Canton, China: World Cooperative, . 10.5 x 15 inches,  pp, newsprint bifolium printed in two columns. Light soiling and rubbing, a little creasing at the folds, library stamp dated "Apr 19 1934" and another stating "sample," very good or better overall. Undated, but internal evidence confirms a publication date of March/April of 1934. Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh (1886-1979) was an Indian social reformer and freedom fighter who flirted with Marxism, but ultimately embraced "Panchayati Raj," a decentralized, representational political system based on local autonomy. Although born to wealth and privilege, he was committed from a young age to resistance against British rule and to the establishment of an independent India. In 1909, he left the subcontinent, donating the bulk of his estate for a residential technical school for workers. He spent the next several years traveling, honing the ideas which would form the basis for his later collectivist philosophy. In 1915, he established the first Provisional Government of India (as a government-in-exile) in Afghanistan, gaining backing and support of a number of world leaders, among them Lenin and Kaiser Wilhelm. In 1923, the British Raj enacted the "Mahendra Pratap Estate Act," stripping him of his remaining estate; by 1925 he had become such a thorn in the British Empire's side that he was forced to flee to the safety of Japan with a bounty on his head. There he continued to write, envisioning a utopian system "doing away with the unequal institutions of the past and creating a sort of world federation where all humanity would be united and everyone would be the same." Under continuous threat of harassment by the British, Pratap moved frequently until the end of the second World War, taking up residence in China, Afghanistan, the Philippines, the United States, and (most often) Japan. During this time he published regularly and was in contact with Gandhi and other important figures in the Indian independence movement. Although Pratap's ideas were not universally lauded, they drew the attention of political leaders and thinkers worldwide and earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932. This rare issue of "World Cooperative" provides a window into Pratap's philosophy as it existed in between the World Wars. Among the topics explored are the difference between the World Cooperative and communism; the structure of his proposed World Army and World Federation; the dangers of dictatorship; Hitler and the establishment of a new home for the Jews; the "Holy figure of Ghandi;" and the state of affairs in India, Afghanistan, the Soviet Union, China, and Siam. Pratap also provides a summary of his past two months of travel in China, which has included visits to Tsinan, Tsingtao, Dairen, and Amoy. An extraordinary and scarce document. Not found in OCLC.
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Philadelphia: Gregg & Elliot, 1834. 3.5 x 5.5 inches, pp xi, 13-162, in original printed paper boards with black leather spine. Boards darkened, stained, and worn at the corners, front joint partially cracked, but otherwise sound. Ownership signature of Henry Barnes dated 1840 on several pages. Moderate foxing throughout; good. Born in Pennsylvania in 1737, James Smith was captured by Delaware Indians at the age of 18, brought to Fort Duquesne and turned over to the French, and ultimately adopted by a Mohawk family. He traveled with them through the Old Northwest for four years, finally escaping and returning to western Pennsylvania to take up farming. He also became an active military campaigner, serving in the 1760s as commander of the “Black Boys,” a self-appointed group of irregulars that opposed British policy toward the Indians and sought to protect white settlements in the region. "In 1764 he joined Henry Bouquet’s expedition against the Ohio Indians as a lieutenant. With a group of comrades he explored eastern Kentucky and Tennessee in 1766 and 1767, being among the first Europeans to enter that part of the world" (ANB). In the 1790s, he settled in Kentucky, where he served for several years as a legislator in the General Assembly. This account of his captivity ordeal was first published by John Bradford in Lexington in 1799. Our copy is a reprint of the 1831 second edition. All early printings are scarce. Howes (S-606) describes the content as the "dynamic activities of an inveterate frontiersman on the borders of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky, including a captivity among the Indians from 1755 to 1759. One of the imperial books on the early Ohio valley." Field (p. 367) says "Colonel Smith was himself the type of the chivalric, brave, and generous frontiersman, of which class Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton were famous examples. He possessed the advantage of an intellect cultivated in the rude border schools, it is true, yet not ill cultivated in such places as heroes were not seldom bred." Ayer 267; Sabin 82765.
