George W. Cutter (~1809, Massachusetts – December 25, 1865, Washington D.C.)
Cutter published numerous poems in newspapers and journals and entire volumes of his work. His most famous poem is “The Song of Steam.” Cutter was born in Massachusetts and moved to Indiana to study law where he met and married Frances Ann Denny Drake in 1840. Also during 1840 Cutter published his first book of poetry, Elskatawa; or, the Moving Fires, and Other Poems. This was the same year the couple moved to Covington, KY where Cutter practiced law. Cutter served during the Mexican-American War which, understandably, affected his poetry. After the war, Cutter contacted the new president Zachary Taylor in an effort to obtain a post as the minister to Morocco. Cutter’s request was never granted due to Taylor’s death, but he was offered employment at the Department of Treasury. Cutter accepted this assignment much to his wife’s chagrin. Supposedly, the acceptance of this post and its required relocation to Washington D.C. led to Cutter’s divorce. After his divorce Cutter seems to disappear until December 1865 when one of Cutter’s acquaintances found him in a Providence Hospital in Washington D.C. Cutter died later that month.
Works Available at KCPL
Buena Vista: and Other Poems – KR 811.3 C991b
There are also a number of articles on the KCPL Newspaper index documenting Cutter’s success.
Herrmann, R. Timothy, B. Michael McCormick, and Robert T. Rhode. “Geoerge W. Cutter: America’s Poet Warrior,” Journal of Kentucky Studies 18 (September 2001): 74-82.