Norwich: Printed and sold Wholesale and Retail, by J. Trumbull, . pp. Small octavo. Gathered signatures, stitched. Wear to foredge of a few leaves. Significant toning, slightly foxed in places. Title page soiled with amateurishly repaired tear to outer margin, final page heavily soiled at the bottom. Text rubbed in places. Overall still a good copy. Item #WRCAM56979
One of the Bickerstaff almanacs attributed to Benjamin West of Providence, which ran between 1775 and 1798. Connecticut's most famous almanac author, Rev. Nehemiah Strong, wrote to the CONNECTICUT JOURNAL in 1784, accusing "a certain other Almanack publisher" using the name Bickerstaff of pilfering the figures and calculations from his own work, and distancing himself from rumors that he was the author of these "on account of the the pompous advertisements...which have come abroad under the name [Bickerstaff]." Strong later decided to take matters into his own hands, and published almanacs under the name Bickerstaff himself starting in the mid 1780s.
This rather patriotic 1779 almanac begins with a preface from the author, who warns that amidst America's struggle for independence he can still see "Oppression, Extortion, Ambition, and Presumption" among the American people, and asks that "every friend to his country...banish those enemies from his heart and country, and never suffer them to be seen more." December's verse is more outwardly focused: "AMERICANS!...stifle Tories, e'er they dart their stings:/ And then your plunder'd rights shall be restor'd,/ And tyrants tremble when you grasp the sword." The usual calendars are followed by a "Chronological Table of the Discovery of the Arts and Sciences, interspersed with remarkable Events, since the Deluge" with particular focus on the Magna Carta, and a series of "Humorous Tales, Jests, &c." This copy also contains a handful of contemporary manuscript notes noting days it snowed in March and April. DRAKE 320. EVANS 16167. ESTC W25635.