New York: Thomas Longworth, 1824. Hardcover. 12mo. Original printed paper over boards, newly rebacked in brown cloth with gilt title. 486pp. Woodcuts, charts, many full-page advertisements (some with woodcuts). Item #20065
A tight and handsome copy of this early city directory, begun by David Longworth in 1796 and carried on by the family until the 1840s. On page 204 one finds "Melvilll Allan mer. 162 Pearl...." -- this struggling importer of French merchandise would die bankrupt in 1832, but here he was an up-and-coming businessman with a five-year-old son: Herman Melville. This copy bears the ownership signature on the front board, two inner flyleaves and the first advertisement page of "Nevins & Townsend / 40 Wall Street," an important stock and exchange broker of the period. The directory listings for both of the partners, Rufus L. Nevins and Elihu Townsend, both have this 40 Wall Street address inked out and 18 Wall Street inked in. The usually-absent printed paper over boards front cover is present and, though edgeworn, attractive; rear board is a closely matching paper over boards replacement. Scarce, fascinating, desirable.