A WEALTH OF U.S. PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL
(RICHARDSON, James D., editor). A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents. New York: Bureau of National Literature, (1897-1922). Twenty volumes. Tall octavo, original black pebbled cloth gilt, pictorial endpapers, top edges gilt. $2500.
Early editions of the original 12 volumes of this monumental collection of presidential messages and papers, with first editions of the eight continuation volumes and index, illustrated with color frontispieces and numerous plates, many in color, in publisher’s cloth with gilt Great Seal on all covers.
Richardson's purpose in compiling this massive work was to amass in one place what he considered "among the most interesting, instructive, and valuable contributions to the public literature of our Republic. [The Messages and Papers] discuss from the loftiest standpoint nearly all the great questions of national policy and many subjects." Included are inaugural addresses, important speeches before Congress, messages to the American public, and proclamations from George Washington through Calvin Coolidge. The Messages and Papers were updated and reissued periodically; this edition contains the early editions of the original 12 volumes, initially published 1896-97, as well as the continuation volumes through 1922, with the full encyclopedic index in Volumes XIX and XX. Ink shelf number on front pastedowns.