Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Harvey Rice


J. Fletcher Brennan (ed.), Biographical Cyclopaedia and Portrait Gallery with an Historical Sketch of the State of Ohio 220-221 (Cincinnati: J. C. Yorston & Company, 1879)

J. Fletcher Brennan, Biographical Cyclopaedia and Portrait Gallery with an Historical Sketch of the State of Ohio (1879):

RICE, HARVEY, LL. D., lawyer and author was born at Conway, Massachusetts, June 11th, 1800, resident at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1879. When seventeen years old he requested his father, who was a farmer, to give him his freedom, and allow him to acquire a liberal education as best he could by his own efforts. This he achieved, and graduated from Williams College, in 1824, with honor. From college he went directly to Cleveland, a stranger, and without influential friends there, or elsewhere, to aid his efforts for advancement. When he landed at Cleveland he owned nothing but the clothes he wore, and three dollars in his pocket. At that time Cleveland contained but four hundred inhabitants. He soon became employed in teaching a classical school in the old academy on St. Clair street, and about the same time commenced the study of law under the direction of Reuben Wood, then a prominent member of the Cleveland bar. At the expiration of two years he was admitted to practice, and entered into copartnership with his former instructor, which continued until Mr. Wood was elected to the bench. In 1829 he was elected justice of the peace, and in 1830 elected to represent his district in the State legislature. Soon after, without solicitation on his part, he was appointed an agent for the sale of the Western Reserve school lands, a tract of fifty-six thousand acres, situated in the Virginia Military District. He opened a land office at Millersburg, in Holmes country, for the sales, and in the course of three years sold all the lands, and paid the avails, nearly one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, into the State treasury . . . . In 1833 he returned to Cleveland, and was appointed clerk of the common pleas and supreme courts, an office in which he faithfully served for seven years, and in 1834 and 1836 was nominated by the democratic convention as a candidate for Congress . . . . He was the first democrat ever sent to the Legislature from Cuyahoga county, and, while serving in that body, was considered one of its ablest and most influential members. . . . In the fall of 1851 he was put in nomination for the State senate, and was elected . . . . In 1861, being elected to the board of education, he was appointed president of the board . . . . In 1862 he was appointed by the governor of the State, with the concurrence of the War Department, a commissioner for Cuyahoga county, to conduct the first draft made in the county during the late civil war. . . . In 1869 he visited California, and while there indulged in a newspaper correspondence, which has been collected and published in a volume entitled "Letters from the Pacific Slope, or First Impressions." In 1871 Williams College conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In his literary career he was widely know as the author of "Mt. Vernon and Other Poems,"—a work containing two hundred and fifty pages, which reached a fifth edition. . . . [I]n 1878 he published a volume of "Select Poems." He was twice married,—first in 1828, and afterward in 1840.

[J. Fletcher Brennan (ed.), Biographical Cyclopaedia and Portrait Gallery with an Historical Sketch of the State of Ohio 220-221 (Cincinnati: J. C. Yorston & Company, 1879)]

"In a letter written by Mr. Rice in the ninety-first year of his age, he says: 'I am somewhat advanced in years, it is true, but still keep at work in my way, and mean to continue work until I fall in the harness.'" [W. H. Venable, Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley: Historical and Biographical Sketches 282-83 (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1891)] [online text] [William Henry Venable]

Harvey Rice
Biographical Encyclopaedia of Ohio

Harvey Rice
Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography
(New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889)(James Grant Wilson & John Fiske eds.)(6 vols.)

Harvey Rice

The Harvey Rice Monument


Harvey Rice, Mount Vernon, and Other Poems (Boston: J.P. Jewett & Co., 1848)

(Boston: J. P. Jewett & Co.; Cleveland: H. P. B. Jewett, 1858) [online text] (Boston: J.P. Jewett & Co.; Cleveland: H.P.B. Jewett, 1859)(J.P. Jewett & Co., 2nd ed., 1859)(Columbus: Follett, Foster, 1860)(Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster and Co., 4th ed., 1862)(New York: D. Appleton and Company, 3d ed., 1863)(D. Appleton and Company, 1864)(D. Appleton, 2nd ed., 1865)(D. Appleton, 5th ed., 1869)(Boston: Lee and Shepard; New York: C. T. Dillingham, 1883)

_________, Select Poems (Boston: Lee and Shepard; New York: Charles T. Dillingham, 1878) [online text] (2nd ed., 1880)(illustrated ed., 1885)(illustrated ed., 1889)(illustrated ed., 1890)


Harvey Rice, Letters from the Pacific Slope; or, First Impressions (New York: D. Appleton, 1870) [online text]

__________, Nature and Culture (Boston, 1875)(Boston: Lee and Shepard; New York, C. T. Dillingham, 2nd ed., 1890)

__________, Incidents of Pioneer Life in the Early Settlement of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Cleveland, Ohio: Cobb, Andrews & Co., 1881) [online text]

__________, Pioneers of the Western Reserve (New York: C. T. Dillingham, 1883)(Boston: Lee and Shepard, New York: Charles T. Dillingham, 2nd ed., 1888)

__________, Sketches of Western Reserve Life (Cleveland, Ohio: W.W. Williams, 1885)

__________, Sketches of Western Life (Boston: Lee and Shepard; New York: C.T. Dillingham, 1887)(1886)

__________, The Founder of the City of Cleveland, and Other Sketches (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1892)(1891)

Writings: Essays

Harvey Rice, "Anecdotes and Incidents," in James Harrison Kennedy & Wilson M Day, The Bench and Bar of Cleveland 137-142 (Cleveland: Cleveland Printing and Pub. Co., 1889) [online text]