Letters of an Itinerant Bookseller

Smith, Isaac, (1795-1877), Papers, 1837-1857.

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Isaac Smith was a Congregational deacon in Litchfield Corners, ME, as well as an itinerant bookseller and general agent for the Vermont Bible Society in the Mississippi Valley and the South. This collection of letters includes both personal and professional correspondence to and from Smith, as well as several letters to his wife, Esther. The letters serve as a valuable resource for the history of printing, publishing, and bookselling, and they also provide an interesting glimpse into Northern/Southern relations before the Civil War. In an 1841 letter written to Smith from his nephew, Thomas Smith, while in seminary school in Bangor, ME, he writes “I am ‘way down east’ where the Southerners think the sun never shines because we are so near the north pole—I guess they would think the north pole would be broken with frost if they were here …”  He later writes “I watch the doings of the South with interest & sometimes wish myself there …”

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