William Trickett's trade card is pasted inside the front board of the second of a pair of letterbooks John Adams bought in Philadelphia at the end of May or beginning of June 1776. On 2 June he wrote his wife: “In all the Correspondencies I have maintained, during a Course of twenty Years at least that I have been a Writer of Letters, I never kept a single Copy.” This “Negligence” had been a great inconvenience to him “on many Occasions,” but he had come to a new resolution: “I have now purchased a Folio Book, in the first Page of which, excepting one blank Leaff, I am writing this Letter, and intend to write all my Letters to you in it from this Time forward” (p. 3–4
, below). The bookbinder and stationer who supplied these letterbooks (which still survive in good condition) had announced himself “from London” as early as June 1774 in the Philadelphia newspapers; on 13 December 1775 his advertisement in the Pennsylvania Journal
informed the public that he “Makes and sells all sorts of Merchants Account Books, bound in leather or vellum, with or without Russia bands, and ruled to any pattern.” Located near the intersection of Front and Market streets “Facing Black-horse
Alley,” his shop was advantageously situated next door to the well-known Philadelphia printer William Bradford. From 1777 until 1780, when he died, Trickett occasionally supplied the Continental Congress and the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania with stationery.