Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Illustrated Journalism: its past and its future

Illustrated Journalism: its past and its future, 
by Clement K. Shorter, Contemporary Review, Vol. 75, 1899

A nice Companion Piece is
by Hume Nisbet, The Gentleman's Magazine, March 1892









Full Versions of the Illustrations for this post are

Monday, February 27, 2012

Henry Llewellyn Williams: a Literary Pirate

by John Adcock

The first time I came across the name Henry Llewellyn Williams was eight years ago, in December, while reading old letters in bound volumes of the New York Times Literary Supplement for 1904. Williams was a frequent contributor and wrote florid letters on Sherlock Holmes, Edward Lloyd, Bracebridge Hemyng, Paul Féval and Sweeney Todd. He had a keen interest in cheap literature, and more, he hinted at personal first-hand knowledge of the doings of publishers and authors of nineteenth century Fleet Street.

Because of his gossipy, gregarious style of writing I had doubts about the veracity of Williams stories. In a letter written from Pearl River, New York, for instance, Williams passed on an intriguing story about Edward Lloyd and his running trade in timely novelization of popular stage melodrama:

“Lloyd was a stout, ruddy, round-headed Englishman, a Panks (*character from Dickens’s Little Dorrit), full of activity, and his work mapped out clearly in his solid head. He would interrupt the chat to speak through tubes to the author, printer, and publishing office from his chair, as in “How is Paul and the Press Gang going?” and communicate instructions from the reply: “Tell Mr. Scribe to keep Paul Pressgang four numbers ahead,” or, “Scribe, just wind up Pressgang in two issues and get on with The Dumb Boy of Manchester -- the play is a hit at the Adelphi”

This story seemed a bit fishy at the time, but -- on 25 Mar 2004 Bill Blackbeard posted the following on the Bloods & Dimes website:

“For the record, my shelves hold a bound volume of a French sensational lit mag yclept Causes Celebres de Tous les Peuples. Dated 1849 and apparently a complete run in 452 pp., the London Journal-sized pub features short (10-25 pp.) accounts of actual notorious crimes and criminals, all illustrated by effective and generally restrained illos, maps, diagrams of crime scenes, etc. On pages 149-156, one of the books shorter accounts is unpretentiously titled “Pierre Miquelon et Barnabe Cabard.” These two gentlemen apparently have a taste for good human flesh, and since Cabard is a barber by profession, he does in salubrious customers by cutting their throats in the barber’s chair.”

Bill B.’s find solved a mystery that had plagued penny dreadful researchers and aficionados for over a century -- to wit, the original source of the London Sweeney Todd legend (Todd’s name first appeared in James Malcolm Rymer’s String of Pearls; or, the Sailor’s Gift). On 23 June 2006 I found a corroboration of Bill Blackbeard’s post in a New York Times book supplement letter (17 Sept 1904) by Henry Llewellyn Williams, followed by another mention, in a different letter (on Ghost Stories16, April 1904, “founded on a Paris legend”) by the same author. Williams wrote on Sweeney Todd under the title “The Publisher Lloyd”:

“As has here been pointed out, the story is based on a Parisian medieval legend that a barber supplied the “meat” for a neighboring pie-man.”

So perhaps there was some reliability in the many seemingly tall-tales told by Williams after all. I stashed my photocopies in a box and forgot about Williams until recently, when I found an article that knocked my socks off. I was to find  that Henry Llewellyn Williams, using a variety of pseudonyms (Henry L. Boone, Mat Mizzen and surely others), was one of the most astoundingly prolific transatlantic hack-writers of his time, perhaps of all time, and had been consigned to the graveyard of cheap literature. Williams was the author of city mysteries, dime novels, yellowbacks, westerns, and sea stories. The aforesaid article appeared in the New York Dramatic Mirror in May 1883 under the title A QUEER BUSINESS EXPOSED, and its subject was Henry Llewellyn Williams. It began:

“Among the advertisements in the amusement columns of the New York Herald on Sunday, May 13, was the following:

FEDORA. -- AN ENGLISH (ACTING) TRANS-lation of this French play will be furnished at a moderate price. Address L. W., 176 Herald offices.

