Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Hugh Farrar McDermott


Hugh McDermott was a lawyer, playwright, poet, and journalist. He was born in Ireland, Aug. 16, 1834, and was the son of Thomas Gould McDermott, a merchant. The elder McDermott went to Boston with his family in 1849 and purchased a homestead at Dorchester. Hugh McDermott entered the law office of Judge Brigham, but upon his father's death, he turned to journalism and worked for the Boston Courier. In 1853 McDermott went to California as a special agent of Adams & C. In San Francisco McDermott was an editor,
dramatic critic, publisher, author, poet, and dramatist. His play,"Fashion's Foil," brought "considerable financial success."

In 1873 McDermott returned to the East and wrote for various New York newspapers. In 1869 he started a literary paper in Boston called the
Fireside Journal, but the venture was not successful and he moved to Jersey City and established the Herald.

Among his works the poems of "The Fire" and "Freedom's Land," in 1803, brought him public notice, as did "When My Days Were Young and Fair."

[source: obituary, New York Times, June 5, 1891, p. 5]


Hugh Farr McDermott, Lavona, a Poem (New York: Published for the trade, 1860)

____________________, Poems from an Editor's Table (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1881) [online text]

_________________, The Blind Canary (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2nd ed., 1883) [online text]