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Charles Henry Crandall, for more images, click here



Registration Sheet March 1988


Charles H. Crandall, journalist, farmer, real estate agent and above all, poet, was born June 19, 1858 on a farm in the lovely hills of Greenwich, N.Y. near Saratoga. He acquired most of his schooling here, on the farm and in the village's typical one room schools. When about 17 years old he went to work in the mercantile trades in New York. After five years his strong literary leanings led him to the staff of the New York Tribune in 1880. He spent five years here--he called them his "university" years--during which time his poems began to appear with regularity in the most distinguished magazines amid newspapers in America.

In 1883 Crandall published "The Season," an annual record of society in the New York area. In 1884 he married Kate Virginia Ferguson, also a journalist.

After leaving the Tribune Crandall worked for a while with the New York Globe. But those were trying years. He felt himself in poor health, and within a relatively short time, he had turned down an important editorial position, suffered a nervous breakdown, retired from New York to a farm in Stamford, CT., and his wife Kate had died. But the inspiration to write remained strong.

His first scholarly publication came in 1890 when he edited with an elaborate introduction an anthology "Representative Sonnets by American Poets." In the next 28 years Mr. Crandall published six or seven volumes of his own poetry, mostly collected from magazines and newspapers in which his poems appeared.

He also became a serious farmer, settling happily on beautiful hilltop acreage he named "Sky Meadows" in North Stamford. Crandall advertised "fruit, vegetables, eggs, chickens, firewood, hay and straw" from Sky Meadows. Definitely not a "designer jeans" farmer, he could handle plow, hoe or axe along with the best, and selected his breeding stock with care. He became a council member of the Stamford Rural Association. On November 26, 1891 Charles took his second wife, Mary Vere Davenport of Stamford.

About 1898, Crandall became active in real estate, not only as an agent specializing in rural properties, but also for his own account. He began to accumulate farms principally along North Stamford Road, now High Ridge Road. In 1907 he sold Sky Meadows and moved to a large farm called "Idylland" in High Ridge at Mayapple Road. Now he advertised a horse pasturing service to New Yorkers, offering to meet horses arriving on the daily steamboat "Shady Side." His main listing in the Stamford Directory, however, was Real Estate.

By 1910, Crandall owned 270 acres with four or more houses and barns on North Stamford and Mayapple roads alone. At this point he began to sell these holdings, finishing in 1914 whereupon he moved to a house on four acres on Cedar Heights road. Though divorced from Mary in 1916, he remained here to his death.

Charles Crandall's earlier poetry featured popular rural themes: the glories of nature and man's part in it. But with the advent of the Spanish-American and World wars, he spilled over with patriotism. As the Dictionary of American Biography puts it, "That theme stirred him most--the thrill of seeing one's flag unfurled, the superior bravery of the American military, the divine mission of America as guardian of her neighbors to the south, and as model for the governments of Europe." The four sons of Crandall served in the World War, and one was killed. But "the father's boundless patriotism was set forth in 1918 with vigor and sincerity in his "Liberty Illumined" and "Songs for the Boys in Khaki." Theodore Roosevelt "sympathized cordially" with his verse. The Daughters of the American Revolution and Liberty Bond campaigns solicited it.

On March 23rd, 1923, less than five years after the publication of his war songs, Charles H. Crandall, aged 64 and in ill health, penned a thank-you note to his housekeeper, went to his barn, and killed himself with a pistol. His funeral was held at his late home on Cedar Heights road.

Crandall was a member of the American Institute of Arts, Science and Letters. He also was a member of the Stamford Historical Society. In 1914 he told the editor of Guide to Nature that "Lincoln," read before the Stamford Historical Society, was the best poem he ever wrote.

The provenance of the Crandall papers registered herein is interesting. After his death, our Society asked the family if they would consider donating some of the papers of this important poet to the Society. We were informed that they were all destroyed. Years later Mrs. Charles G. Tolli, a member of the Stamford Historical Society, purchased an old trunk at a tag sale. She discovered these papers in the trunk and was told by the person in charge that she could simply throw them out. Fortunately she chose to preserve them, giving them to our library in 1987.


