THE WIFE FOR A MISSIONARY
"By the author of 'Louisa Ralston,' 'The Reformation,' 'A Tale of the Sixteenth Century,' &tc."
[Anne Tuttle Jones Bullard]
1834 / Cincinnati, Ohio: Truman, Smith & Co.
Hardbound in original boards / 158 pages
5.75" x 3.75"
Inscribed in pencil on first blank leaf:
"L. J. Robbins
from the author
Mrs. Ann M. Bullard
of Cincinnati, Ohio
Offered here is the true 1834 first edition (not a reprint, not even the 1835 reprint) of a novel written by Ann Tuttle Jones Bullard, a pioneering successful female American author. Anne was the wife of missionary Rev. Artemus Bullard and was related by marriage to Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin — Harriet's brother, the famous preacher Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, married Artemas Bullard's younger sister, Eunice Bullard.
It has been suggested that Anne's early success as a novelist may have been an inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe to commence her own writing career. The first of Anne's books was published in 1830, when she was only 22-years-old, and in later years she and her missionary husband were active in Missouri, assisting slaves via the so-called Underground Railroad.
ABOUT THE INSCRIPTION
When I acquired this book, it was represented as being "signed by the author" — I do not believe this is the case, because Mrs. Bullard would not have misspelled her own name with an "M." for a middle initial.
The inscriber must have been Samuel James Robbins (1786-1855), who was the founding president of the American Sunday-School Union — perhaps the most important institution promoting religious education, literacy and missionary activity in 19th century America.
The inscription indicates that he received this copy directly from the author, identifying her, albeit with a minor error, and dating it within the year it was published. It would have been important for him to include her name because her name does not appear on the title page or anywhere else in the book. Women almost never got that sort of credit in the publishing world at that time, even women like Bullard who had several successful titles already published.
This is a desirable association copy — a fictional novel about a missionary wife (although it has been suggested that it is to some degree autobiographical), written by a missionary wife, and presented to the first president of an organization devoted to promoting religious literature and missionary activity on a large scale.
Robbins was also very involved with the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The 1834 Journal of the Franklin Institute includes a reference to his being appointed chairman, as well as direct evidence of his interest in procuring and distributing books: "Donations of books were received from S.J. Robbins which were deposited in the library."
Condition: A rather attractive and sound copy. Binding is tight with no missing or loose pages. Gold title imprint on spine is complete and surprisingly fresh. Wear and staining does not overwhelm. Moderate interior foxing.