My friend and researcher was able to retrieve digital copies of the newspaper I sent her to find, from end December, 1829, to mid-August of 1830. During most of this period, Mathew Franklin Whittier--myself in that lifetime--was only 17 years old. This is the New York "Constellation," edited by a former medical doctor, one Asa Greene who, like Mathew, hailed from rural Massachusetts.
Today, I went through every digital copy in the batch she sent me, and took notes. The next step is to digitize all the pieces I believe were, or may have been, written by Mathew, before she goes back into the library for the next installment. I should just about be able to do it in the two weeks I have before her next trip.
I cannot clinch Mathew as the author of these works; nor can I establish that he was boarding in New York City at this time. He doesn't show up in the directory, but that isn't surprising, since it appears to have functioned as a listing for tradesmen and professionals. I think he belonged to the Typesetter's Association when he worked for Greene's other paper in 1834/35, the "Transcript," but just today I got word back that there are no membership rolls existing for that organization that far back, and no incidental mentions of Mathew in the scanty documents they have from this period. This has been my experience very often, that when you go back into the early 1800's, records for anything other than the official birth, death, etc. types, are very scarce.
But there are dozens and dozens of circumstantial clues that this is Mathew's work. I don't think I'm wrong. It means he was writing at what is arguably a very high level, at such a young age, when nobody had any idea of it, at all. There is no mention of him doing this, either in his own letters (one of which gives a biographical sketch, when seeking work in Michigan), nor in the historical record. There is a great deal about his famous brother's youthful journalistic exploits, but nothing about Mathew's.
The trick for me, now, is to determine whether what I believe to be his work in the "Constellation," fits the timeline I had already laid out for him, during this period. So far it matches--but I am on pins-and-needles regarding this next batch. Here's what I see, so far...
As of Dec. 29, 1829, Mathew has recently arrived in New York City, and is living in a boarding house. I know this because there is at least one, and possibly two, pieces which are in his unique style, in this edition of the paper; and there is a humorous poem about the sumptuous dinner fare at his boarding house, also in his style. Actually it is in a style which one of his favorite British authors, Oliver Goldsmith, used, and the introduction is signed "O****," so despite the fact that the number of asterisks doesn't match, I am guessing this is what the signature means. It is definitely not the editor, because he is quite a bit older, and this writer introduces himself as being "yet young on the list for literary fame." If I wasn't so exhausted, this evening, I'd key in the entire piece, but maybe after I digitize it, I'll share it in another Update.
Anyway, it appears that Mathew is living in New York City, while his brother (whose poems appear occasionally in this paper) is back tending the family farm. By mid-year, Mathew is acting as a substitute editor, for a few weekly editions at a stretch. At least, he seems to take responsibility specifically for the editorial page. This is, of course, tough to prove, but again, I can throw a great deal of evidence at it, being now so deeply familiar with Mathew's style, and having so many examples to compare with.
The nail-biter, here, will be what happens in the second half of the year. Because if I have his early timeline put together right, he should be in his hometown of Haverhill during the winter months, returning to New York by the first of the year, 1831. While he is back home, he should be receiving tutoring from his future wife, Abby, who in 1830 was only 14 years old. Of course, he could continue to submit pieces to the paper from Haverhill; but if I see the same pattern on the editorial pages, with work I believe to be his, during this time, something will have to give. Hopefully, I will not see this, because if I do, it will throw a big monkey-wrench into a lot of my conclusions. We shall see in about two weeks (and I will report faithfully).
What does all this have to do with reincarnation, and with verifying past-life memories? Not so much, directly. I believe, as I have said many times, that Mathew, together with Abby, were the original authors of "A Christmas Carol"; and that it was Mathew, not Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote "The Raven" and signed it "---- Quarles." But if so, I have to establish that both writers were working at a genius level. Now, it seems I can establish that Mathew truly was a literary prodigy, because he is churning out high-quality, creative work, and acting as pro-tem editor for a New York City paper, at the tender age of 17, having had only the benefit of a home-schooled education.
Once Abby tutors him in the classics, he will be able to bring a vast knowledge of poetry, philosophy and literature to bear on his essays and humorous sketches. Now, in 1830, he doesn't have that store of knowledge yet to draw from.
It occurred to me, today, that in the future, it will be accepted and known that Mathew wrote those two classics; and it will be known that I was an early disciple of the Avatar of this era, Meher Baba. Those three things will create enough interest in my book, that it won't matter how long it is. People will still read it and discuss it. Now, people brush these claims off lightly, and so there is no reason under the sun why anybody would plough through such a long and tedious research book. In the future, however, I predict that people will plunge into it, be fascinated and entertained by it, and feel disappointed when it ends. Everything is valuation and anticipation, I suppose.
Oh, did you know that Mathew's brother, John Greenleaf Whittier, wrote a poem entitled "The Raven" in 1830? I just found it in this paper, this morning. My copy is chopped off on the left-hand side, but I can read enough of it to get an idea. Very, very melodramatic and spooky. I would guess that in his later years, Whittier would have been embarrassed by it. But in 1830? Of course, the content itself has no bearing on the one attributed to Poe. It's just a curiosity, I suppose. Hopefully my researcher can snag a complete copy of it during her next expedition.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Don and Dewey," by It's a Beautiful Day, from the album "Marrying Maiden"