2011 Adopt-A-Book Catalog

detail of no. 18 The online part of the American Antiquarian Society's fourth annual Adopt-A-Book event is underway! The Adopt-A-Book Catalog features a variety of items acquired by AAS curators in recent months, which are available for "adoption." Your "adoption" gift is a fully tax-deductible charitable contribution and will be used by curators in the coming year to purchase more interesting items like those in the catalog. This is also an excellent way to honor or memorialize special individuals. See instructions for e-mail or telephone adoption on this page. AAS will permanently record the adopter's name 1) on a special bookplate attached to each item, and 2) in the AAS online library catalog.


Adopted by Pat Crain

image of item Abbott, Jacob. A description of the Mount Vernon School in 1832. Being a brief account of the internal arrangements and plans of the institution ... Boston: Peirce and Parker, [1832]

A fine copy in original printed boards of this key work on educational theory. While tutoring at Amherst College, Abbott helped to implement significant curricular changes, but the reforms quickly foundered for lack of resources. Abbott then established the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies in Boston, whose innovative programs are thoroughly described in this handbook distributed to students and the curious. Perhaps the most radical feature was the system of self-government, whereby student officers sought to maintain order through "personal duty" rather than corporal punishment. The school proved successful, but Abbott soon moved on to other pursuits, most notably as a prolific author of children's books.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by James Arsenault

image of item Abduction of Charlie Brewster Ross. Philadelphia: Wm. F. Murphy's Sons, 1874.

This broadside is an early example of photography used on public posters. The case of Charlie Brewster Ross gripped the Philadelphia/New York metro area for months during 1874. Charlie and his older brother, sons of a wealthy industrialist, were kidnapped by two men in a carriage while playing outside. The older boy was soon let go, but the men ran off with Charlie, and ransom letters began arriving at the Ross home. Allan Pinkerton, founder of the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency, invented the photographic mug shot and often used small albumen photos on wanted posters. Hired after the Philadelphia police ran out of leads, Pinkerton immediately printed over 100,000 circular letters like this one, distributing them nationwide at railroad stations, dockyards, schools and churches. The search continued while the kidnappers occasionally asked for money or attempted to arrange a swap. Reward money soon escalated to $50,000 and higher as Charlie's parents became more desperate. In December the kidnappers were finally cornered outside of Brooklyn, NY, but both were shot and killed before they could reveal Charlie's hiding place. No trace of the boy was ever found.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Daniel E. Williams in honor of Marie Lamoureux and Dennis Laurie for all of their wonderful support and assistance

image of item After Dinner (Boston, MA). Nov. 8, 1873-Aug. 7, 1874.

The masthead of this periodical is quite interesting: the title letters are made up of cutlery! It is an amusing weekly publication filled with miscellaneous information aimed at stimulating after-dinner conversation.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by John B. Hench in honor of Dennis Laurie

image of item Amateur city directory. Chicago: Warner Bros., 1876.

A rare chronicle of Chicago's amateur press community as of 1876. Its publisher was 15-year-old Frank Dudley Warner, editor of the recently established Amateur Monthly—one of a burgeoning number of amateur newspapers then being published nationwide by hobbyists on table-top presses. Included is a directory of nearly a hundred Chicago amateur printers, a listing of 13 amateur newspapers (all monthlies) then being published in Chicago ("the combined circulation ... is between Seven and Eight Thousand"), biographies of the Greater Chicago Amateur Press Association's teen-aged officers, and advertisements for printing supplies.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Darrell Hyder

image of item American Eagle (Chicago, IL). Apr. 1, 1853.

This short-lived Whig newspaper was published and edited by Thomas F. Houltz. Fewer than a dozen issues are known in various institutions.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Gordon Pfeiffer in honor of Jack and Linda Lapides

image of item American Tract Society. For the holidays 1873-74. New York: American Tract Society, [1873]

An unusual publisher's catalog, in which are featured American Tract Society publications particularly suited for holiday giving. Included are finely bound Bibles, a selection of "children's books filled with fine pictures," Sunday school cards, and "elegant mottoes" lithographed by Prang, available framed or unframed.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Steve Beare

image of item Amos Upton, bookseller and stationer. [Lowell, MA, 184-?]

This trade card documents the busy life of one Amos Upton, a bookbinder in Lowell, MA. On his card he notes that he has books for sale in his shop and that he maintains a circulating library. Upton was also a publisher, and AAS holds an almanac and a periodical that he produced in the 1840s. For some reason, Upton is not listed in any of the Lowell directories for the 1840s, either as a binder or as a bookseller, making this card rare documentation of his address and activities in the city.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Darrell Hyder

image of item Anton Heim ... manufacturer of pure oak tanned leather belting ... lithographic press roller coverings & tympan skins ... New York: Anton Heim, [1875?]

This very rare trade catalog provides a glimpse, not only into the wide use of leather belts in industrial machinery, but also into an unusual and poorly understood aspect of printing technology. Heim helpfully includes a short list of printers using his products. Also offered, with prices, are strips of "lace leather," rubber belts, and rubber fire engine hoses.
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $250

image of item Ashtabula Telegraph. Record Book, 1849-1853.

The Ashtabula (OH) Telegraph was founded in 1846. The publisher was N. W. Thayer and the editor was W. E. Scarsdale. This ledger of nearly 300 pages covers the years 1849-1853 and details Thayer's accounts with a large number of customers. Activities include subscriptions to and advertising in the Telegraph, job printing of cards and handbills, and printing materials imported by water from Buffalo.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Emily Pawley

image of item The attention of wool growers ... New Lebanon, NH: Free Press, [1865-1875]

This broadside promotes an ear-tagging system for livestock. C.H. Dana, of New Lebanon, NH, describes in detail the metal tags that he invented for hogs, sheep and cows, all guaranteed not to fall off or irritate the animal's ear. The broadside promotes both direct sale of the product, as well as the potentially lucrative position of sales agent in western states. Glowing testimonials for the products are printed from farmers in Iowa, New England, and New York. In 1876, Dana won a medal for his tags at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Hal Espo & Ree DeDonato

Bancroft, George and Little & Brown. Contract, 1843.

This contract between the historian George Bancroft (1800-1891) and the publishers Little and Brown, is their second contract for publication of Bancroft's History of the United States, the first volume of which had been published in 1834. Under the terms of this contract, which covers volumes 4-6, Bancroft was to prepare the texts and stereotype plates for the work. They were to be deposited with Little & Brown, but ownership of the plates and the copyright to the work remained with Bancroft. Little & Brown further promised to print at least 10,000 copies of each volume over the five years of the contract.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Terry Barnard

image of item Barrow, Frances. The Little Nightcap Letters. New York & London: D. Appleton & Co., 1863.

Frances Barrow (1822-1894) enjoyed a long and prolific career as a writer of children's story books, particularly the Nightcap series. This reprinted edition tells the engaging story of a northern girl's trip down to Charleston, SC, before the Civil War made such a trip impossible. The binding has a gilt cover design of a little cherub boy whimsically dipping his pen into the inkwell, symbolizing the child as professional author.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by James Arsenault

image of item Belcher, Joseph. Facts for Girls. New York: Lewis Colby, 1846.

This charming metal engraving of children at play is taken from Rev. Belcher's collection of didactic anecdotes. Engraved by Philadelphia artist Thomas B. Welch (1814-1874), after a painting by British portraitist Charles Robert Leslie (1794-1859), this image depicts an idealized vision of children in a pastoral setting free of dirt and insects!
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Joanne L. Wilson

image of item Billy Holmes's comic local lyrics, containing a choice collection of comic and sentimental songs ... New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, [1866]

A scarce songster containing lyrics to nearly 50 songs in the repertory of "popular comedian Billy Holmes." Nearly half are predictably Irish in content, including three versions of "The Wearing of the Green." But many refer to the recently concluded Civil War: "Admiral Farragut's Fleet," "Kearsarge and Alabama," "The Dying Soldier at Antietam," etc.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Darrell Hyder

image of item Bolton, Rev. James. Missionary Stick Gatherers: An Address to the Members of Juvenile Missionary Associations. New York: Protestant Episcopal Society for the Promotion of Evangelical Knowledge, 1857.

Written by an English clergyman, Missionary Stick Gatherers exhorts children belonging to juvenile missionary societies to contribute what they can to the missionary cause, be it money, or by creating ornaments (useful small items) for missionary Christmas trees, or by sewing "dresses for the little Heathen children." This modest work speaks volumes about 19th-century attitudes toward money and charitable giving. Bound in a still spectacular red cloth limp binding, it apparently belonged to the Green family, an upper-class Worcester, MA dynasty.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by R.A. Graham Co. in honor of Dorothy Radcliffe

image of item Boston Co-operative Building Company. The first annual report of the Boston Co-operative Building Co. ... Boston: W. L. Deland, 1872.

A key document in the development of affordable housing in Boston. The Boston Co-operative Building Co. was incorporated in 1871 to provide improved housing for the urban poor. This report describes its first project, consisting of ten structures built on land purchased on East Canton St. in Boston's South End. Rejecting tenements as unsuitable, the group instead chose to erect small houses with either one or two apartments per floor—i.e. the triple-decker home now ubiquitous throughout southern New England. The list of officers and shareholders is notable for the preponderance of prominent Boston women.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Leon Jackson

image of item Boston Satirist (MA). Mar. 24, 1843.

This "moralistic" newspaper was edited by W.L. Bradbury. It was one of the few racy newspapers published in Boston under the guise of promoting moral reform.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopt me for: $675

image of item Braun, Isabella. Little Harry's Picture Book ... translated from the German by Sarah A. Myers. Philadelphia: John Weik, [ca. 1851-1857]

John Weik was a publisher, bookseller, and importer active in Philadelphia in the 1850s. His output of lithographed picture books is highly treasured today. Issued in a rare oblong format, this book contains moral stories for children; the delicately tinted lithographed illustrations show children in pastoral surroundings, and are probably of German origin.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Dennis Conlon

image of item Breckinridge, W. L. The new test of Christian character tested, or, Bible doctrine of temperance ... no moral obligation is violated in declining to ... take the total abstinence pledge. 2nd ed. Louisville: N. H. White, 1843.

In this densely printed pamphlet, Breckinridge reassures his fellow Kentuckians that the moderate imbibing of alcoholic beverages in no way violates Christian beliefs; indeed, the Bible contains an abundance of positive references to the drinking of wine. For vivid examples of true intemperance, one need only consider the fanatical actions of "total abstinence" societies.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by David F. Tatham

image of item Brigham, Clarence S. Letter to Samuel A. Green, May 21, 1910.

In this letter, AAS librarian Clarence Brigham is responding to Massachusetts Historical Society Librarian Dr. Samuel A. Green, who has asked for a copy of an obituary of Dr. Frederick A. Jewett. Interestingly, although the AAS archives contain thousands of retained carbon copies, we did not have a copy of this letter, which shows cooperation between the two institutions.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Ezra and Riki Greenspan

image of item Brown, William Wells. The anti-slavery harp: a collection of songs for anti-slavery meetings. Compiled by William W. Brown, a fugitive slave. Boston: Bela Marsh, 1848.

Rare first edition of this important anti-slavery songster. Following his escape from slavery in 1834, Brown became one of the foremost African American anti-slavery activists of his day. Shortly after publishing his famous autobiography and moving to Boston, Brown compiled this songster: "The demand of the public for a cheap Anti-Slavery Song-Book, containing Songs of a more recent composition, has induced me to collect together, and present to the public, the songs contained in this book ... the larger portion of these songs has never before been published." Included was Brown's own composition, "Fling out the Anti-Slavery Flag," set to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $400

image of item Cameron, James. Splitting the party: the entering wedge. New York: Currier & Ives, 1872.

This lithographed political cartoon, published by Currier & Ives, depicts the newspaper publisher and politician Horace Greeley being used as a wedge to divide the Republican Party during the 1872 presidential election. Ulysses S. Grant, candidate of the Radical Republicans, stands casually watching at left. A cluster of Liberal Republicans lurk around the central stone, their comments showing their support of the Democratic Greeley over their own man, Grant. Divisiveness in political party politics is nothing new!
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for: $300

image of item Casket of Toys. New London, CT: John R. Bolles, 1857.

This amusing wood engraving of a boy running into the wind is taken from Casket of Toys, a rare hardbound reissue of six picture books originally issued as separate pamphlets by publisher John R. Bolles; among them is The Riddle Book. The accompanying verse describes how wind is free of any man-made travel restrictions: "I carry no baggage, I pay no fee, I take the air line and on I go."
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for: $275

image of item The Cheap Primer. New York: Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co., 1867.

This rare primer is in pocket format (5 inches tall), with bold typeface used to emphasize words listed in alphabetical order. It also shows a very current illustration of a railroad train, which would be an increasingly common sight to American children in the 1860s. The cover contains advertisements for Webster's dictionaries, Mantilla's Spanish readers, Schuster's drawing series, and Spencerian writing charts.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by The Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company

image of item The Child's Cheerful Companion. Philadelphia: George S. Appleton; New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1849.

This fine gilt binding design of a mother instructing her children within the safety and comfort of the family circle is taken from The Child's Cheerful Companion, a collection of didactic stories. Its innocuous title does not reveal that this compilation includes stories about natural theology, Islamic caliphs, or vain young ladies, and that is why proper cataloging is necessary to "open" this book to the eyes of present and future researchers.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Jane Pomeroy

image of item The Child's Museum: Containing a Description of One Hundred and Eight Interesting Subjects. New York: Samuel Wood & Sons, [ca. 1829-1835]

This rare early 19th-century picture book links numbered metal engravings of common and (not so common) objects and scenes to short paragraphs with corresponding numbers explaining the images. In this case, the images include readily recognizable pictures of a chair, and a female child at play, as well as ruins, an image that would have been less familiar to children of the New World.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of the Arning Family

image of item Claim Agent (Washington, DC). Oct. 1870 & Apr. 1871.

Many Civil War veterans had been promised a military pension, land grant, or other remuneration for enlistment, service, or wounds suffered during the war. Following the war, many claim agents began offering to help people file claims (honest or otherwise) for war services. This periodical, started by Lemuel Bursley, reported on the complexities of the law and on new bills affecting claimants, and contained lawyers. and agents. advertisements. It lasted just one year. Bursley hoped that legislation before Congress would swell the ranks of claim agents, and thus subscribers, but that failed to happen.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopt me for: $50

image of item The Clay Banner (Lockport, NY). Oct. 18, 1844.

