The 13 items below have been reported as lost in transit from Mertztown, PA to NYC. They were shipped via USPS Signed Priority Mail on April 3, with the last recorded tracking on April 5 in Philadelphia. The inventory numbers in parentheses may be listed in pencil in the upper left corner of the front endpaper.

 

If you have information, or believe you have been offered the items, please contact Charles Agvent (610-682-4750 / info@charlesagvent.com).

 

Items Lost in Transit

 

WASHINGTON, Booker T. UP FROM SLAVERY. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1901. First Edition. Original gilt-lettered red cloth. Classic turn-of-the-century autobiography by the successor to Frederick Douglass as the foremost American black leader of his time. Born a slave, Washington founded Tuskegee Institute, becoming its first president, at the age of 25. This copy of his best known book is SIGNED by the author on the front free endpaper to "Booker T. Washington/Tuskegee Alabama/Jan. 25, 1902." Signed First Editions of this classic of African-American history are quite uncommon. Owner name in ink below the author's. Mild wear to the spine tips and corners with the spine edges rubbed. Near Fine. (#015975)

 

CARSON, Rachel. SILENT SPRING. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1962. First Edition. This book on the effects of pesticides is a landmark in environmental writing inspiring the movement that led to the banning of DDT and raising awareness of the important connection between humans and their environment which hitherto had been generally taken for granted. This copy is INSCRIBED "To Eunice/with best wishes" and SIGNED by the author on the half-title page. Signed copies of this important book, one of the most important of the century by many standards, are rather scarce as, ironically, Carson died of cancer less than two years after its publication. Fine in a Near Fine dustwrapper with light chipping to the spine head and minor edgewear. (#017526)

 

ROOSEVELT, Theodore (Teddy ROOSEVELT). FEAR GOD AND TAKE YOUR OWN PART. New York: George H. Doran Company, (1916). First Edition. First state binding of red cloth with gilt lettering. SIGNED "T. Roosevelt" on the front endpaper without any inscription. Water stain to the fore-edge and slightly to the bottom edge of the front cover resulting in loss of color. Otherwise Near Fine and a scarce book to find signed. (#017813)    

 

O'BRIEN, Tim. IF I DIE IN A COMBAT ZONE. New York: Delacorte Press, (1973). First Edition. O'Brien's first book, rather uncommon in the first printing, SIGNED by the author on the title page. Typical but in this case barely noticeable sunning to the very edges of the boards; unknown name, address, and date on the front pastedown completely covered by the inside flap of the dustwrapper. The date "March 1973" would make this a very early copy of the first edition as the publication date for this title was announced as 7 May 1973. The dustwrapper is complete but for a very tiny chip at the top front corner. The only other defects to the dustwrapper are mild wear to the head of the spine and a vertical crease down the inside front flap. Near Fine in a Near Fine dustwrapper. A very attractive copy. (#010493)

 

REAGAN, Ronald. AN AMERICAN LIFE. New York: Simon & Schuster, (1990). First Edition. Cloth-backed boards. Reagan's autobiography, illustrated with photographs. This copy INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the former President on the page with the publisher's logo preceding the title page: "To Mr. & Mrs. Philip ---/(Parents of a wonderful daughter-Suzanne.)/With Very Best Wishes & Regards./Ronald Reagan/Dec. 12/1990." Books genuinely signed by this popular President have become quite scarce and usually turn up with a signed bookplate rather than actually signed in the book, as the case here. The Reagan Presidential Library is still selling copies, though reprints, with a signed bookplate for $4,000. One should also be aware that the market has been flooded with fake Reagan signatures in books sold on ebay where "signed" often means forged. Small adhesive skim mark on front free endpaper from removal of address label. About Fine in a Fine dustwrapper. (#013893)

 

