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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[newspaper clipping]
   The Cosmopolitan Art Journal has an elaborate
biographical and critical notice of Charles F. Briggs,
esq., of The New-York Times, in which justice is done
to the accomplishments and abilities of that popular
writer.  As The Art Journal justly remarks, the
public press of the country  is vastly changing for the
better a change brought about by the introduction of
such men as Mr. Briggs into the newspaper  harness; 
and we see no reason why, under the guidance of such
men, the American newspaper should not become the
best in the world.   The principle facts in the article
may be condensed as follows:
   Some twenty years ago, the  Adventures of Harry Franco, a
Tale of the Great Panic,  was published in two volumes in New-
York.  Soon after the appearance of this work, there appeared in
the Knickerbocker Magazine a series of articles by Harry Franco,
some of them serious stories, but chiefly humorous sketches of
city life and satires of contemporary events.  A scrict incognito
cannot long be preserved by an author whose writings excite un-
usual attention, and challenge popular remark; and though
Harry Franco appeared anxious to keep his personal identity a
secret to all, yet it soon became known that his real name was
Charles F. Briggs.
   In the year 1845, Mr. Briggs established a weekly newspaper
called The Broadway Journal in conjunction with the late
Edgar A. Poe.  He wrote many articles for The Journal, viz:
Criticisms, essays, poems; but, finding Poe an uncomfortable
associate, he abandoned the work at the end of six months, and
soon after became associate editor of The Evening Mirror, then
in its fullest vigor.  It was for this paper that he furnished a
series of satirical letters under the signature of  Ferdinand Men-
dez Pinto. 
   It was in The Mirror that he published  The Trippings of
Tom Pepper,  a romance similar in character to his first work.
It was afterward republished, in two volumes, and has since been
brought out in Bonner s New-York Ledger, and, under a differ-
ent title, in still another popular weekly journal.
   While editing The Mirror, Mr. Briggs also edited Holden s
Dollar Magazine, which, under his admirable management, was
very successful, attaining to a very large circulation.
   Mr. Briggs left The Mirror, and edited, for the publisher,
George P. Putnam, esq.  The Homes of American Statesmen, 
and  The Homes of American Poets,  writing the articles on
 Franklin,  on  Lowell,  and on  John P. Kennedy. 
   In company with George W. Curtis and Park Godwin, he
projected Putnam s Monthly, and was the responsible editor of
that, in many respects, most admirable magazine, during the first
two years of its existence.
   During the time he was editor of Putnam s Monthly we be-
lieve he contributed one article to each number; among them
comprised in his  Encyclopedia of Humor.   Soon after Mr.
Raymond of The New-York Times, as elected Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor of the State, Mr. Briggs engaged upon that paper as asso-
ciate editor, and has continued this enagement up to the present
time, assuming the entire editorial management during the ab-
sence of Mr. Raymond.  In addition to these daily duties (which,
of course, are engrossing and imperative), he has still found time
to contribute to several other journals and magazines, and also to
edit one of our most popular weekly papers.  Several stories
from his pen, during the last two years, show that Henry Franco
has infinite resource in fictitious composition.  We have, not-
withstanding the very best array of popular tale-writers, very
few who are capable of writing a really first-class story.  Mr. 
Briggs is one of the very best, although he does not seem to covet
a reputation in that department of literature.
   Mr. Briggs is the author of several works which have become
somewhat notorious as the production of others.  Thus, we hear
it said on good authority, that various lectures which have been
delivered by certain popular lecturers throughout the country,
with considerable  clat, are from the ready pen of Mr. Briggs.
   Mr. Briggs is an occasional contributor to the columns of the
omnivorous Ledger, that great maelstrom which draws into its
vortex much of the very best literary talent of the country.
   Mr. Briggs is a native of Nantucket, Mass., the State which has
furnished so much of the brains of our literature.  He has resided
in the City of New York, however, since his boyhood, and there-
fore has been thorougly educated in metropolitan life.  He may
be regarded as a  representative man  of the great corps of liter-
ary workers who furnish the country with mental food. 
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eleven: page two hundred and nineteen
Description:Newspaper clipping containing a biographical sketch of Charles F. Briggs.
Subject:Briggs, Charles F.; Gunn, Thomas Butler; New York times.; Poe, Edgar Allan; Publishers and publishing; Raymond, Henry J.
Coverage (City/State):New York, [New York]
Scan Date:2011-01-31


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eleven
Description:Includes descriptions of boarding house living at 132 Bleecker Street, his freelance writing and drawing work, the antics of New York literary Bohemians, Fanny Fern and James Parton's marriage, visits to the Edwards family, a Fourth of July excursion with the Edwards family and other friends, letters from Frank Cahill and Bob Gun's mistresses, Jesse Haney's proposal of marriage to Sally Edwards and rejection, Charles Damoreau's return from Boston to live in New York, and attending the Edwards family's 1859 Christmas party.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Christmas; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage; Publishers and publishing; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.