An archive of galley proofs and mock-ups (some with manuscript corrections), manuscript articles (40 pp), and subscription requests for Volume I, Number 1 of The Moon, as well as two detailed letters related to the paper's content and production, two letters and several newspaper clippings on a related controversy over treatment of patients at the Asylum, and additional ephemera from the Asylum's director. Nearly all material in very good condition or better; itemized list available on request. The February, 1883 issue of Printers’ Circular and Stationers’ and Publishers’ Gazette reported with interest that the residents of the New York City Asylum for the Insane had begun to publish a newspaper. Although they acknowledged that several other asylums had done the same (“as a means of diverting the diseased minds of unfortunate inmates"), the editors felt this one deserved special notice. While similar publications had been "sugar-coated" and kept the source of the publication a secret, this one did not. Its masthead bore an attractive wood engraving of the asylum, and its name, The Moon, served only to draw attention to the "lunatic" status of its contributors. Moreover, “it is a well printed sheet, the presence of a large number of practical printers in the asylum ensuring good typographic work.”The Moon was the brain-child of Dr. Alexander Macdonald (1845-1906), a Toronto-born psychiatrist who had earned both medical and law degrees at NYU and quickly risen through the ranks working in New York City public hospitals. In 1875, he was appointed Medical Superintendent of the New York City Asylum for the Insane on Ward's Island, and there he set to work making changes to both hospital management and living conditions for patients. He had substandard and uncomfortable furniture replaced, ordered better and healthier food, abolished manual restraints, and increased funding for patient enrichment programs—one of which was to be the publication of a newspaper. The archive includes two 1882 letters to Macdonald from Thomas D. Maitland, a patient who had worked as a professional stenographer, and whom Macdonald seems to have tasked with developing The Moon's editorial content. Maitland assures Macdonald he is up to the task and details his own ambitious ideas for the paper, among them reporting on "any remarkable cures effected, and every improvement and success achieved, comparing such cases with those of a similar character in the history and reports of other institutions" and "items of interest of all the outside charities in the city and state." He also articulates an interesting reason for being transparent about the publication's origin:In consonance with an idea which you are represented as having expressed to some of the reporters of the large dailies, it will be a good feature of the paper to keep up the notion of editorial insanity. This will afford an immense leverage on our side when criticizing the outside world through lunatic glasses, and under this cover of the editorial sanctum very sharp double entendres can be perpetrated with impunity and laughed at, which if uttered from a solemn standpoint would be offensive.To the best of our knowledge, the first (and only) issue of The Moon was never actually completed, despite Dr. Macdonald having given several interviews to publicize the forthcoming publication (resulting in subscription requests from around the country). Some form of advance issue was evidently sent out for review, but we have located no holdings of that, or of any issue of The Moon. The reason for the project's failure may lie in a controversy that hit the press in late 1882, after a patient claimed in court that he had been held captive in the asylum despite being sane, while MacDonald argued strenuously that he was a danger to society. The patient won his release, and the case had a significant negative effect on public perception of the Asylum and its leadership. Shortly afterward, Thomas Maitland made a similar claim, and he, too, was released. The loss of his leadership may have been the reason The Moon never reached fruition, but we can only speculate. The materials gathered here indicate that the paper reached a late stage of production, and that several other patients were hard at work on it –as evidenced by the typesetting work and articles written in several different hands. The tone of The Moon is generally witty and self-deprecating. In one column, the editors demand that correspondents who are not regular inmate of Insane Asylums must accompany their communications with satisfactory proof of their insanity, unless such proofs are manifest in the communications themselves. No further evidence will be required from correspondents forwarding poetry. Another item notes that new signs have been erected on the border between the Asylum grounds and the Homeopathic Hospital next door, reading No patients allowed to leave these grounds. “It is said,” reports The Moon, “that through a mistake in measurement the boards were not made sufficiently large. The word 'alive" had to be, consequently, omitted at the end of the notice.”With a combination of facetious commentary and serious journalistic intent, the extant content (both printed and manuscript) of The Moon includes an explanation of the subscription terms and planned publication schedule (monthly, on the date of the full moon), a history of asylum journalism, an article on the moon's effect on animal behavior, a (critical) review of a book by an inmate of a another asylum, an explanation of the paper's title, and descriptions of the Asylum's print shop, theatrical program, and workshops. Collectively, the materials in this archive offer rare insight into the thoughts and creative talents of asylum patients and will inform future research on asylum journalism and the debate over institutionalization and quality of care for the mentally ill in the nineteenth century.
