The Saturday Museum (Philadelphia, PA)



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The Saturday Museum is one of the scarcest of periodicals connected with Poe. Only one set of 1844 is known (at the American Antiquarian Society), and only a few incomplete runs of 1843 survive (often just a few scattered issues).

 


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The Saturday Museum (Philadelphia, PA)


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Description:

Full Title: The Saturday Museum. A Family Newspaper

Issued: Vols. I-II (December 10, 1842 - October 5, 1844)

Editor(s): Thomas Cottrell Clarke (December 10, 1842 - January 11, 1844); George W. Fairman (March 14, 1843 - September 1843); A. Van Wyck (September 30, 1843 - October 5, 1844)

Publisher(s): Thos. C. Clarke & Co. (December 10, 1842 - March 11, 1843); Clarke & Fairman (March 18, 1843-September 23, 1843); Clarke & Van Wyck (September 30, 1843 - January 20, 1844); after January 20, 1844, A. Van Wyck is listed as “Proprietor and Publisher”  (No publisher is actually given for the issue of January 20, 1844)

Location: Philadelphia, PA

 


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The Saturday Museum was a newspaper of the elephant folio type.

In March 1843 (assumed as March 4, 1843), the Museum issued an “Extra No. 1,” which announced that: “We have secured, at a high salary, the services of Edgar A. Poe, Esq., a gentleman whose high and versatile abilities have always spoken promptly for themselves, and who, after the first of May, will aid us in the editorial conduct of the Journal” (p. 2).

In the issue of March 18, 1844, appears an announcement, headed “TO THE [[/]] READERS OF THE MUSEUM”:

From the commencement of this paper we have had associated in its proprietorship a gentleman who resides on his farm, a few miles from this city, and who for this reason has not found it convenient to give so much of his personal attention to the establishment as its rapidly increasing business now renders indispensable. This has led to a change in the proprietorship which it is our purpose now to make known.

The interest of Daniel Roberts Harper, Esq., the business partner in this establishment, has this day been purchased by a gentleman well and most favorably known to the citizens of Philadelphia, in whose entire fitness, in all respects, from his thorough business habits, intellecutal superiority and gentlemanly deportment, we have the most ample assurance, and are confident of securing the most important advantages to the interests of this establishment. It is therefore with more than ordinary pleasure that we announce the change which enables us this day to introduce our friend and partner, MR. GEORGE W[[.]] FAIRMAN to the readers and patrons of the Philadelphia Saturday Museum.

This announcement is followed by two brief notices, one signed by Thomas C. Clarke and George W. Fairman, and one signed only by G. W. Fairman (dated March 14, 1843).

In the issue of Jan. 20, 1844, a brief notice comments on the “Dissolution of copartnership” between Clarke and Van Wyke, noting that “All monies due the establishment from subscribers or agents are to be paid to A. Van Wyck, by whom all claims against the Saturday Museum will be liquidated.” (This notice appears on page?., column 1. It is signed by Thomas C. Clarke and A. Van Wyck,” and dated January 11, 1844.) This notice is followed by three paragraphs signed by Thomas C. Clarke, and headed: “TO THE PATRONS OF THE SATURDAY MUSEUM.”

 


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There are very few surviving copies of the Saturday Museum, especially of the early issues with Poe material in them:

  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a number of isolated issues, including the one of March 4, 1843 with the biographical sketch and woodcut engraving of Poe. This copy is badly damaged at the fold.
  • An isolated copy of the March 4, 1843 issue is at University of Virginia, in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library (Call # PS2631 .E29 1843). It was given to the library by James Southall Wilson. It is generally in very good condition.
  • A copy of what appears to be the article on Poe from the issue of February 23, 1843, but cut and pasted as what appears to be proof copy, was owned by James H. Rindfleisch, but is currently unlocated. Several large-format photocopies of this item were made and sent to the American Antiquarian Society, the Maryland Historical Society, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, and the University of Pennsylvania.
  • A dozen scattered issues are in the collection of Susan Jaffe Tane (March 11, 1843; April 1, 1843; May 13, 1843; June 17, 1843; June 24, 1843; July 1, 1843; August 19, 1843; October 6, 1843; October 14, 1843; October 27, 1843; November 4, 1843, and December 2, 1843; also an illustrated prospectus. (The prospectus and the issues for March 11 and May 13 appear to be unique examples. A photograph of the prospectus may be seen in the catalog of her collection, noted below, on p. 82.)

 


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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. 201-211.
  • 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.
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “Mystery in the Museum,” Poe Studies, vol. 46, 2013, pp. 98-101 (This article argues that the undated pasteup copy of clippings represents the February 23, 1843 text of the article on Poe.)
  • Tane, Susan Jaffe and Gabriel McKee, Evermore: The Persistence of Poe — The Edgar Allan Poe Collection of Susan Jaffe Tane, New York: The Grolier Club, 2014, pp. 81-82 and p. 164, item 132a-m.

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