Henry J. Raymond and the “Times.”

When the “Times” first opened its eyes upon this sinful world, there was need of just such a birth. It was a time of high political excitement, of bitter partisan animosities, of Socialistic heresies, of degradation in journalism—a time when good men mourned, and evil came uppermost. The Compromise troubles of 1850 had but just ended, and the wounds of battle, though healing, were still tender and painful. The “Tribune,” which had long occupied a commanding position, had become offensive to many people by reason of its advocacy
 of “isms.” The personalities of Eatansvill, magnified by greater scope, and intensified by hate even more rancorous than in the fabled days of Mr. Pott and Mr. Slurk, found daily expression in the columns of the journal which had then, as now, the largest circulation.

For it is to be remembered that this was eighteen years ago. The cheap papers of that day—and the price of the best, ten years before the war, was but 
twopence—were dangerous in different ways; yet each had a large circulation,
 and each became a profitable property. They printed all the news of the world, and printed it promptly; and so men read the daily sheet, even if under protest. Large capital enabled the proprietors of these rival papers to search through the world in quest of entertainment for their readers, and every morning there was a fresh record of what men had done, a day, a fortnight, a month before—for as
 yet no Atlantic Cable and no Pacific Railway existed, and London was thirteen
 days distant by slow-going steamers, and San Francisco thirty. The “Sun” was the penny paper of the day, read chiefly by draymen and mechanics. The
 “Courier and Enquirer” was huge and heavy, given up to advertisements and 
to quarrels with its equally huge neighbor, the “Journal of Commerce;” the “Evening Post” printed but one or two editions daily, and the “Commercial Advertiser” was its rival—and these four, one-half morning and one-half evening issues, were sold for the highest price, but had the smallest supplies of news, and hence the smallest circulation. All this is changed now; and the new order dates from the 18th day of September, 1851—when Henry J. Raymond, George Jones, Harper & Brothers, and others, crystallized their brains, their cash and their enterprise, industry and good-will in the little four-paged newspaper called 
the “New York Daily Times.”

Raymond, naturally sagacious, saw the want of his time, and determined to 
supply it. A good family newspaper was needed—he provided it. A cheap
 newspaper was essential—he sold the “Times” for one cent. Money was wanted to keep the new craft afloat in its early days—the generous kindness of the men who had full faith in Raymond supplied ample means. No paper was
 ever launched in New York under more favorable auspices. The “Tribune” was started upon a borrowed capital of one thousand dollars; the “Herald” was
 begun in a cellar; the “Evening Post” grew up from very small beginnings;
 the “Express” was born in obscurity, and made small headway. But the “Times” began its prosperous life with a handsome bank account of one hundred thousand dollars; and it is no small credit to its founder that this capital 
returned interest before the end of the third year. The Chief whose sad and sudden death recalls these memories of his early triumphs, brought to his task the ripe experience of a trained journalist, and the accomplishments of a scholar, and the sweet and gentle graces of a polished gentleman. When his purpose became known, the best journalistic talent of the city was at his disposal, and rarely has so strong an editorial force been organized so rapidly as that with which Raymond found himself surrounded on the day the “Times” appeared. Himself the chief of all, in acquirements as well as position, he attracted to his paper some of the strongest writers and the brightest wits of the day; and from the start the new journal was eagerly sought.

“Pooh!” said a “Tribune” stockholder to the writer, in the summer of 1851; “the ‘Times’ is only an experiment; it cannot succeed!” “True, an experiment,” was the reply; “but then it should be remembered that everything in the world was once an experiment, and the success of an experiment depends chiefly upon the experimenter; the ‘Tribune’ itself was an experiment.” Both the “Tribune” and the “Times” were good “experiments.” The greeting the “Times” received from its contemporaries, however, was not so much a greeting as a malediction. The newspaper made rapid inroads upon the circulation of its two rivals, whose own careers had been one long fight; and both turned at once upon the interloper which dared to sell more news and better literary work than either for just one-half their price. Raymond planted wheat, but the enemy came and sowed tares, and they grew together till the harvest, as he afterward found to his cost.

Let us be thankful that the old asperities are buried with the brave man's body.

Those who formed the early editorial company of the “Times” will not soon forget the curious incidents which attended the first issues of the paper. The only building downtown then available for the use of a newspaper office was the brown-stone house No. 113 Nassau street, between Beekman and Ann. It had been begun by an Irish builder, whose funds became exhausted when the work was half done. Money was advanced to him by the proprietors of the “Times,” and with very hard work and persistent pushing a part of the building was prepared for occupancy in the second week of September, 1851. But the publication office was put into a pigeon-hole, on the opposite side of the street, and the messengers who went back and forth wore a smooth path over the cobble stones before the business department had come within reach of the editorial rooms. On the night of the 17th of September, the first number of the “Times” was “made up,” in open lofts, destitute alike of windows, gas, speaking-tubes, dumb-waiters, and general conveniences. All was raw and dismal. I remember sitting by the open window at midnight, looking through the dim distance at Mr. Alexander C. Wilson, Raymond’s first lieutenant, who was diligently writing “brevier” at a ricketty table at the end of the barren loft, his only light a flaring candle, held upright by three nails in a block of wood—at the city editor, and the news-men, and the reporters, all eagerly scratching pens over paper, their countenances half-lighted, half-shaded by other guttering candles—at Raymond, writing rapidly and calmly, as he always wrote, but invested with the broader illumination of two candles; and all the night the soft summery air blew where it listed, and sometimes blew out the feeble lights, and grimey little “devils” came down at intervals from the printing-room, and cried for “copy;” and every man in the little company, from the chief to the police reporter, gave his whole mind to the preparation of the rusty little sheet which lies before me as I write. It was a good, lively, sensible first number—this first number of the “New York Times;” full of news and gossip and pleasant miscellany; making its bow to the expectant public with a grace it has never lost, and entering upon its career with the vigor it has since sustained so well.

Vigorous measures had been taken by the proprietors of the “Times” to ensure publicity for their undertaking. They fully understood the art of advertising, and so they set a good example to those who came after them. Displayed paragraphs in the daily papers announced the forthcoming sheet; neatly printed little circulars were placed beneath hall-doors; the “personal” columns and the letter writers trumpeted the news. Nor were the modern appliances of the printing art wanting. Hoe was directed to furnish one of his fastest presses—which press, by the way, was not delivered so promptly that the “Times” could keep its promise of appearance, and it was accordingly delayed for nearly a week. New type was bought, and “laid” under the capable super-vision of the ex-assistant foreman of the “Tribune,” Mr. Monroe F. Gale, the personified mystery known as “the man with the glazed cap,” who, some years before, had been seen wandering about the Battery, with a carpet-bag in his hand, in search of the little pilot-boat in which he made an adventurous voyage to Europe, in ineffectual effort to get news for the New York papers of the day. Money was abundant, and all the men of the “Times,” bringing youth and zeal and long newspaper experience to the work they had to do, labored with a will, in spite of some unforeseen obstacles and many drawbacks; and, of all the company, no one worked so well, so long, nor so effectively as Raymond himself. He was a worker by nature; his labor was never perfunctory. The net result of all this combination of energy, experience and capital was “No. 1” of the “New York Times”—a sheet better than any other first number that a New York newspaper office had produced. There was joy in the barn-like editorial room and in the pigeon-hole counting-house, when the public flocked in to buy, and when men said pleasant words about the new venture.

Raymond was happy—happier, I think, than I ever knew him to be, before or after—and with good reason. For here was a man, only thirty-one years old, who had already reached the height of his ambition—all the ambition he had cherished up to that period of his life—in becoming the controller of a public journal. His unerring instinct told him his experiment was a success; he knew he possessed within himself the power of infusing into it the elements of strength. A week went by; subscriptions poured in, and advertisements followed. The “Tribune” and the “Herald” suffered serious loss; but their loss was Raymond’s gain, and the world was wide enough for all. But then it was that a change came over the spirit of New York journalism. The old times died when the new “Times” began.

At the beginning of its second year, the “Times” was doubled in size and price; and then it began to pay dividends, small at first, but rapidly increasing. Then its office was removed to better quarters, in the building now known as the Park Hotel, on the corner of Nassau and Beekman streets; subsequently its proprietors bought real estate, at the time when the Old Brick Church property came into market; then the handsome house it now occupies was built, and fortunes were made by the men who owned it; and now, nearly eighteen years from the day of its birth, the “Times” is worth a million of dollars—perhaps more.

