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4/3/19

From an 1847 copy of "The Odd Fellow," which I purchased, I stumbled upon Mathew's work in the mid-1847 New Orleans "Daily Delta." It's not a surprise, because I knew he had done a stint there the previous summer, writing what we now call the police "blotter." But in 1847, he's no-longer signing with his middle initial. Not only that, there appears to be a second reporter covering it with him, who either writes in a similar style, or mimics his style. So I have my work cut out for me.

I can't get to it now, because I'm only mid-way through reading and taking notes on Mathew's newly-discovered 1850 novel, "The Mistake of a Lifetime: or the Robber of the Rhine Valley." It is, by the way, right-down-the-line in the same style as "Mike Martin: or, the Last of the Highwaymen. A Romance of Reality," which was published in plagiarist Francis Durivage's name--the same who stole his "Old 'Un" series of humorous sketches, and over a dozen of his romantic foreign adventure tales, in 1849. I've known for some time that Mathew was the original author of "Mike Martin," which was published in 1845, but I had assumed he must have ghost-written it for Durivage. In any case, the style is consistent across all of these adventure stories, and it's quite recognizable.

I've got to get back to work, but in case there's any lingering question of Mathew's authorship of "The Mistake" (after I recently demonstrated Mathew's rendering of sailor dialect), here are some samples of his rendering of French dialect. In the relevant section in "The Mistake," wherein is found dozens and dozens of nested stories, I think we are seeing Mathew's not-so-veiled depiction of Francis Durivage as a sociopathic criminal. Apparently Mathew couldn't blow his cover as an Abolitionist operative, by publicly challenging any of these plagiarists (Poe included); but he could certainly lambaste them by way of analogous characters.

Here is something Mathew wrote for the Providence "Journal," which he subsequently reprinted when he worked for the New York "Constellation." It's dated February 27, 1830, when he had been writing for that paper about three months. He was only 15 years old at this time. You will be looking for the letter to "Mr. Miller." Then, this is an instance where he has returned to the same gag, regarding "Sam Hill." Mathew would do this, occasionally--bring back some favorite bit from his earlier works, sometimes years later. By this time, Mathew is working as the de facto junior editor, if not officially in that capacity. Accordingly, a brief glance suggests to me that he has written the entire page, but you will be looking for the story entitled "A Jockied Frenchman." Incidentally, the lead piece here, "A Modern Beau," is very similar to a couple of pieces that Francis Durivage stole from Mathew, and included in his book, "The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales." (See, for example, "The Obliging Young Man.") That's because they were all of a series that Mathew wrote (i.e., over the years) on various types. And now, here is what I take to be Mathew's scathing lampoon of his plagiarist and no-doubt former friend, Francis Durivage.

The point is that this narrows down the field drastically, because only a handful of people could probably have written this--perhaps even less. I don't know of anybody publishing in that era who could do it. If so, there weren't very many. Then, you have to add the ability to write in sailor . While there were a few more of those, this still reduces the odds of it being anybody but Mathew Franklin Whittier quite a bit. But those two indicators aren't the only ones. There are numerous clues of content and style pointing to Mathew as the author of this 313-page book, for which Gleason paid a whopping $3,000 in 1850. An online historical inflation counter tells me that what cost $3,000 in 1850 would cost $91,462.91 in 2018. That seems impossible on the face of it, but it was a substantial sum no doubt. Perhaps this is how Mathew financed his trip to Europe in 1851; and perhaps this is the money he invested in the "Carpet-Bag" when he became a silent financial partner in that venture.

I can feel the power of this work growing. Yesterday, I caught a YouTube video which, to my eye, was sheer propaganda. Citing a poorly-researched case, the narrator dismisses the "idea" of reincarnation as something which can never be proven. Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit. Wait until I get on the public scene. I'll put this business to rights.

Unfortunately, I'm getting stretched a bit thin. I really need funding, and a staff, but I can do it alone. Oh, I have a live radio interview, on a real broadcast radio station, coming up on May 15th. I'll probably announce that in a bit.

Best regards,

Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.

 

Music opening this page: "Remote Outpost," by the author

 

   

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