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This is primarily a marker--per usual, if you want all the details, buy my books (in this case, the sequel, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own world").

I may have made another discovery. In the asterisk-signed review, in the New York "Tribune," which mentions the author's childhood in a rural farmhouse, he also makes a passing reference to a children's book about "Peter Parley." This being a review of a children's book, ostensibly this is just a mention of how not to write them. But the author uses the exclamation, "praised be our natal star!"

I have seen Mathew insert a sort of nonsensical, out-of-context expression like this, before (actually, in 1857), and when he does so, it's code. In the other example, he was talking about not wanting to try publishing his work, because when he had attempted it before, he "came out double," which is code for having been plagiarized. But he pointed to the culprit, publisher George W. Light, with the slightly unconventional exclamation, "thank George."

So "praised be our natal star" is of the same ilk. I know that Mathew frequently used double-"P." pseudonyms, mostly beginning with the name "Peter," and I have concluded that they were all in reference to a nickname, "Peter Pumpkin." So "Peter Parley" would simply be one of the first in a series. In mid-1827, he published a sophisticated doggerel--at age 14--under the signature, "P.P." The first edition of the children's series, "Peter Parley," was published that same year, 1827. Peter Parley is an old man, who likes to tell of his youthful adventures to children. He lives in Boston. Mathew was living in Boston, having run away to sea at age 14, and settled there when he returned. Mathew often took the persona of an old man, as he did in his travelogue, "Quails," and his short story series under "The Old 'Un" (both of which were claimed by other authors). The content, also, suggests Mathew, being profoundly ambivalent about both Indians, and the killing of animals (as Mathew was). The Peter Parley character travels by ship to New York and back to Boston (as Mathew also did at this age); en route, he hears the tales of an older boy, who had sailed on the open ocean to the West Indies, Cuba, and South America. Mathew appears to have made it as far as Cuba when he ran away to sea; I think the ship was bound for South America, but he was dropped off in Cuba because of having a weak stomach. Several of Mathew's later adventure stories were set in South America.

That's all I have to go on. I don't claim it as proven. But it looks like Mathew may have written, ghost written, or contributed to the first "Peter Parley" book, published in Boston. The supposed author of this lengthy series, Samuel Griswold Goodrich, is known to have claimed far more of it than he actually wrote.

All I know, is that "praised be our natal star!" is Mathew inserting code for something. That means it was he, and not Margaret Fuller (as historians believe) who wrote that review, under his long-term signature, a single asterisk.

On another note, I see that politically radical comedian Lee Camp is now warning the public about cell phones causing cancer. I have been trying to warn the readers of this blog about it since at least July of 2011--here's the direct link. (Actually, I think it was much earlier, around 2006 or 2007 when I was trying to market my video production company to law firms, and saw evidence that they were quite aware of the problem--but I can't seem to find those entries on short notice.) If you think I'm a "tin hat," well, at least it appears I'm accurate and ahead of my time. Probably no-one listened to me, as they aren't taking me seriously, today.

Best regards,

Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.

P.S. After perusing Goodrich's published letters, "Recollections of a Lifetime" I think the Wikipedia statement I had relied on was off. Goodrich claims to have single-handedly written "30 or 40" of the "Peter Parley" books, though he admits to having used research assistants. I see two theories: 1) Any similarities with Mathew's personal history or his literary style, are coincidental, or 2) Goodrich used young Mathew's manuscript, an account of his recent adventures of running away to sea, as the starting point for a children's book, in 1827 when both were living in Boston. If so, Mathew would have contributed the name, the adventure plot and the core narrative; with Goodrich adding geographical facts, additional narrative, and his own prejudices. This would account for a strange sense of conflicting sensibilities which jumped out at me when I began to skim it. For example, the fawn is lively and beautiful, but its violent death is graphically described; the Indians are entirely ignorant, and yet they are noble and one sympathizes with them; and so-on.

P.P.S. 12/2
Here's what I said on my "Announcements" page as of Dec. 2013:

About four years ago I ran a warning on this page about the dangers of cell phone use. What clued me in was, while e-mail marketing my rapidly failing business to individual attorneys in large law firms, early in 2007, I noticed that some of them listed, as one of their 2-3 areas of specialty, "cell phones." At the time, I mistakenly assumed they were defending brain cancer victims, and concluded this was proof that cell phones cause brain cancer. Here's Alston & Bird's page today, which includes their litigation services on brain cancer caused by cell phones--I think that was the firm whose website I visited in 2007, but they no-longer list it as a specialty for each individual attorney. Turns out Alston & Bird have a thriving business defending the cell phone companies--so, in a sense, I stand corrected--but in a round-about sense, not. Why? Because they couldn't have so much business if there wasn't some truth to it. (Note that their "victory" consisted of suppressing no less than six expert witnesses--I'm not spelling out what this scenario means in human terms, I think you can extrapolate it for yourself.) Now, the warning has finally hit Keep your cell phone use to a minimum--don't use wireless phones, or WiFi. Try not to live too close to a cell phone tower. Don't use your laptop on your lap. I'm always ahead of my time and people don't take me seriously until later on, but you may want to take me seriously about this one right now and find out it's for real, later.


Music opening this page: "The Children's Waltz," by The Free Design,
from the children's album, "Sing For Very Important People"



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