Text: David K. Jackson, “Preface,” Poe and The Southern Literary Messenger (1934), pp. xi-xiii (This material is protected by copyright)


[page xi:]


This study of Poe, the magazinist, is concerned primarily with his editorship of The Southern Literary Messenger, the first really important periodical with which he was connected during his journalistic career. The first number of the Messenger, a monthly literary journal founded by the Richmond printer Thomas W. White, was issued in August, 1834, and in spite of many handicaps the magazine managed to survive until June, 1864. An examination of the numbers of the journal issued before Poe became editor throws light on his editorial policies, as well as on those of his predecessors, James Ewell Heath and Edward Vernon Sparhawk. In 1835 Poe, through the friendship of John Pendleton Kennedy, became a contributor to the Messenger; in August of the same year, an assistant to White; and in December, editor. On January 3, 1837, Poe resigned his position. In later years he was again connected with the Messenger, but only as a contributor.

No attempt has been made here to establish the authorship of all of Poe’s contributions to the magazine, for such a problem, I feel, involves too many obstacles and uncertainties for the scope of this work. A consideration of the Messenger text of Poe’s writings has also been omitted for obvious reasons.

To Professor Jay B. Hubbell of Duke University, who suggested the present study to me and who has given valuable assistance, I am especially grateful. I am also very much indebted to Mr. J. H. Whitty of [page xii:] Richmond for valuable information, for his permission to use the eight letters of T. W. ‘White to Lucian Minor, printed in part in his The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, and for his kindly interest in the work. I am greatly obliged to Mr. Oliver R. Barrett of Chicago, Ill., for the use of letters of T. W. White to Lucian Minor in his collection; to Professor James Southall Wilson of the University of Virginia and Mr. George P. Coleman of Richmond and of Williamsburg for the use of letters in the former’s article, “Unpublished Letters of Edgar Allan Poe,” in The Century Magazine for March, 1924, from Mr. Coleman’s collection and for other letters, hitherto unpublished, in Mr. Coleman’s possession; to the Trustees of the Pierpont Morgan Library of New York City, through Miss Dorothy Tyng, for permission to publish the eight manuscript letters of T. W. White to Lucian Minor in their collection; to Professor Napier Wilt of the University of Chicago for permission to use material in his article, “Poe’s Attitude Toward His Tales: A New Document,” published in Modern Philology for August, 1927; to Miss Mary D. Gordon of Staunton, Virginia, for permission to reprint Poe’s letter to John C. McCabe in the late Armistead C. Gordon’s Memories and Memorials of William Gordon McCabe; to Mr. Louis H. Dielman, Executive Secretary and Librarian of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore, for Poe’s critical notices of the Messenger, which I plan to publish in a separate article; and to Mr. Aubrey H. Starke and Professor Lewis Chase, who are preparing for publication an [page xiii:] edition of Richard Henry Wilde’s collected poems with a memoir, for much helpful assistance. I wish also to express my thanks to Professor Clarence Gohdes of Duke University, who read parts of the manuscript, for several suggestions.

D. K. J.

Duke University,

Durham, North Carolina,

June, 1931.







[S:0 - PSM, 1934] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - Poe and The Southern Literary Messenger (D. K. Jackson) (Preface)