The First American courtesy of Joe Sheldon

Book and pictures courtesy of Joe Sheldon

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The First American


This is another book which is not in McKenna's bibliography. It was printed in 1909 and measures 9 1/2" x 7 1/4" and has 42 pages plus a few unpaginated end papers. We can assume it was somewhere between the 177th and 187th book printed by the Roycroft Press, chronologically.  This is the only copy of this book that I have seen or heard of. It was a custom print job by the Roycroft shop. The cover is suede with a nice leather edging; this is called a wallet edge and it usually means a book of some importance. I have only seen it on a couple of copies of Maud (limited edition of 100 copies), the suede Walt Whitman limited to 50 editions, The Bibliomaniac and The Myth, both limited editions of two and a few other suede books.. The paper is Japan Vellum and the text is printed in red and black. One or two of the initials appear to have been designed by Dard Hunter. There is a small Roycroft Press mark at the back of the book (see last photo below). This book seems to be a record of a dinner at which a proposal was made to erect a large statue of a Native American at New York Harbor. Guests included Rodman Wanamaker, Colonel William Frederick Cody (AKA Buffalo Bill Cody), Frederick Remington, Homer Davenport and others. We may assume that the limitation on this book corresponded to the number of those attending the dinner, plus a few extra copies. Another book called The Indian Farewell, which is about the Rodman Wanamaker Indian expeditions was published by The Roycroft in 1923. The Roycroft also made this book as a pamphlet called, "A Tribute to the North American Indian." Neither the book nor the booklet are listed in McKenna.

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