This book was published in 1890 and contains a beautifully inscribed signature. What a fantastic direct connection to someone from the past.
Written in pencil inside the cover, the inscription says, “Henry Dawson. Henry Clay Dawson. Clarksville, Tennessee.” Look at the flourishes on the H.
Searches for the name of Henry Clay Dawson have found several individuals from the time period, but no one definitively proven to be the former owner of this book.
There was a hog farmer / author of the same name who lived in Indiana (not Clarksville, Tennessee), with roots in Kentucky. His autobiography in the book (The Hog Book: Embodying the Experience of Fifty Years in the Practical Handling of Swine in the American Cornbelt) lists a lot of states where he has traveled or done business — none of them Tennessee.
Another individual of the same name lived in West Virginia in the 1890s, when the book pictured here was inscribed.
This beautifully written inscription says, “Presented to Robert Dyer by Park Slop Primary Class for good attendance during term 1921-1922.” Park Slope is a neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.