Saco, Maine: Frank Cutter Deering, 1932. Original Typed Manuscript. Leather bound. 6 3/4 X 8 1/2 Inches. 31 PP + 65 unnumbered illustration PP. Very Good +. Item #734
Fine morocco leather with five spine hubs ruled and titled in gold gilt. Custom presentation announcement engraved on front cover, "Presented by Sarah Curtis, Saco from Admiral Storer, U.S.N. - The Above Piece of Fabric is a Fragment of the Pall Covering the Coffin of Gen. Geo. Washington at his Funeral Dec. 18th 1799." Previous owner bookplate on inside front board identifying the book as part of the Frank Cutter Deering collection of Americana. Deering has titled his custom created book, "Diary of Tobias Lear with an Unpublished Account of the Death of George Washington. Mount Vernon 1799-1801." Deering has also added a page describing the text as "Extra-Illustrated by Frank C. Deering - Saco, Maine." The page immediately following the title-page bears the tipped-in autograph of President George Washington. The autograph cut is roughly 1 X 3 1/8 Inches and is mounted to the larger page. Over 65 illustrations throughout the book are mounted in a silmilar fashion on unnumbered pages. The illustrations appear to have been removed from other publications and hand-assembled by Mr. Deering in this production.
Interestingly, the typed manuscript pages all bear a page number, but are also numbered in pencil in the upper right corner. Beautiful marbled endpapers and the binding is signed, "The Rose Bindery - Boston." The deathbed account of Tobias Lear has reached legendary status today. The rare account of Washington's close friend and personal aide gives us the foundation for what we know of Washington's final hours and his final words of "Tis Well." It is this account that documents the incredible blood-letting performed on Washington in the final 24 hours of his life as well as his statement to Lear to make sure that he was dead for a minimum of "two days" before being entombed. It is noted at OCLC that the deathbed details that Tobias Lear documented in at least two separate 12-page letters was published in a privately printed pamphlet that is only held by five institutions today. It is unknown if Deering was working from the original manuscript and/or one of these pamphlets published circa 1898.
The provenance notation on the front board in regards to the "pall" covering of Washington states that it originates with the collection of Admiral George Washington Storer. Storer’s father was married to George Washington’s secretary’s sister, Mary Lear. Frank Deering was a noted collector of Americana himself. He is widely known to have had the largest collection of Indian Captivity related material during his lifetime. His Americana and autograph pursuits are also well-known. After his death on August 12, 1939, his collection eventually went to Goodspeed's. A 1949 catalog from Goodspeed's announced, ""Goodspeed's Book Shop takes pleasure in offering for sale the superb collection of rare Americana collected by the late Frank C. deering of Maine"
This book has been cared for with the utmost attention to detail. The corners are sharp. The pages are clean and bright. The leather boards and spine are in near perfect condition.