The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXIX. Book Publishers and Publishing

§ 5. Other Centres

Of book publication in other languages during this period, little account need be taken, though there were a few French issues. When one turns, however, to the more subtle and pervasive influence of cultural infiltration, something more must be said for French. The intensely interesting catalogue of Moreau de St. Mery & Company’s Store, Philadelphia, 1795, with some 920 entries of French books, together with other evidence, shows that book dealers must have reckoned directly and publishers indirectly with French influence. Moreover, this catalogue, with its list of Latin, Italian, Spanish, German, and Dutch works gives eloquent testimony to the cultivation of our cosmopolitan capital. In no wise accidentally, as in large measure is to be said of Boston at a later period, was Philadelphia our chief centre of publication as the Republic began its political career.

In the meanwhile in this germinal eighteenth century other colonies had been making a beginning. One of the most influential of these, Virginia, had possibly seen an issue from her press as early as 1682, but at any rate it is fully authenticated that from 1730 to 1737 William Parks was under contract by the governments of Virginia and Maryland to maintain printing presses at Annapolis and at Williamsburg. The dates for the establishment of presses in other colonies and states most noteworthy in the annals of our early publishing are, according to the best authorities, Connecticut, 1709; Rhode Island, 1727; South Carolina, 1732; Kentucky, 1787; and Ohio, 1793.