Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Deuceace on Herman Melville as "a very pleasant, entertaining fellow" in the Custom House

Boston Daily Globe - November 23, 1876
Deucease writes to the Globe-Democrat that Herman Melville is a very pleasant, entertaining fellow, with a great deal of culture, with broad experience in travel and large acquaintance with men. He has many friends, though he goes very little into society, and is likely to stay in the Custom House until he is in demand by the undertaker. --Boston Daily Globe, November 23, 1876
This 1876 item appeared under the heading of "Notes on New Literature." By "Globe-Democrat" I guess the anonymous writer of literary news for the Boston Daily Globe means the St Louis Globe-Democrat. "Deucease" apparently refers to the pen-name of a New York correspondent, somebody who included a character sketch of Herman Melville in a published letter to the Globe-Democrat in St Louis. Perhaps not too many days before November 23, 1876.

Maybe the name should be Deuceace, Deuce-Ace, after Algernon Percy Deuceace in Thackeray's Yellowplush Papers. Yes! Deuceace. Earlier in 1876 this Deuceace made a stir with, as the west-coast headline read, "Some information about the religion, or lack of it, of New York journalists" (San Francisco Evening Post, June 20, 1876, reprinting "Impertinent Personalities" from the New York Graphic of June 5, 1876). In August and September 1876 the Globe-Democrat ran a series on "Humorists" in which Deuceace referred to "London friends" (quoted by James E. Mueller in Shooting Arrows and Slinging Mud). True Whitman fans already know Deuceace as the author of "Walt Whitman, Rhapsodist and Loafer" in the Globe-Democrat (July 2, 1882). Who the deuce was Deuceace? And what else did he have to say about Melville in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat?

It looks like GALE has the Globe-Democrat in the collection of 19th Century U. S. Newspapers. Unfortunately my local library does not subscribe. And my treasured NYPL card from last year's research trip expired months ago. Wilson Library calls, again.

Found! in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 19, 1876. For my transcription of the whole article by "Deuceace," please see the next post:

Monday, January 29, 2018

Battle-Pieces in Indianapolis

Found on Newspaperarchive.com
Kevin J. Hayes gives this one in Herman Melville, part of the Critical Lives series published by Reaktion Books (London, 2017); and distributed "in North and South America only" by The University of Chicago Press. There, I just ordered the Kindle Edition.
BATTLE-PIECES AND ASPECTS OF THE WAR. By Herman Melville. New York: Harper & Bros. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. Indianapolis: Merrill & Co. Price $1.75.
We have often wondered why Herman Melville did not write poetry. The volume before us shows that he does write it, and that of the best quality. The battle pieces have the true martial ring. They are swift in movement, stirring in tone, and vividly suggestive of shot, shell, sabre stroke, and garments rolled in blood. "Sheridan at Cedar Creek," is a lyric unsurpassed; and this is but representative of the excellences manifested throughout the work.  --Indianapolis Daily Journal, December 15, 1866
The Journal was published in Indianapolis by Douglass and Conner--meaning James G. Douglass and Samuel M. Douglass (sons of founder John Douglass) with Alexander H. Conner.

Conner was a lawyer and prominent Republican, later honored in Nebraska as Alexander H. Connor according to one Biographical Souvenir.

Related Post:

More newspaper reprintings of Melville's chapters on Ethan Allen in captivity

In the "Historical Note" for the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Israel Potter, Walter E. Bezanson mentions two nineteenth-century printings of "Ethan Allen's Captivity," compiled from two chapters (21 and 22) in Melville's story of Israel Potter that originally appeared in the February 1855 issue of Putnam's magazine and were duly incorporated in the 1855 book version. One reprinting, in the Western Literary Messenger for September 1855, had been cited by Jay Leyda in volume 2 of The Melville Log. Another reprinting, from the New York Leader of June 8, 1856, was listed by Steven Mailloux and Hershel Parker in the pamphlet Checklist (Melville Society, 1975), later revised by Kevin J. Hayes and Hershel Parker in their Checklist of Melville Reviews (Northwestern University Press, 1991).

Putnam's Monthly Magazine - February 1855
Titled "Ethan Allen's Captivity" or in later reprintings, "Ethan Allen in Captivity," newspaper texts reverse the sequence of chapters as given in Putnam's magazine and the book version. The first three paragraphs come from Melville's chapter 22. More or less abridged, depending on the version, these opening paragraphs lifted from chapter 22 now serve to introduce the matter of chapter 21, highlighted by Ethan Allen's witty and chivalrous dialogue with visiting ladies--the "comic courtship," as Bezanson terms it, being Melville's invention. In compressing the introductory paragraphs some of the later items titled "Ethan Allen in Captivity" delete Melville's characterization of Ethan Allen as sociable "Pagan" and "Roman." Of those found so far, all newspaper reprintings qualify the sentence in which Melville denies the influence of Ethan Allen's New England roots on his personality. Melville wrote:
Though born in New England, he exhibited no trace of her character. --Putnam's magazine, February 1855; and Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (New York: G. P. Putnam and Co., 1855)

To which the newspaper versions unfailingly add,
 "except that his heart beat wildly for his country's freedom."
Washington, D. C. Evening Star - May 20, 1856
For a bridge back to the matter of chapter 21, newspaper reprintings employ the following sentence, or something like it, which does not appear either in the magazine or book versions of Melville's Israel Potter:
"Israel Potter, an exiled Englishman, while strolling around Pendennis Castle, where Allen was confined, chanced to hear him in one of his outbursts of indignation and madness, of which the following is a specimen...."
Israel Potter was of course American, not "an exiled Englishman" as stated in many nineteenth-century reprintings, for example in the Wellsborough, Pennsylvania Agitator, and the Western Literary Messenger. With specific reference to the Western Literary Messenger version, Alide Cagidemetrio points out the "exiled Englishman" bit as a "rare, historically humorous twist" (Fictions of the Past: Hawthorne & Melville, University of Massachusetts Press, 1992, page 113). But however ironic in effect, the turning of Melville's unfortunate war hero into "an exiled Englishman" was not unique and did not originate in the Western Literary Messenger, as will be seen. And some reprintings quietly corrected the error, making Israel Potter "an exiled American."

