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[ Volumes up to 1800 | Volumes after 1800 | Books of the American Revolution ]


James Wilkinson. [Atlas intended to accompany] Memoirs of My Own Times. By General James Wilkinson. Philadelphia: Abraham Small, 1816. Atlas only. 19 maps and plans numbered 20 of various sizes. One map with bottom margin cut off and l.r. corner missing. Sheets uncut but some patched. Ex libris, small ink stamps on 2 sheets. Bound in attractive cloth. Repairs to maps excellent. A superb copy of this very scarce atlas which Howes speculates was issued separately since the text and atlas are seldom found together. The maps by Henry S. Tanner are excellent and unusual. $1,500

A New and Popular Pictorial Description of the United States - Containing an account of the topography, settlement, history, revolutionary and other interesting events, statistics, progress in agriculture, manufactures and population, &c, of each State in the Union. New York: Published by Robert Sears, 128 Nassau Street, Second Edition, 1848. Brown cloth with gilt title and illustrations to front, spine and rear. Book conserved with new hinges and toned covers. Interior complete with normal light browning. Previous owner's bookplate inside front cover. 608 pages with four page publisher's catalogue etc. at rear, illustrated with frontispiece and decorative title page and throughout with numerous engravings in text including many full page plates.

Robert Sears (1810-1892) was an enterprising publisher, one of the first in America to pay particular attention to illustrated books on technology, science, history and travel, covering areas as diverse as the United States, continental Europe, Russia, China and Japan. He produced reams of books and dispatched peddlers to sell them everywhere.

The Pictorial Description contained text and illustrations regarding each state in the Union. $350

Henry B. Dawson. Battles of the United States by Sea and Land. Illustrated by Alonzo Chappel. New York: Johnson, Fry & Co., 1860. Two quarto volumes. 38 steel engravings plus two engraved title pages, after paintings and drawings by Alonzo Chappel. Bound in original half leather with stamping in gold. Gilt page ends. The usual scuffing to leather. Some slight staining to the interior.

A superb collection of steel engraved prints accompanying a military history of the United States. The images were drawn by Alonzo Chappel, a noted historical artist who illustrated a number of volumes in the mid-nineteenth century. Included in these two volumes are some portraits of military figures and many battle scenes from the Revolution, War of 1812 and Mexican-American War. As with a large number of publications on the eve of the American Civil War, this one recalled the glories of history to provide a common bond which might help keep the country together. The intention failed, but the product is beautiful. $600

J[esse] A[mes] Spencer. History of the United States from the Earliest Period to the Administration of President Johnson. 4 vols. New York: Johnson, Fry & Co., 1866. Half leather with gold stamped eagle motif on pebble grain boards; gold stamping on spine with owner's name. Raised bands. Some browning and spotting internally, but overall fine. Collation. I: [i]-xiv, [1]-540, 23 plates. II: [i]-viii, [9]-540, 20 plates. III: [i]-viii, [9]-568, 23 plates. IV: [i]-544, index [i]-xxxviii, 27 plates.

This handsome set in four volumes updates and adds illustrations to the more often seen 1858 edition of three volumes. The last volume describes the coming of Lincoln and the Civil War. The illustrations are steel engravings mostly after paintings by Alonzo Chappel and include 59 depictions of events and 34 portraits. Facsimiles of documents include an early draft of the Declaration of Independence within the text. A lovely and moving history of the United States of America through the first half of the Nineteenth century. $900

Diary of E.Y. Goldsborough, U.S. Marshall in Baltimore for the year 1870. Title page is for "Excelsior Diary for 1870" with wood engraved vignettes showing the four seasons. 12 mo. 108 leaves with hand written entries on almost every page. Very clean in original folding leather binding.

Here is a faithful diarist who made an entry every day, if only to report the weather. Also included in the back is a day by day listing of every payment of moneys. E.Y. Goldsborough's home was in Frederick, Md., but he worked in Baltimore and made many trips around the state and to Washington, D.C. Goldsborough was active in the G.A.R., did some traveling for that organization to New York and Kentucky, and had meetings twice with President Grant and once with Gen. Sherman. He seldom states why he goes to places, but one can tell by the speed of his conveyance that he is using trains. Goldsborough's reactions to the appearance of Baltimore on the day that Gen. R.E. Lee died and his involvement in meetings with "colored people" give a flavor to the political and social happenings of the time. A fascinating diary of one year in the life of a Civil War veteran in Baltimore. $300

Picturesque American Scenery. Boston: Estes & Lauriat, 1883. 4to. Twenty-four steel engravings, with original tissue guards. Engravings in excellent condition. Bound in cloth cover with embossed decorative border and title. Board hinges slightly cracked. Otherwise, firm and in very good condition.

This view book contains, "A series of twenty-five beautiful steel engravings from designs by W.H. Bartlett, George L. Brown, and Thomas Moran, with text by N.P. Willis and others." During the 1870s, view books were in high demand due to the great popularity. The two major popular works of this genre in the nineteenth century were William Cullen Bryant's Picturesque America and N. P. Willis' earlier American Scenery. This book of views and accompanying description and poetic text can be seen as part of this lineage of popular American view books, and it borrows the same format as the earlier publications. It is wonderfully illustrated with twenty-one steel engravings by W.H. Bartlett, and one by Thomas Moran. Bartlett particularly associated with the views which appeared in American Scenery, and these plates are taken from that original publication. These prints were extremely popular from the their first appearance, and they established Bartlett's reputation as the premier 'picturesque' travel artist, a reputation he has retained to this day. $425

Gustav Kobbé. The New Jersey Coast and Pines: An Illustrated Guide-Book (with Road-Maps). Short Hills: Gustav Kobbé, 1889. 6 1/2 x 4 3/8. Red cloth titled in gilt. Illustrated, with three (of the original five) color maps. 108 text and illustrations pages complete, with a few pages loose. Some cracking to spine. Else, clean and very attractive.

