Friday, September 22, 2017

Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War

Title page to Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of hte WarIn May, the Dartmouth College Library was abe to acquire the 1866 edition of Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War, the most powerful and most well-known collection of photographs from the Civil War. It contains 100 original albumen silver prints, each mounted on lithographed cards and bound into two volumes. It was published in an edition of no more than 200 sets and includes many of the most celebrated and recognizable images of the war such as: "Burial Party, Cold Harbor"; "A Harvest of Death"; "Field Where General Reynolds Fell, Battle of Gettysburg"; and "President Lincoln on Battle-Field of Antietam.” The acquisition was made possible by a generous bequest by Hans Penner formerly of the Religion department.

"Harvest of Death" from Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book showing dead soldiers on the field of Gettysburg
To celebrate this amazing acquisition we are hosting a half-day symposium on September 25th, “Civil War Object Lessons: Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War as Relic, Monument, and Narrative” to which you are most cordially invited. We will be featuring two visiting speakers, Elizabeth Athens from the Worcester Art Museum, and Elizabeth Young from Mount Holyoke College, as well as two panels of Dartmouth faculty and staff to discuss how the book will be used in their teaching and research.

"Gettysburg" showing the fields around Gettysburg, PA
The symposium runs from 12:45-5:45, and all of the presentations will be held in the Kreindler Conference Room (Room 41) in the Haldeman Center. You can find the schedule here. If you can't make it to the symposium, sometime when you are free, come to Rauner and ask for Rare E468.7 G19 1866.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Return of an Old Friend

Antiphonal in Preservation labWe have a really amazing old Antiphonal that lives in our reading room. It is a beast of a book that can take a lot of use, so it is a good thing to have out. When it arrived, it was pretty beat up--some of the metal bosses were missing, a chunk of the back board had broken off, and it needed some cleaning. Still, it was made to be used, and we were able to use it for teaching and to satisfy people's curiosity fairly well. Then our terrific colleagues in Preservation Services had a vision to not only stabilize the book, but also have the work be a learning opportunity across campus.

New metal bosses being designed
They got the campus Jewelry Studio involved in creating new bosses based on the existing ones, and the Woodworking Shop built out the missing piece of the back board. Our conservator, Deborah Howe, worked with everyone to reassemble the book, and now it is back home in our reading room ready to be used again.

Back board being reparied with new wood
Come on in whenever we are open to take a look at it. The work they did is almost as amazing as the book itself!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rudolph as the New Red Meat

A photograph of a reindeer digging in the snow to reach food beneath its surface
In the early 20th century, there was great concern in the United States over the rise in beef consumption which was outstripping supplies. In Alaska, a couple of brothers had already come up with a possible solution. They founded an Alaskan meatpacking company in 1914 that focused on reindeer meat as an alternative to beef. The Lomen Reindeer Corporation, founded by Carl and Alfred Lomen, began with an initial purchase of 1,200 reindeer from a Laplander immigrant to Alaska. They then proceeded to dominate the export of reindeer meat from Alaska to the Lower 48, shutting down competition and selling over six million pounds of reindeer meat by the end of the 1920s.

Part of the Lomen brothers' success hinged upon their aggressive and widespread marketing partnership with Macy's. In the winter of 1926, they supplied live reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh for the various Christmas spectacles associated with the department store chain all over the country. Although reindeer had been connected to Santa for a long time before this marketing stunt, some would argue that this forever united the two in the minds of America's children.

An advertisement from Fisher's Flouring Mills Company that has the headline "Is It Hard to Imagine 160,000 Reindeer?" and has a drawing of a reindeer herd, an Inuit herder, a dog-sled team, and a bag of flour.One advertisement that we found recently in our collection is a great reflection of the impact that the Lomens had on both the reindeer industry and Santa Claus. An undated newspaper ad for Fisher's Flouring Mills Company tells the history of the Lomen brothers and their vision. The ad copy states that reindeer herding will make the "simple Eskimo" as "wealthy as his prairie cousin, the Indian oil baron of Oklahoma," and claims that native women have integrated Fisher's flour into their everyday cooking routine. Given that the "prairie cousins" didn't really fare as well as this advertisement suggests, we can't help but wonder if, much like Santa Claus, the incredible amount of money that reindeer herds were supposed to provide for the Inuit turned out to be an imaginary figure as well.

