1877 – A leather commonplace book containing manuscript training instructions, newspaper clippings, a personal note, and a printed boxing manual. Henry E. F. William.
1877 – A leather commonplace book containing manuscript training instructions, newspaper clippings, a personal note, and a printed boxing manual.
1877 – A leather commonplace book containing manuscript training instructions, newspaper clippings, a personal note, and a printed boxing manual.
1877 – A leather commonplace book containing manuscript training instructions, newspaper clippings, a personal note, and a printed boxing manual.
1877 – A leather commonplace book containing manuscript training instructions, newspaper clippings, a personal note, and a printed boxing manual.

1877 – A leather commonplace book containing manuscript training instructions, newspaper clippings, a personal note, and a printed boxing manual.

San Francisco: 1877. Notebook. Henry E. F. Williams, a San Francisco bookbinder, printer, and amateur boxer signed the front-free endpaper of this notebook in 1877. It includes:

A ten-page manuscript, dated “Oct 11th 1879” and titled “Boxing as Taught by ‘Louis Gerichton’.” It includes sections on Position, Leads, Parries, Feet Movement, Dodges, Counters, Cuts, Feints, Wrestling, and much more.

How to Box: The Manly Art of Self-Defense Made Simple and Easy by [N.D. (Ned Donnelly, a “professional boxer”)] published by Frank Tousey. Donnelly’s book was first published in London and pirated by Tousey who reprinted it multiple times in the United States until the early 1900s. Williams did not include this example’s cover or title pages when he bound it into this booklet. It includes 37 illustrations.

An article from the San Francisco Chronicle, “The Trainer of Many Champions: Interesting Reminiscences in the Career of Billy Delaney. Handled World Beaters; Started in the Eighties and is Still in the Game.”

And a personal note from Dan J. Leary that reads:

“What Delaney says . . . in reference to Tom McCormick is absolutely true. I have seen him in action several times & my conclusions have been that he was one of the greatest boxers of all times. Now I saw you box McCormick. . .. You were in my estimation on a par with Tom.”

. Very good. Item #009876

Although little has been recorded about Williams, online Census records and San Francisco City Directories indicate that he worked as a bookbinder/printer from around 1877 until 1906. His boxing teacher, “Professor” Louis Gerichton, was an instructor at San Francisco’s Olympic Athletic Club, the first athletic club in the United States and still in existence today. Californians considered Gerichton to be “invincible.” In 1875, Theodore Bauer, who as The Masked Wrestler of Paris had beaten all-comers in France began a tour of the United States but found no one willing to wrestle in New York. So, he traveled to San Francisco where Gerichton accepted the challenge. The match was highly hyped and spectators expected a quick Gerichton victory. The match did end quickly, but it was Bauer who easily prevailed. The contest created a patriotic furor and soon, cities across America began to sponsor their best fighters to face Bauer, and wrestling’s popularity exploded.

(For more information, see genealogical sites online, San Francisco City Directories, especially the one for 1881, and “Recollections of Muldoon, the Solid Man, Whistler and All Those Once Famous Masters of the Mat” by Al Spink, originally published in the 8 March 1919, edition of The Reno Evening Gazette.).

Price: $650.00

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