Rare Americana Books, Manuscripts & More for Sale Online
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Alonzo Chappel’s famed painting of Commander-in-Chief George Washington rallying the Continental Army at the Battle of Princeton; one of Chappel’s most well-known works. Oil on canvas. Signed and dated ’57 by Chappel in the lower right corner. American artist Alonzo Chappel was revered for his paintings depicting the major figures and battles the American Revolution in addition to other events in early 19th-century American history. In addition to George Washington at the Battle of Princeton, his best-known works include The Battle of Tippecanoe, The Battle of Wyoming, The Battle of Long Island, The Boston Massacre, and John Smith saved by Pocahontas. George Washington at the Battle of Princeton, January 3rd 1777 was featured in John Frederick Schroder’s Life and Times of Washington; Containing a Particular Account of National Principles and Events and of the Illustrious Men of the Revolution, published in two volumes in 1857. Housed in an elaborate period frame. The entire piece measures 24 inches by 18 inches. An exceptionally desirable example of early Americana.
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 123178
"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 weaken the new nation before it had firmly established itself created tensions and a new war between England and France broke out in 1793. The British Navy soon began targeting French vessels and trading interests across the Atlantic, and although many Federalists thought that America should aid its ally, Washington proclaimed that the United States would be “friendly and impartial toward the belligerent parties.” The Neutrality Proclamation was ignored by Britain and angered France, which then allowed its navy and privateers to prey on American trade. To protect American sailors and merchants without provoking Britain, in March 1794, Congress passed a 30-day embargo, which it then extended. Britain, the strongest sea power, began to seize American ships suspected of trading with France, and stepped up its practice of impressment. From 1806-1807, the British navy, in desperate need of men to oppose Napoleon, forced roughly 5,000 American sailors into service on the pretense that they were deserters. In 1807, King George III proclaimed his right to call any British subjects into war service and claimed that Britain had full discretion to determine who was a British citizen. The crisis reached one peak for America in June of 1807 when the HMS Leopard attacked the USS Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia. Three American sailors were killed, eighteen were wounded, and the Chesapeake surrendered after firing only one shot. The Leopard seized four American seaman, claimed as deserters from the British navy, and hanged one of them. Jefferson and Madison, his Secretary of State, responded with the Embargo of 1807, a ban on all American vessels sailing for foreign ports. Meanwhile, Russia allied with Napoleon and pressed Denmark to turn over her fleet. In September 1807, Britain preemptively bombarded Copenhagen and seized the Danish-Norwegian fleet. While Jefferson’s Republicans still generally favored France, a schism grew in the Federalist party. Men like Timothy Pickering downplayed impressments while focusing on trade and access to British manufacturing. On October 16, 1807, King George III aggravated already high tensions with American following the British attack of the USS Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia by issuing a Royal Proclamation expanding the British right to impressment (the King’s right to call any British subjects into war service and determine their citizenship). News of the King’s Proclamation arrived in the United States in December 1807 and, lacking military options, President Jefferson proposed an embargo to ban all U.S. exports on American vessels in order to protect American sailors’ lives and liberties, despite its potential to cripple American trade. The Embargo Act was signed on December 22, 1807, causing immediate economic devastation. In protesting the Embargo, rather than wrestling with the difficulty of defending American sovereignty, some opponents chose to declare the legality of impressments as defined by King George’s Royal Proclamation. John Adams’ former Secretary of State, Timothy Pickering, took a leading role in fighting the embargo, arguing that Jefferson was using it to draw America closer to Napoleon’s France. Given the devastating economic effects of the embargo, Pickering’s message found a wide audience. Adams, on the other hand, recognized the dire threat the King’s Proclamation posed in denying America the right to determine its own rules for citizenship and in December, took his