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UPDATE: The following item has been recovered. The two below are still missing after being placed in a UPS deposit box at The Arsenal in Philadelphia. 

The First American Edition
Melville, Herman.  Moby-Dick: or the whale.  New York, Harper & Brothers/ London, Richard Bentley, 1851.  8vo (19.3 cm).  xxiii, [1], 654, [2] pp., [3] ff.

       BAL 13664; Wright, II, 1701; Tanselle 2; Grolier, American, 60.  Publisher’s purple/brown cloth with company’s device stamped in center both covers; orange endpapers; ads at rear. Foxing, top of spine pulled; board edges show wear; spine sunned.  In a quarter green Morocco open-back slipcase with a chemise.  Spine of slipcase sunned as are part of the sides.

The following significant items went missing after being placed in a UPS deposit box at The Arsenal in Philadelphia. 

The Inquisition & Father Hidalgo's "Manifiesto"
Mexico. Inquisition. Broadside, begins: Sabed: que ha llegado á nuestras manos un proclama del rebelde Cura de Dolores que se titula: 'Manifiesto, que el Señor Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla::::,, [sic] haze al Pueblo." Mexico: no publisher/printer, 26 January 1811. Folio (43.4 cm; 17.125").  [1] p.

       Approximately two months prior to Father Hidalgo's capture by the Royal Forces, the Holy Office issued this decree condemning a publication of the Father of Mexican Independence as seditious, Lutheran, and anti-Catholic.  Other writings circulating in manuscript are also condemned: One beginning, "Hemos llegado a la epoca" and ending, "De una Patriota de Lagos" and another beginning, "Es posible. Americanos!" and ending, "será gratificado con quinientos pesos."  Copies of each were burned by the public executioner and all citizens are warned of the penalties — excommunication and fines — for owning or reading these writings, or failing to denounce those who do.

     Printed on two sheets precisely glued together to form a seamless whole, in double-column format and with the woodcut seal of the Inquisition in the lower right corner of the lower edge.

     Garritz located only the copy in the Biblioteca Nacional and WorldCat locates only seven U.S. institutions holding copies.

Garritz, Impresos novohispanos, 1137.  Not in Palau; Medina, Mexico; Ziga & Espinosa, Adiciones a la imprenta en Mexico; González de Cossío, 510, or González de Cossío, Cien.  Old folds; a few small wormholes touching or costing a very few letters and one larger hole costing five letters, but not impeding reading sense.  Slight discoloration along the area where the two sheets are pasted together and at points on vertical fold. (34599)

Lettsom, John Coakley (1744-1815). Histoire de l'origine de la médecine, par M. Coakley Lettsom, M.D., Membre du Collège Royal de Médecine & des Sociétés Royale & des Antiquaires ; traduite de l'anglois par M. H***. A Londres & se tr.ouve à Paris: rue des Cordiers, no. 4; et chez La Ve Hérissant .... Théophile Barrois .., 1787.   

          A translation of "History of the origin of medicine," London, 1778.

          In the sections dealing with medicine of the period 1520 to ca. 1770  (pp.  13–68, and the notes to those sections, pp. 138–183) there is much discussion of medicine in the New World, including in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and other regions.

          WorldCat locates three hard copies of this book in U.S. libraries: Harvard, Duke, and the National Library of Medicine.          

ESTC N7576.  Original blue-green wrappers (too small for the text block), uncut copy (but opened).Loss of paper on spine.  Dog-earing.  Overall a rather good copy. (42365)


If you have information on the whereabouts of these items or they are offered for sale, please contact:

David Szewczyk & Cynthia Davis Buffington, Proprietors
Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co. (PRB&M), LLC