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Evening Signal

New York Evening Signal, Library of Congress bound volume

Vol 1 no. 1 Oct 12, 1839, 1 cent, Park Benjamin and Rufus W Griswold, editors, pbu J Winchester, 23 Ann St.

            Has ad for New World, ed by late conductors of Bro Jonathan, who are the above, $3/yr

  1. 2 Salutory, mentions they also had edited the Tattler. In politics and sectional matters, will be neutral, all the intellig of the day, avoiding all allusions and details unfavorable to gd taste and the public morals, liberal minded, agreeable


JG Cogswell of NY Review is picking out books for Astor’s free library.

Newspaper Boys: penny press have cashiered the boys selling their papers, deprived them of employment suddenly, that there are some of vicious and idle habits, but a strange proposition that giving them an honest livelihood encouages depravity. We shall conform to old plan, and don’t envy temper of those who look with an evil eye upon the peripatetic urchins, often support of their family and thirst for education.


At Am Inst Fair, dislike objects with sign “Hands Off” makes them want to kick it over, would like it worded more politely. Critical of Willis’ Jottings in the Corsair, too low, waste of ink and paper, wish resident editor would write. Van Buren is at Globe Hotel, NY. Rufus Dawes, formerly ed of NY Whig (Greeley does their political matter), is now at Tattler. New Era denies it has any editorial arrang with PM Wetmore or John W Edmonds. Philip Hone nom for Senate; Nelson column in London


NYPL misc reel Evening Signal, office is basement of the Merchants Exchange, Oct 5, 1840, Park Benjamin, one cent


October 14 1839

More on Tattler, J Gregg Wilson publishing it, with James F Otis, Robert M Walsh, and Jacob M More as well as Dawes. More pub Daily Whig, Walsh wrote for Am Q Rev, Otis a Whig letter writer fr DC, Dawes likes magnetism. All are Old School Whigs.

            Encourages fancy advertisers of all sorts, public amusements, new works, music, balls dances, entertainments of any descriptions ncluding political meetings, new fashions.

            Has Geo Morris poem, article on whittling as part of Yankee bargaining.

15 notices Catherwood’s pano of Lima, sale of splendid Oil ptgs at Acad of Arts in Barclay st, likes So Lit Messenger

16 punning poem on Richd Locke, excerpts New-Yorker’s rhapsody on Greenwood rural cemetery

17 p. 2 another story singing virtues of newsboys, one with smashed straw hat and black eye may be President, embryo sovereigns will reign supreme, beatings they give ea other prepare them for world they have to live in, rough and tumble, but clever

            Penny Press: why not as respectable as the large dailies? Evening Star, Comm Advert, Eve Post all have smaller circ, American too. We won’t appeal though to vulgar taste, resort to balderdash, ribaldry and obscenity, no disgusting details of misery and crime. The Dispatch has done this too (seceded fr The Sun)


18 p. 3 Page the Port Ptr, delighted with his works, hasn’t a superior in this country, faithful likeness and a fine pic, infuses mind and char into his faces, never expressiveless, never cold, but radiant with thought, and warm, recommend call 84 Warren st.

excerpts fr NY Mirror, Knick, Hunt’s

19 praises Tasistro’s Expositor, NYorker (P Benj the lit editor there formerly), dislikes Spirit of the Times’ attack on Noah, approves Porter’s Corsair. West’s Christ rejected in city according to ads (don’t see an ad in their paper), no artist more egregiously overrated than he was, master of the unfinished school, this one particularly tame, saw it 7 years ago, did not like the compos, drwg, or coloring, flat figure and face with no manner of relief, people who read puffs will be disappointed.

            Praises Great Fair of Am Inst. Mild re Sigourney’s Gift bk.

21 correct taste is concomitant of chaste mind. Agree militia needs reform. Poets of america, Chapman’s vignettes admirable but his Shakespearean illus failures, Keese the editor too undiscriminating in allowing in authors


23 notice new works of Cinti artist Hiram Powers exhib at Saloon, Ann st and Broadway, think some more approp place for them than the Infernal Regions

24 puffs Astor House. Critical of a penny a liner who has left office of C&E to bewail in the Sun, which has lost the respectability it had under Weld now of the Dispatch

24 multiplication of newspapers has made them less powerful, every man is now his own editor, can compare rather than following edicts of one, come to enlightened judgment, and know that when a friend is vilified in a dirty print like the Sun that the editor is just desperate for copy

            applaud CF Hoffman and Theo Fay, Rufus Dawes

26 pano of Lima advertises, as does The Fall Exhibition of ptgs and sculp by Living Artists at Apollo Gallery with explanation of the scheme and on p. 2 there is a notice of it, Herring’s gallery an agreeable lounging place, laudable coll.


