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Rare & Unusual Books
John C. Huckans
2007 Syossett Dr., Cazenovia, NY 13035
. . . The following listings are but a small, representative sampling of the variety of books we have on offer. Except for the few you see here, none of our books are listed on the internet. They may be viewed in person and by appointment only.
Friends of Freedom. The Liberty Bell. Boston: Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Fair, 1844. pp. 2 blank pages, (i) - viii, (1) - 232. Small 8vo., a.e.g. Original purple cloth, backstrip sunned to a tan color. Gilt liberty bell design on front cover, frontispiece engraved portrait (moderately foxed) of Lucretia Mott by J. Sartain, after a painting by J. Kyle. Lacking front free endpaper that precedes the half-title, o/w a near fine copy. $250.00
A collection of 30 essays and poems, all tied to the theme of anti-slavery. Contributors include R.R.R. Moore, James Russell Lowell, Susan C. Cabot, Edmund Quincy, Lucretia Mott, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Poole, and many others. In his essay entitled “Complaint and Reproach” Richard Hildreth comments “... what wonder that to be reproached with want of ordinary virtue, is that which, of all accusations, men feel the most? (and) Complaints and reproaches are ugly and disagreeable things; as such, they are excluded, by common consent, from polite society. But did polite society and soft speeches ever yet make a revolution?” Some would say the complaints and reproaches of the present day B.D.S. movement are “ugly and disagreeable things” that should be excluded from all polite discussion.
Marjoribanks, Alexander. Travels in South and North America. London: Simpkin, Marshall and Company, 1853. pp. (i) - xiv, (1) - 480, color lithographic frontipiece of “Suspension Bridge at the Falls on Niagara” precedes title page. Original blind-stamped red cloth, skillfully rebacked with closely matching cloth, nearly all of the original backstrip laid down. A very nice, tight copy of a perceptive travel narrative, uncommon in the first or early edition, but now reprinted widely. $500.00
Inscription on blank page following front-free endpaper reads “A.J. Toynbee from Geoffrey Howard, duplicate from Castle Howard". Geoffrey Howard (1877-1937) inherited Castle Howard from his father, George Howard, the 9th Earl of Carlisle. Geoffrey Howard was also a Liberal Party politician who served under H.H. Asquith. Castle Howard, one of the most stately country houses in England and home of the Howard family for more than 300 years, has been used as a setting for several films and television series including “Brideshead Revisited".
[Gerrit Smith, Frederick Douglass et al.] Abolition Documents. Number One. Principles and Measures. Declaration of the Convention of “Radical Political Abolitionists” at Syracuse, June 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1855. Single page broadsheet, printed on both sides. Old damp-staining affecting left margin and towards bottom edge at 45% angle. $250.00
“We believe slaveholding to be an unsurpassed crime; and we hold it to be the sacred duty of civil government to suppress crime... We seek not to amuse, to console, or to delude ourselves, or others, with mere idle efforts to prevent the further extension of slavery, while admitting its Constitutional right to continue where it exists...”
[Hinman, Royal R.] The Blue Laws of New Haven Colony, Usually Called Blue Laws of Connecticut; Quaker Laws of Plymouth and Massachusetts; Blue Laws of New York, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina; Interesting Extracts from Connecticut Records; Cases of Salem Witchcraft; Charges and Banishment of Rev. Roger Williams, &c.; and Other Interesting and Instructive Antiquities. Compiled by An Antiquarian. Hartford: Printed by Case, Tiffany & Co., Pearl Street, 1838. Small 8vo., pp. (1) - x, (11) - 336. Blind-stamped purple cloth with floral designs, gilt-stamped title on backstrip (spine). Backstrip faded to brown, light to moderate staining, extremities of backstrip chipped. Lacking free endpapers. $150.00
Pages 261 -295 is comprised of a section entitled “A Brief Exposition of the Established Principles and Regulations of the United Society of Believers, Called Shakers. By a Committee of Publication".
