[WEST POINT - WHIPPLE, CHARLES WILLIAM] West Point Life: A Poem, Read before the Dialectic Society of the United States Militar...
. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1866. A presentation copy inscribed on the front blank from the illustrator, West Point cadet C.W. Whipple, to his brother midshipman David Whipple at the U.S. Naval Academy in the year of publication. Original gilt lettered brick-red pebbled cloth with bevelled edge. 5 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches (15 x 23 cm); 37 pp. text, 22 plates of sketches after Whipple's drawings (see below). A few short closed tears, repair to title and a few other leaves, light wear to spine tips, a sound copy overall. Together with seven original drawings published in the book, each approximately 5 1/2 x 9 inches (14 x 22.5 cm), 1 framed with a note of provenance to the verso, the balance loose in sleeves. These humorous drawings bear pencil titles not printed in the book (replaced by captions). Some edgewear and spotting; A contemporary manuscript album of sketches kept by C.W. Whipple, with a manuscript title page reading "A Collection of Songs, Poetry, Prose and Compositions written by Cadets of the Military Academy/ West Point N.Y./ C.W. Whipple/ September 1st 1865". The first leaf containing a drawing similar to those in West Point Life above the manuscript of the first six (a possibly original) verses of the song "Benny Havens, Oh!" which was added, along with Whipple's drawings, to the 1866 edition of West Point Life. This album contains approximately 40 pp of small pen & ink sketches and vignettes, many bearing captions, signatures, and dates through January 1868. Original 19th century boards. Lacking upper cover, some excisions to portions of leaves, minor wear; And a framed group of printed placeholders depicting Cadets.
A charming archive of amusing original sketches of West Point cadet life by Charles William Whipple, son of Chief Topographical Engineer and Brigadier General Amiel Weeks Whipple (who had been mortally wounded at Chancellorsville in 1863). Lincoln himself recommended C.W. Whipple to West Point and his younger brother David, the recipient of this book, was recommended to Annapolis by President Johnson.
The 1859 edition of West Point Life contained verses written by the 1860 graduate Horace Porter, who would become aide to General Grant during the war. The 1866 edition was expanded to include the amusing sketches by Whipple and the poem "Benny Havens, Oh!", an original draft of which is included here. These illustrations have never before been attributed to C.W. Whipple.
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