The Library now has a new website for this newspaper. See the following URL
The Library now has a new website for this newspaper. See the following URL
Two items in our Peter J. Eckel Newsboy collection are featured in a just-released New York Times interactive
“Newsboys Still Standing Firm” (article in
NY Herald, July 30, 1899) [Box 8d]
Newsboy’s Prayer” (in street argot) [Box 10]
Finding aid for the entire collection is available at
Constitutions des treize états-unis de l’Amérique. A Philadelphie [i.e. Paris] et se trouve a Paris, chez Ph. – D. Pierres, Imprimeur Ordinaire du Roi, rue Saint-Jacques. Pissot, pere & fils, Libraires, quai des Augustins, 1783. Call number: (Ex) 7583.01.267.11 copies 1-4.
Benjamin Franklin provides two key quotes regarding this book.
❧ First, on June 10, 1783, Benjamin Franklin wrote to printer Philippe-Denis Pierres
“Sir, I received the Exemplaire of the Constitutions. … I desire to have 50 of the 8vos bound in Calf, and Letter’d, and 50 half bound, that is, between Paste boards, with a Sheepskin Back and Letter’d, but not cut, I desire also 6 of the 4tos bound in Morocco. …”
❧ Ex copy 4 is one of the “50 of the 8vos bound in Calf and letter’d” (Franklin to the printer Pierres, 10 June 1783). Ex copy 4: Inscribed by Benjamin Franklin on t.p.: “Translated by the Duke de Rochefoucauld, and the Translation revised before Impression by B.F.” Note illustration above. Gift of Andre de Coppet.
❧ Ex copy 3 is one of the “50 half bound, that is between Paste Boards with a Sheepskin Back, and Letter’d but not cut” (Franklin to the printer Pierres, 10 June 1783). Ex copy 3: Presentation copy to George Hammond from Benjamin Franklin with inscription by Mr. Hammond. It remains both uncut and unopened.
❧❧ Secondly on December 25, 1783, Franklin wrote to Thomas Mifflin ” … The extravagant Misrepresentations of our Political State, in foreign Countries, made it appear necessary to give them better Information, which I thought could not be more effectually and authentically done than by publishing a Translation into French, now the most general Language in Europe, of the Book of Constitutions which had been printed by Order of Congress. This I accordingly got well done, and presented two Copies handsomely bound to every foreign Minister here, one for himself, the other more elegant, for his Sovereign. It has been well taken, and has afforded Matter of Surprise to many, who had conceived mean Ideas of the State of Civilization in America, and could not have expected so much political Knowledge and Sagacity had existed in our Wilderness. And from all Parts I have the Satisfaction to hear that our Constitutions in general are much admired. I am persuaded that this Step will not only tend to promote the Emigration to our Country of substantial People from all Parts of Europe, by the numerous Copies I shall dispense, but will facilitate our future Treaties with Foreign Courts, who could not before know what kind of Government and People they had to treat with. As in doing this I have endeavour’d to further the apparent Views of Congress in the first Publication, I hope it may be approved, and the Expence allow’d. …”
❧ Franklin’s “two Copies handsomely bound to every foreign Minister here, one for himself, the other more elegant, for his Sovereign” included 4to editions. For example, the 4to at the New York Public Library is printed “sur papier d’Annonay” and has the supra-libros of Louis Joseph de Bourbon-Condé (1736-1818). A 4to at the Bibliothèque Nationale has the arms of Marie-Antoinette.
❧ Moreover, 8vo copies stamped with arms are known. Princeton has such an 8vo. At left is Ex copy 1: Stamped on spine with arms of the La Rochefoucauld family. Given the “accolé” character of these arms, they may be those for the Duke’s mother, Madame d’Enville (the Dowager Duchesse de la Rochefoucauld d’Enville; Marie-Louise Nicole Elisabeth de La Rochefoucauld, 1716-1797), also a friend of Franklin. This copy also has the 19th century booklabel of James Toovey (d. 1893). Presented to the Library by Junius S. Morgan, accessioned May 10, 1893. [Note: A 4to bound in red morocco with the supra-libros of LaRochefoucuald was sold at Sotheby’s, Monaco, on 9 December 1987. See: Bibliothèque La Rochefoucauld au château de La Roche-Guyon: provenant de la succession de Gilbert de La Rochefoucauld, Duc de La Roche-Guyon (Sotheby’s Monaco S.A., 1987) lot 641. The 4to binding is reproduced as the frontispiece to the catalog.]
