[various places in Rhode Island, Massachusetts & Connecticut: 1771-1780]. Contemporary American binding, plain leather (rubbed). A few ink margin notes, some overall toning to text, but a remarkably crisp, clean set of late colonial and Revolutionary War era almanacs, superbly preserved, with Paul Revere engravings, a map of New York's military defences during the Revolution, and a publication by one of the first American woman printers in Connecticut, in an excellent contemporary American binding.
The almanacs include:
1) West, Benjamin. THE NEW-ENGLAND ALMANACK, OR LADY'S AND GENTELMAN'S DIARY, FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD CHRIST 1771.... Providence [RI]: Printed and Sold, Wholesale and Retail, by John Carter, at his Printing-Office, the Sign of Shakespear's Head, near the Court House. 12 leaves. [Drake 12829] [Evans 11934]
2) Ames, Nathaniel. AN ASTRONOMICAL DIARY; OR ALMANACK FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD CHRIST 1772... Containing, Besides what is usual in Almanacks, a Description of the Dwarf that lately made her Appearance in this Town; as also a curious Method of taking Wax and Honey without destroying Bees. Boston: Printed for and sold by Ezekiel Russell, in Marlborough Street. 12 leaves, 3 illustrations. Small ad for H[enry] Knox, at the London Book-Store, a little Southward of the Town-House Boston, on last leaf, ends "Press-papers--Stationary of all kinds, &c." [Drake 3207] [Evans 11962]
3) BICKERSTAFF'S BOSTON ALMANACK. FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1773. Boston: Printed by John Fleeming, and to be Sold at his Shop in King-Street. 20 leaves, 2 illustrations. [Drake 3220] [Evans 12613]
4) West, Benjamin. THE NEW-ENGLAND ALMANACK, OR LADY'S AND GENTLEMAN'S DIARY, FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD CHRIST 1774.... Providence [RI]: Printed and Sold, Wholesale and Retail, by John Carter, at Shakespear's Head, in Meeting Street, near the Court-House. 12 leaves. [Drake 12840] [Evans 13075]
5) BICKERSTAFF'S BOSTON ALMANACK, FOR THE YEAR OF OUR REDEMPTION 1775... To which is added, An Account of the Inhabitants of New-Zealand... [and] An Account of the singular Customs of the Choctaws.... Boston: Printed and sold by Mills and Hicks, at their Printing-Office, in School-Street. [With price-line after imprint]. 16 leaves, 2 illustrations [one full page]. [Drake 3245] [Evans 13763]
6) FREEBETTER'S NEW-ENGLAND ALMANACK, FOR THE YEAR 1776.... New-London [CT]: Printed and Sold by T. Green. 12 leaves, 2 illustrations [including cut of America spewing back into George's face the tea he is pouring down her throat while she is held down]. [Drake 305] [Evans 14001]
7) Stearns, Samuel. THE NORTH AMERICAN'S ALMANACK, FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1777. State of Massachusetts-Bay. Worcester: Printed by Stearns and Bigelow. 12 leaves, a few closely trimmed at upper and lower margins, taking a few letters. Map on title page, of the defences of New York. [Second state, with note: "see p. 4th"] [Drake 3268] [Evans 15096]
8) [Strong, Nehemiah]. THE CONNECTICUT ALMANACK, FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1778.... Hartford [CT]: Printed and Sold by Hannah Watson, near the Great-Bridge, 1778. 8 leaves. [Drake 314] [Evans 15608]
9) THOMAS'S MASSACHUSETTS, NEW-HAMPSHIRE, AND CONNECTICUT ALMANACK FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD CHRIST 1779.... Massachusetts-Bay: Worcester, Printed and sold by Isaiah Thomas. Third edition. 12 leaves. [Drake 3285] [Evans 15813(?), third edition, with no mention of Philomathes; attributed to Ezra Gleason]
10) Philomathes, An Independent Whig. THOMAS'S MASSACHUSETTS, NEW-HAMPSHIRE, AND CONNECTICUT ALMANACK FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD CHRIST 1780.... Massachusetts-Bay: Worcester, Printed and sold by Isaiah Thomas. 12 leaves. [Drake 3294] [Evans 16288; attributed to Ezra Gleason]. Item #63181
The Nathaniel Ames Almanac for 1772, the second almanac in this sammelband, contains three cuts. On the title page is a portrait of a dwarf, within the text are two other portraits, one of John Dickinson and one of Mrs. Catharine M'Caulay. According to C.S. Brigham's book "Paul Revere's Engravings," [NY: 1969] two of these were done by Paul Revere. This is corroborated by Revere's Day Book where he notes, on December 16, 1771: "Mr. Ezekiel Russel Dr/ To Engravin two plates for Ames's Almanack...." Brigham notes that this almanac has three cuts, not two and speculates that: "The cuts of Dickinson and Mrs. M'Caulay seem to be in Revere's style."
The Bickerstaff Boston Almanack for 1775, with its illustration of New Zealand warriors is likewise attributed to Paul Revere by both David Stauffer ["American Engravers"] and by William Loring Andrews ["Paul Revere and his Engravings"], though not by Brigham, according to Sinclair Hamilton in his "Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, 1670-1870," (Princeton, NJ: 1968).
The Freebetter's New-England Almanack for 1776 also contains a woodcut, one which Paul Revere originally reproduced in the June 1774 issue of Isaiah Thomas' "Royal American Magazine." Revere adapted a British illustration entitled "The Able Doctor," to depict the abuse of America at the hands of the British government.
The Connecticut Almanack for 1778 was published by Hannah Watson, who was also the publisher of the Connecticut Courant between 1777 and 1779. She took over the printing operation in Hartford after the death of her husband Ebenezer. As one of the first female publishers in the newly declared United States, she used her platform to promote liberty and the patriotic cause. She and another woman, Sarah Ledyard, owned the Hartford Paper Mill until it was burned down late in 1777. The lack of paper created a hardship for her publications, and she and Ledyard applied to the Connecticut Assembly for assistance in rebuilding it. A statewide lottery successfully funded the new paper mill. [see her brief biography by Elizabeth Correia on the Connecticut History website].