[HARRISON, William Henry (1773-1841), President]. A book owned and annotated by him: MOLLIEN, Gaspard Théodore, comte de (1796-1872). Travels in the Republic of Colombia, in the Years 1822 and 1823. London: Knight, 1824.
8o (211 x 129 mm). Engraved frontispiece, folding engraved "Map of the Republic of Colombia, formed from the Viceroyalty of New Grenada and the Captainry General of Carracas, 1824." Contemporary half green morocco gilt, marbled edges (rubbed, a few margins shaved). Provenance: William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary to Colombia, 1828-1829 (extensive pencil notes in margins); Dr. William R. Coleman (his sale Sotheby's New York, 12 December 2001, lot 234).
EXTENSIVELY ANNOTATED BY FUTURE PRESIDENT HARRISON. A copiously annotated volume from the library of a president not usually thought of as a careful, critical reader, Harrison's many annotations and several small drawings appear on some 45 pages, and total some 2000 words. His annotations are quite thoughtful, contrasting and comparing his own perceptions of Colombia, its people, and landscape to the author's. His notes are sometimes brief: on page two he notes "few negroes any part of country"; and in some cases quite substantial: on p.23 he recalls, "I met one negro who recounted the battles he had been in, including the taking of Teneriffe" On p. 131, Harrison describes the author: "Mr. Mollien whom I saw at Bogota and conversed with, was a bigot of Monarchism. All his notions reverted to that centre, and all things bent to its force, he could not reason on policies..." On p.185, Harrison has drawn a small map of Bogota, with town square, prison and palace marked; on p.203 he has drawn two figures in wide-brimmed hats, perhaps peasants. Harrison had been appointed Minister to Columbia by John Quincy Adams, after serving in the Senate. When Jackson became President, he was immediately recalled. BOOKS OWNED BY HARRISON ARE EXTREMELY RARE. Sabin 49917.