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
"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
“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
"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
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
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 Original Photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant Taken By Mathew Brady; Boldly Signed By Grant As President
Rare original Mathew Brady photograph of Ulysses S. Grant. Boldly signed by Grant as the 18th President of the United States, “U.S. Grant March 18th 1875.” One of the earliest photographers in American history, Mathew B. Brady brought home the reality of the Civil War to the American public with his innovative use of a mobile studio and darkroom to capture thousands of war scenes throughout the Civil War. Brady was also recognized as one of the premier photographic portraitists of the 19th century, taking photographs of numerous celebrities including Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee among others. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 16.5 inches. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable with such a strong signature signed by Grant during his presidency.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 94709
"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
"I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology": Exceptionally Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before beginning graduate studies at Boston University in 1951
Typescript autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. requesting housing upon his acceptance to Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated June 15th 1951 and addressed to Dean Charles W. Alter, Boston University Graduate School, reads, “Dear Dean Alter, I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology. I am now interested in finding living accommodations on the campus, or at least very near by. A single room would be preferable. If such is possible I would appreciate having it reserved. I am also interested in applying for a graduate Fellowship. Please send me the necessary information at this point along with an application blank. Thanks in advance for your cooperation, I am Sincerely yours, Martin L. King, Jr.” King later recalled his experience with housing bias in 1951 Boston in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1965, “I remember very well trying to find a place to live. I went into place after place where there were signs that rooms were for rent. They were for rent until they found out I was a Negro, and suddenly they had just been rented.” Double matted and framed, with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 21.75 inches. This letter offers an extraordinary glimpse into the education of the great African-American Civil Rights leader, exemplifying his own experiences with the systemic racism in 1950s American society.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 82416
Rare Official American League Baseball signed by baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, the dynamic duo of Muderers’ Row. Signed by Babe Ruth on the sweetspot and Gehrig on the west panel. In very good condition.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 109536
“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever”: First Edition of John Adams' A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America; In the Rare Original Boards
London: Printed for C. Dilly, 1787.
First edition of John Adams’ landmark work. Octavo, original boards, minor wear. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half calf clamshell box. Rare, especially in the original boards.
Price: $16,000.00 Item Number: 50010
“The constitution of our English government is no Arbitrary tyranny”: Rare First Edition of Henry Care's English Liberties: Or, The Free-Born Subject's Inheritance
London: Printed by G. Larkin, for Benjamin Harris at the Stationers Arms and Anchoy in the Piazza under the Royal Exchange, 1680.
First edition of one of the very first law books printed in colonial America, contains the first American printing of Magna Carta and other fundamental documents of individual liberty in Anglo-American law. Small octavo, contemporary calf. In excellent condition, with light wear to the crown of the spine. Auction records show that there has not been a first edition offered in the twentieth century. A rare landmark work which significantly influenced the American colonies.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 24087
First edition of the second book on architecture published in America: Owen Biddle's The Young Carpenter's Assistant
The Young Carpenter’s Assistant; Or, A System Of Architecture, Adapted To The Style Of Building In The United States.
Philadelphia: Benjamin Johnson, 1805.
First edition of the second book on architecture published in America, second only to Asher Benjamin’s Country Builder’s Assistant’ published in 1797( Shaw & Shoemaker, 8018). Quarto, bound in full calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, illustrated with 44 engraved plates, 2 folding. In very good condition. Scarce with only 2 copies having appeared at auction in the past 50 years.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 117672
“THE BEST CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNT OF THE REVOLUTION FROM THE BRITISH SIDE”: STEDMAN’S HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN WAR, WITH 15 LARGE MAPS (11 FOLDING) OF “GREAT INTEREST AND VALUE”
London: Printed for the Author and Sold by J. Murray, et al, 1794.
First edition, wide-margined copy, of Stedman’s massive contemporary two-volume History of the American Revolution— “the standard work on the subject” —containing 15 military maps and plans (11 folding, the largest nearly 20 by 30 inches). Two volumes, handsomely bound in contemporary calf, green morocco labels, half-titles to both volumes. In very good condition, rebacked laying down the original backstrips. Rare and desirable with the half-title pages.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 99225
"No one quality by itself makes a good man or woman; many are essential; but three especially - courage, straightforward honesty, and common sense": Rare autograph quotation book lengthily inscribed by Theodore Roosevelt as President in addition to many others including William Howard Taft, John Muir, John Burroughs, and Bernard Baruch
ROOSEVELT, Theodore; William Howard Taft; John Muir; John Burroughs; Bernard Baruch et al. [Olga Roosevelt].
