Here are some of our most RECENT ACQUISITIONS available for purchase:
The First Anti-Slavery Monthly
The Anti-Slavery Record (New York)
Vol. 2, No. 1 (January 1836) to No. 12 (December 1836), comprising twelve issues bound in the publisher’s blind-stamped and decorated green cloth. Binding good with light edge wear. Contents VG with foxing. Back fly missing. The volume is significant for the woodcuts that grace half of the issues (six in all) showing slaves being shot, slaves rebelling against their condition, slaves acting nobly, etc. SOLD
The Anti-Slavery Record was the first monthly published in America whose primary purpose was advocating for the immediate emancipation of slaves. Published by R. G. Williams for William Lloyd Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society, it lasted for only three years. Each twelve-page issue featured stories about the degraded condition of slaves and the violence that they were routinely subjected to, essays that countered the prevailing objections to emancipation, immediate and gradual, first-person accounts of the slave trade, news of the movement, poetry and literary notices. Its circulation was undoubtedly modest but it had a great impact, in large part due to the condemnatory press notices that appeared across the country, which objected to its inflammatory pictures and its radical goals.
Socialism Attacked from the Left
The American Anti-Socialist (Washington, DC)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (February 1912) to No. 6 (January 1914), comprising six numbers, a complete run, in wrappers, as issued. Octavos. VG+ with some staple rust. $200
The American Anti-Socialist was the brainchild of John Basil Barnhill, a transplanted British anarchist who attacked Socialism from the left. The motto of his magazine was “Now abideth Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, these three: and the Greatest of these is LIBERTY.” He claims to have debated the lions of Socialism — Debs, McGrady, Mills, Will, Kirkpatrick, and others — and had the utmost respect for their sincerity. He recognized the societal ills Socialism sought to ameliorate, but denied its underlying premise: that these ills were caused by free competition. Barnhill asserted instead that government intervention in free markets, from currency regulation to taxation, hurt everyone. The American Anti-Socialist was testimony to the mushrooming number of Americans in the ‘teens willing to identify as Socialists. It is a delicious irony that it was not the hardened capitalists who mounted such a magazine, but anarchists. Hardened capitalists, it appears, felt they had little to fear, as history would bear out. That Barnhill carried water for them in his work to discredit the movement seems not to have troubled him. A neat political document from the hopeful days before World War I.
Will Dyson’s Three Major Cartoon Collections
Will Dyson. Cartoons (Quarto, 1913), Cartoons (Small folio, 1914), and Kultur Cartoons (Small folio, 1915). The first two are in illustrated wrappers, the last hardbound, limited (#181 of 500), and signed by Dyson and the publisher. The 1913 edition has an archivally repaired spine. The 1914 edition has chipping to the back wrapper. The 1915 edition has foxing, especially to front matter. Otherwise, all VG. $600
Will Dyson, while not the most famous political cartoonist of World War I (that honor probably belongs to Louis Raemaekers), was arguably the best. Australian-born, Dyson was already a socialist by the time he migrated to England in 1910. Appropriately, he became the staff cartoonist for the Daily Herald, a newly established Labor (or Labour) paper that Dyson, through his remarkable work, helped make famous. The first collection of his work was published in 1913, marking the Herald’s first birthday. The second collection, bigger and better, came out the following year. The third collection got the star treatment indicative of Dyson’s growing fame. It was published in hardback in two versions, one limited to 500 copies signed by Dyson and the publisher and one unsigned for the general public. An even more affordable edition was issued in paper. The war and divisions on the left made life difficult for the Herald; it was forced to go to a weekly publishing schedule for the duration of the conflict. Two more collections of Dyson’s work appeared in the teens, but they were ephemeral affairs compared to their predecessors. Dyson continued to work as a political cartoonist off and on in London, Melbourne, and New York, until his death in 1938. But none of his later work had the impact or the surprising beauty of that which is captured in these three seminal collections.
