[AFRICAN AMERICANA]. [LEE, Abigail Eloise Stearns]. "Prof. Charley": A Sketch of Charles Thompson by A.E.L., daughter of the Rev. William A. Stearns, D.D., late president of Amherst college. Boston: D.C. Heath & Co., 1902.

8vo (197 x 149 mm). 34pp., frontispiece (tipped in photomechanical portrait of Charles Thompson), 2 tipped in photomechanical portraits. (Some areas of light staining, pages with light edge wear.) Ex-libris pamphlet in crude boards (lacking majority of back cover of pamphlet, some corner/edge wear to boards). Provenance: Spokane Public Library (stamp on title page, stamps on ffeps indicating pamphlet no longer property of the library). VERY SCARCE: no previous auction records located.  

Charles Thompson was born in Portland, Maine, and though little is known about his early life, in around 1838 he went to live with Amherst College President Reverend William A. Stearns and his family in Massachusetts. At some point, Thompson went to work for Captain Charles Thomas Evans, spending years at sea on voyages all throughout the world including on whaling and merchant vessels. After Thompson returned, he got married and went to work at Amherst College as a janitor, a post he maintained for 40 years.

After a prolonged mental illness took the life of his wife, Thompson was left destitute, having to sell his house and other material belongings. In 1874, the daughter of the late President Stearns published this brief biographical work in order to inform the Amherst community about Thompson's fascinating life and to raise money for him to live on in his last years.

Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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