David Lesser Antiquarian Books Issues Their 100th Catalogue
One generally does not think of Indiana as a place for French land claims, but think again. Item 67 is a Translation of a Memorial in the French Language, of Sundry Citizens of the County of Wayne, in Indiana Territory, published in 1805. Indiana, along with most of the American Midwest, was once part of New France. The French claims to the land were by 1805 long gone, having been extinguished by treaty in 1763 at the conclusion of the French and Indian War. However, descendants of the early French settlers remained on their land, and hereby sought to have their claims legally recognized. $250.
Item 85 was a book for the gullible, The Moon Hoax; or, a Discovery that the Moon has a Vast Population of Human Beings, by Richard Adams Locke. The title of this 1859 work gives away that it was a hoax, but when originally published serially in the New York Sun in 1835, it apparently was not made so clear. Reportedly, many people believed the stories about upright walking beaver-like creatures, horned bears, and a "Vespertilio-homo," a flying bat-man (a creature resuscitated in the late Weekly World News -- remember "bat boy?"). The articles reported that astronomer Sir John Herschel had spied these things through a very powerful telescope at the Cape of Good Hope. Herschel evidently was unaware of the claims being made in his name. $750.
Item 167 is Congress of the United States...An Act making Certain Appropriations Therein Mentioned, from 1790. One of these special appropriations was the United States agreeing to pay for the education of George Morgan White Eyes at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). The beneficiary's father, White Eyes, was a Delaware Indian Chief who worked for many years to keep peace between whites and Indians on the frontier, and eventually establish a 14th state for his people living at peace with white countrymen. Toward his ends, White Eyes joined an American military mission in Ohio during the Revolution, but died under mysterious circumstances. It was initially reported he died of smallpox, but in reality he had been murdered. It was to try to balance this wrong that Congress passed and President Washington signed a bill to pay for his son's education. $950.
David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books is found online at www.lesserbooks.com, telephone 203-389-8111.