Poignant Civil War Lithograph
Hugh Young. Graves of the Highlanders. Soldiers Cemetery Knoxville, Tenn. (New York: Charles Hart, 1864) 26″ x 20.5″. Hand-colored lithograph. Near fine, with foxing and one short tear to margins. $750
A lovely wartime lithograph of the Soldier’s Cemetery outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. The cemetery was the final resting place of men from the 79th N.Y. Volunteer Highlanders killed at the Battle of Fort Sanders. It was based on “a Sketch Taken By A Member of the Regiment [Hugh Young] March, 1864”. A solitary member of the regiment stands in front of the graves of the Highlanders, each with a name and details of death, while an officer and family stand at the right. Certainly one of the most poignant of all the prints produced during the Civil War period.
James Russell Lowell in Short Pants
Harvardiana (Cambridge, MA)
Vol. 4, No. 1 (September 1837) to No. 10 (July 1838), comprising ten issues, a complete year, in original tan wrappers. Near fine, with edge wear. First issue lacking bottom three inches of paper covering spine. The set was originally owned by Harvard student S. L. Abbott, Jr., and his name is written in the top margin of every issue but the last in an unknown hand. Abbott later served as a surgeon in the Union army. The set is accompanied by three typed letters from 1926 from Charles Goodspeed (1) and George Goodspeed (2) regarding this run. SOLD
James Russell Lowell, Harvard class of 1838, became one of the editors of Harvardiana in his senior year. He wrote for every issue — a total of 23 contributions, mostly poetry but also an occasional essay. Edward Everett Hale, brother of Nathan Hale, one of Lowell’s co-editors, wrote in The Outlook in 1898 that Lowell’s year of responsibilities on the magazine served as excellent training for the future distinguished editor. He noted in that article that Volume 4 “contained the earliest of Lowell’s printed poems, some of which have never been reprinted.” He goes on the comment: “A copy is regarded by collectors as one of the exceptionally rare nuggets in our literary history.” The magazine’s print run never exceeded 300 copies. According to Rare Book Hub, the last time a set of Harvardiana appeared on the market was in 1937.
A Long Run In Original Wrappers
The New England Farmer (Boston)
Vol. 7, No. 1 (January 1855) to Vol. 13, No. 12 (December 1861), comprising 84 issues in original tan wrappers. All VG or better, some spotting, some paper loss to spines, some edge wear. One back cover detached, another largely missing, and a third partially missing. The set was originally owned by the Rev. Charles Babbidge, long-standing minister of the Congregational Church of Pepperell, MA, and his name is written on the top margin of most issues in an unknown hand. $400
The first agricultural magazine was founded in 1810 but it was soon recognized that no one magazine could serve the needs of all the farmers of America, living as they did in vastly different climates and using as they did the land in many different ways. The New England Farmer (1848-1871) was one of many agricultural magazines during the mid-nineteenth century that spoke for and to its region. A typical issue contained practical farming advice, agricultural news, reports, reviews, letters, and advertising. Farming in New England underwent a radical change in the mid-Nineteenth century, similar in scope, in the opinion of one economics historian, to the mid-to-late-Twentieth century industrialization of Asia. At the beginning of the century, the agricultural landscape of New England was defined overwhelmingly by subsistence farming. Because there was not a sufficiently large New England-based home market for agricultural products due to the absence of a large nonagricultural population, New England farmers by and large had no incentive to commercialize their farms. This situation would, however, be radically different by 1850, by which time a highly specialized agricultural economy producing a host of new and differentiated products had emerged. There were two factors that were primarily responsible for the revolutionary changes in the agricultural economy of New England during this period: (1) The rise of the manufacturing industry in New England (industrialization), and (2) agricultural competition from the western states. With industrialization, New England farmers finally had a nearby market to which they could sell their crops, and thus an opportunity to obtain incomes beyond what they produced for subsistence. The agricultural competition that emerged from the western states due to improvements in transportation prompted New England farmers to produce goods with which western farmers could not compete, such as “highly perishable and bulky produce,” according to historian Darwin Kelsey. The New England Farmer helped the New England farmer navigate these new waters and usher in an era of far-reaching change in New England agriculture.
