Three Autograph Letters Signed from Consul Amos Perry to William Whitwell Greenough, one describing the critical response to his 'Carthage and Tunis, Past and Present', the others about Rhode Island Historical Society and Boston Public Library.

Amos Perry (1812-1899) of Providence, US Consul at Tunis to the Barbary States, 1862-1867, and author [William Whitwell Greenough (1818-1899), Boston merchant, co-founder of American Oriental Society]
Publication details: 
First and second letters both from Providence, Rhode Island. 5 February 1869 and 24 April 1880. Third Letter: on letterhead of the Office of the Secretary, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence; 18 August 1880.
SKU: 12142

The first and third items good, on lightly-aged paper; the second letter brittle, on high-acidity paper, with slight loss to the corner of one leaf, affecting a few words, but not the sense, and a few repairs with archival tape. Letter One: 2pp., 12mo. 31 lines of text. Perry begins by asking when the 'class meeting' is 'to come off'. He then informs Greenough that 'Poor Vose has paid his last debt', and that he has received a reply to his letter of condolence from Mrs Vose. He complains that he has 'not heard a word from Little, Brown & Co. in respect to my book. Those papers - the Advertiser & the Transcript are slow in bringing out their notices. My book evidently does not take well in Boston.' He reminds Greenough that he still owes $5 for his copy. 'I am not in haste. But sometimes it is better to speak of such little matters rather than let them drag on.' Letter Two: 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. 82 lines. Headed by Perry 'Confidential'. He is enclosing a letter to 'draw' Greenough 'out' on the subject of the Rhode Island Historical Society, of which he is Secretary: 'We want here not only light but a manifestation of interest. You are a representative man and your counsel will have great weight here.' He describes the changes in the Society during his seven-years' tenure of teh post of Secretary. 'If I succeed in bringing order out of confusion it will be a feather in my cap. If I fail, it will not be from negligence or indifference.' He considers that the Society is 'in a hopeful way, though it has not passed its day of small things [last four words underlined]. It is only about two years since we began keeping our Cabinet open. This whole movement began with me though it is not to end with me. I hope to see some of the wealth of our City and State drawn into our treasury to carry forward our work'. He urgers Greenough, who knows 'how to hit our case', to remind 'Rhode Islanders t they have a history worthy of being written in letters of gold, etc. etc. Speak of Williams, Channign &c: - Advise that our most valuable documents be kept under lock and key to be showed only by our office of the Societ, & that before our cataloguing is begun our most important books should be arranged on shelves as tehy are to remain. The principles to be observed in cataloguing are illustrated by Jewett who by the way went from here, and by Cutler. Give us some idea of the cost of cataloguing as carried out by Cutler, & give us a copy of Jewett's catalogue & the supplement if you can spare them. Speak of the importance or rather the necessity of having our effects catalogued. Neglect tends to confusion and loss. No society that means to live can afford to do with [sic] a catalogue. Preach to us & we will call you a good fellow - Please burn this note at once. [last two words underlined]' Letter Three: 2pp., 8vo. 50 lines of text. Regarding the 28th Annual Report of the Boston Public Library, 'the copy addressed by yourself to me is at my house, and the copy for this library is in its place'. 'Your library is immense, and to run it must tax the ingenuity of its officers and employes [sic] [...] You give Dr. Green a high seat in the temple of honor. I have hitherto known him only as an indefatigable worker. You show him to be rich and generous. His contributions to our society are very valuable.' Perry is 'still hard at work' and has 'no time for recreation'. He describes the work of organising the library of the R.I.H.S. 'We are filling gaps of every kind as fast as we can.' He addresses a bibliographical query to Greenough. 'Rider is the only man here to lend me any efficient support. He calls in for an hour or two once or twice a week. His knowledge of books - of their value and contents, and his skill and aptness in overcoming difficulties are of great advantage to me and to the society.' He invites Greenough to give a paper later in the year.