EXTRAORDINARY EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED AND EXQUISITELY BOUND 24-VOLUME SET OF LINCOLN’S WORKS, WITH ONE VOLUME COMPLETELY DEVOTED TO ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS AND SIGNATURES, INCLUDING A RARE SIGNED SET OF LINCOLN SHIP'S PAPERS FOR A WHALING VESSEL AND SIGNATURES, LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS BY VAN BUREN, BUCHANAN, PIERCE AND OTHERS
LINCOLN, Abraham. The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln. Edited by John G. Nicolay and John Hay. New York: Francis D. Tandy, (1905). Twenty-four volumes. Octavo, contemporary full brown crushed morocco gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and covers with inlaid morocco floral designs in the Art Nouveau style depicting water lilies, elaborate olive morocco doublures with oval vellum onlays displaying a hand-painted log cabin inside the front cover of each volume, raised bands, green silk endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and partly unopened. $67,500.
“New and Enlarged” edition of the Presidential Edition of Nicolay and Hay’s monumental collection of Lincoln’s works: a stated “unique extra-illustrated copy,” expanded from 12 volumes to 24 with more than four hundred plates—engraved and mounted portraits of Lincoln, his contemporaries and rivals; maps and views of Civil War battles; and printed manuscript facsimiles—beautifully and sumptuously bound in full morocco-gilt with inlaid morocco, Art Nouveau floral decorations, and a watercolor miniature of Lincoln’s log cabin home in every volume. With final volume containing a cut signature and a rare and desirable set of ship's papers for a whaling ship signed by Lincoln, a clipped signature of Martin Van Buren, ship's papers signed by James Buchanan, and over 30 additional document and signatures from such notable Americans as Charles Sumner, William Seward, Hannibal Hamlin and Robert Todd Lincoln. An altogether splendid, impressive and desirable production.
John Nicolay, Lincoln's private secretary, "enjoyed the intimate friendship of the President… Few men were as close to Lincoln as Nicolay or so fully enjoyed his confidence." John Hay, after serving as Lincoln's assistant and confidante, served as Secretary of State under Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, and also achieved literary fame. The two men collaborated for over a decade; their monumental biography of Lincoln and definitive collection of his works, first published in 1890 and 1894, were the result. The authors shared a personal knowledge of and love for Lincoln, and befriended Lincoln's son, Robert, who gave them access to his father's documents and memorabilia (Nicolay and Hay dedicated the original edition to Robert). Their work "stands as an impressive monument, not only because of the vastness of the undertaking but also because of its enduring historical significance" (DAB). In 1905, Tandy published the Gettysburg Edition of Nicolay and Hay's work, 1000 sets "commonly bound in red cloth… Variants from [the] same plates appear as [the] Memorial and Presidential Editions… The latter consists of 50 registered sets printed throughout on Japanese vellum," and bound in a fashion similar but not identical to the present set (Monaghan 1471). Those 50 sets bore the imprint "Tandy-Thomas" on the volumes' title pages. The present set's title pages bear only the Tandy imprint, and further identify the production as a "New and Enlarged" edition of Lincoln's Works, a notice that does not appear in the 50 registered sets. The number of these stated "unique extra illustrated" copies is unknown, but cannot have been large, given that no two sets could contain all the same inserted illustrations. Sets of both the Presidential Edition and the "New and Enlarged" Presidential Edition are found extra-illustrated.
This set includes a final, 24th volume consisting of additional portraits bound with over 30 letters and official documents signed by some of the leading figures of the period, including, of course, Lincoln and his circle. This volume includes:
1. Four-language ship's papers for the whaling vessel Eliza Adams , signed by Lincoln and his secretary of state William Seward, dated October 16, 1863.
2. Brief autograph biblical quotation ("Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing?") signed by Charles Sumner.
3. Clipped Martin Van Buren signature.
4. Autograph letter dated 1866 signed by Clement L. Vallandigham. Vallandigham was an anti-war Democrat and former congressman whose arrest and deportation to the Confederacy in 1863 was extremely controversial.
5. Autograph letter dated 1867 signed by Whig congressman Joseph Ripley Chandler.
6. Sheet of Confederate States of America bonds, each signed by the CSA Register of the Treasury N. Palmer.
7. Clipped signature of Francis Spinner. Spinner was a founding member of the Republican Party and a congressman from New York; Lincoln appointed him secretary of the treasury in 1861.
8. Autograph note signed by Moses H. Grinnell, congressman from New York and a founding member of the Republican Party.
9. Autograph letter dated 1848 signed by William Seward, a letter of introduction. Seward served as Lincoln's secretary of state.
10. Autograph letter dated 1841 signed by Thomas Ewing, senator from Ohio and later the first secretary of the interior and secretary of the treasury, dealing with Treasury Department business.
11. Clipped signature of Lincoln's vice president Hannibal Hamlin.
12. Autograph letter dated 1888 signed by Henry M. Duffield, colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War.
13. Clipped signature of Lyman Trumbull, Republican senator from Illinois and one of the writers of the 13th Amendment.
14. Autograph postcard from former Union soldier C.W. Taylor to fellow soldier Marquis W. Ahreets.
15. Autograph letter dated 1904 signed by John Watts de Peyster, who served in the Civil War and later wrote an early and influential history of it.
16. Autograph letter dated 1872 signed by Elihu B. Washburne, one of the founding members of the Republican Party, senator from Illinois, and (briefly) secretary of state under Grant.
17. Autograph letter dated 1877 signed by Secretary of the Navy George M. Robeson on Navy Department letterhead instructing an officer, James W. Nicholson, to come to Washington.
18. Clipped signature of Rufus Choate, who succeeded Daniel Webster in the Senate from Massachusetts.
19. Autograph note dated 1870 forwarding a letter, on the letterhead of John Adams Dix, Union general and future governor of New York.
20. Autograph letter dated 1886 on United States Engineering Office stationery signed by Union Army General Quincy Adams Gillmore.
21. Autograph note dated 1878 signed by James Hall recommending a newly discharged soldier for employment.
22. Clipped signature of Abram Newkirk Littlejohn, Episcopalian bishop.
23. Autograph letter dated 1866 signed by Alexander Ramsey, senator from Minnesota, governor of Minnesota and founding member of the Republican Party.
24. Clipped signature of Nathaniel P. Banks, Massachusetts politician, founding member of the Republican Party, and Union general.
25. Dinner invitation to the White House from 1856 during Franklin Pierce presidency (unsigned).
26. Clipped signature of Lincoln's secretary of the navy, Gideon Welles.
27. Four-language ship's papers signed by James Buchanan.
28. James K. Polk portrait (unsigned).
29. General Treasury Order dated 1870 signed in the plate by George S. Boutwell.
30. Autograph letter dated 1894 signed by Union general and Medal of Honor recipient O.O. Howard.
31. Autograph letter dated 1884 on War Department stationery signed by Robert Todd Lincoln as secretary of war.
32. Autograph postscript signed by pro-Union clergyman Robert Baird.
33. Autograph letter dated 1845 signed by Robert Walker, treasury secretary under Polk.
34. Clipped signature of Daniel Butterfield, Union general and Medal of Honor recipient.
34. Autograph letter dated 1844 signed by George Ashmun, congressman from Massachusetts and a founder of the Republican Party.
35. Autograph letter dated 1891 signed by Fitzjohn Porter, a Union general whose court martial following the Second Battle of Bull Run was eventually overturned by Grover Cleveland in the 18802.
36. Clipped signature of American scientist Benjamin Silliman.
A beautifully bound, splendidly extra-illustrated set dedicated to the life, writings and legacy of President Lincoln, in fine condition.