The February release of Early American Imprints, Series II: Supplement 1 from the American Antiquarian Society includes many scarce printings, including a history of the Colony of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson, a description of the wide array of forest trees in North America, an affidavit attesting to a sea monster sighting, and an advertisement for an act of acrobatics.
Notes on the State of Virginia (1803)
By Thomas Jefferson
The third president of the United States prefaces his work with a letter written in late February 230 years ago:
The following Notes were written in Virginia, in the year 1781, and somewhat corrected and enlarged in the Winter of 1782, in answer to queries proposed to the author, by a foreigner of distinction, then residing among us. The subjects are all treated imperfectly; some scarcely touched on. To apologise for this by developing the circumstances of the time and place of their composition, would be to open wounds which have already bled enough.
Jefferson writes about many topics, including early religious intolerance in the Colony of Virginia:
“Report of a committee of the Linnæan Society of New England relative to a large marine animal, supposed to be a serpent, seen near Cape Ann, Massachusetts, in August, 1817.” From Early American Imprints, Series II.
Upon opening your copy of The Salem Gazette on New Year’s Day, 1818, your continued patronage would have been solicited with a page in verse which included the following: