American Medical Biographies/Bird, Robert Montgomery
Bird, Robert Montgomery (1803–1854) Robert Montgomery Bird, novelist and editor, was born in Newcastle, Delaware, in 1803 and died in Philadelphia, January 22, 1854, at the age of fifty. He was educated for the medical profession in Philadelphia, took his M. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1827 and began practice there but soon turned his attention to literature, contributing three tragedies to the columns of the Monthly Magazine in Philadelphia. They were "The Gladiator," "Oraloosa" and "The Broker of Bogota." Edwin Forrest impersonated the chief character of "The Gladiator" and the play had a popular run. Between 1830 and 1840 Dr. Bird wrote six novels, among them being "Nick of the Woods, or the Jibbenainosay," "The Infidel," "Peter Pilgrim," his writing being marked by picturesqueness of description and an animated style. The scene of some of his works was placed in Mexico although Bird had never been in Latin America but he knew Spanish and made so good a study of the geography of the country and the habits of the people that Parkman and Prescott commended his accuracy. In 1839 he retired to his native village and cultivated a farm, and for a few years previous to his death edited the Philadelphia North-American, of which he became a proprietor.