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About this Item

Title: The monthly Magazines

Creator: Walt Whitman [unsigned in original]

Date: July 28, 1846

Whitman Archive ID: per.00607

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle 28 July 1846: [2]. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of the original issue. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the journalism, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This piece is unsigned. However, Whitman was the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle when this editorial was written, and it was first attributed to Whitman by Cleveland Rodgers and John Black in Walt Whitman, The Gathering of the Forces: Editorials, Essays, Literary and Dramatic Reviews and Other Material Written by Walt Whitman as Editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1846 and 1847 (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1920). The piece was also included by Herbert Bergman in Walt Whitman, The Journalism. Volume I: 1834–1846 (New York: Peter Lang, 1998). The Whitman Archive editors agree that the style and content of the piece are consistent with other known Whitman writings of this period.

Contributors to digital file: Ruth L. Bohan, Taylor Sloan, and Kevin McMullen

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The monthly Magazines.

Graham, of N.Y.,1 and Mr. Post,2 have sent us the monthlies, for August. Graham's,3 the Lady's Book4 and the Columbian5 are all adorned and embellished, after the taste of their proprietors.

The "Columbian" has three pictures, including "Death of Major Ringgold," and contributions by Fanny Forrester, Augusta Browne, Mrs. Sigourney, Mrs. Butler, Tuckerman, Mrs. Smith, West and Inman.6

"Graham" has three pictures, and among them a portrait of Alfred B. Street. Neal of the "Charcoal Sketches," Tuckerman, Hosmer, Richard Henry Wilde, Mrs. Ann S. Stephens, and E. P. Whipple are the leading writers to the number.7

"The Lady's Book" has three engravings. The "Fashion Plate" is quite charming. Edgar A. Poe has No. IV of his "New York Literati" in this number. Mrs. S. C. Hall has contributed an excellent story and the "Sketches Abroad," by an American lady, are exceedingly entertaining.8

All the monthlies hold their own well in this scorching time. All may be read with pleasure, and some portiona of all with profit.


1. George Rex Graham (1813–1894), founder and publisher of Graham's Magazine. Graham was from Philadelphia, not New York. [back]

2. Israel Post (dates unknown), publisher of The Columbian Magazine. [back]

3. Graham's Magazine, published in Philadelphia from 1841–1858, pursued a focus on short stories, critical reviews, and fashion. Edgar Allan Poe served as the first editor, followed by his great rival, Rufus Wilmot Griswold. [back]

4. Godey's Magazine and Lady's Book, alternatively known as Godey's Lady's Book, was published in Philadelphia by Louis A. Godey from 1830–1878. It was one of the most popular and influential journals of its day, appealing primarily to women. Under its long–time editor, Sarah Josepha Hale (1788–1879), the magazine published original works of poetry, short stories and essays. Each issue commenced with a fashion plate in color and included multiple engravings. [back]

5. The Columbian Magazine commenced publication in New York in 1844 with a focus on literature, music and fashion. Each issue also included steel and mezzotint engravings. [back]

6. Major Samuel Ringgold (1796–1846), a West Point graduate killed in the Mexican–American war, became a popular subject for artists. The image published in The Columbian Magazine, entitled "The Fall of Major Ringgold at the Battle of Palo Alto," was executed by New York artist Tompkins Matteson and engraved by H. S. Sadd. The issue also included E. M. Ward's engraving, Legend of Chelsea Hospital, and an image of French fashions. Fanny Forrester was the pen name of poet Emily Chubbuck Judson (1817–1854). Augusta Browne (1820–1882) was a prolific American composer and author. Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791–1865), Caroline Hyde Butler Laing (1804–1892) and Elizabeth Oakes Smith (1808–1893) were popular writers. Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813–1871) was a poet, essayist and critic who in 1867 would publish a book about his acquaintances in the art world: Book of the Artists: American Artist Life. Writers Robert A. West and John Inman co–edited The Columbian Magazine. [back]

7. The full–page engraved portrait of Alfred B. Street (1811–1881), a writer who would shortly be appointed the New York State Librarian, accompanied an essay critiquing his poems of nature. Also included was a portrait of portraitist and American history painter Benjamin West (1738–1832) and a representation of a group of Ponca Indians in a landscape. Joseph C. Neal (1807–1847), humorist and author of the Charcoal Sketches, contributed the illustrated short story, "The Trials of Timothy Tantrum." The volume also included poems by Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813–1871), William Howe Cuyler Hosmer (1814–1877) and Richard Henry Wilde (1789–1847), and a work of fiction by Ann S. Stephens (1810–1886). Nothing was found by essayist and critic, Edwin Percy Whipple (1819–1886). [back]

8. Among the engravings was a standing portrait of Philadelphia school teacher and historian, John Frost, L.L.D. (1800–1859) and John Sartain's (1808–1897) "View of the Delaware Opposite Philadelphia." The third image was a plate of the latest in women's fashion produced in full color. Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) contributed the fourth in his series, "The Literati of New York City," focusing on the work of Margaret Fuller, Prosper M. Wetmore and others. Mrs. S. C. Hall of London (dates unknown) was represented by the final installment of her essay, "Gossip Stings." The female author of "Sketches Abroad" has not been identified. The journal also initiated the series "Our Artists" with an essay devoted to the work of painter Daniel Huntington (1816–1906). [back]


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