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James Longstreet to Edward Bok
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James Longstreet, the former Confederate general, asks to subscribe to Edward Bok’s “American Pantheon.” It is not clear whether “The American Pantheon” was a magazine, an idea for an article, or simply a project Bok wanted to pursue.

JAMES LONGSTREET. Autograph Letter Signed to Edward Bok, October 4, 1881, Atlanta, Ga., 1 p., 5½ x 9 in.

Inventory #22359.08       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Partial Transcript

“As a poor contribution to your valuable collection I beg favor to subscribe myself.

Very Truly Yours

James Longstreet”

Historical Background

The purpose of the correspondence between Confederate Generals and Edward  Bok was to acquire autographs, and valuable Civil War information for “The American Pantheon,” a project he was clearly excited about, but that never seemed to materialize.

James Longstreet (1821–1904) was one of the foremost Confederate General of the Civil war and the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his “Old War Horse.”  He served under Lee as a corps commander for many of the famous battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia in the Eastern Theater, but also with Gen. Braxton Bragg in the Army of Tennessee in the Western Theater.  Longstreet is known for his significant contributions in famous Confederate victories at Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chickamauga, in both offensive and defensive roles.  His most controversial service was at the Battle of Gettysburg, where he disagreed with General Lee on the tactics to be employed and reluctantly supervised the disastrous infantry assault known as Pickett’s Charge.

Edward William Bok (1863 – 1930) was a Dutch born American editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He was born in Den Helder, The Netherlands. At the age of six, he immigrated to Brooklyn, New York, USA, and became an office boy with the Western Union Telegraph Company in 1876. In 1882, he began work with Henry Holt and Company, and then, in 1884, he became involved with Charles Scribner’s Sons, where he eventually became its advertising manager. From 1884 until 1887, Bok was the editor of The Brooklyn Magazine. His 1920 autobiography, The Americanization of Edward Bok, won the Gold Medal of the Academy of Political and Social Science and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.