2012 Adopt-A-Book Catalog
Adopted by Laura Wasowicz in honor of David Whitesell
The Child's Guide. Springfield, Mass.: G. & S. Merriam, 1841.
Publisher George Merriam (1803-1880) was also the compiler of several readers, including the Child's Guide, which includes pieces drawn from the writings of both American authors William S. Cardell, and Lydia Maria Child, as well as British authors Sarah Trimmer and Anna Letitia Barbauld. The front cover sports a rare wood-engraved image of boys playing baseball in a school yard. The back cover announces that Merriam's books are for sale in Boston, Hartford, New York, and Philadelphia--reflecting the national scope of his publishing business.
Adopted by Lauren Hewes in honor of Emma Hewes
The French immigrant Michel Knoedler came to New York to work for Goupil & Co. in 1846 and began co-publishing lithographs and engravings with them in 1850. This print, one in a series called Le Musée des rieurs (Museum of laughter), shows an amusing bedroom farce. A young woman has been caught in her bedroom in an attractive state of undress, accompanied by her maid (or mother) who is blocking the view of an older man just entering the room. The maid, who was apparently in the process of dressing the younger woman, has turned and thrust a corset in the face of the man, stepping on the corset cord, tipping over a pitcher of milk, and causing the dog to bark. Over sixty images were issued by Knoedler and Goupil as part of the Museum of Laugher series, so it must have sold steadily in the American and European market.
Adopted by Lauren Hewes in honor of Georgia Barnhill
Alfred Lemercier after Achille Devéria, Les Croisées, époque de Henri II / The windows during the reign of Henry II. Paris, London & New York, 1834.
This lithograph of a lovely lady perched on a stone balustrade in a window with an elaborate carved design, was part of a series of prints published in Paris by Louis and François Janet. Each print in the set pairs an accurate architectural window from a different historic era with a pretty woman dressed in the costume of that time period. Bearing the transatlantic imprint of Janet and the name of fancy goods shop owner and print distributor Bailly & Ward of New York, the set would have been available in America at the same time it was circulating around Europe.
Adopted by Shelia & George Tetler
In Quiet Prayer (Augusta, Maine: True & Co., 1879).
True & Company sold elegant chromolithographs in August, Maine, beginning in 1874. They issued subscription prints for may local publishers and their work featured charming images of children, floral compositions, and literary subjects. This print of a lovely young woman praying is typical of their work. True & Co. acted as publisher only, as it was not until 1883 that a chromolithographic press was established in Maine -- before then, publishers like True & Co. purchased chromolithographs wholesale from shops in Boston and New York and appended their publishers line to them before distribution.
Adopt all receipts for $35
4 Subscription Receipts from Baltimore, Boston and Cincinnati, 1814-1846
Two receipts are for the Baltimore Weekly Register. An 1814 receipt documents payment for a supplemental volume, and an 1818 receipt is for a one year subscription (which cost $5.00) to the Register. Another receipt, dated 1846, shows the charge of $1.61 for newspaper postage and a post office box rental in Cincinnati, and finally a receipt from 1833 for a one year subscription to the Common School Journal (Boston).
Adopted by Carl Keyes
Receipt from the Office of Elliot, Thomes & Talbot's, Boston, MA, 1866
Publishers Elliot, Thomes & Talbot's in Boston, as advertised on this receipt, provided subscriptions to five notable periodicals: The American Union, The Flag of Our Union, The Novelette, Ballou's Monthly, and Ten Cent Novelettes. This particular receipt, 1866, is for a one year subscription to The Flag of Our Union, which cost $5.00.
Adopted by Kayla Haveles
Receipt for the Daily Albany Argus, 1834
This receipt for the Daily Albany Argus shows partial payment for a year's subscription. Costing $8.00 in 1834, the receipt shows payment of $4.45 for the subscription.
Adopt me for $130
4 letters, 1834-1869 (Book Trades Collection)
While not directly related, these four items all touch on the book trade, and are valuable as a lot for their breadth and variety of information. First is an eight page letter, mostly business related, from the office of the Sussex Register in Newton, New Jersey, dated 1869. Next is a family letter written in Oxford, sent to New York City, mentioning "Wm Clarke is about establishing a New Paper in this village to be called the Chenango Whig." Also included in the lot is a contract for an ad published in the Ontario Repository, with the ad attached ("Notice to the friends of the indigent deaf mutes and blind"). Finally, included is a bill to Samuel Bowles & Co. from the printing and publishing firm of G. & C. Merriam in Springfield, Massachusetts. The bill is dated 1865, and is in the amount of $122.94
Adopt me for $25
Letter from Slatersville to Home & Foreign Record, 1851 (Book Trades Collection)
This single letter is addressed to the Home & Foreign Record in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from a Mr. P. H. Dalton. Sent from Slatersville and dated 1851, the letter indicates $1.00 was sent on behalf of Col. T. A. Allison for his subscription to the periodical, which was published by the the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
Adopt me for $285
The Mountain Gleaner, 1857, 2 issues (Amateur Newspapers and Periodicals Collection)
AAS has a substantial collection of handwritten newspapers and periodicals. Our newest addition to this collection is the Mountain Gleaner, written in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. In the first issue of the Gleaner, the editor lays out the paper's intention: "We intend to make a family paper, devoted to religion, morals, + the arts + sciences..." and eventually to "be known as one of the standard papers of the times." The two issues, Volume 1 and 2 of 1857, contain opening letters from the editor, stories such as "Reflections of my Childhood", poetry, "odds and ends", classifieds ("wants"), and "conundrums" ("Why are some ladies tongues like telephone wires -- because they carry news faster than the mail.")