arguments to Speaker of the House Joseph Varnum. As he stated in the present letter, “He [Pickering] thinks that as every Nation has a Right to the Service of its Subjects, in time of War, the Proclamation of the King of Great Britain, commanding his Naval Officers to practice Such Impressments, on board, not the Vessells of his own Subjects, but of the United States, a foreign Nation could not furnish the Slightest ground for an Embargo! … But I Say with Confidence that it furnished a Sufficient ground for a Declaration of War. Not the Murder of Pierce nor all the Murders on board the Chesapeake, nor all the other Injuries and Insults We have received from foreign Nations, atrocious as they have been, can be of such dangerous, lasting, and pernicious Consequence to this Country, as this Proclamation, if We have Servility enough to Submit to it.” Adams suggested repealing and replacing the Embargo Act with one that allowed international trade with all but the belligerents, while building up the navy. Varnum asked to publish it. Before assenting, Adams completely reworked his argument, mustering all the reason and rhetoric at his disposal into a stirring defense of sovereignty and citizenship, resulting in the present letter. On March 1, 1809, Congress repealed the Embargo Act, following Adams’ suggestion to replace it with the Non-Intercourse Act which allowed trade with all nations except Britain and France. In fine condition. A remarkable piece of early American history illustrating the second President of the United States’ impassioned devotion to the pursuit of American liberty. The longest letter signed and entirely in the hand of John Adams obtainable.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 121560
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
"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 on the final leaf which reads, “The Rough Riders or the 1st Regiment U. S. Volunteer Cavalry was organized at San Antonio, Texas, between May 9 + 19, 1898. Comprised of men most from Arizona – troops A. B. C. from Oklahoma territory D, from New Mexico E, F, G, H, + I; New York + Eastern States K; from Indian territory L + M. May 29. the Regiment proceeded by rail to Tampa. June 8. troops A, B, C, D, E, F, G, K, L boarded the troopship Yucatan in Port Tampa Bay, forming the first military expedition to Cuba. June 22. arrived at Daiquiri June 23. marched to Sibony. June 24 marched to Las Guasimas + defeated the Spanish, losing 40 men in killed + wounded. June 30. marched to El Posa. July 1, participated in the San Juan engagement + faced the Spanish to Santiago, losing 89 men in killed + wounded. July 2-17. Duty in trenches — Santiago until surrender. July 18. marched to regular Camp at El Caney. Aug. 7. marched to Santiago, boarded troopship Miami and returned to the United States. August 15. landed at Montauk Point, L. 9.2.4., and went into — camp. August 19. marched to regular camp, rejoined troops C, H, I, + M, which remained at Tampa until Aug. 7, and performed regular duties until Sept. 15, 1898, when the regiment was mustered out of service.” The photographs are captioned as follows: 1 recto. “Rough Rider” Encampment, San Antonio 1898; 1 verso. [photo of a ship, text removed]; 2r. Getting ready, June 8., 2v. Cooke, Wadsworth, Tiffany, H. Bull, Carroll. June 8; 3r. Going aboard the “—” Henry Cooke, Willie Tiffany, Henry Bull, Craig Wadsworth June 8; 3v. “the Yucatan” leaving Tampa with the Rough Riders. troops A, B, D, E, F, G, K, and half of 2nd Infantry June 8; 4r. June 13. nearer [photo of a ship]; 4v. June 13. And nearer. [photo of a ship]; 5r. June 13. And nearer the Yucatan just misses big —. [photo of a ship]; 5v. The Miami [photo of a ship]; 6r. Bombardment of Daiquiri by U. S. Navy. June 22; 6v. landing at Daiquiri. June 22; 7r. The Rough Riders’ Camp at Daiquiri, June 23; 7v. The Rough Riders’ Camp at Daiquiri, June 23; 8r. —, Marshall, Harrison, Benlough, Green, Eatton; 8v. Resting after Las Guasimas engagement. June 24. under the blankets are left the dead body of Hamilton Fish; 9r. Dick Davis, Gen. Lawton, Col. Wood, Caspar Whitney, Gen Lawton; 9v. Fighting Ground of the 1st + 10th U. S. Cavalry; 10r. the “Bloody —” [Ford?] after the San Juan engagement. July 1st; 10v. Grave of Capt. Capron of troop L, the “Rough Rider” killed during the engagement at Las Guasimas. June 22; 11r. Stream where Gen. Shafter left. June 30th; 11v. El Paso after the bursting of the first shell. July 1st; 12r. On the roads to El Caney July 18th; 12v. — Warden, Joe Stevens Jack Carroll, Beu. Ha.; Wadsworth’s first edition copy of Inaugural Souvenir 1901 (Washington DC: Press of W. F. Roberts, 1901) in the original publisher’s boards, illustrated with engraved portraits of each American president from Washington to McKinley including