This repository holds data referenced in our article for American Periodicals.
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This repository holds CSVs of our evidence for claims we make in our article "'Fugitive Verses': Poetry, Attribution, and Circulation in Nineteenth-Century American Newspapers." It currently represents the data available when we submitted the article for consideration; since that time our data has increased significantly. We used the new data to make claims in the revised version of the article (available here:, but we are still in the process of updating the CSVs in this repository to reflect the new larger data.

The basic data about the clusters of reprints was generated automatically by David Smith. To investigate further these fugitive texts, we selected some of the more frequently reprinted texts and drilled down to look at the paratext surrounding each reprint. The CSVs in this repository are the results of those investigations. We are grateful for the work of our undergraduate work study students, particularly Danielle Gillespie, who helped us find and record the data for some of these poems. We have included here all the poems we reference in the article, plus an extra poem, "The Old Canoe," which also has some interesting characteristics of fugitivity.

How to read these CSVs

Source: If we went outside the bounds of our automatically generated cluster data for further investigation or verification, we recorded the source of the reprints in this column. If this column does not appear, assume that everything in our data came from one of our automatically generated clusters. The abbreviations are as follows:

  • America's Historical Newspapers (AHN)
  • American Periodicals Database (AP)
  • Latin American Newspapers (LAN)
  • South Asian Newspapers (SAN)
  • Chronicling America (CA)
  • Google Books (GB)

Paratext: The paratext is in most cases recorded in its entirety, unless the paratext took up so much space it was not practical to record it all. In that case, a summary in brackets has been given instead. Text that appears after a "//" indicates that that paratext appeared after the body of the poem.

Author: Author is, of course, the author to whom the piece is attributed in that particular reprint.

Source_Attribution: Newspapers sometimes published the source from which they were reprinting texts (though not nearly as frequently as they were supposed to). If they did give that information, we have recorded it under this heading.

URL: In most cases, we have provided a link to the Chronicling America article or page that the reprint appears in. In the case of proprietary additional databases, we have not provided a link.