The shadow of Europe
when the first ocean steamers crossed the Atlantic
, about 1838, Willis
predicted that they would only make American literature more provincial, by bringing Europe
so much nearer than before.
showed that there was an influence at work more potent than steamers, and the colonial spirit in our literature began to diminish from his time.
In the days of those first ocean voyages, the favorite literary journal of cultivated Americans
was the New York Albion, which was conducted expressly for English residents on this continent; and it was considered a piece of American audacity when Horace Greeley
called Margaret Fuller
to New York, that the Tribune might give to our literature an organ of its own. Later, on the establishment of Putnam
's Magazine, in 1853, I remember that one of the most enlightened New York journalists predicted to me the absolute failure of the whole enterprise.
‘Either an ’