Washington: Blair and Rives, 1845. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo (5-3/4" x 9-1/4") bound in publisher's brown blind-stamped cloth, gilt lettering on the spine, 583 pages. Illustrated with 21 (of 22) plates and 4 (of 5) maps--lacking the large folding map, as often the case, tucked into the pocket of the rear cover and with two maps defective. INSCRIBED and SIGNED on the front endpaper by the fifteenth President of the United States: "For John B. Gordon Esquire/with the kind regards of/James Buchanan." Light to moderate foxing with some mild staining to the plates. Spine tips worn but covers decent. But for the noted illustration defects, a nice copy with a dark, bold inscription. Item #016464
A very interesting copy in that Buchanan was elected in 1856 as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question in a three-way battle with Millard Fillmore and the author of this book, John C. Fremont, the first Republican candidate for president. With the country on the verge of civil war, he was succeeded in office by Abraham Lincoln shortly before the firing on Fort Sumter. John Brown Gordon, one of Robert E. Lee's best generals, fought in the Battles of Gettysburg and of Antietam, where he refused to leave the front until he suffered his fifth wound of the battle. Gordon was a firm opponent of Reconstruction and the titular head, or Grand Dragon, of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1873, and in 1879 became the first ex-Confederate to preside over the Senate.