Henry Jackson van Dyke Jr. (1852–1933) was an American author, educator, and clergyman. He was a short-story writer, poet, and essayist popular in the early decades of the 20th century.
Born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, van Dyke graduated from the Princeton theological seminary in 1877. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Brooklyn in 1879 and served as pastor at churches in Rhode Island and New York City until 1900, when he returned to Princeton as a professor of English literature, serving until 1923. From 1913–17 he served as American minister to the Netherlands.
Van Dyke’s early works, moralistic essays such as The Story of the Other Wise Man (1896) and The First Christmas Tree (1897,) were first read aloud to his congregations as sermons. These quickly brought him recognition. He also wrote such essays on outdoor life as Little Rivers (1895) and Fisherman’s Luck (1899.)
Other stories and anecdotal tales were gathered at regular intervals into volumes. Among these collections were The Ruling Passion (1901,) The Blue Flower (1902,) The Unknown Quantity (1912,) The Valley of Vision (1919,) and The Golden Key (1926.)
Van Dyke’s popularity also extended to his verse, collected in Poems (1920.)