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Auction archive: Lot number 102

GRANT, ULYSSES S.] WEBSTER, Charles L. Two partly printed checks, accomplished and signed ("Chas. L. Webster & Co."), one for $1,000 drawn on the United States National Bank, payable to "General U.S. Grant," New York, 27 February 1885; the other for ...

Auction 02.11.2006
2 Nov 2006
Estimate
US$5,000 - US$7,000
Price realised:
US$13,200
Auction archive: Lot number 102

GRANT, ULYSSES S.] WEBSTER, Charles L. Two partly printed checks, accomplished and signed ("Chas. L. Webster & Co."), one for $1,000 drawn on the United States National Bank, payable to "General U.S. Grant," New York, 27 February 1885; the other for ...

Auction 02.11.2006
2 Nov 2006
Estimate
US$5,000 - US$7,000
Price realised:
US$13,200
Beschreibung:

GRANT, ULYSSES S.] WEBSTER, Charles L. Two partly printed checks, accomplished and signed ("Chas. L. Webster & Co."), one for $1,000 drawn on the United States National Bank, payable to "General U.S. Grant," New York, 27 February 1885; the other for $150,000 drawn on the Mount Morris Bank, payable to Grant's widow, "Mrs. Julia Dent Grant," New York, 11 October 1886. BOTH WITH SIGNED ENDORSEMENTS on verso in ink; the first by the former President ("U. S. Grant"), the second "For deposit to the account of Mrs. Julia D Grant." 3 x 8 in. and 3 x 7 5/8 in., engraved checks, accomplished in manuscript, versos neatly silked, clean slit cancellations neatly mended without loss, tipped into vol. 1 of a copy of Grant's Memoirs (see below). ADVANCE AND ROYALTY CHECKS FOR GENERAL GRANT'S BESTSELLING "MEMOIRS" Nearly two decades after the Civil War, many of its major actors including William T. Sherman had already published wartime memoirs. These found a ready audience. Not long after the disastrous failure of Grant's financial partnership, Grant & Wood, Robert U. Johnson solicited Grant to write articles on particular battles for the Century Magazine . The old general, destitute and recently diagnosed with throat cancer, readily agreed. In February his account of Shiloh appeared, followed, in June 1885, by an article on "Vicksburg." To everyone's surprise, Grant's prose was clear, muscular, and devoid of the usual Victorian frippery. Johnson urged the ailing general to write a full-length account of his eventful military career. Grant's old acquaintance Samuel Clemens, learning of Grant's impoverishment and the planned book, visited Grant and convinced him to let the book be published by Clemens's nephew's own firm, Charles L. Webster & Co., which had recently published Twain's classic Huckleberry Finn . Grant agreed. In spite of his worsening condition, he wrote (and later dictated) his recollections, working at a feverish pace. His powerful memoir, sold by platoons of energetic subscription agents, proved hugely popular, and a remarkable number --for the period-- were sold. Clemens declared that "the general's account of his campaigns was the greatest writing by a military man since Caesar wrote about Gaul" (W.S. McFeeley, Grant , p.501). The first check here, to the General, must represent part of the publisher's sizeable advance, while the second, very substantial check to Mrs. Grant, is clearly a royalty payment. In February 1886, it was reported that Mrs. Grant had received the largest royalty check ever written (for $200,000) from Webster & Co. She is reputed to have received, in all, some $450,000. (See note to the following lot.) [With:] GRANT. Personal Memoirs . New York, Webster & Co., 1885-86. 2 vols., 8 o, late 19th century half blue morocco, gilt spine, with monogram "RM." top edge gilt. FIRST EDITION. Wood-engraved frontispieces, maps, folding facsimile of note to Lee regarding the Appomattox surrender. [Tipped in:] 1) ALS of Frederick W. Grant, 6 May 1894; 2) ANS of Jesse R. Grant, 11 August 1885, a receipt for funds from F.J. Hall, who transcribed much of Grant's dictation for the book. Bookplates of the noted collector Foreman M. Lebold. (2)

Auction archive: Lot number 102
Auction:
Datum:
2 Nov 2006
Auction house:
Christie's
2 November 2006, New York, Rockefeller Center
Beschreibung:

GRANT, ULYSSES S.] WEBSTER, Charles L. Two partly printed checks, accomplished and signed ("Chas. L. Webster & Co."), one for $1,000 drawn on the United States National Bank, payable to "General U.S. Grant," New York, 27 February 1885; the other for $150,000 drawn on the Mount Morris Bank, payable to Grant's widow, "Mrs. Julia Dent Grant," New York, 11 October 1886. BOTH WITH SIGNED ENDORSEMENTS on verso in ink; the first by the former President ("U. S. Grant"), the second "For deposit to the account of Mrs. Julia D Grant." 3 x 8 in. and 3 x 7 5/8 in., engraved checks, accomplished in manuscript, versos neatly silked, clean slit cancellations neatly mended without loss, tipped into vol. 1 of a copy of Grant's Memoirs (see below). ADVANCE AND ROYALTY CHECKS FOR GENERAL GRANT'S BESTSELLING "MEMOIRS" Nearly two decades after the Civil War, many of its major actors including William T. Sherman had already published wartime memoirs. These found a ready audience. Not long after the disastrous failure of Grant's financial partnership, Grant & Wood, Robert U. Johnson solicited Grant to write articles on particular battles for the Century Magazine . The old general, destitute and recently diagnosed with throat cancer, readily agreed. In February his account of Shiloh appeared, followed, in June 1885, by an article on "Vicksburg." To everyone's surprise, Grant's prose was clear, muscular, and devoid of the usual Victorian frippery. Johnson urged the ailing general to write a full-length account of his eventful military career. Grant's old acquaintance Samuel Clemens, learning of Grant's impoverishment and the planned book, visited Grant and convinced him to let the book be published by Clemens's nephew's own firm, Charles L. Webster & Co., which had recently published Twain's classic Huckleberry Finn . Grant agreed. In spite of his worsening condition, he wrote (and later dictated) his recollections, working at a feverish pace. His powerful memoir, sold by platoons of energetic subscription agents, proved hugely popular, and a remarkable number --for the period-- were sold. Clemens declared that "the general's account of his campaigns was the greatest writing by a military man since Caesar wrote about Gaul" (W.S. McFeeley, Grant , p.501). The first check here, to the General, must represent part of the publisher's sizeable advance, while the second, very substantial check to Mrs. Grant, is clearly a royalty payment. In February 1886, it was reported that Mrs. Grant had received the largest royalty check ever written (for $200,000) from Webster & Co. She is reputed to have received, in all, some $450,000. (See note to the following lot.) [With:] GRANT. Personal Memoirs . New York, Webster & Co., 1885-86. 2 vols., 8 o, late 19th century half blue morocco, gilt spine, with monogram "RM." top edge gilt. FIRST EDITION. Wood-engraved frontispieces, maps, folding facsimile of note to Lee regarding the Appomattox surrender. [Tipped in:] 1) ALS of Frederick W. Grant, 6 May 1894; 2) ANS of Jesse R. Grant, 11 August 1885, a receipt for funds from F.J. Hall, who transcribed much of Grant's dictation for the book. Bookplates of the noted collector Foreman M. Lebold. (2)

Auction archive: Lot number 102
Auction:
Datum:
2 Nov 2006
Auction house:
Christie's
2 November 2006, New York, Rockefeller Center
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