Simes, Thomas. The Military Guide for Young Officers. Philadelphia, 1776
This unique copy of Simes, made up of advance sheets of the first American edition, was presented to George Washington in an incomplete state by Robert Aitken, one of the publishers, who hand-wrote a title-page, inscribing, "Now in the press the following is as much as the publishers have got done - For His Excellency General Washington...". The book probably was presented about the time Washington was appointed General and first Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, June 15, 1775.
The volume saw action in the American Civil War as well. On the "title-page" verso, the following statement is inscribed: "Head Quarters Detachment of Gen. Gearey's Com., Salem, Va., May 4, 1862. This book was seized by order of Brig. Gen. J.W. Gearey, by Lieut. D.T. Wells, Co., E, First Mich. Cavalry, it being contraband of war. The Gen. thinking the book might by highly prized for the writing and the signature on the fly leaves, ordered me to return it. Peter Stagg, Capt., Co.E, First Mich. Cavalry, Commanding Post."
Volney, C.F. The Law of Nature; or, Principles of Morality. Philadelphia, 1796.
The copy owned by Loyola Marymount University was presented to George Washington by the author himself, a colorful citizen of France and sometime nobleman, who was imprisoned for his political beliefs by the American government as a French spy during the Revolution. Later, he was cleared and went on to serve in the administration of President John Adams.
Volney presented the book to Washington at Mount Vernon prior to launching a lecture tour of the country, concerning which he hoped to obtain an endorsement from the distinguished first president. Washington resolved the request by simply writing for Volney's use the statement, "C. Volney needs no introduction from G. Washington."
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