Richard Henry Stoddard's early years were rather Dickensian. After his sea-captain father was lost at sea, Stoddard endured a life of poverty that led him to move with his mother to New York City in 1835. There he worked at a number of odd jobs before being employed, at age eleven, in an iron foundry. An autodidact who read voraciously in his youth, Stoddard published his first book of poems, Footprints (1849), after befriending Bayard Taylor--who introduced Stoddard to his future wife, Elizabeth Drew Barstow, herself an author of both fiction and poetry. He published another volume of poems in 1852 and started contributing to the Knickerbocker. He also made the acquaintance of Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1853. It was Hawthorne who helped Stoddard secure a position at the New York Custom House, where he was employed from 1853 to 1870 (J. Derby 600). During this time he also worked as a literary critic for the New York World and contributed to the Round Table as well.
Some sources place Stoddard at Pfaff's as part of the Bohemian crowd, while Stoddard himself said in his 1903 memoir, Recollections, Personal and Literary: "I never went inside the place. Once I walked down the steps and stood at the door. I saw Walt Whitman and others inside, but through diffidence or some other feeling, I did not enter" (qtd. in Parry 59). Stoddard even attempted to "wean" his "valued friends" O'Brien, Stedman, and Taylor away from Pfaff's: "O'Brien resisted successfully, and died tragically, but Stedman and Taylor were easily led into respectability" (Parry 59). Joanna Levin describes Stoddard as one of the "mainstays of the 'genteel tradition'" who occasionally visited Pfaff's and later tried to dissociate himself from the group. This group's association with the Pfaffians "helped define the genteel Bohemianism that would come into fashion in the 1870's and 1880's" through their "antipathy towards bourgeois materialism" (21).
Whether he was a Pfaffian or not, Stoddard had much to say about Walt Whitman. In his Poets' Homes: Pen and Pencil Sketches of American Poets and Their Homes he positively reviewed several of Whitman's poems, including "Song of Myself" and "O Captain! My Captain!," which appeared in the Saturday Press. The relationship between Whitman and Stoddard soured, however, after Stoddard harshly reviewed William Douglas O'Connor's biography of Whitman, The Good Gray Poet in the Round Table.
Aldrich's essay provides a brief commentary on The Loves and Heroines of the Poets, a collection of English love-poetry addressed to women, edited by Stoddard.[pages:181, 183]
Mrs. Aldrich recalls the first meeting between the Stoddards and the Booths; the Booths had returned from England when the Stoddards called on them. The two couples had a mutual friend in Lorimer Graham. This meeting would lead to the Booth's receiving an invitation to the Stoddards' home on Tenth Street, where one of New York's literary and artistic circles gathered (13-15).
During the discussion of the company assembled during the Stoddards' gathering, his presence and the fact that he is a poet and essayist is noted (17).
Stoddard was among the writers and readers of poems for the celebration of Bryant at the Century Club (59).[pages:13-15,17,59]
Stoddard is listed as one of the "literary customers" at Pfaff's (229). Stoddard and Aldrich are mentioned as those among the Pfaff's company who were most likely as "respectable" as Howells (231).
When Stoddard criticized The Good Gray Poet in the Round Table on January 20, 1866, the critque was "flippant, satirical, and abusive both of the poet and his defender" (367).
Allen makes a mention of an unititled article by Henry Stoddard in "World of Letters," The Mail and Express (New York), June 20, 1898, p.30 (570n26).[pages:229,231,367,570n26]
A signed note to Stoddard appears in the collection of poetry and by and to Arnold.
The article begins with noting that Richard Henry Stoddard plans to spend his summer months in Sag Harbor, as he does annually. According to Barry, "there is quite a little literary colony there" (184).
The article reports that Stoddard has been reviewing for the Mail and Express since 1880, "and its excellence is the best proof of the poet's vigor and enthusiasm; indeed, he has made the paper the authority on literary matters that it now is" (184).
Barry reports that Stoddard is aging physically, but "his eye was keen and bright and his talk full of animation and sparkle and spiced with delicious wit." Barry expresses surprise in learning that Stoddard was born and raised nearly seventy years earlier in the Boston area, especially since, as Barry claims, Stoddard "has been identified with New York for so many years." Stoddard's family was traditionally a sea-faring people, and Barry finds it interesting that the family produced a poet and writer rather than an adventurer (184).
