Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster and Company, 1859. First edition. Original printed drab wrappers, approx. 8 x 5 inches, 29 pages. Wrappers a little soiled; some light wear; a very good copy. Item #18887
“Two years ago, on a steamboat trip down the Ohio River, I met a young man fresh from a counting-house in Rhode Island. He was a very intelligent man, in the general acceptation of that phrase, but he had many stupid opinions about the West. He learned that I was from Cincinnati, and he was curious to know all about Porkopolis. In perfect candor, and ‘only for information,’ he deliberately asked me whether the noise and stench, occasioned by the slaughter of hogs, did not make life in the city intolerable. I discovered, in conversation with him, that he imagined Porkopolis to be composed, in about equal proportion, of pig pens and poorly constructed business and dwelling houses.” An important and overlooked address from the Ohio State Librarian and the anthologist behind Poets and Poetry of the West (Columbus, 1860), an early call for a distinct and serious literature of place outside the precints of the East; Coggeshall includes a survey of previous anthologies and literary magazines, explores ideas of economic security as a driver of literary tradition, encourages thoughtful discussion on local literature among the learned of the Midwest, and makes pointed metaphorical remarks about those who would cut down native oaks and beech and replace them with alianthus and catalpa and other exotics.