I'm not sure why I'm writing this except as an exercise in thoroughness, or out of compulsion...but the theme of these recent entries has been "new discoveries," and I think I made another one. Long story short, it appears that Mathew may have written a series of five letters to the editor of the Portland "Transcript" from New York City, just at the time that he began writing the star-signed reviews for the New York "Tribune" (which are attributed by historians to Margaret Fuller). Unfortunately, he didn't sign these at all (or, they are printed sans-signature), so if I were to propose it in my sequel, I would then have to go through them clue-by-clue, pro-and-con, as I did with the "Tribune" pieces. That book is already 370 pages long, and I have already determined that I need to back off this project for my health. So all I did was to make a note of it, a "readme" file in my digital archives. I also physically bookmarked each letter in my physical volume. That way, the letters will come to the attention of researchers in the future, should this project spark enough interest.
I'm pretty sure it's Mathew, because there are several indications, as for example that the writer is so sensitive to music, that powerfully inspired music affects him such that he doesn't want to hear another piece; his nerves are overwrought as it is, and another such piece would be overload to him. I am precisely the same way. And there are other clues. For one thing, when Mathew is living in New York City in 1846-1849, he writes to his friend Elizur Wright, editor of the Boston "Chronotype." But this is before the Chronotype, in 1844 and early 1845. Mathew is personal friends with Charles Ilsley, the editor, at this time, of the Portland "Transcript." So it is a no-brainer that he would be doing the same thing in 1844/45 with Ilsley, as he did a few years later with Wright. As I recall, these letters are titled "Letters from the Great City," or something like that. The ones he writes in 1849 to Wright are titled "Gossip from Gotham." But they are very much the same; and also, very much like the star-signed essays in the "Tribune." It is all, I believe, the same writer, Mathew Franklin Whittier.
I have forgotten the other clue I noticed--oh, he chides the paper for having made him appear to say something he didn't say, because of a typographical error. The editor says the printer's "devil" blames the handwriting. I remember seeing this same exchange in another paper--I think it might actually have been in the star-signed "Tribune" reviews. That makes three instances that Mathew complained about such a thing, bantering with the editor.
There are some questions about this, which, if anybody cared--if I was writing to a bunch of scholars, for example--I would analyze. But that's enough for this crowd ;-). That is, if you can make a "crowd" out of two or three people...
I added side-by-side portraits of Mathew and Abby to my Updates page, for the holidays. I'll take it down after Christmas. But if you catch this entry before then, you might want to check it out. That's at www.updates.com, the old URL.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Trademark," by Eric Johnson,
from the album "Ah Via Musicom"