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Transcription Experiments

Below is a short, four-page Almanack “fascicle” (hand-made booklet) that Mary Moody Emerson created in 1809. She seems to have considered this piece of writing a draft essay in response to current events.

One of many examples of Emerson’s engagement with the public intellectual marketplace, this Almanack contributes to a theological controversy that Unitarians and Calvinists were waging in Boston over the newly founded Andover Seminary. Our annotation research suggests that Emerson responded directly to contentious articles on the issue that were published in the Panoplist and the Boston Monthly Anthology at this time, and she concludes her remarks by condemning the “bigotry” that she rightly perceives on both sides of the incendiary debate. With a worldview that similarly informs her abolitionist sentiments, Emerson affirms her belief in universal salvation and the potential for reform by insisting that humanity must never “loose the remembrance that what is justice in man, benevolence &c, must be of the same kind in God.”

Below are the contents of this fascicle, followed by the editors’ unedited transcriptions of each page. You can see the evidence of page numbers, the first of which indicates that at one time at least four pages preceded the first surviving page.

Try your hand at transcribing this fascicle’s pages, and if you’d like more of a challenge, two more difficult pages from an 1806 and an 1806-1807 Almanack, respectively, follow.

Click on the first image below to enlarge it. You will then enter a slide show that you can advance to the right or left, taking you forward or backward through these fascicles and their transcriptions. You can also enlarge each image as prompted at the bottom of the screen (we especially advise enlarging the images of editors’ transcriptions, which read best in the expanded view). Click on the small “x” at the top left of the slide show’s screen to return to this page.

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