28 commends Corbin’s Paul Pry; Tasistro publishes furious crit of Porter brothers (Spirit of Times, Corsair) in Evening Star on 26th. Fanny Osgood editor for Snowden’s Ladies Comp; Locke’s new paer the New Era, spirit

            West’s ptg advertises, also Battle of Bunker Hill, Solon Robinson tale of the prairie

p.2-3, Fine Arts: A Lounge at the Apollo Gallery, No. 1

            Asks lady fair to spend half hour with him at exhib, explains why doorkeeper takes cane away fr young and exquisite who point out beauties with their sticks. She on entering points to a bust of Ellen Tree, beautiful, he responds with flirtatious banter, she asks who is the artist, he says Wm Dexter of Bosotn, the best female bust ever done by Am.

            She then spies Webster, stupendous forehead, he identies Clevenger, but dislikes sternness and heaviness of attitude, his bust of Hone is better.

            She asks who the ministerial head is, its poet Willis Gaylord Clark, parson air not char of orig, Frankenstein must do better, author points to a Greenough ideal bust and a spirited Frazee portrait of Bowditch.

            “pray, what do you call that” It’s Adirondack Pass, by Ingham, will pass it in silence; she laughs at Agate’s Forrest as Metamora, he agrees it is atrocious, vulgar ferocity never before transferred to canvas.

            She says there is a charming pic, boy w/birds in hat, he says one of the prettiest things, SS Osgood, 130 Liberation of the Captives, talent of highest order.

Next rm: 29, Philip of Mt Hope, WJ Hubard in Florence, never heard of him, some 12 or 15 yrs ago made so much noise and monye with his paper likenesses, youth redeemed by talent orig and power, resides in Virginia, gives story fr artist’s own letter, firmness and decsion, savage excitement, a terrible pic. Turn to more pleasing

            Sunset on Catskill, Cole, Beaut repose, truth to nature. Introduces her to gamn at ease in his chair, she doesn’t know member of the opposition, Gov Marcy ptd by Page, exact likeness, she doesn’t like it

. But she likes Shegogue’s 39, Indian Summer by Doughty is noble and truly Am in mellow haze and affluent foliage.

            Chapman’s 64 cabinet picBeppo exquis, rich approp tints, one of the best after Venitian school, a man of true genius, has a gem in corner, Pick in Dairy, mischief.

            She continues on to Stewart’s to do her shopping. Signed Smith.


Oct 30 notices Audubon’s birds at the Lyceum of Natural History in Broadwawy, and Sully’s orig Queen Vic, which is the better of the two, exhib for benefit of St George society—both advertised. Puffs pano of Lima nd Thebes, still advertising, and notices the Uncle Sam, two penny weekly

31 poem by HT Tuckerman, Sun has published withering crit on Park Benj poetry, notices new engraver Ladd (Sadd?) fr London doing an Osgood port and Clay


Nov 1, 1839

Recommends the Canons of Good breeding by author of Laws of Etiquette. 2 Sun edited by two hacks fr London press, bought by loafers in Five Points. 4 notices Catlin’s gallery, also advertising. 6 notices Vattemare’s coll of drwgs at NAD, critical of Grund’s idea of aristocracy in America, they only turn away from the vulgar, not the humble.

Doesn’t cover trials.

11 p. 4 Illustrations of the Apollo Gallery, no. 1, for Evening Signal, by Peter, who has done other local poetry (city lyrics), addressed to a certain portrait, of a family, he attacks man as hideous, but won’t blame him, he may find his features useful

13 complains the Sun is now furiously Whig when 6 months ago it was furiously Demo. Supports Intl copyright. Publishes Tasistro, compliments his notice of Dawes in the Gazette. P. 4 Peter’s 2nd illus of Apollo, Sunset scene by Cole, poets thieves et al what they do at dusk

15 loves Edw Everett, So Lit Messenger

16 notices Vernet’s commissions, and Bufford’s 136 Nassau pub Scenes About Town, fr designs by Plum, lithos of Fashionable Boarding Hse, Buletin in Wall st, Franklin Hse and the Race. Like US Mag and Dem Rev which has Bryant tribute poem to Leggett

