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Books:English Literature:Manuscripts From ZH BOOKS


A Small Archive of Items Belonging to Dr. H. A. Sims of Roanoke, Virginia

By Various

Various, 1870. Softcover. Correspondence, cards, checks and payment notes, etc. of Dr. Sims as well as several letters of his wife. In the 1880s - 1890s, he was a prominent physician, a “Master Workman†in the Knights of Labor, and an instrumental figure in preventing laborers from staging a revolt against the Roanoke Medical Society's minimum rates for all medical services (a newly-established professional organization Dr. Sims refused to join thus becoming almost exclusively the physician of the working class). Apparently, he was also in the middle of a publicized lawsuit against "an insane young lady suffering from a peculiar mania" - Nora Wootteu - who was obsessed with him, had stalked him and had almost managed to kill him. * Correspondence of Dr. Sims: - Letter; ruled paper, stationary of "Office of Custodian, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C."; pp. 4, recto only; small nicks to top edge and a horizontal fold line; very good to near fine. A letter, dated 1888, from Rush U. Derr, imploring Dr. Sims to not give away any information on his absence from the city and alluding to an "appropriation matter" to be finalized at a later date. Rush Derr was the owner of The Roanoke Saturday News who had sparked controversy and outrage among citizens of Roanoke by fostering localism and publishing inflammatory articles against newly arriving business owners and companies which had sprung in the rapidly growing city, including one in his issue of May 1882 stating: "Upon unquestionable authority we are informed that employees of the Shenandoah Valley railway openly boast that the officials of that company and of the Roanoke Land and Improvement company are abiding their time and holding their views in abeyance, as it were, ‘waiting until the works get in full operation and the Yankee boys will run the town." Following that particular piece, many local leaders denounced Derr and the News in angry letters to his paper. Even a colleague of his - Peyton Terry, editor and owner of the Roanoke Commercial Advertiser - condemned the article as "ill judged, intemperate, and uncalled for." - Letter; ruled paper; pp. 2; small closed cut to upper edge; a few smudged letters; very good. A letter, dated 1884, by a colleague of Dr. Sims - one Dr. Geo B. Gennings, writing about returning a favor by supplying a recommendation (?) and explaining that due to bad weather and many sick patients he would not be able to visit. - Letter; plain paper; pp. 2, recto only; a few chips and cuts to right edge; 2 fold lines; very good. A letter, dated 1885, by George Fraser, listing names of people wishing to join the local Masonic lodge. - Letter with original envelope + enclosed printed card; ruled paper; pp. 2 + enclosed printed card; fold lines, else very minor wear; near fine. A letter, dated 1887, signature and content in a largely illegible scrawl, but apparently discussing a pending patent and possible new business contacts in New York. The enclosed printed card seems to also pertain to patents as there are lines for "Name of Patent," "Date," "Name of Patentee." etc. - Letter; ruled paper, stationary of Dr. Sims; pp. 2, recto only; fold lines and 2 small closed cuts to edges; very good. A letter, dated 1884, by Dr. Sims to one Dr. G. Luck, setting up a meeting for Luck's "being the oldest established physician in the City" and assuring him references to his professional character are available upon request. - Letter; laid paper; pp. 2; sheet split at fold lines (all 3 pieces present); good. A letter, dated 1882, by (signature a bit unintelligible) one J. Lipton (?) requesting that Dr. Sims examines two gentlemen and returns the results and the bill for his trouble by a registered letter. - Letter + envelope; pp. 4; small closed cuts to edges of fold lines; a discolored spot to lower corner; very good. A letter, dated 1887, by what appears to be a mother of an assaulted son asking for help. Unfortunately, the ink is faded and the handwriting difficult to understand, thus further research would be needed in order to comprehend the whole meaning of the correspondence. - Letter with original envelope; ruled paper; pp. 2, recto only; fold lines, else very minor wear; near fine. Envelope with some loss of paper to upper right corner. A letter, dated 1888, by one J. T. Bray, thanking the doctor for past favors. - Letter; ruled paper; pp. 2, recto only; fold lines, else minor wear; very good to near fine. Envelope with loss of paper to upper right corner. A letter, dated 1885, by one Geo W. Shelton, apparently a patient of the doctor. He writes a long, rambling explanation as to why he is enclosing only $10 of his $135 debt despite Dr. Sims' demand for an immediate payment of the whole sum. - Letter with original envelope; ruled paper, stationary of "The Star and Sentinel"; pp. 6, recto only; fold lines and some spotting to lower margin; very good. Another letter, dated 1887, explaining why a debt of $3.30 cannot be paid - this one extending over three entire pages. - 2 letters with an original envelope; one on Dr. Sims' stationary, the other one on engraved stationary of "Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association of New York"; fold lines, else minor wear; very good to near fine. Envelope torn along edges. A back- and forth- professional correspondence, dated 1885, between Dr. Sims and Dr. J. W. Bowden - Medical Director at the Association. It appears Dr. Sims has been asked to examine a man applying for an insurance policy - Henry Clay Chapman - and to present the company with an official conclusion as to the health of the applicant. Bowden's letter, typed in purple ink, asks for some clarifications and additional information. The verso of the letter contains an unfinished draft of Dr. Sims' response. The second letter is Dr. Sim's actual and final reply in which he states the Association should not risk issuing an insurance policy to Henry Chapman due to his chronic constipation. * Correspondence of Ms. Sims: - Letter; laid paper; pp. 4, recto only; faint crease lines and minor spotting; very good. A letter, dated 1889, from one N. H. Baker, profoundly thanking Ms. Sims, several times, for a present she has sent. - Letter; laid paper, stationary of "J. C. Johnson, Druggist and Apothecary"; single sheet, pp. 2, recto only; minor creasing; near fine. A letter, dated 1885, from J. C. Johnson, Druggist thanking Ms. Sims for the "perfectly beautiful flowers." - Official correspondence; 3 forms, printed and filled by hand, in the original engraved envelope by "U. B. Mutual Aid Society of Pennsylvania"; 3 sheets; faint creases; very good to near fine. Dated July and August 1886, the forms inform Ms. Sims of the deaths of several members of the society, explain the causes and witnesses of death, and list the dues Ms. Sims, as beneficiary, is required to pay in order to remain a member. The fees are quite startling for the time period - upwards of $500 for each form. - Letter, in the original envelope; ruled paper; pp. 4; fold lines; small tear at corner of fold; very good. An amusing letter to Ms. Sims from her mother (signed "Ma"), dated Christmas, 1883 (?), in which news from various relatives and friends are given as well as a thinly veiled complaint, as apparently the mother had written to Dr. Sims asking for help for several ailing family members and he had not responded to the plea. * A handwritten payment slip issued to Dr. Sims for a "tax imposed by law for the privilege of practicing physic" to be paid to the County Sheriff for the year 1868-69. Ruled paper; a bit of age-toning and two faint crease lines; very good to near fine. * 9 receipts, dating from 1886 to 1895, printed with company logos or on company stationary and filled by hand, for various professional subscriptions and for products and services rendered (Roanoke Times, Roanoke City Directory, Lakeland Lodge, The Chas. Lyle Drug Co., etc.). Various sizes; generally with small nicks, cuts, and creases to corners; one of the receipts with some loss of paper to lower edge; overall very good. * 5 handwritten receipts dating from 1874 to 1893, to and from the doctor, for account payments, etc. Various sizes; one with a few small holes (insect damage); mild creasing and age-toning; good to very good. * 2 small slips of paper with penciled-in names/numbers. Slight creases; very good to near fine. * 2 identical cards with Dr. Sims' name in ornate font and several Masonic lodges listed. Very minor wear; near fine. * 5 envelopes (empty) - 3 of them addressed to Dr. Sims by 'B. F. Stockton & Bro., Machinists,' 'A. G. Alstrom & Co. Merchant Tailors,' 'The Virginia Mutual Life Association' and 2 others printed and distributed for 'Weekly Offering' to the Christian Church of Roanoke, VA. General wear; two of the envelopes torn along edges; good to very good.