The "Ethan Allen" extract from Melville's story of "Israel Potter" in Putnam's magazine enjoyed a wider circulation in contemporary newspapers than previously recognized. Below are listed additional reprintings, not cited in the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Israel Potter. "P" indicates that Melville's descriptor "Pagan" or "pagan" has been retained; EE = "exiled Englishman" in reference to Israel Potter; EA = "exile (or "exiled") American."
  • The Agitator (Wellsborough, Pennsylvania), May 3, 1855. P, EE.
From Putnam's Magazine
Found on Newspapers.com

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Another jokey birth announcement

Here's one more like those identified in the earlier post on 1853 birth announcements.

Same year, same baby girl (Bessie Melville, born May 22nd) but involving different newspapers in Boston and Buffalo. The original Springfield notice has been abbreviated for the sake of another joke, contributed by the Boston Times and reprinted in the Buffalo Morning Express on June 2, 1853:

Herman Melville, author of "Omoo and Typee," "Pierre, or the Ambiguities," &c., has just issued a new work.Springfield Republican.

     We learn that it is dedicated to his wife, and has already made some noise in the world.Boston Times
Related post:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Different versions for sure. Different manuscripts too?

The version of "Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs" that appeared in the August 1854 issue of The Western Literary Messenger shares many textual features with the printing of Melville's paired sketches in the Concord, New Hampshire Independent Democrat (June 29, 1854). How many? A lot more than I first realized. Before now I never bothered to read the Western Literary Messenger text closely, assuming it to have been reprinted straight from the June 1854 issue of Harper's magazine. Finding Melville's paired sketches in the Concord Independent Democrat (edited by George Gilman Fogg) made me look again at the known reprintings, in the Western Literary Messenger and also the Salem Register for June 19, 1854. The Salem Register version basically follows the text in Harper's. Not so for the later printings in Concord and Buffalo--which agree with each other in most of the places where they differ from the Harper's and the Salem printings.

The lists below identify many (not all) of the textual features that distinguish the Concord (C) and Buffalo (B) versions of "Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs" from the printings in Harper's (H) and Salem (S).
  • H = Harper's magazine, June 1854
  • S = Salem Register, June 19, 1854
  • C = Concord [New Hampshire] Independent Democrat, June 29, 1854
  • B = [Buffalo, New York] Western Literary Messenger, August 1854
Where B departs from C the differences are mostly typos, mostly in B, for example: "mirrily" for "merrily" in "merrily dream of"; "Nw" for "No" in "No, said William, rising."; "haoked" for "hacked" in "hacked crust"; "in fouoled" for "is fouled"; "rack" for "reek"; and the misspelling "prooceed."

Of the numerous departures from the Harper's text that C and B share, some would appear, possibly, to reflect a manuscript exemplar at some stage of transmission, rather than or in addition to a printed one. The conjectured manuscript behind C and B was probably difficult to read in places, hence misreadings such as "earnestly" and "earnestness" for "enthusiastically" and "enthusiasm"; "thrice" for "trice"; and "magnificence" for "magnificoes." Not only that, the conjectured manuscript may have differed significantly in places from the printer's copy used by Harper's magazine. The availability of an alternate manuscript or manuscript stage might explain some of the more remarkable and suggestive variants in C and B, in particular:
  • "thro' kind Nature"; "thro'" for "through" being a characteristic spelling for Melville in manuscript.
  • extra dashes, again characteristic of Melville's narrative style. 
  • the expression "once in awhile" in the Concord version ("once in a while" in the Buffalo Western Literary Messenger) seems hard to account for, unlikely to be merely a mistaken reading or careless transcription of "sometimes."
Harper's magazine - June 1854
Concord Independent Democrat - June 29, 1854
  • friend Blandmour, "friend" being unexampled in the Harper's text.
  • "tho't" abbreviating "thought" in CB replaces "mused" in the Harper's text. The difference appears to reflect either an illegible exemplar, or a different base-text. ("Thought I" occurs repeatedly in Melville's published writings, including short stories Bartleby and Cock-a-doodle-doo!--don't know yet about this contracted form, "tho't".)
You find rare wisdom in the woods, tho't I.  -- Concord Independent Democrat; and Buffalo Western Literary Messenger
You find rare wisdom in the woods, mused I. --Harper's magazine
Concord Independent Democrat - June 29, 1854
  •  gulph, which Melville uses elsewhere, for instance in Moby-Dick chapter 3, "the Cape Horn measure, which you may gulph down for a shilling."
Western Literary Messenger - August 1854
Listed below are textual features shared by the Concord and Buffalo versions that distinguish them from the first known printing in Harper's magazine (June 1854), and the early reprinting from Harper's in the Salem Register (June 19, 1854).

