Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CLINCH, Charles Powell, author, born in New York City, 20 October, 1797; died there, 16 December, 1880. He was the son of a wealthy ship-chandler, and was educated in New York. In early life he became the secretary of Henry Eckford, an eminent ship-builder of the metropolis, at whose country residence, a short distance from the City, he met Halleck, Drake, and others of the Knickerbocker school. For many years Mr. Clinch was an editorial writer for the press, and a literary and dramatic critic. He also wrote numerous poems, theatrical addresses, and plays, including "The Spy," "The Expelled Collegians," and" The First of May," the last of which was produced at the Broad way theatre. In 1835 he was elected a member of the state legislature, and during the same year the great fire in New York swept away his fortune, which had been invested principally in insurance stocks. He then obtained a place in the New York customhouse, where his aptitude for the work was such that he was pro-rooted to be deputy, and then assistant collector, which office he held until 1876, when he resigned after forty years of service, at the same time changing his place of residence from Staten Island to New York city. So sensitive was he of even a suspicion of partiality in the performance of his public duties that he never, under any circumstances, would give decisions in cases connected with the importations of his brother-in-law, Alexander T. Stewart. Mr. Clinch was one of the five intrusted with the secret of the authorship of "The Croakers" (see HALLECK, FITZ-GREENE), which appeared in the "Evening Post" during April and May, 1819. He was a great admirer of William Cullen Bryant, and wrote a poem to his memory, which, with a short biographical sketch, appears in GeE. Wilson's "Bryant and Friends" (New York, 1886).
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