The Acquisitions Table: Great Excitement at Fredonia, KY

This large, colorful broadside was probably printed in two different locations. The red-printed border, which includes advertising slogans suitable for dry goods merchants (and a cartoon of a horse-drawn mail wagon and train with caption “Clear the tracks!!”), bears the Philadelphia imprint of John Duross. The bordered blank sheets were presumably sold to merchants across the country who then had their own advertisements printed within the border. Although no Fredonia or Campbell Co., KY printer has been identified, the green and black text was presumably printed locally, possibly at Evansville, IN—the closest town known to have had a newspaper press at this time. Edward L. Maxwell is listed in the 1860 census as the owner of a Fredonia dry goods business. He fought in the Union Army and then went west, ending up in California. This broadside, an excellent example of the complexities of broadside printing in the 19th century, was acquired at the print mart of the annual meeting of the American Historical Print Collector Society, held in May here in Worcester

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Lauren Hewes

Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society

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