Anson Gleason Chester


Sections:  Biography    Letters    Bibliography


(Born: July 25, 1827 - Died: February 21, 1911)

He was born in Norwich, CT, the eighth of nine children of Joseph Chester (1788-1832) and Prudee Tracy (1789-1853). His older brother, Joseph Lemuel Chester, wrote under the pseudonym of Julian Cramer.

Graduate of Union College, 1849 (with an A. M. degree)

He may have been named after Rev. Anson Gleason (1797-1885), a Presbyterian minister who had also lived in CT, served as a missionary to the Choctaw indians, and was a pastor of the Indian church at Mohegan (and associated with the Cattaraugus Mission).

He served as a Major in the Civil War (with the 24th New York Cavalry?)

Author of the poem “The Tapestry Weavers”

Married Mary Tillie Staines (of Buffalo, NY) on November 21, 1852. Four children, Winfred Tracy (born Oct. 10, 1853) and Anson Couldock (born July 28, 1855), Carlton (born about 1857), and Alfred T. (born February 1860).  (Another source suggests that she was Mary Tilly Donovan, but gives the same date.)

An odd Poe connection: Chester was an editor of the Buffalo NY Commercial Advertiser in the late 1850s. Prior to this, the newspaper was printed by C. F. S. Thomas, who had been the printer for Poe’s Tamerlane and Other Poems in 1827.




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Anonymous, Vital Records of Norwich: Part II: 1659-1848, Hartford: Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, 1913, p. 641.


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