by George J. Dance

Poems of the imagination

Nathaniel H. Carter (1787-1830), Pains of the Imagination. Forgotten Books, 2018. Courtesy

Nathaniel Hazeltine Carter (September 17, 1787 - January 2, 1830) was an American poet, academic, lawyer, and editor.[1]


Carter was born at Concord, New Hampshire. He was educated at Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College.[2]

He became a teacher, first at Salisbury, New Hampshire, and later at Portland, Maine,[2] where one of his students was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.[1]

In 1817 he was appointed professor of languages in the University created by the state legislature at Dartmounth,[2] where he remained until 1819,[1] when the institution was broken up by a decision of the Supreme Court.[2]

He then moved to New York City, where he became a law student in the office of Josiah Ogden Hoffman until his own admission to the bar. During that time, he contributed to the New York press. Shortly after his admission to the bar, he became editor of the Albany Register.[3] Later he became editor of the New York Statesman, a newspaper of the Clintonian party.[2]

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.[2]

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 to accompany him on a voyage to Marseilles, France. 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.[2]




  • Geographical Vocabulary: esigned as a guide to a topographical knowledge of the whole surface of the globe. Portland, ME: Stephen Patten, 1813.
  • An Oration: Delivered before the Republicans of Portland, on the thirty-ninth anniversary of American independence. Portland, ME: F. Douglas, 1815.
  • Address read before the New-York Horticultural Society, at the anniversary celebration, of the 28th of August, 1827. New York: Sleight & George, for the New York Horticultural Society, 1827.
  • Letters from Europe: Comprising the journal of a tour through Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Italy, and Switzerland in the years 1825, '26, and '27. New York: G. & C. Carvill, 1827. Volume I, Volume II

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]

See alsoEdit


  • Evert A. Duyckinck & George L. Duyckinck (eds.), Cyclopaedia of American Literature 100 (New York: Scribner, 1856), in Stranger to Us All, Lawyers & Poetry, College of Law, West Virginia University. Web, May 8, 2016.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bella Chapin, Poets of New Hampshire (1882), 31; in English Poetry, 1579-1830, Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Web, May 8, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Duyckinck, 100.
  3. L.B. Proctor, Lawyer and Client; or, the Trials and Triumphs of the Bar, 214 (New York: S.S. Peloubet & Co., 1882)], in Stranger to Us All, Lawyers & Poetry, College of Law, West Virginia University. Web, May 8, 2016.
  4. Search results = au:Nathaniel H Carter, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, May 8, 2016.

External linksEdit

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