Sunday, November 27, 2011

Princeton New Jersey Bookplates

I went to a flea market Saturday morning and was drawn to this wooden object.
The dealer who sold it to me didn't have a clue as to it's country of origin
nor it's function.
Several of the dealers thought it was used  for printing and one dealer 
said it was an Islamic seal for documents. 
The dimensions are 3 1/2 inches high by 4 1/2 inches high and it is 1 inch thick
Your help is always appreciated.What is it?

The early 19th century American Bookplate shown below was sent to me by Tom Boss
Robert E. Hornor of Princeton, New Jersey was a printer/ publisher who was very
active in Whig politics. Some biographical information has been copied below.
Extracted from
Early Princeton Printing 

"Robert Emley Hornor was a lineal de- 
scendant of John Hornor, the early set- 
tler whose public spirit assisted in locat- 
ing the College of New Jersey at Prince- 
ton. Controlling a tannery and a pottery 
manufactory at Queenston, on the out- 
skirts of Princeton, he seems to have been 
possessed of some little means. In Sep- 
tember 1832 he had established in oppo- 
sition to Connolly's Democratic  Courier,
which supported Jackson and Van Buren, 
a paper called the "American System and 
Farmers' and Mechanics' Advocate," sup- 
porting the protection of American indus- 
tries and the election of the National Re- 
publican, or Whig, candidates. Clay and 
Sergeant. After the campaign he assumed 
the editorship himself and a new firm, that 
of John T. Robinson, took charge of the 
mechanical end. The name of the paper 
was changed to the "Princeton Whig" and 
from this period dates the present weekly 
newspaper, the "Princeton Press" edited 
by Mr. Edwin M. Norris. Mr. Hornor's 
Quaker affiliation is shown in the imprint 
of his paper — "published every sixth- 

A new spirit enters Princeton journal- 
ism with Mr. Hornor's assumption of edi- 
torial duties. Never did a paper deserve 
its name more thoroughly than the "Whig" 
during Mr. Hornor's regime. He was an 
eager partisan and one of the most active 
and widely known politicians in the state. 
He seems to have thoroughly enjoyed him- 
self as an editor. Not content with the 
influence exerted by his weekly, when 
election times came around he was wont 
to do extra work for his party by issuing 
special campaign papers, such as the 
"Thorn" in the autumn of 1834 — an aptly 
named little two leaf sheet, which was 
sold for a cent and was issued at least 
once a week until the campaign was over. 
That its contents came practically from 
his own pen is naively revealed by a note 
in the only surviving number (September 
27, 1834) to the effect that the "severe 
indisposition of the Editor must be an 
apology for the want of interest or variety 
in the columns of this week's paper." But 
the "Thorn" so successfully justified its 
name and met with such approval from 
friends of the Whig cause, that two years 
later Mr. Hornor renewed it to counter- 
act what he was pleased to call the "ser- 
vile collar press of the Van Buren dyn- 
asty." To those who remembered the 
"Thorn" of 1834 he would merely an- 
nounce that the new "Thorn" was grown 
on the same stalk — "only a trifle sharper 
and stronger/' Its object would be to 
"place information in every man's hand 
at so cheap a rate that all may read and 
know the extravagant expenditure and 
abuses of Van Buren and his satellites." 
And with cheerful confidence in his ability 
to secure subscribers, he asks that all who 
are opposed to Van Buren will send him 
their names at once so that he mav know 
how many thousand copies of the paper 
he may start with. 
The "Thorn" had not been without ef- 
fect on the college campus. All things are 
possible in politics, and the marvel in this 
case was that the "Thorn" apparentlj'^ be- 
gat the "Thistle," a manuscript news- 
paper made up of political satire, and 
circulated, says one of its undergraduate 
editors in his reminiscences, "by the aid of 
the long entries of Nassau Hall and the 
small hours of the night." The success 
of the "Thistle" led to a more ambitious 
effort, and in the winter of 1834-35 four 
or five numbers of a small eight page 
quarto called the "Chameleon," edited by 
members of the class of 1835, were is- 
sued from the local press. The only re- 
mains of the "Chameleon** seem to be a 
fragrant memory and an "Extra/* pub- 
lished in August^ 1835^ consisting of a long 
poem on a galley-slip, announcing its 
demise. With the passing of this effort, 
undergraduate literary activity, so far as 
publication is concerned, ceased until, in 
1840, John Bogart*s press issued the "Gem 
from Nassau's Casket,** a daintily printed 
little octavo magazine of four double col- 
umn pages, purely literary and serious in 
character. The "Gem** gleamed more or 
less serenely for a very brief day, and then 
' joined the defunct "Chameleon. 

