Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

William Howe Cuyler Hosmer

New York

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

"William H.C. Hosmer . . . was born at Avon, in the valley of the Genesee, New York, May 25, 1814. He was graduated at Geneva College, and soon after commenced the study of the law with his father, the Hon. George Hosmer, one of the oldest members of the bar of Western New York. Mr. Hosmer was in due course licensed, and has practised his profession with success.

His parents having settled in the Genesee valley while it was yet occupied by the Seneca Indians, Mr. Hosmer's attention was early directed to the history and legends of the race whose home, possessions, and stronghold, had been for a succession of ages in that valley, and whose footprints were yet fresh upon its soil. His mother conversed fluently in the dialect of the tribe, and was familiar with its legends. These circumstances naturally directed Mr. Hosmer in the choice of a theme for his first poem, Yonnondio, an Indian tale in seven cantos, published in 1844.

In 1854 Mr. Hosmer published a complete collection of his Poetical Works in two volumes duodecimo. The first contains the Indian romance of Yonnondio, followed by legends of the Senecas, Indian traditions and songs, Bird Notes, a series of pleasantly versified descriptions of a few American birds, and the Months, a poetical calendar of nature. The second contains Occasional Poems, Historic scenes drawn from European history, Martial Lyrics, several of which are in honor of the Mexican war, Songs and Ballads, Funeral Echoes, Sonnets, and Miscellaneous Poems. The enumeration displays the variety of the writer's productions. He maintains throughout a spirited and animated strain."

[Source: Evert A. Duyckinck, 2 Cyclopaedia of American Literature 518 (Philadelphia: T. E. Zell, 1875)(2 vols.)] [Oscar Fay Adams presents a different variation on Hosmer's name—William Henry Cuyler Hosmer. See, Oscar Fay Adams, A Dictionary of American Authors 196 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899)]


Old Burial-places


W.H.C. Hosmer, Themes of Song: a poem read before the Amphictyon Association of Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, at the annual exhibition of that institution, September 30th, 1842 (Rochester, [New York]: Amphictyon Association, 1842) [online text]

_____________, Yonnondio; or, Warriors of the Genesee (New York: Wiley & Putman, 1844) [online text]

______________, The Months (Boston: William D. Ticknor & Company, 1847)

______________, The Poetical Works of W H C Hosmer (New York: Redfield, 1854 )(2 vols.) [vol.1: online text] [vol. 2: online text]

_____________, Later Lays and Lyrics (Rochester, New York: D. M. Dewey, 1873) [online text]

Evert A. & George L. Duyckinck, The Cyclopedia of American Literature 518
(Philadelphia: William Rutter & Co., 1880)(Vol. 2)