15 results, ordered by Publication Date
[Mount and Page], A New SURUEY of the Harbour of BOSTON in NEW ENGLAND. London, [1706-1732.]

Rare and important chart of Boston Harbor

A considerable rarity, and the most detailed chart of Boston Harbor for its time. The chart depicts Boston Harbor from modern-day Winthrop in the north to Hull and Hingham in the south. It provides an immense amount of information for these complicated waters, including the many harbor islands, hundreds of soundings, and a multitude of rocks […]

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Rare view of 18th-century Boston

A rare, early view of Boston, unusual for being one of very few 18th-century views of the town printed in America. This charming view of Boston is taken from the vantage point of Castle William across the Harbor to the southeast. It was issued in the December 1787 number of The Columbian Magazine, and is […]

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Boston Light in 1789

A scarce view of Boston Light, one of the few obtainable 18th-century views of an American lighthouse.  The original Boston Light was built in 1716 on Little Brewster Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor. It was the first lighthouse built within the future United States, but was destroyed by the British as they evacuated the town […]

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Osgood Carleton 1796 plan of Boston

1796 plan of Boston by Osgood Carleton

A rare and detailed plan of Boston by Osgood Carleton, taken from the 1796 second edition of John West’s Boston Directory. This plan’s relatively large scale enables it to depict Boston in greater detail than any map of the town since before the American Revolution. The street layout is shown and all streets named, as […]

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The Snow Hurricane of 1804

An unrecorded variant of an extremely rare broadside recounting the remarkable snow hurricane of 1804. The 1804 storm raged in Boston from Tuesday, October 9-Thursday, October 11, and observers were shocked by both its high winds and early-season snow: “The 1804 Snow hurricane was the first tropical cyclone in recorded history known to produce snowfall. An […]

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A death struggle between a “tyger” and a serpent

A remarkable, vivid and unrecorded broadside, in the form of a letter to Boston from an American missionary in India, giving an eyewitness account of a death struggle between a tiger and a massive snake, probably a python. With a dramatic illustration of the battle by Abel Bowen. The broadside consists of a large wood engraving […]

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The original Gerrymander

A rare and spectacular broadside satirizing one of the most toxic yet enduring features of American politics. In 1812 Massachusetts Republicans led by Governor Elbridge Gerry engineered a radical redistricting, designed to disadvantage the Federalist majority in the upcoming state senatorial elections. The legislation was enormously successful, and in that year’s election the Republicans’ majority […]

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Rare broadside ad from the dawn of American rail travel

An early and very rare broadside advertisement promoting a Boston-Albany rail connection. The railroad craze came relatively early to Massachusetts. By the late 1820s a number of lines had been proposed, including the Boston & Worcester Railroad and a Western Railroad linking Worcester and Albany. Backers hoped the legislature would step in and fund the projects for the greater good. This […]

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A rare view of Boston’s Quincy Market

An early, lovely and apparently extremely rare view of Quincy Market, built in 1824-26 to accommodate the overflow from Faneuil Hall. The view was drawn by Alexander Jackson Davis (1803-1892), a successful architect and leading proponent of the Greek Revival style. Before turning to architecture, Davis began his career as a watercolorist and lithographer in […]

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