Item #19202 The Capture of Jeff. Davis [caption title; with:] Songs by DeWolfe, the Wandering Poet of New Hampshire . . . “The Last Ditch!” or Davis, Booth and Lee [&] The President who wore his wife’s Petticoat [caption title]. George, ron.

The Capture of Jeff. Davis [caption title; with:] Songs by DeWolfe, the Wandering Poet of New Hampshire . . . “The Last Ditch!” or Davis, Booth and Lee [&] The President who wore his wife’s Petticoat [caption title].

[Nashua, N.H.? Byron DeWolfe, 1865]. First edition of each. Two broadsides mounted to heavier stock (likely the leaf of a scrapbook), the first measuring 8 x 4.5 inches, the second 7.88 x 4.25 inches. Woodcut vignettes on each. One upper corner of the first song sheet town (not touching text); some general wear and soiling; in good condition overall. Item #19202

Two ephemeral humorous topical song sheets from the indefatigable George Gordon Byron DeWolfe (1835-1873), the “Wandering Poet of New Hampshire.” Per Chapin’s Poets of New Hampshire (1883), the Canadian-born DeWolfe “came to the United States [about 1855], and commenced the work which he followed until his death, namely, travelling from state to state, from town to town, writing verses on people, places, and popular events. . . . From the rapidity with which he wrote he was called the ‘Steam-Machine Poet.’” Indeed, DeWolfe could turn his hand with equal versatility to such topics as the capture of Jefferson Davis (and his supposed attempt at escape in his wife’s dress) and the just desserts of Booth and Lee, as here, to the occasional murder ballad or commemoration of a clam-bake—and could evidently do so with a happy fluidity that was no doubt the envy of many a more sluggish laureate; as DeWolfe notes elsewhere in the colophon to some 1870 mendicant verses he had composed for a blind stone-cutter John Hobart, “Mr. H. related some incidents of his life to ‘The Wandering Poet,’ who composed the verses on this sheet, in less than two hours, and returned to his home in Nashua, that afternoon. . . . Verses will be composed (on reasonable terms) on any subject, for any person. All business correspondence will be kept confidential.” The first song sheet evidently noted at seven locations on OCLC (excluding likely electronic copies), the second song sheet at two locations (plus presumably a copy at the Library Company of Philadelphia). Fragment mounted on the verso of the leaf of a contemporary woodcut illustration of a crowd of slaves escaping into the Union lines as an African American soldier looks on.

Price: $250.00

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