I just found another piece of evidence that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the original author of "The Raven," which was stolen from him by Edgar Allan Poe.
I've written about this quite extensively in recent entries. I've also been working from the early hours of this morning, and I just set forth all the nuances of this new discovery for my sequel, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own world," which I then need to post online (after I finish this entry). I'm exhausted.
So I have two options--the first is to merely announce it and give a cursory description; and the second is the make the entire case. I think I'm too tired for "Plan B," tonight. It's in my sequel, at the end of Chapter 3. But I can give just the briefest outline, here.
By following one small clue, in one of Mathew's letters in the Boston "Chronotype" of 1847, signed "X.F.W." from New York City, I learned that he had been submitting humorous sketches to a NY humor magazine, "Yankee Doodle." I keyed in one entire series today, found in Vol. II, and then as I was going through Vol. I, I found two more. So I have my work cut out for me. But there are also one-offs, and I found an early parody of "The Raven" which, I am convinced, was also written by Mathew. This was published just about the same time as the story, followed by a quote from Francis Quarles, in the Portland (Maine) "Transcript." Both, together, were intended to put Poe on notice that Mathew was furious with his essay, "The Philosophy of Composition," which had appeared in the April, 1846 edition of Graham's Magazine. Mathew's response in the "Transcript" appeared in the Dec. 5, 1846 edition of that paper. This parody of "The Raven" appears, if I am not mistaken, in the Nov. edition of "Yankee Doodle." Poe would be likely to see both pieces, as these are papers he would be reading.
Because the dates of Mathew's responses are so close, I suspect that Mathew--who probably didn't read "Graham's" regularly--hadn't seen Poe's essay until November. He would have written these pieces immediately, if it enraged him as much as I think it did.
There are plenty of clues that Mathew wrote this parody, which I recognize, having studied so many of his works. However, there also seem to be some private messages to Poe embedded in it, if I'm not mistaken. For one thing, it is signed "E.A. Poh." The word "Poh" was a derogatory expression in that era. But ostensibly, there is no reason to denigrate Poe, here. Nobody is questioning whether the original was a good poem. Neither is it simply gratuitous--Mathew never made a veiled reference like that without a reason. It's because Poe stole the poem from him.
That's as much as I feel like going into. I need to unwind and get ready for dinner.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
P.S. As I think about it, as I'm getting dinner, this is a done deal. I have four triangulating clues bearing on this, not to speak of a very early past-life regression. But just taking scholarship, I have four. The fact that Mathew protested Poe's "Essay on Composition" in two different papers, for which he was a regular contributor, at roughly the same time, is enough to build a very strong case.
Convincing anyone else is a totally different issue. I just wrote to one Poe expert--I don't expect to hear back. I do not actually, expect that I will ever convince anyone in my own lifetime. Someday, it will be known and generally understood--and at that point, it will be obvious. Kicking-yourself obvious. I know, because it is so to me, as I write this, today.
Music opening this page: "Did You Steal My Money," by The Who,
from the album, "Face Dances"