Book History

Author: N/A
Bibliographic Information
Volume one of The American Whig Review was published in 1845 by John Wiley and George Putnam. It contains the first six issues of this monthly American Whig journal. It was edited by George Hooker Colton.
Physical Description
This book has a marbled leather binding and cover with gilded lettering. It has 656 pages, and an additional seven introductory pages. The dimensions are 8.5in x 2in.
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Wiley and Putnam
John Wiley grew up in the publishing business, where he learned multiple functions of the print industry such as printer, publisher, and bookseller, from his father. He took over his father’s business in 1826 at only seventeen when his father died. After inheriting the business he also worked as a sales representative for other publishers until 1832 when he opened his own bookstore and published his first book. George Putnam joined the industry and his partnership with Wiley in 1838. In some of their earliest endeavors they published American Literature and some titles by popular European writers.
Manifestations
Other first edition copies and reprints of this volume are available, digitized copies are available online.
Bibliography
Cullen B Colton. “George Hooker Colton and the Publication of 'The Raven'.” American Literature 10, no. 3 (Nov. 1938): 319-30.

Ezra Greenspan, “Evert Duyckinck and the History of Wiley and Putnam's Library of American Books, 1845-1847.” American Literature 64, no. 4 (Dec., 1992): 682.

Mulqueen, James E. "Conservatism and Criticism: The Literary Standards of American Whigs, 1845-1852." American Literature 41, no. 3 (November 1969): 355-67.

Sarah Fewster, "Celebrating 200 Years of Publishing John Wiley & Sons, Inc." Publishing Research Quarterly 23, no. 3, September 2007: 161-166.

“The First One Hundred and Fifty Years: A History of John Wiley and Sons, Incorporated, 1807-1957.” Taylor & Francis, 1957. (1-13).

Essay
The American Whig Review was a significant political and literary magazine of the American Whig party in the mid-nineteenth century. Volume one contains the first through the sixth issues published by the journal during its first year of circulation in 1845. This volume is significant because it reflects the achievement of the journal’s first issues and because it is evidence of milestones of nineteenth century literature, writers, and the editors and publishers that were part of its production and popularity.

The launch of The American Whig Review in 1845 was a collaborative effort by Whig leaders such as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, among others, who came together with first editor George Hooker Colton (1). The purpose of the journal was to ignite enthusiasm within the general public for the ideology and principles of the Whig Party. After the death of Whig President William Harrison in 1841 his successor, John Tyler, broke from the Whig party, causing it to lose a great deal of support. One reason Whig leaders chose a journal help them regain status was to counter a popular monthly Democratic journal, The United States Magazine and Democratic Review (2).

The Whigs believed that inclusion of print industry players such as editor George Colton and publishers John Wiley and George Putnam would ensure the journal’s success. Colton brought with him an impressive educational background and editorial experience, as well as success in writinghis own original poems. Colton became involved in the planning of the American Whig Review in 1844 (3). He presided over the journal from its original publication in 1845 until his death in 1847.

The involvement and collaboration of Wiley and Putnam and Colton was significant for more than just their exploitation of their combined editing, printing, and distribution talents and success in the print industry. They developed a network with other industry moguls that contributed to the significance of volume one of the American Whig Review. One such man was Evert Duckynck. Duyckink was an accomplished writer, and brought some popularity to the Whig Review with an article containing his strong opinions of future of the American Publishing Industry. Wiley and Putnam would eventually extended their business with him beyond the Whig Review, recognizing the success he had as a writer. Duyckink is also said to have influenced Colton’s decision to print a new piece, “The Raven,” by poet Edgar Allen Poe in the first issue (4). This is considered to be largely responsible for the immediate popularity of the journal.

The American Whig Review was the first to publish the now famous poem, “The Raven,” making it a major contributing factor to the volume’s significance. The controversy surrounding the decision by Poe and Colton and possibly the publishers to submit “The Raven” under the pseudonym “Quarles” excited rumors about this specific publication of the poem, helping it to overcome its competition amongst other journals that published the poem (5). Poe had also released his poem to other journals under his own name, forcing Colton to supplement the poem with an editor’s note that would be published in the first issue of the Whig Review along with “The Raven”(7). These calculated moves by both men proved Poe and Colton’s mastery of the print world in their time. The combined editorial skill and publishing and distribution know-how of Colton, Wiley, and Putnam, enabled the vision and creation of an original American Publication, making it significant still today.

(1)James E Mulqueen, "Conservatism and Criticism: The Literary Standards of American Whigs, 1845-1852." American Literature 41, no. 3 (November 1969): 355-67. (2)Ibid. (3)Cullen B Colton. “George Hooker Colton and the Publication of 'The Raven'.” American Literature 10, no. 3 (Nov. 1938): 319-30. (4)Ezra Greenspan, “Evert Duyckinck and the History of Wiley and Putnam's Library of American Books, 1845-1847.” American Literature 64, no. 4 (Dec., 1992): 682. (5)Cullen B Colton. “George Hooker Colton and the Publication of 'The Raven'.” American Literature 10, no. 3 (Nov. 1938): 324. (6)Colton, 326.

Submitted by Samantha Hogue
Published: 1845
Call Number: Rare AP 2 .A456
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