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Publishers and Friends

Publishers, Friends, Correspondents, and Acquaintances1

George Adler (1821-1868)

Melville met Adler, a German-American scholar, in 1849 aboard the Independence, en route to England. Melville attended his funeral on 25 August 1868. See Log 6 December 1849 and 16 February 1850. Log-BN

Richard Bentley (1794-1871)

Melville’s second British publisher after John Murray rejected Mardi. Melville’s publishing relationship with Bentley ended with his rejection of Pierre. Log-BN

Charles James Billson (1858-1932)

Admirer who began an extended correspondence with Melville beginning with Melville’s reply of 21 August 1884. Published Melville’s letters in Nation and Athenaeum, 13 August 1921. Presented Melville in 1884-1885 with gifts of James Thomson’s Vane’s Story . . . and Other Poems and The City of Dreadful Night. Parker, Biography, Vol.2, 864, and Log-BN

Alexander Warfield Bradford (1815-1867)

Son of the Melvilles’ minister in Albany and classmate of Gansevoort Melville at the Albany Academy and part of the Young Men’s Association; New York lawyer. Log-BN

John Romeyn Brodhead (1814-1873)

Held post in the U.S. Legation in London. Agreed to replace Gansevoort as Melville’s London agent after Gansevoort’s death. Negotiated English sale of Omoo and Mardi. See Log 30 December 1846 and 1 June 1849. Log-BN

John Brown Coleman, Jr. (1800-?)

The third and last of the whaling captains under whom Melville served. Coleman hired Melville at Eimeo as a harpooner on the Charles & Henry, from November 1842 through April 1843. Log-BN

William E. Cramer (1817-1905)

A Democratic political patron of Gansevoort. Moved to Milwaukee in 1846 where he established the daily and weekly Wisconsin which publicized Melville’s writings. Cramer helped bring Melville to lecture in Milwaukee on 25 February 1859. Log-BN

George William Curtis (1824-1892)

Editorial advisor for Dix & Edwards—see Log entries from 9 March 1855 through 2 January 1856. Assisted Melville during lecturing years—Log 15 September, October 1857. Log-BN

Dix & Edwards

G. P. Putnam sold Putnam’s Monthly to Dix & Edwards. Printed Piazza Tales (1856) and The Confidence-Man (1857). Log-BN

Evert Augustus Duyckinck (1816-1878)

First met Melville as editor of Wiley & Putnam’s distinguished “Library of Choice Reading.” Melville borrowed regularly from his library. His magazine ventures, Arcturus and Democratic Review, attracted poets, critics, and novelists—including Auld, Hoffman, Jones, and Mathews—who, in 1847, contributed to Duyckink’s The Literary World and Yankee Doodle. Melville contributed pieces to the satirical Yankee Doodle while working on Mardi. Melville continued his friendship with Duyckinck upon returning to New York from Arrowhead in 1860. Duyckinck’s papers show Melville was a frequent visitor up until his death in 1878. Log-BN


1 These biographical notes were compiled using the “Biographical Notes” section of Volume 1 of Jay Leyda’s The Melville Log (New York: Harcourt Brace and Co., 1951 – abbreviated here as Log-BN; and Volumes 1 and 2 of Hershel Parker’s Herman Melville: A Biography (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1996, 2005) – abbreviated here as Biography.


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