To see this advertisement, and learn more about reindeer as food, come to Rauner and explore the papers of Vilhjalmur Stefansson (MSS-98), box 15. To see more photographs of Arctic life, ask for the papers of Clarence L. Andrews (MSS-4).

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Against All Odds

“Noon in Mid-Winter” by W. H. Brown from Ten coloured views taken during the Arctic expedition of Her Majesty’s ships ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Investigator,Last Spring, we worked with Ross Virginia's Environmental Studies 15 class known as "Pole to Pole." It was a large class, 51 students, and their final project was focused on the search for the Northwest Passage. Each student mined our phenomenal Stefansson Collection on Polar Exploration and, together as a group, they built an online exhibit tracing the history of the search with an emphasis on Sir John Hope Franklin. After a little tweaking over the summer, the exhibit, Against All Odds, is now live and open for viewing.

We hope you enjoy it. And remember, everything they used, you can come in and use yourself. It is a lot safer to explore the Northwest Passage here in Rauner than up north!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Yours Truly"

Letters quoted in text concerning Orozco painting in Baker LibraryWhen Jose Clemente Orozco created the stunning murals in Baker Library, concerned almuni and members of the public heaped criticism on President Ernest Hopkins for allowing such a thing to happen. For the most part, Hopkins courteously responded to the criticism. He supported the decision to bring Orozco to Dartmouth and defended the painting even though it expressed political views contrary to his own.

But one writer clearly got under his skin. A member of the National Arts Club wrote to Hopkins, "Does it seem fitting that in these times when American artists are starving that a College of the standing of Dartmouth College should go to Mexico for its Fresco--such monstrosities could as well be perpetrated by a disordered mind--in the United States?" The writer continued, "Are we training youth to deliberately cultivate all that is not moral or fine or beautiful? Why not run a sewer through your library--or hang mirrors to distort their reflection. The value in art is beauty--not this horrible stuff."

Hopkins, perhaps resenting that this letter came from someone not affiliated with Dartmouth, and also perhaps succumbing his gender bias, responded with curt furor:
I can reply very briefly and very definitely to the inquiries of your letter, that it is based on personal prejudice and unjustified presumptions. In view of the fact that I concede none of your premises upon which you base your argument, I naturally cannot have any interest in your conclusion.
He then jauntily signed off, "Yours truly."

To see the letters, ask for DP-11, Box 6928, Folder 14 (you'll find other critical letters there, with much friendlier replies).

Friday, September 1, 2017

Extra Illustrated Lincoln

SIgnature of Jefferson DavisIf you are a collector of stuff related to someone like Abraham Lincoln, how do you go about saving it and displaying it to its best advantage? A little scrap of paper with Jefferson Davis's signature is easy to lose, but it is likely to be one of the prizes of your collection. Framing it on the wall is a bit over the top, so why not tuck it into a book about Lincoln in an appropriate spot? Or better, bind it in, so it will never slip out and get lost.

That is exactly what one early 20th-century collector did. He took dozens of paper artifacts of Lincoln and had a copy of a finely printed Abraham Lincoln: A Biographic Essay disbound then reassembled with relics interspersed. There are images of Lincoln, scraps of manuscripts and other artifacts bound into the book.

Boradside concerning the Fugitive Slave Bill
Our favorite is a broadside issued somewhere in the northern states in response to the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act. It contains the text of the act, bordered in black to symbolize a nation in mourning.

"Black List" calling out Northern Congressmen who voted for the bill
But in the corner is a calling out of the votes cast in favor of the act by congressmen from free states, thirty in all. It is is like a precursor to social media shaming of elected officials for their votes--though here the social media was a piece of paper pinned to a board in a public place.

To see it ask for Rare E459.8 S37 copy 2. The broadside is in part 1, between pages 72 and 73.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Demolition of Dartmouth

Opening stanza to Freneau's On the Demolition of Dartmouth CollegeFor one of the most iconic views of the College, Dartmouth Hall has quite a fraught history.  Though many people know that the old College Hall, as the building used to be known, burned down twice, few are aware that its first restoration actually occurred in the late 18th century, after students tore the structure down late one night. Ephraim Smedley, class of 1793, wrote in his diary that “The demolition of the old Hall happened on Dec. ye 3 A.D. 1789 about 7 o'clock in the evening there were seventy five of students, in number who combined for that purpose.” Apparently, the buildings were in such terrible shape that they were almost a danger to the members of the College. Work to restore the old College Hall had been frustratingly slow, and the students took it upon themselves to incentivize more rapid progress.