[Samuel Mitchell] An Accompaniment to Mitchell’s Reference and Distance Map of the United States; containing an Index of All the Counties, Districts, Townships, Towns, &c., in the Union; Together with an Index of the Rivers; By Which Any County, District, Township, &c., or River, May Be Found on the Map, Without Difficulty: Also, A General View of the United States, and the Several States and Territories; With An Account of the Actual and Prospective Internal Improvements Throughout the Union... Philadelphia: Published by Mitchell and Hinman, No. 6, North Fifth Street, 1834. pp. [1-5], 6-324. 8vo., 1/2 leather & marbled paper covered boards. Blue advertising bookplate of Mitchell & Hinman pasted down on front endpaper. Howes M-684. Occasional foxing, corners & spine extremities rubbed, o/w a very nice, tight copy. $125.00
[Walsh, Robert, ed.] The American Register; or Summary Review of History, Politics, and Literature. Philadelphia: Published by Thomas Dobson and Son, at the Stone-house, No. 41, South Second Street, William Fry, Printer, 1817. In two volumes. [i] - xxxix, 1 - 450;  - xxxvi,  - 464. Preliminary adverts. in both volumes, including a “Proposal by Thomas Dobson... for Publishing by Subscription a Supplement to the Encyclopaedia (Britannica)...” Original grey paper-covered boards, tan paper-covered spines, with original paper labels (label of volume 2 mostly intact, label of volume 1 chipped with some loss). Some damp-stains to preliminary pages of both volumes. Paper-covered spines are splitting, but the signatures are still holding together. All pages untrimmed resulting in very ample margins with some pages unopened (publishers’ boards were intended as a temporary way to keep books intact until the book-buyer had them done up in calf, morocco or some other permanent binding). $350.00
A salmagundi or mixed trove of contemporary history, politics and literature (from various periods and nations) reflecting the rising self-awareness of the United States as to its role and position in world affairs. A few representative pieces include “The Florida Question Stated” by H.M. Brackenridge, “Speech of Marquis Wellesley, Respecting the Negotiations for Peace with America...", “A Picture of the United States of America at the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century, by M. Bonnet, Professor of the Law of Nature and Nations, &c. Paris, 1816", “Debate on Mr. Pickens’ Resolutions on Uniformity of Election of Representatives in Congress, and Electors of President and Vice President of the United States", “Domestic Chronicle, for 1816", “Selection of Obituary Notices", “Man with a Horn Growing Out of His Forehead” &c.
(Brotherhood of the New Life)
Harris, Thomas Lake. Brotherhood of the New Life. Its Fact, Law, Method and Purpose. Letter from Thomas Lake Harris, With Passing Reference to Recent Criticisms. Santa Rosa (California), Fountaingrove Press, T.L. Harris, Publisher, 1891. 8vo., 16pp., ads. (Fountaingrove Library. Vol.1, No.2; July, 1891). Tipped-in slip half-sheet on title page states in part “The rapid march of events and the call for more frequent and varied utterances make it necessary to modify our plan of Quarterly Publication. To fight our ship well, its broadside must never be deferred when the enemy comes within good striking distance. Comrades may expect that our writings will be issued from the Fountaingrove Press and elsewhere, as rapidly as emergencies require…” In gray wrappers, browning at edges, stitched as issued. Uncommon imprint from a 19th century California commune. $40.00
Harris, Thomas Lake. God’s Breath in Man and in Humane Society. Santa Rosa, Fountaingrove, Published by the Author, 1891. 8vo., 314pp., ads. Tipped-in and signed albumin photograph of Harris, poet-mystic-utopian, and founder of the Brotherhood of the New Life. Very good copy in green cloth with 1" wrinkle at bottom of front cover; 2-½” inch split along top of rear inner hinge. Inscribed “To Miss Annie Anderson with the compliments of the Author. Given by her to Sunshine.” Two 3-½” x 5" advertisements for Brotherhood of the New Life publications laid in. Includes four original paper-covered lead or tin corner protectors and the worn brown shipping wrapper with Thomas Lake Harris’s return label affixed and which states “If not delivered, the postmaster will please notify T.L. Harris, Publisher, Santa Rosa, Cal., and stamps will be sent for return postage.” A unique association copy of a very scarce book by one of the early practitioners of California dreamin’. $1000.00
Harris, Thomas Lake. Star-Flowers, a Poem of the Woman’s Mystery. Canto the Second. (Santa Rosa), Fountaingrove, Privately Printed, 1886. 8vo., 122pp. Very good copy in maroon cloth. Uncommon. $100.00
Harris, Thomas Lake. Star-Flowers, a Poem of the Woman’s Mystery. Canto the Seventh. (Santa Rosa), Fountaingrove, Privately Printed, 1887. 8vo., 119pp. As new in maroon cloth, protected by the original brown shipping wrapper. Very scarce if not rare in this condition. $250.00
