Boston: Crosby, Nichols and Company, 1858. First Edition. Collection of short essays and musings, about half of which were first published in various periodicals. Among the topics laid under Baker's microscope are the rise of Mormonism ("The mistake made by our Government was that it did not nip in the bud what has now bloomed out into a noxious flower, sending far and wide its noxious perfume, and defying the whole power of the Government to root up and destroy it"); Kansas ("What dreadful images of murder, robbery, arson and border ruffianism are called up by the word Kansas"); the discovery of gold in California ("It has afforded a delusive appearance of prosperity, and enabled us to pay our balances with England, which, since the tariff of 1846, have been almost always against us"); free trade ("produces nothing; it makes nothing"); and Southern protectionism, in favor of which the author strongly argues. FLAKE/DRAPER 258. Small octavo (20cm.); publisher's brown blind-embossed cloth, gilt-lettered spine, yellow glazed endpapers; 287pp. Light shelf wear including shallow chips at spine ends, spine slighty cocked and gilt a bit dulled, else Very Good and sound. Inscribed and signed by the author on front flyleaf: "J.K. Porter Esq / with the respect of J.L. Baker / Boston June 21 1859." Twenty years later Porter presented this volume to the Free Public Library of Jackson, N.H., with their exlibris and gift bookplate to front pastedown and free endpaper.