Barry discusses Stoddard's position in the New York and Boston literary sensibilities: "Mr. Stoddard somtimes regrets that he left Boston. Perhaps a quarter century and more ago a man of his caliber might have felt most at home in the New England atmosphere of letters than in the commerical atmosphere of New York; but now we certainly have enough literary life to gratify almost any writer, and this Mr. Stoddard has helped to create. Indeed, his own household is a little literary world, for every member of it writes." Barry also discusses the literary careers of Stoddard's wife Elizabeth and his son Lorimer (184).[pages:184]
Boynton writes that "Stoddard, more stable and unexcited than Taylor or than Stedman, was occupied in a succcession of uninspired literary ventures" (324).
"[...] lovers of refined literature-men like Stedman, for example, who wrote to Bayard Taylor, 'The whole country, owing to contagion of our American newspaper 'exchange' system, is flooded, deluged, swamped, beneath a muddy tide of slang, vulgarity, inartistic [bathos], impertinence, and buffoonery that is not with'" (386).[pages:324, 453]
The obituary for Elizabeth includes her biography, her professional accomplishments, and the literary society she and her husband cultivated in New York.[pages:9]
Stoddard was one of the writers gathered at the complimentary fruit and flower festival held for distinguished authors by New York publishers at the Crystal Palace in 1855 (35). Stoddard was also one of several poets to give a "poetical tribute" to William Cullen Bryant at a dinner held for him at the Century Club (158). Derby also reprints a section of Stoddards's article on the death of Bryant from the New York Evening Post p.162-163. Stedman, Taylor, and Stoddard were among the poets who wrote and read original poems at the funeral of William Cullen Bryant (169).
He is mentioned as one of the "brightest and most popular humorous men of the day," known to rally around the book store of George W. Carleton. Derby notes that "the noonday hour frequently found most of them at Pfaff's celebrated German restuarant, in a Broadway basement, near Bleecker-street, the rendezvous at that day of the so-called Bohemians" (239). Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard are also listed by Derby among the "distinguished people of
literary tastes" whom he met at the home of the Cary sisters in the 1850s (250).
Derby writes that Stoddard was introduced to Stedman through Bayard Taylor. Stedman and Taylor had recently met, and Stedman asked Taylor about Stoddard, "the poet, whom he had always wanted to know." Taylor introduced the two men the next day and began a life-long friendship between the two men. Derby also writes of Stedman and Stoddard's prose and poetic tributes to Taylor after his death (535).
After the publication of Stoddard's first volume of poems (approximately thrity years prior to Derby's writing), Mary Russell Mitford commented in a letter to James T. Fields, "Mr. Stoddard is one of the poets of whom America may well be proud" (595). Derby follows this statement with his own: "America is proud of Mr. Stoddard's poetical talents, and no critic of authority will deny that that writer possesses the true poetic gift of imaginative composition" (595).
Stoddard's first publication appeared in 1843, when Stoddard was about nineteen years old, in the literary paper the Rover, edited by the poet Seba Smith (595). Shortly after this, Stoddard brought N.P. Willis some of his manuscript poems and asked him to review and critique his work. Willis wrote the following note that Stoddard received when he called at the offices of the Home Journal a few weeks later: "I should think the writer of these poems had genius enough to make a reputation. Pruning, trimming and condensing is necessary to make them what they should be; the same labor was necessary to make Lord Byron's genius, and that of Tom Moore. It is hard work to do, but well paid when done" (596). Derby writes, "These words were the first real encouragement that he had ever received, an Mr. Stoddard further says, that no young person possessing any kind of talent ever appealed to N.P. Willis without receving aid and encouragement" (596).
Stoddard's second published poem was published in Union Magazine bu Mrs. C.M. Kirkland, who appears to have been quite supportive and influential in Stoddard's early career. On one occasion, she showed him the manuscript of Poe's "Ulalume" and asked him to read and give his opinion of the work. Stoddard admitted that he could not understand the story, and Mrs. Kirkland told him that it had been submitted for publication in the Union Magazine, but would be returned to Poe (596-597).