In the course of the years marked by these successive events, Raymond steadily increased the force upon his paper; engaging new writers, paying large prices for early news, establishing corps of correspondents, always bidding for the best of everything, and generally getting it. For seven or eight years, all was plain sailing, and Raymond’s horizon had no cloud. His mistakes came later; and I shall presently try to show how they happened.

Among the men who made their mark upon the “Times,” in the first five years of its existence, were James W. Simonton, Alexander C. Wilson, Charles F. Briggs, William Henry Hurlbut, Dr. Frank Tuthill. William G. Sewell, Charles C. B. Seymour, Caleb C. Norvell, and De Cordova. Of these nine, three beside Raymond are dead—Sewell and Tuthill and Seymour—and with a single exception the others are scattered in different directions. Simonton, who left the “Courier and Enquirer” in company with Raymond, is now the General Agent of the New York Associated Press, and chief proprietor of the San Francisco “Bulletin,” the best paper on the Pacific Coast; Wilson is in the Associated Press Agency in London; Briggs has done what he never should have done, in laying down the pen; Hurlbut, after a curious experience, is expending his polished wit and scholarship upon the “World;” De Cordova alternately attends to mercantile business and delivers funny lectures; and only Mr. Norvell remains in the service of the “Times.” I name these members of the early staff, because they are closely associated with pleasant memories of Raymond, and I cannot refrain from repeating the high compliment he once paid them, in my hearing: “I attribute a very large share of the early success of the ‘Times,’” said he, “to the ability and the industry of the gentlemen engaged in the editorial department;” forgetting, in his self-abnegation, that every man in his employ was happy in the conviction that good work was certain to receive appreciation and reward.

Moreover, in his relations with his subordinates, Raymond was always a gentleman. He strove to conciliate, and he was never betrayed by anger into discourtesy. The sole indication that “something had happened” was his occasional rapid transit through the outer editorial room to his private office, with an emphatic clink of his boot-heel upon the floor, but utter silence of the tongue. “What’s up?” one man would whisper to his neighbor; and the answer came within the hour, when some derelict person, who had made a blunder, or disregarded an order, was seen emerging from the presence to which he had been summoned—emerging chopfallen and discomfitted. Raymond understood better than most men the art of controlling his temper. This was a part of the tact for which he was distinguished, and to which he owed a great part of his success in life. “All men have sharp points,” he once said to me; “what is the use of running against them?” This was a sensible view of one social problem; and as Raymond believed, so he acted. He dealt in aquafortis only when his antagonists insisted upon being bitten. Under ordinary circumstances, he dealt in oil—and so produced smoothness, when winds got high and waves ran roughly. In carrying out this doctrine of conciliation and good-fellowship to its natural conclusion, he fell into the pleasant habit of extending to his assistants the hospitalities of his home. On “reception nights,” or at social family dinners, the men of the “Times” met together for the moment free from the cares of toil, and, by interchanging the civilities of life, came to know each other, and to feel a kindly interest, which would never have been excited in the hurry of purely professional routine.

Raymond knew how to manage men; but it was his misfortune that he lacked the power of decisive self-management; and this brings me to review some of the causes of his mistakes. Let it be understood at the outset, that that is but a false sentiment which bestows only fulsome eulogy upon the dead. In no such way can full and exact justice be done. In no such way can we arrive at a proper estimate of the qualities of a public man. In analyzing the character of Henry J. Raymond, it should not be forgotten that, while he was a man of honest purpose, his mental constitution led him to look at the negative as well as at the positive side of every question. This tendency was illustrated in his political career, which was not a success; it was also illustrated in his conduct of the internal affairs of the “Times,” in the last ten years of his life. A man of generous impulses, his gratuities were often misapplied; a man of strong friendship, he was loth to believe that a friend could be a scamp, and thus was often swindled; a man without partisan bias, yet a political leader, he preferred the advocacy of general principles, rather than the championship which would have compelled him to remain within party lines—a fact which explains many of his political tergiversations. His habit of looking at both sides of any subject, led to some curious complications in his management of the “Times”—for instance, his theory that the members of an editorial force should change positions at stated intervals. An old newspaper man once remonstrated with Raymond upon this point, insisting that it was bad policy to make such frequent changes; and that men worked to better advantage when thoroughly conversant with the exact duty required of them. “But men get to running in ruts,” Raymond replied. He had a horror of adhering strictly to one line. The great highway he never lost sight of; but little green and shady lanes came continually into view, in which he was disposed to ramble. In times of public emergency, however, he always returned to the broad path; and, as in the day of our Civil War, could be firm, true, honest, and never fickle. Had he devoted himself exclusively to journalism, as I know he intended to do when the “Times” began, his record would have been without a blot. But politics enticed him, and he became ensnared.

Full justice has been done in the current biographies to Mr. Raymond’s skill as a journalist. I need only add that the laudation is deserved. No man merited more kindly remembrance than the Dead Chief upon whose grave the grass is springing and the flowers are budding. His errors and his virtues alike convey a useful lesson.

The Galaxy
August, 1869

Art. I.—Henry J. Raymond and the New York Press, for Thirty Years. Progress of American Journalism, from 1840 to 1870. By Augustus Maverick, Hartford, Connecticut: A.S. Hale. 1870.

There is no country in the world which so finely illustrates the diffusive spirit of modern civilization as America; for though in other lands human nature seems to rise to a greater height in individual instances, and to stand out in more picturesque relief, it is the nation which has excelled them all in equalizing the rights, the enjoyments, and the intelligence of man. Many circumstances have contributed to this happy result. America has been clogged by none of the mischievous remains of feudal institutions, and but little affected by those violations of political economy, older than the age of reason, which have checked the free and natural development of European communities. Its provisions for popular education were from the first singularly wise, liberal, and ample; there was no legislation to restrict all civil and social advantages to the members of a single religious sect; and no taxes on knowledge or artificial monopolies of any kind, to prevent the people from having access to that full variety of opinions, inquiries, and statements of fact, which is necessary to intellectual advancement. Above all, it was born old, with all the elements of European civilization to start with, and equipped with a complete literature, in which it would seem almost impossible to find place for any great genius, and with the best English works placed within every man's reach, at less than a tenth of their original cost. Taking these things in connection with the boundless material resources of the country, it is not by any means difficult to explain the magical rapidity of its advances in wealth and population, the signal prosperity it has already enjoyed, and the extraordinary power and greatness to which it is evidently destined.

The development of the press, like the improvement of the means of civilization, is a certain sign of the relative advancement of a nation. We use the term civilization here to signify not so much the development of some elevated and delicate parts of human nature such as art, philosophy, or politeness, as that of political liberty and social progress; and in this sense the progress of the press becomes historically the most constant and faithful indication of the general progress of a nation. The truth of this proposition becomes evident, from the close connection that exists between the press and the public, from the action and reaction, the efflux and reflux, from the true corporate unity which brings into the press the life-blood of the country. We depend upon the newspaper for distributing knowledge, as well as creating it; it is an instrument by which the opinions and feelings of the people may be guided and developed, as well as communicated and ascertained. It is in fact an essential element in the peculiar spirit and tendency which characterizes our modern civilization. Still we are far from holding that it is a perfect instrument, or free from very serious drawbacks. Eminent men like Lamartine speak of it in terms of extravagant eulogy, predicting that before the century shall have run out journalism will be the whole press, the whole human thought, and that the only book possible from day to day will be the newspaper; a great English novelist speaks of it as a link in the great chain of miracles which prove our national greatness; and Bulwer Lytton calls it the chronicle of civilization, the great mental camera which throws a picture of the whole world upon a single sheet of paper. These somewhat rhetorical representations are very common, but they are far from exact or truthful. We suspect that the newspaper tends in all countries to ignore, more or less, all knowledge that will not render its teaching popular; that its chief figures are often the wicked, the worthless, and the shallow; and that its pictures, though generally faithful, are often false, distorted, and narrow. De Toqueville liked the liberty of the press, rather from the evils it prevented, than from the advantages it created; and Montalembert represents Liberty as saying to the Press, like the unhappy swain—'Nec cum te nec sine te vivere possum.' John Stuart Mill has two objects of hatred; Puritanism, with its positive creed and agressive zeal, and the ascendancy of the middle classes, through the newspaper press, with all their mediocrity and bigotry. He has always protested, in the interests of his great idol, individuality, against 'the régime of public opinion,' against the various 'usurpations upon the liberty of private life,' against the moral intolerance of society, carried on through the newspapers. Amidst these various estimates of the press we are disposed to take a middle course. It may sometimes be wielded by unworthy hands, for unworthy purposes; its liberty may run into licence, and the rules of good taste and propriety be violated; its policy on public questions may be unscrupulous and unprincipled; but we remember that modern progress would have been impossible without it; that the people are not its slaves, but its patrons and critics; and we would lay no other restraint upon it than the invisible fetters imposed by the intelligence and good feeling of its readers. Whether, then, we consider the amount and quality of intellectual force put forth in it, the character of mind acted on by it, and the wide area over which it operates, especially in England and America, where it has the greatest expansion, we cannot but regard it as a subject for sincere congratulation that its influence has been exercised so uniformly on the side of public safety and public morals, that there has been a gradual improvement of late years in the moral tone of newspaper management, and that it has succeeded in creating and fostering a healthy and independent public opinion on all the questions of the age.