A Rare Poster for a Rare Magazine
Elisha Bird. The Red Letter (Boston, 1896). Image size; 23″ x 15.5″. Frame size: 30″ x 22″. Two-color lithograph. Near fine. SOLD
Bird (1867-1943), an MIT graduate with a degree in architecture, became, instead, a graphic designer and one of the forces in the American poster movement of the 1890s. Like Bradley, he understood the importance of bold work, and several of his posters rank among the very best of the American literary poster genre. Bird had contributed to Will Clemen’s short-lived magazine The Poster (NY, January-May 1896) and became the art director of The Red Letter (Boston, August, 1896 – April, 1897), a similar magazine that absorbed Clemen’s aborted effort. This poster is exceedingly scarce; it has never been offered by Poster Auctions International, the leader in the field, in its entire thirty-five year history.
A California Bird’s Eye View
Anon. Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. 1885. (Guy E. Grosse, Oakland, 1885). 20.25″ x 26.25″. Lithograph. VG, closed tears, surface loss to Gosse’s advertisement, cleaned, archivally backed. $2,000
The last third of the 19th century saw an explosion of city pride in America. Dozens of entrepreneurial lithographers leapt into the market to supply bird’s eye views of thousands of towns across America. The densely populated Northeast received the most attention; views of southern and western towns are more rare. This view, unlike most of the others, was not published by the lithographer, but rather by a real estate agent, Guy Grosse, who wanted to promote property he had for sale on the outskirts of Santa Rosa. It was printed by the lithographic firm of Elliott & Co. of Oakland. It is a handsome view, featuring 17 vignettes of important city buildings and a key to 51 spots around the town. Scarce.
The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Strand (London)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1891) to Vol. 10, No. 6 (December 1895), comprising 60 issues bound in ten volumes by the publisher. Octavos. Bindings VG, with rubbing and edge wear. Volumes 3 and 6 have darkened spines and a bit more edge wear. Contents VG+, with foxing to front and back matter. Title page and indexes bound in all volumes, except volume 8, which is lacking the index. Volume 8 is also lacking the “Jul to Dec” spine designation. Covers and advertisements not bound in as usual. $600
The Strand, founded by George Newes and edited by Herbert Greenhough Smith, was a long-lived monthly (1891-1950) composed of short fiction and articles of general interest. Its first issue sold nearly 300,000 copies and was soon to reach the half-million mark. An American edition of identical content with a one-month time lag began publication in February 1891. The Strand had many strengths — it was well-edited and well-illustrated — but it is best known today as the home for most of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. These volumes contain 24 of them, including the complete serializations of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Eight more constitute the complete serialization of The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard. Also included is an article “A Day with Dr. Conan Doyle.” Other contributors to these volumes include early work by Max Beerbohm, fiction by Americans Bret Harte and Frank Stockton, and translations of Dumas, Maupassant, and Pushkin.
Sandburg’s First Magazine Appearance
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1905) to Vol. 2, No. 6 (June 1906), comprising 18 issues bound in two volumes of contemporary cloth and paper spine labels. Narrow Octavos. Bindings good, with edge wear. Front board of volume one is water damaged, not affecting issues. Contents for both volumes near fine. Advertisements for all issues bound in. Front and back covers bound in with the issues for January, February, March, April, November, and December 1905. Front covers bound in with all issues for 1906 except May. The remaining issues are lacking covers. $400
To-morrow is a little-known political and literary monthly, published from 1905 to 1909 by a group of earnest young socialists of both genders who gathered at the magazine’s offices in a rundown Chicago mansion owned by the magazine’s patron, Parker Sercombe. Penelope Niven, in her standard biography of Sandburg, says, To-Morrow was the first magazine (not counting his immature effusions in the student-run Lombard College Review) to give “Charles” (as he called himself in those days) Sandburg “a serious podium for his writing.