Text: Arthur Hobson Quinn, “Appendix 09,” Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography (1941), pp. 751-753


[page 751:]

IX. Contracts for the Broadway Journal

Memorandum of an agreement entered into between John Bisco and Edgar A. Poe Feby 21st 1845 —

Edgar A. Poe agrees to assist C. F. Briggs in the editorship of the “Broadway Journal” published by John Bisco, to allow his name to be published as one of the Editors of said paper, to furnish each and every week original matter to the amount of, at least, one page of said paper, and to give his faithful superintendence to the general conduct of the same —

John Bisco agrees to pay Edgar A. Poe as compensation for his services — one-third of the profits arising from the said “Broadway Journal” and to allow him to inspect the Books of the same whenever he may wish to do so to ascertain said profits, provided that said Books be inspected in the publishing office — The said Bisco also agrees to make a settlement with the said Poe as often as every four weeks —

This agreement shall bind the parties for the space of one year from date — after which should they wish to continue their relations, new arrangements shall be made — the said Poe having the privelege [sic] to retain the same terms — but should the said Poe break the agreement before the end of one year by neglecting any of the duties of assistant editor of said paper then he shall forfeit all claim to any part of the profits of said paper —



Ferg. Robinson
Edward N. Mead(1)

Memorandum of an Agreement between John Bisco and Edgar A. Poe, July 14th, 1845.

John Bisco is to publish at New-York, on Saturday of each week, regularly, in good style, a quarto newspaper under the title of “The [page 752:] Broadway Journal,” uniform with the number of the 12th inst., at his sole cost and charge; to pay the expenses of the said publication, and to have therefor[[e]] one half of the nett [sic] profits of said publication.

Edgar A. Poe is to be the sole editor of the said “Broadway Journal,” furnishing the matter therefore, from week to week, uninterfered with by any party whatever, and to receive, for said editorial conduct, one half of the entire profits over and above all the reasonable costs and charges of said publication; to be at liberty in himself, or by a person deputed by him, to inspect at all times the books and accounts of said Journal, provided that he inspects them or causes them to be inspected, in the office of the said Journal; the said books to be kept by the said Bisco. And the said Poe is to receive from the said Bisco, on the first day of each month, a monthly account of the said Journal, and be then paid his share of the profits thereof. This contract is to run for one year, and is to be renewable by Mr. Poe, indefinitely, from year to year, so long as he is satisfied with said undertaking; his interest in said paper being at all times an absolute lien and charge thereon.



Cornelius Mathews(2)

Memorandum of an agreement entered into between John Bisco and Edgar A. Poe this 24th day of October 1845.

John Bisco agrees to dispose of his entire right and title to the weekly paper entitled the “Broadway Journal” to Edgar A. Poe on the following terms to wit.

The said paper to be transfered free from all encumbrances except such as enumerated — and deliver ten complete sets of the same to the said Poe — from the commencement in January last to the present time the said Bisco to have the right to settle with the following named agents up to the present date the Journals unsold in their possession being the property of the said Bisco — Colon & Adriance Phila. Geo. Jones Albany R. G. H. Huntington Hartford.

Edgar A. Poe agrees to pay the said Bisco Fifty Dollars in cash on Signing agreement, to give the said Bisco his note at three months for the full amount of debts due the paper up to date as ascertained by a [page 753:] bill made out by the said Bisco — the note not to be subject to any contingencies as to collecting said accounts — to deliver to the address of the said Bisco ten copies of the Said paper each and every week from date to the close of the third volume to serve all subscribers who have paid in advance for the paper and fulfil all contracts with all advertisers who have paid in advance for advertising without charge to the said Bisco; also to bear the expenses of the 16th No. of Vol. 2.


In presence of
  Samuel Fleet(3)


[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 751:]

(1)  Original Autograph Ms. Contract, apparently in Bisco's handwriting, W. H. Koester Collection.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 752:]

(2)  Original Autograph Ms. in Poe's handwriting, Berg Collection, New York Public Library.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 753:]

(3)  Ms. in unknown hand, in William H. Koester Collection.



In the original, the section title is given in all capitals. For the sake of conformity, it has been rendered here in upper and lower case.


[S:1 - EAP:ACB, 1941] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. P.: A Critical Biography (A. H. Quinn) (Appendix 09)