HALLECK, FITZ-GREENE (1790–1867), American poet, was born at Guilford, Connecticut, on the 8th of July 1790. By his mother he was descended from John Eliot, the “Apostle to the Indians.” At an early age he became clerk in a store at Guilford, and in 1811 he entered a banking-house in New York. Having made the acquaintance of Joseph Rodman Drake, in 1819 he assisted him under the signature of “Croaker junior” in contributing to the New York Evening Post the humorous series of “Croaker Papers.” In 1821 he published his longest poem, Fanny, a satire on local politics and fashions in the measure of Byron’s Don Juan. He visited Europe in 1822–1823, and after his return published anonymously in 1827 Alnwick Castle, with other Poems. From 1832 to 1841 he was confidential agent of John Jacob Astor, who named him one of the trustees of the Astor library. In 1864 he published in the New York Ledger a poem of 300 lines entitled “Young America.” He died at Guilford, on the 19th of November 1867. The poems of Halleck are written with great care and finish, and manifest the possession of a fine sense of harmony and of genial and elevated sentiments.
His Life and Letters, by James Grant Wilson, appeared in 1869. His Poetical Writings, together with extracts from those of Joseph Rodman Drake, were edited by Wilson in the same year.