Editors of the American annuals were identified in only 198 of the 469 annuals; the remaining annuals were presumably edited by their publishers. As Table 1 indicates, all of the Americans in the top ten were editors of annuals, and this responsibility undoubtedly contributed to their higher output. Table 2 shows a marked surge in the authors publication during their editorships. It is especially apparent in the case of Frances S. Osgood when she edited the Floral Offering of 1847 in which she composed over 60 poems about flower types. Similarly, Hannah Frances Gould included 29 poems in the single issue of Diosma of 1851. The Rose of Sharon, a Religious Souvenir (Boston, 1840 to 1858) boasted a longer continuous existence than any of the other American annuals (Trent 174). The first ten volumes were edited by Sarah C. Edgarton Mayo (No.6), and the last eight by Mrs. Caroline M. Sawyer (No.7). Table 2 shows that their contributions were primarily during their editorships. Sarah Josepha Hale (No.10) edited The Opal for three years, as well as "Lady's Magazine," "Lady's Book," and "Godey's Lady's Book" sequentially from 1827 to 1877. She championed greater educational opportunities for women.
The occupations of the authors in Table 1 were ascertained from their biographies by Kunitz and Haycraft. In general, few contributors to annuals could make a living from that source alone. Most of the top annual authors, however, made their living associated with the print trade as publishers, editors, and journalists of newspapers and magazines. Others were part-time authors employed as teachers, lawyers, physicians, clergymen, or housewives. A few were popular novelists. Although it is difficult to capture a career by a single descriptor, below is a sample of the occupations of the 103 authors in Table 1.
15 Editors 4 Educators 3 Reformers
8 Journalists 2 Clergymen 2 Abolitionists
7 Poets 2 Public Office 1 Historian
5 Publishers 2 Lecturers 1 Translator
Typical of the journalists are Elizabeth Oakes Smith (No.9) and Seba Smith (No.66). Elizabeth Smith was a popular author and reformer who married Seba Smith. They moved from Maine to New York where she wrote poetry, sketches, and juveniles. Seba Smith created a new type of literature in America as the first political satirist. He edited the New York daily "American Republican" and the "United States Magazine." The Smiths joined a literary group that included Poe, Greeley, and Margaret Fuller. Horace Greeley (No.25) was editor of the "New York Mirror," and he published "The Jeffersonian." Greeley became the most famous journalist in the U.S. as publisher of the "New York Tribune." Charles Fenno Hoffman (No.32) was a poet, novelist, and editor of "Knickerbocker," "American Monthly Magazine," and Greeley's "New Yorker." He said that Literature made its home with the merchant, and predicted that the book-world would remain where commerce congregated America's wealth and intelligence. Hoffman shared the New York literary limelight with Bryant, Irving, Halleck, Willis, and Paulding. James Kirke Paulding (No.82) was a novelist and poet. His sister married William Irving, and he collaborated with the Irvings on "Salmagundi." He later was Secretary of the Navy in Van Buren's cabinet and is one of those indicated as in public office. Henry Theodore Tuckerman (No.27) was journalist, biographer, "man of letters," and a friend of Irving and Halleck. From these descriptions, it can be seen that many of the literary annual authors had extended social as well as professional relationships.
Some publishers took active roles in addition to production of the annuals. James Thomas Fields (No.72) was a prominent publisher, biographer, and poet; his firm Ticknor and Fields published the work of the best known American and English authors of the period. Timothy Shay Arthur (No.14), publisher, edited six annuals and wrote more than 150 novels and collections of tales, most of which offered a moral message or proposed temperance. Samuel Griswold Goodrich (No.47) was an editor of a dozen annuals and publisher of juvenile literature. His writing reflects bias toward all things American, moralistic concerns, and condemnation of slavery. Reform and Anti-slavery was advocated in many annuals.