Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

John Wiltse Lee

New York

"John Wiltse Lee [w]as the oldest son of the Rev. R.P. Lee, for thirty years pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of Montgomery, N.Y. . . . He entered the legal profession, but his tastes were literary, and the dry technicalities and ceaseless toil of the profession had few attractions for him. Added to this, his health, always frail, and a highly nervous excitable temperament ill fitted him for the excitement of forensic contents. His first attempts in the literary field were made while in the office of the Hon. Chas. H. Winfield of Orange County, N.Y., whom he assisted in publishing a local political paper. He also wrote for various journals and occasionally contributed to some of the magazines. In 1850 he published a campaign sheet called the 'Wide Awake.' . . . [H]is first literary venture, 'Stories of the Hudson,' is a collection of graceful sketches in poetry and prose. In 876 he published the poem entitled 'The Centurion,' a sort of patriotic Centennial medley . . . . In 1877 he founded the 'Cornwall Mirror,' now called the 'Cornwall Reflector.' . . . . [He] relinquish[ed] the management of the paper . . . . Broken in health, he still found relief in labor, and beguiled the weary hours of his long illness in compiling a breif collection of his better poems, a memoir of his father and genealogical tables of his family extending back several hundred years, under the title of 'Aftermath.' The memoir was hardly completed when Death came and closed his labors,--the last sentences of his manuscript being blurred and unfinished." [Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Rutgers College, New Brunswick, N.J., 1878-80 (New Brunswick: New Jersey: Terhune & Van Anglen's Press, 1879] [online text]

Lee was born at Montgomery, New York on June 10, 1833. He died on April 4, 1880. Lee obtained his A.B. from Rutgers in 1851. [Id. at 111] [online text]


John Wiltse Lee, Stories of the Hudson (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1871)

[We find no OCLC listing for this book. One bookseller offers the title and has the author's name, J. Wilkie Lee.]