Friday, October 26, 2012

Fred and Lucy Colony and their books

I love it when a story comes together….
Lucy Grant Colony(?), 1891

            In the “A-Team”, a television series in the late 1980s, George Peppard, playing Hannibal Smith, after another incredible accomplishment of this team of good/bad guys, would say, “I love it when a plan comes together!”
            In my mild world as a book sleuth, I bought a whole raft of books that had sat in the same bookcase, apparently, for the past 110 or so years.
            I bought them at an auction in Newburyport, MA, but bit by bit, I could see that they came from a home in Wilton, NH.
            You can tell a lot about people from what they read—at least the books they buy that they intend to read, and these books tell the story of an intelligent, interested family.
            One huge, elegant volume was a Biographical Review of all the distinguished citizens of two New Hampshire counties.  In that volume was the biography of a man named Frederick H. Colony who made his fortune in the wool manufacturing business, with a plant in Wilton
            Reading through these books is like opening up a time capsule, because here they are, these books that Lucy Grant Colony and her family must have prized very highly. 

            By skimming through these books, and reading what others have said about them over the years, I’ve started to feel more familiar with Fred and Lucy.  Their story is starting to come to view, over all these years.
            Lucy was born in Lyme, NH in 1845, so she was 16 when the Rebellion began. 
Her parents were Erastus and Samantha Jenks Grant; the Grants had lived in Lyme since before the American Revolution.
            Frederick H. Colony, born in Keene, NH February 3, 1850, married Marie E. Coffin, but she died at age 28.
            Next, on October 15, 1879 he married Lucy Grant and they had two children, Henry Grant Colony, born in 1880 and Louise Grant Colony, born in 1883.
            Frederick’s father, Henry Colony, made a handsome fortune in the wool business in Keene. Frederick was educated in Harrisville  NH, then was an assistant teller at the Keene National Bank, then became bookkeeper in the office of his father’s mill at Harrisville, NH until 1880. Then he entered the woolen business on his own account in Harrisville, Keene and South Adams, MA.
            Finally we learn that Frederick Colony was a Democrat, and a Unitarian, and
a member of Keene Lodge of the Temple F&AM.

            If you drive through Wilton today you see a 19th  century mill town, with 20th and a few 21st century trappings.  The old mill buildings are still there, like in many New England towns that once drew their wealth from the power of water racing through rivers.  For many towns, bringing themselves up to the grand state they enjoyed in their 19th century heyday is a long and difficult process. 
            In the old days, men like Frederick Colony built large buildings like the Wilton mill shown in this 1912 postcard:

Wilton Woolen Mill, 1912

            Today, in many old mill towns, the modern buildings are fast food restaurants and filling stations.  Every former mill town has struggled with the problem of whether to demolish those huge old structures, or to make them productive and attractive parts of the modern life of the town and city. 
            Lowell, MA, once a bustling textile manufacturing hub, has converted some of its mill buildings to an excellent museum to the era when the Industrial Revolution turned New England from quiet farmland to humming, spinning, noisy and vital communities.
            Andover and Maynard, MA and Manchester, NH all have fine examples of modern use of these old mill buildings.
            You start to grasp a bit of the life of Fred Colony, and his wife, Lucy Grant Colony, in this biographical review.
            You can drive through Wilton Center and see where the company owners lived.  They are still fine old Victorian structures.
            But, down in the lower part of town are the homes of the Canadian, Irish and Italian immigrants who came to work in the mills, and for them, the 19th century was no heyday.  But it was probably a whole lot better than the lives they left behind.

            As you look through the descriptions of the books below, you can do your own sleuthing, to see for yourself what kind of people read these books. 
            I found that many of these titles have been captured in digital files and are available as Print on Demand copies.
            I hope you’ll see that there are some that you like so much you want to buy them and enjoy the original books.  Note that many contain little inscriptions that relate to the Grant and Colony family.

 Biographical Review Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Hillsboro and Cheshire Counties, New Hampshire, Volume XXIII 1897 Boston, MA: Biographical Review Publishing Company. 482 pp.          22 x 28 cm. Marvelous volume contains biographical articles on leading citizens of these two New Hampshire counties, with photographic or engraved portraits of 28. Includes frontispiece and sketch of Horace Greeley of Amherst, NH; Zachariah Shattuck of Nashua, NH; Robert Cristy of New Boston, NH; Joseph A. Hall of Brookline, NH; Frederick H. Colony of Keene, NH; and many more.  Extensive listing of lines of descent in these life stories which include many Civil War veterans, many descendents of men who fought in French and Indian, American Revolution and War of 1812. Many men who made their fortunes in farming, manufacturing, and banking. An interesting addition is Certificate of Marriage inserted on page of sketch of Frederick Colony. Certificate (1916) is between Philip Albin Johnson of Milford, NH and Louise Grant Colony of Wilton, NH.  She was daughter of Frederick H. and Lucy Grant Colony. Frederick  was a woolen manufacturer, born in 1850.      Elaborately decorated full leather volume with gilt edged pages, very tight and clean, edges of cover contain minor rubbing, scuffing. Weight about 7 lbs. (3.18 kg.) Very good condition. (8284) $95.00. Biography