The great development of the American press has taken place during the last thirty years, keeping pace exactly with the advancing prosperity of the country. A large number of new and powerful processes, as well as influences of a more general kind, were converging towards this result. The education of the people, the progress of legislation, the discoveries of science, the inventions of art, conspired to make literature, especially in the newspaper form, a prime necessity of American life, and to place it within every man's reach on easy terms; while every improvement made in the art of communication and travel still farther contributed to its growth, and increased its utility. So it has come to pass that America is the 'classic soil of newspapers;' everybody is reading; every class is writing; literature is permeating everywhere; publicity is sought for every interest and every order; no political party, no religious sect, no theological school, no literary or benevolent association is without its particular organ; there is a universality of print; the soldiers fighting in Mexico or in the Southern states are printing the journal of their exploits on the battle-field; the press is seizing on the whole public life and upon so much of private life as through social irregularity, or individual force of character, or national taste, necessarily emerges into publicity; fostering on the one hand the worship of the almighty dollar, but establishing a strong and wholesome counterpoise, by stimulating that zeal for public education, that enthusiastic spirit of philanthropy, and that truly munificent liberality by which the American people have been always distinguished. As we have already intimated, the modern development of the press is just thirty years old. There was no telegraph before 1843; no fast ocean-steamer to carry news from the old world for some years later; and no Associated Press to organize the supply of intelligence. The first American newspaper was printed at Boston, in 1690, fifty years after the appearance of the first English newspaper; in 1775 there were only 34 nespapers; in 1800, 200; in 1830, 1,000; and the latest statistics give no less than 5,244 as the total number of journals published in the United States, of which 542 are daily, 4,425 are weekly, and 127 are monthly.

Our common idea of the American newspaper is that of a print published by a literary Barnum, whose type, paper, talents, morality, and taste are all equally wretched and inferior; who is certain to give us flippancy for wit, personality for principle, bombast for eloquence, malignity without satire, and news without truth or reliability; whose paper is prolific of all kinds of sensational headings; and who is obliged, in the service of his advertising customers, to become enthusiastic on the subject of hams, exuberant in the praises of hardware, and highly imaginative in the matter of dry-goods. Perhaps this representation might apply, with some degree of correctness, to a portion of the newspaper press, especially that published in the country towns and villages; but we shall immediately see that American literary enterprise, especially in the great cities, is not to be judged by such unworthy examples. The work of Mr. Maverick, which appears at the head of this article, supplies a large amount of information concerning American journalism, connecting its more recent development with the name of Henry J. Raymond, a well-known Republican politician, who founded the New York Times, one of the most respectable and powerful newspapers in the States. We cannot say much for the book on literary grounds: it exhibits nearly all the worst qualities of Transatlantic journalism itself—flimsiness, personality, and haste; but its information is very interesting and acceptable to European readers. The facts of Raymond's life may be supplied in a few sentences. He was born in 1820, at Lima, in the state of New York; he graduated at the University in Vermont; he went to New York city in 1840, and was introduced to newspaper life by Horace Greeley; he passed ten laborious years on the Tribune, and the Courier and Inquirer; and in the year 1851 he may be justly said to have opened a new era in American journalism, by establishing the Times, a daily paper, which carried temperance and dignity into political discussion, banishing all personalities, and maintaining a high critical and moral tone, which was all but unknown before that period. Like most American journalists, he engaged actively in politics, becoming in 1849 a member of the New York Legislature, and afterwards speaker of the House of Representatives, and Lieutenant-Governor of the State; and in 1864, member of Congress. He was a sincere and upright politician, who always staunchly opposed the slave party in the United States, but lost popularity and credit, by his exceedingly foolish and unfortunate championship of President Johnson, through all his remarkable freaks of obstinacy and eccentricity. On returning home from his office, on the night of the 18th June, 1869, he dropped down in the hall of his house, in a fit of apoplexy, and died five hours afterwards, without recovering consciousness. He was in his fiftieth year. Henry Ward Beecher said, in the funeral oration at his grave, that Raymond 'was a man without hate, and, he might almost say, without animosity; his whole career had been free from bitterness;' and Horace Greeley bore this high testimony to his professional ability;—'I doubt whether this country has known a journalist superior to Henry J. Raymond. He was unquestionably a very clever and versatile, but not powerful writer; and excelled especially in newspaper management.' We shall have occasion to refer again to his services as a journalist.

In proposing to give some account of the American press, both secular and religious, we have to remark that the first great stimulus given to newspaper enterprise in America was by James Gordon Bennett, the well-known editor of the New York Herald, which was established in the year 1834. This able journalist was born in 1800, at Newmill, Keith, Banffshire, of Roman Catholic parents. He was originally designed for the priesthood, and had passed through a portion of his preliminary training in the Roman Catholic College of Blairs, near Aberdeen, but ultimately abandoned the prospects of a clerical life, and emigrated to America, in his nineteenth year—as he said himself—'to see the country where Franklin was born.' There he formed an early connection with the press, but it was not, as we have said, till 1834 that he founded the Herald. We are all more or less familiar with the moral and intellectual characteristics of this newspaper—unsparing personality, intolerable egotism, and sleepless hatred of England; but we are not so foolish as to imagine that the Herald became popular and successful because Americans are fond of personal abuse, or private scandal, or of the ceaseless denunciation of this country. These offences against good taste and right feeling existed long before the publication of the Herald. The secret of its remarkable success lay in the vigour and tact with which Bennett laboured day and night to furnish ample and early intelligence of events in all parts of the world, without regard to cost and labour. Mr. Maverick tells us that 'all the old and heavy-weighted journals, which lazily got themselves before the New York public, day by day, thirty years ago, were undeniably sleepy,' and that the ruthless Bennett shocked the staid propriety of his time by introducing the rivalries and the spirit of enterprise which have ever since been distinguishing characteristics of New York newspaper life.' The Herald was successful, then, because Bennett made it his business to present his readers with fresh, ample, and correct news. No editorial eloquence, no skilful flattery of national prejudice or party feeling, could have atoned for any shortcoming in this respect. The other newspaper managers were soon compelled to imitate his energy and skill in the supply of news, and Mr. Maverick has informed us how effectively his example was sometimes followed, by his rivals. On one occasion, before the days of the telegraph, the leading New York journals dispatched reporters to Boston, to obtain an early account of a speech by Daniel Webster, who was then in the plenitude of his fame. Two reporters represented each journal; but Raymond alone represented the Tribune. On their return home by the steamer the other reporters passed the night in convivial pleasantries; but Raymond was busily engaged all the time, in a retired part of the vessel, writing off his report for a batch of printers who were on board with their 'cases' of type; so that the entire report, making several columns of the Tribune, was prepared for being printed on the arrival of the steamer at New York, at five o'clock in the morning. The feat was a remarkable instance of newspaper enterprise. The Hudson River steamboats afterwards regularly carried corps of printers with types, from Albany to New York, to prepare the speeches of legislators for next morning's journals. Carrier-pigeons were employed to convey the latest European news from Halifax or Boston to Wall-street; and pilot-boats made long voyages, in stormy weather, to meet Atlantic steamers in search of early news. In election times pony-expresses were appointed by rival journals to carry early intelligence of results; as in railway times, locomotive engines were raced on rival lines of railroad in the interests which had paid high prices 'for the right of way.' Sometimes a little of that 'smartness,' which is so popular in America, was displayed in these newspaper rivalries, as when, on one occasion, the Tribune reporter ran off to New York on a special engine, hired expressly for the Herald, and thus succeeded in publishing an early and exclusive edition of some important news.

