Leonard, S. W.
Cheltenham: Published, for the Author, by John Lovesy, 1838. First edition.. Cloth sunned, head and foot of the spine somewhat frayed; a very good copy.. 12mo, original blind-stamped purple cloth, gilt lettering, 50 pages. 10 plates (including four folding plates). He [the author] was first led to a consideration of the subject by having another work in contemplation, and feeling the want of a more rapid mode of committing to paper those evanescent ideas which are seldom so happily expressed as at the moment in which they are conceived. He often found that, before the pen could trace the first sentence, that moment had flown forever." An uncommon novel shorthand system, intended to allow a writer to capture the speed of their own thought. Pitman's History of Shorthand (4th ed., ), with the expected air of a mainstream critic who has waded through any number of idiosyncratic home-grown shorthand schemes, notes that the "system is one which certainly would be found by very few persons beside its inventor, capable of general application in the ordinary occurrences of life when writing is required. . . . [The] system is rendered at once brief and indefinite in the writing and reading. It never could, by any adaptation of its principles, become a 'shorthand for the people.'" Printed by George Wood in Bath. Contemporary signature on the verso of the front free endpaper. Damp-stain to several leaves (of some substantial spread on the first two leaves).
[FEMALE CHARACTER]. [Branagan, Thomas].
Harrisburg [Penna.], 1828
Harrisburg [Penna.]: Printed by Francis Wyeth, 1828. Original calf spine, marbled boards, 6.75 x 4.25 inches, 280 [i.e. 279] pages. With the half-title reading, "Printed for the Subscribers. Third Improved Edition." Stated third edition.
The Irish-born slaver-turned-abolitionist here gathers a series of miscellaneous essays and verses on the status of women; he includes a short chapter on the perils of fiction, though he offsets this somewhat with a three page collection of biographical sketches of "Contemporary Female Genius," 24 authors ranging from Barbauld to Burney, with a note as well of Miss Herschell [sic]—though on first glance, Branagan does not seem to have found any specimens of American female literary genius.
First published in New York in 1807 and Philadelphia in 1808; the reasons for the optimism to publish this subscription edition at this later day remain (to this cataloger at least) unclear, though a lapse of copyright may have likely had something to do with it; this publication also would have been an early production from the press of Francis Wyeth (1806-1893), published shortly after he had graduated from Jefferson College and taken over the press from his father, John Wyeth. (See the online Pennsylvania history website of historian Norman Gasbarro, which cites Wyeth's obituary.)
American Imprints 32462.
Spine rather dried, somewhat rubbed and cracked; some light rubbing to the edges of the boards; a bit toned; a very good copy.
[N. p., but Rhode Island?], [ca. 1840].
[N. p., but Rhode Island?, ca. 1840]. Blank book in black half sheep and marbled boards, 9.88 x 7.75 inches, , 195 [i.e., 196] pages, including 8 leaves inserted with wax wafers and numbered consecutively.
An extensive anthology of verse, with a substantial portion devoted to the deaths of infants and children; the anthologist draws on noted poets like Lydia Huntley Sigourney, Bernard Barton, N. P. Willis (his lengthy poem, "The Leper"), and Leigh Hunt (in the poem addressed to his young son, "T.L.H., SIx Years Old, During Sickness"), with a few verses for children (such as Jane Taylor's uncredited "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star"), and some deep cuts like the Rhode Island Quaker author Avis Howland.
A few verses have been crossed out in contemporary ink; these few canceled examples tend toward what might be deemed vulgar or popular—an Irish lament, or Samuel Woodworth's "The Bucket." Laid in is a contemporary fair copy of Macaulay's riddle beginning, "Cut off my head and singular I am," etc.
Given the provenance of this commonplace book from a bookseller's inventory in Providence, and the sprinkling of Bernard Barton and the appearance of Avis Howland, there is a suggestion here possibly of a moderately worldly Rhode Island Quaker woman's hand at work.