As Fanny Davenport purchased the play of Fedora in Paris some time since from the author, Victorien Sardou, for a good round sum, and as no other legitimate sale of an English translation, to be used on American territory, could be made, THE MIRROR was convinced that “L. W.’s” offer to sell a copy of the drama savored of piracy, if not downright fraud, and its emissaries were given instructions to sift the matter to the bottom. Some detective work was therefore arranged. On scented note-paper, and in a feminine hand, the following letter, signed by a purely fictitious name, and dated from an address obtained for the purpose, was mailed to the Herald Advertiser.”

It was a long letter, signed by “Mary L. Brotherton,” and hinted that she had “thousands of dollars” and would be prepared to pay “a very liberal price for the translated play.” A meeting was arranged, and, one month later, an intrepid reporter arrived at the door of “a respectable-looking four story house” at 103 Henry Street in Brooklyn, “about two blocks off Fulton Street and not far from Fulton Ferry.”

Mr. Williams was not at home but his daughter sat the reporter to wait in a “comfortably furnished parlor, the walls of which were hung with theatrical and sporting prints.” Williams never showed and the reporter wheedled the following information from the unsuspecting daughter:

“He is to be found at 33 Rose Street -- DeWitt’s publishing house -- where they print plays: or you might find him at the Mercury office, as he writes for the Sunday Mercury.”

The reporter hurried to De Witt’s Rose Street establishment at “a short, crooked thoroughfare” known as “the Swamp,” and meeting with no success, also tried the Mercury offices, again to no avail. The scribe kept trying and finally Williams wrote and set up a meeting at DeWitt’s offices, which was kept:

“H. L. Williams is a stout, elderly gentleman, with bushy side-whiskers and moustache, and grey hair. He dresses severely in black. He has a restless furtive eye, which scarcely looked the reporter in the face.

Mr. Williams said that he worked for the Sunday Mercury and read stories and corrected manuscripts for them. He went on to say: “I can furnish you an original translation of Fedora inside of thirty days. My son, who does the work, is now in London, where he has resided for the past sixteen years, during which time he has copied all the prominent foreign successes that have appeared, both in London and Paris…my son has written a good many plays in the form of stories, as you can see by this list, which you may keep for reference. He made a serial of Fedora, which has appeared in the Sunday Mercury… then his stories are bound up in this style” -- showing several pamphlets the size of Lovell’s Library, which would sell for twenty-five or thirty cents.”

Terms were discussed: Williams was to receive a deposit of fifty dollars, on receipt of which he would order a translated manuscript of Fedora from his son in England, and a further fifty on delivery. After three months a further one hundred dollars would be paid “as a matter of honor and your sense of justice,” if the undercover reporter was satisfied the play was a success. The reporter departed, saying he would submit the terms to Mary L. Brotherton. The Mirror then gives details of Williams “list” of plays and other works:

The list given him by Williams is headed: ‘List of Works, original, adapted, translated by Henry Llewellyn Williams, Dramatist, Author, Theatrical, Musical and Literary Critic, Publishers’ and Theatre Managers’ Correspondent; Translator from the French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, etc., etc.’ Nearly fifty English and other foreign papers and magazines are referred to as containing articles by Williams fils. He claims connection with the following American publications:

Clipper, Atlas, Courier, Dispatch, Tribune, Sunday News, Boys of the World, St. Nicholas, Booksellers’ Guide, Sunday Times, Mercury, Daily Times, Home Journal, Fireside, Voice of the People, Porters’ Spirit (of the Times), Stage, Programme, Mail Bag, Evening Express, American Cruiser, Miniature Ledger, Peerless, Duganne’s Republican, etc., etc. The works are published in London, New York and Philadelphia, by Messrs. Routledge & Sons, Chatto & Windus (John Camden Hotten’s successors), E. Appleyard, Maxwells, S. French (T. H. Lacy’s successor), T. B. Peterson & Co., Dick & Fitzgerald, De Witt, O’Kane, Hilton, etc., etc.

There followed a long list of translated plays of which I only mention a few: Dumas, Dumas fils, Hugo -- Notre Dame, Les Miserables (fragmentary), Sue -- Mysteres de Paris, Juif Errant (two versions), Feuillet, Aimard -- Loi de Lynch, Trappeurs d’Arkansas, Gaborieu, Lecocq, Zola and Murger. Also included was a long list of dramas, comedies, operas and operettas, pantomimes, burlesques and farces.

