The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

XX. Magazines, Annuals, and Gift-books, 1783–1850

§ 18. The Token

Few of the annuals deserve individual consideration. The Atlantic Souvenir, already mentioned as the earliest of its kind in America, was published by H. C. Carey and I. Lea of Philadelphia from 1826 to 1832. It was a small and not a very elaborate volume, but it contained poems, essays, and tales by some of the most popular writers of the day. After the issue for 1832 it was merged with The Token, published by Gray & Bowen, of Boston, and later volumes of the latter bore the title The Token and Atlantic Souvenir. The Token was first issued in 1828 with Samuel G. Goodrich as both editor and publisher, and Goodrich continued to edit it until its demise in 1842, except the second volume, which bore the name of N. P. Willis on the title-page. The Token was one of the best of the earlier annuals as regards literary content, and though less showy than many of its later rivals it contained illustrations of high merit. A large number of Hawthorne’s tales and sketches were first published in The Token, and among the contributors were N. P. Willis, Miss Sedgwick, Longfellow, Mrs. Child, and other writers whose names are less impressive now than they were in their own day. John Cheney was for a time employed exclusively on work for The Token, and throughout the quality of the engraving was good. The popularity and the intrinsic merit of The Token offered temptations to piratical publishers. After the abandonment of the legitimate series, The Token for 1838, one of the best volumes, appeared in at least ten re-issues by different publishers, with changes of title and of plates, and in some instances with abridgment of contents. The volume for 1840 was similarly treated at least five times. The name was also adopted by a New York publisher for the reprint of a cheap annual which appeared without date in the later fifties.