Saturday, August 17, 2019

Reade's Whale

via NYPL Digital Collections
Charles Reade's copy survives into the 21st century, as Hershel Parker verifies in his essay on "Melville's British Admirers," available in the Third Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick, pages 646-662.

The 1915 item described below is an early witness of its existence, before Michael Sadleir footnoted it in the "Herman Melville" chapter of Excursions in Victorian Bibliography (London, 1922):
* There is in existence the copy of Moby Dick in which Reade made extensive notes and excisions, maybe with the idea of issuing an abbreviated version. Readers of Love Me Little, Love Me Long will immediately detect the influence of Melville's great book on the whaling narrative related by Frank Dodd to Mr. Fountain and to his lovely niece.
< https://hdl.handle.net/2027/coo1.ark:/13960/t5w671z2w?urlappend=%3Bseq=230>
Trying to track down Charles Reade's copy of Moby-Dick in the 1930's, John Howard Birss wrote Sadleir who told him
"it must have been fifteen years ago when he saw the book, 'three volumes in one, and bound in scarlet cloth, in a little shop kept by Everard Meynell off Piccadilly, which shop shortly disappeared for its owner went to California and there died.' " -- Notes and Queries Volume 173, November 27, 1937, page 390.
Everard Meynell (1882-1926) was a son of Alice and Wilfred Meynell. Viola Meynell (who in 1920 wrote on "Herman Melville" for The Dublin Review and then introduced the influential Oxford Worlds Classics edition of Moby-Dick) was his sister. Everard's place was The Serendipity Shop, a "charming little book snugery" as Edward Storer called it, reviewing "literary book-shops" in a 1916 "London Letter" for Bruno's Weekly. Originally located on Museum Street near the British Museum, the Serendipity Shop relocated to 7 East Chapel Street in Mayfair--which is where Michael Sadleir saw Reade's copy of The Whale (as Moby-Dick was titled in the first British edition). Off Piccadilly, as you can see in this wonderful map by MacDonald Gill, available today from Blackwell's Rare Books.

via Blackwell's Rare Books
Before Everard Meynell had it in his Serendipity Shop, Reade's Whale was in the possession of Charles Garvice (1850-1920), the popular romance novelist. During the First World War, Garvice gave it to the British Red Cross Society, to be sold at auction with a dazzling inventory of donated art works. Reade's Whale was included in the Red Cross Sale of rare books conducted by Christie's on Tuesday, April 27, 1915. From the Catalogue of the collection of works of art presented to the British Red Cross Society and the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England:

Presented by Charles Garvice, Esq. 

1740      Melville (Herman) The Whale, FIRST EDITION, 3 vol. in
1, with 2 Autograph Signatures of CHARLES READE, and
numerous MS. alterations, apparently for a new edition
      1853
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
<https://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101073996355?urlappend=%3Bseq=332>
As Parker states, "Reade had marked up the 1853 Bentley issue, three volumes bound as one" ("Melville's British Admirers" in Moby-Dick, 3rd Norton Critical Edition page 652).

For the same 1915 auction, Alice Meynell donated an autographed copy of her Collected Poems, and the original autograph manuscript of "Any Saint" by Francis Thompson.

The project of abridgement inferred by Sadleir has been confirmed in Emerson Grant Sutcliffe's work on Charles Reade's Notebooks, Studies in Philology Vol. 27, No. 1 (January 1930), pages 64-109 at 77-78.
<https://www.jstor.org/stable/4172053>
As reported by Sutcliffe, Reade's 1858-9 "Digest" lists numerous "literary projects" including a collection of "Good Stories, or corpus fictorum" starting with "1. Leviathan." Reade thought such tales "Might use 1st my power of discerning the immortal element" and 2nd, "my knowledge of what is to be done by excision."  As Sutcliffe also observes,
"Data in the other notebooks show that Leviathan is Moby Dick, and that Reade had some thoughts of using some part of it in a whaling story, "fabula cetacea."
Elsewhere in the notebooks, the whale story exemplifies "Reade's abridgments. [This is struck out.] Sharp novels or some such general title. Fabula cetacea." These particular notes are discussed in more detail by Thomas Mallon in Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1989), pages 79-80. Mallon observes that "at some point Reade abandoned this plan" of transparent abridgments, "in favor of simple theft." Here Mallon refers most directly to Reade's plagiarism of Mlle. de Malepierre by Madame Charles Reybaud (Henriette Étiennette Fanny Reybaud) in The Picture, first published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March–April 1884.

