"RELATION OF THE LATE BLOODY MASSACRE AT BOSTON" (AMERICAN REVOLUTION.) Providence Gazette and Country Journal. 94 newspapers, most 4 pages each, in one volume. Folio, 15 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches, 19th-century 1/2 calf, worn, front cover detached; first issue worn, 15 of the 1771 issues with vermin damage in upper left corner, a few early marginal repairs, an occasional line cropped; early owners' signatures or docketing on many issues, extensive provenance notes on front endpapers. Providence, RI and elsewhere, 1764-82, bulk 1770-76 Estimate $3,000-4,000
90 issues of the Providence Gazette and Country Journal, with 60 of them dated 1770 or 1771, and 20 of them dated from during the American Revolution. The revolutionary content is much too extensive to be listed here. The 10 and 17 March 1770 issues feature detailed coverage of the Boston Massacre (see illustration). In the 22 October 1774 issue is a long and eloquent "humble petitition of a number of poor Africans" to "the Sons of Liberty in Connecticut," asserting that liberty is "as necessary to the happiness of an African, as it is to the happiness of an Englishman." The 22 June 1776 issue features a letter from John Hancock warning of the impending British attack on New York. This was an important period in Rhode Island history even aside from the march toward war, as Brown University arrived in Providence: "Monday last the first Foundation Stone of the College about to be erected here was laid by Mr. John Brown" (19 May 1770). The lone 1764 issue features a slave advertisement: "Just imported in the sloop Elizabeth, from Africa, and to be sold by John Miller . . . a number of healthy Negro boys and girls." The 9 September 1775 issue discusses the proposed bill to abolish slavery being considered by the Rhode Island General Assembly. Also bound into the volume are single war-date issues of the New England Chronicle, Newport Mercury, Boston Gazette, and Connecticut Gazette. The 15 June 1775 New England Chronicle was issued two days befoer Bunker Hill, and features an inflammatory letter from British general Thomas Gage. The 10 July 1775 Boston Gazette was printed in nearby Watertown, having evacuated Boston the previous month; it features the text of letters between the Massachusetts Congress and George Washington in honor of his recent arrival on the scene. Provenance: Collected by Moses Brown (1738-1836), an important Providence abolitionist and industrialist (see his signature on the 3 January 1778 issue and elsewhere); by descent to granddaughter Anna Almy Jenkins, whose tenants on Moses Brown Farm had set it aside for kindling; given in 1846 to the farm's gardener William Nisbet (1816-1886); to daughter Jessie Gibson (Nisbet) Munro (1848-1912); thence by descent to the consignor.