Philadelphia: E. L. Carey & A. Hart, 1833. Second edition. 8vo., 44 pp. The majority of the leaves are age-toned, with occasional spotting of the last few leaves. Contemporary quarter calf and tips with marbled paper over boards and matching endpapers; spine label titled in gilt. Slight rubbing and scuffing to the binding. A very good copy with the ink signature of Jas. Wickham, Va. 1854 on the margin of the title page. Item #54547
John Wickham, 1763 - 1839, was a loyalist during the American Revolution; after the war, he earned a law degree from the College of William and Mary, where he became close friends with John Marshall. Admitted to the Virginia bar, Wickham established a law practice in Richmond. In 1807, Wickham was the lead council in the trial for treason of Aaron Burr; the presiding judge was John Marshall.
Wickham's interest in agriculture, weather and climate, noted in his commonplace book of 1804 - 1807, was the source for the first edition of this pamphlet, which was first published privately in 1809, and reissued in 1833, with added extensive notes. Beginning on page 28, Wickham makes his case for the cultivation of grapes with vines imported from Europe; specifically, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland, as their climates are much like those "south of lakes Erie and Ontario, and the mountainous district that separates the eastern waters from those that fall into the Mississippi, in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and perhaps the Carolinas..."
The first edition of this pamphlet by John Wickham, 1809, is not only the first work on the climate of the United States, it also predates the publication of what is considered the first work on viticulture in the United States: John Adlum's, A Memoir On the Cultivation of the Vine in America, and the Best Mode of Making Wine. Washington: David & Force, 1823. WorldCat locates copies only six copies of this edition: New York Historical Society, Harvard University, University of Virginia, New Yoprk Public Library, Duke University, and American Philosophical Society.