Seven signed manuscript letters on United States Internal Revenue letterhead, each on is on a single sheet, ranging in length from approximately 50 to 100 words. Old folding creases, minor spotting; very good. The Internal Revenue Service was created in 1862, when an income tax was enacted to help fund the Civil War. The Revenue Act of 1870 allowed the income tax to expire, but taxes on certain luxury goods remained in place, and a small staff of men was charged with collecting them. Here, Reuben Rockwell, Tax Assessor for the 4th District based out of Colebrook, Connecticut) writes to George Pierpont, a tax collector under his supervision based in Watertown. On August 15, 1870, he requests a report on "the quantity of leaf tobacco, also stems, scraps, clippings, &c." purchased and sold by "all cigar manufacturers in this district between January 1, 1869 and the present, adding that in future tuis information should be provided monthly. In another letter, Rockwell instructs Pierpont to provide forms for all distillers to record their "numbers and capacity," and wonders "why there should be so much difference in the distillers about running their stills. Some in Oct made 9 boilings in 24 hours, while others with about the same sized stills made but 4. I suppose some make better brandy than others." On the question of tax exemption of "bequests made to institutions of literary, educational, or charitable character" Rockwell writes that a "bequest made by Isaac Skinner to the Congregational Society of Harwinton and the American Missionary Association might possibly be construed to be of that kind, although I don't think a Congregational Society would be included, and the Missionary Society may not be. I don't know its particular object. Please write me tomorrow your views." Together, an interesting peek into the daily work of some of the first employees of the IRS.
Sioux City, Iowa: 1881. Broadside, 7.75 x 9.75 inches. Old folding creases, else fine. Not found in OCLC. A artifact of the profitable schemes of eccentric Sioux City businessman Daniel Hector Talbot (1850-1911), who made his fortune buying and selling abandoned homesteads and unwanted claims. He used his some of his real estate profits to purchase a large farm outside the city, where he raised elk, bison, bears, wolves, and monkeys and conducted breeding experiments. A passionate amateur naturalist, he also financed and participated in several scientific collecting expeditions, including trips to Yellowstone, the Gulf Coast of Texas, and Labrador. In 1893, he donated 7,000 bird specimens, a 4,000-volume library, and an important collection of Cochiti pottery and other Southwestern artifacts to the University of Iowa.
Cairo: World Wide Publications. Undated, but pagination matches that of the first edition, dated as 1930 in OCLC. 224 pp, with numerous photographic illustrations and 3 maps (2 folding). Edgeworn, ownership signature on front cover, some loss to lower spine, tape repair inside front cover. Internally sound and clean; good or better. A scarce and well written tourist guide to Baghdad in the inter-war years, also including itineraries for excursions to other parts of Iraq and Persia. Illustrations show street scenes, architecture, and archaeological excavations and artifacts, and there are ads for hotels, bookshops, shipping companies, steamer and rail lines, and auto transport (for passengers and goods) to Damascus, Beirut, and Tehran. One of the authors, Alexander Cury (apparently an anglicization of Khoori), was the author of similar guides to Cairo, Luxor, Jerusalem, and Cyprus.
Twenty-seven black and white photographs, all but one measuring ca. 7.5 x 9.5 inches (including white borders). All have paper remnants on the back from having been mounted or glued in an album. Fifteen have brief captions in pencil on the back. Two are credited "Photo by Falk" on the negative, the rest uncredited, but professional, and likely by the same photographer. Five have some damage (chips torn off), the rest are in very good condition. In 1907, the National Education Association declared "We believe that the time is rapidly approaching when both industrial and commercial education should be introduced into all schools and made to harmonize with the occupations of the community....We believe that it is the duty of the state not only to qualify its children to be good citizens, but also as far as possible to be useful members of their community." This statement reflected an ongoing movement in American education to ensure that students were prepared for work in a rapidly industrializing society. By 1914, the State of Kansas had incorporated an "Industrial Training" section into the standardized Course of Study For Graded Schools Having Nine Month Terms published by the State Board of Education. It included curricula for every grade level "designed to train the constructive imagination...to prepare more directly for industrial efficiency...and to assist the pupil in determining for what trade or other pursuit he is best adapted." Not only would such courses increase manual dexterity and the ability to plan, but they would also "give the reticent an opportunity for expression" and "cultivate a spirit of independence." This engaging series of photographs documents such instruction in action in the small southeastern Kansas city of Coffeyville. The images show many different classrooms, with students ranging in age from early elementary school through high school. Younger students are shown engaged in sewing (girls), weaving (co-ed), clay modeling (co-ed), reed basketry (boys), raffia basketry (boys), and cardboard construction (boys). Older students practice woodworking (boys); pattern-making, sewing, and cooking (girls); and attend classes in chemistry and agriculture (co-ed). Also of note--and perhaps worthy of further investigation--is the fact the two high school photographs showing co-ed classes also show African American students in class with white students, although Coffeyville did not officially have integrated schools at this time. Nine of the photos are not of industrial training, but clearly belong with the group. These show groups of older students, including shots of the Latin Club and Shakespeare Club, chapel attendance in the high school auditorium, normal training class (teacher training), and students involved in YMCA and YWCA activities.
