Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Albert Gallatin Riddle


Will Thorton, "Albert Gallatin Riddle," in William Coyle (ed.), Ohio Authors and Their Books: Biographical Data and Selective Bibliographies for Ohio Authors, Native and Resident, 1796-1950 529-530 (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., for the Ohioana Library Association, 1962):

Biddle, Albert Gallatin (May 28, 1816-May 16, 1902), was born in Monson, Mass. As a year-old baby, he joined the trek of New England immigrants into Connecticut's Western Reserve when his Scotch- and Welsh-blooded parents carried him to Geauga County [Ohio]. When he was seven, his father died, and by the time he was twelve, as the fifth of eight children he went to work to help support the family as a farmer and carpenter. In 1835 he entered Western Reserve College at Hudson, and later went two years to an academy in Painesville. He read law under Seabury Ford and was admitted to practice in 1840. His already-apparent talent for debating and oratory was employed in favor of William Henry Harrison, for he was an anti-slavery Whig. Settling in Chardon, he was elected prosecuting attorney. He personally called the meeting in Chardon which resulted in formation of the Free-Soil Party in Ohio, and his continued activity in this direction make him one of the organizers of the emergent Republican Party. Caroline Avery became his wife in 1845. They had seven children. In 1850 Riddle moved to Cleveland, and through an active partisan of Fremont and later of Chase . . . . In 1862 he did not run for re-election, but returned to law practice and literary activities, both more congenial than politics. A brief mission to Matanzas, Cuba, as consul charged with getting information on blockade running, closed the war period. He then settled to the practice of law in Washington. He was Law Officer of the District of Columbia from 1877 to 1889, and taught law at Howard University. Beginning about 1873 his literary activity began to take precedence even over law. Beginning with Bart Ridgeley (1873) and running up close to the turn of the century, six novels, several biographies, his memories, and a constant stream of newspaper articles and short stories (largely never collected) flowed from his pen. Some of his legal arguments and addresses were also printed. He had a national following, especially among those who knew the Western Reserve background, which he used freely. Riddle died in Washington, D.C., where he was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.

[Used with the gracious permission of the Ohioana Library Association]

Albert Gallatin Riddle
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress


A. G. Riddle, The Hunter of the Shagreen. A descriptive poem (Cleveland: W.W. Williams, 1882)

__________, Old Newbury and the Pioneers ([Washington, D.C.: [n.p.], 1885)


A. G. Riddle, The Right of Women to Exercise the Elective Franchise under the 14th article of the Constitution (Washington [D.C.]; Judd & Detweiler, 1871)

__________, Bart Ridgeley; a Story of Northern Ohio (Boston: Nichols & Hall, 1873)(Boston: Charles H. Whiting, 1873) [online text]

__________, Law Students and Lawyers, the Philosophy of Political Parties and other Subjects (Washington, D.C.: W.H. & O.H. Morrison, 1873)("eight lectures delivered before the Law Department of Howard University")

__________, The Portrait: A Romance of the Cuyahoga Valley (Boston: Nichols & Hall, 1873)(Cleveland: Cobb, Andrews & Co., 1874)(1873)[online text] (New York: John W. Lovell, 1890)(Mantua, Ohio: Mantua Historical Society, 1976)

__________, Alice Brand. A Romance of the Capital (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1875) [online text] (Cleveland: Cobb, Andrews, 1875)

__________, History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio, with illustrations and biographical sketches of its pioneers and most prominent men (Philadelphia: Williams Brothers, 1878)(Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphic, Inc., 1973)

__________, History of Buchanan County, Iowa, with illustrations and biographical sketches (Cleveland: Williams Brothers, 1881)(Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphic, 1973)

__________, Hart and His Bear (Washington, D.C . & Cleveland: W.H. Morrison; Cobb, Andrews & Co., 1883)

__________, Mark Loan; a Tale of the Western Reserve Pioneers (Cleveland: W.W. Williams, 1884)

__________, Elmer Riddle: A Sketch of His Life (Cleveland: W.W. Williams, 1884)

__________, Castle Gregory; a story of the Western Reserve woods in the olden times (Cleveland: Leader Printing Company, 1884)

__________, The Young Sugar Makers of the West Woods (Cleveland: Leader Printing Company, 1885)(Newbury, Ohio: Reproduced by Rova Co., 1976)

__________, The Life of Benjamin F. Wade (Cleveland: W.W. Williams, 1886) [online text] (Cleveland: Williams Pub. Co., 1888)(Cleveland: W. W. Williams, 1969)

__________, The Life, Character and Public Services of Jas. A. Garfield (Philadelphia: Wm. Flint and others, 1880)(Cleveland: W. W. Williams 1880)(Cleveland: W. W. Williams 1883)

__________, The House of Ross: And Other Tales (Boston: Hall and Whiting, 1881)

__________, The Tory's Daughter: A Romance of the North-west, 1812-1813 (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1888)

__________, Ansel's Cave. A Story of Early Life in the Western Reserve (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers Company, 1893)

__________, Recollections of War Times; Reminiscences of Men and Events in Washington (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1895) [online text]