As we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the American Historical Manuscripts Cataloging Project staff would like to share this lovely discovery with our readers. This illuminated manuscript, done in the Carolingian style, was executed in 1932 by Madeline Abraham Scheuer for Dr. Victor H. Palsits (1867-1952). Palsits was the Keeper of Manuscripts at the New York Public Library from 1914-1941, and was also a member of the New-York Historical Society from 1927 until his death in 1952. Little is known about Madeline A. Scheuer, except that she was the wife of Alwin J. Scheuer, a prominent book dealer and collector. A collection of Mrs. Scheuer’s illuminations is held by the New York Public Library.
The text of Mrs. Scheuer’s illumination in the N-YHS collection is an excerpt from George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1789. Although the Continental Congress issued many Thanksgiving proclamations during the Revolution, Washington’s was the first one officially issued by our new nation (read the full text here).
This post is by Matthew Murphy, Head of Cataloging and Metadata.
Cataloging of the American Historical Manuscript Collection (AHMC), a group of 12,000 small and unique manuscript collections, is made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, and the Pine Tree Foundation of New York.