Home Information Contents Search Links

The Saturday Journal

THE Saturday Star Journal and its successors, Beadle's Weekly and Banner Weekly,(1) had, with various changes of name, the longest run of any Beadle publication issued at regular intervals. The Dime Dialogues extended over a longer period, but they came out irregularly, usually one a year. Beginning March 19, 1870, the Saturday Journal ran uninterruptedly in weekly issues for 661 numbers, ending on November 11, 1882. For some unknown reason, it was decided to begin with a new No. 1, and the next issue, now called Beadle's Weekly, appeared the following week on the regular day, November 18, without any change except in name. This second series, which is described fully below, continued for 758 numbers, until May 12, 1897, making an unbroken run for the complete weekly story paper of 27 years and a few months.

Except for the first few numbers, the paper was of the same size and general appearance throughout its entire run. Nos. 1 to 9 only were 16 by 12 inches in size and the pagination was consecutive; the remainder (Fig. 152), from No. 10 to the last issue of the Banner Weekly, were 2 ¼ by 14 ¼ inches, each number paged independently. Each number contained eight, rarely more, five-column pages, and was illustrated by two or three excellent cuts. Assuming that there were 1360(2) words to the column, the total number in the complete run amounted to over 77,000,000, representing an enormous output, mostly fiction. The price of the paper originally was five cents a copy or $2.50 a year, but beginning with No. 47, it was increased to six cents and $3.00.

The various changes in names through which the Saturday Journal passed are difficult to describe in a few words since the figure of a star may or may not be read in the title. The accompanying illustrations (Figs. 152 to 160) of the various heads make the major changes clearer than any verbal description. The periods of the different heads are given beneath the cuts. Several slight changes are not shown.

In the Saturday Journal there was a total of 310 serial stories and in Beadle's and Banner Weekly together there were 375. Most of these stories were later reprinted, often in somewhat abbreviated form and with only a single illustration, in the various "libraries." But besides serials there were innumerable short stories, short sketches, informative articles, biographies of western men, desperadoes, scouts, and mountain men, and anecdotes of western characters. There was also considerable poetry and there were departments devoted to hunting, fishing, and trapping. An "Answers to Correspondence" column, like similar columns in many other story papers, unblushingly mingled more or less humorous sham questions and answers with questions from subscribers. Among the authors, besides the long list of writers of serials given below, were "Uncle Remus," Margaret E. Sangster, "Oliver Optic," Frank H. Converse, Ed. Mott ("The Old Settler"), Will Lisenbee, Frank Bellaw, H. S. Keller, Col. J. E. Donovan, Frank Triplett, H. N. Maguire ("Ira Hegnum"), Eben Rexford, and many others.

For a complete set of the 28 volumes, Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach paid $1,025 at the O'Brien sale,(3) and Huntington is said to have paid $2,000 for a similar set now in the Huntington Library. So far as I know, there are but † four complete sets in existence, and two of these are in public libraries.

In the following list are given the titles of all of the serials that appeared in this journal. In spite of the various changes in the masthead the initials of each series remained constant throughout, consequently in this list and elsewhere in this book, they are indicated by the letters SJ or BW. The number preceding each story in the following list is the number of the journal in which the first installment of the serial appeared.

Fig. 152 Saturday Journal
Fig. 152 The Saturday Journal

661 numbers issued from March 19, 1870, to November 11, 1882.

Fig. 153 Saturday Journal
Fig. 153, Nos. 1-96

March 19,1870 to January 13, 1872

Fig. 154 Saturday Journal
Fig. 154, Nos. 97-156

January 20, 1872 to March 8, 1873

Fig. 155 Saturday Journal
Fig. 155, Nos. 157-242

March 15, 1873 to October 31, 1874

Fig. 156 Saturday Journal
Fig. 156, Nos. 243-245

November 7 to 21, 1874. A few minor changes are omitted

Fig. 157 Saturday Journal
Fig. 157, Nos. 246-344

November 28, 1874 to October 14, 1876

Fig. 158 Saturday Journal
Fig. 158, Nos. 345-459

October 21, 1876 to December 28, 1878

Fig. 159 Saturday Journal
Fig. 159, Nos. 521-624

January 4, 1879( to February 28, 1880)

Fig. 160 Saturday Journal
Fig. 160, Nos. 625-661

March 4 to November 11, 1882.
A few minor changes are omitted



Harper's Weekly, IX, 1865, No. 468. Also New York Tribune, December 19, 1865.

2 The Saturday Journal, No. 419, gives 1360 words as the average per column.
3 New York Times, May 11, 1920.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.
Go to:
Previous Series Previous Periodical
Numerical ListNumerical List
List of all Periodicals