Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Charles James Fox

New Hampshire

"Charles J. Fox was born in Antrim, October 11, 1811. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1831, and afterwards became a lawyer in Nashua. He died February 17, 1846. . . . He compiled in part the 'New Hampshire Book of Prose and Poetry.'"

[Bella Chapin (ed.), The Poets of New Hampshire 159 (Claremont, New Hampshire: Charles H. Adams, Publisher, 1883)] [online text]

"CHARLES JAMES FOX. Son of Jedediah and Mary (Wheeler)Fox; born, Hancock, October 28, 1811; Dartmouth College, 1831; admitted, 1834; practiced, Nashua; died there, February 17, 1846.

Few men in our State have possessed the versatility of powers that characterized this namesake of the great English Whig orator. He prepared himself for his profession at the Yale Law School and in the office of Daniel Abbott at Nashua, and there settled in practice. In 1835 he was appointed solicitor of Hillsborough County; in 1837 he was a representative in the legislature; in 1840 he prepared and nearly completed a history of the old town of Dunstable, published in 1846; in 1841 he was one of the commissioners to revise the statutes of the State, in conjunction with Joel Parker of Keene and Samuel D. Bell of Manchester. This work was completed in the spring of 1843. While he was engaged upon it he was the collaborator of Rev. Samuel Osgood in gathering and preparing for the press the 'New Hampshire Book; Specimens of the Literature of the Granite State,' issued in 1842.

In August, 1843, he was attacked by pulmonary disease; and sailed the next autumn to the Mediterranean, and traveled through Spain and Egypt, returning home the succeeding spring by way of Italy, Switzerland, France, and England. His travels afforded him no permanent relief. In the following autumn he made another journey in pursuit of health, to the West Indies. He returned to his home in June, 1845, never again to leave it in life. The remaining months he spent in Nashua, gradually sinking till his decease.

. . . . As a lawyer, a poet, a historian, and a philanthropist, he was equally untiring in his labors

He was greatly instrumental in carrying through the project for the extension of the Boston and Lowell Railroad into New Hampshire, and was the earliest treasurer of the Nashua and Lowell Railroad. In politics he was an intense partisan from conviction . . . . Among his many employments he never neglected the cultivation of his literary taste, nor his religious obligations.

John H. Warland a political opponent wrote of him thus: --

'The scholar's brilliant light is dim
   And on his brow death's signet set;
Oh, many an eye that welcomed him
   With sorrow's burning tears is wet.
His was a noble heart and true,
   His was a strong and gifted mind;
And fame and love around him threw
   Their wreaths with choicest flowers entwined.'

Mr. Fox married, in 1840, Catherine P., daughter of Daniel Abbott of Nashua They had one son." [Charles H. Bell, The Bench and Bar of New Hampshire 376-377 (New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1884)(1893)]


Charles James Fox (ed.), The New Hampshire Book. Being Specimens of the Literature of the Granite State (Nashua, New Hampshire: H. D. Marshall, 1842) [online text] (Nashville: Charles T. Gill, 1844) [online text]

_______________, A Guide to Officers of Towns containing the Statutes relating to their Official Duties, with forms, directions and legal decisions, adapted to the Revised statutes of New Hampshire (Concord: G.P. Lyon, 1843)

Samuel D. Bell & Charles J. Fox, The Revised Statutes of the State of New Hampshire, passed December 23, 1842 (Concord: Carroll & Baker, state printer, 1843)

Charles J. Fox, History of the Old Township of Dunstable: including Nashua, Nashville, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, and Merrimac, N.H., Dunstable and Tyngsborough, Mass. (Nashua: C. T. Gill, 1846) [online text] (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1983)(facsimile edition)