Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

The Transactions of the American Philosophical Society is a monographic series published by the American Philosophical Society. Please note that each chapter in each monograph appears individually.

Articles from Vol. 104, No. 2, 2014

Acknowledgments
I am indebted to many people and institutions for the opportunity to study illustrated imprints in early America. The librarians, collections, and policies of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Homer Babbidge Library...
Children's Books
For some scholars, the most enduring books published by Thomas are the works meant to appeal to children, including alphabet books, riddle books, poems, stories, songs, and hymnals, for which he had a total of 1,500 cuts in stock.1 Based on "the English...
Conclusion
The imperfect use of many visual sources by engravers and woodcutters for imprint illustrations parallels what David D. Hall refers to as a "muddied, multilayered process" by which culture was transmitted, preserving and passing along many bits and pieces...
Establishing a Printing Business
Thomas next made his mark by publishing newspapers, an important genre that, by midcentury, comprised eighty percent of all American publications.1 He first worked briefly at The Halifax Gazette and The New Hampshire Gazette, then later published The...
Geographies and Their Financial Arrangements
Isaiah Thomas published numerous schoolbooks, including spellers, grammars, dictionaries, and geographies, the latter in editions for both children and adults. His own humble origins and remarkable self-education may have prompted Thomas to help others...
Illustrations
Figure LI Frontispiece, by I. Thomas. Erra Pater. The New Book of Knowledge (Boston: Z. Fowle [1767]). Courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society.Figure 1.2 Mother and Children, by J. Turner. History of the Holy Jesus (Boston: B. Gray, 174?). Courtesy...
Introduction
Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831) became a leading patriot, printer, publisher, and bookseller in the rags-to-riches tradition of the more famous Benjamin Franklin. When he retired in 1802, Thomas was one of the wealthiest men in America. Founder of the American...
Newspapers and Almanacs
Once relocated in Worcester, Thomas began expanding his printing business, despite his observation that "Arts and Arms are not very agreeable Companions.1 Encouraged by the success of The Spy, in 1774 he began to publish The Royal American Magazine,...
Novels and Poetry
Thomas's vision of an American nation included a desire to encourage American arts and letters, yet, paradoxically, he based them on the British model. He published fiction and verse by some of the major authors of his day, including American writers...
Rudimentary Woodcuts
Born into a poor family, at age six Isaiah Thomas was indentured as an apprentice to Zechariah Fowle, a Boston printer and seller of ballads and peddler's books.1 He records setting up a ballad, The Lawyer's Pedigree, before he could read. Thomas would...
The Holy Bible of 1791
The publishing project that was dearest to Thomas's heart, the work on which he staked his claim for reputation, was a full-text, lavishly illustrated edition of the Bible, printed in folio and royal quarto; it is the only work he describes in his History...
The Massachusetts Magazine
Polite letters played an important role in the development of a new magazine undertaken by Thomas. Success seemed assured because he already had experience with publishing The Royal American Magazine and The Worcester Magazine.1 A lengthy literary proposal...
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