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Benjamin Franklin’s Newspaper Reports Virginia’s Call to Arms at the Outset of the French and Indian War

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, Pa., November 7, 1754. 4 pp., 9¼ x 14½ in.


From Williamsburg, Virginia, Governor Robert Dinwiddie addresses the House of Burgesses to address the continuing problem of French and Indian incursions into Virginia’s western territories and calling them to action.

Item #22426.08, $3,800

Benjamin Franklin’s Newspaper Reports on the Proposed Union of the Colonies

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, Pa., September 12, 1754. 4 pp., 9¼ x 14½ in.


New York’s legislative bodies and governor volley for position on a defensive pact that suggested that the colonies join together for the first time. With the usual shipping news, advertisements, and news from other colonial cities, including New York and Williamsburg.

Item #22426.06, $3,800

North Carolina Finally Ratifies the Constitution 18 Months After It Was Adopted (SOLD)

[CONSTITUTION], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States. December 30, 1789, New York, N.Y. 4 pp., 9¾ x 15¾ in.


The Constitution became law and established the United States when New Hampshire voted for ratification on July 21, 1788. Eighteen months to the day later, North Carolina followed suit, albeit with an extensive list of suggested amendments. This newspaper reports North Carolina’s approval along with a similar declaration of sentiments: Pennsylvania’s Declaration of Rights. Rhode Island remained the lone holdout, finally agreeing to join the federal union on May 29, 1790.

Item #30000.82, SOLD — please inquire about other items

A Hated Colonial Governor’s Extravagant English Funeral

[EDMOND ANDROS], Manuscript Document, “A Bill of Funeral Charges for the Interment of the Honble Sr. Edmond Andrews [sic].” [London], May 18, 1714, 1 p., with integral blank, docketed. 7¼ x 12 in.


Item #23408, $850

J.R.R. Tolkien Writes his Proofreader
with a Lengthy Discussion of the Lord of the Rings,
Including Criticism of Radio Broadcasts of his Work

J.R.R. TOLKIEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Naomi Mitchison. Headington, Oxford, England, December 8, 1955. 4 pp on 2 leaves of wove paper with Pirie’s/ Crown Bond watermark. 5516 x 7⅛ in. (13½ x 18 cm). The first page is embossed “76 Sandfield Road/ Headington/ Oxford.” With original autograph addressed envelope.


In a letter peppered with references to Middle Earth and its inhabitants, an exhausted Tolkien takes his first lengthy holiday in four years—in Italy. He returns and writes to Naomi Mitchison, a fellow novelist and his proofreader, for failing to provide feedback for her novel, To the Chapel Perilous. Tolkien discusses the demands on his time, ranging from his teaching load, thesis advising, and publishing, to reading critical reviews. Tolkien’s dissatisfaction with radio adaptations of Lord of the Rings occupies a prominent place: I think poorly of the broadcast adaptations. Except for a few details I think they are not well done... I thought that the dwarf (Gloin not Gimli, but I suppose Gimli will talk like his father...) was not too bad if a bit exaggerated. I do think of the “Dwarves” like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the language of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue. The balance of the letter discusses literary critics, reviews of Mitchison’s book, and anachronisms in her latest offering as contrasted to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Item #23221, $22,000

The Only Impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice

[SAMUEL CHASE]. JOHN SMITH, Manuscript Document Signed. Certification of Served Subpoenas. [Philadelphia, n.d., but ca. late January 1805]. 2 pp. 8 x 9¾ in. With an additional autograph endorsement signed by Smith on verso.


When Thomas Jefferson took office, he attempted to remove a number of Federalist John Adams’s eleventh-hour judicial appointees. The case against Samuel Chase, while officially for procedural errors and judicial misconduct, was in fact motivated by the justice’s inflammatory political rhetoric.

Item #23007, $950

An Indiana Congressman Privately Fears the Consequences of Admitting Kansas as a Slave State

JOHN G. DAVIS. [SLAVERY], Autograph Letter Signed, to George W. Seward. Washington, D.C., February 4, 1858. 2 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.


“What will be the result if this monstrous wrong is perpetuated, I cannot say.”

Indiana Congressman John G. Davis worries about the furor over President Buchanan’s recommendation, made two days earlier, that Kansas be admitted to the Union as a slave state. Buchanan’s decision came on the heels of years of violence between pro and anti-slavery forces in the territory. Though a Democrat, Davis ran his final campaign for Congress against the proslavery Lecompton Constitution for Kansas.

Item #23165, $375

Thomas Paine’s Day Job While Writing Common Sense: Editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine

[THOMAS PAINE], Bound Volume. Pennsylvania Magazine; or American Monthly Museum. Volume 1. January-December 1775. Philadelphia, Pa., R. Aitken, 1775. 5 x 8¼ in.


