Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831
Barnum, H. L.

Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, first 3 issues: October, November, December 1831


Cincinnati, OH: H. L. Barnum, 1831.

Containing Original and Selected Essays on Vegetable Physiology, or Structure of Plants, Farriery, Culinary Art, or Cookery; Statistics; Geology, or Description of Soils; Gardening; Recipes upon the Various Branches of Agriculture; Products, Mode of Culture; and the Various Branches of Domestic Economy. Illustrated with engravings.

Stab stitched octavo volumes, 16 pages each. All Very Good with light soil and creasing/edgewear to wraps, light foxing. Ownership signature of Joseph Hopkins (1798-1832), a first-generation Hopkins settler in Warren County, Ohio and member of the Quaker community. Issue number 2 is also signed by Barnum on the rear cover, indicating receipt of Hopkins' subscription payment.

The first three issues of H. L. Barnum's Farmer's Reporter and United States Agriculturist, published 1831-33 and noted by Mott as "probably the first western farm journal" (A History of American Magazines, 444). Begins in October 1831, designated the "specimen number," with serialization starting November (No. 1). The prospectus has a woodcut vignette on the cover; 6 numbered in-text figures, a small map of Ohio and two additional illustrations for "carving a fowl." The November issue has 12 figures and is dedicated to Vegetable Physiology; December is dedicated "Valuable Field Products" and has a separate title page and no engravings. 

Rare and rich agricultural publications encumbered by Barnum's complicated editorial schemes--each issue announcing a change of plans or excusing some discrepancy. He outlines discounts for referrals and subscription structures and always promises more "to be issued soon." The December issue has its own title page and purports to be the beginning of a dedicated volume on the subject. By the March 1832 issue, Barnum is promising a whole separate volume on gardening (while skrimping on engravings, which he promised to be included in every Reporter). He announces hiring a Col. H. S. Barnum ("a scientific, practical agriculturist) to share the burdens of editorship. Meantime, 1831 also saw Barnum publish Family Receipts, or Practical Guide for the Husbandman and Housewife... (considered by some to be the first midwestern cookbook). 

H. L. Barnum was an enterprising man of varied (and occasionally dubious) talents. He is known to have plagiarized his early publication An authentic key to the art of short-hand writing (Baltimore, 1824). In 1828 he published The Spy Unmasked; or, Memoirs of Enoch Crosby, capitalizing on the success of The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper—despite the author's insistance that Crosby was not the inspiration for his character. Barnum also held several positions in surveying and engineering with government and railway companies and enjoyed genuine success in that field. He developed a tool called the "Mensurator" and was the first person to survey Key West, though his map was quickly discredited. His move to Cincinnati from Baltimore and frenzy of publishing endeavors came shortly after these events. (See Gregory J. Guderian, "The Forerunner," 2018.)


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