Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Theodore Sedgwick Fay

New York

Thomas William Herringshaw, Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography
of the Nineteenth Century
354 (Chicago: American Publishers' Assoc., 1898)

Theodore Fay was a diplomat, poet and writer; born in 1807 New York; his father, a successful lawyer, had studied law with Alexander Hamilton. Fay clerked in his father's office and admitted to practice law in 1828; he soon thereafter joined the New York Mirror as an editor where he continued to author a series of light essays, "The Little Genius," began by his father.

Fay married in 1833 and spent the next three years traveling the world, and writing travel sketches about his travels which he published in the Mirror. His first novel appeared in 1835 and Fay took up residence in Europe. He held various diplomatic positions in London, Berlin, and Switzerland. He retired in 1861 and moved to Germany where he died at the age of 91.

"He wrote until after he was eighty, turning his hand to both poetry and school books."

[Source (of biographical information and quote): Stanley J. Kunitz & Howard Haycraft, American Authors 1600-1900: A Biographical Dictionary of American Literature (New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1938)]


Theodore Sedgwick Fay, Ulric; or, The Voices (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1851) [online text]


Theodore S. Fay, Dreams and Reveries of a Quiet Man, consisting of the Little Genius, and Other Essays (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1832) [online text]

_____________, Sketch of the Life of John Howard Payne as published in the Boston Evening Gazette, compressed: (with additions bringing it forward to a later period)(Boston: Press of W.W. Clapp, 1833)

______________, Norman Leslie: A Tale of the Present Times (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835)(London: John Macrone, Saint James's Square, 1835) )(3 vols.) [vol. 1: online text] (New York: Harper & Brothers, 2nd ed., 1841)(2 vols.) [vol. 1: online text] (New York: G.P. Putnam and Son, 1869)(New York: Garrett Press, 1969)(New York: MSS Information Corp., 1972)

_______________, Sydney Clifton, or, Vicissitudes in both hemispheres, a tale of the nineteenth century (New-York: Harper & Bros., 1839)

________________, The Countess Ida, a Tale of Berlin (New York, Harper, 1840) [online text]

________________, The Double Duel, or Hoboken (London: Richard Bentley, 1843)(3 vols.) [vol. 1: online text]

________________, Robert Rueful, or, A Lesson to Valetudinarians (Philadelphia: Louis A. Godey, 1844)(London: Bruce and Wyld, 1844)

________________, The Brothers, or, The Double Duel. A Romance of New York (Philadelphia: Louis A. Godey, 1844)(London: Bruce and Wyld, 1844)

________________, Mr. Fay's Case with the Mess. Harper. Now first completely printed (Berne [Switzerland]: Printed by J. Gassmann, Son, 1855)

________________, Astronomische Distanzen und die Bibel ... (Bern: Hall'schen Buchdruckerei, 1858)

________________, Denkschrift der Gesandtschaft der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika Gerichtet an den Schweizerischen Bundesrath ... (Bern, 1859)

________________, Die Sklavenmacht. Blicke in die Geschichte der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika. Zur Erklärung der Rebellion von 1860-65 (Berlin: Stilke & Van Muyden, 1865)

________________, Great Outline of Geography for High Schools and Families (New York: G.P. Putnam & Son, 1867)(Berlin/New York: Stilke & Van Muyden; G.P. Putnam & Son, 1868) [online text] (New York: G.P. Putnam & Sons, 1871)

________________, Norman Leslie: A New York Story (New York: G.P. Putnam Sons, 1869) [online text]

________________, Die Alabama-Frage ([Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus], 1872)

________________, First Steps in Geography (1873)

________________, The Three Germanys': Glimpses Into Their Histories (New York: Pub. for the author, 1889) [online text] (New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1889)(London: S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1889)

_________________, Forty Dollars and the Boots, or, Shall We Not Abolish our Apostles' Creed: What Will this Babbler Say? (Hartford: Student Pub. Co., 1897)

Research Resources

Theodore S. Fay letters to George Pope Morris, 1834 and 1840
Theodore S. Fay letters to Jane Porter, 1836-1840
Rare Books and Manuscripts
University Libraries
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania