Monday, April 27, 2020

Moby-Dick in Albany bookstores

The Museum Building in Albany, NY via Hoxsie!
As Hershel Parker points out in Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 1, 1819-1851 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996) page 878, the American edition of Moby-Dick was available in Albany, NY and Boston, MA by November 12, 1851 "at the latest." In Albany four different booksellers advertised "MOBY DICK, OR THE WHALE" for sale, two days before the official publication date of November 14, 1851.

Gilbert's News Depot and Book Store, one of the Albany shops with copies of Moby-Dick, was located in the Museum Building at State and Broadway.

From the Albany Evening Journal of Wednesday, November 12, 1851; found on

Albany NY Evening Journal - November 12, 1851
via GenealogyBank
These Albany, NY book dealers offered Moby-Dick for sale on November 12, 1851:
  • E. H. Pease & Co., 82 State st. Owned by Erastus H. Pease who specialized in religious publications and books for children.
  • E. H. Bender, Bookseller, Stationer and Binder, 75 State st. 

  • W. C. Little & Co., 53 State st. Weare C. Little specialized in law books. 
  • Gilbert's News Depot and Book Store, Museum building. Prosper L. Gilbert (1820-1870) owned the news depot at State Street and Broadway, below the Museum. 
Albany Evening Journal - November 12, 1851
"MOBY-DICK, OR THE WHALE."-- We have enjoyed ourselves so richly in following Melville's heroes in "Typee," "Omoo," &c., that we look forward with pleasure to the hours of leisure that will allow us to look through "Moby-Dick." We are sure there is amusement in it; for it opens promisingly. For sale by E. H. Pease & Co.  --Albany Evening Journal, November 12, 1851.

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