Brother Jonathan was an illustrated weekly that published short stories, poetry, patriotic nonfiction, and serialized novels. "Brother Jonathan" was a phrase commonly used for a fictional character said to be the personification of New England. (Depictions of Brother Jonathan show a similarity to later illustrations of Uncle Sam.) The weekly's editors often published the work of contemporary English writers, like Charles Dickens, which they freely pirated because there was no copyright enforcement between Great Britain and the United States.
Ellen Curtis Demorest developed mass-produced tissue paper sewing patterns and, with her husband, William Jennings Demorest, created several popular magazines to promote and sell them. Demorest's Monthly Magazine & Mme Demorest's Mirror of Fashioncombined two earlier magazines into one. The magazine included sewing patterns, descriptions of fashionable furniture, tips for women who wanted to create their own small businesses, sheet music for singing at home, and short stories and poetry for children.