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The Fashioning of Middle-Class America

"Sartain’s Union Magazine of Literature and Art</I> and Antebellum Culture


Heidi L. Nichols

Sartain’s Union Magazine of Literature and Art, a Philadelphia periodical published monthly from 1849 to 1852, appealed to a quickly growing American middle-class readership through its rich variety of contents. In addition to providing a general history of this relatively unexplored antebellum periodical, this book argues that Sartain’s sought to shape a distinctly American and middle-class culture through its literary offerings, engravings, and columns on art, music, flowers, architecture, and fashion. It explores the periodical’s religious and moral messages and their relationship to the development of American middle-class culture. It also highlights the role of women in its publication, as particularly evident in its co-editorship by Caroline Kirkland and its contributions by numerous women writers.