2012 Adopt-A-Book Catalog

The online part of the American Antiquarian Society's fifth annual Adopt-A-Book event is underway!

Additional items displayed at the Adopt-A-Book evening are now also available for online adoption.
Lots 151-200 | Lots 201-238

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.


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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.

Adopt something from the year AAS was founded! We start off the catalog with three items from 1812.


Adopt me for $4,800

image of item
Unknown engraver, Consistency, ca. 1812-1815.

This important and unrecorded engraved cartoon, featuring two clergymen, a soldier, a citizen soldier, and a Quaker presents the debate over the place of piety in wartime. The Quakers, who resisted fighting during the War of 1812, are called a "coward race" in the text below the image while the clergymen kneel before an open Bible and seem to endorse the violence depicted on the battlefield in the background. An article entitled "Federal Consistency" in The Albany Argus for March 2, 1813 discusses the situation in Washington stating, "[T]hey will tell you that these disasters are to be attributed to the imbecility of the government; and the next moment you will hear them declare them to be the chastenings of the Almighty . . . These are the men who style themselves the disciples of Washington, who prate about patriotism . when at the same time they are doing everything in their power, save their physical aid, to abet the enemy . . .. Is it the good of the country they have at heart? Surely not, or they would be more consistent."
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Daniel Cohen in honor of AAS's Bicentennial

image of item More, Hannah. Tawny Rachel: The Fortune Teller. Philadelphia: Benjamin Johnson, 1812.

This offering was issued in 1812, our Bicentennial Year. Writer Hannah More (1745-1833) is the godmother of the religious tract; she instructed her readers in proper moral behavior by writing stories about colorful characters like "Tawny Rachel"--the wife of "Black Giles," who made a sketchy living by telling fortunes. As in all of More's moral tales, the power of superstition is no match for Christian morality.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Ezra Greenspan

image of item Buffalo Gazette (NY). 18 issues, 1812-1816.

The Buffalo Gazette was the first newspaper published in this town. The first issue was published Oct. 3, 1811 by Smith H. and Hezekiah A. Salisbury who hauled a printing press from Canandaigua. Smith Salisbury continued as editor of the paper until 1818. Several of the issues acquired were printed during the War of 1812 and contain interesting details of the small skirmishes happening around Lake Erie. For example, the Sept. 22, 1812 issue has a short article about a boat from Canada landing and "a number of soldiers near Sturgeon point, who stopped a waggon [sic] and seized a quantity of Leather, and afterwards entered the house of Mr. N. Lay, (the family having previously fled to the woods), and pillaged all the wearing apparel, not even excepting the small articles of women and children's wear—all the bed furnishings, sheets, pillow case &c.—all the provision they could carry off—all the kitchen furniture, they could not take they destroyed—and afterwards took a calf tied near the house, and carried off the booty to their boat."
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Wendy Woloson in honor of Paul and Jenni's marriage

image of item The manners that win. Minneapolis: Buckeye Publishing Co., 1879

An exhaustive 425-page etiquette manual, and an unusual Minnesota imprint in a special publisher's cloth binding by Hennig & Mattice of Minneapolis. Manners at home are first discussed, followed by pointers for children and debutantes, then extended advice for adults on the social visit, receptions, musicales, dinner parties and balls, weddings, New Year's Day, anniversaries, and funerals. The peculiar etiquette of that self-absorbed city-state.Washington, described at length for those about to traverse its social minefields. The book closes with sections on personal hygiene, dress, and letter-writing. Nowhere is adoption mentioned, so how you adopt this book is up to you!
~David Whitesell


Adopted by by Naomi Perry

image of item Parsons, Aaron. Daybook, 1848-1851.

Aaron Parsons was a blacksmith and tinsmith in Stafford Springs, CT. His daybook chronologically records his business transactions from February 1848 through November 1851. Most concern the repair and restoration of metal ware, including items such as tea kettles, coffee pots, lead pipes, pumps, cylinders, milk pans, lamps, oven, and boilers. The daybook also shows entries for material bought and sold, some for the business, others not, including coal, pipes, lime, lead and tin, as well as coffee, nutmeg and raisins. This daybook is filled with entries for both individuals and companies as customers, always listing multiple transactions on a single day, indicating that Parsons had a thriving business.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Helen Deese in honor of Marie Lamoureux

image of item Jean Jacottet. Congress Spring, Saratoga, N.Y. New York: Clarke & White; Paris: Lemercier, 1854.

Saratoga, New York, has more than a dozen mineral springs, and one of the earliest to be found was Congress Spring, first recorded in 1792. Bottling and world-wide distribution of water from Congress Spring started in 1825 and its popularity helped to put the city on the map as a health destination. By the time this lithograph of the Spring and its pavilion was printed in Paris in 1854, Saratoga was a thriving international tourist destination. Buckets of water were brought from Congress Spring to local hotels for guests to imbibe before their breakfast. The fizzy, sulfur-smelling water was said to help digestion and to calm the nerves. One 1854 critic noted, "The water is not very lively tasting unless drank as soon as it is drawn up from the fount ... It soon loses its vivifying gas, and becomes at length very insipid."
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Alan Turetz in honor of Laura Wasowicz

image of item The Child's Favorite. Philadelphia: Geo. S. Appleton; New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1847.

This handsome gift book is a collection of miscellaneous stories and poetry, including "The Mouse's Petition." In this neatly executed metal engraving, a mother playfully holds a mouse in a cage for her child's amusement. However, the accompanying poem tells the mouse's side of the story, "If e'er thy breast with freedom glowed, And spurned a tyrant's chain, Let not thy strong oppressive force A free-born Mouse detain." These lines could be construed as a thinly veiled protest against human slavery, and animals were often used as "safe" objects in voicing the anti-slavery argument to children.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $1,800

image of item The Californian (San Francisco, CA). 70 issues, 1864-1867.

This bound volume of The Californian begins with the first issue of May 28, 1864. It was primarily a weekly literary periodical with some local news thrown in. Charles Henry Webb started the paper but Bret Harte soon succeeded him as the editor. One of the contributors hired by Harte was Mark Twain—this volume contains at least 11 articles penned by Twain.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Joanne Chaison in honor of Georgia Barnhill

image of item The National Academy of Design. Ceremonies on the occasion of laying the corner-stone, October 21st, 1863, and the inauguration of the building, April 27th, 1865. New York: Miller and Mathews, 1865.

Only 200 copies were printed, in color on large paper and finely bound, of this official record of the Academy's new building. Designed by P. B. Wight, it was erected in New York City at 23rd Street and Fourth Avenue. Appended is a history of the Academy and lists of all academicians and fellows. Founded in 1825 as both an honorary association for distinguished American artists and an art school, by 1865 the Academy had expanded into a social club for the arts and, thanks to its new building, a major gallery space.
~David Whitesell


Adopt me for $750

image of item Richards, Sally. Diary, 1806-1838.

Sally Richards was born in 1777 in Newton, MA, daughter of Ebenezer Richards and Hannah Wiswall. This diary, which includes entries from 1796 through 1838, is covered in a wrapper of pages from an early 19th-century almanac that have been marbled. Richards appears to have been very religious, opening her diary with a recounting of her baptism in 1796 ("I was Baptized and received a member of the Baptist Church at Newton ... buryed with Christ by Baptism into death that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life."). Most of her entries were made on Sundays, and list who delivered the day's sermon, and from what book and verse(s) of the Bible. Later entries occasionally include Richards' thoughts on death, mortality, and sin. After witnessing the death of two children in her congregation in 1817, and herself being sick for some time, Richards writes "may these solemn deaths remind us of our own mortality may I be seeking a Cyty [i.e.City] whose builder and foundation is the living God."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Lauren Hewes in honor of Dominique LeDoux

image of item Watch papers for Amie. Brandt watch maker & jeweller; Henry CA. Donnell, clock & watch maker; and Daniel Oyster clock and watch maker, 1820-1850.

Watch papers are round decorative labels placed between the inner and outer case of a pocket watch to protect its inner workings and also served as advertisements for watchmakers. These three new examples are part of a recent acquisition of papers for watchmakers not previously represented in the collection. The Swiss immigrant Amie. Brandt was located at North 2nd street in Philadelphia between 1816 and 1830, Henry CA. Donnell ran a watch repair shop in Bath, Maine, and also served in the town's fire brigade, and the Pennsylvanian Daniel Oyster, is today best known for his tall clocks.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Pat Crain

image of item Scenes of Childhood: for Children Four or Five Years Old. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School, ca. 1827-1853.

In twenty-five years of collecting children's books for AAS, I find it amazing how American Sunday-School Union titles totally new to our collection still pop up on a fairly regular basis. The picture book Scenes of Childhood is such a title. This picture shows a mother reading to her children from the Bible shortly before bedtime, offering us a precious glimpse into the night time reading habits of middle class.
~Laura Wasowicz



Three unrecorded Buffalo papers.

13. Adopt me for $75

image of item Campaign Courier (Buffalo, NY). Oct. 22, 1856.


14. Adopted by Joshua Greenberg

image of item Loco Foco (Buffalo, NY). Oct. 11, 1836.


15. Adopt me for $50

image of item Buffalo Sun (NY). Weekly edition, Aug. 3, 1839.

These three issues were included in a box of approximately 350 miscellaneous Buffalo newspapers. What is particularly interesting about these is that each is the only known issue of that title. The first two are campaign newspapers and were known to have been published only through secondary evidence. As for the Sun, a daily edition known in a few copies, but no one knew of this weekly edition. It was Buffalo's first penny paper. It is always gratifying to add such "discovery issues" to the collection, as they provide conclusive evidence of a newspaper's existence.
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $500

image of item Smith, Isaac, 1795-1877. Papers, 1837-1857.

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


17. AMAZON.COM IN 1869
Adopted by Michael Winship

image of item Publishers & stationers trade list directory for 1869. Philadelphia: Howard Challen, 1869.

