Sunday, December 30, 2007
According to John H. Goodale, author of History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire (Philadelphia: JW Lewis & Co., 1885) page 182, "In the battle of Drury's Bluff, May 13, 1864, while making an advance on Richmond, this regiment bore the "brunt" of the contest. Major James F. Randlett, now captain of a cavalry company in the regular army, was wounded. Adjutant Elbridge J. Copp, who, entering the service as a private at seventeen, had won promotion, was also wounded. On the 16th of August a fierce engagement took place at Deep Bottom, at which Adjutant E.J. Copp was severely wounded, which compelled him, in October following, to return to Nashua." An obit from 1887, for his father gives us a shade more info about his war service and the years after "Mr. Joseph Copp, a prominent citizen of Nashua, NH, died recently at 86. He left a married daughter and five sons, among the latter being Rev. H.B. Copp, Capt. C.D. Copp and Col. E.J. Copp, the last-named in command of the Second Regiment of the State National Guard."
I'm going to assume that Mr. Copp was not yet in business at the outbreak of the war, being 17 years old. However, it doesn't seem like he waited long after the war. An insurance report from a fire in Nashua in April 1870 records a slight loss at "C. D. & E. J. Copp, books, etc."
Well our stamp doesn't mention a CD Copp, so I have to track him down. Searching for a CD Copp from Nashua in the latter 1800s reveals one Capt. Charles Dearborne Copp. He turns out to be a Medal of Honor Winner. According to the internet, he was born April 12, 1840, entered the US Army from Nashua NH. He earned the Medal of Honor during the Battle of Fredricksburg December 13, 1862. "In action against Confederate forces, Second Lt. Charles Copp seized the regimental colors after the color bearer had been shot down, and waving them, rallied the regiment under heavy fire."
Being in the book business, Elbridge Copp's own contribution came to light in 1911. One bookseller describes Reminiscences of the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865. "Copp claimed to be the youngest commissioned officer in the Union Army during the war. This Scarce reminiscence of the 3rd NH volunteers is nicely done with numerous maps, illustrations and photos of members of the Regiment." One offering also includes this information "Long inscription by the author's widow: "Colonel Copp fought his last great battle, with his usual bravery and fortitude, in the summer of 1923, responding to the "roll call" on high on August 3rd, taps were sounded on August 6th." So, if we presume he was 17 in 1861, he would have been about 79 in 1923.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HARPER & BROTHERS IN RUINS.
OVER $1,000,000 OF PROPERTY DESTROYED!
"The enormous Printing, Stereotyping, Binding, and Publishing Establishment of HARPER BROTHERS, which has been for many years one of the most magnificent monuments of private enterprise which our City, and indeed our country, could boast, was entirely destroyed by fire on Saturday last,-and now lies a shapeless mass of mouldering ruins..."
So the headlines of December 12, 1853 read in The New York Times. The four brothers pose for Matthew Brady about 1860. I'm not sure which one is which.
Harper & Brothers was a prominent
James Harper and his brother John, printers by training, started their book publishing business J. & J. Harper in 1817. Their two brothers, Joseph Wesley Harper and Fletcher Harper, joined them in the mid 1820s. The company changed its name to "Harper & Brothers" in 1833. The headquarters of the publishing house were located at
Many of the detailed engravings of the building and the machinery are linked to high-resolution versions. The first image is of the Cliff Street front. The second is a wonderfully detailed cutaway of the same building.
Of course, there are some wonderful engravings of printing and bookbinding, but also details of paper marbling, typecasting, sewing, gilding, etc. I had never heard of this book until an original 1855 printing came across ebay. I lost the auction; I had no idea what the book was worth. bookfinder.com, and discovered there have been a couple reprints. One in 1956, and another in 2001 by Oak Knoll . The Oak Knoll edition has a very nice introduction by Joel Myerson and Chris L. Nesmith which helps place the book in context. Oak Knoll also produced theirs as a facsimile edition, which appeals to me for some reason. Long after I had made an Oak Knoll copy my own, I found the website Nineteenth Century American Children and What They Read by Pat Pflieger. At this very well done website you will find exactly that, including magazines. Many magazines and some books are reproduced at the website as text with high quality scans of any images. Harper Establishment is one such book, because of the prolific children's writer Jacob Abbott.
Of course all of the pertinent images were gathered and loaded at the American Book Trade Index for those searching out further information on publishing, book selling, and book making, etc. in America before 1900.
A big thank you to Pat Pflieger for making this wonderful book and images available to everyone.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Sarah, from Sarah's Books- Used and Rare alerted me that my email is not listed anywhere! Like I said, I'm not the best with this computer stuff. firstname.lastname@example.org is now visible in my profile.
From the blog love files, Marty at the Ephemera Blog was kind enough to include me in the Ten Great Book Blogs list. Thanks Marty!
I subscribe to both of these blogs in my Google Reader. They should be in yours!
Happy Holidays all!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007