New York: Horace Greeley & Co., 1860. 32 pp, printed in double columns. Original self-wrappers. Front wrap has some restoration, an old price written in ink, and an old bookseller's description affixed to the bottom margin. Internally clean and sound; housed in a custom cloth clamshell case. An early Lincoln campaign biography, described by Howes (S-247a) as "the most authentic" of the many accounts of Lincoln's life produced during the 1860 and 1864 campaigns. Published simultaneously by the Chicago Press and Tribune and in this New York edition, Scripps' work was based in part on an autobiographical sketch written by Lincoln. It also included additional details Lincoln provided only reluctantly, after telling Scripps that his life could be condensed into a single sentence from Gray's Elegy: "'The short and simple annals of the poor.' That's my life, and that's all you or anyone else can make of it." According to Horrocks (Lincoln's Campaign Biographies, p. 54), "Although he informed Lincoln that he had added 'nothing that I was not fully authorized to put into it,' Scripps freely embellished Lincoln's manuscript, adding details concerning his ancestors, parents, and religious upbringing that the candidate chose to omit." Lincoln may have been displeased with this, but the public was not, and the pamphlet sold very well. Monaghan 79.
Philadelphia: Barclay & Co., . Title continues: The Most Intensely Interesting Trial on Record. Containing the Evidence in Full, with Arguments of Counsel on Both Sides, and the Verdict of the Military Commission. Correct Likenesses and Graphic History of all the Assassins, Conspirators, and Other Persons Connected with their Arrest and Trial. Octavo, pp. 21-102, in original pink wrappers illustrated with a portrait of Mary Surratt. The wrappers are heavily chipped, both wrappers have archival tape repairs on the inside, the front wrapper has an early ownership signature along the right margin, and about 1/4 of the back wrapper is missing. The frontispiece is also missing a large chip and is detached and laid in. Otherwise the contents are complete and clean. Good. A scarce early publication of excerpts from the trial of David E. Herold, George A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, Michael O'Laughlin, Edward Spangler, Samuel Arnold, Mary E. Surratt, and Samuel A. Mudd before a military commission in Washington, DC. In addition to the frontispiece, there are 11 full-page illustrations, including views of the courtroom and the Arsenal Building (where the trial was held), portraits of the accused, a map showing where John Wilkes Booth was killed and David Herold was captured, another showing the area around Ford's Theatre, and a portrait of "Jeff. Davis in his Wife's Clothes" -- the latter based on the rumor spread by Union generals that the Confederate president was disguised in a dress when captured. Howes L-343.
New York: Harper and Brothers, 1859. First Edition. pp xiii, 340, with illustrations, folding map. Original brown cloth with blind-stamped decoration, re-backed with spine laid down. Very good. This practical guide for overland travelers to California and other western destinations was a nineteenth-century bestseller. Marcy provides advice on selection of route, preparation of a wagon, supplies and packing, finding and purifying water, fording rivers, herding and guarding pack animals, making fires and smoke signals, drying meat, dealing with friendly and hostile Indians, and pretty much everything else a traveler might need to know. Howes M-279.
