Today’s mail was full of treasure. I bought some really inexpensive stamps. These came. I way under paid for these. This is nice. But the real treasure was a book. The main character in our first history book absolutely detested Jonathan Perkins Weethee. That makes Weethee a person of interest. (Doesn’t that sound all detective-ish?) We already own one of his books. Does the word “turgid” have meaning for you? But we read lots and lots of poorly written books, so I’m used to the suffering.
I found this one on ebay and was the only bidder. It is called The Eastern Question in its Various Phases. It’s a huge book, about eight by ten inches and 638 pages. I get the same impression of this one as I did of the other. The man did not know when to stop writing nonsense. But, dear heart, this is true treasure. Weethee, a geologist by trade and a college president, was a controversial figure. Many saw him as abusive. His books are scarce to rare. We now own two of them.
I learned years ago to thumb through the pages of every used book I buy. Sometimes you find things: four leaf clovers; bits of paper, money, letters, photos. Once I found a letter signed by Henry Clay. Sure enough I found something in Weethee’s book, a promissory note from the 1890s. This is “right up my alley” cool. I don’t know what I’ll do with it, other than put it in the box of “cool beans” stuff, none of which fits with any of my collections, but all of which are on the neat-o side.
Now, on to the stamps. The most interesting of the stamps I bought is a small group of inflation era stamps in multiples. A block of four of the 10 Milliarden (Billion) Green is cancelled with the Holland-South America Line ship’s cancel. Think of that. It took forty billion marks to mail whatever was sent. There’s a block of fifteen One Billion Mark stamps, with clear and appropriate date cancellations. There’s a block of fifty Five Billion Mark stamps with Railroad cancellations. Fun stuff.