FROM THE LIBRARY PRESENTED TO ULYSSES S. GRANT
(GRANT, Ulysses S.) SPARKS, Jared. The Library of American Biography. Vol. VIII. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1865. 12mo, contemporary three-quarter green morocco gilt, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt. $2800.
Later edition of a volume from Sparks’ Library of American Biography, from the collection of literature presented by the citizens of Boston to Ulysses S. Grant, handsomely bound and with large engraved presentation bookplate.
Famed for his compilations of Washington's and Franklin's writings, Sparks believed America's colonial and revolutionary eras offered tremendous opportunities to mingle "entertainment with instruction." He assembled an impressive group of historians and public figures to assist him in preparing the 25-volume Library of American Biography, "a pioneering biographical publication" (ANB), first published 1833-49. The subjects in this volume are Jonathan Edwards and David Brainerd. With two manuscript autograph facsimiles. In appreciation of Grant's Civil War military service, the city of Boston presented a collection of 1200 books to him; each volume contained a large, decorative presentation bookplate like the one here. On January 16, 1866, Grant sent a note of thanks to the committee responsible for raising funds for the gift: "Yours of the 1st….announcing that a collection of Books has been sent to me by Gentlemen of Boston is received… Permit me to return my thanks….The kind expression of confidence conveyed on the note announcing this valuable and substantial present will be preserved by me as possessing an extrinsic value beyond that of goods which can be bought with money."
Spine ends, edges and boards lightly rubbed, gilt bright. A near-fine copy, desirable from Grant's library.