KENNEDY, Robert. TO SEEK A NEWER WORLD. Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1967. First Edition. INSCRIBED and SIGNED with a felt-tip pen on the half-title page by the author "For ----/With thanks and best wishes/Robert Kennedy." Books authentically signed by Robert Kennedy are uncommon, and this one is rather special as it was signed shortly before he was assassinated. Laid into the book are three interesting pieces of ephemera. One is a small printed invitation from the Colorado United Democrats for Humphrey to a "Coffee with the Vice President" for May 10. On the verso the inscribee of the Kennedy book has written a note stating that the signed book from Kennedy was received in the mail on 10 June 1968 as a gift for his work on the Kennedy-McCarthy coalition in Denver "where we shut out Hubert Humphrey." Also laid in is the top portion of the brown envelope that contained the book from the Kennedy for President Headquarters postmarked 2 June 1968. Kennedy was assassinated on 5 June 1968. Finally, there is a memorial card for RFK with a portrait of him on the recto and a long quote from RFK's extemporaneous remarks on the death of Martin Luther King. The dustwrapper is complete including the price with some abrasion to the spine and wrinkling and rubbing to the rear. Very Good or better in a near Very Good dustwrapper. (#013887)

 

ANTI-SLAVERY. A SAMMELBAND OF SIX PAMPHLETS including the very scarce THE NARRATIVE OF AMOS DRESSER. First Edition. Original drab green cloth (4-1/4" x 7") with "SLAVERY" in gilt lettering on the spine. A collection of 6 pamphlets on the subject as follows: 1.) THE CONSTITUTION OF THE AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY: WITH THE DECLARATION OF THE NATIONAL ANTI-SLAVERY CONVENTION AT PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER, 1833, AND THE ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC, ISSUED BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY, IN SEPTEMBER, 1835. New-York: American Anti-Slavery Society. 1838. 12 pages. Sabin 81824. 2.) WESLEY: THOUGHTS UPON SLAVERY (Caption title). n.d. Postscript dated 1791. 24 pages. First published in 1774, this edition dates to the 1830s. Sabin 102680. 3.) DOES THE BIBLE SANCTION SLAVERY? 12 pages (also paginated 133 - 144). Appears to be removed from a larger work that we have been unable to identify. 4.) [BROWN, John] AN ADDRESS TO THE PRESBYTERIANS OF KENTUCKY, PROPOSING A PLAN FOR THE INSTRUCTION AND EMANCIPATION OF THEIR SLAVES. BY A COMMITTEE OF THE SYNOD OF KENTUCKY. Newburyport: Charles Whipple 1836. 36 pages. A five point plan for gradual emancipation of slaves, their education, and religious instruction. First published in 1835: A terrific attack on the slave system, and an excoriation of Church members who have practiced cruelties that are likened to "loathsome ulcers." Sabin 81798. 5.) THE NARRATIVE OF AMOS DRESSER, WITH STONE'S LETTERS FROM NATCHEZ,-- AN OBITUARY NOTICE OF THE WRITER, AND TWO LETTERS FROM TALLAHASSEE, RELATING TO THE TREATMENT OF SLAVES. New York: American Anti-Slavery Society 1836. 42 pages. Illustrated with 3 woodcuts in the text. Sabin 20924. Not in Work. Dresser's narrative gives an account of his trial and whipping in Nashville for having circulated anti-slavery literature. 6.) [SOUTHARD (Nathaniel)]. WHY WORK FOR THE SLAVE (Title from caption on first page). [New York? 1838]. 12 pages. Sabin 88237. Both endpapers lacking, light to moderate foxing throughout. Early light green bookplate of the Library of the Young Mens' Literary Society, M'Connelsville, O. on the front pastedown. Some soiling and staining to the covers. Very Good.

