About Harper's Weekly Online

This online version is a pilot project to assess the costs of digitizing 19th-century journals. We are focusing on the 1865 volume of Harper's Weekly; currently, the first six issues are online.

About the 1865 Volume (by the editors)


The Ninth Annual Volume of Harper's Weekly is completed with the present Number. The foregoing General Index and Index to Illustrations will suggest to the reader the extent and value of its Literary and Pictorial contents.

The year now closing is the most eventful in American History. The Battles about Richmond, General Sherman's March through the Carolinas, the Siege of Mobile, the Surrender of the Rebel Armies, followed speedily by the capture of Davis and the collapse of the Confederacy, the tragic death of Lincoln, and the operation of President Johnson's Reconstruction Policy, have each in their turn been topics of the most intense interest. The numerous and accurate Illustrations of these events which have been given in this Volume impart to it unusual interest and a permanent value.

This Volume contains 130 Portraits of Eminent Writers, Soldiers, and Statesmen.

In the Editorial Columns political events have been the subject of abundant comment; and while it has been the aim of the Publishers to keep the Weekly free from partisan politics, they have not shrunk from independent criticism, nor hesitated to advocate that policy which seemed necessary in order to a lasting Peace and to the establishment of the Union on the eternal basis of Justice. They have believed Firmness to be the most essential element of a Genuine Conservatism. The Editorial Comments which have formed so prominent a feature of each week's issue, covering subjects of financial as well as political interest, would all together make two large-sized duodecimo volumes.

While Harper's Weekly has thus taken a decided part in the Political events of the day, it has not lost sight of its original design as a Literary Paper. Every Number has contained Tales, Poems, and Essays, by the ablest American and European writers.

The Circulation of the Weekly has steadily increased from the first. The average circulation for the past year has been largely over 100,000 copies per week. On some occasions over 200,000 copies have been sold of a single issue.

The Publishers have endeavored in the Past, as in the Future they will endeavor, to make the Paper indispensable to every intelligent reader and to every family fireside. As it has been a Pictorial History, for the last four years, of the War for the Union, so will no enterprise be spared hereafter to maintain the prestige it has already won. It will in the Future, as in the Past, occupy itself not with topics of petty interest, but with the grand, moving events of the age, justifying its well-earned title as "A Journal of Civilization."

The Publishers believe that the Paper possesses a permanent as well as temporary value. Every page has therefore been electrotyped, so that they are able at any time to supply any Volume or Number from the commencement.

Each Volume, containing all the Numbers for a year, commencing with the 1st of January, neatly bound in cloth, will be furnished for Seven Dollars, and will be sent by Express, freight paid by the Publishers, to any part of the United States reached by Express, within the distance of three thousand miles from New York.