Life & Travels of John Robert Shaw
Life & Travels of John Robert Shaw
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Life & Travels of John Robert Shaw

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY: 1807

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Life & Travels of John Robert Shaw
Lexington, Kentucky: 1807
SHAW, John Robert (1761-?). A Narrative of the Life & Travels of John Robert Shaw, the Well-Digger, now resident in Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington: Daniel Bradford, 1807.

"The earliest original work of a literary nature produced and written west of the Alleghanies" (Howes). Very rare. John Robert Shaw was an archetypal American original. He survived being a soldier in the Revolutionary War, shipwreck and marooning on the Ohio River, and severe wounds from an explosive blast. He was among the first settlers in Fort McIntosh and claimed to have dug the first well in Cincinnati. The printer's father, John Bradford, was the first printer of Kentucky. The present copy is the only one we trace in the auction records of ABPC or RBH since 1981 (that one lacking two plates). Graff 3742; Howes S-344 ("b"); Sabin 79932.

12mo (209 x 120mm). Wood-engraved portrait frontispiece and 4 full-page plates (only, of 5), wood-engraved illustration in text. (H2 with corner tear or misprinting affecting text on verso.) Subscribers list. Original boards, fragment of original printed spine label (well-worn, spine perishing with upper cover and first two gatherings detached). Provenance: Theological Seminary Library, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (stamps to inside front cover and one on verso of title page) – Butterfield & Butterfield, 14 December 1999, lot 7310.

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