"R" is for Russell’s Magazine (1857-1860)

Apr 6, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

“R” is for Russell’s Magazine (1857-1860). Russell’s Magazine was the last of the southern antebellum literary magazines and arguably the best. It was the magazine for the professional middle class—doctors, lawyers, and college faculty. Paul Hamilton Hayne was the journal’s editor. Hayne promised to publish “undiscovered genius” in the South because northern editors were reluctant to publish southern writers. The only undiscovered genius, however, out to be Henry Timrod. The magazine should be credited for a desire to keep politics out of literary assessments—although in practice this objectivity applied only as long as slavery was not in any way attacked or “falsely” portrayed. In addition to Timrod and Hayne, William Gilmore Sims was a major contributor and all brought distinction to the magazines short life. The last issue of Russell’s Magazine appeared in March 1860.