Page numbers in issues:1843.1.1-32; January • 1843.1.33-64; February • 1843.1.65-96; March • 1843.1.97-128; April • 1843.1.129-160; May • 1843.1.161-192; June • 1843.2.1-32; July • 1843.2.33-64; August • 1843.2.65-96; September • 1843.2.97-128; October • 1843.2.129-160; November • 1843.2.161-192; December
Sandwich, April 10, 1843.
My dear friend Merry, I am very much pleased with your Museum, and I hope your stories may do me good. I am going to Boston soon, and I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you. I like the story of the Siberian Sable-Hunter, and Thomas Trotter, very much. I go to school all the time now, and my time is so taken up with my studies that I hope you will pardon me when I say that I have not yet read quite the whole of Philip Brusque. I feel sorry for this, but I am not yet ten years old. I hope you will allow me to say, and take it kindly, that I am often much disappointed in not getting my number in season. Many little girls get theirs sooner than I get mine; and I wish you would say to those who have the care of sending the Magazine to the various subscribers, that I should like to have mine sent sooner, and directed to me instead of my father. I have tried to get subscribers for you, but have not succeeded; but I will try again during this volume,—for I think you offer a handsome reward. I have been much pleased with your allegories, and particularly with the Garden of Peace, and I hope they will make a good impression on my mind, and I have no doubt it was your design they should. I am sorry we do not have painted pictures in the Museum now, for it made the Natural History more interesting. I must tell you, when they bound my numbers, they kept all my painted pictures, and did not put them into the volume which they bound. This grieves me much, and I thought I would tell it to you. I have a little sister, almost three years younger than myself, and she likes to read your Little Leaves very much, and thinks you are very kind to remember such little ones. Please excuse all mistakes.
From a blue-eyed friend,
Emily C. C—s.
Siberian Sable-Hunter: title character in “The Siberian Sable-Hunter”, a 14-part series (1841-1842). The son and daughter of a Russian exiled to Siberia work hard and succeed because of their goodness and patience. The story includes education on matters geographical and moral, punctuated by hair-breadth escapes.
Thomas Trotter: title character in “The Travels, Adventures, and Experiences of Thomas Trotter” (1841-1842) and “Travels and Adventures in Circassia, by Thomas Trotter” (1845-1846): fictionalized geographies which alternate adventure and humor with descriptions of the landscape and culture of Europe and of the Middle East.
Philip Brusque: title character in the “Story of Philip Brusque” (1841-1842). Poorly educated Philip doesn’t believe in government; but after a shipwreck he learns the value and weaknesses of several forms of government. The story was reprinted as A Home in the Sea; or, The Adventures of Philip Brusque (Philadelphia: Sorin & Ball, 1845).
“The Garden of Peace”: one of “Peter Parley’s New Stories” (May 1842). An exquisite garden can be entered only by those who every day do all that they should and nothing that they shouldn’t.
“Little Leaves”: a special section for young readers (1843). Requested by subscribers new to reading, the heavily-illustrated pages featured brief stories, poems, and informative articles, as well as chapters of “Inquisitive Jack.”
My dear Mr. Merry: I have been long wanting to write to you, so many of your subscribers have been writing to you. I could not write to you sooner, because I did not know my letter would go by the mail.
Many of the stories in the Museum are quite interesting. I have often tried to read your history of your own life, through. I should have begun when your Museum first came out, but it happened that I did not. “Philip Brusque” I began too, but, as my brother was going up the river in a steamboat, he wanted to take the number, so that I had to leave off reading it.
I am one of your little black-eyed subscribers; my brother Benjamin is one of your blue-eyed subscribers. He does not read as many of your Museums as I do, for he is away from home a great part of the time, and when he gets home he hardly ever thinks of reading them. I am always glad when I hear that your Museum is come, and yet, the last time, they kept it from me for a day and a night. Was not that very hard?
My little sister, Lydia, is yet too young to read, and does not even know her A, B, C, but I know them well enough. I like your plain, simple stories best. I believe my brother likes the ones that are not simple. In your number, a great while ago, is a song by the name of “Jack Frost,” which I like very much, and many other pieces of your poetry. “Discontented Betty” I like too. I have been hurrying off with my lessons, so that I could write to you; but, pray, do not think that I write this myself, for I do not even know how to make a letter. My sister writes for me.
I am in constant fear that we shall have to give up your Museum, but I hope we shall not. I thought that I would have to send my letter by the man that brought the Museum, but my father told me that I need not, but that I should send it by the mail. I hope your Museum will not end very soon, but will keep on a long while. I have found out three of your names, Parley, Merry and Goodrich. I want to see you very much. My sister Mary is collecting autographs, and has got one of yours, which I think to be quite a decent hand for such an old man. I hope this letter will reach you safely. I wonder if the one my brother William wrote to you, a long time ago, ever reached you.
I have read some of your other books, as we have got some others. I consider myself a very poor reader, if others do not. I had a beautiful book given to me on New Year’s day, by the name of “Flower People.” But I cannot think of anything more to say, and so, Mr. Merry, good-bye.
E. O. B.
P. S. I have thought of one other thing to say, Mr. Merry, and it is that I wish you would answer this letter.
“history of your own life”: “My Own Life and Adventures, by Robert Merry,” the serialized “autobiography” of Robert Merry (1841-1842) which detailed his childhood and early adventures. It was reprinted as Wit bought; or, The life and adventures of Robert Merry (NY: Sheldon & Co., 1844).
“Discontented Betty”: poem (Jan 1843). Hard-working Betty is rebuked for complaining about her life.
“Jack Frost”: song (Jan 1841). Jack Frost has caused the birds to leave and winter to come.
“Two Friends”: story reprinted from an English periodical (Dec 1842). Poor John is mocked by all but rich Paul, who reaps his reward when he is kidnapped and John helps him.
The Flower People: book by Mary Tyler Peabody Mann (Hartford, CT: Tyler & Porter, 1842).
Copyright 2000-2016, Pat Pflieger