Stoddard met Bayard Taylor through Mrs. C.M. Kirkland. When she left for Europe, she left Taylor in charge of the Union Magazine, and "told Mr. Stoddard, that during her absence, he had better call upon the latter, as he would be sure to like him" (597). Derby reprints Stoddard's account of their first meeting from recollections of Bayard Taylor, contributed to the New York Independent p.597-599.
On the recommendation of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Stoddard obtained a position of at the New York Custom House in 1853,and held his position for seventeen years, during which he also wrote continually for magazines and newspapers (600). Derby also mentions Stoddard's Life of Baron Humboldt, published on by Carleton on the condition that the introduction be written by Taylor, a friend of Humboldt's. The book was quite successful, but Derby notes that this might have been due to the book being marketed as Taylor's Life of Humboldt (600).
Derby also notes that "Mr. Stoddard has been on familiar terms with most of the literary people of the day" and discusses Stoddard's friendships and opinions of other poets (601).
Derby reprints what he believes to be William Cullen Bryant's last letter, written to Stoddard, p. 602-603.
Derby notes that at the time of his writing, Stoddard has lived in New York for nearly fifty years. At this time, he is "connected with the editorial department of the New York Evening Mail, to which position he is eminently fitted, by his long experience as a literary critic. As a poet, Mr. Stoddard ranks in public estimation with his friends Edmund C. Stedman and Thomas Bailey Aldrich, contributing more frequently, however, to magazines and other literary journals of the day" (603).
Derby concludes his discussion of Stoddard noting "The pleasant home of Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard is filled with many mementoes of their literary and artistic tastes, gathered together with much care, during their eventful literary career" (603).[pages:35,158,162-163,169,239,250,255,280,535,595-603,699]
Figaro reports that Miss Olive Logan will be reading a selection from Stoddard during her engagement at Irving Hall (137).[pages:137]
Ford mentions that Stoddard spoke of Pfaff's "with contempt" and describes him as "part of the more conservative literary element" who were critical of the Bohemians (1).[pages:1]
Gilder asserts that "we have no truer poet than Mr. Stoddard to-day, none older or better known . . . It is meet that we should remember him, and pay tribute now and then to the beauty of his work and to the manliness of his life" (215).[pages:215]
A member of Aldrich's "nearer circle of contemporaries" during his experience in the "Literary Bohemia" in New York (38).
Greenslet notes, "The three young men of the group that with Aldrich surivived the century, Stedman, Stoddard, and Mr. Winter, writers all of poetry and prose, have become familiar names. It is perhaps something more than a coincidence that all four were New England Boys" (38-9).
Greenslet cites a letter that Aldrich wrote Stoddard from Portsmouth, July, 1859 (45-6). Aldrich also informed Stoddard that summer that he was working on a short novel called "Glass Houses" and was unsure as to when it would be completed (46).
Aldrich mentions a poem of his being passed along from Howells with one of Stedman's in a letter to Stedman dated Nov. 16, 1876 from Ponkapog, Mass. (128). Aldrich describes this "long poem" as "a lovely and pathetic story written with great simplicty and effect. It is as fine in its own way as any narrative of its length in Morris's 'Earthly Paradise.' But perhaps you know the poem. It is entitled 'Wratislaw.' I read it with a white mind and I don't think I've made a mistake about it. At any rate, I have written to Howells advising him not to let the length of the poem prevent him from putting it into the 'Atlantic.' All this is between you and me..." (128).
Greenslet reprints Aldrich's correspondence with "Dick" during August, 1860 on pp. 50-51; Alrich says he has a lot to tell him and "Lizzy" (50-1).
Greenslet also prints a letter to both "Dick and Lizzy" from August 1861, in which he talks about Lizzy's novel and promises to visit them soon. Aldrich also discusses his appointment in the navy in this letter (55).[pages:32,38-39,45-46,50-51,55,128]
The note remarks that Stoddard's poem "A Woman's Poem" is one of the best parts of the recent edition of Harper's and notes that it has been reprinted on the first page of the Press. The Press has credited Stoddard with the authorship of the poem.[pages:2]
The future Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard's first meeting is described as taking place at one of Lynch's receptions. According to Hemstreet, Stoddard "had worked for six years in a foundry learning the trade of iron moulder, and writing poetry as he worked. By the year 1848 he was beginning to make a name for himself, and his first volume of poems, Footnotes, had just been published (204).
