The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge
The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge
New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corporation. 1929.

Inscribed by Coolidge. First trade edition. 218x145mm. [8], 247, [1bl]. Original green cloth, lettered in gilt. The upper cover and rear flap of the original dust jacket (itself rare) have been tipped in and the spine loosely inserted. Illustrated endpapers. Corners rubbed and a tiny nick at foot of spine. Internally very good. Although there was a signed limited edition of Coolidge's Autobiography, 1000 copies were issued and it is quite common. This first trade edition is less often found and was signed by Coolidge only by special request as is the case here where, beneath his portrait on the frontispiece, he has inscribed "To Henry P. de Forest, with regards, Calvin Coolidge". The front pastedown has the bookplate of de Forest and a label from Cornell University stating "This book is the gift of Henry Pelouze de Forest Class of 1884". The half-title has the gift inscription "Merry Christmas to Harry with my love Evelyn 1929". A further de Forest bookplate is pasted on the verso of the half-title. On the rear pastedown is the bookplate of Calvin Coolidge himself. A tipped-in typed note by de Forest explains that the bookplate was made by a friend, Timothy Cole and copies sold (with Coolidge's permission) for charity and de Forest placed his copy in this book. de Forest has extensively graingerised this book with illustrations, newspaper cuttings (some relating to Coolidge's death and funeral), and correspondence including a copy of letter from him to Coolidge and the reply (on Coolidge's embossed notepaper) from the Coolidge's secretary. There is a letter from Coolidge's booksellers Bridgman & Lyman concerning the inscription. Henry Pelouze de Forest is an interesting man. A bibliophile, he was librarian of the Cornell Club of New York and designed bookplates including one for the Fulton Public Library pasted into this book. His "day job" was as a doctor in New York City where he seems to have had a distinguished career including a spell as a surgeon with the New York Police Department. While there, he worked on the science of finger prints and invented the dactyloscope which records finger prints. He wrote a short work on the subject entitled "The Evolution of Dactyloscopy in the United States", a copy of which, we learn from his letter to Coolidge, he sent to the former President. A rare book with interesting additions and a fascinating provenance.