Richard Henry Stoddard was born on July 2, 1825 in Massachusetts and died on May 12, 1903 in New York. Stoddard was an important literary figure in the late 19th century. He was a critic, editor, and regarded as one of the most popular American lyric poets during his lifetime. He moved from Massachussetts to New York City at the age of 10 with his mother, who had remarried after his father died. He was married to Elizabeth Drew Barstow, who was an American poet and novelist. They had two children, Wilson Stoddard and Edwin Lorimer Stoddard. The Stoddard’s home served as a gathering place for other writers in the last half of the 19th century.
By day, Stoddard worked different jobs throughout the years, which allowed him to financially support himself while he wrote. Nathaniel Hawthorne helped Stoddard secure a job as a customs inspector in the Port of New York, where he worked from 1853-1870. From 1870-1873 he served as George B. McClellan’s clerk in the New York dock department, and from 1874-1875, Stoddard was New York’s city librarian.
Also during this time period, Stoddard served as editor and literary reviewer for a number of publications, including Vanity Fair, New York World, and The Aldine, while in addition creating his own poetry. His first collection, published in 1849, was titled Foot-prints, which he later found embarrassing and pulled out of print. Some of his other collections include Poems, published in 1852, and The Book of the East and Other Poems, published in 1871. He wrote many memoirs for other poets of his time, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Longfellow, and William Cullen Bryant. Stoddard’s last work was an autobiography entitled Recollections, Personal and Literary, published in the year of his death. Some of his most enduring pieces that are still of interest in modern times are Abraham Lincoln, An Horation Ode, and Songs of Summer.
You can find Richard Henry Stoddard's poem in the Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook here.
"Biography of Richard Henry Stoddard." Poem Hunter. Poemhunter.com, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2016
"Richard Henry Stoddard." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Biography in Context. Web. 2 Oct. 2016 Top of Form.
“Richard Henry Stoddard.” Geni, 5 Nov. 2014. https://www.geni.com/people/Richard-Stoddard/5476091876350056118. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
"Stoddard, Richard Henry." Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.
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