Abraham Lincoln Election, Inauguration and First Year in Office
Rare Bound Harper's Weekly Includes November 1860 through December 1861
Covers Southern Secession and Start of Civil War
Many Winslow Homer Wood Engravings
This large book is an unusual compilation of the leading graphical news magazine of the 19th century that starts with the election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 and ends December 28, 1861. Every other bound volume of Harper's Weekly I have seen are one year or six month compilations of monthly issues, but this was clearly a custom job ordered by a devout follower of Abraham Lincoln. The volume thus covers in words and thousands of pictures the reaction to Lincoln's election, the secession of the Southern States, the Inauguration of Lincoln and the creation of his cabinet, the bombardment of Fort Sumpter, Lincoln's reaction to Southern provocations and the first year of the Civil War, including the first Battle of Bull Run. Below are highlighted some of the important wood engravings, with a concentration on Lincoln's first inauguration. In addition to a wonderful historic record the volume contains over 20 works of the most famous illustrator and painter of the 19th century, Winslow Homer, which are listed below.
This engraving below of Abraham Lincoln is the top part of the cover of the first monthly issue in the volume published on November 10, 1860 and it is in recognition of Lincoln's election as President that week. The engraving is entitled, "Hon. Abraham Lincoln, Born in Kentucky, February 12, 1809"
Secession activities began immediately after the election
in the Southern states, and even in the Northern states there was great
concern about the dissolution of the union and the contribution of
abolitionism to the disunion. This volume includes the great
historic engraving by Winslow Homer who records the meeting in Tremont
Temple in Boston at which Frederick Douglas and William Lloyd Garrison
spoke and were thrown out by those who wanted to keep the South in the
Union. The engraving is entitled, "
"EXPULSION OF NEGROES AND ABOLITIONISTS FROM TREMONT TEMPLE, BOSTON,
MASSACHUSETTS, ON DECEMBER 3, 1860" You can view that print
and our description of it by clicking the link above.
The engraving below pictures Lincoln in the Senate Chamber with outgoing President Buchanan.
The engraving below is a double page centerfold of Lincoln's inauguration address outside the Capitol building.
The engraving pictures Lincoln and Buchanan in a carriage during the inaugural procession as they pass the Capitol building.
Lincoln, like most new Presidents, was besieged by office seekers, which is the subject of the engraving below.
Then, as now, the Secretary of Treasury, was an important position, and Lincoln chose his political rival and Ohio Senator Salmon P. Chase for the post, as shown below.
Below is Lincoln and his cabinet or "Team of Rivals" as popularized by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Lincoln's principal rival for the Republican nomination was Senator William Seward of New York, who is shown in the engraving below standing. President Obama has followed Lincoln's lead in appointing as Secretary of State his principal political rival, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.
Slavery and what it led to, the Civil War, were the most important issues of Lincoln's time and Harper's Weekly showed the continuing hold of slavery in the South by picturing the slave auction below.
Those interesting in the history of our nation's capital will also me interested in the many views of Washington, D.C., including while the Capitol dome was under construction, as shown below in this "balloon view" of the federal area.
Below is one of the many Winslow Homer works that are included in this volume. It pictures an army camp in the evening and it is entitled "A Bivouac Fire on the Potomac"
A complete list of his wood engravings in this volume is below: You can see most of Homer's 1861 work in Harper's at this web site.
The first American edition of Great Expectations in book form was published by T. B. Peterson (Philadelphia, 1861) by agreement with Harper & Bros. Because as noted above this volume is unique in going from November 10, 1860 through the end of 1861 (to capture Lincoln election with his first year in office), this volume may also be the only one extant of the complete first edition of Dickens's Great Expectations!
For more pictures of the contents of this volume look at the description of the 1861 Harper's Weekly volume.
This large volume (16 x 11 1/2") has 959 pages, most of which are in nice condition. But putting more than 52 weeks of issues in a single volume has strained the binding and the 1860 weekly issues in the front are held in rather tenuously, some of which are partially separated from the binding. There are the usual occasional torn pages and foxing, but as shown by the pictures above and below, it has weathered the years rather well. The cover is worn as shown below and it would be helped if if was rebacked.
We have seen both the 1860 and 1861 full year volumes of Harper's Weekly go for over $1,000 on eBay and in other venues and this unique volume is clearly worth more. Probably no other volume exists of both Lincoln's famous election cover portrait on November 10, 1860, his inauguration, the full 1861 of Civil War action and the complete first edition of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.