“Zango; or The Slave.” [within:] The Weekly Visitor, and Ladies’ Museum. New Series Vol. VI.
“To wake the soul by tender strokes of art, To raise the genius, and to mend the heart…”
Penultimate volume of a rare women’s periodical which began in 1817 and ended in 1823. The volume comprises a half year, 26 numbers, issued weekly from November 3, 1822 to April 26, 1823. While much of the literary contents is English, there is a substantial amount of American material sourced from newspapers and magazines and a section of “Original Poetry” plus a little-known fictional story of slavery in the British West Indies, “Zango; or The Slave.” [(pp65–67; 81–82)]
Each 16-page issue typically contains a story or a serialized portion of a story, plus shorter non-fiction articles, a section of “Weekly Intelligence” (mostly American news), domestic marriage and death notices, and a meteorological table. Nearly every issue contains a poem by the “Boston Bard” (or “B.B.”), Robert S. Coffin (1794–1827), sometimes more than one. One poem published under his real name is along side one using his pseudonym. Coffin worked as a printer in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.¹ In issue Number 11, Coffin issues a “General Challenge” to American poets.
Additional regularly featured poets in The Weekly Visitor include “Emmeline” of Rhinebeck, New York and “Eugenio” of Wall-Street, New-York. Other American content includes letters between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, an extract from “Miss Wright’s View of Society and Manners in America” (p163), a letter to the editor regarding James Fenimore Cooper’s just published novel, The Pioneers, and a diverse array of other subject matters, e.g., a canine police offer, the “Fabulous Legends and Wit of the Omahaws” —native Americans, a horrid murder in Ogdensburgh, New York, medical innoculation [sic], “graces of the female character” and so on.
The title-page has an attracting engraving of a well-dressed woman reading a book at a table while curtains blow through an open window.
Description: “Zango; or The Slave.” [within:] The Weekly Visitor, and Ladies’ Museum. New Series Vol. VI.
New York: Printed by Alexander Ming, Jun’r, No. 84 Front-street, 1823. New Series, Vol. VI, Nos. 1–26. [complete]. viii, 408pp. Contemporary quarter rib-grained cloth with leather spine and tips. Includes general title leaf and table of contents; printed in two columns. Final issue complete in eight pages. Some pages irregularly numbered; Number 16 mis-numbered “17”. The binding is heavily worn and rubbed and in fair condition only; the textblook is sound, stable, and clean.
For physical copies, OCLC records only scattered issues and volumes. Ref. Stearns, Bertha-Monica. “Early New York Magazines For Ladies.” New York History 14, no. 1 (1933): 32-41 (passim). Note. 1. Kettell, ed., Specimens of American Poetry (Boston, 1829) — “In the latter part of his life, his rhymes, under the name of ‘The Boston Bard,’ obtained him some notice as an inditer for the poet’s corner of the newspapers, and his various pieces were collected and published in a volume, in 1826.”