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African American

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Captain Paul Cuffee’s Obituary

[AFRICAN AMERICAN], Pamphlet. Poor Will’s Almanack for the Year 1819, Philadelphia, Pa., John Rakestraw, [ca. 12/1818]. 32 pp., 4½ x 7¼ in.


Item #22836, $450

A Texan Keeps His Slaves by
Making Them Indentured Servants

[SLAVERY], Manuscript Document Signed. Agreement to Indenture Eighteen Negroes to James Cox of Texas. [Austin, Texas?]. May 10, 1832. 4 pp., 8 x 13½ in. Lacking the first leaf.


A creative legal strategy allows this American colonist to Mexican Texas to retain his slaves despite Mexican law.

Item #23309, $1,150

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper with United States Colored Troop (USCT) Images

[AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIERS], Newspapers. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, December 13, and December 20, 1862, 16 pp. each. (Two issues)


Two war-dated newspapers showing African Americans in the Civil War:

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, December 20, 1862: “The South Carolina Loyal Colored Regiment in Action,” including “Picking off Rebel Sharpshooters.”  And, “The Negro Drivers of the Baggage Train.”

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, December 13, 1862: Contrabands looking on at “Camp at Stafford’s Store Virginia.”

Item #22483.01-.02, $375

Martin Luther King Forwards a Letter to Rosa Parks

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, Autograph Note written on retained copy of a Typed Letter by Maude L. Ballou. March 6, 1957, [Montgomery, Ala.], 1 p., 8 ½ x 11 in.


“Get this letter to Mrs Parks”

Item #23299, $5,000

The First Full-term African American Senator Signs a Deed

BLANCHE BRUCE, Document Signed. Land deed. Washington, D.C. 1890. Signature panel 8¼ x 3½ in., overall dimensions 8¼ x 14 in.


Blanche Bruce was the first full-term African American to serve in the U.S. Senate, 1875-1881. He was then appointed by President James Garfield as Register of the U.S. Treasury in 1881. He later served as the Washington, D.C. Recorder of Deeds (a position held earlier by Frederick Douglass), 1890-1893 and again as Register of the Treasury from 1897 until his death in 1898.

Item #22945.01, $95

Martin Luther King Ranked #1 on List of
“Most Vulnerable to Violent Attacks”

[MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.], Typed Document. Copy of “List of Persons and Churches Most Vulnerable to Violent Attacks.” [Alabama], January 14, 1957. One page, 8½ x 11 in.


King heads the list of people and places most likely to suffer retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the resulting U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Alabama’s racial segregation laws.

Item #23292, $3,000

Martin Luther King, Jr. Prepares His Return from India After Paying Tribute to Gandhian Non Violent Methods

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, Autograph Letter Signed, to Maude L. Ballou. Bangalore [India], n. d. [circa February 1959]. 8 pp., 6½ x 8 in. On Residency Guest House letterhead.


Item #23298, $50,000

The 1858 Debates that Propelled Lincoln to National Attention

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Book. Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois. Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster, and Co., 1860. 3rd edition, with publisher’s advertisements bound in. 268 pp., 6½ x 9½ in.


Item #22476, $1,500

The African American Who Became Liberia’s First President Reports the Capture of a Slave Ship (SOLD)

JOSEPH JENKINS ROBERTS, Autograph Letter Signed as Governor of Liberia, to Benjamin Coates, Monrovia, Liberia, October 3, 1845. 2 pp, 7¼ x 10 in., with integral address leaf.


Colonial Governor Joseph Robert Jenkins reports the capture of an illegal American slaving vessel off his nation of Liberia. Founded by the American Colonization Society in an effort to return African Americans to Africa, Liberia gained its independence in 1847, and Jenkins became its first president. Here he discusses commerce, opportunities for future independence, and the capture of a slaving vessel.

“This goes by the American Schooner “Patuxent” captured as a slaver four days ago, off Cape Mount, by the U.S. Ship “Yorktown” Captain Chas. H. Bell, and sails for New York in a few hours. She had no slaves on board, but was fitted with water casks & provisions for three hundred slaves forty days - and a slave deck ready to be laid down at a few hours notice and would, in all probability, have received her slaves in a day or two.”

