Philadelphia: [Printed by Lydia R. Bailey for] Johnson & Warner, 1808. 12mo. vi, 87,  pp. Engraved frontispiece of a boy carrying his dog through the snow. Text evenly toned, minor wear to binding extremities, but AN EXCELLENT, UNSOPHISTICATED COPY IN ORIGINAL BOARDS, suitable for exhibition. Item #3203
¶ PRINTED BY A PHILADELPHIA WOMAN; ONE OF THE FIRST BOOKS FROM HER PRESS. Our copy is preserved in outstanding unsophisticated condition. Considering that it a 212-year-old American children's book, this is a freak of "book nature."
¶ Early American edition of this endearing dog story for children, "crucially important in marking the great change in the representation of animals in literature, from the fabulous, the allegorical and the satirical to the naturalistic and the empathetic. By employing new narrative techniques for representing thought in fiction, Kendall pioneered writers’ attempts to imagine and describe the experiences of animals. The story is of a dog who becomes lost and injured, and recounts the many people whom he came across in his journey home, some who took him in and nursed him, others who took their boot to him." (Wikipedia, accessed 9/2020). In his Dedication to William Webb Kendall the author mentions the cruelty of man towards dogs. He states that "To this tyranny, because humble, and because affectionate -- for their humility teaches them submission, and their affections, forgiveness -- to this tyranny dogs are particularly exposed; yet these creatures possess virtues that deserve our esteem, a sauvity of deportment that wins our love, and talents that demand our respect."
¶ THE PRINTER: "Lydia Bailey (1779-1869) was one of the first women printers in Philadelphia. At nineteen, she married the printer, Robert Bailey, who died in 1808, leaving her impoverished with four children, in 1808. She continued the firm, and the present volume is one of the first works from her press. As a printer-publisher she prospered; from 1830 to 1850 she was appointed City Printer for Philadelphia. She finally retired in 1861; upon her death at the age of ninety, the "North American" magazine described her as "one who enjoyed woman’s rights to the full, though living before a formal exposition of that doctrine, and who as a practical printer had considerable deserved local fame." (Dictionary of American Biography).
REFERENCES: Shaw & Shoemaker 15353. Welch 723.4. Rosenbach 370.