[PHILADELPHIA--PUBLISHING AND BOOKSELLLING]. Manuscript subscription list, used to record subscribers and addresses, Philadelphia, n.d. [ca. Dec. 1780]. 8 pages, folio, accomplished in various hands, some chipping along edges.
AN UNUSUAL RELIC OF PHILADELPHIA'S IMPORTANCE AS A CENTER FOR PUBLISHING: a manuscript subscription list, recording names and addresses of some eighty persons and firms, many of them civil servants, diplomats and officials. The bookseller who compiled the list and the publication being subscribed, is unfortunately not named. But we can date the list with some accuracy to December 1780, a period at which both the Marquis de Lafayette and the Marquis de Barbé-Marbois were resident in Philadelphia. The first subscriber is "General Mifflin, Wine Street [sic], between Front and Second streets." Mifflin was governor of Pennsylvania in the early 1790s. Others include Declaration of Independence signer Francis Hopkinson; two important Jewish Philadelphians, the Revolutionary War financier Haym Solomon (1740-1785) and Benjamin Nones (1757-1826) a Revolutionary War hero who became a target of anti-Semitic abuse by the Federalist press for his support of Jefferson in the 1790s. Others listed are Col. Clement Biddle (1740-1814), Timothy Pickering, William Shippen, and "Mr. Marquis de la Fayette, in the City Tavern" (Lafayette is down for two copies of the book). Several diplomatic officials are listed: "Van Berkel, [Second Street], Dutch Ambassador, near the City Tavern." And "9 copies" are indicated for François Barbé-Marbois (1745-1789), "Consul near Arch Street." Barbé-Marbois arrived in American to assume his post on 21 September 1779. The last page lists some out-of-town subscribers including "General Steuben in New York," and "Dr. Logan at Stanton."