introduction not listed by title by place by editor by publisher by special subject covers
1789-1810 1811-1820 1821-1830 1831-1840 1841-1850 1851-1860 1861-1872

American children’s periodicals, 1789-1810

This bibliography—with an introduction—is available as an ebook from Barnes & Noble and amazon.com.

[NOTES: Unless noted, page size is the size when trimmed, usually for binding; page size is approximate. Page size is described as height by width, thus: [measurement in inches]″ h x [measurement in inches]″ w

about frequency: semimonthly: twice a month (usually 24 issues per year); biweekly: every other week (usually 26 issues per year); bimonthly: every other month (usually 6 issues per year)

about availability: selections or complete issues available for free on the Internet, or available at libraries on microform or in databases

abbreviations:

APS, American Periodical Series (microfilm; also, digital database)

AAS, American Antiquarian Society, MA

AASHistPer, American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals (digital database; series 1-5)

Batsel, Union List of United Methodist Serials, 1773-1973, comp. John D. Batsel and Lyda K. Batsel (Evanston, IL: n. p., 1974)

NUC, National Union Catalog

OCLC, database available at many institutions via WorldCat (information may also be available in the NUC)

ULS, Union List of Serials in Libraries of the United States and Canada, ed. Winifred Gregory (New York, NY: H. W. Wilson Co., 1927)]

Children’s Magazine ; Jan-April 1789

cover/masthead: 1789

published: Hartford, CT; printed by Hudson & Goodwin

frequency: monthly

description: 48 pp.; page size, 7.5″ h x 3.75″ w; price, 6 pence/ issue; 12 copies, 4 shillings 6 pence

relevant quotes:

• Prospectus: “Each Number of this work will contain 48 Pages, duodecimo, printed on good paper and letter, and will be sold at Four Shillings and Six-Pence a dozen, or Six Pence a single number. This work is designed to furnish Children, from seven to twelve years of age, with a variety of lessons on various subjects, written in a plain, neat, familiar style, and proper to lead them from the easy language of Spelling-Books up to the more difficult style of the best writers.” [advertisement. Connecticut Courant. 2 Feb 1789: p. 3, col 3]

• Introduction: “It is a general complaint among the teachers of schools, that children want some lessons, written in a familiar style and on entertaining subjects, to conduct them in their progress from a Spelling-Book to such reading as is found in the American Selection, Scotts Lessons and the Art of Speaking. It is also a complaint that children are obliged to read too long in the same book ; by which means the subjects become familiar and cease to command the attention. To remove these complaints, is the design of this publication. The subjects are such as children can mostly comprehend …. The language and manner of writing are reduced to their capacities—the variety of subjects will at the same time, gratify and keep alive the passion of curiosity, which prompts the young mind to exertions; while the desire of novelty will be, in some measure, satisfied by the reading of a new book every month. … The undertaking is novel, and the Editors could not but feel some doubt of its success; yet when they considered the great advantage to youth that must result from a faithful execution of the plan, they determined to hazard something in an attempt to serve the interest of education, and now commit a success to an indulgent public.” [“Preface.” 1 (Jan 1789): iii-iv]

relevant information:

• The February issue was not available when the periodical was microfilmed as part of the American Periodicals Series; the issue is available as part of the American Antiquarian Historical Periodicals database.

• A number of pieces in the Children’s Magazine appeared first in The Juvenile Magazine, published by J. Marshall & Co., London, in 1788; the London periodical was “chiefly intended for young people from Seven to Fourteen years of age.” [1 (Jan 1788): 2] Among these reprinted pieces are “An Easy Introduction to Geography,” “Familiar Letters on Various Subjects,” letters from “The Schoolboy,” letters from the “Female Adviser,” “The Grateful Return,” “The Little Boy Who Behaved Like a Man,” The Affectionate Sisters,” and “Verses Addressed to a Young Lady with a Nosegay.” In the Juvenile Magazine, “The Affectionate Sisters” and the “Easy Introduction to Geography” are illustrated with engravings which apparently didn’t appear in the Children’s Magazine. Month of publication correlates exactly between the magazines: if, for example, a piece appeared in the January 1788 issue of the Juvenile Magazine, it was published in the January 1789 issue of the Children’s Magazine. A list of the duplicates is available at this site.

source of information: APS reel 8; AASHistPer; The Juvenile Magazine (London), Jan-Dec 1788 bound vols; Lyon; Strohecker; Kelly; AAS catalog

available: AASHistPer, series 1

• APS I (18th-century), reel 8

excerpts online include works probably in the February issue

bibliography:

• advertisement. Connecticut Courant (Hartford, CT). 2 Feb 1789: p. 3, col 3. online

• d’Alte A. Welch. A Bibliography of American Children’s Books Printed Prior to 1821. Np: American Antiquarian Society & Barre Publishers, 1922.