In addition the list contains twenty biographical sketches, nine boy’s stories, twelve historical and five sea stories,  five highway and twenty-three love stories, among which is a Clipper prize story; about thirty-five Indian stories, such as Pawnee Pete, Six-Shooter Jim, Zoph Slaughter, Goliath of the Gold Mines, Seth Skrimmager, Feathered Snake, etc., etc.; Guides to New York After Dark, New York with the Curtain Up, London Easy Guide, London Religious Guide, London to Paris Guide, Industrial London, etc. Stories founded on the following plays: Black Crook, Africaine, Aida, Rip Van Winkle, Meritana (Don Cesar), Streets of London, After Dark, Shaughran, Caste, Proof, Two Orphans, Pink Dominos, The Serf, Ticket-of-Leave Man, Carmen, Corsican Brothers, Lady of Lyons, Long Strike, Madame Angot’s Daughter, Rose Michel, Sir Roger, Diana, etc.

The list concludes with the statement that “the result in print is 77,711 pages of manuscript since 1861, although during that time 977 places of amusement have been visited in the Old and New Worlds by the writer.”

That ended the article. I found little information about the author except for a few references to his being born in 1842 (with no citation). Williams Sr. claimed his son first saw print in 1861, which would have made him nineteen at the time (if the birth date is correct), and forty-three at the time of the Mirror reporter’s sting in 1883. Much of the information can be verified; I found numerous writings in the Clipper bylined “Henry Llewellyn Williams” (although much later, in 1893), and Bob Brierly; or, the Ticket-of-Leave Man was published by Robert M. DeWitt in 1867, under the byline “Henry L. Williams Jr.” Most likely both father and son were hacks, perhaps in partnership, and both made frequent trips between London and New York.

Further back, in 1859, the Albany Evening Journal wrote of Williams Sr. “of Brooklyn, County of Kings, and formerly of Nassau Street and Ann Street, printer and publisher” applying for a discharge from debt. Nassau and Ann Street were in “the Swamp,” where DeWitt and most cheap publishers of the fifties and sixties had their offices. In 1846 Osgood Bradbury’s Belle of the Bowery was published by H. L. Williams and in 1868 we find a copy of White Phantom, a Romance, by Miss Braddon, published at 12 North William Street, NY, by H. L. Williams. Again -- a Maxwell connection.

John Maxwell (Miss Braddon’s husband) began by publishing The Welcome Guest which he had purchased from Henry Vizitelly. He was the proprietor of the London Halfpenny Journal which was issued by Ward & Lock from 158 Fleet Street. Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s mother Fanny was the editor. The periodical commenced 1 July 1861 with a serial called The Black Band; or, The Mysteries of Midnight (pirated in America by Hilton & Co.), written by Miss Braddon under the pen-name ‘Lady Caroline Lascelles.’ Among the other contributor’s were Margaret Blount, WilliamStephens Hayward and Percy B. St. John. The story paper ran to 245 nos. before being incorporated with The London Herald and English Girl’s Journal on 10 Mar 1866.

The Athenaeum No. 3282 (20 Sept 1890) gives a further glimpse into the Williams/Maxwell connection under the heading AMERICAN PUBLISHERS AND BRITISH AUTHORS. Miss M. E. Braddon wrote a “card” to the Athenaeum accusing the New York Mercury of printing a story “founded on the melodrama of “The Secret witness” that she had not written under her name. W. Cauldwell of the Mercury responded that the “novelette was purchased by me several years ago, from Mr. Henry L. Williams, a well-known littérateur then, if not now, in the employ of your husband Mr. Maxwell…” He goes on to say that the “father of Mr. Williams, since dead, was in my employ as a reader at the time, and when he brought me the story I had every reason to think it had met your approbation.”

“You complain that upwards of fifty of your stories have been used on this side of the Atlantic without recompense to you. This may be true, for the so-called “Library” publishers here are as great pirates in the matter of the productions of English writers as are the cheap publication houses on your side of the ocean in regard to the works of American authors.”

Braddon fired back that Cauldwell “ignores his sin of commission in the shape of a flaming paragraph which announced ‘Tiger Head; or, the Ghost of the Avalanche,’ as a new and original story by M. E. Braddon: a statement hardly consistent with the knowledge that the manuscript had been sold to him by the adapter -- in more than one sense -- of the drama, and ostensibly as an adaptation.”

