Presidents and World Leaders
Rare Books by Presidents & World Leaders for Sale Online
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“To President Kennedy per your request – here are our hands, our hearts, our votes": Inscribed by Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Harry S. Truman to President John F. Kennedy
Photograph of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson in a three-way handshake, taken on January 20, 1962 at the Grand Staircase, Entrance Hall at the White House. Inscribed by both Johnson and Truman to Kennedy, “To President Kennedy per your request – here are our hands, our hearts, our votes – Lyndon B. Johnson.” Inscribed by Truman “From Harry Truman to a great president, John F. Kennedy, February 19, 1962.” A rare photograph capturing three significant figureheads of the Democratic Party. In fine condition. Photograph by Robert L. Knudsen. From the collection of President Kennedy, later owned by his friend and special assistant, David Powers. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18.5 inches by 24 inches. An exceptional piece of history, inscribed by two Presidents to another President.
Wood engraving of a bust-length portrait of one of the most famous graphic images of Gandhi by illustrator Fritz Eichenberg; signed by Gandhi, “God is Truth MK Gandhi.” Below Gandhi’s inscription reads, “To Eva Aug. 16th, 1948 with love from Fritz” and additionally signed “Fritz Eichenberg.” The engraving is a proof impression on Japanese paper. The portrait by Eichenberg was originally created for The Catholic Worker, a newspaper in the cause of social justice, and was subsequently used in multiple other publications. “The word satya (Truth) is derived from Sat which means ‘being’. Nothing is or exists in reality except Truth. That is why Sat or Truth is perhaps the most important name of God […] In such selfless search for Truth nobody can lose his bearings for long. Directly he takes to the wrong path he stumbles, and is thus redirected to the right path. Therefore the pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God” (Gandhi, January 1st, 1927). The engraving measures 12 inches by 9 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 22 inches by 20 inches. Signed examples are exceptionally rare and desirable with the core tenet of Gandhi’s religious philosophy.
FIRST EDITION OF PROFILES IN COURAGE; INSCRIBED BY JOHN F. KENNEDY TO THE SENIOR SENATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS LEVERETT SALTONSTALL
New York: Harper & Brothers 1956.
First edition of Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Octavo, original half cloth, with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Association copy, inscribed by the author to Massachusetts Senator Leverett Saltonstall, “To Senator Saltonstall- with the very highest regards of his colleague John Kennedy.” Leverett Saltonstall was the senior senator of Massachusetts while, John Kennedy was the junior senator. An excellent copy in a bright near fine dust jacket. Saltonstall served as Republican Whip from 1949-1957 and as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1953-1955. Saltonstall attended the wedding of John Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, and the two served together in the Senate from 1953 to 1960. Saltanstall and Kennedy worked together closely over the course of several years, as evidenced of one of their constituents thought the two had an even closer relationship, mistakenly assuming Saltonstall to be Kennedy’s uncle. “If you are ready to admit it,” Kennedy kidded in a 1963 letter, “I am.” Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An excellent association linking these two statesmen.
New York: Wilfred Funk, Inc 1940.
First edition of John F. Kennedy’s first book. Octavo, bound in full blue leather, all edges gilt. The dedication copy of John F. Kennedy’s first book, Why England Slept, with Rose Kennedy’s embossed name on the front panel. This copy was specially bound for the author’s mother, Rose Kennedy and presented to her. This copy brought $52,900 at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sale at Sotheby’s in May 1996. Housed in a full dark blue morocco clamshell box. Unique.
“I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar": rare original photograph of Winston S. Churchill; inscribed by him to his governess and with a rare Winston S. Churchill brand cigar
Original black and white photograph of Winston S. Churchill inscribed by him and accompanied by an exceptionally rare unsmoked Winston S. Churchill brand La Corona Cigar with the original box. The mounted photograph measures 7 inches by 5 inches and is inscribed by Churchill, “For Mrs. Dorgan, Winston S, Churchill 1950.” The recipient, Mary Dorgan was the Churchill’s governess through the 1940s and into the 1950s. The cigar measures 7.5 inches in length and bears the original red and gold “La Corona Winston S. Churchill Habana” label. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 19 inches. Unsmoked Winston Churchill cigars alone are exceptionally rare, this, a personal gift from Churchill to his governess is of the utmost rarity.
