Boston: Jenks, Hickling and Swan, 1853. 8vo. 191 x 122 mm. , 2-48 pp. INTERLEAVED with 12 leaves of blue writing paper facing each month of the year, on which a prior owner has written many diary entries, ink from notes have slightly stained the facing printed paper, title and final blue leaf (between pp. 28 and 29) loose. Publishers' advertisements on pp. 47-8. Woodcut title vignette of Saturn with his scythe and hourglass. Bound in contemporary dark marbled wrappers, loosely-stitched, lacking spine, front cover almost competely detached, covers torn and chipped, especially along lower fore-corner which is damaged from dampness at some point, worn and creased along spine fold. Stationer stamp in blind of Boston stationer Thomas Groom & Company on title, text age-toned, light foxing throughout, water stain along fore-edge. Significant condition problems, but priced accordingly. Good. Item #3000
An interleaved Boston Almanac, annotated throughout by a local farmer who has recorded an extraordinary number of financial transactions, and even curious pieces of local history, such as a suicide by hanging and a railroad crash.
The author of these annotations has not been identified, but many of the entries detail the selling of hay and eggs to various persons, and it seems that a "Mr. Joel Lucas" and "John O'Brien," along with several others, were hired hands. However, not all entries pertain to the daily operation of the farm. One particularly harrowing entry for December 6th states: "Frederick Struzer hung himself at No. 139 Houston St. N. York." The following and final entry, dated December 10th, speaks of the death of one Mrs. Ehas. Taylor, who died from burns and injuries received at a collision of the Atlantic & St. Lawrence railroad.
The stationer Thomas Groom was born an Englishman. After emigrating to Boston, he set up shop as a blank book manufacturer and importer of English and French stationery. An advertisement in a 1849 almanac states that he also sold steel pens "of the most approved kinds" as well as account books "made to order."
Copies located: AAS, Michigan State. Ghost copy: Rochester Museum & Science Center, erroneously reported to OCLC. Two other copies appear on the market, but the annotations and inscriptions in our copy make it much more interesting.