Wetumpka, Alabama: printed and published by Charles Yancey, 1845. Two volumes in one. Original blue-green printed paper wraps. 8vo. iv, 248 pp. Some loss, soiling and chipping to lower edge of front wrapper; scattered foxing; short tear to front wrapper along the spine edge. Overall a very good copy in the original wrappers. Contemporary ownership inscription on front cover: "C.B. Adams, Daily Journal from T.H. Pease, July 16, 1847." [Probably Charles Baker Adams (1814-1853) who was educated at Yale and Amherst and became the State Geologist of Vermont and T.H. Pease who was a publisher and bookstore owner in New Haven in the 1840's].
First edition. A novel of colonial Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood’s service, 1710-1722. Hubbell The South in American Literature, p. 497: “His best novel.” Published serially in Savannah, Georgia, in The Magnolia, January – October 1841. BAL 2795: “Written not later than July, 1838” (the original manuscript was destroyed when the author’s Savannah house burned and had to be reconstructed for the serial publication).
Harper had published earlier works for Caruthers, but his loss of the original manuscript in the fire combined with the 1837 economic crash closed that door. When the time finally came to look for a publisher, he looked south, to Charles Yancey, the brother of congressional firebrand William Lowndes Yancey, in the boomtown of Wetumpka, Alabama, “about to try very patriotically to establish a Southern Publishing House for ourselves.”. Item #61443
One of a handful of significant works of fiction published in the ante-bellum South. In 1940 the Alabama Department of Archives and History declined to purchase a copy from A.S.W. Rosenbach for $260 (see Curtis C. Davis, Chronicler of the Cavaliers, Richmond, 1953, for an account of the book’s writing, publication, and critical reception). Wright I, 495. Ellison Alabama Imprints 530. Not in Haynes. OCLC locates 21 copies (Alabama Department of Archives and History not among them), but seems to be wanting in a number of major southern research libraries.