Interestingly, most of the story can be pieced together by looking at small references to the event in a number of different sources; Smedley includes only the one sentence in his journal entry for that day, instead focusing on the readings he had completed and other details of his schoolwork. Another letter similarly includes only one brief inquiry into the events. A student’s historical exploration of the history of Dartmouth Hall briefly recounts the students’ motivations for their “nocturnal visitation,” concluding that “not even the College officers were sorry to see it go,” and that the students’ actions had the desired effect of speeding up the restoration process.

Detail of letter to John Wheelcock asking about the destruction of the College
Our favorite retelling of the event is Philip Freneau’s poem “On the Demolition of Dartmouth College.” By no means the most reliable account (Freneau wasn’t even present that evening) it is certainly the most fun! Freneau adds some (possibly imagined) elements to the story, including the ringing of the College bells to call students to action, and an impassioned speech from the reluctantly awakened “reverend man that college gentry awes” that was largely ignored by students more focused on their mission. In a testament to its playful humor and clearly fantastically imagined nature, the poem concludes “So, three huzzas they gave, and fir’d a round,/Then homeward trudg’d—half drunk—but safe and sound.”

Closing stanza to Freneu's On the Demolition of Dartmouth College
To trace the story of the Demolition of the College Hall yourself, come in and ask for MS 789558, MS 790159, D.C. Hist. LD1440 D3 L4, and Val 815 F88 L2.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dartmouth Republicans

A portrait of Amos Tuck taken in 1859, when he was 49 years old.
Last week we blogged about an influential Dartmouth alum, Salmon P. Chase, who was a member of Abraham Lincoln's cabinet as the Secretary of the Treasury from 1861 through 1864. He later went on to become the sixth Chief Justice of the United States. This week, we found a fascinating document connected to Chase hiding among the papers of another famous Dartmouth alum and lawyer, Amos Tuck. A member of the class of 1835, Tuck was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1842. Originally a member of the Democratic party, he rejected their pro-slavery stance and was disavowed by the party. He then proceeded to run, and win, as an independent before gathering a convention to support an anti-slavery congressional candidate named John P. Hale.

This convention was the spark that was ultimately responsible for the creation of the Republican
Amos Tuck's naval commission signed by Abraham Lincoln and Salmon ChaseParty in New Hampshire. In 1853, Tuck convened a secret meeting of men who were opposed to slavery and suggested that they create a party called  the "Republicans." Following on the heels of this successful meeting, Tuck assisted in the formal creation of the state party in 1856. Soon after, he served as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1856 and 1860. Some historians assert that Abraham Lincoln, a personal friend of Tuck, would never have received the presidential nomination if not for his efforts.

A portrait of an old Amos TuckAfter leaving politics, Tuck received a naval officer's commission and was stationed in Boston during the Civil War. Here at Rauner, we have the document itself, which was signed by both Abraham Lincoln and Salmon P. Chase. One wonders how much of the war really reached Tuck in Boston, although there were riots in the city in 1863 over the attempt to draft large numbers of Irish immigrants into the Union Army. Regardless, Tuck knew enough of the horrors of war to persuade his son Edward, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1862, to pay a fee to avoid being conscripted. After the war, Amos would go on to make a fortune in the railroad business; Edward would later use railroad stock to found the Amos Tuck School of Administration and Finance at Dartmouth College in honor of his father.

To learn more about Amos Tuck, come to Rauner and explore the Tuck Family Papers (MS-442) and Amos Tuck 1835's alumni file.

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Why I Must Say No, Again"

Front cover of the May-June 1960 issue of Rights magazine, including a photograph of protestors on the sidewalk holding signs with messages of support for Uphaus. In November 1950, Willard Uphaus, religious educator and executive secretary of the National Religion and Labor Foundation was invited to attend the World Peace Congress in Warsaw as a member of the US delegation. A committed pacifist, Uphaus had been warned that subversive elements, i.e. Communists "were cynically exploiting the passionate desire for peace to gain world domination" and that they would be dominating the Congress. Uphaus, however, disagreed. He knew that churchmen, like himself, would be there as well as many others who, despite being labeled "subversive," had a “deep and genuine desire for peace.” The Congress went well and at the end of it, Uphaus and others had the opportunity to visit Moscow through the Soviet Peace Committee. The trip was an eye-opener for Uphaus, confirming in him the desire to work even harder to foster American and Soviet friendship. Unfortunately, when he returned to the States he found himself "the spinning center of a tornado, one of the tornados spawned in the panic storm that culminated in what has become known to the world as McCarthyism."

