Thursday, December 8, 2016

Notice of Battle-Pieces in The Congregationalist

The Congregationalist [Boston] - November 2, 1866
The Congregationalist was a Boston weekly newspaper edited by Henry Martyn Dexter. From The Congregationalist for Friday, November 2, 1866, published under the heading "Literary Review":
In Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War, Herman Melville gives to the public a collection of poems dedicated to the memory of the three hundred thousand who in the war for the maintenance of the Union, fell devotedly under the flag of their fathers. The poems are very unequal in merit, and cover a wide range of subjects, but all pertain strictly to the rebellion. The author in a supplement indulges in some general reflections on reconstruction which are in the main just: he evidently believes in the cultivation of kind feelings between the two sections of the country, and deprecates all action which has a tendency to perpetuate ill will. We think he carries this too far, and we do not fully agree with him when he says that "those unfraternal denunciations, continued through years, and which at last inflamed to deeds that ended in bloodshed, were reciprocal; and that, had the preponderating strength, and the prospect of its unlimited increase lain on the other side, on ours might have lain those actions which now, in our late opponents we stigmatize under the name of Rebellion."  --found in the online Newspaper Archives at Genealogy Bank

Most "Melville" items in this newspaper naturally refer to the Anglican preacher, the Rev. Henry Melville. Here's another, later reference in The Congregationalist to Herman Melville:
Literature has its ups and downs. A few years since Herman Melville was a popular author. His "Typee" and "Omoo" were the "tit-bits" of the circulating library. Now he is a clerk in that tomb of forgotten authors, the New York Custom House. --The Congregationalist, January 23, 1873


  1. Your newspaper discoveries just keep coming. You're the obvious person to apply for the grant and become the first editor-in-chief of Melville Reviews Online. :-)

    On a non-Melville note, if your newspaper searching turns up a digital copy of an ephemeral paper called "Freedom's Sentinel" published in Athol, Mass., from 1827-1829, I'd like to hear about it. As far as I can tell there isn't one available, but I'm not a newspaper expert:


    1. Thanks Bob. I'll need a co-editor (saay...) for sure. Not to mention those fifty fast-typing youths. Will keep a lookout for Freedom's Sentinel online. I see the Library of Congress has part of it on microfilm; the longest run of originals is at, of course, the American Antiquarian Society.