Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2008 Issue

Books About Books and Some Interesting Tales from Oak Knoll


One of the Lincoln engravings from Bernhardt Wall's 85-volume set.

Here is an account of one of the great railroad adventures, a prison escape, and more. William Pittenger was one of 21 Union soldiers and civilians who took part in what became known (after a 1950s movie) as the "Great Locomotive Chase." The 21 Union supporters' mission was to steal a Confederate train in Georgia and ride it to Chattanooga, destroying bridges and tracks in its wake. They boarded a train as passengers in Marietta, detached several cars, and sped north. However, the real crew of the train pursued, on foot, with a handcar, and finally with other locomotives. What resulted was a spectacular chase, with the Union soldiers attempting tear up track, cover it with lumber, and burn bridges. Still, the original crew and others pursued until the hijackers were forced to abandon the train and run. All were captured, several hung, and the remainder imprisoned. Eight of the 14 survivors, Pittinger included, managed an escape four months later, while the remaining six were released eventually in a prisoner exchange. Pittinger's book, published in 1863, is Daring and Suffering: A History of the Great Railroad Adventure. Item 261. $200.

Item 98 is a tale of an ideal planned community that, perhaps unknown to the author, was on the precipice of disaster. This is The Town of Pullman. Its Growth with Brief Accounts of Its Industries, published in 1893. The author was Mrs. Duane Doty, wife of the Town Manager. Pullman, Illinois (now part of Chicago), was built by railroad car magnate George Pullman in the 1880s. It consisted of homes, businesses, a church and hotel, all owned by Pullman. Everything was rented from Pullman, and residents were employees of his company. He thoroughly controlled his town, prohibiting independent newspapers and public meetings. If this was a company town taken to the extreme, and freedom in short supply, living conditions were good for the time. Still, Pullman was not so much a humanitarian as a businessman, making a profit on his town while believing better living conditions would produce productive, cooperative employees. However, 1893 was, naturally, the year of the Panic of 1893. The serious recession cut orders for Pullman's railroad cars, which led him to lay off some employees and substantially cut the wages of others. What he did not do was cut his rents, and it was difficult for employees to leave as Pullman residents had priority on Pullman jobs. By 1894, there was a serious strike of Pullman workers, supported by boycotts of Pullman cars by other sympathetic workers. Federal troops were brought in to crush the strike, and while successful, George Pullman became a despised person. He died in 1897, was buried at night to avoid protests or riots, and the Illinois courts ordered the Pullman Company to divest itself of the town a year later. $150.

Oak Knoll Books may be reached at 800-996-2556 or orders@oakknoll.com. Their website is www.oakknoll.com.

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.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> MITCHELL, John (1711-1768). A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America. Copperplate engraving with original hand color. London, 1755. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Brown Pelican (Standing), Plate 251. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $175,000 to $225,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Fish Hawk or Osprey, Plate 81. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London: 1827-1838. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan (1545 - 1618). <i>The Historie of the great and mightie kingdome of China…</i> London, 1588. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623-1688). [World Map] Kun-Yu Ch'uan-Tu. Engraved twelve sheet map with vertical sections joined to form six sheets. Korea, Seoul, c. 1860. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> SANGGI, Chong (1678-1752). Korean Atlas. Manuscript map on mulberry bark paper. C. 1750-1790. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Plate 66. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AKERMAN, Anders (1721-1778). & AKREL, Frederik (1779-1868). Pair of Celestial and Terrestrial Globes. Stockholm, c. 1800. 23 inch diameter, each. $60,000 to $100,000.

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