On Mr. Bogart's death Mr. Hornor en- 
joyed a practical monopoly; but, while his 
imprint occurs on many a pamphlet of the 
early forties, most of his attention was 
given to politics and the "Princeton Whig. 

One product of his press, however, the 
"Nassau Monthly, whose first number 
came out in February 1842, the unmistak- 
able and robuster offspring of the "Gem, 
cannot be ignored, even in this scant sur- 
vey. By no means so engaging in appear- 
ance as its parent, it nevertheless had the
elusive quality of permanence that the ear- 
lier periodical lacked. The "Nassau Mon- 
thly/' re-baptised as the "Nassau Liter- 
ary Magazine/' has never been conspicu- 
ous for beauty on the formal side, and is 
not comparable with the "Gem" in looks. 
But it has lived seventy years and, with 
the exception of the "Yale Literary Maga- 
zine/' is the oldest undergraduate publi- 
cation of its kind in the country. 

The campaign of 1844 gave Mr. Hornor 
another rare opportunity, of which he 
made the utmost by issuing a lively four- 
page quarto of three columns to the page, 
called the "Jersey Blue," a name the edi- 
tor may or may not have known as the 
title of a rollicking eighteenth century 
Princeton song. It was, as might be ex- 
pected, devoted to the Whig cause and was 
intended to bear especially on the state 
elections of that autumn, and when they 
were over to aid the election of Clay and 
Frelinghuysen. The opening number 
made this announcement of policy: 
"It will be fearless in advocating that 
which is considered right. While it will 
concede to all men and all monopolies their 
rights and privileges, it will by no means 
allow itself to swerve from an independ- 
ent and dignified bearing. It will deal 
with the rich as with the poor. The sov- 
ereignty of the people will be defended 
rather than the sovereignty of particular 
individuals or families. All party excess 
will be discouraged, while true patriotic 
zeal will be incited. Who will help us ?

Supporting Charles C. Stratton for Gov- 
ernor, the "Jersey Blue" attacked with all 
its might — and Mr. Hornor had not mis- 
laid the *' Thorn's" pointed pen — the can- Carver.
didacy of John R. Thomson of Princeton^ 
turning to good political account his con- 
nection with the Delaware and Raritan 
Canal Company, and at the same time it 
fired broadsides at Captain — slater Commo- 
dore — R. F. Stockton, the leader of the 
Loco Foco party in the State, finding in 
his naval and political record and in his 
connection with the ill-fated gunboat 
"Princeton" plenty of campaign ammuni- 
tion. "
Speaking of Princeton, I was re-reading Bookplates of Princeton and Princetonians 
by Clifford N.Carver and found some bookplates from my own collection:
Vance Thompson(Princeton ,1863) was a writer whose bookplate was designed by the
English sculptor Theodore Spicer-Simpson
Henry van Dyke's bookplate was etched by James Smille from a drawing by Siddons 
Mowbray. His love of fishing and reading is depicted.He graduated from Princeton 
in 1873 and was also a faculty member.
The bookplate of Princeton's most famous faculty member is shown below.
If you live in Princeton or you are a Princeton  faculty member 
or graduate and would like your bookplate added to this posting
send a scan to me  and it will be included.
See you next week

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