Sunday, August 23, 2015

Samuel Draper of Massachusetts

Photo by T. Renwand.

When my nephew visited Boston recently, he graciously took some pictures of tombstones for me. Above is the tombstone of Samuel Draper, who died on March 21, 1767 at age 30. Samuel Draper is buried the Granary Burying Ground in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Pages 197 and 198 of the book THE DRAPERS IN AMERICA tell a bit about Samuel Draper:

Samuel Draper was the nephew and apprentice of John Draper (10). Soon after he came of age he went into trade with Zachariah Fowle, who stood in much need of a partner like Draper; their connection was mutually advantageous. Fowle had been in business seven years, but had made no progress in the advancement of his fortune. Draper was more enterprising, but had not capital to establish himself as a printer. He was a young man of correct habits and handsome abilities, industrious and a good workman. The connection continued five years, during which they printed three or four volumes of some magnitude; a large edition of "The Youth, Instructor in the English Language;" another of the " Psalter;" also a variety of pamphlets, and Chapman's small " Books and Ballads." They so far succeeded in trade that they kept free of debt, obtained a good livelihood, and increased their stock. Their printing house was in Marlborough Street, at the south corner of Franklin Street, Boston. The articles of co partnership contemplated a continuance of " Fowle & Draper," but the latter's uncle's death and the delicate health of his cousin, Richard Draper, who made liberal proposals to him, caused Draper to leave Fowle, and go into partnership with Richard Draper, where he remained till his death in 1767.

It is amazing to me that well over 200 years since his death as a young man, we can learn that Samuel Draper was "a young man of correct habits and handsome abilities, industrious and a good workman." Stones in cemeteries still tell stories! Thanks to Tony for taking this picture, and thanks to Google Books for helping me learn about this early Massachusetts printer!

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