Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2010 Issue

Unusual American Books and Pamphlets from Garrett Scott, Bookseller

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Homer Tomlinson graces the cover of Garrett Scott's latest catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

Garrett Scott, Bookseller, has issued his 26th catalogue of American Books and Pamphlets. Here you will find the odd and the obscure, or as often the case, works that qualify as both. Not everything Scott offers is strange. There are serious and intelligent works, such as Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton's 1850 call for no more compromises with slavery as the nation, unwisely, backed into the Compromise of 1850, further fueling regional discord rather than resolving it. Nevertheless, in selecting items from the almost 400 offered to describe, it's hard to avoid the stranger and more entertaining of works from American authors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Not even the greatest humorists are quite as entertaining as those who are unintentionally so.

One of the bitterest political rivalries took place in Vermont in the mid-1840s when Governor William Slade challenged Senator Samuel Phelps for the Whig Party nomination for senator. There ensued a vitriolic pamphlet campaign, embarrassingly preserved in Scott's collection. In item 261, Phelps responds to charges by Slade in To the People of Vermont. Mr. Phelps' Rejoinder to Mr. Slade's "Reply," published in 1846. Describing his opponent, Phelps writes, "Naturally selfish, ambitious, cold-hearted, hypocritical, and revengeful, he has well cultivated these qualities through a life of political controversy and political intrigue." He further accuses Slade of "mixing in every paltry quarrel to gratify his groveling love of distinction, and, at the same time, abjectly soliciting office for bread." Priced at $100. In item 262, Gov. Slade's Reply to Senator Phelps' Appeal (1846), Slade writes, "...as to the causes of Mr. Phelps' conduct, I have only to say, that they are to be found in his excessive jealousy and violence of feelings - not arising from his use of intoxicating liquors, though much aggravated by it. He was, manifestly, under the influence of liquor during the evening of the passage of the tariff." $100.

Ohio evangelist Alexander Hall had some dire warnings for followers of the Universalist faith in 1846, expressed in Universalism Against Itself... Preaches Hall, "And how little do the advocates of orthodoxy comprehend the idea conveyed by that word endless! - e-n-d-l-e-s-s t-o-r-m-e-n-t!!! Think, O think my audience, before you subscribe to such a soul-benumbing, heart-withering, and God-dishonoring sentiment." Item 318. $85.

That poster on the cover of this catalogue (click thumbnail above) recalls the election of 1960, which pitted John Kennedy against Richard Nixon and Homer Tomlinson. Homer Tomlinson? He was the nominee of the Theocratic Party, which promised to do away with separation of church and state, replace income taxes with 10% tithes (is this a forerunner of the flat tax?), end war, crime, delinquency, Communism, use of tobacco, intoxicants, narcotics and gambling. Unfortunately, Tomlinson lost the election, so all of these evils still exist. Tomlinson chose fellow Bishop in his Church of God Raymond L. Teague, an eccentric Alaskan, as his running mate. This man truly was ahead of his time. Item 88. $50.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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