Although this American engineer designed such high-profile projects as the base for the Statue of Liberty in New York, it's as a novelist and short story writer who often illustrated his own books that he is best known. Item #47433
ALS (initials),1p, 8½" X 11", New York, NY, 25 May 1888. Addressed to "My dear Drake." Very good. On letterhead of "Francis H. Smith Constructing Engineers & Contractors," Smith writes to James F. Drake (1863-1933), bookseller with George H. Richmond and later one of the cuntry's most respected antiquarian booksellers. Smith's popularity was such that even at this date that there was a robust market for his manuscripts, for here he broaches the subject of the etiquette of selling the manuscript of a book not yet published. "Not knowing the custom in paying for M.s.s. I write to you regarding the text of 'A White Umbrella' -- If it is a proper thing to be paid for before it is published, and is according to your rules will you kindly have me a check sent for the Amt. My notion is that $100 would be about the value judging what has been paid for my things heretofore. I leave this however to you...." Signed "Faithfully & always" with his initials. "A White Umbrella in Mexico," Smith's travelogue and commentary on Mexico, was published by Houghton Mifflin and Company in 1889. In today's dollars one hundred 1888 dollars would equate to approximately $2,880. Quite interesting -- whether or not Drake purchased this manuscript is not known.