Braddon next criticized Williams style: “That a vamped-up story, in which a thin thread of dialogue -- from a drama written fifteen years ago, chiefly with a view to scenic display -- meanders through the wide expanse of Williams eloquence, should be preferred by the readers of the New York Mercury to a novel carefully thought out and carefully written for serial publication argues some eccentricity of taste on their part; while the resemblance in style between Mr. Williams work and mine is a point upon which I would invite the judgment of my American readers. I do not myself admit that resemblance.”

From this it can be gleaned that the voluminous letter writer to the New York Times in 1904 was Henry Llewellyn Williams Jr., and that his father had passed on between 1883 and 1890. Although Williams often burst into penny-a-liner hyperbole there was much of interest in these letters. A letter published 20 Aug 1904 is titled “Henry Llewellyn Williams’s Reminiscences of the Famous Old English House of Lloyd,” and seems to be based on Junior’s fathers’ recollections. “A relative, publishing in Boston and New York at the time, pictured his calls on the great popular publisher at Shoreditch…” It seems that Williams senior met with Lloyd in person in the fifties. Llewellyn Jr. writes of Lloyd’s woodcuts:

“As Lloyd’s News succeeded, and authors left him, his obsolete books became mere metal and piles of woodcuts. I say cuts, for some of the illustrations to his first books were like Tudor blocks, done with the woodcutter’s drawing knives, not gravers! Yet they were copied here with the text -- see DeWitt’s “Claude Duval,” which had a long sale until Munro killed it with a ten-cent edition. Frank Leslie made a bid for them, and DeWitt would have bought what he had not reprinted; but it was all the lot or none with Lloyd. The blocks have fed the engine furnace and the plates have been transmuted into the linotype for the Chronicle and the News.” (Most of Williams Times letters are available for reading at Google News Archives).

One final note: I found the following Williams article on London’s cheap literature of the sixties titled THE BRADDON-MAXWELL BOOK-MAKING FACTORY, from The Writer, Vol. V. No.2, Boston, February 1891. There are a few mistakes, for instance, WilliamSawyer did not “start Funny Folks,” he was the editor, but all-in-all the article is full of interesting (and baffling) material on sensation fiction:

“They say Thackeray inaugurated the fair evil heroine, but Miss Braddon is generally credited with mothering the Girl With the Yellow Hair, whom “Ally Sloper” Ross and the flippant writers kept alive for thirty years. “Lady Audley’s” tresses drew Miss Braddon from hackwork, but the factory went on. Her confreres, however, also soared.”

The novelization of popular plays was carried on from the earliest days of the unstamped press by publishers of radical newspapers and the penny blood publishers. The bulk of Lloyd, Purkess and Vickers play-novels were probably written by the same authors as the bloods. Henry Llewellyn Williams wrote novelizations and translations for numerous publishers, among them; New York: Robert M. DeWitt (1865), Chicago: Dramatic Publishing Co. (1871), London: General Publishing Co. (1888), London: Dean & Son (1897), and Shurmer Sibthorp (1902).

MAY 1862 Advertisment

Following is a list of some of the writings of Henry Llewellyn Williams from COPAC’s catalogue (selected from some 300 plus titles), many of Williams books can be read online at Open Library, Internet Archive, Google Books and Project Gutenberg:

1863 “I am here!” The Duke’s Motto; or, the Little Parisian, translated from Paul Féval by H. L. Williams, NY: R. M. DEWitt, 96p. No. 18 of “De Witt’s Twenty-five Cent Novels”.

1868 Big Lige; or, the Red Cloud of the Soshones, thrilling tale of Scouts and Indians, by Henry L. Boone, NY: R. M. DeWitt.

1868 Old Eph, the Man-grizzly; or, the Veteran of the Scalping-route, by Henry L. Boone, NY: R. M. DeWitt.

(n.d.) Binnacle Jack; or, the Cavern of Death by Mat Mizzen, NY: R. M. DeWitt.

(n.d.) The Black Cruiser; or, the Scourge of the Seas, by Mat Mizzen, NY: R. M. DeWitt.

