Text: Heyward Erlich, “The Broadway Journal: Brigg’s Dilemma and Poe’s Strategy (Introduction),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. IV: Broadway Journal (Annotations) (1986), pp. ix-xi (This material is protected by copyright)


[page ix:]

The Broadway Journal (1):
Briggs’s Dilemma and Poe’s Strategy


Rutgers University (Newark)


HE Broadway Journal of 1845, the last of four magazines edited by Edgar Allan Poe and the only periodical he ever owned, failed to measure up to Poe’s prediction: “As soon as Fate allows I will have a Magazine of my own — and will endeavor to kick up a dust.”(1) The only “dust” raised by the Broadway Journal was comprised of such apparently trivial matter as the “Longfellow War” and the Boston Lyceum hoax. But Poe never displayed in public the least disappointment with the magazine; to the contrary, he appeared highly satisfied in his Valedictory to the terminal issue of January 3, 1846:

Unexpected arrangements demanding my whole attention, and the objects being fulfilled, so far as regards myself personally, for which “The Broadway Journal” was established, I now, as its Editor, bid farewell — as cordially to foes as to friends.(2)

Despite its high spirits, the Valedictory remains enigmatic. Poe’s new “arrangements” are unknown; his completed personal “objects” are unclear; and his history of the magazine is in conflict with all other evidence. Poe’s statement conceals more than it reveals, and a good many questions concerning Poe’s connections with the Broadway Journal still go unanswered.

If the Broadway Journal episode is puzzling in many ways, little illumination may be found in Poe’s correspondence of 1845. He is sanguine of certain fame and fortune in letters to T. H. Chivers, R. W. Griswold, or J. P. Kennedy, but he also complains of dangerous overwork, crushing poverty, and a sense of entrapment while communicating with F. W. Thomas, E. A. Duyckinck, and Neilson Poe. The flashes of hope and despair in Poe’s letters of 1845 are contradictory and incoherent; nowhere is his role on the Broadway Journal elevated above mystery and even obscurity. It becomes evident that Poe’s accounts of the Broadway Journal do not provide a basis for reconstructing [page xiii:] the story of the magazine. But one continuous record of that narrative does exist. It may be found in the letters of Charles Frederick Briggs, organizer and founding editor of the Broadway Journal, to James Russell Lowell, the man who brought Poe and Briggs together at the launching of the magazine. These letters, first studied by George E. Woodberry in 1885, provide an account of the Broadway Journal from another viewpoint.(3)

The stumbling block for the historian who might wish to conflate the papers of Poe and Briggs is that after the former succeeded the latter as editor of the Broadway Journal in July 1845, a mutual quarrel arose which grew into a lifelong feud. Briggs privately denounced Poe to Lowell in the second half of 1845; Poe openly defamed Briggs in an early number of The Literati in 1846; Briggs then replied with a nasty portrait of Poe in his satiric novel of 1847, Tom Pepper; and, finally, until his death in 1877, Briggs continued to support the hostile posthumous memoir of Poe by Rufus W. Griswold.(4) While the Griswold controversy polarized Poe studies, no biographer could hope to reconcile the Poe and Briggs accounts of the Broadway Journal.(5)

At the nub of the controversy is the question of whether Poe or Briggs was in control of the succession crisis of July 1845. Briggs claimed that he prudently withdrew from the paper after reaching an impasse with the publisher, John Bisco, over the re-financing of the paper; moreover, Briggs insisted that he had intended to dismiss Poe and that Poe had been willing to go. But Poe told the story that by “manoeuvres almost incomprehensible to myself, I have succeeded in getting rid, one by one, of all my associates” so as to become full editor and owner of the magazine.(6) Most Poe biographers dismiss Briggs’s testimony and argue that from the start of the Broadway Journal Poe was “the boss” while Briggs merely played “second fiddle,” so that, in effect, Poe “outwitted” Briggs to wrest control of the paper from him.(7) For example, A. H. Quinn discredits Briggs’s story on the evidence of three business contracts of the Broadway Journal: [page xiv:]

It is impossible to reconcile his statements concerning his intention to drop Poe with the actual terms of the contracts, for Poe made his with Bisco, and as Poe, Bisco, and Watson went on together, the weight of evidence seems to be against Briggs.(8)

But in refusing to utilize the Briggs materials in any way, Quinn also discarded the only possible context for reaching an understanding of Poe’s administration of the magazine, and Poe’s management became, on occasion, simply “inexplicable.”(9)

Since the publication of Quinn’s biography of Poe in 1941, little new information from Poe’s hand has emerged to cast additional light on the Broadway Journal. Much new material, however, has been unearthed about Briggs, especially since Perry Miller, in his study of literary New York during the 1840s, began the revival of interest in him as a novelist, satirist, and critic in his own right.(10) Furthermore, it is now possible to compare Woodberry’s quotations from Briggs’s letters against a good many of the originals, thereby revealing the extent of his sweeping dismissal of economic details: “There was from the first some financial tangle between the parties, which, fortunately, there is no need to unravel.”(11) It now appears that this very “financial tangle” provides the key to resolving the enigma of the Broadway Journal. The vital document, unfortunately omitted by Quinn, is the original contract for the partnership of C. F. Briggs and John Bisco to launch the Broadway Journal; all of Poe’s subsequent contracts were built upon it. For the first time, enough new information is at hand to attempt again the reconstruction of the story of the Broadway Journal; and with more light thrown on the background and context of the magazine, the accounts of Poe and Briggs may be fairly reconciled at long last.

The new findings indicate that the Broadway Journal was burdened throughout its short and tortured life by the dual misfortune of utter poverty and hopeless legal complication. The paper lacked the most minimal amounts [page xv:] of operating capital, and hence it was organized as a joint-stock improvisation of working partners who ventured their labors for little or nothing. Seven partners are known to have joined the venture; indeed, often the paper operated simply by adding on as yet undisenchanted working shareholders. It is true, none of the partners was economically ruined, but the Broadway Journal never attained stability or security, and the paper frequently resorted to desperate measures to remain alive. In turn, Briggs, Bisco, and Poe abandoned their parts of the paper. Each of the participants had good reason to keep secret or at least private the actual condition of the magazine. Hence Poe’s Valedictory is a high burlesque transformed from a painful tale of petty debt and legal squabble.

