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The Pioneer (Boston, MA)

The Pioneer was an ambitious but short-lived magazine, for which only three issues were printed. The publishers were quickly overwhelemed by debt, exacerbated by Lowell's illness.

The Pioneer


The cover of each issue describe it as a "three sheet periodical," noting that it was "printed by Freeman and Bolles," with the cost of subscription being "$3 per. ann. in adv."

Full Title: ... The Pioneer: A Literary and Critical Magazine

The Pioneer: Vol. I (January-March, 1843)

James Russell Lowell

Robert Carter

Leland and Whiting. Printed in Boston by Freeman and Bolles. 

Boston, MA

Bibliographic data:

8vo (noted in the prospectus and on the title page as "royal octavo") (10 in x 6 1/2 in). Salmon colored paper wrappers, printed.


Because it was available for only three months, the usual number of six issues for a volume was not reached. Most surviving copies, therefore, are in the original paper wrappers, although these are not always intact or in good condition. Still, a surprizing number of copies survive, although it is unclear whether this is a testimony to Lowell or to the Poe material preserved in each of the three issues.

  • Harvard College Library (Henry W. Longfellow's copies, with his signature)
  • Poe Foundation (Richmond, VA)
  • Huntington Library (San Marino, CA)
  • Library of Congress (Washington, DC)
  • American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA)
  • Others


  • Bradley, Sculley, "Introduction," The Pioneer: A Literary Magazine, New York: Scholars' Facsimile & Reprints, 1947, pp. v-xxix. (A wonderful facsimile of the complete run of the magazine.)
  • 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, p. 240.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, "A Review of Lowell's Magazine," Notes and Queries, CLXXVIII, June 29, 1940, pp. 457-458.
  • Mott, Frank Luther, "The Pioneer," A History of American Magazines, pp. 735-738.

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