[ca. 1840]. · Chambersburg, Pa.
Charles Seaman was born in Bath, England in 1797, and made his journey across the Atlantic to New York in 1830. While crossing on the Superb with Captain Watts (and chief mate William Reese), Seaman kept an amusing sort of diary, written fully in rhyming couplets. In it he describes daily happenings including meals good and bad, deaths on board, storms, whale and other marine life sightings, and more. After the story of his crossing, the author describes the rest of his life in America in less creative form, describing the unusual sights he saw while traveling, some of the tricks he pulled thanks to his skill with ventriloquy, and his ultimate adoption of religion and abandonment of the art in order to dedicate himself to the church.
This copy comes from the collection of Ricky Jay, with a piece of Mulholland Library stationary with notes on this book in his hand. Ricky Jay was one of the great sleight of hand artists of all time in addition to being an actor, consultant, collector, accomplished author, and scholar of all things relating to magic, gambling, and unusual entertainments. Jay was also the curator of the Mulholland Library of Conjuring and the Allied Arts.
The SKETCH OF SEAMAN'S LIFE is extraordinarily rare - we find no evidence of any other copy in institutions, in the trade, or in reference books and bibliographies. A highly significant and curious pamphlet, quite likely unique, with wonderful provenance. (Inventory #: WRCAM57230)