First edition of The Diary of Gideon Welles, three volumes, published in 1911. Octavo, liii, 549pp; xvi, 653pp; xv, 671pp. Blue cloth, title in gilt, decorative band on covers. Top edge gilt. Frontispiece portrait in each volume. Lacking the publisher’s original dust jackets. Housed in blue cloth slipcase, lined with marbled papers, silk bookmark. All in fine condition. (Nevins I, 238pp) (Eicher, 437pp) (Howes W240). Bookplate of American historian and author Peter Cozzens affixed to front endpaper of each volume. An exceptional set.
Comments: This diary is one of the primary sources for insight into the early days of the Lincoln administration and its handling of the Civil War. According to Eicher, corrections were made to the diary by Welles after the war and by his son before publication, but were done to clarify, not change the historical narrative. A “corrected” version was released in 1960 by Howard K. Beale.