frontispiece of McKinley and Roosevelt. With Warden’s ownership inscription, “Craig W. Wadsworth. Washington D. C. Sunday March 3 1901”; and a two-page typed letter signed by Roosevelt dated May 15, 1902 on White House letterhead addressed to Wadsworth at the Kinckerbocker Club in New York which reads: My dear Craig, You have now been made Secretary of the Legation at London. I am sure I need not tell you that because my representative, and I shall have a peculiar responsibility for you in England. You showed yourself in war worthy of your grandfather, a man who left his name as a heritage because of what he did in the Civil War. Now you must show yourself just as good an American in peace. You will be in a set of our countrymen over in London of whom there is not always cause to feel proud, and you must always keep before your mind that you are the representative of this country “as a whole” [Roosevelt has added this in his hand]; that every decent and self-respecting American, without the least reference to his social position, who comes from this side has a claim upon your courtesy and interest; and above all that no man of any other country will ever respect one of our men who is not himself genuinely and at heart a thorough-going American. I wish I could see you for a moment before you go abroad. Faithfully yours, “Theodore Roosevelt”. A prominent member of New York Society, Craig Wharton Wadsworth served in Troop K of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in 1898. After the war, he served on Governor Theodore Roosevelt’s military staff as a major in Albany, New York. In 1902, he joined the U.S. Diplomatic Service as third secretary to the American Embassy in London. In very good to near fine condition. Original photographs and documents from the Rough Rider era are rare, those signed by Roosevelt and from the personal collection of a Rough Rider exceptionally so.
Price: $50,000.00 Item Number: 123510
"Nothing in bronze or stone could be a more perfect image than this statue of the living Washington": Fine bronze bust of George Washington after the famed Houdon bust of 1785
Fine bronze bust of George Washington, after the famed Houdon bust of 1785 which is considered the most accurate depiction of Washington. Bronze, mounted on a marble pedestal. French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon was revered for his life-like portrayals of numerous notable eighteenth-century philosophers, inventors, and political figures including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Napoléon Bonaparte, and George Washington. In 1784, the Virginia General Assembly commissioned a statue of George Washington “to be of the finest marble and the best workmanship,” necessitating a European craftsman. The Governor of Virginia gave the responsibility of selecting the artist to Thomas Jefferson, then ambassador to France, who together with Benjamin Franklin recommended that Jean-Antoine Houdon, the most famous sculptor of the day, execute the work. Unsatisfied to work from a drawing of Washington by Charles Willson Peale sent for the project, and lured by a potential commission for an equestrian monument by the Congress of the Confederation, Houdon agreed to travel to the United States to work directly from Washington. In early October 1785, Houdon and three assistants arrived at Washington’s plantation Mount Vernon where they spent two weeks taking detailed measurements of Washington’s arms, legs, hands and chest and made a plaster cast of his face. Before returning to France to perfect his work, Houdon presented his first draft of the bust, sculpted in terra cotta, to Washington, which he is known to have placed in his study. The final statue was carved from Carrara marble, depicting a standing life-sized Washington with a cane in his right hand and cape in his left. Chief Justice John Marshall, a contemporary of Washington’s said of the work, “Nothing in bronze or stone could be a more perfect image than this statue of the living Washington.” In fine condition. The bronze casting measures 14.25 inches in height. The entire piece measures 17.25 inches in height.
Price: $48,000.00 Item Number: 123102
“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
Philadelphia: Sherman & Co, 1866-68.
First editions of one of the ‘major builders of American Judaism’, Isaac Leeser’s Discourses on the Jewish Religion. Octavo, 10 volumes, bound in full leather, gilt titles to the spine, raised bands. In near fine condition. Complete sets are of the utmost rarity.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 107732
"The first surgical work by an American and printed in North America": John Jones' Plain Concise Practical Remarks, on the Treatment of Wounds and Fractures
Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1776.
