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Dictionnaire Portatif De La Langue Francoise Extrait Du Grand Dictionnaire De Pierre Richelet; George Washington's Copy - Together with A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenaeum
Lyon: Chez Pierre Bruyset - Ponthus, 1761. Full-Leather. President George Washington's copy, with his bookplate which was restruck before 1863, from the original copper plate. "The inventory of Washington's books made at the time of his death....shows that his library then numbered about nine hundred volumes. These under his will became the property of his nephew Judge Bushrod Washington, who also inherited his papers and the Mansion House of Mount Vernon. Here Judge Washington lived and added to General Washington's library a part at least of his own books. In his will in 1826, he provided as follows: 'All the papers and letter books devised to me by my uncle, Gen'l Washington, as well as the books in my study, other than law books, I give to my nephew Geo. C. Washington; the books in the cases in the dining-room, I give to my nephew John A. Washington.' In the inventory of his estate are these items: In the dining-room, 468 vols. miscellaneous works left to John A. Washington, 658 vols. of miscellaneous works left to Geo. C. Washington, 1125 N. of miscel. Pamphlets left Geo. C. Washington, beside 169 vols. of State papers, 22 vols. of Journals of Congress and 649 vols. of Law Books, 22 law pamphlets. These latter were destined for Bushrod Washington Herbert , the son of a niece, in case he should be trained for the law. Mount Vernon was next occupied by John A. Washington. The books left to George C. Washington remained there for many years, but in 1847 or 1848, a considerable portion of them, perhaps all that remained, were sold to Henry Stevens, the bookseller. Mr. Stevens announced his intention of sending them over to the British Museum. To prevent this and to secure them for Boston a number of Boston and Cambridge men, particularly Prof. Jared Sparks, Prof. Andrews Norton, Mr. George Livermore, and Mr. Charles Eliot Norton....(raised $3,800 to purchase them from Stevens). This amount and $450 beside was collected, the Athenaeum itself contributing $500; and at a meeting of the subscribers it was voted to place the books permanently in the Boston Athenaeum....The remainder of Washington's library has been scattered, and no large number of his books now exists in any one place beside the Boston Athenaeum. What became of the rest of the books left to George C. Washington can only be conjectured. Those given to John A. Washington passed to his son John A. Washington, and then to his son Lawrence Washington, of Alexandria, Va......other sales have given an opportunity to book collectors to bid for books which once belonged to Washington. The titles of the Catalogues of these sales will be found on pp. 470-475 of this volume. A sale of books claiming to be from Washington's library, but having spurious book-plates, took place in Washington, in 1863." The present title is one of those. So the "spurious" bookplate was struck by the Washington family, from the original copper plate and placed into some of the books in the collection - so to call it "spurious" is a misnomer. The collection of General Washington, in the Boston Athenaeum contains 13 volumes with this bookplate - they were purchased in Washington in 1863 (see page 565 of "A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenaeum"). 12mo, 775 pages; contemporary calf, marbled end papers, red leather lettering piece on spine; all edges stained red. Internally very good; binding shows considerable wear. Bookplate of George Washington on front pastedown (a 19th century restrike from the original copper plate). Housed in a contemporary full leather box, with a slide-off top.
      [Bookseller: Charles Parkhurst Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2016-05-07           Check availability:      Biblio    

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