Bigelow, Edward F. Crandall - The Farmer Poet. Guide to Nature, July 1914, pgs 50-55.
Sound Beach, Conn.: The Agassiz Association, 1914.

Crandall, Charles H. Representative Sonnets by American Poets. Boston, Houghton, Mifflin Co., 1891.

Crandall, Charles H. Representative Sonnets by American Poets. Boston, Houghton, Mifflin Co., 1891.

Crandall, Charles H. Wayside Music: Lyric Songs and Sonnets. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1893.

Crandall, Charles H. The Chords of Life. Boston, MA: The Barta Press, 1898

Crandall, Charles H. Songs from Sky Meadows. New York: The Outing Publishing Company, 1909.

Crandall, Charles H. Liberty Illumined: Patriotic poems and war songs. Stamford, CT: The Advocate Print, 1918.
Available for review at the Marcus Research Library.

Crandall, Charles H. Songs for the Boys in Khaki. Stamford, CT, 1918.

Johnson, Allen and Malone, Dumas. Dictionary of American Biography. Vol. IV. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Marquis, A. N. & Co. Who's Who in America. 1922-23.

Marquis, A. N. & Co. Who's Who in New England. 2nd Ed. 1916

New York Times, Obituary page, March 24, 1923.

New York Tribune, Obituary page, March 24, 1923.

Stamford, CT City Directories 1885-1923. Stamford, CT Grand Lists of Taxable Property, 1908-1923.

