Important Context: “The Columbian Orator’ is a collection of political writings which were designed and published to be used to teach reading and speaking in American classrooms in the 19th-century. Gathered and edited by Caleb Bingham, this work became an inspiration to many Americans, including Frederick Douglass, known to have referenced it to develop his abolitionist speeches.
Bingham included general instructions on speaking, speeches which appeared in Congress, descriptions of British parliament, a eulogy on Benjamin Franklin, Socrates’ plea in the Roman Court, extracts from Cicero’s Catiline Orations, George Washington’s address to the people of the United States, Napoleon’s speech to the French army, and notably commentary and discussion regarding the state and utilization of slavery..”
Blurb: “Published according to Act of Congress
The Columbian Orator Containing a variety of Original and Selected Pieces together with Rules, calculated to Improve Youth and Others in the ornamental and useful Art of Eloquence.
Caleb Bingham, A.M. Printed and sold by Parker and Bliss, at the Troy Bookstore, Sign of the Bible
This is a beautiful, old and worn, leather bound, book from the 1800’s. Binding is partially split. Cover is worn, brittle, and has what appears to be a paint splotch, about the size of a quarter. Imagine this book being carried in someone’s knapsack over the hills and countryside, perhaps to stop and read while sitting under a tree or at the train station. Inside cover has inked “Mar. 5, 1780” and “This old book is for Cody”. There is also a label that is half gone and the name "Lemuel Standish" inked back in. First blank leaf page has a bite out of it about the size of a thumb print. Pages seem to be tight, with no loose or missing pages. Many pages have watermarks and stains. There are in drops here and there. There are many pages with folded corners and edges. Page 109 has a 1.5 inch slit tear from the outer edge and page 111 has a quartered sized bite out of the bottom margin, but it does not reach the printed words. All 300 pages are present and no pages are stuck together. The back blank leaf has material missing from the edges. Overall, this is a neat piece of history. First published in 1797.
Name / owner in book, (possibly) Lemuel Standish, 1765-1857, birthplace Connecticut. Benson, VT”