“ Sandburg was intrigued by the little political/literary community from the start, frequently traveling from his family’s home in Galesburg to the city to drink the elixir of the mansion’s creative atmosphere. His first contribution, “In Petersburg“ appeared in the second issue. In the third issue, the editor, Oscar Lovell Triggs, gave enthusiastic encouragement to the emerging poet by printing three more of his poems and an appreciation, in which he proclaimed Sandburg “a young man unknown to fame, but if one may judge by the few poems he has written, will not remain long in obscurity.“ Another poem followed in the April issue. Except for profiles of gadflies Elbert Hubbard and Alfred Henry Lewis, Sandburg was occupied with speaking commitments and odd jobs for the rest of the year. But he could not resist the call of the big city forever. In the spring of 1906 he moved to Chicago to take the job of To-Morrow’s associate editor. For this he got the glory that came with the position and room and board, but no pay. He poured himself into all of the spring issues, contributing essays, poetry, and editorial comments, in addition to editing the work of other contributors. For the April issue, the first one in which his name appears on the masthead as part of the editorial staff, he wrote a profile of Jack London and inaugurated a highly personal feature, “Views and Reviews“ which allowed him to comment on just about anything. The May and June issues featured more opinion, poetry, and profiles from his pen. It was heady stuff, and formative. But Sandburg felt guilty about not contributing money to the family coffer back home and he left To-Morrow in July. It would take nearly another decade for Trigg’s prophecy to come true. When Harriet Monroe published the first of Sandburg’s “Chicago Poems“ in the March 1914 issue of Poetry, Sandburg was off and running on his remarkable career as a poet, historian, novelist, and memoirist. He would never again however be intimately associated with any magazine such as he was with To-Morrow.
The Paris Exiles Speak
The Transatlantic Review (London/New York)
Vol.1, No. 1 (January 1924) to Vol. 2, No. 6 (January 1925), comprising twelve issues, a complete run, bound in three volumes of leather and cloth. Bindings VG, with mottling to cloth, edge wear, and tender hinges. Contents VG. Marginal toning to all issues due to paper quality. All covers and advertisements bound in. $2,500
The Transatlantic Review (often styled the transatlantic review) was an influential monthly literary magazine featuring the work of the Paris expatriates. It was funded by John Quinn, champion of Joyce’s Ulysses, who had been persuaded by Ezra Pound to give money to English man of letters Ford Madox Ford to launch a literary magazine. The Review was based in Paris but published in London by Gerald Duckworth and Company and in New York by Thomas Seltzer. Although it lasted but a year, the magazine had an outsized impact on 20th-century literature by publishing fiction by Ernest Hemingway (also the guest editor for the August issue), John Dos Passos, Djuna Barnes, and James Joyce (an early extract from Finnegans Wake), poetry by Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, E. E. Cummings, and Hilda Doolittle, and essays by Gertrude Stein, Ford, Hemingway, and Williams among others. When Quinn died in July 1924, funding ran out at the end of the year. Single issues show up usually in fair condition at best due to the inferior paper quality and fragile buff covers. Because these issues were bound soon after the magazine folded, they are in as good a state of preservation as can be expected. Scarce.
America’s First Comic Monthly
Yankee Notions (New York)
Vol. 6, No. 1 (January 1857) to No. 12 (December 1857), comprising eleven issues (lacking September), bound in period leather and cloth. Quarto. Binding VG with general wear; contents VG with foxing. SOLD
Yankee Notions was the first comic monthly published in America. It was the brainchild of T. W. Strong, engraver and publisher, who had attempted the first illustrated weekly in the United States in 1851. The cover of each thirty-two page issue featured a cartoon on a timely subject, usually by John McLenan. The original cartoons inside were drawn by McLenan, Thomas Butler Gunn, Augustus Hoppin, and unidentified cartoonists. Strong padded out the issues with recycled work from old almanacs and other motley sources. By its second year, Yankee Notions was an established success, with a circulation of 20,000. It eventually had two imitators, Nick-Nax for All Creation and Mr. Merryman’s Monthly, but neither was as successful as the original. Strong sold it in 1866 to “The Centurion” Cornelius Mathews, who continued it for ten more years in diminished form before merging it with its two competitors. Cameron Nickels fairly assesses Yankee Notions’ worth this way: “It was a representative anthology of the best as well as the worst of the native wit, humor, and satire of [mid-]nineteenth-century America in word and in picture.“ (Sloane/ 322) All volumes are scarce.