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Literary New York: Its Landmarks and Associations.

Hemstreet, Charles. Literary New York: Its Landmarks and Associations. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1903.

Hemstreet traces the careers, homes, and workplaces of several notable New York writers and publications.

People Mentioned in this Work

Aldrich, Thomas [pages:218]

Aldrich is mentioned as one of the "Pfaff company" and as having "editorial charge" of the Saturday Press. Prior to coming to New York, Aldrich had worked for three years in Portsmouth at the "commission house of his rich uncle." "While working over the books of the firm, his mind was often busy with themes outside of the commission house, all leading towards a literary career" (218).

Arnold, George [pages:215-216,217]

Hemstreet mentions that Arnold's poem about Pfaff's gives a good description of how the "company was 'very merry at Pfaff's.'" Arnold was a member of the group at Pfaff's when he was writing regularly for Vanity Fair (215).

"He has himself said that some of the poems were written in the late hours after an evening spent in the underground Broadway resort with Fitz-Hugh Ludlow, Mortimer Thomson, the famous 'Q. K. Philander Doesticks,' and a score of like writers" (215-16). Hemstreet also mentions that Arnold was friends with George Fararr Browne (Artemus Ward) (217).

Arnold caused "an hour of sadness when he took there [Pfaff's] the story of Henry W. Herbert, who was well-known to all the habitues" (216).

Briggs, Charles [pages:159, 174-175]

Listed here as "Harry Franco." In 1845, he was assisted by Poe at the Broadway Journal after Poe left the Evening Mirror. According to Hemstreet, "Briggs was the matter-of-fact 'Harry Franco,' a journalist with great ability who in another ten years was to edit Putnam's Magazine from 10 Park Place. More than one of Poe's friends said that the combination of Harry Franco and the poet must assuredly bring forth great literary results and financial success. But the partnership did not work at all well." Poe bought out Briggs through an arrangement with Horace Greeley and moved the paper's offices to Clinton Hall; the Broadway Journal under Poe was not as successful(159).

Briggs, as Harry Franco, is mention as being friendly with Charles Fenno Hoffman, who founded and ran the Knickerbocker magazine. During this time, he was also associated with William Cullen Bryant, Lewis Gaylord Clark, William L. Stone, the Duyckinck brothers, Frederick S. Cozzens, Park Benjamin, John L. Stephens, and others (174-5).

Butler, William [pages:246]

Hemstreet mentions Butler lived next door to Horace Greeley (no. 35 Nineteenth Street) and that Greeley's home is still standing at the time of his writing. Butler wrote Nothing to Wear (246).

Clapp, Henry [pages:212-214]

Hemstreet describes Pfaff's and the Bohemians as follows: "There of an evening met the literary Bohemians of the city, in the days when Bohemia really existed and before the world had well-nigh lost significance and respect. They were gifted men with great power of intellect, who spoke without fear and without favor and whose every word expressed a thought. They were real men and they made the world a real place, a place without affectation, without pretense, without show, without need of applause, and without undue cringing to mere conventional forms. These were the characteristics of the Bohemians, and Bohemia was wherever two or three of them were gathered together. Bohemia was the atmosphere they carried with them, and whether on the streets or in Pfaff's cellar they were at home. Pfaff's happening to be a convenient gathering-place, and beer happening to be the popular brew with most of them, they gathered there. It is a tradition that the place came into favor through the personal efforts of the energetic Henry Clapp. He was attracted to it, so the tradition runs, soon after he started the Saturday Press in 1858" (212-14). Hemstreet claims, however, that it is unimportant if Clapp was solely responsible for calling attention to Pfaff's; it only matters that it became the Bohemians' meeting place (214).

Curtis, George [pages:235]

Hemstreet mentions that the offices of Harper's Magazine, "where George W. Curtis established his Easy Chair in which he was enthroned so long," are located down Frankfort Street, in Franklin Square. Hemstreet also mentions that Howells has taken over Curtis' old position at the magazine (235).