For more on the publishing history of this book see
Echeverria, Durand, “French Publications of the Declaration of Independence and the
American Constitutions, 1776-1783,” Bibliographical Society of America, Papers, 47 (1953) p.313 ff.
Arms of Morrison impaling Webb covering 1709 Eusebia Triumphans
Call number: RHT 17th-773
Illustrated here are Settle bindings. Howard Nixon (1909-1983), in his Five Centuries of English Bookbinding, describes these, with some disdain:
“Elkanah settle, who was born in 1640 and had been hailed as a rising playwright in the 1670’s, had dwindled by the end of the century into a hack versifier holding the unremunerative post of ‘City Poet.’ In 1700 he started to work what can only be described as a successful racket, which he carried on for the rest of his life. He composed topical poems, at first on political events and later on more personal subjects such as births, deaths and marriages in the families of the great and wealthy. They were put into leather bindings with elaborate (if not very good) gold tooling embellished with the arms of the likely patron, to whom they were dispatched in hopes of a suitable reward. Should the reward not be forthcoming and the book be returned to Settle, he had the original recipient’s arms covered with a leather only on which were then tooled those of a suitable candidate.”
Gathered within them, there is much to analyze, be it social, cultural, or design history. Created as objects for presentation to nobility, they raise many questions surrounding such objects. Recipients range from earls down through the ranks to knights and wealthy merchants. So, why was a particular recipient chosen? Was the present planned to initiate a connection or to sustain one already formed? Did the present result in an exchange for Settle? Did he obtain any remuneration for his art?
One exception to this corner ornament pattern has been found. Covering a 1703 poem, the binding consists of the typical perimeter frame and inner frame ornamented at corners. Rather than the expected flower tool, the corner tool is the thistle. In addition, no arms are present. What can be made of these incongruities? Rather than being a binding made contemporaneous with the imprint it covers, perhaps this is a ‘blank’ prepared ca. 1707 as a trial effort for the new thistle tool.
Gallery of images available at
Front cover: arms of George Stuart,
Back cover: arms of George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury
Captain John Smith. The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles (London, 1624) [Call number (ExKa) Americana 1624q Smith copy 3]
Mirjam M. Foot assigns the above binding to the shop of John Bateman, Royal Binder to James I.
The Henry Davis Gift. A Collection of Bookbindings. Volume 1. Studies in the History of Bookbinding,
(London, 1982) p. 35-49. This is number 65 (p. 49). She evidently based her attribution on the illustration of the front cover published in the Sotheby’s auction sale catalogue of the books belonging to the Duke of Leeds on June 2-4, 1930.
This book was lot 606 and it was purchased by A.S.W. Rosenbach for £1400 who eventually sold it to Grenville Kane to add to his outstanding collection of Americana. In the late 1940s, Princeton purchased the Kane collection.
The above example is a confirmed case of a binding from the shop of John Bateman. Are there others in the Library? This is indeed likely so, but to determine such will require further work. One tempting example is at right. It is the binding on John Adamson, The Muses Welcome (Edinburgh, 1618) [Call number (Ex)14431.113q]. A comparable copy is described by M. Foot in her entry 60 (p. 49). The cornerpieces on the Princeton binding match closely those Foot identifies as A1 and A2 on page 41.
Witherspoon’s books entered the collections of the Library in 1812. They were comingled with the 706 volumes of his son-in-law Samuel Stanhope Smith, purchased for the sum of $1,500. For decades Witherspoon’s books remained distributed within the working book stock of the Library, which totaled 7,000 volumes by 1816. After the Civil War, the surge of interest in leaders of the American Revolution included a focus on Witherspoon. At the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the Presbyterians erected a statue of Witherspoon. Like his visage, his books were also of interest.
