Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)

Philadelphia: Joseph James, 1787.

"The richest surviving body of evidence revealing the nature and substance of women's intellectual community in British America and the early Republic"

(Item #5978) Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy). Mrs. Milcah Martha Moore, Early American Education.

Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)

Philadelphia: Joseph James, 1787. First edition. Bound to style in full calf with contemporary manuscript label to front board. Measuring 162 x 95mm and collating complete, including publisher's adverts at rear: iv, 5-202, [2]. New pastedowns but retaining front endpaper including documentation of provenance in the hand of Deborah Marsh Mundall, who records the author gifting her the copy in the year of publication and then her bestowing the copy to another family member decades later: "The Gift of M. Martha Moore to Deborah Marsh 1787 / Presented by Deborah Marsh to Milcah Mundall 1820." Congregational records place Deborah Marsh within the same Philadelphia Quaker community as Milcah Martha Moore; and following her 1806 marriage to John Mundall, her daughter and granddaughter both appear to have been named after the author. Scarce institutionally and in trade, it is the only example of an association copy that we could locate, of a title that last sold at auction almost two decades ago.

In addition to being one of America's earliest educational works published for the use of both sexes, "Moore's book is the richest surviving body of evidence revealing the nature and substance of women's intellectual community in British America and the early Republic. The quality of the writing is high and reflects a range of literary genres, including religious and meditational poetry, elegies, verse epistles and extempore verse, hymns, and occasional poems...Taken as a whole, Moore's collection presents an unparalleled view of the interests and tastes of educated women in early America, belying the notion that women's concerns were limited only to a domestic sphere" (History of American Women). Moore, the member of a prominent Quaker family and the beneficiary of a rigorous education, "lived and flourished in the Philadelphia area during its peak, when it was the center of commerce, politics, social life, and culture in the young republic...she knew and corresponded with many of the leading intellectuals of her day. From her network of acquaintances, she created a commonplace book" that ultimately served as the basis for Miscellanies Moral and Instructive (HAW). Her manuscript commonplace book was largely compiled during the Revolution, and across its 126 entries were pieces by at least 16 different women authors, as well as works by Benjamin Franklin (who endorsed the book), Patrick Henry, and Samuel Fothergill.

Marriage Records, Delaware 1806. Pennsylvania Congregational Records 1800, 1808, 1810.
(Item #5978)

Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)
Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)
Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)
Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)
Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)
Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)
Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)
Miscellanies, Moral and Instructive in Prose and Verse; Collected from Various Authors, for the use of Schools and Improvement of Young Persons of Both Sexes (Association Copy)