|Birth: ||Oct. 18, 1809|
|Death: ||Dec. 18, 1858|
Poet. He was born on a plantation in Georgia, today marked by a state historical marker. He trained as a physician at Transylvania University in Kentucky but practiced medicine only for a short time before turning to writing. His poetry and literary reviews were published in Philadelphia, New York, and elsewhere. He published eleven volumes of poetry, plays, and pamphlets and wrote a biography of Edgar Allan Poe, his friend, which was not published until the 20th century. His poetry collections include "The Path of Sorrow" (1832), "Eonchs of Ruby" (1851) and "Virginalia" (1853). One of his most successful was "The Lost Pleiad," which was published in New York in 1845. Chivers offered to financially support Poe while the latter ventured into starting his own literary journal, but only if he moved to Georgia. After the death of Poe, Chivers worked to defend him from his critics. However, he soon accused Poe of plagiarizing from his own works, even going so far as to say "The Raven" was based on one of his own poems. Today, scholars agree that each was influenced by the other in some way. In his personal life, Chivers was left by his first wife (a cousin he married when he was 18) while she was pregnant. He was never granted a divorce but the state of Georgia voided the marriage after five years of being estranged. He later married Harriet Hunt of Springfield, Massachusetts, but all four of his children with Harriet died within six years of one another. Many of his poems focus on loss, particularly on the loss of children, and some are still being anthologized in modern poetry collections today, including his well-known "Lily Adair." Chivers is noted as among the earliest American writers to depict the culture and folklore of Native Americans. Writers Rudyard Kipling, Charles Algernon Swinburne, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti cited Chivers as an influence and Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone with the Wind," intended to write a biography of him shortly before her death.
Harriet Hunt Chivers (1819 - 1888)*
Thomas Holley Chivers (1853 - 1892)*
Here Lie The Remains Of Thomas H. Chivers, M.D.
Of His Excellence As A Lyric Poet
His Works Will Remain A Monument For Ages
After This Temporary Tribute Of Love
Is In Dust Forgotten.
This Soul Winged Its Flight Heavenward
December 19th, 1858
Aged 52 Years
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Record added: Oct 06, 2008
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