FRIDENBERG, ROBERT. Letters and documents re American and English booksellers and printers, 1732-1884
Robert Fridenberg: Collection of Letters and Documents
of American and English Booksellers and Printers, 1732-1884
RLIN ID No.
Fridenberg, Robert, d. 1946, collector.
Collection of letters and documents of American and English booksellers and printers, 1732-1884 (bulk 1732-1814).
78 items (1 box)
Organization and Arrangement
Organized into two series: I. American publishers and booksellers; II. English publishers and booksellers.
Robert Fridenberg (died 1946) was a member of the Grolier Club, a New York City bibliophile society. A major collecting interest centered on early American engraved portraits, particularly those of Benjamin Franklin. Possibly as a result of his interest in Franklin, he collected miscellaneous eighteenth and early nineteenth century documents connected with booksellers and printers (and particularly those active in Philadelphia), along with a number of documents from English booksellers and printers.
Scope and Contents Note
Miscellaneous letters, invoices and related documents from 18th and 19th American and English booksellers. Among the 58 American documents are a substantial number addressed to the Boston bookseller John West and his firm. Other American booksellers and printers, based in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, include: Henry Bult, Samuel Campbell, Conrad & Co., Joseph Crukshank, Alexander Denham, Hugh Gaine, William Gowans, David Hall, David Hogan, John Scott Hylton, Jacob Johnson, Thomas S. Manning, James Rivington, Moses Thomas, and Caleb. P. Wayne. Included with the American collection is a tribute addressed to the British novelist Jane Porter from the “Booksellers and Publishers of New York City” (1844). American correspondents include but are not limited to: Major Jellas Fonda, John Moore, H. E. Robinson, E. B. O’Callaghan, and the firm of Toule & Bugbee. The English material is limited to the 18th century, and the booksellers and printers represented are: Charles Arbuthnot, Thomas Becket, James Bettenham, Cadell & Davies (Andrew Becket) Charles Corbett, R. Dalton, Robert Dodsley, Archibald Hamilton, John Hughes, William Jackson, Andrew Millar, Samuel Paterson, Craven W. Richards, William Strahan, Paul Vaillant, and Wingrave & Collingwood. The Cadell & Davies, Dalton, Dodsley, and Strahan documents concern details of the printing of works by Samuel Johnson. English correspondents include but are not limited to: John Nourse, George Selwyn, and the firms of Cadell & Davis and Wingrave & Collingwood (F. Wingrave).
Finding Aid Note
Unpublished finding aid available in repository.
Robert Fridenberg presented most of the items in the collection to the Grolier Club in 1915; the club subsequently added a few related items.
Arbuthnot, Charles, d. 1731.
Bult, Henry. Correspondence.
Campbell, Samuel, 1765-1836. Correspondence.
Corbett, Charles, 1710-1752.
Crukshank, Joseph, 1746?-1836. Correspondence.
Dalton, R., fl. 1795.
Denham, Alexander. Correspondence.
Dodsley, James, 1724-1797.
Gaine, Hugh, 1726-1807. Correspondence.
Gowans, William, 1803-1870. Correspondence.
Hall, David, 1714-1772.
Hamilton, Archibald, d. 1772. Correspondence.
Harris, James, 1709-1780. Correspondence.
Hughes, John, 1703-1771.
Hylton, John Scott. Correspondence.
Jackson, William, fl. 1767. Correspondence.
Manning, Thomas S. Correspondence.
Millar, Andrew, 1707-1768.
Nicol, George. Correspondence.
Paterson, Samuel, 1728-1802.
Porter, Jane, 177601850. Awards.
Richards, Craven W., fl. 1818-1820.
Rivington, James, 172401802. Correspondence.
Strahan, William, 1715-1785.
Thomas, Moses, 1787-1865.
Woodfall, T. (printer). Correspondence.
Wayne, C. P. (Caleb Perry), 1776-1849. Correspondence.
Birch & Small.
Cadell & Davies.
Conrad & Co.
Booksellers and bookselling. England. London. 18th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. England. London. 19th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. Massachusetts. Boston. 18th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. Massachusetts. Boston. 19th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. New York (State). New York. 18th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. New York (State). New York. 19th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. Pennsylvania. Philadelphia. 18th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. Pennsylvania. Philadelphia. 19th century.
Engravers. England. London. 18th century.
Engravers. England. London. 19th century.
Invoices. England. 18th century.
Receipts. England. 18th century.
Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Booksellers. England. 18th century.
Booksellers. Massachusetts. Boston. 18th century.
Booksellers. Massachusetts. Boston. 19th century.
Booksellers. New York (State). New York. 18th century.
Booksellers. New York (State). New York. 19th century.
Booksellers. Pennsylvania. Philadelphia. 18th century.
Booksellers. Pennsylvania. Philadelphia. 19th century.
Engravers. England. 18th century.
Engravers. England. 19th century.
Fonda, Jellas, correspondent.
Fridenberg, Robert, d. 1946, former owner.
Moore, John, correspondent.
Nourse, John, correspondent.
O’Callaghan, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1797-1880, correspondent.