As early as October 1843, when the American Copyright Club was formed, Briggs had hoped to organize an original “weekly of the true stamp” with the help of Evert A. Duyckinck and Cornelius Mathews, but no publisher could be found.(12) Unusual caution was dictated by the recent failures of Arcturus, the Boston Miscellany, and the Pioneer — the last of which cost its editors $1,000 personally — and therefore Briggs spent more than a year working out the details of a joint stock venture of participating partners.(13) In July 1844 Briggs found a printer, John Douglas, but he would not “enter cockily into a speculation” without a satisfactory publisher, and not until December 1844 was he prepared to go ahead with John Bisco, who had issued the Knickerbocker in 1841-1842.(14)

The Broadway Journal was begun on a shoestring; unhappily, it never raised itself very far above the level of bankruptcy. On December 23 1844, Briggs and John Bisco entered a contract to share equally in both ownership and profits, dividing control of the magazine into editorial and publishing departments.(15) No more frugal arrangement than this could be imagined. [page xvi:] The expenditures of either participant were to be solely in cash, paid for only out of pocket, and always immediately reimbursed by one-half by the other partner. By prohibiting the use of credit, the economic liability of the paper was thus kept within safe limits. Briggs even went so far as to insist on the right to keep, presumably for resale, “all books, engravings, or other property” submitted as review copies. Although a partner’s share in the Broadway Journal had little or no transfer value on the market, still, neither participant wished to cope with unacceptable partners in the future; therefore, this mutual legal hold was enforced: “Neither partner shall dispose of his interest in the publication without the consent of the other.” Hence the partners were personally protected against an economic catastrophe, but no provision was ever allowed for the possibility of reorganization or recapitalization.

Poe, meanwhile, also had come to place his trust in the joint-stock idea, although for quite different reasons. Cash salary, Poe believed, had deprived him of his rightful share in the success of Graham’s: “If, instead of a paltry salary, Graham had given me a tenth of his Magazine, I should feel myself a rich man to-day.”(16) On March 301844, on the eve of his departure from Philadelphia for New York, Poe proposed to Lowell that the “élite of our men of letters” form a magazine intended to reach a circulation of 100,000 by means of a secret “coalition.”(17) Lowell did not reply; however, on October [page xvii:] 24 1844, Poe amplified his scheme, suggesting that the joint-stock venture would net its writers “$5000 per an: apiece.”(18) Again, Lowell ignored the scheme; instead, he sent a letter of introduction which Poe was to present to Briggs: “He will pay & I thought from something you said in your last letter that pay would be useful to you.”(19) Thus began the literary acquaintance of Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Frederick Briggs.

Despite Griswold’s unfavorable stories, Briggs liked Poe “exceedingly well” in their first encounters.(20) Initially, Poe was only a contributor to the Broadway Journal at a dollar a column; Poe’s real interest just then was in joining the editorial staff of N. P. Willis’ New York Mirror.(21) When an unclear passage appeared in Poe’s copy for the first issue, Briggs sent it in Poe’s absence to E. A. Duyckinck to emend or strike.(22) By January 30 1845 Poe had been paid $18 for nine pages, or eighteen columns, of articles contributed to the Broadway Journal.(23) Perhaps this payment was Poe’s last from the magazine; no record seems to survive of any subsequent earnings by Poe from the Broadway Journal throughout all of 1845.

The early issues of the Broadway Journal were greeted with considerable enthusiasm in reviews reflecting virtually every shade of political and literary opinion in New York.(24) But Briggs did not attract the “sixpences” of “the vulgar”; hence he was forced almost at the start to make his paper “more varied and newsy to suit the scrappy appetite of the monster public.”(25) Briggs still refused to make a partisan of the Broadway Journal, but now he knew that to maintain his neutrality and independence he required the immediate assistance of a popular writer with an assured following — such as Nathaniel P. Willis of the Mirror.(26) At the beginning of February 1845 [page xviii:] Briggs sent to Lowell a copy of the Broadway Journal containing “The Raven,” commending it as a “grand poem” and as “a mere beautiful something entirely free from didacticism and sentiment. . . .”(27) Soon after, when “The Raven” made a lion of Poe, and Poe’s relations with Willis’ Mirror grew unsatisfactory, a new opportunity presented itself to Briggs.(28) Would Edgar Allan Poe do for Briggs as a substitute for Nathaniel Parker Willis?

Briggs’s dilemma was that he desperately needed one or two new writers to join the staff of the Broadway Journal, but that he could not afford to pay regular salaries. He was therefore compelled to devise a plan, as he explained in self-mockery, to obtain new contributors “free instead of paying them.”(29) On February 21 1845 Briggs offered Poe a work-and-share contract; by performing certain editorial duties each week, Poe would receive from Bisco one-third of the profits.(30) A third writer, the music critic Henry C. Watson, joined Briggs and Poe on the masthead at the same time, as Briggs explained, “upon terms similar to those which I offered to Poe.”(31) Although Lowell was not content with Briggs’s new arrangement, Briggs assured him that “getting the paper into a paying circulation” was urgent and imperative; furthermore, Briggs reminded Lowell that he had been forced “to get the assistance of a printer and a publisher, in the outset, who have a pecuniary interest in the journal as well as myself; I was thus compelled to adapt my means to my ends. . . .”(32) Now five partners shared in the Broadway Journal: Briggs, the printer Douglas, the publisher John Bisco, Poe, and Watson. The exact method employed to divide profits remains somewhat unclear; if Poe and Watson were each entitled to primary thirds, then Briggs, Douglas, and Bisco would be left to take secondary thirds of what remained, or mere ninths. This seems unlikely; perhaps some payment went down on the books as reimbursed costs rather than as shared profit, and conceivably, according to the original contract of December 23 1844, Briggs and John Bisco divided profits into halves and then subdivided each moiety themselves among the [page xix:] remaining partners. In any event, Poe’s income was certainly very small if not nil.

When Woodberry published Briggs’s letter describing the arrangement with Poe and Watson, the relevant economic details were omitted. Here is the entire passage:

One of my most reliable sources of profit is from advertising; book advertising in particular. To secure this I must make my paper in some sort a literary oracle, and a mere collection of squibbs and innuendoes at everything would not command that support. Therefore I thought it best to secure Poe’s services as a critic, because he already has a reputation for reviewing, and I could gain them by allowing him a certain portion of the paper. He thought it would gain the journal a certain number of subscribers immediately if his name were published in connection with it. I did not much like the plan, but he had more experience than myself in such matters, so I consented. Music is almost a universal topic, and a certain amount of advertising and subscription being promised on the condition of a certain part of the paper being devoted to musical concerns I engaged Mr Watson who is confirmed on all hands to be the most competent musical critic in the country upon terms very similar to those which I offered to Poe. But I retain precisely the same authority that I did in the beginning, only I get the services of my assistants free instead of paying them, as I should otherwise be compelled to do.(33)

There has been some dispute over Briggs’s claim of retaining undivided authority, but Poe himself confessed afterwards that throughout Briggs’s regime he remained merely a “contributor” with no editorial voice.(34)

