"FORTUNE, THEY SAY, IS A FICKLE DAME—FULL OF HER FREAKS AND CAPRICES; WHO BLINDLY DISTRIBUTES HER FAVORS": FIRST EDITION OF SMEAD'S GUIDE TO WEALTH, 1856
SMEAD, Wesley. Guide to Wealth: or The Pathway to Health, Peace, and Competence. Cincinnati: E. Mendenhall, 1856. Small octavo, original black cloth. $450.
First edition of this 19th-century work on building wealth through making moral choices, being industrious, and handling money carefully.
This work was written by 19th-century banker and philanthropist Wesley Smead. Rather than endorsing "Get Rich Quick" schemes, Smead focuses on combining common sense, strong morality, and smart money handling to build sustainable wealth. Author Smead came from humble roots. Born in upstate New York, he began his working life at a newsboy before eventually becoming a doctor in Ohio. However, career tracks were not quite as set at that time and a wealthy man could easily become involved in banking, which is what Smead did. He served as president of Citizens' Bank in Cincinnati from 1843 to 1857 and became quite rich as a result. Unsatisfied by mere wealth, Smead set out to establish himself as a philanthropist during that period and he became known for giving to virtually every charity in the area and even established a widows' home. Smead was a prolific writer on banking, primarily in essay form. This work stands apart as one of his best and most comprehensive writings. Without publisher's advertisements. Contemporary pencil owner's signature.
Scattered foxing to interior, light rubbing and a bit of bubbling to cloth. An extremely good copy. Rare.