whether the newspapers would not be willing to pay for the privilege of simultaneous publication. An inquiry or two proved that they would. Thus Edward stumbled upon the syndicate plan of furnishing the same article to a group of newspapers, one in each city, for simultaneous publication. He looked over the ground, and found that while his idea was not a new one, since two syndicate agencies already existed, the field was by no means fully covered, and that the success of a third agency would depend entirely upon its ability to furnish the newspapers with material equally good or better than they received from the others. After following the material furnished by these agencies for two or three weeks, Edward decided that there was plenty of room for his new ideas.
He discussed the matter with his former magazine partner, Colver, and suggested that if they could induce Mr. Beecher to write a weekly comment on current events for the newspapers it would make an auspicious beginning. They decided to talk it over with the famous preacher. For to be a Plymouth boythat is, to go to the Plymouth Church Sunday-school and to attend church therewas to know personally and become devoted to Henry Ward Beecher. And the two were synonymous. There was no distance between Mr. Beecher and his Plymouth boys. Each understood the other. The tie was that of absolute comradeship.
I dont believe in it, boys, said Mr. Beecher when Edward and his friend broached the syndicate letter to him. No one yet ever made a cent out of my supposed literary work.