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Boston Evening Transcript

Boston Evening Transcript

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The Boston Evening Transcript was a daily afternoon newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts, published from July 24, 1830, to April 30, 1941.


The Transcript was founded in 1830 by Henry Dutton and James Wentworth of the firm of Dutton and Wentworth, who were, at that time, the official state printers of Massachusetts. and Lynde Walter who was also the first editor of the Transcript.

In 1830 The Boston Evening Bulletin, which had been a penny paper, ceased publication. Lynde Walter decided to use the opening provided to start a new evening penny paper in Boston. Walter approached Dutton and Wentworth with the proposal that he would edit the paper and that they would do the printing and circulation.

Dutton and Wentworth agreed to this as long as Walter would pay the expenses of the initial editions of the newspaper.

The Transcript first appeared on July 24, 1830, however after three days Walter suspended publication of the paper until he could build up his patronage. After Walker canvassed the city to better develop the paper's business The Transcript resumed publication on August 28, 1830.

After Lynde Walter died, his sister, Cornelia Wells Walter, who had been the Transcript 's theatre critic, became, at 29, the editor of the Transcript, becoming the first woman to become the editor of a major American daily. Cornelia Walter served as the editor of The Transcript from 1842 to 1847.

Great Fire

The Transcript 's offices were destroyed in the Great Boston Fire of 1872
Great Boston Fire of 1872
The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was Boston's largest urban fire, and still ranks as one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history. The conflagration began at 7:20 p.m. on November 9, 1872, in the basement of a commercial warehouse at 83—87 Summer Street in Boston,...

. After the Great Fire The Transcript 's offices on Washington Street were rebuilt and expanded.

Literary influence

In 1847 the poet Epes Sargent
Epes Sargent (poet)
Epes Sargent was an American editor, poet and playwright.-Early life:Epes Sargent was the son of Epes Sargent and Hannah Dane Coffin , and was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on September 27, 1813, where his father was a ship master. In 1818 the family moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts...

 became editor of the paper. Many literary and poetic works debuted in the Transcript's pages.

An early version of "America the Beautiful
America the Beautiful
"America the Beautiful" is an American patriotic song. The lyrics were written by Katharine Lee Bates and the music composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward....

" by Katharine Lee Bates
Katharine Lee Bates
Katharine Lee Bates was an American songwriter. She is remembered as the author of the words to the anthem "America the Beautiful". She popularized "Mrs. Santa Claus" through her poem Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride .-Life and career:Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the daughter of a...

 first appeared in The Boston Evening Transcript on November 19, 1904.

Hazel Hall
Hazel Hall
Hazel Hall was an American poet based in Portland, Oregon.-Life:Hall was born on February 7, 1886 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. As a young girl, she moved to Portland, Oregon with her family. After surviving scarlet fever at the age of twelve, she used wheelchair for the rest of her life...

's first published poem "To an English Sparrow", first appeared in The Transcript in 1916.

Features and columns

Features and columns included: "Suburban Scenes", "The Listener", The Nomad, The Librarian, Saturday Night Thoughts, as well as extensive book reviews and music criticism. The Transcript also had a Washington bureau, a college sports pages and a department of Bridge. In addition The Transcript had a well known genealogy column.

Genealogical columns

Because of the genealogy column The Transcript is of value to historians and others. Gary Boyd Roberts
Gary Boyd Roberts
Gary Boyd Roberts is an American genealogist known for his scholarship in Americans of royal descent, the ancestors of American presidents, and notable kin. Roberts is the retired Senior Research Scholar of the New England Historic Genealogical Society .- Background :A native of Houston, Texas,...

 of the New England Historic Genealogical Society
New England Historic Genealogical Society
The New England Historic Genealogical Society is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States, founded in 1845. A charitable, nonprofit educational institution, NEHGS is located at 99-101 Newbury Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, in an eight-story archive and research center....


"The Boston Evening Transcript, like the New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

today, was a newspaper of record
Newspaper of record
Newspaper of record is a term that may refer either to any publicly available newspaper that has been authorized by a government to publish public or legal notices , or any major newspaper that has a large circulation and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered professional and...

. Its genealogical column, which usually ran twice or more a week for several decades in the early twentieth century, was often an exchange among the most devoted and scholarly genealogists of the day. Many materials not published elsewhere are published therein."


  • Justin Brooks Atkinson
    Brooks Atkinson
    Justin Brooks Atkinson was an American theatre critic. He worked for The New York Times from 1925 to 1960...

    , police reporter, assistant to the drama critic, H. T. Parker, (1919–1922).
  • David Washburn Bailey, sports reporter and drama critic, assistant dramatic editor (1922–1928).
  • Clarence W. Barron
    Clarence W. Barron
    Clarence W. Barron is one of the most influential figures in the history of Dow Jones & Company. As a career newsman described as a "short, rotund powerhouse," he died holding the posts of president of Dow Jones and de facto manager of The Wall Street Journal...

