Skip to main content
Item #40037 The American Museum or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugutive Pieces, &c. Prose and Poetical . . . [title changed to The American Museum, or, Universal Magazine in January 1790]. Vols. I-XII. Mathew CAREY, Publisher.

The American Museum or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugutive Pieces, &c. Prose and Poetical . . . [title changed to The American Museum, or, Universal Magazine in January 1790]. Vols. I-XII

Philadelphia: Mathew Carey; Carey, Stewart, and Co. No. 188 Market-street, January 1787-December 1792, with collective 1798 titles. 12 volumes, comprising 72 consecutive monthly issues. 8vo. (8 x 4 3/4 inches). Volume collations below.

Contemporary tree sheep, each volume tastefully rebacked preserving original spines in six compartments ruled gilt with red morocco lettering-pieces in second compartments with the volume number in fourth compartments. Volumes numbered in contemporary ink manuscript on front pastedowns.

A complete copy of America's first literary magazine, including early printings of the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, various State constitutions, Alexander Hamilton's Report on Manufactures, and parts of the Federalist Papers. Rarely encountered complete, this set with Franklin's Chart of the Gulf Stream and the sought after folding plate of the slave ship Brooks, an indelible abolitionist image crystallizing the horrors of the Middle Passage.

"That it had considerable merit is universally acknowledged; and there is no vanity in the declaration." - Mathew Carey A complete run of the seminal American magazine the American Museum. Its highlights include the second American edition of Benjamin Franklin's Chart of the Gulf Stream; letters from the Federalist Papers; the first serial printing of the US Constitution; a printing of the proposed Bill of Rights; excerpts of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"; and the first American printing of the iconic plan of the slave ship Brooks, "among the most effective propaganda any social movement has ever created." (Rediker) The Brooks folding plate depicts cross-sections of the ship with hundreds of shackled Africans on their way to the Americas. Indeed, slavery is discussed throughout the American Museum, with essays on the education of African-American children, the Haitian Revolution, and Benjamin Franklin's essay "An Address to the Public, from the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of Free Negroes, Unlawfully Held in Bondage." As usual this set is a mixed edition. The first eleven volumes are each bound with rarely seen 1798 collective title pages, issued in 1799 as explained by Carey: "Complete sets of the former American Museum, in twelve octavo volumes, from January, 1787, till December, 1792, may be had of the Publisher hereof, and of Charles Debret, London. Any numbers or volumes may be had to complete sets." Volumes I-III are of mixed second and third editions, while Volumes IV-XII are of first editions. Reference works speak to this: "Complete sets with all volumes and plates are extremely scarce. A number of the issues were reprinted, and sets when found are generally mixtures of printings." (Federal Hundred) This is especially true given the great value of the Brooks slave ship engraving, which usually causes it to be absent. The magazine was a pioneering effort on the part of its publisher and editor, Mathew Carey, to develop and promote an indigenous American literary culture. Carey founded the American Museum using a $400 loan from none other than the Marquis de la Fayette, who received a dedication leaf in Volume II. During its publication, Carey printed 72 monthly issues from January 1787 through December 1792, bound later by Carey into twelve volumes. Carey's original editorial goal was to cull the best essays on political, economic, and cultural subjects, as well as poetry and prose, and offer it to a national audience. American