Olga Roosevelt’s autograph book, lengthily inscribed and signed by Theodore Roosevelt as President of the United States, William Howard Taft as Vice President of the United States and several other famous figures of the era, including naturalists John Muir and John Burroughs and financier Bernard Baruch. Octavo, bound in full vellum with hand painted decorations to the spine and panels, patterned endpapers. Inscribed and signed by Theodore Roosevelt with a lengthy quotation, “No one quality by itself makes a good man or woman; many are essential; but three especially – courage, straightforward honesty, and common sense. Theodore Roosevelt July 23rd 1903.” Inscribed by William Howard Taft “For Miss Olga Roosevelt with best wishes of William H. Taft May 23 1910.” Inscribed by American naturalist John Burroughs, “The most precious things of life are without money & without price John Burroughs Sept 8, 1903.” Inscribed by the President of Cornell University and United States Ambassador to Germany Jacob Gould Schurman, “Beauty, graceful manners, good temper, common sense, and a kind heart: these are the qualities that make a woman to be beloved and powerful. J.G. Schurman East Hampton September 14th 1903.” Additionally inscribed by Alfred W.S. Garden, American diplomat Robert Underwood Johnson, American screenwriter Daniel Carson Goodman, and American naval officer Leigh Carlyle Palmer. Signed by John Muir and signed and dated by Bernard Baruch “B. Baruch Jan 20th 1920.” From the collection of Theodore Roosevelt’s niece, Olga Roosevelt. Roosevelt was the heiress to a fortune of several million dollars left her by her mother. She made her debut in Washington in 1908 and married Dr. Breckenridge Bayne in 1911. In very good condition. An exceptional collection of signatures with noted provenance.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 116342
Military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln, Washington, August 1861. Folio on vellum with vignettes. Light wear along the folds. Countersigned by Simon Cameron. Matted and framed.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 69020
Rare Scientific Pamphlet Collection compiled during President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1938 Smithsonian-sponsored scientific expedition to the Galapagos islands; six signed and inscribed by him
City of Washington: Published by the Smithsonian Institution, 1939-1942.
First editions of ten botanical and zoological pamphlets published as a result of collections and investigations made during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential Cruise of 1938 to the Galapo, six being presentation copies inscribed and signed “FDR” on the front wrapper. Octavo, ten pamphlets, original brown printed paper wrappers, illustrated. Presentation copies, 6 pamphlets are signed and inscribed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 5 to his friend and long-time colleague in combating polio, Basil “Doc” O’Connor. The pamphlets include: Flowering Plants Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Ellsworth P. Killip, May 27, 1939), inscribed. “R.T. McI From F.D.R.”; Two New Gobioid Fishes Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Isaac Ginsburg, May 31, 1939), inscribed “Doc O’Connor from F.D.R.”; Echinoderms (Other than Holothurians) Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Austin H. Clark, June 2, 1939), inscribed “Doc O’Connor from F.D.R.”; A New Dicrocoeliid Trematode Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Allen McIntosh, June 8, 1939), inscribed “Doc O’Connor from F.D.R.”; The Polychaetous Annelids Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Olga Hartman, June 9, 1939), inscribed “Doc O’Connor from F.D.R.”; Amphipod Crustaceans Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Clarence R. Shoemaker, March 5, 1942), inscribed “for Basil from F.D.R.”; Coelenterates Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Elisabeth Deichann, January 27, 1941); Recent Foraminifera From Old Providence Island Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Joseph A. Cushman, January 24, 1941); A New Cephalopod Mollusk Collected on the Presidential Cruise of 1938 (Helen C. Stuart, February 4, 1941). The recipient of five of the pamphlets, Basil “Doc” O’Connor (1892-1972) was a lawyer by training; in co-operation with FDR he started two foundations for the rehabilitation of polio patients and the research on polio prevention and treatment. From 1944 to 1949 he was Chairman and President of the American Red Cross and from 1945 to 1950 he was Chairman of the League of Red Cross Societies. In fine condition. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Scarce and desirable.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 123500
"the first American book on parliamentary procedure": First edition of Thomas Jefferson's A Manual of Parliamentary Practice. For the Use of the Senate of the United States
Washington City: Samuel Harrison Smith, 1801.
