The Monitor (Aristocratic Monitor)
The Monitor –it’s a big paper (LOC)
Sat Aug 28, 1847 6 cents vol 1 no 1 102 Nassau st, Wm Chase Barney, ed & proprietor. $2/yr
2 “Progress” today means retrogression, want the new, reject common law, the divine, want to go ahead, attactive to the young. Fourierism. Natural to a country like ours. But steam won’t change men’s hearts. Real progress comes from reason. Paper will speak for what is tried and known, conservative, anti-isms. Opposed to Mexican war, sorry to see Whigs picking Taylor. Will avoid personal abuse but ok to say Boston transcendentalists are not intelligible, wouldn’t call them sapheads p. 3 ad for Amer Institute annual Fair
Sept 4 p. 2 “Powers’ Greek Slave” only 1 visit to beaut work, need more study, what is individ and conventional must be overpowered by what is universal and beautiful. First impressions wrong, expectations of going up those stairs of seeing something leads to “Is this all?” May see its excellencies more, but can’t yet echo C&E’s enthusiasm, which he quotes, that it subdues the whole man, to speak is to do violence to emotions, almost oppressive beauty. We say more force than beaut, wished for more of freshness of yourh, rosy pudency of girlhood. More an intellectual matron than a virgin. She is not womanly enough, too upright, stands too firmly, arms too hard, but has more power than the overpraised Orpheus. But exquisite finish.
Forrest is coarse, detest general grossness of his style, shouldn’t like him just cause he’s American. Excerpts from Yankee Doodle. Correspondent writes fr the American Hotel in NY p. 3 notices Eugene Sue
Sept 11 p.2 Supports Henry Clay over Taylor. Wash Irving.
Sept 18 p.2 The Rich and The Poor another newsp complains about newsboys telling lies to sell papers; do so bcause they are hungry, need to sell, excuses them. Poverty and richness both expose us to moral temptations
Missing half the front page, but Sept 25, no 5. Guizot part of the conservative party in France
Oct 2 p. 2 won’t publish details of French assasination to preserve feminine innocence of vileness of human nature. Monitor wants to be a family newspaper, conservative so closer to Whigs but not partisan. Family that takes in a penny paper will read Sue and delicacy dimmed. So no crimes and nothing shocking, but still manly, though no sweet home affair like some weeklies, babyish. Revisits article on the Rich and the Poor, had tried to expose fallacy of radical papers that poverty makes one virtuous, while rich are bad, or that it was easier to be virtuous when rich than poor, all sin. Likes Kirkland’s Union Mag, excerpts Orville Dewey on Greek Slave, since so much has been said about its nakedness he had to write otherwise discussions of her purity ought to be avoided (quote is bit about clothed all over with sentiment), follows it with a joke about it, a great statue because of its high polish; “criticism” NY Herald occasionally has criticisms of art, etc, remarkable for profundity as well as impartiality, following from a notice of Collyer’s Living Statues is rather learned—reviewer says statues by Vandyke, Rembrandt and Titian very accurate. Monitor mocks the mixup of ptg and sculpture, such exhibitions may have value to artists, but in bad taste for public. Sorry to see other daily papers of diff rep than Herald speaking favorably. Henry W Herbert joining Park Benjamin to run New York World, complimentary. (Herbert writes for Knick too)
Home correspondence from Boston, Le Noir Faineant, appreciates monitor’s criticism, something almost unknown in our Utopia of progressiveness, might deter people from going ahead. Comparison is usually the most one sees, unmitigated blame or eulogy, offhand.method
p.3 gets favorable notices from C&E, Evening Mirror, Yankee doodle
Oct 9 p. 1 joke fr yankee doodle, why is Grk Slave like earth? Revolves on her axis every 24 hrs. p. 2 likes Webster, no acquis of territ fr Mexico. Criticism: those who are aware how onesided and personal most of the notices of the press generally are, may suppose this a parade of honesty, but pledged to impartial jdugment, no humbug. Describes beauties of new Metropolitan Theatre, and of the Baltimore Cathedral, inclu a picture by Paulin Guerin, and describes it and another ptg, lists others, but those rank highest as works of art. P. 3 London corresp describes East India house, with pediment sculptures allegorical, museum with trophies
Oct 16 1847
Jenny Lind’s popularity on her tour continues. P. 2 taking mexico territory will bring a bad population into the country, can’t do self-gov. Am Inst Fair v popular, he’s enthusiastic. Cinti Gazette likes him. Doesn’t take sides in the controversy where the Courier’s music critic is accused of ignorance and bias by a company C&E calls foreign, they aren’t. 3 London corresp describes Westminster monuments
Oct 23 p. 1 notices Longworth’s american champagne fr National Intelligencer as good as French p. 2 discusses Mental Resources and includes painting, masters transmit forms of grace and loveliness, charming intrinsically or by association, such studies encourage tranquility. Wash Monument: cornerstone laid, lack of money good in that will be spared design of a deformed heap, disgrace. Barbarous specimens of our national independence, one more ugly in itself and inappropriate to its object. Shouldn’t be Gothic. Director of Assoc suggested design may be changed, has recd lots of crit. High praise to ballet at Broadway. “Greek Slave”: ensuing colloquy (from Knick) betw sculptor and successful Yankee speculator in Europe, astonished at Powers’ prices, emphasizes it’s a trade. Augusta is so so. Excerpts C&E on Wash Monument: incongruous subject and spirit of the design, how possible for men of respectable cultivation and taste in art. A Church, pprison, library, university, picture gallery, market may be gothic, but its essence is feudal, gloomy, fantastic and grotesque, wrong for GW whose character towers in severe and classic purity. His fame would render its folly more glaring. Some say it’s not Gothic, but eclectic (on display at Am Inst Fair), a pepper box turreted affair. Has column on Paris fashions.
