Description

    First Edition of One of the Cornerstones of Early New England History from an Early Connecticut Family

    [Nathaniel Morton. New-Englands Memoriall: or, A brief Relation of the most Memorable and Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God, manifested to the Planters of New-England in America...Cambridge [Mass.]: Printed by S[amuel]. G[reen]. and M[armaduke. J[ohnson]. for John Usher of Boston, 1669].

    First edition. Small quarto (approximately 6.625 x 5.25 inches; 169 x 135 mm.). 198, [10] pages. Lacking the six preliminary leaves, including the title. Collation of this copy: B-Z4 Aa-Dd4.

    Contemporary leather over pasteboard. Most of the original binding has perished, and has been repaired with crude stitching and covered with limp vellum (now darkened). Manuscript title-page transcription mounted inside the front cover. The paper is browned and quite worn, with worming or other insect damage mostly at the outer edge, sometimes affecting the text and often the side notes; both upper and corners have been worn away, affecting some page numbers. Several leaves with damage resulting in considerable loss of text, especially at the beginning and end, including: the lower portion of B1 is torn away; a small piece is missing from the lower gutter of C1; a larger piece is missing from the lower gutter of C4; the upper corner and bottom eight lines and top five lines are missing from F1; considerable loss to the last six leaves (Cc3-Dd4). Most leaves with short horizontal tears into the text from the gutter and from the lower edge in the gutter, affecting the text, but usually with no loss except for the side notes. Although incomplete and in poor condition, this fragile book is remarkable for having survived at all.

    This copy belonged to a Connecticut family, descendants of the Goodwins who arrived in Boston from England in 1632 on the ship Lyon, and the Gillets/Gilletts, and includes several early ink signatures and annotations. Early ink signature inside the front cover: "Joseph Goodwin / His hand Written / in the year 1753." Several early marginal ink inscriptions, including: "Eliiah Gallet his name / Matt[hew?] Gillet his name" (page 31); "Lovit: Gillets Book 1740" (page 55); "Matthew Gillet Jun. 1760" (page 72); "Lovitt Joseph Gillet" (page 85); "Hezekiah Goodwin His Hand / 1754" (page 86), "Hezekiah Goodwin his hand written / in the thirteenth year of his age 1773" (page 91), and "Hezekiah Goodwin his hand / The New englans [sic] Memoriall" (page 149); "A Good History this. Asa Gillets / hand" (page 128); "Ann Gillets" (page 154); "Hezekiah Goodwin his hand. And Asa Gillets" (page 156); "Matthew Gillets Hand / Writtten February ye 9th 1741" (page 174); "Stephen Goodwin / Ejus Liber 1755" and "Hezekiah / Goodwin His / Hand 1755" (page 189). Several additional marginal ink notes, including: "Jonathan Gillet Died November / the 23 AD 1740 it was the / Evening after the / Lords Day abought [sic] 12 of / the Clock" (page 95); "Stephen Butler died / in the year of our Lord / 1846 March 29" (page 124); and "This Earthquake being Grater [sic] / than in our Day" (page 162).

    Laid in is a small manuscript pamphlet ([16] pages) stitched into a folded newspaper clipping from 1818: "Members of the Church of Christ / in Essex when formed, October / 23rd AD 1797," containing lists of members, removals, deaths "in the Church" since first formed until July 1823. "Stephen Butler" (see above) is listed on the first page as one of the members in 1797.

    "This book is one of the class commonly referred to as 'the cornerstones' of early New England history. It was the first strictly historical publication issued by the New England press, and brings the history of the colony down to 1668. Founded largely on Governor Bradford's history of Plymouth Colony...Nathaniel Morton [1613-1685], a nephew of Governor Bradford, was secretary to the General Court of Massachusetts from 1645, thus having favorable opportunities of gathering information. The work is arranged in chronological order, and is filled with particulars of the greatest interest. The voyage of the Mayflower is given in detail, as is also the story of the landing and first settlement of the Pilgrims. The text is interspersed with several elegiac poems, epitaphs, and acrostics" (Church).

    Church 606. ESTC R16332. Evans 144. Howes M851. Sabin 51012. Wing M2827.


    More Information:

    Early ink signature inside the front cover: "Joseph Goodwin / his hand written / in the year 1753." Several early ink inscriptions, including: "Matthew Gillet Jun. 1760"; "Joseph Gillet" (page 85); "Hezekiah Goodwin His Hand / 1754" (page 86), "Hezekiah Goodwin his hand written / in the thirteenth year of his age 1773" (page 91), "Hezekiah Goodwin" (page 108), and "Hezekiah Goodwin his hand / The New englans Memoriall" (page 149); "Stephen Goodwin his Book" (page 123); "A Good History this. Asa Gillets / hand" (page 128); "Ann Gillets" (page 153); "Hezekiah Goodwin his hand. And Asa Gillets" (page 155); "Matthew Gillets Hand / Writtten February ye 9th 1741" (page 174); "Stephen Goodwin / Ejus Liber 1755" and "Hezekiah / Goodwin His / Hand 1755" (page 189).

    There are notes: "Jonathan Gillet Died November / the 23 AD 1740 it was the / Evening after the / Lords Day abought 12 of / the Clock" (page 95); "Stephen Butler died / in the year of our Lord / 1846 March 29" (page 124)

    "This book is one of the class commonly referred to as 'the cornerstones' of early New England history. It was the first strictly historical publication issued by the New England press, and brings the history of the colony down to 1668. Founded largely on Governor Bradford's history of Plymouth Colony...Nathaniel Morton, a nephew of Governor Bradford, was secretary to the General Court of Massachusetts from 1645, thus having favorable opportunities of gathering information. The work is arranged in chronological order, and is filled with particulars of the greatest interest. The voyage of the Mayflower is given in detail, as is also the story of the landing and first settlement of the Pilgrims. The text is interspersed with several elegiac poems, epitaphs, and acrostics" (Church).

    Church 606. ESTC R16332; Evans 144; Howes M851. Sabin 51012. Wing M2827.



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    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
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