"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.
“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on": First Edition of Why England Slept; Inscribed by Kennedy to His Father's Secretary and Who Transcribed this Work
New York: Wilfred Funk, Inc 1940.
First edition of John F. Kennedy’s first book. Octavo, original red cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Miss Brown with many thanks for her help in bringing out this book Best wishes Jack Kennedy.” The recipient Mona Brown was a personal assistant and secretary to Joseph Kennedy for seven years, a period of time which included his ambassadorship to the United Kingdom. She was part of the Kennedy household’s innermost circle and spent a considerable amount of time with the Kennedy children, especially young Jack and Kathleen. She transcribed Why England Slept for Jack, the basis for which was his Harvard thesis. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association.
Exceptionally rare autograph album signed by President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet including Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward
Exceptionally rare finely bound autograph album signed by the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln as well as his cabinet and 225 senators, representatives, and delegates of the 37th Congress, 1861-1863. Octavo, bound in full morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, gilt ruled, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, with the name “Lizzie F. Harlow” gilt on the front panel. Singed by Abraham Lincoln on the first page of the album, “Yours truly, Abraham Lincoln.” Additionally signed by William H. Seward, Edwin M. Stanton, Gideon Welles, M. Blair, Edward Bates, J. P. Usher and S. P. Chase. Collected between the years of 1862 and 1863 by James McCain, a young patent officer at the United States Patent Office. McCain presented the custom-bound album to his sweetheart, Lizzie F. Harlow, who, despite not marrying the young clerk, passed it down to her heirs. In near fine condition. An exceptional rarity with noted provenance.
Exceptionally Rare Hand-written Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a graduate student at Boston University in 1952
Hand-written autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to his academic adviser at Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated September 1952 on an official Registrar Petition form addressed to the faculty reads: “I am desirous of taking twelve hours towards the PhD degree this semester in the Boston University Graduate School. My major field is Systematic theology. At present I have completed twenty-eight hours toward the degree, and passed the French examination. I plan to take the German examination in October, 1952. I would have taken the examination before now, but I wanted to make sure that I had an adequate background in German before taking it. For the past two years I have been a close student of German. In the light of this I am fairly certain that I can pass the examination in October. Martin L. King Jr. Graduate Student.” With faculty notes beneath signed by King’s academic adviser, “1952 L. Harold DeWolf. Approved. Granted for fall semester only.” King has also clearly printed his name on the verso, visible though an opening at in the back of the frame. Double matted and framed with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 15 inches. An exceptionally rare example providing a remarkable glimpse into the iconic leader’s education.
“I’VE JUST HAD THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE”: Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek
Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek. One page, on Thatcher’s official 10 Downing Street letterhead and dated May 22nd 1984, the letter reads, “Dear Professor Hayek,” I have it in mind on the occasion of the forthcoming list of Birthday Honours to submit your name to The Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. I should be glad to know if this would be agreeable to you. I shall take no steps until I have your reply. “Yours sincerely, Margaret Thatcher.” Accompanied by a large original black and white photograph of Hayek taken at the honorary appointment at Buckingham Palace in which, he was in fact, awarded the Companion of Honour Medal by Queen Elizabeth II. In fine condition. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 24.5 inches by 19 inches. An exceptional piece of history.
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.
"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.
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.
Government of the Dalai Lama 1959.
