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Boston Anti-Slavery Broadside “Call for a Convention”—Launching the Republican Party in Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS, Broadside, “Call for a Convention”, 1p on a folded pale blue sheet, 5” x 7.75”, Boston, circa 1855. Flattened folds, scattered foxing, repair at verso, remnants of prior mounting, else Very Good.

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“The People of Massachusetts who are opposed to the extension of slavery, are requested to assemble in Public Primary Meetings in their several towns and cities, and elect delegates, in the proportion of three delegates for each representatives…”

Item #26782, $1,450

“The Slave Sale, or Come Who Bids?” Abolitionist Sheet Music

HENRY RUSSELL and ANGUS REACH, Sheet Music. The Slave Sale, or Come, Who Bids? 4 pp., with elaborate half-page vignette on the first page, showing various scenes of the slave trade. London: Musical Boquet Office. [Sheard, 1855]. “Composed by Henry Russell for his New Entertainment ‘Negro Life’ - Words by Angus B. Reach Esq.”

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“Planters! Here’s a chance, Here are limbs to work or dance…”

Scarce English abolitionist music signed in print by composer Henry Russell on the front page.

Item #24738, $750

“Black Republican” Salt River Ticket

[RACISM], Bright green card reading “The Steamer !!! Black Republican !!! Will leave This Day, (via Kansas) for Salt River You are respectfully invited to accompany the party Free. Reinforcements will be sent up in November next,” 1856, [Philadelphia, PA].1 p., 3¼ x 2 in.

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Item #26460.01, $500

Founding Address of National Republican Party to Combat the “Aggressions and Usurpations of the Slave Power…. Declaration of the Principles and Purposes”

[REPUBLICAN PARTY. ELECTION OF 1856], Address of the Republican Convention at Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania], February 22, 1856. The Aggressions and Usurpations of the Slave Power. Declaration of the Principles and Purposes of the Republican Party. Pamphlet. [np: 1856]. 15 pp. Caption title, as issued.

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The Republican Party’s historic Convention Address, preparatory to its first nominating convention in June, argued that “the Government of the United States is not administered in accordance with the Constitution, or for the preservation and prosperity of the American Union; but that its powers are systematically wielded for the promotion and extension of the Interest of Slavery.” Despite the “sentiment of the Founding Fathers,” who sought to contain slavery, the country’s history demonstrates “the progress of slavery towards ascendancy in the federal government.” The Convention urges adherents to send delegates to Philadelphia in June, “to nominate candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States.”

Item #22810, $1,350

Rare New York Senate Print of Proposed State Law to Combat the Dred Scott Decision

SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE, New York Senate. “An Act To secure Freedom to all persons within this State,” Edward M. Madden, April 9, 1857, Passed the Assembly on April 17; failed in the Senate. Printed with numbered lines for the use of the Senate. 1 p., 6.5 x 11.5 in.

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Every slave … who shall come or be brought, or be involuntarily in this state shall be free.

Item #23389.07, $2,500

Saving Free-Born African American from Life of Slavery

[SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE], New York Senate. “An Act To remunerate James Bennett for expenses incurred and services rendered in procuring the release of Anthony Adams, a colored citizen of this State, from imprisonment in the jail of Edenton, North Carolina, to prevent him from being sold into slavery,” Edward M. Madden, February 28, 1857, Passed April 15, 1857. 1 p., 6½ x 11⅞ in. , 4/15/1857.

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Item #23389.06, $2,500

Oval Salt Print of Famed Abolitionist John Brown

[JOHN BROWN], Oval Salt Print, with a printed signature, “Your Friend, John Brown” affixed at bottom, ca. 1858-1859. No studio mark. 1 p., 5¼ x 7¼ in. oval on 7-x-9-in. mount affixed to a 9¾-x-11¾-in. scrapbook page.

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In May 1858, Martin M. Lawrence (1807-1859) took a photograph of John Brown at his studio at 381 Broadway in New York City, where he had worked as a daguerreotypist since 1842. He took it at the request of Dr. Thomas H. Webb (1801-1866) of Boston, Secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. In November 1859, shortly before Brown’s execution, an engraving based on this photograph appeared on the cover of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

Item #26463, $1,250

Peter Cooper’s Letter to Lincoln Regarding Emancipation

PETER COOPER. [SLAVERY], Pamphlet. Letter of Peter Cooper, on Slave Emancipation, Loyal Publication Society, New York, 1862, 8pp., disbound.

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“It is a fact that the enslavement of human beings has so far infused its insidious poison into the very hearts of the Southern people, that they have come to believe and declare the evil of slavery to be a good, and to require the power of Government to be exerted to maintain, extend, and perpetuate an institution that enables thousands to sell their own children, to be enslaved, with all their posterity, into hopeless bondage....”

The founder of New York City’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art echoes the language and logic of the Emancipation Proclamation (as well as citing some Southern pro-slavery arguments to demonstrate their ridiculousness) in this open letter to President Lincoln. Cooper and the Cooper Union had long been advocates of abolition and both Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had famously lectured at the institution.

Item #23579, $400

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)

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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

Frederick Douglass Recruiting African American Soldiers

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Broadside: “Men of Color, To Arms! Now or Never!” Philadelphia [ca Spring, 1863]. 1 p., 8 x 10 in. Subscribed in type by Douglass and fifty-four other African American leaders, including William Forten, Rev. William T. Catto, Rev. Stephen Smith, Rev. J. C. Gibbs, and many others.

