Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2010 Issue

Unusual American Books and Pamphlets from Garrett Scott, Bookseller

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Homer Tomlinson graces the cover of Garrett Scott's latest catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

Garrett Scott, Bookseller, has issued his 26th catalogue of American Books and Pamphlets. Here you will find the odd and the obscure, or as often the case, works that qualify as both. Not everything Scott offers is strange. There are serious and intelligent works, such as Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton's 1850 call for no more compromises with slavery as the nation, unwisely, backed into the Compromise of 1850, further fueling regional discord rather than resolving it. Nevertheless, in selecting items from the almost 400 offered to describe, it's hard to avoid the stranger and more entertaining of works from American authors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Not even the greatest humorists are quite as entertaining as those who are unintentionally so.

One of the bitterest political rivalries took place in Vermont in the mid-1840s when Governor William Slade challenged Senator Samuel Phelps for the Whig Party nomination for senator. There ensued a vitriolic pamphlet campaign, embarrassingly preserved in Scott's collection. In item 261, Phelps responds to charges by Slade in To the People of Vermont. Mr. Phelps' Rejoinder to Mr. Slade's "Reply," published in 1846. Describing his opponent, Phelps writes, "Naturally selfish, ambitious, cold-hearted, hypocritical, and revengeful, he has well cultivated these qualities through a life of political controversy and political intrigue." He further accuses Slade of "mixing in every paltry quarrel to gratify his groveling love of distinction, and, at the same time, abjectly soliciting office for bread." Priced at $100. In item 262, Gov. Slade's Reply to Senator Phelps' Appeal (1846), Slade writes, "...as to the causes of Mr. Phelps' conduct, I have only to say, that they are to be found in his excessive jealousy and violence of feelings - not arising from his use of intoxicating liquors, though much aggravated by it. He was, manifestly, under the influence of liquor during the evening of the passage of the tariff." $100.

Ohio evangelist Alexander Hall had some dire warnings for followers of the Universalist faith in 1846, expressed in Universalism Against Itself... Preaches Hall, "And how little do the advocates of orthodoxy comprehend the idea conveyed by that word endless! - e-n-d-l-e-s-s t-o-r-m-e-n-t!!! Think, O think my audience, before you subscribe to such a soul-benumbing, heart-withering, and God-dishonoring sentiment." Item 318. $85.

That poster on the cover of this catalogue (click thumbnail above) recalls the election of 1960, which pitted John Kennedy against Richard Nixon and Homer Tomlinson. Homer Tomlinson? He was the nominee of the Theocratic Party, which promised to do away with separation of church and state, replace income taxes with 10% tithes (is this a forerunner of the flat tax?), end war, crime, delinquency, Communism, use of tobacco, intoxicants, narcotics and gambling. Unfortunately, Tomlinson lost the election, so all of these evils still exist. Tomlinson chose fellow Bishop in his Church of God Raymond L. Teague, an eccentric Alaskan, as his running mate. This man truly was ahead of his time. Item 88. $50.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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