2008 Adopt-A-Book Catalog

Adopted by J. Kevin Graffagnino in honor of Marcus A. McCorison

The Adviser; or Vermont Evangelical Magazine (Middlebury, VT). Dec. 1812 - Dec. 1813. 10 issues in wrappers

image of item This religious periodical, which ran from 1809 to 1815, was edited under a cumbersome arrangement by which 12 to 14 editor/ministers were appointed annually by the General Convention of Congregational and Presbyterian Ministers of Vermont. While AAS had bound volumes of this title, we recently had the opportunity to acquire these unbound issues in the original wrappers. The wrappers are rich resources for book trade history. Some advertise publications, such as a primer published by the Vermont Missionary Society at a price of three dollars per hundred, followed by a list of agents where it could be procured. Every wrapper has some note about subscribers needing to send in payment, e.g., "Notwithstanding the large sums now due for the Adviser, there has not been money enough paid to the publisher to defray the necessary expenses; and he has been obliged to supply the deficiency for a considerable amount from his own resources."
~ Vincent Golden

2. THE ALBANY ALMANACK. Adopt me for: $1,500

The Albany almanack and ephemeris of the motions of the sun and moon ... for the year of our Lord 1773 ... By Thomas More, Philom. Albany: Printed and sold by Alexander and James Robertson, [1772]

image of item Despite the bibliographical labors of Charles Evans and others, unrecorded 18th-century American imprints still turn up with surprising frequency. Here is the most notable recent "not in Evans" acquisition made by AAS: a hitherto unknown almanac published in Albany, NY within a year after printing commenced there. Discovered last year in upstate New York, this copy is incomplete, extending only to p. 16 (of 24?). But since no other copy has surfaced over the past two centuries, we are content to make do with this until such time as a perfect copy should come our way! Alexander and James Robertson established a press in New York City in 1768 before moving it to Albany in 1771, making Albany the second New York town to have a press. Printing ceased there from 1776-1782 after the Robertsons' loyalist sympathies prompted their flight back to New York. Prior to this discovery, the earliest known Albany almanac dated to 1782, though there is a 1776 almanac with an Albany imprint (but probably printed elsewhere).
~ David Whitesell

3. FEDERALIST BROADSIDE. Adopt me for: $1,750

Albany General Committee of Correspondence. Democracy versus Washington. To the electors of the State of New York. [Albany, 1809]

image of item Although technically a four-page folio pamphlet, this unrecorded text will reside in the broadsides collection because of its size. This is the response of the Federalists in New York to a pamphlet published in March 1809 by the Jeffersonian Republicans. Attacking DeWitt Clinton, Albert Gallatin, and others, the Federalists seek to convince voters that their opponents did not respect the precepts of Washington. The Federalists refer back to the Jay Treaty, Republican jubilation on Washington's retirement, and Gallatin's role in the Whiskey Rebellion, and reprint extracts from writings by Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Lewis Burwell.
~ Gigi Barnhill

4. WISCONSIN CARRIER'S ADDRESS. Adopt me for: $650

[Allen, Thomas Scott, 1825-1905)]. The carrier of the Mineral Point Tribune takes pleasure in presenting to his patrons his 13th annual message. [Mineral Point, WI, 1859]

image of item AAS continues to seek carrier's addresses for the collection. This one reflects less on the political situation than some, but is amusing in its presentation of some aspects of social life. Thomas Scott Allen, a newspaper man, miner, surveyor, teacher, and public official, caricatures the women's rights movement and does mention that John Brown "deserved the felon's fate." Of the community of Mineral Point, he writes about excessive taxes, worthless paper money, and rowdies defying local ordinances and constables. This address is unusual because it is printed in blue ink with part of the title printed in red ink. The attribution to Allen is made on the basis of a contemporary pencil inscription on the verso.
~ Gigi Barnhill

5. DOS-À-DOS BINDING. Adopt me for: $500

American dos-à-dos binding in black straight-grain goatskin, gilt (Boston?, ca. 1835) with owner's name stamped on covers, enclosing nos. 1-10 of a series of children's tracts published in Boston (1833-1835) by William S. Damrell

image of item Beginning in the 16th century, some European bookbinders offered their customers unusual dos-à-dos bindings. These typically consist of two small, complementary volumes (e.g., a New Testament and a Psalter) bound back to back and having a common rear cover, so that each volume opens in the opposite direction. Dos-à-dos binding are remarkably convenient, but they are rarely seen. Early American examples are virtually non-existent, and we are unaware of any examples in AAS's distinguished collection of American bindings. Imagine our surprise when a private collector offered us, just this past month, a fine and attractive example, probably made by an unidentified Boston bookbinder ca. 1835! The binding encloses a series of 10 children's tracts.nos. 1-5 on one side, 6-10 on the other.with the original owner's name (Margaret Melinda Seely) gilt-stamped on each cover. This is a "must-have" acquisition!
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by the Massachusetts Center for the Book

Aunt Winnie's stories. Boston: American Tract Society, [ca. 1866]

image of item A collection of short stories for children; includes stories about: two sisters who are saved from the orphan asylum by a couple who adopts them; a little girl who breaks her "crybaby habit"; a family that works together to find a young daughter who wandered away from the home. This collection by "Aunt Winnie" reminds us of the urban dangers and Christian aspirations present in 19th-century America.
~ Laura Wasowicz

Adopted by Linda K. Kerber, in honor of Richard Kerber, M.D.

Baltimore Medical and Philosophical Lycaeum. Vol. 1. 1811

image of item This rare medical periodical was edited and published by Nathaniel Potter, an important figure in the early years of the College of Medicine of Maryland (now the University of Maryland's School of Medicine). Potter is best known for his work concerning the spread of yellow fever. At the time Dr. Benjamin Rush was the major proponent of the theory that the disease was contagious. Potter experimented on himself to prove that it wasn't (it is actually spread by mosquitoes). As editor, Potter was able to disseminate new medical research, including his own.
~ Vincent Golden


Adopted by Lisa Gitelman

Bible. N.T. Matthew. The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Comstock's perfect alphabet. Published in numbers. No. 1. The Gospel according to St. Matthew. Philadelphia: A. Comstock, 1847.

image of item Andrew Comstock, M.D., of Philadelphia was one of several early 19th-century reformers who believed that the English language could be learned more readily if rendered into a phonetic alphabet. Comstock's alphabet, first published in 1846, defined characters for each of the 38 elementary, and six compound, sounds he believed comprised spoken English. Comstock proselytized for his scheme through a monthly periodical, Comstock's phonetic magazine, in which he published various texts transcribed into his phonetic alphabet. One of these was the New Testament, for which Comstock transcribed at least the Gospel of Matthew and the first part of Mark. His version was separately published in this very rare pamphlet. Although additional parts were promised, none have so far been traced.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Daniel A. Cohen, in honor of Joanne Chaison on the occasion of her retirement

Book of martyrs, pen stabs and pencil scratches. Mansfield, OH: Coughlin & Wade, 1874.

image of item This very rare collection of caricatures in words (by "F. D. M.") and pictures (by "W. B. D.") lightheartedly skewers selected members of the 1874 Ohio State Legislature. Its perpetrators are as yet unidentified, though their initials (as well as their self-caricatures in the final illustration) should lead to their unmasking.
~ David Whitesell


10. MANUSCRIPT LETTER. Adopt me for: $800

Burritt, E. H. Letter to Thomas Dick, Dec. 24, 1836

image of item Elijah Hinsdale Burritt was the eldest brother of the "Learned Blacksmith" Elihu Burritt and was himself an astronomer and author of the bestselling textbook Geography of the Heavens, first published in 1833. This long letter to the Scottish astronomer Thomas Dick includes interesting comments on publishing, astronomy and the reconciliation of science with religion.
~Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Helen R. Kahn, in memory of Fred Kahn

