New Arrival

Bound with the Continuation in Original Wrappers

Some Account of the Pennsylvania Hospital, from its first Rise, to the Beginning of the Fifth month, called May, 1754 ... [Bound with:] Continuation of the Account of the Pennsylvania Hospital; From the First of May 1754, to the Fifth of May 1761.

Philadelphia: B. Franklin and D. Hall, 1754; 1761.

Price: $35,000.00


About the item

First editions of both parts. Presentation copy inscribed in an unknown hand on the upper wrapper. 38 [of 40, see note below]; [2], 41-77, [1, blank]pp. Small 4to. Bound with the Continuation in Original Wrappers. Original blue paper wrappers, stained with small losses, splitting at front joint, some foxing and browning. Later brown buckram case. Provenance: John Mock of Upper Hanover (contemporary presentation inscription on upper wrapper). Austin 794; Campbell 519 and 658; Evans 8972 and 7197; Howes F331, "b."; Miller 587 and 764; Reese & Osborn, Struggle for North America 20; Streeter sale 956.

Item #366862

Written by Franklin at the request of the Hospital trustees, the Account "describes the plan on which the hospital was founded, rules for admission, rules for the choice of staff, and an 'Abstract of Cases Admitted'" (Streeter). The Pennsylvania Hospital was one of Franklin's most effective ideas for civic improvement. "Franklin was a prime force in founding the institution, its first secretary, and later chairman of its trustees; in his Autobiography ... he wrote that he could remember no maneuver the success of which gave him at the time more pleasure than that of persuading the citizens and assembly to contribute matching funds to start the hospital initially" (Miller).

In 1761, "the trustees of the Hospital, finding themselves in financial straits, appointed a committee chaired by Samuel Rhoads to write an account of the progress of the institution from 1754 to 1761 and present it to the Assembly along with a renewed plea for funds. [Franklin's printing partner David] Hall completed the edition of 500 copies, July 25, 1761, and charged the trustees, £30.50. The Speaker of the Assembly was presented with a copy on Sept. 9, 1761, and eventually the House voted a new appropriation of £3000 ... This seven-year history is a continuation of Franklin's Account (1754) of the founding of the Hospital and was designed in signatures, pagination, and paper size to serve as its sequel and be bound with it" (Miller).

The 1761 Continuation is far more rare than the 1754 Account, the former printed in only 500 copies and the latter printed in 1500 copies. Interestingly, the present example has both parts bound together in contemporary wrappers, suggesting that a number of undistributed copies of the first part remained on hand in 1761 and were distributed by the Hospital committee of managers. The present example includes a presentation inscription on the upper wrapper, presumably by one of the managers in 1761 (perhaps Treasurer Hugh Roberts), to John Mock of Upper Hanover. A landowner, Mock owned and operated a mill in Upper Hanover and would indeed contribute to the hospital between 1762 and 1763.

The present example without the final leaf of the first part, i.e. the 2-page list of contributors and their contributions to 1754. Given that the list of of contributors and their contributions in the second part (i.e. pages 71-77) included the previous list, it would seem likely that the leaf was removed intentionally prior to the two parts being stitched together. This is further born out by the continuous pagination, with the title of the second part comprising pages 39-40.

An important account written by and printed by Franklin of the founding and operation of the first proper hospital established in the English colonies, bound in original wrappers with the rare continuation and with a contemporary presentation inscription.