Harris, Thomas Lake. The Joy Bringer: Fifty three Melodies of the One-in-Twain. February-March, MDCCCLXXXVI.. (Santa Rosa), A Birthday Gift from Fountaingrove, 1886. 8vo., 79pp. Except for front free endpaper beginning to split from pastedown endpaper at the top, a near fine copy in maroon cloth. Protected by original brown shipping wrapper. Scarce. $100.00
(Association Copy) Wilson, Robert Anderson. A New History of the Conquest of Mexico, in which Las Casas’ Denunciations of the Popular Historians of That War Are Fully Vindicated. Philadelphia: James Challen & Son, 1859. 8vo., xx, 21-539pp., advert., illus. Small, faint, semi-circular water stain, affecting the fore-edges of the first 35 and last 45 pages. Brown, blind-stamped cloth with wear at corners, extremities of backstrip and along external hinges. “Withrow” ink stamped on two preliminary leaves. Pencilled inscription along the top of the title page “To. Lieut Gen. Scott U.S.A(,). With respects of the Author R.A. Wilson (,) State Department(,) Washington Nov. 26, 1864” Not in SABIN. $275.00
Kidder, Daniel P. Sketches of Residence and Travels in Brazil, embracing Historical and Geographical Notices of the Empire and Its Several Provinces. In Two Volumes - With Illustrations. Philadelphia: Sorin & Ball; London: Wiley & Putnam, 1845. 12mo., xv. (blank), 17-369; viii, 404pp. Map, 32 plates. Original green cloth lettered and decorated in gilt. Volume 1 has bookplate of the “Library of the Ladies’ Literary Society,” on front paste-down endpaper; Volume 2 contains small oval stamp in red ink stating “Private Library of J. Guy Eshleman, Lancaster, Pa” on front paste-down endpaper. Light to moderate foxing, corners slightly rubbed, o/w a very good married set of what is probably the first American book devoted exclusively to Brazil. SABIN 37708. $400.00
Robertson, J.P. and W.P. Four Years in Paraguay: Comprising An Account of That Republic, Under the Government of The Dictator Francia. Philadelphia: E.L. Carey & A. Hart, 1838. In two volumes. [Vol. 1] pp. (i) - xii, (13) -236, preceded by 20 pages of adverts; [Vol. 2] (i) - (viii), (9) - 220. 12mo., a very nice set in a tight, original pebbled purple cloth binding, backstrips sunned with original paper labels intact with some loss. Occasional foxing. $275.00
Solis [y Ribadeneyra], Antonio de. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards. Translated from the Original Spanish of Don Antonio de Solis [y Ribadeneyra], Secretary and Historiographer to His Catholick Majesty, by Thomas Townsend, Esq; The whole Translation Revised and Corrected by Nathanael [sic] Hooke, Esq;… The Third Edition. London: Printed for H. Lintot; J. Whiston and B. White, at Mr. Boyle’s Head, and L. Davis, at Lord Bacon’s Head, both in Fleet-street; and D. Wilson, at Plato’s Head, in the Strand, MDCCLIII . 12mo., xvi, 384, folding frontispiece, 2 folding maps, 4 folding plates; x, 386pp., 2 folding plates. Bound in contemporary full calf, double-ruled gilt borders, raised bands, red leather labels intact. SABIN 86491. According to Sabin copies held by the Library of Congress, Library Company of Philadelphia, New York Public Library et al. have only two plates in volume 2. External hinges of volume 1 tender and beginning to crack, o/w a very nice set with plates in brilliant condition. $750.00
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1926. First edition, first state with “stoppped” for “stopped” on page 181, line 26. No dust jacket. Both gilt foil labels in good condition with usual darkening of the gilt and some scuffing (with no loss) at edges of backstrip label. Extremities of backstrip (i.e. spine) slightly rubbed, barely discernible spotting on back cover. A very tight copy with clean endpapers. $1850.00
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York, The Viking Press, (1939). 619pp. First edition in original dust jacket with “First Edition” imprinted diagonally at lower corner of front flap. A very good copy decorated with the Joad family departure scene wrapped around the beige cloth binding. Full score of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” printed on both front and rear endpapers. Dust jacket is chipped and worn with minor creasing and reinforced with paper strips pasted to the inside of the jacket. Upper corner of front d.j. flap trimmed along a slight curve not affecting text; triangular piece clipped from both corners of rear d.j. flap. The color illustration on the dust jacket, depicting the Joad family on their journey to California, remains bright. One of American literature’s most iconic works. $2000.00
White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. Pictures by Garth Williams. New York, Harper & Brothers, (1952). pp.184. “I-B” below “First Edition” notice on copyright page. Pictorial cloth, extremities of backstrip and two corners slightly rubbed, no dust jacket. On the half-title page White’s correspondent has inscribed a quotation from p. 375 of E.B.W.’s Letters (“The idea of writing Charlotte’s Web came to me one day when I was on my way down through the orchard carrying a pail of slops to my pig…”) A TLs from E.B. White on “The New Yorker” letterhead (dated “26 February 53”) cellophane-taped (with some brown discoloration) to front paste-down endpaper, reads in part as follows: “… Of course I remember you, and I’m so pleased that my stories are giving satisfaction among the young. I was particularly interested to get your report on the subject of ‘nothing’, as I was on the point of taking it out of the manuscript on the grounds that it was a bit too involved for the juvenile mind… Katharine sends her love and says she hopes we may see you sometime…” E.B. White’s letters are very uncommon and this one directly relates to the writing of one of the most iconic children’s books of modern times. $2000.00
