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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"Second only to Gilbert Stuart's Athenaeum portrait": Rembrandt Peale's "George Washington, Patriae Pater"
Rembrandt Peale's famed painted portrait of of George Washington, "George Washington, Patriae Pater", considered by many second only to Gilbert Stuart's iconic Athenaeum portrait of the first president and variations of which hang in the Oval Office and Old Senate Chamber. Oil on canvas. In 1795, 17-year-old Rembrandt Peale was invited by his father, famed American painter Charles Willson Peale, to accompany him to a portrait sitting with President George Washington. Although young Rembrandt was not entirely satisfied with the resulting portrait of the aging Washington, it was well-received and made his debut as a portraitist. In 1822, after a…
Price: $300,000.00 Item Number: 135084
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington to revolutionary war ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
April 10, 1781.
Exceptionally rare autograph letter signed by George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army to French ally Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, whose military assistance in the Siege of Yorktown essentially ended the Revolutionary War. The body of the letter is entirely in the hand of Alexander Hamilton and dated 10 April 1781. In the spring of 1781, officials from Massachusetts approached Rochambeau with a proposal to attack the British post at the mouth of the Penobscot river which had been established in June 1779 to secure timber for shipyards in Halifax and to protect Nova Scotia from…
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 125872
"Linking three leaders of the Enlightenment": Exceptionally rare Benjamin Franklin presentation copy of Halley's edition of Menelaus's Spherics; presented by him to famed Scottish Mathematician Robert Simson
Menelai Sphaericorum Libri III. Quos olim, collatis MSS. Hebraeis & Arabicis, Typis exprimendos curavit Vir Cl. Ed. Halleius L.L.D. R.S.S. & Geometriae Professor Savil. Oxoniensis. [Menelaus’ Spherics].
Oxonii [Oxford]: Sumptibus Academicis, 1758.
Exceptionally rare Benjamin Franklin presentation copy of Halley's edition of Menelaus's Spherics. Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt ruling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt. Presentation copy, presented by Benjamin Franklin to Scottish mathematician Robert Simson with Simson's inscription to the second free endpaper noting that the book was presented to him by Franklin, "Ex dono viri praestantissimi et mihi amicissimi Benjamin Franklin 12mo Martii A.D. 1760, Robert Simson." Franklin toured Scotland in 1759, the precise year that Halley's Comet reappeared as predicted, leading French astronomer Nicolas-Louis…
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 130904
"The longest letter signed and entirely in the hand of John Adams obtainable": Exceptionally rare 16-page autograph letter signed by Founding Father John Adams defending the ultimate necessity of American sovereignty
Exceptionally rare 16-page autograph letter signed by and entirely in the hand of Founding Father John Adams defending the ultimate necessity of American sovereignty and its precedence over international alliances. Sixteen pages, entirely in the hand of John Adams and written on both the recto and verso of each page, the letter is dated January 9, 1809 and addressed to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Joseph Bradley Varnum. Although France and America shared a strong alliance which proved crucial to winning the Revolutionary War, at the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, Washington's fear that American involvement would…
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 121560
"linking America's two most renowned Founding Fathers": George Washington's Gold Frame Spectacles; given by him to Alexander Hamilton; with a letter of provenance signed by and entirely in the hand of Edward Stevens and a note of provenance signed by Hamilton's Granddaughter-in-law
President George Washington's 18th century gold frame spectacles; gifted by him to his protégé Alexander Hamilton. The spectacles are housed in a custom period iron case. Accompanied by an autograph letter of provenance signed and entirely in the hand of one of Hamilton's closest friends since childhood, American physician and diplomat Edward Stevens, which reads in full, "The Subscriber hereby certifies, that he recollects the circumstances of General Hamilton's having made a present to General Walterstorff during his Residence in Philadelphia of a Pair of Glasses, or Spectacles, which had been the Property of General Washington the President of the…
Price: $95,000.00 Item Number: 134081
Scarce 1792 printing of An Act to extend the Time limited for settling the Accounts of the United States with the Individual States; signed by Thomas Jefferson
Second Congress of the United States: At the First Session, begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, on Monday the twenty-fourth of October one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one. An Act to extend the Time limited for settling the Accounts of the United States with the Individual States.