Robinson, H. E., correspondent.
Selwyn, George, 1719-1791, correspondent.
Richardson, Lord & West, correspondents.
West, John, correspondent.
Wingrave, F. (Francis), correspondent.
Toule & Bugbee, correspondents.
Wingrave & Collingwood, correspondents.
Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.
American Booksellers and Printers
Birch & Small (booksellers of Philadelphia). 2 ALS: to John West (bookseller of Boston), 1807 June 21;
Oct. 27. [The letters include list of books sold to West and that of 21 June includes a separate list
of books exchanged with West.]
Bult, Henry (bookseller of New York City). ALS to Messrs. Toule & Bugbee, 1884
July 8. [Bult is sending proofs on India and on Holland paper of “the Webster head.”] 1 p.
Campbell, Samuel (bookseller of New York City). 2 ALS and 1 receipt to John West and 5 receipts and
bills for various customer accounts, 1791-1814. [John West was a Boston bookseller].
Crukshank, Joseph (bookseller of Philadelphia). ALS: to John West (bookseller of Boston), 1807 Mar. 22. [He encloses a bill of lading for “six bundles of books” for Daniel Coole. The bill of lading is signed by William Saggett, master of the schooner “Retaliation,” and dated 1807 Mar. 9.] 1 p.
Conrad & Co. (Booksellers of Philadelphia). 4 ALS to John West (bookseller of Boston), 1802 June 29;
1806 Dec. 9; 1807 Nov. 30; 1813, May 26. [The letters record items purchased from West, list
prices and discuss financial dealings by the two firms.]
Denham, Alexander (bookseller of New York City). 2 ALS to H. E. Robinson, 1880 Jan. 5
and Dec. 21. [He writes of sales of book collections and availability of catalogues]. 2 p. each.
Gaine, Hugh (printer of New York City). ALS to Major Jellas Fonda. [He writes of a ledger that has
gone astray]. 1 p. [There are also two receipts in this folder signed by Gaine, dated 1770 June 16
and 1794 Sept. 23.]
Gowans, William (bookseller of New York City). ALS 1854 Apr. 7 to Dr. E. B. O’Callaghan. [He
acknowledges a gift of O’Callaghan’s Documentary History of the State of New-York (Albany:
1850-51).] 1 p.
Hall, David (printer of Philadelphia). Receipt for paper, etc. received from Robert Greenway. 1748
Nov. 8. [Autograph document signed D. Hall, the partner of Benjamin Franklin in the
printing firm of Franklin & Hall.] 1 p.
Johnson, Jacob (publisher of Philadelphia). 2 ALS: to John West, Boston, 1804 [June] 24 (?), Oct. 2; 1
ALS 1807 May 15. [The letters accompanied bills, and the one dated 1804 June 24 includes the
charges) and discuss shipping arrangements and moneys owed. Includes a filled-in printed form
for shipment of books from the Port of Philadelphia by agent Benjamin Johnson to West (1807 June 28) and an undated record of an account with Johnson.
Manning, Thomas S. (publisher of Philadelphia). ALS: 1810 Oct. 27. [He writes to a “Gentlemen” about
copies of the “Savage” by an unnamed American writer who “lives still in obscurity” but is a “second Johnson.” [The book is probably The Savage, by Piomingo, a headman and warrior of the Muscagulgee Nation (i.e. John Robinson). Manning published the first edition in 1810 and there were several others by 1838.]. 2 p.
Publishers of New York City. Tribute to British novelist Jane Porter. Broadside with signatures of over a
dozen New York publishers and the sums they subscribed to present her with a golden inkstand
and a rocking chair “as a tribute to her literary merit.” 1844. It is accompanied by a clipping from
the Morning Court (London) which prints her letter of thanks. [Jane Porter was the author of
Scottish Chiefs and Thaddeus of Warsaw.] 1 document (64 x 56 cm.)
Rivington, James (English journalist resident in New York City). ALS: to John Moore, 1789? [Letter
contains statement of Moore’s account for advertisements, etc. 1781-1783; it is endorsed “paid at
New York 1789 Oct. 29.”]
Thomas, Moses (book auctioneer of Philadelphia). ALS: to Messrs. Richardson and Holbrook,
Boston, 1831 Feb. 1. [In a letter on blank page of his printed circular to the Philadelphia book
trade dated 1831 Jan. 27 Thomas elaborates his guidelines for doing business.] 4 p. Also included
is a printed circular of 1831 Jan. 7 with a one page ALS regarding invoices received from
Richardson and Holbrook.
Wayne, Caleb Perry (printer of Philadelphia). ALS: to West & Richardson, Boston, 1813 Dec. 7.
[Wayne writes about fulfilling orders for a biography of George Washington and other titles.]
1 p. [Included is an ALS 1807 Aug. 11 to the same regarding shipment of unidentified titles to
various purchasers (1 p.) and a signed receipt dated 1806 June 18 to the same for an unidentified framed portrait.]
West, John (bookseller of Boston), correspondent. ALS and receipts from Philadelphia customers
regarding costs and shipment of books, 1804-1832. 18 autograph documents.