An excerpt from the Saturday edition New Haven Evening Register, April 16, 1960, explaining who Dr. Uphaus is, what the World Fellowship is, and fundraising requests for the Fellowship and for Uphaus's legal fees.As a result of his trip to Moscow, Uphaus was forced to resign from the National Religion and Labor Foundation. He soon found another outlet for his peace activism when he became the co-director of the American Peace Crusade. Over the next several years he was “caught up in this great movement, with the war in Korea "lending a terrible urgency” to his cause. And then the World Fellowship of Faiths knocked on his door. Finding their mission completely in sync with his own, he and his wife became co-directors of the World Fellowship Center in Conway, New Hampshire in 1953. It was then that his trip to Russia came to haunt him.

The red and black cover of a publication titled "Excerpts relating to Willard Uphaus and World Fellowship Inc., from Subversive Activities in New Hampshire. Report of the Attorney General to the New Hampshire General Court. January 5, 1955.The case began with two critical articles about the Center in the Manchester Union Leader in September 1953; "Pro-Red Takes over New Hampshire Fellowship Group," proclaimed one. In response, New Hampshire's Attorney General Louis C. Wyman began to investigate the Center and in particular Willard Uphaus under the Subversive Activities Act of 1951. Uphaus was subpoenaed twice in 1954. During his second round of questioning he was asked to turn over the Fellowship's 1954 guest list and the correspondence with prospective speakers. He refused: "I told the Court that I could not in good conscience comply since doing so would be in violation of biblical teachings against false witness, our Bill of Rights which protects freedom of religion and assembly, and the teachings of my church against 'guilt of association'."

A press release by Uphaus for delivery at a rally in support of the First Amendment New York Center on Nov. 5, 1959. It is titled "Why I Must Say 'No' Again."
Uphaus felt that handing over the names "would make him a contemptible talebearer against people who, to his knowledge, had never done anything to injure the state or the country." For a while it looked as if the case could be resolved based on jurisdiction since Uphaus was a resident of Connecticut. However, on December 14, 1959, after several appeals, Uphaus was charged with contempt of court and sentenced to one year in in Boscawan Jail in Merrimack County, New Hampshire. He was released on December 11, 1960.

To learn more about Willard Uphaus’ legal fight and activism, his work with the Fellowship of Faiths, the National Religion and Labor Foundation, and the American Peace Crusade ask for the Willard Uphaus papers (MS-1077).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Delineating the Eclipse

detail from delineation of eclipse showing local time199 years ago, here in Hanover, a student displayed his mastery over mathematics and astronomy by delineating a solar eclipse as it would appear in Hanover on August 27, 1821. Unlike the total eclipse North America will experience next week, it was an annular eclipse, so there would have been a ring of fire around the moon as it almost blocked out the sun.

Document illustrating the angle of the eclipseBut like the eclipse next week, the one in 1821 would have only been a partial eclipse here in Hanover. The full force of it cut across the southern states as it moved out into the Atlantic. Event here in the North, it still provided a teachable moment that required computational and drafting skill. In this particular case, it was also an excuse to show off impeccable handwriting.

Detail of delineation of eclipse giving attribution to Nathaneal Cogswell
To view this solar eclipse, you don't have to travel far, just ask for MS 818416.1.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Vermont's Appeal...

Textual title page to Vermont's Appeal...well, this time of the year it is the weather and the blueberries, but Stephen Bradley had something different in mind in 1779. At the time, the newly independent states of New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts all had various claims on chunks of land in Vermont. It had not been one of the original colonies, but was being actively settled and contested, and of course was the site of several major Revolutionary War battles.

Inscription by Stephen Bradley to Colonel Sims of VirginiaBradley advocated for Vermont's standing as an independent state and the arguments laid out in this pamphlet were instrumental in Vermont's eventual admittance to the Union as the 14th state in 1790. Our copy is inscribed by the author to Colonel Charles Sims of Virginia, a lawyer with considerable political clout in the new republic whose support Bradley would need.

