Joseph Rodman Drake, poet,
was born in New York city, Aug. 7, 1795

Joseph Rodman Drake, poet, was born in New York city, Aug. 7, 1795. He was left an orphan at an early age and entered a mercantile house. He displayed exceptional talent as a writer of poetry from his childhood. Business life proving very uncongenial, he decided to study medicine and in 1813 began a course of study in a physician's office. In that year began his friendship with Fitz-Greene Halleck. In 1816 he was admitted to practise medicine and in the same year was married to Sarah, daughter of Henry Eckford, the naval architect. His best known poem, "The Culprit Fay," was written in August, 1817, and gained for the young poet a world-wide reputation. In March, 1819, in conjunction with Mr. Halleck, he began anonymous daily contributions to the New York Evening Post under the pen-name "Croakers." His poetical works, collected by his daughter Halleck, were published in one volume in 1836, and included The American Flag and The Culprit Fay. An illustrated edition of the latter appeared in after years. Fitz-Greene Malleck's poem beginning "Green be the turf above thee" was written upon being apprised of Drake's death. He died in New York city, Sept. 21, 1820.