The Bystander

In addition to his writing novels and journal articles for publication, Tourgee had been unsuccessfully attempting to establish his own literary journal, Our Continent, an illustrated weekly magazine ran from 1881-1884. The magazine represented Tourgee’s passion for both the social and artistic power of literature. For example, volume 3 of Our Continent was offering cash prizes for wood engravings submitted by students at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. In this way, Tourgee obtained unique artwork for his magazine while supporting the professional development of women in the arts. Despite literary contributions from noted authors of the day such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oscar Wilde, Edward P. Roe, Mary Wilkins Freeman and others, the magazine kept losing money and by 1884 ceased publication.

Tourgee began writing for the Chicago Inter Ocean, in addition to working on Our Continent magazine and other books and articles for publication. The Inter Ocean, a Republican-supported newspaper ran from 1872-1914, and would feature the writings of Tourgee until 1898, including a very popular column he wrote called “A Bystander’s Notes.”  A few of Tourgee’s books originally appeared serially in the Inter Ocean before being published in book form, including, A Man of Destiny (first published in the Inter Ocean as series of columns under “Siva” from 1884-85) and, The Veteran and His Pipe (appearing serially in the Inter Ocean in 1885 and then in book form in 1886).

 

Copy of magazine cover, The Continent Weekly Magazine, 1884-05-07. Courtesy of Chautauqua County Historical Society.