The Farmer’s Manual: being a plain practical treatise on the art of husbandry, designed to promote an acquaintance with the modern improvements in agriculture, together with remarks on gardening, and a treatise on the management of bees.

Weathersfield; Middletown [Conn.]: Published by the author; Clark & Lyman, Printer, 1821.

Duodecimo (17 x 10.5 cm.), [2], 224 pages. Table of contents. Second edition, originally published in Hartford, by Samuel Goodrich in 1819. An early handbook for the American farmer, with advice on vegetable and fruit gardening, as well as a section on the management of bees. Frederick Butler (1766-1843) extolls a balance between the too rapid adaptation of novel new methods, and a stubborn backwards point of view, stuck in the past. Butler’s motivation arises from a point of view we might today call Christian Stewardship, suggesting that good farming practices, particularly as they relate to the care of soil, are the farmer’s responsibility as the are given to the community by God. The handbook follows a monthly schedule, beginning in March. The section on bees is cribbed – with a credit – to the work of Robert Huish, published in London in 1817. Foxing throughout, and a good number of pages dog eared. A few pages, including the title page, have abrasions that have rubbed through the leaf. Scale board binding, in marbled paper, pasted in strips over half-calf. Some of the paper chipped away revealing structure. Half-inch chip from lower right corner of front board. Generally good. With an ink ownership signature to the title page, “Mack”, additional pencil ownership to free front endpaper, “Ernest West, East Hampton, Conn, 1910”. [Rink 1250; Shoemaker 4882].

Price: $250.00