Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Griswold-Headley Controversy...Day Three.

On the morning of November 4th, 1847, the following letter, written by me in response to Headley's allegations, appeared in the New York Courier & Enquirer:

                                                                                                                NEW YORK, NOV. 2, 1847.
To the Editors of the Courier & Enquirer:--
                GENTLEMEN,--To the following paragraph, published under the signature of J.T. Headley, in your paper of yesterday, my attention was called when it was too late to join my reply to that of another party who was libelled in the same article:--

                “The Literary World has made itself prominent in this affair, and for the benefit of those who have hitherto considered it a fair literary journal, I would state that the articles on the subject have been written chiefly, if not wholly, by Rufus W. Griswold, who wrote the first sixty pages of Carey & Hart’s book, and who for certain considerations, growing out of his connection with these publishers, has undertaken their defence in New York.  Mr. Hoffman has lent the Literary World to this interested person, and while he has given him his columns, has made the proprietors pay him also for his articles.”

                I beg to state that every allegation here made is wholly and unqualifiedly false.  Respecting the book I am charged with reviewing, (“Washington and the Generals of the American Revolution,”) or the controversy between J.T. Headley and its publishers, I have not written or published, or caused to be written or published, or, (except by reading printed articles on the subject,) know, to be written or published, a single syllable.  Mr. HOFFMAN has not lent to me the Literary World, nor have the proprietors of that journal ever paid me, or been under obligation to pay me, a farthing, on any account whatever.  I am not in the slightest degree, directly or indirectly, interested in the book in question, nor have I had any thing to do with the disagreements between J.T. Headley and its publishers.  I have not undertaken their defence in New York, nor do I know or believe they desire or need any defence or statement to be made in the premises, which they are not abundantly supplied with materials to make in their own behalf. 
                                                                                I am respectfully,
                                                                                                Your obedient servant,
                                                                                                                R. W. GRISWOLD.

Pay no attention to the fact that some of what I say is perhaps belied by the following entry in my diary, from September 24th of the same year: 

Met Headley in the street.  He is angry at a review I printed in the Literary World of his Washington and His Generals.

Am I not a stinker?

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