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During the period between the first and the second wars with Great Britain Americans were unduly sensitive over the lack of a national literature, and absurdly determined that such a literature should at once be produced. A considerable number of magazines were projected with the deliberate purpose of improving literary conditions, and of avoiding the taunts that crystallized in Sydney Smith's notorious question. The feeling of patriotism is reflected in such titles as The Columbian magazine, The American magazine, The American Museum, The American Apollo, The monthly magazine and American review, The United States magazine, The American universal magazine, The American moral and sentimental magazine, The national magazine—all of which were used before 1800. The rapid growth of periodicals was encouraged by the liberality of the post office. While under the Act of 1793 the postage on a single-sheet letter varied from eight to twenty-five cents according to distance, the postage on magazines was one and one-half cents a sheet for distances up to one hundred miles, and two and one-half cents per sheet for all greater distances—a rate but slightly higher than that charged for newspapers.

The chief centres of publication during the early period were Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, but almost every city which boasted a group of men with literary interests undertook at some time or other its literary magazine. Even Lexington, Kentucky, in what was then the extreme West, maintained as early as 1803 The Medley, by no means the least creditable of these ventures.

In this early time the different types of periodical were not sharply differentiated, yet it is possible to distinguish a few heavy and ambitious reviews, modelled on the British quarterlies, several literary miscellanies, which followed as nearly as might be the traditions of The London magazine and The gentleman's magazine, and the more popular ‘Museums’ and ‘Instructors’ which contained interesting anecdotes and information gathered from all sources. Most of the more serious magazines gave summaries of current events. Few, if any, confined themselves to original articles, and some reprinted serially English works of a much earlier day. Such titles as The American Museum, or repository of ancient and modern Fugitive pieces, prose and poetical (Philadelphia,

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