1874 The American War, Cartoons by Matt Morgan and other English artists, with illustrative notes by H. L. Williams, United States, London, Chatto & Windus.

1884 Adventures Among the Arabs, the boy of the Gatling Battery and the War Tiger of the Soudan, London: International Publishing Offices. 15 p. (British Library)

1884 All About Sarah “Barnum” Bernhardt, her loveys, her doveys, her capers, and her funniments, London: International Publishing Offices. 15 p. (British Library)

1884 The Adventurous Life and Daring Exploits in England and America, of captain Matthew Webb, the Swimming Champion of the World, his Boyhood, Rescues, Crossing the Channel, Natatorial Feats, and Terrible Death in the Whirlpool’s of Niagara,  compiled  from authentic sources by Henry Llewellyn Williams, London: E. Smith, 8 p.

1887 Buffalo Bill, the Hon. W. F. Cody, a full account of his life with the origin of his “Wild West” show, Henry Llewellyn Williams, London, Glasgow, New York: G. Routledge & Sons, 1887, 193 p.

1888 Bella; or, the Sculptor’s Model, translation by H. L. Williams from Alexandre Dumas, London: General Publishing Co., 1888 (publishers of Ned Kelly) 143 p.

H.K. Shackleford, Fred Fearnot’s Father Part II

H. K. Shackleford, Fred Fearnot's Father Part I HERE

Mrs. Shackleford reading a nickel weekly.

H. K. Shackleford, Fred Fearnot's Father


by E. M. Sanchez-Saavedra

Harvey King Shackleford, the son of James B. and Susan M. Shackleford, was born near Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia, in 1840. Educated at the Greenville Academy, he was pronounced unfit for military service and spent the Civil War years in clerical positions. Like Bracebridge Heming, he practiced law but “was not greatly troubled with clients” and began writing fiction to make a living. He began his serious writing career working for Norman L. Munro’s story papers in the early 1870s, but soon switched to the Frank Tousey firm, where he became one of Tousey’s most reliable and prolific authors under a variety of house names: Allen Arnold, Allyn Draper, Howard Austin, Ex-Fire Chief Warden, John B. Dowd and Hal Standish, among others.

Credited with over 350 novels, his methodical work habits left him leisure time for outside activities. He lectured and was in demand as an orator for the Democratic Party and later became a Baptist preacher.

According to T. K. Jones, editor of the Shackleford Clan Magazine, published in Lubbock, Texas (Vol. 4, No. 1, May 1948):

“Mr. Shackleford dictated all of his stories to a young woman, who was employed by him as a stenographer for many years. He began work usually about 9 o'clock in the morning, dictated steadily until about 11 o'clock, then resumed his work at 2 in the afternoon, completing what he considered a day's work at about 4 or 5 o'clock. It was only when he was pressed for copy that he consented to work at night. It was his habit to start a serial story, send a half dozen of the first chapters to his publishers and then keep up the story from week to week. He never worked out his story from notes, but once having fixed upon the general character of the narrative, he planned the entire story in his head and the plot developed as he dictated.

“Mr. Shackleford was an omnivorous reader of newspapers, and unique news items from all quarters of the globe had a peculiar significance to him. They suggested plots to his receptive mind and frequently enabled him to inject thrilling and up-to-date situations in some of the serials he may have had under way.

“Mr. Shackleford was a rapid and conscientious worker. He was a large man, weighed more than 200 pounds and was about five feet and ten inches tall. He was noted for his joviality and sociability, was generous to a fault, hospitable and had a fondness for congenial company; devoted to his family, and to his friends who he entertained frequently in his home.”

In 1896 the firm of Street and Smith introduced two innovations which rocketed their sales of nickel weeklies ahead of Frank Tousey’s: the first was a complete physical makover, featuring brightly colored covers. The second was the introduction of “Frank Merriwell,” who would star in the new Tip Top Library for the next twenty years. The author, William G. Patten, adopted the pseudonym “Burt L. Standish.” Patten wrote in his autobiography:

At that time I did not know that the stock name of “Hal Standish” was appearing on some of Frank Tousey’s publications, any of which I never had read. In my case, I chose the name of Standish because I had liked the sight and sound of it ever since reading Longfellow’s Courtship of Miles Standish when a boy.