A handsome blank book binding, evidently with stabbed tawed thongs attached under gossamer pastedowns. With the oversized edges of some of the tipped-in leaves gnawed; edges and corners somewhat rubbed; spine bowed, joints just a little cracked in spots; in good to very good condition, quite legible.
[JUVENILE]. Zentler, Conrad, printer.
Philadelphia: Gedruckt bey Conrad Zentler, Für Daniel Bräutigam, No. 193, in der Zwenten Strasse, oberhalb der Wein-Strasse, 1818. Contemporary drab paper spine, decorated boards, 6.75 x 4.13 inches, 32 pages (pages  and  pasted down to the inside covers). Illus. A later "improved" edition of a Zentler ABC, this one of four issues published in 1818.
American Imprints 44532; Arndt 2299: "Conrad Zentler printed four issues of his ABC books in 1818: two Lutheran and two Reformed ABC's, one of each for the booksellers and publishers Georg W. Mentz and Daniel Bräutigam." This copy not bound in the pictorial boards, but certainly seeming otherwise to be in a contemporary binding. With a full woodcut of David on the harp.
Some soiling, some fairly heavy to a couple of leaves; a few leaves somewhat creased or showing evidence of having been crumpled; a trifle worn; a very good copy.
[ROGUE POETS]. Davis, Paris M.
Boston, [1829 or 1830]
Boston: Printed by Jonathan Howe, Corner of Merchants Row and Clinton Street, [1829 or 1830]. Original roan spine, marbled boards, 4.5 x 2.88 inches, 96 pages. First edition.
With the printed notice on the verso of the title page, "I tender my thanks to the gentlemen who have presented me with the paper and printing of this edition. P. M. Davis."
Verses from a poet rough-hewn from the knottier parts of the American grain, Davis was also the author of An Authentick History of the Late War between the United States and Great Britain (Ithaca, N.Y., 1829, with another version published in 1836 in New York), and given the note here on the supply of paper and printing, Davis seems perhaps to have been something of a catch-penny opportunist at best or even something of a scoundrel (see below). Financial dealings aside—if nothing else, Davis here seems to lean heavily here on enraptured bliss, delight and desire, dissolution, etc., with an insistence that suggests at least some acquaintance with the erotic smuggled in under the guise of religious sentiment.
Piecing together newspaper accounts and his later publication history, Davis later anointed himself a physician and then dipped a foot into the hurly-burly of New York City politics after the Panic of 1837 as a proto locofoco—a letter in Niles Register of 9 June 1838 attacking the first Clark administration in New York alludes to Paris M. Davis as the quondom head of the native American party in the city, though "now ruralizing at Blackwell's island;" the reasons for his incarceration are laid out by the Baltimore Sun of 29 September 1838, which reports,
"Paris M. Davis, was sent to prison in New York, for obtaining a sum of money amounting to $70, and a note for the same amount, from a Mr. Francis McKentee. Davis had advertised for a partner, in what he represented to be a profitable business, and Mr. McKentee calling on him for information, he persuaded that gentleman to invest the above sum in a plan for publishing a new history of the battle of New Orleans. He represented himself as a gentleman worth $10,000 in real estate, and a physician in profession, but it was soon discovered that he had not a cent he could honestly call his own, and a rogue in practice."
What appears to be an expanded edition of this title was published in Binghamton, N.Y. in 1830 as The Baptist Conference and Prayer Meeting Hymn Book, Selected from the Best Authors and Compilers together with a Number Never before Published.
Somewhat rubbed; some light damp-staining, some light foxing; a good copy.
[ANTIMASONIC]. [Morgan, William].
[Batavia, N. Y.?], 1827
[Batavia, N. Y.?]: Printed for the Author, 1827. Pamphlet in contemporary rough wrappers, 9 x 5.25 inches, 92 pages, partially untrimmed. Stated second edition.
