According to his biography in the Junior Book of Authors (1951), Baldwin, a native of Indiana and largely self-educated, began teaching at the age of 24. After several years he became superintendent of the graded schools in Indiana, a post he held for 18 years. The last 37 years of his life he worked with publishers, first with Harper and Brothers and later with the American Book Company. In addition to editing school books, he started writing books of his own. After the publication in 1882 of The Story of Siegfried , he went on to write more than 50 others. His influence was widely felt because at one time it was estimated that of all the school books in use in the United States, over half had been written or edited by him. Unfortunately, his works are much less widely known today. So far as I know, none of his books are in print today.
While his literary fame faded somewhat in his later years, Baldwin continued to produce new works in a variety of forms. He published a collection of poems, Jimmy's Blues: Selected Poems , in 1983 as well as the 1987 novel Harlem Quartet . Baldwin also remained an astute observer of race and American culture. In 1985, he wrote The Evidence of Things Not Seen about the Atlanta child murders. Baldwin also spent years sharing his experiences and views as a college professor. In the years before his death, he taught at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hampshire College.