It did not take Poe very long to discover that his partnership in the Broadway Journal was profitless. Poe found himself a “slave” to an exhausting “14 or 15 hours a day” of editorial labor without pay in cash:

I am as poor now as ever I was in my life — except in hope, which is by no means bankable. I have taken a 3d pecuniary interest in the “Broadway Journal“, and for every thing I have written for it have been, of course, so much out of pocket.(35) [page xx:]

Four months after Poe became a partner of the Broadway Journal, he took stock of where he stood. On June 26 1845 Poe decided to retire from the magazine, to quit New York City, and to take up work on a proposed book, the “American Parnassus”:

. . . I have resolved to give up the B. Journal and retire to the country for six months, or perhaps a year, as the sole means of recruiting my health and spirits. Is it not possible that yourself or Mr Matthews [sic] might give me a trifle for my interest in the paper?(36)

Neither Evert Duyckinck nor Cornelius Mathews could pay Poe for his “interest” in the Broadway Journal; for one thing, what Poe owned could not very well be sold. Afterwards, Briggs corroborated Poe’s story of intending to leave the magazine, and Briggs also mentioned Poe’s request that his name be maintained nominally on the masthead nevertheless:

I had told P. a month before that I should drop his name from the ‘Journal.’ He said I might keep it there if I wanted to, although he intended to go into the country and devote his time to getting up books, and would not therefore be able to assist me.(37)

At this time, the economic woes of the Broadway Journal were becoming manifest in other ways: on May 3 1845 the office was moved from 153 Broadway to 135 Nassau Street, presumably for economy, and on May 31 1845 the printer John Douglas, one of the original partners of the magazine, quit the sinking ship.(38)

By June 1845 Briggs’s initial enthusiasm for Poe had totally evaporated; perhaps one factor was Poe’s intoxicated appearance during his first personal meeting with Lowell that spring. In any event, Briggs was faced with a major economic crisis; for the Broadway Journal to survive, Briggs would have to start anew with a different investing publisher. Woodberry omitted an important comment by Briggs on Poe at this time when he published portions of the Briggs correspondence; since it indicates Briggs’s mind before the crisis of July 1845, it is here given in full:

I have arrangements on foot with a new publisher for the journal who will enable me to give it a fresh start; and I trust very soon to be able to [page xxi:] give you an earnest of its profits. I shall haul down Poe’s name; he has lately gotten into his old habits and I fear will injure himself irretrievably. I was rather taken at first with a certain appearance of independence and learning in his criticisms, but they are so verbal, and so purely selfish that I can no longer have any sympathy with him. In all that he has ever written there is not a benevolent thought. I think a machine, something like Babbage’s[,] might be constructed to write poetry and criticisms like his. I always did hate your mere proof reading critics. I take it for granted that any man who can write at all can write good grammar, and if he choses [[chooses]] to write bad it is a business of his own. But he has no right to utter bad thoughts, and it is his thoughts alone that the critic has any right to handle. Poe is a good proof reader and a good scanner of verses, but his merits as a critic hardly reach further.(39)

Briggs was hoping to start the second volume of the Broadway Journal on July 5 1845 with a new partner, Homans, who had already “agreed upon terms with Bisco to buy his interest,” and who also bad made “a very liberal offer” to Briggs himself.(40) Presumably the arrival of Homans would bring an end to the joint-stock arrangement of the magazine; for the first time the Broadway Journal would acquire conventional capitalization.

A few days before Briggs’s plan for the reorganization of the Broadway Journal would begin, John Bisco disrupted matters when he “exacted more” to sell his share than he and Briggs had agreed upon. Since Briggs could not omit Bisco’s name from the masthead without his consent, Briggs suspended publication of the issue of July 5 1845, “meaning to issue a double number, not doubting I could agree with him upon some terms” before the next Saturday of July 12 1845.(41) The veracity of Briggs is substantiated by Evert Duyckinck’s report of July 8 1845:

There’s trouble in the camp of the Broadway Journal — no number Saturday. Briggs I believe has fallen in love with a new publisher and finds it difficult to be off with the old. I suppose it will work itself clear & that we shall live (at least I hope so) to see another journal soon.(42)

Thus far, Poe played no known part in the negotiations; to the contrary, Poe may have been too ill at this time to do a great deal, and he had even cancelled [page xxii:] a scheduled appearance to read a poem before the Philomathian and Euclidian Societies of New York University on June 30 1845.(43) After the suspended issue of July 51845, the resolution looked for by Briggs never took place; to make matters worse, John Bisco was now spurred on by unidentified “evil advisers, and became more extortionate than ever.”(44) Certainly John Bisco bad overestimated the economic extent to which Briggs was “anxious to go on” with the magazine; Briggs now simply withdrew all offers to buy out his partner: “. . . I told him I would not take it. . . .”(45) The effect of this turnabout was to prevent the resumption of publication of the magazine; John Bisco was as powerless to proceed without Briggs’s legal consent as Briggs had been the week before without John Bisco’s.

For a variety of economic and legal reasons, Briggs elected to break the deadlock; he allowed John Bisco to issue the number of July 12 1845 without his name on it, if only to obtain a legal claim. Meanwhile, Poe recovered his forces and saw the opportunity at his doorstep; according to Briggs, Poe now

persuaded Bisco to carry on the ‘Journal’ himself. As his doing so would give me a legal claim upon him, and enable me to recover something from him, I allowed him to issue one number, but it is doubtful whether he issues another.(46)

Briggs’s withdrawal left the Broadway journal in a sad economic condition, as C. F. Hoffman reported on July 12 1845:

The Broadway journal stopped for a week to let Briggs step ashore with his luggage and they are now getting up steam to drive ahead under captains Poe & Watson — I think it will soon stop again to land one of these.(47)

As Briggs summarized it, John Bisco, “thinking to spite me, and Poe, thinking to glorify himself in having overmastered me, agreed to go on with it.”(48) [page xxiii:]

The magazine resumed publication on July 12 1845; two days later, Poe and Bisco signed a contract which made Poe “sole editor” of the paper, put him in possession of one-half of the profits, and gave him an “absolute lien” for the fast time.(49) It may be of significance that the document was witnessed by Cornelius Mathews, Duyckinck’s constant associate and the leading spokesman for “Young America.” It must be kept in mind that the original contract of Briggs and John Bisco was still not abrogated, and Briggs had the power to present John Bisco and Poe with a legal suit for publishing the issue of July 19, as he had threatened he might do. Hence, there was genuine relief on July 18 1845, when Evert Duyckinck reported from within the Broadway Journal office: “Mathews out of town — No news of Briggs.”(50) For his part, John Bisco threw a cloak of secrecy over all the proceedings, insisting, perhaps for legal reasons, that they were matters “in which the public have no interest.”(51) In the end, Briggs succumbed to prudence and discretion, and his threatened legal action was never taken:

I laughed at their folly, and told them to go ahead; but I still hold the same right that I ever did, and could displace them both if I wished to do so. But seeing so much poltroonery and littleness in the business gave me a disgust to it, and I let them alone, hoping to get back from Bisco some money which I had advanced him.(52)

No account by Poe written during the July crisis is known to exist.

