The Southern Literary Messenger, 1834-1864/Preface
The long life of The Southern Literary Messenger, the honorable position which it attained and the salutary influence it exerted, not only upon Southern but American Literature, entitled it, in the estimation of many of its friends, to a fair yet a loving commemoration. It was repeatedly suggested to the author that he ought to prepare such a tribute, because he had owned and edited the dear old Magazine for more than four years and was also familiar with the rest of its long and honorable career.
At length, at the instance of Dr. James A. Harrison, of the University of Virginia, the work now offered to the public was prepared and submitted to him. He has approved it and is one of the kind friends who have aided in getting it published. To him and the others who have done likewise and to all who would have done so, hearty thanks are tendered.
This sketch goes somewhat into detail, in order that it may be a sort of substitute for a set of the Messenger, which it is now very difficult and expensive to obtain. A full set of the Messenger would now cost about $150.00. Whereas this, the only substitute, costs but $2.00. It will necessarily be personal and reminiscent; but the author trusts it will be adjudged that he has preserved a proper mean between an allowable egoism and an obtrusive and offensive egotism.
Richmond, Va., Jan. 2nd, 1905.