Description

    With the First Facsimile Manuscript Appearance of the Gettysburg Address in Print

    [George Washington]. [Lithographed Manuscript Facsimiles]. [Alexander Bliss and John Pendleton Kennedy, editors]. Autograph Leaves of Our Country's Authors. Baltimore: Cushings & Bailey, 1864. The rare first (and only) edition of this fine collection of facsimile manuscript material in lithograph. Presentation copy, inscribed by Bliss on the first blank: "Mrs. Donaldson [?] - / with the sincere regard / of / Alexander Bliss. / April 19, 1864." Quarto. Approximately 10.25 x 8.25 inches. [2, blank], [xii], 1-200, [1, engraving], [3, blank] pages. Publisher's full brown cloth, front board triple-ruled in gilt, rear board triple-ruled in blind, gilt central motif of sword and rifle surrounded by laurel leaves on front board, spine tooled and lettered in gilt, coated brown endleaves. Spine a bit sunned, with tears and chipping, boards worn, some foxing to endleaves and blanks, page [i] loose but present. Shaken. Still, a good copy.

    Alexander Bliss (1827-1896) was an assistant quartermaster in the Union Army during the Civil War (his step-father was the eminent historian George Bancroft). Bliss and John P. Kennedy wanted to raise money to benefit the Baltimore Sanitary Fair, an organization which aided wounded soldiers and their families, so they came up with the idea for this book. They solicited manuscripts from major American authors (or their heirs) and made lithographic copies which are contained in this title (ninety-two in all). Most importantly, Bliss' step-father had asked President Lincoln for a manuscript copy of the Gettysburg Address, which Lincoln wrote out and sent to him. The form of this manuscript was not what Bliss and Kennedy wanted, and they wrote to Lincoln again, explaining their dilemma and asked him to re-write it. Lincoln did so, and sent it to them; this copy, now known as the "Bliss Copy," is the first publication of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand, and is one of only five manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address (it now resides in the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House). Other authors represented include: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Francis Scott Key, Washington Irving, John Audubon, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. [Together With]: Facsimile Discharge Document. [N.p., June 5, 1793]. Apparently two short documents (the first, an honorable discharge letter most likely in the secretarial hand of Jonathan Trumbull, Jr, for Serjeant [sic] John Johnston in Captain Nathan Leonard's Company, Jersey Regiment; the second, awarding military merit to Serjeant [sic] Johnston from Richard Cox). Both facsimile documents are mounted onto cardboard. Overall size approximately 8.75 x 7 inches. Toned, soiled, wear and tear at joints. Fair. The honorable discharge document has a facsimile secretarial signature of George Washington. From a private collection in North Carolina.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
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