For a specific instance of Reade's use of Melville in David Dodd's whaling narrative (David not Frank Dodd, as Sadleir misnamed the young sailor-hero), one might compare Dodd's ambergris yarn with the adventure of Stubb in chapter 91 of Moby-Dick, The Pequod Meets the Rose-Bud, followed in the next chapter by Ishmael's riff on Ambergris. For a start, here's the rewrite by Charles Reade from Love Me Little, Love Me Long Vol. 1 (London, 1859), pages 82-4):
... Then David told them how he had fallen in with a sperm whale, dead of disease, floating as high as a frigate; how, with a very light breeze, the skipper had crept down toward her; how, at half a mile distance, the stench of her was severe, but, as they neared her, awful—then so intolerable that the skipper gave the crew leave to go below and close the lee ports. So there were but two men left on the brig's deck, and a ship's company that a hurricane would not have driven from their duty sculked before a foul smell; but such a smell—a smell that struck a chill and a loathing to the heart, and soul, and marrow-bone; a smell like the gases in a foul mine: 'it would have suffocated us in a few moments if we had been shut up along with it.' Then he told how the skipper and he stuffed their noses and ears with cotton steeped in aromatic vinegar, and their mouths with pig-tail (by which, as it subsequently appeared, Lucy understood pork or bacon in some form unknown to her narrow experience), and lighted short pipes, and breached the brig upon the putrescent monster, and grappled to it, and then the skipper jumped on it, a basket slung to his back, and a rope fast under his shoulders in case of accident, and drove his spade in behind the whale's side-fin.
'His spade, Mr. Dodd?'
'His whale-spade; it is as sharp as a razor;' and how the skipper dug a hole in the whale as big as a well and four feet deep, and, after a long search, gave a shout of triumph, and picked out some stuff that looked like Gloucester cheese; and when he had nearly filled his basket with this stuff, he slacked the grappling-iron, and David hauled him on board, and the carcass dropped astern, and the captain sang out for rum, and drank a small tumbler neat, and would have fainted away, spite of his precautions, but for the rum, and how a heavenly perfume was now on deck fighting with that horrid odor. And how the crew smelt it, and crept timidly up one by one, and how 'the Gloster cheese was a great favorite of yours, ladies: it was the king of perfumes: ambergris: there is some of it in all your richest scents; and the knowing skipper had made a hundred guineas in the turn of the hand. So knowledge is wealth, you see, and the sweet can be got out of the sour by such as study nature.'
'Don't preach, David, especially after just telling a fib — a hundred guineas!!'
'I am wrong," said David. '
'Very wrong, indeed.'
'There were eight pounds; and he sold it at a guinea the ounce to a wholesale chemist, so that looks to me like 128 l.'
Then David left the whales, and encouraged by bright eyes, and winning smiles, and warm questions, sang higher strains.  

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Moby-Dick and Clarel in the library of Richard Garnett

Richard Garnett Vanity Fair 11 April 1895
"Printed Books" by Spy [Sir Leslie Ward].
Caricature of Dr Richard Garnett, CB in Vanity Fair, April 11, 1895.
Richard Garnett (1835-1906) succeeded his father at the British Museum, serving there as Assistant Keeper and eventually Keeper of Printed Books. The Times of London eulogized the son as "a scholar and literary man of much distinction and wide knowledge." Notable publications include The Relics of Shelley (1862) and The Twilight of the Gods, and Other Tales (1888). As revealed in the catalogue of his personal library, Richard Garnett owned two great works by Herman Melville: the verse masterpiece Clarel (1876) in two volumes; and in prose, the three-volume Bentley edition of Moby-Dick (1851).

