France: 79th Division, 1919. An archive of material from James M. Cain's estate, originally from his office, relating to the newspaper edited (and largely written) by James M. Cain, The Lorraine Cross, during his service with the 79th Division of the US Army of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War I.
James M. Cain's own copy of the final issue of The Lorraine Cross, published just prior to the division's soldiers return to the US at the end of the war.
A typed letter signed from the division's commanding General Joseph E. Kuhn to Cain, praising him and the paper's staff for their efforts.
An original broadside printed in red and blue: "Have You Subscribed to The Lorraine Cross?" printed in red and two shades of blue with a comic drawing of doughboys reading the paper.
Also included is Cain’s copy of "Seventy-ninth Division, Headquarters Troop: A Record," a summary of the division’s activities in the war, assessed mostly in a long essay, with illustrations. Cain is credited at the beginning of the text with preparing the book’s content while working as editor of The Lorraine Cross. Cain is also noted in the index at the rear as a Private First Class, hailing from Catonsville, Maryland. Published 11 years prior to Cain’s first book by a major publisher, Our Government.
Issues of The Lorraine Cross are impossible to find. To find Cain’s own copy of the last and most important issue, along with the letter and broadside, is about as much as one could wish for of Cain’s “juvenilia.”
The three ephemeral items were framed by Cain circa 1918, and hung in the author's home office in Hyattsville, Maryland until his death in 1977. Unexamined out of frame, but all Very Good plus or better, lightly toned at the edges.
Book Very Good plus, in lightly rubbed blue cloth.