"In the absence of the author, or rather compiler of the following work, who was kidnapped and carried away from the village of Batavia, on the 11th day of September, 1826, by a number of Freemasons, it devolves upon the publisher to attempt to set forth some of the leading views that governed those who embarked in the undertaking."
The keystone work in the Anti-Masonic movement, first published in Batavia in 1826 and followed by a New York edition that same year with an account of the kidnapping, this version (styled the second edition) is suggested by American Imprints as possibly the second Batavia edition; per the ANB, "Morgan became a symbol of egalitarian rights against secret societies of the privileged. His book, Illustrations of Masonry, was published by Colonel David C. Miller of Batavia, the publisher of the Batavia Republican Advocate and a Morgan enthusiast. Following Morgan's disappearance, Miller published in 1827 a paper called the Morgan Investigator and more editions of Morgan's book."
American Imprints 29802 (this edition); see also Cummings, pages 51-52, which makes a compelling case for two issues of the 1826 Batavia first edition and note an 1827 Rochester edition he characterizes as the Second edition (with the added introduction, "In the absence of the author," as here).
Wrappers worn; some general foxing and soiling, with staining to a few leaves; a good, sound copy.
[GET RICH]. Beman, David.
Boston: Printed for the Author, 1825. 8vo (8.38 x 5.13 inches), original sheep, 152 pages. First edition.
A utilitarian receipt book cast as a result of modern chemical study, promising these recipes "will prove useful, not only to the Chemical Student, but also to the Manufacturer, and to the Economist." With much on brewing and distilling, plus cheese, cider, inks, vinegar, handy recipes for cleaning white paint, etc.
Rink 198; American Imprints 19656.
Old ink autograph price of $3 on the front pastedown. A working volume that has seen much use, with the occasional small tear, the free endpapers excised, the binding rubbed and cracked, and some general grubbiness and pencil marks; a good, sound copy.
[GET RICH]. Tyson, Job R.
Philadelphia: William Brown, Printer, 1833. 8vo (8.25 x 5.25 inches), original printed blue wrappers, 105,  pages. Second edition.
"But Pennsylvania, by being the great mart for nearly all the lotteries in the United States, has reason for more emphatic complaint. In defiance of all her legislative prohibitions of foreign lotteries, her citizens are annually subsidized to an immense amount; perhaps for a church in Rhode Island, or a rail road through the Dismal Swamp, or for other improvements in which she has as remote a prospect of interest or advantage."
Gaming reform dating from the era in which lotteries played a critical role in raising funds for the construction of infrastructure. (Pennsylvania's last remaining legal lottery at this date was granted in 1811 to raise funds for the Union Canal.) The 48-page first edition was published the same year, and this version includes not only national statistics and figures but is replete with ample anecdotal case studies (some quite detailed) of individuals ruined by lotteries. American Imprints 21595.
Some scattered foxing, including to the wrappers; a little light wear; in very good condition.
[PHYSICAL CULTURE]. Von Boeckmann, Paul.
[New York], [ca. 1903]
[New York]: Paul von Boeckmann, 41 Union Square, [ca. 1903]. Original self-wrappers, 6.75 x 4.88 inches,  pages, wire stitched. Illus. First edition?
A fugitive promotional pamphlet from the deep-breathing mail order strong man and editor of VIM, this publication advertising right breathing with a series of courses of physical exercise and respiratory conditioning with von Boeckmann's patent Pneumauxetor device.
The courses available include a $15 series of courses in diaphragmatic breathing, psychic breathing (intended to broaden the shoulders), tonic exercises, muscle building, hints on diet—and of course, a Pneumauxetor.
Includes photos of his child Thelma, "the three-year-old physical marvel," with a 67-1/2-pound kettle ball: "She owes her strength and health to the Pneumauxetor—Fresh Air—Sunshine and Play."
