Sunday, May 03, 2009

Orville James Victor, Author and Editor

A four volume set of books by Orville J. Victor, entitled The Civil, Political & Military History of the Southern Rebellion is found in the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library. Charles E. Frohman wrote in his book Sandusky Potpourri, that Orville J. Victor spent five years of his life devoted to writing this set of books, and in 1866 it was pronounced “one of the ablest treatises on the war that has ever been published.” Orville James Victor was born in Sandusky, Ohio on October 23, 1827. His parents were Henry Clay Victor and Gertrude Nash Victor. Henry Clay Victor moved to Sandusky in 1823, where he operated a hotel, then known as the Mansion House, on the northwest corner of Decatur and Market Streets. Hewson Peeke wrote in his 1916 book A Standard History of Erie County, that Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Victor were the parents of eight children. Henry Clay Victor died in 1848, after having moved to Seneca County and then to Huron County. Mrs. Gertrude Victor lived in Sandusky in the later years of her life. She died in 1882, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

From 1851 to 1856, Orville J. Victor was an associate editor of the Sandusky Daily Register. He married Metta Victoria Fuller in 1856. In 1857, the Victors moved to New York City, where Orville was in charge of the Cosmopolitan Art Journal, which ceased publication at the outbreak of the Civil War. Orville J. Victor became well known as an author and editor of “dime novels.” The 2000 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary defines dime novels as: “a melodramatic novel of romance or adventure, usually in paperback.” Victor was the main editor for the House of Beadle and Adams, publisher of dime novels from 1861 through 1897. Hewson Peeke wrote an article entitled “The Dime Novel and the Firelands,” which is found in the June 1937 issue of the Firelands Pioneer.

Metta Victoria Fuller Victor had a long, very successful career as an author. Writing under the name “Seeley Regester,” Metta published The Dead Letter in 1866, which is often considered one of the first American detective novels. An online exhibit from the library of Northern Illinois University features Metta Victoria Fuller. Poems written by Metta Fuller Victor and her sister Frances Fuller Victor appear in the article “Early Authors of the Firelands,” in the June 1899 issue of the Firelands Pioneer.

Metta Fuller Victor died on June 26, 1885. Orville James Victor died in 1910. His obituary was carried in the March 18, 1910 New York Times. Mr. and Mrs. Orville Victor are buried in the family plot of the Valleau Cemetery in Hohokus, New Jersey.

1 comment:

Oakland Illinois Genealogy said...

Great blog- thanks for your comments on mine. I was born and raised in Shelby, Ohio and it would be so nice if every town would do a blog.
I love your pictures- wonderful job on archiving your history. i have the Lincoln train image in my files- didn't realize it was an Ohio stop.