First edition of this important document, which details the historical relationship between Tibet and China from the 7th century to the 1950s and presents arguments supporting Tibet’s claim for sovereignty. Octavo, original printed flexible board wrappers, with the title and date printed in red letters. Boldly signed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the front panel. Table of contents and 63 pages of text. In 1959 the Dalai Lama sought support from the U.S. and other nations to recognize their government in exile and to bring their case for Tibetan sovereignty and against Chinese aggression before the United Nations. It is necessary to distinguish between two 1959 publications under the same title. The more common (today) appears to be an octavo volume of 49 pages, which several sources attribute to the Central Electric Press in Delhi, India. [The British Library and Harvard University each has a copy in that smaller format; WorldCat details 10 locations of the 49 p. 8vo edition, under two OCLC numbers]. Our publication, a mimeographic duplication from a document produced on a typewriter, printed on rectos only of quarto sized sheets, has 63 leaves and an un-numbered first leaf [“Table of Contents”]. Technical limitations mean that our publication in quarto mimeographed format, is both more fragile by nature and less likely to have been issued in a large number of copies. Considering that the 14th Dalai Lama spent all but the first 90 days of 1959 residing in exile in Dharamshala, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India, it is likely that our publication was produced there. Historical Context: In 1959, within days of the rapidly devolving March uprising in Lhasa, the Dalai Lama and his retinue fled Tibet with the help of the CIA’s Special Activities Division. They crossed the border into India on 30 March 1959, and soon afterward, the Dalai Lama set up the Government of Tibet in Exile in Dharamshala, receiving support from the CIA including a personal annual stipend of $180,000 and other material support from at least 1959 until about 1974. (CIA support for the Government of the Dalai Lama in Exile and other potential Tibetan assets reportedly totalled about $1.7 million per annum). In April 1959 the Dalai Lama sent a message to the U.S. Government requesting that the U.S. formally recognize the Free Tibetan Government and that he encourage other nations to do so. Under Secretary of State C. Douglas Dillon advised President Eisenhower that the U.S. should “avoid taking any position which might encourage the Dalai Lama to seek international recognition.” Despite considerable U.S. covert support of the Tibetans’ efforts to oust the Chinese, the official U.S. position held that Tibet was an autonomous country under Chinese suzerainty. The State Department believed this position better served America’s broader foreign policy interest viz. China and India. In fact, the Eisenhower administration (both the State Department and the CIA) restrained the Tibetans from presenting their case against Chinese aggression, instead skirting the political issues and treading the softer line of human rights violations and cultural oppression. The Tibetans finally enlisted Ireland and Malaya to request “The Question of Tibet” to be added to the U.N. agenda for its 14th session. Consequently, the United Nations’ Resolution 1353 (XIV) on Tibet was passed in October 1959. This first U.N. resolution on Tibet did not address the sovereignty issue, but voiced their “grave concern at the continued violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Tibetans” and calling for “respect of the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people and for their distinctive cultural and religious life.” For an interesting exposition of this era of Tibetan diplomacy, see “Tibet Issue at the UN: a case study in informal diplomacy, (1950-65)” by Kalzang Diki Bhutia. Either directly or indirectly, this publication was made possible by support from the CIA; it is a fascination sidelight of history that the official US government position was not in alignment with this text, and also, that no copy of our rare publication seems to have survived in any institutional library in the United States. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
First Edition of "this Cornerstone of American Political Journalism" Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72; Signed by Hunter S. Thompson, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart and Illustrator Ralph Steadman
San Francisco: Arrow Books 1973.
First edition of the author’s third book and hallmark of campaign journalism. Octavo, original black boards. Signed by Hunter Thompson on the half-title page and subjects, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart and illustrator, Ralph Steadman. Fine in a near fine first issue price-clipped dust jacket with the white boarder around the photograph of Thompson and McGovern on the rear panel. The book is notable for its introduction not only to the candidates of 1972 but also its early glimpses of future political leaders. Gary Hart of Colorado, who served as McGovern’s campaign manager and would later run for and win a seat in the United States Senate, and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, who would himself capture the 1976 Democratic nomination and Presidency. A unique example with this collection of signatures.