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Abraham Lincoln’s First Step to Passing the Bar:
Certifying that He was “a Man of Good Moral Character”

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Book. Minute book of the Sangamon County Circuit Court. Springfield, Ill., July 6, 1835 to July 7, 1838. 315 manuscript pages in the hand of Court Clerk William Butler, 7½ x 12¼ in.

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A day-to-day accounting of the cases before the Sangamon County Circuit Court, this manuscript minute book offers insight into Abraham Lincoln’s legal world. He is mentioned by name in two entries, and although not named, many of his other cases can be cross-referenced. The most important entry came on March 24, 1836, when he took the first step in formal legal certification:

“Ordered that it be certified as to all whom it may concern that Abraham Lincoln is a man of good moral character.”

Item #23644, $35,000

A Dredful Decision, First Edition

BENJAMIN C. HOWARD, Book. Report of the Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Opinions of the Judges thereof, in the Case of Dred Scott versus John F.A. Sandford, December Term, 1856., Washington, D.C.: Cornelius Wendell, 1857. With two ownership signatures of “John R. Slack / Sept. 1857.” Slack was a N.J. attorney who had previously helped win a fugitive slave case. First edition. Fine condition. 239 pp. 5½ x 8¾ in.

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In Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), the Supreme Court declared that blacks could not be United States citizens and that the 1820 Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. The decision inflamed sectional tensions and helped trigger the Civil War. The decision was published simultaneously in New York and Washington, D.C. Both are considered the First Edition. In his “House Divided” Speech, Lincoln replied that the decision did “obvious violence to the plain unmistakable language” of the Declaration of Independence and our other founding documents.

Item #22178, $3,500

An Unusual Presentation Copy of
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

SAMUEL L. CLEMENS. [MARK TWAIN], Signed Book. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). New York: Charles Webster, 1886. Second American edition. 8 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. With several prints, clippings, and other ephemera tipped in. Rebound at the Roycroft bindery.

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“Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it”

Item #23193, $25,000

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. 5 5/16 x 7 1/8 in. (13½ x 18 cm). The first page is embossed “76 Sandfield Road/ Headington/ Oxford.” With original autograph addressed envelope.

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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

“A Visit From St. Nicholas” - great association copy inscribed by Clement C. Moore

CLEMENT C. MOORE, Signed book, Poems. New York: Bartlett & Welford, 1844. First edition, including A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Inscribed by Moore on the half-title page to Janet Drake de Kay: “Mrs. De Kay with the respects of the author, Mar. 1846.” Original brown boards, recent rebacked spine and paper spine label; minor rubbing to the extremities. With Janet’s daughter Helen de Kay’s ownership signature on the front endpaper above her husband Richard Watson Gilder’s library bookplate.

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“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house/Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse/The stockings were hung by the chimney with care/In hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there…”

A legendarily scarce volume with a distinguished provenance.

Item #23698, $11,000

Declaration Signer James Wilson’s Signed Copy of, 1774 Maryland Guide, the First Original American Legal Work, Earliest on Law of Wills

[JAMES WILSON], Signed Book. Vallette, Elie. The Deputy Commissary’s Guide within the Province of Maryland. Annapolis: Ann Catherine Green and Son, 1774. Octavo. Engraved title & table by Thomas Sparrow. Signed twice by Wilson at head of title & on front free endpaper recto. Both signatures ruled through in ink by subsequent owners, other owner’s signatures on endpaper. A little blue & red crayon underlining & scrawl at head of title.

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An important association copy of a rare book with many first claims: this is the only edition of the first original American legal work, and the earliest book published in America on the law of wills. It also contains the only engraving from a colonial Maryland press, by Thomas Sparrow, the only engraver south of the Mason-Dixon Line before 1775.

Item #23609, $10,000

Declaration Signer Robert Treat Paine’s Signed Cicero

[ROBERT TREAT PAINE], Signed Book. Cicero’s M. Tullii Ciceronis de Officiis Libri Tres, Henricum Wetstenium, Amsterdam, 1691. 4¼ x 6½ in. Hardcover Binding (Full Leather). Octavo (8vo). Also signed by his son Charles Jackson Paine.

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With the Republic ended after Caesar’s death and the Senate abolished, Cicero wrote what he considered to be his masterpiece—a work on ethics that emulated Greek philosophers as Romans had little native-grown philosophy. Among its most important elements is the “Treatise on Moral Duties,” written as a letter to Cicero’s then-twenty-one-year-old son who was in university studies. In addition to being signed by Massachusetts Declaration of Independence Signer Robert Treat Paine on the title, it is countersigned by his son Charles Jackson Paine on the front pastedown. Charles dated his signature 1843, which placed him at 10 years of age, no doubt making this an instructional volume. Charles went on to become a railroad magnate, Civil War general and famous sportsman, perhaps by incorporating Cicero’s practical application of ethics in his ventures.

In a thick paper folded school-type cover that appears to be contemporaneous with the CJ Paine signature.

Item #23617, $2,500

The First War Department Printing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Bound with 400-plus 1862-1863 General Orders, including the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Printed Document. Emancipation Proclamation. Signed in type by Lincoln, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas. General Order No. 1, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington January 2, 1863 (but based on usual practice, more likely printed ca. January 7th.). 3pp.

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This book of official War Department orders was bound together for Army paymaster Major N.S. Brinton.

Item #23692, $4,500

The Gentleman’s Magazine, Complete for 1776, with War News, Including an Early British Printing of the Declaration of Independence

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Book. Gentleman’s Magazine. Complete run for 1776, including Supplement and Index. Lacking boards, but original leather spine present. London, England. Clean and tight. Note: The text is complete, but lacking 9 of 14 inserted maps or plates.

