The Latest from James Pepper Rare Books
By Michael Stillman
James Pepper Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 126 of rare and collectible books and ephemera. Along with books there are photographs, filmscripts, posters, manuscripts, and even a pair of pants. Here are a few examples.
Item 28 is an unusual piece of Civil War memorabilia. It is a hand-drawn sketch of the inside of the house in Appomattox where Lee surrendered to Grant. It was drawn by Union General Ely Parker from memory sometime around 1880. Parker was a Seneca Indian who served as Grant's aide and witnessed the surrender. In fact, he wrote up the surrender documents Grant and Lee signed. Parker had become friends with Grant while working in pre-Civil War Illinois, and it was only through his friend's intervention that he was able to rise in the military. He would later become the first Indian to serve as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Parker's diagram shows the positions of those present at the surrender, Lee and Grant included. Priced at $7,500.
Item 46 is a signed first edition, first issue of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. Published in 1934, this is one of the signed copies Fitzgerald gave his wife, Zelda, to present to her friends. A small note dated November 2, 1934, states that it was given "from Mrs. F. to M.S.D." Mrs. F. was the second half of this dysfunctional couple. $28,500.
Item 82 is a heartrending broadside tribute to transatlantic flight pioneer Charles Lindbergh, published to celebrate his flight across the ocean in 1927. It includes twenty sample congratulatory telegrams admirers could send to Lucky Lindy to honor his achievement. Touching sentiments such as "It's true you belong to history, but you also belong to us. Welcome home," can be wired for a mere sixty cents. The selfless publisher of this patriotic, emotive poster was the Postal Telegraph Cable Company. $125.
Item 61 is a surprising early campaign financial disclosure from President Warren Harding. Harding was first elected to public office in 1899, when his constituents selected him to serve in the Ohio State Senate. In 1901, he ran for reelection, and during that campaign, he filled in this disclosure form and signed it three times. In it, he lists his campaign expenditures, which totaled a whopping $91.50. Harding would be elected president in a landslide in 1920, but died in office, his administration racked with scandal, though Harding himself was evidently unaware of and did not benefit from the illegal activities of his associates. $1,500.