It's here!!! Well, arrived at the post office, at least--my five physical copies of the New York "Constellation" from 1831. The seller apparently thought he'd never get rid of them, and bundled them together for $30, with free shipping; and these, he says, are all he has for sale.
One man's junk--or, I should say everybody else's junk, can certainly be one man's treasure. Because if I am not mistaken, this is where I, in my past life as Mathew Franklin Whittier, cut my teeth in journalism, at the age of 18. Mathew's father had died the previous year, freeing him to leave the farm and seek his future. He seems to have two futures; one in merchandizing, and the other in journalism. He would have gone to New York to pursue both. Being a natural writer, he could support himself in that trade; and then attempt his business ventures in this business hub of America.
I have been digitizing his pieces from the New York "Transcript," published in 1834/35. But the "Constallation" was the earlier effort edited by the same man, Dr. Asa Greene. I have described going through an 1853 dissertation about Dr. Greene, in which Mathew is no-where mentioned, and what I believe to be his contributions are being attributed to either the editor, or to another reporter.
But this will be the earliest work of Mathew's I have ever found. Already I obtained some of them online, reprinted in another paper. My researcher will be accessing the entire run of the "Constellation" in a couple of weeks. But today, I will have my hands on five of them. Whether they happen to have any of Mathew's work, I don't know.
Several different thoughts branch off at this point. I don't have much time to write, today, and so I really can't develop any of them. I feel, first of all, the poignancy of sitting on such a treasure, and seemingly not being taken seriously about it by anyone.
I also feel the excitement, the slightly dizzying disorientation, of dimly re-awakening my own subconscious mind, as I handle my own past-life work from 180 years ago--work I created with an entirely different body, but the exact same higher mind. I say "higher mind" to distinguish it from "personality" which is unique to each incarnation. After eight years of studying Mathew's life intimately, through his writing, I understand his personality deeply; but it is not my own, today.
Beyond that, I don't know what to say. One runs out of steam, sharing with people who never talk back, and who never respect one enough to purchase one's work. Still...for some reason I write, anyway. These are archived; I never know who may stumble upon them, and find that they are not trash, but treasure.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
P.S. In the five editions I purchased, I see nothing I would attribute to Mathew Franklin Whittier. One is possible--the dissertation on Asa Greene, the editor, assigns this pseudonym to him. I'm not sure but I like to err on the side of caution. Still cool to see this paper first-hand, and of course I have a good clean shot of the masthead.
P.P.S. I take it back--further study of these early issues of the "Constellation" shows that the editor hired three writers to fill its pages--"D.," "Sigma," and "Benedick." A humorous poem has these three writers announcing to the Printer that they can't keep up the work they had contracted for (especially with all the distractions of the big city). Thus, "D." cannot be the editor, Asa Greene, as the dissertation writer believes, if he was one of these three who were hired by Greene.
Music opening this page: "The Wells Fargo Wagon" from the film, "Music Man"