The hunt for the books began during the tenure of Frederick Vinton, librarian from 1873 until his death in 1890. There was no precise list of such. Evidence of ownership was based on two grounds: 1) Witherspoon’s signature and book number at the top of the title page (his usual practice) and 2) mention in the list of books in his son-in-law’s library. Only examination of the books themselves and comparison with the Smith list could affirm ownership.
Vinton recorded his findings on blank pages of an 1814 catalogue of the library. Varnum Lansing Collins, Class of 1893, served as reference librarian from 1895 to 1906. He regularized Vinton’s findings into an alphabetical list, perhaps in preparation for his biography of Witherspoon published in 1925. In the 1940s, during the tenure of librarian and Jefferson scholar Julian Boyd, curator Julie Hudson physically reassembled the Witherspoon books into a separate special collection with the location designator WIT. The project took years, resulting in a collection of more than 300 volumes. In addition to re-gathering the books, Ms Hudson oversaw repairs and rebinding by “Mrs. Weilder and Mr. [Frank] Chiarella of the PEM Bindery” [in New York.]
Since Ms. Hudson’s efforts, a few more Witherspoon books have come to light. During 1949-50, volume one of the third edition of Miscellanea Curiosa (London, 1726) was acquired by exchange. In 1963, Mrs. Frederic James Dennis gave Witherspoon’s copy of The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America containing the Confession of Faith, the Catechisms, the Government and Discipline (Philadelphia, 1789), signed by him on the half title. In 1967, the Library purchased Witherspoon’s copy of Thomas Clap’s The Annals or History of Yale College (New Haven, 1766.) In 1978, the Library purchased Witherspoon’s copy of volume one of Jacques Saurin’s Discours historiques, critiques, theologiques, et moraux, sur les evenemens les plus memorables du Vieux, et du Nouveau Testament . (Amsterdam, 1720.) Lastly, there appeared in a 1998 auction in New Hampshire, Witherspoon’s copy of The Odes of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, Knight of the Bath (London, 1768), however, this was not acquired and its current whereabouts are not known.
Perhaps if more of Witherspoon’s books are to be found today, then they are to be found in the collections here. This proved the case earlier this week. Now identified as Witherspoon’s is this entry in the Smith catalogue: “Works of Abraham Cowley …. 1 Folio.”
Boss Carnahan [President of Princeton, 1823-1859]Johnny Maclean [Vice-president under Carnahan]Boss Rice [Rev. B. H. Rice, D.D., served in Princeton pulpit, 1833 to 1847], Cooley [Rev. E.F. Cooley], Daniel McCalla, Petin the boot black, Moses Hunter, Albert Ribbenbach [?], Old Quackenboth (Uncle Joe), Buddy Be Dash, Catling Ross [?], Goose Leg.
One lot, number 537, “Biblia Germanica, wood cuts, 2 vol. fol. 1490,” eventually found its way to the shelves of the Princeton University Library. Its confirmed year of arrival is 1916. Where was the Bible between 1838 and 1916?
A ten page memorandum accompanying the Bible provides some answers. Minister of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, the Rev. Dr. James Waddell Alexander (1804-1859), tells us in “Some Account of an Old Bible in the Hands of William Scott” that in 1856 it was owned by parishioner William Scott, who, other sources tell us, was said to be a friend and cousin of Sir Walter Scott, as well as a trustee of New York’s North Moore Street Public School. It is unclear how and why William Scott came to possess the Bible, but marks of both previous owners and the book trade clearly show that the Bible belonged to George Kloss, appeared as lot 748 in his 1835 London sale, and later appeared as lot 537 in the 1838 New York sale.
The link between William Scott and Princeton is Scott’s grandson, Laurence Hutton, who was a successful New York literary figure. Hutton relocated to Princeton in the 1890s, one of a several like-minded literary men who purposefully settled in town during that decade. Hutton owned this Bible and after he died in 1904, many of his books were shelved in the Exhibition Room of the Library. According to a 1916 account, they were part of “the Hutton Memorial Collection, consisting of several hundred books, autographed portraits, paintings, etc., from the library of the late Laurence Hutton, A.M. This collection was left by Mr. Hutton to trustees to be put in some safe place for a permanent memorial and was presented by them to the University.”
