Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera. Louise Catherine Hartmann, Laurence.
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera
Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera

Autograph Grand Tour Diary with TransAtlantic Steamship Ephemera

Very Good. Item #7069

Unpublished autograph travel diary in a small notebook. May-June 1901. One commercially-produced octavo notebook (19cm x 12cm) of 48 unlined pages, sewn gatherings, all pageblock edges gilt. Covered for preservation in black plasticized faux leather, with a stylized vintage label—Tagebuch [Journal]—painted in silver, by an amateur hand, on the front. The same party replaced the commercial endpapers with handmade fiber paper, and restitched the gatherings while sewing in the stiff cards of steamship ephemera.

A recent previous owner of the material has included five photocopies of pertinent material, with notes implying direct conversation with Louise Hartmann. N.B.: these are recent photocopies for background, not contemporaneous vintage photographs.

The re-covering and restitching efforts are amateurish, but endearing; “rebinding” is too fancy a word for the results. The faux leather has been attached with glue and handled awkwardly at corners; the endpapers are inappropriate; the stitching is correct but so robust that it has cracked off the gutter edge of several of the stiff cards it was meant to retain. All of the intended cards appear to be preserved, but four of their leaves are now detached.

The autograph diary recounts the first travel abroad, in 1901, of Louise Catherine Hartmann, later Laurence (1883-1970). She was the tenth and youngest child of Bernhard and Anna Hartmann of Belleville, Illinois. He was a successful German-born brewer, prominent in the Belleville-centered brewing and Germanic community. Louise convinced her parents to take her with them on a pilgrimage to the Old Country in 1901. They debarked in Cuxhaven-Bremen and then traveled on to Hamburg, Cologne, Paris, and Basel by the end of June.

Persistence was perhaps not Louise's strong suit, as her entries end abruptly on 29 June, although the trip would last at least until the end of October. She writes at length—though not in perceptive detail—about the first departure and train travel from Belleville to St. Louis, then to Detroit and on to New York City. Clearly she was wide-eyed and happy to be traveling, and self-consciously wished to retain all her memories, but her actual notes are rote recollections of touristic phraseology.

Two linguistic features are interesting. First, Louise's spelling is uncertain in ways that indicate the thinness of the education available to a businessman's daughter at the turn of the 20th century: "dinning" for "dining"; "their was little to see," etc. Second, and much more interestingly, she unselfconsciously reveals the preconceptions and perspectives of a German heritage and Germanicized education despite clearly being a native speaker of idiomatic American English. The Hudson River is "the American Rhine." When she's tired she takes a "knap." We read the following amusingly transnational statement from a daytrip outside of Paris: “Versailles was built by Ludwig the XVI . . . we visited the palace of Maria Antoinette called the Petit-Trianon. This summer palace was built for the Duchess Dubbary by Ludwig fifteenth.” Francophiles may arch a brow at that.

There is a hint of a sentimental intrigue: one young "Dr. Lesinsky" pays Louise some attention aboard ship, and gets several discreet mentions; but, just as the steamer approaches Cherbourg, they quarrel. (Her term.) Family life goes nearly unmentioned, with one jolly exception, from that same crossing to Europe: "Thursday, May 29. Was awakened by a great tumult. Papa had lost his fake teeth and after having searched a half an hour we found them in his bed."

The ephemera are preserved from that trip and a later trip in 1903—four crossings altogether: two going east, two returning west. They comprise menus, music programs, and a passenger list, as follows, in the order of binding presentation:

Hamburg-Amerika Linie von New York nach Bremen
Postdampfers “Pennsylviana”
--Menu 18 Mai 1901 mitt Musik-Programm
--Concert-Programm [24 May: Louise Hartmann named as performer]
--Menu 23 Mai 1901 mitt Concert-Programm der Kapelle des Postdampfers “Pennsylviana”

Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen
Dampfer “Grosser Kurturst”
--Dinner [Menu] 9 June 1903

Hamburg-Amerika Linie
Schnelldampfer “Auguste Victoria”
--[Dinner Menu mitt] Concert-Programm 13 October 1903

Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen
Schnelldampfer “Kaiserin Maria Theresia”
--Lunch [Menu] 29 October 1901
--[Dinner Menu] 29 October 1901 mitt Concert-Programm

Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen
Doppelschrauben-Schnellpostdampfer “Kaiserin Maria Theresia”
--Passenger List 22 October 1901 [author listed as Fräulein Luise Hartmann with her parents].

Price: $750.00