| Lydia Maria Child (No.12) was an abolitionist who published 30 books and edited "Juvenile Miscellany" and the "National Anti-Slavery Standard." She was one of the few females to make a living exclusively from writing in the mid-nineteenth century in America. John Pierpoint (No.43) was an Unitarian clergyman, a poet and ardent reformer. William Lloyd Garrison (No.65) was also a reformer, abolitionist, and editor who had a reputation as an arrogant self-righteous autocrat. The Liberty Bell was published by the Friends of Freedom nearly every year from 1839 to 1858 for the benefit of the annual anti-slave fair in Boston and contained contributions from all the leading anti-slavery writers of New England (Trent 174).
The historian, Caroline Matilda Kirkland (No.80) was a social historian; she wrote about the coarseness and shallowness of pioneer life. She edited the Union Magazine later called "Sartain's Magazine of Literature and Art." The translator was
Elizabeth Fries Ellet (No.46) who was also a chronicler of the accomplishments of American women. Park Benjamin (No.49) was a literary agent, lecturer, poet, and editor of "American Monthly Magazine" and literary editor on Greeley's "New York Mirror."
Enduring American Authors in Annuals
The Gift of 1845 is an example of the annual at its best, containing works by Longfellow, N. P. Willis, Poe, and Emerson (Pearson 206). Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (No.18) was a frequent contributor with 49 items. Ralph Waldo Emerson (No.53) contributed 29 items, and Edgar Allan Poe (No.124) contributed 16 items to literary annuals. The Opal: A Pure Gift for the Holy Days survived from 1844 to 1849 primarily by including attractive contributions from Poe, Willis, Longfellow, Whittier, and engraved plates by Cheney and Sartain. John Greenleaf Whittier (No.75) was a poet, editor, and abolitionist. He was the most quoted poet of his day except for Longfellow, and he was the voice of the farmer and small town dweller in his time. Oliver Wendell Holmes (No.73) was a poet, editor, teacher, and physician. His poems are mostly dated now like "The One-Horse Shay," but some like "Old Ironsides" and "The Chambered Nautilus" are more enduring. The Talisman, published at New York in 1828-30, contained a collaboration by William Cullen Bryant, Robert C. Sands, and Gulian C. Verplanck, and the illustrations by friends Henry Inman and S. F. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph (Trent 174). Catharine Maria Sedgewick (No.35) was a novelist who recreated native American settings while promoting the virtues of domesticity. She was the most popular female novelist before Harriet Beecher Stowe (No.85) who was an active anti-slavery reformer with 21 items in annuals. Two prominent authors who did not survive the initial screening were James Fenimore Cooper with four items and Charles Brockden Brown with two items in the annuals.
British Authors and Annuals
Another objective of this study was to determine the interaction between American and British annuals. British authors were well known and popular in America from the British annuals and the pirated reprints. As late as 1847 in The Prose Writers of America, Rufus Griswold, the editor, implies that American literature was not free from the tyranny of British example. As was pointed out previously, British authors constitute almost a fifth of the authors in the first screening of the American annual selections. It is interesting to compare the relative popularity of favored British authors in the American annuals compared to the number of items that they published in their British annuals. Below is a listing of the top ten American choices of British authors with the number of items that were published in American annuals followed by the number of items (within parentheses) they published in British annuals.
1 Felicia Hemans 81(94) 6 James Montgomery 47(73)
2 Maria Abdy 65(88) 7 Charles Swain 43(88)
3 Mary Russell Mitford 49(102) 8 Agnes Strickland 39(52)
4 Laetita E. Landon 47(162) 9 Anna Maria Hall 39(72)
5 Mary Howitt 47(129) 10 Barry Cornwall 37(91)
What stands out is that Felicia Hemans had 86 percent of her British contributions published in America. The second most popular is Maria Abdy with about 74 percent published, and Mary Russell Mitford at 48 percent. This presents an Anglo-American dimension that ties British annual writers to American tastes.