|Strangers to Us All||Lawyers and Poetry|
"John Alsop, the young brother of Richard Alsop . . . was born in Middletown, on the 5th of February, 1776. At an early age he entered Yale College, but left the institution before completing its full course of study, and became a pupil of Dr. Dwight, at the Greenfield Hill Academy. He read law at the celebrated law school at Litchfield, then under the charge of Judge Reeve, and after being admitted to the bar, resided for a short time in New London, in the practice of his profession. Afterward he opened a bookstore in Hartford, but soon removed to the city of New York, where he remained for a number of years, engaged in the same business. On relinquishing his public occupations he returned to his native city of Middletown, where he passed the remainder of his life in retirement, and where he died on the 1st of November, 1841. . . .
Among the manuscripts which Alsop left at his decease, were a large number of poems one of which was written when he was only fourteen years of age. Some of these are short effusions; but among them are several poems containing a number of hundred lines. It is not known that their author ever published one of these compositions, nor was the extent of his writings suspected even by his most intimate friends. He wrote only for his own amusement, and probably had no thought that any of his verses would be given to the public. A biographical sketch of our author, to which we have been indebted in preparing the present one, with a few selections from his poetry, appeared sometime after his death in the 'Knickerbocker magazine.'"
[Charles W. Everest (ed.), The Poets of Connecticut; with Biographical Sketches (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 6th ed., 1873)][online text]