More Intriguing Americana From David Lesser Antiquarian Books
The Fourth of July is generally reserved for happy, patriotic celebrations, but in 1855, Rev. C.B. Boynton used it to attack Roman Catholicism. In his Address Before the Citizens of Cincinnati; Delivered on the Fourth Day of July, 1855, the good reverend claims the Founding Fathers considered the Papacy "the antagonist of Christ, the corrupter of public and private morality, the enemy of human liberty, and the determined foe of progress." He goes on to say, "We who are here, most firmly believe that this young Benjamin of nations was born in a native American, and from a genuine Protestant family." Tell that to the Indians. Boynton was a supporter of the American Party, better known as the "Know-nothings." Oddly, this bigoted group was also anti-slavery, labeling both the Papacy and the Slave Power as foes to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. And ultimately, as the party spread into the pro-slavery South, this issue would tear it apart, just as it had the Whigs before, and would do to the Democrats later. After quickly becoming a national and local force in the 1854-1856 period, even nominating a former president, Millard Fillmore, as its presidential candidate in 1856, the party quickly disintegrated. Slavery was much more on people's minds than nativism. Item 24. $250.
Edward Everett was one of the great orators of the mid-19th century, or at least, one of the longest winded. He is the man who gave the lead, two-hour speech at Gettysburg that fateful day, though no one refers to his as the "Gettysburg Address." On August 28, 1856, Everett gave a speech in Albany, New York, on the nonpolitical topic The Uses of Astronomy. It was given to celebrate the opening of the Dudley Observatory. This copy was inscribed by Everett to the aforementioned "President Fillmore With the best respects of Edward Everett." Item 71. $350.
David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has a website at www.lesserbooks.com The phone number is 203-389-8111.