Signed By LBJ’s Grandfather & Other Family Forebears

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615. [BAINES FAMILY ALBUM]. [OWEN, SARAH ELIZABETH (“LIZZIE”)]. Forget Me Not Album. New York: Published by Leavitt & Allen, [ca. 1862]. [140] pp. on various colored papers, 5 engraved plates (including frontispiece). 4to (21 x 17.5 cm), original polished black leather, spine gilt lettered and decorated, upper cover painted and with colored inlays, both covers gilt ruled, a.e.g. Spine chipped with losses at extremities and slightly separating, covers lightly rubbed and faded. Title page foxed, but otherwise interior fine. With contemporary ink presentation inscription on frontispiece, “Miss Sallie E. Owen, by William M. Baines 1862,” who later married her.

     A standard remembrance album kept by Owen, familiarly known as “Lizzie.” About thirty pages written on, mostly with signed poetry by various persons, although some pages have affixed elaborate paper cutouts, including one by Lizzie herself, whose name appears in one early in the album. Also laid in are a few ephemera, such as a lock of hair, presumably hers, given the memorial nature the album assumed.

     This album has been heavily documented by Dudley R. Dobie, who has identified many of the signatures and left several notes on the backs of laid-in bank checks, as was his typical practice. The album’s owner was born January 31, 1846, and died April 15, 1867, which was a tragically young age even for the time. She married William M. Baines, and they had one child, Myra Fleming Owen. Among the signers of this album is Joseph Wilson Baines, father of Rebekah Baines Johnson, who was the mother of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Among the more interesting entries is a poem from her mother upon her marriage. Another is a touching posthumous one by Baines to his late wife: “And art thou gone, my own sweet one, gone forever from me now.... Let me cherish fondly thy love, emulate thy virtues, and trust thy earnest intercessions before God and thy approving smiles will attend me through life, that we may meet in that land of pure delight, where no rugged billows will lash us against the shores of sorrow.” That page is directly opposite the sentiment Baines wrote her in 1863, about eighteen months before they married. Further particulars about many of these family members are available in Rebekah Baines Johnson, A Family Album (New York, 1965), published during LBJ’s only full term.


Sold. Hammer: $250.00; Price Realized: $306.25.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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