  1. "earnestly" in CB replaces "enthusiastically" in HS
  2. no hyphens in CB for these: farm yard; spring snow; snow fleece; all bountiful; rain water; receipt book; wash tub; infirm looking; half rotten; heart trouble; washing day; picked up; dinner time; window sills; chimney shelf; stock still; maple sugar; good enough; up stairs; grindstone....
  3. "earnestness" (CB) for "enthusiasm" (HS)
  4. "Blandmour" in CB not "dear Blandmour"; 2x at least.  Thus: "...I presume, Blandmour" (but see the reverse below, #22: "dear Blandmour" for Blandmour).
  5. "winter" singular not "winters" in "long, long winter here"
  6. "itself" not italicized in "winter's snow itself"
  7. long dash after "dear Blandmour"; likewise dash not semicolon after "bodily harms"; dash after "poor man's house."; dash not semicolon after "give up the point altogether"; dash after "many autumns." dash after "aspect of the room." dash after "long way sir"; after shavings away"; dash after "footfall was heard"
  8. "ever" not "never" in "Did you ever hear of the Poor Man's Eye-water?"
  9. "there is" not conracted in "there is 'Poor Man's Plaster'"..."
  10. "feed" not fe'ed as in "feed physician" (capitalized "Physician" in B, but "physician" in C)
  11. Go on, go on (repeated expression in BC where HS have "Go on." once only.
  12. "thro' kind Nature" abbreviated form, instead of "through kind Nature"
  13. semicolon within parenthesis "for the benefit of my health;)"
  14. no parentheses around "for the snow had thawed"
  15. "1 o'clock meal" numeral in CB where HS versions spell out "one o'clock"
  16. no dashes setting off "unobservantly" (emended to "unobservedly" in the Northwestern-Newberry edition): "unobservantly as I could"
  17. CB have no comma after "old" in "old and constitutionally damp."
  18. "blue eyes" plural in CB instead of "blue eye" in "soft, sad blue eye"; B has "her soft, and blue eyes" giving "and" instead of "sad"; C has "her soft, sad blue eyes"
  19. CB have lowercase m's and t in "Poor man's matches" and "Poor man's tinder"
  20. CB use question mark instead of period: "Ah, what they call 'Poor Man's Pudding,' I suppose you mean?"
  21. "We" not italicized in "We do not call it so, sir...."; "must" not italicized in "must take all my meals at home"
  22. Added "dear" in CB, "what dear Blandmour would have said" instead of "what Blandmour would have said"
  23. "thrice" in CB for trice, "in a thrice"
  24. CB have "friend Blandmour" instead of "Blandmour"
  25. "But you don't eat pork" (CB) instead of "But you don't eat of the pork!"  (HS)
  26. extra "a" "with a sly significance" in CB, not "with sly significance" as in HS
  27. "I am off" in CB instead of "I'm off."
  28. Poor man, lowercase 'm' in CB where HS have "Poor Man"
  29. "But once in a while his man gives me a Sunday ride." (CB, with "awhile" as one word in C)
    "But sometimes his man gives me a Sunday ride." (HS)
  30. "friend Blandmour" in CB instead of just "Blandmour" as in HS
  31. "our wedding-day, sir" in CB instead of "the wedding-day, sir" as in HS
  32. same reversed and misplaced parenthesis in CB, thus: "(and the soft, blue, beautiful eyes turned into two well-springs, ("
  33. "self-upbraiding" singular in CB, instead of "self-upbraidings" as in HS
  34. "bade the dame good-bye" in CB, good-bye instead of "good-by" as in HS
  35. "ill-ventilated cold" in CB, mistake for "well-ventilated cold" in HS
  36. "ruddy children" in CB, not "ruddy little children" as in HS
  37. "tho't" not "mused" in CB, thus: "tho't I" instead of "mused I" (HS)
  1. "George and Prince Regent" not "George the Prince Regent."
  2. traveller (CB) not traveler (HS)
  3. past tense "forgot exactly what" (CB) instead of "forget exactly what" (HS)
  4. past tense came, "I came to roam and see" (CB) instead of "I come but to roam and see." (HS)
  5. exclamation mark (CB) not question mark in "I hope you have not on your drawing-room suit!"
  6. "a civil, as well as a civil guide" (CB) instead of "a civic, as well as civil guide" (HS)
  7. was (CB) not were in "just the same as if I was pressed by a mob of cannibals...."
  8. "; in the country it softens" (clause instead of new sentence: "In the country it softens." (HS)
  9. dash in CB instead of semicolon, thus "not a swordI know not"
  10. Frederick William in CB not Frederic William (HS)
  11. "mob of magnificence" (CB) instead of "mob of magnificoes"
  12. "no windows" in CB instead of "No windows...." (HS)
  13. splendid "everywhere" (one word in CB) instead of "every where" (two words in HS)
  14. "pine tables" no hyphen in CB; sidewalk in CB not side-walk
  15. "dined of that" in CB instead of "dined off that" (HS)
  16.  "one broad gulph" in CB for "one broad gulp"
  17. minus two "ands" in CB, thus: "Emperors, prince-regents, kings, and field-marshalls" instead of "Emperors, and prince-regents, and kings, and field-marshals...."
  18. ...plain beef and bread; so the leavings are accordingly." (CB)
    ...plain beef and bread. So the leavings are according. (HS)
  19. "red-gowned official near the board": near in CB instead of "nigh the board" (HS)
  20. "me" italicized only once in CB, not twice as in HS.
  21. "See!" with exclamation mark in CB, not "See?"
  22. "not only stands your hat away"; "away" in CB, not "awry" as in HS.
  23. added dash (no semicolon) in "an unfortunate friend--a simple spectator"; same in "You faint.--Ho!"
  24. "banquets of kings" with lower case nouns in CB, not capitalized as in HS, "Banquets of Kings"; typo in C only, "bonquets"
  25. CB have "mouthfulls" in "unsatisfying mouthfulls of disembowelled pasties...."; not "mouthfuls" as in HS.
  26. "answered my back" in CB, mistake for "answered my beck"
  27. "defined all tumblings and tearings" in CB; mistake for "defied all tumblings and tearings" (HS)
  28. "Good-bye" in CB for "Good-by" in HS.
  29. "addressing the driver on the box" set off by commas in CB, not dashes as in HS.
Related post:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Notice of The Town-Ho's Story, Newark Daily Advertiser

The Town-Ho's Story first appeared in the October 1851 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, offered as an extract from Herman Melville's forthcoming novel The Whale (as the British edition was titled). The Town-Ho narrative forms chapter 54 in the American edition of Moby-Dick.

Reviewing Harper's for October, the Newark Daily Advertiser on September 29, 1851 alluded to "The Town-Ho's Story" and the forthcoming Whale, both favorably:

Newark Daily Advertiser - September 29, 1851
via GenealogyBank
"We are glad to have a foretaste of the fine dish which Herman Mellville is soon to offer us, and we venture to predict, that our friends will not shrink from going the whole WHALE (which is the title of the note from which this extract is taken) as soon as they have the chance."
Edited by Samuel Jackson Gardner, the father of Melville's friend Augustus Kinsley Gardner.

Related posts:

Notice of Pierre in the Troy Daily Whig

Troy Daily Whig - August 9, 1852 via Fulton History
Following my own advice about searching for "Mellville" led to this one, from the Troy Daily Whig of August 9, 1852. Not transcribed in Herman Melville: The Contemporary Reviews, ed. Brian Higgins and Hershel Parker, but cited there in the "Checklist of Additional Reviews" on page 452.

New Work by Mellville.