Stoddard's early friendship with Bayard Taylor is also described; Taylor and Stoddard met the same year Stoddard met his wife (204). Hemstreet describes their first meeting at the offices of the Tribune, when Stoddard entered Taylor's office and found him hard at work. Stoddard visited Taylor at home a few days later (205). Stoddard visited him every Saturday after work at the foundry, and Taylor taught Stoddard how to smoke, they wrote poetry together, and discussed literature (206). Stoddard also made several friends through Taylor (207).
Hemstreet notes that Stoddard's office of twenty years, at the Custom House, is located on Broad Street, near Wall Street. Stoddard's desk was near a window in the Debenture Room (233).
Hemstreet mentions that Stoddard and Taylor once lived together across the street from 108 Waverly Place; their house was at the corner (238). Stoddard wrote the Life of Humbolt when he lived with Taylor near the corner of Third Avenue and Thirteenth Street (241).
The Stoddards lived at "The Deanery," the home of Miss Anne Swift, who kept boarders, at Fourth Avenue and Tenth Street, the last four years Stoddard worked at the Customs house. At this home, the Stoddards were visisted by Taylor, Howells, and others. As a resident there, Stoddard wrote The Kings Bell, Melodies and Madrigals and other poems. (240).
The Stoddards spent their last years (Hemstreet says more than a quarter century) as a family at a house in Fifteenth Street, just past Stuyvesant Park. Their son died first, then Mrs. Stoddard, then Stoddard in 1903 (242).[pages:150-n/a(ill),204-206, 207,233,236,238,240,241,242, 243-n/a(ill)]
Introduced to Howells by Stedman. Howells states that the Stoddards were in "the glow of their early fame as poets" (72). He also mentions that "they knew about my poor beginnings and were very, very good to me" (72). Howells mentions that "Stoddard went with me to Franklin Square, and gave the sanction of his presence to the ineffectual offer of my poem there" (72).
Of his friendship with the Stoddards, Howells says "But what I relished most was the long talk I had with them both about authorship in all its phases, and the exchange of delight in this poem and that, this novel and that, with gay, wilful runs away to make some wholly irreverent joke, or fire puns into the air at no mark whatsoever. Stoddard had then a fame, with the sweetness of personal affection in it, from the lyrics and the odes that will perhaps best keep him known, and Mrs. Stoddard was beginning to make her distinct and special quality felt in the magazines, in verse and fiction. In both it seems to me she has failed of the recognition her work merits, and which will be hers when Time begins to look about him for work worth remembering" (72-73).
Howells fondly recalls visiting the couple and mentions that they had an appreciations for all literature, including his own (73).
Howells says "I liked the Stoddards because they were frankly not of that Bohemia which I disliked so much, and thought if of no promise or validity; and because I was fond of their poetry and found them in it" (73).[pages:72-73,73(ill.)]
The text mentions Stoddard as living in Stuyvesant Square.[pages:80]
The note states that his wife, Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard, passed away. They lived on Stuyvesant Square in New York City. Their home is described as "a shrine and a salon" (194).[pages:194]
The obituary identifies him as one of the "Knights of the Round Table" of the "lions of Bohemia."[pages:2]
Taylor, Stoddard, Aldrich, and Stedman are mentioned as the parties in New York involved in the "inconsistent opposition" to the third edition of Leaves of Grass in 1859-1860. Lalor writes that "It was chiefly against this ambivalent group and against the naysayers of New England that Clapp did battle for Whitman, with a characteristic originality of method which was both a tribute to the Press at the same time it was a boon to Whitman" (137).[pages:137]
Lalor places him in "the 'genteel' circle" in contrast to the rowdy Bohemians.[pages:15,22,23,45,47]
Stoddard and Bayard Taylor were quite close, having met when they were "poetry-struck teenagers" (51).
Stoddard married Elizabeth Drew Barstow in 1852 (51).
Richard and his wife were both great admirers of Edgar Allen Poe (52).
