First edition of The Life of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry by Alex Slidell Mackenzie, from the private collection of Rear Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont.
Twelvemo, [two volumes], xii, , 14-322pp; viii, , 10-270pp. Three-quarter morocco, marbled paper covered boards. Marbled edges and endpapers. Title in gilt on decorative spine. No additional printings listed on spine. Solid text blocks, lightly bumped edges, some shelf wear, faint foxing to front leaves of each volume.
(Howes M134) (Moebs 157)
Commander (later Admiral) S.F. du Pont’s bookplate affixed to front endpaper of Volume I. Steel engraved frontispiece of Perry in Volume I, protected with tissue guard.
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.The previous owner, Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont was a member of the prominent Du Pont family. He served in the Mexican-American War, capturing the city of San Diego. After the war he became commandant of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and he studied the possibilities of steam power in ships. In 1861, he was given command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, the largest fleet ever commanded by a Naval Officer up to that time. His ill-advised and unsuccessful attack on Fort Sumter in April, 1863 lost him the confidence of Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, and Du Pont was relieved of command. He returned to Delaware and died in 1865. Du Pont Circle in Washington, DC was named in his honor.