Catholic Church. Officium in honorem Domini Nostri J. C. summi sacerdotis et omnium sanctorum sacerdotum ac levitarum. Monti-Regali [Montreal]: Fleury Mesplet, 1777.

image of item One of the earliest imprints from the first press established at Montreal. Born in France, Fleury Mesplet moved first to London and then to Philadelphia in 1774. There he printed for a short time.including, at the behest of the Continental Congress, a French translation of a military manual for use in the ill-fated Canadian campaign.before moving his press to American-held Montreal in May 1776. But Montreal fell to the British a month later, and Mesplet remained to print a newspaper and other works, though his relations with British authorities were understandably strained. Six hundred copies were printed of this pamphlet containing the office to be celebrated on the first Thursday following August 29. It is now the second earliest Montreal imprint at AAS.
~ David Whitesell

12. CINDERELLA. Adopt me for: $400

Cinderella or the little glass slipper. Illustrated by Gustave Doré. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1867.

image of item This is a fine early example of a children's picture book illustrated by French artist Gustave Doré (1832-1883). Here we see a rare nitty-gritty portrayal of Cinderella's fairy godmother scooping out the pumpkin, preparing it for its more glamorous role as Cinderella's coach. This richly detailed illustration, with its earthy shades of reds and browns, reminds the modern reader that Cinderella's glorious entourage sprouted from the mundane products of the garden patch and the mouse traps!
~ Laura Wasowicz

Adopted by Thomas G. and Lucia Z. Knoles

City of New York. Two blank forms relating to freed slaves. New York, [181-] and 1816.

image of item image of item We generally do not purchase "blank forms," assuming that such ephemeral printings might already exist somewhere in the AAS manuscript collection. However, these two items documenting the presence of slavery in New York City in the early 19th century were quite out of the ordinary. One form was designed to note the manumission of a slave by the owner. The other form, printed in 1816, identifies the free "person of Colour" more fully, including the person's address proving that he was renting property within the city limits.
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Molly McCarthy

Companion slate teacher & class. New York: Silicate Book Slate Co., [186-?]

image of item In order to support its Program in the History of the Book in American Culture, AAS collects not only books, but selected artifacts relating to printing, publishing, reading, and writing. Once ubiquitous in 19th-century schoolhouses, students' school slates are now rare, and AAS is slowly collecting examples. This pocket version contains six black "slates" (actually paper board surfaced with silica powder) on which pupils could write (and erase) using a special pencil; the slates are hinged into a standard publisher's cloth binding. Its owner has left traces of a geometry lesson on one slate.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Revell Carr, in honor of James McGrath Morris

Cowan, John, M.D. What to eat, and how to cook it, with rules for preserving, canning and drying fruits and vegetables. New York: Cowan & Co., 1870.

image of item Rare first edition of this almost exclusively vegetarian cookbook. Having earlier published works on sexual hygiene and the evils of tobacco, Cowan here turns his attention to diet, advocating .natural. foods consisting almost exclu-sively of grains, fruits, and vegetables, simply prepared. Although lean roast beef is permitted in moderation, the list of banned foods is long and sobering: salt, spices, vinegar, tea, coffee, chocolate, fat, virtually all meats, and above all fish. Milk, butter, and cheese, although "abnormal," are nonetheless allowed in many of the consequently simple recipes.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Hal Espo and Ree DeDonato

Curious and wonderful animals. New York: Mahlon Day, 1834.

image of item This is a rare picture book of animals (both wild and domestic) with hand-colored wood engravings from the press of Quaker publisher Mahlon Day. The animals covered run the gamut from exotic and fearful beasts such as the hyena and hooded snake, to commonplace pets such as a setter dog and a cat. The back cover advertisement shows what books were available from Mahlon Day for three or four cents — many of which are now available for study at AAS.
~ Laura Wasowicz

17. NEVADA NEWSPAPER. Adopt us for: $500

Daily Nevada Tribune (Carson City, NV). 1880. 18 issues

image of item Begun as a semi-weekly in 1872, the Nevada Tribune switched to a daily edition in 1874 and lasted until 1896. Founder R.R. "Deacon" Parkinson aimed at publishing a newspaper that was both "spicy and newsy." By 1875 his son Ed Parkinson was the sole proprietor, but his father continued as editor. Although a Republican newspaper, during elections it remained independent. The Tribune is probably most noted for an incident in 1874. There was much animosity between the Parkinsons and David Sessions, the editor of its rival the Appeal. What started with a vitriolic editorial by Sessions turned into a fistfight, and then, on April 9th, a gunfight in the middle of the street between Sessions and Ed Parkinson. Both were wounded, leaving both alive to continue the feud in print. Only two institutional files from 1880 are known, one at the Bancroft Library and another at the University of Nevada.
~ Vincent Golden

18. CAMPAIGN NEWSPAPER. Adopt me for: $200

Democratic Rasp (Utica, NY). 1840. 7 issues

image of item This rare Whig campaign newspaper supported the election of William Henry Harrison for President. During the 19th century special newspapers were issued during elections in support of specific candidates, platforms, or parties. The election of 1840 was particularly contentious and subsequently generated many campaign newspapers, often with imaginative titles such as this one. Only one other file of this title is known. The motto of the paper was, "Nerve to the arm - fortitude to the heart - triumph to the soul struggling for the rights of man."
~ Vincent Golden


19. EARLY MAINE SERMONS. Adopt me for: $2,500

Eaton, Samuel. Sermons, 1770-1810.

image of item Samuel Eaton (1737-1822) of Harpswell, Maine, graduated from Harvard College in 1763 and succeeded his father as minister of the First Congregational Church of Harpswell. Clifford Shipton wrote of Eaton: "On his parish travels he carried lancet and simple medicines with which he treated most of the ills of his people, referring serious sickness to professional physicians. Similarly, being hostile to the ordinary practice of the law, he served his people by drawing up wills and other legal papers, and arbitrating most of their controversies. As a preacher he was effective and could often bring his congregation to tears although strangers to his oddities found them disturbing." On a Sabbath in August 1775 "a recruiting officer arrived in Harpswell on an emergency mission, but the minister refused to let him act until after sundown, when he himself preached a sermon which put forty men of the congregation on the march within an hour." This collection includes several dozen sermons preached by Eaton, usually with notes on where and when they were delivered. Until now, only two sermons by Samuel Eaton were known to have survived.
~Thomas Knoles

20. BROADSIDE ELEGY. Adopt me for: $500

An elegy on the death of Mr. Asaph Walling. [Hartford, NY?, 1810]

image of item This anonymous, unrecorded, elegy was "written, for Amusement, by a Friend, and published by Request of the Mourners." Walling was just twenty-one years of age when he was killed by a tree. Unfortunately, there are no details of the accident, only that he was with his father on his way to work. The writer reminds his readers, over and over and in many different ways, that life is short.
~ Gigi Barnhill


21. GEOGRAPHY BOOK. Adopt me for: $1,000

The elements of geography made easy. Philadelphia: Morgan & Yeager, [ca. 1825]

image of item This marvelous picture book explains basic geographical concepts such as continents, cataracts, peninsulas, and archipelagos, aided by delicately hand-colored metal engravings. The back cover sports a neat list of Morgan & Yeager's engraved picture books. Successors to legendary engraver and publisher William Charles (1776-1820), Morgan & Yeager published charming picture books coveted by nineteenth-century children and modern collectors alike.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by John Herron, in memory of Frances M. Herron

Elliott, Ebenezer. The poems of Ebenezer Elliott. New York: Leavitt & Co., 1850.

image of item In December 2006 AAS member John Grossman gave AAS a remarkable American publisher's cloth binding: an elaborate design printed in five colors on white cloth covering an 1849 New York imprint. We were unaware of any comparable binding in the AAS collection. As luck would have it, three months later AAS was offered not one, but two similar examples in excellent condition! Both are volumes in the short-lived Leavitt's Cabinet Series issued in 1850 by New York publisher Leavitt & Co. The designs are identical, save for the author and title printed on the spine. In other words, Leavitt briefly employed this as a series binding. Interestingly, AAS has since acquired other volumes in this series, but in less elaborate publisher's bindings, suggesting that the printed cloth versions proved either unpopular or too expensive.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Thomas and Maria McDermott

Fansher, Sylvanus, 1770-1846. Vaccine institution for exterminating small pox and varioloid. [New Haven, 1838]

image of item A physician, Fansher wrote several pieces on smallpox vaccination that are listed in Austin's Early American medical imprints. He also published a book about electricity. This broadside recounts the heavy mortality among Native American tribes such as the Mandans, Assinneboins, Creeks, and Blackfeet amounting to 27,600 and tries to garner financial support for vaccinating remaining Native Americans. Fansher's effort is analogous to the campaign against polio in our era. The image depicts Native Americans suffering from the disease; the text describes the sufferers. last days in gory detail.
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Dr. and Mrs. Donald Nelson

Fourth annual address of the carriers of the Yonkers Herald. Yonkers, NY, 1855.

image of item Many carrier's addresses present local, regional, national, or even international news. This example reports that the pages of the Yonkers Herald would only present local news.