    , Transcript reporter (1875–1887).
  • William Stanley Braithwaite
    William Stanley Braithwaite
    William Stanley Beaumont Braithwaite was an American writer, poet and literary critic.Braithwaite was born in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of 12, upon the death of his father, Braithwaite was forced to quit school to support his family...

    , (1906–1931) served as literary editor.
  • Virginia Lee Burton
    Virginia Lee Burton
    Virginia Lee Burton was an American illustrator and children's book author. Burton wrote and illustrated seven self-illustrated children's books, including the Caldecott Medal winning The Little House. Also known by her married name Virginia Demetrios. She died in 1968 of lung cancer...

    , sketch artist.
  • Joseph Edgar Chamberlin, editor.
  • Edward Henry Clement, editor-in-chief (1881–1906).
  • Albert C. Dieffenbach, editor of religion (1933–1941).
  • Edward Downes, music critic.
  • Edwin Francis Edgett, literary editor (1894–1938).
  • Dr. Herbert H. Fletcher, editor of religion, associate managing editor, and founder and sole editor of The Churchman Afield department of The Saturday Evening Transcript.
  • Jeannette Leonard Gilder
    Jeannette Leonard Gilder
    Jeannette Leonard Gilder was a pioneer for United States women in journalism.-Biography:She was a daughter of the clergyman William Henry Gilder. She was connected from 1869 with various newspapers in Newark and New York...

    , writing under the pen name "Brunswick", Gilder was the New York correspondent of the Transcript
  • John A. Holmes
    John Holmes (poet)
    John Holmes , born John Albert Holmes Jr., was a poet and critic. He was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, and both attended and taught at Tufts University where he was a professor of literature and modern poetry for 28 years. He wrote several volumes of poetry and the lyrics to several Unitarian...

    , served as poetry editor for eight years.
  • Olga Van Slyke Owens Huckins, literary editor (1939 to 1941). Huckins letter to Rachel Carson
    Rachel Carson
    Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement....

     inspired the book Silent Spring.
  • Charles E. Hurd, literary editor (1875–1901), originated and conducted the Notes and Queries; and Genealogical departments, contributed to the Art, Dramatic and Editorial departments.
  • Francis Henry Jenks
    Francis H. Jenks
    Francis Henry Jenks was a 19th century theater critic in Boston whose work appeared in the Boston Globe, The Boston Daily Advertiser, The Boston Courier and The Boston Evening Transcript newspapers, The New England magazine, Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and other publications.Jenks ...

    , music and dramatic editor 1881–1894.
  • Franklin Jordan, aviation editor.
  • John P. Marquand
    John P. Marquand
    John Phillips Marquand was a American writer. Originally best known for his Mr. Moto spy stories, he achieved popular success and critical respect for his satirical novels, winning a Pulitzer Prize for The Late George Apley in 1938...

    , was a staff writer on the paper and later on its bi-weekly magazine after he graduated from Harvard College.
  • Howard Mumford Jones
    Howard Mumford Jones
    For the Louisiana state senator, see Howard M. Jones .Howard Mumford Jones was a U.S. writer, literary critic, and professor of English at Harvard University....

    , book editor.
  • Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
    Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
    Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was a Republican United States Senator from Massachusetts and a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, South Vietnam, West Germany, and the Holy See . He was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 1960 Presidential election.-Early life:Lodge was born in Nahant,...

    , reporter.
  • Kenneth Macgowan
    Kenneth Macgowan
    Kenneth Macgowan was an American film producer. He won an Academy Award for Best Color Short Film for La Cucaracha , the first live-action short film made in the three-color Technicolor process....

    , drama critic.
  • Joseph Palmer, acting editor (1840–1842).
  • Henry Taylor Parker
    Henry Taylor Parker
    Henry Taylor Parker , "known for many years largely by his initials H. T. P.",, was a Boston-born theater and music critic. Time said Parker's "reviews were famed" and for "29 years he had been Boston's oracle on theatre and music." The magazine also said Parker was a "great critic" as was Philip...

    , music, dance and drama critic (1905–1934).
  • Edmund Pearson
    Edmund Pearson
    Edmund Lester Pearson was an American librarian and author. He was a writer of the "true crime" literary genre. He is best-known for his account of the notorious Lizzie Borden murder case.-Biography:...

    , (1880–1937) writer of the column, The Librarian from 1906 to 1920.
  • Lucien Price
    Lucien Price
    Junius Lucien Price , who also published under the name Seymour Deming, was the author of more than a dozen books and a writer for publications such as The Boston Evening Transcript and The Atlantic Monthly...