A rare and important compilation of titles available from American book publishers as of January 1869, and an immediate precursor of the much better-known The publishers' trade list annual. This stout volume contains the current catalogs of nearly 200 American publishers, divided into five sections: juvenile, religious, and Catholic publishers; publishers of miscellaneous books, belles letters, and fiction; academic and professional publishers; suppliers of law, medical, and scientific books; and a closing section for suppliers of stationery, albums, picture frames, &c.
~David Whitesell


Adopted in honor of Dr. Stephen E. Tosi

image of item Catalogue of the officers and students of Dartmouth College, Hanover, October 1818. Hanover, NH: CA. Spear, 1818

This broadside is not listed by Shaw & Shoemaker in their catalog of pre-1820 American imprints. In March of 1818, the year this broadside was issued, Dartmouth alum Daniel Webster delivered an impassioned speech on the floor of the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Dartmouth College v. Woodward case (also known as the Dartmouth College Case). He defended the original 1769 charter of the college (which predated the establishment of the United States) and the right of the college to appoint its own trustees, all while admitting his strong attachment to the "small college" that had served him so well.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Peg Lesinski in honor of Ali Judd

image of item What Makes Me Grow? Or, Walks and Talks with Amy Dudley. New York: G.P. Putnam & Son, 1868.

Didactic conversations between a child and her rational, intelligent mamma about the ways of the natural world have been a fixture in transatlantic children's book publishing since the writings of Maria Edgeworth and Anna Letitia Barbauld were issued ca. 1800. In What Makes Me Grow, a mother teaches her daughter about biology using everyday events and objects. To spur her daughter's interest, the mother gives her child a panorama of people engaged in various physical activities such as driving at team of horses, milking a cow, and baking bread. This is a fine example of nineteenth-century attitudes toward the use of panoramas in early childhood education.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $2,500

Castine Journal, and Universal Advertiser (ME). 10 issues, 1799.
Castine Journal, and Eastern Advertiser (ME). 25 issues, 1799.

This volume appeared in a Maine auction and presented a rare opportunity to enhance AAS's holdings of early Maine newspapers. The Castine Journal was the first newspaper published in Castine, ME and first published by David J. Waters on January 2, 1799. He discontinued it in October 1801.
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $400

image of item Thayer, Ebenezer. Sermons, 1779-1790.

Reverend Ebenezer Thayer preached throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire during the late 18th century. This collection, consisting of seven manuscript booklets, contains his sermons over a ten-year period. The booklets themselves are simply sheets gathered together and folded to create pocket sized books. Thayer preached many of his sermons several times at different locations, and annotated at the end of each sermon when and where it was delivered. Notes on one sermon indicate that it was delivered seventeen times. Some of his sermons interestingly touch on concerns of the day, mainly the Revolution.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Terry Barnard

image of item Goddard, Henry. The world's catastrophe: an essay of imagination, with revelation in view. Portland, Me.: Thurston & Co., 1848.

Henry Goddard self-published four short volumes of verse, of which this is the last to be acquired by AAS. In this long poem, Goddard describes in some detail the world's cataclysmic end on Judgment Day—those unsatisfied by the Old Farmer's Almanac predictions for 2012 may wish to glance at this. This copy is inscribed by Goddard to his granddaughter and bears an added manuscript poem, "Contemplation at the Falls of Niagara."
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Richard Candee

image of item Time table of the Cocheco Mills . . . Dover, NH: Dover Enquirer Job Office, 1853.

This broadside would have been posted inside the living areas and working spaces of the Cocheco Cotton Mill buildings in Dover, New Hampshire. In the 1840s, Cocheco, like other textile mills in the region, made major technological changes to improve productivity. They replaced water wheels with turbines, block printing presses with cylinder presses for printing calico fabric, and added powerful steam engines to drive much of the machinery. Most mill operators tried to squeeze every ounce of work out of their labor force by developing elaborate shifts and bell systems to move workers through the plants with optimal efficiency. This time table reflects the complexity of the 13 hour day (11 of which were spent working) at Cocheco, which started for many at 5:45 am and ended at 7:00 pm.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Steve and Rosemary Taylor

image of item Wood, Alphonso. Leaves and Flowers, or Object Lessons in Botany with a Flora. New York: A.S. Barnes & Co.; Troy, N.Y.: Moore & Nims, 1869.

This cheerfully colored arrangement of flowers is the frontispiece to a textbook designed for elementary classes in botany taught in public schools or private academies. The first 100 pages or so of the text have wood-engraved illustrations on nearly every page, emulating the visual feel of an actual object lesson box filled with the actual plant being described.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $250

image of item Orange Patrol (Goshen, NY). 32 issues, 1801, 1802.

When Clarence Brigham published his History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820 in 1947, he was unable to locate any issues of the Orange Patrol dated later than April 20, 1802. AAS had the opportunity to acquire a previously unrecorded file with seven later issues, containing many previously unknown details about the paper's history, was too good to pass up! The latest issue now known is dated Dec. 28, 1802, and it contains a note that, while editors Hurtin and Denton would no longer publish the paper, William A. Carpenter would continue it. No issues have been found—yet—with Carpenter's imprint.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Jo Radner

image of item Waterman, Martha Elizabeth and Walter. Journals, 1854-1880.

Martha Elizabeth Drew was born in 1839 in Kingston, RI. She married Walter Waterman of Bridgewater, MA. This collection consists of three journals written by Martha, and one by Walter. Martha's journal entries detail daily weather and daily activities such as calling on friends, and attending singing school and sewing circles. Walter, who appears to have been a mechanic, records each day's work in his journal, such as working at the forge or working on furnaces.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Joanne Wilson

image of item Briggs & Co. Briggs & Co.'s patent transferring papers ... a warm iron passed over the back of these papers transfers the pattern to any fabric ... New York: Briggs & Co., [188-?].

A rare trade catalog reproducing hundreds of embroidery patterns. Customers could order selected patterns which, when placed pattern side down on fabric and heated with an iron, would transfer to the cloth. Patterns came either in six-foot long rolls (for repeating designs) or in sheets (for more complex images). Of particular interest is the section of "Village Scenes" by popular illustrator Kate Greenaway, which depict children in classic Greenaway garb.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Andrew and Caroline Graham in honor of Margaret Perry

image of item Lands sacred and classical: Gliddon's grand moving transparent panorama of the Nile. Philadelphia: Craig printer, 1850

In 1851, the archeologist George Robbins Gliddon unwrapped two Egyptian mummies before a group of rapt Philadelphians. This handbill for his lecture series and panorama was printed up to promote a series of talks planned by Gliddon during his stay at the Chinese Museum. The bill was picked up one of the attendees of a January performance, and was used to preserve a small piece of linen saved from the unwrapping. A review in The North American and United States Gazette stated, "The upper saloon of the Chinese Museum was pretty well filled last evening by a very excited and expectant audience, assembled to witness the opening and unrolling of two Egyptian mummies by Mr. Gliddon. After a few introductory remarks, operations were commenced on the mummy of the Egyptian lady, named Got-Mut-As-Anch, daughter of Got-Har-Af-Anch, priest and scribe of the sacred signet in the temple of Amun, at Thebes." According to the inscription on the back of the handbill, the ca. 800 B.C. linen scrap came from the wrappings of Got-mut-as-Anch.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Steve Beare and memory of Sue Allen

image of item The Boy's Treasury of Sports, Pastimes, and Recreations. Fourth American edition. New York: Clark, Austin & Co., 1850.

Striped publisher's cloth bindings are rare, and such a binding on a children's book in good condition is even rarer. The charming gilt vignette of boys at play puts an added layer on an already delightful binding.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $2,000

image of item The Truth Teller (Bloomington, IL). 10 issues, 1864-1865.

This is an extremely rare file of a short-lived periodical sponsored by Granville Hedrick. The founder of a Mormon faction called "Hedrickites," Hedrick claimed to be the true successor of Joseph Smith. The faction's official name was the Prophet of the Church of Christ on the Temple Lot. In 1865 the group moved to Independence, MO, in order to regain control of the Temple Lot that was dedicated by Joseph Smith; there it continued to publish this periodical. Much of the content of The Truth Teller attacked the "Brighamites" that had moved to Utah under the leadership of Brigham Young. It also blamed them for causing the Civil War by offending God.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Sara Gunasekara

image of item Hunt, Sabrina. Penmanship Book (New Ipswich, N.H.).

Sabrina Hunt was born in New Hampshire in 1845. This practice book belonged to her while she was living in New Ipswich, NH. Sabrina practiced her penmanship in this volume with single strokes, words, and verses. She practices by writing the names of various towns (Falmouth, Rutland and New Ipswich, for example) and phrases, such as "Miss Sarah Smith presents compliments to Miss Sabrina Hunt." She begins her book with the following verse: "The day is far spent the Evening is nigh; When we must lay down this body and die. Grant God we surrender our dust to thy care. But O. for the summons our spirits prepare."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Revell Carr in honor of Ansel Elkins

image of item Gould, Sarah. Asphodels. New York: "Proof-sheets," 1856.

A rare and unusual collection of Spiritualist poetry or, in the author's words, "Trance-Improvisations, produced at the instant of uttering, and uttered in a state of essential unconsciousness to outward objects." The two hundred pages of verse communicated through Sarah Gould bear ample witness to the poetic inclinations of the antebellum spirit world. But even spirits, it would seem, cannot help but tinker with their verse, as this copy bears a number of penciled corrections and deletions. The Preface's promise of appended notes "coming from the departed spirit of an acute scholar" is not only crossed out, but the "Notes" (p. 231-236) are excised. This copy was sold to AAS, on the basis of the annotations and singular "Proof-sheets" imprint, as being the author's own copy, but it seems more likely that all surviving copies of this self-published book bear this imprint and have been painstakingly corrected in the same way.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Cheryl Needle in honor of Lois Feldbin

image of item Mrs. John Haywood is prepared to accommodate twenty five or thirty members of the Legislature. [Raleigh, NC.], 1831.

This small circular is a good example of the power of ephemera to document history. The story behind this call for lodgers by Eliza E.A. Williams Haywood is complex. Her husband (and the father of her twelve children) was John Haywood, who died in 1827 at the age of 73. He had served as treasurer of North Carolina for 41 years and was much respected in state politics. Unfortunately, his successor discovered a $70,000 deficit in state coffers, causing a scandal that was covered in newspapers from Boston to New Orleans. Eventually, Haywood's estate paid back $7,000, leaving his wife with inadequate funds to maintain the family's Raleigh home, "Haywood Hall." By 1831 she was taking in boarders to cover expenses. This circular was addressed to William D. Mosely, then a young state senator from Lenoir County, who would eventually become speaker of the house and, later, governor of Florida.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Laura Wasowicz in memory of Christopher Meyers

image of item Brother Joseph. The White Knight or The Rock of the Candle. (Brother James's Library) Philadelphia: Henry McGrath, 1867.