The success of the Herald led Horace Greeley to found the Tribune, in 1841. We can see at once that, like Bennett and Raymond, he was greatly endowed with that species of sagacity which divines at a glance the capabilities of a new project or speculation. Greeley was the son of a New England farmer, and came to New York a poor penniless boy. His earlier essays in newspaper management were total failures; but the Tribune was remarkably successful from its very commencement. It eschewed the coarse and violent style of the Herald, and pursued a far more generous and enlightened policy on public questions, while it almost rivalled the business-like energy of its earlier contemporary; but it ultimately injured itself by its championship of socialism, and a host of other secular heresies. For, though Greeley was of a remarkably practical turn of mind, at least in the management of his own business, he was a great theorist, committed to every recherché novelty in faith and life, a moral philosopher, after a fashion of his own, sincere and liberal in his ideas, with deep sympathies for the working classes, advocating their rights, and seeking their elevation, while he did not fear to expose their follies and their faults. The Tribune became, under his management, the organ of socialism and spirit-rapping, woman's rights, vegetarianism, temperance, and peace principles. It seemed, in fact, the premature harbinger of the'good time coming,' adept in all the cant of reform, and familiar with the whole philosophy of progress, a very clear vein of sense being perceptible to critical minds, in the elegant sophistry with which it vindicated its own course, and tried to overwhelm all objectors. It attemted, in fact, to turn to account the remarkable tremour of the public mind, which arose from what was seen or said between 1845 and 1855 of mesmerism, electro-biology, spirit-rapping, Swedenborgianism, and psychology; but we are glad to know that the Tribune has greatly improved in its general views, and comes more into accord with common ideas on these curious subjects.

It was the disgust and disappointment of the public with the socialistic heresies of the Tribune, as well as with the shameless and indecent personalities of the Herald, that led to the establishment of the Times, in the year 1851. It took rank at once as a dignified and able journal. Its influence was exercised from the first on the side of morality, industry, education, and religion; and to use the words of an eminent English journalist, now at the American press, 'it encouraged truthfulness, carried decency, temperance, and courtesy into discussion, and helped to abate the greatest nuisance of the age, the coarseness, violence, and calumny, which does so much to drive sensible and high-minded and competent men out of public life, or keep them from entering it.' No one, certainly, has ever done more than Henry J. Raymond for the elevation of the American newspaper. We cannot justly overlook the substantial services done in the same department by the New York Evening Post, under the management of its veteran editor, William Cullen Bryant, the poet; by the New York World, a new paper distinguished by the talent, incisiveness, and dignity of its articles; and by the Nation, managed by Mr. Gorkin, an Irishman, once connected with the London press, and which stands upon the intellectual level of the best European periodicals.

We are indebted to Mr. Maverick for a tolerably full account of the present position of New York journalism. There are 150 newspapers published in that city, of which 24 are daily papers, two of them published in the French language, and three in German. The remainder are weekly journals, of which eighteen are in German, one in Italian, and two in Spanish. There are no less than 258 German newspapers in all America, the largest number being published in Pennsylvania. There are eighteen religious newspapers published in New York. We have the following information in reference to the literary and mechanical arrangement of the daily press:

'Each of the great daily papers of New York to-day employs more than a hundred men, in different departments, and expends half a millon dollars annually, with less concern to the proprietors than an outlay of one-quarter of that sum would have occassioned in 1840. The editorial corps of the papers issued in New York on the first day of the present year numbered at least half a score of persons; the reporters were in equal force; sixty printers and eight or ten pressmen were employed to put in type and to print the contents of each issue of the paper; twenty readers, and a dozen mailing clerks and bookkeepers managed the business details of each establishment. Editorial salaries now range from twenty-five to sixty dollars a week; reporters receive from twenty to thirty dollars a week; and the gross receipts of a great daily paper for a year often reach the sum of one million dollars, of which an average of one third is clear profit. These statistics are applicable to four or five of the daily morning journals of New York.

There is much literary ability displayed in the daily and weekly journals of Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, and other leading cities. The Boston Post is a leading newspaper in that city. It is answerable for all the paradoxical absurdities of the famous Mrs. Partington. The Washington National Era, like the National Intelligencer, of the same capital, has a high position, as a literary and political journal. It was through its columns that Mrs. Stowe first gave to the world her 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' just as Judge Haliburton first published 'Sam Slick, the Clockmaker,' in the pages of a Nova Scotian weekly newspaper.

It is a remarkable fact that the Americans have never produced a Quarterly worthy of the name, except the 'North American Review,' which is certainly below the intellectual level of the four or five English reviews which are reprinted in New York every quarter within a fortnight of their publication in England. It was said, in explanation of the fact that the French had never succeeded in maintaining a review on the plan of the English Quarterlies, that their opinions and parties change so often, and the nation was so volatile, that they could not wait a quarter of a year upon anybody. But this explanation will not apply to the Americans. The 'North American Review' has always had on its list of contributors the very best names in native literature, such as Longfellow, Everett, J. R. Lowell, Motley, Jared Sparks, Caleb Cushing, George Bancroft, and others. Yet its success has been very partial. Its literary position ought to have been far more decided. The 'Atlantic Monthly' holds a deservedly high place in American letters, with such authors as Emerson, Holmes, and Mrs. Stowe among its principal contributors; but its influence has always been thrown into the scale against Evangelical Christianity. 'Harper's Magazine,' published in New York, is illustrated monthly for the fashionable world, with a circulation of 150,000 copies. 'Bonner's Ledger' has pushed its way into the front rank of weekly magazines, by its romances, its essays, and its poetry, from such writers as Parton, Beecher, Everett, Saxe, Bryant, and many others. The sporting world has its Wilkes' Spirit of the Times; the advocates of woman's rights have the Revolution, in the hands of Susan B. Anthony and E. C. Stanton; the grocers have a Grocer's Journal; the merchants a Dry Goods Reporter; the billiards-players, a Billiard-cue; and the dealers in tobacco, a Tobacco Leaf. The advocates of Spiritualism and Socialism have a large number of journals in their service. But, strange to relate, the Americans have not a single comic periodical like our 'Punch.' Mr. Maverick says that, in the course of a dozen years, many attempts have been made to establish such a print, but without success. 'Vanity Fair' was the best of the class, but its wit and its pictorial illustrations were equally poor and trivial. All the comic papers that flourished for a few years were only remarkable for the immense amount of bad wit they contained, for a wilderness of worthlessness, for an endless process of tickling and laughter; with only an occasional gleam of genuine humour and imagination. If the Americans have failed in producing such a periodical, it is not from the want of literary men possessed of the vis comica, for Oliver Wendell Holmes, James R. Lowell, Shelton, Butler, and Saxe are first-rate humourists. The English comic papers can command all the abounding talent of men like Douglas Jerrold, Albert Smith, W. M. Thackeray, Mark Lemon, Shirley Brooks, Thomas Hood, F. Burnand, and a host of other satirists. The Americans, however, have never had a Tenniel, a Doyle, a Leech, a Du Maurier, or a Keene, to throw off, week after week, the most amusing and instructive pictorial satires. All they have hitherto done in this department is to copy with tolerable taste and skill the best cartoons and wood-cuts of 'Punch' and our illustrated magazines. Perhaps America has yet to find its Bradbury and Evans. It is evidently most in want of a publisher. After all, there is hardly anything the Americans need more than a good comic paper, to moderate the intensity of their politics, to laugh down the extravagant follies of American society, to measure the strength of their public men, to register their blunders, and expose their hollowness, to watch over the caprices of fashion, to criticize the press itself, with its coarseness and scurrility, its disgraceful advertisements, and its downright fabrications; taking good care to keep free from those sins which so easiy beset satirists, rancour, obscenity, and attacks on private character. They need a satirical journal, just to apply to all things the good old test of common sense; and when uncommon wit is allied with common sense in branding any custom or habit as evil, it must be very deeply rooted if it cannot be overturned or modified. Besides, the Americans, as a hard-working race, need a refreshing humour to relieve the strain upon their mental and physical energies. Emerson remarked of Abraham Lincoln, that humour refreshed him like sleep or wine; and a nation so eager in all kinds of work deserves the innocent relaxation that comes from literature in its most sparkling and pleasing form.