English, Thomas [pages:161-162, 163-164]

He is described as one of the subjects of Poe's harsh literary criticisms that were published in Godey's Lady's Book. English, "one of the criticized, believing himself ill-treated and his writings unjustly abused, sought vindication. His answer entirely overlooked the libel laws and he was promptly sued for damages by Poe" (161-2). English was twenty-four at the time of this incident.

According to Hemstreet, "a few years before, in 1843, [he] had been asked by N.P. Willis to write a poem for the New Mirror. The poem was written and sent to Willis with the suggestion that he either print it or tear it up as he thought best. Willis printed it, and though the writer became known as a poet, author, physician, lawyer, and statesman, the best known of his achievements were these verses of Ben Bolt (162).

Hemstreet mentions that much of the furniture that was in Poe's rooms in Poe's home in New York was purchased with the money won in the suit against English (163-4).

Greeley, Horace [pages:159,202,205,206,246, 245-n/a(ill)]

Greeley helped Poe buy Briggs out of the Broadway Journal in 1845 (159).

Hemstreet mentions that Taylor was not very well paid to the Tribune because "Greeley did not believe in high salaries" (206).

Hemstreet mentions that Greeley's home at 35 Nineteenth Street is still standing at the time of his writing. Greeley's next door neighbor was William Allen Butler (246).

Halleck, Fitz-Greene [pages:100-n/a(ill),103,115-117,119-120, 121-124,132, 137-138,142]

In his early days in New York, Halleck was a book-keeper for Jacob Barker, whose warehouse still exists at the time of Hemstreet's writing. He was originally from Guilford, Conn. Hallack had already written poetry and some "stray verse" when he met Paulding and Drake. The men would meet at Halleck's rooms on Greenwich Street. Hemstreet discusses Halleck's friendship with these writers and the early contacts they made in New York (115-7).

As Drake was experiencing early success, Hemstreet states that "he and Halleck hit upon the idea of the 'Croaker Papers,' a series of satires in verse, printed in the Evening Post, in which the poets sailed into the public characters of the day" (119). Hemstreet mentions that Halleck read Fanny to Drake at his home in Park Row, and made some of Drake's editorial corrections before publishing the work (119-120). Hemstreet also discusses Drake's death in 1820 of consumption and it's impact upon Halleck; Hemstreet reprints the lines of verse Halleck wrote for his friend that were engraved on his tombstone (121-2).

Hemstreet mentions that Halleck outlived Drake by many years. He gave up book-keeping and worked as the confidential manager of the affairs of John Jacob Astor (122-123).

At Morris House, Halleck wrote Marco Bozzaris, according to Hemstreet, "his most widely known poem." Hemstreet also claims that one is able to discern sorry over Drake's loss in the poem. Hemstreet states, "During forty odd years from that time he continued the gently courteous, witty talker, the dignified life of each gathering he attended. But, as he knew so well, his Muse was sorely wounded when Drake died, and the fuller poetic life that might have been his was buried on the green slope of the Bronx with his friend (124).

Hemstreet mentions that he "gathered around" Cooper in the "Bread-and-Cheese Club" with Bryant, Percival, Professor Renwick, Dr. J.W. Francis, "and all the writers of the day" in Washington Hall (132). Halleck was also known to frequent Windust's with Edmund Kean, the Wallacks, Harry Placide, Cooper, Jack Scott, Mitchell, Brown, Junius Brutus Booth, Willis, and Morris (137-8).

Halleck is also mentioned as a mourner for the "Mad Poet" (142).

Halpine, Charles [pages:220]

Listed here as Charles Graham Halpine. He was a friend of O'Brien's; Hemstreet mentions that Halpine was "the only literary man of the Seventh to return to New York." After his military experience, Halpine "resigned, and lived to make his name famous by his humorous sketches of army life supposed to have been penned by 'Private Miles O'Reilly'" (220).

