Joseph Lemuel Chester


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Sections:  Biography    Criticism    Letters    Bibliography


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Joseph Lemuel Chester

Joseph Lemuel Chester
Engraved by William G. Armstrong (1823-1890) for Godey’s Lady’s Book for March 1850, vol. XL, no. 3

(Born: April 30, 1821 - Died: May 28, 1882)

American antiquarian, geneologist and poet. He was born in Norwich, CT, the fifth of nine children of Joseph Chester (1788-1832) and Prudee Tracy (1789-1853). He published a collection of his poems, Greenwood Cemetery and Other Poems (New York: Saxton & Miles) in 1843. The title poem, “Greenwood Cemetery,” had been published in the Knickerbocker Magazine for January 1843 under the pseudonym of Julian Cramer. The book form gives his real name, with a preface dated January 1843. He married Catherine Hendrickson Hubbard in New York on June 26, 1839. (Greenwood Cemetery and Other Poems (1843) is dedicated to her, although without listing her name.) They had four children: Mary (born in Cleveland on March 21, 1840), Albert Horsford (born in New York on October 14, 1841), Anna (born in New York on July 12, 1843) and Emma (born in New York on July 12, 1845). Later in 1845 they moved to Philadelphia, where he served as the musical editor for Godey’s Lady’s Book during the period 1845-1850. In a curious twist, he was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania as a Colonel in 1855, a rank which he held until 1858. In 1858 he moved to London, where he died in 1882. He was buried in was buried in Nunhead Cemetery in Surrey, UK.

In 1849, Poe sent his younger brother, Anson G. Chester, a manuscript of “For Annie.”

 

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  • Review of Greenwood Cemetery and Other Poems (This review is unknown, but suggested by Poe’s letter. It is, of course, quite possible that Poe’s comment to his correspondent is insincere, and that there was no such review or reviews as stated.)

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  • Abbey, Mrs. Matilda O., Geneology of the Family of Lt. Thomas Tracy of Norwich, Connecticut, Milwaukee, WI: D. S. Harnness & Co., 1889, pp. 70-73.
  • Boase, George Clement, “Chester, Julian Lemuel,” Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, vol. X, pp. 201-203.
  • Dean, John Ward, Memoir of Col. Joseph Lemuel Chester, LLD, DCL, Boston: Privately Printed, 1884. (reprinted from the New-England Historical and Geneological Register for June 1884.)
  • Hirst, Henry Beck, “Julian Cramer: ‘Our Musical Editor’,” Godey’s Lady’s Book, vol. XL, no. 3, March 1850, pp. 150-169 (with an engraved portrait)
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978. (Second printing 1979)
  • Thomas, Dwight and David K. Jackson, The Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849, Boston: G. K. Hall & Sons, 1987.
  • Wilson, James Grant and John Fiske, eds., Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1889, 1:600

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - People - Joseph Lemuel Chester