American Catholic children's literature is rare before 1850, and The White Knight exemplifies the modest boom in Catholic publishing after the Civil War. The back pages contain advertisements for the Catholic Pocket Library, and books for parochial libraries published in England, Ireland, and Scotland--giving us a glimpse into the transatlantic world of Anglo-American nineteenth-century Catholic publishing.
~Laura Wasowicz



These two periodicals were published in Chicago before the Great Fire, which makes them very desirable to collectors. The first one is a Swedish-language Lutheran periodical, first published in Galesburg before moving to Chicago in 1858. The second one is a literary magazine published by Stoddard and Parkhurst for family and home enjoyment. ~Vincent Golden

35. Adopted by Andrew and Caroline Graham in memory of Ruth Graham

image of item Det Rätta Hemlandet Och Missionsbladet. Jan.-Dec. 1863. 12 issues


36. Adopt me for $275

image of item The Western Home. Jan.-Dec. 1870. 9 issues


Adopted Adopted by Betty Ann Sharp and Jim Ellis, Bearly Read Books, Sudbury, MA

image of item Mackenzie, R. Shelton. Life of Charles Dickens. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers, [1870].

In this copy, resplendent in its blue cloth publisher's binding, the title page and preface are followed by ... 470 blank pages!! Surely Dickens wasn't that dull of a fellow. This copy is in fact a very rare binder's trial copy, that is, a sample binding encasing the approximate number of blank pages comprising the finished book, showing the publisher how the volume would look when bound. The sample must have met with Peterson's approval, for AAS has another, textually complete copy in identical binding, save for the cloth color.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Garrett Scott, bookseller

image of item Price current of conjugal goods from Mme. M. Simmons & Co. New York, 1865-1875.

This small, unassuming circular advertises a wide range of goods, including condoms (male and female), "womb veils" (an early form of diaphragm), and other contraceptive devices. A list of (presumably) pornographic or erotic prints is also given on the reverse. All of the goods advertised—contraceptives, erotic prints, aphrodisiacs, and sexual novelty items—could be obtained by sending cash and postage stamps to Mme. Simmons at Station D, New York City (a post office in Manhattan located, ironically enough, in "Bible House," the headquarters of the American Bible Society). Ordered items would be sent to purchasers "through the mail ... in such a disguised manner that no one can detect or suppose the contents..." A rare survivor, the handbill-sized sheet offers insight into the marketing strategies of what was actually a widespread industry—selling contraceptives and erotica via mail order.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for $75

image of item Habermann, Johann. Doct. Habermann's Christliches Gebet-Buchlein. Harrisburg, Pa.: G.S. Peters, 1844.

It is always a real joy to acquire another book printed and engraved by Gustav Sigismund Peters (1793-1847). His distinctive wood engravings with their crisp, clear lines are highly collectible. This portrait of the author Johann Habermann shows a man kneeling in prayer, his eyes upon the ancient Hebrew script.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by David Tatham

image of item Major Downing's Advocate, and Mechanics' Journal (New York, NY). Sept. 30, 1834.

Jack Downing was a comic character created in 1830 by Seba Smith, who developed the country dialect-speaking character in a series of letters for the Portland Courier. As Downing became famous, Charles Augustus Davis imitated the style and wrote under the same name for New York papers. Davis started Major Downing's Advocate on Mar. 12, 1834, soon expanding the title to the longer form here. By then Davis had probably left the editorship, and the paper had taken on an anti-Jacksonian tone supporting the Whig party.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Andrew Graham

image of item Charles Eastman & Co. Letterbook, 1828-1834.

The South Hadley (Massachusetts) Canal opened in 1795 to bypass waterfalls on the Connecticut River and it was one of the earliest canals in the United States. Steamboat traffic on the canal began in 1828. This letter book was kept by Charles Eastman (1803 . 1884) and contains copies of outgoing correspondence. Charles Eastman and Co. was engaged in the manufacturing and wholesale trade of buttons, lastings, sheets, fabrics, pins and hardware. His letterbook contains over 100 letters relating to his business trade on the canal. The volume also contains two inventories, apparently for a store, from 1829.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Wayne Franklin

image of item Cooper, James Fenimore. The pathfinder; or, the inland sea. Paris: A. and W. Galignani, 1840.

It is not easy to find editions of James Fenimore Cooper novels published during the author's lifetime that are not already in AAS's pre-eminent collection, but this example turned up unexpectedly in, of all places, a local auction. The pathfinder, a novel set on and around Lake Ontario in the mid-18th century, was first published in Philadelphia in 1840. But as was typical for works by this best-selling novelist, it was quickly reprinted in London and Paris.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Andrew and Caroline Graham in memory of Robert Graham

image of item Nathaniel Currier, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. New York: N. Currier, 1838-1856.

Many reproductions were made of John Trumbull's well-known painting of the presentation of the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, starting almost immediately after its completion in 1819 and increasing dramatically after the canvas was installed in the Capitol rotunda in 1827. The enterprising publisher Nathaniel Currier issued several versions, including this lithograph printed when he was at 2 Spruce Street in New York. Currier's small, hand-colored sheet would have been more affordable than the large steel engravings of the scene which were on sale at the same time.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Audrey T. Zook

image of item Tuthill, Louisa C. The Boarding-School Girl. Boston: Wm. Crosby and H.P. Nichols, 1848.

Louisa Caroline Tuthill (1798-1879) was an early writer of realistic fiction for young adults. The frontispiece of "Italian Nuns" is a rare example of a school girl (as opposed to school boy) prank. Two girls pose as elderly nuns who have "escaped" a convent to tease the two young heroines (dressed in white) and their male friends. This copy has a handwritten inscription: A. Lewis Bishop, with the love of his Aunt Tuthill, New Haven, Oct. 16th '48.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Robert and Lillian Fraker, Savoy Books

image of item The Village Informant (Williamsport [i.e. Monongahela], PA). July 24, 1819.

This title was one of 194 listed in Clarence Brigham's History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820 (AAS, 1947) as "no copies known." Basing his entry on information from an 1882 publication, Brigham wrote that The Village Informant was published in 1818. This discovery issue shows that the paper actually began in March 1819. The Early American Newspaper database corroborates this, for one can find several references to this paper in 1819, but none later. It is always gratifying to locate issues of a newspaper that had not been found by Brigham.
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $100

image of item
Diary (Unidentifed), 1847

A new addition to the Unidentified Diaries Collection, this volume has only a few pages filled out, but contains quite interesting entries. The volume possibly belonged to a member of the Welles family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, although it is uncertain. The diary begins with an entry describing a trip from Hartford to the Western Reserve in Ohio and gives information about the cities (towns in the county without a Congregational Church, for example), and names of people from Connecticut who had moved to Ohio. Later entries include "Various facts noticed in my travels" ("Cincinnati — some houses cut up 1000 hogs in a day. Saw 45 two horse wagon loads of dressed hogs come up Walnut St. in one train.) as well as some bad jokes — "Rev. Mr Virgin married a young lady by the name of Virgin—his wife has therefore been a virgin all her life."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted adopted in honor of David R. Whitesell by his friends at AAS

image of item Bidwell, George, d. 1885. Treatise on the imposition of forms ... also, tables of signatures, etc., useful to compositors, pressmen, and publishers. New York: Raymond & Caulon, 1865

One of the few dedicated handbooks for printers on "imposition": the arrangement of text pages in the "form" placed on the bed of a press so that, when both sides of a sheet are printed and the sheet folded, pages will fall in proper sequence. Nineteenth-century innovations in printing technology—such as the casting of stereotype plates and the invention of large, steam-powered presses—gave printers many new options for imposing a text, but rarely does a machine-press-era book preserve the physical evidence necessary for determining the imposition scheme employed. Bidwell's Treatise offers an important window into how mid-19th century American printers understood imposition and what were considered the best contemporary practices.
~David Whitesell


Adopted as a gift of the R.A. Graham Company

image of item Currier & Ives. The night after the battle. New York: Currier & Ives, 1863

This print of a mother searching the battlefield for her son was issued by Currier & Ives in 1863, the year of the most destructive fighting of the Civil War. Vicksburg and Gettysburg and other major skirmishes claimed 167,000 American lives that year, making the scene in the print relevant to a large number of consumers. The publishers reused a composition that Currier had first published in the 1840s, showing the same scene during the Mexican American War, repeating the man with a torch, the moon, and the broken cannon in the foreground. For the reissue, the lithographer updated the soldiers' uniforms and removed a palm tree (appropriate for the Mexican War but not so much for the battles of 1863).
~Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for $100

image of item Yelrath, Karl C. A Backwoods Idyl. Tiffin, Ohio: Buckeye Publishing Co., 1874.

This is one of two amateur books on our adoption list; it adds to our already strong holdings of books printed as offshoots of the amateur newspaper press. This is a somewhat racy account of a young man finding romance and love in the Michigan backwoods. This amateur book also sports a number of interesting ads, including one for confederate stamps and currency sold by one Wilfred Babcock of Chester, S.C.—showing the truly national audience of the amateur press.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $200

image of item Bradford, Lewis. Letters, 1817-1829.

Lewis Bradford, a descendant of Governor William Bradford, and son of Levi Bradford and Elizabeth Lewis Bradford, was born in Plympton, Massachusetts in 1768. Lewis lived his entire life in the town of Plympton, working as the town clerk for forty years. This collection of letters from Bradford are all addressed to his younger brother, Major Levi Bradford (1772 - ), while Levi was living in New York. The letters speak mostly of the goings-on in Plympton, updating Levi as to births, deaths, marriages, new ministers, court cases, new buildings ("This is a world of changes — the new houses built in Plympton, and several new roads...") as well as family gossip. Bradford's pious and polite attitude comes through in these letters, especially when having to pass along unfortunate family news . "It is rather of an unpleasant task to write about unpleasant things which take place in families, but perhaps it is not amiss for different branches of the same family to know them."
~Tom Knoles



Recently the American Antiquarian Society had an opportunity to purchase a number of western newspapers from a variety of towns and states. Being located in New England, it isn.t often we have opportunities to acquire newspapers from the other side of the country. So when a chance like this presented itself, we acquired a number of titles. What is particularly nice about this group is they are not from the largest cities of each state.

51. Adopted by Paul Erickson in honor of Daniel and Marilyn Brady

image of item Arizona Sentinel (Yuma). 1875. 4 issues.


