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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 219, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX03185802

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 219, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Newspaper clipping containing a biographical sketch of Charles F. Briggs.


The Cosmopolitan Art Journal has an elaborate biographical and critical notice of Charles F. Briggs, esq., of The New-York Times, in which justice is done to the accomplishments and abilities of that popular writer. As The Art Journal justly remarks, the public press of the country “is vastly changing for the better—a change brought about by the introduction of such men as Mr. Briggs into the newspaper ‘harness;’ and we see no reason why, under the guidance of such men, the American newspaper should not become the best in the world.” The principle facts in the article may be condensed as follows:

“Some twenty years ago, the ‘Adventures of Harry Franco, a Tale of the Great Panic,’ was published in two volumes in New-York. Soon after the appearance of this work, there appeared in the Knickerbocker Magazine a series of articles by Harry Franco, some of them serious stories, but chiefly humorous sketches of city life and satires of contemporary events. A strict incognito cannot long be preserved by an author whose writings excite unusual attention, and challenge popular remark; and though Harry Franco appeared anxious to keep his personal identity a secret to all, yet it soon became known that his real name was Charles F. Briggs.

“In the year 1845, Mr. Briggs established a weekly newspaper called The Broadway Journal in conjunction with the late Edgar A. Poe. He wrote many articles for The Journal, viz: Criticisms, essays, poems; but, finding Poe an uncomfortable associate, he abandoned the work at the end of six months, and soon after became associate editor of The Evening Mirror, then in its fullest vigor. It was for this paper that he furnished a series of satirical letters under the signature of ‘Ferdinand Mendez Pinto.’

“It was in The Mirror that he published ‘The Trippings of Tom Pepper,’ a romance similar in character to his first work. It was afterward republished, in two volumes, and has since been brought out in Bonner’s New-York Ledger, and, under a different title, in still another popular weekly journal.

“While editing The Mirror, Mr. Briggs also edited Holden’s Dollar Magazine, which, under his admirable management, was very successful, attaining to a very large circulation.

“Mr. Briggs left The Mirror, and edited, for the publisher, George P. Putnam, esq. ‘The Homes of American Statesmen,’ and ‘The Homes of American Poets,’ writing the articles on ‘Franklin,’ on ‘Lowell,’ and on ‘John P. Kennedy.’

“In company with George W. Curtis and Park Godwin, he projected Putnam’s Monthly, and was the responsible editor of that, in many respects, most admirable magazine, during the first two years of its existence.

“During the time he was editor of Putnam’s Monthly we believe he contributed one article to each number; among them comprised in his ‘Encyclopedia of Humor.’ Soon after Mr. Raymond of The New-York Times, as elected Lieutenant-Governor of the State, Mr. Briggs engaged upon that paper as associate editor, and has continued this engagement up to the present time, assuming the entire editorial management during the absence of Mr. Raymond. In addition to these daily duties (which, of course, are engrossing and imperative), he has still found time to contribute to several other journals and magazines, and also to edit one of our most popular weekly papers. Several stories from his pen, during the last two years, show that Henry Franco has infinite resource in fictitious composition. We have, notwithstanding the very best array of popular tale-writers, very few who are capable of writing a really first-class story. Mr. Briggs is one of the very best, although he does not seem to covet a. . . .

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: ca. 1859

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper


Subjects: Diaries
Publishers and publishing


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