James Cummins Bookseller Offers a Miscellany
The latest miscellany from James Cummins Bookseller.
James Cummins Bookseller has issued Catalogue 107 Fall Miscellany. We are a bit late for fall, but bookseller catalogues are generally intended to last for a long while, so this is acceptable. A few months late isn't too bad for books that can be centuries old. Cummins offers a varied collection, including books, manuscripts, and ephemera, and this is top tier material. It's worth the wait.
For those with the largest budgets, and this first item is not typical of the prices here, there is one of the most important books for the founding of that new nation, the United States of America. The year was 1788, and three of America's Founding Fathers wanted to convince their countrymen to adopt the new constitution their representatives had hammered out in Philadelphia. So, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay began publishing a series of essays to make their point. They were published anonymously, and although we now know who the authors were, there is still some uncertainty as to who wrote each essay (though we can make an educated guess based on styles). These essays were compiled and published in two volumes, and as you probably know, the book was given the name The Federalist. Its influence on the public was likely critical in the adoption of the republican form of government America enjoys today. Item 80. Priced at $195,000.
A few years later, a neighbor to the south drew up its first constitution too. Item 83 is Constitucion federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos… published in 1824. These were the other United States, the United States of Mexico, and they had just won their independence from Spain. This was their first constitution, and thereby the first independent constitution for today's American Southwest, including the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, then part of Mexico. $6,500.
A century-plus later, it would be time for an amendment to the American constitution. Item 23 is an inscribed copy of Woman Suffrage by Federal Constitutional Amendment, by Carrie Chapman Catt. Ms. Catt had succeeded Susan B. Anthony as head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. This was published in 1917, and women's long battle for equal rights at the polling place was finally nearing its end. Three years later, victory was at long last achieved. This copy is inscribed by Ms. Catt to New York Congressman Frederick C. Hicks. Hicks left his wife's deathbed, at her insistence, to cast a crucial vote in Congress for the amendment. Naturally, his was a vote in favor, but had he voted the other way, the amendment would have fallen short of the two-thirds vote necessary for adoption. $2,500.
Eleanore Roosevelt was certainly a supporter of women's rights too, yet her answer to whether a woman could become President is perhaps a bit more cautious than one might expect. Item 99 is a signed carbon typescript of an article she wrote for Cosmopolitan around 1936. Pointing to the classic difference between the words "can" and "may," Mrs. Roosevelt writes that, "a woman can be elected President, in all probability some time a woman will be, but she MAY not, in my opinion, be elected at the present time, or in the near future." Fair enough, as 74 years later this has still not come to pass, but she seems to discourage the idea, saying that a vast majority of women are not quite objective enough in their work or impersonal enough in their contacts. She sees no reason to push women into a role untenable for them due to prejudice. The need for a President who can lead a spiritual, moral, and mental reawakening is so great she did not feel it wise to add the complication of a change of sex to the office of president. $5,000.
James Cummins Bookseller Offers a Miscellany
Diet advice from jazz musician Louis Armstrong.
Item 52 is a letter from Queen Elizabeth II, shortly after he coronation in 1953. It is both proper and flowery, full of thanks to Dominican Republic President Hector Trujillo. Trujillo had been a Major General in the Army, then General of the Army, a cabinet Secretary and was a wealthy man when he became President in 1952. However, in reality, Trujillo rose to power the same way as Elizabeth - family connections. His brother, Rafael Trujillo, was dictator of the country from 1930 until his assassination in 1961, after which Hector and other relatives fled the country. Hector avoided the assassin's bullet and lived to the age of 94, perhaps because Queen Elizabeth pointed out in her letter, "And so we commend You to the protection of the Almighty." $3,000.
Louis Armstrong is famous for his trumpet playing, gravelly voice, and as being, perhaps, the greatest jazz musician ever. Not so well known is that Armstrong, familiarly known as "Satchmo," created his own diet. The great musician had weight problems and sought a solution that did require giving up one of his favorite pastimes - eating. So he created a diet, which is described in this typed, signed manuscript headed Lose Weight the "Satchmo" Way. Armstrong convinced himself that if you ate a few healthy things and took laxatives, you could then eat whatever you want. If only it were so easy. Armstrong's diet requires drinking lots of orange juice and eating salads. Add to that tomatoes with lemon juice. As long as you have those, for lunch you may "Eat whatever you want….as much as you want," and for supper, "You can eat from soup to nuts….eat as much as you want to." As for the laxative, you first start with a heavy dose "to start blasting right away," and gradually reduce this to normal nightly amounts. Armstrong heavily recommended the herbal laxative Swiss Kress, and while Satchmo has been gone four decades, this product is still around. You may want to try his advice… or maybe not. For details on this unique diet, order item #5. $1,500.
James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or email@example.com. Their website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com.