Stoddard is said to have particularly hostile to Walt Whitman upon his publication of Leaves of Grass (53).[pages:51, 52, 53, 58, 86, 114]
Stoddard is mentioned as one of the "mainstays of the 'genteel tradition'" who occasionally visited Pfaff's and later tried to dissociate himself from the group. This group's association with the Pfaffians "helped define the genteel Bohemianism that would come into fashion in the 1870's and 1880's" through their "antipathy towards bourgeois materialism." He would become important in the post-bellum era (21).[pages:21]
A note on Harper's Magazine lists R.H. Stoddard among the "principal contributors" (3).[pages:3]
A member of Clapp's "cabinet" in the "Kingdom of Bohemia" and at the Saturday Press. The article mentions that he currently edits the Aldine.[pages:192]
He is described as one of the "others who rallied" at Pfaff's.[pages:396]
One of many young writers assisted by Henry Clapp (25).
Stoddard was one of many writers who sought "refuge in the past" in order to escape the "chaos caused by the war and a rapidly changing American society" (82).[pages:25, 82, 128]
Mott quotes an anecdote by William Winter in which Winter locked the doors of the Press office to hide from Stoddard when he came by to collect payment for a poem that Clapp had published.[pages:39]
The brief note identifies Stoddard as "the veteran poet, critic, and journalist." "Stoddard died at his home in New York, on the morning of May 12, having nearly completed his seventy-eighth year" (378). According to the note, Stoddard was a "New Englander by birth," but had come to New York during his boyhood.
"Tailoring, blacksmithing, iron moulding, and law office work were among his early ventures, before he gained the recognition as a writer toward which his ambitions had been drifting since his boyhood years." Stoddard became was a magazine contributor during the early years of his literary career, and he published his first volume of poetry, "Footprints," in 1849, at the age of 24 (378).
The note also mentions Stoddard's job at the New York Custom House (1853-1870), which "gave him a livlihood during his most productive literary period." During this time he was also the literary reviewer for the "World" and had held the same position at the "Mail and Express" for the last 25 years of his life (378).
Stoddard published many books "including juveniles, critical monographs, and collections of verse, besides those to which his relation was editorial" (378).
According to the writer, "He has never been a popular poet, in the sense in which his famous New England contemporaries were popular, but the judicious know his work and esteem it highly" (278).
The writer mentions that Stoddard wrote a lot, but much if it was journalism and has "been consigned to oblivion." The writer is positive, however, that enough of Stoddard's work will survive "to insure the holding of his memory in grateful recollection." The writer also mentions that Stoddard was working on a collection before he died, which will be published posthumously (378).[pages:378]
Stoddard is mentioned as one of Nast's colleagues at Frank Leslie's Illustrated Paper, but he is not specifically connected with Pfaff's here.[pages:22]
Stoddard is one of several contemporary writers who were neither fans of Whitman nor friends with the poet (41). Parry mentions that Stoddard preferred to hold his literary discussions and poetic contests at his home rather than at Pfaff's and later "publicly derided Bohemianism, trying to disclaim any connection with Pfaff's" (59). Parry quotes Stoddard: "I never went inside the place. Once I walked down the steps and stood at the door. I saw Walt Whitman and others inside, but through diffidence or some other feeling, I did not enter." Parry also writes that Stoddard attempted to "wean" his "valued friends" O'Brien, Stedman, and Taylor away from Pfaff's; "O'Brien resisted succesfully, and died tragically, but Stedman and Taylor were easily led into respectability" (59). Stoddard would later refer to O'Brien as "the best of the Bohemians" (77).
When Clapp was attacked in the Round Table, he fired back at "bogus Bohemians" like Stoddard and Stedman, writing:
"The fact is that the Round Table came into the world because the bogus Bohemians have been expelled from the round table at Pfaff's and emigrated to Nassau Street. They are only attempting to ride into notoriety upon the back of Bohemia, as the snail in the fable rode upon the back of the hare. For the real Bohemia includes all the best writers in the metropolis" (46).
Parry mentions that Stoddard made the first, if indirect, reference to Poe as a Bohemian when, several years after Poe's death, he referred to English and Briggs as Poe's "Bohemian" friends (3). Parry also mentions that in a similar fashion to the Bohemians who met or interacted with Poe becoming celebrated authorities on their idol, "R.H. Stoddard, a sedate and staunch enemy of noisy freedom, used his recollectoin of an encounter wtih Poe as a sermon to his young friends on the evils of their mode of life" (9).[pages:3,9,41,46,59,77]
The obituary states that Stoddard "has been the senior member of the group of working literary men in the city" since the passing of William Cullen Bryant (216).
