Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Conrad, Robert Taylor

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CONRAD, Robert Taylor, lawyer, b. in Philadelphia, 10 June, 1810; d. there, 27 June, 1858. He was the son of a publisher of Philadelphia, was educated for the bar, and attained a high reputation as a political speaker, and as an editor and poet. Before he was twenty-one years old he wrote a tragedy, “Conradin,” and in 1832 published the “Daily Commercial Intelligencer,” which was merged into the “Philadelphia Gazette.” Abandoning this occupation from failing health in 1834, he returned to the law, became recorder, and in 1838 judge of the criminal sessions for the city and county of Philadelphia. When the latter court was dissolved, he resumed the pen, edited “Graham's Magazine,” and became associate editor of the “North American.” On the consolidation of the districts with the city in 1854, he was elected mayor by the Whig and American parties. In 1856 he was appointed to the bench of the quarter sessions, serving in that capacity till 1857. In literature he is best known by the tragedy of “Aylmere,” purchased by Edwin Forrest, in which that actor played the part of Jack Cade. In 1852 Judge Conrad published a volume entitled “Aylmere, or the Bondman of Kent, and other Poems,” the principal of which latter are “The Sons of the Wilderness,” a meditative poem on the wrongs and misfortunes of the North American Indians, and a series of sonnets on the Lord's Prayer. Another tragedy that he wrote, “The Heretic,” was never acted, nor published.