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ALLEN, Ethan (1738–1789). A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen’s Captivity from the Time of his Being Taken by the British, near Montreal, on the 25th day of September, in the Year 1775, to the Time of his Exchange, on the 6th day of May 1778: Containing his Voyages and Travels… Interspersed with Some Practical Observations. Written by Himself, and now Published for the Information of the Curious in all Nations. Philadelphia: Printed, Boston: Re–printed by Draper and Folsom, 1779. 8vo in half–sheets (184 x 121 mm). Some marginal repairs, horizontal repair to E4 with several words to upper corner neatly supplied in facsimile. Late 19th century full red morocco, scrollwork cornerpieces gilt within thrice ruled gilt borders, gilt–lettered spine with gilt tooling at ends, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt dentelles, gilt stamp–signed by W. Pratt. Provenance: Clarence H. Clark (bookplate and shelf label); Clarence H. Clark sale (sold at Henkels, 30 November 1909, lot 4). THE EXTRAORDINARILY RARE SECOND EDITION that was the very first copy to be appear in the rooms in 1909 at the Clarence H. Clark sale that up until recently (see Ira A. Lipman sale at Sotheby’s, 13 April 2021, which erroneously described their copy as being this Clarence H. Clark copy), held the title as being the last and only copy offered at auction in over a century. Four editions were printed in 1779 all of which are extremely rare. The Philadelphia edition printed by Bell is designated by Evans as the first edition and this Boston printing is called by him the second edition. There has never been a copy of the Bell edition offered for sale, and the North American Imprints Projects locates only two copies of that edition– “it is so rare as to be virtually unobtainable. This edition is almost as rare” (Reese). OCLC locates only 3 copies of the present edition in institutional holdings. Ethan Allen was the leader of the Green Mountain Boys, who led a movement to nullify New York's authority over the region. But after Lexington and Concord, Allen led his makeshift militia in a surprise attack on Fort Ticonderoga, taking control of Lake Champlain and gaining admittance of the Green Mountain Regiment to the Continental Army. "Allen joined General Richard Montgomery's staff as a recruiter, enlisting Indians and Québecois to join the forces invading Canada. In a daring effort to capture a weakly defended Montreal with an equally small force of New Englanders and Québecois, Allen was taken prisoner by the British. Over the next two years he suffered a brutal captivity in British prisons, aboard prison ships, and in the New York City jail. Thanks to the efforts of his family, Allen's cruel treatment at the hands of the British became a cause célèbre. Finally exchanged in May 1778 for Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell, Allen wrote a narrative of his captivity that lacerated the British as vindictive monsters [the subtitle of his memoir references "the Destruction of the Prisoners at New York, by General Sir William Howe"] while calling on Americans to forsake any thought of compromise. Allen's Narrative … was an enormous success, going through eight editions in two years, and is rated second among best-selling books of the revolutionary period after Thomas Paine's Common Sense" (Michael Bellesiles in American National Biography). Celebration of My Country 81; ESTC W13736; Evans 16181; Howes A–136; Revolutionary Hundred 55; Sabin 793.
 ALLEN, Ethan (1738–1789). A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Alle...
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $20,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $78,000.00
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Saturday, February 26, 2022.
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