Published by c. 1800-1840, [Albany, New York, and surrounding area], 1800
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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: c. 1800-1840, [Albany, New York, and surrounding area]

Publication Date: 1800

Book Condition: Near Fine


Manuscript on paper, in English. 39pp., folio (302 x 193mm). Written in brown or blue ink in a neat cursive script, in at least three hands, some authors named at the subheadings. Unbound. (lightly browned, few intermittent stains, creased corner at upper right). Collection of poems and reflections written about deceased persons from the towns of Rhinebeck, Bainbridge and other surrounding towns near Albany, New York. Interspersed are poems on nature and more general reflections on "Truth, Justice and Benevolence." The compilation is dated from approximately 1800-1840, and may very well be the work of a local historian. Although, a curious annotation by "Sad Sarah" (docketed last leaf) and the sensitivity of the prose suggests a female writer. Beginning anonymously, "On the Death of an amiable young man," the poems are a continuous thread of remarks and remembrances on the lives of residents in the upstate New York area. Including a sympathetic tribute to Catharine Berrenger of Rhinebeck, who died on the 4 November 1800, by swallowing a potion of arsenic, supposedly administered to her by John Benner, to whom she was engaged to marry. Benner was tried for the crime, but the jury disagreed, and he was absolved of the act. Additional poems tribute the demise of Thomas Adams (who was drowned in the Hudson River), Mearinda Simmons, James Barrager, Mary Risley and Mary Weston, also some younger members of the community, many dying tragically. Including lines composed by Polly Gold of Friendship, New York (d.1869) a few days before her death. A thoughtful collection, filling every page, and linked thematically by death and remembrance; often citing the reasons of fate and religious providence as consolation. An interesting elegy on mortality and the quest for meaning in life in early 19th century America. Bookseller Inventory # D4293

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