Twenty-Five Years of Book Collecting: A Look Back and a Look Forward - This is a talk I gave at the Book Lovers' and Texana Collectors' Breakfast, March 6, 2015, Texas State Historical Association Meeting, Corpus Christi. A r...
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A few of those titles with corresponding catalog and plate numbers, and descriptions, which represent France's rule during this time, are shown below:
France was the first European country to claim by exploration and colonization that part of North America which is Michigan. Samuel de Champlain reported the existence of the Detroit River as early as 1603, though apparently he never reached Michigan; Etienne Brule visited the present area of Michigan in 1622; Jean Nicolet attended a banquet in Michigan in 1634; fur traders crept into the virgin land; missionaries carried the cross to the Indians; settlers and traders established homes. Until 1763, Michigan belonged to France. Stories of those tears appear in the books and manuscripts which follow.
France's dream of an empire in North America was blacked out when she lost the Seven Years' War. Part of that war (which we know as the French and Indian War) was fought in America. One of the stakes was Michigan and, when the treaty of peace was signed, our part of the country fell into British hands. Officially, we were a possession of Great Britain for just twenty years, but actually Michigan was kept from United States control for another thirteen years. What happened in the years of British possession is told in the following books, manuscripts, and maps.Twenty one examples are cited, two of which are shown below.
Michigan was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of 1783 and thus passed to its third and final owner. But Great Britain was reluctant to give up her strong posts on the frontier. Not until 1796 did she finally relinquish her hold on Michigan. The years since 1796 are many and so are the changes Michigan has seen. First, she was part of the Northwest Territory, then, she was the Territory of Michigan and finally the State of Michigan. The records described on the following pages reflect the various events which we now call our state's past.
Names famous in the law naturally feature among its benchers and members, such as Sir Matthew Hale and Lord Mansfield, Chief Justices of the King's Bench in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries or, more recently, Lord Denning, but it has also served as a training ground for those whose achievements were in other fields. Fifteen Prime Ministers, from William Pitt to Tony Blair, have been benchers. In about 1979, a portrait of several members of the Inn, including Margaret Thatcher and Lord Hailsham, who at the time each held one of the great offices of state or high judicial office, was commissioned and is on display in the Inn. The names of the novelists Charles Reade, Charles Kingsley, Wilkie Collins, Rider Haggard, and John Galsworthy are all found in the membership records. The poet and preacher John Donne was Preacher to the Society and laid the foundation stone of the present Chapel, built in 1623. Thomas More, the author, humanist scholar and statesman, was admitted as a student in 1496 and went on to become a bencher of the Inn.James Hustler is in some pretty impressive company. The mention of John Donne being Preacher to the Society prompted a quick check of his life span to see if he could have been the preacher at the time of the sermon that comprises my book with the Hustler bookplate. No such luck, Donne died in 1631. But I did find a list of Preachers of Lincoln's Inn, a clerical office in the Church of England, whose past members include, in addition to Donne, William Warburton, Henry Wace, Derek Watson, and Edward Maltby. Of these four, William Warburton fits the timeframe for having preached at Lincoln's Inn at the time of the book's publication.