Wab-Ah-See, a Legend of the Sleeping Dew.

Chicago: S. S. Boyden, Publisher, 1868. First edition. 8vo, original green cloth, gilt lettering, 200, [3] pages. A little frayed at the head and foot of the spine; lower portion of the rear board damp-stained, with a little bit of dampstaining in the rear; a trifle foxed; a very good copy. Item #18991

Verses from a resident of Bostwick Lake, Michigan (outside Grand Rapids), with much occasional verse (Independence Day celebrations, an address to the Progressive Lyceum), as well as the lengthy narrative title poem recounting a contemporary local legend. Wabasis (the title character) was said to have signed the 1833 Treaty of Chicago and taken a pot of gold in payment for the tribe; inevitably, Wabasis kept the gold for himself and buried it in an unknown location. Killed by a member of his tribe, Wabasis’s body was placed “sitting in his grave, / where he could see the gleaming wave, / And watch the white man’s big canoe, / When faded were the forms he knew; / They placed him by the white man’s trail, / Where he might see the stranger pale.” Early settlers in Kent county evidently attested to having seen Wabasis’s skull protruding from the earth on Plainfield Bluffs—though his gold has yet to be found. Ante-Fire Imprints 1371; cf. Sabin 38371, noting the Grand Rapids edition of 1870.

Price: $75.00

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