Exceptionally rare edition of the first surgical work by an American and printed in North America. Octavo, bound in nineteenth century three quarters morocco over marbled boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, frontispiece. Jones’ work was the accepted guide to surgical practice during the American Revolutionary War” G&M 2155; Austin 1843; Evans 15100 and 14814; Sabin 94063 and 36524. In near fine condition.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 91322
Rare first edition of N.H. Purple's A Compilation of the Statutes of the State of Illinois; from the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office Library with Herndon's ownership signature for the firm to both volumes
A Compilation of the Statutes of the State of Illinois, of a General Nature, In Force January 1, 1856. Collated with Reference to Decisions of the Supreme Court of Said State, and to Prior Laws Relating to the Same Subject Matter.
Chicago: Published by Keen & Lee, 1856.
First edition of Purple’s Statutes from the law library of Abraham Lincoln and William Herndon. Large octavo, 2 volumes, bound in full contemporary calf with morocco spine labels lettered in gilt. With Herndon’s ownership signature on behalf of the firm to the front pastedown of Vol. I, “A. Lincoln W. Herndon Lincoln & Herndon Springfield” and Vol. II, “Lincoln-Herndon.” Additionally with what are likely Lincoln’s scribbles to several pages including page 531 and 590-591. Lincoln was known to doodle in squiggly lines in his books and papers; in 2006 David Greenberg published Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, entirely devoted to the subject. In very good condition, lacking the title pages and with restoration and repairs to several pages. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 124498
"I was very happy to hear that you are going to be a mother, be allah willing": Rare typed letter signed by civil rights leader Malcolm X to his wife
April 4, 1958.
Rare typed letter signed by celebrated civil rights leader Malcolm X. One page, typescript. The letter reads in full, “1431 W. Jefferson Blvd Los Angeles, California April 4, 1958 As-Salaam-Alaikum In the Holy Name of ALLAH, the One True God, to whom all praise is due; and in the Holy Name of His Divine Messenger, the Honorable ELIJAH MUHAMMAD. My Dear Wife: It was a pleasure to find your letter awaiting me here at the office this morning. ALLAH blessed us to come safely through three TORNADOES, one HAILSTORM, two THUNDERSTORMS, and a SNOWSTORM. We averaged a “good pace” all the way, and arrived safely in record time. Please take the liberty of giving all the Muslims the Greeting for me at the Temple Sunday, and tell them that they key to success at #7 is to stay ing[sic] unity, and follow the instructions that come from the officials there. The officials at number Seven, under Secretary John, and Captians Yusaf and Francis are doing a wonderful job, and I pray ALLAH will bless them with the reward of peace, prosperity and happiness. I was very happy to hear that you are going to be a Mother, be ALLAH willing. I was not surprised. My reaction was “as it was” only because I didn’t appreciate the timing you took to announce it to me. May ALLAH bless you with understanding so you will have peace of mind. Let me know when you need some more money, but spend AS LITTLE as possible, for it is costing me tremendously here to get things as the should be. The Messenger would consent to you visiting me, and would even provide the plane fare himself, but I am against it at this time. This does not mean that I do not love you, it rather means that I have a job to do, know the circumstances and conditions under which I best work, and try to create such. As for your becoming a Mother, you couldn’t give me better news. Concerning the project that the committee wanted: if they can get Bros John and Joseph to accept it, it will be alright with me. But have someone explain it to them other than yourself. That is a wonderful Committee, and had done great work. Be a FRIEND to everyone in the temple, and everyone in the temple will be a friend to you. May ALLAH bless you with Peace and Happiness. As-Salaam-Alaikum: your husband Malcolm X Tell Gloria 2X that she should really be proud of her husband, and that I am proud of HER, for making such grand sacrifice. ALLAH will really bless her. Signed by Malcolm X and with a post script in his hand, “PS: In your letter you sounded like an understanding wife.” In very good condition. An exceptional association. Letters signed by Malcolm X are scarce.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 122553