MELVILLE, Herman (1819-1891). Partly-printed document signed ("Herman Melville"), New York, 13 January 1847.

Three pages, bifolium, 255x 198mm, countersigned by Allan MELVILLE (1823-1872) as witness and John Treat IRVING (1778-1838) as notary. Red wax seal at upper left, laid into a larger sheet (very light toning). [With:] an additional partly-printed document signed ("Anthony Barclay") New York, 13 January 1847. One page, 245 x 210 mm, affixed with wax seal at lower left corner of the first page of the former document (toning from wax seal and some wear to left margin).

With the death of Gansevoort Melville, Herman Melville grants power of attorney to John Broadhead to secure a British copyright for Omoo. Melville appoints John Romeyn Broadhead, a member of the American legation in London as "my true and lawful Attorney for me and in my name … to take out a copyright for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, of a certain book of which I am the author entitled 'Omoo,' a narrative of adventures in the South Seas' &c, and the right to publish and dispose of said book in the United Kingdom…." Additionally, Melville granted Broadhead the power to negotiate the terms of publication including financial arrangements. The first leaf bears a notarial certification of the power of attorney, signed by John T. Irving, one of Washington Irving's brothers, while the attached document, signed by Barclay, attests to the document's authenticity as well as the notarization. Gansevoort Melville, who was part of the American legation under Ambassador George Bancroft in London, had been acting as Herman's literary agent until his death in May 1846. John Romeyon Broadhead (1844-1873), a childhood friend of both Herman and Allan Melville and also part of the same diplomatic legation, took over the role of Herman's literary agent until he returned to the U.S. in 1849. During his time in London he negotiated the sales of both Omoo and Mardi.
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