Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence by Charles Goodrich, 1829

Goodrich, Charles. Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. New York: William Reed & Co., 1829. 12mo. Presented in its original leather boards with a new archival cloth slipcase. 

Presented is an early printing of Rev. Charles Goodrich’s Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. The book was published in 1829 by William Reed & Co., in New York. The book offers a series of biographical sketches about the signers of the Declaration of Independence, presenting a thorough and precise history of the fifty-six men behind one of America's key foundational documents. Preceded by a lengthy introduction, each biography is filled with references and interesting historical facts that narrate the lives of each signer in detail. The volume is divided in thirteen parts, grouping the signers under each one of the founding states. 

Charles Augustus Goodrich (1790-1862) committed his life to writing books that would entertain, instruct and edify children and young adults. After graduating from Yale in 1812, Goodrich studied theology and was ordained in 1816. His first post was at the First Congregational Church in Worcester, MA. In 1820, he left his post in Worcester for Berlin, CT, and started to write magazine articles and books. His History of the United States of America, published in 1822, quickly became one of the most popular textbooks in the nation, used in thousands of schools for more than 30 years after his death. The New York Times called it “one of our best standard school books.”

Other titles he wrote include Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1829 (as seen here) and A Child’s History of the United States, first published in 1855. He wrote several books on religious themes, one of the most popular being Geography of the Chief Places Mentioned in the Bible (1855). Goodrich’s interests also included civil politics; he briefly served as a Connecticut state senator from Berlin in 1838.


This is in good condition. Presented in its original leather boards, with gilt title to spine. Leather has been treated by a conservator. Spotting and stains throughout text, but paper is not brittle. Col. Elisha Camp’s personal copy, with ownership autograph and date. Presented with a new archival cloth slipcase with Trumbull's The Signing of the Declaration of Independence inlaid on the front. Book Dimensions (with slipcase): 8 1/16” H x 5 1/16” W x 1 7/8” D.

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