Manuscript notebook: "The March of Mind. A "thing" design'd to be "mouth'd" Commencement Day (So it favor find and the fates be kind,) by its maker, "J. P. K."
[Providence? 1836]. Small 4to, 20 leaves in all, in ink; very good and legible, but the notebook itself with covers loose and chipped. A note inside the front wrapper reads: "To the reader - The first four leaves do not belong to the piece as delivered. The reader will therefore begin at the fifth leaf. After reading from the fifth leaf onward, he may if he choose read the first four. They belong to the first edition, which proved too long, for the occasion." The occasion was apparently commencement day for the Brown University class of 1836, of which Knowles was a member. It was Knowles, apparently, who composed and read the class poem that day, and which according to a faint pencil note, was published in July, 1836. (Of this, we found no record.) A note in a later hand at the bottom of the first leaf reads: "John Power Knowles, Judge of the United States District Court of Rhode Island 1870-1881. He was an accomplished versifier and writer and was cousin of Rev. James D. Knowles of Boston who wrote "An Addition to Gray's 'Eulogy in a County Churchyard'." Laid in on 16 small octavo sheets is another of his poetical manuscripts, "Read before the Brother's Society, May 9th, 1835." And, tipped in at the back is an "Assignment of Parts for Com[mencement]." listing 22 students by name with assignments for "Valedictory," "Salutatory," "The Oration," etc., the Assignment torn at folds and miscreased, but without loss of any letters. Item #56427