New York: Burgess, Stringer & Co., [and] J.S. Redfield, 1844. 193,pp. including frontispiece and eight full-page illustrations. 12mo. Original brown cloth, stamped in gilt and blind. Cloth expertly repaired at extremities. Lacks front free endpaper, pencil notes on rear free endpaper. Text lightly tanned, a few instances of soiling. Very good. Item #WRCAM56416
The rare first edition of this seminally important work of 19th-century gambling and reform, by the most famous gambler of the era, Jonathan H. Green. "A reformed gambler's adventures among brother card- sharps, counterfeiters, etc., along the lower Mississippi, from Kentucky to Louisiana" - Howes. This is among the earliest of several works by Green, the most important early writer on gambling in America. This book is the most famous of his works and reveals various forms of card-sharking and cheating. The final page contains a notice from the LUTHERAN OBSERVER, commending Green for being "engaged in developing the heartless cruelties of gambling, and the impositions and villanies [sic] practised by the 'sporting gentry' to the pecuniary and moral destruction of thousands of our country." Of course, such texts could also serve as a handbook for aspiring gamblers and grifters. It was offered at two bits per copy, or $2.25 for a dozen. This is the first copy of the first edition that we have handled. HOWES G365, "aa."