Diary of George Washington, from 1789 to 1791; embracing the Opening of the First Congress, and his Tours through New England, Long Island and the Southern States. Together with his Journal of a Tour to the Ohio, in 1753.
New York: Charles B. Richardson, 1860. Hardcover. With a compelling period presentation inscription from James Carson Brevoort to a Dr. Kingsley appears on page 7 of the Introductory Remarks. It reads, "No. 14 containing the tours through the southern states, is in the possession of the son of Chief Justice Marshall of Virginia. No. 13 was presented to the late Henry Brevoort of New York by the Chief Justice in 1816 and is now in the possession of his son, James Carson Brevoort, who begs that Dr. Kingsley will kindly accept this printed copy of the mementos of a good man. Brooklyn, NY, March 23, 1874."
The 13th diary covers the dates 21 Nov. - 31 Dec. 1767 and is numbered "Regents' #13" in the LOC census and notes it as "Missing or not kept". The inscription from Brevoort to Kingsley clearly indicates that #13 was kept, and was in the Brevoort family's possession from at least 1816 to 1874. Interestingly, OCLC: 918570500 cites the provenance of the diary #39 (1789-90) that was ultimately donated to the Detroit Public Library, which again, included a time in Henry & James Carson Brevoort's possession. "Provenance: ca. 1814 - Presented to Henry Brevoort of New York City by Commodore John B. Nicholson; 1848 - Death of Henry Brevoort. Passed on to his oldest son, James Carson Brevoort; ca. 1890 - Sold to Bouton's Book Store, New York. Purchased by James F. Joy; 1896 - Death of James F. Joy. Passed on to his son, Henry B. Joy; 1921 - Presented to the Detroit Library Commission by Henry B. Joy..."
The preface speaks to the physicality of Washington's diaries. It states that this book is based on two little volumes, numbered 13 and 14, approximately oblong 4x6" and held in private hands. Lossing says that Washington's earlier diaries were kept on the blank leaves of the 'Virginia Almanac,' "printed and sold by Purdie and Dixon, Williamsburg. Later ones were kept in other pocket almanacs...the greater portion... in the State Department, Washington City." Washington tours New England, visiting Westchester County on his way to Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kittery Maine, and back to New York. There is much about Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and the Creek Indians. On 5th May 1790 (page 145), Washington says that he was informed by General Irvine "that the Traitor Arnold was at Detroit & had viewed the Militia in the Neighbourhood of it twice." This led to speculation that the British had considered trying to take the Spanish settlements on the Mississippi, in an attempt to "surround These United States." On the next day, he assents to an act of the House of Representatives "which Authorizes the President to purchase the whole, or such part of that tract of Land situate in the State of New York, commonly called West-point as shall be by him judged requisite for the purpose of such fortifications & Garrisons as may be necessary for the defence of the same." His tour of the South took him through Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. At one point, he "Dined with the Members of the Cincinnati..." (p, 182) and when he left for Savanna (Ga.), he was "attended by a Corps of the Cincinnati and most of the principal Gentlemen of the City..."
James Carson Brevoort (1818 - 1887), was educated in New York, Paris and Switzerland and trained as an engineer. He worked for a year at the West Point Foundry, which his father had an interest in. He was superintendent of the Astor Library and an important collector of rare books, inheriting a large collection of Americana from his father, Henry, who had collected them in Europe. James developed the collection until it reached about 10,000 volumes; he began donating important works to various institutions and individuals around 1875. He was also the president of the Long Island Historical Society. His father Henry Brevoort (1782-1848) is buried in Trinity Church Cemetery, Manhattan.
8vo, 248pp, with an albumen photographic portrait of Washington as frontispiece. With two bookseller's catalogue listings pasted to the front inside board (a 1917 edition & Dutton 1920 edition priced at $28, lowered from $38). A manuscript note is tipped in at the front free end paper records an article by Mrs. Martha J. Lamb. There is also a bookseller's label, George Gregory, Bookseller to HM Queen Alexandra, Bath. Gregory was a noted international bookseller who sold his binding business to George Bayntun. Gregory was also president of the International Association of Antiquarian Booksellers.
Original pebbled navy cloth, gilt title on spine, "Washington's Private Diaries". Gilt title slightly dull. Rebacked with the original spine laid down. Overall, a very nice copy.
OCLC 50463281 cites 2 copies of the NY edition, both in Britain; OCLC: 3867726 cites 88 electronic copies, but an actual copy appears to exist at NYPL; see OCLC: 166631692 for the Richmond edition, which is much more common. Very good overall. Item #8553