Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

George Lunt


George Lunt was born at Newburyport, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard in 1824 and was admitted to the bar in 1831. He initially began his legal practice in Newburyport, but in 1848 moved to Boston and took up the practice of law there. In 1849 he was appointed by President Taylor, United States Attorney for Massachusetts, and continued in that position under President Fillmore. Lunt served in the both the Massachusetts Assembly and the state Senate, as well as holding various government offices. [Source: Rufus Wilmot Griswold, Poets and Poetry of America 363 (New York: James Miller, Publisher, 1872)] [Evert A. & George L. Duyckinck, The Cyclopaedia of American Literature 268 (Philadelphia: William Rutter & Co., 1880)(Vol. 2)]

Lunt "had begun to write and publish poetry at an early age. From 1857 to 1862 he was editor of the Boston Daily Courier, the leading democratic paper of Boston at that time. Upon his retirement from journalism he removed to Scituate, and devoted the remainder of his life to literary pursuits. . . . He died in Boston, after an illness of short duration, May 16, 1885, at the age of eight-one." [Sidney Perley, The Poets of Essex County, Massachusetts 110-111 (Salem, Massachusetts: Sidney Perley, 1889]

Edgar Allen Poe notes: "Mr. George Lunt of Newburyport, Massachusetts, is known as a poet of much vigour of style and massiveness of thought. He delights in the grand, rather than in the beautiful, and is not unfrequently turgid, but never feeble. The traits here described impress themselves with remarkable distinctness upon his chirography, of which the signature gives a perfect idea." [Edgar A. Poe, A Chapter on Autography, Graham's Magazine, December 1841, pp. 273-286)(Pt. II)]



Requiem For One Slain in Battle


The North Star
Rochester, New York
April 17, 1851

George Lunt

We wonder if the cold passionless looking being, called Geo. Lunt, who we saw acting as United States Attorney, during the examination of the alleged rescuers of "Shadrach," is the "George Lunt who was born in Newburyport in 1807," and who is designated by Griswold, in his Poets and Poetry of America, as one whose pieces are remarkable for that "purity of thought which distinguishes the writings of the Christian bards!" If the persons are identical, there must have been some legerdemain practiced to change the soul which used to belong to this particular body. The Hindoos believe that at death the spirits of the departed find local habitations in the bodies of cows, heifers, pigs, dogs, lions, tigers and other animals. We cannot say that we believe in this doctrine of metempsychosis, but if the George Lunt who used to write poetry in praise of freemen and freedom, is identical with George Lunt, the human slave hunting blood hound-in-chief for Massachusetts, then we must believe that these Hindoos knew a thing or two. Perhaps the spirit of a wolf has dispossessed from the cavities of George Kent's body the human soul that used to exclaim,

"My burning heart I will not lend,
To serve a doating despot's sway;
A suppliant knee I will not bend
Before these things of brass and clay."

for the George Lunt who prosecutes Christians now a days, and lends his whole heart and energies to save a "despot's sway," and if he does not bend to things of brass and clay, he bends to a metal that can be more conveniently put in the pocket, and counts higher in the rate of values amongst the money changers. We are decidedly of opinion that if the two George Lunts resolve themselves into one, then the nature which the devil intended for some swine of Tartarus, must have got into the wrong place, in order to qualify a man with meanness and ferocity sufficient to make him the willing myrmadon of a shameless, malignant, implacable, persecutor of every man who loves liberty, and who believes that the laws of the Lord God regnant in the heavens and on earth, are paramount to the edicts of kidnappers. - Mass. Spy.


George Lunt, The Grave of Byron: With Other Poems (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little, and Wilkins, 1826)

__________, Leisure Hours. A Series of Occasional Poems (Boston: Cummings, Hilliard and Company, 1826)

__________, Poems (New York: Gould and Newman, 1839) [online text]

__________, The Age of Gold and Other Poems (Boston: William Ticknor, 1843) [online text]

__________, Culture: A Poem Delivered Before the Mercantile library Association (Boston: W. D. Ticknor & Company, 1843) [online text]

__________, The Dove and the Eagle (Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1851) [online text]

__________, Lyric Poems, Sonnets and Miscellanies (Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1854) [online text]

__________, Julia! A Poem (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1855)(pseud. Wesley Brooke) [online text]

__________, The Rhymers' Club (New York: Baker & Godwin printers, 1859) ("An Honorary Member"; pseud.) [online text]

__________, The Union (Boston: Crocker and Brewster, 1860) [online text]

__________, Poems (Boston: Cupples, Upham and Company, 1884)


George Lunt, Eastford: or, Household Sketches (Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1855)(pseud. Wesley Brooke) [online text]

_________, Three Eras of New England and Other Addresses, with Papers Critical and Biographical (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1857) [online text]

__________, Radicalism in Religion, Philosophy, and Social Life (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1858) [online text]

__________, Washington and Our Own Times: A Lecture in Aid of the Public Library, Newburyport (Boston: Press of Crocker and Brewster, 1861)(delivered on the evening of February 22, 1861)

__________, The Origin of the Late War: Traced from the Beginning of the Constitution to the Revolt of the Southern States (New York: Appleton, 1866) [online text]

__________, Old New England Traits (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1873) [online text]