The volume of Mr. Maverick makes almost no allusion to an important department of the American press, which demands some notice at our hands, viz., that which ministers to the intellectual and moral wants of the Irish Roman Catholic immigrants. There is no city of any magnitude which does not possess its Catholic organ. New York city is the proper centre of the Catholic press, but Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Boston, Charleston, and St. Louis have each their weekly paper for the Irish population. Intellectually, these papers are very inferior, and so illiberal that almost every question is viewed from the single standpoint of creed, race, or country. The liberal policy of a free and progressive state has hardly produced the slightest effect upon them. It is a very remarkable fact that in America, as in other countries, journalism is not wielded in the service of Romanism with any freshness and power, except by converts from Protestantism. We find Brownson's Reviews, the Freeman's Journal, the Shepherd of the Valley (now discontinued), and Catholic Herald, in the hands of perverts, just as in Europe the Tablet was founded by a convert from Quakerism, the Dublin Review is in the hands of an Oxford pervert, and the Historisch-politische Blätter of Munich as founded by Professor Phillips, and maintained in great scientific efficiency by Yarke, both converts from Lutheranism. The Irish press in America is very ultramontane. It seems drunk with the very spirit of religious servility, mad with the hatred of liberty, and adopts the strictest Roman Catholic doctrines, following them out to their extremest consequences, with a rudeness and arrogance of style approaching to vulgarity. Orestes Brownson says that the Pope is nowhere so truly Pope, and finds nowhere, so far as Catholics are concerned, so little resistance in the full exercise of his authority as in the United States. No European editor, except Veuillot, ever wrote in the style of Brownson himself, who is intellectually without a peer among Romish editors; for he takes the strongest and most unpopular ground as the very foundation of his ecclesiastical and political theories. Veuillot shocked the good sense and liberal feeling of Europe, by defending the Inquisition and the St. Bartholomew massacre; but Brownson despises all prudential consideration, in claiming for his church the right to put heretics to death, for he holds that this is punishment, and not persecution. The Shepherd of the Valley held that the question of punishing heretics was one of mere expediency, and declared that in the event of his church gaining the ascendance in America, there would be an end of religious toleration. The Pittsburgh Catholic censured these outspoken utterances; but the Boston Pilot rebuked its Pittsburgh contemporary for its censures, declaring that the Shepherd of the Valley said nothing that was not true; yet saying itself, with marked inconsistency, 'No Catholic wishes to abridge the religious rights of Protestants.' It is in perfect consistency with such ultramontane ideas that these Irish newspapers uniformly take the side of royal despots in great national struggles, and deny all sympathy to revolutionary leaders except those of Ireland. Though they usually cry out lustily when any step in American legislation or any popular combination manifests even an appearance of hostility to Catholic interests, they actually had the audacity, in 1859, to defend those royal miscreants of Italy, who rioted in the misery of their subjects, and of whom it was truly said, 'They kept one-half of their people in prison and the other half in fear of it.' They sympathised with the Poles in their last insurrection, because their oppressor was a schismatic; they had no sympathy with Hungarians, or Italians, or Spaniards, because their oppressors were Catholics. The Boston Pilot—the most popular journal of the Irish—forgot its rôle so far in 1848, as to take a liberal view of the European revolutionists. The result was that the Univers in giving an account of Catholic journalism in America, excluded the Pilot from its list of the orthodox; the clergy, moreover, condemned it; and it was obliged to express its pentence for such an error of judgment. The Pilot, after all, is more reasonable and less fanatical than most of the Catholic papers, and is specially copious in its reports of Catholic news. All these Irish newspapers are, without exception, bitterly anti-English in their tone and spirit. One might suppose that having escaped from misery and poverty, and launched upon a new career of prosperity and contentment, the Irish could afford to forget England; but, like their teachers at the press, they are strong in historical grudges, and their hatred to this country is as much theological as political. The Irish-American journalist delights in copying into his paper the abuse of England, collected from all quarters of the world, and in times of war or rebellion depreciates our triumphs and magnifies our misfortunes. The Catholic clergy have found it hard to control the opinions of a portion of their Irish countrymen, who, though sufficiently submissive in spiritual concerns, have shown a disposition to assert an independence of clerical control in matters affecting the interests of Ireland. Sometimes, indeed, the clergy have been led to humour this national feeling, as when they were in the habit of attending the 'Tom Moore Club,' at Boston, though it had been more than suspected that the favourite poet had died out of the pale of the church. At length the Shepherd of the Valley pointedly condemned their appearance at the annual banquet, on the ground that the poet was ashamed of his country's religion during life, and that English preachers performed the obsequies at his grave. The appearance of Thomas Francis Meagher in America, after his escape from penal servitude in Australia, greatly perplexed the bishops and clergy; but the mot d'ordre went forth, and all the Catholic newspapers in America, with a single exception, assailed him with the greatest bitterness, for his enlightened opinions upon religious liberty, and upon the relation between Church and State. Thousands of the Irish, notwithstanding, rallied round Meagher; and the Irish-American was established, for the vindication and enforcement of his principles. There are a few other organs of Irish nationality, including the Irish People, of John Mitchell, published in America, but, with the exception of the People, they are all contemptible, in every point of view. You find in their pages column after column of windy jargon and tawdry rhetoric, which would consign an English editor to a madhouse. This gaudy and ornate style, with a profusion of florid imagery and Oriental hyperbole quite overpowering, seems to characterise every Nationalist journal. It is these papers that have inflated the Fenian bubble. We pity the deplorable ignorance of the Irish masses, their misguided enthusiasm, and their preposterous pertinacity in the pursuit of visionary ends; but we have no language too severe to apply to their intellectual leaders who pursue their ignoble calling from a mercenary calculation of the profits to be derived from bottomless credulity. We fear that the Irish press generally has succeeded in imparting an education to the emigrés that can serve only to nurture hatreds, which, like curses, too often come home to roost, and that some considerable time can be expected to elapse before all of the appliances of American civilization and Christianity shall succeed, as they most certainly will, in the assimilation of such intractable materials.