An 1854 Letter from A Young Lady to Her Friend

By Ursula

Waterbury: By the Author, 1854. Softcover. Manuscript, written in brown ink; 8 x 10; pp. 4; a few faint horizontal crease lines; several small ink spots; near fine. A heart-warming and somewhat sad letter by a young lady, signed Ursula, to her friend. She has, apparently, just moved from Haddam to Waterbury, CT to work in an establishment dealing with curtain bands, sacks, etc. Among talking about her job and asking about various relatives and friends back home, Ursula mentions she has gone to watch a local college's exams and graduation ceremonies. Anybody can feel her sadness and melancholy in her words: "I there wished I was a Normal Scholar. I think I should have been, had there been such an institute a few years since, but I shall give up the idea of ever being a Normal Scholar." One can speculate about the exact reasons for her not being able to attend school.


A Small Note Typed and Signed by Poet and Author Margaret Deland

By Deland, Margaret

N/A, N/A. Softcover. Single sheet, recto only, n.d. (ca late 1920s/early 1930s); 3 x 6, unevenly trimmed; a few rubbed spots to verso; typed and signed in blue ink (last letter in signature a bit smudged); very good. An interesting little note by Margaret Deland in which she thanks an anonymous friend and asks for two tickets and a program for the performance of "The Peabody Players." She also explains she needs the tickets for a friend who is not familiar with the Players, thus her request for the program.


Two Manuscripts Related to Mary Todd Lincoln's Nephews Robert Todd and William L. Todd (the Designer of the California State Flag)

By Wallace, William

Manuscript, 1814. Hardcover. Two manuscripts and a newspaper article attached to each other at their upper margins. unfolded approx. 8 x 20; 3 fold lines across; few spots of foxing to the article only; small nicks to bottom of manuscripts; very good or better. The newspaper cutout, titled "Notice," reads that Robert Todd Sr. - Mary Todd Lincoln's grand-uncle - has been entitled to 2 tracts of land in the Virginia Military District for being a veteran in the American Revolutionary War. He dies and the land is entered in the name of Robert Woodson (another Revolutionary War veteran). For the years 1800-1809, the land is broken into small pieces and sold to various people in order to have taxes covered. The article continues on to notify the various owners that the sons of Robert Todd - William L. Todd (the designer the original Bear Flag of California) and his brother Robert Todd Jr. are contesting the sale of the land and are appearing in court to try for the redemption of said land. Dated December 2, 1813. The article has been cut from either 'The Fredonian' or 'The Supporter' at Chillicothe, Ohio (presumed either/or from the context of the hand-written pages). The two manuscripts are notarized documents certifying that the above mentioned "Notice" has appeared in 'The Fredonian' and 'The Supporter' for six consecutive weeks each. The first script reads that John Bailhache (later good friend of President Lincoln) in his function as an editor of The Fredonian has come in front of the Justice of the Peace to certify the publishing of the "Notice." The second one is almost identical but with the editor of 'The Supporter' as a witness. Both documents are signed William Wallace, whom though we have not been able to explicitly confirm, might have been the father of William Wallace Jr. - Mary Todd's brother-in-law and the Lincoln's family doctor.