Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Critical and Biographical Notice
Royall Tyler (1757–1826)
ROYALL TYLER was born in Boston, and educated at Harvard College. He received a degree in 1776. When the rebellion of Shays broke out, he was aide de camp to General Lincoln who commanded the troops that marched against him. On this occasion he was charged with a special mission to the government of Vermont. About 1790 he removed his residence to that state, and soon distinguished himself in his profession of law. He was an assistant Judge to the Supreme Court for six years and chief Judge of the same six years more. He died at Brattleboro, Vermont, August 16th, 1826.  1
  Judge Tyler was a dramatic writer of respectable talent. The first piece which he composed for the stage, was “The Contrast”—this was produced soon after the revolution, and played at New York and Philadelphia, with considerable applause. It was also represented in Boston at the Board Alley Theatre. In 1796, he wrote a farce called “The Georgia Spec, or Land in the Moon,” in which he turned to ridicule the rage then prevalent in New England for speculating in Georgia lands of the Yazoo purchase. This was performed repeatedly at the Haymarket Theatre. He wrote besides, other dramatic pieces which have not been made public. His writings of a light and sportive character in prose and verse are very numerous. The greater part of them first appeared in the Farmer’s Museum, a paper of high celebrity published at Walpole in New Hampshire. Tyler was the associate of Dennie, its editor, and contributed many of the best articles in that journal. He was also the author of the Algerine Captive, a novel of great merit and interest, which passed with some readers in England for a story of real life. A critic of that country, as we are informed, undertook to show that it contained some errors in point of fact. In addition to these works he published a collection of legal cases in two volumes 8vo, entitled Vermont Reports.  2
  His poems are lively and entertaining, but we are not acquainted with any one among them of magnitude. They are short unstudied sallies of a sprightly fancy.  3

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