Godey, Louis A.

1853 10-month $360 promissory note signed twice by the “Godey’s Lady’s Book” founder-editor-publisher

Price: $50.00

Description:
(1804-1878) American editor-publisher, founded “Godey's Lady's Book”, 1st successful US women's fashion magazine, published from Philadelphia for 48 years (1830–1878). Self-educated son of French immigrants, at 15 worked as a newspaper boy in New York. Moved to Philadelphia and became an editor for the Daily Chronicle. In 1830, he published the 1st edition of the “Lady's Book”, composed of reprinted articles and illustrations from French magazines. He hired Sarah Josepha Hale as editor (1837-77) of “Godey's Lady's Book”. The magazine published original American poetry, articles, and engravings created by prominent writers and other artists of the time. It became America's highest circulated magazine in the 1840s, reaching over 150,000 subscribers by 1858. It was best known for the hand-tinted fashion at the start of each issue, which provides a record of the progression of women's dress. Almost every issue had an illustration and pattern with measurements for a garment to be sewn at home and a sheet of music for piano provided the latest waltz, polka or galop. Edgar Allan Poe had one of his earliest short stories "The Visionary" (later renamed "The Assignation") printed in Godey's in 1834, and in 1844 he published several other works. Other contributors included Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Washington Irving, James Kirke Paulding, Nathaniel Parker Willis, and Frances Hodgson Burnett. Godey published 2 other less successful magazines, “The Young People’s Book” (1841) and “Lady’s Musical Library” (1842). He copyrighted each issue of “Godey's Lady's Book” from 1845 to prevent other magazine and newspaper editors from pirating texts, one of the first American magazines to do so. Godey generally disliked discussing political or controversial issues in his magazine. He forbade his journal from taking a position during the Civil War; the magazine made no acknowledgment of it whatsoever and readers looked elsewhere for war-related information. In the process, Godey's lost about one-third of its subscribers. In the 1870s, he retired to St. Augustine, Fla., returned to Philadelphia, sold the magazine in 1877 to John H. S. Haulenbeek. Partly printed DS “L A Godey”, 3 x 8 black-imprinted blue paper promissory note completed by Godey, his signature in body as payee and 2nd endorsement signature on verso, Philadelphia, June 11 1853. One Andrew Scott promises to pay Godey $360 in 10 months “without defalcation, value received”. Signed by Scott at lower right, printer’s name engraved at lower left edge.

Condition: Very good, slight pencil circle around Godey’s name on body of note; tape remnants left corners verso
Type:Document






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