Gustave Kobbé (1857-1918), born in New York City and educated in music and the law, became a writer on music and drama, publishing books, newspaper articles and magazine pieces on these subjects and rising through a number of positions on several newspapers to be the music and art critic of the New York Herald. Although his hobby of sailing would lead to his death in a boating accident, it had also inspired this book, which the preface stated aimed to be "an accurate descriptive guide-book to the Jersey Coast – from Sandy Hook to Atlantic City – and to the Jersey Pine Plains." Many of the illustrations are from photographs made by the author. $175

The American Soldier in the Civil War. The Frank Leslie's Illustrations. New York: Bryan, Taylor & Co, 1895. Folio. Original buckram binding; loose and with considerable wear. With text and "profusely illustrated" with wood engravings. Interior very good.

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper was one of the two great American weekly newspapers which visually documented the Civil War. Filled with wood engravings based on drawings made on the spot, these newspapers provided front lines images of the events and personalities of the Civil War for many readers around the country. Leslie's included some of the most interesting and authentic images of this war, providing a visual record of the conflict which is of inestimable value. Late in the nineteenth century two volumes were issued using the original blocks from Leslie's accompanied by text written by soldiers and scholars, making these wonderful prints available once again. $350

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War. New York: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896. Folio. Original buckram binding; some minor wear. With text and "profusely illustrated" with wood engravings. Interior very good.

Another reissue of the Leslie's wood-engraved illustrations of the Civil War. $350

William H. Brown. [Facsimile of] Portrait Gallery of Distinguished American Citizens, with Biographical Sketches and Fac-similes of Original Letters. Hartford: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1845. At back of titlepage is the notice, "This reissue is published by G.A. Baker & Co., New York, 1931." Limited to 600 copies; this one is not numbered.

Frontispiece with portrait of Washington plus 26 other silhouettes and one page, lithographed manuscript facsimile of each man's writing to accompany each of the 27 portraits, 111 pages of text. It has powerful images and fascinating text on each famous American. Howes, B871 gives the quick history of the various editions, including this one. Gold stamped blue buckram binding.

This book contains a rare group of prints taken from silhouettes cut by William Henry Brown (1808-1883), who was one of the most famous and best practitioners of the now almost lost art of silhouette cutting. No later than 1843, Brown contracted with the noted Hartford lithographic firm of E.B. & E.C. Kellogg to issue a number of lithographs based on his silhouettes of "Distinguished American Citizens," and this resulted in a bound volume of these prints. The prints themselves are copyright dated 1844, and so it is not unlikely that they were issued separately beginning at that date. Not only are these fascinating and unusual images of the men shown but the originals are quite rare as well. In an interview in 1874, Brown stated that the bulk of the first edition was destroyed by fire. This was perhaps the November 21, 1854 fire in the bindery of Case, Tiffany & Co., the binders of the portfolio. Some complete editions of the folios and some of the individual prints did survive, but they are very scarce. Here is the later facsimile of off-set reproductions, issued in 1931 which made the images more accessible. $750

William H. Brown. [Facsimile of] Portrait Gallery of Distinguished American Citizens, with Biographical Sketches and Fac-similes of Original Letters. Hartford: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1845. Here are the 27 portraits on separate sheets in the box issued in 1931 when a reproduction with text and facsimiles of documents were issued. Gold stamped blue buckram box. Some bumping at corners. Prints are in excellent condition. $750

List of plates (unobtrusive library stamp on back of each):

Edward S. Curtis. The North American Indian: The Southwest. Santa Fe: Classic Gravure Corporation, 1980. Reprint of 1906. Forward by Theodore Roosevelt. New Introdutions by Beaumont Newhall and Fred Eggan. Folio. Leather boards with minor wear. Gilt lettering on spine. Very good condition.

Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) began his career as a photographer at age seventeen in St. Paul, Minnesota, moving two years later to Seattle, where he continued his profession. In 1895, he met and photographed Princess Angeline (Kikisoblu), a daughter of Chief Sealth or Seattle (Ts'ial-la-kum), after whom the city was named. This got Curtis interested in photographing Native Americans and he began to travel to record different tribal cultures. He soon developed the idea of documenting in a comprehensive publication North American tribes and began to seek funding. He received a letter of recommendation from Theodore Roosevelt, which led to his introduction to railroad magnate John Pierpont Morgan, who committed to support the project. Curtis took to this project with enthusiasm, taking tens of thousands of photographs of 80 tribes. His intent was to document traditional Indian cultures, so he also recorded information on the languages, customs, and dress of the tribes and wrote biographical sketches of many of the tribal leaders.

Although the publisher of this book intended to reprint the entire Curtis work using original plates, the company went out of business and this was the only volume produced. And, as it was intended to reproduce text, the only illustration is the frontispiece self-photograph of the author.

The Editor's Note states: "This text has been abridged from Volumes I, II, XII, XVI, and XVII of The North American Indian. The intention of this volume is to give a condensed account of the ways of life of the Southwestern Indians. It includes descriptions of tribal organizations, habitats, social and religious customs, domestic articles, and arts. To effect a thorough summary, passages have necessarily been extracted from the appendices; much of the complex Indian terminology has been translated to facilitate the narrative flow. However, an accurate rendering of Curtis' form and style has been faithfully retained, with only transitional elements having been added." The volume contains information on such tribes as: Apache, Jicarillas, Navaho, Pima, Papago, Qahatika, Mohave, Yuma, Maricopa, Walapai, Havasupai, Apache-Mohave or Yavapai, Hopi, Tiwa, Keres and Zuni. $600

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