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Presidential
Presidential

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Ex-President Grant Inserts Himself into a Major Political Controversy While in Mexico Developing Railroads and Building New Markets for the U.S.

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Autograph Letter Signed, to [John P.] Jones. [Mexico City] [April 24, 1881]. 1 p., 4½ x 6¾ in.

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After James Garfield’s election, opposing factions of the Republican Party jockeyed to have their favorite candidates appointed to Cabinet and other patronage jobs. Garfield remained unmoved about his choices, even ignoring appeals by his own vice president, Chester Arthur. While in Mexico City, Grant criticized the sitting president’s choices in a letter sent via Nevada Senator John P. Jones. Two days after receiving the letter, Garfield wrote Grant a blistering response, stating he would appoint whom he wanted. The following day, New York Senators Conkling and Platt resigned in protest and Vice President Arthur was banished from Cabinet meetings. The Grant-Garfield controversy played out in the press for months, ending only after Garfield was assassinated in July.

Item #23291, $5,000

John Quincy Adams Instructs One Drug Dealer to Help Another Collect a Debt

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Manuscript Letter Signed as Secretary of State, to Benjamin C. Wilcocks. Washington, D.C., May 1, 1822. 1 p., 8 x 10 in.

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A major opium trader gets some help in his attempt to be compensated for losses incurred in a ten-year-old shipwreck. Here, the secretary of state instructs the U.S. consul to Canton, also a clandestine opium trader, to aid in the collection of the claim. An interesting union of politics and illegal drug trafficking.

Item #23280, $5,900

Father of the Constitution James Madison Writes to Fellow Constitution Signer Edmund Randolph

JAMES MADISON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Edmund Randolph. 1789. 1 p., Address panel addressed by Madison and docketed by Edmund Randolph. 7¼ x 7½ in.

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Three Constitution signers—James Madison, Edmund Randolph, and Gouverneur Morris—are united in a currency transaction.

Item #23213.07, ON HOLD

Future President, General William Henry Harrison, Successfully Defends Himself Against Graft Charges

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Autograph Letter Signed as Congressman, to Peter Hagner. Northbend, [Ohio], September 18, 1816. 3 pp, 7½ x 12½ in., On two conjoined sheets.

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During a Congressional inquiry that he requested to clear his name, Harrison answers criticism regarding an incident during his command of the Northwestern Army during the War of 1812. Here, the future president provides lengthy details to the Department of War about “supplying the troops at Detroit under orders given by General Cass & Colo Butler” in order “to supply the neglect of the contractor in furnishing the troops then.”

Item #23213.03, ON HOLD

A Proud John Quincy Adams Tells his Father About Arguing his First Case before the Supreme Court

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Letter, not signed but with full name incorporated on verso as addressed to John Adams Esqr / Quincy / Massachusetts,” 1 p, 7¾ x 12½ in. [Washington], February 25, 1804.

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“my first opening at the Supreme Court of the United States has been successful as to its issue”

Item #23213.06, ON HOLD

Days Before His Election William Henry Harrison Discusses the Contest’s Possible Outcome

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Autograph Letter. North Bend, Ohio, October 20, 1840. 1 p., 5 x 9½ in. Harrison’s signature absent. With color photocopy of address panel.

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Harrison writes a friend discussing the possible outcomes of the upcoming election and the impact of “The Abolitionists [from whom]… there is no danger. Their whole vote given against me would not change the result.”

Item #23213.04, ON HOLD

Andrew Jackson’s Farewell Address on Silk

ANDREW JACKSON, Broadside. Farewell Address of General Andrew Jackson, to the Citizens of the United States. L.G. Hoffman Printer. [after March 4, 1837]. On white silk. Matted, approximately 22 x 16 in.

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“You have no longer any cause to fear danger from abroad... It is from within, among yourselves, from cupidity, from corruption, from disappointed ambition, and inordinate thirst for power, that factions will be formed and liberty endangered.”

“At every hazard and by every sacrifice, this Union must be preserved.”

This powerful speech, delivered on March 4, 1837, is considered a classic example of American oratory. Jackson sternly warns against the expansion of federal government, abuse of taxing power, national banks and, quoting from George Washington’s Farewell Address, the dangers of sectionalism. Ironically, Jackson’s address was drafted in large part by Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, whose 1857 decision in the Dred Scott case would prove a lightning rod in the country’s bitter division over slavery. Moreover, Jackson himself had arrived in Washington as staunch supporter of states’ rights, but eight years in the presidential seat (and multiple crises over federal power and nullification) had converted him to both a Federalist and defender of the Union.

Item #22916, $2,500

JFK Photographs and Ephemera Collection

[JOHN F. KENNEDY], Archive. This amazing collection includes many original photographic prints of the Kennedy family, and an assortment of Kennedy-era White House ephemera including note cards and official funeral programs and material.

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Item #20708, $3,000

Harry S. Truman on His 1948 Proclamation Recognizing Israel

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed, Independence, Missouri, March 25, 1970. 1 page. With envelope with printed free frank. [7.25”x10.5”]

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As for your interest in the proclamation of May 14, 1948, any document or statement issued by the President goes through a series of statements to make certain of its accuracy and clarity of meaning. I continue to hope that a reign of peace will soon come to pass ...

