Thursday, January 17, 2013

Very old book containing a birthday card and neat inscriptions

The old book is about the size of a small banana.

There were some neat treasures inside this 19th century book.

According to the spine, it's part of "The Young Peoples Library." The book contains six short stories, hence the sprawling title: "Narratives of the Swedish Nurse-Maid, The Swiss Peasant, Mary Eliza, The Rescued Brand, The Bayman's Wife, and Muckle Kate."1

It was published by the American Tract Society, which was located at 150 Nassau Street in New York City.2

An advertising page at the back of this slim volume indicates that The Young Peoples Library included thirty volumes, which came in a case.3

Tucked away inside the book was this 4¼-inch by 3⅛-inch "Happy Birthday" card, which is signed by someone named Paul. There is nothing on the reverse side of the card.

While the birthday card is a great find and well-preserved for its age, the best thing about this book, to me, are the numerous inscriptions on the inside front cover and the first page.

They give us some neat insight into history of those who used it:
  • Canadochley Sunday School
  • No. 103
  • AD 1876
  • Presented to Catharine Cosgrove Sept. 13, 1928 By Mrs. Nathaniel Keller
  • grandpa Died on September 16, 1928
  • Frances A. Keller
  • AD 1876
The inside front cover really is a thing of beauty...

"Canadochley" is almost certainly a misspelling of Canadochly, which is a distinctly York County, Pennsylvania, name. We have Canadochly Elementary School and Canadochly Evangelical and Reformed Church, for example.

According to the Canadochly Elementary School website:
"The name Canadochly is considered to originate from the Indian name 'Conejohela', which was an Indian tribe thought to have settled in the Susquehanna Valley. Conejohela means 'At the Place Of The Boiling Kettle.' Early settlers then changed the name to Canadochly."

1. "The Swedish Nurse-Maid" sounds like a story that would contain some ribald and naughty bits. Except, of course, for the somber facts that it was written by Mrs. Rev. Dr. E. Henderson and was published by a religious society. The Swedish nurse-maid's name, by the way, is Louisa Söderberg. Also, and I don't know why you've read this far into a silly footnote, I wanted to say that Muckle Kate would be a good name for a band.
2. The American Tract Society was founded in 1825. In 1894, it built a 23-story headquarters near Broadway and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The building still stands.
3. Other sets for young people included The Youth's Library (70 volumes), Youth's Gems (32 volumes), Children's Library (72 volumes), Little Children's Library (24 volumes) and Hannah More's Stories for the Young (eight volumes).

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