1794 · Hartford
First edition: Stiles, President of Yale College, recounts the American adventures of Major-General Whalley, Major-General Goffe, and Colonel Dixwell. The three were signers of the death-warrant for Charles I and, following the Restoration, took refuge in New England where they were "secreted and concealed, in Massachusetts and Connecticut, for near thirty years" (as per the title-page); among the stories told here is the famous anecdote of Goffe's humorous encounter with an over-confident fencing master.
The frontispiece portrait of Stiles was engraved by Amos Doolittle after Reuben Molthrop, a self-taught painter who earned Stiles's praise as one of the earliest notable portrait painters in the fledgling United States; also present are two oversized, folding maps; one folding plate, and five plates (three of which were also engraved by Doolittle). Evans notes that "the plates, which illustrate the various traditional abodes of the regicides, are numbered from 1 to 9 inclusive, but there is no plate 7 in any of the copies seen, and it is probable none was made." The errata slip is pasted in following the end of the text.
Provenance: Frontispiece recto with early inked inscriptions of Horace P. Clark.
ESTC W20469; Evans 27743; Howes S999; Sabin 91742. Contemporary treed sheep, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label; rubbed and worn overall, joints cracked (still holding), spine label and extremities chipped. Frontispiece, title-page, and last few leaves with margins darkened; back free endpaper with lower outer portion excised. Varying degrees of foxing throughout, including to map and plates. Some stubs from tipped-in plates now ragged. Like the judges themselves, this copy somewhat battered by time but still a worthy and venerable survivor. (Inventory #: 36318)