THE VADE MECUM FOR AMERICA: OR A COMPANION FOR TRADERS AND TRAVELLERS....

Boston: Printed by S. Kneeland and T. Green, 1732. [2],iv,[2],220pp. Very narrow octavo. Contemporary blind ruled calf over wooden boards. Boards worn, corners bumped, lower rear board partially exposed; spine ends exposed. Amateur reinforcement to front hinge. Several contemporary inscriptions on front and rear pastedowns and endpapers, and occasionally throughout. Half- inch closed tear to margin of leaf Q4, occasional foxing and even tanning throughout. Good. Item #WRCAM55318

The second edition, after the first of the previous year, of the earliest guide to outline the routes of transit in the North American colonies from the Kennebec to Jamestown, Virginia. The first part of the work is comprised of tables of currency conversion and interest. The text then lists "Counties and Towns in New England" and "Courts in the Provinces and Colonies," including court term schedules. A section follows which lists roads and routes, with mileages, from Boston to Kennebec, Brunswick, Londonderry, Yarmouth, Northtown (Massachusetts), Springfield, Hartford via Windham, Cape Cod (with assorted directions on the Cape), Bristol and Rhode Island, Providence, New London, and New York. Also listed are routes and mileages from New York to Philadelphia, and Philadelphia to Jamestown, Virginia. At the end is a list of the "Streets, Lanes, and Alleys in the City of Boston." Thomas Prince (1687-1758) was a prominent Boston clergyman (pastor of Old South Church), historian, and bibliophile. He is perhaps best know for his monumental work, A CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF NEW ENGLAND, IN THE FORM OF ANNALS... (1736). Although beginning with the sixth day of creation, it is nevertheless a pioneering work in scientific historical writing. His library, consisting of over 1500 items, mostly relating to the civil and religious history of New England, was comparable to those of the Mather family and Governor Hutchinson. Part of his collection is now at the Boston Public Library. Printer Samuel Kneeland (1697-1769) was the son of Mary Green, of the Green family dynasty of printers (this work was printed with his business partner and cousin, Timothy). Kneeland expanded on this dynasty, becoming a leading bookseller, printer, and publisher in colonial America, with approximately 900 imprints in his career. He printed primarily religious works, but then also the BOSTON GAZETTE and the NEW-ENGLAND WEEKLY JOURNAL, as well as commissions for the colony of Massachusetts Bay, the governor and province council, and the House of Representatives. Kneeland frequently worked with (as here) Daniel Henchman (1689-1761), a bookseller-publisher who, according to Isaiah Thomas, was "the most eminent and enterprising bookseller that appeared in Boston, or, indeed, in all British America, before the year 1775" (Thomas, v.2, p.423). This is the same Henchman who, according to Thomas, purportedly contracted with Kneeland and Green, to print "an edition of the Bible in small 4to. This was the first Bible printed, in the English language, in America. It was carried through the press as privately as possible, and had the London imprint of the copy from which it was reprinted, viz. "London: Printed by Mark Baskett, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty," in order to prevent a prosecution...." (Thomas, v.1, p.305). Thomas is likely incorrect in his details, but he notes that it was a popular story when he was an apprentice. EVANS 3598. HOWES P616, "aa." SABIN 98274. RINK 138. ESTC W28554. Isaiah Thomas: THE HISTORY OF PRINTING IN AMERICA (Worcester, Ma.: Isaiah Thomas, 1810). Jonathan M. Yeager: "Samuel Kneeland of Boston: Colonial Bookseller, Printer, and Publisher of Religion" in PRINTING HISTORY 11 (2012): 35-61.

Price: $2,500.00

Earliest Guide Outlining American Roads