View of the ancient Buildings belonging to Harvard College, Cambridge, New-England. [with] The Columbian Magazine for December, 1788.
Philadelphia: Printed for the Proprietors by W. Spotswood, 1788. Plate mark of Harvard image: 4 x 7." Image is age-toned with some generally light foxing. Darkening to margins outside of platemark where previously matted; remnant of strip of masking tape at upper margin on verso. The Magazine is complete and quite bright and clean, although several pages are detached from the balance of the text. Item #3737
This engraving, entitled "View of the ancient Buildings belonging to Harvard College, Cambridge, New-England," appeared in the December, 1788 issue of The Columbian Magazine. Bail notes that the view is based on the Burgis-Price print of 1743, which in turn was a slight modification of the Burgis view of 1726. The view, taken from a point in front of the present Johnston Gate, shows three College buildings in 1726, from left to right: the second Harvard College, the first Stoughton Hall and the still-standing Massachusetts Hall. Although unsigned, the engraving is undoubtedly the work of James Trenchard, a co-owner of The Columbian Magazine and the engraver of nearly all the plates which appeared in it. Of the Columbian Magazine view, Bail states: "In spite of the fact that the print is solely an adaptation, it is important because of its early appearance and relative scarcity. This is the earliest engraving of the College which one may reasonably hope to obtain."
The engraving is accompanied by a disbound example of the December, 1788 Columbian Magazine in which it appeared. It includes a 5-page “An Account of the ancient Colleges of Cambridge in New-England.” Most of this is a republication of material from "a very scarce and valuable pamphlet" printed in London in 1642. In addition to a description of the College ("The edifice is very fair and comely within and without..."), the rules and curriculum of the College are provided.
A very desirable engraving of Harvard with an example of the magazine in which it originally appeared.
References: For the engraving: Bail, Views of Harvard: 13; Plate XVII (illustrated). Fielding, American Engravers upon Copper and Steel: 1819.