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Rare Civil War books in search of owner

They are orphans, this collection of rare and valuable Civil War books that New York City police believe were stolen from a collector or dealer. However, no one has filed a missing report with either police or any of several rare book associations that track such things.

The books turned up on Nov. 14 at the Brooklyn home of Mary Kolompar when New York's Document Fraud Squad conducted a search of the building looking for evidence of document counterfeiting and welfare fraud. The books, valued by police at $20,000, are in pristine condition and were published between 1855 and 1863. They include titles on slavery, infantry tactics and a biography of John Brown.

The books include:

"South-Side View of Slavery" by Nehemiah Adams, 1855
"The Church and Slavery," by Albert Barnes, 1857
The Public Life of Captain John Brown," by James Redpath, 1860
"The Impending Crisis of the South," by Hinton Rowan Helper, 1860
"The Cotton Kingdom," by Frederick Law Olmstead, (two volumes)1861
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," by Harriet Beecher Stowe, (two volumes) 1862
"Infantry Tactics," by Silas Casey, 1862
"Officers of Our Union Army and Navy," by Dean Dudley, 1862
"Rifle and Infantry Tactics," by William J. Hardee, 1863

Antiquities and the Arts Online has images of the book covers.

Besides the books, police also found autographed baseballs and jewelry believed to have been stolen. Kolompar has been charged with grand larceny and welfare fraud, according to police.

Anyone with information about the books is asked to contact Det. Michael McFadden of NYPD at 212-923-1188 or email,

By Linda Wheeler  |  December 1, 2009; 3:21 AM ET
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