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.

    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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  • Rare Salesman Dummy of Mark Twain's First Edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Mark Twain) Clemens, Samuel L.

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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

    First edition of Twain’s masterpiece, Salesman’s Dummy Issue. Octavo, original publisher’s decorated green cloth gilt to the spine and front panel. With frontispiece portrait of Twain inserted at front (with the imprint of the Heliotype Printing Co., but the cloth is not visible). This book was specially printed to have a selection of text pages, so it is common for the recto of one page to have a certain page number, and the page number on the verso to jump by several pages. Because of this, this book only has some of the issue points that a copy of Huckleberry Finn would have: the title-leaf is integral, with the “1884” copyright date (this is the true first state, and it only appeared in the salesman’s dummy); page [13] lists “Him and Another Man” as being on page 88 (first state); “Huck Decided” on page [9] (first state). The Silas Phelps illustration on page 283 has a straight fly, but the leaf is integral with page 287 printed on the verso. Page 57 was not printed for this edition. Two samples of the spine were affixed onto the front pastedown – one is missing, the other, the spine for the sheep binding, is present. Publisher’s full green cloth, boards decoratively stamped in gilt and black (the front board is identical to the design of the cloth version, the rear board shows the design of the spine of the cloth edition). Plain spine is damaged and torn, boards are toned and worn, with a bump to the fore-edge of the front board, front free endpaper is nearly detached, and has offsetting from the spine samples, the gutter facing the first blank is cracked. Contemporary gift inscription and some offsetting on first blank, tissue guard lacking on frontispiece portrait, text leaves and frontispiece are soiled and toned, two sheets of the lined pages have subscriber’s information in manuscript, In very good condition. Housed in custom full morocco clamshell box. Exceptionally rare.

    Price: $7,500.00

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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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  • First Editions of Herbert Hoover's American Individualism and America's First Crusade; Both Lengthily inscribed by him

    Hoover, Herbert.

    American Individualism and America’s First Crusade.

    New York: Doubleday, Page & Company/ Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922 & 1942.

    First editions of two of Hoover’s most memorable works, both inscribed by him. American Individualism. Octavo, original blue cloth. Inscribed by the author, “To Richard Emmett with kind regards Herbert Hoover.” In very good condition. With: American’s First Crusade. Octavo original grey cloth. Inscribed by the author, “To my good friend William Thorton with wishes for a Happy New Year (anyway) Herbert Hoover.” In very good condition. Both housed together in a custom half morocco clamshell chemise and box. A nice coupling, rare and desirable with such lengthy inscriptions by Hoover.

    Price: $975.00

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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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  • "SURGICAL ANATOMY IS, TO THE STUDENT OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, THE MOST ESSENTIAL BRANCH OF ANATOMICAL SCIENCE": Rare First Edition of Gray's Anatomy

    Gray, Henry.

    Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (Gray’s Anatomy).

    Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea, 1859.

    First edition. Quarto, original calf, rebacked. Notations on the front free endpaper by Dr. Winslow Brown, who notes his use of this book during the Civil War at Camp Dennison Hospital, which at one point was administering to 2,300 sick or injured soldiers. His penciled notes on brain size in relation to intelligence on rear blank. A rare first edition of this immensely influential work, with an interesting Civil War-related provenance.

    Price: $4,600.00

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  • Autographed Document Signed by Old Hickory

    Jackson, Andrew.

    Andrew Jackson Autographed Document Signed.

    Autograph Document Signed by Andrew Jackson, dated Fort Williams, March 24th, 1814, concerning provision of rations for  … eighty-three men under the command of Capt. A. Saunders for eight days … , fold creases and browning. Mounted with a printed engraved portrait of Jackson. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures

    Price: $3,000.00

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  • "Apollo as a symbolic enterprise intended to represent to the world and to ourselves an image of the strength and vitality of the American nation": First Edition of Apollo: Ten Years Since Tranquility Base; Inscribed by the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong

    Armstrong, Neil. Edited by Richard P. Hallon and Tom D. Crouch .

    Apollo: Ten Years Since Tranquility Base.

    Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press , 1979.

    First edition of this important collection of biographical accounts written by a variety of individuals responsible for the Apollo 11 spaceflight, which facilitated the first lunar landing. Quarto, original illustrated wrappers as issued. Illustrated with photographs throughout. Inscribed by Neil Armstrong on the half-title page, “To Mark – Neil Armstrong.” In very good condition with light rubbing to the extremities. Rare and desirable signed by Neil Armstrong.

    Price: $2,200.00

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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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