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Stevens, Henry

STEVENS, HENRY (1819-1886), American bibliographer, was born in Barnet, Vermont, on the 24th of August 1819. He studied at Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1838-1839, graduated at Yale in 1843 and studied at the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Law School in 1843-1844. In 1845 he went to London, where he was employed during most of the remainder of his life as a collector of Americana for the British Museum and for various public and private American libraries. He was engaged by Sir Anthony Panizzi, librarian of the British Museum, to collect historical books, documents, journals, etc., concerning North and South America; and he was purchasing agent for the Smithsonian Institution and for the library of Congress, as well as for James Lenox, of New York, for whom he secured much of the valuable Americana in the Lenox library in that city, and for the John Carter Brown library, at Providence, Rhode Island. He became a member of the Society of Antiquaries in 1852, and in 1877 was a member of the committee which organized the Caxton Exhibition, for which he catalogued the collection of Bibles. He died at South Hampstead, England, on the 28th of February 1886.

His principal compilations and publications were: an Analytical Index to the Colonial Documents of New Jersey in the Stale Paper Office in England (1858), constituting vol. v. of the New Jersey Historical Society's Collections; Collection of Historical Papers relating to Rhode Island . . . 1640-1775 (6 vols.), for the John Carter Brown library; historical indexes of the colonial documents relating to Maryland (10 vols.), now in the library of the Maryland Historical Society; and a collection of papers relating to Virginia for the period 1585-1775, incomplete, deposited in the Virginia state library in 1858; a valuable Catalogue of American Maps in the Library of the British Museum (1856); catalogues of American, of Mexican and other Spanish-American and of Canadian and other British North American books in the library of the British Museum ; Historical and Geographical Notes on the Earliest Discoveries in America, 1453-1530, with Comments on the Earliest Maps and Charts, etc. (1869); Sebastian Cabot - John Cabot = o (1870); The Bibles in the Caxton Exhibition, 1877 (1878) ; and Recollections of Mr James Lenox, of New York, and the Formation of his Library (1886).

His brother, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN STEVENS (1833-1902), also a bibliographer, was born at Barnet, Vermont, on the 19th of February 1833, was educated at the university of Vermont, and in 1860 became associated with his brother in London. For about thirty years he was engaged in preparing a chronological list and alphabetical index of American state papers in English, French, Dutch and Spanish archives, covering the period from 1763 to 1784, and he prepared more than 2000 facsimiles of important American historical manuscripts found in European archives and relating to the period between 1773 and 1783. He also acted as purchasing agent for various American libraries, and for about thirty years before his death was United States despatch agent at London and had charge of the mail intended for the vessels of theiUnited States jiavy serving in Atlantic or European stations. He died at Surbiton, Surrey, England, on the 5th of March 1902.

His principal publications include Campaign in Virginia, 1781-: an Exact Reprint of Six Rare Pamphlets on the Clinton- Cornwallis Controversy, with . . . Manuscript Notes by Sir Henry Clinton; with a Supplement containing Extracts from the Journals of the House of Lords (1888); Facsimiles of Manuscripts in European Archives Relating to America, 1773-1783, with Descriptions, References and Translations (25 vols., 1889-1898); General Sir William Howe's Orderly Book at Charlestown, Boston and Halifax (1890); and Columbus: His Own Book of Privileges, 1502 (1893).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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