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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 any American advance. On April 6, Rochambeau informed Washington that he was willing to send a detachment of troops and that Admiral Destouches would offer naval assistance, but observing that he was under Washington’s command, he would await his approval before approving the action (Rochambeau to Washington, 6 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Washington here responds offering his gratitude that Destouches, who had only recently lost a naval engagement with the British in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Lafayette in Virginia, would be willing “to undertake the expedition to Penobscot and to you for your readiness to furnish a detachment of troops for the same purpose. The object is certainly worth attention and if it can be effected will be very agreeable to the States, particularly to those of the East.” He trusts that Destouches “can best judge from the situation of the enemy’s fleet how far it may be attempted with prudence, and Your Excellency from the information you have recently received what number of troops will be sufficient for the enterprise—I am persuaded it will be calculated how far it is probable the enemy may follow with a part of their fleet—whether the post can be carried by a coup de main, or may require so much time as to make it likely the operation will be interrupted before its conclusion—in case of a superior squadron being sent by the enemy what possibility there is of protection or a safe retreat for the ships and even for the land force (through an unsettled country in which numbers perished for want of provision in a former attempt)—All these are points too important not to have been well weighed, and your conversations with the Massachusetts deputies will have been able to enlighten you upon them.” Here, he is referencing the unsuccessful attempt by Massachusetts in 1779 to destroy the post, abandoned when British ships with reinforcements forced an arduous overland retreat by the Americans. Despite his assurances that Rochambeau and Destouches had matters well in hand, Washington took the “liberty to remark [on] two things—one that it appears to me frigates without any ships of the line will answer the purpose as well as with them and less will be risked than by dividing the body of the fleet. Frigates (especially the forty fours) will afford a safe escort to the troops against any thing now in those Seas, and with respect to a detachment from the enemy’s fleet, it would be always proportioned to the force we should send and if we have two sixty fours, they would even be an object for their whole fleet. The other observation I would make is, that dispatch being essential to success, it will in my opinion be adviseable not to depend on any cooperation of the Militia, but to send at once such a force from your army as you deem completely adequate to a speedy reduction of the post. The country in the neighbourhood of Penobscot is too thinly inhabited to afford any resource of Militia there, and to assemble and convey them from remote places would announce your design—retard your operations, and give leisure to the enemy to counteract you. Indeed I would recommend for the sake of secrecy to conceal your determination from the State itself.” On 15 April Rochambeau replied to Washington observing that while he had sufficient troops to spare, “your Excellency’s observations upon the Separation of our fleet, and upon the danger to be interrupted by superior forces, during the course of the Expedition, which Mr Destouches does not Look on as possible to be undertaken with his frigates only, are the motives which cause this project to be Laid aside for the present moment.” (Rochambeau to Washington, 15 April 1781, Papers of George Washington, Library of Congress). Soon Washington and Rochambeau‘s attention returned again to Virginia, and within months their combined forces would be closing in on Yorktown. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare and desirable, being the only communication between the storied commanders of the Yorktown campaign to appear at auction in more than a century.
Price: $175,000.00 Item Number: 125872
"The most recognizable portrait of Lincoln": Rare original Anthony Berger carte-de-visite signed by Abraham Lincoln as President
Rare original Anthony Berger carte-de-visite signed by Abraham Lincoln as President; the most recognizable portrait of Lincoln which was later used as the model for the Lincoln cent. Original mounted albumen photograph double ruled in gilt with “Brady’s National Photographic Portrait Galleries” stamp to the verso. Boldly signed by Abraham Lincoln, “A Lincoln.” With an additional inscription on the verso which reads, “Contributed for the benefit of the S.A.S. of Westford Mass. at their Levee Dec. 14th, 1864 by Mr. Lincoln.” Through the use of many paid assistants, renowned 19th century portraitist Mathew B. Brady produced thousands of photographs documenting the American Civil War, including portraits of Lincoln, Grant and both Union and Confederate soldiers in camps and battlefields. The body of work created by Brady’s photographers (including Anthony Berger, Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan) has become the most important visual documentation of the Civil War. Taken on February 9, 1864 by the manager of Brady’s Washington studio, Anthony Berger, this, the most recognizable portrait of the 16th president of the United States, was later used by Victor David Brenner to create the Lincoln cent. During this same sitting, Berger also took the photograph of Lincoln that would later appear on the five dollar bill. The present example was signed by Lincoln to help the Sanitary Association of Westford, Massachusetts raise funds for Unions soldiers toward the end Civil War. An example at Heritage Auction brought 175,000 in 2006. In near fine condition. An exceptional piece.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 124196
"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. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. The longest letter signed and entirely in the hand of John Adams obtainable.