Gardner, MA: Art Publishing Company, 1891. Cover titled simply "Souvenir." 5.25 x 7 inches, bound in paper wrappers patterned to simulate leather, tied with a shoelace, and with an illustration of a shoe on the front wrapper. Unpaginated. 23 leaves, including text and 16 leaves of plates. Light general handling wear; very good. A combination of souvenir view book and business promotional for Orange, Massachusetts, this booklet includes the typical images of public buildings and institutions and text giving local history and touting the quality of schools, churches, library etc. It also highlights six of the town's major employers: the New Home Sewing Machine Company, Rodney Hunt Machine Company, Chase Turbine Manufacturing Company, Orange Furniture Company, Leavitt Machine Company, and Jay B. Reynolds Shoe Factory. Each of these receives a full page of text followed by one or two plates showing the Company's bustling grounds and its officers. Reynolds offers an enthusiastic endorsement of the character and products of his fellow manufacturers and explains that his own shoe-making factory "was built by the citizens of Orange" for him after his "business at Brockton had been ruined by the unreasonable demands of the Knights of Labor." Here in business-friendly Orange, he received free rent for five years, and exemption from taxation for ten.
Los Angeles: Naturopathic Institute and Sanitarium of California, Inc., n.d., but ca. 1920. Tri-fold pamphlet formed from a single sheet, 3.75 x 8.5 inches when folded, printed on both sides in blue on white semi-gloss paper. Creasing and light rubbing; good or better. Dr. Carl Schulz (1839-1935), the "Father of Naturopathy in California," emigrated to the United States and began practicing medicine in California in 1885. He wrote and led the fight for passage of the first law to license naturopathic doctors in the United States, enacted in 1907. Along with his brother Dr. Edward Schultz, he founded the Association of Naturopaths of California (ANC), and established the second school in the United States to educate physicians under the name “naturopathy.” He served from 1905 until his death as President of the Naturopathic Institute & Sanitarium and the Naturopathic College of California. This scarce brochure bromotes the Sanitarium, which was located on St. Paul Avenue between Sixth and Orange in Los Angeles. There patients could receive the benefits of "the healing power of nature" through diet, fresh air, hydrotherapy, electric light baths, massage, and chiropractic adjustment. Each of these offerings is described here, as are the qualifications of Dr. Schultz and the "spotlessly clean, homelike, and attractive" appearance of the facilities. To keep it that way, they politely declined to serve to those with "contagious and obnoxious diseases."
Portland, ME: David Tucker, 1858. First Edition. 48 pp, 4.5 x 7.5 inches, in original salmon wrappers illustrated with wood engraving of the unfortunate Mr. Trask. "Peru, ME." written in ink on front wrapper, otherwise clean. Very good. Leonard Trask (1806-1861) fell from his horse while in his twenties, seriously injuring his neck and spine. He continued to work as a farm hand until his spine began to bow, eventually leaving him with his chin permanently tucked into his chest. After two more accidents that disabled him still further, Trask was unable to work. Having a wife and seven children to support, he earned what he could by capitalizing on his status as a medical curiosity. In the introduction to this book, he offers the work up "to a generous and candid public, with full confidence that it will be met with a kind reception at the hands of his more fortunate fellow-citizens--whose liberal patronage he respectfully solicits, and whose favors will command his gratitude and thanks." Despite his visits to nearly two dozen doctors, Trask remained undiagnosed at the time of his death. His condition has since been identified as ankylosing spondylitis.
Boston: Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation, . First Edition. 7" x 9", oblong. 19 pp, in stapled wrappers illustrated with an image of the spillway. Moderate general handling wear, one staple loosening; very good. Stone & Webster Engineering was hired by the United Missouri River Power Company to construct a new hydroelectric dam on the Missouri River just north of Helena, Montana to replace one that had catastrophically failed in 1908, only a year after it was completed. The eight text pages in this book provide a readable explanation of the causes of the first dam's failure, the engineering challenges posed in constructing the new dam (which including digging out hundreds of tons of steel and concrete detritus from the first one), and how these were addressed to produce the structure that began operation on May 20, 1911 and is still in use today. This is followed by twelve captioned illustrations from photographs, including a double-page panorama showing the old dam, the construction process, and the new dam in operation. 6 copies located in OCLC.
