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During the period of the industry, coast- Holland was carried on by John Gibbs. ers and an occasional merchantman, were In its closing years, a wharf was built at built for shippers of Milford, New York the Gulf by the firm of Charles Pond & and Boston. Most of these were built at Co., large shippers. the town yards though a few were con- But a short way up the street from the structed at Wheeler's Farms on the Memorial Bridge, one comes yet again Housatonic.

face to face with reminders of the earlier Milford commerce did not last quite

time, pleasantly woven with memories of two centuries. It crashed with the big the letters Cadmus gave, of other lands and failure of Miles, Strong and Miles, in 1821.

other days, commingling with the mighty Among her early traders and merchants

interest of the pressing time. As the was John Maltbee, 1670 ; Mungo Nesbitt, “Taylor Library" greets the eye one reenrolled a citizen and given the freedom calls the old English song: of the town in 1696; Edward Allen, shipbuilder and importer, 1700. There were Oh, for a book and a shadie nooke also the two great merchants of French ex- Eyther in door or out, traction, Peter Pierett, who built the town With the green leaves whispering overhead wharf in 1730; and Louis Lyron, 1640.

Or the street cryes all about,

Where I maie reade all at my ease (The stones in the old cemetery record

Both of the newe and old, their virtues and attest their wealth.) In

For a jolly goode booke wherein to looke the middle of the last century, trade with Is better to me than golde."

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came about through various agencies From 1588 to 1888 is a far cry. Gene

that in the year of our Lord, 1586, a ration after generation came, wrought and copy in black letter of “The Book of passed away. At the beginning of this Common Prayer and Administration of long interval, men and women stirred by the Sacraments," was printed in London reading the Word of God in their mother with a handsome title page and sundry tongue, and persecuted therefor, fled to embellishments. At about the same time

Holland, and thence across the Atlantic
John Wolf for the “Assigns of Richard to make in New England a home wherein
Day" printed a book of “Psalms and to read the word in peace, and worship

Hymns by according to the dictates of conscience
Sternhold, all unaware that they were planting and
John Hop- husbanding the seed of a mighty nation
kins and

yet to be.
others." Two The busy years went on, and this old
years there-

bible, old even then, had been carried after, in 1588,

from England to Delft-haven and across OUT “The Depu

the Atlantic more than once, and (if ties of Chris- gifted with speech) could have told stirtopher Barker ring tales of toilsome days and watchful imprinted a nights and desperate battles fought and large black won. letter Bible,

In 1888 it came into the possession of

Mr. Charles M. Taintor of Manchester, PAGE 25

including the

Apocrypha Conn., a young man with a penchant for and Comn.entary, Cum gratis and privi- collecting, in a desultory way, odd books, legio Regis Maiestatio."

and especially old bibles. These three books were then bound The subtle sympathy existing between together in one heavy square volume, the

men of similar tastes brought this young Book of Common Prayer leading, as was man the acquaintance of Mr. S. W. perhaps fitting, the Scriptures and Com- Cowles, of Hartford, a middle-aged genmentary following, with Sternhold and tleman, who also in the spare moments of Hopkins guarding the rear. And after a busy life, pleased himself in building up more than three hundred years, this bible an amateur collection of Indian relics, so buttressed, unique in its brave black manuscripts, autographs and rare old letter and quaint orthography, remained books that came in his way. Mr. Taintor intact and as legible as when it left the frequently dropped into Mr. Cowles' office printer's hand.

and the two men compared notes, talked

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NO. I.

of their “finds” exchanged duplicates, bibles were produced, and the dicker and swapped and traded after the fashion began. One of the five bibles proved to of boys of lesser growth.

be a large square volume bound with a At this time—1888 — Mr. Cowles had, Prayer and Psalm Book, whose fly leaves among other somewhat rare books, a fine and margins were much scribbled upon, copy in two volumes of Peter Parley's but otherwise unblemished and entire. ' Recollections of a Life Time," which This bible, Mr. Taintor considered worth Mr. Taintor coveted, and for which he twelve dollars, and at length they traded : offered in exchange any one of five Mr. Cowles taking the square bible and

