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Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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and tales; but if he cannot satisfy his readers without, he will occasionally serve up
a small, select dish.

Even at that early date these little amenities were current among
the "brethren of the quill." But "The Friend" fared no better than
its contemporary, and at the expiration of its first publication year,
"joined the silent majority." Certain it is, it contained no "medleys
of bon mots," so far as we are able to discover in a hasty perusal, and
we ourselves think we would hardly have been able long to tolerate a
" friend" that bore so striking a resemblance to the Knight of the Sor-
rowful Countenance.

From 1827. to 1831 appeared the American Masonic Record, and Al-
bany Saturday Magazine. This was a weekly periodical devoted to
Masonry, science and the arts, popular tales, miscellany, current news,
etc., etc. Published by E. B. Childs, corner of North Market and
Steuben streets.

Appealing, as it did, to so large a class of the community as the Ma-
sonic fraternity, and having the celebrated Morgan episode to dwell
upon, placed it upon a foundation that insured it a much longer lease
of life than its predecessors had enjoyed. And, too, it was cleverly
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edited, and contained much matter that appealed to the popular taste.
A clear case of the " survival of the fittest."

The Albany Quarterly, edited by James R. Wilson and Samuel Wil-
son, made its appearance in 1833, published under the patronage of the
Albany Historical Society.

This was scarcely a literary effort ; partaking more of the nature of
a denominational publication. The opening paper in the first number
was a history of the Reformed Presbyterian church.

A short extract from one of the articles appearing in it serves to show
how much we have to be grateful for, more than half a century later,
that the Legislature of the State of New York has become, in truth, a
" reform " Legislature, and no longer closes its ears to the " means of
grace " daily offered it. The extract reads:

Immediately after the assembling of the legislature in 1832, a resolution wasoffered
to dispense with prayer. . . . Ministers, except Methodists, refused to pray in
either senate or assembly.

We should be eternally grateful to these long suffering Methodists
whose patience accomplished such beneficent results. A slight perusal
convinced us that The Albany Quarterly might, with propriety, be de-
scribed as a " blue-light " antique.

The Albany Bouquet and Literary Spectator was next to venture
into the troubled wraters of periodical publication, in 1835. CJeorge
Trumbull was the hardy mariner who stood at the helm. The pro
spectus ran as follows :

The undersigned will issue, as soon as sufficient encouragement shall have been
obtained to warrant the undertaking, a semi-monthly work, under the above title, to
be devoted exclusively to polite literature, viz, popular tales, essays, biography,
natural history, traveling sketches, anecdotes, etc. It is believed that Albany, with
a population of nearly thirty thousand, and embracing as much intelligence and lit-
erary taste as any city of equal size in the union, is competent to sustain a publication
of this kind; and although similar experiments have been unsuccessful, that result,
it is thought, is to be attributed to other causes than the lack of liberality on the part
of the citizens. [Here was another editor who thought he knew to what lethargy of
the Albany public was attributable.] The papers at present published in this city
are so exclusively occupied with the political controversies of the day as to exclude
all matt



Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 25 of 138)