I'm just musing on the topic of yesterday's entry, which is a short one, so you can pick up the context there, via the Archive link at the bottom of the page.
The thought occurs to me that I may not have any readers motivated enough to do that. If they aren't motivated enough to find the Archive link and scan yesterday's entry, how could I hope that somebody would actually be motivated enough to buy my books, read them, and believe me?
I'm up too early, and not in the best of moods. My past-life emotions as Mathew are bleeding through, and I'm catching his problem with insomnia, as well. These are the occupational hazards of awakening a sleeping past life.
But with my latest discovery, there's no question that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the real author of "The Raven." He must have shared a few pieces with Poe, during their one meeting, which I had remembered under hypnosis when I first launched this study.
I was scouring the internet earlier, looking for an expert to contact. I didn't find any who seemed suitable, but I did learn that in Poe's day, one of his former friends became his harshest critics; or, if he remained a friend, he was bluntly honest in the biography he wrote about him. Poe would borrow money and not pay it back, for example. But I was specifically looking for any hint that he suspected Poe of stealing "The Raven." He didn't. However, I found an interesting "bit." It's somewhat convoluted as regards the back-and-forth which used to happen in the newspapers of that era, but the important part is clear enough. This is cited from Rufus Wilmot Griswold's "Memoir of the Author," in "The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe," published in 1850:
In March, 1845, he had given a lecture at the Society Library upon the American Poets, composed, for the most part, of fragments of his previously published reviewals; and in the autumn he accepted an invitation to read a poem before the Boston Lyceum. A week after the event, he printed in the “Broadway Journal” the following account of it, in reply to a paragraph in one of the city papers, founded upon a statement in the Boston "Transcript."
Our excellent friend, Major Noah, has suffered himself to be cajoled by that most beguiling of all beguiling little divinities, Miss Walter, of ‘The Transcript.’ We have been looking all over her article with the aid of a taper, to see if we could discover a single syllable of truth in it--and really blush to acknowledge that we cannot. The adorable creature has been telling a parcel of fibs about us, by way of revenge for something that we did to Mr. Longfellow (who admires her very much) and for calling her 'a pretty little witch' into the bargain. The facts of the case seem to be these: We were invited to 'deliver' (stand and deliver) a poem before the Boston Lyceum. As a matter of course, we accepted the invitation. The audience was ‘large and distinguished.’ Mr. Cushing preceded us with a very capital discourse: he was much applauded. On arising, we were most cordially received. We occupied some fifteen minutes with an apology for not 'delivering, as is usual in such cases, a didactic poem: a didactic poem, in our opinion, being precisely no poem at all. After some farther words--still of apology--for the 'indefinitiveness' and 'general imbecility' of what we had to offer--all so unworthy a Bostonian audience--we commenced, and, with many interruptions of applause, concluded. Upon the whole the approbation was considerably more (the more the pity too) than that bestowed upon Mr. Cushing. When we had made an end, the audience, of course, arose to depart; and about one-tenth of them, probably, had really departed, when Mr. Coffin, one of the managing committee, arrested those who remained, by announcement that we had been requested to deliver 'The Raven.' We delivered 'The Raven' forthwith--without taking a receipt)--were very cordially applauded again--and this was the end of it--with the exception of the sad tale invented to suit her own purposes, by that amiable little enemy of ours, Miss Walter. We shall never call a woman 'a pretty little witch' again, as long as we live.
Now, what immediately caught my eye is his praise of "Cushing," i.e., Caleb Cushing.
Caleb Cushing was groomed for political life by none other than Mathew's brother, John Greenleaf Whittier, when the latter went through his political phase. The purpose was to create him and install him as a bulwark to prevent the District of Columbia from going pro-slavery. But Cushing was by nature, temperament and convictions a conservative, and he ultimately showed his true colors. During this time, he had joined the effort to take by force portions of Mexico for the United States, in the Mexican-American War. Being a man of letters, he was made an officer, and there was a formal send-off. Mathew wrote several scathing lampoons of it--both for the Boston "Chronotype," and (it now appears) for the New York "Yankee Doodle." Many years later, in 1858, Mathew reviewed one of Cushing's lyceum talks. He was remarkably even-handed--as I feel the editor had taught him to be--but even then, he remarked:
The lecture was vigorous in style, showed much scholarship, and contained some fine passages, but lacked elevation of view. The speaker boldly defended the Puritans, gave a thrust at modern Spiritualism, sneered at the "philanthropy-mongering" of the age, intimated that the stronger races ought to enslave the weaker, and glorified "manifest destiny" and the American eagle. His defence of the Puritans was peculiar. He eulogized their faults and deprecated or ignored their virtues! The element of force in their character he recognized and fully sympathized with, even to the palliation of its excesses, but their higher, more spiritual and humane aspirations and sentiments he passed by with only a depreciating glance. That they hanged the Quakers was a small matter, but that they recognized the Indians as men and brethren was a great mistake. Instead of being too cruel towards them they were not half cruel enough. Instead of allowing them to perish by war and disease, they should have enslaved the whole of them! The mind of Mr. Cushing is evidently of so material a cast as to render it impossible for him to take broad views of humanity--of human rights and human duties. He recognizes no law but that of the strongest--he is of the lower law order of statesmen, and believes that might makes right.