We will not weary you with tales of strife,
Of shipwrecked vessels or of wasted life,
Yonkers, alone, should all our powers engage,
And here they find a wide and ample stage;
Let others prate of Europe's bloody war,
We vote these topics a decided bore,
But all who want to read such sickening stuff,
Should take the Tribune and they'll find enough.

~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Lucy Margaret Bridge

Hartley, Emily. Half a dozen girls. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, [ca. 1874]

image of item Six short stories; each of them exposes the sweetness and foibles of six different girls; includes the timeless tales of Rosa, the girl who "helped" her mother by jamming up her sewing machine; and of "Fanny the Fidget" who would not stand still for the photographer (quite the lengthy process in the 1870s!).
~ Laura Wasowicz


26. PRIMROSE PRETTYFACE. Adopt me for: $1,100

The history of Primrose Prettyface; who by her sweetness of temper, and love of learning, was raised from being the daughter of a poor cottager to great riches, and the dignity of lady of the manor. London: T.C. Hansard for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, and John Sharpe, 1818; Philadelphia: H. Conrad & E. Parsons, 1835.

image of item This is a charming tale of an impoverished girl who grows into a woman of accomplishment by her intelligence, work ethic, and beauty. This rare little book is one of a handful of early 19th-century English children's books reissued by Philadelphia publisher Conrad & Parsons in the 1830s. This copy has publisher's advertisements for both the English and American publishers, giving us a glimpse into the transatlantic world of children's book publishing in antebellum America.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Jo Radner

Holland, R. "Manhattan Sun." 1847-1848.

image of item Holland was likely a young man when these two issues in very different formats were produced. In the first issue Holland writes, "The object of the editor of the M.S. will be to give his readers some scanty information relating to the movements of the mighty mass of men, women, & children who flourish in this great Empire City of the Western world." These are part of a growing collection of manuscript periodicals at AAS.
~ Thomas Knoles


Adopted by Kyle Roberts and Crisostomo Gouveia

The holy war. [Suffield, CT or Newport, RI: H. & O. Farnsworth, 1797-1799]

The author of this unrecorded and anonymous broadside summons readers to serve Christ as if he were recruiting soldiers to fight in a war. The author's captain is Jesus Christ; his general is God. Havila and Oliver Farnsworth were brothers who printed in Suffield in 1797 and 1798 and in Newport in 1798 and 1799.
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Molly McCarthy

Hudson, Henry James, 1821-1901. Diaries, 1835-1839.

image of item Hudson was born in Newburyport, MA. He graduated from Harvard College in 1843 and was a Unitarian minister in Plattsburgh, NY and Stonington, CT. This group of small diaries span the years from 1835 to 1839. Many entries are humorous, as for example a "Bulletin of Extraordinary Events" including the statement GREAT CALAMITY! MOURN, COLUMBIA MOURN! My snail is lost!!! Oh dear!!!
~ Thomas Knoles


30. INDIAN MEDICINES. Adopt me for: $850

Indian medicines. Recommendations and directions. [Boston, 1805?]

image of item Although damaged, this advertisement for a range of Indian herbal recipes credits a Mrs. Shaw for bringing the herbal and medicinal knowledge of Native Americans in Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey to the public. This sheet provides many testimonials from people who had suffered from a variety of illnesses noting the efficacy of Mrs. Shaw's preparations. Among the conditions remedied were dysentery, cancer, rheumatism, sore throat, scarlet fever, pimples and insect stings, consumption, worms, burns, piles, and poisoning.
~ Gigi Barnhill


31. BUSINESS DIRECTORY. Adopt me for: $350

J. Arthurs Murphy & Co. Reference book of the hardware, iron, steel, cutlery, and gun trades, plumbers, gas and steam fitters - also dealers in china, glass, crockery, and house-furnishing goods, in the United States for 1872. New York: J. Arthurs Murphy & Co., 1871.

image of item A fine copy of this comprehensive directory and credit reference book providing confidential information on thousands of American businesses. J. Arthurs Murphy & Co. was an early credit reporting bureau. Businessmen seeking to verify the credit-worthiness of customers or potential partners could purchase individual credit reports, or they could rent the firm's annually published directories. In this directory businesses are listed geographically, and an arcane system of letters, numbers, and abbreviations (explained at front) provides coded data about each business. Each copy of this directory was serially numbered and bears the admonition: "subscribers will pledge themselves to keep [this book] for their own use, [and] under no circumstances are they to lend or hire the book or in any case exhibit it to their customers." Because subscribers were required to return their copies in order to receive updated editions, these directories are now quite rare.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by J. Thomas Touchton

The lighthouse keeper's daughter. Philadelphia: Protestant Episcopal Book Society, [ca. 1861-1874]

image of item This tiny miniature combines adventure with piety. When her father is waylaid by a band of "wreckers" eager to plunder ships during a storm, little Mary uses her dead mother's Bible as a step to reach the lighthouse lamp. Tract societies like the Protestant Episcopal Book Society experimented with unique book formats to attract young readers.
~ Laura Wasowicz

Adopted by Helen Deese

List of deaths in Ashfield, Massachusetts, from Oct. 27, 1843, to March 7, 1858. Greenfield, MA: A. M. Robinson, 1858.

image of item This broadside, arranged chronologically, lists the name of the decedent, date of death, cause, name of father, and name of husband. With this arrangement, it is possible to determine the prevalence of certain diseases as they passed through the town in waves, such as scarlet fever and dysentery. Other illnesses, such as consumption, were endemic. Many men and women lived into their 80s, dying of "old age." There are sad tales in this chart: Lois Williams died of childbirth at the age of 23. Apparently she gave birth to twin daughters who died a month later.
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Gretchen Adams

The little partners, the snow fort, and Little Howard. New York: Methodist Episcopal Sunday School Union, [ca. 1856-1868]

image of item A collection of stories for boys about boys learning how to lead upright lives (often the hard way!). The "little partners" realize they cannot enjoy their shared ownership of a ball without sharing; the builders of the snow fort learn to build their winter play house through cooperative effort; "Little Howard" develops a penchant for charity bazaar raffles that eases him into the underworld of gambling. Moral tales with bite!
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Scott E. Casper, in honor of Joanne Chaison upon the occasion of her retirement

Lossing, Benson J. Washington and the American Republic. New York: Virtue & Yorston, 1867.

image of item Recent readers of AAS's newsletter will know of our strong interest in collecting early salesman's sample books as well as books illustrated with original mounted photographs. We never expected these two genres to intersect, but now a private collector has offered AAS the chance to acquire this very rare and highly unusual salesman's sample book, illustrated with an original albumen photograph! We know of no other like it. This volume, finely bound in publisher's gilt-tooled brown morocco, contains sample pages and engravings from the complete work. At the end are ruled pages for subscribers to add the names and address, and 40 distinguished citizens of Brooklyn Heights have done so. Subscribers are promised a large (33 x 26.) engraving of "Washington Receiving a Salute on the Field of Trenton" and, so that they can see what they will be getting, an albumen photo of this print has been bound into the sample book. This is another must-have acquisition for AAS!
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by John Herron, in memory of Ann M. Lyell

