Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2005 Issue

More From The American West From Arthur H. Clark

R0511

Catalogue #919 from Arthur H. Clark.


By Michael Stillman

The Arthur H. Clark Company
has issued A Catalog of Fine Books, number 919 for this century-old bookseller. This catalogue includes a memorial to Arthur H. Clark, Jr., son and namesake of the company founder, who died on March 27, 2005, at the age of 92. Mr. Clark had worked for the family business, selling and publishing books, since his graduation from college in 1934. That's a career of over 70 years.

The catalogue begins with a dozen pages of recent books published by Clark. Arthur Clark is one of the premier publishers of Western Americana, and has been for almost a century. However, since our focus is on older books, we'll move on after making one exception. Item 618 is Tom Custer: Ride to Glory, By Carl F. Day, published by Clark. The name, at least the first name, may not be instantly recognizable, but Tom Custer was General George Armstrong Custer's little brother. Some people, perhaps even George, felt Tom was the one who should have been the general. However, Tom would not likely have been among them, for he idolized his brother. When the Civil War broke out, George had already graduated from West Point and was an officer in the military. Tom was just a boy of sixteen, but he lied about his age so he could join his older brother in service to the Union. He would serve under his brother late in the war, and along the way, Tom earned two medals of honor. He was the first Civil War soldier to do so. Tom would serve in South Carolina for awhile after the War, chasing down the KKK, but most of his time was spent serving as a lieutenant in the 7th Cavalry under George. Eventually, this would be his downfall, as Tom, and yet another brother, Boston, would die at the Little Big Horn with George. This was a close-knit family, and George's widow, "Libbie," would write complimentary words about Tom, just as she did about her husband for the next 57 years. This book is priced at $38.50.

Speaking of the Custers, here is an unusual item pertaining to General George: Sitting Bull - Custer, by Reverend Aaron McGaffey Beede, published in 1913 by the Bismarck (North Dakota) Tribune. Along with being an Episcopal minister, Beede at various times was an educator, lawyer and judge. He grew up in northern New England, where he graduated as Valedictorian of his class at Bates College in Maine, and later received his Divinity degree from Andover Theological Seminary. Then, after three years as Superintendent of Schools in Alfred, Maine, Beede picked up his family and moved to South Dakota, and from there to North Dakota. He had already learned the Sioux language, and served as a missionary to the tribe. It was this connection that enabled him to gather the material for his book. Eventually, Beede would become disenchanted with the Church's insufficient concern for social issues, which turned him to the legal profession later in his career. His book on the Indians is item 88 in this catalogue. $150.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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