Herbert, Henry [pages:216-217]

Hemstreet mentions that George Arnold caused "an hour of sadness when he took there [Pfaff's] the story of Henry W. Herbert, who was well-known to all the habitues" (216). According to Herbert's life story, his father was the Dean of Manchester and cousin to the Earl of Carnarvon. He had traveled to New York from London and taught at the school on Beaver St. near Whitehall. He wrote part of Cromwell, a "historical romance," at the school and had planned other stories. Herbert wrote several works under the name "Frank Forester": American Game in its Season, The Horse and Horsemanship in North America, and gained fame through novel-writing (216). Hemstreet claims he was "the first to introduce sports of the field into fiction in America" (216-17).

According to Hemstreet, "Some of his comrades knew the unhappiness that had crept into his life, but even his dearest friends were not prepared for the news Arnold brought one day, that 'Frank Forester' had died by his own hand in a room on the second floor of the Stevens House, there in Broadway by the Bowling Green, not more that the throw of a stone from the place where, in his early days in New York, he had taught school" (217).

Howells, William [pages:218, 200-n/a(ill),235,251]

Hemstreet mentions that Howells visited Pfaff's during his first visit to New York and dined with Walt Whitman (218).

Hemstreet mentions that Howells has filled Curtis' "Easy Chair" at Harper's Magazine (235).

Hemstreet notes that the larger apartment house close to Sixth Avenue and Central Park, where "William Dean Howells did much of his work" is still standing at the time of Hemstreet's writing (251).

Ludlow, Fitz Hugh [pages:215]

Hemstreet mentions that Arnold often described writing poems after evenings spent at Pfaff's with Ludlow, Thomson, and others (215).

O'Brien, Fitz-James [pages:220-22]

O'Brien served in the Seventh Regiment of New York. Hemstreet describes him as "the erratic and brilliant journalist, whose tale of The Diamond Lens was his best contribution to the literature of that day" (220).

Hemstreet also mentions that O'Brien told a story of how he was sent to see Henry T. Tuckerman "in a big brown building in Tenth Street;" at the time of Hemstreet's writing, the location still exists (221-22).

Pfaff, Charles [pages:212]

Mentioned as being the proprietor of one of the "popular resorts" where beer was sold. Pfaff's became the preferred meeting place of New York's literary Bohemians (212).

Poe, Edgar [pages:150-n/a(ill),159-160,161-162,163-4,200-203]

In 1845, Poe left the Evening Mirror to assist Briggs at the Broadway Journal. Poe bought out Briggs through an arrangement with Greeley and moved the paper's offices to Clinton Street. The paper was not as successful under Poe, however, and he left his position in January, 1846 (159-60).

While in New York, Poe wrote scathing literary criticisms that appeared in Godey's Lady's Book. Thomas Dunn English responded harshly to one of Poe's criticisms and was sued by Poe for damages (161-2). Hemstreet mentions that much of the furniture that was in Poe's rooms in Poe's home in New York was purchased with the money won in the suit against English (163-4).

Hemstreet mentions Poe and his wife attended receptions at the home of Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta, a friend of Bayard Taylor. Hemstreet mentions that Poe's "delicate" wife seemed to strengthen "when she saw her husband the centre of a notable gathering" and that Poe had quite a following among this circle (200).

Hemstreet also relates Poe's praise for Elizabeth Oakes Smith's poem, "The Sinless Child," as "one of the strongest long poems ever produced in America" (200).

Poe was also friends with the poet "Estella" Lewis, from Brooklyn, who also likely attended Botta's receptions (201). Poe read The Raven at her home before it was published and she was the last friend he visited in New York before he headed south on the trip that ended in his death (202).

