An American author associated with the Knickerbocker Group, he is known for such works as The Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan; The Dutchman's Fireside; The Life of Washington, and The Lay of the Scottish Fiddle.
Active in politics and government, he worked as the secretary to the Board of Navy Commissioners.
He was born in Pleasant Valley, New York. He married Gertrude Kemble.
He was a close friend of Washington Irving, the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.