West, John (bookseller of Boston), correspondent. ALS: from John Rowlett, Philadelphia, 1804 June 27.
[Rowlett, author of Rowlett’s Tables of Discount and Interest (Philadelphia, 1802 and later) asks
West about “the fate of three tickets in the late South Hadley (Massachusetts) canal lottery.”] 1 p.
West, John (booksellers of Boston), correspondent. ALS: from William Allison (English agent resident
in Philadelphia), 1805 Sept. 3. [Having carried out unsuccessfully some unspecified business for
West, he proposes to return to England.] 2 p.
English Booksellers and Printers
Arbuthnot, Charles. Signed receipt for payment received from Thomas Batchelor for one copy of Table
of ancient measures, coins and weights, explained and exemplified in dissertations. Not dated.
[John Arbuthnot’s (1667-1735) book of this title with a dedicatory verse by his son was published
by Jacob Tonson in 1727.]
Becket, Thomas (bookseller of London), recipient. Invoice: from Mr. [John] Nourse (printer and
bookseller) for eleven titles, 1774-75. Autograph document signed. 1 p.
Bettenham, James (printer of London). Invoice: to Mr. [John] Nourse for costs of printing “Horace” and
other items. Endorsed by Bettenham as paid 1741 May 15. Autograph document signed. 1 p.
Cadell & Davies (printers of London). Receipt for five guineas on account [no name] for correcting proof
for a new edition of “Dr. Johnson’s Works.” Signed by proofreader Andrew Becket.
Corbett, Charles (stationer of London). Receipt for payment from Mr. Nourse for ten-and-a-half reams of
crown paper, 1732/33. Autograph document signed. 1 p.
Dalton, R. Dalton (printer and stationer of London). Receipt in the amount of 252 pounds from Cadell &
Davis in payment for paper to be used in printing an edition of Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, 1795 July 28. Autograph document signed. 1 p.
Dodsley, James (publisher of London). Invoice to George Selwyn for nine titles including Dr. Johnson’s
Dictionary of the English Language, 1755 June 14 and July 3. Endorsed as paid by Selwyn 1756
Mar. 8. Autograph document signed. 1 p.
Hughes, John (printer of London). ALS: to Mr. Theales, 1735 May 28. [This note accompanied a
shipment of “1200 of the Revange (sic) in Sheets; and 1000 of Theodolphus”.] 1 p.
Hylton, John Scott (printer of Oxford). ALS: 1779 June 30. [Hylton arranges for the shipment of a portrait
of William Shenstone to London in order that an engraving may be made.] 1 p.
Jackson, William (printer and publisher of Oxford): ALS: 1767 Feb 18 to Thomas Beckett, London.
[He discusses issues concerning sheets of Colman’s Terence, probably The comedies translated
into familiar blank verse by George Colman, published in London in 1765 by Thomas Beckett and
P. A. De Hondt.] 1 p.
Millar, Andrew (publisher of London). Signed receipt with dates of 2 June and 12 Oct. 1743 for settlement
of an account. 1 p.
Nicol, George (bookseller and publisher of London). ALS: 1790 Aug. 24. [Requests unidentified
correspondent to let bearer have a ream of paper.] 1 p.
Paterson, Samuel (bookseller and auctioneer of London). Account of delivery of [Hannah] Glasse’s [Art
of Cookery to various booksellers: 1773 December. [Holograph document consisting of a list of
names of booksellers and numbers of copies taken.] 1 p.
Richards, Craven W. (English copperplate printer and engraver). Signed receipt for payment from
Wingrave and Collingwood for printing sets of various specified plates of “Orme's Indostan,” 1820 Jan. 13. [Robert Orme’s A history of the military transactions of the British nation in
Indostan from the year MDCCXLV went though several editions from 1767 on. Wingrave
published a multi-volume edition, which began to appear in 1799.] 1 p.
Rose, William, (English translator and schoolmaster). ALS: Chiswick, London, to [John] Nourse, 1768
Aug. 4. [Rose offers to settle dispute about an edition he published of The Adventures of Gil Blas
by Alain Le Sage that he printed.] 1p.
Sharp, William (English line engraver). Autograph dated 1796 April 6. 1 p.
Strahan, William (printer and publisher of London). Signed receipt, 1767 Jan. 9 for payment from “Mr.
Becket.” 1 p. [Included with this is a damaged badly damaged invoice concerning Strahan’s
printing an edition of Dr. Johnson’s The Rambler and a note concerning “Dr. Johnson’s Work’s”
dated New York 1786 July 28.]
Vaillant, Paul (English printer). Signed receipt, 1745/6 Feb. 7. Signed receipt for payment from John
Nourse for “500 Testaments” for a client in Amsterdam. 1 p.
Wingrave, F., correspondent. ALS: from James (English grammarian); ALS to Mr. Wingrave (bookseller
of London) 1779 July 24. [He advises on the shipment of his text.] 1 p.
Woodfall, T. (English printer). ALS: to [John] Wilkes, n.d. [Woodfall promises to have a sheet ready for
Wilkes by the noon the next day.] n.d.