Letter from Harry Stone, NY bookseller to Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, offering him Whitman's rarity "Memoranda During the War"

New York: May 31, 1935. TLS to Dr. Pilgrim, addressed to his home in Central Valley, NY, offering him "Memoranda During the War", Whitman's recounting of his Civil War experiences. Mr. Stone quotes "A Concise Bibliography of Walt Whitman" about the book points (one or two portraits; perhaps one hundred issued; exceedingly rare.) And offered it to him for $200.

Charles Pilgrim had been the New York State Commissioner of Mental Health at the beginning of the 20th century, and his name is memorialized in the naming of the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center that once stood on over 800 acres of land in Brentwood Long Island.

In a 1907 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Pilgrim's article on suicidal tendency references Whitman: "Walt Whitman's healthy vigor and mere joy of living which he felt should be emulated and the teachings of Browning "who ever looked above the storm clouds of this lower world to the unsoiled blue of Heaven" should be ever kept in mind." At that time, it seems there was not recognition of a chemical basis for depression.

Harry Stone was a successful NYC bookseller who started on 4th Avenue and ultimately moved uptown to 58th St. He also owned a gallery of American primitive art. Lou Cohen, his friend, bought the gallery when Stone was ill and could no longer run it. Mr. Cohen was the founder of Argosy Books, now carried on by the 2nd and 3rd generation of Cohens.

TLS, 8 1/2 x 11" , signed Harry Stone. Three old folds, paper a little tanned. Overall, good+. Item #24687

Price: $125.00

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