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    Sale 1922

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    3 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 410

    [COOPER, James Fenimore]. BARNUM (H.L.) The Spy Unmasked; or, Memoirs of Enoch Crosby, alias Harvey Birch, the Hero of Mr. Cooper's Tale of the Neutral Ground . . . Cincinnati: A. B. Roff, 1831.

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    [COOPER, James Fenimore]. BARNUM (H.L.) The Spy Unmasked; or, Memoirs of Enoch Crosby, alias Harvey Birch, the Hero of Mr. Cooper's Tale of the Neutral Ground . . . Cincinnati: A. B. Roff, 1831.

    12o (184 x 109 mm). Engraved frontispiece (a bit spotted). (Some heavy spotting.) Original linen-backed drab paper boards, printed paper label on the spine (boards browned, label chipped); modern quarter red morocco gilt slipcase. Provenance: James Fenimore Cooper (ALS, dated 1850 see below); some later marginalia.

    Second edition. Howes B-161; Sabin 3560.

    [With:] COOPER. Autograph letter signed ("J. Fenimore Cooper"), to Benson John Lossing, Cooperstown, 20 August 1850. 1 p., 8o, tipped-in to front free endpaper. Denying knowledge of Barnum's work and of the existence of Enoch Crosby upon whom he was supposed to have based the character of "Harvey Birch": "I knew nothing of such a man as Enoch Crosby, never having heard his name until I saw it coupled with the character of the Spy after my return from Europe. The history of the book is given in the preface of the Putnam edition, where you will probably find all you desire to know." This letter is included by Beard in his Letters and Journals . . .: "Although the addressee's name does not appear on Cooper's letter, Lossing, who was collecting information for his Field-Book of the Revolution, wrote Cooper from New York on 19 August 1850 . . . Since Cooper did not absolutely deny a possible connection between Crosby and Birch, Lossing referred to Crosby in his history as 'the alleged reality of the noveilist's fictitious Harvey Birch'". BAL p. 307; Beard VI p. 212; Howes B 161; Sabin 3560.


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