The 1840s was the heyday of campaign newspapers. During elections special short-lived newspapers were produced to promote specific parties or candidates, and these were often filled with vile and witty accusations of their opponents. The Clay Banner is not recorded in William Miles's bibliography of presidential campaign newspapers. Only one other issue is known.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by David Nord

image of item Colportage in the northern and middle, southern, southwestern, and western states. [New York: American Tract Society, 1847]

An exhaustive 48-page summary, filled with facts, figures, and long extracts from field reports, of the year's efforts to distribute American Tract Society publications throughout the U.S. During 1847 the ATS engaged 267 "colporteurs" to travel the countryside, selling or donating "printed truth" and, more importantly, saving souls. All told, 515,975 volumes, containing over 19 million pages, were distributed to the 215,000 families visited.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by David F. Tatham

image of item Combe, William. Warner's Doctor Syntax's tour in search of the picturesque. [New York?: A. Strickland, 1872]

A rare and most unusual promotional piece for the Warner line of patent medicines, printed "for free distribution." Included is the full text of William Combe's comic epic poem, Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque, together with recuttings of the celebrated Thomas Rowlandson illustrations, which ensured the work's lasting fame when first published in London in 1812. Interspersed are an abundance of advertisements and testimonials for Warner nostrums. This copy was personalized for distribution with the printed back cover advertisement of Alex. Garver, apothecary in Navarre, OH.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Kay Allen in memory of Jim Beard

image of item Cooper, James Fenimore. Le dernier des Mohicans, histoire de mil sept cent cinquante-sept ... Paris: Furne, 1830.

An early French edition of James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, and one not previously in AAS's comprehensive collection of early Cooper editions. The translation is by A.-J.-B. Defauconpret, a lawyer who, after moving to England, supported himself by churning out serviceable translations of Scott, Marryat, Cooper, and other English novelists. The translations were not always faithful: Defauconpret frequently simplified Cooper's style, trimmed excess detail and, in Last of the Mohicans, silently omitted some negative comments about the French.
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $600

image of item Daily Town Talk (San Francisco). May 21 & 25, 1856.
Pictorial Town Talk (San Francisco). steamer edition, June 5, 1856.

In 1856 San Francisco was beset by lawlessness and corruption. Citizens re-established the Vigilance Committee (first formed in 1851) to combat this. These newspaper issues cover the arrest of James P. Casey and Charles Cora. Casey shot James King of William, a local newspaper editor, for exposing Casey's criminal past in New York. Cora killed a U.S. marshal in November 1855 and was arrested by his friends. John King of William published an editorial arguing that the sheriff should be hanged if he allowed Charles Cora to escape. The Pictorial Town Talk has wood engravings (also used in the regular edition) showing the assassination, the uprising of the Vigilance Committee, and the execution. The same cuts were later used in illustrated letter sheets.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Carl Robert Keyes

image of item Dear Sirs ... William H. Richardson. [Philadelphia, 1850]

Using lithography to print handwritten circular letters was promoted widely once the technology was established and available. This letter from William Richardson, an umbrella manufacturer, was probably written on transfer paper, then placed on a lithographic stone in reverse, so that it would print properly. In his letter, Mr. Richardson promotes his work as fashionable and affordable, and urges potential customers to visit his shop in Philadelphia, or to place an order, satisfaction guaranteed. This copy of Richardson's letter was sent to a fancy goods shop in South Carolina.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for: $700

image of item Dennie, Joseph. Papers, 1789-1790.

Joseph Dennie (1768-1812) was born in Boston. After graduating from Harvard College, Dennie studied law in Charlestown, NH. Two years later he began contributing essays to newspapers in New Hampshire and Vermont. In 1796 he became editor of Isaiah Thomas's The Farmer's Weekly Museum and continued writing essays. In 1799 Dennie moved to Philadelphia, where he continued his literary career. These letters were written to Dennie's Harvard classmate Roger Vose. Most of them date from the six-month period beginning in December 1790 during which Dennie was rusticated from Harvard for insolence. When Laura G. Pedder published her edition of Dennie's letters in 1936, she said that she did not have access to the letters to Vose; but she did include the text of typewritten transcriptions made by the genealogist Thomas Bellows Peck (1842-1915), probably in the 1880s. It will now be possible to compare those transcriptions against the original letters for accuracy and omissions.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Ruth A. Penka

image of item Devéria, A. Bal masque / Mask'd Ball. Paris: Bernard & Bichebois; New York: Bailly, Ward & Co., [ca. 1835]

If you were living in New York in the 1830s, you could see lithographs in many places such as shop windows, galleries, print stores, and book shops. If you happened to be on William St., with all its store fronts and newspaper offices, you might also see lithographs like this one in the import store of Bailly & Ward. The firm sold mostly novelties and fashion accessories, but in the 1820s and 1830s, they also sold French lithographs emblazoned with their imprint. The firm received two to three shipments per year from France and probably had relationships with large French printers such as Bichebois and Lemercier, buying assortments of prints in bulk and reselling them in America. This print features the open drawing style preferred by the French artists, with soft, grey silvery tones used for highlights.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Steve Beare in honor of Sue Allen

image of item Dickens, Charles. A Christmas carol. In prose. Being a ghost story of Christmas. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1847 [i.e. 1846]

So successful was A Christmas carol (1843) that Dickens was obliged to write a comparable novella for each subsequent holiday season. By 1846 Dickens had added The Chimes (1844) and The Cricket on the hearth (1845) to his series of "Christmas books." All three are collected here in one volume, with title pages dated 1847, 1847, and 1846 respectively. Presumably Dickens. most recent Christmas book, The Battle of life (1846) was not included simply because Wiley & Putnam had not had time to pirate it as they had the others! This copy, bearing a most appropriate "Dec. 25th 1846" gift inscription, is in the original publisher's binding of richly gilt-stamped, striped blue cloth with spine title: "Carol Chimes and Cricket."
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Lucia Knoles & Joseph Zaucha in honor of Thomas Knoles

image of item Dickinson, Hill, & Co. Letter, May 26, 1860.

A representative of Dickinson, Hill, & Co., slave auctioneers in Richmond, VA, wrote this letter to an unidentified recipient advising against sending slaves to auction because "our market is extremely dull, with very few buyers here." This letter joins correspondence and an account book of Dickinson, Hill, & Co. at AAS that were collected in Richmond during the Civil War by the Worcester sisters Lucy and Sarah Chase, who went south as freedmen's teachers.
~ Thomas Knoles



image of item 38A. Las Dos Republicas (Tucson, AZ). 8 issues, 1877-1878.
Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of Lee D. Arning, Jr.

38B. El Fronterizo (Tucson, AZ). 18 issues, 1879-1880.
Adopted by Barrett Morgan in honor of George Bush

These extremely rare Spanish-language newspapers served the Arizona Territory's large Mexican community. Las Dos Republicas was the territory's first Spanish-language newspaper. It was published by Carlos Tully and lasted less than a year. El Fronterizo, launched in 1878 by Carlos Velasco, was Tucson's second Spanish-language newspaper but the first to have any substantial success. Velasco was a middle-class Mexican American and he used his paper to fight discrimination against Latinos in the Southwest.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Georgia Barnhill

image of item Dupressoir, Jean François. Vue du Dean-Bridge à Edinbourg. Paris: Lith de Thierry Frères, [ca.1831-1833]

This lovely French print is typical of the type of commercially produced lithographic work available in France in the 1830s. The finely drawn trees form a curtain around the view of the Dean Bridge, which opened in 1833. The bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, was made of sandstone and featured four soaring arches as it spanned the Water of Leith on the north side of the growing city of Edinburgh, Scotland. The bridge, which was considered quite a feat of engineering, was also touted for its elegant appearance. The print illustrates the open drawing style of the French, which some American lithographers quickly adopted in their own work.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted in memory of Sharon Fricke Button

image of item Edina Herald (MO). Mar. 3, 1866.

Edina is located in western Missouri near the town of Liberty. This issue contains news of a bank robbery in Liberty. Though not proven, it is believed to be Jesse James' first bank robbery.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Caroline Graham

image of item Ella Cameron, or The maid, wife & widow of a day ... being a true picture of high life in Washington ... By an ex-member of Congress. Philadelphia: Barclay & Co., 1861.

A fine copy in original wrappers of this anonymous novelette. Daughter of an ex-governor of South Carolina, Ella Cameron is the toast of late 1850s Washington society, with Walter Moreland, "a young Texan of high birth but reduced fortune," in hot pursuit. Stuffy old Colonel Leonard stands in the way, but Moreland strategically "wings" him in a duel, then replenishes the family fortune with $25,000 won at cards at "a magnificent gambling saloon" where "grave senators were seen in conversation with the well dressed roué and gambler." Hastening off to New York's dodgy Five Points district, Moreland hires a band of lowlifes to "kidnap" Leonard and his still-virginal bride, but the bumblers kill him instead. Crazed by greed, they demand Ella's diamonds at gunpoint, but Moreland appears and now proves a surer shot. Still, both Ella and Moreland take bullets. "Their wounds were found to be quite serious but not necessarily mortal," and following a respectable recuperation/courtship, they are finally wed.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by R.A. Graham Co.

image of item Emily or The Lessons of a Summer. Boston: Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, [ca. 1856]

Nine year-old-Emily is sent by her widowed mother from their country home to her uncle's home in Springfield, MA, so she can attend the summer session of the Young Ladies' Academy there. Her story is filled with trials, and triumphs that take her closer to God. This wood engraving depicts our heroine dodging a summer rain with her dainty parasol.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Donald F. Nelson

image of item Excelsior Monthly. Vol. 1 No. 1, 1876.

This handwritten periodical was edited by one W.H. Williams in Melrose MA. It was offered to subscribers for 75 cents per year. Articles in this issue include an account of a visit to a circus with an accompanying drawing, a humorously dramatic retelling of the story of Jack and Jill, and a piece called "The Country" which describes the virtues of Melrose (now part of the Boston metropolitan area) as a place with "the conveniences of the city without its inconveniences."
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Peter Luke

image of item Factory Girl's Garland (Exeter, NH). Mar. 1, 1844.

During the 1840s, a few publications were aimed at the large female workforce in New England factories. This one was purported to be edited and written by girls working in the factory, but some contemporaries claimed that it was published by the factory owners in order to give outsiders a better impression of the workforce. This issue includes stories and articles about working conditions, noting that, while 12.5-hour days might be much, the work itself was quite easy.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Peg Lesinski in honor of Jeanne M. Coté

image of item Father Kemp's Old Folks. Father Kemp, leader and conductor. [Boston?, 1863?]

Program for the "eighth annual tour of the original Father Kemp's Old Folks' Concert Company." Robert "Father" Kemp founded his troupe in 1855 in response to a growing nostalgia for the songs of a bygone era. The singers dressed in period costume and performed in the old style—Boston's original "early music" ensemble! This program contains the lyrics for those wishing to sing along. On this tour, conducted in the midst of civil war, some old chestnuts were replaced with such contemporary classics as "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "The Battle Cry of Freedom."
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Hal Espo & Ree DeDonato

image of item Fisher, A. J. Valentines. New York: A. J. Fisher, [1879?]

A wonderful priced trade catalog offering nothing but valentines, from one of the country's largest manufacturers. Fisher's stock included "standard" valentines; "cameo" valentines "in lace, satin and velvet"; "Comic" valentines ("No vulgar Comics in our line"); double-size "Mammoth Comic Valentines"; and top-of-the-line "Mastodon Comic Valentines ... calculated to infuse a higher tone into the custom, and to cater to the tastes of those senders who desire to satarize [sic] a fault, or perpetrate a harmless joke, without inflicting insult." The 48 different varieties measured a whopping 8 x 19 inches in size!
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by the Barnard Family

image of item Flower City Cork Mills. Price current of the Flower City Cork Mills ... Rochester, NY: E. R. Andrews, [1873]

An interesting priced trade catalog, partly printed in color, offering "superior machine-cut corks with fine velvet finish" in every conceivable size for bottles and jars. The mill boasts of being "capable of cutting SEVEN HUNDRED GROSS PER DAY," with capacity soon to increase.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Laura Wasowicz, in honor of Andrew Petrie

image of item Follen, Eliza. Conscience. Boston: Whittemore, Niles, and Hall, 1858.

Eliza Lee Cabot Follen (1787-1860) was a prominent reformer as well as an early writer of American juvenile fiction. In Conscience, a wise mother counsels her sons on how to deal gently with a boy who drew on their jackets with a piece of chalk. A timeless tale about bullying, conscience, and conviction.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Volker Depkat

image of item Franklin County Guard (Bloomington, NE). 17 issues, 1872-1874.

The first newspaper published in the frontier town of Bloomington as well as in Franklin County, Nebraska. One of the issues is particularly interesting: due to a paper shortage, it was printed on unused ledger paper with the lines still visible.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Doris N. O'Keefe

image of item G.L. Brakenridge trade card. 1866.

George L. Brakenridge (also spelled Breckenridge), was the first photographer to set up shop in rural Barre, MA. He opened his business in 1865, quickly snapped up his rival J.W. Stacy in 1866 and then went out of business himself in 1867. Brakenridge's card is simple, not even including a street address. He only notes that he was willing to copy all kinds of pictures and that he was still shooting ambrotypes, a photographic format that was quickly being replaced by albumen prints in larger urban areas.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by William R. Burleigh

image of item Gallagher, William D. Erato, number II. Cincinnati: Alexander Flash, 1835.

Apprenticed to a Cincinnati printer in 1821 at the age of 13, William D. Gallagher quickly became a regular contributor of prose and verse to local newspapers and periodicals. Soon he launched a career editing a succession of Cincinnati newspapers and literary journals. Erato, published in three parts (1835-1836), collected Gallagher's best poetry to date and was well received in American literary circles. Seeking higher praise, Gallagher sent this copy to the English-speaking world's greatest living poet, William Wordsworth, who has signed it twice on the title page. What Wordsworth thought of Gallagher's verse we do not know, nor are there any markings in the text.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Gordon Pfeiffer in honor of Jack and Linda Lapides

image of item Gallagher's Mercantile College. [Baltimore, 1866]

Good quality bookkeeping was often difficult to find in mid-19th century American businesses. Records were kept haphazardly by shop or business owners, accounts were settled off the books, or with goods in trade, and soon, no one knew if a company was solvent or not. The development of standardized accounting practices was the topic of research by one of AAS's Stephen Botein Fellows this past year. This advertising circular offers detailed instructions on how each student would learn, in just six to twelve weeks, the basic skills need to create and manage accurate written business accounts.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Cheryl McRell

image of item George Blackie & Co. Kuaint, kueer & kurious and Book of new receipts, with catalogue of novelties and wonders. New York: Blackie, [1874]

Kwik! Klose your adoption of this kuality katalog! Remember (and we know you do) those comic books of yore, with the advertisements in back a fascinating complement to the pictorial main course? This profusely illustrated catalog describes dozens of similar (but earlier) gewgaws and gimcracks, along with a substantial and varied selection of inexpensive (we would never say cheap) popular literature and prints available from the Blackie firm. If only we had more of these in the AAS collection today!
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $125

image of item Geneseo Journal (IL). Sept. 14, 1860.

