Richmond: Samuel Pleasants, 1803. 43pp. Modern half blue calf and marbled boards, original leather label retained. Moderate wear and soiling to text, title page with contemporary ownership inscription heavily inked over. One or two other ink notations to text. A solid copy. Good. Item #747
An anonymous collection of travel notices written by Virginian William Wirt. Wirt (1772-1834) was a lawyer who served as Attorney General of the United States and ran for President on the Anti-Masonic ticket. He also possessed literary aspirations, and he authored several works, including a monumental biography of Patrick Henry. “Enamored with the vibrant, intellectual culture of Jeffersonian Virginia, Wirt continued to hone his skills both for the legal and literary arenas. Wirt longed to be not only a lawyer of great repute but also to be known as a scholar and a gentleman. In September 1803 Wirt began to publish, in the Richmond Argus, a series of gossipy biographical sketches under the pen name ‘The British Spy’” -- ANB online. The end result was the present work, supposed to be the observations of a British traveler upon Virginian society.