Naval History from Eveleigh Books
By Michael Stillman
We have received our first catalogue from Eveleigh Books and Stamps of Dover, Massachusetts. The title is Naval History, and each of the 150 books offered fits neatly under this heading. These books cover the development of navies over the past 200 years, and naturally, many of these works deal specifically with wars and battles. Again as might be expected, the greatest concentration of works concerns the Second World War, the last in which naval battles played such a prominent role. Since that time, while navies have provided major patrolling and support services, pitched naval battles have been far more limited. For those who collect in the field of sea power and war, Eveleigh will have titles of undoubted interest. Here are a few.
For those interested in early American naval forces, item 001543 is John M. Niles' Life of Oliver Hazard Perry... Commodore Perry was one of America's earliest naval heroes. He had commanded a ship during the First Barbary War, a successful attack on the pirates and pirate states of North Africa just after the turn of the 19th century. However, he is best known for his success in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. There were not a lot of successes on either side in this stalemate of a war, but Perry's was one of the more notable ones. Perry is remembered, when his ship went down, for rowing under heavy fire to another to resume his command. However, this edition goes beyond the Perry biography to include Future Prospects of the Navy of the United States... and a Biography of General Pike, and a View of the Leading Events in the Life of General Harrison... Pike would be Southwest explorer Zebulon Pike, of Pike's Peak fame, while Harrison would be Old Tippecanoe, William Henry Harrison, United States President for all of one month two decades later. The book includes engravings of the aforementioned military leaders and others such as Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur, heroes of the War of 1812 and Barbary Wars, and Captain James Lawrence, War of 1812 hero famous for his dying command, "Don't give up the ship." Priced at $115.
Here is an account of the War of 1812 with an aside to the Second Barbary War: The Naval Monument Containing...Accounts of All the Battles Fought Between the Navies of the United States and Great Britain During the Late War; and an Account of the War with Algiers...by Abel Bowen, published in 1830. Bowen celebrates the courage of the American commanders of the time, noting, "The war found us with captains and has given us admirals." Item 003354. $182.50.
Today we don't worry too much about having enough trees to produce boats, but in the days before iron ships, it was a major issue. The need for timber influenced British colonial, trade, forest and other policies in that era. The situation is described in Forests and Sea Power. The Timber Problem of the Royal Navy 1652-1862, by Robert Albion, published in 1926. Item 001088. $50.