PIERRE OR THE AMBIGUITIES.--This book is by Mellville, the author of Typee, a narrative well known to the public, and a great favorite with a large portion of it. He dedicates his work to "Greylock's most excellent Majesty," that noble old mountain, that bears aloft the heavens on its Atlantian shoulders, and divides midway, Berkshire Co.--a wall of rock between the disjointed spurs of the Green Mountains. WILLARD has the book.
The Troy Daily Whig was then owned and edited by Charles David Brigham (1819-1894) who later became celebrated for Civil War journalism. As discussed by Paul Starobin in Madness Rules the Hour, Brigham reported from Charleston in 1860 for the New York Tribune.
"In 1862 Brigham reported one of the major stories of the war in a twenty-two-page telegram to the Tribune recounting the battle of the ironclads Monitor and Merrimac at Hampton Roads."  --Historical Dictionary of War Journalism, ed. Mitchel P. Roth (Greenwood Press, 1997) page 40.
In 1864 as editor of the Pittsburgh Commercial Brigham
made himself famous in the newspaper world by securing news of the battle of the Wilderness twenty-four hours before any other editor. His correspondent hastened from the battle-field on the second day of the engagement, chartered a ferry-boat for $2,700 to carry him to the nearest telegraph station, and telegraphed the details of the conflict before New York newspapers knew that the armies had met. --The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography

Moby-Dick in Oswego

Oswego Commercial Times - Wednesday, November 26, 1851
via Fulton History
From the Oswego Daily Commercial Times, November 26, 1851 (then owned and published by James N. Brown); found online in the great and growing archives of historical newspapers from New York State and elsewhere at Fulton History.
MOBY-DICK, or the Whale. By Herman Mellville.--Persons who are fond of reading marvelous fish stories, this book will be welcome. It is written with considerable spirit, and abounds in wit and humor. 
Fulton History is a magnificent resource for all sorts of research, worthy of generous support. Contact info:
Thomas M. Tryniski
309 South 4th Street
Fulton New York 13069
Sometimes you have to look for MELLVILLE with four L's.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fake News from the Mediterranean

Some few weeks after the execution, among other matters under the head of News from the Mediterranean, there appeared in a naval chronicle of the time, an authorised weekly publication, an account of the affair. It was doubtless for the most part written in good faith, tho' the medium, partly rumor, through which the facts must have reached the writer, served to deflect and in part falsify them. The account was as follows:--
"On the tenth of the last month a deplorable occurrence took place on board H. M. S. Indomitable. John Claggart, the ship's maaster-at-arms, discovering that some sort of plot was being hatched incipient among an inferior section of the ship's company, and that the plotter ringleader was one William Budd; a foretopman he, Claggart in the act of arraigning the man before the Captain was vindictively stabbed to the heart by the suddenly drawn sheath-knife of Budd.

The deed and the implement employed, sufficiently suggest that tho' mustered into the service under an English name the assassin was no Englishman, but one of those aliens adopting English names cognomens whom the present extraordinary necessities of the service have caused to be admitted into it in considerable numbers.

The enormity of the crime and the extreme depravity of the criminal, appear the greater in view of the character of the victim, a middle-aged man eminently respectable, safe and and discreet, belonging to that minor official grade, the petty-officers, upon whom, as His Majesty's navy upon which, as are none know better than the commissioned officers gentlemen, the efficiency of His Majesty's navy so considerably largely depends.--the petty officers. His function was a an onerous and responsible one, at once onerous & thankless, and his fidelity in it the more greater because of the peculiar earnestness of his strong patriotic loyal impulse that signalisesing him trait in him. greater because of his strong patriotic impulse. In this instance as in so many other instances in these days, the example of this character of this unfortunate man signally refutes, if refutation were needed, that peevish saying attributed to the late Dr. Johnson, that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

The criminal paid the penalty of his crime. The promptitude of the example punishment has proved salutary. Nothing amiss is now apprehended aboard H. M. S. Indomitable."
The above appearing in a publication now long ago superannuated and forgotten is all that stands hitherto has stood in authoritative human record up to the present time to attest what manner of men respectively were John Claggart and Billy Budd. 
--Herman Melville, transcribed from digital images of Billy Budd in manuscript. available online courtesy of Harvard Library. <http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:4686413> Melville, Herman, 1819-1891. Herman Melville papers, 1761-1964. Billy Budd. A.Ms.; [n.p., n.d.]. MS Am 188 (363). Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Houghton Library, Harvard University. Accessed 24 January 2018.
pages with links:

340 (seq. 773): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:4686413?n=773

341 (seq. 775): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:4686413?n=775

342 (seq. 777): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:4686413?n=777

343 (seq. 779): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:4686413?n=779

344 (seq. 781): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:4686413?n=781
The best version in print appears in the hefty new Northwestern-Newberrry Edition of Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings. Edited by Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, Robert A. Sandberg, and G. Thomas Tanselle, Historical Note by Hershel Parker. Net weight 3.2 lbs as I learned the other morning after stepping on the scale absentmindedly, book in hand. For one thing I was looking to see what the editors made of Melville's incomprehensible word in the cancelled bit after the passage transcribed above.
Here ends a story not unwarranted by what sometimes happens in this in *^$)@%(#&!
world of ours--Innocence and infamy, spiritual depravity and fair repute
Some print versions make the uncertain word(s) incomprehensible, as in "this incomprehensible world of ours." In the appended "Transcription of Billy Budd, Sailor" (page 540) the Northwestern-Newberry editors leave it "undeciphered." However, the "Discussions" section (page 433) reports three previous suggestions:
  • incongruous
  • incomprehensible
  • incompetent
If you want to play this game at home, here's the link again to manuscript page 344 (seq. 781) with that famously hard word:
And here's another try at the "News from the Mediterranean" chapter--same text as above, but now omitting cancelled words for easier reading:
Some few weeks after the execution, among other matters under the head of News from the Mediterranean, there appeared in a naval chronicle of the time, an authorised weekly publication, an account of the affair. It was doubtless for the most part written in good faith, tho' the medium, partly rumor, through which the facts must have reached the writer, served to deflect and in part falsify them. The account was as follows:--
"On the tenth of the last month a deplorable occurrence took place on board H. M. S. Indomitable. John Claggart, the ship's maaster-at-arms, discovering that some sort of plot was incipient among an inferior section of the ship's company, and that the ringleader was one William Budd; he, Claggart in the act of arraigning the man before the Captain was vindictively stabbed to the heart by the suddenly drawn sheath-knife of Budd.

