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M. Benjamin Katz, Books & Manuscripts
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M. Benjamin Katz, Books & Manuscripts

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M. Benjamin Katz, Books & Manuscripts

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1 HERBERT ARSCOTT c1915 ORIGINAL GROUP OF DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO THE MILITARY SERVICE OF A LANCE CORPORAL IN THE 5TH BATTALION OF THE CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 2ND BRIGADE A.K.A "TUXFORD'S DANDIES", WHO WAS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED, AND SPENT OVER A YEAR AT MILITARY HOSPITALS
1936 Good Manuscript 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall / 
On offer is a collection of 19 historically significant documents pertaining to military service of Herbert Arscott, including a war-time photo, a booklet with handwritten notes, an active service pay book, and post-war correspondence from the Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada. These documents represent milestones of his wartime experience, and also of many Canadians fighting in the Great War. As the majority of Canadian soldiers at that time, Herbert Arscott was born in Britain, in the town of Wellington, and enlisted almost immediately after the war was declared. He served at the 5th battalion of the 2nd infantry brigade hailed from western Canada, and known as "Tuxford's Dandys" after the name of its first commander. Arscott made a few notes of dates and locations in a small book titled "Diary and memoranda": on September 17th he arrived at Quebec, spent two days in smaller camps, on the 22nd started training at Valcartier, a training base for over 32000 volunteers from across Canada who were formed into the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and eight days later boarded the SS Laplandia, the largest in the transport convoy of the 31 ships set to cross the Atlantics. They arrived in Plymouth on October 14th, and in early November he already was in Bailleul in Northern France, which is the last note in the diary. The diary also contains a poem from George Cary Eggleston's "Rebel's collection" starting: "I was frightened, for a wind crept along the grass…" Arscott's battalion entered the war theater in February 2015, participating in the Second Battle of Ypres from April 15th to May 25th, it is not mentioned if Arscott was involved in that battle, but the documents show that in the middle of May he was wounded. It is clear from his pay book and passes that he spent spring and summer of 1916 at the Granville Canadian Special Hospital in Ramsgate, a seaside town in Kent, a photograph showing him in a wheelchair most likely was taken in front of that hospital, and then in Folkestone - a note on his pass says: "Recuperation. Excused wearing puttees" because of the leg wound. While in England he probably got married - in 1915 he named as his next of kin Mrs. Arscott C.N who lived in West Indies, but later a line was added in his pay book with the name and address of his wife in Surrey. In 1918 he returned to Canada where he was taken to the Civil Service for six months, but since 1920 all correspondence was addressed to the U.S., first to Brooklyn, and later to Ohio. The post-war documents cover the period until 1952, and are related to his pension and insurance policy. The collection includes the following documents: 1. A red booklet titled "Diary and memoranda for 1914-1915: information relating to the wealth and population of the nations engaged, and the strengths of their respective Armies and Navies, Armaments etc.; published by the Union Bank of Canada, Valcartier Military Camp Branch. Contains hand-written notes. 31 pages, size: 3'2x6'; condition: good+ 2. A booklet titled: Canadian Expeditionary Force 2nd infantry brigade headquarters and 5th Battalion : nominal roll of officers, non-commissioned officers and men (issued with militia orders, 1915), 25 p., size: 8'2x13'; condition: creases, loose, slight tears on the cover 3. Pay book for use on active service, containing records for 1915 - 1917. Size: 3.5'x5'' condition: good, regular wear, slight tears at edges 4. 3 passes dated May, June and August 1916 5. A photo of a man in a wheelchair in front of what looks like a military hospital, size: 3.2'x3.2' 6. Discharge certificate from Canadian Expeditionary Force, slightly soiled at creases 7. Certificate of qualification for temporary employment from Civil Service Commission of Canada, dated October 25, 1918. Condition: tears at creases, slightly soiled, size: 7.5'x11' 8. A printed letter from the Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada in London on a letterheaded paper, dated December 6, 1918, containing 2 pages, size: 8'x13' 9. A printed letter addressed to Paymaster Casualties in Toronto, dated August 31, 1918, and signed by a representative of the Whitby Military Hospital, condition: good, size 6.5'x8' 10. Adjustment of pension from the Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada and Authority for pension payment, dated February 20th, 1920, addressed to Mr. Herbert Arscott in Brooklyn, N.Y., 2 pages, 8'x13' 11. A booklet titled: Information of former members of the Canadian and British Forces resident in the United States of America, published in Ottawa in 1921,, 16 pages, size 6.6'x10'; condition: tears at edges and creases, water stains. 12. Authority for pension payments, from the Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada dated November 26, 1923; size: 8'x13' 13. A letter from the Canadian Pension Commission about policy reviewing, dated March 9, 1940, and addressed to Berea, Ohio. Size 8.5'x10.5'; condition: tears on creases 14. 3 letters from the Canadian Pension Commission dated July and November, 1946 and June, 1947; size: 8.5'x11', condition: very good 15. A letter from the Department of Veteran affairs in Canada regarding a returned soldiers insurance, dated April 8, 1952, size: 8'x13'; condition: very good 
Price: 2855.99 USD
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2 LESTER GLOTFELTY 1934 + 1936 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN DIARIES BY A YOUNG FARMER AND BUS DRIVER FROM GARRET COUNTY, PORTRAYING RURAL LIFE IN MARYLAND DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION
MCHENRY MARYLAND 1934 Good Manuscript 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall / 