Museum was the "one magazine [that] reprinted some of the essays outside of New York City." (Concise Guide) A favorable opinion of the American Museum from George Washington, who said a "more useful literary plan had never been undertaken in America," is reprinted on the verso of each collective title and originally in Volume IV, which enhanced the magazine's reputation. (Sabin) The American Museum became the first resort for governmental information, including the proceedings of Congress, texts of state constitutions, treaties with foreign countries, and international affairs. Carey cast a wide net in soliciting writers and topics for his periodical. Among the "most eminent writers of that day" who contributed were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Rush. (Evans) The success of the American Museum helped establish Carey as the leading printer of his generation. Through the publication of the periodical he was able to develop a distribution network which greatly aided him as he became a leading book publisher. A congressional change in postal rates for magazines in 1792 forced Carey to end the run of American Museum "to have recourse to some other object that might afford a better reward to industry." Vol. 1. (January-June, 1787): [4] 93-94 [duplicate leaf N1], [i-iii] iv, [5] 6-408, [421]-492. 484 pp. Collective title with George Washington testimonial on verso, prefaces to first and third editions, sectional titles for each monthly issue, volume index. Pagination errors: pp. 409-420 not issued, 156 numbered as 166, 367 unnumbered. January-March third editions published 1790-1792, April-June second editions published 1788-1789. Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" on pp. 19-29, 99-109. Vol. 2. (July-December, 1787): [2] [i-v] vi-xvi [17] 18-600, 1-24. 626 pp. Collective title, Marquis de la Fayette dedication, preface, 10 pp. subscribers list, 15 pp. Chronicle, sectional titles for each monthly issue, volume index. 81 misnumbered as 82. July-December second editions published 1789-1793. US Constitution on pp. 276-284, Federalist Letters I and II on pp. 441-446, Federalist Letters III and IV on pp. 523-533. Vol. 3. (January-June, 1788): [2], [i-ii] iii-xvi [17] 18-224 125-132 [i.e. 225-232] 233-594 597-602. 602 pp. With collective title, sectional titles, 12 pp. subscribers list, preface, sectional titles for each monthly issue, and volume index at rear. Misnumbering 161 as 167, 135 as 315, 397 as 387. January first edition published 1788, February-June second editions published 1789-1792. "Quakers' Petition Against Slavery," pp. 127-128. Woodcut illustration of a star constellation on p.214. Thomas Paine's "The American Crisis," pp. 476-481. Vol. 4. (July-December, 1788): [i-v] vi-viii [2] [ix]-xvi [17] 18-248 248-255 156-157 258 159-163 265-282 183 234 285-592. 588 pp. Collective title, sectional titles, George Washington dedication, preface, extract of letter from George Washington, 8. pp subscribers list, volume index. Misnumbering 156 as 256, 157 as 257; repeats 248. July-December first editions published in 1788. "In Honour of American Beer and Cyder," on p.78. Vol. 5. (January-June, 1789): [i-vi] vii-xvi [17] 18-212 [Engraved Gulf Stream Map, March 1789] 213-424 [Brooks Slave Ship Engraving, May 1789] 425-628. 628 pp. Collective title, sectional titles, two fold-out engravings printed in black, two woodcut illustrations on pp. 594-595, Thomas Mifflin dedication, preface, subscribers list, volume index. January-June first editions published in 1789. Gulf Stream map (8 1/2 x 10 inches), Brooks Slave Ship engraving (15 x 5 1/2 inches). Vol. 6. (July-December, 1789): [2] [1-5] 6-492 1-46 [6]. 