Sunday, April 1, 2018

Apostrophe of Rispah, 1788

Signed "R," this verse "Apostrophe of Rispah" was published in the Country Journal and Poughkeepsie Advertiser on June 10, 1788. As featured on Mary S. Van Deusen's great Henry Livingston website, a manuscript version of Rispah appears in the book of manuscript poems attributed to Henry Livingston, Jr.

· Tue, Jun 10, 1788 – Page 4 · Poughkeepsie Journal (Poughkeepsie, New York) · Newspapers.com
Where the Poughkeepsie Country Journal and all printed versions found so far read "Saul's unfortunate lineage," Henry Livingston's manuscript version has "Saul's unhappy lineage." Currently the Livingston web page for All Henry Poetry gives 1794 as the date of this poem, based on the reprinting in the New York Weekly Museum for July 19, 1794.

The following week (June 17, 1788) an unsigned poem titled "Dying Indian" appeared in the Country Journal and Poughkeepsie Advertiser under the heading "Poetry / For the Poughkeepsie Advertiser." "Dying Indian" is credited to Joseph Warton in volume 4 of Robert Dodsley's A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes (London, 1763).

"Rispah" enjoyed a good run in early American newspapers. The poem was reprinted below the heading "Poetics" in the New York Independent Journal, June 14, 1788 and frequently thereafter, for example:
  • Elizabethtown, New Jersey Journal, June 18, 1788 [signed "R" as in the Poughkeepsie Country Journal]
  • Pennsylvania Packet [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] June 23, 1788
  • Salem Gazette, June 10, 1794
  • Philadelphia Independent Gazeteer, June 21, 1794
  • Kline's Carlisle Weekly Gazette, July 9, 1794
  • New Bedford, Massachusetts Medley, November 23, 1798;
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Packet - June 23, 1788


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