[1838 and 1869, Two Autograph Letters Signed by Romeo Elton, Brown University Professor and Author, comprising a letter concerning the Newport Tower in Rhode Island and the Discovery of America and a Letter regarding the publishing of a Book on Mental Philosophy aimed especially at Women, written by Elton’s Late Wife].
Two interesting autograph letters signed by Romeo Elton, Brown University professor, author, and Rhode Island Historical Society officer.
The first is an 1838 letter to Danish antiquarian Carl Christian Rafn of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries in Copenhagen concerning the Newport Tower in Rhode Island and Norse Explorers. The second is addressed to Boston publishers Gould & Lincoln and concerns the publishing of Elton’s late wife’s book “on ‘Mental Science popularized’,” an educational work for students “especially Ladies’ colleges.”
Writing to Rafn in 1838, Elton begins by accepting election as a member of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries. A year earlier, in 1837, Rafn’s book Antiquitates Americanæ postulated the the presence of Norse explorers in Rhode Island. Elton appends a full-page postscript to his letter mentioning Rafn’s book and touching on the Newport Tower, an archaeological remnant of a Rhode Island wind mill—then believed to be much older than its actual 17th century date, and Rafn’s theory on Norse explorers to North America before Columbus:
P.S. The R.I. Hist. Soc. are about to publish another volume in which I shall insert an article on the Antiquitates Americanæ, which I have read with intense delight. Dr. Webb, or myself, will shortly send you a drawing & a description of a circular stone building in Newport, R.I. of which no one knows the time of its erection. ... I think it not improbable, it [a deed about a stone wind mill at the R.I.H.S.] may throw additional light on the discovery of America by the Northmen.
In the later, 1869 letter, Elton discusses the manuscript for a book written by his late wife, a book that “has received the commendation of literary friends in England.” Elton writes:
The author has described the various Faculties & Emotions, & the educational training adopted to their development. ...it is eminently adopted as a Manual for students of both sexes in high schools, especially Ladies’ colleges as well as for parents & all educators. ...the work may not improperly be characterized as a Macadamized road to Mental Philosophy. ... Usefulness is my principal object, & the avails of the copyright will be given for the promotion of Female Education in our own denomination.
A pair of very interesting letters touching on Rhode Island history and a female Rhode Island author.
Description: [1838 and 1869, Two Autograph Letters Signed by Romeo Elton, Brown University Professor and Author, comprising a letter concerning the Newport Tower in Rhode Island and the Discovery of America and a Letter regarding the publishing of a Book on Mental Philosophy aimed especially at Women, written by Elton’s Late Wife].
[Brown University, Providence, R.I., January 8, 1838]. pp. ALS. 4to. Bifolium with integral address leaf; remnants of red wax seal. Later 19th century biographical annotation on verso of second leaf. Folds; creasing; short closed tear at one fold; Very Good. [sold with:] [Providence, 47 College Street (Prest. Caswell’s), September 21, 1869]. pp. ALS. Sm 8vo. Bifolium. Folds; some staining on final page, not affecting legibility; Very Good.