But Poe soon found himself forced to say something about the succession which had made him the sole editor of the Broadway Journal. On July 30 1845 the Cincinnati Gazette ran a paragraph from its New York correspondent — who happened to be Briggs himself — carrying the dateline of July 19 1845 and telling what seemed to be the story of a disinterested person:

There has been a flare up in the Broadway Journal, which prevented the appearance of one number a week or two since, and may break up the paper. It originated in some difference between one of the Editors and the Publisher. The Editor undertook to get a new publisher on the paper, and so the publisher turned round and put the name of the other editor [page xxiv:] on his sheet. Where the merits or demerits of the case lie we do not pretend to determine. The journal has force — some good criticism and a good deal of bad. It needs more catholicity — more liberality and a little less attempt at severity. With its flashy name exchanged for something more dignified, and its main plan retained, it would soon be the most able and entertaining weekly in the country.(53)

Briggs went on — anonymously, of course — to give an account of a similar, difficulty aboard the Democratic Review; however, he seemed to be offering certain kinds of editorial advice to Poe. When the item was picked up by the New York Express, Poe reprinted it for purposes of refutation; in the process, a few typographical changes took place, and the words “and may break up the paper” were either lost or omitted as Poe answered the Gazette’s correspondent:

He is right only in the proportion of one word in ten. What does he mean by “catholicity“? What does he mean by calling “The Broadway Journal” “a flashy name“? What does he mean by “putting the name of the other editor on the paper“? The name of the “other editor” was never off the paper. What does he mean by his pet phrase “a flare-up“? There has been no flare-up either in the case of “The Broadway Journal” or of “The Democratic Review.”(54)

One week after Poe printed this denial, he reported the resolution of the complication delaying the Democratic Review, noting the appearance of a combined July and August number, which happened to contain “a very clever tale” by Briggs; then, in the following issue of the Broadway Journal, Poe came to a truce in the dispute: “We thank the New-York Correspondent of the ‘Cincinnati Gazette,’ for the gentlemanly tone of his reply to some late pettish comments of our own.”(55) In effect, Poe had conceded the truthfulness of Briggs’s anonymous account.

The irony of Poe’s new situation is that he was full editor and half owner of a magazine that he did not esteem very highly. With sarcasm and contempt, Poe wrote to a cousin: “‘The B. Journal’ flourishes — but in January I shall establish a Magazine.”(56) In August, Lowell noticed that Poe seemed [page xxv:] to have formed an alliance of the Broadway Journal and the “Young America” movement, whose leader, Mathews, was sometimes known as the Centurion:

I am glad to hear that the conduct of Poe and Bisco about the B. J. was not so bad as I feared. I see that the Centurion’s industrious laudatory legion got hold of it.(57)

For Poe, there were few grounds for celebration in the declining economic condition of the magazine; not even a month after the resumption of publication, it must have been clear that the future was bleak indeed without fresh capital. Moreover, Poe had no recourse but to begin a series of plaintive appeals for personal loans in August: “Mr Bisco says to me that, with the loan of $50, for a couple of months, he would be put out of all difficulty in respect to the publication of the ‘Broadway Journal.’ ”(58) By October, Bisco evidently abandoned all hope of realizing a profit from the Broadway Journal, and Poe was left to continue the profitless magazine on his own.

The Broadway Journal had certainly not prospered between Briggs’s departure in July and John Bisco’s exit in October; yet, Briggs had simply abandoned his moiety while John Bisco insisted on payment from Poe. By borrowing $50 from Horace Greeley, which he turned over to Bisco, and by assuming an aggregate debt of $140 due in January 1846, Poe finally became full owner as well as full editor of the Broadway Journal on October 24 1845.(59) Unfortunately, Poe’s reign was to endure for hardly more than one month. The problem of the lack of capital, which had plagued each of the partners from the start, was now placed entirely upon Poe’s shoulders, and Poe tried to solve it by means of personal appeals to R. W. Griswold, J. P. Kennedy, T. H. Chivers, Fitz-Greene Halleck, and George Poe, between October 26 1845 and December 11845, for sums of $50 to $200.(60)

Perhaps the fullest disclosure of Poe’s state of mind at this time occurs in his request to John P. Kennedy:

By a series of manoeuvres almost incomprehensible to myself, I have succeeded in getting rid, one by one, of all my associates in “The Broadway Journal“, and (as you will see by last week’s paper) have now become sole [page xxvi:] editor and owner. It will be a fortune to me if I can hold it — and if I can hold it for one month I am quite safe — as you shall see.(61)

Poe’s account of the history of the magazine is thoroughly equivocal; what is interesting, however, is his closing remark, “if I can hold it for one month I am quite safe — as you shall see.” Indeed, Poe began to liquidate the Broadway Journal about five weeks later; on December 3 1845 he transferred half his interest to Thomas H. Lane, who was brought in to terminate its accounts.(62) Evidently Poe did not even bother to edit the final issue; it was prepared by Thomas Dunn English, who had become a partner of some kind by investing $30 in the paper in October.(63) English and Lane were the sixth and seventh known partners to join the Broadway Journal in 1845.(64) The brief but fevered history of the magazine came to an end, celebrated only by Poe’s Valedictory, on January 3 1846.

Poe did not pause to lament the passing of the Broadway Journal; to the contrary, the hint of satisfaction as to his “objects” in the Valedictory is enlarged upon in a letter written soon afterwards: “The B. Journal had fulfilled its destiny — which was a matter of no great moment. I have never regarded it as more than a temporary adjunct to other designs.”(65) But what were Poe’s “other designs“? What did Poe mean in speaking of the magazine as a “temporary adjunct” and “a matter of no great moment“? Why, indeed, did Poe change his course so often with regard to the paper — quitting in June, returning in July, buying it all in October, and disposing of half in December?