So we can get some idea of Poe's political and social sensibilities, inasmuch as he praised Cushing's "capital discourse." Mathew must have been not only furious with Poe--especially when Poe came out with his essay, "The Philosophy of Composition," in which he brazenly bullshitted his way through an explanation of how he wrote "The Raven"--but also furious with himself for being duped. This is what occurred to me early this morning, upon which realization I couldn't get back to sleep. In the "Yankee Doodle" of 1847, Mathew wrote a nine-chapter series about a country bumpkin who moves to New York City, and gets swindled half a dozen times. When Mathew was younger, and wrote for the papers there, he had tried to warn young men about these pitfalls. In 1847, no-doubt he was trying to warn them, again. But he was--as I see, now--also expressing his feelings about having been duped by Poe. That's why he wrote the November 1846 parody of "The Raven," signed "E.A. Poh," that I found in that magazine, yesterday, embedding several private messages in it directly to Poe. It was just about the same time that he sent a similar message through the Portland (Maine) "Transcript," which I have shared with you, previously. This must have coincided with the time when he belatedly discovered Poe's essay, which had been published in "Graham's Magazine" the previous April.
There's no question about this. But I have realized, while looking online for experts to present it to, that there is a HUGE social edifice built around Poe, and his works (or claimed works). There are organizations, and conferences, and journals, and symposiums, and scholarly debates, and reams of biographies and commentaries. In order to even be heard, one has to have the academic credentials necessary to get one's paper through the refereeing process. The fortress is thick and mighty. The truth doesn't stand a chance of getting through.
Still, there is a part of me which, being thus checkmated, insists there is a way. And there is a way--but it requires wiping all the chess pieces off the board. It requires bringing down the entire fortress. How do you do that?
You wait until Society is ready. You wait until there is enough discernment among the general population, that no-one in their right mind will take "The Raven" as a horror poem. No one in their right mind will think that Edgar Allan Poe could possibly have written it. You wait until reincarnation is both obvious, and generally accepted. You wait until people not only want to learn about it, but desperately want to learn about it. You wait until the reality of mediumship, as demonstrated by John Edward, Lisa Williams, Gordon Smith, Paula O'Brien, Matt Fraser, and others, is accepted not only by millions of ordinary people, but by the Social Gatekeepers of Reality, as well. You wait until people reclaim United States history, and are taught that Benjamin Franklin believed in reincarnation (for good reason); and that Abraham Lincoln was convinced to free the slaves as a result of spirit communication. You wait until our history textbooks devote ample space to respecfully describing how Charles Poyen--Abby's first cousin--introduced Mesmerism to America; and how Daniel Dunglas Home demonstrated physical mediumship (among other things, levitating out of a second or third story window and back in through another). You wait until people can see that Charles Dickens could not possibly have originated "A Christmas Carol." You wait until it's obvious to them, that Paul faked his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, and imitated the speech of the genuine disciples in order to gain the favor of the more guillible portions of the early Church.
When these things are obvious, then everything I'm "claiming" will also be obvious--including that it was Mathew Franklin Whittier who wrote "The Raven," and first published it, as was his eccentric life-long habit, under a one-off pseudonym, "---- Quarles."
I have all the clues I need, now. I have Mathew obtaining a book of Francis Quarles' poetry, and quoting from it, in 1832. I have samples of his poetry in the style of "The Raven," including one published previously. I have his scathing critique (as it appears) of Poe's first published compilation, written when Mathew was only 15 years old, under the pseudonym, "Trismegistus." I have Mathew's veiled, two-pronged attack on Poe, a few months after Poe published his essay on how he supposedly wrote "The Raven." I can demonstrate that that essay is pure bullshit, especially when compared with the real, deep back-story of how Mathew wrote it. I can show that elements in that poem correspond to Mathew's personal life, both inner and outer. I can show that it was Mathew who wrote an even better parody of "The Raven," called "The Vulture," which appeared in the Dec. 1852 "Carpet-Bag," a full year before it appeared in "Graham's Magazine" (where historians usually cite it). I can show a reference to Mathew attempting to telepathically communicate with the bust of Pallas, which reminds him of his late wife with whom he had recently had a visitation dream. This, mockingly portrayed by B.P. Shillaber, where Shillaber was lampooning stories Mathew had told him about his unfortunate, arranged second marriage, and his attempts to contact his first wife in spirit. I can show that Mathew was gifted a copy of the "Ultima Thule" portrait of Poe, by the photographer, Samuel Masury--and I can show Mathew's commentary on it, including a tongue-in-cheek reference to Poe as "this greatest of American poets." I can show, by John Greenleaf Whittier's early poem entitled "The Raven," that the superstition of ravens as a symbol of death must have been prominent during Mathew's childhood, as taught to the boys by their Quaker mother. Finally, I can make a strong case that Mathew was also the original author of "Annabel Lee," which he would have written as a private tribute to Abby, as "Abigail P----." I can show that while he rendered the events as a sort of fairy-tale, to distance himself from the powerful emotions associated with her death, the details of the poem correspond literally to the actual circumstances--including that a few days before she died, she was taken to her family home by her "high-born kinsmen" (her father being a marquis).
Have I missed anything? I can show how Mathew felt about Poe's theft, and his subsequent essay, in Mathew's 1847 series n the New York "Yankee Doodle" magazine about Joshua Greening, a naive country boy who gets swindled time and again in New York City.
But it will mean nothing until the ground is prepared for people to take it seriously.
If my books, and perhaps this blog, survive me, then it's a done deal. Poe will be exposed, and stripped of his flagship poem (along with one or two other pieces). Mathew will be vindicated. The depth of the back-story for that poem will finally be understood, and appreciated.
I, as Stephen Sakellarios, probably won't be around to see this. But wherever I am, and wherever I see it from, it's going to feel pretty good.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Trademark," by Eric Johnson,
from the album, "Ah Via Musicom"