Koradine Letters, A Girl's Own Book; Also Creative Life, A special letter to young girls by Stockham, Alice B, M.D. and Talbot, Lida Hood 1893          Chicago, IL: Alice B. Stockham & Co. 424 pp.   13.5 x 19.6 cm. This is a delightful collection of 35 letters from Koradine, a young girl sent away to boarding school. She relates events in her life which teach the reader (intended for young girls) life lessons, with humor.  Story about blind Tommy, and the black boy who learns about Toussiant L'Overture (sic) and wins the prize.  Koradine is one wise young girl!  Tan paper on board, edges worn and scuffed. On title page is inscription in pencil, "Louise G. Colony from Angie Loveland". Good.(8285) $30.00. Educational/Children's

Essentials of Mental Healing, The Theory and Practice, Second Edition Revised 1886 by Marston, L.M., M.D. Boston, MA: L.M. Marston, M.D. 122 pp. + Adv. 13 x 19.8 cm. Book embodies the truths common to all forms of mind healing, and excludes whatever is dogmatical or tends to discriminate in favor of any particular school or way of practice. It recognizes and explains the principles of "Christian Science."  Thought Defined. The Theory of Kant. Reality and Appearance. The True Law. Thought Atmosphere. Right Thought is Power. Includes eight pages of advertisement for Boston College of Metaphysical Science, incorporated November 1886, Dr. Marston, President. Books and pamphlets. Red cloth on board with gilt lettering; beveled edges. On ffep is pencil inscription ca. 1886: "To Louisa (Grant)--Peace, Health + Happiness now & evermore. M.E.H." Very good. (8277) $48.00. Educational        

Locksley Hall by Alfred Tennyson with Illustrations 1869 Boston, MA: Fields, Osgood, & Co. Successors to Ticknor and Fields. 75 pp. 12.8 x 17.4 cm. Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and is one of the most popular English poets. This poem (written in 1835) is about an unnamed soldier, marching with his unit near his childhood home.  He takes the time to think back to his childhood, and his love, and the man she married. Dramatic monologue, written as a set of rhyming couplets. Burgundy cloth on boardwith embossed gilt title, blindstamped title on back cover, edges beveled, gilt edged pages. Spine faded, minor mottled blemishes on cover. Title page loose. "A.E. Grant" stamped on ffep with pencil inscription, "To Abbie from GKc." Good. (8275) $75.00.  Poetry            

In Tune With The Infinite, or Fullness of Peace, Power and Plenty by Ralph Waldo Trine ("The Life Books") 1897 New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell & Company. 222 pp. 12.5 x 20.7 cm. The golden thread that runs through every religion, runs through the lives of all prophets, seers, sages and saviours in the world's history--- this same golden thread must enter into the lives of all who today would exchange impotence for power, weakness and suffering for abounding health and strength, pain and unrest for perfect peace, poverty for fullness and plenty.       Cream-colored cloth on board, lightly soiled and worn. Pencil inscription on ffep: "Louise Grant February 1899, Nellie S. Colong, William, N.H." Very good. (8272) $70.00. Educational/Spiritual/Inspirational

Fly-ing Dutchman, The; or, The Wrath of Herr Vonstoppelnoze with sisteen comic illustrations by John G. Saxe,   1862 New York, NY: Carleton, Publisher, 413 Broadway. 35 pp. + adv.   13 x 19.3 cm. This book is widely available in new reprints, but this  is the 1862 edition with clever cartoons and a poetic story about the combat between and annoying fly and Herr von Stoppelnoze.   Dark brown blindstamped and decorated cloth on board with gilt title. Inscription on ffep: "Miss Louisa Grant". Slight wear on corners. Very good. (2932) $18.00. Humor    
Sermons by the Late Rev. George Shepard, Professor in Theological Seminary, Bangor, Me. With a Memorial by Prof. D.S. Talcott, first edition    1869  Boston, MA: Nichols and Noyes. 368 p.  13 x 19..5 cm.   This book today is widely circulated in Print on Demand and electronic versions, but this original 1869 edition is the one that captured the attention of so many. Rev. Shepard (1801-1868) preached the Gospel, and was unsparing in his criticism of slavery.  At his death he was praised by the noted abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison. Memorial by Prof. Talcott relates life and brilliant theological path of Rev. Shepard, from birth in 1801 in Plainfield, CT on to preaching in Hallowell, Maine and Professorship at Bangor Theological Seminary. "The Diversions from Preaching" criticizes popish influences in the contemporary Protestant churches. "The Eclipsed Luminary" preaches from Matthew. When the Christian ceases to shine, and darkness comes in its place, it is very great darkness. "Salvation in  no Other" from Acts iv. 12. "The Shipwreck of Paul" from Acts xxvii. 22, 31. Better to put trust in God, rather than bolts and planks. "Elijah the Tishbite" from I Kings xvii. 1. "Not Fit for the Kingdom" from Luke ix.62, preaches a stern message for the converted. "The End at Hand" from I Peter iv.7. and more.  Decorated brown cloth with gilt design and lettering on spine. Engraving of Rev. Shepard at frontispiece. "Nellie Grant" stamped on ffep and "Isaac Hills" written in pencil. Clean and tight copy. Very good. (2929) $48.00. Religion

