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Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 133

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Description: THE LIBRARY OF FIRST LADY CAROLINE C. FILLMORE
CAROLINE C. FILLMORE Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore (1813-1881) First Lady, the second wife of President Millard Fillmore. She married her first husband, Ezekiel C. McIntosh (1806-1855), a prosperous Troy, New York merchant and president of the Schenectady and Troy Railroad, in November 1832. They had no children, and McIntosh's death left her very wealthy. She married former President Millard Fillmore on Feb. 10, 1858 in Albany, and required her new husband to sign a prenuptial agreement. They are believed to have had a happy marriage (Caroline greatly enjoyed her newfound status as the wife of a former President), though in the 1860s her mental and physical health began to decline. Her husband's sudden death from a stroke in 1874 made the already eccentric Fillmore even more infirm, unstable and temperamental. We are pleased to offer the only First Lady's library that we know to be extant, a collection of about 333 volumes once owned by Caroline Fillmore, 257 separate titles, of which 270 volumes are signed by the First Lady, or signed by her husband MILLARD FILLMORE signing her name in the book for her, or are books presented by the president to Mrs. Fillmore. Eleven volumes are signed by his son (by his first wife, Abigail) namely MILLARD P. FILLMORE, JR. (b. 1828). Some of the books are signed multiple times, perhaps illustrating Mrs. Fillmore's beleaguered mental state. All of the signed books signed by Mrs. Fillmore are signed as: "Caroline Carmichael", "C. C. McIntosh", "Caroline C. McIntosh", "C. C. Fillmore", or "Mrs. Millard Fillmore". Those signed by the ex-President for his wife are signed: "Mrs. Millard Fillmore", "Mrs. M. Fillmore", "Mrs. Caroline C. Fillmore" or "Mrs. C. C. Fillmore". Eight of the books bear Fillmore's presentation inscription to his wife as "Your husband" or are signed with his name. In all, we counted (roughly) 130 signatures by the First Lady using her maiden name, 135 signatures with her married name, and 111 instances in which Fillmore signed his wife's name, along with the eight books signed by the president and eleven books signed by his son, noted above. Included as well is an account book in her hand for expenses paid out in 1856-57, 33 pages of what is described as a "journal" in her hand, 1825, and what may be an account book once kept by the president, pasted-over with clippings. Many signed religious texts are present, including five Bibles, a Book of Common Prayer, Ira Sankey's Gospel Hymns, A Concordance to the Holy Scriptures, Is Christianity From God?, Revival Hymns, and perhaps a dozen more. Also present are bound signed sets of sheet music from the 1820s to 1850's, including The Tippecanoe March & Quick Step, and works by Henry Ward Beecher, John Bunyan, Washington Irving, John Milton, Thomas Moore, Blaise Pascal, Tennyson, Lydia Sigourney, and other classical and period authors. Among the books presented by President Fillmore to his wife were The Court Circles of the Republic", History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Tennyson's The Holy Grail and Other Poems, and "Marie Antoinette and Her Son. The books are generally in good to fine condition - some bear library stamps, some have library numbers painted on the spine, some have covers detached, but the vast majority are in excellent condition. Twelve other volumes, including two Bibles, are inscribed or signed by Fillmore's first husband, EZEKIEL C. MCINTOSH. A complete listing of the titles, and how each is signed is available to prospective bidders. An excellent library for the collector, or an investment for the intrepid dealer. Should be viewed.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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