Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Gideon Hiram Hollister


"Gideon H. Hollister, born in Washington [Connecticut] in 1817, and graduated from Yale College in 1940, and was admitted to this Bar in 1842, and soon after located in Litchfield, but has resided and practiced at various times in other places. He was Clerk of the Courts 1844 to 1845, and from 1847 to 1850. Under President Andrew Johnson he was the United Minister to Hayti. He is best known from his literary work, being author of several historical novels and plays. He was singularly gifted in making and delivering addresses on celebrations and anniversary occasions. In 1855 he published the History of Connecticut in two large volumes. He died at Litchfield March 21, 1991. His obituary is in Vol. 48, Conn. Reports." [Dwight C. Kilbourn, The Bench and Bar of Litchfield Connecticut With a history of its Famous Law School The first in America 253 (Litchfield, Connecticut: The Author, 1909)]

Stanley Kunitz, in his biographical dictionary, notes that Hollister was the Yale College class poet in 1840 and served as editor of the Yale Literary magazine. Hollister practiced law not only in Litchfield but also Woodbury and Bridgeport. In addition to his work as clerk of the county court, Hollister served as a diplomat, and was elected to the Connecticut senate. [Source: Stanley Kunitz (ed.), American Authors, 1600-1900; a Biographical Dictionary of American Literature (New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964)(1938)]

Gideon Hiram Hollister
Appleton's Encyclopedia

Gideon Hiram Hollister
National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 56-57
(New York: James T. White & Co., 1904)(vol. 12)


G.H. Hollister, A Poem (New Haven, Connecticut: Hitchcock & Stafford, 1840)

___________, Thomas Becket, a Tragedy; and Other Poems (Boston: W. V. Spencer, 1866) [online text]


G.H. Hollister, Mount Hope; or Philip, King of the Wampanoags: An Historical Romance (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 1851)

___________, The History of Connecticut, from the first settlement of the colony to the adoption of the present constitution (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1855)(2 vols.)(Hartford: Printed by Case, Tiffany & Co., 1857) [online text] (Hartford: L. Stebbins, 1858)(Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2001)

___________, Kinley Hollow, a Novel (New York: H. Holt and Company, 1882) [online text]

Research Resource

Dwight C. Kilbourn, The Bench and Bar of Litchfield County. With a History of Its Famous Law School, The First in America. (Litchfield, Connecticut: The author, 1909)