Ye Olde Rhody Bookseller

We recently acquired this very cool circular advertising books for sale issued by Marshall, Brown & Co. (a book shop at 19 Market Street, Providence) in 1834. It was sent to Messrs. G & C Merriam, booksellers of Springfield, Massachusetts. John E. Brown (the Providence partner) wrote a letter on the recto and verso of the second leaf of this folded sheet, which (in the printed portion) contains his priced list of school books, “neatly colored toy books,” and miscellaneous books. The letter discusses various exchanges, and then Brown encourages Merriam to “go ahead with your attack on the trade sales. For myself individually I am wholly and entirely opposed to them. In this respect I differ from my partner in Phila[delphia] (Mr. Marshall), but I am satisfied he will yet embrace my opinion. I am satisfied that they are ruinous to publishers and destructive to the interests of the trade generally in our cities-for they open means for livelihood & profit to swarms of hungry peddlers who infest our villages selling the books they buy at trade sales at less prices than the regular trade price. I have been looking at this subject long and I feel grateful that you have made the first move.”

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