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Cinque, Leader of the Amistad Revolt Autograph at an Abolitionist Fundraiser in Philadelphia

CINQUE, Autograph as Leader of the Amistad Captives. Philadelphia, Pa., May 27, 1841. 1 p. Also signed by F-foole [Fuli]. With two endorsements in unknown hand, the later one possibly written by Charles Evans in pencil.


Cinque was an almost mythic figure during the controversies and legal cases surrounding the slave ship Amistad in 1839-1841. He freed himself and the other Africans in the hold of the Amistad, initiated the revolt that captured the ship, and led the ships’ voyage from waters near Cuba to the United States. After being captured off the coast of Long Island, while imprisoned in Connecticut as the Africans’ status was debated by the U.S. Supreme Court, Cinque learned to speak and write English. (That they spoke Mende was discovered by a linguistics professor at Yale, who then found translators—two escaped slaves who spoke both languages).

After winning their freedom, Cinque and some others embarked on a lecture tour to New York and Philadelphia in May 1841 to raise funds for their return home. Their enthusiastic reception by the abolitionist movement made for a busy schedule.  Among the stops, Cinque visited the Lombard Street School for black children in Philadelphia. 

This autograph, signed at the Lombard school on May 27, 1841, is one of only two or three known original signatures of Cinque.

Item #21884, $270,000

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 (SOLD)

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, SOLD — please inquire about other items

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

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

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

The American Museum Magazine Considers Race and Slavery, Bound Together with Congressional Proceedings
on the Bill of Rights

MATHEW CAREY, Magazine. The American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c. Volume VI, July to December, 1789. 492 pp., plus 46 pp. bound in, Proceedings of Congress, from the First Session of the First Congress, including the process of amending the U.S. Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights. Signed by previous owner, Connecticut Revolutionary War General Jedediah Huntington on free front endpaper. Dedicated in type to George Washington. Bound in contemporary calf, binding worn, small library label on spine, some staining on title page, several pages trimmed near end, with minor loss of text, primitive drawings of soldiers on back endpaper.


Item #22660, $2,400

Washington Crossing the Delaware (SOLD)

[EMANUEL GOTTLIEB LEUTZE], Engraving. Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Paul Girardet after Leutze’s painting. New York, N.Y., Goupil & Co., 1853. Mezzotint and line engraving on India paper, mounted as issued to a larger sheet of engraving paper, printed caption, “Subscriber’s copy,” numbered “50.” 38¼ x 22¼ in., framed 51 x 38½ in.


Item #21086, SOLD — please inquire about other items

“Men of Color, To Arms! A Call by Frederick Douglass.” (SOLD)

[AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS]. FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Newspaper. New York Tribune, March 5, 1863, 8 pp., 15½ x 20½ in. Disbound.


Douglass entreats African Americans to join the 54th Massachusetts regiment in a speech of March 2, 1863, from Rochester, New York.

Item #22908, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Frederick Douglass Calls for Equal Opportunity in New York (SOLD)

[FREDERICK DOUGLASS], Newspaper. New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., February 13, 1862, 8 pp., 15½ x 20½ in. Disbound.


“A Black Man on the War, An Address By Frederick Douglass at the Cooper Institute” occupies four columns on page 7.

Item #22922, SOLD — please inquire about other items

African-American Union Soldier Holding Rifle

[AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIER], Photograph. Ca. 1863-1865


Sixth plate tintype of a seated African-American Union soldier holding his rifle, housed in an ornate gutta-percha case with a floral motif and red velvet lining.

Item #20969, $7,500
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