The Museum Collection
Letter from William Fairman to John Bisco (Broadway Journal) September 29, 1845
Description:William Fairman was a traveling representative for the Broadway Journal, a magazine Edgar Allan Poe edited and briefly owned. Fairman writes this letter from Washington D.C. to the Broadway Journal editor and co-owner John Bisco in New York. In the letter, Fairman details his efforts to enlist subscribers for the magazine and mentions that, in Richmond, Poe has many friends who regard him very highly as a person and as a writer. Although Poe had moved from Richmond to New York about eight years before this letter was written, he still maintained contact with his sister, Rosalie Poe, as well as some of his other Virginia friends.
Fairman reports his difficulties in selling subscriptions to the journal, which had been struggling for months, but he is confident he will find subscribers among Poe's Richmnond friends. Fairman's efforts were unsuccessful. The magazine had been struggling for months and had briefly closed in July 1845. In October 1845, within a month of receiving this letter, John Bisco would leave in the Broadway Journal. The magazine ceased publication after the January 3, 1846 issue.
This letter is among a collection of documents from the files of the Broadway Journal, the last of the journals Poe edited and the only one Poe ever owned. Also in this collection are the memoranda of agreement for the magazine as well as several other letters to Poe and the other editors. The collection descended from Mrs. Lockwood Phillips of Beaufort, North Carolina to Mr. R.D. Ewell of West Nyack, New York.