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Are Freemen less brave than Slaves?

Item #26162, $25,000

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.

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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

Abraham Lincoln Introduces Ulysses S. Grant’s Superintendent of Freed Slaves to the American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission

Abraham Lincoln, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Robert Dale Owen, July 22, 1863, Washington, D.C. On Executive Mansion stationery. 1 p., 5 x 8 in.

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“Mr John Eaton Jr. … having had charge of the freed-men … comes to me highly recommended by Gen. Grant, as you know, & also by Judge Swayne[1]of the U. S. Supreme Court.

On July 22, 1862, exactly a year before he wrote this letter, Lincoln read a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, agreeing to Stanton’s advice to hold it back until the Union could claim a military victory. On September 22, after the Battle of Antietam, he issued a Preliminary Proclamation, stating that enslaved people in any areas still in rebellion would be freed, and that freed men would be welcomed into the armed forces of the United States. Once Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, Secretary of War Edward Stanton worked to create a federal system to support freed slaves, and allow them to most effectively support the Union.

Item #26470, $110,000

Union League of Philadelphia Supports Lincoln on Emancipation, African-American Troops in 1864

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. HENRY CHARLES LEA, Printed Pamphlet. No. 18: The Will of the People, [January – April 1864]. 8 pp., 5½ x 8½ in.

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The will of the people is supreme.

The vital principle of [Lincoln’s] whole administration has been his recognition of the fact, that our Government is simply a machine for carrying into effect THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

Item #24899, $250

“Free Pass... Constitutional Purifying Association”

[COPPERHEADS], Broadside, “A FREE PASS. Entitling the holder to the tender mercies of the CONSTITUTIONAL PURIFYING ASSOCIATION, Who will guarantee to cleanse every particle of Copperheadism from our nature - so you will be able to VOTE for an honest man without prejudice...” with several illustrations depicting “THE PURIFYING PROCESS.” [1864]. 6 x 9 in.

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Item #21986.03, $400

The Success of Black Troops At Petersburg, Virginia, Under Butler

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside. New England Loyal Publication Society No. 200. Boston, Mass., June 27, 1864. 1 p., 9 x 10¾ in.

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“They grinned and pushed on, and with a yell that told the southern chivalry their doom, [they] rolled irresistibly over and into the work.”

Item #23626, $750

“Black bellied Yankees” at The Battle of Fort Blakely

FREDERICK MORTIMER CRANDAL, Autograph Letter Signed, to Julian E. Bryant. “Up the Alabama,” April 25, 1865. 4 pp.

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A Union colonel, in command of the 48th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops, writes to his friend, Col. Julian E. Bryant, of the 46th Regiment of U.S.C.T., recounting his regiment’s  part in the Battle of Fort Blakely. “We have had hard marching & hard fighting. A week in trenches & a successful charge. The ‘Black bellied Yankee’ made their mark … everyone gives us credit for doing well & I think we did excellently well.My loss was not very heavy, not over thirty all told. The other Regts in my Brigade suffered much more severely on the last charge, I being held in reserve & not being under fire but a few moments, they did gallantly…

Item #21813, $3,000

Announcing Frederick Douglass’ Vermont Fair Speech on the Assassination of Lincoln

[FREDERICK DOUGLASS], Handbill for Lecture on the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, [September 27, 1865, Rutland, Vermont.] 1 p., 5-3/8 x 5-7/8 in.

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Possibly unique handbill advertising “Town Hall Lecture By the Great Colored Orator, Fred. Douglass, This Evening. Subject: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.” On the first day of the county fair, September 27, 1865, Douglass spoke to a packed Rutland, Vermont, Town Hall.

Doors open at 7 o’clock, Lecture to commence at 8 o’clock. Admission 25 cents. Tickets for sale at the Herald Book Store or at the Door.

Item #26165, $26,000

Democratic Broadside Shows
the Limitations of Reconstruction

[RECONSTRUCTION; RACISM], Broadside. “Democratic National Union - No Negro Suffrage” [Ohio, 1866], 3” x 11”, 1 p.

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Typical of the populist racism characterizing Democratic Party politics immediately after the Civil War, this party ticket contains the names of local candidates for office, including Brevet Brigadier General Benjamin Lefevre. A native Ohioan, Lefevre served throughout the war, entering politics when peace was declared, but only after breaking an engagement with a Southern belle. He served as a congressman from Ohio throughout reconstruction.

Item #20537, $360

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.

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Item #22840, $1,250

Discontent with Gilded Age Presidential Politics
and the Influence of “the negro vote”

WILLIAM BEACH LAWRENCE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Henry Anthony. Newport [R.I.], November 25, 1872. 4 pp.

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A detailed, despairing letter on campaign politics after the reelection of Ulysses S. Grant. Lawrence observes the humiliating defeat of Democrats and “Liberal Republicans” – who united behind Horace Greeley because of corruption in the Grant administration – in the Election of 1872. Lawrence laments the elevation of personality over merit and virtue in elections, an observation which resonates today. He also expresses concern about how newly enfranchised African Americans tended to vote.  “The negroes are naturally disposed to support those who are in power & whom they invest with superior dignity, on account of the possession of power. …the extraordinary denouement of the Cincinnati Convention has placed in bold relief the mode most unsatisfactory to an intelligent people, by which party conventions are constituted & which are readily made, the instruments of the vilest partisan combinations, carried on by men without character & without principle.

Item #20020, $950
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