Two and a half years later, Frank Tousey had also revamped his nickel weeklies with colored covers and decided to challenge Frank Merriwell with his own schoolboy hero. H.K. Shackleford introduced “Fred Fearnot” in the new Work and Win: An Interesting Weekly for Young America on December 9, 1898. This weekly ran until 1925, and comprised 1,382 issues. Shackleford wrote the first 380 or so, and was succeeded by George W. Goode after his death in 1906.

“Fred Fearnot” had been used as a pseudonym for adventure stories published in Tousey’s Happy Days story paper, but in this avatar he is an 18-year-old schoolboy at Avon Academy and Yale University. He goes on to become a social activist, Wall Street speculator, temperance advocate, legislator, detective, rancher, athlete and general rescuer of widows and orphans. Although diehard Tip Top readers scoffed at Fred as a pale imitation, he had his own loyal fan base and starred in over 700 original adventures.

“Colonel” Shackleford, as he came to be called, was an enthusiastic crusader against “Demon Rum” and published dozens of stories with strong temperance (i.e.: abstinence) messages, both under his own name and as “John B. Dowd” and “Hal Standish.” He was too astute to allow his stories to become “preachy,” letting an exciting plot catch the reader’s attention and delivering the moral through the downfall of the imbibing protagonist.

A fair number of his general adventure stories concerned young heroes in the Horatio Alger mold, who start penniless and wind up as the “Young Wonder of Wall Street” after a series of exciting predicaments.

The Atlanta Constitution, March 26, 1906, published an extensive obituary:

Was Best Known as an Author in the North - Will Be Buried in Atlanta Today, Where He Has Many Relatives

Colonel Harvey King Shackleford, for many years a writer of stories for boys and contributor to nearly every publication in America which catered to the youthful taste in literature, died Sunday morning at 1 o’clock at his home in Bainbridge, Ga.

Death resulted from paralysis, which attacked him last Friday morning. From Friday until the hour of his death Colonel Shackleford was unconscious, and was sinking all the time.

He is survived by his wife, who was Miss Jennie Murphy, daughter of the late Judge John B. Murphy, of Atlanta; by his son, J. M. Shackleford, of Bainbridge; by three daughters, Mrs. R. E. Roberts, of Detroit; Mrs. A.W. Stuart of Pensacola; Mrs. E. H. Hammond, of Bainbridge; by two sisters, Mrs. Lucia Fanstock and Miss Amelia Shackleford, both of Atlanta; and by one brother, William Shackleford, of Greenville, S.C.

Funeral services will be conducted today at the Barclay & Brandon Chapel on Marietta Street, Rev. Richard Orme Flinn, of the North Avenue Presbyterian Church, officiating, and the interment will be in Westview Cemetery.

His Thrilling Narratives
For the past thirty-five years hundreds of thrilling narratives have appeared from his pen under different nom de plumes, so that by reputation he was known to thousands of readers as the author of temperance stories and exciting tales of adventure that appeared as serials and in dime novel form.  He turned out on an average one complete story of 20,000 words a week, and there were times when he thought nothing of completing three novelettes within seven days.  And that too without apparent mental or physical weariness.  About 1900 Colonel Shackleford moved to Atlanta, having purchased a cottage at 436 Washington Street, where, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, he worked away with astonishing results to appease the clamor of the public.

Although born and reared in Georgia, it was not in this state nor in the south that Colonel Shackleford was best known as a writer.  In the north and east, however, his name was a household word among that army of boys who are readers of what are generally termed dime novels, for Colonel Shackleford was the author of that character of literature, but one would be greatly surprised upon reading one of the tales to find it far from being of the blood and thunder variety.

Always Had a Moral
In writing stories for young people Colonel Shackleford always sought to point a moral.  As in the melodrama of the stage, virtue always triumphed in his stories; the villain got his just deserts and the hero and the heroine came into their own before "the end" had been written.   Colonel Shackleford wrote nearly all of his temperance stories under his own name but he favored his publisher with no less than 360 novels, about sixty of which appeared in the "Fred Fearnot" series, stories which revolved about the adventures of a young man of that name.  These were signed "Hal Standish".

For the last thirty-two years of his life he was under contract to supply stories to Frank Tousey, publisher, of New York, and was paid on the average of $60 for his novels.