Philadelphia: Childs & Swaine, 1792.
Scarce printing of an early United States law providing for the funding of the national debt, signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. Folio, one page. The document, which also carries the printed signatures of President George Washington, Vice President John Adams, and House Speaker Jonathan Trumbull, was approved January 23, 1792. Individual acts and bills of the first Congresses were routinely printed for public consumption. A provision was made, however, to print a few copies of each act for dissemination to the states, and to have each copy signed by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. One of the…
Price: $82,000.00 Item Number: 125388
Elaborately bound collection of Presidential autographs; containing the autograph of each of the first 34 Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower
WASHINGTON, George; John Adams; Thomas Jefferson; James Madison; James Monroe; John Quincy Adams; Andrew Jackson; Martin Van Buren; William Henry Harrison; John Tyler; James Polk; Zachary Taylor; Millard Fillmore; Franklin Pierce; James Buchanan; Abraham Lincoln; Andrew Johnson; Ulysses S. Grant; Rutherford B. Hayes; James Garfield; Chester A. Arthur; Grover Cleveland; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; William H. Taft; Woodrow Wilson; Warren G. Harding; Calvin Coolidge; Herbert Hoover; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Harry Truman; Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Elaborately bound collection of Presidential autographs, containing the autograph of each of the first 34 Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Quarto, bound in full red morocco by Riviere & Son with gilt titles and ruling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, gilt presidential seal to the front panel with white and blue morocco onlays, gilt arms and motto of George Washington to the rear panel with white and blue morocco onlays and his gilt signature in facsimile, centerpieces within quintuple gilt ruling with star emblems at each corner, blue…
Price: $80,000.00 Item Number: 125384
“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union... do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America": Rare first edition of Vol. VII of the Journal of Congress; containing the first official Congressional Journal publication of the proposed Constitution of the United States
Journal of the United States In Congress Assembled: Containing the Proceedings From the Sixth Day of November, 1786, to the Fifth Day of November, 1787. Volume XII.
New York: Published by Order of Congress, 1787.
Rare first edition of Vol. VII of the Journal of Congress; containing the first official Congressional Journal publication of the proposed Constitution of the United States. Octavo, original boards. Contains the first Congressional Journal publications of the proposed United States Constitution (pp. 149-166) and the Northwest Ordinance (pp. 85-93). In very good condition. Small loss to the title page affecting the “L” in “Journal”. A rare and important piece of American history.
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 129855
Three exceptionally rare Abraham Lincoln Pieces; An autograph Pardon of December 8, 1863 Signed by him; pristine original carte-de-visite; and exceedingly rare contemporary printing of the Proclamation of Amnesty
Washington, D.C.: War Department, Adjutant General's Office, 1864-1869.
Rare autograph Oath of December 8 endorsement signed and entirely in the hand of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln with an exceedingly rare contemporary printing of Lincoln's Amnesty Proclamation which includes the wording of the oath itself and a rare carte-de-visite of Lincoln [Providence, RI: Salisbury, Bro. & Co., n.d.]. One page, the endorsement is signed and inscribed by Lincoln, “Let these men take the oath of Dec. 8, 1863 & be discharged – A. Lincoln Dec. 30, 1863.” One page, disbound, the contemporary printing of the Amnesty Proclamation consists of 6 pages printed by order…
Price: $75,000.00 Item Number: 132045
"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…
Price: $60,000.00 Item Number: 96237
First edition of Badeau's important military history of Ulysses S. Grant; with three autograph letters signed by Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip H. Sheridan verifying the merit of its content bound in
New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1881.
