American Literature of the Sea and Great Lakes

BRADY, CYRUS [TOWNSEND] (1861-1920). Author of some seventy volumes of fiction and nonfiction, some having to do with seagoing or naval heroes, Cyrus Brady was born 20 December 1861 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1883, he resigned from the navy that October. Employed by railroads in Missouri and Nebraska, Brady in his spare time took up religious studies and became an Episcopal priest. He then held a series of clerical posts in the Indian Territory and various western and eastern states.

Brady’s first novel, written in 1897, was very successful, and others quickly followed. He became a full-time writer in 1901, continuing church work as an avocation. Often drawing upon his naval background and his experiences in the American West, Brady produced a steady stream of novels and non-fiction with considerable popular appeal at the time, though, with the exception of When the Sun Stood Still (1917), about the biblical hero Samson, they are little read today. A number were adapted to the stage or motion pictures. Works related to the sea include the biographies Commodore Paul Jones (1900) and Stephen Decatur (1900) and the novels A Midshipman in the Pacific (1904), For the Freedom of the Sea (1899), and Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer (1903). Under Tops’ls and Tents (1901) is an autobiography with anecdotes of his time at the Naval Academy. He died in Yonkers, New York. [See also JONES, JOHN PAUL]

C. Herbert Gilliland