[Blackstone, William 1723 – 1780]. À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott; George Cruikshank. The Comic Blackstone by Gilbert Abbott À Beckett. With Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Chicago: Callaghan & Cockcroft, 1869. [xii; 13 – 376 pages] Full-page interlined frontispiece and full-page interlined plates at p. 112 and p. 288. Part II begins at p. 139, “Prologue to Part II.” This is a Chicago ante-fire imprint, dating from before the Great Chicago Fire October 8 – 10, 1871. 23 cm. Bound in brown publisher’s cloth with gilt title and publisher’s initials mark on the spine in gilt. Head and tail of the spine are bumped.
This copy is signed and dated in ink on the verso of the frontispiece by C. Samuel Hoar 1845 – 1904 as “Samuel Hoar / Jan. 1, 1870.” A lawyer, Samuel Hoar was the third child and oldest son of Ebenezer Rockwood and Caroline Brooks Hoar.
“In 1862, eager to take part in the Civil War, he enlisted without parental consent in a Maine regiment, in Portland. His father had him transferred to Company E of the 48th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, which left Massachusetts for New York on December 27, 1862, moved on to New Orleans, and, after several months of camp duty in Baton Rouge, was involved in the attack on Port Hudson. Port Hudson was surrendered July 8, 1863. Samuel Hoar took part in active fighting, conducting himself honorably. He kept a diary and wrote detailed letters home recording his military experiences and his observations on the local landscape and people. He became ill in July of 1863, was sent home in August, and mustered out on September 3. Samuel Hoar entered Harvard in 1864, graduated in 1867. He was a member of the Hasty Pudding Club and Institute of 1770 there. After graduation, he studied law with his uncle George Frisbie Hoar in Worcester, Massachusetts (1867-1868), clerked in the offices of William M. Evarts (1868-1869) and of E.R. Hoar (March-July, 1869), and then studied for a year at Harvard Law School. In 1870, he was admitted to practice law before state courts. He began his life as a professional in his father’s office in Boston. In 1871, he became a member of the bar of the United States Circuit Court, in 1890 of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. In October of 1887, he became general counsel for and a director of the Boston and Albany Railroad Company. He then divided his time between work for the railroad and his private practice. In 1896, he was made trustee, vice chair, and general counsel for the Boston Terminal Company.” (HOAR FAMILY PAPERS, 1738-1958, Concord Library.) The first edition of The Comic Blackstone appeared in 1844 with an etched frontispiece and two woodcuts. A pirated American edition appeared in Philadelphia 1844-46. Cohn, No. 1.