p.3 Boston corresp went to see Healy’s ptgs in Faneuil, for a commission, Webster in the Senate, correct likenesses, a great work
Oct 30 p. 2 “The Fine Arts in a Republic” common to complain not encouraged. But monarchies don’t do it much either, Napoleon an exception, made antique and masters avail to everyone, crreated a taste for it. Genius everywhere, not rltd to soil or govt. DC shows our genius, disapproves of Congressmen who stop any outlay on ptgs or public bldgs or statues, their taste formed by tavern signs, value ptgs by the square foot, Trumbull abused, ludicrous hypercriticisms of his great historical ptg. We have great artists, Trumbull, Alston, Powers, Greenough. “The Greek slave” not the slave of Powers, but of the New World, a wood engraving after a pencil sketch from memory, Amused by it and the caption, if sketch has no pretensions to correctness, how can it show the absurdity of its indelicacy. An exquis nude may be indelicate, this one not, but sketch may be indelicate. Boston corresp saw ad for exhib of old masters, figures alarminglyl strange, if people are happy with delusion these are old masters, won’t dispel it. Athenaeum exhib not crowded, has more old masters, casts, older American artists like West; corresp likes it without the chatter of crowds. A woman touched Greenough’s Venus Victrix and was amazed by its smoothness—like the joke in Monitor.
Nov 6 New name: The Aristocratic Monitor, and publisher is Berford & Co, Astor Hse, Chase remaining as ed.
p. 2, explains old name was thought to be religious, so added particular, as that’s who he writes for, and what concerns them, not the people, but in the US, everyone is an aristocrat. Poor people can’t afford us, large mamoth sheets of Brother Jonathan,Saturday Courier, New World offer more for their sixpence, but we have quality not quantity, wants to be a court Journal, can learn who is the best.
on the ballet, mocks’ Willis’s style in Home Journal as boarding school for girls, defends dancer Montplaisir fr critics in other papers. Has a bit satirizing drama critics of the city press, gives them a standard description, packed with adjectives, meaningless. Notes Henry C Watson new Amer Musical Times, an excellent critic when he can be impartial. Notices in papers generally except for two Couriers (though one is blinded by his private prejudices; French Courier is not at fault)
p.2 The Age and evening Mirror note name change, surprise in a democratic society to call outright the Aristocrat. Gives the preface to Ned Buntline’s Mysteries and Miseries of NY, same publisher as his, and prefaces it with explanation of Edward ZC Judson’s identity, frankness and independence the charm of his character and writings. We utterly condemn such publications, no purpose than pleasing depraved taste in showing crimes, won’t stimulate reform, tho publisher believes so. Seems to think what it describes is true, as Buntline asserts in his preface.
More praise of Montplaisir; critical of puffs re Bishop troupe at Parke by a clique. P. 3 London corresp glad to see Miss Cushman well recd there.
Nov 20 freq excerpts fr Punch
Nov 27 –now being published by Wm Taylor, 4 & 5 Jarvis bldg in Baltimore? No, a joke. Refuses gossipy letters by Paul Pry, Q, YZ.
p.2 disapproves of policies of Italian opera house in no free admission to press, not being allowed to transfer tickets, disappointed in the performance, crowd brilliant.
Dec 4 p. 2 more critique of Astor Hse opera, by an Italian writer too. P. 4 Spirit of the Times advertises. Dec 11 p. 2 now defends it against charges of exclusiveness
Dec 18 p. 3 notices in New publications a series of Wm Hogarth engravings, Ann Stephens Ladies Nat Mag embellishments, Columbian Mag engravings one fr ptg by JH Beard and contrib include EF Ellis, Fanny Osgood, Union Mag includes mezzotints designed by Matteson, also Osgood, Littles Living Age, Graham’s with a drwg by Bodmer and stories by Simms, Godey’s with TS Arthur
Dec 25 p.2-3 sad re Park Theatre closing, Astor Place winning more favor with the public. Publishes letter from Q in a corner fr DC, earlier said he wouldn’t
Jan 1 1848 missing page 3-4. Jan 8, no 20. Broadway theatre struggling. Regret Park, only place where drama could be enjoyed by refined and educated, p. 3
Jan 15 p. 2 opposed to Wilmot proviso p.3 “The Last Picture Hoax” from Literary World, wealthy Italian with Zeuxis and Apelles paintings, cleaned one thinking it was a Carraci Virgin and realized it was a scene of Truth from Athens
Jan 22 . Jan 29 story about Joan of Arc, p. 2 object is to lash the vice, follies of the age. Merchant of Venice at Broadway villified. P.4 Cinti Signal advertises, also Epes Sargent. “Remarks on the Fine Arts” an address at the Smithsonian. Need public patronage. Example is the drama (fr Lit World)
Feb 5 p.3 has an Ariel now in Baltimore describing gowns et al at balls
Feb 12 p. 2 Broadway Theatre (Wallach and Lester?) remove editor from free press list p. 3 Blackwood’s review of Periodical Literature is just, small cliques settle things their own way in various cities
Feb 19 like the energy of the Demo Review p. 2 has v short reviews of Bowery with Mrs Shaw but can’t find Chatham