To see our copy, ask for McGregor 23.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Attorney General of Fugitive Slaves

scribbled note by Salmon Chase reading "Can Congress make wrong right?" followed by his signature.
With Congress taking a break for August after a series of failed efforts to legislate, we thought the following note especially apropos. Written by Salmon P. Chase in 1873, it says very simply, "Can Congress make wrong right?" Chase famously was the Secretary of the Treasury during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln and will be familiar to anyone who has read Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. After winning the election of 1860, Lincoln reportedly said, "The very first thing that I settled in my mind was that two great leaders of the [Republican] party should occupy the two first places in my cabinet -- Seward and Chase." At the time, Chase was a newly-minted United States senator from Ohio who had been one of Lincoln's chief competitors at the Republican National Convention.

A photograph of Salmon P. Chase seated looking off to the right with his hands folded in his lap and his legs crossed.Before Chase became Secretary of the Treasury and then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he was simply a local boy from Cornish, New Hampshire. The town, now associated with Augustus Saint Gaudens and the Cornish Colony, was originally settled by Chase's grandparents. When Chase was sixteen years old, he enrolled at Dartmouth College as a junior and graduated two years later at the age of eighteen as a member of the class of 1826. Eventually, he would move to Cincinnati and be pejoratively known as the "Attorney General of Fugitive Slaves" because of his fierce anti-slavery views and willing defense of fugitive slaves. He went on to organize the Liberty and Free Soil parties in Ohio and eventually became governor of that state.

Here at Rauner, we have a small collection of correspondence from Chase as well as an alumni file.
One of the letters, written to a Judge Smith in August of 1860, several months after Chase's defeat at the convention, states that he holds no ill will for any of the people who voted for Lincoln. Rather, he prefers "the triumph of the cause to the success of any body, whether myself or another." He goes on to say that "the characters and abilities of Mr. Lincoln " provide some measure of hope for the party and its goals. Roughly a year later, he would join Lincoln's team of rivals.

First page of letter from Chase to SmithSecond letter of Chase to Smith

To explore the Salmon P. Chase letters, come to Rauner and ask for MS-103. You can also have a look at his significant alumni file while you're here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Versatile Spuddy

photograph of Sturgis 'Spuddy' Pishon in his football uniform, hands on hips.
This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the United States' formal involvement in World War I. However, many Americans had already been serving in Europe, either in the Foreign Legion or in support roles such as ambulance or supply truck drivers. By the time the war had officially ended on November 11, 1918, over a hundred Dartmouth men had died as a result of the war. One of those who lost his life was Sturgis "Spuddy" Pishon, a member of the class of 1910 and a lieutenant in the U. S. Army's 341st Aero Squadron. Pishon's plane crashed during a training mission and he died soon afterward in the Post Hospital.

Spuddy was the epitome of heteronormative masculinity: he was a quarterback on the football team and regarded as one of the greatest Dartmouth football players of his time. Captain Galiher, Pishon's commanding officer, takes great pains to emphasize the manliness of his death. In his letter to Spuddy's sister Elizabeth, he claims that the young lieutenant "died like an American; he went down with his machine and retained consciousness up to the time of his death." Later in the letter, Galiher underscores that Pishon "died like a man."

first page of letter to Pishon's sister from Captain Galihersecond page of letter to Pishon's sister from Captain Galiher

Interestingly enough, none of the obituaries about or memorials to Spuddy mention his involvement with the Dartmouth Players, the drama club on campus. In the spring of his senior year, he played the role of Caroline, the daughter of the Earl of Dartmouth, in an operetta titled "The Pea Green Earl." Apparently, dressing as a woman for Dartmouth productions was hardly a one-time lark for the quarterback and future aviator; in the review for the operetta, it states that Pishon "contributes a three-year experience in female roles to the performance." One of the reasons Spuddy might have had so many female parts is because he was fairly short at five feet three inches. On the back of the photograph of him in costume, someone wrote, "Versatile Spuddy" and "The beloved Spuddy Pishon whose gridiron, stage and war records are part of Dartmouth's history."

To learn more about Spuddy Pishon's life, come to Rauner and ask to see his alumni file. To learn more about the Dartmouth Players, come explore their records (DO-60).

Friday, July 28, 2017


This summer has been really rainy and dreary, but we are about to celebrate Sophomore Summer Family Weekend and the forecast is perfect. Today at 3:00, we will be having a tour showing off some of the highlights of the collection. In honor of the fabulous weather, we are working on the theme of "light." So, we will have illumination, spiritual enlightenment, "light" reading, a particularly bright spot from Dartmouth's history, and, of course, the Enlightenment.

What better way to show the process of printing than with a stick of type and Diderot's Encyclopedia! Both spread enlightenment and they will brighten up our tour.