OCLC notes a ca. 1900 pamphlet with a similar title (at UCLA and Rochester) published while von Boeckmann was a 500 Madison Ave. The publication date here inferred from census data, which notes Thelma's birth in 1900 in Washington, D.C.
Worn; somewhat creased; original staples rusted; a good, sound copy.
[EMBARGO]. Stone, John, contemporary compiler.
[Various places], 1808-1809
Various places, various printers, 1808-1809. 14 volumes bound in 1, 8vo (5.13 x 8.63 inches), early calf, leather spine label printed in gilt, "The Times," 27, ; 12; 7, ; 15, ; 8; 16; 12; 16; 7, ; 11, ; 22, ; 32; 7, ; 17,  pages. Ink autograph contents leaf bound in, running pagination added in contemporary ink autograph, with occasional annotation and commentary in the same hand and the ink signature scattered throughout of John Stone.
Standish, Miles, Jr. [pseud]. No. I. The Times; a Poem, Addressed to the Inhabitants of New-England and of the State of New-York, Particularly on the Subject of the Present Anti-Commercial System of the National Administration. By Miles Standish, jun. Plymouth [i.e., New York?]: Printed for the Author, 1809. Stoddard & Whitesell 899; American Imprints 18680; Sabin 90167. 27,  pages. First edition.
[Pickering, Timothy]. Mr. Pickering's Speech in the Senate of the United States, on the Resolution Offered by Mr. Hillhouse to Repeal the Several Acts Laying an Embargo, November 30, 1808 [caption title]. [United States: n. p., 1808]. 12 pages. American Imprints 15941. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
Mr. Pickering's Speech, in the Senate, December 21, 1808. On the Bill making further provision for enforcing the Embargo [caption title; imprint from the foot of the text:] Baltimore: Printed by J. Robinson, office of the Federal Republican, [1808?]. 7,  pages. American Imprints 15942. The only edition of this December 21 address noted in American Imprints.
[Hillhouse, James]. Mr. Hillhouse's Speech on the Resolution to Repeal the Embargo, November 29, 1808 [caption title]. [Boston?: n. p., 1808?]. 15,  pages. American Imprints 15226. The only edition noted in American Imprints.
Mr. Hillhouse's Speech, in the Senate, on the Resolution to Repeal the Embargo, December 2d, 1808: in Answer to Mr. Giles's Second Speech, Delivered on the Same Day [caption title]. [Baltimore?: Printed by J. Robinson?, 1808]. 8 pages. American Imprints 15227. Seemingly the only edition of the December 2 address noted in American Imprints.
Mr. Hillhouse's Speech, in the Senate, December 21, On the Bill making further provision for enforcing the Embargo [caption title; imprint at the foot of the text:] Baltimore: Printed by John Robinson, office of the Federal Republican, . 16 pages. American Imprints 17748. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
Mr. Hillhouse's Speech, in the Senate. Monday, February 21, 1809. On Mr. Giles' Non-Intercourse Bill [caption title]. [Baltimore?: Printed by J. Robinson?, 1809]. 12 pages. American Imprints 17750. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
[Lloyd, James]. Mr. Lloyd's Speeches in the Senate of the United States on Mr. Hillhouse's Resolution to Repeal the Embargo Laws, November 21, 1808 [caption title]. [Washington, D. C.: n. p., 1808?]. 16 pages. American Imprints 15446. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
Mr. Lloyd's Speech, in the Senate, Monday, Dec. 19. On the bill making further provisions for Enforcing the Embargo [caption title]. [Washington, D. C.: n. p., 1808?]. 7,  pages. American Imprints 15444. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
Mr. Lloyd's Speech in the Senate of the U. States, February 21, On the Bill interdicting an intercourse with Great-Britain and France [caption title]. [Washington, D. C.?: n. p., 1809]. 11,  pages. American Imprints 17927. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
[Bayard, James]. Mr. Bayard's Speech, upon his Motion to Amend the Resolution Offered by Mr. Giles, by Striking out that Part which is in Italics. Delivered in the Senate of the United States. Tuesday, February 14, 1809 [caption title]. [Washington, D.C.: n. p., 1809]. 22,  pages. American Imprints 16961. Seemingly preceded by a 21-page edition.
