A rare leather-bound book that played an influential role in America's early history could bring a windfall for a soldier training for his second tour in Iraq.My copy of the Federalist Papers, bought in college, is well worn and I bought mine (in paperback) for about $7 also. If my copy got $.50, I would be dumbstruck.
Indiana National Guard Capt. Nathan Harlan was a high school junior when he paid $7 for a 1788 first edition of volume one of "The Federalist" — a two-volume book of essays calling for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Harlan, a 35-year-old from Granger, Ind., said he always thought his find might be worth about $500, not the thousands it could fetch when it's sold online Tuesday by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.
"I'm really hoping it goes for $100,000, but I'm not holding my breath," he said, chuckling.
The divorced father of three was 16 when he bought the 227-page book in 1990 after his mother spotted it among book stacks as they browsed at a South Bend, Ind., flea market.
Harlan's high school history class happened to be discussing "The Federalist" — also known as "The Federalist Papers" — that same week, so he knew the book was special.
Just to put my hands on the first edition would be spectacular, let alone being able to purchase it.