NATHANIEL H. CARTER was born at Concord, New Hampshire, September 17, 1787. He was educated at Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College, and on the completion of his course became a teacher at Salisbury, New Hampshire, whence he soon after removed to take a similar charge at Portland, Maine. In 1817 he was appointed professor of languages in the University created by the state legislature at Dartmouth, where he remained until the institution was broken up by a decision of the Supreme Court, when he removed to New York. In 1819 he became editor of the Statesman, a newspaper of the Clintonian party. In 1824 he delivered a poem at Dartmouth College, before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, entitled The Pains of the Imagination. In the following year he visited Europe, and wrote home letters descriptive of his travels to the Statesman, which were republished in other journals throughout the country. On his return in the spring of 1827 he published these letters, revised and enlarged, in two octavo volumes, which were favorably received. In consequence of ill health he passed the following winter in Cuba, and on his return in the spring abandoned, for the same reason, the editorial profession. In the fall of 1829 he was invited by a friend residing in Marseilles to accompany him on a voyage to that place. While on shipboard, believing that his last hour was approaching, he wrote some lines entitled The Closing Scene, or the Burial at Sea. He survived, however, until a few days after his arrival, in December, 1829.
Mr. Carter's letters furnish a pleasing and somewhat minute account of the objects of interest in an ordinary European tour, at the period of its publication much more of a novelty than at present. His poems were written from time to time on incidents connected with his feelings, studies, and travels, and are for the most part simply reflective.