AWFUL CALAMITIES, OR, THE SHIPWREKS OF DECEMBER, 1839: Being a Full Account of the Dreadful Hurricanes of Dec; 15, 21& 27, on the Coast of Massachusetts; In Which Were Lost More Than 90 Vessels, and Nearly 200 Dismasted, Driven Ashore or Otherwise Damaged, and More Than 150 Lives Destroyed, of which Full Statistics are Given; Comprising Also a Particular Relation of the Shipwreck of the Following Vessels; Barque Lloyd, Brigs Pocahontas, Rideout and J. Palmer, and Schs. Deposite, Catherine Nichols and Miller. AND ALSO OF THE DREADFUL DISASTERS AT GLOUCESTER.

(Boston: Press of J. Howe, 1840).

RARE, VERY FEW COPIES OF THE FIRST PRINTING EVER APPEAR IN COMMERCE AND IT SEEMS THAT ONLY ONE COPY HAS APPEARED AT AUCTION SO FAR THIS CENTURY. This is a rare and very correct and accurate account of the destruction caused by; "...three gales of unequaled fury and destructiveness have swept along our coast carrying desolation and death in their stormy pathway and overwhelming many families in the deepest mourning." The unprecedented series of storms left a wide scene of devastation along the whole coast of Massachusetts. The worst of the three storms hit Gloucester Harbor. The harbor was supposed to be very secure, and at the commencement of the storm a great many vessels, especially coasters, put in there for shelter. An excellent description is given of the area just after the storm. "From one end of the beach to the other, nothing could be seen but pieces of broken wrecks; planks and spars shattered into a thousand splinters; ropes and sails parted and rent; flour, fish, lumber, and a hundred other kinds of lading and furniture, soaked and broken; with here and there a mangled and naked body of some poor mariner; and in one instance that of a woman lashed to the windlass-bits of a Coastline schooner, lay along the beach, while off thirty yards, with the surf breaking over them every moment and freezing in the air, lay nearly a score of lost vessels; all together forming a picture which it is in vain to attempt to copy in words." Item #29691

Rare first edition, first printing. With woodcut front cover illustration of "Brig Rideout, Capt. Purrington, among the outer breakers" and on the verso is a woodcut "the only survivor of the wreck", the rear wrapper with woodcut of the ship Martha Washington "driven ashore on Palmet Harbor Bar." Small 4to, bound with the original blue paper wrappers, the covers with lettering and woodcut illustrations printed in black. 24pp. An attractive example of this truly scarce account. Rare in any decent state of preservation. The blue paper wrappers are clean and quite fresh, though separated at the fold as is typical, with a bit of wear at the edges, the text is mellowed and occasionally with some spotting as seems always the case, the stitching is loose in places.

Price: $650.00