Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Paul Royster

Date of this Version



Following are reproduced the title pages of the five printed editions of Joshua Scottow’s Old Mens Tears for Their Own Declensions. It is certainly unusual for such a work to have been reprinted so many times over such a long period, 1691–1769, and it must testify to the continuing appeal of the tract in New England. Scottow died in 1698, and so had no hand in any of the editions except the first.
A multi-edition collation might yield a genetic tree, showing which editions derived from which others. Preliminary examination seems to suggest that the second and third editions derived independently from the first; and, moreover, that the fourth and fifth derived in some way from the third.
The information included here was collected from the Library of Congress National Union Catalogue, from WorldCat, from the online catalogues of the various institutions holding copies, and from examination of the online page-image versions in the Readex Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639– 1800.
It is possible that other copies exist than are recorded here; the work seems to have often been bound with other tracts and pamphlets and may have escaped cataloging. The discovery of any such copies would indeed be significant.
A sixth edition of Old Mens Tears was published online in 2005, edited by the author of the present article. It can be accessed at along with other materials by or relating to Joshua Scottow. It is a searchable electronic text in pdf format, based on the text of the first edition.