When The Rose of Dixie magazine was started in Toombs City, Georgia, Colonel Aquila Telfair was the only candidate considered for its chief editorial position. The magazine was dedicated to promoting Southern culture and literature, and Colonel Telfair was a respected figure in the community.
However, the magazine struggled to gain traction outside of the South, and its financial backers were concerned about its future.
A man named Thacker, a magazine promoter from New York, invested in The Rose of Dixie and brought a collection of manuscripts from well-known Northern authors to Colonel Telfair. Thacker believed that by publishing content from a wider range of contributors, the magazine could appeal to a broader audience and become more successful.
Colonel Telfair was hesitant to stray from the magazine's original mission but agreed to consider Thacker's proposal, stating, "I shall be its editor. But I desire also to conform to the wishes of its owners if I can do so conscientiously."
I shall be its editor. But I desire also to conform to the wishes of its owners if I can do so conscientiously.
Colonel Telfair had been holding space in the January issue for a remarkable article written by an anonymous author. The article covered a wide range of topics, from government policies to ethics and morality, and Colonel Telfair believed it to be a significant contribution to the world's wisdom. He described the article as being "from the pen of a thinker, a philosopher, a lover of mankind, a student, and a rhetorician of high degree."
The article is from the pen of a thinker, a philosopher, a lover of mankind, a student, and a rhetorician of high degree.
However, he was unsure about the author's background and whether it would be appropriate to publish the piece in The Rose of Dixie.
Thacker returned to Toombs City two weeks later to find that Colonel Telfair had decided to publish the anonymous article in the January issue. The article was attributed to a member of the well-known Bulloch family of Georgia, and its author was revealed to be none other than Theodore Roosevelt. Thacker discovered that the vacant space in the magazine had been filled by an article written by a member of the Bulloch family, which turns out to be a second message to Congress by T. Roosevelt.
The vacant space that had been yawning for type was filled by an article that was headed thus: second message to congress Written for THE ROSE OF DIXIE BY A Member of the Well-known BULLOCH FAMILY, OF GEORGIA T. Roosevelt
Despite straying from the magazine's original focus on Southern literature, the inclusion of such a prominent figure's work signaled a new direction for The Rose of Dixie.