Item #21308.01, $18,000

Harry Truman Presidential Appointment

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Signed Presidential appointment to a UN agency for Palestinian relief. February 21, 1952 [23”x19”]

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Item #21308.02, $2,000

President Washington Signs a Land Patent
for “The Hero of Saratoga,” Conway Cabal Plotter
Major General Horatio Gates

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Document Signed as President, Philadelphia, Pa., September 17, 1796. Countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering; with September 15, 1796 Endorsement Signed by Secretary of War James McHenry on verso. Engraved broadside on vellum, being a patent for Virginia Line land awarded to Major General Horatio Gates. With embossed paper seal of the United States. 14¾ in. x 12⅜ in.

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Gates is rewarded for his military service, the highlight of which was his leading America's Northern Army to defeat British general John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga in October, 1777. The victory turned the Revolutionary War in favor of the Americans, and convinced France to enter the war on the side of the United States.

Signed by the president during the last full year of his second term in office, this land patent brings Washington together with one of his most famous Revolutionary War rivals. Washington, who believed Gates had plotted to usurp his command as part of the 1777-1778 Conway Cabal, later characterized the general as having “an air of design, a want of candor…and even of politeness,” complaining that “this Gentleman does not scruple to take the most unfair advantages of me.”[1]

Item #23197, $35,000
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President Kennedy Praises the American Shakespeare Theater: “We were very proud of our American theater last evening.”

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Jack Landau. Washington, D.C., October 5, 1961. 1 p., on White House stationery, matted and framed with a color photo.

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Item #22826, $5,500

John Adams’s Proclamation Against Fries’s Insurgents

[JOHN ADAMS], Newspaper. Connecticut Courant, Hartford, Ct., March 25, 1799. 4 pp., 12½ x 20½ in.

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Includes a full printing of Adams’s March 12 order regarding John Fries’s Pennsylvania revolt over taxes levied to fight France, as well as an update on an annual New Haven medical convention.

Item #22553, $450

Five Presidential Commissions for Long-Serving American Military Officer, Engineer Joseph G. Totten

JOSEPH G. TOTTEN, Partially Printed Documents Signed as President, to Joseph G. Totten. Washington, D.C. On vellum. 1 p.

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An unparalleled offering of presidential commissions—from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln—covering the most significant career advances of Joseph G. Totten, Chief Engineer of the U.S. Army.

General Winfield “Old Fuss and Feathers” Scott served 53 years, and 20th century generals such as Omar Bradley, Douglas MacArthur, and John Vessey all served fewer than 50 years each. Few men served longer or more substantially than Totten, though Revolutionary War veteran John Walbach and Hyman Rickover, the “Father of the Nuclear Navy” served longer, at 57 and 63 years, respectively.

This set of commissions, from an officer who served so long and contributed so much to American military preparedness in the run-up to the Civil War, is indeed a rare find.

Item #23097, $48,000

John Quincy Adams’s Fourth and Final
State of the Union Address

[JOHN QUINCY ADAMS], Broadside. “President’s Message... ‘We the People’ Extra.” Washington, D.C., December 2, 1828. 1 p., 18¼ x 23 in.

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Like his father, John Quincy Adams was a one-term president. In his final message to Congress, on the eve of the Electoral College meeting that formally elected Andrew Jackson, Quincy Adams concedes the failure of what Southerners called “the Tariff of Abominations.” He presciently warns against nullification, which became the most significant crisis of Jackson’s administration.

Item #22641, $1,500

Washington’s Whiskey Rebellion Proclamation

[GEORGE WASHGINGTON], Newspaper. The New York Journal & Patriotic Register, New York, N.Y., September 29, 1792. Signed in type by both Geo. Washington and Th. Jefferson. 4 pp., disbound.

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Item #22707, $900

Ulysses S. Grant Signed Naval Commission

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Document Signed as President and “Geo[rge] M. Robeson” as Secretary of the Navy; July 9, 1870, 1p. With engravings of eagle, colors and cannon, and Neptune and other mythical sea figures, with blue wafer seal of the War Office.

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Item #1752, $2,500

Lincoln Pushes for Arkansas Without Slavery

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Frederick Steele. Washington, D.C., January 27, 1864. 1 p., 7¾ x 9¾ in. On Executive Mansion stationery.

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After announcing his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction on December 8, 1863, Lincoln paid close attention to two Arkansas groups both aiming for reunion. Here, the president is concerned about potential conflicts with his plan, but in the end, both plans coincided in the key detail of ending slavery.

Item #22722, PRICE ON REQUEST
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Lincoln’s Final State of the Union Message, 1864

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. New York Observer, New York, N.Y., Dec. 8, 1864. 8 pp. Page 2 contains the complete printing of Lincoln’s last State-of-the-Union address.

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Item #30001.23, $500

Reporting Lincoln’s Journey to Washington
for His Inauguration

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. New York Times, New York, N.Y., February 23, 1861. 8 pp.

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Item #30000.79, $100
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