(Irish Independence / Robert Emmett) Protest Against the British Government “Let no man writes my epitaph till Ireland is free” A large 24" x 30" broadside (wood engraving) invoking the name of Robert Emmett in the cause of an independent Ireland. “... From the commencement of British power, until the present period, a line of tyrants has established and perpetuated, by their usurpation of unholy power, an aristocracy destructive in every particular of the interests and social happiness of the people of Ireland... The people enslaved without regard to age or sex, under the unnatural compulsion of infamous misrule... and swear by the infallible standard of Justice, that Ireland will never yield her position until the epitaph of Emmett shall be circled within the glorious motto of Virtue, Liberty and Independence.” Published by William Smith, Print Seller, 702 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, Pa. $300.00
The lengthy text is surrounded by a Celtic harp, entwined with shamrocks, and at the top of each side of the harp are winged angels with scrolls listing the names of 18 martyr/patriots. At the top center is a portrait of Emmett after the miniature that was hand-painted during his trial for treason in 1803, at the conclusion of which he was hung, beheaded, drawn and quartered. (On the verso is a romanticized rendering of a young women in Victorian costume with a garland of flowers in her hair)
(William Randolph Hearst). Art Objects and Furnishings from the William Randolph Hearst Collection. Catalogue Raisonne... Together with Comprehnsive Descriptions of Books, Autographs and Manuscripts ... Index. [New York, William Bradford Press, 1941] pp. 11 - 184 (b/w photographic illustrations, several per page, all on coated stock); pp. 185 - 267 (catalogue descriptions of books); pp. 268 - 277 (arms and armor); pp. 277 - 278 (tapestries); pp. 279 - 282 (paintings); pp. 282 - 284 (paintings, drawings, prints, photographs); pp. 284 -289 (furniture); pp. 290 (furniture, rugs, carpets); pp. 291 - 292 (gold and silver); pp. 293 - 297 (art objects); pp. 297 - 308 (sculpture); pp. 308 - 320 (pottery, china & glassware); pp. 320 - 330 (buildings & parts); pp. 330 - 331 (hangings); pp. 331 - 332 (jewelry and precious stones); pp. 332 - 333 (flags, banners and wearing apparel); pp. 333-334 (more rugs and carpets). 4to., 8" x 10", grey wrappers chipped at edges and slightly sunned or faded to tan color. $125.00
A thorough check finds no sign of Rosebud
Fenn, John (comp). (Paston Letters - Robert Southey’s Copy). Original Letters, written during the Reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III, by Various Persons of Rank or Consequence; containing Many Curious Anecdotes, relative to that Turbulent and Bloody, but hitherto Dark Period of Our History; and Elucidating, not only Public Matters of State, but likewise the Private Manners of the Age: Digested in Chronological Order; with Notes, Historical and Explanatory; and Authenticated by Engravings of Autographs, Paper Marks and Seals. In two volumes. London, 1787. 4to. $1000.00
pp. (xc, 1-301; 363). Eighteen plates, three of which are hand-colored. Plate of “Paston Pedigree” in facsimile. Original paper-covered boards with cloth backstrips. Hinges cracked, boards chafed. A few plates show old, faint dampstains, otherwise text and plates are in good condition. The Paston letters and papers, between 1422 and 1509, form an important chronicle of one of the most fascinating periods of English history. The descendants of Clement Paston, a prosperous Norfolk peasant, became prominent as lawyers, land-owners, and eventually members of the nobility, and many of the letters and documents show the family’s connection with the alternating fortunes of the Houses of York and Lancaster. William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth and without direct heir, sold most of the family papers to the antiquary Peter Le Neve at the beginning of the 18th century. Ultimately they came into the possession of John Fenn of East Dereham who in 1787 published a selection of the letters in two volumes. The resulting public interest was considerable and in 1789 Fenn published an additional two volumes of letters. The fifth volume appeared posthumously in 1823. The signature of Robert Southey, in his characteristically small hand, appears at the top of the title page of volume one. Both volumes were covered, until recent years, by crudely made cloth dust jackets sewn by the women in the Southey household. Because of these dust jackets Southey’s collection was sometimes jokingly referred to as the “Cottonian Library.” The fate of these jackets will be made known to anyone interested.