Library markings inside the Bible as well as catalogue records show that it remained part of the Hutton Memorial until about the 1930s, at which time it was re-classified so as to become part of the general collection of incunabula coded ‘ExI.’ It remains in the ‘ExI’ class down to today.
The Rev. Dr. Alexander’s memorandum is a remarkable document in its own right because it gives us a sense of the state of book history knowledge in the 19th century. Such evidence still remains scattered among a number of sources: trade journals, such as Joseph Sabin’s American Bibliopolist; major city newspapers; accounts published in larger works, such as Isaiah Thomas’s paragraphs in his History of Printing in America on an incunable Bible owned by the Mather family; as well as manuscripts in archives and other repositories.
A transcription of the memorandum follows:
Some Account of an Old Bible in hands of Wm Scott.
By Revd Dr. J.W. Alexander (Copy)
Another Old Bible
From time to time the newspapers give accounts of ancient printed Bibles. Our own columns have contained numerous statements of this kind; and we now add another, in a communication with which the Rev. Dr. Alexander of this city has favoured us at our request.
New York Feb. 1856
Rev. and Dear Sir.
The first part of a German Bible, belonging, to a worthy member of my charge, is probably unique in this country, and, as I observe by the books, is rare even in Europe. As you desire information respecting it, you will allow me to add a few statements concerning similar editions.
The old volume, which belongs to my esteemed friend, WM Scott Esq, has lost three leaves, including the title page, but is otherwise in excellent condition. It is bound in vellum, and has that remarkable brilliancy of ink, and depth of impression, which are matter of wonder in Early printing. The folios, (strictly so called, as that they are leaves, and not pages) are numbered, the last being 503. It contains the first part only that is from Genesis to Psalms, inclusively. The illuminated capitals are imitation of those which adorned manuscripts; the gilding and colours of these are well preserved. The coarse woodcuts are also highly coloured. The second page, or first after the title, begins with a German version of St Jerome’s Epistle to Paulines, introductory to the historical books. In the middle parts the paper is clean, and well kept. The exterior leaves are soiled, but here and there carefully repaired by insertions. The names of three former possessors, are very distinct, viz:
1. 1. In manuscript, “G.A. Michel, V.D.M.”
2. 2. On a ticket, under an engraved coat of arms “Matthias Jacob Adam Steiner.”
3. 3. On a ticket, “Georgius A. Klotz M.D. Francofurt ad Moenum.” Some owners, probably more recent than any of these, but long ago, as the faded ink shows have written the following bibliographical notes on the inside of the first cover, and the opposite fly leaf. From conjecture as to the age of the several entries, I arrange them thus, though their position is different, on the pages. (Translated.) “A defective part of a very uncommon, rare, and extremely, scarce Bible. I bought the same in 1772 from a book peddler for 24 gr. Still it remains a treasure and ornament of the library.”
2. 2. (Same hand.) In margin “I, 1785”, and then, “It appears to be an edition of the Bible, which on a/c of its iluminated figures was named the renowned or princely work (das durchlauchtige work;) and to have been printed in one thousand four hundred and eighty three, or eighty eight. (1483 or 1488.) Compare Hageman on Translations of the SS. page 263. Baumgartens Notices of remarkable books PI pp 97-101. Solgen Bible PI p.9. Schwartz part II p. 199.”
3. 3. (Same hand.) ” Concerning a translation of the Bible near the close of the fifteenth century, see Blaufus, Contributions to an acquatance with rare books, Vol. 1 p. 109.
4. 4. (In another hand.) “It appears to be a part of that rare and uncommon bible, which was printed in small-folio at Strasburg, without the printer’s house in fourteen hundred eighty five (1485.) (In margin, “A mistake, see preceding page.”) Vide Panzer, Literary Notices of the very oldest printed German Bibles, page 71, the X. m (sic)
5. 5, (Probably the same hand as the last.)
“From Panzer’s Extended description of the oldest Augsburg Editions of the Bible, p. 29 XII, it appears that this is certainly the first part of that German Bible which was printed at Augsburg in fourteen hundred and ninety, (1490) by Hans Schönsperger, in small-folios. For all the distinctive marks of this edition of Schönsperger which are there given, correspond most exactly with this copy.”