M. T. Brockelbank & Co. Journal of the Fine Arts. New York, 1851.

image of item This circular letter joins an extremely strong collection of posters, broadsides, and leaflets pertaining to the printing and publishing of all manner of material. This particular item solicits advertising from book publishers for the Journal of the Fine Arts. The printed portion claims that the Journal had the largest circulation of any journal of its type. On the inside is a manuscript letter from Brockelbank announcing that he was enlarging the Journal and opening its advertising pages to book publishers for the first time. To encourage business he was offering a ten percent discount. Documents such as this reveal a great deal about the business of publishing and advertising.
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by David R. Whitesell

McRobie, William Orme, b. 1838. Fighting the flames! Or twenty-seven years in the Montreal fire brigade: a record of prominent fires. Thrilling adventures, and hair-breadth escapes. Montreal: "Witness" Printing House, 1881.

image of item There are many books and prints about fires and firefighting in the AAS collection, but this recent acquisition may be our only autobiography of a 19th-century firefighter! McRobie began his career at the age of 15 as a "torch-boy" for a Montreal fire brigade, eventually rising to the rank of captain. His absorbing narrative of notable fires and their aftermath, and of the lives and interactions of fire brigade members, provides an essential and unique perspective lacking from official reports. The volume is bound appropriately with a gilt-stamped fireman on the front cover. Look carefully at the frontispiece photograph of the author — a copy of his book, in the same binding, appears by his right hand!
~ David Whitesell

38. MALLORY SCRAPBOOKS. Adopt us for: $6,500

Mallory, Richard P. Two scrapbooks of his wood engravings and those of several of his contemporaries. Lancaster, MA, 1828-1845.

image of item Mallory learned his trade as a wood engraver in the firm of Carter, Andrews & Company of Lancaster, MA. The scrapbooks contain many examples of Mallory's work. Of great importance are his pencil notations providing information about the artists who designed the images that he engraved on wood. Among those artists are George Loring Brown (who worked in Worcester in 1838), David Claypoole Johnston (AAS owns an extensive collection of his work), and William Croome, who later founded the Boston Bewick Company. Mallory went on to work for the American Engraving & Printing Company. These volumes document the close collaboration among a group of artists just learning their trade. Some went on to further work in Boston for Abel Bowen and other publishers.
~ Gigi Barnhill

39. PATTERNED CLOTH BINDING. Adopt me for: $300

Marcet, Mrs. (Jane Haldimand), 1769-1858. Willy's rambles, for young children. New York: Edward Kearny, 1839.

image of item 19th-century American publisher's cloth bindings almost never employed richly patterned and colored cloth of this kind; indeed, the gilt stamping on spine and front cover is hardly visible against the busy background. Hence this example.unusually well preserved for a children's an exceptionally rare find and an important addition to AAS's Bindings Collection.
~ David Whitesell


Adopted by Larry and Gloria Abramoff in honor of Barbara and Paul Levy

Mount-Pleasant Register (Mount Pleasant, NY). Dec. 18, 1798.

image of item When Clarence Brigham listed this newspaper in his A history and bibliography of American newspapers 1690-1820 (AAS, 1947), all of his information came from secondary sources and no copies could be located. This is the second copy now known (an earlier issue is at the New York State Library). Brigham guessed that the paper ceased publication in 1800, but in this issue the printer advertises the newspaper as for sale because he intended to leave Mount Pleasant in the spring of 1799. The printer, William Durell, was arrested and convicted in July 1798 for libeling President John Adams in this paper, but he was pardoned during the Jefferson administration.
~ Vincent Golden

Adopted by Ogretta McNeil

Mudge, Zachariah Atwell, 1813-1888. The lobster-boy; or the son who was a heaviness to his mother. Boston: American Tract Society, [ca. 1866]

image of item This is an endearing tale of a tough lobster fisherman's son who grows up to become an honorable young man, despite an abusive alcoholic father, numerous temptations to make easy money illicitly, and the burning of the family lobster boat. Rev. Mudge's tale reminds us that the lot of working class boys was not necessarily wholesome fun.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Eric Caren

New-Windsor Gazette (New Windsor, NY). Nov. 27, 1798. Orange County Republican (Wardsbridge, NY) 1806-1808. 15 issues

image of item These two titles are part of a bundle of 67 issues of early Orange County, NY newspapers purchased from an estate sale conducted on eBay. All newspapers from this county listed in Clarence Brigham's A history and bibliography of American newspapers 1690-1820 (AAS, 1947) are scarce and often known only in scattered issues. The issue of the New-Windsor Gazette, only the third recorded, is important because it is several months later than the other two known issues and shows a change in ownership. For the Orange County Republican, some of the issues help fill in an almost year-long gap in the known issues, and some are later than any other issues known. The issue dates, plus editorial comments in the later issues, reveal that this newspaper suspended publication for about five months, accounting for part of the gap. When tracing the history of particular newspaper titles, it is almost impossible to do so without having originals in hand. Second-hand accounts (e.g., county histories) are often incomplete or misleading. Previously unknown issues such as the ones above can be very fruitful in filling in the historical gaps.
~ Vincent Golden

43. NIAGARA REPORTER. Adopt me for: $850
Contributing godmother Molly McCarthy

Niagara Reporter (Niagara, Canada). May 1837 - June 1838.

image of item Besides American newspapers, AAS collects newspapers from Canada and the West Indies before 1876 and Great Britain before 1783. The Niagara Reporter is an extremely scarce newspaper lasting just seven years. Published just across the border from Buffalo, NY, it provides a Canadian perspective to contemporary events, as well as a first-hand account of a major incident from September 1837. A runaway slave from Kentucky, Johnson Molesby, took refuge in Niagara. Because he stole a horse from his master to aid his escape, Molesby was arrested to be sent back to Kentucky as a horse thief. When the sheriff, with the assistance of British soldiers, tried to take him back across the border to slavery, a mob of locals (mostly free blacks) showed up and helped him escape, but two were killed by deputies during the confusion. The paper's credo was Bernjamin Franklin's statement, "The Liberty of the Press is indeed essential to the nature of a Free State."
~ Vincent Golden

Adopted by Kathleen M. Haley in memory of Daniel F. Haley

Nystrom, John W. Description of a hydraulic pontoon-dock. Invented by John W. Nystrom. St. Petersburg [Russia]: Imperial Academy of Science, 1859.

image of item Why, one might well ask, was a Russian imprint acquired for AAS? Because it is 1) unrecorded, and 2) helps to document the career of one of America's most innovative 19th-century engineers. Swedish by birth, Nystrom had established himself in Philadelphia by the early 1850s as a leading engineer, author of several highly regarded handbooks, and member of the Franklin Institute. The later 1850s saw him in Russia as consultant to various railway and steam navigation companies. This pamphlet, illustrated by four hand-colored lithographic plates, describes a notable invention from Nystrom's Russian sojourn: a hydraulic pontoon dock. These self-contained, steam-powered units were equivalent to mini-submarines, able to submerge beneath a vessel and then raise it out of the water.
~ David Whitesell

45. OLEAN ADVOCATE. Adopt us for: $275

Olean Advocate (Olean, NY). 1836-1837. 26 issues

image of item This is third newspaper published in Olean (the first two were issued when it was called Hamilton). The Olean Advocate began as the Allegany Mercury in 1835 but changed its name the next year when Rufus W. Griswold became editor. (He is better known for his anthologies of poetry, succeeding Edgar Allan Poe as editor of Graham's Magazine, and his attack on Poe's reputation after his death.) No other copies are recorded, and these issues were rescued from an individual who was going to sell them on eBay. Unfortunately two had been sold by the time we spotted it. At one time they were in a lovely ribbon-embossed cloth binding, but only the front board remains. On the flyleaf is an inscription: "H[amilton] R. Searles. Presents this volume to his grand Nephew Randolph S. Hartley, he being the grandson of the Editor. New York. Nov. 1st 1893."
~ Vincent Golden

