A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Willis, Nathaniel Parker
Willis, Nathaniel Parker (1806-1867).—Poet, b. at Portland, and ed. at Yale, was mainly a journalist, and conducted various magazines, including the American Monthly; but he also wrote short poems, many of which were popular, of which perhaps the best is "Unseen Spirits," stories, and works of a more or less fugitive character, with such titles as Pencillings by the Way (1835), Inklings of Adventure, Letters from under a Bridge (1839), People I have Met, The Rag-Tag, The Slingsby Papers, etc., some of which were originally contributed to his magazines. He travelled a good deal in Europe, and was attached for a time to the American Embassy in Paris. He was a favourite in society, and enjoyed a wide popularity in uncritical circles, but is now distinctly a spent force.