San Francisco: Henry Grobe, 1917. Sheet music. 10.5 x 13.5 inches, 5 pp. Old dampstaining, abrasion to upper corner and margin of the front wrapper; good. An example of the Indianist movement in American classical music, this composition was based on a text and melody transcribed by ethnomusicologist Natalie Curtis (in The Indians Book, 1907). San Francisco composer Carlos Troyer added a piano accompaniment he described as a "drum imitation." The cover reproduces an 1886 C.S. Fly photograph of Geronimo on the Warpath owned by Charles Lummis, who supplied a short introductory essay titled "Geronimo, The Apache Prophet." Also printed on the cover is the dedication, "To Mrs. Rita Breeze of Los Angeles, California." Breeze was a librettist who collaborated with Troyer on several projects. Sarber 283. 4 copies located in OCLC.
Kearny, NE: John A. Stryker. Undated, ca. 1920. 48 pp, 6 x 9 inches, oblong, in original string-tied wrappers, with oval cut-out window on front cover revealing color landscape below. Light soiling and edgewear to wraps, lower corner of last three leaves clipped; very good. Scarce promotional view book, containing one page of text highlighting the various features of this "thriving city of 10,000 cultured, happy, industrious people," which offers a range of shopping and recreation activities, inexpensive power, and a climate that is somehow both "mild and bracing." The rest of the book is entirely half-tone views of businesses, street scenes, parks, residences, farms and ranches, churches, schools, and other public institutions. John Stryker, the publisher, was a local photographer (and penmanship instructor), and most of the images are credited either to him or another Kearney photographer, Alfred T. Anderson.
Portsmouth, NH: Frank Jones Brewery, . 5.5 x 8 inches, 25 pp, with 30 b/w illustrations from photographs, one page with color reproductions of the company's bottle labels. String-tied wrappers. Very minor dampstain to lower corner, otherwise clean, with light handling wear; very good. The Frank Jones Brewery was opened by Portsmouth businessman (and future U.S. Congressman) Frank Jones in 1858. By the 1880s, the brewery was producing 150,000 barrels a year, making it the largest ale brewer in the United States, and one of Portsmouth's major employers. The company continued to grow, adding malthouses, barrel rooms, and a bottle shop in the 1890s. This booklet describes the brewing and bottling processes in some detail, and illustrations show many aspects of the facilities and processes (water-works, mash-tun, cooler, fermenting tuns, cooper's shop, cask-washing room, refrigeration machinery, grain-transport wagons, bottling and corking, etc.). It also includes a lengthy list of the brewery's agents in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. Three copies located in OCLC.
Cincinnati: Editor Publishing Company, 1901. First Edition. 260 pp. in original green cloth binding with gilt titles. Period ink gift inscription to front flyleaf. The gilt titles on the front board are somewhat faded, with a bit of wear to the corners and tips; otherwise very good. Edith Nicholl (b. 1853) was an Englishwoman from a wealthy family who arrived in New Mexico's Mesilla Valley in 1896. Originally a health seeker, she stayed on to run a small ranch, where she grew apples and alfalfa and wrote books. She produced several romance novels set in the U.S.-Mexican borderlands, but this book--which is notably racist and anti-Mexican--was her greatest critical and commercial success. Adams, Six-Guns 1610, Howes N141.
