Alan Seeger, born in New York in 1888, grew up in Tompkinsville (Staten Island), Mexico City and New York. Between 1906 and 1910 he studied Celtic literature in Harvard and went to Paris in 1912. At the outbreak of World War One he joined the Foreign Legion in order to be able to fight for France. He died on July 4th, 1916 in Belloy-en-Santerre, 200 km north of Paris, during an attack of the French-British forces. His poems were published in December 1916 for the first time, his letters and journals in May 1917.