“D—N THE UNITED STATES! I WISH I MAY NEVER HEAR OF THE UNITED STATES AGAIN!”: EXCEEDINGLY SCARCE FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, OF HALE’S INFLUENTIAL MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY, 1865, ORIGINAL WRAPPERS BOUND IN, WITH TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED BY HALE
[HALE, Edward Everett]. The Man Without a Country. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1865. Slim 12mo, early 20th-century full crimson morocco rebacked with original spine neatly laid down, original salmon printed wrappers bound in; pp. 23. Housed in a custom folding portfolio. $2800.
First separate edition, first issue, of Hale’s powerful tale of patriotism—“one of the best short stories written by an American”—authored at the height of the Civil War and set during the arrest and trial of Aaron Burr’s trial for treason in the early 1800s, handsomely bound in full morocco at the Knickerbocker Press for G.P. Putnam's Sons, with scarce original wrappers bound in. Accompanied by two autograph letters signed by Hale.
“One of the best short stories written by an American, and representing Hale at his best as a writer of fiction with a purpose” (ANB), Man Without a Country “has become almost an American myth” (Kunitz & Haycraft, 324). “After it first appeared as the lead article in the December 1863 issue of Atlantic Monthly, Man Without a County quickly became one of the most widely read American short stories of its time… invoked in a Supreme Court case on birthright citizenship, cited by writers like Mark Twain” (Hsuan Hsu, “Contexts,” 1-3). Hale was a descendant of the Revolution’s Nathan Hale, and Man Without a Country “was written to arouse patriotism during the Civil War… inspired by the remark of Congressman Vallandigham that he did not wish to live in a country that supported Lincoln’s administration” (Hendrickson, 95). It “recounts the treason, trial and unusual punishment of Philip Nolan, a fictional co-conspirator in Aaron Burr’s 1805-7 plot to conquer parts of New Spain. At his court-martial, Nolan bitterly explains: ‘D—n the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!’ The outraged judge sentences him to live out this very wish by spending the rest of his life aboard naval ships” (Hsuan Hsu, 4). The first letter runs to three pages, dated June 4, 1887, in which Hale responds to an invitation and discusses charity work and the possible contributions of a friend of his. The second is a single page, dated 1905, on Hale's letterhead stationery, an inquiry to a librarian about manuscripts by Senator George F. Hoar for a paper he was working on. First edition, first issue, without tipped-in publisher’s announcement slip, as are all first issues. Issued in Atlantic Monthly under the pseudonym, “Captain Frederic Ingham, U.S.N.” Wright, American Fiction 1851-1875 1056. Sabin 29627.
Near-fine condition. Desirable with original wrappers and two autograph letters signed present.