Providence: John E. Brown, 1837. 8vo, contemporary brown straight-grained half morocco with mottled sides; spine ruled and lettered in gilt; pages edges speckled. 48 pages. Binding light rubbed; some spotting, particularly to first and final leaves. Very good or better. Item #7209
The first work on the paper money of a single colony, and one of the earliest American numismatic works of any importance. Rare. The text was revised and reprinted in 1865 as part of the compendium produced by Henry Phillips, Jr. (Historical Sketches of the Paper Currency of the American Colonies, Prior to the Adoption of the Federal Constitution...), in which Philips wrote that “Of the currency of Rhode Island, an interesting and elaborate sketch was about the same time [as Felt’s volume] prepared and privately distributed by Hon. E.R. Potter of that state, who on learning of the present undertaking, with great kindness furnished the present author with a revised and corrected copy, and gave his permission that it might be herein reproduced.” In 1880, Sydney S. Rider published a greatly expanded edition of Potter’s work, more than four times as long and augmented by a wide variety of illustrations including an original 1780 State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations note. While that edition, credited to both Potter and Rider, is itself quite scarce and very desirable, this 1837 first edition is very rarely encountered and, given the revisions to the text in Phillips, is the only appearance in print of this version of the text. This is only the second copy we have offered since the first Ford sale in 2004. Rider’s expanded 1880 edition noted that, “This pamphlet has become quite scarce, and in such demand that copies, in auction sales in other cities, have realized the sum of two dollars.”.