Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 11.djvu/411
THE LITERARY INTERESTS OF CHICAGO 395
taken by financial troubles in his chief business of map-publishing; so the magazine was brought to a sudden end, and sent to the oblivion of ephemeral publications.
Mr. Wilson, however, continued the editing and publishing of the Chicago Record each month. This journal lived, under his fostering care, for five full years, until March, 1862, when it was purchased by a clergyman, through whose literary ministrations it lasted only a brief period longer. In " A Word at Parting " Mr. Wilson said of the Chicago Record:
It was the pioneer paper of its character in the Northwest, and various were the expressions in regard to its success :
" Some said, Print it, others said, Not so ;
Some said, It might do good; others said, No."
It has been a success we humbly trust it has done some good. Other demands upon our time compel us to relinquish, most reluctantly, a post that we have endeavored to fill to the best of our ability.
The other demands, mentioned but not described in this edi- torial valedictory, were those felt by all men at the time in response to the nation's call for volunteers. Mr. Wilson quite literally left the pen for the sword. He entered the Union army as a major in the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, served in the Vicks- burgh campaign, and resigned as a brigadier-general in 1865. While in the war, General Wilson absorbed the material for his printed addresses on Lincoln and Grant, and was led on into the literary work which he has since done continuously in New York, his last book, Thackeray in the United States, having come out in 1903. But it was the war which ended his training-school days in letters at periodical editing and publishing in pioneer Chicago.
The war put a temporary stop to the founding of literary periodicals. As we have already seen, at least one publication of literary interest was begun in each year after 1841 until 1858. And since the war, new ones have sprung up every year. But between 1858 and the end of the war in 1865, only one periodical of literary character was attempted in Chicago. Even that one was first announced in a prospectus issued at Washington, D. C, and it proved to be a direct engraftment on the national interest in the war. This unique bit of war-time literary effort bore as its