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A complete run for 1776 of this monthly journal of news, science, arts and philosophy gives insight into how readers in Great Britain perceived the momentous events occurring in America.  News reports cover most of the major events relating to the American Revolution.  There were no regularly published magazines in America at the time.

Item #23705, $5,500

From the Library of New York Signer William Floyd

WILLIAM FLOYD, Signed Book. Hannah More, Coelebs in Search of a Wife: Comprehending Observations on Domestic Habits and Manners, Religion and Morals. New York, I. Riley, 1810. 5th American ed. Vol. 1 (of 2), 214 pp. Signed in ink on corner of flyleaf, “Wm. Floyd 1813.”

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This is the 5th American edition of a popular moralistic novel by Englishwoman Hannah More, first published in 1809 and frequently reprinted on both sides of the Atlantic.

Item #21869, $2,750

Inscribed Volume from the Library of William Ellery, Declaration Signer and Abolitionist

WILLIAM ELLERY, Signed Book. “The Christian Disciple,” Vol. II (index at front, 12 issues bound together). Boston, 1814. 8½ x 5 1/8”. Inscribed to George Ellery on title page. Contemporary calf-backed marbled paper boards. (Worn, rear cover and last leaf detached. Housed in modern custom leather and cloth case.)

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Twelve issues of a non-denominational Christian monthly, featuring edifying essays such as “On the Evils of War,” “On the sinfulness of Infants,” a “Sketch of Mr. William Penn,” a long essay on “The Slave Trade” (in nos. 10 and 12), original poetry (including “Ode to Sickness”), news of overseas congregations, and extracts from missionaries’ letters.

Item #21868, $2,600

Comprehensive Report on New York’s Institutionalized Poor

[NEW YORK], Book. First Annual Report of the Governors of the Alms House New York, for the Year 1849. New York, N.Y., George Nesbitt, 1850. 1st ed., 199 pp., 5¾ x 9 in. Folding charts, pictorial front wrappers. With 10 tinted full page lithographs, including the “Colored Orphan’s Asylum.”

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Item #22548, $750

From Aaron Lopez’s Library

[AARON LOPEZ], Signed Book. Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, in a Series of Letters from John Earl of Orrery to His Son, the Honourable Hamilton Boyle. Fifth Edition. London: For A. Millar, 1752. From the library of Aaron Lopez, signed on the verso of the portrait by Ravenet. “Aaron Lopez’s Book / New Port Novr. 18th. 1772.” Contemporary sheep, heavily worn, front cover detached, front endpaper lacking. Would benefit from professional rebinding. Priced accordingly. 12mo. 4 x 6½ in., 250 pp.

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Item #22235, $2,500
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The Negociator’s Magazine:
A Classic of the Standards of Trade Around the World

RICHARD HAYES, Book. The Negociator’s Magazine: Or the Most Authentic Account Yet Published of the Monies, Weights, and Measures of the Principal Places of Trade in the Known World..., 11th ed. London, England: G. Keith, 1777. 466 pp.

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Item #22504, $500

A Scarce Record of Thomas Dorr’s Trial for Treason
After His Failed Revolt

JOSEPH S. PITMAN. [DORR WAR], Book. Report of the Trial of Thomas Wilson Dorr, for Treason; Including the Testimony at Length...Together with the Sentence of the Court, and the Speech of Mr. Dorr Before Sentence. Providence, R.I., B.F. Moore, 1844. 1st ed., 115 pp., 5 1/3 x 8¾ in.

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Item #22542, $1,250

A General Account of … Using Atomic Energy
for Military Purposes

H.D. SMYTH, A General Account of … Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes Under the Auspices of the United States Government 1940-1945. Written at the Request of Major General L. R. Groves, United States Army... Washington, DC: Superintendent of Documents. (1945). Book, 1945. 182 pp, illus. with 2 graphs. With ownership signature of “Erwin Hiebert” twice.

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Item #20807, $750

“A Visit from St. Nicholas” First Publication to Identify Clement C. Moore as the Author of The Night Before Christmas and First Publication in Book Form

CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE (1779-1863), with many other authors, in The New York Book of Poetry. N.Y.: George Dearborn, 1837. Printed by Scatcherd & Adams. Additional engraved title with large vignette. First edition, with a presentation inscription on the front fly-leaf from publisher Dearborn to William Duer (president of Columbia university from 1829-1842): “Wm Duer with the respects of the publisher.” 5-1/8 x 9-1/8 in., 253 pp.

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This publication is the first time that Moore is identified in print as the author of his famous poem, and the first appearance (other than from almanacs) of the poem in book form.

Item #21681, $1,750

Washington’s Personal Secretary
Tobias Lear’s Copy of History of Russia

[TOBIAS LEAR], Signed book. William Tooke, History of Russia. London, Strahan, 1800. Two volumes, 8vo, full leather, some repair to binding, fine overall. All four plates present. The folding map is foxed, but complete without major tears. Both volumes are signed “Tobias Lear Malta, Oct 13th, 1804” in ornate, formal hand. Provenance: Tobias Lear; to Benjamin Lincoln Lear, with Benjamin’s bookplate.

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Item #22021.02, $2,500

Presidential Secretary Tobias Lear’s Copy of Erasmus of Rotterdam’s English-Latin Humanistic Philosophies

TOBIAS LEAR, Signed Book, Erasmus’s Select Colloquies. London, 1766. In Latin and English. Signed “Tobias Lear ejus Liber ex dono Patris iri anno domini noster 1773” on the rear free fly. A rough copy, rubbed, boards separating but present. Also signed by Tobias Sherburne and Benjamin Lincoln Lear at front.

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Item #22021.04, $1,000

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.”

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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
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