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1772 Paul Revere Engraved Metal Cut Illustration Prints

(PAUL REVERE, JR.). 1772-Dated Colonial Pre-Revolutionary War Period, Imprint entitled, "An Astronomical Diary or Almanack for the Year of Our Lord Christ 1772," containing Three of Paul Revere Engravings, plus including the historically important, "Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer" having a portrait of John Dickinson, and a cut of "Mrs. Catharine McCaulay," plus the cover illustration of the dwarf Emma Leach, as compiled by Nathaniel Ames, Choice Very Fine.

This rarely offered original Boston Almanac was published late in 1771 for the coming year of 1772. It contains 24 printed pages with some contemporary note pages at its conclusion, measures 6" x 4" and includes Three different original Metal-Cut Engravings (unsigned) by Paul Revere, Jr. as recorded in the Brigham reference, PAUL REVERE'S ENGRAVINGS.

The American Antiquarian Society says of this almanac: "One of two editions of Ames for 1772, the other printed for Ezekiel Russell. This edition is presumably that of Fleets, Edes, and Gill, although there is no printer's imprint. It is doubtlessly the pirated edition anticipated by Russell."

Illustrations of John Dickinson, and Mrs. Catherine M'Caulay, both full page. They are copies or versions of the three cuts in Russell's editions of Ames, two of which were by Paul Revere. Evidently these versions are also by Revere, as an entry in his Day Book for December 21, 1771, records a charge against Edes and Gill, 'to engraving 3 plates for Ames' almanack.' The evidence suggests that Edes & Gill secured a copy of Russell's edition on the day it appeared, and ordered reproductions of the plates from Paul Revere."

There is the Revere engraved plate of Mrs. Catherine M'Caulay, who was a popular British historian, sympathetic to the rights of the Americans. The full-page metal cut of "The Patriotic American Farmer. J-N D-K-NS-N, Esq; Barrister at Law" contains the text lines, "Who with attic eloquence, and Roman spirit, hath affected the Liberties of the British Colonies in America," and is followed by the poem titled, "Tis nobly done to stem Taxation's rage, and raise the thoughts of a degenerate age, For Happiness and Joy, from Freedom spring; But Life in Bondage is a worthless Thing."

This particular example of the almanac, measuring 6" x 4" is tightly trimmed from the bottom, has 8 blank pages at the end which are filled with a handwritten account of expenses, including 3 entries for chocolate. It has expected light tone with a slight stain at the top of the front cover. The pages are still well bound together. Overall, a fine quality early American Colonial Boston Almanac, graced with three important originals of Paul Revere's Engravings.



Additional Information:

"Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer" - Voices of dissent over Parliament's growing authority upon the colonies in America were heard long before the colonists' actual act of independence.

One of those voices was that of John Dickenson. A preeminent Philadelphia lawyer, Dickenson was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature in 1762 where he was active in protesting British policies. Attending the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, he advocated commercial retaliation. Dickenson's writings entitled Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer were published in newspapers in 1767 and 1768. Though conciliatory in tone, his Letters made clear that Britain's policies were wrong and deprived the colonies of their lawful rights. Ultimately, Letters from a Farmer urge united action on the part of the colonists. The letter that appears here is the very first Letter in his series. It appears in the Boston Chronicle of December 21, 1767. As it happens, this is also the very first issue published by the Chronicle. While the actual year does not appear on the newspaper's masthead, note "Vol. 1 and No. 1" at each of its sides.

Dickenson's first Letter illustrates perfectly the author's moderate and reasoned approach while at the same time recommending concerted action. Here Dickenson discusses Parliament's suspension of the New York Assembly following the legislature's refusal to comply with Britain's recently-enacted Quartering Act. Dickenson went on to become a member of the Continental Congress, agreeing to the necessity of armed resistance. Later he helped draft the Articles of Confederation, and was an active participant in the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Dickenson wrote 13 letters in all, published as a pamphlet that went through at least ten editions. His Letters had a significant impact on political thought not only in America but also in England. (Archiving Early America)
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