FOLLOWING ABRAHAM LINCOLN 1809-1865
by Wall, Bernhard
Set #1 of 76 (Weber, pages 38-41). Complete set of 85 volumes, plus one of the two ancillary volumes and a portfolio of ephemera related to the books and/or Abraham Lincoln. There are 1035 etchings total, with some volumes having as many as 16 plates and others as few as 8, while most had 10 or 11. As this set was issued over an 11-year time period, complete sets are very difficult to find (Lincoln National Life Foundation, renamed The Lincoln Museum, Harvard, University of Chicago, and the Library of Congress have complete sets of 85). As Weber notes "Though Wall generally lists the number of copies, he seldom reached more than half that goal. Hence, the use of those data are more academic than factual"(24). There is some doubt whether or not all 76 sets were completed. Each of the books are dedicated to different people, including Henry E. Huntington, Carl Sandburg, and Stephen Vincent Benet. Volume 60 and volume 85 are indexes. Wall had originally envisioned a series of only 15 volumes, then he felt the series would end at 60 (hence the index), but began what he termed a supplemental series which ultimately concluded at 85. There were two ancillary volumes, one of which is present here, that contain two etchings of Wall, a tipped-in newspaper clipping and other related materials. In addition to the 85 volumes, there is a portfolio of ephemera having to do with Abraham Lincoln and/or the set of books. There are 14 brochures of tourist information about various Lincoln-related sites. There are five letters to or from George Lee Williams and two photostats of a document, dated October 25, 1952, from Mr. Williams giving information about the set and how he acquired it from Mr. Merl Kimmel in 1950. The most important item in the packet of ephemera is the ancillary volume. It has two more etchings by Wall and an article from the Los Angeles Times dated September 5, 1950, about Bernhardt Wall. Attached to this volume, by two paperclips, is a handwritten note "George - Found this right after you left in the desk drawer with some other stuff. Merl. Also forgot to tell you, - your set is #1, & the only set ever made." (not true as at least two complete sets have been located).