Lot 51 of 413:
Colored Cadet at West Point, 1878 1st Ed.  

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The Colored Cadet at West Point: Autobiography of Lieut. Henry Ossian Flipper, U.S.A. First Graduate of Color from the U.S. Military Academy

Flipper, Henry Ossian

New York

Homer Lee & Co.



322 pp. Engraved portrait frontispiece and portrait plate of Henry Flipper. (8vo), 19x13.4 cm (7½x5¼") maroon gilt-lettered cloth. First Edition.

Born a slave in Georgia before the Civil War, Henry Ossian Flipper (1856-1940) was appointed a Cadet at the US Military Academy during the Reconstruction era. While he was the fifth Black Cadet to enter West Point, he was the first to survive years of racial harassment and to graduate in 1877. After being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Cavalry Regiment, thus becoming the first African-American officer to command “Buffalo Soldiers” on the western frontier, he wrote this book about the personal challenges he had faced at the Academy. But his ordeal was not over. Six years later, having serving ably in the Indian Wars, Flipper was charged with embezzlement, court-martialed for “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman”, and dismissed from military service. He spent the rest of his life as a successful engineer and died in 1940 without seeing the military exoneration for which he had long fought. Another half century passed before Flipper was posthumously given an honorable discharge and presidential pardon. The scarce First Edition of this autobiography is now a cornerstone of African-American military history.

Lot Amendments

Spine strip nearly detached missing 2" at top and 1" at the bottom, rubbing to extremities with some cloth loss, both hinges cracked, spine cracked with some signatures beginning to loosen; overall poor.

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