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.
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First Octavo Edition of the The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories; In the Rare Original Publisher's Morocco
New York: Published by J.J. Audubon, 1840.
First octavo edition of this landmark work. Octavo, bound in original publisher’s morocco, 7 volumes, gilt titles and ruling to the spine, marbled endpapers, complete with 500 hand-colored lithographed plates by J.T. Bowen after J.J. Audubon; woodcuts in the text. From the library of Boston businessman and Ambassador T. Jefferson Coolidge, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Coolidge was born to a prominent Boston Brahmin family and was a great-grandson of the 3rd United States President Thomas Jefferson, through his maternal grandparents, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. and Martha Jefferson Randolph. His uncles were Thomas Jefferson Randolph, George Wythe Randolph, Andrew Jackson Donelson, and a relative of Calvin Coolidge. He was an uncle to Archibald Cary Coolidge through his older brother, Joseph Randolph Coolidge. He was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as United States Ambassador to France on May 12, 1892, a role his great-grandfather had held from May 1785 to September 1789. Coolidge presented his credentials on June 10, 1892 and he presented his recall on May 4, 1893, terminating his mission. In 1898 and 1899, he was a member of the American delegation to the commission to resolve the Alaska boundary dispute. Historian Ernest May says Coolidge was, “a prototype member of what today we call the foreign policy establishment.” In 1898, Coolidge donated a collection of Thomas Jefferson’s personal papers to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. The collection contained more than 8,000 items: Correspondence, including 3,280 letters that Jefferson had written and 4,630 letters that he had received; Jefferson’s garden book (1766-1824) and farm book (1774-1824); annotated almanacs from 1771-1776; account books for 1783-1790; manuscript expense accounts from 1804-1825; notes on the weather spanning the years 1782-1826; plans of American forts in 1765; law treatises, 1778-1788; legal papers, 1770-1772; and Jefferson’s 1783 catalog of his personal library. In near fine condition. An exceptional set with noted provenance, rare in the original publisher’s morocco.
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 111832
"One of the best-written and convincing pieces in the Anti-Federalist canon": Rare First Edition of Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government from the Federal Farmer to the Republican
Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government, Proposed by the Late Convention; and to Several Essential and Necessary Alterations in it. In a Number of Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican.
New York: 1787.
Rare first edition of the definitive and most important work in the Anti-Federalist canon; the antithesis of the The Federalist Papers. Octavo, bound in the original calf over original boards with six raised bands, edges speckled red. In very good condition. An exceptional example.
Price: $72,000.00 Item Number: 106800
Rare collection of the works of Thomas Paine; finely bound with a rare early printing of John Quincy Adams' response to Paine's Rights of Man
Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, Plain Truth, Rights of Man Parts I & II, and An Answer to Pain’s Rights of Man.
J. Almon, J.S. Jordan, and J. Stockdale: London, 1776-1793.
Finely bound collection of the works of Thomas Paine, including the rare first British editions of Common Sense and Plain Truth (London: J. Almon, 1776), second editions of Rights of Man Parts I & II (London: J.S. Jordan, 1791-1792), complete with half-titles present, and a rare early printing of John Quincy Adams’ response to Paine’s Rights of Man (London: J. Stockdale, 1793), attributed to his father John Adams and written when John Quincy Adams was 26 years old. Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, red morocco spine label, all edges speckled black. In near fine condition. A rare and desirable collection.
Price: $60,000.00 Item Number: 96237
“Give me liberty, or give me death": Scarce 1776 separate edition of the Large Additions to Common Sense
Philadelphia: Printed and sold, by R. Bell in Third-Street, 1776.
Scarce 1776 separate edition of the Large Additions to Common Sense. The title reads in full: Large Additions To Common Sense: Addressed To The Inhabitants Of America On The Following Interesting Subjects. I. The American Patriot’s Prayer. II. American Independancy, defended by Candidus. III. The Propriety of Independancy, by Demophilus The dread of Tyrants, and the sole resource Of those that under grim Oppression groan. Thomson. IV. A Review of the American Contest with some Strictures on the King’s Speech. Addressed to All Parents in the Thirteen United Colonies by a Friend To Posterity And Mankind. V. Letter to Lord Dartmouth, by an English American. VI. Observations on Lord North’s Conciliatory Plan, by Sincerus. To Which Is Added And Given An Appendix to Common Sense; Together with an Address to the People Called Quakers on their Testimony concerning Kings and Government and the Present Commotions in America. Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over boards, gilt titles and five raised bands to the spine, marbled endpapers. In very good condition, internally very clean. Rare with only two examples appearing at auction in the last 80 years.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 106523
“AMERICA’S FIRST GREAT SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION”: Rare First Complete Edition of Franklin's Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Made at Philadelphia in America
Experiments and Observations on Electricity made at Philadelphia in America… To which are added, Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. The Whole corrected, methodized, improved, and now first collected into one Volume, and Illustrated with Copper Plates.