Autograph letter signed, to Baltimore merchant Abel Webb from his son (first name uncertain), dated January 28, 1829. Bifolium, 7.75 x 9.75 inches, 3.5 pages of text and address in a small but legible hand, about 2,250 words in all. In delicate condition: a few old tape repairs; splits at several folds causing sections to be detached from one another, but all matching up and complete except for a few small sections of loss, totaling about 12 words lacking. An interesting and detailed letter, in which the young Mr. Webb recounts his travels in the American South in 1828 and 1829—a journey he describes as "the best school I've ever been placed in." His story begins in Natchez, Mississippi, where he sought, but failed to find, short-term employment. Happy enough to depart, for he "disliked the place," he boarded the steamship Walk in the Water and traveled downriver to New Orleans, arriving at "the immense mart of commerce" on December 13, 1828. Much of the letter is dedicated to description of New Orleans, which seems to impress and outrage him in equal measure. He is delighted by the quality and price of his hotel ("having the most accommodating publicans I ever had and being more moderate than any private boarding house half as good") and enjoys good food and company (primarily of people he knows from Baltimore). But he is greatly disturbed by the general failure to observe the Sabbath. On any given Sunday, one may see steamboats loading and unloading, wagons transporting cargo, and even people singing and dancing (including "congoes dancing by the banjon") on the green. There are also "gambling houses innumerable, billiard tables, rolets &c, &c, in profusion" operating on the Sabbath, and many Americans engaging in the French practice of "attending the theatre on this evening, quadroon balls, masquerades, &c." He visits a cemetery, where he is disturbed by the burial arrangements necessitated by the high water table, as well as a sign, "revolting to the feelings of humanity, to tell you on which is the terms for admission of internment in fr. & eng. of a corpse according to age, color &c." Also of interest is the description of a visit to a sugar plantation "situated immediately on the fields where General or rather now Pres’t Jackson achieved his military glory," where he and his companions are served warm syrup from a coffee pot and allowed to carry home all the sugar cane they can carry. Webb carefully packs three pieces in his trunk to bring home for his family, noting that it "is redly striped" and "termed the ribbon cane, and who knows but it was nourished by the blood of Englishmen." The remainder of the letter describes his rough voyage to Savannah by sea and provides news of friends and acquaintances he encountered there. Abner Webb, a native of Connecticut, had settled in Georgia in the first decade of the nineteenth century, and his son notes that he was born there. Alas, though we have found records pertaining to all of his younger siblings (born after a move to Baltimore), details on the writer himself remain elusive.
Two boudoir cabinet cards (5 x 8 inches), both about fine. These photos by itinerant North Carolina photographer J.J. Burnett (1854-1919) show African-American workers and operations of the Richardson Lumber Company in Whiteville, NC, ca. 1890. Both images include company trains, with one showing a mill or storage yard and the other showing an engine pulling cars loaded with large cut logs. The company was owned by Captain V.V. Richardson, who served in the 18th Regiment of the Confederate Army and after the war became a United States Marshal. By 1890, his mill was primarily cutting cypress lumber and shingles and, according to a local newspaper, employed 50-60 men.
Columbus: J. Kilbourn, 1819. Sixth edition, improved. 12mo, 176 pp, in contemporary full calf with gilt rules on spine. With two folding maps (Map of Ohio, 1819; Map of Ross County, 1819) and a folding plan (Plat of Columbus as Incorporated, June 3, 1818), 21 smaller county maps in the text. Clumsy amateur repair to verso of Ohio map, boards scuffed, moderate foxing throughout, otherwise unmarked, binding sound. Good. An early edition of this popular work, which was first published in 1816 and offered detailed information for those considering a move to Ohio. As Kilbourn wrote in the Preface, the state was "rapidly rising into importance," and people from the East were eager to hear the facts "respecting its extent, soil, climate, navigableness of its rivers, the relative fertility, population, healthiness, and advantages and disadvantages of different districts and sections of the country." The book may have been revised more often than necessary in an effort to boost sales, but this edition is notable as the first to include the individual county maps. It also incorporates "a great number of alterations" necessitated by the creation of eight new counties in 1818-19. Howes K-129, Sabin 37730, Morgan 1139; Thomson 672.
Booklet and map issued concurrently (or nearly so), both by Baxter. Booklet: Printed in the Canal Zone by ICC Press, 1912. 36 pp, in original wrappers, which show moderate general wear. Name and remainder of bookplate on inside cover, contents clean; very good. Lithographed map: Printed by Rand Avery Supply Co., Boston. 13 x 34 inches, accordion folded into paper-covered boards (4.5 x 13 inches when folded). Printed in three colors. Edgewear to boards, map fine. Map is undated, but is advertised in a 1913 edition of the booklet. William Mitchell Baxter started work as the official guide of the Isthmian Canal Commission in 1911. Fifteen thousand tourists visited the canal that year, most on ships from New York or New Orleans. Those who chose to ride the sightseeing train were treated to a lecture by Baxter, who was known to complain about how much misinformation about the canal filled the heads of his listeners. This booklet, which he probably hoped would counteract this problem, lays out the facts about the route of the canal, the history of French work on the project and the sale to the United States, the relocation of the Panama railroad, the construction and specifications of the Gatun Dam and the Culebra Cut, and the number, capacity, and operation of the locks. The map shows the route of the old French canal; the old and new routes of the railroad; and the location of locks, dam, diversion channels, and other features along the final route. Both items are scarce.