The obituary states that Stoddard had not been well physically, and that the deaths of his wife and son appeared to take a toll on his health. According to the obituary, "The son of a sea captain, there was something virile and sturdy about Mr. Stoddard which deepened the pathos of his partial disablement; and the news of his death at his home in this city on Tuesday of last week, while it brought a shock to his friends, also brought a feeling of relief, for it meant escape from very hard conditions, and freedom from wearing limitations" (216).
Stoddard, born July 2, 1825 at Hingham, Mass., was brought to New York at the age of ten, after the death of his father. He attended public school, after which he tried several jobs and trades. Stoddard appears to have been a self-taught writer and poet; he published his first book of poetry in 1849, at the age of 24, called "Footprints." He also contributed to the "Knickerbocker" (216-217).
Stoddard married Elizabeth Barstow in 1851 (217). He worked at the Custom House from 1853 to 1870, during which time he became friends with Bayard Taylor and was "devoting himself regularly and persistently to writing." Stoddard also began reviewing and editing (217).
The writer claims that all of Stoddard's "practice" at writing was "fitting him for his real vocation" as a writer of lyric poetry. "He was an essayist, biographer, and a critic; but first, and foremost, he was a song writer. A working man of letters who for many years lived by his pen, Mr. Stoddard had remarkable command of his literary resources, wide knowledge of books, rapidity of judgment, skill in the use of the various forms of literature; but it was through his lyric poetry that he most distinctively and directly expressed himself" (217).
The writer claims that Stoddard is best known by the "minor pieces" that Stedman mentions, and notes that while he tried several types of writing, "his truest success is to be found in the field of pure song" (217). The writer continues to praise Stoddard's lyric poetry and reprints four of Stoddard's poems: the first is untitled, the second is "Adsum," which talks about Thackeray, the third is "It Never Comes Again," and the fourth are the lines Stoddard wrote and read at the end of an Author's Club dinner held in his honor in 1897 (217-218).[pages:216-218]
Stoddard passed away May 12, 1903. The obituary states he "is justly reckoned one of the chief poets of his age" (5).
Stoddard was born July 2, 1825, in Hingham, Mass. His father was a sea captain and was lost at sea. As a result, Stoddard was sent to work, and he eventually became steadily employed at an iron foundry in New York City. The obituary states that "By the best of his leisure he struggled up into self-education, and the companionship of such men as Bayard Taylor and Henry Clapp" (5).
Stoddard published his first book of poetry at age 27. He was employed at the New York Custom House from 1853 to 1870. He married Elizabeth Drew Barstow in 1852. Their home on Fifteenth Street "for many years was the centre of the most brilliant literary society of the metropolis" (5).
The obituary states that "Few men have made more of their resources and opportunities than Stoddard, and the defects of his work are those incident of the want of calmness and leisure, impossible to one who is driven by the necessity of earning his daily bread by the fact of his imagination or by uncongenial hack work. The idea that the necessity of struggling against poverty strengthens the poet's flight is not borne out by facts" (5-6).[pages:5-6]
"Mr Stoddard has been for years recognized as the most distinguished American man of letters; his gifts have been manifold, and his usefulness of a high a varied order."[pages:613]
A regular in the bohemian circle at Pfaff's.[pages:142]
In his tribute to Elizabeth Stoddard, Stedman includes Stoddard's statements regarding the death of his wife and his meditations on his own mortality.[pages:9]
Stoddard is listed as one of the poet's included in Dana's The Household Book of Poetry.[pages:2]
The author of the book under review in the article.
"It is a striking fact that the number of young men prominently connected with the New York press as writers is greater now than at any former period...the chief editorial work in these journals is done by men between the years of twenty-five and forty" (4).
