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[169] added greatly to the fame of the magazine, but his editorship ceased with the beginning of the year 1837. Among later editors were Benjamin Blake Minor, who was both editor and proprietor from 1843 to 1847, and who later wrote a reminiscent history of the magazine; and John R. Thompson, who was Minor's immediate successor. Though it was distinctly Southern in tone the Messenger numbered among its contributors many distinguished Northerners—more, probably, than any other Southern magazine.

The rapid development of a distinctive Western literature and of Western periodicals is partly explained by the comparative isolation of the country west of the Alleghanies. In the early years of the century settlers in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys found difficulty in obtaining Eastern magazines regularly and promptly, and set about supplying their own needs. In this they were, of course, greatly encouraged by their local patriotism. The Western review and miscellaneous magazine (Lexington, 1819-21), The Western monthly review (Cincinnati, 1827-30), The Western monthly magazine (Cincinnati, 1833-37), and other contemporary and later magazines were serious, well-considered, and, for the time and place, highly creditable; but as difficulties of communication were overcome they lost much of their significance, and Western authors exerted their greatest influence on American letters not through their local journals but by their contributions to the more cosmopolitan magazines of the seaboard cities.

To the very end of the period the publication of magazines continued to be a precarious and usually an unsuccessful undertaking. Few of the journals mentioned in the preceding pages were alive in 1850, and of these a much smaller number survived the Civil War. Indeed, of the more important literary periodicals founded before 1850, but one, The North American review, was so firmly established that it lasted through the century. Harper's, the earliest of the literary magazines of high grade familiar today, was founded in 1850; and Boston waited seven years longer for the Atlantic. The short life and the financial difficulties of the earlier ventures must not always, however, be interpreted as signs of literary mediocrity, or of deficient appreciation on the part of American readers. At times such journals as the Knicker-

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