Writing in the Eighteenth Century


A Pen-Knife Razor Metal, Quills good Store:

Gum sandrick powder, to Pounce Paper o’er;

Ink, shining black, Paper more white than Snow,

Round and flat Rulers on yourselves bestow,

With willing Mind, these, and industrious Hand,

Will make this Art your Servant at Command.
The above poem is taken from page 28 of George Fisher's The American instructor: or, Young man's best companion. Containing, spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, in an easier way than any yet published; and how to qualify any person for business, without the help of a master; instructions to write variety of hands...; how to write letters on business or friendship; forms of indentures...releases, &c.; also merchant's accompts, and a short and easy method of shop and bookkeeping; with a description of the several American Colonies; together with the carpenter's plain and exact rule...; likewise the practical gauger made easy...; to which is added, The poor planter's physician...and also prudent advice to young tradesmen and dealers; the whole better adapted to these American colonies, than any other book of the like kind  For the full description see the image below.

The aim of this book is great as it seemingly attempts to include an entire education in a single volume. I am already acquainted with the double entry bookkeeping system and may skip that section but I am curious to learn about the "Variety of Hands" and "How to write Letters on Business or Friendship." I will share my findings soon and hope you will join me as I delve in to the past.

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