Francis Bret Harte was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.
He was born in Albany, New York on August 25, 1836. He was named Francis Brett... More > Hart after his great-grandfather Francis Brett. When he was young his father, Henry, changed the spelling of the family name from Hart to Harte. Henry's father – Bret's grandfather – was Bernard Hart, an Orthodox Jewish immigrant who flourished as a merchant, becoming one of the founders of the The New York Stock Exchange. Later, Francis preferred to be known by his middle name, but he spelled it with only one "t", becoming Bret Harte.< Less