Our notice of the American press would be incomplete without some account of that ample supply of religious literature which is furnished by thousands of weekly, monthly, and quarterly periodicals. The religious newspaper is almost peculiar to America, and is far superior to any similar publication in England. The English paper is more ecclesiastical and less religious; the American, while equally strenuous and careful in the advocacy of denominational claims, supplies much of what we usually obtain here from the Sunday Magazine and the Family Treasury. The literary superiority of the religious press over the secular in America arises mainly from the fact that its conductors and contributors are mostly clergymen who have been graduates of colleges, and are possessed of a considerable amount of classical culture and training. Every denomination has a larger number of weekly organs. The two leading newspapers of the class are the New York Independent and the New York Observer, the former an organ of the Congregationalists, and the latter of the Presbyterians. The Independent was originally conducted by the Rev. Dr. Bacon, the Rev. Dr. Thompson, and the Rev. Richard Storrs, jun.; it afterwards passed into the hands of the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, who wielded it with great power and efficiency in the anti-slavery cause; and it is now managed by Theodore Tilton in company with several others. It contains a great variety of religious, political, and general news, devotional and literary pieces of great merit, together with foreign and domestic correspondence, written with an excellent spirit. Mr. Beecher has established, and conducts, the Christian Union, another religious paper, which is rapidly rising to popularity and power. The Advance, a religious paper published in Chicago, and conducted by Dr. Patten, is one of the best of the religious papers of America. The Observer is one of the oldest and best established papers, once exceedingly Conservative in its views of slavery, but always distinguished by sound judgment, good taste, and fair culture. The Methodists are well represented by the Christian Advocate and Journal, and the Baptists by the Examiner and Chronicle. The monthly organ of the American Tract Society has a circulation of about 200,000, which it owes to its catholic character and its extraordinary cheapness. The quarterly literature of the American churches is of a very high character. The Bibliotheca Sacra is the great organ of New England theology, and the Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review and all British reviews in publishing the names of its contributors, and it has succeeded in gathering to its pages a vast amount of the most versatile talent from nearly all the Congregational Colleges of America. Its most original contributor in the domain of metaphysical theology is Professor Austin Phelps, of Andover, whose articles on 'The Instrumentality of the Truth in Regeneration,' and 'Human Responsibility as related to Divine Agency in Conversion,' published within the last two or three years, prove that much of the genius and spirit of Jonathan Edwards still exists in New England theology. Another eminent contributor, Professor Park, of Andover, who is also its principal editor, has been frequently in collision with Dr. Hodge of the Princeton Review, on points of Calvinistic divinity. Professor Bascom has been recently publishing in its pages a series of articles on 'The Natural Theology of Social Science'—a subject hitherto left too much in the hands of secularists—and has succeeded in lifting it with advantage into the higher sphere of theology. The articles of this review are generally marked by a high style of ability and scientific thoroughness: and are, many of them, worthy of being reproduced, as they have been, from time to time, in the British and Foreign Evangelical Review. The spirit of its management is exceedingly liberal. We observe, for example, that it recently published an article on 'Christian Baptism,' from the professor of a Baptist College, in conformity with a plan adopted by the conductors of securing from representative men of different sects and schools of thought, articles unfolding distinctive, theological opinions, and exhibiting with something like scientific precision the exact peculiarities of meaning attached to the terminology of the respective schools. The Princeton Review is the oldest quarterly in the United States. It was established in 1825 by Dr. Charles Hodge, the well-known commentator on the Epistle to the Romans, who was then, and still is, a Professor in the Princeton Theological Seminary; but it was not till 1829 that it ceased to be a mere repertory of selections from foreign work in the department of biblical literature. It is, beyond all question, the greatest purely theological review that has ever been published in the English tongue, and has waged war in defence of the Westminster standards for a period of forty years, with a polemic vigour and unity of design without any parallel in the history of religious journalism. If we were called to name any living writer who, to Calvin's exegetical tact, unites a large measure of Calvin's grasp of mind and transparent clearness in the department of systematic theology, we should point to this Princeton Professor. He possesses, to use the words of an English critic, the power of seizing and retaining with a rare vigour and tenacity, the great doctrinal turning-points in a controversy, while he is able to expose with triumphant dexterity the various subterfuges under which it has been sought to elude them. His articles furnish a remarkably full and exact repository of historic and polemic theology; especially those on 'Theories of the Church,' 'The Idea of the Church,' 'The Visibility of the Church,' 'The Perpetuity of the Church,' all of which have been reproduced in English reviews. The great characteristic of his mind is the polemic element; accordingly we find him in collision with Moses Stuart, of Andover, in 1833, and with Albert Barnes in 1835; on the doctrine of imputation; with Professor Park, in 1851, on 'The Theology of the Intellect and the Theology of the Feelings;' with Dr. Niven, of the Mercersburg Review, in 1848, on the subject of the 'Mystical Presence,' the title of an article which attempted to apply the modern German philosophy to the explanation and subversion of Christian doctrines; with Professor Schaff, in 1854, on the doctrine of historical development; and with Horace Bushnell, in 1866, on vicarious sacrifice. In fact, a theological duel has been going on between Andover and Princeton for nearly forty years, the leading controversialists of Andover being Stuart, Park, Edward Beecher, Baird, and Fisher, and those of Princeton, Hodge, the Alexanders, and Atwater. Hodge has contributed one hundred and thirty-five articles to the Review since its commencement; Dr. Archibald Alexander—a venerable divine, who resembled John Brown, of Haddington, in many respects—contributed seventy-seven; his son, Dr. James Waddel Alexander, twice a Princeton Professor, and afterwards pastor of the wealthiest congregation in New York, contributed one hundred and one articles; another son, Dr. Joseph Addison Alexander, the well-known commentator on Isaiah, contributed ninety-two, mostly on classical and Oriental subjects; and Dr. Atwater, another Princeton professor of great learning and versatility, contributed sixty-four on theological and metaphysical subjects. The articles in the Princeton on science, philosophy, literature, and history, have generally displayed large culture and research. The review of Cousin's Philosophy, in 1839, by Professor Dod, was one of the most remarkable papers that appeared on the subject in America, and was afterwards reprinted separately on both sides of the Atlantic. Another theological quarterly of America, is the New Englander, published at Newhaven, Connecticut, and representative principally of Yale scholarship. Nearly all the leading names in New England theology, such as Bellamy, Hopkins, Emmons, Dwight, Griffin, Tyler, and Taylor, among the dead, and Bushnell, Beecher, and Bacon, among the living, are associated with the venerable University of Yale. Tryon Edwards (the great-grandson of Jonathan Edwards) is one of the contributors to the New Englander. The professors and graduates of the college are its principal contributors. Among them are to be found the distinguished names of Dr. Noah Porter and President Woolsey. The former has recently contributed to the New Englander a series of valuable articles, just reprinted in a small volume, on 'The American Colleges and the American Public;' an able discussion of the fundamental principles of University education. The Mercersburg Review is the quarterly organ of the German Reformed Church, and has been conducted, from its commencement, by Dr. Niven and Professor Schaff, the well-known historian. The Baptists have their Christian Review, the Methodists their Methodist Quarterly Review, the Lutherans their Evangelical Review, the Episcopalians their Protestant Episcopal Quarterly Review, and the Unitarians their Christian Examiner, which reflects from time to time the vicissitudes of Unitarian opinion. There is one fact suggested by this review of the American religious press, viz., that Episcopacy holds a very inferior place beside Independency and Presbyterianism in theological authorship. We all know how greatly things are changed, even in England, since Dr. Arnold deplored, and all but despised, the culture of Dissenters, for we have Dean Alford, but the other day, confessing in the Contemporary Review, 'Already the Nonconformists have passed us by in biblical scholarship, and ministerial training.' But in the United States, the palm of theological scholarship has always rested in the hands of Congregational and Presbyterian divines. The best theological seminaries, the ablest theological reviews and the most original as well as extensive authorship in the various branches of theology, belong to the two denominations referred to.

We shall now proceed, as briefly as possible, to make some observations of a critical nature upon the intellectual and moral character of the American press generally. It is not, certainly, in any spirit of national superiority that we point to the undoubted fact that notwithstanding the great expansion of newspaper literature in the States, the wide diffusion of popular education, and the circulation of English books of the best kind at a mere nominal cost, the Americans have as yet produced nothing representatively like our London Times, or Punch, or the Athenæum, or the Illustrated London News, or the Saturday Review, or the Art Journal, or the Edinburgh and Quarterly. They have not even produced a single great newspaper writer like Captain Stirling, of the Times, Albany Fonblanque, sen., of the Examiner, or Hugh Miller, of the Edinburgh Witness, for Bennett, Greeley, and Raymond, though capital editors, are all greatly inferior to these men in that art of scholarly, dignified, and tasteful leader-writing, which gives such a power and charm to London journalism. Newspaper writing is, perhaps, the most difficult of all writing; there is none at least in which excellence is so rarely attained. The capacity of bringing widely-scattered information into a focus, of drawing just conclusions from well-selected facts, of amplifying, compressing, illustrating and succession of topics, all on the spur of the moment, without a moment's stay to examine or revise argues great intellectual cultivation. The articles may not be of a lofty order, or demand for their execution the very highest kind of talent, but the power of accomplishing it with success is very uncommon, and of all the varieties of ways in which incompetency is manifested, an irrepresible tendency to fine writing is associated with a greater number of them. De Tocqueville says that democratic journalism has a strong tendency to be virulent in spirit and bombastic in style. It certainly runs the risk of lawlessness, inaccuracy, and irreverence, with much of vehemence, and with little taste, imagination, or profundity. One serious charge we have to bring against the American newspapers is,that they have soreley vulgarized and vitiated the English language. We are aware that many of them imagine the language of their country to be the standard as to idiom, pronounciation, and spelling, and any English variation from their golden rule as erroneous and heterodox; but such critics are entitled to no consideration whatever. If men of education at the American press refuse to study the style of the great authors who fixed and purified the language of our common forefathers, so that we may have one and not two languages spoken on opposite sides of the Atlantic, let them at least imitate such writers of their own as Washington Irving, Horace Bushnell, Oliver Wendel Holmes, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose pure and native English is wholly free from all the corruptions and affectations of phrase which overrun American newspapers, simply because it is beautifully modelled upon the most elegant and polished writers of English literature. In fact, the Americans have always been greatly in need of a critical organ, like the old Edinburgh Review, to purify the literary atmosphere from the clouds and mists of false taste which deface it, to stand censor on books and newspapers, a recognized authority in the literary republic, for whose quarterly judgments readers might look with interest, and authors with trembling. The North American Review, though written with great spirit, learning, and ability, and abounding in profound and original discussions on the most interesting subjects has never filled the place of the Edinburgh, and, indeed, its own style is not free from the common sin of affectation. It is pleasant to think of William Cullen Bryant, the poet, hanging up in the office of his newspaper—the New York Evening Post, a catalogue of words that no editor or reporter is ever to be allowed to use. [This Index Expurgatorius puts the ban upon such words as these:—bogus, authoress, poetess, collided, début, donate, donation, loafer, located, ovation, predicate, progressing, pants, rowdies, roughs, secesh, osculate for kiss, endorse for approve, lady for wife, jubilant for rejoicing, bagging for capturing, loaned for lent, posted for informed, and realized for obtained.] Let us hope that the literary men of America, of all classes, will seriously aim at the formation of a purer, chaster and juster style of writing, for what they have hitherto produced has been defective in taste rather than in talent.

