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1/13/19
I haven't made a second entry in the same day in awhile, but it won't matter as these are primarily for the future, and as dated markers. I just keyed in the third piece from the Portland (Maine) "Transcript" which I believe was Mathew Franklin Whittier's work. However, this one has a bit of a convoluted history, so I have to go into that, briefly, first.

I found the unsigned letters which I believe were written by Mathew to his personal friend, Charles Ilsley, the editor of the "Transcript," in late 1844 and early 1845. I have gone over all this, before. But I also found an unsigned excerpt taken directly from the paper that Mathew has recently begun freelancing for, the New York "Tribune." It is found in the Dec. 28, 1844 edition of Ilsley's paper, the "Transcript"; but searching on excerpts from the article, I found the entire essay reprinted in two other publications. The earlier instance is the February, 1845 edition of the "New England Family Magazine." By style, this is almost certainly Mathew's work--but I was unable to find it in the New York "Daily Tribune." That paper had a weekly edition, and it also sometimes had supplements--so it may have appeared in one of those editions. Not everything in the weekly edition had appeared in the daily, as I gather (this, from studying the published, star-signed reviews which are wrongly attributed by scholars to Margaret Fuller). If anybody ever finds this piece in one of the editions of the "Tribune," I am guessing--not from past-life memory, but from precedent--that it will be signed with Mathew's first initial, "M."

I have Mathew, writing in 1851 as "Quails," ascending St. Paul's Cathedral in London, to sit in the golden dome at the top. So this is typical for him (he would also have been secretly frightened of the height, and especially the ladders). It's highly unlikely that Margaret Fuller did this, in a dress. So I think we can count Fuller out, on this one. But it is written precisely in the style of the other philosophical pieces which appear in the "Tribune," signed with a star--Mathew's life-long secret pseudonym, since the early 1830's. All of these, with one or two exceptions, as I mention in my sequel, were Mathew, not Fuller.

Note the introduction given by the editor of the Magazine. Had Mathew signed a fraction of his work, I think he would have been famous. He didn't do so for many reasons, but chiefly because he was deeply involved in undercover work for the cause of Abolition, as well (it seems) as being at least occasionally involved in the Underground Railroad. Therefore, he could not openly defend his anonymous works, leaving him open to people like Fuller and Edgar Allan Poe to claim them.

I think this piece speaks for itself. I have many more like this. Anonymity is virtuous, and the desire for social recognition is vanity. But for this body of work to go unclaimed, unrecognized, and falsely attributed to lesser-lights, is a kind of travesty. Before I die, if I do nothing else, I intend to set this straight.

Here, entitled "Bird's-Eye View of New York City," is what I believe to be Mathew's unsigned essay, appearing sometime before Dec. 28, 1844 in the New York "Tribune."

Best regards,

Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.

P.S. 1/14/19
I found the Trinity Church piece in the Dec. 18, 1844 edition of the New York "Tribune," signed "H." This disappointing, but I still think Mathew was the author. There are two possible explanations--either it was a typo, or more likely, he was afraid he could be identified, either because people had seen him climb the steeple with its "dozen ladders," or because he knew the friend who had accompanied him would brag about their exploit to others. In my opinion, the fact that it ends up excerpted in his friend Charles Ilsley's newspaper, the Portland "Transcript," at the same time that Ilsley is publishing Mathew's unsigned letters from New York, written in the same style, is too much of a coincidence.

There are also two pieces which are almost certainly Mathew's, signed "M.," in December 1844--one a poem, and the other a eulogy for a New York City physician, who had worked there for 25 years. Mathew could easily have known of him from his earlier residence there, in the early-to-mid 1830's. Both works are typical for Mathew, and I could provide matching examples. I was unable to find any other pieces signed "H." in the December "Tribune," for comparison. But I can demonstrate a number of matching examples for the Trinity Church piece, out of the body of Mathew's work, especially from his travelogues. In any case, the two "M."-signed pieces suffice for what I wish to establish--that Mathew was there. Not only that, the poem is written in his accustomed style, which is also the style seen in "The Raven." It appears in the Dec. 27 edition, roughly a month before "The Raven" was published.

Music opening this page, "Mile High," by the YellowJackets,
from the album, "Four Corners"

 

   

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