Lot 68 of 218:
1825 letter, New York booksellers of baseball legendary fame  

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$400 - $600

1825 letter by New York booksellers of baseball legendary fame
H[enry] & E[lihu] Phinney & Co. [Booksellers]
Utica, NY
ca. 1825

Autograph Letter Signed, undated, ca. 1825. 1pg.+ stampless address leaf. To Col. Moses Maynard, Madison [County, Indiana]: "...we herewith send 50 copies Bunker Hill agreeably to Mr. Perkins' orders...”. The imprints delivered were probably copies of Daniel Webster’s Bunker Hill Oration of 1825, the year William Perkins came to Madison County, Indiana and founded the town of Perkinsville.


According to disputed legend, it was on the Phinneys’ Cooperstown farm in 1839 that 20 year-old West Point cadet Abner Doubleday, who sometimes lived with his uncle nearby, played the first game of American baseball. In 1920, the Phinneys’ farm became site of the “Doubleday Field” baseball stadium where the annual National Baseball Hall of Fame game was played for nearly 70 years

Beyond baseball legend, Henry Phinney and his brother Elihu were indisputably the most prominent booksellers in Utica and Cooperstown from 1822 to 1849, selling stock from large wagons and Canal “bookboats”. They were also publishers whose market extended as far as Indiana, 700 miles to the west. Among their publications were several books by their good friend - and another neighbor - James Fenimore Cooper (whose daughter married Elihu’s son) and an edition of the Bible used by Mormon Joseph Smith in his own biblical “translation”. 

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