New York: Harper & Brothers, 1881. First edition, first printing. x, 457 pp., publisher's 6-page catalog at rear; small octavo, original brown cloth with gilt title. Rebacked preserving all original materials, covers moderately soiled and mottled, author's name (E. G. Barnhill) written in pencil on title page, contemporary owner name in ink at top of title page, text moderately toned, fairly faint shallow tideline to upper margin of last half of book, still quite presentable and near very good. Item #22785
INSCRIBED "With the compliments of the author" on front blank leaf in author's hand (not signed). Helen Hunt Jackson's exhaustively researched and impassioned catalog of abuses of Native Americans by the US government. Like her several previous published works of poetry, travel, and juvenile fiction, the author chose to publish "A Century of Dishonor" under the initials "H. H." and not to reveal her full name. The first of her books to bear her full name was the 1883 "Report on the Condition and Needs of the Mission Indians of California, Made by Special Agents Helen Jackson and Abbott Kinney to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs." Unfortunately, neither "A Century of Dishonor" nor the 1883 "Report" brought the resulting reforms she sought. In 1884 Jackson published her best-known work, a novel, "Ramona," which drew on her "Report" for background and was written in emulation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Her hope was that a compelling story structured around the suffering and strife endured by California Indians would result in the same public outcry against injustice that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had generated on behalf of the enslaved. "Ramona" was and remains popular, but was apparently so succsessful as a sentimental and romantic story "that outrage was dampened by tears." (see Davidson and Wagner-Martin "Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States," OUP, 1995). Note: Previous owner E. G. Barnhill (1894-1987) was a noted Florida photographer. Scarce. BAL 10444.