This is the only known issue of a campaign newspaper published by an association of Republicans. It was probably printed in the office of the Geneseo Republic. It avidly supported Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, as well as a slate of Republican candidates for various state offices. Most of this issue's political content was aimed more at attacking Stephen Douglas than promoting Lincoln.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Robert Keenum in honor of my granddaughter Anna Potter

image of item Georgia. State School Commissioner. Circular no. 4. List of text-books prescribed for use in the common schools of the State of Georgia ... Atlanta: Public Printer, 1871.

An official listing of all state-approved spellers, readers, penmanship manuals, arithmetics, grammars, dictionaries, and geographies approved for use in Georgia schools. Publishers are required to furnish these at one-half the retail price until November 1, 1871, after which time .usual. rates apply. It is also recommended that each school possess a "Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, one Terrestrial Globe," and a set of "Cornell's Outline Maps."
~ David Whitesell


Adopted in memory of Morris L. Cohen

image of item A Gift for My Young Friends. By "Peter Parley." New York: Leavitt & Allen, 1854.

This collection of anecdotes, fables, and poems was compiled by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860), who was familiar to several generations of American children as the writer of the "Peter Parley" books. Its stunning publisher's cloth binding features a gilt design of a young woman stroking the head of a peacock, a bird frequently used to symbolize female vanity.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Thomas Bruhn in honor of Oliver Bruhn

image of item Glassbrenner, Adolf. Berlin wie es ist und — trinkt "Eckensteher." Zehnte Auflage. New York: Wilhelm Radde, 1845.

A previously unrecorded example of contemporary German popular literature being reprinted for the German-American market. Reprinted here is an excerpt from Adolf Glassbrenner's satirical look at contemporary Berlin life, published in 30 parts from 1833-1849. This excerpt pokes fun at the Berlin "Eckensteher," or street-corner loafer, here depicted in all of his inebriated splendor.
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $300

image of item Grandmamma Easy's Merry Multiplication. Albany: E.H. Bender, [ca. 1854]

These images demonstrate the multiplication tables set in lively verse. The man is selling 64 new ballad sheets (8 x 8); in the background 88 boys (8 x 11) are watching a Punch and Judy puppet show—exemplifying two very popular sources of street entertainment. Ephraim H. Bender published children's books, textbooks, and almanacs in Albany ca. 1846-1859.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Robert C. Baron in honor of Marjorie Persinger

image of item Grange Publishing Co. Classified price list of books suited to the wants of Grange libraries and the wants of patrons ... New York: Grange Publishing Co., 1874.

Founded in 1867 as a fraternal organization for American farmers, the National Grange numbered nearly half a million members by 1874. This important and unrecorded catalog for the Grange's publishing and distribution arm lists hundreds of books available to local Grange libraries "at the lowest cash wholesale prices," approximately a hundred periodicals available by subscription, large chromolithographs and engravings suitable for the rural parlor, Grange seals and ritualistic paraphernalia, and detailed prospectuses for several Grange publications.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Jane M. Dewey

image of item Green Family Papers.

In September, 2010 a major auction of papers and other items belonging to the Green family of Worcester was held. AAS bid on 70 of the more than 2,000 lots and won 30. We focused our bidding on William Elijah Green (1777-1865), a lawyer who practiced for most of his career in Worcester. This group of letters was not among the lots we won; the buyer removed the items of interest to him and sold the remainder to a dealer friend, who in turn offered them to us.
~ Thomas Knoles


Stone Bridge adopoted by Doris N. O'Keefe; Dining Room adopted by Larry Abramoff; Parlor adopted by Eleanor S. Adams

Green Hill, Worcester. Three photographs, ca. 1906.

These three photographs were purchased by AAS this past September at a large auction of the Green Family Estate. The exterior view shows the stone bridge which was placed by Martin Green in his attempts to change the family's Worcester property from a working farm to a more formal estate. The interior views show the dining room and a parlor, and were both taken by a Worcester photographer. The photographs capture the elaborate furnishings and cluttered decorating style favored by the Greens at the turn of the century, including marble busts, stuffed birds, prints, Asian screens, &c. The identity of the large Great Dane lying peacefully on the parlor carpet has yet to be determined.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Peter Luke

image of item The Halcyon, and Tombeckbe Public Advertiser (St. Stephens, AL). Nov. 27, 1820.

St. Stephens was the capital of territorial Alabama from 1817 to 1819. During that time it grew from a few houses to a town of several thousand. In 1819 the capital was moved to Cahawba, and St. Stephens entered a steep decline. Begun in 1813, the Halcyon was St. Stephens's only newspaper; in 1823 it moved to Greensboro. By the Civil War St. Stephens had been completely abandoned. Opportunities to purchase issues of the Halcyon are rare, and when this one appeared on eBay, we jumped at the chance.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Graham in honor of George Graham

image of item Happy Little George. Boston: Samuel K. Bayley, and Putnam & Hunt, 1829.

This is a charming story about a Boston boy who desperately wanted to live in the country so he could see pretty flowers all of the time. His father gave him a garden plot the size of a pocket handkerchief to cultivate, teaching him responsibility and patience. AAS has only one other children's title published by Samuel K. Bayley; the back cover has an advertisement for the famous children's periodical The Juvenile Miscellany, also published by Putnam & Hunt.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Peg Lesinski in honor of Edward Harlow Fletcher II

image of item Harlow, Nathaniel E. Business Correspondence, ca. 1850-1874.

Nathaniel E. Harlow (ca. 1815-after 1888) was a wholesale fish dealer in Plymouth, MA. He was also owner or part owner of several fishing vessels. This collection of letters deals almost entirely with Harlow's fish business. He shipped fish (primarily salt cod) to Boston and other locations in New England, but he also shipped to destinations as far away from Plymouth as Iowa and Haiti. The letters indicate that the business was not an easy one. Many of the letters discuss slow sales and complain about the size, quality and price of Harlow's fish.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Graham in honor of Sheba

image of item Hastings, Thomas. The Mother's Nursery Songs. New York: Moses W. Dodd, 1848.

Thomas Hastings' religious hymns are still sung today; his songs for children are awaiting rediscovery by the modern researcher. He wrote these children's songs to encourage mothers to teach their young children to sing. Included is "Oh! Don't Hurt the Dog," with words by famed children's poet Jane Taylor (1783-1824).
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for: $350

image of item Hazard, Benjamin. The Querist. [Rhode Island, 1824]

The 26 questions documented on this broadside all concern constitutional and moral issues in the state of Rhode Island, which in 1824 was still being governed under its original 1663 charter. In the charter only landowners were given the right to vote. In the 1820s, the state's urban population was growing rapidly, meaning many Rhode Islanders did not own property. Attributed to General Assembly member Benjamin Hazard of Newport, the text of this broadside influenced the ongoing constitutional reform in the state.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by The Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company

image of item Heston's lithographic specimens of druggists' printing from the U.S. Label Printing Establishment. Frankford, PA: [David Heston], 1878.

A superb and unusual trade catalog illustrating the styles of pharmaceutical bottle labels, with prices, available from David Heston's U.S. Label Printing Establishment. Some of the samples are printed in color.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Paul J. Erickson

image of item Horeseneck Truth-Teller, and Gossip's Journal (Greenwich, CT). Aug. 9, 1830.

First volume of a previously unrecorded newspaper. The publisher, listed as Diedrich van Tod, was actually Whitman Mead. According to the prospectus, the paper would contain, "1st, truth; 2d, politics; 3d, anti-masonry; 4th, the spleenful or old maidship; 5th, a list of the public gossips, or women of the town; 6th, a general directory of the inhabitants of the town, with references as to character, occupation &c., for the benefit of strangers, (black-coated beggars will find in this department much valuable instruction); 7th shipping list, price current, and bank note table, with a regular account of the exports, imports, and general trade of the town, and lastly, advertisements." It lasted only three issues before Mead was arrested for libel. During the trial it came out that the paper was printed in New York and quietly shipped to Greenwich for distribution.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Lisa Wilson

image of item How Maggie Helped Her Father. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, [ca. 1868-1869]

The American Sunday-School Union dominated the publication of religious fiction for children in 19th-century America; much of it touched upon the cultural issues of the time. How Maggie Helped Her Father is the story of a girl who takes over the spiritual leadership and domestic work of her household when her stepmother suddenly dies. Here we see the young Maggie working with a neighbor boy to set the table for her father's supper.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for: $300

image of item How 'tis done; or The secret out. An exposure of the tricks and deceptions practiced by professional gamblers with cards and dice ... 22nd ed. Carthage, IL: D. C. Cutler, [ca. 1869?]

From a small Illinois town 10 miles east of Keokuk and the mighty Mississippi, D. C. Cutler ran a mail-order business for cheap chapbooks, "splendid colored engravings," and handy devices such as the "magic comb ... [which] will color gray hair a permanent black or brown," as listed in the 16-page catalog appended to this pamphlet. A few of these chapbooks Cutler published (or rather, reprinted) himself, cheerfully disregarding copyright. That for How 'tis done, for example, was owned by Hunter & Co. of Hinsdale, NH, which published its own editions beginning in 1864. Only the first seven pages detail the card sharp's tricks; the remaining pages discuss "cardiology" (i.e. "the science of foretelling events by cards"), and offer recipes for useful concoctions such as "imitation liquors." The Cutler edition is unrecorded.
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $150

image of item Hübner, Johann. Hübners biblische Historien aus dem alten und neuen Testamente. Für die Jugend und Volksschulen nach der Anforderung unserer Zeit aufs neue bearbeitet ... Cornersburg: Augustus Grater, 1835.

This rare edition is the first (and very likely only) item ever published in Cornersburg, OH. But how did a small northeast Ohio settlement produce a substantial 376-page book with over 50 well-executed wood engravings? Simple: although "published" in Cornersburg, the book was printed and bound in Germany for export. Every physical characteristic of this volume identifies it as a German imprint and not an American production. This popular Bible history, first published in 1714, had by the early 19th century become a specialty of the Reutlingen book trade. The Cornersburg edition has pagination, title wording, and illustrations identical to several Reutlingen editions of the 1830s. Indeed, on careful examination, one finds that the title page imprint is actually a cancel slip pasted over the original Reutlingen imprint!
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Bearly Read Books, Sudbury, Mass.

image of item Humphreys, Andrew Atkinson. Report of operations of the Second Army Corps, from March 29, to April 9, 1865. [Washington?, 1865]

A very rare, important, and detailed account, by Major General A. A. Humphreys, of the Second Army Corps' involvement in the campaign leading to Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. "Our loss was 671 [corrected to 571] officers and men killed, wounded, and missing ... [and we captured] 35 guns, 16 flags, over 4,600 prisoners, and [destroyed] over 400 wagons and their contents." This copy has several penciled corrections, perhaps in Humphreys' hand.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Joanne L. Wilson

image of item The hygienic cook book, comprising, in addition to many valuable recipes ... Battle Creek, MI: Office of the Health Reformer, 1875.

Rare second, expanded edition (first = 1874) of this influential vegetarian cook book, its unassuming appearance reflecting (to some tastes) the rather bland contents. The Hygienic cook book reflects the dietary philosophy expounded at the Western Health Reform Institute, recently established in Battle Creek, MI as an adjunct of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Already well-known by 1875, the Institute would become famous when John Harvey Kellogg took over as superintendent the following year.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Elizabeth McHenry

image of item I, Arthur W. Austin, Collector of the District of Boston and Charlestown, do hereby certify ... no. 316. [ Boston, 1859]

This protection certificate, or passport, was issued for Elbridge Sanders, an African American seaman. Sanders was born a free black in Brooklyn, NY, and needed the passport in order to enter and exit ports in the southern states. Issued in Boston just before the Civil War, the certificate includes a physical description of the sailor, but does not include any details about his nautical experience. There is an Elbridge Sanders listed in the Federal Census for 1850 that describes him as a free inhabitant of Townsend, MA, living at home with his parents and siblings. Nine years later, at age 21, Elbridge must have gone to sea!
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Chip Rowe

image of item In view of the present imbarrest condition ... [Ithaca, NY, 1857]

An example of the turbulent nature of the American economy in the 1850s, this cheaply printed circular is one merchant's desperate call for help. L.H. Culver, a dry good merchant in Ithaca, NY, whose sales in the early 1850s reached $175,000, asked for all outstanding debts to be paid in cash money. He writes: "All thinking men can well understand the importance of sustaining the business portion of the Community, as they are the portion that is always sacrificed and ruined ... Act promptly, without delay, and save Culver from the tyrant hands of Creditors ... !" The call worked. Cutler's business survived into the 1870s and became L.H. Cutler & Sons.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Jaclyn Penny in honor of Henry and Sophia Penny

image of item The Infant School Grammar ... Illustrated by Sensible Objects and Actions. New York: R. Lockwood and A.W. Corey, 1830.

This is a rare grammar that incorporates illustrations to demonstrate meaning. In this case, men of different sizes are used to show the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of the adjective, "tall." The fairly recent development of wood engravings that could be locked into a form with set type (and stereotyped as one plate for mass production) made illustrated grammars a new possibility in the 1830s.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Southern Methodist University Book History Class, 2011

image of item Jacksonville Journal (IL). Apr. 20, 1865.

All Lincoln assassination newspapers are highly collectible, and this particular one—only the second known copy—is a nice addition to the AAS collection. This Jacksonville, IL newspaper shows how quickly the news spread westward by telegraph and documents local reaction in Lincoln's home state.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Laura Wasowicz, in honor of Jonathen Petrie

image of item Jaudon, Daniel. A Short System of Polite Learning, Being an Epitome of the Arts and Sciences, Designed for the Use of Schools. Philadelphia: M'Carty & Davis, 1826.