Adopted by Lauren & Joseph Hewes in memory of Harriet Hewes
Manuscript Poem (Poetry Collection)
This addition to AAS's Poetry Collection is a single, beautifully composed poem. The author, signed simply as "Sarah", speaks of home, memories and death in her composition. The two stanzas both end with the same verse -- "To that home ah: restore me or let me let me die". By the author's signature is a small stamp with a bar of music and the title "Remember me when on thy way", perhaps the tune the verses were set to.
Adopt me for $50
Widstrand, Francis, Letter, 1869
In 1869, Francis Widstrand wrote a letter to the famed New York Merchant Alexander T. Stewart (1803-1876). Widstrand, of Buffalo, Minnesota, saw in The Sun that Stewart "intend[ed] to do something for the working class." Widstrand tells Stewart of his ideas, the importance of good morals and principles, and the soon to be issued The Moralist. Widstrand was well informed, "Having seen considerable of the world in Europe, and here for the last 14 years, and studied all I have been able to find on the social question in several different languages..." This single letter conveys so much, yet leaves so many open ended questions, creating a truly interesting document.
Adopt me for $60
Postmaster's Record, Jasper NY, 1861 (Newspaper and Periodical Receipts Collection)
Another addition to AAS's Newspaper and Periodical Receipts Collection is this 12 page Postmaster's Record from Jasper, New York. This account details the newspapers and periodicals coming into the Jasper Post Office in 1861. The record is arranged by title, and then lists all subscribers beneath. Also included in some cases is the expiration date of individuals. subscriptions. Both local and national titles were coming into the Jasper Post Office, some titles including The American Messenger, the Northern Independent, Rural New Yorker, Child's Paper, Advocate & Family Guardian, The Morning Star, Seneca Falls Revelle, and the New York Times. The most popular title appears to have been the Weekly Tribune, with 90 subscribers.
Adopt me for $75
The text on this circular promotes raising oranges for investment in the balmy Florida climate. Located northwest of Cape Canaveral, Aurantia Groves was typical of late nineteenth century Florida developments. Speculators bought up land and created lots for resale. Groves of orange trees were planted and could be managed from a distance, with a small financial investment. The circular lays out the details of prospective income and uses testimonials from previous investors as proof of success. They even quote Harriet Beecher Stowe's Palmetto Leaves. An 1888 editor of a newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts (where this circular was published) wrote glowingly of a Mr. A.S. Dickinson's investment in Aurantia, which resulted in 100 boxes of oranges being shipped north in January and sold for 70 cents per pound.
Adopted by Peter Masi
Inexpensively printed, this circular letter gets right to the point. Children in Hyannis, Massachusetts, do not have enough books. The committee of clergymen that issued the letter is seeks donations of books from Sabbath school children for distribution to one hundred and fifty families, including widows with children and the poor. They plan to establish a library using the donated volumes and they clarify what is acceptable, asking for "histories, biographies, narratives, standard works, books of reference, and whatever will furnish wholesome food for young and hungry minds." We suspect that any dime novels, action stories, or other more popular fiction were carefully removed by the clergymen from the charitable parcels sent to on Cape Cod.
Adopt me for $75
The Keller Troupe was famous for its tableaux of beautiful women and children posing in scenes from mythology, the bible, and history. The "Bower of Flora" and the "Battle of the Amazons" were among their most popular shows. This broadside playbill documents a Keller Troupe performance of "Azael," which was loosely based on the story of the prodigal son. Instead of reveling with gamblers in a tavern, however, Azael ends up in Egypt with worshippers of Isis surrounded by harems, dancing, and alcohol. The show ended with a patriotic tableaux called the .3rd & 4th of July. which included a curious mash-up of actual historical figures like Washington and Hamilton on stage with the Roman god of war Mars, Britannia, and a goddess of Peace.