52. Adopt me for $225

image of item Placer Weekly Argus (Auburn, CA) 1873.


53. Adopt me for $675

image of item Calistoga Free Press (Calistoga, CA). 1874-1875. 38 issues.


54. Adopted by William Wallace in honor of Mark S. Kirsch

image of item Russian River Flag (Healdsburg, CA) 1870. 4 issues.


55. Adopt me for $325

image of item Lakeport Avalanche (CA). 1871. 18 issues.


56. Adopt me for $75

image of item Weekly National Gazette (Nevada, CA) 1870. 4 issues.


57. Adopt me for $175

image of item Petaluma Evening Argus (CA) 1872. 10 issues.


58. Adopt me for $350

image of item Times-Review (Tuscarora, NV) 1878. 20 issues.


59. Adopt me for $1,600

image of item Pioneer and Democrat (Olympia, WA) 1856-1860. 96 issues.

A continuation of the first newspaper in the Washington Territory.


Adopted by Daryl and John Perch in honor of the important work of AAS

image of item
Geer, Samuel. Mathematics Exercise Book, 1795.

This mathematics exercise book belonged bears the name of Samuel Geer, who was probably from Groton, Connecticut. The book is filled with mathematical calculations and problems, as well as solutions, written in a very neat hand. Questions involve liquid, cubic, long and square measurements, time ("How many minutes since the creation of the world..."), percentages, and compound interest ("What is the compound interest of 450 dols. for 4 years at 7 per cent?").
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Jackie Penny

image of item Audot, Louis-Eustache. Domestic French cookery. Translated by Miss Leslie. New ed. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1846.

Rare printing in its original flexible gilt cloth binding of this cookbook, which did much to introduce French cooking to an American audience. Eliza Leslie was a prolific editor and author whose works included other cookbooks, fiction, and gift books. In the preface, she explains that certain compromises were necessary in order to adapt French recipes for America. They needed to be rewritten so as to be "practicable with American utensils and American fuel," and "many dishes have been left out, as useless in a country where provisions are abundant. On this side of the Atlantic all persons in respectable life can obtain better articles of food than sheeps' tails, calves' ears, &c."
~David Whitesell


Adopted as a gift of the R.A. Graham Company

image of item E.B. & E.C. Kellogg. Young America. Hartford: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, ca. 1855-1859.

This group of children is a mixed lot. Some are barefoot while others wear fancy shoes, they are mostly big boys except for one little tag-along not yet in breeches and, in the back, a young African American child. Fancy hats (including one made from newspaper), a drum, flag, and whistles have been procured and each child holds a stick as a rifle. The leader, in a liberty cap and bearing a toy sword, stands before them with his dog. The publishers added the subtitle The Union is Safe to the print, a somewhat optimistic statement given the national debates raging in the 1850s over slavery, state's rights, the Kansas question, and taxation — all of which were driving a wedge between the North and South.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by David Tatham

image of item Collins, Charles Lee. The School Days and Antics of the Appleton Academy Boys. Cincinnati: Collins & Hare, 1874.

The boys of Appleton Academy band together to revolt against their new strict teacher Professor Bright; in doing so they pull all kinds of pranks to literally drive him out of town. It is a plot worthy of any television sitcom found on Nickelodeon or Disney Channel today. What makes this book so compelling is that the text and publication are firmly in the hands of its author young Charles Lee Collins. Like the other amateur book up for adoption, the ads prove as interesting as the text; here is an ad featuring an image of a toy parlor press, showing the means by which boys like Collins achieved their creative freedom.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $600

image of item Hesperian (San Francisco, CA). Vol. 2, 1859, Vol. 4, 1860. Vol. 5, 1860. Vol. 7, 1862.

This was one of the early periodicals published in San Francisco edited by a woman and aimed at women readers. It began May 1858 and lasted until 1863 when it became the Pacific Monthly for one more year. The editor was a Hermione Ball Day but listed it as "Mrs. F.H. Day." Born in Buffalo in 1826, she moved out to California in the early 1850s. She started the publication noting, "The present undertaking is in the hands of ladies, and will be conducted by our own citizens; those with whom we have toiled day by day for years past, those who have stood by California through her many vicissitudes, and who are willing to give all their time and bring their energies to bear in establishing a literary paper which will be a credit to the State..." It was a handsome publication with colored plates and an eclectic mix of stories, news, jokes, and poems. One reader pointed out the content was from Milton to muffins.
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $550

image of item Henshaw, Daniel. Justice of the Peace notebook from Worcester County, 1776-1777.

Daniel Henshaw of Leicester, Massachusetts, was a Justice of the Peace for Worcester County. His notebook chronicles his legal duties from 1776-1777. Reading through Henshaw's notebook is an excellent way to understand a year in the life of a Justice of the Peace, as well as to see what kind of legal matters were concerning Worcester residents during the Revolutionary war. The volume includes a copy of a writ for the attachment of the property and person of William Buxton of Worcester for an assault on Joel How, also of Worcester, in the course of which "the said Wm did then and there seize by the nose wring & twist it & did also then & there, wound beat & evil treat the said Joel & other Injuries and enormities the said Wm ... against the peace of the Government and people."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Chip Rowe

image of item Kellogg, Daniel B. Autobiography of Dr. D.B. Kellogg or, explanation of clairvoyance... Ann Arbor: Dr. Chase's Steam Printing House, 1869.

A rare, substantial (200 pages), and fascinating autobiography of a nineteenth-century spiritualist. Born in a log cabin outside of Ann Arbor, MI in 1834, Daniel B. Kellogg describes his mental powers and how he became aware of them, interspersing his account with long philosophical discussions of "magnetism," somnambulism, his practice as a clairvoyant "physician," his persecution by disbelievers, and some practical pointers on communicating successfully with the spirit world.
~David Whitesell


Adopt me for $125

image of item Poetical tribute to the memory of Miss Eliza Hamblet. Pelham, NH, 1818.

This unrecorded pre-1820 elegiac poem laments the death of a young woman in Pelham, New Hampshire. The factual story of the Hamblet family is ignored in the poem. Instead, attention is paid to the great attachment of Miss Eliza to Christian virtues, her good manners and mild disposition. Not discussed in the poem is the fate of her mother and four remaining siblings (her father had died in 1812). Around 1815, Eliza's mother married the widower Dr. Aaron Grosvenor, also of Pelham, who had eight children of his own, creating a combined household of twelve children, ages nine to seventeen. It is unknown who ordered the poetical tribute to Eliza, but it is possible that it was printed by William M. Butler, who had married Eliza's stepsister Sarah Grosvenor in 1817.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for $300

image of item The Bouquet (Hartford, CT) 1832-1833. 26 issues.

This was a short-lived literary periodical. While we had a partial run in a bound volume, the colorful paper wrappers had been removed (a common binding practice). These issues demonstrate why it is important to acquire issues with wrappers. Not only do they have publishing information and advertisements, additional short articles were printed on them.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Reiner Smolinski in honor of Virginia Spencer Carr

image of item Kimball, Jacob. Diaries, 1852-1875.

Jacob Kimball was born in Vermont in 1807, and married Betsy Herrick in 1834. The couple lived in Brooklyn, CT and had five children. This collection consists of five pocket diaries, dated 1852, 1857, 1864, 1872 and 1875, kept by Kimball. The diaries detail his daily activities, including farm labor, visiting, churchgoing and transporting people, including Civil War enlistees. Kimball also acted as a town constable, collecting debts, making arrests and testifying in court. Entries include his many days spent in court, and his extensive travels around New England.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by by Hal Espo and Ree DeDonato

image of item Osler, Edward. The life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth. London: Smith Elder & Co.; New York: William Jackson, 1835.

The near-definitive 1983 catalogue raisonné of Currier & Ives lithographed prints describes precisely 7,500 separate items published by Nathaniel Currier and the successor firm, Currier & Ives, from 1835-1898. Only six prints are recorded from the firm's first year, 1835. This book contains an unrecorded seventh: a folding "Plan of Sea Defences at Algiers" signed "Lith. By Nl. Currier No. 1 Wall St. N.Y." Osler's biography was first published the same year in London. For the American edition, because the original lithographic stone for the plan was not available in New York, Currier was commissioned to reproduce the plan in lithographic facsimile. No priority has been established for Currier's 1835 output, so the question of whether this plan might be the very first Currier print remains unresolved.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Gretchen Adams in honor of Lloyd Bond

image of item The Greatest curiosity in the world. Providence, RI.: B.T. Albro, 1842.

Using more than a dozen different sets of wood and metal type, this thirty-three line broadside announces a group of natural history curiosities which were exhibited around New England in 1842. The group of creatures includes a weasel, monkeys, a seal, and an elk as well as two "freaks of nature"—a three legged cow and a double bull—which were given top billing. One wonders how the wolf and the elk managed to get along during travel periods, and the difficulties of transporting a seal certainly must have been challenging. Recorded by this broadside as in Providence in September, the group was also listed in newspapers in New Haven, Connecticut, in October.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopt me for $200

image of item The Golden ABC. Boston: Wier & White, ca. 1850-1851

This is a fairly large picture book for the time (a little over 10 inches tall), and the typeface is large and rounded, ideal for easy reading. The illustrations convey scenes from everyday life, as on this page portraying the letters U and V: "U was an Uncle, to his nephew very good, And bought him large toys whenever he could. V was a Van, filled with little boys, who going out for pleasure made a terrible noise." These lines and the accompanying wood engraving portray a children's world filled with material comforts and rowdy play.
~Laura Wasowicz



These two titles were a continuation of the Illinois Medical and Surgical Journal, the first medical periodical issued in Chicago. They are scarce pre-fire Chicago imprints and even harder to find in original wrappers. The subscriber was John Weld of Nauvoo, IL, a doctor, Mormon and Freemason. ~ Vincent Golden

73. Adopt me for $425

image of item North-Western Medical and Surgical Journal (Chicago, IL) Jan. 1850, May 1852-Jan, 1856.


74. Adopt me for $150

image of item Chicago Medical Journal (IL) Apr. 1858-Aug. 1861. 13 issues.