Detail from Diderot showing how type works in the reverse to print.
They will be out for today's tour, but you can see these anytime by asking for AE25.E53 1770 Vol. 7.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Beecham's Pills advertisement described in textWe couldn't let this go by without comment. Last week we worked with a group of health care professionals looking at the history of medications and the establishment of medical authority. Among the materials were several patent medicine advertisements from the early 1900s. This one for Beecham's Pills just gave us all the creeps.

First of all, the quote "The Best Wife I Ever Had!" Okay, does that mean he has had many wives and this is the best ever? Also, is it supposed to imply some kind of ownership? He seems a bit possessive in his stance. Then there is the look on his face. "Look" is too nice a word, let's say leer in his eye. She is a little worrisome as well with her sly grin and holding the little bottle of pills to make the OK sign.

Just what were Beecham's to cause such a wondrous transformation? According to Wikipedia, they were a laxative made up primarily of aloe, ginger and soap. At least they seem pretty harmless unlike some of the other medicines that were advertised. Their message, though, was more disturbing.

Cover to Pearson's Magazine showing Woman in with a boa
To see it ask for the December 1907 issue of Pearson's, Sine Serials PA4.P35 V. 24 1907:Dec.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Faces of Aeneas

Detail showing Aeneas from Ogibly's edition
Ogilby's Aeneas
You don't really think of classical characters being altered by 17th-century political turmoil, but the face of Aeneas, Virgil's hero in the Aeneid, was transformed toward the end of the century based on the political leanings of two publishers: John Ogilby and Jacob Tonson.

At least one scholar has suggested that Ogilby’s Aeneid, printed in 1654, pays homage to Charles II in its representations of Aeneas, whose round face and black mustache bears a strong resemblance to the king in his youth. It is probably not a coincidence that Ogilby was tapped to participate in the planning of Charles’s coronation in 1660; that same year, he also published his translation of Homer’s Iliad, which he dedicated to Charles.

Detail showing Aeneas from Tonson's edition
Tonson's Aeneas
Tonson’s edition of the Aeneid is a more complex political creature than Ogilby’s for many reasons. As a founder of the Whig Kit-Cat Club, he would not have been an eager supporter of Charles II. However, Tonson purchased the original engraving plates from Ogilby’s Aeneid for use in Dryden’s translation of Virgil’s works, which meant potentially including images of Charles II in his 1697 edition. As a result, Tonson paid an anonymous engraver to alter the images of Aeneas that looked most like Charles II so that the monarch’s tell-tale mustache was eliminated or obscured.

Close up of Aeneas showing Charles II's nose and mustache
Charles II as Aeneas
Close up of Aeneas clean shaven with Willian III's hook nose
William III as Aeneas

Moreover, John Dryden was Catholic and a staunch supporter of the recently deposed James II, to the extent that he had openly refused to take the oaths of allegiance to William III and Mary II when they took the throne in 1689. As such, Dryden refused to dedicate his translation of the Aeneid to William. This introduced a potential problem for Tonson, whose ability to publish in England relied on the king’s explicit approval. As a solution, to counteract Dryden’s Jacobite leanings in the text, Tonson hired an anonymous engraver to alter further some of Ogilby’s original plates of Aeneas so that the Trojan hero would share William III’s distinctive Roman nose.

Both books are currently on display (through Labor Day) in the Class of 1965 Galleries in our exhibit, "Adorn'd with Sculptures." After that, you can request them by asking for Rare PA6807.A1D7 1697 for the Tonson edition. We are still cataloging the Ogilby--which we just acquired!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rocks and a Hard Place

Broadside Verso: "Auction Sale Will be sold at PUBLIC AUCTION, on TUESDAY, the 30th day of MARCH inst., at 10 o'clock, A. M., the following property, viz.: The FARM on which I now live..."
Farming in New Hampshire has never been an easy proposition. Although the overwhelming number of boulders that fill the fields have been a great source of stone for house foundations and picturesque walls, they've also made clearing and planting particularly difficult. In addition, New Hampshire soil is acidic and thin, which makes growing anything a supremely challenging endeavor. It makes sense, then, that most traditional farms in New Hampshire in the 1800s were slowly abandoned by their owners, either for mill jobs in urban centers or for a new farming life in the west where rich soil abounded.