First edition of the first American book on parliamentary procedure. Small octavo, bound in full contemporary sheep with red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, gilt tooling to the spine. In very good condition. Early ownership signature. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 104073
"THESE ARE THE TIMES THAT TRY MEN'S SOULS": First collected edition of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis and a Letter to Sir Guy Carleton
The American Crisis, and a Letter to Sir Guy Carleton, on the Murder of Captain Huddy, and the Intended Retaliation on Captain Asgill, of the Guards.
London: Printed and Sold by Daniel Isaac Eaton, 1788.
First collected edition and first edition in book form of the thirteen issues of Paine’s legendary call to arms, the first five issues having appeared originally as separate tracts and the last eight issued only in newspapers. Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with red morocco spine label lettered in gilt. In near fine condition. Ownership inscriptions. Rare and desirable.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 111055
Rare collection of Rough Riders Photographs and Documents; Twice signed and inscribed by Theodore Roosevelt
Rare collection of original signed documents and photographs taken during President Theodore Roosevelt’s days as Colonel of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, or Rough Riders. The collection includes an original mounted photograph of Roosevelt in full uniform with his campaign hat; two cabinet card photographs of Albert S. Johnson, a member of the Cavalry; an endorsement dated September 7, 1998 which reads in part, “This officer did not serve in Cuba but remained in Florida with the squadron left behind” signed, “T. Roosevelt” which is affixed to the verso of of Albert S. Johnson’s 5 September 1898 application for 60-days leave; and a military record discharging Johnson from the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry with remarks from Captain R.H. Bruce and Theodore Roosevelt, “Did not serve under me personally; is reported to me as a good and loyal officer. T. Roosevelt col 1st U.S.V.” Johnson’s application for leave was ultimately denied as his regiment was about to be disbanded and taken out of service. In near fine condition. An exceptional collection. Documents from Roosevelt’s Rough Rider days are rare.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 95371
“Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it": Rare Collection of original Oleg Cassini dress designs, sketches, photographs, letters and a gown replica designed by him for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy
Rare collection of original Oleg Cassini dress designs, sketches, photographs, letters and a gown from Cassini’s personal collection. The collection includes a French magazine page inscribed by Jacqueline Kennedy, “afternoon + Theatre”, a letter typed by Cassini’s secretary Kay McGowan transcribing Kennedy’s instructions to him, an original Cassini Studio pencil sketch, a chart of sixteen Cassini designs with pinned fabric swatches, a Cassini designed replica of a gown worn by Jackie at the September 19, 1961 White House Dinner held in honor of of President Dr. Manuel Prado Ugarteche and First Lady Clorinda Málaga de Prado of Peru with Cassini’s couture label, a photograph featuring Cassini, and two photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy donning Cassini’s designs, including one framed which features a photograph of her wearing the very dress mimicked in the replica. In near fine condition. A nice collection offering insight into the complexity and careful planning of Jackie’s public image.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 116093
"Your affectionate husband and father, John Brown": Rare autograph letter signed by John Brown to his wife and children
Kingsport, Ohio: 1859.