Adopt me for $1,000

image of item Massachusetts Infantry Orderly Book, Greenfield, MA, 1825-1833

This orderly book belonged to a company of infantry in Greenfield, MA under the command of Lieutenant Chester Bascom. Bascom, son of Joseph Bascom and Esther Judd, was born in Greenfield in 1786. The front page of the volume reads "In this book must be recorded all orders issues by the Commanding Officer of the company all meetings of the company in pursuance of such orders whether for military discipline or for other purposes." The volume is nearly filled with orders for assembly, militia training, parades, the appointing of officers, and meetings. The book covers a span of almost ten years with entries dating from March 1825 through October 1833.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Walter and Julia Barnard

image of item Instructions on plumbing, by a practical plumber. Boston: Robert McAvoy, 1877.

Many American households experienced a revolution in indoor plumbing during the 1870s, but with added convenience came responsibility. Hence this unrecorded pamphlet, "published for the benefit of housekeepers occupying houses where there are hot and cold arrangements, the greater part of whom know little or nothing about managing them ... By following closely the instructions given in this book, you will in a short time save ten times the amount paid." We're listening! Topics include "how and where to shut off water," "how to thaw out a water-pipe," "how to keep a sink ... from stopping up," "the best disinfectant for defective water-closets," and proper maintenance of a hot water system.
~David Whitesell


Adopt me for $250

image of item A Mammoth newspaper! 10 Copies for $10. Philadelphia: Charles Alexander, 1837

At the end of 1837, the Philadelphia newspaper publisher Charles Alexander decided to make some changes to his popular paper, the American Weekly Messenger. He added more literary content, increased illustrations, and offered double edition premiums, such as the New Year's offering described on this broadside. The proposed issue included a page of portraits of important figures in American history, such as George Washington and Lafayette, a list of solvent banks, and descriptions of counterfeit notes (information in great demand following the financial panic of 1837), and additional poems and stories designed to appeal to a wide audience.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Russell W. Dalton

image of item The Children's Bible Picture-Book. New York: James Miller, 1864.

This was a fairly lavish production issued by picture book publisher James Miller; it is nearly 300 pages long, and illustrated with fifty hand-colored wood engravings. Among them is this brightly colored image of the Nativity. Apparently, this American edition was based upon an English edition published by Bell and Daldy, which in turned contained pictures copied from the Illustrated German Bible, underscoring the increasingly international market of nineteenth-century picture book publishing.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Sally Talbot in memory of my parents Dr. Jane Fitzpatrick and Dr. Edward F. Kilroy

image of item Missouri Medical and Surgical Journal (St. Louis). May 1845 (Vol. 1, no. 1).

Here is the first issue of a short-live Missouri medical periodical. It was edited by Dr. R.F. Stevens and was associated with the medical faculty Kemper College who also wrote some of the articles. In Sept. 1848 it merged into the St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal. Besides articles on subjects such as poisoning by laudanum and removing lead from the bladder, it has a number of advertisements from local doctors and pharmacists.
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $200

image of item
Diary (Unidentified), 1852-1853.

Another addition to the Unidentified Diary collection is this volume kept by a school girl in Rhode Island. Entries date from November of 1852 through January of 1853 and is labeled as the second volume. In the first entry the diarist writes that keeping a journal "affords every facility for an inexperienced writer to improve in composition." Throughout the winter months, the author mentions the cold weather and many snow storms, although in one entry she writes "I should not mention the weather so often in my journal, but sometime I may want to refer back to it." She also recounts her days of school work, including music lessons and arithmetic class, as well as visiting with friends and family, taking exercise, knitting, and shopping.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Gordon Pfeiffer in memory of Marvin Balick

image of item Havergal, Frances Ridley. Sunbeams from the golden land. Boston: A. A. Carter & Karriek, 1886.

By the time of her death in 1879, the English writer of poetry, hymns, and religious tracts Frances Havergal was nearly as popular in the United States as in her native country. Much of her work was published posthumously in formats suitable for gift giving, as here. Sunbeams is set in special script types and printed in gold ink. But what distinguishes it from similar publications is the publisher's binding of thick green paper, stamped in gilt with an albumen carte-de-visite of the author mounted on the front cover. Very few American photographically illustrated books of the 19th century are known in which an original photograph is incorporated into the binding design.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Kathleen Di Vito Keirn in honor of Tim Keirn

image of item Cleveland Leader Extra. Crystal fountain water cure. Cleveland, 1854

"Taking the waters" was not just an East coast health phenomenon. This circular letter, which doubled as an advertising extra to the Cleveland Leader, promotes the Crystal Fountain Water Cure in Berlin Heights, Ohio, near Lake Erie. Potential patients are assured of the modern qualities of the facilities, the fact that no drugs are added to the water, and the careful separation of men and women during treatments. This last point may be in response to the growing free-love movement which, in August of 1853, was drawing national attention to Ohio as several small groups of free-love supporters created communities in Drake County and eventually in Berlin Heights, near the Crystal Fountain establishment.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by by Gordon Pfeiffer in honor of Jack and Linda Lapides

image of item The Prince and the Outlaw. New York: John McLoughlin, ca. 1858.

This is an early example of a McLoughlin Bros. picture book; an ad for McLoughlin Bros. appears on the back cover. It is a tale of royal King Edward who valiantly fights (and forgives) the rebel Gordon.
~Laura Wasowicz


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

image of item Our Song Birds (Chicago, IL) July 1866.

George Root was noted as a composer and as one of the largest publishers of music in Chicago in the 1860s. This cute little 64-page booklet was written by Root and B.R. Hanby and published by Root & Cady. The series was a juvenile musical quarterly that lasted six issues between 1866 and 1867. Each one had its own title, with this one being "The Red Bird." Like many pre-Fire Chicago imprints, it is quite scarce.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Doris O'Keefe in honor of Mount Holyoke College

image of item Barnum, Susan E., School notebook.

This notebook belonged to Susan E. Barnum (1862-1922) of Bethel, Connecticut. Barnum kept this notebook while attending Mount Holyoke Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in the 1870s. Her notes mostly concern literature and poetry, including writings on Milton, Chaucer, Wordsworth and Shakespeare. One half of the notebook appears to assignments or directions for study, written front to back within the volume. In one entry, Barnum writes "Milton / Story of Milton's life. Name his chief poems, when written? To what department of poetry does each belong. Character of his sonnets...." The other half, written upside down, back to front, includes essays and class notes. Some topics include "Parallel Structure of L'Allegro," "Chaucers Tomb," and "Historical importance of Milton's poetry." This school book is an excellent glimpse into the kind of education some women were receiving in the late 19th century.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by John Hench

image of item Henry A. Brown & Co. Catalogue of illustrated books for sale ... at their illustrated book rooms, 144 Tremont Street ... [Boston: H.A. Brown & Co., 1871].

An unrecorded bookseller's catalog which sheds much light on an interesting, but little understood, aspect of the mid-19th century book trade. Brown claims that "in 1849, he began the task of creating a taste for [illustrated books, i.e., large format plate volumes] in America." At that time, he states, such works were sold mostly through agents in part form by subscription, rather than as complete bound volumes. Brown had since made such books his specialty. At his Boston retail store Brown offered a stock of several hundred illustrated volumes, including large plate books (both bound and loose in portfolios) in a wide variety of subjects, illustrated sets of novels and poetry, Bibles, children's books, gift books, scrapbooks and postage stamp albums; he also maintained an active subscription business.
~David Whitesell


87. 2012, THE SAME AS 1856?
Adopted by Robert and Lillian Fraker, Savoy Books

image of item The Second annual address of the carrier of the Long-Island Times. Flushing, New York, 1856.

This carrier's address printed on blue paper covers the usual New Year's request for generous tips found in most news boy poems. The broadside also summarizes the news of the prior year, covering events in Europe and South America and also on the home front. The contentious presidential election of 1856 (Buchanan/Fremont/Fillmore) is given several lines, as the writer complains of election-year fatigue stating he is glad to be done, "with its horrible confusion, with its endless speechifying, with its banners and its rockets, with its great torch-light processions, with its talk about corruption, Despots, Slaves and Foreign voters, with its endless public meetings and its ceaseless disputation." Will we feel the same at the end of 2012?
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Steve Bolick

image of item Grandmamma Easy's Toy Shop. Albany: Richard H. Pease, ca. 1847-1852.

This folio picture book gives us a rare glimpse into the "Temple of Fancy" operated by picture book publisher Richard Pease. On display are all kinds of toys then in common use, including toy soldiers, kites, masks, and a grand dray "with horses and harness complete."
~Laura Wasowicz



Two unrecorded Kentucky newspapers

89. Adopt me for $200

image of item Volunteer (Hickman, KY) Oct. 28, 1848

This is an unrecorded campaign newspaper supporting the Democratic party. It was published by J. Leigh was also publisher of Leigh's Commercial Standard at the time (and most likely printed on the same press). It supported mostly party issues related to the state, but there is some national coverage. There is found inside a nice crude woodcut of a rooster under the caption "Three cheers for Ohio!!!" In the masthead, the typesetter accidently set the "n" upside down.
~Vincent Golden


90. Adopt me for $100

image of item The Evening Signal. Devoted to News, Literature, &c. (Louisville, KY) Apr. 20, 1842.

The publisher of this small-format daily newspaper was William H. Johnston. Little is known of Mr. Johnston. He published a newspaper in Louisville in 1840 called Spirit of the West which is known in a single issue. He also published the Western Literary and Historical Magazine at this office, but it lasted but nine months in 1842. Inside the Evening Signal, there is a note saying if the reader gave the carrier a picayune, they would receive the paper for one week. This was a half real Spanish coin (2 reals = 25 cents).
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $600

image of item Hoffman & White, Daybook, 1836.

The printing and bookbinding firm of Hoffman & White was located in Albany, NY. Benjamin Hoffman and Andrew were the proprietors and printers of the Albany Evening Journal which they conducted along with Thurlow Reed. This daybook reflects a year's work of in-house and job bookbinding work performed. Arranged chronologically and beginning in March of 1836, the book includes including "Cutting alphabet," "name on one book," and "Bind 100 Davies Arithmetic," as well as each transaction's cost. Besides being an account book, this volume also contains manuscripts for two unpublished novellas by Jessie Rivington. The first is titles "Jessie or the Convent in Italy," the second "The effects of Pride or, Florence and Marion."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Wendy Woloson

image of item The Queen of the Night. A story of love, crime and intrigue in wicked New York. [New York]: Richmond and Co., [1871].

