Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Edward Robeson Taylor


William Keith Photograph

Lawyer, physician, poet, one time mayor of San Francisco, and Dean of Hastings Law School, Edward Robeson Taylor was born in Springfield, Illinois and took up residence in California in 1862 after working in a Missouri printing office. He graduated from a California medical college in 1865, took up the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1872. He practiced law in San Francisco from 1872 until 1899, serving at one time as the president of the San Francisco Bar Association. Upon retirement from his law practice he was named Dean of the Hastings College of Law (before it was an independent law school). Taylor died on July 5, 1923 in San Francisco.

Edward Robeson Taylor has the distinction of being, along with Thomas Burke, Jonathan W. Gordon, George D. Prentice, and Thomas Dunn English, not only a lawyer-poet, but also a physician. (Thomas Dale, another poet, while not a lawyer, served as a judge.)

20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans

Edward Robson Taylor

Edward Robeson Taylor, Sonnets (San Francisco: E.D. Taylor,1898) [online text]

___________________, Moods and Other Verses (San Francisco: D.P. Elder & Morgan Shepard, 1899) [online text]

___________________, Memories and Other Verses (San Francisco: Stanley-Taylor Company, 1900) [online text]

___________________, Requiem (San Francisco: Printed for Sierra Club, Stanley-Taylor Co., 1901)("in memory of Professor Joseph LeConte")

___________________, Into the Light [a poem] (San Francisco: D.P. Elder and M. Shepard, 1902) [online text] (San Francisco: Taylor, Nash & Taylor, 1911)

___________________, Visions and Other Verse (San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1903) [online text]

___________________, Into the Light: and Other Verse (San Francisco: Stanley-Taylor Co., 1906)(Boston, Sherman, French & Company, 1912) [online text]

___________________, Selected Poems (San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1907) [online text]

___________________, Lavender and Other Verse (San Francisco: P. Elder & Company, 1910) [online text]

__________________, De Mortus (San Francisco: Taylor, Nash & Taylor 1913)

___________________, In the Court of the Ages: Poems in Commemoration of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (San Francisco: A.M. Robertson, 1915) [online text]

___________________, War Sonnets. August 1914-February 1915 (San Francisco: Taylor, Nash & Taylor, 1915)

___________________, To Arms (San Francisco: P. Elder & Co., 1917) [online text]

___________________, Chants with the Soul (San Francisco: priv. print., 1920) [online text]

Poetry: Periodicals

Edward Robeson Taylor, Non Fuit, Sed Est et Fuit, 23 Green Bag 171 (1911)


Edward Robeson Taylor, A Legend of Warm Springs (Sacramento: Russell & Winterburn, 1870)(pseud. H.W.)

___________________ (trans.), Sonnets from the Trophies of Jose-Maria de Heredia (1897)(San Francisco, Printed for author, 5th ed., 1913) [online text]



Kenneth M. Johnson, The Life and Times of Edward Robeson Taylor, Physician, Lawyer, Poet and Politician (San Francisco: Book Club of California, 1968)

Bailey Millard, The Poet Mayor of San Francisco (S.l.: s.n., n.d.)

Bibliography: Articles

Alan B. Howard, The World as Emblem: Language and Vision in the Poetry of Edward Taylor, 44 (3) American Literature 359-384 (1972)

Research Resources

San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco, California