Another great sin of American journalism is its intolerable personality, violence, and exaggeration. This was the disgrace of our own English press at no distant period. Cobbett was a great sinner in this respect. He had much to do with raising the intellectual, and lowering the moral reputation of the modern newspaper. The wide diffusion of enlightened views on politics and religion is attested, however, in a remarkable manner among ourselves, by the moderation of tone which we now see in journals which, about twenty years ago, were remarkable for their scurrility and violence. It is no longer a recommendation to an English newspaper to be known as an assailant of the Royal Family, the aristocracy, the bench of bishops, or parsons. Several publications that, a few years since, professed atheism and secularism, have become extinct, and the quondam organs of Chartism and fierce democracy have been obliged to become respectable. But many of the American newspapers are much worse than the English were a quarter of a century ago. With us, faction has become less mischievous and shameless; unfounded accusations less common and less malignant; invectives more measured and decorous; not merely because the evil passions which required to be fed with the abuse of individuals have calmed down, but because the British press is now guided by the principle of attacking public opinion, not private characters, measures, not men; and its quarrels are usually governed by the laws of honour and chivalry, which proscribe all base advantages. But an American newspaper cannot assail another newspaper without mentioning the editor's name and calling him coward or rascal. If you cannot answer your opponent's objections you caricature his appearance, or dress, or diet, or accent, a Bennett is in the habit of treating Greeley; and if you are foiled by his wit, you recover your advantage by stabbing his character. No allusions become too indecorous for your taste; no sarcasms too bitter for your savage spite; and no character pure enough to be sacred from your charges and insinuations. The American editor pursues his antagonist as if he were a criminal. The New York World lately devoted four columns of it space to illustrate by quotations the amenities of American journalism. The majority of the papers seem to subsist on the great stable of falsehood and personality, and enjoy all the advantages which spring from an utter contempt for the restraints of decency and candour and we are strongly of opinion that this work of cruel intimidation is pursued with unrelenting eagerness, not from the influence of angry passions or furious prejudices but in the cold-blooded calculation of the profits which idle curiosity or the vulgar appetite for slander may enable its authors to derive from it. We are not prepared to endorse all the strong statements made by infuriated rivals concerning the proprietor of the New York Herald; but he leaves us in no doubt, himself as to the light in which he regarded his own frequent chastisements. Immediately after James Watson Webb had severely whipped him in the streets of New York, the whole affair was recounted in the Herald with a sensational circumstantiality that had an evident eye to business though we cannot overlook the remarkable good humour with which Bennett treated the whole affair:—

'The fellow,' he says 'no doubt wanted to let out the never-failing supply of good humour and wit which have created such a reputation for the Herald, and appropriate the contents to supply the emptiness of his own skull. He didn't succeed, however, in rifling me of my ideas. My ideas in a few days will flow as freshly as ever and he will find it to his cost.'

Imagine the London Times degraded to the condition of its responsible editor rejoicing in his own personal chastisement! American journalists fight like their French brethren. They never dream of explanations. Bullets and bowie-knives and the natural sequel of such recriminations as disgrace their newspapers. This extreme violence is part of the loose political morality so common there. Americans seem to be taught almost from their infancy to hate one-half of the nation, and so contract all the virulence and passion of party before they have come to the age of reason; but before their newspapers can be said to enter upon the course of real usefulness which is open to them, they must have come to believe that political differences may exist without their opponents being either rogues or fools. Jefferson said in his day that the scurrility of the press drove away the best men from public life, and would certainly have driven away Washington had he lived to suffer from its growing excesses. James Fenimore Cooper, the celebrated novelist, had a horror of newspapers, and instituted actions at law against a host of them for literary libels. He once remarked, 'The press of this country tyrannizes over public men of letters, the arts, the stage, and even private life. Under the semblance of maintaining liberty, it is gradually establishing a despotism as ruthless and grasping and one that is quite as vulgar as that of any Christian state known.' This view of the case is certainly serious and suggestive. Party violence may be carried to a length that defeats itself, for it may harden public men against all newspaper criticism whatever, to the great injury of public affairs, and thus lower the estimation and disturb the course of public opinion. Nowhere are fools more dogmatic than in politics, and nowhere are wise men more doubtful and silet; but American party writers have no respect for the Horation maxim, 'in medio tutissimus'—the secret of that moderation of opinion which has distinguished the most genial and sagacious men in our political world. They must really learn to cultivate a love of truth and justice; they should seek to attain the power of holding the scales steadily, while the advantages or disadvantages of every question are fairly weighed; they should stamp upon their professional life the impress of personal rectitude and honour, and not wait--to copy the tone of the old apologies—till a higher standard of public morals, and a more intelligent cultivation of political and literary inquiries, shall have raised for them a new class of readers. It is the perrogative of genius to create the light by which it is to be understood and appreciated; but the working talents of a country, which are identified with its immediate interests, ought at least to rise a little above the surrounding level.

We are led, from this point, to notice another defect in American journalism,—the absence of the anonymous usage, which is, indeed, mainly answerable for the scurrility and violence already referred to. The British editor is usually unknown to the public; the French journalist subscribes his name at the foot of his articles; but the American editor publishes his name and address boldly at the top of his newspaper. The effect of this custom is to identify the authority of the journal with the personal influence of the editor; it tends to a habit of deciding questions on personal grounds, and to a far too marked superfluity of the tu quoque argument. The object of the American journalist is not so much the instruction of the public as the political advancement of himself, for journalism usually forms the first stage in the course of an ambitious politician, or a rising statesman; and the American usage is certainly very well adapted to this end. Our anonymous habit limits the discussions of the press and abolishes egotism, while it certainly tends to debar personalities. It has been remarked, as a suggestive fact, that personality is the common vice of the only free press in the world, which ignores the anonymous principle; and that in England, under a contrary usage, personality is little known, always reprobated, and, indeed, in cases of flagrant personal attacks, the authorship is usually but thinly disguised. It is absurd to defent the American habits as manly and ours as cowardly; for their habit tends to make writers far from circumspect or considerate of the feelings of others. But, in fact, the publicity in which American journalists delight is only akin to the publicity of American life generally. The British public would not tolerate the intrusion of the press into private or family concerns; yet one New York paper published, in the panic of 1857, the name of every gentleman who bought a silk dress for his wife, or gave a dinner-party to his friends. Other newspapers criticize the dress and appearance of ladies at balls and cricket parties, the personality of their praise being almost as offensive as at other times the coarseness of their vituperation.

