Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Edmund Flagg

Maine & Missouri

William Turner Coggeshall, The Poets and Poetry of the West: With Biographical and Critical Notices 201 (Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster and Company, 1860):

EDMUND FLAGG was born in the town of Wicasset, Maine, on the twenty-fourth day of November, 1815. He graduated at Bowdoin College, in the class of 1835, and immediately thereafter emigrated, with his mother and sister, to Louisville, Kentucky, where he taught the classics for a few months to a class of boys; but having entered into an arrangement to contribute to the columns of the Louisville Journal, made a journey, through Illinois and Missouri, and wrote a series of letters which were, in 1838, published in two volumes by Harper and Brothers, in New York, under the title of " The Far West."

In 1837 and 1838, Mr. Flagg read law at St. Louis, with Hamilton Gamble, afterward Judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri. While reading law, he was, for a short period, editor of the St. Louis Daily Commercial Bulletin. In the early part of the year 1839, he was associated with George D. Prentice in the management of the Louisville News Letter. On account of ill health, he abandoned the News Letter, and commenced the practice of law with Sargent S. Prentiss, at Vicksburg, Mississippi. But in the year 1842 he was again an editor, at Marietta, Ohio. While conducting the Gazette in that town, he wrote two novels, "Carrero, or the Prime Minister," and "Francis of Valois "—which were published in New York. Returning to St. Louis in 1844, Mr. Flagg became the editor of the Evening Gazette, and was for several years "Reporter of the Courts" of St. Louis county. He wrote at this period several dramas, which were successfully performed at Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, and New Orleans.

In 1848, Mr. Flagg was appointed Secretary to Edward A. Hannegan, Minister to Berlin. He spent nearly two years in Europe. On his return to the United States he resumed the practice of law at St. Louis, but in 1850 was selected by President Fillmore as Consul to the port of Venice. In that "City of the Sea" he remained two years and then returned to St. Louis, where he completed a work begun in Europe—"Venice, the City of the Sea "—published in New York in 1853, in two illustrated volumes. It comprises a history of that celebrated capital, fiom the invasion by Napoleon, in 1797, to its capitulation to Radetzsky, after the siege of 1848-9. In 1854, Mr. Flagg contributed sketches on the West to "The United States Illustrated, " a work published by A. Meyer, New York. He is now the chief clerk of a Commercial Bureau in the Department of State at Washington.

. . . . His metrical compositions were chiefly written for the Louisville Journal, and the News Letter, while he was its editor. A prominent place is given him in a handsome volume, entitled " The Native Poets of Maine "—edited by S. Herbert Lancey, and published at Bangor in 1854.

[Curiosity, there is no mention in the biographical sketch of Flagg in George Bancroft Griffith (ed.), The Poets of Maine 188 (Portland, Maine: Elwell, Pickard & Co., 1888) of Flagg's association with the legal profession. Griffith does point out that Flagg graduated with distinction from Bowdoin College. There is also mention that he then resided on a farm at Highland View, near Falls Church, Virginia and had done so for some several years. Oscar Fay Adams, in his dictionary of American authors, indicates that Flagg lived in West Salem, Virginia. Oscar Fay Adams, A Dictionary of American Authors 130 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899)]


Edmund Flagg, The Far West: or, A Tour Beyond the Mountains (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1838)(2 vols.) [online text] [online text] [online text pt.2] (Cleveland, Ohio: A.H. Clark, Co., 1906)(2 vols.)(New York: AMS, 1966)

___________, Carrero; or, The Prime Minister, a Tale of Spain ([New York] 1843)

___________, Francis of Valois; or, The Curse of St. Valliar; a tale of the middle ages ([New York], 1843)

___________, Edmond Dantes: The Sequel to Alexandre Dumas' Celebrated Novel of The Count of Monte-Cristo (Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers, 1844)(Louisville: G.W. Noble, 1849)(Akron, Ohio: New Werner, 1900)(New York: Leslie-Judge, 1911)(Chicago: Donohue, Henneberry, enl. ed., 1930)(Donohue, Henneberry, 1939)(New Werner, 1989)

___________, The Howard Queen, a romance of history (Saint Louis, Missouri: 1848)

___________, Venice: The City of the Sea From the Invasion by Napoleon in 1797 to the Capitulation to Radetzky, in 1849 (New York: C. Scribner, 1853) [online text]

___________, Report on All the Commercial Relations of the United States with all Foreign Nations (Washington, D.C.: United States Department of State, A. O. P. Nicholson, Printer, 1857)(4 vols.)

___________, Monte-Cristo's Daughter sequel to Alexander Dumas' great novel, the "Count of Monte-Cristo," and conclusion of "Edmond Dantes" (New York: W.L. Allison, 1880)(1889)(Chicago, M.A. Donohue 1912)(New Haven, Connecticut: Dwight Pub. Co., 1938)

___________, The Wife of Monte Cristo: A Sequel to The Count of Monte-Cristo by Alexander Dumas (New York: W.L. Allison, 1884)(Chicago: M.A. Donohue & Co., 1887)

___________, De Molai: The Last of the Military Grand Masters of the Order of Templar Knights: A Romance of History (Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers, 1888)

Research Resources

Rebecca Lee Hill & K. Edward Lay, Highland View, Fairfax County, Virginia ([Charlottesville, Virginia}; School of Architecture, University of Virginia, 1992)(OCLC Note: "Highland View was built in 1879 as a summer home for Samuel Norment, a Washington, D.C. banker. Two years later, the house was sold to Edmund Flagg, the lawyer, diplomat, newspaperman, poet and playwright.")