Francis Bret Harte (August 25, 1836 – May 6, 1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.
He was born in Albany, New York, on August 25, 1836. He was named Francis Brett Hart after his great-grandfather Francis Brett. When he was young his father changed the spelling of the family name from Hart to Harte. Later, Francis preferred to be known by his middle name, but he spelled it with only one "t", becoming Bret Harte.
Read Tales of Trail and Town by Bret Harte, one of many of his works available free from Project Gutenberg.