The Saturday Press [pages:214,218]

Hemstreet calls the Saturday Press, founded in 1858, "that lively publication, so brilliant while it lasted, so soon to die, and at its death having pasted on its outer door an announcement which read: 'This paper is discontinued for want of funds, which by a coincidence is precisely the reason for which it was started'" (214).

Hemstreet mentions that "it is quite true that the members of the staff of the Saturday Press did more than anyone else to give it [Pfaff's] a name that has lived through the years (214).

Stedman, Edmund [pages:218,233,252]

Mentioned as being among the assembled group at Pfaff's when Howells visited during his first New York trip (218).

Hemstreet calls him a "poet and financier." His offices were located on Broad Street, close to Wall Street (233).

Stoddard, Elizabeth [pages:204, 240, 242]

The future Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard's first meeting is described as taking place at one of Lynch's receptions (204).

While living at "The Deanery," she wrote The Morgensons (240). She died at her home in Fifteenth Street, just past Stuyvesant Park (242).

Stoddard, Richard [pages:150-n/a(ill),204-206, 207,233,236,238,240,241,242, 243-n/a(ill)]

The future Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard's first meeting is described as taking place at one of Lynch's receptions. According to Hemstreet, Stoddard "had worked for six years in a foundry learning the trade of iron moulder, and writing poetry as he worked. By the year 1848 he was beginning to make a name for himself, and his first volume of poems, Footnotes, had just been published (204).

Stoddard's early friendship with Bayard Taylor is also described; Taylor and Stoddard met the same year Stoddard met his wife (204). Hemstreet describes their first meeting at the offices of the Tribune, when Stoddard entered Taylor's office and found him hard at work. Stoddard visited Taylor at home a few days later (205). Stoddard visited him every Saturday after work at the foundry, and Taylor taught Stoddard how to smoke, they wrote poetry together, and discussed literature (206). Stoddard also made several friends through Taylor (207).

Hemstreet notes that Stoddard's office of twenty years, at the Custom House, is located on Broad Street, near Wall Street. Stoddard's desk was near a window in the Debenture Room (233).

Hemstreet mentions that Stoddard and Taylor once lived together across the street from 108 Waverly Place; their house was at the corner (238). Stoddard wrote the Life of Humbolt when he lived with Taylor near the corner of Third Avenue and Thirteenth Street (241).

The Stoddards lived at "The Deanery," the home of Miss Anne Swift, who kept boarders, at Fourth Avenue and Tenth Street, the last four years Stoddard worked at the Customs house. At this home, the Stoddards were visisted by Taylor, Howells, and others. As a resident there, Stoddard wrote The Kings Bell, Melodies and Madrigals and other poems. (240).

The Stoddards spent their last years (Hemstreet says more than a quarter century) as a family at a house in Fifteenth Street, just past Stuyvesant Park. Their son died first, then Mrs. Stoddard, then Stoddard in 1903 (242).

Taylor, Bayard [pages:150-n/a(ill),198,204-208, 218,238,241]

Taylor is mentioned as being a friend of Caroline M. Kirkland, an attendee of Lynch's receptions (198).

Hemstreet discusses Taylor's first meeting and friendship with Stoddard. According to Hemstreet, at the time of their meeting, Taylor had already traveled across Europe on foot and had published his account of his trip in Views Afoot. At this time, Taylor was also one of several editors working for Greeley at the Tribune. Taylor and George Ripley wrote the paper's book criticisms. According to Hemstreet, "Views Afoot was the most popular book of its day when Stoddard walked into the Tribune office and introduced himself to the author, finding him very hard at work in a little pen of a room" (204-5). Taylor and Stoddard's friendship lasted thirty years. The two met on Saturdays at Taylor's small apartment where Taylor taught Stoddard to smoke and the men discussed literature and wrote poetry (206).

According to Hemstreet, despite the success of Views Afoot, Taylor "led a life of hard work and struggle" (206). During the period when he and Stoddard met at his home on Murray Street, Taylor wrote Kubleh, Ariel in the Cloven Pine, and the song that won him a prize from Barnum when Jenny Lind came to America (206-7).