6. 6. (Another hand partly overrunning the ticket with Steiner’s name and arms.) “Panzers German Annals. T182, 285.
¶Twelfth complete German Edition of the Bible, Augsburg, Hans Schönsperger 1490.”
7. 7. (In pencil) “Wanting title page to fol 80 to 107.” (which corresponds with the fact.)
From the notes it is evident that this fine old volume though but a moiety, was considered highly valuable at least half a century ago. Panzer, who is several times cited above, is the celebrated Bibliographer of Nuremburg, who died in 1804, at a very great age. He devoted himself to the subject of Bible-Editions, and made a costly collection of these, which in 1780 passed into the hands of one of the Dukes of Wurtemburg. He published (1783 and 1791). “Outlines of a complete History of Luther’s version, from, 1517- 1581.” Two, at least, of Panzer’s more general works, are in the Astor Library. The vulgar error that there was no German translation before that of Luther should be corrected. The first that is certainly known, is that of the Vienna Library, and was made about 1466. (Montfaucon, a/c “Bible of Every Land p. 175.) Several authorities concur in staking the number of printed editions of the German Bible before Luther as fourteen in High German, and three in Low German. (Pischon , Einladungs, Schrift, & c. Berlin 1834).
To my friend and co-presbyter, Rev. Fred Steins of this city, I am indebted for the reference to Pischon below, as also for an extract from manuscript notes made by himself on the lectures of Professor Delbrück at the University of Bonn, in 1827, which was thus:
There were German Bibles before Luther, of which Panzer enumerates fourteen. From Panzen himself, we glean the following notice; The twelfth edition Augsburg, 1490, printed by Hans Schönperger, first part ends with Psalms, contains 503 Folios. (Annals, Vol.1.p.182.) Before the year 1578, there were only fourteen complete editions of the Bible in German, (p.9 & 99). Of these the first is the Mentz Bible, 1462, by Fust and Schöffer.
The first, with date on the title, is the sixth edition, fol. Augsburg, 1477. All these editions are described in Panzer’s Annals, a work which is in the Astor Library.
Before closing this dry and tedious letter, which may gratify one or two booksworms and collectors, let me say a word or two about the inside of the volume. It contains more than 70 woodcuts illustrative of the text, and, most significant in respect to the arts. Each of these extends across the page, occupying about one third of the letter press.
The Supreme Being is repeatedly delineated, under the figure of an old man. The cuts are highly colored. The patriarchs and prophets are represented in the garb of the fifteenth century, with tight hose, and pointed shoes. Jacob’s ladder is reared beside a lake or river, with quite a swell of waves, and a boat. Moses has the horns always accorded to him by Catholic and Medieval art. Naaman washes in Jordan, while a German carriage and pair, with pastillion, await him on the bank. Not far from a Gothic Castle, Queen Esther is attended by train-bearers, with middle-age coiffure. The pigment in every instance, is laid on boldly. In a word, the pictorial part is precisely in the manner of a clever child, handling his first paint box. This curious specimen of typography has now passed out of my hands, but I have supposed that as so much is said of volumes a century younger than this, you would have patience with some a/c of a pictorial Bible three hundred and fifty six years old. (In 1856).
I am very truly
Your friend and servant
James W. Alexander
Call number for 1856 memorandum:
C0323 Alexander Family Collection • Box 2, Folder 13
Example of illustrations:
Who wrote the first detective novel? That question was answered recently in the New York Times Book Review. He was Charles Warren Adams (1833-1903), according to Paul Collins in his article “Before Hercule or Sherlock, There Was Ralph” (Sunday, 7 January 2011). Adams’s novel was “The Notting Hill Mystery”, first published in eight parts in the journal Once a Week: An Illustrated Miscellany of Literature, Art, Science & Popular Information between November 29, 1862 and January 17, 1863. It was subsequently published in one volume by the journal’s publisher, Bradbury & Evans.
Author aside, then what about the seven illustrations accompanying the text? Several are signed “DM” at lower left and “Swain” at lower right? Who are they? “Swain” is Joseph Swain (1820-1909), one of the most active wood-engravers of 19th century Britain. “DM” is George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier (1834-1896), one of the great book illustrators of Victorian England.
