For anybody who is following this blog now, or may read it in the future, I am still plugging away at archiving the pdf files taken from Bean and Mattson's compilation of (what they take to be) Margaret Fuller's asterisk-signed essays written for the 1844-46 New York "Tribune." I have to check these against the pdf copies of the newspaper I had already downloaded and read; and I have to check their footnotes, where I can sometimes take advantage of their academic expertise. I had only looked at the first page of these papers, whereas they (or their researchers) had gone through all four pages, so I am picking up some new ones. I'm changing the arbitary pdf file names to their publication dates, as well.
To make a long story short, what I'm finding is changing my views a bit. It appears that relatively early on--say, about five or six months from their inception--Fuller is writing a few of these reviews herself, and signing with Mathew's "star." She is also occasionally inserting her own personal anecdotes into Mathew's text, where the subject is one that strongly interests her. To my mind, this is clearly an abuse of her position as the literary editor. It makes of Mathew a ghost-writer for his own pseudonym. I continue to interpret that the editor, Horace Greeley, was between a rock and a hard place, and had to let Fuller have her own way. That's because she was a guest living at his home, at the urging of his wife, who was one of Fuller's enthusiastic fans. Greeley could not risk crossing Fuller, because if he did, Fuller could destroy his marriage. He only finally got rid of her by promoting her to the position of overseas correspondent for the paper (the first woman in America to be so-appointed).
Greeley, himself, tells us that her output was a "10th" of his, and that she wrote "only when she was in the vein," being often indisposed or disinclined. Therefore, the sheer volume of the asterisk-signed reviews directly contradicts his first-hand testimony, if one assumes all this work to be Fuller's. What I'm finding, is evidence that Fuller wrote perhaps one review in 20 or 30 (some unsigned, which Bean and Mattson decided, without explanation, to include in their compilation). Most of these are brief, unless they are on a topic which Fuller was especially interested in--precisely as Greeley described.
So by far the bulk of this work was written by Mathew Franklin Whittier--ghost-written, if you will, but under his own proprietary signature, which he had used for reviews in the past, and which he would use for a variety of purposes in the future. Let me see if I have a pdf copy of one of the first I ever found, in the Portland "Transcript." This will give you some idea of who we are really dealing with, in the "Tribune."
Yes, here it is, from the Nov. 15, 1856 edition--a review of "Dred" by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Note that there is a great deal of the author's own opinions in the review, just as has been remarked of the reviews in the "Tribune." The style is the same, the mind and heart are the same, the literary prowess is the same, and the signature is the same. But Margaret Fuller is long-gone. (I've reduced the pdf file to low resolution, it's a photographic image, so it may take longer to load.) In case you can't see the asterisk:
I'm right about this. I'm right about a bunch of things, including having proven reincarnation (again). It is annoying not to be taken seriously by anybody, but it is less annoying when you know you've proven it to any normal, objective standard. Just so, nobody takes me seriously as a photographer, but I know I've taken some excellent images by any normal standard of photography.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Remote Outpost," by the author,
using Garage Band software