George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Boyle, 6 October 1790

From John Boyle

Boston, 6 October 1790. Transmits at his earliest opportunity a bundle that “came in a Trunk of Books address’d to me by Mr Charles Dilly of London.”1


Marblehead, Mass., native John Boyle (c.1746–1819) served an apprenticeship under Boston printers Green & Russell before opening his own printing office and bookshop on Marlborough Street in Boston in 1771. In May 1774 he associated himself with Richard Draper, publisher of the Massachusetts Gazette: and the Boston Weekly News-Letter, and continued the partnership with Draper’s widow following Draper’s death in June 1774. Boyle dissolved the connection in August 1774 because of Margaret Draper’s Tory leanings and returned to his Marlborough Street shop. He sold off his own press and types in 1775 but retained his bookselling operation until his death (Columbian Centinel [Boston], 20 Nov. 1819; Isaiah Thomas, The History of Printing in America, ed. Marcus A. McCorison [New York, 1970], 170, 230–31, 291, n.31; Joseph T. Buckingham, Specimens of Newspaper Literature: with Personal Memoirs, Anecdotes, and Reminiscences [2 vols.; Boston, 1850], 1:42–43).

1The bundle, presumably of books, has not been identified. Charles Dilly (1739–1807), a prominent London bookseller, was the publisher of Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (2 vols., London: 1791) and later master of the Stationers’ Company.

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