Rare Americana Books, Manuscripts & More for Sale Online

If you’re looking for first-edition books celebrating the American experience, you’ve come to the right place. At Raptis Rare Books we maintain an extensive collection of rare Americana, books, manuscripts and more. Browse through our entire collection online, use our sorting tools or search to find exactly what you’re looking for then call with any questions you may have or order online today!

  • "CANDY MAKING, AS A PASTIME FOR YOUNG FOLKS, IS NOT TO BE SURPASSED": FIRST EDITION OF AUNT BABBETTE'S HOME CONFECTIONERY

    Kramer, Bertha F.

    “Aunt Babette’s” Home Confectionery.

    Chicago and Cincinnati: Bloch Publishing & Printing Co, 1893.

    First edition of this early collection of confectionery recipes published as a companion to the author’s first book, Aunt Babette’s Cook Book, the first American Jewish cookbook to become a best-seller in 1889. Also published by Bloch Publishing Company, the oldest Jewish printing house in the United States, Aunt Babette’s Cook Book was perhaps so successful because of the extensive inclusion of non-Kosher recipes, reflecting the early assimilation tendencies of the 19th-century Reform Jewish movement.  Small octavo, original cloth. In good condition.

     

     

    Price: $3,800.00

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  • “a portrait of the Kennedy family as it looked then” : First Edition of Jim Bishop's A Day in the Life of President Kennedy; Signed by Jacqueline Kennedy

    Bishop, Jim (Jacqueline Kennedy).

    A Day in the Life of President Kennedy.

    New York: Random House, 1964.

    First edition of this Bishop’s account of a day in the life of President Kennedy. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by Jacqueline Kennedy on the front free endpaper. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Rare and desirable signed by Jacqueline Kennedy.

    Price: $2,000.00

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  • Rare First Edition of Black's A Dictionary of Law

    Black, Henry Campbell.

    A Dictionary of Law Containing: Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern.

    St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co, 1891.

    First edition of this landmark work, the most widely cited law book in the world. Thick quarto, original cloth, red leather spine label. In near fine condition with a touch of rubbing. A superior example, most scarce and desirable in the original cloth.

    Price: $4,200.00

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  • “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today": Rare Ten Volume Set of Wilson's The History of the American People; Signed by Him

    Wilson, Woodrow.

    A History of the American People: Documentary Edition.

    New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1918.

    First edition. Octavo, 10 volumes, bound in the publisher’s three quarters morocco, gilt titles to the spine, contains numerous plates and illustrations. One of 400 copies, signed by President Wilson on the limitation page.  An excellent set of this scarce edition of Wilson‘s history of the American people, first published in 1902, this expanded edition was published at the start of his second term as President of the United States. Rare.

    Price: $6,500.00

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  • First Editions of Frederick Law Olmsted's A Journey In The Seaboard Slave States; A Journey Through Texas; A Journey In The Back Country

    Olmsted, Frederick Law.

    A Journey In The Seaboard Slave States; A Journey Through Texas; A Journey In The Back Country.

    New York: Dixon & Edwards, 1856-1860, 1860.

    First edition, Octavo, three volumes, original cloth. A Journey In The Seaboard Slave states is inscribed by the author to his cousin Charles Olmsted. The cloth has been sympathetically rebacked. The remaining two volumes are in very good condition. Books inscribed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American Landscape Architecture, are rare.

    Price: $2,750.00

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  • Rare Wrapper Edition of A Journey Through Kansas; with Sketches of Nebraska

    Boynton, C.B. and T.B. Mason.

    A Journey Through Kansas; with Sketches of Nebraska: Describing the Country, Climate, Soil, Mineral, Manufacturing, and Other Resources.

    Cincinnati : Moore, Wilstach, Keys, 1855.

    Rare wrapper-bound issue of the second book on Kansas. Octavo, original wrappers, with a folding map of Nebraska and Kansas by Boynton. The pictorial advertisement for the publisher on the rear wrapper features a picture of the establishment. With “Sixth Thousand!” printed at the top of the front wrapper. In good condition with some wear to the spine and extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise case. Rare and desirable.

    Price: $1,600.00

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  • "The Allied Armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God's help have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender": Proclamation of Nazi Germany’s Surrender; Signed by Harry Truman

    Truman, Harry S.

    A Proclamation.

    Washington, D.C: May 8, 1945.

    Large three-colored broadside of Harry Truman’s Proclamation declaring the surrender of Germany. Signed in ink by Harry Truman. Also included at the lower left is the original 1945 Christmas card from the President and Mrs. Truman and at lower right, the original red, white and blue ribbon. These were presented by the President as gifts for friends. Uncommon, especially with the original Christmas card and ribbon. Matted and framed, which measures 21 inches by 28 inches.