The deed and the implement employed, sufficiently suggest that tho' mustered into the service under an English name the assassin was no Englishman, but one of those aliens adopting English cognomens whom the present extraordinary necessities of the service have caused to be admitted into it in considerable numbers.

The enormity of the crime and the extreme depravity of the criminal, appear the greater in view of the character of the victim, a middle-aged man respectable and discreet, belonging to that minor official grade, the petty-officers, upon whom, as none know better than the commissioned gentlemen, the efficiency of His Majesty's navy so largely depends. His function was a responsible one, at once onerous & thankless, and his fidelity in it the greater because of his strong patriotic impulse. In this instance as in so many other instances in these days, the character of this unfortunate man signally refutes, if refutation were needed, that peevish saying attributed to the late Dr. Johnson, that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

The criminal paid the penalty of his crime. The promptitude of the punishment has proved salutary. Nothing amiss is now apprehended aboard H. M. S. Indomitable."
The above appearing in a publication now long ago superannuated and forgotten is all that hitherto has stood in human record to attest what manner of men respectively were John Claggart and Billy Budd.
 More links:

Vincent on Leyda

Found on Newspapers.com

Review by Howard P. Vincent of the 1949 anthology Complete Stories of Herman Melville, edited by Jay Leyda; transcribed below from the Philadelphia Inquirer Book Review of May 29, 1949:

Treasure of Melville Gems

Edited With an Introduction and Note[s], by Jay Leyda. Random House: New York. 472 pp. $4.


by Howard P. Vincent

THIS book brings together all of Herman Melville's short stories, so that his writings in this genre may be assessed.

There can be no doubt of the final judgment of the critics: Melville was a master of the short story. This is not to say that every story he wrote was a masterpiece, but it is certainly true that the author of Benito Cereno, The Encantadas, Bartleby the Scrivener, The Tartarus of Maids and I and My Chimney ranks with his friend, Hawthorne, among short-story writers.

It is interesting to observe that all of these stories were written between 1852 and 1855, and were Melville's attempts to reach a public which would not buy Moby Dick and Pierre.

Anyone who holds to the myth, too long current, that Melville's genius faded out after Moby Dick will be here confounded by the subtle artistry of these magnificent stories—stories which sound the depths of the human heart, and which explore the far reaches of evil, both social and personal.

JAY LEYDA deserves special praise for his editorial work. Not a professional scholar in the academic sense, Leyda has in recent years discovered a tremendous mass of new material concerning the life and writings of Melville, most of which is to be presented in his forthcoming A Melville Log.

Leyda has modestly incorporated some of this new information in his instruction and notes. I say modestly because where the professional scholar would have announced each "new" fact with a "we now know for the first time," or some such trumpeting phrase, Leyda presents the material with disarming casualness.

LEYDA'S skill in criticism is no less remarkable than his research. The introduction is excellent—the best I know to lead one into these stories.

His wealth of new facts does not interfere with the flow of intelligent interpretation. We move easily from the valuable discussion of Melville's undeveloped notes—"story tentatives" Leyda calls them—to shrewd insight.

Consider, for instance: "Though some duty of communication is present in his artistic work (else the work would not have been brought into existence), much of these stories' materiality seems a minutely pointed and deceptive screen erected across what is really taking place behind it—in Melville's mind. We are compelled to regard these stories as an artist's resolution of that constant contradiction—between the desperate need to communicate and the fear of revealing too much. In these stories the contradiction is expressed on various levels of tension—the fiercer the pull, the higher the accomplishment."

Leyda's notes are readable little sketches showing, insofar as is known, the genesis of each story.

There is one touch which many Melville students will appreciate: the dedication to Raymond Weaver, the first biographer of Melville.

Since his Herman Melville, Mariner and Mystic was the basis on which later scholars have built, the dedication is especially appropriate.
via Good Reads

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs in The Independent Democrat

The Independent Democrat (Concord, New Hampshire)
via GenealogyBank
Herman Melville's short fiction Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs was first published in the June 1854 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Both of the paired sketches or "pictures" were reprinted from Harper's on June 29, 1854 in The Independent Democrat, published in Concord, New Hampshire.

The Northwestern-Newberry Edition of The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860 locates only two reprints from Harper's magazine: in the Salem, Massachusetts Register on June 19, 1854; and the Buffalo Western Literary Messenger for August 1854. The headings and use of double quotation marks in the Independent Democrat version match the Harper's text rather than the Salem Register versions where "Poor Man's Pudding" and "Rich Man's Crumbs" are italicized in the subheadings, and single quotation marks are standard practice throughout. Even so, the immediate exemplar (Harper's? Salem Register? some other unknown version?) is hard to determine.

 The Independent Democrat (Concord, New Hampshire)
June 29, 1854
In the first sentence of Melville's story the Concord paper prints "earnestly" where Harper's and the Salem Register both read "enthusiastically." Further on, when Melville's narrator speaks "without equal enthusiasm" in the Harper's and Salem Register texts, the Concord Independent Democrat makes it "without equal earnestness." The change of "enthusiasm" to "earnestness" oddly but also quite deliberately reinforces the sense of the earlier usage of "earnestly," in place of "enthusiastically."

Salem Register - June 19, 1854
Later in "Picture First" the Concord Independent Democrat has the narrator refer to "friend Blandmour" where both Harper's and the Salem Register versions read only "Blandmour."

 "I suppose now, thinks I to myself, that friend Blandmour would poetically say--He goes to take a Poor Man's saunter." --Independent Democrat, June 29, 1854
Upon further review I see The Western Literary Messenger (August 1854) version exhibits the same quirks noted above, namely the calculated substitution of earnestly/earnestness for enthusiastically/enthusiasm; and the additional word "friend" in speaking of "friend Blandmour."

Western Literary Messenger - August 1854

More work will be needed to see what else the Concord editor made of Melville's diptych. The masthead names George G. Fogg as "Editor and Proprietor" of the Independent Democrat, published weekly in Concord, New Hampshire.

Related posts:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Notices of "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" in Louisville and Nashville

Found on Newspapers.com

From the Louisville Daily Courier, November 30, 1853:

Harper's Magazine for December.

