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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.
“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.
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.
"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.
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.
"A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality": First Edition of Kennedy's Profiles In Courage; Signed by Him to Fell U.S. Senator Frederick Payne
New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1956.
First edition of Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Octavo, original half cloth, with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Foreword by Allan Nevins. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Fred Payne with the highest regards John Kennedy.” The recipient Frederick G. Payne was a United States Senator from Maine from 1953 to 1959. He previously served as the 60th Governor of Maine from 1949 to 1952. Kennedy and Payne worked together in the Senate in the 1950s and were close friends. “From the Personal Library of Senator Frederick G. Payne” stamped opposite the front free endpaper, near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Phil Grushkin. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A nice association linking these two United States Senators.
"I salute you with continual friendship & respect. Th. Jefferson”: one page autograph letter signed by thomas jefferson regarding his library
One page autograph letter signed by Thomas Jefferson regarding duties for a shipment of books for his second library at Monticello. Address to David Gelston, esq, who was the Collector of the Port of New York (appointed by Jefferson in 1801). The letter reads, “On my return home after some absence I found here your favors of Sept. 2 & 15. stating the amount of freight & duties on my books … Having no medium of remittance but in the bills of our banks I enclose 8.D presuming they are negotiable with you, and that the fractional surplus may cover their discount at market. I salute you with continual friendship & respect. Th. Jefferson.” The letter measures 9.75 inches by 7.75 inches. Matted and framed with a portrait.
The Manuscript Edition of Theodore Roosevelt's Monumental Work The Winning of the West; One of 200 Numbered Copies
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons 1900.
Limited edition, number 72 of 200 copies of the manuscript edition of The Winning of the West. Quarto, 4 volumes, bound in full publisher’s morocco, gilt titles to the spine, gilt tooling to the front and rear panels, top edge gilt, pastedowns full morocco with inlay. The manuscript page in this example opposite the limitation page and reads, “at the expense of the government; and on the lower Ohio in 1793 and ’93 there were plenty of men who, in the event of a campaign, hoped to make profit out of the goods, horses and cattle they supplied the soldiers.” Portrait frontispiece in volume one, illustrated throughout, with frontispieces in each volume, folding maps, and other plates. In near fine condition. Housed in two custom slipcases. A very nice set.
"I share entirely your view that it is vitally necessary for everyone in the Middle East to live in peace": Autograph Letter Signed by David Ben-Gurion
Autograph letter signed by the founder of modern day Israel and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion. It reads, “Sdeh. Boker, 28. 2. 70 Dear Mr. George P. Viegelmann, Jr. I share entirely your view that it is vitally necessary for everyone in the Middle East to live in peace. I am expressing a private view: I would be ready to give up a great Part of the areas which we hold since the six day war, if this would bring peace; by peace I mean friendship with our Arab neighbors and cooperation politically, economically and culturally, but perhaps only Russia can bring this about. I even doubt whether the American Gov. can achieve that. In the future there may be a change in Egypt. David Ben-Gurion.” This letter is a very unique piece of history, particularly in regards to Israeli-Arab relations and the study of peace in general. While publicly Ben-Gurion was the undoubted leader in Zionism, privately at the end of his life, he began to have other opinions. He desired peace even if it meant giving up land that they had fought to obtain. Ben-Gurion’s thoughts on peace in his latter years is corroborated by the recent documentary, Ben-Gurion, Epilogue. This movie features footage that was taken in 1968 and only recently discovered. In the footage he explains that Israel’s moral compass was inexorably tied to its treatment of the non-Jews living under its rule. Double matted and framed opposite a photograph of Ben-Gurion. The entire piece measures 15 inches by 16.5 inches.
“INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE": First Edition of Martin Luther's King Jr.'s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?; inscribed by him
New York: Harper & Row, Publishers 1967.
First edition of King’s “last grand expression of his vision” (Cornel West). Octavo, original half cloth, illustrated with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Wilfred Cohen, In appreciation for your great support. Martin Luther King Jr.” Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Ronald Clyne. Jacket photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Bob Fitch.
Rare autograph letter signed and entirely in the hand of Robert E. Lee to one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War, James Longstreet
Rare autograph letter signed and entirely in the hand of Robert E. Lee to one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War, James Longstreet in the midst of the Siege of Petersburg. Dated September 28, 1864 and addressed to General Longstreet, the letter reads, “Genl, The articles were sent from England by Major L.B. Ferguson who is the Agent of the Dept in Europe for the purchase of cloth, blankets, sleeves, etc. Through the kindness of Mr. Andrews who leaves in the Morn direct for Richmond, I send a box containing Sundry articles for you & Gen. Longstreet, who I hope has recovered from his wound. These articles you must accept with affectionate regard of Lady Eardley, Mrs. Irvine, and Mrs. Ferguson, the latter I hope to have with me in a few days. I hope you will receive your portion safely. The box I understand arrived in Richmond was opened by Major Ferguson (brother to the one in Europe) and the articles intended for me sent to me gens in Richmond. Yours I understood from my Gen Maj. Franklin – retained. Very truly, R.E. Lee.” The recipient, James Longstreet was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War and the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his “Old War Horse”. He served under Lee as a corps commander for most of the famous battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia in the Eastern Theater. Lee wrote the present letter to Longstreet in the midst of the Siege of Petersburg, an ultimately unsuccessful assault by Grant’s Union armies which consisted of nine months of trench warfare. Petersburg was crucial to the supply of Lee’s army and the Confederate capital of Richmond, and on the eve of September 28, 1864 (the day the present letter was written) Lee shifted his troops to Richmond to meet Butler’s Army of the James in the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm and New Market Heights. In near fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16.25 inches by 14 inches.