An Intern Saved a Museum by Finding This Revolutionary War Treasure in the Attic



Once in a very long while, a rare book or manuscript discovery is so remarkable that it makes national headlines.  In 1988, for instance, an anonymous Massachusetts collector recovered an 1827 first edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane from a roadside barn. Many will also recall the 1989 story of the man who found an original broadside copy of the Declaration of Independence hidden inside a picture frame that he bought at a Pennsylvania flea market for $4 (and later sold at Sotheby’s for $2.4 million). Or the discovery of the manuscript of Lincoln’s last address found in a secret compartment of an antique table in 1984 (and later purchased by Malcolm Forbes for $231,000). Yet another “believe it or not” tale is that of the Nashville man who paid $2.50 at a thrift store in 2006 for what he thought was a worthless facsimile of the Declaration of Independence that turned out to be a rare, unrecorded copy of an 1820 print. He sold it for nearly $500,000.

Read the full story Right Here!

(Manuscript Courtesy of Morris-Jumel Mansion)


Beginning of ERB’s Planet of Poloda

The beginning of ERB’s Planet of Poloda that created his sci fi thriller BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR.


I can appreciate, in a small way, the swell time God had in creating the universe.
Burroughs’ letter to Prof. J. S. Donaghho, November 23, 1940

Thus, seventy-five years ago today, did Burroughs conclude a brief but fascinating correspondence Prof. Donaghho, an astronomer at the College of Hawaii regarding the science of the author’s new creation, a distant solar system for BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR. This is how Irwin Porges introduces it in his ERB biography.

Apparently feeling too confined in the worlds of Mars, Venus, and Pellucidar, Burroughs envisioned an entire new solar system as a setting for an adventurer from the earth. With his novelette “Beyond the Farthest Star” almost finished—it was again designed to launch a three- or four-part series—he became aware of a number of astronomical problems and sought the advice of an expert. On November 1, 1940, he began a correspondence with Professor J. S. Donoghho, also living in Honolulu, obtaining his name from a friend, Dr. Livesay. Ed wrote, “The problem is in relation to one of those very profound classics which I have been inflicting on a very tolerant world for a quarter of a century,” and explained the nature of his enclosed pencil sketch: “…a diagram of an imaginary solar system consisting of a small sun and eleven equally spaced planets. An atmosphere belt rotates about the sun at the same speed as the planets.”

To Donoghho he posed four questions concerning the orbits of the planets, their visibility at night and day, the type of ocean tides that might be produced on a certain planet, and the particular visibility to the other planets of a “sphere” about eight thousand miles in diameter. (Porges, p. 669)

Donaghho proved quite helpful to Burroughs in most respects but not quite all: the atmospheric belt would most assuredly not, in the professor’s words, “stay put.” Porges goes on to wrap up his story of their exchanges.

In the final letter of correspondence, on November 23 Ed wrote, “You have proven yourself a real benefactor to the human race of Poloda (Planet P) by lowering the tides so as to permit ocean navigation.” However, the atmospheric problem had not been solved, and Ed commented jokingly, “In the little matter of the atmosphere belt, there are two schools of thought on Poloda: One adheres to the Donaghhoan theory, while the other, hopefully anticipating inter-planetary navigation, clings stubbornly to the Borroughsian theory.” Concerning the fun Donaghho had found in the queries, Ed stated, “I find fun in the imaginings which prompt them; and I can appreciate, in a small way, the swell time God had in creating the universe.” (Porges, pp. 670-1)


“Planetary System of Omos” and “Poloda,” from the Canaveral Press book, TALES OF THREE PLANETS (1964)

Frank Frazetta cover art for the 1964 and 1969 Ace editions of BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR

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“Tarzan Slept Here” Book

Tarzan Slept Here Book Flier

For over two decades, the “small town” of Coldwater, Michigan provided a “big city” getaway for Tarzan author, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan Slept Here details the authors time spent in Coldwater, the summer home to his wife’s family, the Hulberts. A pair of Burroughs’ well-known works were penned in Coldwater: “Beyond Thirty” was imagined at Sunnyside Farm; and the fourth chapter of “Jungle Tales of Tarzan” was written while overlooking Morrison Lake.

Written by Michigan author and historian, Michael A. Hatt, and illustrated with numerous photos and artifacts of the period, Tarzan Slept Here tells of life-changing decisions made by Burroughs, in this often overlooked chapter of his life.

To order your copy of Tarzan Slept Here: Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Coldwater Connection (hardbound in dust jacket), send payment (check or money order) of $22.95 plus $4.50 shipping to:
Michael A. Hatt
898 Kelley RoadMontgomery,
MI 49255