Johnson, Joseph (New York, NY)

Joseph Johnson

Bookbinder and Printer

Duke Street

New York

New York ( 1731-1734)  1.

1.  Hannah French, "Early American Bookbinding by Hand" from: "Bookbinding in
America" Lehmann-Haupt ed. 1967. pg.106.

2.  Johnson was made a freeman on January 12, 1731. Collections of the N.Y.
Historical Society, The Burghers of New Amsterdam and The Freemen of New York
1765-1866 pg. 115  He may have learned the trade  from William Bradford.
Lawrence C. Wroth The Colonial Printer, pg. 191.

  1. (1734)  "Joseph Johnson of the City of New York Bookbinder, is now set up
    Book-binding for himself as formerly, and lives in Duke-street... near the Old
    Slip Market; where all Persons in Town or Country, may gave their Books
    carefully and neatly new bound either Plain or Gilt reasonable" from the New
    York Gazette, October 7, 1734. Worth 'guesses' that Johnson may have earlier
    been employed by William Bradford. The Colonial Printer, Lawrence C. Wroth pg.
    193.  The same ad was placed in The New York Gazette, September, 23-30, 1734
    a similar ad appears in The New York Weekly Journal Sept 30,1734.

  2. (1734) Johnson was suspected of having several counterfeit ten shilling
    notes and although he managed to elude the constables he left  behind his six
    year old son. Joseph Jr. would be apprenticed, by the court, to William
    Bradford printer and was expected to remain with him until reaching the age of
    twenty one. Justice in N.Y. Under George II's Regime New York Times July 21,

  3. "New Yorkers who tried to counterfeit their own local currency were no
    safer, Joseph Johnson was a bookbinder and printer who printed up illegal
    tender as well as pamphlets and books. one evening in 1734 a New Yorker who
    had received the forged bills from Joseph brought them back. Joseph did not
    deny that he had given the man the counterfeit bills, and he offered to
    exchange them for legal tender. As he did so , however, he was "in an Agony an
    Trembled"; an hour later he packed up his bags and absconded to Philadelphia
    in the middle of the night, leaving his wife Catherine and their six-year old
    son. The authorities never found Joseph but they arrested Catherine for trying
    to put "a great number " of bills into circulation She was convicted of a
    misdemeanor (the court assumed that she had not been a part of their
    manufacture) and sentenced to receive twenty-one lashes"  Dangerous Economies,
    Status and Commerce in Imperial New York, Serena R. Zabin, pg 22

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