[New Haven? New York? Frontispiece and portraits by F. Michelin of New York, . Bound in original black pebbled leather, ornate gilt designs on boards and spine, raised spine bands, gilt spine title [light rubbing, ex-library marks]. Boards decorated with gilt image of trees, Yale buildings in the background; "Edward W. Seymour, Class of 1853" engraved in gilt within the scene. Decorative title page, frontis plate lithograph of Yale College, 116 lithographic portrait plates [14 of administration and faculty, about 102 of students], each with protective tissue guard. Each portrait followed by a blank leaf, most of which contain the signature and sentiments penned by that student. Additional plate illustrations: New Haven from the South East, Yale Library, Public Square New Haven, Undine list, Presentation of the Wooden Spoon depicting a Coat of Arms. A handful of lithographic illustrations of monuments of deceased students are laid in loosely among the pages. "Song for Presentation Day, June 15, 1853" near the end of the book, with additional autographs of students from other classes interspersed throughout. A cut-out photographic portrait illustration of student John H. Barrett, once glued to a blank page now loose [apparently left out of the published book]. Most lithographs have imprint of F. Michelin, some have names of engravers. Scattered foxing [generally to protective sheets], Very Good.
Before 1852, Yale students bought their own autograph books, and exchanged daguerreotypes with one another. In 1852 C.T. Seropyan of that graduating class arranged for each student to procure a lithographic portrait of himself, which was reproduced with his signature and bound in an autograph book. F. Michelin and E. Valois were the chief artists employed for the task. Autograph books in this format were issued for only the years 1852-1855; 1856 marked the introduction of photographs for the yearbooks. [Hotchkins, FOUR YEARS AT YALE BY A GRADUATE OF '69, New Haven: 1871, pp. 474-475.]
This Book's owner, Edward Woodruff Seymour [1832-1893], was the eldest child of the Hon. Origen S. Seymour, who graduated from Yale in 1824 and became Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Edward was a lawyer in Connecticut with his father; member of the Connecticut House of Representatives for two terms; member of the Connecticut State Senate in 1876; and Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court 1889-1892.
Officers and faculty with portraits: Rev. Theodore D. Woolsey, President, with autograph; Jonathan Knight MD, Surgery; Rev. Jeremiah Day; James L. Kingsley, Latin & Literature; Hon. Clark Bissell, Law; Rev. Eleazar T. Fitch, Divinity; Rev. Nathaniel W. Taylor, Theology; Chauncey A. Goodrich, Pastoral; Denison Olmstead, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, with autograph]; Rev. Noah Porter, Moral Philosophy & Metaphysics, with autograph; Thomas A. Thacher, Latin & Literature; B. Silliman; Anthony D. Stanley, Mathematics; James Hadley, Greek & Literature, with autograph.
The autograph book contains portraits of most of the graduates of the Class of 1853. Classmates' portraits, most with sentiments and autographs [many quite lengthy], are: William P. Aiken, Joshua Anderson, William F. Arms, Henry H. Babcock; Theodore Bacon, Benjamin Franklin Baer, George William Baldwin, Wm. F.T. Bartlett [no autograph], Henry S. Bennett, Hiram Bingham, Jr., Albert H. Bishop, William Bissell, J. Warren Blackly Jr., Henry J. Bliss, H.B. Bond, Henry R. Bradley, E.P. Bradstreet, W.C. Brewster, Charles Brooks, David W. Brooks, Chas. W. Bunn, Hudson Burr, Samuel M. Capron, Julius Catlin Jr., Lynde A. Catlin, Edson L. Clark, Oliver E. Cobb, Joshua Coit [no autograph], Thomas F. Davies, Wiliam S. Denniston, John C. Douglass, Andrew C. Dulles, Daniel R. Empson, Frank W. Fellowes [no autograph], Joseph S. French, Randal Lee Gibson [no autograph], Wm. Thacher Gilbert, James M. Gillespie, Wm. H. Gleason, D.A. Goddard, J.R. Goodrich, J.E. Greene, Alfred