New-York: G. & C. Carvill, and Elam Bliss, 1828. Stated second edition of the first volume. 2 vols in 1, large 8vo, publisher’s rose half cloth, pink boards, printed spine label, 192; [iv], 188 pages. Frontis engraved view of Trenton Falls inserted before vol. 1. Spine and label darkened, with some lwear and bumping to the boards; somewhat foxed throughout, a bit heavily in spots; a good copy. Item #19439
“Let then Americans labour to advance their literary glory! Let the nation take the lead! Let the infant colleges and schools throughout the land be liberally endowed, and let observatories and philosophical cabinets be established in every state! Let public libraries, literary associations, and the fine arts, be generously sanctioned by the donations, the presence, and the co-operation of our citizens! Let learned lecturers be appointed, at the national expense, to unfold the principles of physical and moral science, and diffuse a taste for belle lettres and eloquence! Let encouragement be always given to the young, adventurous writer, and premiums be unceasingly offered to successful literary candidates!” With the publisher’s spine label giving a better idea of the contents than the bare title page might, “The Manuscript, Being a Series of Original Essays and Tales,” this the collected volume of an interesting American serial that ran to twelve numbers of four parts each, this second edition having reset the first several numbers and dropped a serialized “Annals of Trinity Church” in New York that appeared in first edition of the 1827 first volume. (Comparison to the 1827 first edition of the first volume shows evidence of reset type up through the latter part of the serialized story “Mary Linden” in number two; collected volumes are also seen with cancels mounted to the contents pages, which is not the case here.) The fictional sketches tend to touch on romantic historical incidents of the American Revolution or of Indian wars, and an extensive sketch in the second volume purports to relate a conversation with Thomas Paine in his squalid quarters on what is now Fulton Street, shortly before his death, with a description of Paine’s physical disfigurement and his intemperance suggested. Sabin 28840, attributing the effort to “[Griggs [sic], (Rev. Mr.),” presumably the industrious John Grigg then resident (per the 1828 Longworth directory) at 419 Grand; Grigg who had earlier published the pseudonymous short tale, Manuscript of Diedrich Knickerbocker, Jun., in New York in 1824, a romantic historical sketch very much of a piece with the sketches included here, of which (per Sabin) “nearly all the articles relate to America.” The North American Review “Quarterly List of New Publications” in the January, 1828 number notices the publication of issues number 2 and 3, “New York. C. G. Morgan,” which remains something of a mystery remaining to be untangled. (The attribution in one instance on OCLC to Rev. Leverette Griggs, 1808-1883, seems overly optimistic; this younger Griggs did not graduate from Yale until 1829 and was not ordained until 1832.).