Catalogue of the library of the late Dr. Richard Garnett, C. B. (London, 1906) p. 17
158 Melville (Herman) The Whale, 3 vol. FIRST EDITION, slightly
soiled, uncut, 1851 — Clarel, a Poem, etc. 2 vol. New York, 1876 (5)
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
<https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t4pk09j39?urlappend=%3Bseq=20>
and Google Books
< https://books.google.com/books?id=jV0-AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA17&lpg#v=onepage&q&f=false>
In the December 1929 Blackwoods Magazine article "Moby-Dick and Mocha-Dick," Richard Garnett's son Robert Singleton Garnett (1866-1932) recalled that his father had corresponded with Melville. Unlocated letters to and from Richard Garnett are assigned the uncertain date 1890? in the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, pages 520 and 754.

Edward Garnett (1868-1937) was another of Richard's sons who "attained literary prominence," as noted by William Garnett Chisolm:
The other son, Edward Garnett, is an eminent critic and author, and first gave encouragement to Joseph Conrad, W. H. Hudson, John Galsworthy and Stephen Crane. He married Constance Black, whose translations of the novels of Turgeniev and other Russian writers, has gained her a wide reputation. Their son, David Garnett, is a writer of brilliant prose, and his latest novel, "Pocahontas", is a vivid and most interesting portrayal of that romantic Colonial figure. -- The Garnetts of Essex County, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 42, No. 1 (January 1934), pages 72-83 at 73.
The year after he married Constance, Edward Garnett wrote Melville about "remaking" Redburn, as Hershel Parker recounts:
"In July 1890 young Edward Garnett wrote Melville from the office of the publisher T. Fisher Unwin in London with an unusual proposal. For an adventure series, he hoped Melville would "recast Redburn, or preface it with an introduction, showing that whereas it was given to the world as a fiction remaking it from the class of fictitious to that of personal adventures." -- Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 2, 1851-1891 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), page 901.
For more on the Garnetts, check out Helen Smith's The Uncommon Reader: A Life of Edward Garnett where 
"Beyond his connections to some of the greatest minds in literary history, we also come to know Edward as the husband of Constance Garnett—the prolific translator responsible for introducing Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov to an English language readership—and as the father of David “Bunny” Garnett, who would make a name for himself as a writer and publisher."  -- Macmillan publishers
I'm reading the Kindle version now, with delight. The Uncommon Reader is reviewed by Amitava Banerjee on The Victorian Web. In the Times Literary Supplement review ("Father in letters," November 8, 2017), Andrew Motion highlights Garnett's editorial preference for evidence-based matter, plainly narrated:
The framework of everything Garnett said and did as an editor was defined by his wish to see literature adopt a large cosmopolitan spirit, while clearing itself of stylistic verbiage and abstraction, and embracing “documentary evidence”, unique physical details and real­istic dialogue.
Edward Garnett's 1890 pitch for a remake of Redburn would seem to illustrate this editorial "framework," although Helen Smith does not mention it. And Sir Andrew has decided that "Garnett's life will not need to be written again." Too bad for Melville fanatics, since the author of Moby-Dick and Clarel (both listed in the catalogue of his father's library) gets only one un-indexed mention. In chapter 23, Smith quotes a 1927 letter from Garnett to T. E. Lawrence that honors Melville as one of "the great spirits" like Dostoevsky and Dante who "don't hesitate about expressing themselves frankly." Perhaps some future edition of The Uncommon Reader could squeeze in a word or two more about Edward Garnett's inherited interest in Herman Melville.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Clement C Moore, always "an agreeable talker"

via NYU Irish Studies Research Collective
From Thomas Addis Emmet, Incidents of My Life (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1911), pages 98-99:
About this time [Spring of 1843] I remember seeing frequently at my uncle's house, Mr. Clement C. Moore, who I think was a connection, or at least he and his daughter were very intimate with the McEvers family. In after life it was my good fortune to have met Mr. Moore frequently and I always found him an agreeable talker. He then lived at his country place, "Chelsea," on the banks of the Hudson River; the site is now covered by the Episcopal Theological Seminary, on the block between Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets and Ninth and Tenth Avenues. At my last visit to that neighborhood, it seemed to me that there had been a great deal of filling in along the river front.
Mr. Moore was the author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas,"
" 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse" —
a poem which will be remembered so long as the English language exists.
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
 <https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015033176937?urlappend=%3Bseq=184>
Moore seemed an "agreeable talker" to Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet (1828-1919), son of John Patten Emmet (1796-1842) and grandson of Thomas Addis Emmet the distinguished Irish and American lawyer. The uncle was Bache McEvers who had married Jane Erin Emmet (TAE's aunt, his father's sister). Clement C. Moore later wrote a poem for their daughter Jeanette, at her request.

