Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Richard S. Spofford


"MR. SPOFFORD was the son of Dr. Richard Smith and Frances (Mills) Spofford, and was born in Newburyport, Mass., July 30, 1833. He graduated at the high school in his native place, and attended Dummer Academy completing his general education at home and abroad under private instruction. . . . Mr. Spofford read law, was admitted to the bar, and became the law-partner of Caleb Cushing in Newburyport. He became the private secretary of Mr. Cushing on his appointment as attorney-general of the United States under President Pierce, and accompanied him on his foreign mission. Mr. Spofford won many friends in Washington, where he resided for several years, becoming a favorite at the White House . . . . Later, he had a large law practice in New York, and finally became the private counsellor for a large corporation, having his office in Boston. In 1866, he married Miss Harriet E. Prescott, the authoress. For several years next prior to his decease they resided most of the time at their home on Deer Island in the Merrimac River, in Amesbury, Mass., where he passed away August 11, 1888, at the age of fifty-five . . . ."

[Sidney Perley, The Poets of Essex County, Massachusetts 145-146 (Salem, Massachusetts: Sidney Perley, 1889]

Research Resources

Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835-1921)

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

Reference in a Thoreau's Recollections

Harriet Prescott Spofford

Prescott's Writings