• Mabel F. Altstetter. “Early American Magazines for Children.” Peabody Journal of Education 19 (Nov 1941); p. 131

• Betty Longenecker Lyon. “A History of Children’s Secular Magazines Published in the United States from 1789-1899.” PhD diss. Johns Hopkins, 1942; pp. 29-32.

• Edwin Charles Strohecker. “American Juvenile Literary Periodicals, 1789-1826.” PhD diss. Michigan, 1969.

Children’s Periodicals of the United States, ed. R. Gordon Kelly. Westport, CT & London, England: Greenwood Press, 1984.

The Youth’s News Paper ; 30 Sept-4 Nov 1797

cover/masthead: 1797

edited by: Charles Smith

published: New York, NY: Charles Smith, 30 Sept-4 Nov 1797; Smith at 51 Maiden Ln. Printed by J. S. Mott

frequency: weekly

description: 8 pp.

• Prices: 30 Sept 1797, $3/ year. 7 Oct-4 Nov 1797, $2/ year

relevant quote: The paper contained news and information extracted from newspapers for adults: “A knowledge of this world …, dear youth, would be highly useful to you. This world, indeed, is not that, for which we are destined. Another we expect after this, where godliness, piety and virtue shall see their reward. But this world presents us the road to these rewards. We cannot avoid this passage and we must look before us and round us, to run our race with safety. This implies the necessity of an early knowledge of the world and the study of the human heart. It is my intention, by a news-paper, wholly dedicated to you and suited to your capacities to aid such a design. Read these leaves, dear children, in your leisure hours. By degrees they will afford you a treasure of knowledge. After reading, let me advise you, not to tear the innocent paper or throw it away, but gather all the numbers and put them together. In a years time, I shall present you with a title page and an index. This will enable you, to overlook in an hour, what you have learned in a year.” [#1 (30 Sept 1797): 1-2]

source of information: Early American Newspapers; AAS catalog; Kelly

available: Early American Newspapers microfilm series

bibliography:

• d’Alte A. Welch. A Bibliography of American Children’s Books Printed Prior to 1821. Np: American Antiquarian Society & Barre Publishers, 1922.

• Edwin Charles Strohecker. “American Juvenile Literary Periodicals, 1789-1826.” PhD diss. Michigan, 1969.

Children’s Periodicals of the United States, ed. R. Gordon Kelly. Westport, CT & London, England: Greenwood Press, 1984.

The Juvenile Magazine, or Miscellaneous Repository of Useful Information ; 1802

published: Philadelphia, PA: Benjamin Johnson & Jacob Johnson, 1802; publisher’s address in High St.

frequency: 3 issues/ year

description: 72 pp.; page size, 5.5″ h x 3.5″ w

relevant quote: Introduction: “We have observed with concern the numerous trifling publications almost daily issuing from the press, under various alluring titles, calculated to force the attention of children, and to poison the young mind with a love for romance, at the serious expence of useful and ornamental acquisitions. Many of these are read with avidity by the enquiring mind; and not unfrequently lead the most promising youths into error. … [W]e conceive we cannot devote our time more properly, or employ our press more profitably to ourselves, or advantageously to the rising generation of America, than by publishing monthly (or more frequently should sufficient encouragement offer) a volume devoted peculiarly to their entertainment and information. … [W]e are inclined to believe, that, from the judicious, even among the youth, we will find such encouragement, both pecuniary and literary, as will enable us to prosecute our design: being well convinced that in the minds of all young persons there is a natural love for truth, and that the prevailing taste for romance, arises more from the super-abundance of that description of books, and a scarcity of those of a contrary tendency, than from any innate disposition of the mind for such reading. … We do not propose to exclude every kind of fiction: agreeable tales, inculcating some moral precept, or inforcing the observance of some duty, will always find a place in our miscellany.” [“Preface.” 1 #1 (1802): 3-5.]

source of information: APS reel 19; Welch; Lyon; Strohecker; AAS catalog

available:

• APS II (1800-1850), reel 19

• Early American Imprints #2476

bibliography:

• d’Alte A. Welch. A Bibliography of American Children’s Books Printed Prior to 1821. Np: American Antiquarian Society & Barre Publishers, 1922.

