LANMAN, Charles (1819-1895). Bohn’s Hand-book of Washington. Beautifully Illustrated with Steel Engravings of all the Public Buildings and the Government Statuary. Washington: By Casimir Bohn, 1856.

$ 900.00

8vo., bound in 6’s (6 1/8 x 3 ¾ inches). Pictorial half title. Fine folding lithographed map (short separation along fold), steel-engraved frontispiece of “East Front of the Capital.” Original publisher’s purple cloth, front cover elaborately decorated in gilt with the Capitol building and statues, repeated in blind on back cover, all edges gilt (unevenly faded to brown, one or two pale stains, extremities slightly worn).

Provenance: From the distinguished library of George Washington Storer (1789-1864) with his manuscript ownership inscription to recto of first blank, ?his sale James D. Julia Auctioneers (2010).

First published in 1852 with varying numbers of engraved plates. This copy a later edition bound without plates. “The object of this little volume is simply to supply Strangers, who may visit the National Metropolis on business or pleasure, with all the information of a local character, calculated to be of service to them” (p. 5). “Born in 1789 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, George Washington Storer was the son of Samuel and Mary Storer. Legend has it that George Washington visited when he was a baby and stated that he hoped that Storer would be a better man than his namesake. Storer began his naval career in 1809 as a midshipman, but rose in rank to lieutenant in 1813, master-commandant in 1828, captain in 1837, and commander-in-chief of the Brazil Squadron in 1847, serving in that capacity until 1850. Following his service in the Brazil Squadron, Storer was on leave of absence from 1851 to 1854, and then, from 1855 to 1857, served as governor of the Philadelphia Naval Asylum, the first government-funded hospital and home for elderly and destitute United States sailors. In 1857 he served as president of the Naval Court of Inquiry #3, which followed an 1855 act of Congress amending "An Act to Promote the Efficiency of the Navy," under which more than 200 naval officers were dismissed from duty. Storer retired from the Navy in 1862, and died two years later, in 1864.

“Storer was appointed a captain in the Brazil Squadron in 1837 which tended to a variety of American interests in the South Pacific relating to diplomacy with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as playing an important role in enforcing the long-standing ban on American participation in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Because Brazil was the last nation which permitted the importation of slaves, Rio de Janeiro was a stop for ships transporting slaves from Africa. During Storer’s tenure as commander of the Brazil Squadron, from 1847 to 1850, the fleet, frequently working with the British Navy, captured four slave ships. Storer, as Commander in Chief of the Brazil Squadron, served under three secretaries of the Navy: John Y. Mason, William B. Preston, and William A. Graham” (Princeton University Library Finding Aids online).