He dictated all his stories to a young woman, who had for years been employed by him as stenographer.  Frequently he would dictate 10,000 words to her in a day, never correcting his own speech, never hesitating and doing practically no revising after the story had been typed.

Colonel Shackleford was born sixty-five years ago near Griffin, and was reared in Greenville, Meriwether County, which is the home of Governor Terrell.  He was a student at the Greenville academy, where he obtained the advantage of a splendid classical and literary education.  Among his schoolmates were State Treasurer R. E. Park, Hon. William T. Reville, secretary of the executive department during the late Governor Atkinson’s administration, and later editor of The Meriwether Vindicator, and Rev. J. H. Hall, D.D., of Newnan, who was one of the best known Baptist ministers in the state.

Noted Debater and Student
As a student and debater Colonel Shackleford was noted.  When quite young he had the misfortune to break one of his legs, and as a result during the civil war was unable to assume any but a clerical position.  After the war he moved to Atlanta, and for two years was engaged in the practice of law.  During that time, however, he was not greatly troubled with clients, and having considerable spare time at his disposal he dropped quite naturally into literary work.

He wrote two stories which were published in The Constitution, and which were warmly commended by Colonel E.Y. Clarke and the late Henry W. Grady, both of whom were connected with the paper at that time.  He was so much encouraged at the reception accorded his first literary efforts that he decided to turn his attention to serious work of that character, and very soon was writing for Norman L. Munro, the millionaire New York publisher.

After something over a year’s engagement with Mr. Munro’s publishing house he received a better offer from the firm of Frank L. Tousey & Co., for whom he wrote until his death.  During the last nineteen years of his life he was almost entirely deaf, having been compelled to use an ear trumpet when conversing.  He had the misfortune to receive several falls, which resulted in the fracture of both arms and legs, and he was for years compelled to use crutches.

He was a splendid natural orator, and during several presidential campaigns engaged as a spellbinder by the Democratic Party to deliver addresses in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Before he became deaf he was for a time a Baptist preacher, having had charges in Fairburn and Newnan.  Another indication of his versatility is the fact that he was the author of the first complete history of the Order of Knights of Pythias, copies of which are now exceedingly rare and valuable.  Also at one time he was well known throughout the northern states as a lecturer.

Continue to Part II HERE

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cleave's Comic Art of the Forties

 Cleave's Penny Gazette of Variety and Amusement, 21 Mar 1840, 2 Jan 1841, 20 Feb 1841, 6 Aug 1842, 1 April 1843, 9 Sept 1843, 10 Feb 1844, and Aug 1842. Compare The House that Jack Built with the original HERE.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The New World

The New World was one of the “mammoth” weeklies of the 1840's, so called because its pages were sometimes more than four feet long and eleven columns wide. A quarto edition was also published. Editors Park Benjamin and Rufus Wilmot Griswold, who had previously served as editors of a rival paper, the Brother Jonathan, upset the book publishers by reprinting complete novels as “extras.” Their messengers would meet the incoming steamships in order to capture the earliest copies of the new English serials, which were then pirated in its pages.

They serialized The Wandering Jew, translated by Henry William Herbert, in 1844 Volume IX No. 6. This also contained an article Mesmeric Revelation by Edgar Allan Poe.

An ad under the heading ANOTHER GREAT GERMAN ROMANCE, is The Jesuit, A Historical Romance by C. Spindler, author of “The Jew” “The Invalide” etc. Another for the The Invalide; or, Pictures of the French Revolution, by C. Spindler, translated from the German by Dr. Herbe and James Mackay says; “The Invalide is written with wonderful power, and the numerous and thrilling incidents are wrought out with infinite skill, combining all the leading events of the French revolution, from the outbreak at Versailles to the Battle of Waterloo, with the charms and exciting interest of the most captivating romance.”

An earlier serial in Volume II No. 10, November of 1842 was Franklin Evans; or, The Inebriate, a Tale of the Times, by Walter Whitman, a temperance tale. This was Walt Whitman.

“I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”


The New World, Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 26, 1839) -- Folio Edition, the folio edition, begun in Oct. 1839, contained the same articles as the quarto, except for additional advertisements and a few news items. New York: Jonas Winchester.

The New World, Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 6, 1840) -- Ceased with v. 10 (May 10, 1845) Quarto, NY: Jonas Winchester.