• <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, Chicago, 1968). <i>Collection of papers of John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, concerning the convention</i>. Various places, 1968.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (ARMSTRONG, NEIL.) VERNE, JULES. <i>A Trip to the Moon.</i> New York: F. M. Lupton, September 9, 1893. Signed by Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Announcing the Fall 2016 Auction Season
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b> Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 10:</b> 19th & 20th Century Literature
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Colored Plate Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 1:</b> Art, Press & Illustrated Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 29:</b> Illustration Art
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 3:</b> Old Master Through Modern Prints
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. Sept. 21, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> WARREN, JOSEPH. Letter Signed ("Jos Warren") as Chairman of the Committee of Safety. Cambridge, MA, June 4, 1775.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> WHITMAN, WALT. Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn, NY: [for the Author], 1855.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> JEFFERSON, THOMAS. Printed Broadside Signed ("Th: Jefferson") as Secretary of State. Philadelphia, February 12, 1793.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> CELLINI, BENVENUTO. 1500-1571. Autograph Letter Signed ("Beto. Cellini"). [Florence, c.1566].
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. Sept. 21, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. Autograph Manuscript. [c.1795].
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> DICKENS, CHARLES. Great Expectations. London: Chapman and Hall, 1861.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> REED, JOHN. To the Honourable House of Representatives of the Freemen of Pennsylvania this Map of the City and Liberties of Phiadelphia With the Catalog of Purchasers is Humbly Dedicated.... [Philadelphia]: engraved by James Smit
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> ELIOT, THOMAS STEARNS. The Waste Land. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2011 Issue

A Whale of a Book, A Whale of A Sale

19th century whaling journal

Personal journal of whaling 1833-6

Submitted by John Renjillian on behalf of the C.H. Booth Friends of the Library

Beginning on July 9th and continuing through July 13th the C. H. Booth Friends of the Library are holding their annual book sale to raise money for the library.  This year the marquee item is a hand-written whaling journal that dates to the early 19th century.  This and other books in the rare book room will be sold at fixed prices on a first in basis.  Admission is in number ticket order and tickets go on sale at 7:00 am on the first day of the sale.  In prior years it has been necessary to line up the previous night to get an early number.  The show/sale opens at 9:00 am.

About the book, about the sale.

You never know what will come in the door when a library friends group collects items for a book sale.  Most items are mundane, an occasional rarity crosses the threshold, and once in a great while a mind-blower arrives.  Such was the case at the C. H .Booth Library in Newtown, CT, where the Friends collect for the annual summer book sale throughout the year.  A month or so ago, an item arrived with seemingly no connection to any other books in the donation, a hand written journal of a whaling voyage.  It arrived in an otherwise unremarkable box, so unremarkable, in fact, that no one can even remember which donation it came in with.  It was passed along to the “specials” department, where it was quickly determined to be a journal of a Pacific Ocean voyage in the whale ship Samuel Wright, of Salem, MA, from 1833-1836.

The journal was kept by the second mate, William E Percival.  Percival was a native of Sandwich, MA, 30 years old, five feet, ten inches tall, with light complexion and hair.  He did not make an entry for every day, but he did cover the entire voyage of 39 months.

John Pitman, a whaler of longstanding who commanded several ships over his career, was the captain of the Samuel Wright.  Directly under Pitman was the first mate, Thomas Nickerson.  Nickerson, born on Nantucket, also had a long career as a whaler and merchant mariner, beginning at the age of 14 when he shipped out on board the ill-fated whaler Essex.  In 1820, the Essex was rammed by a giant white whale and sunk, providing the inspiration for Herman Melville’s classic story of Moby Dick.  Young Nickerson had the good fortune to be placed in the boat of first mate Owen Chase, which was rescued after an open-boat ocean voyage of 90 days.  The Samuel Wright was later wrecked on another voyage off Bunbury, Australia, and its timbers were salvaged for a building that eventually became St. Mark’s Church, the second oldest church in Western Australia, which still stands. 

As mentioned, the voyage recorded by Percival was a successful one, but it was not all an easy voyage.  Rounding Cape Horn was always difficult, and the ship lost considerable rigging and a whale boat in the transition.  Other storms while patrolling the Pacific for its prey also caused frequent damage to the ship, and all sails often had to be reefed, a dangerous process requiring sailors to climb the masts, crawl out on the yardarms, and roll up and tie the sails down to prevent complete destruction, usually while the storm was raging.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.

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