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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COFFIN, Robert Stevenson, poet, born in Brunswick, Maine, 14 July, 1797; died in Rowley, Massachusetts, 7 May, 1827. His father, Ebenezer Coffin, was a minister in Brunswick. Robert removed with his father to Newburyport, became a printer there, and afterward worked at his trade in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He served as a sailor in the war of 1812, and was once a prisoner on board a British frigate. He began to write poetry early in life, and printed it in the papers on which he was employed over the signature of" The Boston Bard." Becoming intemperate, he was found in sickness and poverty in New York in 1826, and sent by some benevolent ladies to his family in Massachusetts, where he died. He published an autobiography (1825) and "The Oriental Harp: Poems of the Boston Bard" (Providence, Rhode Island, 1826). Among the more notable verses in this book are "On Presenting a Lady with a Cake of Soap," "To a Mouse which Took Lodgings with the Author in a Public House near the Park, New York," and "A Large Nose and an Old Coat."
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