Boston Public Library

Rufus W. Griswold Papers, 1834-1857

Rufus Griswold (1815-1857) was the editor of Graham's Magazine and the publisher of American literature and poetry in the mid-19th century. This collection contains the near entirety of Rufus Griswold's correspondence between the years 1834 and 1857. In particular, it reflects his business dealings as editor of Graham's Magazine and publisher of The Poets and Poetry of America. Correspondence is primarily letters to Griswold from poets, authors, and other editors regarding publications and reviews. The letters document his relationships -- both professional and personal -- with his contemporaries. Most notable is the correspondence between Griswold and Edgar Allan Poe.

The majority of the letters are related to either Graham's Magazine or The Poets of America and include requests for publication or critical review. While the correspondence is business in nature, the letters also discuss the personal lives of such people as Rufus Griswold, Edgar Allen Poe, Elizabeth Ellet, and Frances Sargent Osgood.

Griswold's publication, The Poets and Poetry of America, was the first anthology of American poetry and was published in 1842. From this publication stemmed others that are mentioned in the letters, among them The Female Poets of America, Prose Writers of America, and Poets and Poetry of England.

Many of the letters in the collection have been printed in Passages from the Correspondence and Other Papers of Rufus W. Griswold, published by W. M. Griswold at Cambridge in 1898, and in The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York, 1902.