1812 · Philadelphia
First U.S. edition, following the first U.K. edition of the previous year: A Quaker merchant's account of his experiences in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Sutcliff, a manufacturer and dealer of cutlery, hailed from Sheffield, England; he travelled extensively in the United States for business, visiting Friends and meetinghouses almost everywhere he went. He did not originally intend this travelogue for publication, which is reflected in the sometimes casual descriptions of socializing with friends and relatives — but a great deal of substance is recorded here, including Sutcliff's thoughts on the then under-construction capitol, the state of both free and enslaved blacks (the writer is dismayed by the persistence of slavery in the U.S., and by its effects), American Quaker practices, Native American daily life as he witnessed it firsthand in New York state and elsewhere, various aspects of farming and commerce, and such small oddities as "children of five or six years of age . . . in their boots, smoking segars" (p. 88).
The volume opens with an attractive oversized, folding => steel-engraved view of Niagara Falls, done by T.S. Woodcock after a painting by T. Cole.
Howes S1145; NSTC S4417; Sabin 93943; Shaw & Shoemaker 26833. Contemporary tree sheep, recently rebacked with speckled calf, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label; original leather rubbed with edges chipped, new endpapers. Mild to moderate age-toning and foxing throughout; title-page with inner margin repaired; three leaves with a lower corner or bit of margin torn away without approach to text. Scattered instances of early pencilled underlining and annotations. => Interesting, sensitive observations from a writer concerned with both commercial and spiritual elements of life in the States; here in a very solid copy with the plate in beautiful condition. (Inventory #: 36315)