ILLUSTRATED, LATE 19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN HISTORY TEXT SIGNED BY SIX PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES: KENNEDY, CARTER, REAGAN, GEORGE H.W. BUSH, CLINTON AND OBAMA
(KENNEDY, John F.). (CARTER, Jimmy). (REAGAN, Ronald). (BUSH, George H.W.) (CLINTON, Bill). (OBAMA, Barack). LOSSING, Benson J. Lossing’s New History of the United States. New York et al.: Gay Brothers, (1881). Thick quarto, early 20th-century full green morocco gilt. Housed in a custom chemise and full morocco clamshell box with Irish-American Flag design.
Early edition of Lossing’s American history text, distinguished by the signatures of six Presidents of the United States, collected by members of one family over four decades: John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, with extensive supporting documentation.
One of New York state’s most prominent wood-engravers, “Lossing wrote and illustrated books covering almost every possible topic in American history” (ANB). This copiously illustrated volume—boasting four color plates of flags, a dozen steel-engraved black-and-white plates, nearly 400 in-text wood-engravings (20 full-page)—covers events from Europeans’ first arrival in the Americas through the inaguruation of Chester Arthur.
The signatures of six United States presidents, all of whom claim some Irish ancestry, distinguish the present volume. President Kennedy signed, at the center of the front free endpaper, during his June 1963 visit to Ireland. Kennedy arrived in Ireland hours after his “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech in West Berlin. He signed this book in Galway on June 29, the same day he left for London. Presidents Reagan and Clinton both signed the same page, Reagan at Ashford Castle in June 1984 and Clinton in Derry in November 1995.
President Carter signed the verso of the front free endpaper during his visit to Ireland in June 2007. On the recto of the first leaf, President George H.W. Bush has inscribed, “Dennis McCarthy, all the best, George Bush, 9-22-06.” A photograph affixed directly below shows Bush signing the book at Dublin Airport. Beneath this photograph, President Obama signed the page, during his May 2011 visit to the United States Embassy in Dublin. Owner inscriptions, inkstamp to pastedowns. Printed invitation, business card, color photograph affixed to verso of front free endpaper and first leaf. A file of letters, photographs, photocopies, printed emails and other items establishing the signatures’ provenance accompanies the book.
Scattered light foxing; light dampstaining toward end of volume. Closed tears at gutter of first few leaves; pages 151-54 partly sprung; front inner paper hinge partly split; closed tear to page , barely touching image. A remarkable and desirable volume boasting the signatures of six 20th and early 21st century American presidents.