The marvelous wood-engraved frontispiece from Jaudon's popular text shows a professor in his laboratory/library demonstrating scientific principles to his students. The furnishings include fine paintings, books, globes, beakers, and balloons, all tools used to teach gentlemen students about the arts and sciences.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Steve Bolick

image of item Just the thing for a child to have! John Adams's Letter . ... Boston: Henry Bowen Chemical Prints, [ca. 1848]

Henry Bowen was a printer in Boston as early as 1818 and produced books, periodicals, broadsides, and ephemera until his death in 1874. He also produced a number of broadsides printed on textiles. These included commemorative handkerchiefs for the opening of the Bunker Hill Monument, and textiles intended for children such as handkerchiefs emblazoned with the Golden Rule, bible verses, or moral lessons. This handkerchief, printed on muslin, has a more historical and patriotic message. The border is made of state and territorial seals, arranged in geographical order from Maine, down the east coast and west to the Oregon territory. The central portion reprints a 1776 letter by John Adams written the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, as well as a paragraph exclaiming the coinciding deaths of Adams and Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1826.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Joanne Chaison in honor of Marie Lamoureux's 35th anniversary at AAS

image of item The Keepsake of friendship. Christmas and New Year's annual for 1849. Worcester: Tucker & Ruggles, 1849 [i.e. 1848]

A recent addition to AAS's superb collection of American "gift books": attractively bound and illustrated anthologies of prose and verse, published annually for the holiday market. This example, published in Worcester in 1849, is actually a retitled reissue, with cancel title page, of The Amaranth, or Token of Remembrance for 1848, published the preceding year in Boston! The handsome publisher' s binding of crimson sheep, richly stamped in gilt and blind with the binder's ticket of B. Bradley (Boston), is in unusually fine condition.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Abigail P. Hutchinson

image of item Kelley's Weekly. A Journal for the Times (New York). 3 issues, 1868.

This is a scarce illustrated weekly in the style of Harper's Weekly, but with more literary content.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Jordan D. Luttrell; Carl Robert Keyes is a Godparent.

image of item Keyes, Danforth. "Records on the Last Confession Act," 1789-1794.

Danforth Keyes (1740-1826) lived in Warren (then called Western), MA. He served as a colonel in the Revolutionary War and later was a justice of the peace. Concerns over the expense of bringing cases to trial led to a series of acts in Massachusetts designed to simplify the process of arbitrating unpaid debts. These acts, passed in the late 1780s and 1790s, allowed a justice of the peace to hear some cases and when possible settle them or declare a default. The "confession" was the acknowledgement of the debt by the debtor. Other cases that could not be settled then went to the Court of Common Pleas. This volume contains 44 partially printed documents recording actions for unpaid debts.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Robert Keenum in honor of my daughter-in-law Emily Tigner Keenum

image of item Knight, Jane D. Brief narrative of events touching various reforms. Albany: Weed, Parsons and Co., 1880.

Autobiography of Jane Knight, who had resided for 54 years in the Shaker community at New Lebanon, NY. Born into a Quaker household in 1805, Knight describes her childhood in Baltimore during the War of 1812, the Quaker community's efforts on behalf of escaped slaves, her memories of Robert Owen and efforts to establish a utopian community at Valley Forge, and her conversion to the Shaker way of life.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Hal Espo & Ree DeDonato

image of item Knox Fruit Farm and Nurseries. Catalogue of small fruits, &c. for the spring of 1866. [Pittsburgh]: W. S. Haven, [1866]

Rare trade catalog for this Pittsburgh nursery specializing in "small fruits" such as grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants. Varieties are described and priced, abundant testimonials are reprinted, and there is even an extensive priced listing of "horticultural, agricultural and architectural books" stocked by the nursery.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Kevin and Deborah Donovan in honor of their grandchildren Henry and Sophia Penny

image of item Lamb, Jonathan. The Child's Primer or First Book for Primary Schools. Boston: Thomas H. Webb & Co.; Ann Arbor, MI: Jonathan Lamb, [ca. 1842]

Jonathan Lamb authored at least ten titles for young child readers; most of them were published in Vermont during the 1830s. As the imprint reflects, Jonathan Lamb joined the exodus of Vermonters to Southern Michigan in the 1840s. Lamb was an educator who emphasized the meaning of words over rote memorization. His preface to The Child's Primer asks that children be presented objects with corresponding words (i.e., a picture of an ox, with the word "ox") before learning the alphabet.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Stephen P. Hanly

image of item Lancaster Journal (PA). July 23, 1794.

Ever since Clarence Brigham published his bibliography of early American newspapers, AAS has sought to acquire important issues detailing the printing history of pre-1821 newspapers. This issue (vol. I, no. 6) is by three weeks the earliest now known, permitting us to refine Brigham's history a little more. This issue includes an advertisement by the printer for an apprentice who can read and write English. Another printer's advertisement notes that they have for sale, for the price of .one quarter dollar. the just-published [in Philadelphia] journal of Jean Pierre Blanchard's forty-fifth balloon ascension—the first in America.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted for Ashley Cataldo

image of item Leavitt & Allen. Dissolution. The co partnership heretofore existing under the name of Leavitt & Company is this day mutually dissolved ... New York: Leavitt & Allen, 1852.

This important circular letter documents the formation of the bookselling firm Leavitt & Allen in New York in 1852. Leavitt & Allen specialized in affordable publications for the masses, and also offered fancy bindings and stationery. There are numerous publications by Leavitt & Allen in the AAS collection, including gift books, children's books, and cookbooks, many of which bear the firm's 27 Dey Street address. The circular letter was sent to Aaron Raymond Gerow of Plattekill, NY, in the Hudson River Valley. There is no evidence that Gerow, a prominent land owner in Ulster County, was involved in the book trade, but he may have had some connection to the "Country Merchants" that Leavitt & Allen hoped to reach with their circular.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for: $225

image of item Libbey, Isaac. Account Book, 1840-1849.

Isaac Libbey (1792-1873) was born and lived throughout his life in Rochester, NH. He was the son of Clement Libby (1768-1848) and Phebe Tibbets ( -1849) Isaac Libby was a trunk maker, and this account book details his manufacture, sale, and repair of trunks in a variety of sizes. The volume also illustrates the extremely varied nature of a business in rural 19th-century New England. In addition to trunks, Libbey sold leather, stationery, dry goods, and groceries and he also did farm labor for others. In addition to cash, Libbey received payment for his goods and services in a wide variety of ways including in food items, use of horses, and labor done by others.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Joycelyn Moody in honor of my son Patrick J. McDaniel

image of item Liberia Advocate (St. Louis, MO). Mar. 1849.

This paper was published by Charles Austin Lord and edited by the Rev. R. S. Finley, Secretary of the Missouri State Colonization Society. It reported on the Christian missions in Liberia as well as African colonization efforts made by freed blacks. Begun in 1846, it lasted four years. The African Repository, and Colonial Journal (Washington, DC) of March 1846 reviewed the first issue and noted, "There is no paper west of the Mountains devoted to the cause of colonization; and the papers published in the East on this subject, do not circulate extensively in the West." The Liberia Advocate may well be the first newspaper west of the Mississippi River to promote African colonization.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Mark Metzler Sawin

image of item Light from the Spirit World (St. Louis, MO). Mar. 19, 1853.

The 19th-century spiritualist movement began in 1848 when the Fox sisters of upstate New York claimed they could communicate with the dead through rapping noises. Adherents believed that spirits of the dead resided in a spiritual world and were capable of communicating with the living or material world. Lacking a canonical text, the movement spread instead through lectures and periodicals. Light from the Spirit World was an early spiritualist periodical and probably the first to be published west of the Mississippi River. Begun in 1852 by Peter Bland, it was short-lived. In addition to writings about the movement, it also contained contributions communicated directly by spirits (which conveniently didn't have to be paid).
~ Vincent Golden


Adopt me for: $350

image of item Little Genius (Boston). Vol. 1, no. 4, Mar. 13, 1847.

This previously unrecorded humor periodical (or at least humorous for the period) was discovered at a local book fair. No editor or publisher is given. A sample: "Bargains for Old Maids. — A lady over in Charlestown wants to sell One baboon, three tabbycats, and a parrot. She states that, being married, she has no further use for them." The address for the publication is the same as that for Blackwell's Antacrid Tincture, advertised on the back page, so it may have been used as a promotional piece for the product.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopt me for: $375

image of item Little Soldier Boys. New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1899.

This is a fine example of the latter end of the AAS collection of McLoughlin picture books. It features bright chromolithographs of genteel boys playing soldier, capitalizing on public interest in the recently fought and won Spanish American War. With the American stars and stripes displayed prominently, it reflects national optimism about America as a rising military power on the world stage.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Jennifer Burek Pierce

image of item Lotos Ladies' Day ticket. New York, February 28, 1876.

The Lotos Club is a literary club founded in 1870 (and still extant). Established by a group of writers and critics, the club included among its early members Samuel Clemens and newspaper editor Whitelaw Reid of the New York Tribune (who was president of the club in 1876 when this ticket was issued). In its early days, the club sponsored lectures, dinners and art exhibitions for its members, all of whom were men. Ladies. days were quickly established in order to allow female entry to the club's various events. For the 1876 winter Ladies. Day, an Egyptian theme was used.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Thomas Bruhn in honor of Oliver Bruhn

image of item Lowell Museum, National Theater Company from Boston. ... [Lowell, January 10, 1856]

This playbill documents one of the final performances held at the Lowell Museum, in Lowell, MA, a venue which opened in 1840 and featured both local and out-of-town entertainment. The show noted on the playbill was the patriotic play, "Harry Burnham or America's Struggle for Independence," as well as the one act farce, "Kiss in the Dark," both performed by the Boston National Theater Company. Prices were modest and most seats in the house were 25 cents. Alas, the Lowell Museum was burned to the ground in a fire on January 31, 1856 and all the costumes, props and scenery of the Boston National Theater troupe were lost.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Lin & Tucker Respess

image of item McIntire, Jeremiah. Account Books, 1827-1875.

Reuel Robinson, in his 1907 History of Camden and Rockport Maine, wrote that Jeremiah McIntire (1793- ) "engaged in salmon fishing which was very profitable at that time, and was interested in fitting out fishing vessels, and in ship-building, owning pieces of many vessels, in all of which enterprises he accumulated a handsome competence." These six manuscript volumes contain ample evidence of all of these activities.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by David Nicholson

image of item Maile Quarterly (Honolulu, HI). Supplemental no. 9, Oct. 1867.

AAS's otherwise complete file of this scarce Hawaiian periodical (1865-1868), in original wrappers, was lacking only this supplemental issue. By chance it showed up on eBay and we were able to complete our set. It was published by the Mission Children's Society, an organization created for the children of resident missionaries. Starting around 1862, society members began to circulate a manuscript periodical called Maile Wreath. In 1865 the Maile Quarterly was started so that the content could be mailed to members and interested parties living outside the islands.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Paul J. Erickson for Marilyn Erickson

image of item Malan, Cesar. I will be good. New York: Lane & Scott for the Sunday-School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1852.

Cesar Malan (1787-1864) was a French Protestant minister, whose stories for children were readily translated and published by American tract publishers. Many of Cesar Malan's stories were about children struggling to do good; in this case Louisa battles with her disobedient longings. Here we see her arriving late at family worship, seeking her father's understanding and forgiveness.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Russell W. Dalton

image of item Malan, Cesar. The Wonderful Letter or The ABC of Faith. New York: Anson D.F. Randolph, 1863.

This is an allegorical tale of a humble pedestrian who instructs a mother and her children in the tenets of Christianity. This fabulous cloth limp binding is as pristine as the day it was issued. Formerly owned by Worcester's own Green family.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Kay Allen in memory of Harry C. Allen, Jr.

image of item Mann, W. Wilberforce. A new decimal metrical system founded on the earth's polar diameter, and designed for adoption by all civilized nations, as the one common system. New York: University Publishing Company, 1872.

Rare work on this alternative to the metric system, here inscribed and corrected by the author. A New Englander by birth, Mann emigrated to Paris in 1846, serving there as French correspondent for various newspapers before returning to New York. In Paris Mann became acquainted with the metric system and, finding it wanting, devised his own comprehensive system of measurement. Its basic unit was the .Linn,. or one billionth the length of double the earth's polar axis (= 1.000980864 inches). To the Linn, Mann added the Arr (one square Linn), Soll (one cubic Linn), Capp (the same, for liquid and dry measure), Pondd (weight of one Capp), Monn (unit of money), Gradd (equivalent to a degree of measure), Tempp (unit of time), and Degg (unit of temperature).
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Jo Radner

image of item Marsonian Literary Casket of the 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Army Corps. May 1864.

This literary periodical, published by a Union Army brigade, showed up on eBay. Various camp or military newspapers were produced wherever troops were stationed, and many of them had some literary content. This one may be unique for its exclusively literary ambitions. The first issue came out March 1864. This issue includes a poem "To the Ladies of Brooklyn," a chapter in the history of the brigade, jokes, and other fiction and non-fiction pieces.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by David R. Whitesell in memory of Peter B. Howard

image of item Middletown Library. Constitution and regulations of the Middletown Library. Middletown [CT]: T. Dunning, 1797.

Unrecorded 18th-century American imprints still turn up with surprising frequency, and it is especially gratifying when these not only find their way to AAS, but enhance our knowledge of the book in early America. This is a fine copy, in original plain blue wrappers, of the bylaws governing the subscription library established by residents of Middletown, CT. No founding date is provided, but because no catalog of books is included, the library was presumably organized shortly before or during 1797. Also provided is a list of the 39 men and one woman who had purchased shares, for $8 apiece (or books of comparable value), in the enterprise. One pay-in-kind shareholder may have been the pamphlet's printer, Tertius Dunning. This is now the second known imprint from Dunning s first year as a Middletown printer.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Terry Barnard

image of item Military Post Library Association. Annual report 1874-75. New York: The Association, 1875.

The Military Post Library Association sought to provide for the U.S. Army's 30,000 post-war troops' "Libraries and Reading Rooms at all Military Posts and Stations, and ... the free distribution of high-toned secular and Christian reading." It also published a series of 30 tracts specifically written for the moral improvement of soldiers. Since many troops were then stationed on the western frontier, the report offers fascinating insights into the "book culture" of the American West. In 1874 the Association spent over $15,000 on books, and especially periodicals, for distribution. Several pages are devoted to a complete account (unfortunately without titles) of orders placed, e.g., on November 12, 1874, $34.60 worth of publications were requested by "Private W. Vogel (for Enlisted Men at Cheyenne and Arrapahoe Agency)."
~ David Whitesell


Adopt us for: $200

image of item Mohawk Valley Register (Fort Plain, NY). 30 issues, 1861-1864.