Perhaps the fullest disclosure of Poe’s motives during the Broadway Journal period may be found in a lengthy letter of October 1844 written just six weeks before he met Briggs and joined the paper as one of the initial contributors.(66) In a detailed confession to George Anthon, Poe revealed that he was dedicated to his “ultimate purpose — to found a Magazine of my own, or in which at least I might have a proprietary right,” but that he also had [page xxvii:] in sight for the present an “immediate object,” to obtain the publication of a collection of his sixty-six tales in as many as five volumes. Poe hoped that Anthon might obtain the backing of Harper & Brothers for both his collected works and also an elegant magazine:

In a word, I believe that the publication of the work would lead forthwith either directly through my own exertion or indirectly with the aid of a publisher to the establishment of the journal I hold in view.

Although the Harpers showed no interest in the projects, the two goals were inextricably connected in Poe’s mind.(67) What happened in 1845, soon after the furore of “The Raven,” was that he was offered a working partnership in the Broadway Journal at about the same time that he began to negotiate with another book publisher, Wiley & Putnam. If Poe could not utilize the publication of his collected works as a tactic to bring about his vision of an affluent monthly, then he would employ a precarious weekly, the Broadway Journal, to extract as many editions as possible from Wiley & Putnam. Such is the circumstantial evidence of Poe’s “objects” and “designs” of 1845; indeed, the two Wiley & Putnam editions of that year were, in fact, the closest Poe ever came in his lifetime to enjoying a collected works.

Wiley & Putnam agreed to issue a collection of Poe’s tales in one volume almost as soon as Poe’s name appeared on the masthead of the Broadway Journal.(68) The edition was already “in press” by March 16 1845 but there was a delay for some reason; as late as June 26 1845, when Poe offered his share in the Broadway Journal to Evert Duyckinck, the book had still not appeared, and perhaps Poe had begun to fear that it would never appear.(69) At this time, Duyckinck was in a curious position; he had been among Briggs’s inner circle of initial contributors to the Broadway Journal, and he was now both house editor of Wiley & Putnam’s Library of American Books and literary editor of the New York Morning News and Weekly News. Upon receiving Poe’s letter, Duyckinck appears to have moved very quickly; two [page xxviii:] days later, on Saturday, June 28 1845, which was to have been Poe’s last day as a partner of the Broadway Journal, Wiley & Putnam suddenly announced Poe’s Tales as “just published,” and the first review, certainly Duyckinck’s own, appeared in the Morning News.(70) Usually the Saturday Weekly News reprinted the week’s literary material from the Morning News of the preceding week, but the Poe review did not appear in the weekly edition until July 5 1845, one week later, suggesting the possibility of a missed deadline and great haste. In any event, Poe suddenly possessed on June 28 something he had lacked on June 26, namely, a working connection with a book publisher. Indeed, Poe’s first action when he returned to the Broadway Journal on July 12 1845 was to agitate for a second Wiley & Putnam volume.

Poe probably reviewed his own book, but he did not stoop to self-adulation. He simply complained that Duyckinck’s choice of a “mere selection of twelve tales from seventy” displayed “no particular arrangement” and hence failed to give any idea of Poe’s “diversity of invention.”(71) Afterwards, Poe continued to employ the Broadway Journal to provoke additional favorable comment and to maintain his demand for a second volume of tales.(72) Whether or not this sort of literary politicking really mattered cannot be said, but Poe evidently believed very strongly that it did. The Tales enjoyed a successful sale of 1,500 copies; during the summer of 1845, Wiley & Putnam agreed to hazard the publication of a volume of Poe’s poetry and to allow Poe to select it himself.(73) Hence Poe’s decision to go on with the Broadway Journal in July, even though he was ready to retire from the paper in June, seems to have been designed largely to put him in the best possible position to negotiate with Wiley & Putnam.

The proofs of Poe’s next volume, The Raven and Other Poems, were ready about one week before John Bisco’s withdrawal from the Broadway Journal in October, and Poe could not have been unaware of his partner’s discontent with the magazine. Poe read the proofs the evening before his highly controversial appearance at the Boston Lyceum.(74) ) That lecture, in which Poe attempted to pass off “Al Aaraaf” as a juvenile work, has been taken as a [page xxix:] sign of “mental disturbance,” but Poe’s hoax may have been a stunt designed to bring attention to his forthcoming volume of poetry.(75) Wiley & Putnam announced The Raven and Other Poems on November 8 1845; the Broadway Journal reported it in Books Received on November 22.(76) But during the period between October 25 1845, the day after Poe became full owner of the Broadway Journal, and December 13 1845, ten days after Poe disposed of half that ownership to Thomas Lane, he all but gave over the Broadway journal to the airing of the Boston Lyceum hoax, thereby creating fresh interest in himself as a poet and providing invaluable publicity for The Raven and Other Poems.(77) Perhaps the coincidence was accidental — perhaps, too, it was fortuitous again that Poe had launched the “Longfellow War” in March just when the Tales were in press — but it appears most likely that Poe did utilize the Broadway Journal repeatedly as a device to aid and promote the publication of his books. Hence, Poe’s remark of October 26 1845 to Kennedy about the Broadway Journal, “if I can hold it for one month I am quite safe — as you shall see,” apparently reveals Poe’s intention of becoming full owner of the magazine to keep it alive long enough to usher in The Raven and Other Poems.

The encounter with Briggs and the Broadway Journal in 1845 bears a lesson for Poe scholars who have felt the need “to study more closely his policy as editor of four different magazines in three different cities.”(78) Poe’s strategy in 1845 became a career policy for himself rather than an editorial policy for his magazine, but there is no reason to assume that Poe held to an identical principle on the Southern Literary Messenger, Burton’s, and Graham’s. Nevertheless, some common attitudes and beliefs run like a red thread throughout Poe’s career; even before he assumed his first editorship, Poe saw a parallel between the necessity for the unity and totality of effect in literary aesthetics — for which he was later to become well known — and the necessity for similar unity in literary politics:

The history of all Magazines shows plainly that those which have attained celebrity were indebted for it to articles similar in nature — to Berenice. . . . In the ludicrous heightened into the grotesque: the fearful coloured into the horrible; the witty exaggerated into the burlesque: the singular wrought out into the strange and mystical.(79) [page xxx:]

These qualities, needless to say, were also abundantly displayed by Poe in the Broadway Journal. Poe’s career nearly always rotated around the magazines of his time; even the largely fictional autobiographical memorandum of 1841 concludes with two items pertaining to his magazine exploits.(80) Poe created over the years certain legends about himself as a magazinist; perhaps the best known axiom of his invention is that he could work by force of will five-fold or even ten-fold increases in magazine circulation.(81) Poe tried to invoke his old magic in 1845, and when it did not work, he simply forgot the Broadway Journal episode and persisted afterwards in his conviction that a successful monthly still remained “the one great purpose of my literary life.(82) as In the last year of his life, Poe steadfastly believed that the magazinist had to be as inventive in practical action as he was in literary imagination; novelty remained a cardinal principle of both politics and aesthetics: “What the public seek in a Magazine is what they cannot elsewhere procure.”(83)

The Broadway Journal episode might provide grounds to agree with the description of Poe as “a complete product of the publishing world of his time,” a literary figure whose main efforts always went “to master a market.”(84) Yet Poe never either attained or even aspired to the merely commercial success of such friendly contemporaries as N. P. Willis. It was Willis, of course, who gave this memorable piece of advice upon the times when, after 1845, the Poe-Briggs war finally came into the open: “Notoriety is glory in this transition state of our half-bak‘d country.”(85) Indeed, Poe’s faults, if they were faults, as an adventurous entrepreneur were not his alone; to the contrary, they belonged to his age. Yet the glory Poe sought was never wealth alone, despite the dream of wealth which plagued him. The eventual glory for Poe was literary reputation — both for the moment and, if possible, for a span of eternity.

