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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DINSMOOR, Robert, poet, born in Windham, New Hampshire, 7 October 1757; died there, 16 March 1836. He was of Scotts-Irish descent, his family having immigrated from the north of Ireland about the beginning of the 18th century, and, after a rough experience of Indian captivity in the woods of Maine, settled in Londonderry, N.H. He received a scanty education. For a short while he was under the tuition of an old British soldier, and afterward he studied with Master McKeen, who spent much of his time hunting squirrels with his pupils. At the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the Revolutionary army, and served at the battle of Saratoga. He became a farmer at Windham, was a zealous Presbyterian, and used to make verses, in the Scottish dialect or in simple English, oil topics arising from personal incidents or his subjective emotions. He called himself the "Rustic Bard," and published in 1828, at Haverhill, Massachusetts, a volume entitled "Incidental Poems," accompanied with letters and a few select, pieces for their illustration, with a sketch of the author's life. in his "Old Portraits and Modern Sketches," John G. Whittier says:" He lived to a good old age, a home loving, unpretending farmer, cultivating his acres with his own horny hands, and cheering the long rainy days and winter evenings with homely rhyme. Most of his pieces were written in the dialect of his ancestors, which was well understood by his neighbors and friends, the only audience upon which he could venture to calculate, he loved all old things, old language, old customs, old theology .... He wrote sometimes to amuse his neighbors, often to soothe their sorrow under domestic calamity, or to give expression to his own. With little of that delicacy of taste which results from the attrition of fastidious and refined society, and altogether too truthful and matter-of-fact to call in the aid of imagination, he describes in the simplest and most direct terms the circumstances in which he found himself, and the impressions which these circumstances had made on his own mind Never having seen a nightingale, he makes no attempt to describe the fowl; but he has seen the nighthawk, at sunset, cutting the air above him, and he tells of it. Side by side with his waving cornfields and orchard blooms, we have the barnyard and pigsty.
His brother, Samuel Dinsmoor, governor of New Hampshire, born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, 1 July 1766; died in Keene, N. II., 15 March 1835, was graduated at Dartmouth in 1789, studied law, and practiced at Keene. He entered the militia, and rose to be major general. In 1810 he was elected to congress as a war democrat, but was defeated at the next election. In 1821 he was a state councilor and a presidential elector on the Monroe ticket. He was defeated as a candidate for governor by Levi Woodbury. He was judge of probate for Cheshire County from 1823 till 1831, when he was elected governor, and served two years. In 1825 he served on the commission to fix the boundary line between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Samuel's son, Samuel Dinsmoor, born in Keene, New Hampshire, 8 May 1799; died there, 24 February 1869, was graduated at Dartmouth in 1814, and admitted to the bar in 1818. He passed some time in Arkansas, going there in 1819. From 1826 till 1831 he was clerk of the senate of New Hampshire, and he was elected governor of the state in 1849, and reelected in 1851.
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