Small-town newspapers are always desirable due to scarcity. This paper, which began in 1854 and continued into the 1920s, was published in Montgomery County, NY. Due to a flood several years ago, almost 90 percent of all known 19th-century Montgomery County newspaper issues were lost. Hence this acquisition is even more important as it tripled the number of issues from this town held by AAS.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Carol R. Kanis in honor of the Kanis Family's 100 years in Lancaster, Mass.

image of item The Monkey's Frolic. Lancaster, MA: Carter, Andrews & Co.; Boston: Carter & Hendee; Baltimore: Charles Carter, [ca. 1828-1830]

This metal-engraved picture book takes us through the zany day of a playful monkey that tries his hand at playing barber with the family pet cat (albeit with an ivory letter opener). When his feline customer tries to escape, he binds her to a chair. Thankfully, the monkey s adventures end with laughter, not tears. A rare publisher's advertisement for the series Lancaster Cabinet of Amusement & Instruction appears on the last page.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Stephen Ferguson

image of item Montgomery, G. W. Novelas españolas: y Coplas de Manrique; con algunos pasages de Don Quijote, etc. Brunswick [ME]: J. Griffin, 1845.

Second, expanded edition of this college-level Spanish language reader, originally compiled in 1830 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for use in his Bowdoin College classes. The "novelas españolas" are translations into Spanish by G. W. Montgomery of two Spanish-themed stories by Washington Irving. This copy bears the 1845 inscription of Bowdoin student G. W. Hanscom.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by John and Daryl Perch

image of item Morgan, Sophia. Poetry Journal, 1824-1827.

This small volume belonged to Sophia Morgan of Somers, CT. It is a collection of poems, both original and copied, entered into the volume by Morgan's friends and relatives. Among the titles are "Withered Violets," "Friendship," "Time is Short," and "Contentment."
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Mr. & Mrs. George W. Tetler III

image of item Moulton, W. P. Account Book, 1846-1847.

This small volume contains accounts kept by William P. Moulton, who has tentatively been identified as living in Exeter, NH. It appears to record accounts of a boarding house: both rents and groceries are listed.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopt me for: $1,000

image of item The Mud Turtle (Alligator Bayou, TX). Feb. 8, 1864.

Only four issues are known of this curious publication, two of which are at AAS (none in Texas). Both AAS copies are only two pages long, printed on a small size sheet not normally employed for newspapers. Because the issues are unnumbered, we cannot determine when it began publication. All known issues are dated 1864, but references to it have been found in Texas newspapers from December 1863. There is no place in Texas known as Alligator Bayou, but the paper was most likely printed in or near Houston, as it used the post office there for mail. Most of the paper was filled with comic essays, jokes, crude woodcuts, and poetry, but it does contain some local Civil War news.
~ Vincent Golden


Adoped in memory of the Rev'd Stephen C. Hall by the Sloat Family

image of item Music Book (unidentified).

This small collection of hymns compiled by an unidentified person probably dates to the late 18th or early 19th century. Titles include "New Durham," "Hymn 48," "Lennox," "Russia," "Hartford," "Psalm 73," "Grafton," and "Little Marlborough." Manuscript volumes such as this are useful for understanding individual repertories. Research may well shed light on the date and even the possible location of its compilation.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopt me for: $600

image of item A Natural History of Quadrupeds. To Which is Prefixed The History of Tommy Trip and his Dog Jowler. New York: J.C. Totten, 1806.

This is a fine example of a book that has somehow escaped the AAS radar until now. Then, as now, books about animals have proven popular steady sellers in the children s market. Along with more commonly portrayed dog, and wolf, this edition also includes the reindeer.perhaps injecting it into the popular cultural consciousness, to be picked up and put to imaginative use by Clement C. Moore.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by John B. Hench in commemoration of the 50th reunion of the Mercersburg Academy Class of 1961

image of item Nevin, John Williamson. Fancy fairs. [Mercersburg, PA, 1843]

Nevin, president of Marshall College, defends himself against charges of having openly discouraged students, for a second straight year, from patronizing the Mercersburg Christmas Fair, to the consternation of many in the community. Among his concerns: young ladies luring male students into purchasing overpriced "gewgaws," a mercenary mercantile spirit farcically disguising itself as Christian charity, and a lack of respect among many in Mercersburg for the college's moral and educational mission.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by William D. Wallace in memory of Norma Feingold

image of item New England Non-Resistance Society. Proceedings of the Peace Convention, held in Boston, in the Marlboro. Chapel, September 18, 19, & 20, 1838. Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1838.

A very rare and important record of the founding of the New England Non-Resistance Society. Boston's leading abolitionists met in September 1838 to organize a new peace society, but soon they were at loggerheads over the inclusion of women and especially William Lloyd Garrison's proposed philosophy of non-resistance. A sizeable conservative minority, including Wendell Phillips, walked out, after which the convention adopted a constitution and Garrison's famous "Declaration of Sentiments." Both documents are printed here, along with the full proceedings, a list of attendees, and a roster of society officers.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Hal Espo & Ree DeDonato

image of item New Jersey centennial tea party, held at Taylor Opera House, Trenton, on ... February 25 and 26, 1874. Trenton, NJ: Naar, Day & Naar, 1874.

No, not that kind of tea party! This elaborate event was staged by the New Jersey Woman's Branch of the U. S. Centennial Commission to promote and raise funds.$2,367.75 to be exact.for New Jersey's participation in the grand celebration being organized for Philadelphia in 1876. This pamphlet describes the festivities, reprints the speeches given, and lists the committee members and more prominent attendees. This copy belonged to Lorenzo Sabine, prominent Massachusetts antiquary and biographer of 18th-century American Loyalists.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Lisa Fischman

image of item The New Sensation (New York). June 23, 1873.

Second issue of a story paper which lasted until Feb. 1876. What distinguishes this publication is the color applied to the front and back covers and some of the illustrations. It described itself as a "lively, romantic paper for the period." The cover story is "The Fastest Girl in New York," by Colonel Cabot. A sample passage: "As she spoke, the beauteous niece removed her right hand from her uncle's, and laid the tips of her tapered fingers, which sparkled with gems worth a king's ransom almost, on his shoulder. Leaning forward she whispered in his ear, as if fearful lest the walls should hear: "I am going to be a man, Uncle Will! Going to be a man!."
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Robert & Lillian Fraker, Savoy Books

image of item New Year's address, of the carrier boys of the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, January 1, 1858. Bangor, ME, 1857.

This addition to AAS's excellent holdings of carrier's addresses comes from Bangor, ME. The Bangor Daily Whig and Courier was edited by William H. Wheeler, who was born in Worcester, MA, in 1817 and had settled in Maine as a young man. Wheeler was well-known for his political writing and was called the "strongest pen in the State." As usual, the poem on this carrier's address tackles seminal news events from the previous year, in this case the Kansas question, international military conflicts, and the controversy of giving Native Americans the right to vote. Wheeler also addresses the financial panic of 1857, writing a stanza which could easily be reused by a newspaper editor today: "Not a word need I to utter / of the late financial crisis, / of the fearful crash of credit, / which, with force of a tornado / shook the land as with an earthquake, / whelming in its reckless ruin / thousands of our air-built castles / Lo! Its wrecks are still all around us. / Let us not refuse the lessons / Which these sad reverses teach us."
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Lauren B. Hewes in honor of the Prints in the Parlor team: Jon Benoit, Christine Graham-Ward and Jaclyn Penny

image of item No rose without a thorn. New York: Nathaniel Currier, [1838-1856]

When he started his business on Nassau Street in New York City, Nathaniel Currier offered for sale lithographs of news events, historic images, local views, and pretty women. He also occasionally produced narrative genre scenes such as this curious hand-colored lithograph of a young man kissing a lady's hand through a hole in a wooden door. The unfortunate youth is about to be whipped for his freshness by an older, angry man approaching from behind. Although AAS tends to purchase prints related to historical events or to the history of printing, this image was too good to pass up, given its visual relationship to another item already here. The same illustration, entitled "My Master's Wife," was published as an engraving in the Forget-me-Not for 1850. Its printer was located just four blocks away from Currier's shop. We will never know who was copying whom, but it is wonderful to have both images here for future scholars to debate.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Caroline F. Sloat in memory of the Rev'd Dr. Reginald H. Fuller

image of item North Penobscot Musical Institute. Minutes of the North Penobscot Musical Institute. Held in Lincoln, September 27th-30th, 1859 ... Presque Isle: W .S. Gilman, [1859]

Rare and unusual imprint from Maine's northernmost reaches. Seventy-five men and women attended the 1859 session of this annual institute, where they socialized while improving their skills in singing sacred music under the tutelage of Solon Wilder of Bangor. The session concluded with a public concert, where Wilder sang "Why do the nations so furiously rage together?" from Handel's Messiah.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Jock Herron

image of item Notice to Inventors, Patentees and others interested in Inventions. [Washington, DC, ca. 1850]

This circular letter, addressed to a recipient in New Hampshire, promotes the services of J. Dennis, Jr., who states that he will assist inventors through the American patent process. He offers a variety of assistance, from initial evaluation of an idea, to re-submission of rejected patent applications. He will also represent clients in court, although there is no mention of his having a law degree. The letter highlights the sheer volume of patents being sought in the United States at this time of expanding industrialization.Dennis notes that over 1,400 applications were rejected in 1849.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by R.A. Graham Co.

image of item Office of the Mercantile Agency ... Lewis Tappan & Co. [New York, 1845]

Before Dun & Bradstreet, there was the Mercantile Agency. Founded by abolitionist Lewis Tappan (1788-1873) in 1841, the company supplied information on the credit-worthiness of various businesses around the nation. The agency would send men to each town to scout out the solvency and moral nature of the larger companies. Notes would be made on whether the merchants belonged to the Mercantile Agency, whether they attended church, whether they drank alcohol, etc. If fraud or illegal activity was linked to a company, notes were made of that as well. The Agency kept files in New York which could be consulted and updated by members at any time.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for: $500

image of item Official report of the ceremonies and festivities attendant upon the formal inauguration of the 'Clam Exchange and Bull-Pout Bourse,' of Skunkville ... [Chicago]: John R. Walsh & Co., [1865]

This apparently unrecorded pre-Fire Chicago imprint is a thinly disguised, good-humored satire on the history and activities of the Chicago Board of Trade, as related in this account of the Clam Exchange and Bull-Pout [i.e. catfish] Bourse of Skunkville: "The great and growing importance of the commerce ... in those luxurious and necessary articles of consumption, clams and bull-pouts, had long made it apparent that Skunkville should possess an organization of her merchant princes ... ." The recently published diaries of Chicagoan John M. Wing note the publication of this pamphlet in September 1865—a month before the Board revolutionized commodities trading by promulgating rules for futures contracts.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Carl Robert Keyes

image of item Oriental Tea Cup. [Boston, 1875]

Designed to mimic a newspaper, this advertising broadside promotes a contest that was held in Boston at the Oriental Tea Company. The firm had a large copper tea kettle hanging outside of their main entrance which acted as a trade sign and drew customers to the store. Many customers asked how big that tea kettle actually was—would it hold 60 gallons, or 600? A contest was held to determine the size of the kettle and 12,000 Bostonians entered, each hoping to win a chest of tea or coffee, which was the prize offered for the correct answer. The broadside describes in detail the precautions taken to ensure the accurate reading of the kettle, which was made on New Year's Day. Eight people guessed correctly that the kettle held 227 gallons, two quarts, and one pint.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Mr. & Mrs. George W. Tetler III

image of item The Orphan. Boston: Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, 1847.

This delicate wood engraving depicts Susan Fosdick, a little girl whose mother died shortly after her birth. Susan is an ideal little girl, who leads a quiet, orderly life, as symbolized in this picture of her reading in her neatly appointed bedroom. The writer emphasizes that though an orphan, Susan is part of a tightly knit family circle composed of a loving grandmother and teenaged uncles who treat her as their little sister—challenging the stereotype of the orphan as a bereft beggar.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Jeremy B. Dibbell

image of item Otsego Courier and Farmer's Weekly Visitor (Louisville, NY). Dec. 6, 1845 & Jan. 10, 1846.

This was the first newspaper published in the small village of Louisville (now known as Morris). Though its existence was known to county historians, no copies were located until these two issues appeared on eBay; we now know that it started a year earlier than believed.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Delores Wasowicz

image of item Pansy [i.e., Isabella Alden]. Helen Lester. Cincinnati: Western Tract and Book Society, [ca. 1865]

This is an early edition of the first book written by Isabella Alden (1841-1930). Entered as part of a religious novel contest sponsored by Cincinnati's American Reform Tract and Book Society, it won the twenty-four year old author the princely sum of $50. Isabella Alden went on to have a long and prolific career as a writer and editor for the religious periodical press. To my delight, the book arrived from the auction house with a presentation card, apparently in Alden's own hand.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Ellen S. Dunlap

image of item Penfield Extra (NY). Sept. 13, 1862 & Jan. 14, 1864.

Amateur newspapers published before 1870, when tabletop hobby printing presses became available, are quite rare. Budding teenage (and younger) journalists either needed access to a print shop, have someone print their work or, in a few cases, build their own printing press. One of the most famous pre-1870 amateur newspapers was the Penfield Extra, published weekly by Nellie Williams; its subtitle was "Little Nellie's Little Paper." She started it in 1862 at the age of 12, using a press borrowed from her older brother, who had gone off to war. Soon it became very popular, claiming over a thousand subscribers from New Brunswick to California. Half the paper consisted of advertisements, the remainder being bits of local news, comments, jokes, politics, war reports, and other pieces written by Nellie. These two issues showed up on eBay and fill gaps in our 60-issue run.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by The Elms at Briarwood, Worcester, MA

image of item Pennsylvania Railroad. Summer excursion routes via Pennsylvania Central Rail Road, for the season of 1871. 2nd ed., June 10, 1871. Philadelphia: Leisenring Steam Printing House, 1871.

City living got you down? Then let us whisk you away for some R & R on the R.R.! This pamphlet describes 95 separate excursions one could make from New York, Philadelphia, and other Pennsylvania Railroad depots. Itineraries are carefully spelled out, with total mileage, steamer and stage connections, and the total fare. Recommended vacation destinations include Niagara Falls, Cape May, Gettysburg, Oil City, Saratoga Springs, Newport, White Sulphur Springs and, for the more adventurous, Mammoth Cave, KY and St. Paul and Duluth, MN.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Jonathan Senchyne

image of item People's College (Montour Falls, NY). Circular of the People's College, of the state of New York ... New York: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck & Thomas, 1858.