Like other contemporaries, Thomas Addis Emmet was impressed by Moore's friendly and sociable manner. Privately, Moore must have deeply felt the loss of his wife Eliza and two daughters, then a third when his married daughter Margaret Elliot Ogden died a few years later, in April 1845.

Moore's daughter Emily died on April 18, 1828; age 6.

His wife Catherine Elizabeth (Taylor) Moore died April 30, 1830; age 47.

New York Evening Post - April 5, 1830
Moore's daughter Charity Elizabeth died December 14, 1830; age 14.

Clement C. Moore’ 2nd daughter Charity’s death 14 Dec 1830Clement C. Moore’ 2nd daughter Charity’s death 14 Dec 1830 Wed, Dec 15, 1830 – Page 2 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) · Newspapers.com

Moore's daughter Margaret Elliott Ogden died April 13, 1845; age 30.

Tue, Apr 15, 1845 – Page 3 · New-York Tribune (New York, New York) · Newspapers.com

New York Spectator - April 16, 1845
Moore's grief, naturally intensified at holiday time, is the theme of his moody New Year's poem To Miss Jeannette McEvers. December 27th 1848. Heroically transcribed by Mary S.Van Deusen and accessible via her great Henry Livingston website:

<http://www.henrylivingston.com/xmas/livingstonmoore/moorejeannettesnewyearspoem.htm>

Jeanette Emmet McEvers (1826-1884) was Thomas Addis Emmet's cousin, the daughter of Bache McEvers (1798-1851) and Jane Erin Emmet (1802-1887).

Related posts:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Fragments from a Writing Desk: Paying adequate tribute to the Melvillean Robert A...

Fragments from a Writing Desk: Paying adequate tribute to the Melvillean Robert A...: This is a post on Greg Lennes's Melville site: Robert Sandberg August 10 at 11:12 AM · The Librar...

1885 auction with 1872 letter from Herman Melville

Appletons' Drake Samuel Gardner - Francis Samuel
Francis Samuel Drake via Wikimedia Commons
One 1872 letter from Herman Melville is listed in the auction catalogue of Charles F. Libbie & Co., Autographs, Portraits, Broadsides, Historical Manuscripts. Belonging to the Estate of the late Francis S. Drake, Esq. (Boston, 1885), page 58:
 1039 MELVILLE (Herman), author, a. l. s. 2 pages 8vo, 1872;
          -- A. Bronson Alcott, a. l. s. 3 pages 8vo, 1872 (2)
<https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044080272198?urlappend=%3Bseq=72>
Francis Samuel Drake the bookman, collector, and historian died in 1885, the year after publication of his memorial collection, Tea Leaves (Boston, 1884). The elaborate biographical introduction in Tea Leaves significantly expands the treatment of Thomas Melvill (Herman's grandfather) by FSD's brother Samuel Adams Drake in Old Landmarks and Historic Personages of Boston (Boston, 1873).

via U. S. Customs and Border Protection
This lot number 1039 possibly has Melville's known letter of 30 April 1872 to Samuel A. Drake, responding to Drake's request for information about Thomas Melvill and his participation in the Boston Tea Party. Now unlocated but transcribed in modern editions: The Letters of Herman Melville, ed. Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman (Yale University Press, 1960) pages 238-9; and the 1993 Northewestern-Newberry Edition of Herman Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 420.

It looks like Samuel A. Drake gave one or more letters from Herman Melville to his collector-brother Francis S. Drake, at some time between 1872 and early 1885.

Except for the date, it's not clear what if any connection the 1872 letter from Herman Melville had with Bronson Alcott's letter, included with Melville's in lot 1039. I'm guessing both 1872 letters were acquired at auction by Burns & Son with other items from the Drake collection. Burns & Son separately offered 1872 letters from Melville and Alcott that essentially match descriptions in the Libbie catalogue.