Although Briggs and Lowell came to be shocked by what Poe did with the Broadway Journal, it must be remembered that they began by encouraging him. Briggs gave Poe a relatively free hand in what he wrote for the paper during the first six months, and Lowell, who had some notion of Poe’s dream [page xxxi:] of a “coalition,” spurred him on in an admiring article published in Graham’s in 1845. By a double coincidence, Poe had to go to Briggs’s office in the fall of 1844 to obtain Lowell’s manuscript, which had been sent to him for personal approval; and again, the article itself was finally published in February, 1845, just three weeks before Poe and Briggs became partners on the Broadway Journal. Lowell wrote:

Had Mr. Poe had the control of a magazine of his own, in which to display his critical abilities, he would have been as autocratic, ere this, in America, as Professor Wilson had been in England; and his criticisms, we are sure, would have been far more profound and philosophical than those of the Scotsman. As it is, he has squared out blocks enough to build an enduring pyramid, but he has left them lying carelessly and unclaimed in many different quarries.(86)

What Lowell said of the criticism, Poe knew, was equally if not more true of the tales and poems scattered in the files of so many newspapers and magazines, Consequently, Poe used the Broadway Journal for the final revision of many tales and poems and as part of his strategy for assuring during his lifetime an “enduring pyramid” — the Tales and The Raven and Other Poems issued in 1845 by Wiley & Putnam.


[page xxxii:]

Mr. Ehrlich’s statement of the dilemma of Briggs and the situation of Poe during the year of 1845 is admirably compendious, employing material from varied sources, some of it used for the first time. I have reservations only about a few points. I have seen no evidence that Briggs was the anonymous correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette (see his note 53) nor does the author provide any. In fact, it was Briggs himself who proudly announced the title “Broadway Journal” and lengthily justified it in the “Introductory” of page 1 of the magazine. Surely, Poe would have retorted with his own words in article (c), page 210 (facsimile text and notes of August 9) had this been the case. A more important reservation concerns his basic premise about Poe’s reasons for seizing increasing control of the BJ during the second half of the year, which he calls “Poe’s strategy.” Poe scarcely promoted his own tales through the brief, low-keyed review that he himself wrote (see note to 167) and waited until very late to cite favorable reviews of the tales or poems (pp. 283, 299; 337 of facsimile text). Poe’s sentence “if I can hold it for one month I am quite safe” (Ehrlich, 88) can scarcely relate to the issuance of his book of poems (Ehrlich, 91), which was imminent. Nor can we totally ignore Poe’s editorial statement in the December 20 issue (No. 24, p. 347 article d); “A New Volume of the Broadway Journal, will commence on Saturday, the tenth of January next.” A well-projected “strategy” could not lead two weeks later to the “Valedictory” (p. 360) concerning “objects . . . fulfilled.” The conduct of Poe’s life is better explained by “whim — impulse — passion” as he earlier wrote to Lowell (Ostrom, Letters, p. 257). There is also a tendency toward self-destruction rather than self-aggrandizement operating in many phases of Poe’s public conduct of 1845 — a thesis that has been excellently presented by Sidney P. Moss (see Biblio.).


[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xii:]

1.  Poe to Philip P. Cooke, Sept 21 1839, The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe ed John Ward Ostrom (Cambridge, Mass 1948) 119; cited hereafter as Letters.

2.  Broadway Journal n (Jan 3 1846) 407; cited hereafter as BJ. One biographer comments on the Valedictory: “What other objects Poe achieved, except the republication of much that he had previously written in prose and verse, it is hard to see (George E. Woodberry, The Life of Edgar Allan Poe 2 vols Boston 1909 n 163).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xiii:]

3.  George E. Woodberry Edgar Allan Poe (Boston 1885) 226-239; reprinted in Woodberry (1909) n 123-147, The Briggs-Woodberry version is the basis for the entry on the Broadway Journal in Frank Luther Mott A History of American Magazines, 1741-1850 (New York 1930) 757-762.

4.  Perry Miller The Raven and the Whale (New York 1956) 156-157, 174-182; Sidney P. Moss Poe’s Literary Battles (Durham, N. C.1963) 241-244,

5.  Jay B. Hubbell “Poe” in Eight American Authors: A Review of Research and Criticism ed Floyd Stovall (New York 1956) 1-2.

6.  Poe to John P. Kennedy, Oct 261845, Letters 299.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page xiii, running to the bottom of page xiv:]

7.  Mary E. Phillips Edgar Allan Poe — The Man, 2 vols (New York 1926) n 1065; Hervey Allen Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe 2 vols (New York 1926) n 638-639; Moss [page xiv:] 241. To one anonymous reviewer, Briggs belonged with such enemies of Poe as Lewis Gaylord Clark and Thomas Dunn English: “What a dreary, spiteful crew Poe had to contend with: Clark and English and Briggs . . . characters in search of a Dunciad, all]” (Times [London] Literary Supplement, Jan 23 1964, p 66).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xiv:]

8.  Arthur Hobson Quinn Edgar Allan Poe (New York 1941) 463, 751-753 (Henry C. Watson was called “the best musical critic in the country”; Briggs to Mrs Martha W. Jenks, March 4 1845, Miscellaneous Collections, Manuscript Division, The New York Public Library), Acknowledgment is made to the Archives of American Art; The New York Public Library; University of Texas Library; and Harvard College Library for permission to use material quoted here and below.

9.  Quinn 495.

10.  Miller, p 356 and passim; see also my “Charles Frederick Briggs and Lowell’s Fable for CriticsModern Language Quarterly XXVIII (Sept 1967) 329-341.

11.  Woodberry (1909) n 146.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xv:]

12.  Evert A. Duyckinck to William A. Jones, Oct 1 1843, Duyckinck Collection, Manuscript Division, The New York Public Library.