[Gardenier, Barent]. Mr. Gardinier's [sic] speech in the House of Representatives of the United States, on Foreign Relations, While under the Consideration of Mr. Campbell's Resolutions, December 1808 [caption title; imprint at the foot of the text:] [Boston]: Russell & Cutler, Printers, . 32 pages. Traces of wax wafer to the first page. American Imprints 15084. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
[Goodrich, Chauncey]. Speech of Mr. Goodrich, in the Senate, December 19th, 1808, on the Third Reading of the Bill Making Further Provisions for Enforcing the Embargo [caption title]. [Washington, D. C.?: n. p., 1808?]. 7,  pages. American Imprints 15134. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
[Tallmadge, Benjamin]. Speech of Mr. Tallmadge, in the House of Representatives, Friday, January 27, 1809, on his motion to postpone indefinitely, the Bill providing an additional Military Force [caption title]. [Washington, D.C.?: n. p., 1809]. 17,  pages. American Imprints 18720. Only edition noted in American Imprints.
§ An excellent collection of material arguing against the Embargo and arguments (primarily in the Senate) for its repeal, here collected by an engaged reader with Federalist sympathies prone to such annotations as, "In connection with Col. Pickering's former speech on the resolution to repeal the [e]mbargo, it conclusively proves that our [a]dministration, are under the control of Bonoparte." Stone seems to include the satirical verses from Miles Standish, Jr. as a kind of comic epigraph to his political collection.
The specific identity of the compiler is uncertain, though one could do worse than to cast an eye upon the Salem, Mass. distiller (presumably with an interest in trade) John Stone (1781-1849), who later served as the lightly-disguised foil Deacon Giles for George Barrell Cheever's litigiously-entangled temperance tale.
Joints somewhat cracked but sound, with the boards a bit bowed and the calf somewhat rubbed; some light foxing and toning; a good, sound copy.
[JUVENILE]. Dunton, J. [Joseph].
Auburn [New York], 1846
Auburn [New York]: Henry Oliphant, Printer, 1846. Original printed pictorial blue-green wrapper (lacks rear wrapper), 5.94 x 3.88 inches, 63,  pages, stitched. Illustrations. Stated fourth edition.
A catechizing instructional supplement, apparently intended to accompany a separately published set of maps (not present here). Dunton would seem to have had a hand in the correction of L.A. Dunn and A. Webster's Scholar's guide to a practical knowledge of sacred geography, upon the classification system, published in Oberlin in 1842, then first publishing it under his name with the title The scholar's guide to a practical knowledge of sacred geography upon the classification system in 1844 in Ithaca, and then under this title and styled as the third edition in Ithaca in 1845. This copy with the wrapper imprint, Auburn: J. and H. M. Dunton, Oliphant's Power Press, and Book, Card and Job Office, 1846.
Portions of the front wrapper torn along the spine, with loss; some soiling and toning and wear; in good condition.
[FREE THOUGHT]. Denton, William.
Boston: Published by William Denton; for Sale by William White and Company, 158 Washington Street, 1872. Original printed drab wrappers, 7.63 x 4.88 inches, 34,  pages. First edition.
"This God may seem a very harmless fellow, since he is only a thought god or a paper god; but, admit him into our Constitution, and out will come the army of fifty thousand priests that are hidden in his bowels, the gates will be opened to our enemies, and religious freedom be no more."
A fairly early free thought piece from the geologist, naturalist and political radical, and answer to the Christian Amendment movement that had grown up during the Civil War, which sought to amend the Preamble of the Constitution to include language making Christianity the basis of American legal authority. Early pencil ownership signature on the front wrapper. OCLC (1/2022) notes five locations (Cornell, Yale, Penn, LC, and the Henry Ford) for this 1872 edition.