Prospectus for an unusual college to be established in Havana (Montour Falls), NY. In addition to the typical college courses, all students would be required to work several hours daily on the college farm, in its mechanical department, or in "some branch of productive industry" preparatory to a suitable occupation. "Persons of mature life" may enroll for non-degree vocational training. Included is a view of the proposed college building, completed in reduced size by 1862. But the People's College soon closed after losing out to Cornell University in a bitter fight for land grant funding.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Joseph J. Felcone

image of item Phillips, John. A sermon on the Trinity. [New York]: Sold by Mr. Mitchel, book-binder, Maiden Lane, New-York; Mr. Pike, store-keeper, John Street; and Mrs. Mary Davis, store-keeper, New-Brunswick, [1794]

Third known copy of an unusual American imprint. John Phillips led a boys' school at the Chocolate House Academy in Blackheath, London, from 1790 to 1792. This sermon was possibly first printed in England—some aspects of the typography suggest that this edition is a reprint—though no copy of an English edition has survived. What distinguishes this American edition is the imprint shared among three publishers at the outermost reaches of the American book trade: Edward Mitchell, a bookbinder and stationer who published a few other tracts in the mid-1790s; a Mr. Pike, a "store-keeper" of whom little else is known; and Mary Davis of New Brunswick, NJ, who published nothing else but who did place an advertisement for this work in Arnett's New-Jersey Federalist for October 9, 1794, enabling us to date this edition.
~ David Whitesell



Pittsburgh Gazette. 1800-1803.

129A. 12 issues, 1800.
Adopted by Thomas and Lucia Knoles in honor of Joseph and Bridget Zaucha

129B. 52 issues, 1801.
Adopt us for: $550
129C. 52 issues, 1802.
Adopt us for: $550
129D. 35 issues, 1803.
Adopted by Ellen S. Dunlap

image of item AAS had the fortunate opportunity to acquire four bound volumes of early Pittsburgh newspapers. First published in July 1786, the Pittsburgh Gazette was the earliest newspaper published west of the Allegheny Mountains; it is still being published under the title Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Our volumes were published by John Scull, who ran the paper from 1786 to 1816.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopt me for: $500

image of item Plaindealer Office (Roslyn, NY). Ledger, 1850-1853.

This volume contains accounts for Roslyn, NY printers A.W. Leggett and H.W. Eastman, who did job printing as well as publishing a newspaper called the Plaindealer. The paper was published for only a few years. The accounts in this volume show subscriptions, job work, payment for advertisements, and the purchase of printing supplies.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Coleman Hutchison

image of item Poetry Album, ca. 1859.

This album of poetry was kept by an unidentified person, possibly in Connecticut. Included are poems with titles such as "Home and Friends," "Speak No Ill," "The Righteous Not Forsaken," and "Brave Hearts." A few of the poems are signed (or attributed to) "C.S." The final poem in the volume is entitled "Parting. —by J.E. Cook shortly before his execution in Virginia Dec. 16th 1859." John E. Cook was one of the Harper's Ferry conspirators.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Brett Mizelle

image of item Pretty Stories About the Camel. Boston: Brown, Bazin & Co.; Nashua, NH: N.P. Greene & Co., [ca. 1855-1857]

Images of the Middle East have fascinated Americans of all ages in the 19th century as they do now. This picture book has hand-colored wood engravings of camels in their natural habitat, as well as one picture of a camel being led as a curiosity through the streets of London. The text goes on to say that with the recent opening of "zoological gardens" camels no longer roam city streets, reflecting changing attitudes toward appropriate spaces for exotic animals.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Patricia C. Cohen

image of item Public Voice (Flushing, NY). May 19, 1853-Dec. 14, 1854.

A nearly complete file of the Public Voice, a short-lived paper published by George W. Ralph. Our volume, which showed up on eBay, is the only one known. It was originally in the Long-Island Historical Society, but when it closed down, its newspaper collection was broken up and many files sold off.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Peter & Victoria Dumaine

image of item Raunheim, Hermann. Usine de Langlée, pre's Montargis Dept. du Loiret. Manufacture de caoutchouc de M[ess]rs. Hutchinson, Henderson & Cie., proprietaires de droit exclusif de fabriquer en France . ... Paris: Chaix & Cie., 1853.

This large lithograph of the Langlée rubber factory in France is an unusual survivor of French commercial lithography. Factory views, while popular in the United States, are virtually unknown in French production. The existence of this print may be explained by the fact that Hutchinson, Henderson & Co. was founded by the Americans Hiram Hutchinson and Levi Henderson, who were both successful shoe manufacturers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The print was inscribed in 1863 by Hutchinson to his cousin Levi H. Russell, another American manufacturer who may have hung the print in his shoe manufacturing business in Lynnfield.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of Lee & Sallie Arning

image of item Received of Hooper, Whiting & Co., in good order and condition, the following. ... Arizona City, Arizona Territory: Hooper, Whiting & Co., 1871.

This illustrated billhead from the young Arizona territory (est. 1863) is a rare survivor from the busy period of western expansion that occurred in the United States after the Civil War. Here, M.J. Jacobs & Co. has ordered 2,552 pounds of goods to be hauled by wagon from Arizona City to Tucson. The famous hauler Wells Fargo had a large office in Arizona City, and so smaller firms, such as Hooper, Whiting & Co., were naturally drawn to do business there as well. This bill of lading records the transportation of ink, stationery, paper and soap, and was apparently one of three such shipments to Mr. Jacobs. In the early September heat it took the wagon train ten days to traverse the sixty or so miles to Tucson.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Stephen P. Hanly

image of item Register of the deaths in Northampton, from the first settlement of the town in 1653, to August 1824. Copied from the town records, and from the records of Deac. Ebenezer Hunt, Rev. John Hooker ... Northampton [MA]: T. Watson Shepard, 1824.

This comprehensive death register lists, in chronological order by day and year, every known death of a Northampton resident (whether in town or elsewhere), and every non-resident who died there over the past 171 years. Despite their brevity and quotidian aspect, the entries provoke a multitude of demographic and historical questions. For contemporary readers, however, the register probably served more to foster a burgeoning interest in genealogy and family history. This was the case for Solomon Warner (1781-1863) of Northampton, who owned this copy and marked all of his paternal and maternal ancestors (dating back to 1664!) in pencil. Poignantly, an entry for August 2, 1824, notes the death of "Son of Solomon Warner," with the newborn's name written in as "Solomon Jr."—a birth and death absent from the standard Warner family genealogy.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Peter & Victoria Dumaine

image of item Regnier, August (after a painting by Junius Brutus Stearns). The life of George Washington the soldier. New York & Paris: Goupil & Co., 1854.

This print is one of four in a set that depict the life George Washington. The set includes renditions of Washington as a citizen, a farmer, a Christian, and a soldier. AAS has held the three other lithographs from the set for several years (two were given by Jay Last in 2001), and this purchase was made in order to complete the set.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Mr. & Mrs. George W. Tetler III

image of item Richardson, R. H. Family record: two discourses delivered in the First Presbyterian Church, Newburyport ... Newburyport: George W. Clark, 1866.

A fine and rare copy, in original flexible cloth wrappers, of a most interesting work exhorting families to personalize their Bibles by adding a permanent record of family marriages, births, baptisms, and deaths. "It is a striking and beautiful custom, originating I know not when nor where — to insert in the volume of the Holy Scriptures, between the Old Testament and the New, a few blank leaves, bearing at the top this printed title: FAMILY RECORD."
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $350

image of item The Richmond's Head-Light. Off Evansville [IN]. Mar. 2, 1869.

This mobile newspaper was edited by Will L. Visscher and published by Byron S. Humphreys. Visscher and Humphreys were laid off from the Louisville [KY] Daily Journal when it was bought out in 1868 by the Louisville Daily Courier. Using old type rescued from the Journal, Visscher and Humphreys teamed up to start The Richmond's Head-Light in 1869. Visscher edited the paper in Louisville, while Humphreys printed it on board the steamboat "Richmond" as it plied the Mississippi and Ohio rivers; the paper was distributed wherever the ship docked. The paper printed shipboard gossip, poetry and fiction written by crew members, and advertisements for hotels and other businesses at its various stops. Publication presumably ended late in 1869 when the "Richmond" sank. AAS and the Filson Club (Louisville, KY) have the only two issues known.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Barrett Morgan in honor of Marcus McCorison

image of item Russian River Flag (Healdsburg, CA), 85 issues, 1869-1875.

This scarce California newspaper began in 1868 using equipment from the old Napa Reporter office. A strongly Republican newspaper, it was one of the few papers of that region and period to be consistently profitable. This is the second best file known.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Terry Barnard

image of item The Sea-Star. New York: Lane & Tippett for the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School Union, 1847.

Natural history books for children were as popular in the 19th century as they are now. This detailed wood engraving of a Golden Sea Star (described in the text as a "wonderful product of divine skill") would serve to fascinate a young audience otherwise confined to reading the Bible and other devotional literature on Sundays.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for: $150

image of item Second Congregational Church (Chicopee, MA). Account book, 1837-1867.

The Second Congregational Church in Chicopee was founded in 1830 as the First Congregational Church of Chicopee Factory Village. The village was an industrial settlement clustered around Chicopee Falls. This volume contains records of attendance for what appear to be Sunday school classes ca. 1837, as well as the accounts of the church's treasurer, 1852-1867. The latter include totals from collections and donations to missions and other church organizations.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by David F. Tatham

image of item The select warbler, containing a choice collection of most fashionable songs. Newark, N.J.: Benjamin Olds, 1834.

Fourth recorded copy of this songster containing the lyrics to nearly 150 popular songs, beginning with "The Star Spangled Banner." Apart from Francis Scott Key, only a handful of the authors are identified. "The Relics of Washington" is credited to Silas S. Steele, a Philadelphia actor, dramatist, and librettist whose career deserves deeper study. Steele also wrote the lyrics to "The Rose of Alabama" and adapted Edgar Allan Poe's "The Gold-Bug" for the stage.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by John Keenum in memory of W. E. Keenum, locomotive engineer

image of item Sellers, George Escol. Improvements in locomotive engines, and railways. Cincinnati: Gazette Office, 1849.

An important work on railroad engineering, in which Sellers describes his invention of a superior grade-climbing locomotive, pictured in four high-quality lithographic plates. Sellers was born in 1808 into a Philadelphia family of paper mold and papermaking machine manufacturers. By the time George and his brother Charles moved the family business to Cincinnati in 1838, they had branched out into the fabrication of railroad locomotives and other industrial machinery. Sellers is perhaps better known, however, for bearing a name uncomfortably close to that of the impractical dreamer Colonel Eschol Sellers in Mark Twain's The Gilded Age (1873). The real Sellers took umbrage, and Twain changed the character's name in later printings. This copy was formerly in the library of the U.S. Patent Office.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by William J. Coffill

image of item Sierra County News (Downieville, CA). 22 issues, 1862.

This newspaper, edited by Calvin B. McDonald, lasted just 26 issues. Downieville was founded in 1849 during the gold rush, but by the time this paper began, the town was in decline. This is the only know file of Sierra County News apart from a single issue in the California State Library.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Anthony & Susan Penny in Honor of their Grandchildren: Henry Penny, Sophia Penny and Piper Amidon

image of item Simple Stories for Little Readers. Philadelphia: M. Fithian, 1841.

This charming hand-colored frontispiece is taken from Simple Stories for Children, an anthology of stories and verse for children; it was issued by Philadelphia publisher Matthias Fithian, and reflects Philadelphia's prominent role as a publishing center of finely illustrated children's books before the Civil War. The book was issued in a cloth binding signed by Philadelphia binder Crolius and Gladding. This title is entirely new to the AAS Children's Literature Collection.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Mark Dimunation

image of item Smith, S. Compton. Chile con carne; or, The camp and the field. New York: Miller & Curtis, 1857.

An early and rare salesman's dummy for this memoir of the Mexican-American War. Included are sample text pages, all of the book's engraved illustrations, a single-page "Prospectus," and blank ruled leaves for subscribers. names, all bound within black cloth wrappers gilt-stamped with the die used for the spine of the published book. This copy was used by one Edward Compton of Adams, NY (near Watertown) to solicit a total of three subscriptions, all from residents of Evans Mills.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Robert & Lillian Fraker, Savoy Books, in memory of Gabriel Laderman

image of item The Snoblace ball; or Pill Garlic and his friends. By "The Spectator." New York: Carleton, 1865.

A rare copy in illustrated wrappers of this long poem, which offers a bitingly satirical look at New York high society. Part I sketches the social milieu and worldview of Pill Garlic, a wealthy merchant residing in a Union Square mansion, while Part II describes the fancy ball to which the Snoblaces have invited the Garlics. Social climbers of all stripes, as well as Southerners, the Dutch, and foreigners in general, are skewered mercilessly. The anonymous author has yet to be identified.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Jaclyn Penny in honor of Piper Amidon

image of item Social Ball at the Missisquoi House, Alburgh Springs. [Vermont, 1859]

The Missisquoi House was opened in Alburgh Springs, VT, in 1855 and was a center for tourist travel for both the United States and nearby Canada. Located near two sulfur springs, a large fresh water lake, and tree-covered mountains, the area was a destination for outdoorsmen and invalids alike. Other ephemera and traveler's guides in the AAS collection document the hotel during its heyday in the 1870s, but this invitation hints at the earlier days of the business, when the large building was apparently used for local dances and Thursday evening events during the early foliage season!
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Barrett Morgan in honor of President Bill Clinton

image of item Southwest Sentinel (Silver City, NM). 100 issues, 1887-1888.

During the 1870s Silver City benefitted from both a mining boom and the arrival of a railroad. The town grew quickly, as did the number of local newspapers. Four of them were consolidated into the Southwest Sentinel, which professed to be neutral but was actually democratic. Silver City also possessed a strong Republican newspaper, and because competition between the two was so strong, no new newspaper appeared for many years. This file is one of two known for these years.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Peg Lesinski in honor of Marcus J. Fletcher

image of item Sports and amusements for the Juvenile Philosopher. Part First. 2nd ed. Middletown, CT: E. Hunt and Co., 1836.

