Battles of the United States by Henry Dawson, First Edition Two-Volume Set, 1858

Dawson, Henry B. Battles of the United States, by Sea and Land: Embracing Those of the Revolutionary and Indian Wars, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War; with Important Official Documents. New York: Johnson, Fry, and Company, 1858. Quarto. First Edition, Two Volumes.

This is a fine two-volume set of Henry B. Dawson's historical accounts of the major battles of our young nation, the United States. The book covers a time span of 1775 to 1848, chronicling over seventy years of epic battles, military tactics and strategies, and biographical accounts of our Nation’s most distinguished military and naval commanders.   

Born in England in 1821, Dawson emigrated to the US as a boy and lived in New York until his death in 1889. He was a journalist and a newspaper editor who was at the forefront of the pro-temperance movement greatly preceding Prohibition. In addition to Battles of the United States, Dawson also published a controversial edition of The Federalist in 1863 that drew the ire of one original author, John Jay.

The volumes are illustrated throughout with steel engravings based on original paintings by Alonzo Chappel. The illustrations include many full-page battle scenes, portraits, frontispieces, and tipped-in engraved title pages--complete with tissue guards. Chappel (1828-1887) was an American painter who, despite little formal training, was an accomplished artist, best known for his depictions of the American Revolution and portraiture. Battles of the United States was among one of his earliest illustration commissions. The engravers, Phillibrown, W. Wellstood, and James D. Smillie, worked off of Chappel's original paintings, with direction from Chappel himself.


Published in 1858, this set has been finely rebound in quarter leather, raised bands, hand-tooled gilt, and all edges gilt. Internally, Vol. I is in near fine condition and Vol. II is very good with some mild foxing. The two volumes are housed together in a cloth slipcase with inlaid photo of the iconic image of Gen. George Washington crossing the Delaware River at the Battle of Trenton.

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