Mar 25, 2021 - Sale 2562

Sale 2562 - Lot 197

Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
WITH NUMEROUS ANNOTATIONS BY JOHN W. CROMWELL (CROMWELL LIBRARY.) George Washington Williams. History of the Negro Race in America. [2], xix, [1], 481, xiii, [1], 611 pages. 2 volumes in one. Thick 8vo, publisher's gilt cloth, rebacked with part of original backstrip laid down, moderate wear and staining; moderate dampstaining and wear, several tape repairs, one leaf defective with slight loss; signed twice "J.W. Cromwell" and also "Adelaide Cromwell Hill" on title page, with numerous marginal notes in Cromwell's hand. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons / Knickerbocker Press, 1885

Additional Details

Later "Popular edition" of the first general history of African Americans. It is most notable for its ownership signatures, most notably the author's contemporary and fellow writer John Wesley Cromwell, who was born into slavery and went on to law school and an influential career as an activist. Some of the marginal notes are substantial, some correct factual errors, and at least one is personal: when Williams references the Institute for Colored Youth on page II:176, Cromwell writes "My alma mater."

Provenance: family of John Wesley Cromwell (1846-1927) through his daughter Otelia Cromwell (1874-1972), a noted literary scholar; and granddaughter Adelaide M. Cromwell (1919-2019), an important sociologist.