Monday, September 7, 2009

A Chronicle of Magazine Covers (4) 1820-1830. William Russell and America's First Journal Devoted to Education.

The 1820's saw further expansion of America to the west and a remarkable proliferation of magazines covering all aspects of newly forming American culture (seems like I keep saying this over and over again so it must be true!)

One of my favorite finds was a magazine I obtained at Hartford in the early nineties. It was, of course, a first issue in wrappers and therefore fair game for my bookshelf. I think I paid less than ten dollars for it.

When I got home, I started researching my cache and found that I had obtained the first journal in America (and, indeed, the english language) devoted to education. Moreover, I learned the editor was William Russell and the journal was alternatively known as Russell's Journal.

To my great surprise and with obvious joy, I then noted that the name William Russell was penned across the top of the front wrapper. So for a few dollars, I had bought the first issue, in wrappers of America's first education journal, in wrappers, signed by the editor and founder. Not a monumental financial coup by any means, but nonetheless an irreplaceable highlight of my collection.

Here's a nice bio of Russell.

Graphically, this decade, magazines look pretty much like the previous one, though, as I said, the locations have expanded and the topics are more varied. These images represent only a small part of my holdings, basically first issue octavos in wrappers, though a pretty good representation of the era. Many of these titles were celebrations of our religious freedom, including the first published by a Jew, in response to the proselytizing efforts of another magazine. It is quite rare and valuable. I believe I bought this volume from Baumann Books for about $2000.

There were three different American Monthly Magazines. The first (left) published the first appearance of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The United States Literary Gazette also featured Longfellow and Bryant.

This is the direct precursor of today's important New England Journal of Medicine.

One of countless masonic and anti-masonic publications.

More literature.

etc., etc., etc

A great idea then, still unresolved now. To quote Pete Seeger"when will we ever learn"

This was edited by the important pioneer and author Timothy Flint

Off the the shore, have a great Labor Day!

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