Adopted by Susan Forgit
Advertising circulars printed in color are intended to catch the eye and this sheet promoting the New York tribune, with its use of red and blue ink, is successful in capturing the reader's attention. Mostly a promotional piece listing terms, rates, and describing content, the circular includes a special section for business men interested in advertising in the paper. The fact that the Tribune was enjoying national distribution in the 1870s is emphasized and rates for ads are clearly spelled out. The last page features a list of books, most by or about Tribune publisher Horace Greeley, who at the time was gearing up for his presidential run against U.S. Grant in 1872.
Adopted by James D. Moran in honor of Allen Holbrook
This sheet music, composed for piano, includes a cover with a temperance message. Dedicated to Samuel F. Holbrook, the president of Boston's Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society, the cover features a "before" and "after" image of the results of giving up hard liquor. A charming well-maintained cottage and sailing ship on the left are associated with "The effect of the pledge," while the derelict structure and sunken ship at the right bear no further explanation. The Washingtonian movement began in Baltimore in 1840 and was based on the idea that reformed drinkers could help each other avoid alcohol by meeting regularly to draw strength from each other and from Christian beliefs.
Adopt me for $60
This ship's card was used as an advertising tool to drum up business on the docks for the George B. Upton, a steamer that hauled freight and passengers between Boston and Charleston after the Civil War. These cards are often illustrated with images of the ship, or with colorful views and fanciful illustrations designed to catch the eye. They almost all share the same pertinent details — the name of the freight agent, the time of the sailing, and the connections that can be made on either end of the voyage, in this case to the interior of Georgia.
Adopt me for $75
School performances provided an opportunity for students to display what they were learning in class and also provided some welcome winter time entertainment for the community. This program from a school exhibition in the Western Massachusetts town of Charlemont is typical of the sort of evening teachers would prepare and included oration, music, and drama. The students at Charlemont also prepared a scene from Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, and another from Richard Sheridan's The Rivals, displaying a distinct favoritism for British authors, both traditional and contemporary.
Adopted by Matthew Shakespeare in honor of Lauren Hewes
The story of castaway Robinson Crusoe was an immediate hit in the United States and editions in the Society.s collection date from the 1750s. This lithograph of a bearded Crusoe seated in his hut surrounded by animals was one of a trio of images based on the novel that Currier & Ives issued in 1874. They draw directly from Daniel Defoe.s text, .It would have made a stoic smile to have seen me and my little family.Poll to talk to me, my dog, cats, kittens, goats and kids, all clustering around me as if each one desired a word of recognition and affection.. No mention of turtles and penguins, but they add a tropical flair to the image.
Removed because of error
Adopted by Carolyn Eastman
Wright, Henry Clarke. A Kiss for A Blow. Boston: Bela Marsh, 1848.
This is a fairly rare chapbook version of pacifist Henry Clarke Wright's collection of moral tales for children advocating non violent approaches to resolving conflicts.
Adopted by John and Katherine Keenum in memory of Joachim Greve
Der Cirkus. Cleveland: Der Sonntagschul-und Tractverein der Evangelischen Gemeinschaft, ca. 1850-1870.
This is a collection of moral tales for children in the German language, reflecting the westward movement of German immigrants from Pennsylvania out west to Ohio and beyond.
Adopted by Susan Forgit in honor of Alexa Jane Forgit
Florestine or Unexpected Joy. New York: Catholic Publication Society, 1868.
This is an uncommon example of a Catholic religious novel for youth published before 1876. Set in the violent and uncertain era of the French Revolution, Florestine is about a little girl who was adopted by commoners after her mother was murdered by revolutionary soldiers.
Adopted by Joanne Wilson
Cobb, Lyman. Cobb's Juvenile Reader, no. 1. Baltimore: Joseph Jewett, 1831.
Lyman Cobb (1800-1864) was a popular author of primers and readers before the Civil War. His Juvenile Reader no. 1 contains many allusions to common occurrences in every day life, like children drinking alcoholic cider and taking medicine made from rhubarb. Clearly, the young owner of this copy enjoyed embellishing the pictures, including this one of a male teacher and his boy pupils.
Adopt me for $50
The Child's History of Birds. New York: Mahlon Day, 1837.
Quaker publisher Mahlon Day (1790-1854) was among the most prolific children.s book publishers in antebellum America. This picture book features wood engravings of birds commonly seen by American children, including this description of the Cuckoo, the herald of spring. The description quotes from a poem about the bird from The Juvenile Album (also issued by Day).
Adopted by Susan Forgit
Robinson's Progressive Table Book. New York: Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co.; Chicago: S.C. Griggs & Co., 1865.
An arithmetic text book meant for young children. The cover illustration features an abacus, flashcards, and a slate as key visual tools to learning about numbers. The story problems feature down to earth examples like: "Emma has 7 dolls, and gave 2 of them away; how many had she left?"
Adopted by Stephen Gilson
Lives of Eminent Men. (The Parlor Library). Boston: Shepard, Clark & Brown, ca. 1850.
