Samuel Kettell, ed. Specimens of American Poetry. 1829.
Critical and Biographical Notice
EDWARD CHURCH was a native of Boston, and brother to Dr Benjamin Church already spoken of. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1759. He became known as a writer in the early part of the revolutionary contest, and at a period before this had exercised his pen to some effect; for we have been informed that he assisted his brother in the composition of many of his poems. When the federal constitution was adopted, Church, as we are given to understand, expected an office, in which hope being disappointed, he gave vent to his spleen in a satirical poem called The Dangerous Vice ********* meaning the Vice President John Adams, the person whom he imagined had hindered his advancement. His philippics however were not confined to a single object, but branched out into a harsh and bitter invective against the officers of the government generally, and the members of the Order of Cincinnati. Some years afterward he obtained the appointment of Consul for the United States at Lisbon. More of his history we are not acquainted with.
The satire above referred to, is the only considerable work which he is known to have published. It shows no mean talent in that species of writing, and if we could sympathise with the excited feelings of the satirist, we should involuntarily pay him the credit of our admiration for his eloquence. But from the motives which prompted his indignation, he fails to arouse us to any feeling correspondent with his own. His individual pique is too apparent. The satire is pointed, caustic, and spirited, but we never forget that it is vindictive and exaggerated.