Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2008 Issue

Paraclete Potter: A Wiki-Bibliography

Potter.1

Potter's Poughkeepsie Journal in 1806


By Bruce McKinney

Recently I purchased, for $80, an impaired copy of "The Life of General George Washington, Late President of the United States of America, and Commander in Chief of their Armies during the Revolutionary War." It's complete with the cover detached. It is rare but not valuable except to the specialist collector for whom its not quite a black tulip but nevertheless appealing. Its printer was Paraclete Potter [1780-1858] of Poughkeepsie. In looking into both this book and Mr. Potter I was surprised that information is randomly available but not systematically presented. To remedy that and test the effectiveness and utility of on-the-fly bibliographies on small subjects, we have organized a wiki-bibliography of Mr. Potter's printings. It's intended to be freely accessible and open for additions and corrections as may be posted from time to time by anyone with information to share. Pages and links for this purpose are being built and will be provided on our now forming wiki-bibliography pages by October 15th. We anticipate this may become an enduring feature that can potentially support many small subjects. Contributors will be acknowledged unless anonymity is preferred. Dealers who organize a w-b or contribute to an existing one may invite inquiries to purchase material they reference if they are inclined to sell. Libraries may use the same link to encourage communication and support.

A link to the Wiki-Bibliography is provided here and at the conclusion of this 3 page article.

This initial effort includes 149 items, represents both high percentages of the books Potter published and probably a low percentage of his pamphlet production. He was also co-publisher and later sole publisher of the Poughkeepsie Journal [1802-1834] for which only a single listing is given. A permanent link on our home page for this and other [future] wiki-bibliographies will be continuously accessible.

Our thinking is that libraries, dealers and collectors may be interested to use this and other similarly structured bibliographies as a way to aggregate information on obscure subjects. For libraries it is the opportunity to share information and invite contributions. For collectors it is a way to share unique perspective. For dealers it is an opportunity to make a market in a subject and author. It seems promising.

Such bibliographies [perhaps up to 500 items] would also seem to hold promise to somethat resolve the vexing problem of mixing ephemera and other undocumented material within one or more collecting frameworks. Every rare book librarian, dealer and collector have thought at some time "if only I had known" when remarking on something unusual that slipped by. If related material can naturally gravitate into a single setting many parties will be able to see, support, contribute and possibly buy.

So this project, whose genesis is the Poughkeepsie printer, is not so much about Mr. Potter as it is what Mr. Potter's nascient wiki-bibliography may represent. In the Hudson Valley alone along there are many potential subjects: Rondout and Kingston, New Paltz, Ulster County, the Hudson River, and the Delaware & Hudson Canal. Each could require an expert whose life or work deeply involve the subject matter and who might lend a hand from time to time for clarification and education. Such bibliographies could easily overlap and single listings be appropriate entries in several compilations.

All this said, Paraclete Potter is not a household name. He’s not even included in the Dictionary of American Biography. He shows up randomly in the AED as a reference in the Brinley Sale more than a century ago and randomly in bibliographies and auctions ever since. He was an once a weekly newspaper publisher [The Poughkeepsie Journal] when the writing of news, the selling of subscriptions, the setting of type, the selling of ads, the delivery of papers and the collecting

Posted On: 2016-03-29 11:00
User Name: Vespucci

What happened to the Wiki-Bibliography?


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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