First edition of Sketch of Edward Coles, Second Governor of Illinois by Elihu B. Washburne, with a signed presentation letter from the author to Colonel William Lamb, Confederate Army officer and Mayor of Norfolk, Virginia.
Octavo, 253pp, [2pp ads]. Publisher’s original brown cloth, border stamped in blind on covers, title stamped in gilt on spine. Brown endpapers. Solid binding, scattered discoloration to cloth, gilt tarnished on spine, faint foxing to top edge of text block, spine ends and upper corners bumped, slight bow to front cover. A few smudge marks to text pages, later ownership inscription written in ink on title page. Contains an engraved frontispiece portrait with tissue guard and 6 folded facsimile letters, light offsetting to text. Handwritten letter by the author to Col. Lamb attached to front flyleaf. In addition to commenting on the book, Washburne writes: “…I shall always guard the most agreeable souvenirs of my visit to the Old Dominion and of the many marked courtesies I received at your hand. / Should you ever visit Chicago, I shall expect the pleasure of entertaining you at my house. / I am, very truly yours, E.B. Washburne.” (Graff 4552)
Elihu B. Washburne (1816-1887) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Illinois, serving from 1853-1869. An ardent abolitionist, Washburne was a leader among the Radical Republicans in Congress. During the Civil War, he was a strong supporter of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant. When Grant was elected president in 1868, Washburne briefly served as Secretary of State, then was appointed Minister to France. In retirement, Washburne wrote a memoir of his time spent in France, titled Recollections of a Minister to France, 1869-1877. The work was published shortly before his death in 1887.