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The Mirror was founded by George Pope Morris and Samuel Woodworth in August 1823. The journal was a weekly publication, and it included coverage of arts and literature in addition to local news. Circulation flagged in the 1840s and at the end of 1842, the paper was closed. In 1843, Morris partnered with popular writer Nathaniel Parker Willis to revamp the business, and together they relaunched the newspaper as The Evening Mirror.
In both incarnations, the paper employed many well known literary figures of the day. Edgar Allan Poe worked for the newspaper as a critic until February 1845. In the January 29, 1845, issue, the Mirror was the first to publish Poe's poem "The Raven" with the author's name. In his introduction to the poem, Willis called it "unsurpassed in English poetry for subtle conception, masterly ingenuity of versification, and consistent, sustaining of imaginative lift... It will stick to the memory of everybody who reads it." Willis and Morris left the publication in 1846.
After Willis, the newspaper was edited by Hiram Fuller, a noted enemy of Poe. Fuller published attacks on Poe made by Charles Frederick Briggs and Thomas Dunn English in May and June 1846. A letter printed by the Mirror in the July 23, 1846, issue caused Poe to sue the newspaper for libel and defamation of character. Poe won the suit and was awarded $225.06 as well as an additional $101.42 in court costs.