Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “[[Notice of the Pioneer]],” Saturday Museum (Philadelphia), vol. I, no. ?, January ?, 1843


In these days of self-bepuffed and glorified magazines, it is positively refreshing to look upon a publication that comes to us modestly, promising nothing, but wearing on its face the stamp of intrinsic merit. We hail the PIONEER as the first in the great work of reform. But how could it be otherwise, edited as it is by a man whose genius and originality is at once the praise and wonder of his countrymen. We mean JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

The Pioneer is large, printed on fair paper with new type, and contains 48 pages of reading matter, and is embellished with two chaste and elegant engravings — “Circe going to meet Ulysses” and “Two hundred years ago.” The last is indeed a gem.

The contributors are J. Russell Lowell, (“a man of men!”), Edgar Allan Poe, John Neal, who contributes an excellent article on Aaron Burr, with others whose names are known and respected by all true lovers of sound literature. The Reviews are good and just, with the sole exception of one, on Matthews’ “Puffer Hopkins,” a qualified puff when it should have been an unqualified condemnation: “Puffer Hopkins” being one of the most trashy novels that ever emanated from an American press (notice reprinted on inside back cover of February Pioneer).

We bid Mr. Lowell, “God speed in the good cause,” and cordially recommend the PIONEER to every sensible reader.



Since no copy of the Saturday Museum from January 1843 has been found, the notice presented here is taken from the reprint that appeared inside the back cover of the Pioneer for February 1843. Two very slight errors in the printing in the Pioneer, one the spelling of Lowell's middle name and the other a necessary comma, have been incorporated into the preset text editorially as it is not clear that they appeared in the original printing.

This review was first attributed to Poe “without hesitation” by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, “A Review of Lowell's Magazine,” Notes and Queries, CLXXVIII, June 29, 1940, pp. 457-458. Mabbott refers to Poe's March 27, 1843 letter to J. R. Lowell: “I have looked upon your magazine, from its outset, as the best in America, and have lost no opportunity of expressing the opinion. Herewith I send a paper, The Phil. Sat. Museum, in which I have said a few words on the topic. I am not editing this paper ... but have the privilege of inserting what I please editorially.” Mabbott does not, however, feel that “this can refer to the brief review ... but to a later and lost article.” In reprinting the text, Mabbott's article corrects the spelling of Lowell's middle name, without editorial comment, and itself misspells Poe's middle name as “Allen” rather than “Allan.” The Pioneer spells Poe's middle name correctly.


[S:0 - PNR, 1843] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Misc - Notice of the Pioneer]