Adopted by Jock Herron, in honor of Joanne Chaison on the occasion of her retirement

The Opal: a pure gift for the Holy Days. MDCCCXLVI. New York: J. C. Riker, 1846.

image of item A highly unusual and well-preserved American publisher's binding, unsigned. The boards are covered with decorated paper —a star pattern printed gold-on-white — which in turn is overprinted in gold with elaborate spine and cover designs. The star pattern is occasionally found used as endleaves in American publisher's bindings. Here the logical next step has been taken by using the paper on the outside, with added decoration. Copies in this condition are exceptionally rare — even Ken Leach, whose celebrated collection of American bindings is now at AAS, had to make do with a shabby example lacking one cover.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Anne Reilly in honor of Rev. Michael O. Shirley

Ordway, Nehemiah. Record Book, 1777-1829.

image of item Nehemiah Ordway (1743-1836) was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts and became a congregational minister after his graduation from Harvard College in 1764. This small volume is a record of Ordway's ministerial activities from 1777 to 1829. It adds considerably to what is known of Ordway's career and activities. He was peripatetic, settling in Middleton in 1777, but later also serving in Candia, East Haverhill, Raymond, Kingston and Pembroke. In a note in the front of the volume Ordway says, seemingly with pride, that he had preached in fifty towns. The record book includes genealogical notes, and records of his settlement at Middleton and records of as well as admissions, births and marriages in the other churches with which he was associated.
~ Thomas Knoles

Adopted by Ellen S. Dunlap and Frank Armstrong

Philadelphia Photographer. 1865-1870. 15 issues

image of item Soon after photography became a commercial process, specialized periodicals began to appear, starting in 1850 with the Daguerreian Journal (New York). The Philadelphia Photographer was the first photographic journal to be published in Philadelphia beginning in 1864. Each issue is filled with articles of advice, history, and latest developments in photography. In the February 1870 issue, one advertiser included an original photograph pasted to a card to show off a sample of his chromo-ferrotype mat.
~ Vincent Golden

Adopted by Mr. and Mrs. William Pingeton

Punch and Judy. (Little Sunshine's stories.) Philadelphia: Davis, Porter & Co., [ca. 1865-1866]

image of item This picture book version of Punch and Judy combines broadly drawn illustrations with simple text that reads like the slapstick play it was meant to imitate. Punch looks like a comic clown, but the text tells us that he abuses and kills his child, wife, and a policeman. He is sentenced to hang, but miraculously escapes to take his bow before the audience. Behind its jolly veneer, this children's version of Punch and Judy raises troubling questions about the acceptability of domestic violence in 19th-century American culture.
~ Laura Wasowicz

Adopted by Holly Hock and Christopher Dumaine

Rand, Avery & Co., 117 Franklin St., Boston, railway printers & stationers, manufacturers and dealers in numbered railway tickets of every description ... Boston: Rand, Avery & Co, 1874.

image of item A notable acquisition which enhances four AAS collections: trade catalogs, printers' specimens, color printing, and railway literature. In this exquisitely printed pamphlet, Rand, Avery showcases all of its products catering to the railway industry. The product range extends well beyond printing alone.
~ David Whitesell



AAS's primary source materials are augmented by an outstanding and heavily used collection of secondary works, historical scholarship, local histories, genealogies, and reference works. Following is a small selection of the hundreds of recent publications received in recent months.

51A. Allen, Gloria Seaman. A Maryland sampling: girlhood embroidery 1738-1860. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 2007. Adopt me for: $65

51B. Bamberg, Cheryl Fletcher. Elder John Gorton and the Six Principle Baptist Church of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Greenville, RI: Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 2001.
Adopted by Gretchen A. Adams

51C. Berkeley, William. The papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605-1677. Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2007.
Adopted by Jon Kukla

51D. Brogan, Hugh. Alexis de Tocqueville: a life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.
Adopted by Anne H. Young in honor of Mary and John Young

51E. Fiske, Jane Fletcher. Thomas Clemence of Providence, Rhode Island and his descendants to the year 2007. Greenville, RI: Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 2007. Adopt me for: $40

51F. Howe, Daniel Walker. What hath God wrought: the transformation of America, 1815-1848. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Pulitzer Prize winner!
Adopted by Catherine Thompson

51G. Lacey, Barbara E. From sacred to secular: visual images in early American publications. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2007. Adopt me for: $70

51H. Michelson, Bruce. Printer's devil: Mark Twain and the American publishing revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
Adopted by Ruth Ann Penka in honor of Steven Penka

51I. Nestor, Sandy. Silver and gold mining camps of the Old West: a state by state American encyclopedia. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2007. Adopt me for: $55

51J. Rediker, Marcus. The slave ship: a human history. New York: Viking, 2007.
Adopted by Ogretta McNeil

51K. Richardson, Peter & Douglas. Canadian churches: an architectural history. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2007.
Adopted by Kathleen Ricciardi in honor of Daniel Ricciardi

Adopted by Winston Tabb

Remember me. Baltimore: William Raine, [ca. 1840-1842]

image of item This devotional poem is illustrated with wood engravings depicting children engaged in everyday activities such as sailing a boat, picking fruit, and giving money to beggars. AAS has over 30 picture books produced by William Raine during his relatively short picture book publishing career in Baltimore. The back cover has an advertisement for Raine's New Coloured Books series, which includes Remember me. ~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by John and Katherine Keenum, in memory of Barbara Morey

Second Social Library, Standish Maine. Records, 1832-1841.

image of item This volume contains the constitution and records of meetings of the Second Social Library, founded as noted in the constitution by people living at some distance from the village center. The constitution begins thus: "We the Subscribers, inhabitants of the town of Standish anxious to acquire a knowledge of past time as well as passing events and believing that a good portion of our time and that of our Children may be well imployed in reading and living remote from the Central Vilage in this town but in the Vicinity of each other and believeing it to be highly important in a republicon government where each one is Caled upon to perform his part in the government either in the discharge of his duties of his office or by his vote and for him to do it with Clearness of mind and soundness of judgment it is necessary for him to have some knowledge of the history of his Cuntry and we further believe that ignorance is degrading that it is the nursery of Vice and despotism and that it is in a great measure by her that tyrants and superstition reign and we also believe that that the situation of our country our selves and our children call upon us for such an institution. Therefore we have united and hereby unite to form ourselves in a Society or body politic for the purpose of holding and preserving a library under the following rules." The volume also includes a record of the sale of the library books at auction in 1841.
~ Thomas Knoles

54. UNRECORDED AMERICAN PLAY. Adopt me for: $2,500

Smith, John W. The jockey. A play. Being a new edition of "What it is to be a jockey." Hudson [NY]: Ashbel Stoddard, 1799.

image of item Only known copy of a previously unrecorded 18th-century American play, printed in Hudson, NY in 1799. The plot concerns a young jockey with a penchant for drinking, lying, and cheating, who sells a horse under false pretenses to an unsuspecting farmer. Sued by the farmer, the jockey cleverly maneuvers the court into awarding him damages. The action takes place in Bangall, NY, a small town northwest of Syracuse. Nothing is yet known of the author, other than that he presumably lived in Amenia, NY (near Hudson), per the "Advertisement" on page 2. The earlier edition referred to on the title page is also unrecorded, or perhaps simply the author's conceit.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Doris N. O'Keefe and Elizabeth W. Pope in honor of Joanne Chaison on the occasion of her retirement

Southey, Caroline Bowles, 1786-1854. Solitary hours. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1847.

