Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1806–67, American author, b. Portland, Maine, grad. Yale, 1827. He was editor of the periodical the Legendary and later of the Token before founding (1829) the American Monthly Magazine in Boston. In 1831 he merged his magazine with George Pope Morris's New-York Mirror and went abroad to write for the Mirror and for English magazines. As editor of the Mirror after 1840 and of the National Press (later the Home Journal ), which he and Morris founded in 1846, Willis attracted many prominent contributors. His books, popular but ephemeral, were collections of his journalistic work; among them are Pencillings by the Way (1835), Inklings of Adventure (1836), and short stories in Dashes at Life with a Free Pencil (1845).
See biographies by H. A. Beers (1885, repr. 1969) and C. V. Wedgewood (1944, repr. 1996); study by C. P. Auser (1969).