This admirable magazine has commenced its eighth volume, and the first number of that volume is the best specimen of magazine literature and art that has appeared in this country. This number is entirely original, and an edition of one hundred and thirty-five thousand copies is demanded by the increasing popularity of the work. Two thousand copies are sold in this city….
There is a singular paper in this number, entitled "Cock-a-doodle-doo; or, the crowing of the noble cock Beneventano." We thought for a considerable period of the time devoted to reading it, that some of the gentlemen engaged in the foreign poultry trade, had discovered a breed that was to kill off "Chittagongs," "Brama Poutras," "Cochin Chinas," "Plymouth Rocks," "Dorkings," "Hamburgs," "Polands," and all the rest, and had sought Harpers large circulation to make known to all English civilization the qualities of the breed. But the tombstone at the end revealed the mystery, and we found, to steal an idea from Waldo Emerson, that the cock Beneventano was a representative gentleman, and as such altogether worthy of the space he occupies in Harper. Reader, solve the mystery of the allegory, bow to its teachings, and, verily, great will be your reward.
 Edited by Walter N. Haldeman, as discussed in the earlier post on
The Nashville notice of "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" similarly described it as an "allegory":

The paper entitled "Cock-a-doodle-doo; or the crowing of the noble Cock Beneventano," is a curious allegory that will puzzle the superficial reader. But he that reads the riddle, who dives to the depths of its profound mystery, and learns what the graces are that are represented by the Shanghai of the story; and why he was found the tenant of the hut of the lowly wood-chopper, and why the family loved him, will find a lesson fully worth the labor its acquisition may cost.  --Republican Banner, and Nashville Whig, December 3, 1853
As the masthead for this number indicates, the Republican Banner and Nashville Whig was published by W. F. Bang and edited by Allen A. Hall.

Related post:

The Apple-Tree Table, reprinted from Putnam's in the Troy Daily Times

Melville's short fiction The Apple-Tree Table was first published anonymously in the May 1856 issue of Putnam's Monthly Magazine. On Saturday, May 10, 1856 the Troy Daily Times reprinted the story on page 4 "from Putnam's Monthly for May," correctly giving its full title:
"The Apple-Tree Table; Or, Original Spiritual Manifestations."
John M. Francis (1823-1897) was then owner and editor of the Daily Times which he founded in 1851, according to The Illustrated American for November 29, 1890; and the 1897 collection of posthumous tributes, In Memoriam: John M. Francis.

On page 2 of the Troy Daily Times for May 10, 1856, a separate editorial column (by Francis, I'm presuming) commends "The Apple-Tree Table" as a "good story" with a "good moral." The Troy editor's published remarks constitute an unusually elaborate notice for one of Melville's magazine pieces. In Racine, Wisconsin the Weekly Advocate (April 30, 1856) approved "The Apple-Tree Table" as "a piquant article" in the new number of Putnam's. The New York Times (May 1, 1856) gave it a little longer glance, evoking Poe:
"There is a story (rather disappointing at the end) relating to mysterious rappings in an apple-tree table, which reminds us of POE, in the minuteness of its touches."
In Troy, John M. Francis praised the craftsmanship of "The Apple-Tree Table" without naming Melville who (as conventional) was not identified as the author in Putnam's magazine:
"It is well calculated to excite the attention and keep up the interest of the reader by the ingenuity and adroitness with which the narrative is conducted."
The Troy Daily Times was friendly to Melville from the start. Announcing Moby-Dick for sale in November 1851, the ad for Willard's News Room promised that
A book by the author of "Typee," "Omoo," &c., will be hailed with pleasure by his ten thousand readers.  --Troy Daily Times, November 13, 1851
Francis even had a good and very early word for Melville's Pierre:

Troy Daily Times - July 31, 1852
"This is one of the best productions of the illustrious author of "Typee." It is issued in cheap publication form, and will have a great run."  --Troy Daily Times, July 31, 1832
The Troy reprint and notice of "The Apple-Tree Table" are not cited in the Northwestern-Newberry edition of The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860 which indicates "no later printing in Melville's lifetime" (page 720). From the Troy Daily Times; found in the great archives of Thomas M. Tryniski at Fulton History:

Troy Daily Times (Troy, New York) - May 10, 1856 via Fulton History

A Story with a Moral.

A good story will be found on our fourth page. It is well calculated to excite the attention and keep up the interest of the reader by the ingenuity and adroitness with which the narrative is conducted. The moral is excellent. It is just such trifling incidents as these, simple enough if we would only coolly investigate, but rendered mysterious by our own fears and ignorance, that give life and being to "spiritualism" and the whole spook family of "ghosts and goblins damned." No matter of fact woman, with strong nerves and good sense, like the lady in this veritable Tale, ever saw a ghost, or went crazy about "spirit-rappers." It is the "Miss Julias," both male and female, who, governed by their superstitious fears, take it for granted without rational reflection, that spirits linger about under tables, and in cellars and ceilings, rapping out nonsense and herding with puppies and vermin. If we believed that spirits were so degraded as to lead such a skulking, miserable, vagabond existence, we should try to rid ourselves of the nuisance by administering "hop-up" and "rat-exterminator." But enough of this. Read the story.
--Troy Daily Times, May 10, 1856
The Troy Daily Times - May 10, 1856 via Fulton History
Melville's story "The Apple-Tree Table" was reprinted from Putnam's magazine in at least one other contemporary newspaper:
Related posts:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Lightning-Rod Man, reprinted from Putnam's in the Albany Evening Journal and elsewhere

Cyclopædia of Wit and Humor
Originally published in the August 1854 issue of Putnam's Monthly Magazine, Melville's comic sketch "The Lightning-Rod Man" was reprinted in several contemporary newspapers, including the Albany Evening Journal (August 5, 1854). As customary, Putnam's magazine did not credit Melville for the story. Likewise the newspaper versions reprinted from Putnam's contain no byline or other identification of the author. Eventually the story would appear with "Benito Cereno" and other of Melville's magazine pieces in The Piazza Tales (New York: Dix & Edwards, 1856).

No newspaper printing of "The Lightning-Rod Man" is cited in the Northwestern-Newberry edition of The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860.