Price: $125,000.00 Item Number: 121560
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 main priorities of the federal government in the early national period was to pay down the debt of the United States. The national debt was incurred during the Revolution and augmented in 1790 when the Congress passed the Assumption Act, in accordance with a plan devised by Alexander Hamilton. Because contacting the numerous and geographically dispersed holders of the debt proved more difficult than expected, it became necessary to extend the time allowed by law for making the relevant financial arrangements. The present act accomplished this, and made a special extension of five months for Vermont, which gave the new state time to calculate the amount of debt. Despite Jefferson’s vehement opposition to Hamilton’s plan when it was formulated, his position as Secretary of State necessitated his signature on the presentation copies of the acts that effected it. In fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco folding case. Scarce, with only one other example signed by Jefferson located.
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 morocco doublures with multiple gilt presidential signatures, blue silk endpapers. This complete series of autographs of the first 34 Presidents of the United States contains the signature of each mounted on an album leaf opposite a loosely tissue-guarded engraved portrait of each. The collection includes: the signature of George Washington on an envelope addressed to Major General Knox as Secretary of the Society of the Cincinnati, November 3, 1783; a clipped signature of John Adams; clipped signature of Thomas Jefferson; the signature of James Madison on an envelope addressed to Reverend Frederick Freeman of Manayunk, Pennsylvania; and inscription signed by James Monroe; the signature of John Quincy Adams on an envelope addressed to William Plumer jun. Esq. in Epping, New Hampshire; a partially printed land grant signed by Andrew Jackson dated 1831 registering the purchase of 20 acres in Detroit by Peter Aldrich; clipped signature of Martin Van Buren; clipped signature of William Henry Harrison; signed inscription from John Tyler; signed inscription from James Polk; clipped signature of Zachary Taylor dated Baton Rouge, March 5, 1841; clipped signature of Millard Fillmore; clipped signature of Franklin Pierce; clipped signature of James Buchanan on a document dated July 18, 1858; clipped signature of Abraham Lincoln; endorsement signed by Andrew Johnson as President; clipped signature of Ulysses S. Grant; card signed by Rutherford B. Hayes; inscription signed by James Garfield; large card signed by Chester A. Arthur and dated May 22, 1884; autograph noted signed by Grover Cleveland declining an invitation, dated November 16, 1890; an Executive Mansion card signed by William McKinely; clipped signature of Theodore Roosevelt; clipped signature of William Howard Taft; clipped signature of Woodrow Wilson; typed letter signed by Warren G. Harding as President, dated June 4, 1923 on White House letterhead; card signed by Calvin Coolidge; White House card signed by Herbert Hoover; typed letter signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, February 15, 1917. Laid in is a typed letter signed by Harry S. Truman as President, June 30, 1950, on White House stationery and a typed letter signed by Dwight Eisenhower. TLS as President, November 13, 1956, on White House stationery. In fine condition. Housed in a custom folding chemise and half morocco slipcase. An exceptional collection and presentation.
Price: $80,000.00 Item Number: 125384
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
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 Grant in Peace (1887, chapter 51, p. 588), Badeau wrote of this very set: “Mr. Work had a copy of my Military History of Grant especially bound for his library, and asked General Grant to write something in it to attest his opinion of its merits…” The letters include an autograph letter signed and in the hand of Ulysses S. Grant which reads, “New York City Dec. 22d 1881 J. H. Work, Esq., “This book was reviewed by me, chapter by chapter, as it was being prepared for the publishers. It was submitted for a similar review also to Generals Porter & Babcock, two of the staff colleagues of the Author. In addition to this all those chapters treating of events in which Generals Sherman & Sheridan held detached commands, were submitted to those officers. The Author had access to the Government and captured & purchased rebel archives. He also read and consulted all that was published, on both sides, before and during the time he was writing this book with the view of getting this truth. So far as I am capable of judging this is a true history of the events of which it treats. The opinions expressed of men are the Authors own, and for which no one is responsible. Yours truly, U.S. Grant”; an autograph letter on the same page directly below Grant’s signed by and in the hand of General Philip H. Sheridan which reads, “New York January 28th 82 My dear Mr. Work: As General Grant says in his letter to you, General Badeau sent me proof sheets of that portion of his work which related to the opperating [sic] under my command, and they were found to be correct & returned to him approved Yours truly P.H. Sheridan Lieut General”; and an autograph letter signed and in the hand of General William Tecumseh Sherman which reads, “New York Dec. 22, 1884 J. H. Work Esq. Dear Sir, I think highly of this book of General Badeau. But as General Grant is now engaged on his own Auto Biography a comparison may be more satisfactory than any thing I may record. W.T. Sherman General.” Badeau would later use portions of Grant’s enclosed letter to promote the 1885 reprint of this work by Appleton. In near fine condition. Lacking all, but one, of the engraved maps and plates. An exceptional set with noted provenance.