Apparently unrecorded, this dime novel reveals the highs and lows of life in "wicked New York." It begins at Sing-Sing, where remorseful convict Whiskie is breaking rocks, only to encounter his former partner in crime, the manipulative, cold-blooded gang leader Slippery Blacksmith. Whiskie resists Slippery's unrefusable offer, only to die—or so Slippery thinks, before he breaks out of Sing-Sing. Months later, a freed Whiskie has reinvented himself as "Hugh Mortimer," a gentleman in pursuit of Gretchen, a wealthy young resident of fashionable Fifth Avenue. But the "Queen of the Night," who shines in the most select social circles as easily as she dominates the New York underworld, conspires with Slippery to turn Whiskie's designs to their own advantage. Many lurid plot twists later, Whiskie casts his nemeses into a watery grave and marries the still-undefiled Gretchen.
~David Whitesell


Adopt both of us for $250

image of item The Petticoat Priest, 1850-1870.

This pair of ballads was issued sometime after 1850 by an unknown American publisher. They were both meant to be sung to the tune of The Pauper's Drive, which was written in England by Thomas Noel in 1841. The first ballad sets up the characters in the story: a rascally Methodist priest, his selfish second wife, his dreadfully wronged, impoverished children. The priest has a series of interactions with the community, all meant to reflect his miserly attitude. The second air continues the story, with the priest moving West to seek his fortune, going bust, speculating on livestock in Canada, borrowing his neighbors tools, and generally neglecting his family. The final refrain indicates that a third ballad was in the works, but no issue is known.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Joanne Wilson

image of item Curly Locks and other Rhymes. New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1882.

This marvelous picture book was published as part of the Mother Goose in a New Dress series, with designs by noted artist Walter Satterlee (1844-1908). This is a fine example of a late nineteenth-century McLoughlin picture book, with the fairly abstract cover design by McLoughlin staff artist William Bruton of Curly Locks being wooed by her soldier interposed with the parading Mother Goose and her brood.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Brett Mizelle in honor of Jennifer M. Spear

image of item New-Orleans Bee/L'Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orléans (LA) May 2, 1836.

This paper began as a French-language newspaper Sept. 1, 1827 and three months later becomes bi-lingual. In 1872 it switched back to being French-only.
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $200

image of item Winsor, George Jr., Ledger, 1845-1868

George Winsor, Jr. (1790-1880) lived in Duxbury, Massachusetts and married Hannah Delano in 1817. Winsor was a captain of merchant vessels, including the Delano and the brig United States. This ledger begins in 1845 with the accounts of Enoch Train & Co. and Augustus Hemenway. These pages show entries such as money collected from passengers and money received or paid in New Orleans, Liverpool and Boston. The ledger then jumps to 1867 and follows family expenses through 1873. The ledger is filled with interesting expenses such as tickets for carriages and trips to Boston, medicine, lobster, washer woman, "Penny Post Man," the Boston Herald newspaper, a school book for Hattie, tickets to a banquet in Weston, travel for daughter Frances, Geo. Peabody photograph, a parish tax paid to Josiah Moore, payment to J.S. Lorings for a deed, and a contribution to a soldiers' monument in September of 1869.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Walter and Julia Barnard

image of item The Rhode Island Johnny-Cake. North Franklin, CT: L.B. Ladd, 1878.

A very rare printing from a small eastern Connecticut town—clearly done on a table-top amateur printing press—of this anonymous poetic paean to a famous early American culinary staple. Johnnycake consists of corn meal which is mixed with salt and water or milk and then fried or baked, though a number of regional variations exist. The New England version followed Native American recipes, with Rhode Island often claimed as its place of origin. This ten-stanza poem apparently dates from the early 19th century and is known, with minor textual variants, in several broadside printings (none yet at AAS). A morsel:

  The good Roger Williams, that pious old chief,
  First cross'd the Atlantic for conscience's relief.
  Bade adieu to oppression, to seek and to find
  A spot more congenial that suited his mind;
  He came to Rhode Island, and there prais.d the Lord,
  Content with hot Johnny-Cake fresh from the board.

~David Whitesell




98. Adopt me for $200

image of item Penfield Extra (NY). Jan. 21, 1864.


99. Adopted by Vincent Golden in memory of Stanley Oliner

image of item Nellie Williams, editress of the Penfield Extra, Rochester: George W. Godfrey & Co., ca. 1865.

This tintype mounted on printed card stock was acquired along with an issue of the amateur newspaper the Penfield Extra, which was published by Nellie Williams in Penfield, New York. The paper is one of the most famous pre-1870 amateur newspapers and it bore the subtitle "Little Nellie's Little Paper." Williams started the paper in 1862 at the age of 12, using a press borrowed from an older brother who had gone off to war. This photograph was made of Nellie in nearby Rochester by George W. Godfrey & Co. who promoted these small-sized images as "photo-autographs." Nellie probably swapped her portrait with other amateur journalists, a practice that was popular at the time.
~Lauren Hewes and Vincent Golden


100. SNAKE!
Adopted by Stephen Gilson in honor of Matthew Shakespeare

image of item The Brazen Serpent. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, ca. 1857-1860.

This story about faith is told as a conversation between a mother and her daughter about how Moses (in obedience to God) made a brazen serpent and ordered those bitten by the snakes to look upon the statue in order to be cured.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Jennifer Hughes

image of item Comic Repository (Saco, ME) Oct. 11, 1833. Vol. 1, no. 1.

This was the first comic newspaper of Maine following a series of humorous columns that were published in the Maine Palladium of Saco. The first issue is the only one known.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Peg Lesinski in honor of Jerrold Cote

image of item Goodrich, Walter. Diary, 1846

Walter Goodrich lived in Portland, Maine, and kept this diary during the first half of 1846. Most of his entries concern the weather, his time at school, and daily life in his community with family, friends, and his dog, Ring. Entries include descriptions of school dances, bullying other school boys, and playing ball ("Sidney Barker and I was out of doors playing ball up against the side of the building. Sidney threw the ball, I batted it and bang it went right again the window breaking a pane of glass... I suppose I shall have to pay for it."). This volume is a wonderful glimpse into the life of a boy in New England in the mid 19th century.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by J. Thomas Touchton

image of item Waterbury, Jared Bell. The soldier from home. New York: American Tract Society, [1861-1865].

The soldier from home offers a fascinating Civil War perspective on the topic of postal communication with soldiers—all the more important during this sesquicentennial period because of the mass of surviving correspondence and the numerous edited compilations being published. Waterbury first outlines the mundane details of camp life and the routines of sending and receiving mail, thus enabling those at home to visualize more clearly the importance of letters in soldiers' daily lives. He then offers pointers on what to write, the effect that letters have on their recipients, dealing with the uncertainty caused by lost letters, preparing for receipt of the dreaded letter addressed in an unknown hand and bearing a black seal, and the solace to be derived from reading what one now knows to be "the last letter."
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Steve and Rosemary Taylor

image of item Charles H. Crosby & Co.. The two pets. Boston: Charles H. Taylor & Co., 1872.

This chromolithograph of a girl and her dog was issued as a premium with a subscription to American Homes Illustrated, a periodical published in Boston from 1871 to 1875 by Charles H. Taylor. A year after this print was made Taylor, who also worked as a stringer for the New York Tribune and wrote for the Boston Traveller, joined the staff of the brand new Boston Globe. He would eventually become that paper's powerful editor and publisher.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Andrew and Caroline Graham in honor of Gus Ward

image of item Edgeworth, Maria. Lazy Lawrence. Philadelphia: Geo. S. Appleton; New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1847.

The British author Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) enjoyed a long career writing for children and youth; her books were celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic. Like Hannah More, Edgeworth excelled at writing didactic fiction that exalted the goodness and exposed the foolishness of country folk, regardless of class. The book's leading character Lawrence (the boy with the hat) avoids a prison sentence by telling the truth, and changing his lazy ways. This lively frontispiece was engraved by Henry Walker Herrick (1824-1906) after a design by William Croome (1790-1860).
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Kay Allen in memory of Harold Bliss

image of item American Railway Times (Boston, MA) Aug. 19, 1852.

AAS has a major collection of early railway publications, mostly due to the generosity of our member, Thomas W. Streeter (1883-1965). Our collection includes a number of railway trade periodicals. This issue contains articles on engineering development, history, economics, and current news. It also contains a number of advertisements of manufacturers and suppliers and schedules of various lines. The paper ran from 1849 to 1872.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Cheryl Needle in honor of Lois Feldbin

image of item Directions for Servants, undated.

Within this undated and unattributed volume are daily directions for servants. The inside cover indicates the directions listed are the "Work of Man & Wife at East Division." The instructions listed walk through daily and weekly tasks, assigning each task separately to the man or woman. In the morning, the man must "attend to the fires & dress & wash the boys for breakfast. while the women is to "prepare the breakfast assist at the table." Other daily duties include chamber work, taking the boys for exercise, general mending, and keeping the boys "tidy in every way."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Bromer Books

image of item Barnard, H. D. Travels by land & water. [Hartford: H. D. Barnard, 1860].

A very rare and unusual biography and travel narrative authored by 11-year-old H. D. Barnard, who also set this small-format pamphlet in type and printed it on an amateur press. Born in Detroit, Barnard describes several long journeys to Michigan and Wisconsin, and several shorter trips within southern New England, that he took with his father. Another brief chapter describes a visit on board the S.S. Great Eastern while docked in New York during its maiden voyage to the United States.
~David Whitesell


Adopt me for $250

image of item Cora Page and Miss Taylor, carte-de-visite album. Manchester, New Hampshire, 1866-1875.

This lovely photograph album with its elaborate clasps and gilt pages, includes portraits of several interconnected families of Manchester, New Hampshire, including members of the Page, Felch and Furnald clans. Many of the images were made in Manchester by the photographer David O. Furnald (1829-1909), who had a shop there after the Civil War. There are also photographs taken in Lowell and Boston. Fortunately, the former owner of this album used the pre-published index page to carefully identify each sitter, and recorded the names of the farmers and carpenters, their spouses, and their children.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Joanne Wilson

image of item Boy's & Girl's Illustrated Olio. New York: Methodist Episcopal Sunday School Union, ca. 1860.

This is an early example of a children's tract that was designed like an annual, featuring various pieces on Christmas, animals, and faraway places, such as the Turkish city of Constantinople (now Istanbul).
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Caroline Sloat in honor of Robert E. Sloat

image of item Opera Bulletin (Boston, MA). Oct. 14, 1859.