Sovereigns and Courts of Europe, The by "Politikos" with Portraits, Authorized Edition 1893     New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company. 439 pp. w adv. 12.8 x 19.6 cm. This book today is widely circulated in Print on Demand and electronic versions, but this 1893 authorized edition  captured the attention of many for its gossipy "insider-story” style. Sultan of Turkey-- mysterious 1876 death of ex-Sultan, five days after he was deposed on plea of insanity. Alexander III of Russia's story begins with death by horseplay in 1865, assassination of his father, Alexander II in 1881 and Alexander III's accession to the throne, celebration for half a million common folk at one huge dinner... William II, Emperor of Germany, whose birth in 1859 was heralded all over Berlin by a 101-gun salute. Death of Victor Emanuel I, first king of unified Italy brought great sadness, and King Umberto I is now king.  He is the only man generally respected in Italy, author writes. Book ends with long section on Queen Victoria of England, whose portrait serves as frontispiece.            Decorated maroon cloth on board with gilt and red printing. Slight edge wear and worn spot on back cover. Inscription on ffep: "Happy New Year dear Nellie (Grant), 1893 Angelina P. Loveland." Very clean and tight. Very good. (2939) $36.00.  Biography      

Title page, Complete Works of Burns

Complete Works of Robert Burns, The; Including his Correspondence, etc. with Letters to Clarinda, &c. &c. With a Memoir by William Gunnyon; the text carefully printed, and illustrated with notes     1873  Edinburgh, Scotland: William P. Nimmo. 490 pp. + 16 pp. adv. 15.5 x 24 cm. Scarce edition from Nimmo of Edinburgh. Preface explains that this edition contains Robert Burns' Poetical Works, although title does not make that distinction. Dedication to the Second Edition to the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Caledonian Hunt. Includes 78 page Biographical Sketch and Appendix to the Biographical Sketch. Woodcut engravings include frontispiece portrait of Burns. Includes much General Correspondence, and Correspondence with George Thomson and Letters to Clarinda. Green cloth on board, slight wear on heel and toe of spine. Front free endpaper, frontispiece and title page loose, the rest of the text block is intact and tight. Thus good.  (8287) $85.00. Literature         

Three Tales: The Ghost, The Brazen Android, The Carpenter by William Douglas O'Connor 1892 Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. 320 pp. 12.5 x 18.1 cm. O'Connor, born 1832, died in 1889, before this edition was published.  Preface by Walt Whitman describes his respect and affection for O'Connor, whom he met in Boston in 1860 and found him to be an ardent abolitionist.  O'Connor's first story, The Ghost, is set in the plush environs of Boston's Beacon Hill. The Brazen Android centers around Friar Roger Bacon in a science fiction piece set in the thirteenth century. The Carpenter is set in a wealthy man's home north of Washington, DC during the final Christmas of the Civil War. Dark blue cloth on board with gilt decoration. Very tight and clean. Very good. (8288) $40.00. Literature


Zigzag Journeys in Northern Lands; The Rhine to the Arctic; A Summer Trip of the Zigzag Cub through Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Fully Illustrated by Butterworth, Hezikiah 1883. Boston, MA; Estes and Lauriat. 320 pp. 17 x 21.5 cm. Fifth volume of a series for youth, takes the reader to places most associated with German history, tradition, literature and art, gives a view of events  of those northern countries that once constituted a great part of the empire of Charlemagne. Many black and white illustrations.  Decorated red cloth on board, moderate wear, inside rear hinge cracked, stamped name "Philip C. Johnson, Wilton, N.H." on ffep; on second free endpaper is inscription: "Henry Grant  Colony, Dec. 25th 1889 from Aunt Louise." Good condition. (8286) $26.00. Travel                              

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