The Museum Collection
Memoranda of Agreement and Prospectus for the Broadway Journal
Description:The Broadway Journal was the last of the four magazines Edgar Allan Poe edited. It was also, briefly, the only magazine Poe ever owned. In the earliest of these documents, dated December 16, 1844, John Bisco and Charles Briggs become joint owners of the journal with the printer John Douglas. On February 21, 1845, Charles Briggs offered Poe a contract in which the latter would work without salary but would receive one third of the profits. On May 4, 1845, Poe wrote to F. W. Thomas, "I am as poor as ever I was in my life--except in hope, which is by no means bankable. I have taken a 3d pecuniary interest in the 'Broadway Journal,' and for every thing I have written for it have been, of course, so much out of pocket." By June 26, Poe had decided to quit the magazine but could not find anyone willing to buy out his share. In the later documents, dated July 3, 1845, John Bisco agrees to sell his share of the magazine to Charles Briggs. This is written on the back of a prospectus for the magazine listing Poe's name as one of the editors.
Briggs would soon withdraw his offer to buy the share, accusing Bisco later of raising his price. The July 5 issue was suspended, and Briggs left the journal before its next issue. Two days after the magazine resumed publication with its July 12 issue, Bisco and Poe signed a contract making Poe sole editor. Bisco would also leave the magazine in October, 1845. Poe was sole owner of the magazine from October 25 until December 3, when he transfered half of the ownership to Thomas Lane. The magazine would close with its January 3, 1846 issue.