This is a scarce periodical highlighting the musical activities around Boston. It was published by J. E. Farwell & Co.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Lynn Bassett

image of item Penmanship Book, undated.

A new addition to the ever growing penmanship book collection, this workbook contains script of both single words and phrases for practicing the art of penmanship. "Let wisdom direct thy steps," "Honesty if the best policy," and "Revenge dwells in little minds" are but a few of the phrases repeated. What is most interesting about this volume is the cover, which is a wrapper from a ream of paper. The wrapper indicates the paper was manufactured by Simeon L. Gordon of Holderness, New Hampshire. The decorative wrapper also shows a building housing multiple businesses, including a book store, dry goods and hardware store, and a Masonic Hall.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Ann Berry

image of item Randolph, Joseph Williamson. A catalogue of (80 pages, containing 1700 different items and over 4000 volumes,) rare and valuable books ... Richmond, VA: J. W. Randolph, 1857.

A rare and substantial bookseller's priced catalog, consisting mostly of used and antiquarian books in several languages. Of special interest are the 15 or so lots marked with a pointing fist directing the reader's attention to the provenance. Two are identified as from the library of Thomas Jefferson (one ex-George Wythe), but most are from James Madison's library. Madison willed his extensive book collection to the University of Virginia, but it remained at his Montpelier estate for many years after his death in 1836. Eventually only some 600 pamphlets arrived at Virginia, with most of the books apparently having been sold off beforehand by Dolley Madisons's profligate son. On the evidence of this catalog, at least a small portion may have passed through Randolph's hands.
~David Whitesell


114. WELCOME TO 1864
Adopted by Georgia Barnhill

image of item Daily Evening Bulletin. Philadelphia: Peacock, Chambers & Co., 1863.

Printed in colored inks and topped by a large eagle, this carrier's address was published during the Civil War, probably in December of 1863 for the New Year of 1864. The poem begins "Peace be unto you, dear patron, and your house and all you love; though the land is red with carnage, your Preserver reigns above." A strong abolitionist tone comes across in the address, reflecting the political position of the paper's editor, Gibson Peacock, and also addressing the presence of African American troops on the battlefield. The address states, "We again shall be so strong; that no enemy can move us, nor reproach us with the wrong; suffered by a race of beings who, though not so white and fair; have the stamp of Him upon them, whose great cross with us they bear; nobly too, they've proved their valor, fighting bravely side by side; in the thickest part of the battle; many a swarthy hero died." The African American troops from the Massachusetts 54th who perished at Fort Wagner in July of 1863 were apparently in the memory of the news boy (or his editor) who compiled the address.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Eleanor S. Adams

image of item My Own ABC of Quadrupeds. New York: Gates, Stedman & Co., 1856.

This cover is a fairly uncommon portrayal of an artist sketching an animal--in this case, a well-behaved dog. The artist is John William Orr (1815-1887), a highly prolific wood engraver active between 1838 and the 1880.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of Lee and Sallie Arning

image of item Berkshire Reporter (Pittsfield, MA) Jan. 2, 1808 - Dec. 27, 1809.

This volume of a strong Federalist newspaper covers the contentious election of 1808 between Madison and Charles Colesworth. Also at this time was the contentious Embargo Act, and this volume has an extra issue of Feb. 4, 1809 with a black-bordered funeral procession related to the death of American Liberty including a list of politicians carrying the coffin.
~Vincent Golden


117. 1909 AAS HANDBOOK
Adopted by Basie Bales Gitlin

image of item AAS Handbook of Information with notations, 1909.

A wonderful piece of our own institutional history, this handbook, dated 1909, contains information about AAS's collections, broken down into the library, newspapers, manuscripts, museum and portraits, as well as updates on members, meetings, the new building, and funds. Handwriting on the cover indicates that "This pamphlet published in 1909—much has been done from 1909-1919." Throughout the pamphlet, in the same hand, are additional notes to update the reader on changes over the previous decade. This pamphlet provides a snapshot of AAS a century ago with a unique set of handwritten additions.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Doris O'Keefe

image of item Lane, Robert H. An oration, delivered at Killingly, July 5th, 1813, in commemoration of American independence. [Connecticut?]: Printed for the proprietor, 1814.

The incomparable AAS collection of Fourth of July orations and sermons now numbers over 1,500 items, beginning with the first: a sermon preached in Boston on July 4, 1777 by the Rev. William Gordon of Roxbury. An eBay seller recently auctioned several early Fourth of July orations, and AAS was fortunate to purchase the three it lacked. All are very rare, and Lane's Oration is apparently unrecorded. In 1813 July 4 fell on a Sunday, hence the residents of Killingly, CT delayed their observance until Monday the 5th. Lane's remarks are quite interesting for their "humble and untutored style," which convey in direct and memorable fashion the holiday's significance not only for Americans, but also for Irish immigrants such as Lane, especially now that the United States was once again at war with England.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Carol Kanis in honor of ancestor Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower

image of item J.J. Chant after George H. Boughton. Return of the Mayflower. New York and Paris: Knoedler and Goupil, 1871.

The British painter George H. Boughton began his career in America but in 1859, with the Civil War brewing, he set up his studio in Europe where he successfully found a market for his images of pilgrims and New England Puritans. In 1871, his large canvas painting of the Return of the Mayflower was exhibited in New York at the Goupil Gallery, which acquired the painting and issued this large steel engraving of the composition. While it was on view, the painting was described as "a picture which will live as long as the memory of the Mayflower itself."
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Laura Wasowicz in honor of Andrew Petrie

image of item It's Mean. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, ca. 1868.

Tract publications were frequently concerned with the Christian development of boys. The petty, cheap, and contemptible behavior of Sam is contrasted with that of several kind neighborhood boys who do not hesitate to shovel out an old woman without pay.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Peter Masi

image of item Calathumpian Advocate (Concord, NH) June 19, 1850.

This is an interesting political periodical that could be described as rabble rousing. The term "calathumpian" is probably a colloquial Americanism relating to society of social reformers, especially those that disrupt political events. This particular issue includes a report of the Calathumpian Fusiliers disrupting an election in Concord ending with a list of participants, but the names are meant to be humorous (e.g. Sledge Hammer, Old Tar, Josiah Billdad, Lincom Squizzle).
~Vincent Golden


Adopt me for $250

image of item Childs, Thomas, Diary, 1826-1834.

This volume served as both an account book and a diary for Thomas Childs of Bakersfield, Vermont. In the diary portion, Childs describes his travels from his home in Bakersfield to Ohio and Detroit. One entry describes a leg of his journey - "left Burlington to W. Hall cold and snowy night went on to Phenix, fare 1.50.came to Syracuse bought a case of instruments. Friday came to Montezuma a woman came on board bound for Rochester told my fortune dark and rainy night... " The ledger portion shows Childs' work in agriculture and surveying, as well as his use of a tannery, grocer, and selling bushels of apples and cider.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by John Hench

image of item Premium list and rules and regulations of the Ninth Annual Fair of the Minnensota State Agricultural Society ... October, 1867. Winona: Republican Power Press Print, 1867.

This pamphlet provides the official rules for the hundreds of individual competitions to be held at the 1867 Minnesota State Fair, with a list of all premiums awarded, which ranged from $1.00 to $100.00 in addition to a white, red, or blue ribbon and diploma. General competition categories included, cattle; horses; sheep, swine, and poultry; farm implements; dairy and household manufactures; domestic manufactures (with separate prizes for factory-made goods); fine arts and needlework; flowers; fruits; grain, flour, meal, and seeds; crops in the field; and miscellaneous.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Gordon Pfeiffer

image of item The Marietta Register Job Printing Office. Marrietta Ohio, ca. 1862-65. S.N. Dickinson's Rotary Press. Boston, ca.1845. Hn. Grambo, Bookseller, Stationer. Philadelphia, ca. 1859.

Trade cards were a favorite form of advertising in the nineteenth century and promoted everything from soap to legal services. This trio represents different aspect of the printing trade. The Ohio card promotes the job work that was done at a local newspaper office (in this case, one run by Rodney M. Stimson whose account books are held in the manuscript collection at AAS). S.N. Dickinson in Boston was well known as an ephemera printer, with a specialty in embossing. Here he promotes his new rotary presses for the production of calling cards. The final card documents Henry Grambo, formerly of the publishing firm of Lippincott, Grambo & Co.. In the late 1860s, Grambo opened up a shop in Philadelphia that did printing and binding and also sold stationery, sheet music, perfume and wall paper.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Jon Kukla

image of item The Lip of Truth. New York: American Tract Society, ca. 1848.

American history and religious education intertwine to tell the (spurious) story of young George Washington who owns up to chopping the cherry tree with his new ax. This story was invented almost fifty years before by Mason Weems for his famous biography of George Washington.
~Laura Wasowicz



All three of the below titles were either published or edited by James E.N. Backus. All three did not last long with the Eagle being published for three years and the other two for about one year. In the Fayetteville Gazette in the middle of the volume, Backus announced the sale of the paper so he could enlist but the sale fell through and he was forced to continue publishing. All three volumes were originally owned by Backus and sold to AAS as a group.

126. Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of Lee and Sallie Arning

image of item Canastota Eagle (NY). 1858-1859. 52 issues.


127. Adopt me for $1,200

image of item Fayetteville Gazette (NY) 1860-1861. 52 issues.


128. Adopt me for $375

image of item Port Leyden Register 1867-1868. 52 issues.

~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Darrell Hyder in memory of Sue Allen

image of item Album Collection, 1835-1870.

This collection of five autograph albums features signatures and notes from the friends and family members of the albums' owners during the mid nineteenth century. Most signers hail from New England, Massachusetts in particular. The occasional signature is found from Ohio, Illinois, and New York. Some pages feature only a signature, date, and location, while others contain lengthy quotations, poems and notes. One friend composed the following verse to accompany his autograph — "For Watermelons I have been six miles / I'm also found of peaches, very / But these for me will not compare / With a certain favorite Berry" while another briefly advised "Do right and fear not." The occasional photograph accompanies a signature.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Sheila & George Tetler

image of item Sutherland, J. W. Speech of the Hon. J. W. Sutherland, of St. Louis County, on the Sunday liquor question ... February 2, 1866. [St. Louis?, 1866].