Albany Evening Journal - August 5, 1854
 "The Lightning-Rod Man" was also reprinted anonymously in these newspapers:
  •  Sandusky Commercial Register (in two parts), August 12, 1854 and August 14, 1854

"The Lightning-Rod Man" in Yates County Whig - August 17, 1854
via New York Historic Newspapers

  • "From Putnam's Monthly" in the Oneida [New York] Sachem, August 19, 1854
  • "FROM 'THE PIAZZA TALES.' BY HERMAN MELVILLE." in the Columbus Gazette (Columbus, Ohio) November 27, 1857.
  • Albany Atlas & Argus, May 14, 1859
  • Goshen Democrat (Goshen, Orange County, New York) May 27, 1859
  • Geneva Gazette (Geneva, New York) May 20, 1859.
  • New Orleans Republican, Sunday, September 6, 1874
  • Omaha Daily Bee, September 17 and 18, 1874

Related posts:

Monday, January 15, 2018

A rare hater of Israel Potter in Putnam's

Most newspaper critics who bothered to notice Melville's story of Israel Potter in Putnam's magazine liked it. Not in Buffalo, however. Reviewing the January 1855 number of Putnam's, a reviewer in the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser used the "interminable" narrative of adventure and exile to illustrate the lackluster content of the whole issue.

Found on Newspapers.com
... This is the dullest number of all we have had: the articles are not up to the standard of the magazine. As this is eminently an American publication, it has many friends and none of them will be satisfied with any indication of drowsiness; or what is more, and carelessness in its editors or managers. There is hardly an article of any interest in this number. The apparently interminable story, called "Israel Potter," is continued, and is like to continue, for aught that can be seen, for some time to come; it is excessively stupid and the publishers would have done better to have left the space blank. Kill off "Israel," we beg of you, gentlemen, or wind him up forthwith—the trouble of cutting the leaves is not repaid by the matter of the article. Subscribers and publishers will expect a brilliant number in February, to reward them for the defects of this and the last preceding Putnam.— Wake up, gentlemen, or you will fall too far behind to bring up with your vigilant competitors in the race for fame. --Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, December 27, 1854
The year before, the same Buffalo paper unreservedly loved Putnam's. In a long, glowing review of the November 1853 issue, the first installment of Melville's "Bartleby" received brief but positive mention as one of several "well written, amusing papers," and "admirably told":
"The American Ideal Woman," "The life of a Dog," and "Bartleby, the Scrivener, a tale of Wall street," are all well written, amusing papers. The latter is the first part of a tale and is admirably told." --Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, November 5, 1853
Early in April 1854 the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser still happily awaited "charming romances" by Herman Melville in the pages of Putnam's Monthly Magazine:
When Longfellow with his poetry, Melville with his charming romances, Taylor with his knowledge of other lands, and other writers equally as gifted, come to us each month with an offering from the storehouse of their good things--what more can the most fastidious taste hope for or desire?  --Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, April 11, 1854
What happened?

Possibly the new hostility to Putnam's in general and Melville in particular reflects the change in ownership of the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser that occurred in October 1854.

"... in 1854 the whole establishment was sold to Calvin F. S. Thomas, Solon H. Lathrop and Jedediah H. Lathrop. Theodore N. Parmelee was employed as editor. On the 4th of April, 1857, the plant and business passed again to Mr. Jewett and Doctor Foote, the latter acting as editor." --Our County and Its People ed. Truman C. White

On the other hand, no major change of editorship occurred, since according to the Troy Daily Whig (October 6, 1854), Thomas Nelson Parmelee had been serving as "working editor" since June 1851, when Thomas Moses Foote left for Albany to run the Daily Register (Buffalo Christian Advocate, June 19, 1851):
T. N. PARMELEE, the working editor of the paper for four years past, continues in charge of the paper under the new arrangement. (Troy Daily Whig, October 6, 1854)
Ironically, back when Thomas M. Foote was editor the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser (July 1, 1846) had saved Herman Melville's reputation for veracity by publishing a letter from his shipmate "Toby" Greene. Foote, as Hershel Parker says in the first volume of Herman Melville: A Biography (page 435), "knew how to package a story."

Found on Newspapers.com
A few months before the ownership change in 1854, the "political editor" of the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser (August 4, 1854) hesitated to overstep by offering literary criticism:
"Perhaps it is not within the scope of a political editor's duties to criticise the purely literary contributions to the Magazines…." (August 4, 1854)
It could be that with new proprietors of the Commercial Advertiser and his newly formalized title of editor (no longer merely "political editor"?), Parmelee felt empowered to speak his mind on literary matters, too. In any case, the first blast at Melville's Israel Potter in the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser happened on Thomas Nelson Parmelee's watch, only a few months after the sale to Thomas and Lathrops.

The Buffalo Commercial Advertiser did not mention Melville by name in connection with "Israel Potter." But the hating on "this long batch of twaddle" continued in the notice of Putnam's for February 1855: 
Putnam for February has more merit than the last number. To those who read this magazine as a matter of course, the notice following the last installment of "Israel Potter" will be gratifying. It assures them that this long batch of twaddle which has occupied so much room in many of the late numbers will be concluded in the next issue. Good.
Nobody could have been gladder to see Israel Potter go. After one episode of "Miss Charter," the Buffalo hater dismisses the new series as
another story which promises to be as stupid as "Israel Potter." --Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, January 25, 1855
In January 1855 the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser devoted two columns headed "Putnam's Monthly—Cursive and Discursive" (January 12, 1855) and "Putnam's Monthly—Cursive and Discursive—Again" (January 16, 1855) to an extended critique of Putnam's and its editors, George W. Curtis and Parke Godwin. (The newspaper headings mock the "Cursive and Discursive" segments in some of Curtis's "Editorial Notes" for Putnam's.) No mention of Melville appears in either column. But Melville probably would have agreed with the Buffalo editor's estimation of Curtis:
If we are at liberty to judge from Mr. Curtis's published writings, his attainments are not such as to render him a profound critic; not such as to qualify him for the polemics of literature or art, and not such as to enable him to estimate accurately the relative merits of the literary men of the time.— In turning to the Editorial Notes of Putnam, particularly those which are most evidently from Curtis's pen, the reader will often discover an affectation of knowledge, and a slashing ex cathedra dictum in the place of extensive erudition and deliberative judgment. Curtis in his own proper department is inimitable, but beyond that nos judicibus quite vulnerable.
As for Curtis's colleague at Putnam's magazine, the Buffalo editor acknowledges Parke Godwin as "a man of solid acquirements and sharp, acrid intellect." Noting Godwin's "ultra radical" politics, the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser particularly objects to the intrusion in Putnam's magazine of his "strong bias towards political abolitionism." The second part of the two-part critique helpfully summarizes the chief complaints:
The objections we make to Putnam's Monthly may be summed up substantially as follows:

1st. It is not mainly a magazine of art and literature—using the latter word in its primary sense, but it manifests an ambition to exercise political influence.