This is an early attempt to blend scientific instruction with amusement. The title page has a wood engraving of a goblet containing a siphon disguised as a statue of the mythological figure Tantalus that "magically" causes the liquid to disappear into a hidden reservoir cup. E. Hunt and Co. was chiefly an almanac publisher, making this juvenile title all the more rare.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Helen Deese

image of item Stevens, Cassandra Swasey. Diary, 1856-1858.

Cassandra Swasey (1818-1901) was the daughter of John B. and Alice Ladd Swasey of Meredith, NH. After her first husband died, Cassandra married Col. Ebenezer Stevens, a merchant in Meredith in 1846. This diary, which covers the period between 1856 and 1858, covers her daily activities. A recurring theme is her fears and anxieties. As she says in the diary's first entry "I have such a fearful foreboding, and have had for many months, that some dreadful trouble was about to visit me, that it takes from me much enjoyment."
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopt me for: $275

image of item The story of poor Cock Robin. Hartford & New York: E.C. Kellogg; and Buffalo, NY: Ensign, Thayer & Co., 1852.

This hand-colored lithograph of three children seated outside reading fits perfectly into our holdings of images of readers, recently celebrated by AAS's on-line exhibition, A Place of Reading. The image of a boy and two younger girls engrossed in the story of Poor Cock Robin (which is available in multiple editions dating from 1837 to 1882 in AAS's collection of Children's Literature), includes a quotation from the rhyming text. The firm of E.C. Kellogg, based in Hartford, CT, would become one of the largest in the country and competed directly with Currier & Ives.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Nancy Isenburg and Andrew Burstein

image of item Stratton, Ned. A romantic tale of high American life; or, excursion to Montauk. Providence: John F. Moore, 1847.

A rare and curious work of nautical fiction, illustrated with several wood-engraved plates. Setting sail for Montauk from Westerly, RI in the sailboat "Rough and Ready," our unnamed hero soon finds himself lost and disoriented. First he is tormented by an eight-foot-long swordfish, which is soon replaced by a silent chorus line "of one hundred large Porpoises." Other fantastic hallucinations ensue before the safe haven of Rhode Island returns to view.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Steve and Rosemary Taylor

image of item Teachem, Mr. The Infant School Primer. Montpelier, VT: E.P. Walton & Sons, 1841.

This primer is characteristic of primers published in the 1830s and 1840s, with its large format (6 ¾ inches tall), curvy block typeface, and wonderfully evocative wood engravings, like this one of the leopard.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by John Neal Hoover

image of item A teachers' institute will be held at Blooming Grove ... [Montgomery, 1858]

How did one become a good teacher in Tennessee in 1858? One step in the process would be to attend the training sessions held at teachers' institutes, events which were organized by education departments and scholars seeking to improve or expand the knowledge of their teaching staff. AAS also has announcements for teachers. institutes held in Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. At this event teachers, who were asked to bring their own slate and copy of Sanders' Fifth Reader, would attend lectures on higher mathematics, reading and elocution. At the end of the day, there were also sessions on divine law (perhaps not so popular today) and school discipline.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopt us for: $550

image of item Telescope (New York). June 5, 1824-May 23, 1829.

This newspaper stated its purpose as, "The Telescope is to show the true state of the Christian world; occasionally to point out the various causes which prevent the progress of true piety, and to revive primitive Christianity." This was part of a movement to return to the earliest forms and practices of Christianity combined with some of the practices of the Old Testament.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by John Neal Hoover

image of item Thanksgiving Ball. The managers solicit the company ... Sandbornton, NH: William White, 1838.

This small invitation with a decorative cut of an eagle was issued by the printer William White in Sandbornton (now Sanbornton), NH. The town, which is located at the fork of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee rivers in the central part of the state, was full of busy mills and shops in the 1830s. Thomas A. Ambrose ran a tavern and boarded guests in his home, located in the district of Sandbornton Bridge outside of the main town center. Earlier in 1838, a large fire had destroyed much of the downtown, including the Town Hall and commercial district. It is possible that the smaller taverns, like Ambrose's, were the only spaces available for holiday gatherings.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Peter & Victoria Dumaine

image of item Thomas, Isaiah, Jr. Letter to William Green, January 17, 1802.

Isaiah Thomas, Jr. (1773-1819) followed his father in the printing and bookselling trade. In this letter Thomas is offering a set of Matthew Bacon's A New Abridgement of the Law to William Elijah Green, a lawyer at that time practicing in Grafton, MA. Bacon's New Abridgement was published in many editions in England in the 18th and 19th centuries. The fifth edition (London, 1798) was in seven volumes. It was not printed in America until 1813. This letter was one of the over 2,000 lots of manuscripts, books, and other items formerly belonging to the Green family that were sold at auction in September, 2010.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted for Michael Winship

image of item Twenty-five cents worth of nonsense; or, The treasure box of unconsidered trifles not particularly noticed. Philadelphia & New York: Fisher & Brothers, [1852?]

Turner & Fisher (succeeded in 1851 by Fisher & Brothers) specialized in children's literature, popular publications in pamphlet form, and illustrated comic almanacs, among them Crockett's almanac, Fisher's comic almanac, and Turner's comic almanac. Twenty-five cents worth of nonsense is an anthology of the best (worst?) antebellum American humor to be found in the Turner & Fisher almanacs. Comparison with various almanacs at AAS proves that the publishers simply re-used the stereotype plates of selected almanac pages, assembling them helter-skelter to make up this 200-page volume. Actually, there is some apparent order: Davy Crockett fills much of the first half.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Lauren B. Hewes in honor of Georgia Barnhill

image of item Two tickets to a lithographers' ball. [New York?, 1857]

These two tickets are from an event held in the winter of 1857, probably in New York. Several members of the Nicklin family (William Nicklin is noted as treasurer for the event) were active as lithographers in New York in the 1850s. Most of the committee members listed on one of the tickets may have been pressmen in the numerous lithographic firms in the city during the 1850s. The ladies' ticket features an image of a putto using a lithographic crayon to write "Fifth season" on a lithographic stone. Probably not a member of the lithographic community, the poor putto does not realize his careful lettering will print in reverse!
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Carol R. Kanis in honor of my daughter, Blair E. Kanis, Esq.

image of item The United States lawyer's directory and official bulletin for 1850 ... together with the manual of the American Legal Association. New York: John Livingston, 1850.

First edition of the earliest comprehensive directory of the American legal profession, listing "19,527 practicing lawyers" by state and town—e.g. "Lincoln & Herndon" in Springfield, IL—as well as the commissioners of deeds in each state. The listings are as accurate as could be "obtained by a correspondence with over one thousand members of a profession who are not proverbial for legible chirography." [What, doctors?!] Appended are the constitution and membership directory of the American Legal Association, a professional group established in 1849 by John Livingston partly as a way of attracting subscribers for his legal periodicals.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by William S. Reese

image of item Valentine, Laura. Aunt Louisa's Fairy Legends. New York: McLoughlin Bros., [ca. 1875]

This brilliant chromolithograph is taken from Puss In Boots, one of the fairy tales in this illustrated anthology. The ultimate "sly boots," Puss uses his wily cleverness to coax rabbits into a parsley-filled bag, eventually presenting his bag of rabbits to the local king as a gift from the "Marquis of Carabas" (actually, Puss's poor young master). Like Puss, McLoughlin Bros. used clever marketing techniques to build a humble picture book enterprise into a major publication empire.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Jock Herron

image of item [View of Mechanics at work]. New York: Lewis & Brown, 1847.

Lewis & Brown were lithographers and booksellers in New York during the 1840s, where they published several views relating to the Mexican-American War as well as decorative floral prints and images of children. This image of a group of young men at work was probably created for a book on education or the mechanical arts. The men, all in suit coats and light-colored pants, are engaged in painting, carving and calculations for construction. The very civilized scene, unlike any school room or shop class of today, is further decorated with a model of a classical temple, a decorative urn, and the bust of a woman who watches the scene from a large pedestal.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Lauren B. Hewes in honor of Babette Gehnrich and Laura Oxley

image of item Wakefield & Woodward, watchmakers & jewellers [sic]. [Great Falls, NH, before 1856]

James Woodward and Albert Wakefield operated a jewelry business in Great Falls, NH from 1845 to 1880. This engraved watch paper was used to protect delicate gears in one of their pocket watches and features a figure of Aurora, goddess of the dawn, being pulled in her chariot across the sky. Although space was at a premium, the designer also managed to get a line of advertising on the paper, stating "Watches, Jewelry, Silver & Plated Ware, Sold & Warranted." The verso of the paper, like many of the watch papers in AAS's extensive collection, has dated manuscript annotations documenting the repair history for the watch that once held this small piece of ephemera.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Chip Rowe

image of item War! War!! War!!! Philadelphia: Hubbard Bros., [ca. 1876-1877]

Promoting a new book in the 19th century required strategy, edge, investment and good advertising. When Hubbard Bros. in Philadelphia published L.P. Brockett's The Cross and the Crescent in 1877, they pulled out all the stops and pushed the book heavily in advance with their agents. This circular to agents described the forthcoming title, which covered the Christian/Islamic conflict in the Balkans known today as the Russo-Romanian-Turkish War. Terms for the book's sale are described at the bottom of the circular, which claims that volumes will pay "splendidly."
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Katherine Keenum in memory of Dr. Milton P. Jarnagin, professor of animal husbandry

image of item Waring, George E. The Elements of Agriculture. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1854.

This "how-to" agricultural manual features this charming binding design of a boy reading this book in order to learn how to run the plow at his right hand. Waring eventually wrote an early treatise on the building and maintenance of "earth closets"—better known as toilets.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Helen R. Kahn in memory of Fred Kahn

image of item Way, Charles Jones. North American scenery, being selections from C. J. Way's studies, 1863-64. Montreal: William Notman, [1864]

A rare, complete copy, in the publisher's gilt leather binding, of an early Canadian book illustrated with mounted photographs. This large folio (18 x 14 inches) consists of a title page, contents list, and 12 albumen prints of Canadian and New England views. The photographs were not taken on site; rather, they reproduce paintings by the British artist Charles Jones Way. After immigrated to Montreal in 1858, Way became over the next two decades one of Canada's most respected artists. During the 1860s Way occasionally worked on commission for another British immigrant, William Notman, who had established himself as Montreal's leading photographer. Presumably the views included here were also available for separate purchase, appropriately hand-colored, for framing and hanging in the parlor.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Robert & Lillian Fraker, Savoy Books

image of item West-Town. Philadelphia, 1843.

A rare and delightful verse history of Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school established in West Chester, PA in 1799 and still thriving 212 years later. Extensive appendices provide information on the six principals and several dozen teachers who served from 1799 to 1843, along with the names of the many members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting who sat at various times on the school's committee of management.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Michael Winship

image of item Wholesale book and stationery warehouse . ... Mason Brothers. [New York, 1854]

The American economy in the 1850s went up and down dramatically due to several factors, including rampant speculation, banking disarray, and political dishonesty (any of that sound familiar?). This 1854 advertising circular makes it clear that the New York bookseller Mason Brothers had had enough. They clearly state that starting in January of 1854 they will only conduct business in cash in order to protect themselves from non-paying creditors. It must have worked. The firm remained in business through the Civil War, finally closing their doors in 1869.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for: $1,500

image of item William E. Green, quarter-plate daguerreotype. [Worcester, 1840]

A large public auction of material related to the Green Family of Worcester, MA, was held in Worcester in September 2010. Because AAS already had seven boxes of manuscript material relating to the Greens, especially to the William Nelson Green branch of the family, we were active bidders at the sale. AAS successfully acquired many manuscripts related to William Nelson Green's father, William Elijah Green (1777-1863), who is depicted in this daguerreotype. The elder Green was a lawyer in Worcester and the head of what would become an influential family in New England and New York.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Christian McCarthy

image of item Wilson, William Bender. U.S.M.T. being the history of the organization of the Military Telegraph Corps of the Army of the Potomac ... March 1, 1862. Harrisburg: Theo. F. Scheffer, 1862.

Author's presentation copy of this rare work, which provides an unusual behind-the-scenes glimpse of military telegraph communications at the beginning of the Civil War. Wilson's approach and anecdotes are generally light-hearted, though they are occasionally interspersed with more sober narratives, such as a vivid account of how Lincoln and his cabinet learned, via telegraph, that Bull Run had metamorphosed from Union victory into humiliating rout.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Ann T. Lisi

image of item 173A. Wisconsin (Territory). Rules for the government of the Council of Wisconsin Territory ... Madison: Argus Office, 1847 [i.e. 1848]

173B. Rules for the government of the House of Representatives of Wisconsin Territory ... Madison: W. H. Wyman, 1848.

A fine set in the original printed wrappers of these rare Wisconsin territorial imprints. Together these outline the rules for conducting business in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature; a listing of their committees and present membership is also provided.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by R.A. Graham Co.

image of item Wonders! Descriptive of Some of the Most Remarkable in Nature and Art. Baltimore: Fielding Lucas Jr., [ca. 1825]

This engraved image of Stonehenge demonstrates that images of wonders both man-made and natural were consumed by readers of all ages in the 19th century. This picture book includes views of the Sphinx, Fingal's Cave, and the Great Wall of China. Fielding Lucas was one of the major publishers of beautifully metal-engraved picture books in antebellum America. The back cover advertises other picture book titles that he co-published with Ash & Mason of Philadelphia.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for: $300

image of item Woollett, William M. Villas and cottages; or, homes for all. Plans, elevations and views of twelve villas and ten cottages ... New York: A. J. Bicknell, 1876.

The latest addition to AAS's comprehensive collection of early American architectural treatises, this profusely illustrated work features 22 designs "varying somewhat from the great portion of such buildings now being erected in various parts of the country." Woollett says that some had already been built, but others perhaps never were—have you, for instance, ever seen this cottage on your travels? At the end are several delightful advertisements for household appliances and fixtures, lawn statuary, mattresses, architects. supplies and publications, and a full-color plate of floor tiles.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Maury Bouchard in honor of Nathan Stern Beekley

image of item Young Ladies Library and Literary Association of Oakland Female Institute. Donation Book, 1853-1855.

The Oakland Female Institute was opened in Norristown, PA in 1845. By 1853 the Institute had 186 students and a library of "over 500 volumes of standard value—all trashy literature being contraband," as an 1853 circular states. The school closed in 1880. This fairly elaborately bound volume, with a binder's ticket for W.G. Perry & Erety in Philadelphia, lists donations both in cash and books in the period 1853-1855. There are only four pages of entries, suggesting either that the association was short-lived or that its members lost interest in record-keeping.
~ Thomas Knoles



Attendees of the March 29 Adopt-a-Book event had first chance to adopt the following items. Any unadopted item may be adopted at this time.