Item #23101, $45,000

Alexander Hamilton’s Significant Financial Reports
in One Volume

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Book. Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, Prepared in Obedience to the Act of the 10th May, 1800... To Which are Prefixed, the Reports of Alexander Hamilton, on Public Credit, on a National Bank, on Manufactures, and on the Establishment of a Mint. Volume I. Washington, D.C. Printed by Duff Green, 1828. 562 pp.


Treasury Secretary Hamilton’s Reports on Manufactures, Public Credit, a National Bank, and Mint published by order of Congress.

Item #23315, $750

The Declaration of Independence:
An Early Printing from a British Gentleman’s Magazine

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Pamphlet. Gentleman’s Magazine. London, England, August 1776. Complete with one plate. octavo. Disbound; minimal wear, some pages loose but intact.


Item #23259, $4,300

Henry Clay’s Parting Shots at Andrew Jackson: Speech Printed on Silk

HENRY CLAY, Broadside. Speech on Retiring from Office. After March 7, 1829. Printed By Richard Langdon, Xenia, Oh. 14 x 18 in.


The outgoing Secretary of State delivers an Anti-Jackson rant at a Washington dinner.

“I deprecated the election of the present President of the United States, because I believe he had neither the temper, the experience, nor the attainments requisite to discharge the complicated and arduous duties of chief magistrate.”

Item #22314, $2,800

A Ruff-Necked Hummingbird by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Ruff-Necked Hummingbird, [1871].


Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.02, $1,750

Early Electricity and the Spread of the Telephone from the Documents of George C. Maynard

GEORGE C. MAYNARD, Archive. Journals, notebooks, notes, and related papers regarding the spread of telephone communications in the late 19th century. Nineteen items.



Massachusetts Moves Toward New Post-Independence Constitution

[MASSACHUSETTS’ CONSTITUTION], Broadside Signed in type, “J[ames] Warren,” with note in unknown hand. House of Representatives [Watertown: printed by Benjamin Edes], September 17, 1776. Original deckled edges.


This resolution, prompted by the Declaration of Independence, was enacted by the Massachusetts House of Representatives on September 17, 1776. It represents the first offer to draft a new state constitution. The House sent this notice to approximately 260 towns, and though there were minor disagreements over how best to proceed, the towns resoundingly endorsed the idea of moving forward. No copies of this rare printing have appeared in major auction records for the past 30 years. “[It is] recommended to the Male Inhabitants … that they assemble as soon as they can in Town-Meeting … [to] … determine whether they will give their Consent that the present House of Representatives of this State of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, together with the Council, if they consent in one Body with the House, and by equal Voice, should consult, agree on, and enact such a Constitution and Form of Government for this State…

Item #20905, $6,500

Robert Crist Writes his Father About Waterfront Violence, and Race Relations in the Wake of John Brown’s Harpers’ Ferry Raid

ROBERT H. CRIST, Autograph Letter Signed, to his father. Natchez, Mississippi, November 13, 1859. 3 pp., 7 ¾ x 10 in.


Robert Crist of Indiana discusses the racial tensions and violence that were part of life on the Mississippi. Crist’s observations reveal the some of the tenets of 19th century racial ideology, including the idea that the Irish were not truly “white.” He also casually relays tales of violence witnessed in Natchez Under the Hill, a notorious river landing known for fights, murders, and a row of waterfront saloons. In mid-19th century, the waterfront was known as a safe haven for anyone fleeing the law from New Orleans, as police rarely ventured into the district. Finally, Crist notes that after the Harpers’ Ferry Raid, free blacks were required to obtain permits to stay in the area and that many were choosing to leave instead.

Item #22481, $750

The Pentagon Papers:
William Bundy’s Annotated Copy

[VIETNAM WAR], Books. The Pentagon Papers. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971-1972. First Editions. Five paperback books, volumes I-IV in green printed covers, volume V in orange. 5¾ x 9 inches each. Pages varies by volume. Volume V (Critical Essays, edited by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn) has a Beacon Press review copy slip taped to the half-title and an address label paperclipped to the same page. The label is addressed to Bundy as editor of Foreign Affairs and has a handwritten date, “9/25/72.”


William Bundy’s 5-volume set of the “Senator Gravel Edition” of the Pentagon Papers, with annotations, marginal notes, and two legal-size pages with handwritten notes arranged chronologically.

Item #21291, $3,000

A Harlequin Duck by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Harlequin Duck, [1871]. 14 x 12 in. framed.


Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.03, $350

A Great American White Egret by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Great American White Egret, [1871]. 14½ x 12 framed.


Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.05, $1,250

A Common Crossbill by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Common Crossbill, [1871]. 11½ x 16 in. framed.


Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.08, $375

A Prairie Lark-Finch by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Prairie Lark-Finch, [1871]. 11½ x 15½ in. framed.


Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.09, $250
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