LEAVES OF GRASS


Dear Brooklyn Public Library @bklynlibrary
Good Evening, 
My name is Lisa and I am an Author, living in Scotland writing under the name Cassie Kennedy. Two years ago, I bought a copy of the above book in a book sale at Falkland Parish Church in Fife, Scotland. The book is a first edition of the above published in 1886 and is the ‘working man’s copy’ published in the United Kingdom. As the book was signed by a William Watson, I wanted to find out as much as I could about the previous owner. 
Reverend William Watson born in 1843 at Edderton, Ross-shire. Originally a Teacher, he taught at the Lochs from 1858 to 1860 before moving to Cross, Ness as a Schoolmaster. He then served as a Professor of Mathematics at Edinburgh University. He was appointed to Kiltearn Parish near Dingwall in 1875 at the age of 32. He and his wife Isabella had three children William, Allan and Margaret. Reverend Watson passed away in 1914, fifteen days before the beginning of the First World War. His wife, Isabella, outlived him by 20 years, and tragically endured the loss of their sons William in France in 1916 and Allan in the Soldan in 1920. Their daughter Margaret lived until the age of 49. 
Reverend Watson’s copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman was signed by him in 1883, his fortieth year. I believe this first edition was given to him as a special birthday gift. I have been unable to find out how the book came from Dingwall to Falkland. 
As I searched for William, I realised my research was so much more than a pencil signature in an old book. It is a life lived and it’s a family who endured tragedy. It is memories. Unfortunately, I’m unable to trace any relatives to return the book or locate a photograph of the Reverend. 
So, in honour of Reverend William Watson and his family I would like to offer the book as a donation to The Brooklyn Public Library, The Walt Whitman Library to support your hard work and fundraising in the local community and to remember the 39 years he served as Minister at Old Kiltearn Parish helping others. 
I’m happy to post in time for Christmas. 
Best wishes 
Lisa

#waltwhitman#leavesofgrass#donation#brooklynpubliclibrary