The Cambridge Press, 1638-1692: A Reexamination of the Evidence concerning the Bay Psalm Book and the Eliot Indian Bible as Well as Other Contemporary Books and People

By George Parker Winship | Go to book overview

Chapter XIII
COÖPERATION OR COLLABORATION

PUBLISHING ARRANGEMENTS

IN April 1668 Johnson was maneuvering to set himself up in business in Boston. In September he was fined for printing without a license. In October Samuel Green was asking for protection against his irrepressible rival. Five months later the almanac for the coming year was out, "Printed by S.G. and M.J." The initials or names of the two printers appear in each surviving Cambridge imprint, with a single exception, dated 1669, 1670, or 1671. There seems to be no way of finding out what brought the two rivals back into partnership but maybe it was the fact that Johnson had possession of new type when Green secured the contract to print the first sizable volume intended for sale to the public that the New England Press was asked to undertake. The type used in printing the volume gave so clear an impression that when the Boston Club of Odd Volumes issued a photo-zinc facsimile reprint of it in 1903, it was unusually readable throughout. The negotiations for the original publication began in the summer of 1668 and cannot have been settled until after the middle of October, when the printers were still at odds. The actual printing, which could have occupied them for from six to ten weeks, was finished in April. The title of this, the first serious historical work printed in English America, is:

NEW-ENGLANDS MEMORIALL: or, A brief Relation of the most Memorable and Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God, manifested to the Planters of New-England in America; With special Reference to the first Colony thereof, Called New-Plimouth. As also a Nomination of divers of the most Eminent Instruments deceased, both of Church and Common-wealth, improved in the first beginning and after-progress of sundry of the respective Jurisdictions in those Parts; in reference unto sundry Exemplary Passages of their Lives, and the time of their Death. Published for the Use and Benefit of present and future Generations, By Nathaniel Morton Cambridge: Printed by S.G. and M.J. for John Usher of Boston. 1669.

John Usher's name replaces that of his father in this imprint for the first time. The withdrawal of the founder of the business from its man

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