A full set: $345,000 re-unites Harbottle Dorr newspaper collection in Boston

As we reported, James D Julia put the final section of the Harbottle Dorr collection of annotated Massachusetts newspapers up for sale on Thursday (August 25).

Three of the four volumes are housed at the Massachusetts Historical Society and until recently the fourth set was held by the Bangor Historical Society for nearly a century, but the latter has become short of funds and decided to sell.

Starting on January 7, 1765 in the middle of the Stamp Act controversy, Boston shopkeeper, Harbottle Dorr took the current issue of the Boston Evening Post and commented on its contents in the margins.

Every week thereafter, for 12 years, he accumulated the papers totaling an astonishing 3,280 pages in four volumes.

Declaration of Independence newspaper
Not for recycling: Dorr's newspaper reports the Declaration of Independence

This volume has a 70+ page hand written index cross referencing the articles and events. It is an amazing and unique look at the Revolutionary Era in New England, even containing the July 18, 1776 issue of the printing of the Declaration of Independence.

(Collectibles relating to the events and people leading up to America's independence are often very valuable, such as this George Washington lottery ticket.)

The collection is expected to sell for $150,000 - $300,000 in the Maine and online auction, but it surpassed this to be sold to a telephone bidder for $345,000.

That bidder turned out to be a representative for Massachusetts Historical Society which now owns the whole set. The Society has expressed delight at fulfilling a long-term goal and now plans an exhibition of the collection.


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