THE TOWN OF RIGABALLOU'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, VOLUME XXXV,
FROM JANUARY TO JUNE 1872

Maturin Murray Ballou (1820–1895) wrote his first piece for a local weekly paper while still in his late teens and went on to become a notable author and publisher in Boston. From 1859 or thereabouts to 1893, he published a monthly magazine under various titles: Ballou's Dollar Monthly, the Dollar Monthly, and lastly Ballou's Monthly Magazine, from 1872, where we came across the article "The Town of Riga" in the February issue of its inaugural year.

Our interest in the article was piqued by mention of its illustration of Rīga's harbor. We were disappointed, however, when we immediately recognized it as a cropped version of an illustration published twenty-five years earlier in The Illustrated London News edition of May 15, 1847, appearing in the article "Foreign Corn Ports — Riga". Apparently, The Illustrated London News served not only as Ballou's journalistic muse to emulate, it provided some of his content as well.

Nonetheless, the article still provides an informative, if brief, account of Rīga at its zenith as the second largest port of the Russian empire and of the history, geography, fauna, and inhabitants of Livonia—today's Estonia and Latvia.

...Timeline...Cosmographia UniversalisCosmographia Universalis, Sebastian Munsters, 1544. The quintessential view of the Riga skyline circa 1550, and still recognizeable today, from Sebastian Munster's "Cosmographia Universalis", and part of the Lord's Prayer in Latvian. Foreign Corn Ports — RigaForeign Corn Ports — Riga, 1847A news article from with engraved illustrations The Illustrated London News, May 15, 1847. The Town of RigaThe Town of Riga. Ballou's Monthly Magazine. February, 1872. An informative, if brief, account of Rīga at its zenith as the second largest port of the Russian empire, and of the history, geography, fauna, and inhabitants of Livonia. Livländische SchweizLivländische Schweiz (The Livonian Switzerland), C. Schulz, ca. 1880. A scenic Latvian photo album (20 pictures) of the Gauja river valley surrounding Sigulda. Baltic RussiaBaltic Russia, Henry Lansdell. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, New York. July 1890. Lansdell's richly illustrated travelogue, one of a number which appeared in Harper's from 1887 to 1891, offers a Baltic Russian potpourri of information, from educational expenditures by ethnicity to observations on segregated nude bathing. National Encyclopedia "Riga""RIGA", The National Encyclopaedia, ca. 1897. The article entry for Rīga, accompanied with and engraved illustration of a harbor scene. Album "Riga—Рига"Album "Riga—Рига" ca. 1910.Large-format photo album (3 dozen pictures) of Riga at the start of the 20th century. Latvia — Lettish LifeLatvia—Lettish Life in Legendary & Modern Times, Florence Farmborough. ca. 1920. Farmborough's vivid and copiously illustrated account of the newly independent Latvia: the challenges of recovering from the devastation of war, an intimate look into daily life, and hope expressed for the future. From J. A. Hammerton's encyclopedia, Peoples of All Nations: Their Life Today and Story of Their Past.
Pages 109-110, “BALLOU'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE VOLUME XXXV FROM JANUARY TO JUNE 1872”,
BOSTON: THOMES & TALBOT, PUBLISHERS, No. 63 CONGRESS STREET.

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