John G. C. Brainard was an early nineteenth-century Hartford poet who published his works in the Connecticut Mirror between 1822 and 1827. His name and his verse have been almost lost to literary history, but he deserves reconsideration for his practice of occasional verse, notably his New Year’s carriers’ addresses. Successor to the Hartford Wits, a contemporary of Lydia Sigourney, his works were collected in Occasional Pieces (1825), in leading antebellum poetry anthologies, in Literary Remains (1832), and in Poems (1842). John Greenleaf Whittier edited his Literary Remains, a grievously faulty edition that has shaped Brainard’s critical reputation. Samuel G. Goodrich, who was close to him in Hartford, championed Brainard, recalling him fondly and promoting his place in American poetry, and Edgar Allan Poe reviewed his Poems. Two of Brainard’s carriers’ addresses, on the Connecticut River and on the topic of charity, are discussed, the latter analyzed. His poem in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, on African Colonization, is read in context with his connections to Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Walt Whitman’s marginal annotation of his Occasional Pieces are assessed for how Brainard may be read. An  appendix recovers his complete published poetry, ordered by its date of appearance.

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