Harrogate: R. Ackrill, 1878. Hardcover. Scarce family copy, extra illustrated with a large format albumen photographic portrait and 18 original watercolors by Charles Henry Knowles, with an inscription written by the author's grandson's god daughter, Nanette I. Robson, who is also the great niece of the illustrator. Three of the original watercolors are of the Hudson River, and 2 of Long Island.
The inscription reads, "The illustrations were done by my great uncle Charles Henry Knowles born 26th October 1851. He was one of the two young men mentioned on Page 6 who accompanied Robert Ackrill to the United States in 1877. Robert Ackrill's grandson, Robert Ackrill Breare was my godfather. Nanette I. Robson".
The 18 beautifully painted watercolors include: Malin Head; Fort Richmond, NY Harbour; At Willisbro Junction; Street View St. James Hotel, Washington; Capitol (Capitol Building); Mount Vernon, Ohio; Munroville; Old Suspension Bridge - Niagara River; Nuns' Island - St. Lawrence River (now part of the city of Montreal, Quebec); Addison Junction - Lake Champlain; Plattsburgh; Summer House - Cruger's Island (Hudson River); On the Hudson River (looks like the tower of the castle on Bannerman's Island, but too early. p146); Old Dutch Church Sleepy Hollow; Lynn Harbour; Egg Rock Lynn; Residence of Mr. Horsey, Oyster Bay Long Island; and Fleet's Wood, Long Island.
An account of the author's travels to the east coast of America, including Washington D.C.,
New York, Philadelphia, Boston and up the Hudson River, out to Long Island, and on to Canada. Ackrill was editor of the Harrowgate Herald. With some racist content, typical of post Civil War attitudes in sections titled, "The Nigger is Boss" (p91) and "Niggers In Spite of Themselves" (p96).
8vo, 179pp, advertisements at p180, followed by 8 b&w wood block views. One of these is titled "The author makes up to a dark lady" and shows Ackrill with his arm around a woman. Two of the wood blocks, Addison Junction, and Mr. Horsey's Residence are also depicted in watercolor.
Handsome original period gilt tooled full dark morocco, with 5 raised bands and gilt inner hinge dentelles, marbled end papers. All edges gilt. Light scattered fox spotting mostly in the prelims.
Scarce as a vanity printing. The work was first published without illustrations; this lavish extra illustrated copy was done for family members only, by the editor of the Harrogate Herald. OCLC: 30059137. Very good condition. Item #24412