London: Printed for David Henry and sold by Francis Newbery, 1769.
First complete edition of “the most important scientific book of 18th-century America” and “America’s first great scientific contribution” (PMM). Octavo, bound in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, morocco spine label. Advertisement & errata leaf inserted following preface. Illustrated with 7 copper-engraved plates, 2 of which are folding. In very good condition. First editions are rare, exceptionally so in a contemporary binding.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 116750
Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No.V & VI of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” in which the Charge of Speculation against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, is Fully Refuted.
Philadelphia: John Bioren for John Fenno, 1797.
Rare first edition of one of the major causes célèbres in American governmental history. Octavo, bound in contemporary morocco, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. This first edition of 1797 is rare as it was bought up by the Hamilton family in an effort to suppress it, but was ultimately reprinted in 1800 by Hamilton’s political enemies. Housed in a custom half calf clamshell box.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 52680
“THE MOST AMBITIOUS PUBLICATION EVER UNDERTAKEN, UP TO THAT TIME, UPON AMERICAN SOIL… RICHLY DESERVING OF ITS GREAT REPUTATION AT HOME AND ABROAD”: FIRST EDITION OF WEBSTER’S LANDMARK AMERICAN DICTIONARY, 1828
New York: Published by S. Converse. Printed by Hezekiah Howe, 1828.
Rare first edition of Webster’s monumental American Dictionary, one of only 2500 copies, with frontispiece portrait of the pioneering lexicographer, in full contemporary calf. Quarto, two volumes, bound in full contemporary calf, marbled endpapers, illustrated frontispiece, tissue guard present. In near fine condition, light toning to the text. Most rare and desirable bound in contemporary calf. An exceptional example, most rare without any restoration.
Price: $27,500.00 Item Number: 102755
Rare First Edition of Thomas Paine's Dissertations on Government, the Affairs of the Bank, and Paper-Money
Philadelphia: Printed by Charles Cist, 1786.
First edition of Paine’s defense of the Bank of North America. Small octavo, bound in three quarters leather over marbled boards with gilt titles and tooling to the spine. Rare.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 104062
Rare Society of the Cincinnati membership certificate signed by George Washington as president of the society of the Cincinnati
Philadelphia: May 5th, 1784.
Rare autograph document signed by George Washington as President of the Society of the Cincinnati during the first general meeting of the Society and 5 years prior to his election and inauguration as the first President of the United States of America. One page partially printed on vellum with engraved vignettes by Auguste L. Belle after Jean-Jacques Andre LeVeau depicting America in knight’s armor trampling upon the British standard and the American eagle casting the British lion and Britannia out to sea with thunderbolts, engraved seal of the Order of the Cincinnati. The document reads: Be it known that Lieutenant William Andrews is a member of the society of the Cincinnati instituted by the Officers of the American Army at the Period of Dissolution, as well to commemorate the great Event which gave Independence to North American, as for the laudable Purpose of inculcating the Duty of laying down in Peace Arms assumed for public Defence, and of uniting in Acts of brotherly Affection and Bonds of perpetual Friendship the Members constituting the same. In Testimony whereof I, the President of the said Society have hereunto set my hand at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania this fifth day of may in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Four and in the Eighth Year of the Independence of the United States. By Order, ” “H.Knox” Secretary “G. Wahsington” President. William Andrews was commissioned a lieutenant on 1 January 1777 with the Third Continental Artillery. His regiment wintered at Valley Forge, andthe following June, Andrews was captured and held by the British in New York until he was exchanged in September 1781. In fine condition. Double matted and framed with an engraved portrait of Washington. The entire piece measures 36 inches by 23 inches. An exceptional example.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 101412
"I have never advocated war except as a means of peace": Rare Henry Shrady Ulysses S. Grant Bronze Bust
Original bronze bust of Ulysses S. Grant by Henry Shrady, the famed sculptor of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial on the west front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Mounted on socle and base, the entire piece measures 18.5 inches in height. In fine condition. An exceptional piece of Americana.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 102885
"I WILL FIRST ENDEAVOR TO GIVE SOME INFORMATION AS TO THE MANNER OF STRICTLY KEEPING A JEWISH HOUSE": Rare First Edition of The First Jewish Cookbook Printed in America
Jewish Cookery Book, on Principles of Economy, Adapted for Jewish Housekeepers, with the Addition of Many Useful Medicinal Recipes, and Other Valuable Information, Relative to Housekeeping and Domestic Management.
Philadelphia: W.S. Turner, 1871.
Rare first edition of the first Jewish cookbook published in America, with extensive instructions on keeping a kosher household in addition to recipes. Octavo, original cloth. In very good condition, rebacked. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. First editions are exceptionally scarce of this milestone in American Jewish history.
Price: $22,000.00 Item Number: 74060