Item #23164, SOLD — please inquire about other items

A Massachusetts Private is Discharged and then Commissioned as a White Officer in the 37th U.S. Colored Troops

[CIVIL WAR-AFRICAN AMERICAN], Partially Printed Document Signed by Captain John S. Clark. Discharge Certificate for Moses C. Emerson. 1 p., 8 x 10¼ in.


Item #21264.07, $275

Supplying U.S. Colored Troops in the Field

DEXTER E. CLAPP, Partially-Printed Document Signed, to William L. Ames. Invoice of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores. “In the field, Va.,” December 1, 1864. 2 pp, recto and verso, 8½ x 11 in.


Item #22960, $125

The White Lieutenant of the 27th Ohio, United States
Colored Troops, Records the Final Year of the Civil War

FREDERICK J. BARTLETT. [BLACK SOLDIERS], Manuscript Document. Civil War Diary, Company C 27th Ohio Colored Infantry. Near Fort Fisher, North Carolina and Ohio, January – December, 1865. Leather cover. Approximately 100 pp., 5 3/5 x 3½ in. With a ledger of company expenses at the rear, in the same hand.


A rare, detailed account of an African-American regiment by one of its officers.

Item #22581, $4,800

The American Colonization Society Petitions Congress
to Create a Colony for Free Blacks (SOLD)

[AFRICAN AMERICAN], Pamphlet. “Memorial of the President and Board of Managers of the American Society for the Colonizing the Free People of Colour of the United States,” Washington, D.C., January 14, 1817.


Item #22759, SOLD — please inquire about other items

New Hampshire Ridicules South Carolina’s Attempts
to Game the System After Rejecting the 14th Amendment

[AFRICAN AMERICAN], Broadside. “Part of a Speech of the N. H. “Champion of Democracy” on the Negro Question,” no place, [New Hampshire], c. 1867. 1 p., 9½ x 13½ in.


Item #22840, $1,000

The U.S. Senate Investigates Mississippi
for Violation of the 15th Amendment

[AFRICAN AMERICAN], Book. Mississippi in 1875. Report of the Select Committee to Inquire Into the Mississippi Election of 1875, With the Testimony and Documentary Evidence, Volume 1 [of 2]. Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1876, 1020 pp. Signed on inside front cover by committee stenographer E.C. Bartlett.


Item #22839, $850

Lincoln Shrewdly Plots to Stop the Spread of Slavery
after the Infamous Dred Scott Case

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed (“A. Lincoln”) to Richard Yates, Springfield, Ill., March 9, 1858. 2 pp. 8 x 10”.


A politically re-energized Lincoln shrewdly plots to stop the spread of slavery after the infamous 1857 Dred Scott case.


Lincoln asks Illinois’s future governor to plant an anonymous endorsement for Congressional candidate James Matheny in local newspapers. Though Matheny was not a Republican, Lincoln explains, “he is with us” in opposing the Dred Scott decision. Broadening the base of the Republican Party, Lincoln argues, is essential to defeating pro-slavery forces.

Item #21945.99, PRICE ON REQUEST

Frederick Douglass’s Plural Vision of America

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Autograph Quotation Signed. [Washington, D.C., February 24, 1882]. 1 p., 5 x 8 in. With original envelope addressed to William F. Gable, Reading, Pa., stamped and postmarked Washington, D.C.


The nation’s foremost African American voice articulates his clear view of equality in the United States, quoted from his own 1852 address to a Free Soil meeting.

Item #23038, ON HOLD

A Copperhead Newspaper Prints, Then Criticizes,
the Emancipation Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, Newspaper. New York Journal of Commerce. New York, N.Y., January 3, 1863. 4 pp., 24 x 32½ in.


An early report of the Emancipation Proclamation, where the editors describe Lincoln’s bold move as “a farce coming in after a long tragedy....Most of the people regard it as a very foolish piece of business.”

Item #22448.01, $1,450

‘Rally round the Flag, Boys!’ President Lincoln Centerfold

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, October 1, 1864. 16 pp., complete, disbound.


Item #H 10-1-1864, $225

Reporting the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
and the Union Victory That Precipitated It

[EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION], Newspaper. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, New York, N.Y., October 11, 1862. 16 pp., 11 x 16 in.


Reporting the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history, and the occasion for Lincoln to issue his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation warning the South to return to the Union or face losing their slaves.

Item #22501.41, $995
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