• Eleanor Weakley Nolen. “Nineteenth Century Children’s Magazines.” The Horn Book Magazine. 15 (January/February 1939): 55-60.

• Mabel F. Altstetter. “Early American Magazines for Children.” Peabody Journal of Education 19 (Nov 1941); p. 131.

• Betty Longenecker Lyon. “A History of Children’s Secular Magazines Published in the United States from 1789-1899.” PhD diss. Johns Hopkins, 1942; pp. 33-38.

• Edwin Charles Strohecker. “American Juvenile Literary Periodicals, 1789-1826.” PhD diss. Michigan, 1969.

The Fly; or Juvenile Miscellany ; 16 Oct 1805-2 April 1806

cover/masthead: 16 Oct 1805 | 30 Oct 1805 | 13 Nov 1805-2 April 1806

edited by: Josiah Ball (“Simon Scribble”)

published: Boston, MA: Josiah Ball, 16 Oct 1805-2 April 1806; publisher at 12 Congress St.

frequency: biweekly: Wednesday afternoon

description: 4 pp.; page size, 10″ h x 9″ w; price, $1/ year: “The FIRST number is sent to the inhabitants of Boston, generally, gratis. The SECOND will be delivered only to those who patronise the undertaking.” [“Conditions.” 1 (16 Oct 1805): 1]

relevant quotes:

• Introduction: “It is freely acknowledged that there is already a surplusage of Periodical works in circulation, some of which are conducted with superior skill and judgment; but considerably above the common level of Juvenile comprehension. To remedy this increasing inconvenience will be the object of this publication; in the prosecution of the plan of which, it will be the undeviating aim of the Editors, to present a valuable combination of useful and interesting subjects, particularly designed for the improvement of Youth of both sexes. … [The paper] will be agreeably diversified with subjects humorous, literary and light;—Essays instructive and amusing;—Historical and Biographical sketches, Poetry, Tales, Epigrams, Anecdotes, and a variety of incidental matter.” [“To the Public.” 1 (16 Oct 1805): 1]

• In 1806, changes were promised: the paper was to be published weekly, “when the whole and undivided attention of one of the Editors will be devoted to it, and consequently the conduction of it greatly improved; as they have not, from their respective engagements to different offices, been able to bestow but a few hours’ attention on any one number which has yet been published. … The size, until the first volume is completed, will continue the same as at present, for the conveniency of binding; but the type will be smaller, and the paper will contain as much matter as “The Boston Magazine.” [1 (5 Feb 1806): 35]

• Changes were promised again in April 1806: “[W]e intend, (in compliance with the repeated solicitations of our friends) after the present number, to publish the Fly WEEKLY—to devote our time and attention particularly to it, and to cause the papers to be regularly delivered to subscribers in Boston on the day of publication. But, as the attendant expense will then be double what it has hitherto been, the price will be necessarily augmented; and, instead of one, we must request the punctual payment quarterly in advance, of Two Dollars per annum. But, as, during the past six months, our little paper has appeared only once a fortnight, the price for the first year will be One Dollar fifty cents—one third of which has already been pretty generally paid—Fifty cents we request our patrons to advance on the reception of the next number, and the remainder at the expiration of three months from the present time.” [1 (2 April 1806): 51] Which probably explains why that was the last issue.

source of information: APS reel 19; AAS catalog; Kelly

available: APS II (1800-1850), reel 19

bibliography:

• Edwin Charles Strohecker. “American Juvenile Literary Periodicals, 1789-1826.” PhD diss. Michigan, 1969.

Children’s Periodicals of the United States, ed. R. Gordon Kelly. Westport, CT & London, England: Greenwood Press, 1984.

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