Wrappers loose along the spine and nearly split, but holding; some light wear otherwise; in good to very good condition.
[GET RICH]. Horton, Hazen A.
Tekonsha, Mich., [ca. 1915]
Tekonsha, Mich.: Hazen A. Horton, [ca. 1915]. Trifold brochure on green coated stock, 9 x 3.75 inches,  pages, vignette portrait, plus a one-page spirit duplicated circular letter on Hazen A. Horton letterhead and an order blank for goods from the World Manufacturing Co. of Columbus, O. First edition.
"I knew men no smarter than myself who grew rich from a mail order business, and had retired, while I slaved away doing the 'dull-drudge lock-step' to and from work, thinking that money-making was a mystery. But at last I opened my eyes to realize that the world of wage-earners is a world of wishers, hopers, and hesitators, held down by foolish doubts and empty fears. I knew that to acquire money by any legitimate means was praiseworthy and commendable, so I began to study out a plan to do business by mail."
Horton billed himself as "The Mail Order Man," and he seems to have had a certain measure of success in this village south of Marshall in the Teens and early Twenties. One of the keys to his success was selling his own success—this brochure advertises his how-to book, Mail Order Plans, and is replete with encouragement and with opportunities to work on a "co-operative plan" in which Hazen supplies the printed material and the customer splits the profits.
Students of the ways of the Mail Order Man of Tekonsha will remember that among Horton's other schemes (not noted in this brochure but worth considering in the context of this optimism baked into the pitch) was a mail order marriage agency.
A little worn; in very good condition.
[GET RICH]. Wharton Publishing Co.
Chicago: Wharton Publishing Co., 1930. Original printed wrappers, 8.63 x 6 inches, saddle-stitched, 20 pages [i.e. 16 pages plus wrappers]. Illustrations. First edition of this number.
A fugitive trade magazine for mail order get-rich schemes, with ads for various service providers and promotions, correspondence courses (viz. the Lonk Institute of Hypnotism), articles on "Who's Who in Business by Mail," snappy jokes for sales, short squibs in the "Profit-Graphs," and classified ads that give a real scope of the optimistic desperation of the early Depression Era go-getter bent on modest profit.
This copy with a poignant series of penciled sums on the upper wrapper calculating outlay of stamps and supplies and expenses, with the conclusion "I will have $1.00 left."
Not found on OCLC (1/2022), not found in the ULS.
A little worn, one corner of the rear wrapper chipped; in good to very good condition.
[ITINERANT BOOKSELLERS]. Weems, Rev. M. L. [Mason Locke].
Dumfries [Virginia], 
This item is currently on reserve; please contact dealer for more details.
Dumfries: [Printed by Mathew Carey for Weems, 1799]. Unbound pamphlet, stitched as issued, 8.75 x 5.5 inches, , 30 pages, untrimmed. Largely unopened. First edition, second issue.
Per the ESTC entry, "This appears to be a reissue of the sheets printed by John and James D. Westcott of Alexandria in 1799 (Evans 36695), with a cancel title page printed to exploit Washington's recommendatory letter. The value of the 'political love powder' (and the price of the pamphlet?) have increased from twelve to twenty-five cents." (The twelve-cent love powder valuation comes from the caption title and the earlier issue.)
The more or less unobtainable Alexandria, Va., first issue is known to be held in at least complete copy, at William and Mary, per a Bibliographical Note from colleague Donald N. Mott in Sheffield, Mass., "Corrigendum to Shipton and Mooney: Weems' The Philanthropist," Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (71:3), 1977: 343-344, which notes that the earlier Alexandria issue was made up "in the same press run as the Mathew Carey-printed Dumfries edition. The preliminary material [of the Alexandria issue] was printed and added in Alexandria presumably prior to the time Weems received Washington's permission for the dedication. . . . Weems had the Alexandria title page added; at a later time removed the Alexandria title page and added the new Dumfries title page with a long quotation from Washington."
