Lot 20 of 539:
Book, letters, and CdVs from the descendants of one of Washington's spies  

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Current absentee: $250 (1 bid)

$500 - $800


Honeyman Family Archive
Various dates

1 volume, 1 photo album with 36 CDVs and 4 tintypes. 13 handwritten letters.

Lot of 19th century travel letters, photographs and ephemera belonging to the family of genealogical and travel writer Abraham Van Doren Honeyman (1849-1936). He was a direct descendant of John Honeyman (1729-1822 - "The Spy Of Washington"), the Revolutionary War spy and British informant for George Washington who gathered intelligence crucial to Washington's victory in the Battle of Trenton. Included are a family photo album containing 36 CDVs and 4 tintypes circa the 1870s. Notably the majority, if not all of the CDVs are identified by name.

There are also 13 letters written by Abraham Van Doren Honeyman to his wife Julia on his travels, most on hotel or steamer stationery. The lot also contains a 1904 copy of Honeyman's book "Bright Days in Sunny Lands." Plainfield, NJ: Honeyman and Company, 1904. 429 pp. (8vo), red cloth stamped in gilt. First Edition.


In addition to 8 photos of Abraham Van Doren Honeyman, (including one of he and his wife in Switzerland), other notable people featured are John Honeyman, the grandson of the elder John Honeyman who was a Revolutionary War spy, Hon. Alvah Augustus Clark, who served in the US House of Representatives from 1877-1881 and Col. Robert R. Honeyman, who fought in the Civil War (1st New Jersey Regiment).

12 of the 13 letters are from 1907 and there is one from 1914, when World War One was raging in Europe, wherein he writes about being in St. Petersburg where there is fighting; buses are being burned; there is a soldier on every bus; yet not quite right at where they are yet; sandstorms in the desert and everyone getting sand in their eyes; crossing the Nile in a row boat, etc. The letters read like a travel diary and recount a steamer trip in Egypt (with many interesting descriptions of the pyramids, temples,  monuments, scenery, people, etc.), Jerusalem, Kyoto, Holland, Moscow, etc.

In 1886 Honeyman began travel tours known as Honeyman's Private Tours, and by 1908 had travel itineraries that covered close to 335,000 miles.

January 1, 1876, in order to pursue his book writing, and traveling, he became proprietor and editor of the "Somerset Gazette,"; he then merged it with the "Somerset Unionist," and continued as chief owner, manager and editor of the "Unionist Gazette" from 1876 to 1891. At that time he resided at Trenton, N. J., and went on to become the owner and editor of the Trenton "Times" which was a daily newspaper. He was truly a dedicated author and traveler. There are some very exciting excerpts in his letters.

Honeyman was not only a well renowned author of travel books; he was also a lawyer and wrote numerous works on the law; and further, being a genealogist, he wrote extensive books on genealogy. There is a considerable amount of information on Honeyman; his books; his family, etc. on the web.The Honeyman family name was also spelled Honyman, Hunneman, etc. in Scotland and America.

Lot Amendments
All of the letters are in very good condition; each in it's own see-through sleeve. The spine of the photo album is perished but is just holding; the CDVs are in good condition and identified. The book is very good, with some light wear to covers and light toning.
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