"As to Bayard Taylor, Richard H. Stoddard, Grant White, and Joseph Barber, we are a little doubtful of their ages—but we give them the benefit of the doubt" (4).[pages:4]
The note on the Stoddards mentions that his wife is in poor health and that his son, Lorimer, has recently passed away. The note also mentions that the Stoddard family home on Fifteenth Street had been a popular meeting-place for some young writers.[pages:22]
Stoddard is recalled as having pursued Whitman with "a sort of venom always" and appears to have been a harsh media critic.[pages:99]
Whitman notes that there is nothing new going on with Stoddard, and that he still has his place in the Custom House.[pages:339]
Appleton lists Stoddard as a chief contributor to his publication
Winter notes that Stoddard jokingly called T.B. Aldrich "Two-Baby Aldrich" after his twin sons were born (139).
In discussing the composition habits of some poets, Winter reports: "Richard Henry Stoddard,--whose 'Songs of Summer' comprise some of the loveliest and some of, apparently the most spontaneous lyrics existant in the English language,--told me that sometimes he wrote the first draft of the poem in prose, and afterward turned it into verse" (155-156).
In a letter to Winter, Taylor writes that he and his wife have had "a strange fancy that something has happened to Stoddard, Elizabeth, or Lorry" and he hopes he is wrong (163).
Stoddard was a member of Taylor's poetic group, along with George William Curtis, Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard, Edmund Clarence Stedman, George Henry Boker, Fitz-James O'Brien, Christopher P. Cranch, and Fitz Hugh Ludlow. Winter notes that at the time of his writing "not one remains" of this group Winter also remarks that Taylor's writings "evince his strong affection for Boker and Stoddard." Winter met Bayard Taylor at Stoddard's home at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Tenth Street in New York. Winter refers to Stoddard as "the most subtle and exquisite lyrical genius in our poetic literature since Poe" (177).
Winter notes that Stedman, Stoddard, Taylor, and Boker were not associated with Clapp, the Bohemians, or the group that gathered during the time of "The Saturday Press" and Pfaff's Cave. These men did not lead Bohemian lifestyles and were not sympathetic to the lifestyle (178).
Stoddard is mentioned as a member of the "poetic circle" that Stedman was a member of, "a circle distinct from that of the contemporary Bohemia, and not propitious to it." At that time, Stoddard "held an official post" at the New York Custom House and often contributed to various publications, including "The Saturday Press." Winter states that Stoddard had made the acquaintance of Clapp, which helped him to occasionally publish in the "Press." Winter remembers that Stoddard had difficulty "obtaining payment" for his submissions (293).
Winter recalls an time when he and Clapp were sitting behind locked doors at the "Saturday Press" in order to avoid creditors and Stoddard came knocking. Winter recollects that he and Clapp were discussing finances: "when suddenly there came a loud, impatient knocking upon the outer door, and my senior, by a warning gesture, enjoined silence. The sound of a grumbiling voice was then audible, and, after a while, the sound of footsteps retreating down the stairs. For several minutes Clapp did not speak but continued to smoke and listen, looking at me with a serious aspect. Then, removing the pipe from his lips, he softly murmured, ''Twas the voice of the Stoddard--I heard him complain!'" Winter states that "That incident sufficiently indicates the embarassing circumstances under which the paper struggled through the twenty-six months of its existence" (294).
Winter also notes that while Taylor, Stoddard, Stedman, Boker, Curtis, Ludlow, and the names of have been "comingled wtih those of Clapp's Bohemian associates," they "were not only not affiliated with that coterie but were distinct from it, and, in some instances, were inimical to it" (295). Winter also notes that both Taylor and Stoddard were friends with O'Brien, but their friendship did not last. According to Winter, "the most censorious review" of Winter's collection of O'Brien's work - Poems and Stories - in 1881, appeared in "The New York Tribune" and was written by Stoddard (295).
In his keynote address for the celebration of Stedman's "An American Anthology," Winter remarked that "...our poetic literature will never, as a whole, acquire the opulent vitality, bloom, and color of old English poetry, until our authors cease to be self-conscious and critical, and ,--as that rare poet Richard Henry Stoddard so often and so happily has done,--yield themselves fully to their emotions" (305).[pages:45,139,155-156,163,177,178,264,293-294,294(ill.),295,305]
Howells states in Ibid p.87 that he liked Stoddard and his wife because they were not part of the Bohemia and thought that it had no promise or validity.[pages:100]
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015