Exhibited at Harford and New Haven, Connecticut: 1846. Unbound. This famous broadside measures 18” x 25.5” and is in exceptionally nice shape with some insignificant toning. The text reads in part
“GREAT AMERICAN MASTODON!! . . . / The SKELETON of this gigantic animal was discovered in the month of August last on the farm of Mr. Nathaniel Brewster . . . embedded in a marl pit. . .. / NO ANIMAL LIVING APPROACHES THIS IN SIZE . . . / 20,000 Pounds . . ..”. Very good. Item #009669
In the fall of 1845, an astonished crowd at Gilman’s Saloon in Hartford first viewed the skeleton of an extinct giant American Mastodaon that had been recently found at a marl pit near Newburgh, New York. At the time, the Harford Courant reported “We can hardly believe that a race of animals has inhabited this country, each one as large as three or four Elephants, but here is the proof before our eyes.” Its skeleton was 29 feet long and 12 feet high with 10-foot tusks, and the discovery raised innumerable questions at the time when emerging scientific hypotheses about the world’s origin had begun to seriously conflict with long-standing theological beliefs about the earth’s creation. The emergence of an obviously extinct, possibly pre-human, species potentially refuted the second chapter of Genesis although it partially supported the first.
In time, the skeleton was purchased by Harvard Professor John Warren, who built a special museum for the mastodon in Boston where it remained until purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It is still on display there today.
At the time of this listing, no other examples are for sale in the trade. The Rare Book Hub shows that only three have appeared at auction since 1888, and OCLC reports on three physical examples are held by institutions; one each at the Library of Congress, the New York Historical Society, and the American Antiquarian Society.