New York: George D. Smith, 1905. First Edition. First appearance in print of an undated manuscript Whitman prepared for the printer, though never published during his lifetime - a reminiscence of the Marquis de Lafayette's visit to the United States in 1824-25, when Whitman was six years old. The manuscript went throught two printings in 1905, published by Whitman's friend, the American naturalist John Burroughs (1837-1921). Uncommon in the trade, particularly with these desirable extras; the last copy at auction appeared in 1992 (Swann Galleries). Myerson A21.1.a; BAL 21458. Item #4728
Limited Issue, one of 235 numbered copies printed on American hand-made paper and signed by the publisher, this being copy no.40. Octavo (22cm); original gray paper-covered boards, with printed title labels mounted to spine and front cover; publisher's original unprinted blue paper dustjacket; pp, with photographic frontispiece portrait of Whitman, folding plate reproducing a manuscript leaf in Whitman's hand, and an additional plate reproducing a portrait of Lafayette. A brief ALS from John Burroughs (West Park, NY, dated April 23, 1897) tipped onto preliminary blank, and a clipped autograph of the Marquis de Lafayette is mounted at the lower margin beneath his portrait. Light wear to base of spine and lower board edges, gentle sunning and a few tiny nicks to spine label, with a handful of tiny stains to lower right corner of front cover, and a 2.5cm hair-line crack to paper at upper front joint; faint diagonal crease to one corner of folding facsimile; Very Good+. Dustjacket shows some gentle sunning to spine, light wear to extremities, with a few tiny tears and attendant creases along upper edge, and a short split at upper rear flap fold; Very Good+.
Housed inside a custom folding case, inside which a previous owner has laid in Portrait of General Lafayette and a View of His Landing in New York in 1824, one of 120 impressions printed in Imperial Japan paper, published by the Society of Iconophiles (1899); accompanied by their 8pp hand-sewn pamphlet An Account of the Arrival of General Lafayette in New York in 1824.