image of item This remarkable publisher's cloth binding is one of the most unusual to have been produced during the late 1840's — a particularly fertile period of experimentation in binding ornamentation. In their aggressive efforts to catch the purchaser's eye, publishers introduced striped cloth covers, some subdued, others quite gaudy. This example features horizontal red stripes on cream-colored cloth, accentuated by a heavy gold embossed panel of hatched arabesques on each cover. What makes this binding so distinctive is the bold blind-embossed moiré pattern in the cloth itself, which gives it an almost hypnotic appearance. Striped cloth bindings — especially such busy designs as this one — were not a success, however, and they all but disappeared from the American market by the early 1850s. Today they are highly prized by collectors.
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Hal Espo and Ree DeDonato

Stephen H. Branch's Alligator (New York, NY). Sept. 4 and Oct. 30, 1858.

image of item A specific genre within AAS's newspaper collection is Racy Newspapers. Most of these were published in New York from the 1830s to 1860s and covered the seedier and morally dubious side of city life. All are extremely rare with few issues surviving. Most of the AAS collection was put together through three separate acquisitions over the past 70 years. We rarely have an opportunity to add to it, but these two issues of Stephen H. Branch's Alligator turned up at a local book fair several months after we acquired a single issue from another fair. At the time these were published Branch was in jail, having been convicted of libel. The September issue contains an editorial about the injustice of Branch's conviction and freedom of the press; other articles cover government corruption and prostitution. The October issue also contains a very amusing ballad on the subject of libel.
~ Vincent Golden

57. RIGHTS OF THE MENTALLY ILL. Adopt me for: $300

Stone, Elizabeth T. The American Godhead: or, the Constitution of the United States cast down by Northern slavery, or by the power of insane hospitals. Boston: The Author, 1861.

image of item Previously unrecorded, this pamphlet is an important document from the patient's perspective on the treatment of mental illness in antebellum America. Born in Westford, MA in 1811, Stone spent much of her life shuttling in and out of mental institutions. During her occasional periods of freedom, Stone took the unusual step of self-publishing three highly critical accounts of her treatment: in 1842, 1859, and 1861. With this acquisition, AAS now owns all three. Here Stone dwells on the legal issues of depriving the mentally ill of their freedom: "At the present time, our nation is shocked by the great national sin of slavery, but what is that sin to this monstrous crime of Northern slavery?"
~ David Whitesell

58. CREDIT REPORTS. Adopt us for: $300

Strictly Confidential. (New York: John M. Bradstreet & Son). May 1, 1857. 8 issues

image of item Like today, businesses in the 19th century needed information on the credit worthiness of other companies before dealing with them. At that time the need was filled by companies such as Bradstreet's. Because the information was proprietary, reports such as these were often labeled "Strictly Confidential," meaning they were available only to subscribers, who often had to return them to the agency in exchange for updated versions. These sheets cover Louisville, St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh, though at that time Bradstreet covered a dozen cities. Each sheet notes "The following is our opinion of the Merchants named." The subscriber could find out the capitalization of each company and its credit ranking: good, fair, fair only, only fair, not strong, dissolved, assigned, sold out, and going out of business. As can be imagined, these reports are extremely rare today.
~ Vincent Golden

59. TOLL ROAD BROADSIDE. Adopt me for: $550

Susquehannah Turnpike Corporation. Rates of toll. [Catskill, NY?, 1801?]

image of item Doris O'Keefe, AAS senior cataloguer for rare books, reported to me that the ability to research single items in the Readex Archive of Americana facilitated the dating of this broadside. According to the provisions of "An act to establish a turnpike corporation for improving and making a road from the town of Salisbury, in the state of Connecticut, to Wattle's Ferry on the Susquehannah River," passed by the New York State Legislature on April 1, 1800, the corporation would be licensed to erect toll gates and collect tolls after 4 ½ miles of road in each direction from the ferry landing at Catskill, NY, had been completed. An article in the Aug. 13, 1800, issue of the American citizen and general advertiser reported that directors had been chosen for the "Susquehannah Turnpike Company," Stephen Day elected president, and that the company was prepared "to receive proposals and to contract for making a road from Catskill to the westward."
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Paul S. & Anne M. Morgan

T. M. Breeden & Co. National Lincoln monument. Cincinnati: T. M. Breeden & Co., 1876.

image of item Printed by the lithographic firm of William M. Donaldson, this image reproduces the monument honoring Abraham Lincoln and containing his remains designed by Larkin G. Meade. Built of Massachusetts granite, it cost $300,000. AAS has several other documents that detail aspects of the fundraising and design of the monument, including a book by John Carroll Power that contains a description of the monument. The fact that the AAS collections include other material on the monument made the acquisition of this print a priority.
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Christopher Clark and Margaret Lamb

Thompson & Co. Great Western Express receipt book, 1857-1858.

image of item A substantial silk business was carried on in Northampton, Massachusetts in the nineteenth century. The Northampton Association for Education and Industry was founded in 1841 as a utopian socialist community with the production of silk as its business activity. Among the founders of the Northampton Association was Samuel Lapham Hill (1806-1882). After the dissolution of the community in 1853, Hill continued the business as the Nonotuck Silk Company. This volume lists shipments of silk by the express agents Thompson & Co. for Hill in the years 1857-1858. Large quantities of silk were shipped to a variety of locations in New England and New York, but also to companies as far away as Cincinnati, Nashville, and Chicago. A little more than twenty years ago AAS acquired records of the Northampton Association and so this is an excellent addition to that collection.
~Thomas Knoles

Adopted by Marcus A. McCorison

Town and country almanac, for the year of our Lord 1827 ... Philadelphia: Printed on the Vertical Press by D. & S. Neall, [1826]

image of item Apart from filling a gap in AAS's peerless almanac collection, this pamphlet brings to 19 the number of "Vertical Press" imprints now at AAS. In 1825 Daniel Neall patented a revolutionary new hand press in which the type forme and platen were both raised by mechanical action to a vertical position.hence the name Vertical Press — and the forme then printed by pulling the traditional hand lever. Only one person was needed to man the press — not the usual two — and ingenious mechanisms allowed for energy to be stored and reused during the next pull of the press, thereby saving considerable labor and expense. Vertical Press imprints prominently announced their novelty by featuring a vignette of the press on their title pages, as here. But for reasons as yet unclear, the Neall establishment ceased operation in 1829 and its press was not adopted elsewhere.
~ David Whitesell

63. TYLER ORATION. Adopt me for: $250

Tyler, John, 1790-1862. An oration, delivered at York Town, Va. October 19th, 1837 ... Richmond: Thomas W. White, 1837.

image of item A fine copy of this previously unrecorded pamphlet by Virginia Senator John Tyler, who would be elevated to the Presidency upon the death of William Henry Harrison in 1841. Tyler used his platform at the exercises commemorating the 56th anniversary of the British surrender at Yorktown to advance his states. rights views and belief in their compatibility with a strong federal union. However, his view is ultimately a pessimistic one, as Tyler all but concedes that sectionalism is likely to tear the union asunder. "But, if fanaticism shall snatch the scepter from the hands of reason — if sectional feeling shall overcome the love of union — my hope even then, will be, that LIBERTY will find an abiding place among us."
~ David Whitesell

Adopted by Chuck Arning in honor of Lee D. Arning

Vaughan, John C. Argument of John C. Vaughan, Esq., in the trial of the Rev. John B. Mahan, for felony, in the Mason Circuit Court of Kentucky ... Cincinnati: Samuel A. Alley, 1838.

image of item Fine copy of this rare and important defense of an Ohio man who was extradited to Kentucky and charged with aiding a fugitive slave. Mahan was one of many who assisted an escaped Kentucky slave named John, who passed through the busy Underground Railroad station at Ripley, OH on the Ohio River, though it was his misfortune to be the sole person indicted. Vaughan was one of four prominent Ohio attorneys who managed Mahan's defense. This pamphlet contains Vaughan's lengthy summation, in which he argues for Mahan's acquittal on factual and legal grounds, denying the right of Kentucky to impose its laws on someone who could prove he had never set foot in that state. To the surprise of almost all present, Mahan was acquitted.
~ David Whitesell