Du Maurier was a certain interest of Morris L. Parrish, whose collection of Victorian novelists is one of the great strengths of the Library. For more on Parrish’s holdings of du Maurier, see the following note and list prepared by Alexander Wainwright:
When Sylvia Beach died in 1962, relict in her apartment were books, business papers, correspondence, photographs, paintings, and literary memorabilia. By agreement with her sister, Holly Beach Dennis, Princeton purchased these effects in early 1964. Associate librarian for special collections, Howard C. Rice arrived in Paris in late March and spent three weeks in the rooms over her famous bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, 12, rue de l’Oléon.
Even though Sylvia Beach had given away 5,000 books to the American Library in Paris in 1951 (New York Herald Tribune, April 25, 1951) and even though she had sold her ‘Joyce Collection’ (as she called it) to the University of Buffalo in 1959, the apartment held, counting just the books, according to her sister’s lawyer, Richard Ader, 8,000 to 10,000 volumes. Untold numbers of papers and other objects filled closets, shelves, and walls. Howard Rice described as a ‘struggle’ his efforts to sort, collocate, organize, pack, and arrange shipping or further disposition of the apartment’s contents. When Rice returned to Princeton in April, he had completed dividing the contents as follows:
• 31 shipping cases sent to the library filled with more than 2000 books, hundreds of photographs, thousands of pages of personal and business papers, as well as some paintings and artifacts. For customs purposes Rice said these should be described as two paintings plus ‘books and papers for an educational institution.” He also described it as “‘the Sylvia Beach Collection’ proper — that is, her papers, inscribed copies of books, first editions of American, French and English authors, inscribed photographs, drawings, etc., …” Today these are arranged in two groups: the Sylvia Beach Papers (C0108) and the book collection given the location designator ‘Beach.’
• Another group of books – on the order of 3,000 to 4,000 – “constituting the basic library of English literature which once formed the core of the ‘Shakespeare and Company’ lending library was presented “to the University of Paris, for use in the library of its English Department, the Institut d’Etudes Anglaises et Nord-Américaines.” Rice wrote that these books were “…. far more than a mere circulating library for current reading. French teachers, students, and English scholars, as well as translators and writers, were in the habit of finding [at Shakespeare and Company], alongside the avant-garde writers of the twentieth century, not only Shakespeare, but also, in his company, the Elizabethan poets, the eighteenth-century novelists, the Romantics and the Victorians. Such books, which Miss Beach brought into France, with persistence and discrimination, from across the Channel or the Atlantic, may now continue their ambassadorial and fertilizing role among new generations at the Institut’s library, located in the Rue de l’École de Médecine, in the ‘heart of Paris,’ where Sylvia Beach lived for more than four decades.” (Princeton University Library Chronicle, 26:1, p. 12) Current successor to the library of the Institut is the Bibliothèque du Monde Anglophone < http://www.dbu.univ-paris3.fr/fr/bibliotheques/nos-autres-bibliotheques/bibliotheque-du-monde-anglophone>
•An unnumbered group of books was consigned by Howard Rice to antiquarian bookseller André Jammes. One document in the librarian’s records (AC123, box 51) shows these amounting to a 1500 Francs credit (or about $300).
•Maurice Saillet, a friend of Sylvia Beach since the 1930s, acquired her apartment after her death, and, according to Howard Rice’s notes, was “the key person during HCR’s sojourn.” Saillet’s collection of Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company is now in the Carlton Lake Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas. It evidently includes some of Beach’s books.
Coda: In the late 1950s, Sylvia Beach prepared a 53 page list headed “The Library of Shakespeare and Company / Sylvia Beach / Paris – VI” together with a one page list of “Memorabilia from the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop, 12, Rue de l’Odéon – Paris -VI” Plans for making this list are mentioned in Sylvia Beach’s letter to Jackson Mathews, dated 2 July 1959. (Letters of Sylvia Beach, ed. K. Walsh , p. 284). A copy of the list is in the Noël Riley Fitch Papers (C0841, box 3, folder 10).
Coda II: Photographs from Howard Rice’s memoranda in C0108, box 276.