoirs of the Harvard Dead in the War Against Germany (1920).  Howe served as editor and then vice president of the chief literary journal in Boston, The Atlantic Monthly, until 1929. His most acclaimed work was a biography of literary historian Barrett Wendell, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1925.

Willa Cather was born in Virginia and spent much of her youth in Nebraska. In 1892, she published her first short story, “Peter," in Boston magazine. Her 1910 short story, “A Wagner Matinee” takes place in Boston, focusing on a trip to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She is known mostly for her novels O Pioneers (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915) and My Antonia (1918), all of which concern frontier life on the Great Plains. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her World War One novel, One of Ours (1922).