While several of these pamphlets are uncommon, the Amos Dresser Narrative is quite scarce with no copy appearing at auction since 1921. While travelling through the South selling bibles, Dresser took his carriage to a Nashville shop for repairs. There a workman found a store of anti-slavery letters, books, and pamphlets. According to Dresser, "This added considerably to the general excitement, which I afterwards learned, was prevailing in relation to slavery--and in a short time it was noised about that I had been 'circulating incendiary periodicals among the free colored people, and trying to excite the slaves to insurrection.'" Dresser was arrested, and an impromptu Committee of Vigilance convened at the courthouse to try him for violating the non-existent law of possessing anti-slavery material. Dresser informed the Committee that the pamphlets were for his own use and not for dissemination. Nonetheless, the committee found Dresser guilty of being a member of an anti-slavery society and of possessing periodicals published by the American Anti-Slavery Society. He was sentenced to twenty public lashes and ordered to leave Nashville within twenty-four hours. The punishment was carried out in front of a large crowd, and Dresser was escorted out of town that night. (#016937)

 

WILSON, Woodrow. ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DELIVERED AT A JOINT SESSION OF THE HOUSES OF CONGRESS APRIL 2, 1917. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1917. First Edition. Publisher's flexible green leather with gilt title on the front cover, [4], 30 pages. The text of Wilson's Declaration of War against Germany, SIGNED by the President and dated 1922 on the front free end paper. Wilson had been reelected just a few months before this speech in large part for his having kept America out of the European war, but Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare could no longer be ignored. In this speech Wilson made a profound break with traditional American foreign policy by presenting a Progressive view of foreign policy that national interest alone cannot guide American policy, that "The world must be made safe for democracy." Fraying to the head of the spine with about a half-inch loss of leather, light edgewear. Very Good. (#018353)

 

FRANKLIN, Benjamin. WORKS OF THE LATE DOCTOR BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: CONSISTING OF HIS LIFE WRITTEN BY HIMSELF, TOGETHER WITH ESSAYS, HUMOROUS, MORAL & LITERARY, CHIEFLY IN THE MANNER OF THE SPECTATOR. IN TWO VOLUMES. London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson, [1793]. First Edition. Two octavo (4-5/8" x 7-1/4") volumes bound in contemporary calf leather, recently rebacked with new sympathetic spines; (ii), [v]-ix, (3), 317, [3]; [vi], 268 pages. Vignette portrait of Franklin in a fur cap on both title pages. First issue, with the errata at the end of the first volume, of this important work publishing part of Franklin's Autobiography here in English for the first time. Ford 449: "Owing to the non-appearance of Temple Franklin's edition, this re-translation of the Autobiography and the collection of Essays has become the 'popular' and one might also say 'Chap-book' edition of Franklin's 'Life and Writings'.... A collection of the 'popular' pieces of Franklin, together with a re-translation of the Autobiography from the French translation of 'Gibelin', the first edition of the biography, and Stuber's continuation. The editing was done by Benjamin Vaughan, who has clearly made use of his MS. copy of the Autobiography in the re-translation. The work was prepared for publication in 1791, but withheld on account of Temple Franklin’s announcement of an edition of his grandfather’s writings." Old and detailed bookseller's description tipped to the front free endpaper of the first volume. Occasional pencil marks, small tear to one page with no loss. Near Fine. (#015750)

 

HOWE, Julia Ward. REMINISCENCES 1819-1899. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, (1899). Gilt-lettered and ruled green cloth. Illustrated with portraits, photographs, and a facsimile of the first draft of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." With chapters on the Women's Suffrage Movement, the Anti-Slavery Movement, Cuba, etc. Exceptional Association Copy of Howe's memoir INSCRIBED on the second blank: "Mrs. Mary A. Livermore/with cordial regards of/the author./Dec. 13th 1899." Below that Livermore has written and SIGNED the following: "A Christmas gift to/my dear granddaughter,/To Marion Norris,/Mary A. Livermore/1899." Laid in the front is a silk souvenir ribbon from the Grand Fair Army Nurse Association of Massachusetts depicting Livermore. Browning to front pastedown and endpaper from the souvenir ribbon. Bright, Fine copy with a superb association.

