First Edition of an Early American Songster
GRAVES, Bartholomew. Philadelphia Songster, or, a complete vocal pocket companion: being a collection of the most approved anacreontic, political, and sentimental modern songs. Selected from a Variety of Volumes. Philadelphia: B[artholomew] Graves , 1805.
First edition. Octavo (6 3/16 x 4 inches; 170 x 101). x, [2, blank], 288 pp. According to the American Antiquarian Society, there are two states of gathering M noted; in the earlier p. 131 is misnumbered 104, this copy is the earlier state with p. 131 misnumbered 104. We could find no other copies of this book at auction in over fifty years, except this present copy.

Full contemporary sheep. Spine ruled in gilt. Red morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Boards a bit rubbed, particularly along outer joints. Foxing and toning as expected of American paper. A few leaves trimmed short at top or bottom margin, not affecting text. A small dampstain to signature gathering z. Previous owner's old ink signature on top blank margin of title-page, dated 1813. Overall a very good copy.

This is a complete vocal pocket companion with 253 contemporary songs. It contains many patriotic American songs including "A New Song, on the Fourth of July" (page 211). It has song lyrics only, not the music.

According to the definition given by Irving Lowens in his A Bibliography of Songsters Printed in America before 1821 (Worcester, 1976), a songster is a "collection of three or more secular poems intended to be sung."

Shaw, R.R. American bibliography, 9140. Lowens, I. Bibliography of songsters printed in America before 1821, 306

HBS # 68324 $1,250