18 doesn’t much care for Forrest or Wallack. P. 2 Allston’s Belshazzar Completed, corresp compares it to Falls of Niagara. Jof Commerce attacking newsboys, say they interfere with business, feel contempt or wish to kick barefooted urchins, anti-republican. But agree lewd books shouldn’t be sold in front of Custom hses

19 young artist of city at Park for opera Fra Diavolo struck with pictque Manvers as Brigand drew v spirited sketch, in New world.  20 puffs battle of bunker hill, Alfred Street the poet

22 notices SS Osgood, young Am port ptr, going to Charleston; a corresp asks why exhib at Apollo is disgraced by that frighrful looking object, entitled in the cat, Wife of an Artist’? Says don’t be personal.

December 1839

2 Griswold off the masthead (in January announces he is editing the daily Boston Chronicle) Critical of Knick; notices artists fr Cinti inclu Brackett now. DC corresp notices over mantelpiece in Nat Lib a Chas Peale port. 3 Admires Gouraud’s dag 5 Chapman the Artist engaged on Rotunda ptg, will admirably treat poetical subj, has all the genius requisite, lively creative power unrivalled draughtsman, truth in his conceptions, fading glories of Indians told with simple pathos and truth 12 notices description of Greenough’s statue of GW. 15 likes OW Holmes. 16 thinks New Engl Soc risks encouraging sectionalism 18 Doughty our celeb lscape ptr, in Hudson highlands 20 notices Frazee doing Leggett bust for memorial 24 cites fr So Lit M that Indians today degenerated fr civilized race or were preceded by a distinct race. 26 like John Neal, not Longfellow 27 support married women’s property rights, ad for the Evergreen 31 Merc Lib Assoc, hope will consult best interests and nominate and elect the older members, who have more wisdom. Lectures for this season peculiarly unfortunate, sedate and scientific, indiff attended, should have invited local celeb citizens, John Inman, Chas F Hoffman, John O Sargent. Present management don’t use tasteful judgment to purchase books, get scientific, instead of other depts, needs reform too.


1840 volume ends with April 18, right before it enlarges


Jan issue of Hunt’s has article on law of auctions. 4 ‘genius of Flaxman’ 7 Bryant sketch of Halleck. Likes GC Verplanck. Approves WL Stone as historian. 13 p. 4 Leslie’s coronation pic, consummate skill. 14 comes out in support of silliman and the regular ticket for the Merc Lib Assoc, says opposition measures and constitution improper. P Benj becoming more outright Whig and nativist. 16 black borders for loss of Lexington, regular ticket won at Merc Lib by 15 or 20 votes, p. 4 excerpt on visiting daugerreotype, takes Gouraud’s side in controversy with Seager playing out in Eve Star. 30 p. 2 ill-natured reports that John Inman was author of article in Commercial Advertiser of last Sat (Jan 25) on John W Jarvis the ptr, to advance interests of his brother, but Col Stone says he wrote it. Also a card fr Clement M Edson to Lewis G Clark re assigning Knick to him, a malicious attack was issued under Clark’s authority not his.

Feb 1840

1 info on oil and watercolor ptg, p. 4 chinese art. 3 John Neal now a regular writer for them. Loves the Olympic. Heavily promoting RH Dana. 5 Frothingham’s Port of Dr Dewey, a letter to editor fr B, exhib at Atwill’s Muic Saloon, masterly performance not since Gilbert Stuart, beauty and truth of coloring, also has a copy of Trumbull. Editor adds own testimony to F’s extraord merits, engraving of Dewey going to be pub by Endicott (advertisement). Unobtrusiveness of a man of genius. 8 more cards betw Edson and Clark over Knick, angry over not being given credit for his contrib? 10 thinks Feb Knick dull, poetry below mediocrity. Supporter of reforming bankruptcy law. 12 notices Wm H Hudson twopenny paper Morning Chronicle. 13 notices Apollo Gall, encouragement of Fine Arts, uncommonly fine pics, include Paul Potter, Le Brun Giorgione, Landseer and others. Opposed to expansion of the Republic to whole continent.

