New York: Stereotyped for and printed by order of the Trustees of the Residuary Estate of Lindley Murray. M. Day, Printer, n.d. [after 1839]. 8vo. vi, , 8-408 pp. Contemporary American sheep, worn, spine defective; gatherings 27 and 28 sprung and held by thread; stain between pp. 334/5 spread through several leaves; inherent foxing and blemishes on account of the paper stock; front and back binder's blanks torn away. With defects, and priced accordingly. NOT ex-library! Fair. Item #3338
While this copy has been somewhat battered for nearly 180 years, it was quite possibly owned by a Union soldier of Plymouth, Mass. (see below). It seems to belong to an otherwise undescribed issue of Mahlon Day's stereotyped sheets, with the title-page undated.
This is one of the earliest compilations of biographies of African-Americans, prominent, mythical, and unknown. It is a book of immense sadness and anger -- but not of resignation or submission.
Abigail Mott (1795-1846) was a Quaker residing in Mamaroneck and Purchase, N.Y. and later Burlington, N.J. She was a tireless champion of African American rights and the abolition of slavery.
¶ The title-page of our copy is not dated, but the "Advertisement" on the verso is dated 1839. The printer Mahlon Day was active at 374 Pearl Street until 1844. We have been unable to locate another copy of this undated issue, or even any record of it.
¶ With early ownership inscription of Hiram Nickerson on title-page; this individual was almost certainly Civil War veteran Hiram Nickerson (1826-1910) of Plymouth, Mass. who fought with Company E, 32nd Regiment, Mass. Volunteers. On front and back pastedowns the juvenile inscriptions of Ann E. and Warren H. Lathrop (?) of Taunton, Mass. dated 1863 (NB: Taunton is 23 miles from Plymouth).
Sabin 51111. Afro-Americana 6900 (first edition).