Recent Acquisition

Satirical New Year's Poem

The new year's gift, or, naughty folks reformed. By His Honor, Isaac Iambic ... [New Hampshire?]: Published for the public good, by the author, [1802]

The new year's 
gift The only recorded copy of this 232-line satirical poem in, yes, iambic verse. The circumstances of its publication are well known, but the poem itself was lost for two centuries until this copy came on the market this past spring. As the 1852 History of New Ipswich [New Hampshire] relates: "On New Year's morning, 1802, a small pamphlet was found distributed at almost every man's door ... The avowed object was to 'lash the times, / Review the folly and the crimes / Which have transpired within the year, &c.' ... The excitement produced was very great, and the effect was highly beneficial in suppressing the follies and quarrels of the citizens ... The threats of vengeance, from those who had been directly alluded to, were loud and long. The sin of authorship was laid at many a door, but no satisfactory clue to it was then obtained." Three hundred pages later, however, there is a tongue-in-cheek eulogy of Isaac Iambic penned by Timothy Farrar, who fifty years late presumably was coming as close as he dared to admitting authorship. Farrar (1788-1874) was a precocious 13-year-old about to enter Dartmouth College when this poem was printed. Later he became librarian at Dartmouth, law partner of Daniel Webster, and a distinguished New Hampshire jurist.
Purchased from Howard S. Mott, Inc. Lapidus Gift Fund.

--David Whitesell, Curator of Books

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C.C. Baldwin "One day I am visited by a collector of ordination sermons; the next, by a collector of 4th of July orations; then comes a collector of geography; another wants religious newspapers; another wants every book printed in New York before 1700. I accommodate myself to all; for I want every thing and collect every thing, and I have more zeal than the whole of them: and in this way I am kept very busy."
~Christopher Columbus Baldwin
 3rd Librarian of AAS