Sep 17, 2009 - Sale 2186

Sale 2186 - Lot 50

Price Realized: $ 1,020
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(BIBLE IN MASSACHUSETT. BOOK OF PSALMS.) [Massachusee Psalter: Asuh, Uk-kuttoohomaongash David . . . or, Psalms of David with the Gospel According to John, in columns of Indian and English.] 20 (of 203) unnumbered leaves. Small 8vo, disbound fragment; corners worn, tightly trimmed but no loss of text, slightly soiled, interleaved with later paper, lacking all but gatherings qq, rr, ss, tt, and vv--the first 40 pages of the Gospel of John; early owners' inscriptions on front page, discreet library release stamp on last page. (JCB) [Boston: B. Green and J. Printer, 1709]

Additional Details

After the Eliot Bible went out of print, Martha's Vineyard missionary Experience Mayhew responded to the demand for scripture in the Massachusett language, re-translating the Psalms and Gospel of John into the Vineyard dialect for this publication. The "J. Printer" who assisted in the printing was the American Indian also known as James the Printer, who had also helped print the Eliot Bible. Church 835; Darlow & Moule 6739; Evans 1380; Sabin 45537; J.H. Trumbull, "The Indian Tongue and Its Literature," in The Memorial History of Boston, page 475-77; Wright page 269.
An interesting provenance note on the first page reads "E.R. Lambert, from the Gay Head Indians, Martha's Vineyard in May 1838 when I was there." This was likely written by New England historian Edward Rodolphus Lambert, who was active during this time. At the foot of the same page is the date May 1 1808 with the initials "SL," presumably by a member of the Gay Head Massachusett family who had kept the book since 1709. with--3 leaves of Psalms (apparently B3, B4, and C1) from another copy of the same work, all badly worn at corners with some loss of text, marked "Nov. 1942, gift of Goodspeed."