In any event, an early example of the popular author's knack for publicity (the endorsement from Washington was a coup) and the genius of Parson Weems for maximizing his sales, which he achieves here by taking a broadly bipartisan patriotic view in urging reconciliation between Jeffersonian and Adams factions—thus insuring sales to both sides.
Edges a little toned and some light dust-soiling; in very good condition.
[ONOMASTICS]. Bradley, Charles William.
Baltimore: n. p., 1842. Unbound pamphlet, 9.75 x 6 inches, stitched, 16 pages, untrimmed. With the slug for the printer R. Neilson on the verso of the title page. First edition.
A presentation copy, inscribed in ink at the head of the title, "George H. Collins, Esq. with the Author's respects." A detailed and scholarly examination of some of the linguistic rules governing the evolution of surnames, as well as a survey of the development of the discipline, from the eventual American diplomat to China, Charles William Bradley (1809-1865).
Some chipping and closed tears, some foxing and occasional stains and toning; in good condition.
[AMERICAN TRADE BINDINGS]. [Tyler, John].
Boston: Published by T. Bedlington, 31, Washington-Street, 1826. 12mo (7.5 x 4.75 inches), original white paper spine, blue boards, 100 pages, untrimmed. Publisher's large printed paper label (with a Greek key border) on the upper board. A later edition, first published in 1798 in Boston.
A popular anonymous defense of Christian Universalism from the late Episcopalian preacher Tyler (1742-1823), first published in Boston by Edes, and republished with some frequency. This attractive little version here published under the imprint of Timothy Bedlington, the book binder and partner with Charles Ewer in a type foundry—which for the latter, the display types and design of this binding's label was no doubt intended as something of a trade advertisement.
OCLC suggests five locations for this Bedlington edition.
Some chipping to the head and the foot of the fragile spine; a little light wear and soiling; a very good copy.
[AMERICAN ECCENTRICS]. Waters, Reuben.
[Calais, Vermont], 1852
This item is currently on reserve; please contact dealer for more details. [Calais, Vermont]: Published for the Author, 1852. Unbound pamphlet, 8.25 x 5.25 inches, 31,  pages. First edition.
"To a Candid Public. I address this little unvarnished tale not doubting but they will do me justice as soon as they possess data sufficient to form an opinion. For a lot of young men in town, to straddle whine and crowd themselves into office and be continually hatching up law-suits; and get beat in every one of them, and go contrary to the advice of deliberate elderly men, and by reason, make such enormous taxes as have been made for the town to pay, is what I could not reconcile myself to! . . . I do not offer this appeal for the purpose of persuading mankind that my political wisdom has always been unimpeachable, but to show them that I have always advised correct and right in all the law cases and town concerns, yet I have been slighted and sometimes abused for my advice, after spending considerable time and money to get knowledge of the concerns."
A thoroughly entertaining miscellany from Reuben Waters (1785-1876), clumsily printed and executed in both form and content in something of the Rev. Billy Cook manner.
Waters is characterized by one later Vermont newspaper as an "eccentric author" and "unique character," who was "for many years a blacksmith in Calais, and was known far and wide for his pithy, witty sayings, and his ability to drive a hard bargain" (Argus and Patriot, Montpelier, Vermont, 13 April 1892). This pamphlet includes a history of the early days of Calais, which is mostly a recitation of his criticisms of town management of roads and of lawsuits, settling the hash of fellow residents in obscure local controversies, attacks on town management, and anecdotal reports of the occasional unexplained explosion in the woods.
In addition to his moderately heterodox views on great men like Bonaparte and Columbus, as well as on the world religions (he includes a section on Holy Rollers, with accounts of a few religious revivals, as well as Shaker activity in the area), Waters also offers up recipes for joiner's varnish, a washing fluid, a few veterinary tips, and a solution for trapping rats and mice.