On offer is a pair (2) of original diaries authored by Lester Glotfelty (1905-1949), a farmer from McHenry area giving a powerful evidence of day-to-day life of western Maryland farmers in 1930s known by iconic photographs by Jung and Ben Shahn. Lester was a son of John and Sarah Glotfelty, whose ancestors arrived in Pennsylvania from Switzerland in the 18th century, and whose grandfather, William Glotfelty, moved to Maryland in mid-nineteenth century and bought farming lands from heirs of James McHenry. At the time when the diaries were written he lived with his parents, two sisters and a nephew, the family was growing a variety of crops, had a garden with apple and pear trees, and kept chicken, cattle and horses. The diary consists of two books, the blue one is dated 1934 and contains a personal record, the black book, though does not have an explicit date or personal record, contains an entry for January 5: “I am twenty one today”, and based on it, and on days and dates, we can say with confidence that it is the year of 1936. The 1934 diary covers full year, the 1936 diary covers months from January 1 to May 7. Almost all entries include a record of weather which was an important issue in life of farmers, especially in harsh weather conditions of the western Maryland: “awful high wind...pretty cold today, awful slick...clear, cool, high wind....” The 1936 diary documents an unusually severe and snowy winter, one of the coldest in the history of Maryland, followed by heavy rainfall and the Great Potomac flood in March, 1936. On March 18 Lester records: “Snowed and blowed last night, melted today, snowed this eve.... I drove bus...awful floods, Pittsburgh worst today, 4 square miles under 10- 20 feet of water, today Johnstown was flooded too”. The diary mainly consists of description of routine farming activities, which vary depending on the season: hauling lime, stones, manure; plowing and harrowing, dehorning cows and shoeing horses, day after day Lester writes “Dad hauled lime all day ... hauled lime all A.M, hauled out manure P.M... hauled stones... hauled coal... plowed all day, harrowed P.M.... got loads of coal”. This unsophisticated repetitive account creates an authentic and powerful picture of relentless hard work and struggle with severe weather and rocky terrain. It seems that most hard farm work was done by Lester’s father, probably because Lester’s health was not good, in 1934 he writes: “Today three years ago I went to bed with the flu, pneumonia and arthritis”. Lester meticulously records interactions with local people, attending Sunday school and church, occasionally gives prices for goods: “Jonas Knox, Jasper Riley here to buy cattle, he would took them $25 a head, but we would not sell”. Almost no entertainment is mentioned, extremely seldom they go to McHenry or Accident to see a movie or to have ice-cream: “I am twenty one today, they baked me a cake and made ice-cream”. Lester also mentions few local events, such as the trial of McHenry resident Noah Kolbfleish who was accused of slaying his aunt. The diary contains names of local residents and members of extended Glotfelty family who lived in the area, that may be of interest to local historians and genealogists. There are also additional materials including several bills, a bank cheque, a warning ticket issued to Lester Glotfelty, two Valentine’s Day cards. The diaries contain almanac matter – horoscopes, recipes, calendar etc. Condition: Very good. The blue cover has signs of wear and ink stains, the text at few places is slightly faded, but is legible. 
Price: 2255.99 USD
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3 RICHARD LEAN 1943 + 1944 CHARMING PAIR OF ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HANDWRITTEN BY A YOUNG KEXBROUGH, SOUTH YORKSHIRE LAD COMING OF AGE WHILE THE WAR BRINGS DEPRIVATIONS AND SACRIFICE THROUGHOUT ENGLAND
SOUTH YORKSHIRE, KEXBROUGH, ENGLAND UK 1943 Good Manuscript 48mo - over 3" - 4" tall / 
On offer are two (2) diaries documenting life of a young boy from rural England during the Second World War. When starting the first diary Richard was 13, and lived in Kexbrough, at the border of South and West Yorkshire, near the river Dearne with his aunt and father. The diaries contain many details of wartime life, like rationing and watching war documentaries; Richard's school friend is in the Air Training Corps, and a family member, probably his brother, is serving in the navy - there are several entries where Richard writes about him coming for a leave from Devonport, the naval base near Plymouth: "Ernest came home. Looks very nice in sub-lieutenant's uniform...Ernest goes back to Devonport on Monday", and about receiving parcels from Sicily where the Allied Forces landed in July 1943. The diaries mention a strike of bus drivers in January 1943 organized by the Labour movement, a not widely known war time event. However, his diaries are mainly an account of everyday life of a 13-year old boy, who goes to school, plays football, boxing, does household chores: "Had a boxing match with a boy in our class in gym. Did not get hurt, gave him one in eye". What makes the diary stand out is Richard's keen eye for nature: almost every day he goes to the woods or to the river, hunting or fishing, and records his observations: "saw a fox and found a rabbit nest", "found a pheasant's feather", "found a small lizard, probably sand lizard". He is biking around much, often with his best friend Brian Loy, nicknamed "Myrna", after a movie star of 1930s. The first entry in 1943 is instructions how to cure a deer skin, the process that occupies much of his time during January and February, and the second is "Notes on my rabbits and how to house and feed them in winter and summer" - he write about his rabbits almost every day. Richard's family had Scottish origin - several entries in 1943 describes a trip to Edinburgh and Glazgo with his father where they visit relatives and he also writes about a photograph of uncle Alfred Benjamin Lean, who served in the Royal Navy during the WW1 as a gunner, and was presented to the King in Edinburgh. As Richard is growing up the content and style of his diary are changing, the entries become longer and more detailed, he writes more about school classes and exams, starts mentioning girls names, has more duties at home, travels longer distances. The diary mentions different geographic places in the area, names of local residents, Mr. And Mrs. Birkenshaw, Mary Sutton, students and school teachers. The books are small-sized, one in a marbled leather cover, and the other in a black leather-like cover. Condition: good +, there are no missing or torn pages, ink has slightly faded in few places. Size: 1943 diary - 2'5 x 3'5, 1944 diary - 3'2 x 5' 
Price: 2055.99 USD
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