List of Records

1. Bill of S. H. White & Co. to John Neild, June 17, 1365.
2. Deed: Land in Bedford, NY, Peter M. Griffin to Benjamin Griffin, Oct 25, 1875.
3. "Vermont's Centennial," article from Boston Daily Globe, Dec. 1, 1876.
4. Handbill, Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington, VT, Oct. 1, 1878.
5. Subscription form, Monument to commemorate the Battle of Bennington, 1878.
6. Article: "Cautious Action of the Bennington Battle Monument Association," from American Architect & Building News, June 7, 1379.
7. Birth announcement, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. H. F. Heath, Benton Harbor, MI, July 19, 1880.
8. Invitation, Sophomore Class, Columbia College, May 27, 1879.
9. Telegram to Mr. Charles Henry Crandall from Kate V. Ferguson, Crandall's wife-to-be, April 20, 1882.
10. Letter to Kate [Ferguson] from Carrie [          ] March 13, 1883.
11. Wedding Invitation, Louise A. Longhi m. Frank H. Tyler, May 14, 1884.
12. Letter from Kate [          ] to Kate [          ], July 14, 1884.
13. Bill from A. C. Rich, Dentist, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to C. H. Crandall, Aug. 10, 1884.
14. Wedding invitation, Lilian Shotwell m. George E. Burrall, Oct. 29, 1884.
15. Letter to C. H. Crandall from G. [          ], Nov. 19, 1835.
16. Invitation, Adelphi Academy Commencement, June 16, 1886.
17. Program, Adelphi Academy Class Day, 1886.
18. Bill for farm harness from Edward H. Pollock to C. H. Crandall, Sept. 3, 1886.
19. Bill from Dempsey & Carroll to C. H. Crandall, May 9, 1888.
20. Memorial Card of Stephen Smith, Jr., 1868-1889.
21. Invitation & cards, Smith College Commencement, June 18, 1890.
22. Rejection letter from editorial department of Century Magazine to C. H. Crandall, June 11, 1891.
23. Advertisement of stallion service, E. Johnson, Stamford, CT, 1891.
24. Letter to George Godfrey from Alvah Hall, re breeding of Crandall mare, June 6, 1893.
25. Two letters to C. H. Crandall from Edward Booth offering St. Bernard bitch for sale, Aug. 18 and Oct. 14, 1893.
26. Bill from Lawton & Co. to C. H. Crandall, Nov. 28, 1893.
27. Correspondence to C. R. Crandall re publication of book "Wayside Music" in 1893
15 items in all:
Letter from J. B. Lippincott, June 21, 1893. Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Oct. 5, 1893.
Cost Estimate by Knickerbocker Press, Aug. 13, 1893 Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Oct. 17, 1893.
Cost Estimate by Knickerbocker Press, Sept. 6, 1883. Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Nov. 17, 1893.
Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Sept. 7, 1893. Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Nov. 25, 1893.
Memorandum of Agreement between C. H. Crandall and G. P. Putnam's Sons, Sept. 15, 1893. Receipt from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Dec. 21, 1893.
Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Sept. 15, 1893. Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Dec. 22, 1893.
Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Sept. 19, 1893. Receipt from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Jan. 6, 1894.
Letter from G. P. Putnam's Sons, Sept. 22, 1893.  
28. Color Card of H. W. John's M'F'G. Co., Stamford, CT, Feb. 1 1895
29. Loan Exhibition Catalogue, Midwood Club, June 11, 12, 13, 1896.
30. Letter from Marlin Fire Arms Co., Feb 15, 1897.
31. Real Estate rate card from The Evening Press, Mar. 20, 1898.
32. Real Estate rate card from The Evening Post, 1898.
33. Letter from Wm. H. Hoyt Real Estate Brokers, Mar. 28, 1398.
34. Letter from Robt. Weed, Camp Meade, PA to C. H. Crandall Oct. 2, 1898.
35. Letter re Summer Excursion to California to C. H. Crandall, May 19, 1899.
36. Pamphlet, Amer. S. Science Assoc. General Meeting of 1900.
37. Letter to C. H. Crandall enclosing bklt. on Vocabulary of English Rhymes from Thomas R. Barnum, Jan. 25, 1900.
38. Letter to C. H. Crandall from John H. Brandon, May 20, 1901.
39. Town of Stamford Report, Sept. 16, 1901.
40. Program of Fourth Annual Rally of Rural Association, Aug. 8, 1906. Two copies.
41. Bill from C. H. Crandall to Isaac Bouton, July 27, 1907.
42. Real Estate letter to C. H. Crandall from Howell Parin, Jan. 29, 1909.
43. Four tickets to Marvin R. Doty, Entertainer, Mar. 26, 1912.
44. Feed and grain bill bought of R. D. Eaton by R. M. Clark, Jan. 8, 1914.
45. Paper on Early Religious Life in Stamford. 11 typewritten pages. Author unknown. May 11, 1922.
46. Real estate listing, 30-acre farm, by C. H. Crandall, Stamford, CT. Undated.
47. Brochure on J. B. Strang's property for sale. Undated.
48. Three real estate listings by C. H. Crandall, Stamford, CT. Undated.
49. Two cards advertising pasturing service of C. H. Crandall, Stamford, CT.
50. Two Real Estate business cards of C. H. Crandall, Stamford, CT. Undated.
51. Real Estate advertising rate card of the New York Herald. Undated.
52. Real Estate advertising rate card of The Sun, New York. Undated.
53. Map of Hemlock Gorge, Stanford, CT. Undated.
54. Map from World War I soldier's letter. Undated.
55. Four calling cards, including one of Mrs. Charles H. Crandall. Undated.
56. Christmas card from Helen Crandall to Aunt Mary. Undated.
57. Poem, "Gettysburg," by Julia Dorr.
58. Publisher's promotion leaflet on "Representative Sonnets." 1 pg. 1891.
59. Publisher's promotion leaflet on "Songs from Sky Meadows." 2 pgs. 1909.

List of Poems and Essays in the Papers of Charles H. Crandall


The Crandall papers included seven photographs, most of them badly faded. One was annotated "Mrs. E. E. Hahn in her study at Aloha Lodge." The other photos were not marked or dated.

Davenport Exhibit, Charles Henry Crandall
A Veterans Day Special: Soldiers Monument, St. John’s Park

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