1858 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Charles Sands

Charles D. Cleveland, in Compendium of American Literature (1858) 213-14.



ROBERT C. SANDS was born in the city of New York, May 11th, 1799. He entered the Sophomore class in Columbia College in 1812, and was graduated, with a high reputation for scholarship, in 1815. He soon after began the study of law in the office of David B. Ogden, entering upon his new course of study with great ardor, and pursuing it with steady zeal. He had formed in college a very intimate friendship with James Eastburn, afterwards a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church; and in 1817 he commenced, in conjunction with his clerical friend, a romantic poem, founded on the history of Philip, the celebrated Sachem of the Pequods. But Mr. Eastburn's health began to fail early in 1819, and he died in December of that year, before the work was completed. It was therefore revised, arranged, and completed, with many additions, by Sands, who introduced it with a touching proem, in which the surviving poet mourned, in noble and touching strains, the accomplished friend of his youth. The poem was published under the title of Yamoyden, at New York, in 1820, was received with high commendation, and gave Mr. Sands great literary reputation throughout the United States.

In 1820, Mr. Sands was admitted to the bar, and opened an office in the city of New York; but his ardent love of general literature gradually weaned him from his profession. In 1822 and 1823, he wrote many articles for the Literary Review, a monthly periodical, and in 1824 the Atlantic Magazine was established, and placed under his charge. He gave it tip in six months but when it became changed to the New York Review, he was engaged as an editor, and assisted in conducting it till 1827. He had now become an author by profession, and looked to his pen for support, as he had before for fame or for amusement. When, therefore, an offer of a liberal salary was made him as an assistant editor of the New York Commercial Advertiser, he accepted it, and continued his connection with that journal until his death, which took place on the 17th of December, 1832 in the mean time editing and writing a number of miscellaneous works, which had an ephemeral reputation, but are now little known and less read. Yet many of them had decided merit, and it is our pleasure to set a few of the choicest before our readers.