    , (1907–1914) assistant music and drama critic, editorial writer, and journalist.
  • Epes Sargent
    Epes Sargent (poet)
    Epes Sargent was an American editor, poet and playwright.-Early life:Epes Sargent was the son of Epes Sargent and Hannah Dane Coffin , and was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on September 27, 1813, where his father was a ship master. In 1818 the family moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts...

    , editor.
  • Paul Secon
    Paul Secon
    Paul Secon was an American entrepreneur song-writer who co-founded Pottery Barn with his brother, Morris, in 1950....

    , music critic who also co-founded the Pottery Barn
    Pottery Barn
    Pottery Barn is an American-based home furnishing store chain with retail stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Since September 1986, when it was purchased from GAP, Inc, Pottery Barn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma, Inc....

  • Nicolas Slonimsky
    Nicolas Slonimsky
    Nicolas Slonimsky was a Russian born American composer, conductor, musician, music critic, lexicographer and author. He described himself as a "diaskeuast" ; "a reviser or interpolator."- Life :...

    , music writer.
  • Cornelia Wells Walter, editor (1842 to 1847), and theater critic.
  • Anne Wiesman society editor.
  • Lynde M. Walter, editor (1830–1840), and one of the Transcript's founders.

In popular literature

"The Boston Evening Transcript" is also the title of a poem by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot OM was a playwright, literary critic, and arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. Although he was born an American he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.The poem that made his...

 which reads:
The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.
When evening quickens faintly in the street,
Wakening the appetites of life in some
And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript,
I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld
La Rochefoucauld
La Rochefoucauld can refer to:People:* Antoine de La Rochefoucauld* Count Antoine de La Rochefoucauld , 19th century Rosicrucian* François de La Rochefoucauld , French author...

If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
And I say, "Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript."

Allusions in literature

  • In John P. Marquand
    John P. Marquand
    John Phillips Marquand was a American writer. Originally best known for his Mr. Moto spy stories, he achieved popular success and critical respect for his satirical novels, winning a Pulitzer Prize for The Late George Apley in 1938...

    's 1937 novel The Late George Apley, The Boston Evening Transcript is mentioned several times.
  • Phoebe Atwood Taylor
    Phoebe Atwood Taylor
    Phoebe Atwood Taylor was an American mystery author.Phoebe Atwood Taylor wrote mystery novels under her own name, and as Freeman Dana and Alice Tilton. Her first novel, The Cape Cod Mystery, introduced the "Codfish Sherlock", Asey Mayo, who became a series character appearing in 24 novels...

     has her character Leonidas Witherall carry a Transcript in several of his adventures.


A former Boston radio station, WBET (now WLLH
WLLH is a radio station in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts, licensed to Lowell, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Gois Broadcasting, LLC, and airs a tropical music format. In addition to a transmitter in Lowell, there is a synchronous transmitter in Lawrence, together forming...

 in Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 106,519. It is the fourth largest city in the state. Lowell and Cambridge are the county seats of Middlesex County...

 and Lawrence
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Lawrence is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States on the Merrimack River. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a total population of 76,377. Surrounding communities include Methuen to the north, Andover to the southwest, and North Andover to the southeast. It and Salem are...

), took its call letters from the Boston Evening Transcript as they shared a common owner.

The Golden Transcript
Golden Transcript
The Golden Transcript is the second oldest newspaper in Colorado, behind the Central City Register-Call. The Transcript is also the oldest media outlet of the Denver metropolitan area. It is published by Mile High Newspapers in Golden, Colorado....

, which publishes in Golden, Colorado
Golden, Colorado
The City of Golden is a home rule municipality that is the county seat of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Golden lies along Clear Creek at the edge of the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Founded during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush on 16 June 1859, the mining camp was...

, was begun in 1866 by former Boston Evening Transcript employee George West.

See also

  • Boston Daily Advertiser
    Boston Daily Advertiser
    The Boston Daily Advertiser was the first daily newspaper in Boston, and for many years the only daily paper in Boston.-History:...

  • Boston Herald
    Boston Herald
    The Boston Herald is a daily newspaper that serves Boston, Massachusetts, United States, and its surrounding area. It was started in 1846 and is one of the oldest daily newspapers in the United States...

  • The Boston Globe
    The Boston Globe
    The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

  • The Boston Journal
    The Boston Journal
    The Boston Journal was a daily newspaper published in Boston, Massachusetts from 1833 until October 1917 when it was merged with the Boston Herald....

  • The Boston News-Letter
    The Boston News-Letter
    First published on April 24, 1704, The Boston News-Letter is regarded as the first continuously published newspaper in British North America. It was heavily subsidized by the British government, with a limited circulation. The colonies’ first newspaper was Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and...

  • The Boston Post
  • The Boston Record
    The Boston Record
    The Boston Record was founded on September 3, 1884 by The Boston Daily Advertiser as an evening campaign newspaper. The Record was so popular that it was made a permanent publication.-Bibliography:...

External links