    Price: $15,000.00

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  • Military commission Signed by President Abraham Lincoln and Simon Cameron

    Lincoln, Abraham.

    Abraham Lincoln Military Commission Signed.

    1861.

    Military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln, Washington, August 1861. Folio on vellum with vignettes. Light wear along the folds. Countersigned by Simon Cameron. Matted and framed.

    Price: $12,500.00

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  • Endorsement signed by President Lincoln with a rare carte-de-visite

    Lincoln, Abraham.

    Abraham Lincoln Signed Endorsement.

    Rare Civil War dated endorsement as president, signed  by Abraham Lincoln, dated March 9, 1865. The endorsement reads, “Allow Mrs. C. W. Frazier to visit her husband a Prisoner of War at Johnson’s Island. A Lincoln.” In fine condition. In September 1863, Captain C. W. Frazer of Company B, Fifth Infantry, was captured and delivered to the Confederate officers’ prison camp located on Lake Erie’s Johnson’s Island. His wife, Letitia Frazer, who moved from Memphis, Tennessee to Sandusky, Ohio, so as to be nearer her detained husband, wrote an impassioned letter to President Lincoln, begging for ‘the opportunity to convince him that his duty is at home and to leave the Rebel Army.’ Without hesitation the president allowed Letitia Frazer, upon her taking the oath of allegiance, ‘an interview with her husband,’ once every ten days until his release. On June 11, 1865, Frazer was paroled and returned to Memphis and his family, resuming his law practice and becoming the president of the Confederate Historical Association of Memphis. Frazer later authored a war drama entitled Johnson’s Island, a play that featured ex-Confederate soldiers as its chief actors. The signed sheet measures 2 inches by 3.25 inches. Double matted and framed with a rare carte-de-visite of Lincoln. The entire piece measures 11.25 inches by 14.5 inches.

    Price: $14,000.00

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  • "The intoxication of power rapidly sobers off in the knowledge of its restrictions and under the prompt reminder of an ever-present and not always considerate press": Inscribed by President Taft to Economist Laurence Laughlin

    Taft, William Howard.

    Address of President Taft At the Banquet of the Lotos Club, New York City, November 16, 1912.

    Washington, D.C: U.S. Govenment Printing Office, 1912.

    First edition. Octavo, original wrappers. Inscribed by the author on the front panel, “For Professor Laurence Laughlin with my compliments William H. Taft January 9, 1913.” The recipient Laurence Laughlin was an was one of the leading economists in America in the early twentieth century and helped to found the Federal Reserve System. Laughlin taught at Harvard University for five years, at Cornell University for two years, and then became the department-head of the new economics department at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1916. Notably, he appointed many economists with whom he avidly disagreed, such as Thorstein Veblen, to high positions at the university. He was a member of the Indianapolis Monetary Commission, organized in 1897, and prepared its report, one of the important documents in the history of American banking and monetary reform. In fine condition. A nice association.

    Price: $2,500.00

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  • First Edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; With an E.W. Kemble Illustration laid in

    Mark Twain) Clemens, Samuel L.

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

    New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885.

    First edition of Mark Twain’s masterpiece. Octavo, original publisher’s decorated green cloth gilt to the spine and front panel. A near fine example with just a touch of rubbing. Laid in is an original pen and ink drawing by E.W. Kemble laid in, titled in pencil in another hand, “The Pirate Chief carries off Sweet Marie,” pin-holes, light wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. With “88” on p 13 and “with the was” on p 57. As to issue points resulting from damaged plates (e.g. the dropped “5” on p 155, present here), Kevin MacDonnell concludes, “they are of no significance in determining the sequence of the printing of the sheets. All of these occur at random in relation to each other within copies of the first printing, a strong indicator of the use of multiple plates, and possibly mixed sheets within the collating process” (“Huck Finn among the Issue-Mongers,” Firsts, Vol 8, No 9, Sept 1998, pp 28-35). A very sharp example of this literary highspot.

    Price: $8,200.00

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  • Autographed Check From Amelia Earhart to Her Husband

    Earhart, Amelia.

    Amelia Earhart Signed Check.

    Signed personal check from Amelia Earhart dated December 20, 1932 payable to her husband George Palmer Putnam for $250, which measures 2.5 inches by 7.5 inches. Double-matted and framed with a sheet music cover honoring Earhart. The entire piece measures 12 inches by 18 inches, with a window in the backing for viewing Putnam’s signature.

    Price: $2,200.00

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  • Andrew Carnegie's An American Four-in-Hand in Britain; Inscribed by Him to His Attorney

    Carnegie, Andrew.