This "cabinet of biography" includes both men and women such as Washington Irving, Sir Walter Scott, Joan of Arc, and John Adams. An added bonus is this series plate chromolithographed by Blood & Evans.
Adopt me for $45
Haile, Ellen. The Two Gray Girls. New York, London & Paris: Cassell & Co., 1880.
This is a delightful collection of stories about neighborhood children (both rich and poor) living in a pastoral country village, a theme that would have played well either in America or England.
Adopted by Jim Moran in honor of David Holbrook
White, Emerson Elbridge. A Primary Arithmetic, Uniting Oral and Written Exercises in a Natural Series of Instruction. Cincinnati: Wilson, Hinkle & Co., 1868.
This book makes extensive use of illustrated "story problems." The cover illustration depicts a female teacher explaining an equation worked out on the blackboard, and the students are seated gathered around a table holding blocks, another counting tool.
Adopted by Joanne Wilson
Tayler, Charles B. The Child of the Church. New York: General Protestant S.S. Union, 1843.
Charles Benjamin Tayler was an Anglican priest who wrote this book for English children. The text is in the form of didactic dialog between a mother and her son, emphasizing obedience and trust over intellectual questioning.
Adopt me for $25
Smith, Daniel. A Voice from the Sabbath School. New York: T. Mason and G. Lane for the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School Union, 1839.
Written in the long standing tradition begun by James Janeway.s Token for Children, this is an account of the life and pious death of Emily Andrews, a girl from Danbury, Connecticut, who died at the age of 11 years and nine months.
Adopt me for $25
Hints about Planting. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, ca. 1869.
This tract urges children to hand out tracts to prospective converts like they would plant grain in the earth. The frontispiece uses the analogy of "useless" mummies, whose grains of wheat were stolen long ago by living people to produce a nutritious crop.
Adopted by Andrew Bourque in memory of Adele
Lovely Flowers. New York and Philadelphia: Turner & Fisher, ca. 1862.
This pictorial chapbook contains brief stories, and its cover is brightly printed in red and blue to gain our attention!
Adopted by Peter Masi
Rosa or The Little Cousin from India. New York: General Protestant Episcopal Sunday School Union, 1862.
This tract story is about a little girl who is sent by her British parents back to England, and her struggle to adapt to life with strangers and snow.
Adopt me for $35
The London Daisy or Gems in Poetry. Cincinnati: Truman & Spofford, ca. 1850.
This collection is filled with didactic stories and poems, like this one about a little girl who takes good care of her pet canary.
Adopted by James D. Moran in honor of Kait Moranand Alex Abraham
Donkersley, Richard. Facts for Boys and Girls about Boys and Girls. New York: Carlton & Porter, ca. 1865.
A hidden treat found in this didactic story book is this wonderfully detailed engraving of a mother reading to her little girl.
Adopted in honor of Lorette Watts, from her Elizabeth
Recollections of Elizabeth. New York: American Tract Society, ca. 1848.
This chapbook memorializes the brief life of a nine-year-old girl who loved nature.
Adopt me for $50
Newport Musical Journal (RI). May 18, 1858. Vol. 1, no. 1
This is the first, and possibly the only issue of the Newport Musical Journal published by George T. Hammond of the Newport Musical Institute and printed at the office of the Daily News and the Weekly Journal. It is previously unrecorded. It contains various articles on musicians, health tips to protect the voice, and a large advertisement for a grand concert by the Institute at Aquidneck Hall.
Adopted by Babette and Daniel Gehnrich
Betty, das neuseelandische Madchen. Chambersburg, Pa.: Druck und Verlag der Christlichen Zeitschrift, 1841.
Adopted by Kyle Roberts
Robert Moore. New York: American Tract Society, ca. 1850.
Robert exhorts his abusive brother Patrick to attend the Fulton St. Prayer Meeting. In the end, "Robert became a faithful Sabbath-school teacher in that same mssion-school to which he once refused to go; and one of the most successful in winning from the street and Sunday desecration the wretched and homeless boys of the city."
Adopt me for $100
Pig and Whistle Gazette (New York, NY). Feb. 19, 1824. Vol. 1, no. 2.
Pig and Whistle Gazette (New York, NY). Feb. 19, 1824. Vol. 1, no. 2. This is an unrecorded political paper that appeared on ebaY. The editor is given as "Noli Me Tangere." This issue came out about five months after the first issue based on a notice in the Southern Chronicle (Camden, SC) of Oct. 29, 1823 which reported receiving the first number. At first it supported John C. Calhoun as president. The second number was issued because it had shifted its support to William H. Crawford. The second issue contained a variety of political content, some of it humorous. It also mentioned printing at a later date a list of men who keep mistresses and gambling houses.
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:
a) by online payment.
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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