Burns & Son offered this Melville item, number 119, in their November 1885 Catalogue of Autograph Letters:
MELVILLE, Herman. Author of Typee, Omoo, etc.
A. L. S. 2pp. 8vo. 1872 . . . . .        75         
Price 75 cents, same as this 3-page letter from Alcott, written in 1872 about Margaret Fuller:
3 ALCOTT, A. Bronson. Author; philosopher.
A. L. S. 3 pp. 8vo. 1872. Account of Margaret Fuller and her works .... 75
Citation:
Catalogue of Autograph Letters, Selected from the Stock of Burns & Son, 744 Broadway, New York.” American Antiquarian: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to the Interests of Collectors of Autographs, Paper Money, Portraits, &c, vol. 4, no. 2, Nov. 1885, pp. 311–316. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eup&AN=66918716&site=ehost-live.
The most expensive item listed in 1885 by Burns & Son is the 1775 document signed by "Revolutionary patriot" Joseph Warren, "killed at Bunker Hill." "Excessively rare" and valued at 25.00. Which might be the commission of Samuel Cobb signed by Warren, lot number 1258 in the Libbie catalogue and similarly described there as "extremely rare."

Burns & Son then had their business at 744 Broadway in New York City.

A later Burns catalogue in the February 1888 number of American Antiquarian offers a one-page Melville letter written in 1860:
191 MELVILLE, Herman. Author.
       A. L. S. 1p. 8vo. 1860 . . . . 1.00
Citation:
“Catalogue of Autograph Letters, Selected from the Stock of Burns & Son, 744 Broadway, New York.” American Antiquarian: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to the Interests of Collectors of Autographs, Paper Money, Portraits, &c, vol. 4, no. 11, Feb. 1888, pp. 428–436. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hss&AN=69644641&site=ehost-live.
Scholarly editions of Herman Melville's correspondence reference two Melville letters offered in earlier Burns catalogues--issued before Charles De F. Burns "put his son George R. in charge" and changed the name of the firm to Burns & Son.

Bookmart - February 20, 1884
"THE best commission bookbuyer we know of in New York, Mr. Charles De F. Burns has secured Room 7 at No. 744 Broadway, and put his son George R., in charge. They will do business under the firm name of Burns & Son and all auction sales in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and most other important places will be attended, to watch for bargains for their constantly increasing number of patrons.
The December 1878 Catalogue of Autographs, duly cited in the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Herman Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 282, has one 1856 letter from Herman Melville.

The 1881 Burns catalogue offers a different Melville letter, written in 1858:
362. 1858, no month. 
To ?. Cited in Charles De F. Burns, Catalogue of Autographs (New York, 1881), No. 709: “Melville, Herman. Author of Omoo, etc. A.L.S. 1 p. 8 vo. 1858 . . . $.50."
This unlocated 1858 letter is referenced in the "Check List of Unlocated Letters," The Letters of Herman Melville, ed. Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman (Yale University Press, 1960). page 315:
< https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.84865/page/n361>
And the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Herman Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 322:
<https://books.google.com/books?id=nBeBBc3m4yYC&pg=PA322&lpg#v=onepage&q&f=false>

Monday, August 12, 2019

Olive Branch notice of The Confidence-Man

Richard E. Winslow III found and transcribed this item in "Contemporary Notice of Melville at Home and Abroad," Melville Society Extracts Number 106, September 1996, page 9. The favorable notice of The Confidence-Man in the Boston Olive Branch is worth another look, especially in view of Mary A. Denison's editorial work for the Olive Branch and later The Sea (1859-60). As shown in the previous post, extant copies of THE SEA in the American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 4 all include the name of Herman Melville on the front-page list of Special Contributors.
https://melvilliana.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-sea-1859-60-journal-for-sailors.html
From The Boston Olive Branch, April 11, 1857:
THE CONFIDENCE MAN: His Masquerade. By Herman Melville, Author of "Piazza Tales," "Omoo," "Typee," &c. &c. New York: Dix, Edwards & Co. 
All of Melville's works are characterized by originality; and "The Confidence Man" also abounds in passages of genuine humor, and healthful sarcasm. It is a capital book, well conceived, well written, and published in a handsome duodecimo volume of about four hundred pages. We cordially recommend it to the attention of our readers. A. Williams & Co. have it. 
Citation: 
“THE CONFIDENCE MAN: Masquerade.” Boston Olive Branch, vol. 22, no. 15, Apr. 1857, p. 003. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sdd&AN=66759556&site=ehost-live. 
Then edited by Erasmus Addison Norris, son of founder Thomas F. Norris. Patricia Okker in Our Sister Editors (University of Georgia Press, 1995; paperback 2008) credits Mary A. Denison as "Co-Editor" of the Boston Olive Branch. Mrs. Denison's tenure evidently resumed in 1856; she is listed as "assistant editor" in The Boston Directory for the Year 1852, when the paper was edited by Thomas F. Norris. From Arthur's Home Magazine, Volume 7 (February 1856) page 145:

