1887 (two First Edition copies, 1150 pages) and one 1890 (733 pages) -- Three copies of Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising by Rev. William J. Simmons. (The 1887, 1st edition, WorldCat search locates only 50 copies of the 1st edition worldwide.) The book was issued by subscription only. Very few known copies exist, very hard to find vintage copies. With an introductory sketch of the author by Rev. Henry M. Turner. A rare copy of a classic primary source of biographical information on early, notable African-Americans. The work includes biographies of Frederick Douglass, Crispus Attucks, Alexander Dumas, Henry McNeal Turner, Nat Turner, and scores of others. A scarce piece of African-Americana. Published by Geo.M Rewell & Co. The book is in fair condition. The owners' name is inscribed inside the cover of the 1890 volume "Mrs. Rosa Carter", Springfield Ohio. Both volumes illustrated throughout with numerous black-and-white portraits, with about 75 illustrations in the 1890 edition and about 125 illustrations in the 1887 edition.
DEDICATION: "This volume is respectfully dedicated to the women of our race, and especially to the devoted, self-sacrificing mothers who molded the lives of the subjects in these sketches, laboring and praying for their success. It is sent forth with the earnest hope that future mothers will be inspired to give special attention to the training of their children, and thereby fit them for honorable, happy and useful lives."
From the Preface: "I have noticed in my long experience as a teacher, that many of my students were woefully ignorant of the work of our great colored men -- even ignorant of their names. If in a slight degree I shall here furnish the data for that class of rising men and women, I shall feel much pleased. I wish the book to show to the world -- to our oppressors and even our friends -- that the Negro race is still alive, and must possess more intellectual vigor than any other section of the human family, or else how could they be crushed as slaves in all these years since 1620, and yet to-day stand side by side with the best blood in America, in white institutions, grappling with abstruse problems in Euclid and difficult classics, and master them?"