Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 212



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 212

the Chief Executive, but of the Congress and the Secretary of the Treasury. This may explain my want of special information in regard to the Confederate States Bonds. Generally, I may state that the Confederate Government cannot have preserved a fund for the redemption of its Bonds other than the cotton subscribed by our citizens for that purpose. At the termination of the War, the United States Government, claiming to be the successor of the Confederate Government, seized all its property which could be found, both at home and abroad. I have not heard of any purpose to apply these assets to the payment of the liabilities of the Confederacy, and, therefore, have been at a loss to account for the demand which has lately been made for the Confederate Bonds.

Always the soul of courtesy itself, and most obliging in granting the numerous requests which came to him for his autograph, William Dean Howells finally turned; and Bok always considered himself fortunate that the novelist announced his decision to him in the following characteristic letter:

  The requests for my autograph have of late become so burdensome that I am obliged either to refuse all or to make some sort of limitation. Every author must have an uneasy fear that his signature is “collected” at times like postagestamps, and at times “traded” among the collectors for other signatures. That would not matter so much if the applicants were always able to spell his name, or were apparently acquainted with his work or interested in it.
  I propose, therefore, to give my name hereafter only to such askers as can furnish me proof by intelligent comment upon it that they have read some book of mine. If they can inclose a bookseller’s certificate that they have bought the book, their case will be very much strengthened; but I do not



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