Hildreth, Richard (hĭlˈdrəth) [key], 1807–65, American historian, b. Deerfield, Mass. From 1832 to 1838 he was the leading editorial writer for the Boston Daily Atlas. In addition to writing controversial pamphlets and contributing to magazines, Hildreth wrote Banks, Banking, and Paper Currencies (1840); a discussion of slavery, Despotism in America (1840); a novel, The Slave; or, Memoirs of Archy Moore (1836), which went through many editions in England, France, and America; and two books written in an inductive, scientific manner, Theory of Morals (1844) and Theory of Politics (1853). His chief work, however, was The History of the United States (6 vol., 1849–52), an accurate though uninspired treatment of American history to the year 1821 from a Federalist point of view.
See biography by D. E. Emerson (1946); M. M. Pingel, An American Utilitarian (1948).