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  • Softcover. Condition: Fine. Original Manuscript. Large octavo. Measuring 10.5" x 7". Hand-painted illustrated stiff wrappers with later hand stitching. Four leaves with mounted manuscript poems, plus four additional leaves of original painted botanical illustrations. Within a plain paper wrapper titled in manuscript. The original stitching, long gone, has been replaced and aside from one tiny nick on the front wrap, in near perfect condition. A beautiful holiday memento executed circa 1884 by a distinguished American botanical artist. Harriet Stewart Miner was the author and illustrator of *Orchids, The Royal Family of Plants* (Boston, 1885), the first American color plate book on the subject, noted by Bennett as "very striking. the ranking work on the subject." This booklet includes finely rendered gouache flower portraits of poppies on the cover, and with an illustration inside of a hellebore inset on a miniature winter landscape; violets and hepatica; a group including clover, buttercup, and daisy; and a deep red rose. Additionally a sprig of mistletoe appears on the rear wrap. The illustrations are used to illustrate handwritten manuscript poems which are tipped onto larger leaves from an interesting group of Miner's associates: Reverend Ovid Miner, upstate New York Congregationalist Minister, abolitionist, conductor on the Underground Railroad, and close associate of Frederick Douglass; Professor Charles Wesley Bennett, educator and archaeologist who secured the Ranke Library for the newly founded Syracuse University; Reverend Minot J. Savage, a controversial Unitarian Minster who was the first prominent American clergyman to write extensively reconciling Darwinian evolution with religion; and the poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier, whose eight line excerpt from his poem "The Clear Vision" is written in his characteristic purple ink. A beautifully conceived and completed project by an important woman botanical illustrator, with her illustrations accompanying poems by notables of her time. Unique.