I'm not going to take a lot of time with this--I have some 10 or 15 short pieces to key in from the 1847 New Orleans "Daily Delta." But I have to share the one I just typed. I'm going to give you a jpeg, but I'll make it a bit more readable.
What can you say about genius? It comes in many different flavors, and just how rare it is would depend on how you define it. Mathew's friend and editor on the "Carpet-Bag," B.P. Shillaber, is quoting as saying:
"But, speaking of 'Ethan Spike,'" he continued, "he was a genius. Not in the same line as that of his illustrious brother, John G. Whittier, but in his own he was certainly out of the ordinary. He was a genuine humorist, and he founded a school of comic literature which brought out many imitators. In short, he was original, unique and of a high grade in his peculiar line."
Should I talk like this, when I'm claiming to be Mathew's reincarnation? I was poking around online earlier this morning, searching for the original appearance of one of Mathew's tribute poems to his beloved first wife, Abby. It appears in the Portland "Transcript" of Jan. 17, 1846, signed with his long-time secret pseudonym, a "star" or single asterisk--and it is credited from the "New Mirror." That incarnation of the New York Mirror which was called the "New Mirror" ran no later than Sept. 1844. Unfortunately, one cannot find the corresponding volume online (I could purchase it in a set for $450). Normally, poems are reprinted in other newspapers a few weeks after they originally appear. If this one was published in the "Transcript" over a year later, it's probably because Mathew personally showed it to the editor. Mathew would write a popular column of reviews and essays for the New York "Tribune" beginning in late 1844, using this same signature, but these are erroneously attributed to Margaret Fuller.
Anyway, my point is that while I was online searching for this elusive poem, I kept running across references to Edgar Allan Poe's publication of "The Raven" in the "Evening Mirror," for which paper he, also, wrote reviews. It is immensely frustrating to me--more than that, I can't describe the feelings that boil up within me--seeing all of this. I can fix it, now--I can literally prove that Mathew was the real author. But nobody will give me the time of day. It's just too big. It's so big--and we are all so completely indoctrinated that Poe was the author--that it just won't enter consciousness. Nobody can take it seriously for half-a-half-a-second. But I'm right.*
I'm right about Mathew in the "Delta," too. I'm finding several of his pet phrases, like the Shakespearian quote," "the quills of the fretful porcupine," and "the old 'un."
But, that's enough of my frustrations. Try to forget everything I just said, and enjoy this little report...
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
P.S. This YouTube video proves that the movie "Airplane" was a point-for-point parody of an earlier film, "Zero Hour!" I can prove just as convincingly that Edgar Allan Poe stole "The Raven" from Mathew Franklin Whittier. I'm not kidding.
P.S. For those of you looking at Mathew's public debate, signing as the "star," with someone signing with a printer's "dagger" in the Portland "Transcript" (as I see in my stats), I suspect that the "dagger" was Rev. James Freeman Clarke, a personal friend of Julia Ward Howe and her husband. When Mathew died in 1883, John Greenleaf Whittier appears to have arranged for Clarke to officiate at the funeral service. This would have been the ultimate irony and humiliation (capping a lifetime of being marginalized and misunderstood).
*And if I'm right about this, Shillaber was obviously wrong about Mathew not being equal to his brother in writing poetry, inasmuch as "The Raven" is still celebrated today while "Snow-Bound" (what?) is fading from the mass consciousness. It appears that Mathew may have privately confided in Shillaber about having written "The Raven," but that Shillaber didn't believe him.
Music opening this page: "U Can't Touch This," by MC Hammer,
from the album, "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em"