Six Score and More: Wallowing in It with Bill Reese - I've been recently wallowing in rare books with noted bookseller Bill Reese. Not literally, but via the Rare Book School podcast of his June 15, 2016 ta...
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Abel Tompkins, (the publisher for 26 years of our "Ladies Repository,"-for 14 years, of our "Register,"-for 13 years of our "Quarterly,"-for 12 years of our "Rose of Sharon," and, during the past 25 years, of a large proportion of our Sunday School and other denominational books,) died in Boston, April 7, 1862. Born in Boston, June 22, 1810, he was reared there, and learned book binding. In 1830, he became much interested in Father Ballou's preaching, and exerted himself to get up the Sunday School in his church, and to effect improvements in the appearance of our books. In 1836, he purchased the "Ladies' Repository," and opened a small bookstore. From this period, his name is intimately connected with our literature, the encouragement of our literary talent, and the general progress of our cause in Boston and the region round about. Whatever he touched showed his correct taste and improving skill. He was one of the earliest members of the Warren street church, and among the first to discern and encourage the merit of our early writers-Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Mayo and her husband, Mrs. Jerauld, Mrs. Soule, E. H. Chapin and others. When the "Universalist Expositor," after several ineffectual efforts was abandoned, he revived it, and as the "Universalist Quarterly," continued it to his death, leaving an injunction to continue it, if possible. Yet it was never a profit, often a loss to him. The "Rose of Sharon," (1840-1852) was one of the best annuals of its time, and did more than any other work, to introduce favorably to the outside world, Universalists and their writings. He was ever planning and working to exalt, improve and extend a knowledge of the character of our denomination, and his first thought in undertaking any publication, seemed to be whether it would be creditable and usefu1 to our cause. Yet admirable as was his denominational spirit, he was equally estimable for his public and social, and beloved for his domestic and private life. He honored nobility of soul, and goodness, scholarship, and genius of whatever sect-whatever was beautiful in nature or art, or excellent in humanity. Thus intelligent, genial, and affectionate-forbearing, generous and charitable-he died as he lived, a Universalist; and those who knew and loved him, in their admiration of the man, and sorrow at his death, forget (if they knew) that he had any of the imperfections and frailties of our common humanity.Coincidentally, the sender of the letter with the Tompkins cameo was Rev. Otis A. Skinner, whose biography is also listed an a Universalist Register obituary page. Nothing on the recipient of the letter, though--Rev. J.P. Weston of Waterville, Maine.
In 1848 he located in the old Lyceum Building, and connected a book bindery with his store. In 1852 the store was removed to the Arcade, and in 1859 to the Hotchkiss Block. Shortly afterward the store was removed to the present Ells Building, on Bank Street, where the business was carried on by Mr. Patton until 1883. In that year it was sold to George N. Ells, who conducted The Haunt under his name until his death a few years ago. The George N. Ells Company was then organized and the business has been carried on under its management since the death of Mr. Ells.A good source for information on William Patton and the history of Waterbury, Connecticut was found in the book, The Town and City of Waterbury, Connecticut, from the Aboriginal Period to the Year Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-Five, edited by Joseph Anderson, D.D.
Ernestine Schumann-Heink (15 June 1861 – 17 November 1936) was a celebrated operatic contralto, noted for the size, beauty, tonal richness, flexibility and wide range of her voice.Opera fans will appreciate all that. I like some opera, but I'm far from being an aficionado, so I had to consult the San Diego Opera's Operapaedia online (because they turned up in a search) to learn about just what a contralto was. Quoting from the Operapaedia Glossary:
The lowest of the female voice-types, this is an extremely rare bird and true contralto roles are few and far between.I'm guessing the Board of Education had something to do with a concert for the rare bird, Schumann-Heink, and was trying to bolster attendance at her shows with the admittance cards (what else could the be for?). Coincidentally, at the time of this billhead, Schumann-Heink was living on about 500 acres near San Diego. So maybe she was touring California giving concerts and San Francisco was one of the stops. But why the Board of Education needed 8,000 admittance cards for her show was another mystery.
...managers of the San Diego Panama-California Exposition declared March 22, 1915 "Schumann-Heink Day." Some 6,000 schoolchildren sang "America" before the singer at the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion. Mayor Charles O'Neall presented her with an honorary citizenship award. In return, she promised to give a free concert at the Exposition in June.
On the evening of June 23, the eagerly-awaited event occurred. For the over 27,000 people at the Pavilion, it was the event of the year. A San Diego Sun reporter reached for the limits of hyperbole: "The greatest organ, the greatest voice, the greatest chorus, the greatest outdoors on earth, she's golrious (sic)." At the diva's request, attendants allowed children under 16 to enter the grounds free.