546 pp. Collective title, title, dedication to the president with a call for essays on verso, 17 pp. subscribers list, section titles, Proceedings of Congress, volume index with ad for 1790 January publication of American Museum. All monthly issues first editions. Misnumberings of 190 as 290, 783 as 336, 45 unnumbered. Woodcut illustration of an enslaved boy with birth deformities on p.350. "On the Manumission of Slaves" and "Negro's Letter on Slavery," pp.74-80, "Discovery of America by the Icelanders," pp.159-162, Alexander Hamilton's "Abstract of the Report of the Secretary of Treasury," pp. 307-311, "George Washington's Answer," p.352. Vol. 7. (January-June, 1790): [2] [1-5] 6-344, Appendix I [1] 2-44, Appendix II [1] 2-44, Appendix III [1] 2-37 42-44, Appendix IV [1] 2-12 16-17 19-40 [4]. 512 pp. Collective title, title, dedication to Rev. John Carroll with a promise to publish more entertainment on verso, three appendices, volume index. Woodcut illustration of horses on a circular track for treading wheat on p.123 with three other woodcuts on pp. 124-125, letters from Benjamin Franklin who had recently died on pp. 224, 228, 263-66, "Account of the Influenza in 1789," pp. 231-233. Printing of the proposed Bill of Rights in Appendix II on pp. 11-13. Misnumberings of 87 as 75, 35 as 31 in Appendix 1. Several pagination errors as issued in appendices. Vol. 8 (July-December, 1790): [2] [1-3] 4-288, Appendix I [1] 2-40, Appendix II [1] 2-60, A Collection of the Constitutions of the United States 61-80, Appendix III [1] 2-20, Appendix IV [1] 2-52. Collective title, sectional titles, four appendices, volume index. Misnumbering 24 as 43, 14 as 214, Appendix I 12 as 21, Appendix IV 29 as 21, Index 44 as 49, and 81, Appendix IV 17 unnumbered. "Thoughts on the Colour of the Native Americans," pp. 7-8, "Biographical Notes on the Late Dr. Benjamin Franklin," pp. 12-20, 210-214. Massachusetts Constitution, Appendix II pp. 62-80. Vol. 9 (January-June, 1791): [2] [1-3] 4-344, Appendix I [1] 2-48, Appendix II [1] 2-40, Appendix III [1] 2-48. 482 pp. Collective title, sectional titles, three appendices, volume index. Misnumbering 164 as 165, 241-242 as 239-240, upside down 310 as 309, 309 as 310, 322 as 321, Appendix III 12 for 21, and 21 and Appendix I 28, 43 unnumbered. Woodcut illustration of a river on p.254. Printings in Appendix II of the Charter of Rhode Island, pp.1-10, New York Constitution, pp.12-19, New Jersey Constitution, pp.20-23, Pennsylvania Constitution, pp.23-33, Delaware Constitution, pp.33-40, and "Address of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, to the President of the United States of America," p.40. Ink manuscript correction on p.220 done by printer to fix erratum as seen across diverse copies. Vol. 10. (July-December 1791): [2] [1-3] 4-308, Appendix I [1] 2-36, Appendix II [1] 2-48, Appendix III [1] 2-44. 438 pp. Collective title, sectional titles, volume index. Misnumbering 62 as 162, Appendix II 19 as 20, with 14, 129 unnumbered. Thomas Jefferson's report in Appendix II pp.1-21, George Washington's speech to Congress, Appendix II, pp.37-41. Vol. 11. (January-June, 1792): [2] [1-3] 4-308, Appendix I [1] 2-36, Appendix II [1] 2-92, Appendix III [1] 2-48 [4]. 490 pp. Collective title, sectional titles, three appendices, volume index. Misnumbering 51 as 15, 123 as 12. An account of John Law's Mississippi Scheme, pp.198-204, Alexander Hamilton's "Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on Manufactures," Appendix II pp.1-51. Vol. 12. (July-December, 1792): [i-iii] iv [5] 6-196 [189*] 190*-196* 197-352, Appendix I [1] 2-36, Appendix II [1] 2-44, Appendix III [1] 2-40. 478 pp. Pagination errors as issued. With sectional titles, three appendices, volume index. Carey blames the post-office and booming book sales for discontinuing the American Museum on p.302.

Chielens, American Literary Magazines, pp.19-24. Crane, Publius in the Provinces, 590. ESTC P5460. Evans 20193-5. Federal Hundred, 12. Green, Mathew Carey: Publisher and Patriot, pp.6-7. G. E. Maggs, Concise Guide to the Federalist Papers, 816, 842. Mott, 100-103. Realms of Gold 1624. Rediker, The Slave Ship, 308. Sabin 1162. Sowerby 4903. Wheat 723.

Item #40037

Price: $48,000.00

See all items in Americana & Canadiana
See all items by ,