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Letters from New York. First Series.
Letters from New York. First Series.

Letters from New York. First Series.

First edition, first printing. Collected from the author’s like-named literary newspaper column in the Boston Courier, these “freewheeling sketches described the sights, institutions, and denizens of the nation’s largest metropolis, sliding from the material into the moral and spiritual realms, from pictorial representation into social criticism and philosophical speculation. They integrated abolitionism into a comprehensive philanthropy that encompassed the issues of urban poverty, prison reform, women’s rights, capital punishment, religious toleration, and justice toward all ethnic minorities - African Americans, Indians, Jews, Irish immigrants.” (Karcher)

This first series devotes chapters to New York Jews, including its Black Jews, an African-American preacher named ‘Zeek’, the Florida slave trade, capital punishment, native Americans and New York’s Irish. Letter XXIV is entitled and devoted entirely to “Woman’s Rights.”

Period ownership inscription: “Thomas J. Talbot, vide page 199 et seq., As clean as a Shaker’s apron.” This reference to page 199 of the text shows where Talbot has signed his name across the text. The rear pastedown has a later 19th or early 20th century stamp that reads:  “M.L. Moore, C&NW; Ry” [Chicago and North Western Railway].

Description: Letters from New York. First Series.

New York: C.S. Francis & Co. [and] Boston: J.H. Francis, (1844) 1845. 12mo. Third edition. [2], xii, [13]–288, [2] pp. Publisher’s blind stamped cloth binding with gilt spine title. Wear to head and tail of cocked spine; pages toned and with scattered stains. Overall, a sound copy.


LCP, Afro-Americana 2282-2283, but not this edition. Wright I:521. Singerman 0889: “Letter VI, dated Sept. 23, 1841, is devoted to New York’s Jews, including a visit to a synagogue.” (pp37-47) BAL 3152.

Price: $50.00