1796.044: Bannaker's Almanack and Ephemeris for 1797 (Prentis & Murray).

Published: 1796

Full Title: Bannaker's Virginia and North Carolina Almanack and Ephemeris, for the year of our Lord 1797; Being first after bissextile, or leap year; the twenty-first year of American Independence, and ninth year of the Federal government.

Author: Banneker, Benjamin (1731-1806).

Place Issued: Petersburg

Issuing Press: Prentis & Murray

Description: [36 pgs.]; 17 cm. (12mo).


The four surviving editions of Banneker's 1797 almanac have a common typography, even as they were issued in three different locations: Baltimore (Evans 30019; Shipton & Mooney 47710), Petersburg (Shipton & Mooney 47711), and Richmond (Evans 30020). Banneker's surname is misspelled "Bannaker" on the title page of all four editions. The Richmond edition was issued by Samuel Pleasants consisting of 48 pages of text and tables, from which elements were clearly reused in the other editions according to their geographical relevance (i.e. court days, state officers, etc.) in 36 page variants. Banneker retained the copyright to all four editions, and all four report being printed at the locale where they were issued; but the typography indicates that Pleasants printed all four variants in sheets, serving as a subcontractor to the Baltimore and Petersburg presses credited on the other title pages, offices which then bound his sheets locally, either stitched or in boards. Such a suggestion is supported by the known association Pleasants had with the Quaker anti-slavery groups who had supported Banneker's annual publication since its 1791 introduction. This title is the 36 page variant customized for the Petersburg press of Prentis & Murray; its primary difference is the omission of material found in the Pleasants original (1796.032) that also appeared in the two Baltimore editions published by Christopher Jackson for George Keating (Evans 30019 & Shipton & Mooney 47710).

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