Waters later got caught up in a land bounty fraud and was sent to jail for a year in 1859 at the age of 74. Waters was of course the sort of eccentric around whom perhaps apocryphal stories would accrete—one newspaper account has him after his trial walking to the jail in Windsor from Woodstock to save the cost of transportation. The pamphlet here is certainly suggestive of those sorts of crotchety legends.
OCLC suggests copies held at four Vermont institutions, plus one at Hamilton College.
Stitching perished; a little toned; a very good copy.
[FREE THOUGHT]. Very, Nathaniel.
Boston: Printed at the Investigator Office, 1832. Removed pamphlet (no wrappers), 7 x 4 inches, 8 pages. First edition.
"I doubt if Mordecai the Jew, ever gave Haman half the uneasiness while sitting in the king's gate, that my short residence on a small farm in an obscure corner of the town of Leicester, has given to some, who make merchandise of superstition, in that neighborhood. They allow that I have a right to think for myself, (generous souls!) but ought not to be allowed to propagate my belief among others:—for then, (say they) he becomes a dangerous man in society. . . . Those who have been crying 'STEW-BOY,' to others, have now an opportunity to vindicate their own superstition (which they call religion,) against one who thinks it is no less pernicious than Paganism."
A fugitive and fairly early publication from the press of Abner Kneeland's pioneering free thought paper, two sharp free thought and anti-Biblical letters from a farmer in Leicester, Mass. in response to a local Baptist neighbor who has, among other observations here noted, suggested that Very burn his library.
The 1830 census records of Leicester offer up three names fitting the correspondent's initials—Ephraim Copeland, Evi Chilson, and Ebenezer Cogswell—when, taken with mention of Copeland in an 1889 booklet celebrating the sesquicentennial of the Greenville Baptist Church in Leicester, suggest Copeland as the likely target for these arguments. Very had also earlier written an account of his break with the Freemasons, suggesting a certain independence of thought.
American Imprints 16905 (MWA only); Sabin 99318 (MWA only). NUC notes only the copy at the American Antiquarian Society; the plethora of Electronic Resource copies on OCLC (digitized from the AAS copy) may well obscure another physical holding somewhere, but the prospect of parsing those records fills the reasonable cataloger with despair.
Title leaf a trifle loose along the gutter; some light foxing and soiling; in very good condition.
Concord [N. H.], 1812
Concord [N. H.]: Printed for Nathaniel K. Hardy, June . . . . 1812. Pamphlet restitched into later early paper-stock drab wrappers, scant 6 x 3.5 inches, 12 pages. Second edition.
"On the 19th of February, at evening, she was in great distress of mind, so that she screamed, not uttering words that could be well understood; her fear, at length, subsided; and with transporting delight she said, 'He is coming; Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming to receive me to himself.' "
A tender deathbed memoir of Jane Osborn Cram (1786-1811) from an unnamed and likely clerical correspondent; Cram was a young mother who had already undergone a religious experience in her teens, first "entertaining a hope of her saving conversion" in August, 1801. Having already nearly died in childbirth two years previous, Cram was taken with consumption in late 1810.
This account follows many of the contours of contemporary deathbed memoirs, and includes much of her hopes of heaven, as well as her exhortations to family members, the circumstances of a touching farewell conversation with her husband.
Seemingly popular in its day, an earlier version appeared with the imprint Concord [N.H.]: : Printed by George Hough, 1811; this edition (with a conjugate title page) bears the imprint of a New Hampshire clergyman Nathaniel Kimball Hardy (1776-1819), who may well have been the attending clergyman in Cram's last days; it was then republished in Exeter, N. H. in 1814 and in Amherst, N. H. in 1816. American Imprints 26063.
Old stab holes; subsequently saddle-stitched. Some persistent light staining and somewhat heavier foxing; a good, sound copy.