Dissertation Information for Leroy Hewlett
- Leroy Hewlett
- Library and Information Science
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1958)
- Raymond L. Kilgour
- Rudolph H. Gjelsness
- Howard H. Peckham
- Russell E. Bidlack
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: James Rivington, Loyalist printer, publisher, and bookseller of the American Revolution, 1742-1802: A biographical-bibliographical study
Abstract: The primary purpose of this study of James Rivington has
been to make a contribution to the field of American publishing
This has been done by creating a full-scale biography of
James Rivington from his birth on August 17, 1724, until his death
on July 4, 1802. The portrait has been based upon a large amount
of widely scattered materials largely of a nongenealogical nature.
No full picture of James Rivington's personality could be evolved,
primarily because of the lack of personal letters between members
of the American branch of the Rivington family. The purpose of
this portion of the study has been to gather nearly all the materials
concerning James Rivington together into one source.
Part II of the study consists of a detailed bibliography of
James Rivington's publications from 1760 to 1796. His London publications
before 1760 have not been included because they would not
have been pertinent to the field of American publishing history. A
third part, consisting of a bibliography of books which Rivington sold
in America, was contemplated but rejected because it would not have
added much to the primary purpose of fhe dissertation. Such a task
would have proved unrewarding in view of the time and effort which
it would have required. Although the existing bibliography is as
complete as it has been possible to make it, no claim is made for
its absolute completeness because it is not impossible that imprints
by James Rivington, now unknown, will turn up in the future.
Particular emphasis has been placed upon the location of copies .of
his publications in various libraries in the United States, Canada.
and Great Britain. Copies in thirteen major American libraries
have been examined. Information on other copies has been gathered
through correspondence. Copies held by private collectors have not
been considered, except in one instance: the collection of Thomas W.
Streeter of Morristown, New Jersey. The major contribution of
Part II is to locate many more copies of Rivingtoniana than were
thought previously to exist. Part II ends with an index of authors.
titles, pseudonyms, et cetera. the manner of classification making
such an index necessary.
The biographical and bibliographical aspects of James Rivingtonls
life have been kept as separate as possible. Duplication, in a
few instances, has nevertheless been unavoidable.
The story of Jafnes Rivington, it was discovered could not
be presented without reference to the period in which he lived, particularly
the period of the American Revolution. His greatest contribution
in that conflict was the publication of political pamphlets
and of his newspaper from 1773 to 1783. Loyalist in tone, for the
most part, these represented an important contribution to the loyalist
history of the American Revolution.
James Rivington was not a major figure in the history of the
American Revolution, but it cannot be denied that he played an important
part in it, particularly during the period from 1773 to 1783.
No conclusion, although the evidence is presented and discussed, can
be made concerning his supposed spy activities for the Americans
during the last two years of the war, except that it is highly improbable
that he had ever acted in such a capacity It will not be denied,
however, that more conclusive proof may turn up in the future.
Besides being a contribution to American publishing history,
the disertation also "makes minor contributions to the fields of the
history Of the loyalists in the American Revolution, the history of
the freedom of the press, and the history of New York City during the Revolution, and it provides a brief but important glimpse of bookslelling practices of eighteenth-century England and America.
MPACT Scores for Leroy Hewlett
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calculated 2008-02-03 16:33:40
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