"Bruce, Wallace, poet and orator, was born at Hillsdale, Columbia co., N.Y., Nov. 10, 1844. . . . As a boy, young Bruce was unusually fond of history and poetry. He was educated at the Hudson River Institute, Claverack, N.Y., where he was valedictorian of his class, and entering Yale University, he distinguished himself as a scholar, writer and orator, winning six literary honors . . . . He was one of the editors of the Yale Literary Magazine. After being graduated in 1867, he studied law with William A. Beach and was admitted to practice in 1869, but devoted most of his time to literary pursuits." [The National Cyclopadeia of American Biography]
Bruce went to Europe in 1870 and was in Paris during the Franco-Prussian war. When he returned home, he adopted literature and lecturing as his life work.
Wallace Bruce, The Land of Burns (1878)