65. MANITOWOC CITY VIEW. Adopt me for: $950

Vogt, Charles H. Manitowoc, Wis. Milwaukee: Printed by J. Knauber and published by C. H. Vogt, 1870.

image of item I spotted this city view, described in John Reps's magnificent Views and viewmakers of urban America but located only in a private collection, at the San Francisco Book, Print, and Ephemera Fair in early February. I went to the fair as president of the Ephemera Society of America, spending most of a day sitting at the booth handing out membership brochures and old issues of the newsletter. A dealer had this and a print of Windham, CT, for sale, but was too lazy to quote them to me. So, Roger Genser, a print dealer in Santa Monica, CA, who is active in the American Historical Print Collectors Society and a good friend, kindly snapped them up and then sent them on to me. This print is particularly interesting because of the border printed in dark grey. The colors of the view really pop off the sheet. The contrast between the bucolic foreground and the densely populated town is striking. Manitowoc must have had some importance in the late nineteenth century: there are views published in 1869, 1870, 1883, and 1895!
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Kristin Espinosa and Meredith Neuman, in memory of their grandmother, Freda S. Petersen

Walter, Thomas, 1696-1725. The Grounds and rules of musick explained. Boston: Thomas Johnston, 1764.

image of item AAS has another copy of this edition as well as numerous other editions of Walter's works. Although this copy is defective, like a number of other surviving copies it has manuscript additions bound into the back. These offer a window into the musical interests of individual owners. Differing notations within the manuscript entries suggest that two different owners added material to the volume and that it was used over a number of years.
~ Thomas Knoles

67. PORTLAND CITY VIEW. Adopt me for: $3,500

Warner, Joseph. Bird's eye view of the city of Portland, Maine, 1876. Madison, WI: J. J. Stoner, 1876.

image of item We are always on the lookout for city views, particularly those that reveal details about the city plan and the economic life of the city. Many of the structures on this map are keyed to descriptive text below the image, providing a great deal of information about ownership of the wharves, location of churches, and placement of schools and other public buildings within residential areas. Joseph Warner was an itinerant artist, responsible for just three city views; this is his earliest. The publisher, J. J. Stoner of Madison, WI, issued 314 views covering the United States from Washington State to Maine. By the time that this view was published, there were several firms, such as Stoner's, that specialized in this genre.
~ Gigi Barnhill

Adopted by Georgia Barnhill

Welsh, Jane Kilby, b. 1783? The pastime of learning, with sketches of rural scenes. Boston: Cottons and Barnard, 1831.

image of item This is a classic example of botany presented as a "lady's science." Jane Kilby Welsh's text conveys the lessons through a series of informal conversations between an intelligent mother and her children. This copy also sports four fabulous hand-colored metal engravings depicting various plants. Books like The pastime of learning inspired a young Emily Dickinson to create her celebrated nature poems several decades later.
~ Laura Wasowicz


Adopted by Michael R. Potaski

The young man's book of elegant prose. Philadelphia, 1836.

image of item This is the scarcest of a series of anthologies of prose, poetry, and letters, specially selected for young men or ladies, published during the 1830's. The short selections were chosen primarily from English authors, though Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper are also represented. Included are adventure tales, satire, historical essays, and especially biography, many selected as much for their moral content as for their literary style. It is bound in an almost perfectly preserved example of a publisher's embossed leather binding, a style popular in England and the United States ca. 1825-1855.
~ David Whitesell


image of item Individual issues of 19th-century periodicals were often published with a separate protective paper wrapper. When bound collectively into volumes, however, the binder usually removed the wrappers and any advertisement pages. This is unfortunate because the discarded wrappers and advertisements often contain a wealth of information about the publication, illustrations, or other details which are now of great interest to historians of American printing and publishing. Here is a selection of issues in original wrappers.
~ Vincent Golden

70A. American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine (Baltimore, MD). Feb. 1833. Besides the wonderful cover images there are advertisements for breeding stock of horses and upcoming races.
Adopted by Frank Amari

70B. Columbian Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine (New York). Apr. 1844. Nice example of two-color printing. No color was used outside of the wrappers.
Adopted by Rodney G. Obien

70C. American Monthly Magazine and Critical Review (New York). Mar. 1818. Excellent graphic of a bookseller's shop on the front cover.
Adopted by Rodney G. Obien

70D. Lady's Book, and Ladies. American Magazine (Philadelphia). July 1838.
Adopted by Frank Amari

70E. American Masonic Register and Ladies & Gentlemen's Magazine (New York). Oct. 1820. The list of agents on the back cover shows how widely distributed this work was.
Adopted by Frank Amari

image of item 70F. Philadelphia Visiter and Parlour Companion (Philadelphia). Jan. 1838. Lovely grape arbor border, with classified advertisements on the inside and back covers.
Adopted by Frank Amari

70G. Revue du Nouveau-Monde (New York). Nov. 1849. Interesting French-language periodical. On the back cover is a list of agents from Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and France handling this periodical.
Adopted by Frank Amari

70H. Atkinson's Casket, or Gems of Literature, Wit and Sentiment (Philadelphia). Mar. 1838. The wrappers contain a table of contents, lists of plates ("embellishments") covering volumes from 1829 to 1837, and a long list of agents. There is also a note instructing postmasters that, when subscriptions lapse, the postmaster is to return a legal letter notice with the receipt and not the magazine itself (which would require double postage), nor are they to return issues mutilated or defaced in the mail.
Adopted by Frank Amari

70I. American Gardener's Magazine (Boston). Apr. 1835. Extra advertising sheets for a variety of flowers and seeds are inserted.
Adopted by Frank Amari

70J. Wisconsin Farmer and Northwestern Cultivator (Madison, WI). Aug. 1856. Great city view of Madison along with agricultural graphics on the front cover.
Adopted by Jon Kukla


71. Bisbee, Richard M. History of the town of Waitsfield, Vermont 1789-2000. Barre, VT: L. Brown and Sons, 2007.
Adopted by Carolyn Dik

72. Brady, Mary Louise Baldwin. Connecticut roots: Pilgrim & Puritan planters and Irish famine emigrants. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 2006. Adopt me for: $60

73. Caney, Donald L. Africa squadron: the U.S. Navy and the slave trade, 1842-1861. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2006.
Adopted by Adrienne G. Clark

74. Graves, Eben W. The descendants of Henry Sewall 1576-1656 of Manchester and Coventry, England & Newbury and Rowley, Massachusetts. Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2007. Adopt me for: $60

75. Kukla, Jon. Mr. Jefferson's women. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. Adopt me for: $20

76. LaPlante, Eve. Salem witch judge: the life and repentance of Samuel Sewall. New York: HarperOne, 2007.
Adopted by Janet Marie Bessette

77. Massey, Sara R. Texas women on the cattle trails. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2006. Adopt me for: $25

78. Moore, Susan Hardman. Pilgrims: New World settlers & the call of home. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
Adopted by Bernadine Birch

79. Murray, Meg McGavran. Margaret Fuller, wandering pilgrim. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008.
Adopted by Margareta Berg

80. Ohlhausen, Sidney K. The American Catholic Bible in the nineteenth century: a catalog of English language editions. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006.
Adopted by Carol van Berkel in memory of Thomas R. van Berkel

81. Oliver, Barret. A history of the Woodburytype: the first successful photomechanical printing process and Walter Bentley Woodbury. Nevada City, CA: Carl Mautz, 2006. Adopt me for: $60

82. Phegley, Jennifer. Educating the proper woman reader: Victorian family literary magazines and the cultural health of the nation. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2004. Adopt me for: $35

83. Rasmussen, William S. Lee and Grant. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 2007. Adopt me for: $55

84. Sloan, Kim. A new world: England's first view of America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Adopt me for: $50