In 1866 the Missouri legislature debated a bill authorizing towns, if they so wished, to permit the Sunday sale of certain alcoholic beverages. Acknowledging that the bill was supported "mostly by ... our German fellow citizens" who fought bravely in the Civil War, Sutherland rose to speak on behalf of the other ninety percent. "They regard the opening of saloons and beer gardens on Sunday ... as the introduction of European Sunday habits and customs, as the entering wedge to European infidelity, which, if not restrained by law, would eventuate in the overthrow of our ... Sabbath, and hence in the destruction of our Republican form of Government."
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Carl Keyes

image of item J.M. Warden, dealer in Gold and Silver Watches. Bradford, VT, ca. 1862.

Joseph M. Warden opened a jewelry store in Bradford, Vermont in 1858 and remained there until his death in 1911, at age 74. His trade card features tidy cuts of clocks, eye glasses and silver spoons, and indicates that he also sold bird cages, perfume and fancy goods in his shop. Newspaper ads that Warden ran in the Vermont Journal for 1862 also promote the fact that he made and sold hair jewelry.
~Lauren Hewes


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

image of item Short Stories for Children. Pulaski, New York: Loomis & Brayton, 1842.

This chapbook is a fine example of regional publishing. The stories touch on two social issues of the time: treatment of animals and the challenges of the physically handicapped. One story advocates for the catching of fish in baskets (as opposed to poles with hooks); while another piece describes the reading of blind people using books printed with raised type. AAS has just two other books printed for children by Loomis & Brayton.
~Laura Wasowicz



Humor and comic newspapers and periodicals are quite scarce because of their content. Though many had good circulation numbers, they were not often saved by institutions. Yet today they are wanted by researchers for the political satire, depictions of society, and humorous literature contained in them. Here is a selection that showed up in the past year. ~ Vincent Golden

133. Adopt me for $100

image of item Comic Monthly (New York, NY) May 1862.


134. Adopt me for $400

image of item Frank Leslie's Budget of Fun (New York, NY) 1861, 1865, 1866.


135. Adopt me for $100

image of item New York Pick (NY) Apr. 29, 1854.


136. Adopt me for $300

Wild Oats (New York, NY) 1873, 1875.


Adopted by Michael R. Potaski

image of item Whitin & Sons Diaries, 1847, 1854, & 1857

Paul Whitin & Sons ran a cotton mill in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. AAS already has a significant collection of material attributed to this firm, including bill heads, receipts, and correspondence relating to the business. These three diaries, however, offer a personal glimpse into the business. The pocket almanac diaries possibly belonged to Paul Whitin's wife Betsey (Fletcher) Whitin ("engaged at home all day the children about as usual...Mr. Whitin's health has been very good."). The earliest volume, 1847, lists only the weather, who preached on Sundays, and brief recordings of travels to local cities such as Worcester and Boston. The later volumes are offer more detail, mostly about daily life in the Whitin household, their children Georgie and "his little brother who has as yet no name," referred to only as "baby," and the health of extended family and friends. These volumes offer an interesting look at the domestic side of the business represented in the other portions of the Whitin & Sons collection.
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Kay Allen in memory of Rev. George Huntley

image of item The Universalist companion, with an almanac, and register containing the statistics of the denomination, for 1852. Boston: Abel Tompkins, 1852.

The mid-19th century saw an explosion of topical almanacs catering to specialized constituencies. Boston publisher Abel Tompkins ran a thriving business supplying books to, among others, members of the Universalist Church. This almanac contains, in addition to monthly calendars, articles written for a Universalist audience, and a detailed register of Universalist conventions, associations, periodicals, schools, and preachers in each state (including one in Texas and three in California).
~David Whitesell


Adopt me for $1,000

image of item James Kennedy, engraver, Perpetual Almanack, D. Darrah. New York, 1809.

This elegant, unrecorded pre-1820 engraving by James Kennedy, best known for his stippled portraits and illustrations for the New Encyclopedia (1805-1811), depicts a large, perpetual almanac with all of the tables and calculations required to set a calendar, predict the shifting patterns of the days and weeks, and follow the phases of the moon. Finding the Golden Number, the Epact, and applying the Dominical Letters was so complex that such almanacs were usually accompanied by densely written pamphlets with step by step instructions. The identity of D. Darrah is still unknown, as is the portrait of the young man which sits atop the composition.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Caroline Sloat in honor of her mother, Ilse Fuller

image of item Tisch- und Kinder-Gebete fur christliche Familien. Allentown, Pa., 1868.

A humble chapbook containing prayers to be used by German-speaking children. This is a fairly late example of German devotional publishing for children in the AAS collection.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $600

image of item New York Illustrated News (NY) Nov. 1859-May 1860. Vol. 1.

This paper came out two years after the establishment of Harper's Weekly (NY). While it had similar quality of illustrations, the writing was not as refined. Still it lasted until the beginning of 1864. Until AAS acquired this volume, it just has a few scattered issues from the first year.
~Vincent Golden


Removed because of error


Adopted by Robert and Lillian Fraker, Savoy Books

image of item Collection of Songs, 1813 (Music Book Collection).

A new addition to AAS's ever growing manuscript Music Book Collection, this unattributed volume contains over 100 pages of secular music. Most pages contain only the title and lyrics of songs, but a few do feature bars of music to accompany the stanzas. The variety of songs include titles such as "Just Like Love", "Sicilian Mariner's Hymn", "Henry's Cottage Maid", and "Sweet Kitty of Colrain" ("A beautiful Kitty one morning was tripping, / With a pitcher of milk to the fair of Colrain / Poor Kitty she stumbled the pitcher it tumbled / And the sweet buttermilk spangled the plain.") One section of the volume is marked as containing the songs of Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns and include lyrics to titles such as "On a bank of flowers", "Fairest maid on Devon banks", and "A Rosebud by my early walk."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by Katherine and John Keenum in memory of Harriet Otis Smith

image of item The giant bravo. A wild, mysterious tale of Venice. New York: Ornum & Co., 1872.

A fine copy, in original color-printed, illustrated wrappers, of this very rare "dime novel," number 14 in Ornum & Co.'s "Indian Novels" series. The back wrapper lists the series. first ten novels which are, indeed, set in the Wild West. Oddly, however, this tale is set in Venice, in some undesignated prior century! Perhaps Ornum sought to capitalize on an emerging popular interest, or this swashbuckling story of an Italian "bravo," or assassin, was so akin to formulaic dime novel cowboy tales that the exact setting was deemed unimportant.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Emily Pawley

image of item Imported Jersey Bull, Butter Stamp! Ravenna, Ohio, 1873

The American dairy business relied on a steady supply of quality breeding stock, with regular infusions of new blood to increase production and quality of milk. As farmers moved west, they often returned to reputable breeders on the East coast to procure bulls and cows to improve their herds. Once the railroads connected most major urban centers, it became less stressful on the animals to move them over distances, and it is likely that the bull Butter Stamp rode the rails to Ravenna, Ohio, after taking the blue ribbon at the New Jersey State Fair.
~Lauren Hewes


Adopted by Laura Wasowicz in honor of Jonathan Petrie

image of item Webster's Youthful Speaker. New York: Robert M. De Witt, 1876.

This is a nice example of the intersection between textbook and dramatic publishing. By the 1870s, the school recitation program had become a fixture in American common schools, and books like the Youthful Speaker provided easy access to appropriate material, like Poe's Annabel Lee, and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. Robert DeWitt was also a successful publisher of plays. Although not compiled by Noah Webster, the Webster Standard Series was compiled to include "the very best practical works" on a specific subject.
~Laura Wasowicz


Adopt me for $500

image of item Street and Smith's New York Weekly (NY) 1876. 21

One popular genre of the nineteenth century was the story paper. Often weekly, they would have a variety of stories, some illustrated with woodcuts. Some were very short and complete to the issue. Others ran for several issues with one or two chapters published each issue. Street and Smith's New York Weekly was one of the more prominent cheap ones boasting a circulation of over 350,000 subscribers at one point. The stories were quite varied but tales of the West were becoming quite popular.
~Vincent Golden


Adopted by Revell Carr in honor of Dr. Revell Carr

image of item Poetry Journal, undated (Poetry Collection)

Another volume to be added to AAS's manuscript Poetry Collection, this volume contains over 70 pages of versus. Unfortunately undated and unattributed, this journal features entertaining poems that tell a story. Most poems are quite lengthy and contain four or more stanzas, and are written with the structure of a song, featuring a chorus, the stanzas, and instructions to return to the chorus after each stanza. Some titles include "The Dark Girl dreamed in Blue", "The Ballad of the Oysterman", "Elephant Song", as well as a nine stanza poem recounting the story of Hamlet — "So then he stabbed his liege / Then fell on Ophy's brother / And so the Danish court / All tumbled one on t'other / To celebrate there Deeds / Which are from no failure shamlet / Ever village small / Henceforth was called a hamlet."
~Tom Knoles


Adopted by J. Thomas Touchton with affection for his wife, Lee

image of item The gentleman's own valentine letter writer. [New York]: Robert H. Elton, [1842].

Does Valentine's Day afflict you with writer's cramp, as you desperately wrack your brain for an appropriate poetic sentiment? Help is here, in the form of this pocket-format booklet containing dozens of elegant verses. The front cover bears a hand-colored wood engraving, presumably by publisher Robert H. Elton, who advertises on the back cover his services as "bookseller, stationer, engraver on wood, publisher and colorist," together with a wonderful wood engraving of his shop front.
~David Whitesell


Adopted by Darrell Hyder

image of item Exhibition. The Fourth Exhibition of the Hopkinton Young Men's Dramatic Club. Concord, NH: Ervin B. Tripp, 1849.

Dramatic clubs were popular up all around New England in the nineteenth century. Mostly populated by young men, these groups provided a range of amateur public entertainment including singing, dramatic performances, and farce. This 1849 play bill from Hopkinton, New Hampshire, included two historic tableaux (one of Pocahontas saving John Smith and one of the murder of Jane McRea), several single act plays, and a final comedic number related to the gold rush, "Ho! For Kalifornia!" which was written by club member, Horace G. Chase, age 26. Chase, who was also a manager of the theater group, worked as a cobbler in Hopkinton but went west in 1852 to settle in Chicago.
~Lauren Hewes


Lots 151-200 | Lots 201-238

detail of no. 18


How to adopt:

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

Contact Vincent Golden

a) by e-mail to:

b) by telephone to:
(508) 471-2148

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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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