Text: James F. Otis (?), “[Review of the Southern Literary Messenger for December 1835,” National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), vol. XXXVI, no. 5245, December 4, 1835, p. 1, col 3


[page 1, column 3, continued:]

SOUTHERN LITERARY MESSENGER. — This journal has, very unexpectedly, left its Northern competitors behind in the race for fame, and assumed all at once a pre-eminent rank among American periodicals. We have just received the first number of the second volume, and find it superior in every respect, to any of the preceding ones. It contains 68 pages of closely printed matter, in double columns. Besides the 68 pages of text, it has a double cover of 8 pages, containing matters relating to its own peculiar interests — thus avoiding the necessity of intruding such subjects in the text. Its paper is excellent, its type new, and its entire mechanical execution superior to that of any Magazine with which we are acquainted. The South has thus far every reason to be proud of the extraordinary success which has attended the Messenger.

The first article in the present number is Chapter IX. of the Tripolitan Sketches, by Mr. R. GREENHOW, of this city, a series of papers which, of themselves, would have been sufficient to stamp the Messenger with a character of do ordinary kind. The Extracts from My Mexican Journal are excellent papers, on a subject of untiring interest. The Address of LUCIAN MINOR, on Education, is likely to do much good, by attracting the attention of Virginians to the important subject it discusses — the organization of District Schools. The Wissahiccon is a wishy-washy affair, and deserves no praise whatever. Lionel Granby, Chapter VI., is lull of fine thought, shrewdness, and originality. The Specimens of Love Letters are curious and entertaining — but the old English Magazines are full of similar articles, and the Messenger should have nothing to do with them. The M. S. found in a Bottle is from the pen of EDGAR A. POE. The Critical Notices occupy more than one half of the number. and form the fullest Review in the country — embracing criticisms, at length, of nearly every work lately published in America, besides a great number of English publications. A compendious digest of the principal reviews, English and American, is included. The tone of the criticisms differs widely from puffery, and is perfectly independent.

The Poetry is, for the most part, excellent. Scenes from Politian, an unpublished Drama, by EDGAR A. POE, occupy about three pages. A little piece signed Eliza is very good; also A Sketch, by ALEX. LACEY BEARD, Marcelia, Ruins, A Sonnet to an infant dying, Lines to Mira, and a Translation. The covers contain compliments of the highest order paid the Messenger by many of the first papers in the Union. Among them we may mention the New York Courier and Esquire, the Portland Advertiser, the Georgetown Metropolitan, the New England Galaxy, (all of which place the Messenger decidedly at the head of American Magazines,) Norfolk Herald, Richmond Compiler, Baltimore Patriot, Augusta Chronicle, and a host of others. We are truly glad to see these flattering testimonials in behalf of Southern literature. We wish the Messenger every possible success.



Poe quotes the sentence about Puffery in the SLM for January 1836.

He quotes almost the entire review in the long supplement of the SLM for January 1836.


[S:0 - NI, 1835] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Review of SLM for December 1835 (J. F. Otis (?), 1835)