EARLY EDITION OF SCOVILLE'S THE OLD MERCHANTS OF NEW YORK CITY, HANDSOMELY BOUND
[SCOVILLE, Joseph A.] BARRETT, Walter. The Old Merchants of New York City. New York: Thomas R. Knox, 1885. Five volumes. Octavo, 20th-century three-quarter navy calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, teal and brown morocco spine labels, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt. $2600.
Early edition of this history of New York commerce, handsomely bound by Blackwell.
Of Scoville's "literary work, The Old Merchants of New York City, giving in a rambling, gossipy form the history of the city's commercial life, is perhaps the most important" (DAB). A "brilliant and eccentric journalist," Scoville, often writing under the names "Manhattan" or "Walter Barrett," helped to lead the New York Picayune and later the Pick, both subtly humorous newspapers, to greatness during his time as editor for each (Mott, 179). He also wrote a number of works about New York City life and institutions. However, Scoville remains perhaps best known for his Civil War era stint as a reporter for both the London Herald and the London Standard, when, drawing on his friendship with John C. Calhoun, he wrote a series of scathing anti-Lincoln columns, for which he was ultimately censured by the administration. First published between 1863 and 1869.
Interiors clean and bright, vertical crease to spine of Volume III, moderate wear and color restoration to bindings. A lovely set.