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curious old bibles, then in his possession. Mr. Taintor the Peter Parley and four
Mr. Cowles hesitated, for he was fond of dollars to boot.
his Peter Parley. It was a good copy of Mr. Cowles then locked the old bible
a good book, and he liked nothing better in his book case with many other odd
than to fill a leisure hour with the bright volumes, and thought no more about it
gossip and quaint philosophy of its pages. till, some months later, an article appeared
Said he, “I read my Peter Parley more in The Hartford Daily Times, directing
than any other book in my collection.” attention to a curious old bible owned by
Mr. Taintor, however, was persistent—the Mr. Horace Johnson, printed in 1574, of

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thereabouts, called a “ Breeches Bible' Mr. Charles M. Taintor, the father of from the fact that therein the first tailor- the young man, Charles M. Taintor, knew made suit is described after this fashion, nothing of the history of his son's books, (speaking of Adam and Eve), “They and was sure that his son could not have sewed fig leaves together and made them- been aware of the value of this bible-selves breeches."

otherwise he would not have offered it The Times article reminded Mr. Cowles in exchange for the Peter Parley, nor of the old bible bought of Mr. Taintor, indeed have parted with it for any conprinted in 1588, and going to his book sideration. case he found that this bible was also a Breeches

Plus 131

Bible and although not
quite so old the
Breeches Bible owned by

Mr. Horace Johnson it
had some marginal notes
which he had never taken

the trouble to decipher,
but thought rather curi-

ous, so he took it to the

BS salier.
Times office.

Then came the great

Cake without losy been
discovery. Mr. Burr, an
experienced antiquarian,

జరు క్యాండి

பப்ளைன் மேக
conversant with the early
history of New England,
saw at once from the vari-

ta sutty
ous entries (scribblings)

so legal real, on fly leaves and mar

resbet la tarde eziza tra gins, that this bible was

parte seg
what neither Mr. Cowles

sp, RUN
nor Mr. Taintor had sus.
pected, a Mayflower bi-
ble, and of great value,
in fact the greatest "find"
in the state.

Nos. 9
This fact Mr.Burr com- Pages 37


municated to Mr. Cowles
whose interest was instantly aroused, and

Mr. Cowles remembered that at the he went at once to Manchester to see Mr. time of the exchange Mr. Taintor had Taintor in order to ascertain when, and spoken of "some scribblings" on the fly how, and where this bible came into his leaves and margins, which he seemed to posssession, only to be assured that he regard as blemishes. Evidently he had came too late, for the young man, never

not taken the time or trouble to trace and in vigorous health, had recently died, and put together the faded ink entries. the secret of the bible, so far as he knew The old bible here takes on a new lease it, had died with him.

of life, for up to the present time, neither

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Mr. Cowles nor any other person has been And here at the outset he was conable to trace its ownership in the present fronted by proof of the former Puritan century, beyond that of Mr. Taintor. ownership of the book for the Puritan's Nor any clue to its location beyond an reverence for the sacred Scripture was impression, too thin to be a certainty, second only to his reverence for his which Mr. Cowles received from Mr. Maker-and though the margins, blank Taintor, that the book had not long been spaces and title pages of the Book of in his possession, and that he found it Common Prayer, the Commentary and “ up north—up the river, somewhere near Sternhold and Hopkin's Psalm Book, Longmeadow, Mass.”

were written over and under, the lines

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There could be no doubt of the age or crowded, often running into the printed genuineness of this old book—the proof column, accompanied by crude pen picwas on every page—and Mr. Burr for a

tures of houses, ships and Indians, there short time ser himself to decipher and were no entries on page or margin of the untangle the faded entries, written by Scriptures. various hands, lengthwise the margin of He then wrote an interesting descripleaves or wherever on fly leaf or title tion of the bible, which was printed in the page a vacant space could be found.

Daily Times, September 12, 1894, quoting

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