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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  • "In 1999, we will remember the twentieth century as the bloodiest and the best in the history of man": First signed limited edition of Richard Nixon's 1999: Victory Without War; Signed by Richard Nixon

    Nixon, Richard.

    1999: Victory Without War.

    New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.

    Signed limited first edition of Nixon’s bestselling work. Octavo, original cloth, gilt titles to the spine. One of 600 copies signed by Richard Nixon, this is number 391. In fine condition. Housed in the original slipcase which is in fine condition.

    Price: $350.00

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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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  • “A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever”: First Edition of John Adams' A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America; In the Rare Original Boards

    Adams, John.

    A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America.

    London: Printed for C. Dilly, 1797.

    First edition of John Adams’ landmark work. Octavo, original boards, minor wear. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half calf clamshell box. Rare, especially in the original boards.

    Price: $16,000.00

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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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  • Rare original typographic portrait of Abraham Lincoln composed of his Emancipation Proclamation

    Linclon, Abraham; Designed and written by W.H. Pratt. Lithograph by A. Hageboeck.

    Abraham Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation Typographic Portrait.

    Davenport, Iowa: 1865.

    Original typographic portrait of Abraham Lincoln composed of his Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863. In near fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 26.5 inches by 19 inches. An exceptional piece, a rare and desirable piece of Americana.

    Price: $6,000.00

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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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  • MILITARY COMMISSION SIGNED BY PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND SECRETARY OF WAR EDWIN M. STANTON

    Lincoln, Abraham.

    Abraham Lincoln Military Commission Signed.

    June 8, 1863.

    Military commission boldly signed by Abraham Lincoln as President and countersigned by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton appointing Byron G. Daniels as a “Captain in the Nineteenth Regiment of Infantry in the service of the United States.” Folio on vellum with vignettes with the white paper seal in the upper left corner intact. Included is a xeroxed packet of Byron G. Daniels’ war records which document his resignation on September 13th of 1864 as well as his appointment as United States consul at Hull, England in the 1890s. Double matted and framed with an engraved portrait of Lincoln. Rare and desirable.

     

     

    Price: $12,000.00

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  • MILITARY COMMISSION SIGNED BY PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND SECRETARY OF WAR SIMON CAMERON

    Lincoln, Abraham.

    Abraham Lincoln Military Commission Signed.

    June 8, 1863.

    Military commission boldly signed by Abraham Lincoln as President August 7, 1861, and countersigned by Simon Cameron as Secretary of War, appointing John W. Taylor as Assistant Quartermaster with the rank of Captain, orange Seal at top left, registration docket signed by Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 25.8 inches by 21.5 inches. In near fine condition.

    Price: $9,800.00

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  • RARE NINETEENTH CENTURY PORTRAIT OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN

    Gardner, Alexander. (Abraham Lincoln).

    Abraham Lincoln Portrait.

    c. 1860.

    Rare original painting of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After a photograph by Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner. Scottish photographer Alexander Gardner immigrated to the United States in 1856 where he became best known for his photographs of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, and the execution of the conspirators to Lincoln’s assassination. In near fine condition. In a period frame. The entire piece measures 20.75 by 16.75 inches. Rare and desirable.

    Price: $3,500.00

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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

    Twain, Mark.

    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, with 174 illustrations by Edward Kemble. A near fine example with just a touch of rubbing. Laid in is an original pen and ink drawing by Edward W. Kemble, 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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  • Zane Grey’s Copy; First Edition The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Twain, Mark) 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, with 174 illustrations by Edward W. Kemble. The author Zane Grey’s copy, with his blindstamp to the front free endpaper and first blank. Contains all the agreed upon first issue points for the clothbound book: page 9 with “Decided” remaining uncorrected (to “Decides”); page 13, illustration captioned “Him and another Man” listed as on page 88; page 57, 11th line from bottom reads “with the was,” instead of “with the saw”. Other points of bibliographical interest included in this copy are the frontispiece portrait without cloth table cover under the bust, bearing the Heliotype Printing Co. imprint; copyright page dated 1884; page 143 with “l” missing from “Col.” at top of illustration and with broken “b” in “body” on line seven; page 155 with a larger final “5”; page 161, no signature mark “11”. As to issue points resulting from damaged plates (e.g. the dropped “5” on p 155), 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” Firsts Magazine). A nice association copy linking these two great American writers. Housed in a full morocco clamshell case.

    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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  • 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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