Author Archives: David Whitesell

About David Whitesell

Curator of Books, American Antiquarian Society

The Acquisitions Table: Allan’s Lone Star Ballads

Allan, Francis D. Allan’s Lone Star ballads. A collection of Southern patriotic songs, made during Confederate times. Galveston: J.D. Sawyer, 1874. First obtainable edition of this important Confederate and Texas songster; Allan had previous issued a much shorter compilation in 1863, now extremely rare. In his preface, Allan explains that during the Civil War he assiduously ...

The Acquisitions Table: Dialogue on Slavery

A very rare self-published collection of poems by Holmes, a farmer in Greene County, OH east of Dayton. Most of the poems are short and predominantly religious in theme. Preceding these is Holmes’s 20-page “Dialogue on Slavery,” which offers an unusual poetic recapitulation of the religious, economic, and political arguments for and against slavery. Firmly ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Bridal Keepsake

AAS member (and publisher’s cloth binding expert) Steve Beare regularly alerts us to interesting bindings he spots on eBay. Thanks to his deeply appreciated referrals, over the past two years we have added many unusual bindings to the AAS collection. Perhaps the most remarkable of Steve’s finds is this gift book binding of fine-ribbed white ...

The Acquisitions Table: Travels by Land & Water

Barnard, H. D. Travels by land & water. [Hartford: H. D. Barnard, 1860] A very rare and unusual biography and travel narrative authored by 11-year-old H. D. Barnard, who also set this small-format pamphlet in type and printed it on an amateur press. Born in Detroit, Barnard describes several long journeys to Michigan and Wisconsin, and ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Columbiad

Barlow, Joel, 1754-1812. The Columbiad: a poem. Philadelphia: Fry and Kammerer for C. and A. Conrad …, 1807. Rarely does one see “Papantonio-quality” early American bindings on the market any more, but we were fortunate to add this example to AAS’s celebrated Bindings Collection, which boasts the Michael Papantonio collection as its nucleus. John Bidwell has ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Map of Man’s Misery

Ker, Patrick, fl. 1691. The map of man’s misery. Or, The poor man’s pocket-book. Being a perpetual almanack of spiritual meditations … Boston: Printed by T. G. for B. Eliot, [ca. 1710?] The only known copy of a newly discovered early American imprint. Patrick Ker’s collection of meditations, arranged in a seven-day “week” extending from childhood ...

The Acquisitions Table: A Sermon on the Trinity

Phillips, John. A sermon on the Trinity. [New York]: Sold by Mr. Mitchel, book-binder, Maiden Lane, New-York; Mr. Pike, store-keeper, John Street; and Mrs. Mary Davis, store-keeper, New-Brunswick, [1794] Third known copy of an unusual American imprint, as yet unreported to the North American Imprints Project (NAIP) or the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). John Phillips ...

The Acquisitions Table: The First German-American Cookbook

David Whitesell, curator of books, reports on a recent acquisition: Die Wahre Brandtewein-Brennerey, oder Brandtewein- Gin- und Cordialmacher-Kunst:  wie auch die a?chte Fa?rbe-Kunst, Blau, Roth, Gelb und Gru?n zu fa?rben, auf Baumwalle, Leinen, und Wolle … [Reading, PA?: Gottlob Jungmann and Carl Andreas Bruckmann?], 1802. Very rare third of four recorded editions of what might be ...

The Acquisitions Table: Old England

Old England: a pictorial museum of regal, ecclesiastical, municipal, baronial, and popular antiquities. Ed. by Charles Knight. Boston: Samuel Walker and Co., [186-?] A fine copy of a most unusual salesman’s sample book. This two-volume large folio (36 cm. high) history of England, profusely illustrated with hundreds of wood engravings and 27 full-page color-printed wood-engraved plates, ...

Join Us At the Book Fair!

An annual rite of spring for AAS curators is the Boston Book & Paper Exposition and Sale, one of two fairs sponsored annually by the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers (MARIAB). This spring’s fair will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Shriner’s Auditorium, 99 Fordham ...

Adopt-a-Book Update / Thank You Note

More than 50 friends of AAS joined curators and staff at our 4th annual Adopt-a-Book event on Tuesday, March 29. By evening’s end, a new fundraising record had been set: so far 101 donors have pledged $18,175 in support of AAS’s acquisitions program by adopting 144 collection items!  All of the ...

The Acquisitions Table: A Sketch of the Life and Public Services of William Henry Harrison

Jackson, Isaac R., d. 1843. A sketch of the life and public services of William Henry Harrison. Philadelphia, Jan. 1836. The Making of the President, 1840 style. By the 1824 presidential election, the printed campaign biography had become a key component of any serious presidential run. Hence when William Henry Harrison consented to run against Martin ...