Charles H. Wharton. A Poetical Epistle to His Excellency George
Washington, Esquire, Commander in Chief (London reprinted for C. Dilly, in the Poultry; J. Almon, Piccadilly; W. Tesseyman, York; T. and J. Merrill, Cambridge; R. Cruttwell, Bath; and T. Becket, Bristol, 1780). Call number: Kane Americana 1780 Wharton ❧
❧ “The sole motive for republishing this Poem, and adding thereto a sketch of the Life and Character of General Washington (which the Editor now gives to the reader in the plain unaltered narrative of the Author, who is connected and intimate in the family of that great man) is for the charitable purpose of raising a few guineas to relieve, in a small measure, the distresses of some hundreds of American prisoners, now suffering confinement in the gaols of England. The profits arising from the sale of this book will be faithfully appropriated to that purpose; and this the Editor rests assured will be a much stronger incitement for the benevolent and humane to become purchasers of it, than any intrinsic value the performance may demand.” — Advertisement (p.3)
“Fifteen Thousand copies of this Poem were sold in the City of London, in about Three Weeks, at Two Shillings and Sixpence sterling, each, and the Money appropriated to the Benefit of the American Prisoners in England.” — at end of front matter headed “Advertisement to the London edition” in the 1782 Springfield, MA reprinting of this poem. ❧ ESTC records 25 copies. Perhaps some data useful for determining the perishment of printed books over time? If we give credence to the 1782 claim, then the instance of survival for this London edition is 1.7 copies per thousand.