The American Museum (Baltimore, MD)



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The American Museum evolved from the defunct The North American Magazine (November 1832 - May 1835), later called The North American Quarterly (April 1835-1837, 1838). The North American Quarterly was founded by Sumner Lincoln Fairfield in Philadelphia. It was converted to a quarterly publication in 1835, but was suspended in 1837. It moved to Baltimore in 1838, where it was run by Nathan Covington Brooks, a Baltimore school teacher. Brooks issued only two numbers of The North American Quarterly in 1838, then joined forces with Dr. J. E. Snodgrass and changed the magazine into The American Museum. Dr. Snodgrass, a physician, had previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, and in that capacity was already well-known to Edgar Allan Poe. During most of this time, Poe was working at Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in Philadelphia. N. C. Brooks and W. E. Burton were, by Poe’s admisssion, close friends.

 


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Description:

The American Museum varied somewhat from the usual plan by beginning its first issue in September 1838, rather than July 1838 or waiting until January 1839. The first volume, therefore, is comprised of only four instead of six issues.

Full Title: The American Museum of Science, Literature, and the Arts

Issued: The American Museum of Science, Literature, and the Arts: Vols. I-II (September 1838 - June 1839)

Editor(s): Nathan Covington Brooks (1809-1898) and Joseph Evans Snodgrass (1813-1880)

Publisher(s): Brooks & Snodgrass (1838); and John Murphy & Co. (1839). Printed in Baltimore by John Murphy, on Light Street (183); and John Murphy & Co., No. 146 Market Street (1839).

Location: Baltimore, MD

 


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Issued in paper wrappers, generally a tan or blue-green color, illustrated with a somewhat crude woodcut of a sitting lady libery. Most surviving copies were accumulated into full volumes, and rebound in cloth or leather.

 


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There are many copies of the American Museum, although the early volumes are somewhat scarce, and Poe-related issues in the original paper wrappers are quite rare. No census of issues is required.

 


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  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, Mississippi: The Book Farm, 1943, pp. 144-145.
  • Hull, William Doyle, A Canon of the Critical Works of Edgar Allan Poe, With a Study of Poe as Editor and Reviewer, unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Virginia, 1941.
  • Mott, Frank Luther, A History of American Magazines, pp. 345, 804 (brief mention only, mostly covering its evolution from The North American Magazine, and entry in chronological list).
  • Phillips, Mary E., Edgar Allan Poe the Man, Chicago: John C. Winston Co., 2 vols, 1926, p. 566-570.
  • Quinn, Arthur H., Edgar Allan Poe, A Critical Biography, 1941, pp. 757-761.

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The American Museum