Dartmouth College Library Bulletin

Notes from the Special Collections

ANYONE FOR CRICKET?

KENNETH C. CRAMER

IN the April 1992 issue of the Dartmouth College Library Bulletin appeared a photograph of a drawing by George Ticknor depicting Dartmouth College in 1803. This is the second oldest known depiction of the College. The earliest known portrayal is an engraving that appeared in the Massachusetts Magazine for February 1793. The copper engraving is signed by J. Dunham, delineator and S. Hill, sculpt (the engraver). Dunham, we believe, was Josiah Dunham 1789, a preceptor at Moor's Indian Charity School, and later editor of The EaGle or, Dartmouth Centinel, a Hanover newspaper, and The Washingtonian in Windsor, Vermont. Samuel Hill was of Boston and was active there between 1789 to 1803. He made engravings for journal and book publishers.

Accompanying the engraving in the Massachusetts Magazine is a short description of Dartmouth College that included the following: 'The new College [predecessor of Dartmouth Hall], which is represented in the plate, is an elegant wooden building, 150 feet by 50, and three stories high. It was erected in 1786, and since finished; and contains 36 rooms for students, beside two rooms for the library and apparatus. Its situation is elevated, healthful and pleasant,commanding an extensive prospect to the west.'

Quite out of the blue several years ago I received a letter from the curator at Marylebone Cricket Club (London), the recognized national authority with headquarters at Lord's Cricket Ground. He wished to obtain a copy of the Dunham & Hill engraving for the club's archives, believing that this engraving depicted one of the earliest views of cricket being played in the United States and former colonies. The American cricket archives at Haverford College has no picture or drawing earlier than the 1793 engraving.1

According to Lester's A Century of Philadelphia Cricket the game was played in America as early as 1737. The first newspaper report of a match was reported in a 1751 New York newspaper. New York defeated a team of London players.2 In view of the fact that the C. C. Morris Cricket Library and Collection3 at Haverford does not have an earlier illustration of the game being played, the Dartmouth illustration that appeared in the Massachusetts Magazine is a landmark.


Notes

1. Letter dated 24 July I992 from Murray C. Haines, Secretary of the C. C. Morris Cricket Library Association, Haverford College Library.

2. See A Century of Philadelphia Cricket, edited by John A. Lester (Philadelphia:University of Pennsylvania Press, 1951), 4. A copy of this reference plus others on cricket was provided by Murray C. Haines.

3.The C. Christopher Morris Cricket Library and Collections is, according to a description written by Murray C. Haines, who sent it to us, 'the largest collection of cricket books, pictures, team photographs, blazers, trophies, scrapbooks, score books and crickeeana in the Western Hemisphere. In its variety of material it is second only to Lord's in London.'