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A LETTER FROM ROME, SHEWING AN EXACT CONFORMITY BETWEEN POPERY AND PAGANISM ... BY CONYERS MIDDLETON ... LONDON M,DCC,XLI
San Francisco. Completed 18 February 1854.. [6],244pp. plus blanks and plates. Original illustrated manuscript, executed on rectos and versos of lined octavo paper stock in black, red and brown inks, then bound in full 19th century beveled calf, raised bands, decorations in blind, spine lettered in gilt, decorated endsheets, with binder's ticket of "J. Tretler, Binder. Washington City." Binding rubbed, small shelf-label removal mark, bookplate (properly deaccessioned from a theological institution), else very good, the manuscript in fine state. A remarkable artifact, being an illustrated manuscript transcription of Middleton's work, executed as a diversion by then Captain Edward D. Townsend while stationed in San Francisco with the U.S. Army's Division of the Pacific, under the command of General Ethan A. Hitchcock. A 2 1/4 page Preface by Townsend, signed and dated by him at the conclusion in San Francisco outlines the origin and intent of the undertaking, indicating that he was loaned an 18th century printed edition of the book by General Hitchcock in the course of their casual discussions about religion, and he made the elegant transcription so that he might return the original, retain a copy, and produce "a memento of many pleasant hours in San Francisco...." The manuscript is illustrated with an elaborate pictorial extra-title, and eight illustrations in the body of the work, hors texte, executed with considerable skill in ink and pencil, chiefly of religious subjects. However, one drawing might easily be considered a scene in the western mountains. Townsend (1817 - 1893), an 1837 West Point graduate, had an active and distinguished military career, including service in the Florida War, the Cherokee Removal, and along the Canadian border 1838-41. He transferred to the Adjutant General service in 1846, and was assigned to California from 1851-1856. During his eventual assignment to Washington, he was Adjutant General to General Winfield Scott, and during the course of the Civil War, filled many senior positions (including acting Secretary of War), and eventually was promoted to the rank of Major General. He was in charge of the Honor Guard for Lincoln's burial, and oversaw the official collection of the war records. as this manuscript attests, Edwards was a deeply religious man, and among his later publications is CATECHISM OF THE BIBLE ... (NY: Episcopal Sunday School Union, 1859). His ANECDOTES OF THE CIVIL WAR ... appeared in 1883, and in 1970, the Ward Ritchie Press published THE CALIFORNIA DIARY OF GENERAL E.D. TOWNSEND, edited by Malcolm Edwards. The illustrations from his diary exhibit the same significant skill evident in the present drawings, although they, of course, relate directly to California. The diary provides ample context for the present manuscript and confirms Townsend's preoccupation with theological matters during his posting in California; however, as a consequence of an unfortunate gap in the printed narrative from 8 February 1853 to 15 September 1854, there is no specific mention of this manuscript. In all, this highly unusual manuscript records one of the off-duty preoccupations of a ranking military figure of significance posted to Northern California coincident with one of the region's most historically important decades. Accompanied by a copy of the 1970 CALIFORNIA DIARY....
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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