Broadside verso with four different family member letters and an address (the broadside must have been folded up and sealed as an envelope).At Rauner, we have a wonderful broadside that is a perfect illustration of how farming in New Hampshire became a dead end for all but a few hearty (and perhaps foolhardy) souls. In March of 1847, the Dow family of Hanover, New Hampshire, had had enough of the struggle. With plans to head west for better climes, they commissioned a broadside advertising the auction of their farm, including several fruit and maple trees, "one valuable mare," farming implements, and even books.

Our copy of this broadside has personal relevance for the Dow family beyond the sale of their property: on the back of the single sheet are numerous letters written to two of the Dow sisters who were currently working in the mills in Methuen, Massachusetts. Their sister Julia, mother Polly, father A. D. (Agrippa Dow) and brother Lewis all take some time and space to jot down messages to the girls, and their distinct personalities emerge from their words. Julia teases one of her sisters by asking if she wouldn't like to come home and help her with spinning now that she's been a "factory girl" for so long. Their mother says that she can't say much because it's washing day but frets that her daughters won't think much of the log cabin that the family will be living in after the move. The younger brother, Lewis, is happy that school is over. The patriarch of the family, Agrippa Dow, simply asks, "Will you go? Will you go?"

A close-up image of the father's text which reads "Will you go? Will you go? A.D."

To see the Dow family's group letter and auction poster, come to Rauner and ask for MSS 847214.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Sitter for Little Liza

Letter text in body of psot
We were answering a reference question today out of Charles Jackson's papers and we stumbled on a sweet little moment. Jackson was friends with Judy Garland and Ira Gershwin, and in a letter dated April 15, [1946], Gershwin writes:
We went up to see Judy and the baby. The baby is lovely but Judy isn't recovering as well as she'd like. Nothing serious though as she and Vincente expect to come here for dinner during the week.
I guess little one-month-old Liza Minnelli had a baby sitter that week!

To see the letter, ask for MS-1070, Box 1, Folder 45. There are also some letters between Judy Garland and Charles Jackson in the collection.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Camp Fire Girls

Wood display type poster for Camp Fire Girls Festival in 1912The Camp Fire Girls were founded just up the road from here in Thetford, Vermont, to give girls the same opportunities their bothers had in the Boy Scouts. We just acquired this poster from their 1912 festival with "The First Fire Maker" as the main performance. This complements correspondence between Percy MacKaye and Camp Fire Girls founders, and Luther and Charlotte Gulick. Percy, a multi-talented writer contributed to the first Camp Fire Girls songbook, and appears to have been a friend of the fledgling progressive organization.

The poster is a great example of local printing (the Vermonter Press) from wood display type. It simple layout combines with the rich red ink to make an immediate impact.

We are still cataloging this one, but we will add the call number when we have it (and here it is! Broadside 912640). To see the Gulick's letters to Percy MacKaye, ask for ML-5, Box 39, Folder 10.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Vacation Battles

Willey House photograph ftramed with pen and ink sketch of rustic boardsIn July 1864, a group of wealthy women and one gentleman set off on an excursion "to rusticate a few weeks among the mountains." They brought along a camera and took pictures along the way. When they returned, they had a book privately printed, a copy for each member of the party, with photographic prints framed with hand done decorations.

Image of one of the tirp participants framed with pen and ink ivyIt is an exquisite book commemorating their travels, but one has to wonder about their sense of place and time. While they rusticated and admired the natural wonders of the White Mountains, the country was still in the midst of the Civil War, when battles were being waged across the South. At one point the author notes a parallel, but one that reflects a distance from reality:
From this point it had been our purpose, if possible, to make the ascent of Mt. Washington on horseback, a method more congenial to our taste than the usual, though less fatiguing, one in a carriage from the Glen. But the haze! that pertinacious foe, adopting Gen. Sherman's tactics, had constantly flanked us since we started from Bethel; now, with provoking tenacity, it seemed to be taking position in our front up the mountain, and concentrating to dispute our passage.
Eventually they made it to the top, but the "battlements" of a storm came upon them and they had a "council of war" in the hotel parlor to decide what to do. In despair, they settled on a retreat to the bowling alley for nine pins. The rhetoric of war is not surprising, but it is a bit shocking how they could compare their lack of a view with the horrors of Sherman's march. Perhaps these families were more insulated from the war than most.

photo of flowers fromed with pen and ink drawing of tree branchs
The book is a fascinating view into their lives, views of nature, and their sense of adventure in a time of national calamity. To see it, ask for White Mountains F41.32 A465.