13.  Instead of salary, members would be “paid out of the profits”; Briggs to James Russell Lowell, March 10 1844 and April 11 1844, William Page Papers, Archives of American Art, Detroit, Mich, cited hereafter as A.A.A.

14.  Briggs to Lowell, July 9 1844, A.A.A.; Mott 757, 606n.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page xv, running to the bottom of page xvi:]

15.  Contract memorandum of Charles F. Briggs and John Bisco to publish the Broadway Journal, Dec 23 1844, the University of Texas Library, Austin. This important document, which casts much light on the subsequent contracts of 1845 (see Quinn 751-753), is here published for the first time:

Memorandum of a contract entered into between Charles F. Brigs and John Bisco for publishing a weekly paper, in the city of New York, entitled, the Broadway Journal, on conditions, as follows.

The proprietorship of said paper shall be shared equally between the said Charles F. Briggs and John Bisco. [page xvi:] The said Charles F. Briggs shall have the control of the editorial department, shall receive and attend to all communications relating to the same, shall solicit contributions, and perform all other duties that may be required of him as editor of said paper.

The said John Bisco shall have charge of the publishing department, shall make all purchases and contracts, collect advertisements, and receive all monies, and pay all bills, due on account of said publication. He shall keep a full and correct account of transactions connected with his department, in books at all times open to the said Briggs’ inspection, and perform all other duties that may be necessary in the publication of said paper.

At the end of every four weeks, he shall make an equal division of all profits from said publication then in his possession.

The said C. F. Briggs shall be entitled to all books, engravings, or other property, that may be sent to the office for review or notice in said paper.

In order that said paper may be conducted as economically as possible, all purchases shall be made with cash, and either party neglecting to furnish his share of funds, for more than three days, after being notified of the actual need of the same, shall forfeit five (5) per cent, on the amount require for the benefit of the concern.

Neither party shall dispose of his interest in the publication without the consent of the other.



New York December 23 1844

16.  Poe to Frederick W. Thomas, Feb 3 1842, Letters 192; see also Poe to Thomas, May 25 1842, Letters 197.

17.  Poe to Lowell, March 30 1844, Letters 247.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xvii:]

18.  Poe to Lowell, Oct 28 1844, Letters 265-266.

19.  Lowell to Poe, Dec 12 1844, Woodberry (1909) n 107.

20.  Briggs to Lowell, Jan 6 1845, and Jan 27 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 123-124.

21.  Briggs to Lowell, Jan 6 1845, and Jan 17 1845, A.A.A.

22.  Briggs to Duyckinck, Dec 27 1844, Duyckinck Collection. Briggs had previously asked Duyckinck to become a regular contributor and to write for the initial issue, and although Duyckinck wrote the article on William A. Jones in the second number, he became cool to Brigs by the spring of 1845 (Briggs to Duyckinck, Dec 17 1844 and March 26 1845, Duyckinck Collection 15339 and 15341).

23.  Letters 521 n 238.

24.  See Knickerbocker XXV (Feb 1845) 184; Democratic Review XIV (Jan 1845) 102; Weekly News Jan 11 1845; Weekly Mirror I (Jan 11 1845) 213; Morning News Feb 1 1845; Daily Tribune May 13 1845.

25.  Briggs to Lowell, Jan 27 1845, A.A.A.; BJ I (Feb 8 1845) 95.

26.  Briggs wrote to Lowell on Feb 1 1845: “I suppose the public would like a Boz or a Steme to write six pennies worth of fine things for them weekly. . . . If Willis had half an ounce of honesty be were just the man to please the public”; A.A.A.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xviii: ]

27.  Briggs to Lowell, Feb 1 1845, A.A.A.

28.  Briggs wrote to Lowell on March 8 1845: “Poe has left the ‘Mirror.’ Willis was too Willisy for him’ (Woodberry 1909 11126).

29.  Briggs to Lowell, March 19 1845, A.A.A.

30.  Quinn 751. The signatures of Poe and John Bisco on this contract have sometimes been taken to mean that either or both had some authority which Briggs lacked (Quinn 495), but it must be remembered that John Bisco was here acting with Briggs’s consent, according to their original contract of Dec 23 1844, to “make all purchases and contracts . . . and pay all bills” (see note15).

31.  Briggs to Lowell, March 19 1845, A.A.A.

32.  Briggs to Lowell, March 19 1845, A.A.A.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xix:]

33.  Briggs to Lowell, March 19 1845; see also Woodberry (1909) n 127-128.

34.  Poe to Laughton Osborn, Aug 15 1845, Letters 293.

35.  Poe to Frederick W. Thomas, May 4 1845, Letters 286. Poe had been so pressed for income in March that he committed himself to do a monthly column for the Southern Literary Messenger and to handle, through Bisco, the New York subscriptions for that magazine, for which purpose he received $18, but neither the articles nor the cash were ever delivered (Southern Literary Messenger XI April 1845 256; Benjamin Blake Minor, The Southern Literary Messenger, 1834-1860, New York 1950,139-140; J. H. Whitty, The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Boston 1911 xlix-l; Letters 521 n 238.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xx:]

36.  Poe to Duyckinck, June 26 1845, Letters 290; for the dating of this letter, see Letters 510-511 n 201.

37.  Briggs to Lowell, Aug 1 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 144.

38.  The subsequent changes in the printers of the Broadway Journal graphically depict the instability of the magazine after June 1845: J. R. Winser, June 7 1845 to June 28 1845; Douglas again, July 12 1845 and July 19 1845; unknown, July 26 1845 to Oct 25 1845; Office of the Farmer & Mechanic, Nov 1 1845 to Dec 6 1845; and unknown, Dec 13 1845 to Jan 3 1846.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxi:]

39.  Briggs to Lowell, June 27 1845, A.A.A.; Charles Babbage was the inventor of an early calculating machine; the final six sentences of the passage are omitted in Woodberry (1909) n 141.

40.  Briggs to Lowell, July 16 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 141-142. Homans was probably J. Smith Homans, general publisher and book dealer, who placed advertisements in the paper during this period; see BJ I (June 14, 21, and 28 1845) 382, 398, 415,

41.  Briggs to Lowell, July 16 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 142.

42.  Duyckinck to Lowell, July 8 1845, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxii:]

43.  Morning News, July 3 1845.

44.  Briggs to Lowell, July 18 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 142.

45.  Briggs to Lowell, Aug 1 1845, Woodberry (1909) a 144; Briggs had previously warned John Bisco of such a possibility: “I had also told Bisco that I would have nothing more to do with him after the close of the first volume, and that I would not carry it on unless I could find a publisher to my mind” (n 144).

