Thomas Wm. Hamilton, Alum
Columbia College 1960
In 1958, I was taking American History with Prof. Henry Graff. He assigned a term paper, which I decided to do on one of my favorite characters, Tom Paine. I went to the library to read "Common Sense," and they handed me a thick volume, which I did not understand, since "Common Sense" is a thin pamphlet. It turned out that the material I wanted was bound with three other Paine pamphlets, and his book, "Crimes of the Kings of France."
I started reading, and was struck by the old style typography. I suddenly realized I had the first edition in my hands. The other pamphlets and the book were also first editions. Across the title page of one was written in fading ink, "Presented to Columbia by her grateful son, C. L. Moore."
I have to admit, after I realized what I was holding, for a moment I wondered about keeping the book, and paying the fine. But I didn't. When I returned the book, I commented that it really should be in the rare book collection rather than being loaned out. The librarian shrugged, and tossed it in a bin with other books to be returned to the stacks.
I hope Columbia still has it, and it has finally gotten into the rare book collection.