Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Daniel Bryan


Merchant, lawyer, poet

Daniel Bryan was born in Rockingham, Virginia about 1795, son of Maj. William Bryan. He graduated from Washington College (now Washington & Lee Univeristy) in 1807. Bryan was a colonel in the War of 1812 and served as postmaster at Alexandria for many years.

"The Mountain Muse," dealing in heroic verse with the adventures of Daniel Boone, was sold in no less than nine or ten States outside of Virginia. Considering the difficulties of travel, transportation, and communication in those days, we cannot help wondering how Mr. Bryan secured such a wide circulation for his little book. The matter may be explained in some measure, no doubt, by the fact that the number of books put upon the market then was small in comparison with the number that are bidding now in sharp competition for the reader's notice. In one copy of "The Mountain Muse" that the writer has seen, and in only one, is printed the list of the subscribers' names. They total about 1350, and belonged for the most part, to the people of Virginia: eastern Virginia as well as the Valley. About 150 belonged to residents of Tennessee; about100 to residents of Ohio; while the remainder were distributed among Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Mississippi Territory. [Source: John W. Wayland, A History of Rockingham County Virginia as reproduced at Rockingham County, Virginia VaGenWeb Project]


Daniel Bryan, The Mountain Muse comprising the Adventures of Daniel Boone; and the Power of Virtuous and Refined Beauty (Harrisonburg, [Virginia]: Printed for the author by Davidson & Bourne, 1813)

["Boone's Fort. This sketch is from a drawing by Colonel Henderson, and published in Collin's Historical Collections of Kentucky , page 417. It was composed of a number of long-houses disposed in the form of an oblong square. Those at each corner, intended particularly for block-houses, were larger and stronger than the others. The length of the fort was about two hundred and fifty feet, and the width about one hundred and fifty feet." Benson J. Lossing, The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851)] [Used with permission of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology]

__________, The Lay of Gratitude consisting of poems occasioned by the recent visit of Lafayette to the United States (Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1826) [online text]

__________, The Appeal for Suffering Genius a poetical address for the benefit of the Boston Bard: and The triumph of truth, a poem (Washington: Way & Gideon, 1826) [online text]

__________, Thoughts on Education in its connexion with morals a poem recited before the literary and philosophical society of Hampden Sidney college, Va., at the fifth anniversary meeting of the institution, held in September, 1828 (Richmond: T.W. White, 1830)

__________, A Tribute to the Memory of the Rev. George G. Cookman consisting of a brief discourse and, The Lost Ship: a poem on the Fate of the steamer President, delivered in the Alexandria Lyceum, June 15, 1841 (Alexandria, [Virginia]: Bell & Entwisle, 1841)