Mary Livermore (December 19, 1820 - May 23, 1905) was an American journalist, abolitionist, and advocate of women's rights. During the Civil War, she volunteered as an associate member of the United States Sanitary Commission where she organized many aid societies. After the war she devoted herself to the promotion of women's suffrage (along with Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe) and the temperance movement. (#018363)    

 

CONSTITUTIONS OF THE SEVERAL INDEPENDENT STATES OF AMERICA; THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION BETWEEN THE SAID STATES; THE TREATIES BETWEEN HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. --AND THE TREATIES BETWEEN THEIR HIGH MIGHTINESSES THE STATES GENERAL OF THE UNITED NETHERLANDS AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Boston: Norman & Bowen, 1785. Second Edition. Duodecimo (4" x 6-7/8") in 4s in contemporary sheep; 28, 5-181, 29 pages. Evans 19306. The second publication in America of the Constitutions after the first printing of only 200 copies in Philadelphia in 1781. Howes (C-716) cites several European printings in the interim. An important and somewhat scarce book. Pencil signature "Ferguson" on front endpaper and title page. Small dark stain at the bottom of one page, otherwise quite clean. Most of leather lacking from spine; front cover a little loose but holding strong by the cords. Very Good.

Evans 17390 (for the 1781 American edition): "In its review of the London edition of this work, printed the following year, the Monthly Review says: 'It contains a greater portion of unsophisticated wisdom and good sense, than is, perhaps, to be met with in any other legislative code that was ever yet framed. It is, in short, the book which may be considered the Magna Charta of the United American States"; Howes C-716. (#015346)    

 

HARDING, Warren. ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE BURIAL OF AN UNKNOWN AMERICAN SOLDIER AT ARLINGTON CEMETERY NOVEMBER 11, 1921. Washington DC: (Government Printing Office), 1921. First Edition. Publisher's printed wraps, [4], 6 pages. The text of Harding's dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, SIGNED on the last page ''Warren G. Harding.'' Harding's signature in book or pamphlet form is scarce. Minor wrinkling, short tear at head of spine. Near Fine in a Near Fine cloth chemise and cloth-backed marbled paper board slipcase with a gilt-lettered black morocco spine label.

From the Arlington National Cemetery website: "On Memorial Day, 1921, four unknowns were exhumed from four World War I American cemeteries in France. U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, who was wounded in combat, highly decorated for valor and received the Distinguished Service Medal in "The Great War, the war to end all wars," selected the Unknown Soldier of World War I from four identical caskets at the city hall in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, Oct. 24, 1921. Sgt. Younger selected the unknown by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets. He chose the third casket from the left. The chosen unknown soldier was transported to the United States aboard the USS Olympia. Those remaining were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery, France. The Unknown Soldier lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda from his arrival in the United States until Armistice Day, 1921. On Nov. 11, 1921, President Warren G. Harding officiated at the interment ceremonies at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery." (#018467)

 

(ROCKEFELLER, John D.). A VISIT TO MR. JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER BY NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS AT FOREST HILL CLEVELAND OHIO SEPTEMBER TWENTY-SIXTH 1905. [Cleveland]: [Vinson and Korner], [1905]. First Edition. Small quarto (7-1/4" x 9-3/4") bound in brown leather-backed dark gray boards with gilt lettering and consisting of 36 sheets printed only on the recto and a portrait of Rockefeller neatly SIGNED by him beneath the image. This is copy #375 of 425 copies printed with the name of the subscriber, Fred R. White, written in at the limitation notice. White's name also appears in the printed list at the end of the book naming the subscribers. A souvenir book published as a commemoration of a gathering held to honor Rockefeller’s contributions to the city of Cleveland, where he spent his adolescence and where he built his first business in the early 1860s. By the end of the Civil War, due to Rockefeller, Cleveland had become one of the five main oil refining centers in the United States.With the original box with a manuscript label addressed on the front to White and with White's bookplate on the front free endpaper of the book. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, was the wealthiest American ever. When he died, his fortune approximated 1/65th of the Gross National Product. In today's dollars, his personal fortune would be worth about $190 billion compared to that of, say, Bill Gates's $90 billion or so. At times his wealth actually exceeded the annual federal budget. Books signed by this great businessman are extremely scarce, this being the only one issued as such, and finding it in this condition is a rare occasion. Mild wear to spine tips; splits at corners of box. Close to Fine in a Very Good box and quite scarce as such. (#012818)

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