MRS. MARY A. DENISON. 
For the past year, this gifted lady has been residing at Florence, N. J., with her husband. But, she has recently removed to Boston, and is now permanently engaged as the sole editor of the Ladies' Enterprise, and assistant editor of the Olive Branch....  
 https://books.google.com/books?id=thVLAQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA145&pg=PA145&#v=onepage&q&f=false
Boston city directories confirm Mary A. Denison's role as Assistant Editor of the Olive Branch in 1856-7.


The 1857 Complete Business Directory of Boston names E. A. Norris as Editor, and "Mrs. Mary A. Denison" as "Assistant Ed." The younger Norris and Mrs. Denison also collaborated on Ladies' Enterprise, "a paper issued under the management of the Olive Branch Company" according to Martha Louise Rayne in What Can a Woman Do (Detroit, 1887), page 35.

When the notice of Melville's Confidence-Man appeared on April 11, 1857, the Olive Branch had recently been acquired by John H. Sleeper & Co. and was called The Boston Olive Branch.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

THE SEA, 1859-60 journal for sailors, Herman Melville listed among Special Contributors

Mary A. Denison via Northern Illinois University Libraries
'THE SEA' is the title of a fortnightly journal, edited by Rev. C. W. DENISON, designed for the instruction and entertainment of seamen. Judging from the three or four numbers which we have seen, it fulfils its purpose admirably. The editor and proprietor is assisted in his literary labors by his wife, Mrs. M. A. DENISON, a lady of talent, and an attractive writer, as will be seen upon a perusal of The Chest with Silver Bands, in our last number, which was from her prolific pen. --Editor's Table, The Knickerbocker Vol. 56 (October 1860), page 443.
Charles Wheeler Denison was a Baptist clergyman and social reformer, founding editor of the New York Emancipator; his wife Mary A. Denison (aka Clara Vance, M. A. D., and N. I. Edson) a writer of popular fiction and poetry. According to some accounts they previously collaborated on the Boston Olive Branch. However, city directories name only Mary A. Denison as assistant editor, for example The Boston Directory for the Year 1852 and Boston Directory for the Year 1856. For their new enterprise The Sea, the Denisons enlisted a crew of twenty "Special Contributors that included "Herman Melville."

The American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 4 has a good but incomplete run of The Sea from April 20, 1859 to December 01, 1860. Digitized issues of The Sea are accessible to patrons of subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.

All extant copies of THE SEA name Herman Melville as one of the "Special Contributors" listed on the front page.

Vol. 1 No. 5 April 20, 1859

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS.

REV. CHARLES J. JONES, N.Y.
Capt. A. H. FOOTE, U. S. N.
Rev. J. B. RIPLEY, Philad.
Rev. T. STILLMAN, West. N. Y.
Rev. J. C. WEBSTER.
Rev. A. McGLASHEN, Ala.
Capt. JOHN S. SLEEPER.
HERMAN MELVILLE.
Lieut. MAURY, U. S. N.
Rev. J. P. ROBINSON, Mass.

