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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 25, June 21, 2009, Article 24

ANOTHER GREAT FLEA MARKET FIND: THE FEDERALIST PAPERS

It's not numismatic, but bibliophiles will appreciate this tale of another fortunate flea market book purchase. Thanks to David Gladfelter for forwarding the link. -Editor
A soldier's rare leather-bound first edition copy of volume one of "The Federalist" sold for $80,000 at auction Tuesday, bringing him an unexpectedly large profit before his upcoming second deployment to Iraq.

Indiana National Guard Capt. Nathan Harlan was 16 when he paid $7 for the 1788 book that's the first part of a two-volume book of essays calling for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Nineteen years later, his purchase at a South Bend flea market netted the divorced father of three a more than 11,000-fold return.

Harlan, 35, of Granger, said he finished his training at Camp Atterbury on Tuesday in time to log onto Heritage Auction Galleries' Web site and watch final bidding on the book that until recently he had kept in a shadowbox.

"I was yelling as the bids were coming in it was like watching the Super Bowl for me," Harlan said. "The outcome was way beyond my expectations."

Harlan will leave this summer for up to a year in Iraq with the 38th Combat Aviation Brigade. He said he likely won't receive the money from the auction until he is on his way overseas.

The two-volume set of "The Federalist" also known as "The Federalist Papers" was published months after the Constitution was drafted in September 1787 in Philadelphia.

Its collected essays helped rally support for ratifying the document that provided the federal government's framework, said Mark Dimunation, chief of the rare book and special collections division at The Library of Congress.

The essays were penned by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, all of whom used the same pseudonym to focus attention on their pro-ratification arguments.

"It turned out in retrospect to be a very important summation of the political thought of that period, and one of the great political documents that's come out of America," Dimunation said.

To read the complete article, see: Indiana soldier's rare `Federalist' copy nets $80K (http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-national/
20090615/US.Soldier.Book.Auction/)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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