I was just doing some wrap-up archiving, and while poking around, noticed an interesting parallel. I have recently presented my conclusion, along with some of the relevant evidence, that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the real author behind 95% of the star-signed reviews and essays frequently appearing in the 1844-46 New York "Tribune," as opposed to Margaret Fuller, as historians believe.
Some years ago, what appears to be the only surviving bound copy of Mathew's own short-lived newspaper, the Salisbury "Monitor," surfaced on Ebay (I missed it), and then sold for over $7,000 at Bonham's Auction House. You can find the listing, still, online. Although I was never able to locate the buyer so as to negotiate copies, I was able to find a few of the articles reprinted in William Lloyd Garrison's paper, the "Liberator."
From the years 1832, when Mathew was publishing in the New York "Constellation," until 1845, when he was writing these star-signed reviews (he had used the same pseudonym in another publication for reviews in 1832), he gradually moved from advocating the colonization solution to slavery,* to being an out-and-out abolitionist. However, in 1845, he still saw Garrison as immoderate in tone. Four years later however, if I am not mistaken, he would be working as an undercover liaison for Garrison.
The brief article from the "Monitor" that I happened to look at, was picked up by the "Liberator" in the March 23, 1838 edition. In style, it dovetails precisely with the star-signed reviews. There are at least three indicators of Mathew's authorship--but then, I don't need to prove this one, because we know he was the editor of the "Monitor." The first is that he uses the device of being "pleasantly surprised"; the second is that he praises the speaker for being "original"; and the third is that the speaker was balanced. I could provide multiple examples of the first two themes in various of Mathew's other published works (including the "Tribune"); but what caught my eye, is the third, because there is a very clear and relevant example which I remembered seeing in the "Tribune" reviews. In particular, in the June 10, 1845 edition, Mathew reviews an autobiography of Frederick Douglass, which bears introductions by Garrison and Wendell Phillips. In his comparison of these two men, we see a direct reflection of the review published seven years earlier in the Monitor.
Before I present these two clippings for comparison, keep in mind that no piece of evidence, viewed in isolation by a diehard skeptic, is ever proof to him or her. This kind of skeptic always makes sure to consider the evidence piecemeal, on the principle of "divide and conquer." Having fairly or unfairly dismissed each piece of evidence as a separate unit, he then claims to have debunked the entire presentation, implying that he has examined the whole. He has not. Nor will he ever, in a genuine and proven case like this. So I do not present this as my sole piece of evidence that the author was not Margaret Fuller, but instead was Mathew Franklin Whittier. I have better evidence for that--and if I were to put all of it together, it would comprise a book in itself, with example after example, plus two or three "smoking guns." Precisely what my two books do for my reincarnation case.
So here are two comparison pieces. The first, we know was Mathew's work, written for his own newspaper. The second, historians erroneously assume was Margaret Fuller.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*Because, as a Quaker, he feared that demanding abolition would backfire, resulting in bloodshed and even greater suppression. Later, probably being influenced by the speakers he saw at the anti-slavery conventions he attended, he realized that most of the colonization advocates were using it as an excuse, and didn't intend to end slavery. By 1837, he and his wife Abby were co-writing forceful letters to the editor against the colonization position, in defense of the abolitionists. Mathew's elder brother, John Greenleaf Whittier, had been recruited by Garrison for the cause of abolition some years earlier.
Music opening this page: "Freedom," sung by Richie Havens at Woodstock