14 supports using bloodhounds in Florida (as does NY American) and notices Frothingham’s copy of Alexander Hamilton fr a Trumbull port for Brooklyn 15 but explains thinks the war itself is disgraceful 17 ad first page for a number of books on Fine Arts by Carey & Hart of PA

19 The Apollo Gallery: 5th exhib open 410Broadway, wrothy of attn, object to bring native artists to attn and furnish sales, but not ltd to these ends, want to exhibit elevating specimens of art, so have on display loans of copies of Wreck of Medusa, more from the French consul general, and a coll for auction. Goule has finished two alleg pieces of an Ital master, etc; they have an ad. Mirror also takes a big ad. Pages missing. 26 praises DF Daniels’ NY Gazette; notices young artist in Park Place fr Cinti, Brackett, shows true genius, bust of Rufus Dawes, Major Noah et al 27 has had lots of poems to oak trees as symbols of nat’l greatness; letter defends Mary Gove. 28 retells story of Medusa without any politics, ptg at Apollo. Likes Wm E Channing


March 1840

5 supports women’s suffrage, excerpts fr C&E on Am sculp in Italy a private letter, Greenough and Powers competing. 6 p.1 The Apollo Assoc, letter fr R to ed of Signal, as one of the associates satisfied with rich display, memo of the pics, all praise, mentions FR SpencerSully, Murllo, Landseer, Joshua Shaw (one of his best, Susquenhannah in olden times, but has his faults of being too cold, heavy clouds, tree cut out of pasteboard, water lacks transparency, VG Audubon too painty, Thom Birch marine ptr but still water muddy and no transp,  presume he now paints for money W Havell wonderful, JA Blondell neck miserably ptd in port of lady, position stiff, hands awkward, right hand merely dead colored, eyes lack expr, better expected of Page’s pupil, loves Paul Potter cattle pic, Inskip, TP Rossiter’s Jessica, many faults, all his pics badly drawn and coloring crude, Cognette (147, Coquette?) is better. Likes Geo Harvey pretty well. 7 Apollo arranges series of lectures on Fine Arts, begin with Rev Dr Dewey, advertise. New World for Saturday to have extensive poetical account of Brevoort fancy ball. Missing the 9th. 13 likes Emerson

16 Condition of the Fine Arts in this country, we will bring abt a revolution in ptg and sculpt and archit as we have in lit and politics etc, Am ptrs getting remarkable, orig thought, individ, boldness, sincerity, courage, hi purpose, no imitation, their schools in old world and opinion ars all borrowed, estab and hereditary. Likes the Albion and Corsair, which merged with it

17 NY Gazette under Alexander McCall will be gd, Bryant poem fr Dem Rev 19 very negative review of Cooper’s Pathfinder 20 praises Harriet Beecher Stowe

21 Hints on Criticism: old fashioned notions that you need knowl exploded, need arguments and proofs, but now notices need neither thought nor study; public taste requires no more than 30 lines, 10 sufficient for ordinary works, must be pithy and epigrammatic, relating to yourself rather than to your author. Adopt in all cases an easy style, whether dashion or vigorous, severe or critical and gives examples. Crits on periodicals usu prepared by editors themselves.

24 Am art and artists, by G, among ptgs at Apollo Gall beaut little bijou, with minis, flowers on ivory the work of a young lady of Cinti, letter fr Italy re visit to Powers’ studio, superior busts, companion gives phreno interpretations of Jackson, Webster, Calhoun, Marshall

26 longer notice of Johnston’s Scraps, only eminent caricaturist, hits at current events

27 Works of Art—Preston presented memorial in Senate fr Hiram Powers asking Congress to modify law re admission of sculptures, too expensive to send sculptures here

30 praises Allston, says Greenough’s statue has GW on horseback

April 1840

City Saloon with Hanington advertises, but I don’t see NAD. Will move to 30 Ann st, with Evergreen. New Yorker advertises too. 1 Supports the Registry Law.

2 mocks NY Quarterly review’s orgasmic review of Path-Finder

4 notices J Huntington’s lecture on the Fine Arts at the Apollo Assoc Gallery (advertises), says v talented  and highly cultivated, correct taste, author of several admirable crits on the fine arts

6 p. 1 Impressions of Cinti, went to see The Battle of New Orleans, wretched and ridiculous copy as large as life of the Battle of Lexington, copied fr a print, with passages fr death of Wolf Warren, and Montgomery, mocks eclecticism of Trollope’s Bazar

10 personal friends with Genl Scott

13 kind of praises Johnston’s scraps, as being American