Cambridge, Massachusetts: Crimson Printing Company, 1935. Illustrated. First Edition. Signed by Willoughby on the title page. Also, with a great presentation on the front endpaper: “With best wishes and Christmas greetings to the entire family of Gov. & Mrs. Roger Wolcott from Mary Parker Converse. 195 High St., Denver 18, Colorado.” Mary Caroline (Parker) Converse [1872–1961], also known as Captain Mary Parker Converse, was the first woman to be commissioned by the United States Merchant Marine. In 1896, her husband Harry Elisha Converse [1847-1900], who was an avid yachtsman, purchased the Penelope (later the Yankton) and sold it to the U.S. Navy when the country entered the Spanish-American War. He was then appointed as a colonel and acting quartermaster-general of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia by Gov. Roger Wolcott, whose descendants appear to be the recipients of this book. In response to America's entry into World War I, Mary Converse joined the Boston chapter of the American Red Cross, penned an inspirational pamphlet for the military, and helped assemble soldiers' grooming kits. She also actively worked to improve conditions for prisoners of war and joined the U.S. Navy’s ambulance corps. She taught herself to read and speak Russian to allow interactions with a Russian-speaking soldiers. This book is a history of this clipper-bowed steam yacht. Originally launched in Britain as the Cleopatra, she was alleged owned briefly by actress Sarah Bernhardt before being sold to American owners and renamed first Cleopatra, then Penelope. She was acquired by the US Navy in May 1898 and renamed the Yankton. The ship saw naval service during the Spanish-American War and again during World War I undertaking convoy escort and anti-submarine tasks. Her post-war service was ignominious: after shady experience as a rum-runner she grounded and became a hulk and a swimming-pool for East Boston children. She was finally broken up in 1930. An uncommon book and this has to be one of the best and most interesting copies! 8vo., purple cloth, stamped in gilt, in dust jacket. Item #57299
Near fine (covers nice & bright; contents clean & tight); nice (tiny chip head of spine & little soil) d/j.