Rare autograph letter signed by and completely in the hand of Abolitionist John Brown to his wife and children regarding his return home. One page, entirely in the hand of John Brown, the letter is dated 7th April, 1859, and reads in part: “Kingsport, Ohio Dear Wife and children All, I write you March 25th enclosing Draft for $150, saying write me Care of American House… to say what articles you need of provisions, clothing, shoes +c. Have you written? I still wish you to retain what money you can for a few days, as I hope to be at home to advise with you about laying it out. I have been entirely laid up for more than a week… All well in Hudson, Akron and West Andover lately. May write again before getting home. My best wish for you all is that you may truly love God and his Commandments. Your affectionate husband and father, John Brown.” In December of 1858, Brown led a successful raid in Missouri, freeing 11 slaves, and leading them to Canada in January, 1859. He then met with Frederick Douglass in Detroit where he made a final plea to convince Douglass of the necessity of violence in ending American slavery. Brown had conceived of the Harper’s Ferry raid in early 1859, and would return home to North Elba one last time in June, before going to Harper’s Ferry in July, ending with his raid on the Federal Armory there on October 16th. His wife would not see him again until she was allowed to visit him in the Jefferson County Jail on the eve of his execution. In very good condition. Double matted and framed. The letter measures 6.5 by 4 inches. The entire piece measures 20 inches by 16.5 inches.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 124158
"We miss you very much. Love from Caroline & Mummy" Postcard from Jacqueline Kennedy to her son John, Jr.
Postcard from Jacqueline Kennedy to her son John F. Kennedy, Jr. It reads, “Dearest John, Every day we say where is John-John – Away!! – We ride in this cart & the horse has feathers – & we play on a beach like this & I found a sea horse – & we go up this hill to our house. That is a tower to look out for pirates – We miss you very much. Love from Caroline & Mummy.” Written on a postcard from Amalfi which she has addressed to “Master J.F. Kennedy Jr.” The verso shows a colorful illustration of the seashore including a horse-drawn cart, beach, stone tower, and village. Accompanied by a White House envelope with the typed return address, “Villa l’Episcopio RAVELLO, ITALIA.” Double matted and framed opposite of photograph of the Kennedy family. The entire piece measures 15 inches by 19 inches.
Price: $12,500.00 Item Number: 65095
First Edition of The Proceedings of the Government of the United States in Maintaining the Public Right to the Beach of the Missisipi
The Proceedings of the Government of the United States in Maintaining the Public Right to the Beach of the Missisipi [sic], adjacent to New-Orleans, against the Intrusion of Edward Livingston.
New York: Ezra Sergeant, 1812.
First edition, one of only 250 copies printed for Jefferson to distribute to senators, congressman and other political figures. Octavo, original wrappers, frontispiece map. Some wear to the wrappers, light dampstaining. Housed in a custom half calf clamshell box. Exceptionally rare.
Price: $12,000.00 Item Number: 84930
First edition of George Catlin's O-Kee-Pa: A Religious Ceremony: and other Customs of the Mandans; in the rare original green cloth
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott and Co, 1867.
First edition of Catlin’s important work on the Mandan people and their rituals, one of the only records of the Mandan tribe which was almost entirely exterminated in the smallpox epidemic of 1837. Octavo, original publisher’s green beveled cloth with gilt titles and double gilt ruling to the front panel, illustrated with thirteen tissue-guarded chromolithographic plates after Catlin by Simonau & Toovely, half-title present, coated green endleaves, all edges gilt. From the library of American businessman and amateur archaeologist William H. Claflin Jr. with his pictorial bookplate to the pastedown. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable, especially in this condition.
Price: $12,000.00 Item Number: 119463
Rare Civil War era endorsement signed by Abraham Lincoln as President. Dated March 14, 1864, the endorsement reads, “Submitted to the Sec. of War & Gen. Meade. A. Lincoln, March 14, 1864.” In fine condition. On March 14, 1864 Lincoln issued an order for the draft of 200,000 men to support the Union effort. Only two days prior, General Ulysses S. Grant assumed command of the Union armies. Matted and framed with and engraved portrait of Lincoln and gold biographical plaque. The endorsement measures 3.25 inches by 2.75 inches. The entire piece measures 22.75 inches by 19 inches.
Price: $11,800.00 Item Number: 109638
"The Allied Armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God's help have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender": Proclamation of Nazi Germanys Surrender; Signed by Harry Truman
Washington, D.C: May 8, 1945.
Large three-colored broadside of Harry Truman’s Proclamation declaring the surrender of Germany, boldly signed by Harry S. Truman. Also included at the lower left is the original 1945 Christmas card from the President and Mrs. Truman and at lower right, the original red, white and blue ribbon. These were presented by the President as gifts for friends. Uncommon, especially with the original Christmas card and ribbon. Matted and framed, which measures 21 inches by 28 inches.
Price: $11,500.00 Item Number: 4419