First edition of Badeau's important “eyewitness estimation of Grant’s performance during the war,” with three autograph letters signed by the three most prominent Union Army Generals of the Civil War (Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip H. Sheridan) verifying the merit of its content bound in. Octavo, bound in full contemporary morocco with gilt titles to the spine, marbled endpapers, tissue-guarded engraved frontispiece portrait of Grant from a photograph by Gurney & Son. From the library of John C. Work with a gift inscription to him from his son to the front free endpaper. In his later work…
Price: $55,000.00 Item Number: 126037
Original swatch from Martha Washington's white silk wedding dress, given by her as a gift to Mrs. Alexander Hamilton and handed down through generations of the Hamilton family
Original swatch from Martha Washington's white silk wedding dress, given by her as a gift to Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth, and handed down through generations of the Hamilton family. The silk swatch measures roughly 2.75 inches by 2 inches, mounted on a stiff paper card inscribed in pencil on the verso, "A bit of Martha Washington's wedding dress Wh. was Mrs. Alex Hamilton's" in the hand of Hamilton's granddaughter-in-law, Mrs. Allan McLane Hamilton, and from her collection. Hamilton’s grandson, Allan McLane Hamilton was a prominent psychiatrist and founded the New York Psychiatric Society. In 1910, he published The Intimate Life…
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 134228
"The first book printed in the Confederacy": Exceptionally rare first edition of The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning
The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning: (A Tory in the Revolutionary War with Great Britain): Giving an Account of His Adventures in North Carolina, From 1775 to 1783 as Written by Himself, with an Introduction and Explanatory Notes.
Richmond, VA: Printed for Private Distribution Only, 1861.
First edition of the first book printed in the Confederacy. Quarto, original stiff paper wrappers, one of approximately 50 copies issued on regular paper. Ten being issued on thick paper, and twenty copies destroyed in a fire. In very good condition, reinforcement to the hinges. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. Howes F26. Sabin 23778. Exceptionally rare.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 125637
“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…
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 106523
"The first American bestseller": Exceedingly Rare first edition of Susanna Haswell Rowson's Charlotte: A Tale of Truth
Philadelphia: Printed by D. Humphreys for M. Carey, 1794.
Exceedingly rare first American edition (and the earliest obtainable example) of the first American bestseller. Octavo, two volumes bound into one in three quarter calf over marbled boards, morocco spine label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers. Although it was preceded by the first English edition published in 1791, no examples of the first English edition have been traced at auction. In very good condition. Bookplate to the pastedown, bibliographic description tipped in. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco clamshell slipcase. Exceedingly rare with only one other example of the first American edition traced at auction in the…
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 125183
"One of the most fascinating regiments in American military history": Rough Rider Sergeant Craig W. Wadsworth's personal collection of of Rough Riders books, letters and photographs; with a first edition of The Rough Riders and typed letter signed by President Theodore Roosevelt
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899.
Craig Wharton Wadsworth's personal collection of books, letters and photographs from his time as a Sergeant in Roosevelt's Rough Riders cavalry. The collection includes a first edition of Roosevelt's best-selling work, The Rough Riders (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899) signed by Roosevelt, "Theodore Roosevelt" and Wadsworth, "Craig W. Wadsworth Sergeant-Troop K"; Wadsworth's 14-leaf photograph album bound in full pebbled leather with gilt titles to the front panel which read: "First United States Volunteer Cavalry (Roosevelt Rough Riders) 1898" containing 24 original photographs of the cavalrymen on their expedition to Daiquiri with annotations in Wadsworth's hand and a lengthy introduction…
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 123510
"The most important scientific book of 18th century America": 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, By Benjamin Franklin, L.L.D. and F.R.S. 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 full contemporary calf with gilt ruling to the spine in six compartments within raised bands, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, double gilt ruling to the front and rear panels. With the rarely found half-title. Advertisement & errata leaf bound in following the preface. Illustrated with 7 copper-engraved plates, 4 of which are folding. This, the fourth, first complete, and most desirable edition of Franklin's important work contains for the first time complete notes on all of…
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 125438