    An American Four-in-Hand in Britain.

    New York: 1899.

    Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author to his attorney on the dedication page, “G[ibson] D[avid] Packer Esq  Friend & Veteran With regards Andrew Carnegie January 18, 1903.” The recipient G.D. Packer took charge of the legal department in the 1880’s of the Carnegie Steel Company, continuing until after their merger with the United States Steel Corporation. He was a close associate and friend of Carnegie’s. In very good condition. A nice association.

    Price: $1,500.00

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  • First Edition of As We Remember Joe; Inscribed by Robert Kennedy to Bill Walton

    Kennedy, John F.; Robert Kennedy.

    As We Remember Joe.

    Cambridge, MA: University Press, 1945.

    First edition, second issue (of only 250 copies), of this tribute to the eldest of the Kennedy brothers. Octavo, original cloth, frontispiece, illustrated throughout. Inscribed by Robert Kennedy on the front free endpaper, “For Bill Walton Bob Kennedy Christmas 1945.” American journalist William Walton was a confidant of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy and played critical roles in managing the funeral and burial services of John F. Kennedy. In near fine condition.

    Price: $4,500.00

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  • "My country, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing": Autograph Transcription of classic American anthem My Country 'Tis of Thee; Hand-written and signed by lyricist Samuel Francis Smith

    Smith, Samuel Francis.

    Autograph Transcription Signed of My Country ‘Tis of Thee.

    Autograph transcription of the first four stanzas of the American patriotic song My Country ‘Tis of Thee, which served as one of the de facto national anthems of the United States before the official adoption of The Star Spangled Banner in 1931. Transcribed and signed by lyricist Samuel Francis Smith all in his hand, “My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride, From ev’ry mountainside, Let freedom ring! My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills; My heart with rapture thrills, Like that above. Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees Sweet freedom’s song; Let mortal tongues awake; Let all that breathe partake; Let rocks their silence break, The sound prolong. Our fathers’ God to Thee, Author of liberty, To Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright, With freedom’s holy light, Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King. Samuel Francis Smith.” Double matted and framed with a portrait engraving of Smith. The entire piece measures 18.5 inches by 18 inches. In near fine condition. A unique piece of American history.

    Price: $6,800.00

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  • "My name is Charles Frederick Bush, C. Fred for short": First edition of White House Dog C. Fred's Story; Inscribed by both Barbara and George Bush

    Bush, C. Fred. Edited Slightly by Barbara Bush.

    C. Fred’s Story: A Dog’s Life.

    New York: Doubleday, 1984.

    First edition of First Lady Barbara Bush’s children’s book about the adventures of White House dog C. Fred Bush. Large octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, illustrated with photographs throughout. Inscribed by Barbara Bush, “To Edna Pryn – With love and affection to a dear friend – Warmly – Barbara Bush” and President George Bush, “With love, George Bush,” and with a paw print stamp in the likeness of C. Fred’s paw. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Dust Jacket design by David Gatti. Jacket photograph by Cynthia Johnson.

     

     

     

    Price: $750.00

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  • Signed Photograph of President Calvin Coolidge

    Coolidge, Calvin.

    Calvin Coolidge Signed Photograph.

    Photograph of Calvin Coolidge by Harris & Ewing. Inscribed in the lower border, “To Frederick I. Cox, With regards, Calvin Coolidge.” Blindstamped in the lower left by Harris & Ewing. The photograph measures 8 inches by 12 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16.25 inches by 20.25 inches.

    Price: $950.00

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  • Signed Photograph of President Calvin Coolidge

    Coolidge, Calvin.

    Calvin Coolidge Signed Photograph.

    Photograph of Calvin Coolidge by Harris & Ewing. Inscribed in the lower border, “To Mrs. David H. Blair, With Regards, Calvin Coolidge.” Blindstamped in the lower left by Harris & Ewing. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 14.75 inches by 19.5 inches.

    Price: $1,250.00

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  • "Guide this nation through eternity...guide this nation through dark + stormy times": Original Campaign Speech from John F. Kennedy’s Campaign With His Notes and Corrections

    Kennedy, John F.

    Campaign Speech.

    St. Louis: 1960.

    Original John F. Kennedy campaign speech with extensive annotations in his hand. This is a reading copy of the speech Kennedy delivered in St. Louis on October 2, 1960. In all, 14 double-spaced pages, with notes in the Presidential candidate’s hand throughout. The speech begins, “Massachusetts and Missouri are closely linked in the history of this republic. Both have been cradles of American freedom.” Quarter, bound in a loose leaf folder, gilt-lettered cover.

    Price: $12,000.00

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