Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Charles Wells Russell

West Virginia & Washington, D.C.

Charles Wells Russell was born on March 16, 1856, at Wheeling, in what was then Virginia, now West Virginia. He was educated at Georgetown University (1870-1873), where he received an LL.B. in 1883 and an LL.M. in 1884. After the death of his first wife, Lucy Floyd Mosby, who he had married in 1879, he married her sister, Lelia James Mosby, in 1885.

In 1886 he was appointed to a position in the Department of Justice at Washington, D.C. where he was to oversee the French spoliation cases. He then became, from 1893-1895, a legal adviser to a Congressional commission created to investigate the various laws relating to the executive branch of government. He then took up the practice of law in Washington, D.C. but continued to undertake various assignments and activities on behalf of the federal government. He rejoined the Department of Justice in 1902 as special assistant to the attorney general where he headed an investigation of the French Panama Canal Company.

In 1905 Russell became an assistant attorney general, a position he held until 1910. Only days before Christmas, December, 1909, Russell was appointed envoy and minister to Persia where he served for four years. It was in Persia that Russell published The Secret Place and Other Poems (1911) and Iranian Rest and Other Lyrics (1912). He died in Washington, D. C.

[Source: Charles Sumner Lobingier, "Charles Wells Russell," in Dictionary of American Biography (American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936)]


Charles Wells Russell, The Secret Place and Other Poems (1911)

________________, Iranian Rest and Other Lyrics (Teheran, Persia: Pharos, 1912)

________________, Poems (Washington: Gibson Bros. 1914)

________________, Poems (New York: Neale Publishing Company, 1921) [online text]

[Although biographical references list publication of The Secret Place and Other Poems (1911), we find have no OCLC listing for this title.]


Charles Wells Russell, Roebuck: A Novel (Baltimore: H. Taylor & Co., 1868)(A. T. Bledsoe biographical note)

________________, The Fall of Damascus: An Historical Novel (Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1878) [online text]

________________, Farsa Sullunare. Act I. The Kiss (Washington, D.C.: Published by R.O. Polkinhorn, 1882)

________________, Lays of the Season (Washington, D.C.: Press of Gibson Brothers, 1909)

_________________ (ed.), The Memoirs of Colonel John S Mosby (Boston: Little Brown, 1917) [online text] (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1959)(Gaithersburg, Maryland: reprint, 1987)