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Helen Hunt Jackson 2-2-24f transcription

Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0156, Box 2, Folder 24f, John F. McClure to HHJ, 1884.
Transcribed by Jessy Randall, 2006.

Penciled in brackets: Sept. 9, 1884

141 W. 15. St. New York
Sept. 9 '84

Mrs. Helen Jackson
c/o Christian Union
New York City [actually written at end of letter]

Mrs. Jackson,

Dear Madame: --

I have in contemplation a plan which will, I think, win the favor of American authors. I would like to have you consider it, hoping it may meet with your approval and secure your cooperation.

The plan in brief is this: to arrange with syndicates of newspapers in the United States for the simultaneous publications of stories by leading American authors - the syndicates to be so arranged that the circulations of the included papers would not conflict.

Our more than ten thousand newspapers ought, if properly utilized, to afford a very large market for native fiction. At present they are dependent mainly upon foreign sources for their supply of literature, as they cannot afford to buy it. Since the circulation of most of them is purely local it would seem both feasible and advisable for them to club together, as it were, and buy stories.

The character of the papers will necessarily be unexceptionable. Those that publish cheap, sensational stories would not want such literature as we would furnish, and the smaller papers would not afford it. Hence only the better and more prosperous journals would join the syndicate.

The newspaper forms the principal part of the reading matter bought by the majority of people, and, if it is desired to have them read good American literature, this is the best medium for reaching them.

This plan seems to me to have in it the elements of a good enterprise, which, if properly managed, can be carried through to a successful issue. Should it meet with your approval, I would be pleased to hear from you and would appreciate any criticism or suggestions from you. An author sees many valuable points which escape the notice of others.

Yours truly,

Jno. F. McClure

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