Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Martin Russell Thayer


Thayer was a Philadelphia attorney and judge; he served
two terms (1863-1867) in the U.S. House of Representatives

Thayer was "born in Dinwiddie County, near the city limits of Petersburg, Va., January 27, 1819; attended the Mount Pleasant Classical Institute in Amherst, Mass., and Amherst College; moved with his father to Philadelphia, Pa., in 1837; was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1840; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1842 and commenced practice in Philadelphia; commissioner to revise the revenue laws of Pennsylvania in 1862; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1863-March 3, 1867); chairman, Committee on Private Land Claims (Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1866; resumed the practice of law; judge of the district court of Philadelphia 1867-1874; president judge of the court of common pleas of Philadelphia from 1874 until his resignation in 1896; elected by the judges of the common pleas court prothonotary of Philadelphia in 1896; also engaged in literary pursuits; died in Philadelphia, Pa., October 14, 1906; interment in St. James the Less Church Cemetery." [Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress]

Martin Russell Thayer


M. Russell Thayer, Verses and Translations Stolen By the Author from His Leisure Hours (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1905) [online text]


Martin Russell Thayer, A Reply to Mr. Charles Ingersoll's "Letter to a friend in a slave state." (Philadelphia: C. Sherman & Son, printers, 1862) [online text]

________________, Reconstruction of Rebel States (Washington: Pirnted by L. Towers, 1864)

________________, The Philippines. What is Demanded of the United States by the obligations of duty and national honor (Philadelphia: [N.p.], 1898)

________________, The Real Founder of Fairmount Park. A unilateral correspondence ... (Philadelphia: Dunlap Printing Co., 1903)

Research Resources

Correspondence in the Francis Lieber Papers
The Huntington LIbrary
San Marino, California