Adopted by Ann-Cathrine Rapp

Devéria, A. Pardon. Forgiveness. Paris: Lemercier; New York: Bailly & Ward, [ca. 1835]

There is no evidence that Bailly & Ward ever ran a printing establishment. Instead, they would import decorative French lithographs for resale in their New York shop. This lovely, hand-colored print was one of a set of images of courtship which included First Love, Acquiescence, Jealousy and, finally, Forgiveness.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Kathleen E. McClintock in honor of Sister Louise Marie, S.S.J.

The Children in the woods. New York: Currier & Ives, [1857-1872]

Based on the popular children's moral tale Babes in the Wood, this Currier & Ives lithograph features two well-dressed youngsters lost in a forest setting. The older boy, in a jaunty feathered cap, comforts his younger sister and the two children are surrounded by a flock of robins (the birds are the heroes in the story, covering the children with a blanket of leaves after they have died). The lithograph retains its brilliant original coloring and would have been an inexpensive decoration for a child's room.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Peter Masi

Old Warwick Library and South Christian Sabbath School Library bookplates, 1847-1850s.

These two library bookplates carefully spell out the various regulations used in each institution. The Old Warwick Library, Warwick, Rhode Island, was the third library in town and was opened in 1847. The bookplate, which would have been pasted into each volume in the library, spells out the various fees and fines associated with late books, borrowing without permission of the librarian (wouldn't that be stealing?), and defacing library property. The South Christian Sabbath School Library bookplate from Bristol, MA, spells out the rules for that library, which was a collection aimed at young children who needed to be taught how to handle their books: "They shall not write in it, nor turn down its leaves."
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Joycelyn Moody

Stadtfeld, Maurice. Taking the Oath / Drawing Rations. Image of a sculpture by John Rogers. New York, 1865.

John Rogers's sculptures were extremely popular in the United States in the middle of the 19th century. These large plaster castings were intended for display in the parlor or school room and featured scenes from modern life, usually with a moral message. Rogers was a savvy business man, and issued his own catalogues of his work and sold them through a network of shops and dealers around the country at set prices. Rogers also used photographs of his sculpture as promotional material, creating carte-de-visite images in sets as well as larger images, like this one, suitable for framing.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Rodney G. Obien

Exhibition of Art Studies and Statuary ... Lowell, MA, 1876.

This handbill describes an evening of art and theater held in Lowell, MA, in the spring of 1876. For fifty cents, you would be able to see an exhibition of vignettes of various subjects, performed by the ladies of St. Anne's Parish. The ladies would be costumed and posed to relate different stories, although they would usually neither speak nor move. After each vignette was done, the curtain would close and the ladies would set up the next scene. This program includes displays of springtime, Oriental boats, statues, and washing day. Two pantomimes, which did include movement, were also included.
~ Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Cleota Reed

Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron. The works of Lord Byron ... New ed. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee & Co., 1860.

An unremarkable edition with a remarkable provenance, offering an interesting perspective on the Civil War's home front. When Henry L. Wood went off to war in 1862, 19 women of Dexter, ME presented him with a token of their high esteem: this attractively bound volume bearing a personalized letterpress bookplate. It would be a mistake to read anything Byronic in their .heart-felt. sentiments, however, as Wood was already a husband and father. Born in Yorkshire, Wood (1832-1890) was a woolen merchant who emigrated to Maine in 1852. He returned safely to Dexter following his service as Captain in the 12th Maine Volunteers, and was soon appointed postmaster.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Dick Wilson

Radway's ready relief: 1873 Radway's R. R. R. almanac and guide to health. New York: Dr. Radway & Co., [1872]

Following the Civil War, almanacs distributed free through local pharmacies became prominent advertising media for patent medicine companies. In this example, the almanac content is hard to spot among the many advertisements and testimonials for Radway's Ready Relief, Radway's Sarparillian Resolvent, and Radway's Regulating Pills.nostrums touted to cure an astounding range of ailments.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Peter Masi

Pettengill, Peletiah. Pettengill's perfect fortune-teller and dream-book; or, the art of discerning future events ... New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1860.

A popular Civil War-era guidebook to the many "scientific" means for telling fortunes and interpreting dreams, plus tips on using these methods for predicting the weather, finding one's true love, &c.
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $40

Magoon, Elias Lyman. Living orators in America. Dublin: James M.Glashan, 1849.

By the mid-19th century, the fame of America's leading political orators had spread far beyond its borders. Having already published a well-received volume on American oratory of the Revolutionary War, Magoon here offers his Irish and British audience a sequel. Included are biographies, with copious extracts from their speeches, of Daniel Webster, Edward Everett, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Lewis Cass, Thomas Hart Benton, and William C. Preston.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Carolyn Dik

Goldsmith, Oliver. The vicar of Wakefield: a tale. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1846.

This volume—attractively bound in striped cloth stamped in gilt and blind and still nearly in as-new condition.bears a Christmas gift inscription from William M. Green to his sister Lydia, as well as the signature of their brother Samuel F. Green. All belonged to Worcester's prominent Green family, whose memorabilia were dispersed at auction last September.
~ David Whitesell


Adopt me for: $40

Fuller, Harvey A. Trimsharp's account of himself: a sketch of his life, together with a brief history of the education of the blind ... New York: Edward O. Jenkins, 1876.

The fascinating autobiography of Harvey A. Fuller (1834-1925), who lost his sight at the age of 20. Here he recounts his boyhood in upstate New York, his experiences at the New York Institute for the Blind, education at Hillsdale College in Michigan, and career as a lecturer on behalf of the blind.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Babette Gehnrich

Katie Seymour oder Wie man Andere glucklich macht. New York: American Tract Society, [ca. 1850s]

This is a German translation of Katie Seymour or How to Make Others Happy, also published by the American Tract Society. Its middle-class heroine strives to reach out to help people less fortunate than herself. The ATS had a strong foreign language publishing program, in an effort to reach out to the large influx of immigrants of all ages.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Caroline Graham in honor of Danielle Degnan

Abbott, Jacob. The French Flower or Be kind and Obliging to Your Teacher. New York: Sheldon & Co., 1863.

This large-print story book by famed educator Jacob Abbott describes a trip overseas to France made by a brother and sister with their parents. It chronicles in simple language, the siblings' voyage, their stay at a Parisian hotel, and their French lessons with a governess.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Delores Wasowicz

Trust in God. Boston: H.L. Hastings, [ca. 1855-1873] (Easy Stories no. 2)

Easy Stories was a series published by the Scriptural Tract Society of Boston. Trust in God tells the parable of motherless birds being cared for by neighboring birds.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Delores Wasowicz

Robert the Sweep. Boston: H.L. Hastings, [ca. 1855-1873] (Easy Stories no. 8)

This story is about a homeless chimney sweep whose honesty wins him a new life as the adopted son of a middle class lady.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Delores Wasowicz

The Gunner Boy. Boston: H.L. Hastings, [ca. 1855-1873] (Easy Stories no. 6)

This is the story of Stewart Holland (apparently a real young man) who did his duty signaling for help aboard a sinking ship, ignoring his own chance of escape aboard a rescue boat.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Delores Wasowicz

Bell, Catherine D. Trust in God or Jenny's Trials. Boston: American Tract Society, 1860.

Young Jenny leaves the stability of her loving grandmother's home to adjust to life with her remarried father, stepmother, and mischievous stepbrother. Pious Jenny endeavors to teach her new family truly Christian values. From the estate of Worcester's own Green family.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Susan Forgit

The Palm Tribes and Their Varieties. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union; London: Religious Tract Society, [ca. 1850s]

A botanical study of palms found around the world, intended as appropriate Sunday reading for young people. It emphasizes the key role that palm branches played in Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Delores Wasowicz

Hall, John. On the Education of Children, While Under the Care of Parents or Guardians. New York: John P. Haven, 1835.

Author John Hall (1783-1847) wrote this text for to help parents and guardians develop the child's capacity for moral behavior (as opposed to intellectual enrichment). John P. Haven (1800-1880) had a long career as an educational and religious publisher. The wavy grained binding is characteristic of publisher's cloth bindings from the 1830s.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Delores Wasowicz

Good and Bad Luck. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, ca. 1850s.

A father teaches the daughter about the folly of superstition. From the estate of Worcester's own Green family.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Peter Masi

Bolton, Cornelius Winter. Keep to your right. New York: Anson D.F. Randolph, 1863.

This somber collection of moral anecdotes is illustrated by the rather fanciful frontispiece of this Santa Claus-like figure taking a crowned child for a ride in a moose-drawn sleigh, perhaps to capitalize on the nation's growing interest in Christmas celebration. The fabulous cloth limp binding is characteristic of mass-produced bindings from the 1860s.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted in honor of Andrew Petrie.

The Sailor Boy, or The First and Last Voyage of Little Andrew. New Haven: Sidney Babcock, 1829.

This cautionary tale of a boy's misadventures at sea was extremely popular in antebellum America; AAS has nine editions published between 1829 and 1860. This is the earliest edition that we have been able to find, thus its higher price.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Kathleen E. McClintock in honor of Sister Louise Marie, S.S.J.

Little Folks' Books. New York: Leavitt & Allen, [ca. 1852-1876]

A collection of fairy tales about elves, enchanted children, and .Little Maia. a tiny girl who sprang up from a barleycorn seed.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Wendy Woloson

Suffolk Exchange Co. New and revised catalogue. Unrivalled inducements! A watch guaranteed with every club ... Boston: Suffolk Exchange Co., 1860.

An unrecorded bookseller's catalog which sheds much light on a little-known aspect of mid-19th century American bookselling. The Suffolk Exchange Co. specialized in buying job lots of books and jewelry, then reselling these through agents who had established .book clubs. in their communities. Agents were promised that their customers would receive .a gift valued from two dollars to one hundred dollars delivered with each book.; moreover, the company offers its "GUARANTEE" of a new watch with bulk sales of 12 or more. "We have no small gifts, such as cast iron jackknives, and other trash, which make up the bulk of the gifts distributed by the New York and Philadelphia Gift Houses ... Ours in the most extensive, and consequently, the most liberal Gift Concern in existence." The front wrapper vignette enticingly depicts pocket watches heaped on a stack of books as if they were pearl-laden oysters. Tipped in is a brief record of sales made to the "Groton Club."
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Wendy Woloson in honor of Emily Pawley, Roger Turner, and their new Seedling

Walker, Samuel. A descriptive catalogue of flower-seeds for sale by Samuel Walker, at the Massachusetts Horticultural Seed and Fruit Store, School Street, Boston. Boston: Samuel Walker, 1845.

One of a series of specialty catalogs issued by Walker's store, the façade of which is pictured on the front cover. Nearly 350 varieties of flower seeds are described and priced. In a footnote, Walker also offers "GUANO—in lots to suit purchasers."
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of Lee & Sallie Arning

Log Cabin (Dayton, OH). Mar. 21, 1840.

This Whig campaign newspaper supported the election of William Henry Harrison. The election of 1840 was the pinnacle of campaign newspaper publishing. In Dayton the local parties were particularly active in fighting each other. This issue is particular nice for the woodcut of a log cabin and the s made up of logs.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Caroline Graham

Our Relations with England: in Which are Discussed the Various Attempts and Schemes by Which That Government has Endeavored to Control the Police of the Seas; and in Which it is Shewn how the Slave Trade has Increased Continually, ever since that Government Commenced its Interference; the Designs of England — Her False Humanity — and Hypocrisy. And the System of Slavery of British India, are also Fully Discussed and Exposed. [Richmond, VA, 1842]

This is an offprint from the Southern Literary Messenger. They took sheets printed for the magazine and bound them up separately with a printed paper wrapper. This copy is a presentation from the editor.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Peter Masi

The Great American Tea Co.'s Advocate (New York). June 1867.

This is a monthly advertising sheet for the Great American Tea Co. The first page contains two stories from China, presumably because anyone interested in tea was interested in the land it came from. The other pages are filled with articles about tea, reports of orders from various tea clubs, and testimonials about their teas from customers.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of the Arning Family

Ulster Gazette (Kingston, NY). February 21, 1815.

Scattered issues have survived of this title. This issue showed up on eBay and it turned out to be a date no other library has. When it arrived, we discovered it contains the announcement for the end of the War of 1812.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Scott Gac

Ipswich Journal (MA). Sept. 8, 15, and 22, 1827.

Here are the fifth, sixth, and seventh issues of the first newspaper ever published in the town of Ipswich. Only one other copy of each of these issues is known.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by John Carbonell

Weekly Messenger (Printer's Retreat, IN). Aug. 31, 1833.

This paper was published by [William C.] Keen and Child near Vevay, IN, on Keen's farm. General Keen was a strong supporter of Andrew Jackson, but he despised Van Buren and only reluctantly would he mention him in his paper. Later he moved the paper back to Vevay, but it ceased publication in 1837 when Keen was arrested for stealing money from a letter. Ironically, after he was convicted and sentenced to jail, Martin Van Buren pardoned him.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Katherine Keenum in honor of Elaine Palencia's birthday

Le Messager Franco-Americain (NY). Apr. 17, 18, 19, 20, 1865.

This was one of two prominent French-language newspapers published in New York at this time. These four issues are important for their coverage of the Lincoln assassination.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Peg Lesinski in honor of William and Joan Coté

Buys, Christian J. Illustrations of historic Colorado. Ouray, CO: Western Reflections, 2000.


Adopted by Elizabeth Reis

Akin, James. Facts connected with the life of James Carey, whose eccentrick habits caused a post mortem examination . to determine whether he was hermaphroditic ... Philadelphia, 1839.


Adopted by Peg Lesinski in honor of Amy Fletcher Judd

The Little museum, to interest and instruct children. Philadelphia: Henry F. Anners, 1847.


How to adopt:

First, browse the Adopt-A-Book Catalog and select the item(s) you wish to adopt.

Contact David Whitesell

a) by e-mail to:

b) by telephone to:
(508) 471-2165

Once your items have been reserved by AAS, you may finalize your adoption

a) by online payment.

Enter the total dollar amount of adopted items $ By hitting the "online payment" button below you will enter the AAS online payment area to pay the amount you specify in the window above.

b) or by check (payable to AAS) for the full amount to the address below.

American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609-1634

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