Sep 26, 2019 - Sale 2517

Sale 2517 - Lot 166

Price Realized: $ 4,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
WITH SUBSCRIPTION BOOK (NEW YORK--LONG ISLAND.) Cook, Luther D. Original manuscript of "A Brief History of . . . Southampton . . . also of the Whale Fishery." 42 [actually 57] manuscript pages, erratically paginated. Folio, 12 1/2 x 8 inches, original blue wrappers, minor wear; heavily corrected with inserted slips of various sizes, some leaves loose. Sag Harbor, NY, 1858-64

Additional Details

Whaling merchant and ship owner Luther Dutton Cook (1794-1866) of Sag Harbor, NY originally delivered this address at the Sag Harbor Lyceum on 26 April 1858. A portion was published in the Sag Harbor Corrector as "Early History of Sag Harbor, also of the Whale Fishery" in 1858. Plans were made to publish it as a 72-page book, and numerous subscriptions were gathered, but it never actually found its way into print. Offered here is his heavily edited manuscript for this book, complete with table of whaling statistics.
The accompanying subscription book is apparently a contemporary transcription--all of the signatures are in the same hand. It is prefaced with a printed subscription blank laid down on the inside wrapper, announcing the plans for an edition of 1000 bound in muslin or paper. The subscriptions fill 21 manuscript pages. An initial flurry of more than 300 subscriptions came in October 1858 which must have seemed promising, but as they continued to trickle in through 1864 the number never approached the planned 1000. Apparently the publication was abandoned, perhaps upon Cook's death in 1866.
James Truslow Adams made use of Cook's manuscript (this one or another draft) in his 1918 "History of the Town of Southampton (East of Canoe Place)," as did William Donaldson Halsey in his 1935 "Sketches from Local History." See also lots 104, 167, and 247.