Com. R. F. STOCKTON.
Hon. RUFUS CHOATE.
Capt. ANDREW BARTLETT.
Hon. CALEB CUSHING.
Capt. E. RICHARDSON.
Rev. J. STOCKBRIDGE, U. S. N.
JOSEPH STORY, Esq.
Hon. THOS. W. WILLIAMS.
Rev. M. J. GONSALVES, Cal.
Rev. W. F. DAVIDSON, Pa.
The next available issue (Vol. 1 No. 10, July 13, 1859) continues to list "Herman Melville with "Special Contributors," reduced now in number from twenty to fourteen. Added names are J. S. Inskip, NY; and J. D. Butler, New Bedford; but dropped are Webster, McGlashen, John S. Sleeper, R. F. Stockton, Rufus Choate, Caleb Cushing, Joseph Story, and M. J. Gonsalves.

Vol. 1 issue 19, December 14, 1859. Sixteen names of Special Contributors,  including "Herman Melville." Adding Rev. T. F. Boggs of Virginia and Rev. Robert Given, U. S. N.

Vol. 1 issue 20, December 28, 1859. Twenty names including "Herman Melville, Mass." Adding "Paul Jones," U. S. N. and Lieut. Preble, U. S. N. Also added, Lieut. W. F. Spicer, U. S. N.; and Mrs. H. C. Knights, N. H.

Vol. 1 issue 23, February 15, 1860. "Herman Melville, Mass." listed among twenty "Special Contributors."

Vol. 1 issue 24, February 29, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 1, March 14, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 2, March 28, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 3, April 11, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 5, May 16, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 8, July 28, 1860. HERMAN MELVILLE, MASS.

Vol. 2 issue 9, August 15, 1860. HERMAN MELVILLE, Mass.

Vol. 2, issue 12, September 15, 1860. HERMAN MELVILLE, Mass.

Vol. 3, issue 12 [No. 1] November 17, 1860. Rev. Moses Cummings takes over as publisher and proprietor; now listed as co-editor with Rev. C. W. Denison. Formerly "Associate Literary Editor" with her husband, Mrs. M. A. Denison now listed as "Assistant Editor." Regular list of twenty Special Contributors still includes "HERMAN MELVILLE, Mass."

Vol. 3, No. 2, December 1, 1860. Last extant issue of THE SEA. Special Contributors include "HERMAN MELVILLE, Massachusetts." Now twenty-one in number with addition of the assistant editor, "Mrs. M. A. Denison, New-York City."

Melville may have agreed to contribute something for THE SEA without ever doing so. That happened with the new Atlantic Monthly: in 1857 Melville agreed to contribute but never did, as Hershel Parker relates in Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 2, 1851-1891 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002; paperback 2005) page 355.

Mon, Nov 16, 1857 – Page 1 · The Buffalo Daily Republic (Buffalo, New York) · Newspapers.com

In May 1859 Melville submitted "two Pieces" of something to some "Magazine," perhaps Harper's New Monthly Magazine.
Pittsfield May 18 [1859]

Gentlemen:
Here are two Pieces, which, if you find them suited to your Magazine I should be happy to see them appear there. — In case of publication, you may, if you please, send me what you think they are worth.
Very Truly Yours
H Melville. --The Letters of Herman Melville, ed. Merrell Davis and William H. Gilman (Yale University Press, 1960), page 194; and the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 336.
Possibly Melville contributed to THE SEA around the same time, anonymously or over a pseudonym. One would think anything from Herman Melville must have been submitted before May 30th of the next year, 1860, when he sailed for San Francisco on The Meteor. If he did contribute any pieces of poetry or prose, his work might have appeared in lost issues of THE SEA. The first extant issue, Volume 1 No. 5 (April 20, 1859) supplies these tantalizing examples of "original articles" forthcoming in the next issue, unfortunately missing:
"CAPT. SPUNYARN'S STORY," A VOICE FROM THE OLD NORTH," "FORECASTLE" No. 2, and other first class original articles in our next." 
As best I can tell from here on the prairie, the run of The Sea in the AAS Historical Periodicals Collection Series 4 lacks the following issues:
  • Volume 1 missing numbers 1-4; 6-9; 11-18; and 21-22. 
  • Volume 2 missing numbers 4; 6-7; 10-11; and 13-?? [September 29, 1860; also October 13 and 17, 1860?]  
Research opportunities abound, nevertheless.

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Fri, May 27, 1910 – 7 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) · Newspapers.com