85. Werner, Emmy E. In pursuit of liberty: coming of age in the American Revolution. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006. Adopt me for: $45

86. Wisconsin. Legislature. The legislative manual of the state of Wisconsin - First annual edition. Madison: Smith & Cullaton, 1862.
Adopted by Rob Nurre in memory of Increase A. Lapham

87. The Sunday school juvenile Bible. Richmond: Peter Cottom, 1832.
Adopted by Russell W. Dalton

88. The Flower-Boy of the Prairie. New York: American Tract Society, [ca. 1861]
Adopted by Ann-Cathrine and Douglas Rapp, in honor of their grandchildren

89A. The Sail on the River. Boston: Graves & Ellis, [ca. 1868]
Adopted by Kathleen Ricciardi in honor of Michael Ricciardi

The following "siblings" in the series can also be adopted for $30 each:

89B. Addie's New Story Book. Adopted by Kathleen McClintock in honor of Sister Louise Marie, S.S.J.
89C. Working for Mamma. Adopted by Meredith Neuman, in honor of Dianne Neuman
89D. The Lost Child.
89E. Addie's Birthday.
89F. Addie's Country Home.
89G. The Magic Lantern. Adopted by Sara Kirk and Nigel Gully
89H. Addie's Visitors.
89I. Laura's Garden. Adopted by Laura Wasowicz in honor of Joanne Chaison
89J. Addie's Brother Freddie.
89K. Working for Papa. Adopted by Meredith Neuman, in honor of Dianne Neuman

90. Old Merry Rhymes for Young Merry Hearts. Boston: Lee & Shepard, [ca. 1860-1875]
Adopted by Ann-Cathrine and Douglas Rapp, in honor of their grandchildren

91. Elliott, Emily Steele. Under the Microscope. London, Edinburgh, & New York: T. Nelson & Sons, 1873.
Adopted by Elizabeth and James David Moran

92. Howitt, Mary Botham. The Picture Book for the Young. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1862.
Adopted by George W. Tetler III in honor of Shelia L. Tetler


93A. The Millennial Harbinger (Bethany, VA) Oct. 1850.

93B. The Southern Agriculturist, and Register of Rural Affairs (Charleston, SC) May 1832.
Adopted by Audrey Zook

93C. The Port Folio (New York) Nov. 1812.

93D. The Dollar Magazine (New York) Apr. 1841.
Adopted by Paul Erickson

93E. The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine (New York) Feb. 1842.
Adopted by Paul Erickson

93F. Holden's Dollar Magazine (New York) Mar. 1849.
Adopted by Paul Erickson

93G. The Analectic Magazine (Philadelphia) Sept. 1820.

93H. The Franklin Journal, and American Mechanics' Magazine (Philadelphia) Jan. 1828. Adopted by Meredith Neuman, in honor of Ronald E. Neuman

93I. De Bow's Review (New Orleans) Oct. 1854.

93J. The Weekly Visitor and Ladies' Museum (New York) May 27, 1820.
Adopted by Audrey Zook


94A. The Christian Repository and Ladies' Magazine (Dayton, OH) May 1858.
Adopted by Krista Ferrante in honor of Mary Eloise Owens

94B. Arcturus, a Journal of Books and Opinion (New York) Mar. 1842.

94C. The International Monthly Magazine (New York) Dec. 1850. Adopted by Meredith Neuman, in honor of Ronald E. Neuman

94D. The Rose Bud (Lowell, MA) Oct. 1, 1832.
Adopted by Laura Wasowicz in memory of Joyce Tracy

94E. Hunt's Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review (New York) Jan. 1857.
Adopted by Paul Erickson

94F. The Cincinnatius: Devoted to Scientific Agriculture, Horticulture, Education, and Improvement of Rural Taste (Cincinnati) May 1850. Adopted by Meredith Neuman, in honor of Ronald E. Neuman

94G. The New-York Visiter and Parlour Companion (New York) Apr. 1840.

94H. The Mother's Magazine and Family Monitor (New York) June 1853.

94I. The Western Literary Messenger, a Family Magazine (Buffalo, NY) Sept. 1853.

94J. American Phrenological Journal (New York) June 1847.
Adopted by Paul Erickson


95A. The Casket or, Flowers of Literature, Wit & Sentiment (Philadelphia) May 1829.

95B. The Connecticut Evangelical Magazine (Hartford, CT) Mar. 1801.

95C. The Baltimore Phoenix & Budget: a Monthly Magazine (Baltimore, MD) Nov. 1841.

95D. The American Journal of Education (Boston) Dec. 1828.

95E. The Antiquarian, and General Review (Schenectady, NY) Nov. 1845.

95F. Boston Monthly Magazine (Boston) May 1826.

95G. Horticultural Register, and Gardener's Magazine (Boston) Aug. 1835.
Adopted by Audrey Zook

95H. The Valley Farmer. A Monthly Journal Devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture, and Rural Affairs (St. Louis, MO) May 1864.

95I. The Christian Family Magazine and Annual (New York) Oct. 1844.

95J. New-York Visitor and Lady's Album (Albany, NY) May 1843.


96A. The Mother's Assistant and Young Lady's Friend (Boston) Mar. 1847.

96B. The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge (Boston) Sept. 1835.

96C. The New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, and The Collateral

96D. Branches of Science (Boston) Apr. 1815.

96E. Godey's Lady's Book (Philadelphia) Mar. 1843.
Adopted by Paul Jones

96F. Fisher's National Magazine and Industrial Record (New York) Sept. 1856.

96G. Roberts' Semi-Monthly Magazine for Town and Country (Boston) Aug. 1, 1844.

96H. United States Magazine (New York) Aug. 1856.
Adopted by Paul Jones

96I. Collections, Historical & Miscellaneous (Concord, NH) July 1824.

96J. The Patriarch: or Family Library Magazine (New York) Aug. 1841. Adopted by Meredith Neuman, in honor of Ronald E. Neuman

96K. Graham's Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine of American Literature and Art (Philadelphia) Jan. 1844.
Adopted by Paul Jones

Welcome to the American Antiquarian Society's First Annual Adopt-a-Book event! The Adopt-a-Book Catalog describes over 80 items acquired by AAS curators in recent months. All are being offered for "adoption." That is, you may adopt any item by pledging the stated amount. In return 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 a book in your name, in honor of a special friend, or in memory of a loved one. Or adopt a favorite item jointly, sharing the cost with one or more friends. All proceeds will be used by curators to acquire more items for AAS's outstanding collections.

Watch this website for updates on the Adopt-a-Book event. All "orphans" will remain available for adoption until August 31, 2008.

Gifts in support of the Adopt-a-Book event and the acquisitions program were received from:
Rodney Armstrong
Karl Briel
Irene Q. and Richard D. Brown
H. Martin Deranian
DeWolfe & Wood
Carol and James Donnelly
Linwood Erskine
Joyce & Jack Hanrahan
Dr. Sharon Harris
The Judy & Tony King Foundation
Dr. Thomas Keenan
Jack Lund
Peter Masi
Jane Nylander
Marilyn Richardson
Robert H. Smith, Jr.
Tavistock Books
John M. Woolsey 3rd

Thank you for supporting AAS's acquisitions program!

How to adopt:

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

2) Contact David Whitesell
a) by e-mail to: dwhitesell[at]
b) by telephone to: (508) 471-2165
c) or by mail to:
American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609-1634

Please provide your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address along with the number(s) of the item(s) you wish to adopt. AAS will contact you with information on how to redeem your pledge. Or save time and send a check (payable to AAS) for the full amount to the address above. (The AAS Adopt-a-Book event, was held in Antiquarian Hall on Tuesday, April 29, 2008, but the catalog will remain available for items not yet adopted though August 31, 2008.)

Not ready to adopt your favorite item? Then consider becoming a godparent by pledging 25% or more of the adoption cost for any item valued at $500 or more!

Questions? Contact AAS. Thank you for your support of AAS's acquisitions program!