Stoddard met several people through Taylor, whose friends often visited him at home. Rufus W. Griswold is mentioned as one of Taylor's early "advisers." He was also friends with diplomatist and playwrite George H. Boker, and the lawyer-author Richard Kimball (207).

Hemstreet claims that "These days of changing fortunes were the most romantic of Taylor's career. Many other places in the city are associated with him, one a house near Washington Square, where he lived for several years and wrote among other things the Poems of the Orient" (207-8). His last New York address was 142 East Eighteenth Street, where he wrote Deukalion (208).

Taylor left New York as United States Minister to Germany. Taylor traveled around Europe before dying in Berlin within the year of his departure (208).

Hemstreet mentions that Stoddard and Taylor once lived together across the street from 108 Waverly Place; their house was at the corner (238).

Thomson, Mortimer [pages:215-16]

Hemstreet mentions that Thomson is "the famous 'Q. K. Philander Doesticks'" (215-216). Thomson was friendly with Arnold and visited Pfaff's.

Ward, Artemus [pages:217-218]

He is identified as a friend of Arnold's who sometimes visited Pfaff's. Hemstreet gives his real name as George Farrar Browne, but mentions that "few will remember him by this name, while many will recall that which he made famous, Artemus Ward. He had passed his apprenticeship as a printer and reporter, had made the country ring with the name of the lively but illiterate showman, and was in New York trying to carry Vanity Fair to success--a task which he could not accomplish" (217-18).

Whitman, Walt [pages:218]

Hemstreet notes that Howells dined with Whitman at Pfaff's (218).

Willis, Nathaniel [pages:138, 154-156,157,162]

In 1843, he asked Thomas Dunn English to write a poem for the New Mirror. He received a poem from English "with the suggestion that he either print it or tear it up as he thought best." Willis printed English's poems, which Hemstreet claims are still his most notable work (162).

Halleck was also known to frequent Windust's with Edmund Kean, the Wallacks, Harry Placide, Cooper, Jack Scott, Mitchell, Brown, Junius Brutus Booth, Willis, and Morris (137-8).

Hemstreet mentions that he was a young man when he became associated with Morris. "He had given up the American Montly Magazine at Boston to devote his energies to the New York Mirror. He began working for Morris in 1831, at $10 a week, and went abroad to conduct a correspondence from London. While in London, he became associated with the fashionable group of Lady Blessington, and he "came to be the adoration of all the sentimental young ladies in that set" (154-5).

According to Hemstreet's description, "There was a daintiness about his dress, a suggestion of foppishness in the arrangement of his blond hair, trifles about him which suggested the dandy and the idler; but withal there was a terrific capacity for work under the smooth outside. His letters to the Mirror and other papers did much for the refinement of literature and art, and, indirectly, for the manners of the times" (155). He returned to America in 1836 with a bride (155).

Willis returned to Europe in 1839, but came back to America in 1844 to help Morris start the Evening Mirror. "From this on Willis lived an active social-literary life, singing of Broadway with the same facileness he sang of country scenes. He came to be a grave and patient invalid, living happily with his second wife as he had with his first, and ending his days at Idlewild -- his home on the Hudson" (156).

After the failure of the Evening Mirror, Willis and Morris began the Home Journal, which became known as Town and Country in the Twentieth Century (157).

Winter, William [pages:200-n/a(ill), 218,234]

Winter is described as a "sometime visitor" at Pfaff's; "another lounger at Pfaff's whose name has become famous in the world of letters" (218).

Hemstreet mentions that Winter has his "den" in the Tribune building (234).

Winthrop, Theodore [pages:219, 220]

Hemstreet mentions the location of Winthrop's office where he wrote Cecil Dreeme and John Brent. Hemstreet also discusses Winthrop's military service (in the same regiment as O'Brien).