46.  Briggs to Lowell, July 18 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 142.

47.  C. F. Hoffman to Rufus W. Griswold, July 11 1845, Homer F. Barnes Charles Fenno Hoffman (New York 1930) 203.

48.  Briggs to Lowell, Aug 1 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 144; it must be remembered that the Broadway Journal was not Briggs’s only magazine connection during 1845, for he wrote for others and was even approached to commence a new weekly, which he considered naming The Balance (Briggs to Lowell, Sept 29 1845, Houghton Library).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxiii:]

49.  Quinn 751-752.

50.  Evert A. Duyckinck to George L. Duyckinck, dated Friday and postmarked July 19 [July 18 1845], Duyckinck Collection.

51.  BJ II (July 12 1845) 1.

52.  Briggs to Lowell, Aug 1 1845, Woodberry (1909) n 144. When Duyckinck reported the resumption of the Broadway Journal, he gave both parties their due; he acknowledged that Briggs “clear, acute, caustic style was constantly exhibiting various absurdities of social life, clearing away false pretension, and delighting the reader by the humor which enlivened a wide observation and experience; while admitting that Poe’s “subtle powers of analysis have been displayed in the work from the appearance of the first number” (Morning News July 24 1845).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxiv:]

53.  Daily Cincinnati Gazette July 30 1845.

54.  BJ II (Aug 91845)79.

55.  BJ II (Aug 16 and 30 1845) 88, 126.

56.  Poe to Neilson Poe, Aug 8 1845, Letters 292. Briggs confirmed Poe’s interest in a new magazine: “The last conversation I had with Poe he used all his power of eloquence in persuading me to join him in the joint editorship of the ’Stylus.‘” (Briggs to Lowell, Oct 13 1845, Woodberry 1909 n 147).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxv:]

57.  Lowell to Briggs, Aug 8 1845, Houghton Library. Much material favorable to Mathews and “Young America appeared in the Broadway Journal under Poe; see, for example, BJ II (Aug 2 1845, Sept 27 1845, Oct 18 1845, Nov 15 1845, and Nov 29 1845) 60-61, 177-178, 227, 283-284, 325.

58.  Poe to Thomas H. Chivers, Aug 11 1845, Letters 292-293.

59.   Mott 761-762; Quinn 752-753; Poe to Thomas H, Chivers, Nov 15 1845, Letters 302.

60.  Letters 298-305. Evidently Poe’s appeal to Briggs himself in October (see note 56) is yet one more indication of his economic difficulties.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxvi:]

61.  Poe to John P. Kennedy, Oct 26 1845, Letters 299; Kennedy relied: “Good wishes are pretty nearly all the capital I have for such speculations” (Letters 300).

62.  Woodberry (1909) n 427; Kenneth Rede, “Poe Notes from an Investigator’s Notebook” American Literature V (March 1933) 53-54.

63.  Francis P. Dedmond “The War of the Literati: Documents of the Final Phase” Notes and Queries CXCVIII (July 1953) 303-308.

64.  It is possible that some of the printers who succeeded John Douglas also became partners of the paper in the same way that Douglas himself did at first.

65.  Poe to Sarah J. Hale, Jan 16 1846, Letters 312.

66.  Briggs reported that meeting in writing to Lowell on Dec 17 1844: “Mr Poe called upon me with yr. note” (A.A.A.).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxvii:]

67.  Poe to George Anthon, before Nov 2 1844, Letters, p 270-271. The Harpers were said to have rejected Poe’s proposal, he was told, because of “complaints against you, grounded on certain movements of yours, when they acted as your publishers some years ago” in the issue of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838) (Anthon to Poe, Nov 2 1844, The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe ed James A. Harrison 17 vols, New York 1902 XVII 193). At the time of Poe’s appeal to Anthon, four years had passed since his last important volume of fiction, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840), and three years had passed since Lea & Blanchard had rejected Poe s proposal of Aug 13 1841, that they follow it with a second volume (Letters 178 and 178n; Quinn 278-279, 336-340, 397-399).

68.  Briggs to Lowell, March 8 1845, Woodberry (1909) u 126.

69.  Briggs to Lowell, March 16 1845, A.A.A.; Briggs repeated the report in the Daily Cincinnati Gazette, April 2 1845.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxviii:]

70.  BJ I (June 28 1845) 415; Morning News June 28 1845; however, the Broadway Journal, which published on Saturday, probably could accept material as late as Friday, except when that day was a holiday, as it was on July 4 1845 (Briggs to Duyckinck, Tuesday [July 1 18451 Duyckinck Collection).

71.  BJ II (July 12 1845) 10.

72.  See, for example, BJ II (Oct 41845)200.

73.  Poe to Duyckinck, Sept 10 1845 and Nov 13 1845, Letters 297, 301.

74.  BJ II (Dec 13 1845) 358.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page xxix:]

75.  Quinn 487.

76.  BJ II (Nov 8 and 22), 280, 307.

77.  See, for example, BJ II (Oct 25 1845, Nov 1 1845, Nov 22 1845, and Dec 13 1845), 248, 261-263, 309-311, 357-358.

78.  Hubbell Eight American Authors 45.

79.  Poe to Thomas W. White, April 30 1835, Letters 57-58.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page xxx:]

80.  Works ed Harrison I 344-346.

81.  Poe to Frederick W. Thomas, Sept 1 1841 and Feb 3 1842; Poe to Thomas H. Chivers, Sept 27 1842; Poe to Charles Anthon, before Nov 2 1844; Poe to Edward H. N. Patterson, April 30 1849; Letters 180, 192, 215, 269-270, 440.

82.  Poe to Philip P. Cooke, Aug 9 1846, Letters 330.

83.  Poe to Edward H. N. Patterson, April 30 1849, Letters 439.

84.  Howard Mumford Jones Ideas in America (quoted in Eight American Authors 24-25).

85.  Willis to Poe, n d [1846-1847?] Harrison XVII 206.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page xxxi:]

86.  After 1845, of course, Lowell no longer had such high expectations from Poe, and the passage was dropped when the article was reprinted in 1850; the original version from Graham’s (Feb 1845) and the reprint are conflated in The Shock of Recognition ed, Edmund Wilson (New York 1943) 7.




This article was reprinted as a photographic facsimile from the Bulletin of the New York Public Library, vol. 73 (February 1969):74-93. Although new page numbers were added for this reprint, the original page numbers are also present, with page xii corresponding to page 74, etc. The additional note, commenting on the essay in general, was written by Burton R. Pollin.


[S:0 - BRP4J, 1986] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (Brigg's Dilemma and Poe's Strategy, by H. Erhlich)