We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • Samuel Cobbett Manuscript Sermons 1684-1692
    small octavo, 229 manuscript pages, bound in contemporary calf, ruled in blind, spine tips worn, as well as corners, and edges, otherwise good. Sermons written in ink, in a very small, close, but legible 17th century hand, dated 11 April 1684 to 14 August 1692; includes 15 sermons, 207 manuscript pp., plus 1 extra medical item at rear, written in Latin, 22 manuscript pp., sermons appear to have been given in Bristol, Massachusetts, (now Rhode Island); Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Haverhill, Massachusetts. First text leaf in volume has the lower right corner missing, some loss of text, the next couple of pages have slight chipping at lower right corner. Most of the leaves are numbered; pages 99 through 134 have been excised, unknown if loss of text, there is one leaf (2 pages) left for these pages and it has names and figures listed on it and a date from the year 1800. Two earlier leaves were also excised, unknown if there was text on them, or not, no interruption of text in either case. Samuel Cobbett’s sermons were never printed, per the standard bibliographical references, Evans, Bristol, OCLC, etc.
    Description of Sermon Volume While the volume is not signed, the identity of the author can be found in a volume titled “Publications of the Ipswich Historical Society, Vol. 5,” published by The Salem Press Co., Salem, Massachusetts, in 1898, on page 101 it states that “Hamden Fall,” loaned the “MSS. Sermons of Rev. Samuel Cobbett” to the Museum of the Ipswich Historical Society in 1897.1     There is a paper label pasted on the rear outside cover of this volume, which has the following inscription: “Mr. Hamden Falls. Loan to Historical Society Ipswich, Mass.” There is also laid into this volume a piece of paper inscribed in a 19th century hand: “Mss Sermons of the Rev. Samuel Cobbett. Preached in Bristol and Canterbury, England in 1691. Lent to the Historical Society by Hamden Fall.”      While the information on this slip of paper provides a clue to the identity of the author of this manuscript volume, it mistakes the location of where these sermons were delivered. By reading Sibley’s work on Harvard graduates, we find no evidence that the Rev. Samuel Cobbett ever preached in England, or ever visited England for that matter, indeed during the years 1684-1692 he was a schoolmaster in Bristol, Massachusetts, now Bristol Rhode Island.2 It would appear then that Cobbett was preaching in Bristol… more >