In 1981, John O. Mirick, a member of the eleventh generation of the Mirick
family, was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society. His
recent donation of the family library, collected over multiple
generations, is of particular interest for the family associations,
inscriptions, and marginalia that decorate these volumes.
Many of the books from the Mirick family library were used for young men's
education and career preparation. Law books, theological treatises,
bookkeeping ledgers and geological survey manuals provided specialized
Among the donation are books that belonged to a husband and wife. Paul
Moore Mirick married Eunice Beaman in Princeton in the mid-nineteenth
century. Both appear to have treasured books they received as part of
their early education.
Books also came into the family through the matrilineal line. The
earliest books in the collection and displayed here all belonged to Arthur
G. Whittemore, presumably an ancestor of Margaret Whittemore, John O.
Mirick's mother. An interest in law and public service carried throughout
the Mirick's (and their in-law's) family and is preserved in the books
from their family library now at AAS.
History of the Discovery of America by Henry Trumbull (Norwich
1812) bears the inscription: "Clark Mirick & Samuel Richardson's Book. --
Borrower, -- Be particular to return this Book to the owners." Dual
ownership (and lending out) apparently decimated the book, as each leaf of
the eight-page appendix had to be sewn together and the first few sections
were sewn back into their binding.
A reward of merit card in one of the family's texts may explain why this
book was preserved. In a biographical sketch of prominent New England
families, Paul M. Mirick is described as having "received only a limited
education as a youth and [he] assisted his father on the farm." Yet the
book that survives with his inscription -- "Paul M. Mirick, Princeton,
1837" -- is William Sullivan's The Political Class Book; Intended to
Instruct the Higher Classes in School in the Origin, Nature and Use of
Political Power (Boston, 1837). Presumably, he received the book as a
gift along with the reward of merit card.
Another book belonged to Paul Mirick's wife, Eunice (Beaman) Mirick.
Memoir of Nathan W. Dickerman who Died at Boston, (Mass.) January 2,
In the Eighth Year of His Age by Gorham Abbott (Boston, 1832) bears
original inscription: "Eunice Beaman, A present from her Sabbath school
Teacher." It was later also stamped with her married name, "Eunice B.
Mirick," indicating the book was of continuing worth to her.