New York: Printed [by Joseph Desnoues] at the Office of the Economical School, 1811. “First American edition, from the eleventh English edition.” The present work was published to benefit the Orphan Asylum Society, which was established in 1806 by Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (1757 – 1854), Isabella Graham, and Joanna Graham Bethune. The Orphan Asylum Society was New York City’s first private orphanage. In 1806, it housed just twenty students; by the time of Hamilton’s death it had housed around 1,500. Hamilton regularly visited the school and remained involved in its mission all her life. The Orphan Asylum Society evolved into Graham Windham, a scholarship fund that helps students from Washington Heights and Inwood attend Columbia University, where Alexander Hamilton was educated. Sometimes found with a list of subscribers in the back, though it was not bound into this copy. Some rubbing and scuffs to binding. Pencil note on front pastedown explaining that the Economical School published
“material for children of refugees emigrated from French Revolution living in French West Indies.” Pencil signature, dated 1887, on front free endpaper. Toning to endpapers. Offsetting from text and some occasional foxing. A very good, tight copy of a work benefitting Eliza Hamilton’s Orphan Asylum Society. Contemporary sheep with gilt-tooled borders and red morocco spine label. Octavo. xi, 268, [1, contents] pp. Item #16958
Eliza Hamilton also established the Hamilton Free School in memory of Alexander Hamilton in the year following his death. The school provided an education to children from poor families and was located in upper Manhattan, the neighborhood where the Hamiltons had lived together. Through the Hamilton Free School, “Eliza found connection to her late husband’s legacy. Hamilton grew up as an orphan from the Caribbean and was able to come to America to study when benefactors paid his way,” (Kiger). It is unclear whether the Economical School was part of the Orphan Asylum Society or whether it was a separate organization. Regardless, the Economical School published material for children in the French West Indies, which is particularly notable given that Alexander Hamilton was born in the British West Indies to a mother of British and French Huguenot descent.
Jane Bowdler (1743 - 1784) was an English poet and essayist. The present volume was published posthumously for the benefit of a hospital in Bowdler’s hometown. Henrietta and Thomas Bowdler, Jane’s siblings, are known for their “bowdlerized” editions of Shakespeare. American Imprints 22477. Kiger, Patrick J. “How Alexander Hamilton’s Widow, Eliza, Carried on His Legacy.” The History Channel website (June 30, 2020). New York Historical Society website. “Guide to the Records of Graham Windham.” See the historical note on the Orphan Asylum Society.