2d. Its pages are chiefly occupied by common-place controversy and didactics.

3d. Its editorial columns are blemished by ill considered obiter dicta in the various departments of criticism.

4th. Its literary merit is of a negative character—its articles as a general rule exhibit neither obvious faults nor high excellence.  --Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, January 25, 1855
Reviewing the March 1855 number of Putnam's magazine, T. N. Parmelee (unavoidably implicated by the editorial we) claimed,"We are not alone in our opinion of the steadily decreasing merit of Putnam's Magazine." Once again, Melville's "Israel Potter" served to illustrate the "trash" in Putnam's:
... The very respectable and influential proprietors of Putnam should strive to change its character, and we beg them to do so, not upon our opinion of its merit, but upon that of other persons learned from the press, and from conversation, which is entitled to respectful consideration. The present number cannot be condemned by wholesale, there is a pretty thing or two in it; but the authors of "Israel Potter," and "Miss Chester," it is hoped will not consider it necessary to inflict upon a suffering public any more trash such as that which we are given to understand is now furnished [finished?]. The sentence announcing the fact, is the most interesting portion of these articles. Thank your stars, reader, and hope better things for the future. --Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, February 27, 1855

The book version of Israel Potter was published in 1855 by G. P. Putnam & Co. The standard scholarly edition is available via Northwestern University Press.

As shown above, the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser under editor Thomas N. Parmelee named "Miss Chester" with "Israel Potter" as especially bad "trash." For the curious, here are links to the two installments of "My Three Conversations with Miss Chester" in the fifth volume of Putnam's Monthly Magazine (1855):
Who wrote it? Frederic Beecher Perkins:
  • https://archive.org/stream/mythreeconversat00perk
In later years T. N. Parmelee wrote anecdotal sketches for Harper's titled "Recollections of an Old Stager," and "Desultory Sketches" signed "T. N. P." in The Galaxy. The Harper's series included Parmelee's account of the Somers mutiny from the perspective of an insider in the administration of John Tyler, published in the April 1873 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine.

Offended by the treatment of Zachary Taylor in another installment of the Harper's series (September 1873), one writer in the United States Army and Navy Journal denounced Parmelee's "Recollections of an Old Stager" as "more distinguished for poverty of resource and vulgarity of taste, than for literary merit or artistic excellence."

As generally known, Parmelee once had been employed by James Gordon Bennett as Washington correspondent for the New York Herald. Seldom if ever remembered is Bennett's claim that he fired Parmelee "for his indolence and incompetence," as announced in the New York Herald on December 31, 1842.

After Parmelee sued for libel, Bennett elaborated in the Herald of July 10, 1845:
This Parmelee was for several years in our employment, and was specially engaged as a correspondent at Washington during the first years of Mr. Tyler's administration, and at the Extra Session. His conduct was not satisfactory to us, and we discharged him from our employment. Soon afterwards he obtained an appointment from Mr. Tyler to an Inspectorship on the frontier, which he has since that period enjoyed, unless he has been removed by the present administration, as we have heard stated, and is very likely. Soon after his discharge by us, some most violent and personally abusive articles appeared in a paper published in this city, called the Aurora, long since defunct. These articles brought up the case of Parmelee, and made some direct charges against the proprietor of this paper, which we at the time rebutted, and certainly disproved, by extracts from the letters of Parmelee himself. Out of this defence of our character and reputation, Parmelee undertook, two years and afterwards, to found a civil action for a libel suit, which he soon afterwards abandoned; and now, after a lapse of three years, has obtained an indictment against us before a grand jury who could know nothing of the merits of the case, and were out of the venue, and who ought not, in justice and equity, to have for a moment entertained the complaint.

The indictment has, however, been obtained, and on the trial, we will present a defence, which will certainly be not a little interesting to the public at large. We have in our possession, between sixty and eighty letters, written by Parmelee, in Washington, during the extra, and subsequent session of Congress, which will make developments, relative to this matter, extremely lucid and rich, perfectly satisfactory to us, and to all who may have seen the original statements. In fact, this correspondence, will be, in political developments, what that of Chevalier Wickoff was in the theatrical world, amusing, original, and interesting in the extreme, and perfectly vindicatory of our reputation against the paltry attack of this individual. Enough of the case for the present.
Here is the obituary of Theodore N. Parmelee from the Middletown, Connecticut Daily Constitution of Monday, July 6, 1874; found in the archives of Historical Newspapers at GenealogyBank.


Mr. Theodore N. Parmelee, a well-known journalist, died at the Montowese House, Branford, Friday [July 3, 1874], aged 70. He had suffered about a year with an acute chronic disease. The New Haven Register gives the following interesting biography:— 
He was born in Durham, Middlesex county, and learned the printing business in the office of the old Middlesex Gazette—of which, at mature age, he became the editor. During the administration of President Van Buren, he became the Washington correspondent of the New York Herald, and perhaps of other metropolitan journals, and was one of the earliest, if not the ablest, of what has since grown to be a powerful class in the country. Of rare conversational powers, pleasant address, and genial manner, he became a favorite with the leading men in Congress, and in office—and during the administration of John Tyler, he was on most intimate terms at the White House. No man whom we have ever met had so extensive a remembrance of men and things at Washington as Mr. Parmelee. Those who have pursued [perused] his very readable articles in Galaxy, Harper's Magazine, etc., within the past five or six years under the head of "Recollections of an Old Stager," will readily believe that, in his demise, the political literature of the country has suffered a great loss. He wielded a graphic and trenchant pen; and when he "bound him to the task," had few equals in force or style of composition. In later life he was connected with the editorial department of the Buffalo (N. Y.) Commercial, and had a thorough knowledge of the men and politics of that state. Later he was associated with the late Hon. Dean Richmond, as friend and secretary, but since the death of that gentleman he has resided in Branford or this city, mainly occupied with his pen.
Daily Constitution (Middletown, Connecticut)
July 6, 1874