Sep 28, 2023 - Sale 2646

Sale 2646 - Lot 18

Price Realized: $ 3,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION.) Jonathan Trumbull's manuscript family register, in a Boston printing of the Psalms of David. N. Brady & N. Tate, "A New Version of the Psalms of David: Fitted to the Tunes used in Churches." 344 pages plus 16 leaves of engraved music. 8vo, contemporary paneled calf, rebacked and recornered; minor foxing, finger-soiling to edges; Trumbull family inscriptions on front free endpaper and flyleaf, with Jonathan Trumbull's signature on the title page. Evans 7149. Boston: J. Draper, 1754, with family inscriptions through 1831

Additional Details

Jonathan Trumbull Sr. (1710-1785) was governor of Connecticut from 1769 through 1784, retaining his leadership when independence came in 1776. Described by George Washington as "the first of the patriots," he was also the patriarch of a distinguished patriotic family. His son Jonathan Jr. (1740-1809) was an aide-de-camp to General Washington and later served as governor of Connecticut himself; and youngest son John (1756-1843) was an artist renowned for his historical paintings of the Revolution.

This Boston-printed Psalm book contains Trumbull's family register on the front flyleaf, most of it written in his own elegant hand. It lists the birth and marriage date for him and his wife, followed by a list of their six children with their birth and baptism dates. These are followed by the deaths of his wife and five eldest children.

The first death listed is for his daughter: "Faith, died at Dedham Fryday morning 24 Nov'r 1775." Faith's husband Jedediah Huntington was an ardent patriot on the front lines near Boston. Faith had attempted to visit him in June, only to see the horror of the Bunker Hill battlefield. The dangers faced by her husband and brothers plunged her into depression, and she hung herself on 24 November. This register entry is Trumbull's own record of his daughter's war-related suicide.

The last three records are for the deaths of Trumbull's children recorded in 1809 (Jonathan Jr.), 1822 (David), and 1831 (Mary), written in a different hand after Jonathan Sr.'s death. The handwriting appears to match that of the last remaining Trumbull sibling, the artist John Trumbull, who died in 1843.

Provenance: gift in 1797 from Governor Trumbull's son David Trumbull (1751-1822) to his daughter Abigail Trumbull Lanman (1781-1861) per inscription on front free endpaper.