Signed first edition of Popular Essays on Naval Subjects by Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, from the personal collection of Charles E. Lauriat, Jr., a survivor of the sinking of the Lusitania.
Twelvemo, xiv, -166pp. In publisher’s original blue patterned cloth, border stamped in blind on covers, title in gilt on spine. No additional printings listed on copyright page. Solid text block, bumped edges, worn corners, faint dampstain to front cover, visible on front endpapers, toning to spine, foxing throughout text, previous owner’s bookplate on front pastedown endpaper, a good example. In custom blue cloth dust jacket, title in gilt on spine, faint wear to edges, a near fine example. Initials of Charles E. Lauriat Jr., or his father, with “December 25 1902” on half-title. Inscribed on front free endpaper “from A. Slidell / USN. / to E.C. Ward, Jr. / USN.”
Alexander Slidell Mackenzie (1803-1848) was a U.S. Naval officer and avid writer. Mackenzie entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1815. In 1841, he was promoted to commander, assuming command of the USS Somers a year later. Upon hearing of a mutiny aboard his brig, Mackenzie arrested three men without proper legal power and decided to execute them at sea. Mackenzie was exonerated, but the controversial choice followed him for the remainder of his life.
Charles E. Lauriat, Jr. (1874-1937) survived the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 and wrote The Lusitania’s Last Voyage (1915). The Lauriat family were booksellers owning the Charles E. Lauriat Company in Boston, Massachusetts.