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Richard Henry Stoddard (July 2, 1825 â€“ May 12, 1903) was an American critic and poet.
Richard Henry Stoddard was born on July 2, 1825, in Hingham, Massachusetts. His father, a sea-captain, was wrecked and lost on one of his voyages while Richard was a child, and the lad went in 1835 to New York City with his mother, who had married again. He attended the public schools of that city. He became a blacksmith and later an iron moulder, reading much poetry at the same time. His talents brought him into contact with young men interested in literature, notably with Bayard Taylor, who had just published his Views Afoot. In 1849 he gave up his industrial trades and began to write for a living. He contributed to the Union Magazine, the Knickerbocker Magazine, Putnam's Monthly Magazine and the New York Evening Post. In 1853 Nathaniel Hawthorne helped him to secure the appointment of inspector of customs of the Port of New York. He kept this job until 1870.
From 1870 to 1873, he was confidential clerk to George B. McClellan in the New York dock department, and from 1874 to 1875 city librarian of New York. He was literary reviewer for the New York World (1860-1870); one of the editors of Vanity Fair; editor of the Aldine (1869-1874), and literary editor of the Mail and the Mail and Express (1880-1903). He died in New York on May 12, 1903.
More important than his critical was his poetical work, which at its best is sincere, original and marked by delicate fancy, and felicity of form; and his songs have given him a high and permanent place among American lyric poets. His wife, Elizabeth Drew Stoddard was also a novelist.
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