Patton, Philip. The Natural Defence of an Insular Empire, Earnestly Recommended; with a Sketch of a Plan, to Attach Real Seamen to the Service of Their Country. By.…, Admiral of the White Squadron of His Majesty’s Fleet. Southhampton: Printed by T. Skelton, 22, High Street; Sold by J. Hatchard, Bookseller to Her Majesty, Piccadilly, London; and by Mottley, Harrison, and Miller, Portsmouth, 1810. 4to., pp.[i] - viii, contents page, blank, errata page, blank, (1) - 102. Half leather, pebbled green cloth, red spine label in gilt. A fine copy in an attractive early 19th century style binding, but of a more modern period. Uncommon. $400.00
In the context of the then current Napoleonic threat, Admiral Patton advocates stronger measures to encourage seamen to enlist in the Royal Navy, under the veiled threat of impressment. Citing the recent Portsmouth mutinies of 1797 in response to the activities of the press gangs, Admiral Patton proposes a system requiring the registration of all able-bodied seamen, especially those already serving on private merchant ships, so that in times of national emergency they can be called upon to serve in the Royal Navy. Seamen who fail to register would be subject to immediate impressment. To this stick is added the carrot of preferred medical treatment at the Greenwich Hospital as well as enhanced pensions to all those who comply. In Article II of his proposal Patton states “As all seamen know that they may be impressed, the encouragements held out to them in the navy cannot fail to have a powerful effect.” Also, as he states, “the United States of America have openly avowed the full protection of all deserters from the British navy. In peace as well as in war, they are irrecoverably lost to this country…” there is a hint of impending conflict with America. This document should be of interest to students of Americana, the Napoleonic period and British naval history.
[City of Florence]. Statuta Concilii Florentini. Florentiae: Apud Bartholomaerum Sermartellium, MDLXIII (1564). 22, 126pp. The laws and statutes of Florence covered a variety of religious, secular (including financial), and moral transgressions and the civil penalties for each. Preliminary pages describe the 34 main subjects covered followed by an 11 page index. The Medici, assisted by the Spanish, had returned to power and one of their own, Giovanni di Medici, had become Pope Leo X. In the main body of the text, the law is printed in red (the rubric), the explanation in black. Sample entries include “Blasfemia quomodo punitur", “clericorum retinentium concubinas aut suspectas mulieres monasteria", “clerici retinentis pueros suspectos", etc. 140 x 200cm., limp vellum binding with slight loss to upper 2 inches of the outer hinge (vellum), minor worming and slight dampstaining to preliminary pages. Title page carries the distinctive coat of arms of the Medici family and there is what appears to be a near contemporary inscription beneath the colophon. $2000.00
Anon. Slavery and Marriage. A Dialogue. Conversation between Judge North, Major South, and Mr. Free Church. (Oneida), 1850. 16mo., 14pp. Fine copy, stitched as issued and unopened. A comparison between the institutions of slavery and marriage by a Bible Perfectionist, almost certainly John Humphrey Noyes. A scarce pamphlet printed at the community not long after the move to Oneida, New York from Putney, Vermont. $400.00
Anon. The Primary Reform. N.P., n.d. (Oneida, ca.1850). 16mo., 8pp. Fine copy, stitched as issued. The basis of Bible Perfectionism and seen as morally prerequisite to abolitionism, temperance, and other social reforms. By an early community member, probably John Humphrey Noyes. Uncommon. $350.00
Seymour, H.J. False Belief about the Origin of Evil, Salvation from All Sin, and the Second Advent, the true Obstacle to Revivals. By a Member of the Oneida Community. N.P., (1901). 8vo., 10pp. Fine copy, stapled as issued. Uncommon. $25.00
Southey, Robert. Roderick, The Last of the Goths. By... Poet Laureate, and Member of the Royal Spanish Academy. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown. Paternoster-Row, [and] by James Ballantyne and Co., Edinburgh. 1814. Half-title [Roderick ... A Tragic Poem], dedication page, Preface, list of important historical participants in the form of a cast of characters, Contents, [i-xi],  -340pp., Notes [ i ] - cxxxvii, blank. 4to., large paper, wide margins, untrimmed edges. $300.00
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