First edition of Cincinnati in 1826 by Benjamin Drake and Edward D. Mansfield, inscribed by Mansfield to his longtime friend, Reverend Thomas Picton.
Twelvemo, 100pp, . Full black leather, title stamped in gilt on front cover, gilt-ruled bands on spine. Page ends dyed yellow. Solid binding, extremities lightly rubbed, small chip to upper spine end. Mild foxing throughout, moderate toning to the two illustrated plates. Inscribed by one of the authors on the front free endpaper: “To the Revd Mr. Picton / from his friend / E.D. Mansfield.” (Howes D458) (Sabin 20813) (Thomson 339) (American Imprints 28729) An attractive copy of this early descriptive text of Cincinnati, rarely seen with author’s signature.
Benjamin Drake and Edward D. Mansfield were both lawyers at the time they wrote Cincinnati in 1826. Their detailed account of Cincinnati became an important guide to emigrants and contributed to the city’s rapid growth, making it one of the 10 largest cities in the US by 1830. The recipient of this copy, Reverend Thomas Picton, was chaplain and professor of ethics at West Point from 1818 to 1825. With his father being a professor at West Point, Mansfield graduated from there in 1819. In his book, Personal Memories: Social, Political, and Literary (1879), Mansfield describes the Rev. Mr. Picton as “one of my earliest and best friends.” (page 88)