1774.001: Catalogue of Books to be Sold at the Post Office.

Published: 1774

Full Title: A Catalogue of books to be sold at the Post Office, Williamsburg.

Author: [Purdie & Dixon]

Place Issued: Williamsburg

Issuing Press: Purdie & Dixon

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; 38 cm. x 24 cm. (broadside).


Published bibliographies err in identifying both press and date of this title. Evans reported this as a 1774 imprint based on manuscript notations on the copy he saw at the Library of Congress; but he also identified the publisher as "John Purdie and William Hunter?" Clayton-Torrence repeated the Evans description, but assigned the credit to the firm of John Dixon and William Hunter. Winans dated this broadside to 1772 based on the titles listed in the text, while correcting the Purdie designation from John to Alexander, as no John Purdie ever worked in Williamsburg. However, William Hunter Jr. did not become a part of the town's print trade until January 1775, when he attained his majority, so he would not have been involved with an imprint dated March 1774 in manuscript. The partnership of Alexander Purdie and John Dixon ran from May 1766 to the end of 1774, during which time the Post Office was Dixon's domain as Virginia's Postmaster General. Dixon retained that position, as well as control of the printing-office building, when he began his ensuing partnership with Hunter in early 1775. So, as this imprint was issued after 1771 and before March 1774, it is unquestionably an artifact of the Purdie & Dixon press office. It is designated as a 1774 imprint here based on the manuscript notations reported by Evans. Imprint was not filmed by Early American Imprints series, as the Evans copy is now missing.

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