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"The Gentleman's Magazine," with Early Printing of "Declaration of Independence" and "A New Map of North America From the Latest Discoveries," August 1776

Sale price$6,500.00

Presented is an August 1776 issue of London's "The Gentleman's Magazine," containing one of the earliest British publications of the Declaration of Independence as well as a rare folding map of North America. The magazine periodical was edited by “Sylvanus Urban” and printed in London by D. Henry at St. John's Gate. Issued as a small octavo, the pages of this paper bound magazine are numbered 337-388, indicating a continuance from previous 1776 monthly issues. The content inside this August 1776 issue is incredibly interesting, offering modern viewers and collectors a unique, historical look at English topics of interest on the eve of the American Revolution. 

“The Gentleman's Magazine” was a monthly magazine founded by Edward Cave in London, in January of 1731. It published monthly issues uninterrupted for almost 200 years, until 1922. It was the first to use the term “magazine” for a periodical and quickly became the most influential periodical of its age. Its impact even extended to North America where, in 1741, Benjamin Franklin’s similarly titled “General Magazine” was chiefly “patterned after London’s ten-year-old ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’” (Isaacson, 118).

With “The Gentleman’s Magazine,” Edward Cave created a monthly digest of news and commentary on any and all topics the educated public might be interested in, from commodity prices and parliamentary news to book reviews and poetry. The list of contents on the cover of this August 1776 issue points to the “Declaration of American Independency” between articles on “qualifications of a Siberian hair-dresser” and a “report of the committee appointed to enquire into the state of the city’s cash.” “The Gentleman’s Magazine” always included original content from a handful of regular contributors, as well as extensive quotations and extracts from other periodicals and books. Cave edited “The Gentleman's Magazine” under the pen name "Sylvanus Urban," as seen on this August issue’s printed front, and many contributors crafted their essays in the form of letters to the editor, addressed to “Mr. Urban.”

This August 1776 issue highlights the growing tensions between American colonists and the British crown. Most notably, the magazine offers a very early English printing of The Declaration of Independence, which appears on pages 361 and 362.  News of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence did not reach London until August 10, 1776, so this August issue of “The Gentleman’s Magazine” was the first monthly issue to be able to include the Declaration’s text. The Declaration is presented in its entirety, but with some of its contents censured. References to “King” and “Prince” are replaced with a line “_______.” Any mention of “tyranny” or “tyrant” are similarly obscured by the typesetter as “t_______.” The Declaration is concluded with only two signatures, “Signed by order, and in behalf of the Congress, John Hancock, President, Attest, Charles Thompson, Sec.”

Later in the issue is an article on the "Proceedings of the American Colonists, since the Passing the Boston Port-Bill" appearing on pages 377-381. The article begins with a note on the Declaration, stating, "In the preceding part of this Magazine the reader will find the Declaration of Independence issued by the American Congress, with a recapitulation of the grievances which have forced them into that desperate measure. Whether those grievances were real or imaginary, or whether they did or did not deserve a parliamentary enquiry, we will not presume to decide. The ball is now struck, and time only can shew where it will rest.” 

Also present in this August issue is "A New Map of North America From the Latest Discoveries", a beautiful folding map of North America, located on page 349. Up to date maps, such as this one, provided a visual guide to the areas of the colonies where the British and American troops would soon engage in major battles. The British public was eager to re-familiarize themselves with key colonial towns, forts, and waterways, where revolutionary tensions were brewing.  It is rare to see an August 1776 issue of this magazine that still retains the map, making this particular example all the more valuable. 

CONDITION:

Overall very fine condition. The August issue was previously disbound from a volume, with evidenced wear at the spine. Light overall toning. Only minimal spotting. The folding map is in pristine condition. The map measures 15 1/4" x 14" when unfolded.

The magazine is presented in a new archival 1⁄4 leather and cloth clamshell case, with raised bands, gilt tooling, and gilt titles to the spine, and a printed inlay of the “Gentleman’s Magazine” cover on the front. Included with the clamshell case is a matching, cloth covered chemise, to hold and protect the magazine. 

Book Dimensions: 8 1/4"H x 5 1/8"W x 1/8"D. Clamshell Dimensions: 9 1/2"H x 6 1/2"W 1 3/8"D.

Accompanied by our company's letter of authenticity. 

Pickup available at Colorado

Usually ready in 4 hours

"The Gentleman's Magazine," with Early Printing of "Declaration of Independence" and "A New Map of North America From the Latest Discoveries," August 1776 - The Great Republic

"The Gentleman's Magazine," with Early Printing of "Declaration of Independence" and "A New Map of North America From the Latest Discoveries," August 1776

Colorado

Pickup available, usually ready in 4 hours

1 Lake Avenue
Colorado Springs CO 80906
United States

7194716157
"The Gentleman's Magazine," with Early Printing of "Declaration of Independence" and "A New Map of North America From the Latest Discoveries," August 1776 - The Great Republic
"The Gentleman's Magazine," with Early Printing of "Declaration of Independence" and "A New Map of North America From the Latest Discoveries," August 1776 Sale price$6,500.00

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