Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

It Happened Today in New York City

On May 15, 1832, poet Fitz-Greene Halleck walked into John Jacob Astor’s counting house where he would remain employed for 17 years. Already a celebrity for his poetry and dubbed “the American Byron”, Halleck claimed that poets are always poor and supplemented his income working for Astor, eventually becoming his personal secretary, adviser, and cultural tutor, and a trustee of the Astor Library. Though virtually forgotten today, Halleck’s work was so revered that, shortly after his death, a commemorative statue of him was commissioned and is now the only statue of an American writer in Central Park’s Literary Walk.

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