We confess that we do not entertain a very high opinion of the morality of the American press, though we admit there has been a sensible improvement within the last thirty years. Emerson made the remark, in his 'English Traits,' that the London Times was an 'immoral institution,' on the ground we presume, of its frequent changes of opinion. We are far from defending the leading journal in its policy of tergiversation—for there can be no doubt it ever fights on the stronger side, upholds no falling cause, and advocates no great principle—but it was never yet bought with bribes or cowed by intimidation. It has sometimes shown that it is conducted on principles superior to mere money considerations, for, during the Railway mania of 1845, when its advertising sheet was overrun with projected lines of railway, realizing to the proprietors the enormous sum of from £2,839 to £6,687 per week, the Thunderer turned its fire on these projects, and lost nearly £3,000 in a single week. We do not charge the American press with any flagrant changes of policy or principle, for we believe it is, in these respects, sufficiently consistent. But we deplore the absence of high moral purpose, as well as independence in its discussions of public questions. The American people demand a large amount of flattery; they have come almost to loathe the wholesome truth; they must be pampered with constant adulations, so that no one will venture to tell them their faults, and, neither at home nor abroad, dare moralists venture a whisper to their prejudice. This is a serious drawback, America wants more writers of the class who are said to prefer their country's good to its favour, and more anxious to reform its vices than cherish the pride of its virtues. Besides, we strongly suspect that the American journalist is very careless about the truth. We mean the truth of fact, which is part of the historic disposition of the age, as opposed to all that is sensational. He resembles the French rather than the English journalist in the tendency to regard good news as more important than correct news. The English journals make it their business to present their readers with the news and not advice, with facts and not opinions, so that they can form opinions for themselves, and the power of our press is thus enormously increased, but only on conditions that effectually prevent the arbitrary exercise of it. The American writers for the press have followed our example in some degree, but their disposition to provide startling and sensational intelligence is too often manifested at the expense of truth. Mr. Maverick gives an account of a number of disreputable hoaxes played by the newspapers upon the public of America, which were justified, we presume, to the consciences of the authors by the observation of Lord Bacon--'A mixture of lies doth ever add pleasure; doth any man doubt that if there were taken from men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, and the like, it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things?' The 'Moon Hoax,' which was published in the New York Sun in 1835, was one of the most skilful and successful of these literary frauds. Successive numbers of that paper contained a pretended extract from the pages of a supplement to the Edinburgh Journal of Science, under the title of 'Great Astronomical Discoveries latterly made by Sir John Herschel, LL.D., F.R.S., at the Cape of Good Hope.' The paper had a remarkable air of scientific research, such as might deceive all but the most learned and wary. The Herschel telescope was represented as affording a distinct view of lunar roads, rocks, seas, cascades, forests, houses, people, and monsters of various shapes. The 'Roorback Hoax' was a shameless attempt to injure the character of J. K. Polk, when he was a candidate for the Presidency, by representing him as possessing forty-three slaves who had his initials branded into their flesh. The deception was wrought by simply adding to a sentence in Featherstonehaugh's Travels in America four lines of the hoaxer's own, recording the disgraceful lie referred to. We confess that we cannot recognise the morality of a transaction which Mr. Maverick records in the history of the New York Times, without apparently the slightest suspicion of its dishonesty. When the New York Herald got hold of the single survivor of the ill-fated Atlantic steamer, Arctic, which was lost in September, 1854, an assistant on the Times succeeded, by means of an adroit pressman, in purloining an early copy from the Herald press-rooms, and actually publishing the Herald's report an hour earlier than that journal. We cannot understand what Mr. Maverick means by representing the Herald as 'playing a trick to keep the news from the other papers,' unless the Herald was actually bound to supply its contemporaries gratuitously with the exclusive news it had obtained from the survivor at its own sole expense. The transaction seems to us merely a clever specimen of American 'smart-ness.'

But we must draw these observations to a close. We cannot but admit that the press of America, with all its defects, is an engine of great power. It is on this ground we desire for it a close approximation to those intellectual and moral qualities which have given British journalism such an influence over the affairs of the whole world. In fact, two such nations as America and Britain, working in the same language, should be always learning from each other; for the eager energy of the one should push forward the occasionally lagging progress of the other, and our matured caution restrain their hasty inexperience. America is great in all that leads to immediate and available results. She has given us several of the greatest mechanical inventions of the age; she has far excelled us in the theory and practice of religious liberty, as well as in the more liberal recognition of denominational brotherhood among the religious sects; while she has furnished a noble example of public spirit in the support of religion, missions, and education. Let us hope that in time she will equal, if not surpass us in a periodical literature, which, if even still more intensely political than ours, will display a breadth and strength of thought, together with a wisdom and dignity, which will add immensely to its power. There is one aspect of Transatlantic literature which already contrasts favourably with our own, and that is its generally cordial recognition of Evangelical Christianity. With the exception of the German and French newspapers, which chafe under the restraints of a Christian country, and scoff at Judaic sabbaths, Pharisaic church-going, and tyrannical priest craft, there are no newspapers of any position in the States that are avowedly anti-Christian; and there is less disposition than formerly, on the part of the American press generally, to exclude all reference to distinctive Christianity. It was considered a remarkable circumstance at the time of the American revival that several newspapers, notorious for a thinly disguised infidelity, and for a most undisguised enmity to Evangelical religion, should not only publish the most ample reports of the movement, but commend it in a way that has had no parallel in English journalism, even before the tide of public opinion had turned decisively in its favour. It is the common custom still for American newspapers to print the sermons of popular preachers, and to publish a large amount of religious intelligence. The press is also intensely Protestant, and has contributed to the growth of that enormous assimilating power by which American Protestantism has absorbed generation after generation of the Roman Catholic emigrants. The statistics of the Propaganda declare that one half of the whole number has been lost to the Church of Rome and the explanation is, that they can no more escape from the influence of American ideas than from the effects of the atmosphere and climate.

It becomes, therefore, a matter of the greatest consequence that the literary guides of a nation with such a destiny as America, should understand the responsibilities under which their power is exercised. They should take care above all things, to use their influence not to materialize the mind of society, by obtruding material concerns too much upon the attention, to the neglect of those moral and spiritual interests which constitute the very foundation of its greatness. This is a real danger, for, as De Tocqueville remarks, the tendency of modern democracy is to concentrate the passions of men upon the acquisition of comforts and wealth. They cannot be ignorant that the most clearly marked line of social progress over the whole world is coincident with the line of the Christian faith; that wherever true religion has had free access to the centres of human action, a palpable advance has been made in knowledge, liberty, and refinement while poverty, injustice, and licentiousness, which are the ulcers of a depraved society, have in that degree been checked and healed. They must understand that honesty is the grand necessity of the world at this time, in its politics as well as its theology, in its commerce as well as its science. Let these things be understood by the leaders of American thought, and we cannot but anticipate a proud future for their country. It is a subject of just congratulation to England that her children have stamped their character on a vast continent, and that instead of discontented colonies subjected to her caprice, he can now point to a great people, with all the best life of the ancient nations throbbing in their veins, flourishing exactly in proportion to their freedom, and trained, through all their bloody disasters which almost threatened to ruin their work, to build a stronger rampart, and to reclaim a broader shore for posterity. The interests of humanity demand that a nation so strong in all the material elements of civilization, and manifesting such an impetuous disregard of limit and degree in all its enterprises, should be equally strong in its intelligence and its Christianity.

British Quarterly Review
January, 1871

Editor's Literary Record.

Books sold by aid of agents do not require the same literary qualities as those which seek a market through the ordinary avenues of trade. They are made, usually, for a transient sale, and for the purpose of meeting a temporary demand. We have learned, therefore, to look with suspicion upon books which bear upon their title-page the ominous words, "Sold by subscription only," and greatly as we have been attracted by the theme of Mr. Augustus Maverick's book, Raymond and New York Journalism (A. S. Hale and Co.), a perusal of it has only intensified the doubts which the announcement that it was published by subscription had awakened in our minds. Mr. Maverick is an editor, by nature as well as by experience. We are not greatly surprised, therefore, to find in his volume the water-marks rather of a shrewd editor than of a painstaking author, of one who has written and scissored—especially scissored (our readers will perhaps excuse the doubtful but convenient word)—with an editor's eye to the market, with reference not so much to literary excellence as to the supposed demands of the public—not the general public, but the special public, at whose purses he aimed. As a biography of Mr. Raymond it lacks that tender, affectionate, sympathetic appreciation of the man which gives a true biography its charm. Moreover, the editor or author lacked the materials necessary to any full and fair delineation of his inner life.

As a history of New York Journalism it is better than a personal biography. Henry J. Raymond was emphatically a journalist. He had the editorial genius. His very weaknesses and failures were the results of the same qualities which gave him success. He studied the course of public opinion, and aimed rather to represent the best thought and feeling of the community than to instruct or to reform it. Mr. Maverick, therefore, in writing Mr. Raymond's biography, has done well to make his theme include some account of New York Journalism, its growth, and its methods. It is this part of his volume which is the most entertaining—this which he has written con amore. He is thoroughly at home in it. He has been a member of the editorial fraternity for a quarter of a century, and is as young and fresh and full of boyish vitality as ever. He has seen the inside machinery of a daily journal, and knows how to describe it. He tells with infinite zest how "Bennett was beaten at his own game." He tell with a merry twinkle the story of the moon hoax; and even the lugubrious tones with which he describes the horrors which the editor has to suffer at the hands of "newspaper bores" are an unmistakable affectation, put on by one who relishes the ridiculous so keenly as to be comparatively indifferent to the discomfort of his position. But even of this part of his work he has written his own condemnation in the sentence, "The history of the American press, properly arranged and conscientiously elaborated, is yet to be written." It is not a history of New York Journalism, but a gossip about it. Take it all in all, his somewhat overgrown volume may be characterized as a spicy, gossipy, fragmentary, entertaining, appreciative, unphilosophical, illogical, unsystematic, and highly readable book; a book which we have read all through with interest, but which we lay down, saying to ourselves, not only the history of the American press, but the life of Henry J. Raymond, "properly arranged and conscientiously elaborated, is yet to be written;" and which makes us look forward more eagerly than before to the biography which is now in course of preparation by a gentleman long associated with Mr. Raymond in editorial labor.

Harper's Magazine, April, 1871