Publications of the Moorsfield Press of
Champlain, New York
Hugh, Malcolm and Woody McLellan
from 1919 to the 1970s
Moorsfield Press was founded on April 21, 1919
by Hugh McLellan to print historic documents
from his father's Abraham Lincoln collection
as well as papers of his ancestor Pliny
McLellan founded the press, he chose the Caslon
Olde-Style and Old English typeface and
handmade paper to reproduce the style of 18th
century publications. He
consulted with his friend, Winfred Porter
Truesdell, who was an experienced publisher,
about the sizes and quantities of typeface he
needed. He also discussed with Truesdell
about how to print and bind his publications.
Truesdell quickly became the mentor of Hugh
McLellan in the early years of the press.
Immediately after founding the press, McLellan
received commercial orders from local
businesses. The amount of orders
increased over time and left little time for
historical publications. McLellan would
usually work the entire day, and sometimes
into the evening, printing jobs for customers.
amount of time needed to write and print
historical publications was tremendous. Some
publications consisted of only a short
transcribed letter and were quickly
printed. Longer publications needed
weeks or months of transcription time as it
was very difficult to read letters written in
the 1700s. The typeface then had to be
set by hand and a proof printed of each
page. Once the correct number of copies
were printed of a page, the typeset was reset
for the next page. Each publication was
printed page-by-page as there was only a
limited amount of typeface available.
Sometimes, it took months or even years to
print a pamphlet. The Pliny Moore
Obituary publication was printed over a eight
1937 and 1938 Hugh and Woody McLellan printed
the Moorsfield Antiquarian and
included many letters from his historical
collection. At the back of each pamphlet
were gravestone inscriptions from a local
cemetery that had been copied from the stones
(the McLellans copied over 8000 local cemetery
stones over the years; many of the stones are
not readable today; others have
disappeared). Eight numbers of the
publication were printed. The last
number of Volume 2 was finished in the
mid-1940s, long after the series had ended.
historical publications, the Moorsfield Press
printed for many local businesses and
municipalities. The press printed movie
posters, community event announcements,
business forms, letterheads, school district
forms, municipal government forms, ballots and
election material, wedding announcements,
tickets and raffle cards. Because this ephemera was printed
up to 100 years ago, the information on these
documents is now historically relevant.
summary of Moorsfield Press' historical
publications was printed by Hugh McLellan in
his Antiquarian magazine. The list has
been expanded by this author to include all
the known historic publications that were
printed over the years. A sample of the
business and civic printings is also presented
below. It would be impossible to find
and display all of the printings of the
Moorsfield Press as it was in operation for
over 60 years.
listed below are courtesy of several
private collections, except where
LINCOLN.A Letter in Reply to an
Invitation to Jefferson Festival in
Boston.April 6, 1859.8vo, pp(3).
Complete Title: "A Letter of Abraham
Lincoln in Reply to an Invitation to
Attend a Festival in Honor of the Birthday
25 copies were printed for Brown
University's 'McLellan Lincoln Collection'
display during Commencement Week in June
of 1923; 15 prints were handed to
visitors; a signed copy was also given to
Dr. Koopman who was the Brown University
Librarian (shown here in the link).
Print #2 is at the University of Illinois
Library (shown at Archive.org &
Hathitrust.org). After Joseph B.
Oakleaf's Lincoln Bibliography (1925) was
published, there were more requests for
this item but Hugh McLellan refused to
republish it. Brown University had
also asked for more copies. McLellan
realized it had become a rare item.
The original hand-written Lincoln letter
is now at Brown University, John Hay
Library, thanks to the generosity of John
D. Rockefeller, Jr., Class of 1897. Caslon type (hand-set); 25 copies on
Glaslan paper; wrappers.
Porter Truesdell and the Troutsdale Press
was a printer and collector of book plates,
engravings and wood-cuts. He operated
the Troutsdale Press in Boston, N.Y.C. and
Champlain, NY. He was an authority on
the photographs of Abraham Lincoln.
The following web pages contain
a sample of some of the business and civic
printings that the Moorsfield Press did from the
1920s to the 1980s for people and businesses in
the Town of Champlain, New York. This is an
incomplete sample of the printings and they are
not organized in any way. Printings for
individuals and many small businesses still or
recently in operation were not included with these
scans due to their personal nature.
Includes historical information cards,
Christmas cards, Bredenberg Ski brochures,
Champlain restaurant menus, Champlain Community
Exhibit programs from 1933 & 1934, school
graduations in the mid-1900s, Champlain
community announcement posters and Lyceum and
Lyric Theater movie posters. Over 200
items are displayed.
THE MANY PUBLICATIONS AND
BUSINESS PRINTINGS OF THE MOORSFIELD PRESS
WERE SCANNED FROM MATERIAL THAT IS OWNED BY THIS
ADDITIONAL PUBLICATIONS AND SOME POSTERS ARE
COURTESY THE SAMUEL de CHAMPLAIN HISTORY
CENTER AND ARE CREDITED ACCORDINGLY.
A SEPARATE WEB PAGE OF PRINTS
ARE COURTESY THE CLINTON COUNTY HISTORICAL
AND ARE DISPLAYED HERE BY WRITTEN
PERMISSION OF THE ASSOCIATION.
THE PRINTS ARE WATERMARKED ACCORDINGLY.