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.

VI. The Short Story

§ 2. Beginnings

In America the evolution of the form may be traced through at least four stages. It began with the eighteenth-century tale of the Hannah More type, colourless, formless, undramatic, “subservient,” to use a contemporary phrase, “only to the interest of virtue”—a form peculiarly adapted to flourish in the Puritanic atmosphere of the new nation. Such stories as Chariessa, or a Pattern for the Sex and The Danger of Sporting with Innocent Credulity, both from Carey’s Columbian Magazine established in 1786, satisfied the American reading public for half a century.