This letter appeared in Staunton's chess column on August 28, 1858. The day
before, after Morphy's blindfold exhibition at the Birmingham meeting, Staunton
had "publicly committed himself [to playing a match], although 'the exact date'
had not been set ... It was said that Staunton often used imaginary
correspondents in his column and "Anti-book" and others were thought to be such.
In Morphy Gleanings, Sergeant states it was "a favorite device of
Staunton's. Another was the publication of letters supporting his side of the
case, without the writer's real signature." [Lawson}
August 28 --Anti-book. As you surmise, "knowing the authority," the slang of the
sporting pages in question regarding the proposed encounter between Mr. Staunton
and the young American is "bunkum." In matches of importance it is the
invariable practice in this country, before anything definite is settled, for
each party to be provided with representatives to arrange the terms and money
for the stakes. Mr. Morphy has come unfurnished in both respects; and although
both will no doubt be forthcoming in due time, it is clearly impossible, until
they are, that any determinate arrangements can be made.
2.The statement of another contemporary that the reduction in the amount of
stakes from £1000 a side to £500 was made at the suggestion of the English
amateur is equally devoid of truth; the proposal to reduce the amount having
been made by Mr. Morphy.