Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

John Robertson


"Robertson, John, lawyer and poet, was born near Richmond, Va., in 1787, and was educated at William and Mary College. Entering the legal profession, he achieved distinction at the Bar and in public life, becoming attorney-general of the State. It was only during the intervals of relaxation incident to the busiest life that he found opportunity for exercise of his literary gifts; but he published three books of more than ordinary merit . . . . He died in Campbell County, Va., in 1873, at the age of eighty-six."

[Sources: Edwin Anderson Alderman & Joel Chandler Harris (eds.), Library of Southern Literature 373 (New Orleans: Martin & Hoyt Co., 1910)(1907)(Vol. 15, Biographical Dictionary of Authors, Lucian Lamar Knight ed.)]

Robertson was born on April 13, 1787 at "Belfield," below Petersburg, Virginia. After studying law and being admitted to the bar he began the practice of law at Richmond where his parents had moved about 1803. He served from 1816 to 1819 in the state legislature and in 1823 was made Attorney-General of Virginia, a position he held for eleven years. In 1841 he was appointed judge of a Virginia judicial circuit, and after a judicial reorganization he became judge of the Richmond circuit. He returned to political life in 1861 when he was elected to the Virginia Senate where he served two terms.

[See also: Herringhsaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century 794 (Chicago: American Publishers' Assoc., 1898)]

John Robertson
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Robertson Family
Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography


John Robertson, Opuscula. Seria ac jocosa. Found in the scrutoir of an ultra octogenarian ([n.d.]: Printed for the publisher, 1870) [online text]

[Opuscula. Seria ac jocosa. Found in the scrutoir of an ultra octogenarian ... Number III ([Richmond] Printed for the Publisher by Fergusson & Rady, 1873)]

____________, Virginia, or, The Fatal Patent, a Metrical Romance, in Three Cantos (Washington: Printed by Davis & Force, 1825)


John Robertson, Riego, or, The Spanish Martyr, a Tragedy in Five Acts (Richmond: P.D. Bernard, 1850)(1848)(Richmond: A. Morris, 1857)(Richmond: J.W. Randolph, 1872)