Growel, T. Dwight Hall, J. Hamilton, Charles Harding, Edward Harland, Augustine Hart, Austin Hart, A.F. Heard, Cornelius Hedges, Wm. L. Hingman, J.H. Hogan [no autograph], Theodore James Holmes, Jesse W. Hough, Henry T. Hoyt, Wm. M. Hudson, Thos. M. Jack [no autograph], George A. Johnson, J. Stoddard Johnston, Jno. A.W. Jones, Albert E. Kent, George W. Kline, Sherman W. Kuevals Jr., Robert McLord, J. McCormick, Charles G. McCully, H.H. McFarland, J. Wayne McVeagh [no autograph], T.P. Nicholas, Joseph Olds, George Palfrey, James L. Penniman, Benj. K. Phelps, Samuel A. Law Post?, Henry C. Robinson, Edward W. Seymour, George Shiras, A. Eugene Skelding, George W. Smalley, Joel S. Smith, S.B. Spooner, Henry Putnam Stearns, Alex D. Stowell, Luther G. Tarbox, Chas. L. Thomas, John G. Thomas, S.H. Tobey, Ch. Townsend, Abner L. Train, Kinsley Turning, Richard Waite, Edward Walden, Jos. Warren, George H. Watrous, W.R. Webb, J.A. Welch, Theodore Weston [no autograph], Chas. Henry Whittelsey [no autograph], Andrew Dickson White, James Morris Whiton, Andrew Jackson Willard, William L. Williamson, Augustus Brevoort Woodward, Robert Young.
Three lithographs of monuments of dead students: A. Franklin Harwood, E.S. Marvin, James B. Hyde.
Members of the secretive Skull and Bones Society include George William Baldwin, Thomas McKinney Jack, Thomas Frederick Davies, Henry Harper Babcock, George Asbury Johnson, Samuel Mills Capron, Joshua Coit, William Henry Gleason, Alfred Growel, Albert Farley Heard, Albert Emmett Kent, Andrew Dickson White, James Morris Whiton, Andrew Jackson Willard. [Facebook page of "Skull & Bones - the NWO core group".]
Biographical notes on some of the graduates: Andrew D. White, co-founder and president of Cornell University, ambassador to Germany; George Shiras, Jr., Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Randall Lee Gibson, Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, lawyer in New Orleans, Congressman and U.S. Senator; Isaac Wayne MacVeagh, 36th U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Ambassador to Italy and Turkey. Henry Roswell Bradley, Connecticut lawyer; Town Clerk, Treasurer, Registrar, and Judge of Probate of Southington; Hon. Henry Cornelius Robinson, prominent lawyer in Connecticut, one of the leading counsel of the "Consolidated" road; director of New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, Connecticut Fire Insurance Company, and the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company; John Andrew Williamson Jones, lawyer, private secretary to Gov. John W. Geary of the Kansas Territory, lawyer and land agent in Minnesota, Clerk of the Adjutant General and the Provost Marshal of Minnesota. William Rankin Webb, lawyer in Kentucky, 1856 presidential elector, member of cavalry in the Confederate Army; William M. Hudson, Acting Assistant Surgeon of the US Army; Richard McLord, Surgeon of the Board of Enrollment of the 3d Congressional District of CT; George W. Smalley, Washington correspondent of the London times and London correspondent of New York Tribune; George W. Watrous, president of the "Consolidated" road. Cornelius Hedges, lawyer, miner, explorer of the area known as Yellowstone National Park; Theodore James Holmes, minister, teacher at the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, chaplain of the 1st Connecticut Cavalry during Civil War; Benjamin Kinsman, lawyer and politician from New York; Samuel Mills Capron, Connecticut educator and principal of Hartford High School and Hopkins Grammar School; Timothy Dwight Hall, lawyer, real estate dealer and scientific farmer, died early as an invalid; Luther Gould Tarbox, teacher, principal of Nashville High School, member of Nashville Board of Education; Benjamin Franklin Baer, Pennsylvania lawyer, Union Army Captain of a company of the 122d Regiment PA Volunteers; Edward Harland, lawyer, Connecticut State Legislator; Union General. Item #37057