Atlantic Exchange: Books, Ideas, and Eighteenth-Century Print Culture

By the eighteenth-century, print had become an important medium for linking disparate parts of empires, distributing revolutionary ideas, and fostering intellectual debate. This exhibition, held in conjunction with the meeting of the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, examines some of the threads of the transatlantic conversation carried out in print

Like any good eighteenth-century book of poetry, we offer materials written "on several occasions" to try to better understand the complex social and literary world of the time. Starting with Dartmouth’s provincial history, the materials reach into the literary world of Boston and London and show different encounters Europeans had with America through books.  The connection of one of Dartmouth founding leaders, Samson Occom, with the slave poet Phyllis Wheatley and her owners, and her linkage to the Earl of Dartmouth (shown here by his presentation copy of Pope’s translation of Homer) show a surprising social network tying together a diverse group of people.  They contrast with romantic and often fanciful visions of America and the divergent literary scene in London to show multiple narratives making up the transatlantic conversation.

The exhibition was on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries from October 1 to November 23, 2007.

You may download a small, 8x10 version of the poster: AtlanticDestinies.jpg (2.9 MB) You may also download a handlist of the items in this exhibition: Atlantic Exchange.

Atlantic Exchange poster

Materials Included in the Exhibition

  1. Judah Monis.  A Grammer of the Hebrew Tongue.  Boston, Jonas Green, 1735. Copy owned and inscribed by Samson Occom. Rare Book  PJ4566 .M7 1735 c.3
  2. Eleazer Wheelock.  A Continuation of the Narrative of the Indian Charity-School, in Lebanon, in Connecticut: From the Year 1768, to the Incorporation of It with Dartmouth-College, and Removal and Settlement of It in Hanover, in the Province of New-Hampshire, 1771.  [Hartford]: 1771. D. C. History E97.6.M5 W55 1771 
  3. Samson Occom.  “Account of His Own Life,” Boston, 28 November 1765.
  4. Phyllis Wheatley.  “A Poem on the Death of Charles Eliot aged 12 months,” Boston, 1 September 1772. Manuscript copy in Phyllis Wheatley’s hand. Ticknor 772501 .1 
  5. Homer.  The Iliad of Homer.  Translated by Alexander Pope.  London: J. Whiston, 1771. D. C. History PA4025.A2 P6 1771
    1. Presentation copy from Lord Dartmouth to Phyllis Wheatley, 1774.
  6. Phyllis Wheatley.  An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of that Celebrated Divine, and Eminent Servant of Jesus Christ, the Reverend and Learned George Whitefield ... Who Made his Exit from This Transitory State, to Dwell in the Celestial Realms of Bliss, on Lord's-Day, 30th of September, 1770 ... By Phillis, a Servant Girl, of 17 Years of Age, Belonging to Mr. J. Wheatley, of Boston.  Boston: Ezekiel Russell and John Boyles, 1770. Rare Book PS866.W5 E5 1770
  7. Phyllis Wheatley. Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.  London: A. Bell, 1773. Rare BookPS866.W5 1773b
  8. Susanna Wheatley to Samson Occom and Nathaniel Whitaker, 31 December 1765.
    1. The Wheatley family provided some financial support to Nathaniel Whitaker when he was with Moors Charity School and supported the trip he took with Samson Occom to England to raise money for the future founding of Dartmouth College.
  9. John Ogliby.  America: Being the Latest and Most Accurate Description of the New World.  London: Printed by the Author, 1671. McGregor 129
  10. John Eliot.  Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God Naneeswe Nukkone Testament Kah Wonk Wusku Testament.  Cambridge: Samuel Green, 1661-1663. Rare Book BS345.A2 E4 1663
    1. This is the first Bible printed in North America, a translation into Algonquin for missionary work.
  11. Anne Bradstreet.  The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America.  London: Stephen Bowtell, 1650. Rare Book PS711 .A1 1650
  12. Herman Moll.  A New and Exact Map of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain on ye Continent of North America.  In The World Described, London: Herman Moll, 1715. [Possibly Rare Book G1015 .M6 1709
    1. Beavers caught the imagination of Europeans.  Not only did their pelts offer economic benefits, their curious buildings habits assured their frequent representation in maps and in descriptions of the new lands.  This detail of beavers hard at work developing a lodge metaphorically shows the promise of the new land.
  13. Robert Rogers.  Ponteach: or, the Savages of America.  London: Printed for the Author, 1766. Gilman 815R63 U7
  14. Cotton Mather.  Magnalia Christi Americana, or, The Ecclesiastical History of New-England.  London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, 1702. Rare Book F7 .M41 or Val  H831 M42ma
  15. Benjamin Franklin.  A Narrative on the Late Massacres in Lancaster County of a Number of Indians, Friends of this Province, by Persons Unknown.  Printed in the Year 1764. Val 815 F85 T5
  16. Thomas Warton.  The History of English Poetry, from the Close of the Eleventh Century.  London: J. Dodsley, J. Walter, T. Becket…, [1774-1781]. Fields 72
    1. Horace Walpole’s copy containing a tipped-in letter from Thomas Warton to Thomas Milles, 9 December 1787. 
  17. Alexander Pope.  An Essay on Man: Addressed to a Friend.  London: J.Wilford, n.d. Part I, first edition, 1733. Griffith’s Issue G: “Awake my Laelius” and “A mighty maze! Of walks without a plan.” Fields 46
  18. John, Earl of Rochester.  Poems, &c on Several Occasions: with Valentinian, a Tragedy.  London: Jacob Tonson, 1691. Ticknor VA R58p 
    1. Inscribed: Sir Frances Warre His Book 1695 on back flyleaf.
  19. [Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea.]  Miscellany Poems, on Several Occasions.  London: Printed for J[ohn] B[arber], 1713. Ticknor LE W72m
    1. First edition: “Written by a Lady.” “Lady Winchelsey” inscribed on the title page.
  20. Judith Drake.  An Essay in Defense of the Female Sex.  London: Printed for A. Roper and E. Wilkinson, 1696. Rare Book HQ1201 .A85 1696
    1. The authorship of this, the second edition of an early feminist tract, is in doubt.  Until recently it was attributed to Mary Astell, author of A Serious Proposal to the Ladies.
  21. Christopher Smart.  Poems on Several Occasions.  London: Printed for the Author, by W. Strahan 1752. Plates by Francis Hayman and Thomas Worlidge. Rare Book PR3687.S7 P65 1752