(Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1844-53). 180 x 120 mm. (7 1/8 x 4 3/4"). 12 volumes.
Original publisher's brown cloth with decorative blind-stamped covers, spines with gilt lettering, scrolling, the image of a shrouded set of books, and an eagle holding various patriotic symbols. Each volume with frontispiece and chromolithograph pictorial title page heightened with gold, the set with a total of 84 plates depicting various historical scenes. Front pastedowns with the bookplate of the Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Company. Heads of a few spines just slightly frayed and with occasional tiny losses, a couple of corners slightly bumped, a few covers with a touch of wrinkling or a small stain, but IN REMARKABLY FINE CONDITION, the bindings tight, fresh, and with only minor signs of wear; plates with a little light browning and offsetting, one quire in the Napoleon volume loose, contents otherwise fine.
Exceptionally well preserved in their original cloth bindings, this complete 12-volume set contains stories of notable figures and events that shaped early American history, published with the intent of educating young people about the values and legacy of the nation. The titles include "The Old Bell of Independence" and "The Yankee Tea-Party" as well as the lives of Henry Clay, General Marion, Daniel Webster, General Lafayette, William Penn, Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Franklin, General Taylor, and Napoleon Bonaparte (the latter being the only work here to deal exclusively with the history of Europe). According to the series' own advertisement, "The compact style in which these works are written, as well as their low price, make them well adapted for Family, School, or District Libraries." Given the intended audience, the present set is remarkably fresh and clean, with very little wear and few signs of use. Although individual titles from this run do appear, the complete set of 12 is seldom found on the market, and even more rarely found in anything approaching fine condition. (ST14534)