Price: $55,000.00 Item Number: 126037
"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 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
"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 last 75 years.
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 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
"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 the experiments as well as correspondence between Peter Collinson, Franklin, and several other collaborators. The earlier editions, each issued in three parts as separately published pamphlets usually bound together, were carelessly published. Franklin edited this new one-volume edition himself, significantly revising the text, adding for the first time a number of his own philosophical letters and papers, introducing footnotes, correcting errors, and adding an index (Cohen, Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments). In near fine condition. Expertly rebacked. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box.
Price: $45,000.00 Item Number: 125438
"Camp David in Snow": Rare Dwight D. Eisenhower landscape painting; inscribed by him to his wife, Mamie Eisenhower
Rare Dwight D. Eisenhower oil painting of Eisenhower’s country retreat, Camp David, in the snow. Oil on canvas. Signed and inscribed by the President in the lower right corner of the painting to his wife Mamie Geneva Eisenhower (née Doud), “DDE For M.D.E. D.D.Eisenhower Copy of a Kontny.” Eisenhower here refers to Polish (later American) landscape painter Pawel Kontoy, a contemporary of his who sketched and painted various stark and snowy landscapes and cityscapes before, during, and after his travels as a soldier throughout WWII. Eisenhower was an amateur painter, and was known to sketch and doodle in meetings during his White House years. He kept a studio on the second floor of the White House, and despite his busy schedule, painted as a pastime and means of relaxation. In 1990, the Richard Nixon Library hosted an exhibition of his work including an oil-on-canvas portrait of his wife, Mamie, as well as many landscapes and self-portraits. Located in the wooded hills of Catoctin Mountain Park, in Frederick County, Maryland, Camp David served as Eisenhower’s country retreat throughout his presidency. Originally known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was built as a camp for federal government agents and their families by the Works Progress Administration. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt converted it to a presidential retreat and renamed it “Shangri-La”, for the fictional Himalayan paradise in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Camp David received its present name in 1953 from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his father, and grandson, both named David. In fine condition. Rare and desirable.
Price: $40,000.00 Item Number: 126788
"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: $40,000.00 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: $32,000.00 Item Number: 52680
"THE LAST COLLECTION OF FRANKLIN'S WRITINGS TO APPEAR IN HIS LIFETIME": First edition of Benjamin Franklin's Philosophical and Miscellaneous Papers
Philosophical and Miscellaneous Papers. Lately written by B. Franklin, LL. D. Fellow of the Royal Society of London; Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris; President of the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia.
London: Printed for C. Dilly, in the Poultry, 1787.
First edition of the last collection of Franklin’s writings to appear during his lifetime; a major collection of his political, philosophical and scientific writings, a second volume of which was planned but never published. First issue with page 25 mispaginated “52.” Octavo, bound in full contemporary tree calf with elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, gilt Greek key ruling to the front and rear panels. With four copper-engraved folding plates including diagrams of the Franklin stove and the earliest published map of the Gulf Stream. In very good condition. Armorial bookplate and early ownership inscriptions. Text and plates very clean. Rare.
Price: $28,000.00 Item Number: 125345
“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
“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever”: First American Edition of John Adams's A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America; from the library of American founding father Gunning Bedford, Jr.
Philadelphia: Printed for Hall and Sellers; J. Cruikshank; and Young and McCulloch, 1787.
First edition of John Adams’s greatest contribution to American political theory; from the library of one of the 39 signers of the United States Constitution, Founding Father Gunning Bedford, Jr. Octavo, bound in full contemporary tree calf with gilt ruling to the spine, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, gilt turn-ins. Signed by Gunning Bedford, Jr. on the title page. Born in Philadelphia in 1747, Gunning Bedford attended the College of New Jersey, where he was a classmate of James Madison, and later served in the Continental Army as an aide to General George Washington. After the Revolutionary war, he became a prominent political figure sitting in the legislature, on the state council, and in the Continental Congress (1783–85). One of the more active members of the Constitutional Convention, on May 14, 1787 he was one of the 39 delegates that signed the Constitution of the United States. Gunning Bedford also served as Attorney General of Delaware from 1784 until he was designated by George Washington as a federal district judge for his state in 1789, a position he held for the rest of his life. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise case. An exceptional example with fine provenance.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 125308
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