Jun 21, 2016 - Sale 2420

Sale 2420 - Lot 29

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
UNITE OR DIE (AMERICAN REVOLUTION--PRELUDE.) The New-York Journal; or, the General Advertiser. #1664. 4 pages, 19 x 12 inches, on one folding sheet, disbound; minor wear, 2-inch closed tear in text area, small dampstain in lower margin of second leaf; uncut; early owner's signature on second page. New York: John Holt, 24 November 1774

Additional Details

Holt's strongly anti-British newspaper began using this "Unite or Die" masthead on 23 June 1774, a month after the formation of New York's patriotic Committee of Fifty-One. Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette had pioneered the famous "Join or Die" image in 1754, with the disjointed snake representing New England and the other colonies, but Holt was the first to use the phrasing "Unite or Die."
This issue of the New-York Journal contains several fiery pieces. The first part of an essay by "Americus" attacks a recent pro-British pamphlet, asserting that Parliament is "either ignorant of the first principles of legislation, or have formed a regular plan for enslaving us." The "Committee of Mechanicks" submitted an address in honor of New York's delegates to the recently adjourned First Continental Congress; the response by John Jay and the other delegates is appended. Reports from across the colonies included plans for resistance in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Rhode Island, and several other pieces. Also included is a dramatic account of the 10 October Battle of Point Pleasant, a violent clash with the Shawnees in what is now West Virginia.
This masthead was only used through 8 December 1774. We know of no other "Unite or Die" issues of the New-York Journal at auction since at least the 1893 Brinley sale.