Worcester, Mass and Birmingham, England: 1846. Single sheet folded to 5 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches; 4 pp. Creasing, edgewear, a few short tears; good. The scholarly son of a Connecticut farmer and cobbler, Elihu Burritt (1810-1879) moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1837 to access the collections of the American Antiquarian Society, where he promptly taught himself to read more than two dozen languages. Caught up in the religious enthusiasm of the Second Great Awakening, he became an itinerant evangelist and temperance lecturer and an active member of the American Peace Society, which opposed all war, whether offenseive or defensive. In 1846 he became disillusioned with the Peace Society when less radical members of its executive committee expressed support for the Mexican War. He moved to England and formed the League of Universal Brotherhood, which aimed "to initiate reforms conducive to world peace, universal brotherhood, and mutual respect among nations and individuals" (ANB) and was the first peace organization to attract a mass audience. The Bond of Universal Brotherhood served as the voice of that organization in both England and America. Although it was published until 1850, physical copies are now quite scarce (only the AAS shows any physical holdings according to OCLC, and those are sparse). This issue is headed by a pledge signed by League members (who numbered approximately 50,000) to never enlist in any military service or support the preparation for or prosecution of a war. This is followed by several short articles detailing the costs of various war-related activities--among them naval protection, war debt, military training and salaries, and the decline of markets when confidence in peace and security is lost--as well as a plea for "sentimental young ladies" to consider the underpaid laborers whose toil went into producing their muffs, bonnets, and shawls.
Philadelphia. Undated, but ca. 1930s. 11 x 14" broadside printed in green and black ink on recto only, verso coated with water-activated adhesive; mild toning and a few tiny chips at edges, else fine. Extant in at least one private collection, but unrecorded by OCLC. In its heyday, the Camac Baths was the most popular of several Eastern-European style "Shvitzbads" (sweat baths) in Philadelphia. Affectionately called "the Shvitz" by many members (mostly Jewish men, but also women and white-skinned non-Jews of both genders), the bath house featured three steam rooms, several types of massage, a gymnasium, a tanning room, colonic irrigation, alcohol rubs, "a lunch counter, a barber, a podiatrist, a small ice-cold swimming pool, a half-sized basketball court, and a four-wall handball court... Tables and lounge chairs were available for a friendly game of pinochle or to relax, doze, or smoke cigars," according to Ron Avery of HiddenCityPhiladelphia.org. Describing the Russian Bath, or "playtza," Avery tells us: "Here was a room heated to more than 180 degrees by a furnace packed with tons of stone. The victim lay prone on a marble slab while a hearty attendant hosed the man down and scrubbed him with soapy oak leaves." This cost extra, as did a wet, soapy rub-down outside the playtza, "where the masseurs violently tenderized the customer like a cut of beef and expertly cracked every joint." The poster we have here offers many of these services, and also (for men only) private rooms, "day and night." (for men only) private rooms, "day and night." The Camac Baths survived until the mid-1980s, having been open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for decades. (In a 1982 interview, the founder's son Eddie Lucker declared, “Christmas, Yom Kippur, New Year’s Eve, Pearl Harbor, we’re open!”). The building was sold and repurposed as the 12th Street Gym, which continued the tradition of shvitzing for another 30 years before closing its doors forever on January 31, 2018.
New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago: Historical Publishing Company, 1886. Hardcover. Very good. 9.25 x 12 inches, pp [iv] 33-292, in original blind-stamped black cloth with gilt lettering reading " Industries of Pennsylvania" on upper board. Light rubbing to corners; rear board is dampstained, but interior is untouched, clean and sound. Very good. A fantastic resource for the commercial history of Philadelphia, containing more than 1,400 entries (all at least 100 words, most considerably more) for the city's merchants, manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, retailers, professional services, etc. Each listing provides the address, history, primary personnel, and scope of activity for each business, occasionally accompanied by an illustration of the premises or products produced by company. The introductory text provides a "historical and descriptive review" of industries, commerce, and trade in Pennsylvania and includes attractive illustrations from engravings; maps; and a complete list of post, express, and telegraph offices in the state. A similar guide was published for Pittsburgh in the same year. Eleven copies located in OCLC; scarce in commerce.