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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Attending the Philadelphia Sanitary Fair in the Summer of 1864

[CIVIL WAR]. [ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Great Central Fair Tickets, June 1864. Pair of passes for the Great Central Fair, held in Philadelphia, June 7-28, 1864. One ticket is for one day’s admission for a public school student. The other is a season ticket. 1 p. each, 3½ x 2¼ and 3½ x 2 in.

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Two tickets to the Great Central Fair in Philadelphia. One admitted a pupil of the public schools of Philadelphia and was used on Saturday, June 11, according to the stamp on the verso. The other is an apparently unused “Season Ticket” that admitted the bearer “To All Parts of the Fair,” except the Children’s Exhibitions but was “Forfeited if Transferred and Not Good unless Endorsed.” The verso includes the oath, “I hereby promise that this Ticket shall be used to obtain admission to the Fair by myself only” and a blank line for a signature.

Item #24202, $950

A Georgia Man Writes from Frederic City, Maryland, Hoping to Liberate Some ‘greenies’ from the “Hamites or the ‘freedmen’” Celebrating Passage of the “dirty 15th Amendment”

THOMAS FAYETTE, Autograph Letter Signed, to “Dearest cousin Mattie & Co.,” Frederic County, Maryland, June 3, 1870, 4 pp. 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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The Fifteenth Amendment provides that voting rights could not be based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (slavery). It was ratified by enough states to become part of the Constitution on February 3, 1870. Maryland rejected it on February 26, 1870 – but finally did ratify it on May 7,1973.

Item #22490, $375

Civil War Veteran in Maryland Predicts the War Will End Soon

DAVID F. MCGOWAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ellen [P. Fowler?], March 15, 1865, Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. 3 pp., 5x 8 in. Also includes DAVID F. McGOWAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ellen [P. Fowler?], May 9, 1865, Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. 4 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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Sherridan has been doing some good work. 1400 prisoners passed here a few days ago that he captured And Report says he has captured 1000 more. A couple of officers stopped here last night, that had just been exchanged. They were captured last August and gave me a good account of their trials & tribulations down in Dixie. One of them gave $100. for a common pair of shoes from all appearances the Confederacy will soon collapse. Sherman has been heard from, is at Fayetteville, N. C. think Richmond will fall, before fall.

Civil War veteran David F. McGowan writes about prospects for Union victory and life in Maryland as the Civil War draws to a close.

Item #24471, $380

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

Accounting for “Contraband” Sailors in the Civil War Navy Bureaucracy

SAMUEL P. LEE, Letter Signed, to Samuel B. Gregory, June 4, 1863. 1 p.

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When enslaved African Americans fled to the ships of the Union blockading fleet, officers often sent them to “contraband” camps such as those at Port Royal, South Carolina, or Fortress Monroe, Virginia, or shipped them north. However, the Union Navy, short on manpower, also encouraged able-bodied male contrabands to enlist. In September 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles authorized the enlistment of contrabands “under the same forms and regulations as apply to other enlistments.” As crew members of navy ships and gunboats, these black sailors served on blockade duty and even on expeditions up southern rivers and creeks.

On January 5, 1863, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered commanders of squadrons to forward monthly returns of “contrabands” employed on board the respective vessels under their command. The USS Western World had been part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1861 and 1862. After extensive overhaul, the Western World was reassigned in March 1863 to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for service in the Chesapeake Bay.

In this letter, Acting Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee chastises the Western World’s commander for the lack of details in his May 1863 “Contraband” report.

Item #22845, $1,000

Returning the Western World to Blockade Duty to Squeeze the Confederacy

GIDEON WELLES, Manuscript Document Signed, to Samuel B. Gregory, February 16, 1863; Endorsement signed by Acting Rear Admiral SAMUEL P. LEE. 1 p.

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Item #22844, $1,000

1864 Campaign Blames McClellan’s Failures on Lincoln, Comparing the President’s Treatment of McClellan and Grant

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Printed Document. Democrat Campaign “Document No. 12” with headings “Lincoln’s Treatment of Gen. Grant,” “Mr. Lincoln’s Treatment of Gen. McClellan,” and “The Taint of Disunion.” [New York, 1864.] 8 pp., 5¾ x 8⅝ in.

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with the same determination to divide the country unless they can secure universal abolition, we are exposed to the same dangers every day, and God only knows in what unlucky hour our ruin may be consummated... Compare his policy with McClellan’s expression of readiness to receive any State when its people offer to submit to the Union.

This Democratic Party campaign pamphlet quotes an April 1864 letter to argue that Lincoln gave Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant free rein to conduct the war, after having interfered with and micromanaged McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in 1862. The publication also declared that Republicans were stained with “The Taint of Disunion” and quoted from Republican speeches and editorials to insist that the Democrats were the party of “UNION AND PEACE.”

Item #24901.02, $450

Miscegenation, or the Millennium of Abolitionism – Stirring Fear of Interracial Marriage Before 1864 Presidential Election

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. [RACISM], Print. “Miscegenation, or the Millennium of Abolitionism.” Political Cartoon. New York: Bromley & Co., 1864. 1 p., 20¾ x 13⅝ in.

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The second in a series of four racist political cartoons published in 1864 by Bromley & Company, which was closely affiliated with the Copperhead New York World newspaper. These prints sought to undermine Abraham Lincoln’s chances for reelection by branding him as a “miscegenationist” and playing on white fears of “race-mixing.” The cartoon scene pictures several interracial couples enjoying a day at the park, eating ice cream, discussing wedding plans, and a woman’s upcoming lecture. Two African American families have white employees, a carriage driver and footmen and a babysitter.

The only other example traced at auction brought $7,800 in 2010.

Item #25614, $6,500

President Lincoln Vouches for a Maryland Unionist Congressman

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Robert C. Schenck, May 31, 1863, Washington, D.C. 1 p.

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I esteem Gov. Francis Thomas, as an able, and very true man. I do not know that he agrees with me in everything—perhaps he does not; but he has given me evidence of sincere friendship, & as I think, of patriotism.

Item #25464, $39,500

Fourth of July Oration from Massachusetts on Eve of the Civil War

[FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION], Autograph Document, July 4, 1860, Hancock, MA. 14 pp., 8 x 10 in. Unknown author, ending by quoting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “O Ship of State.”

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Thus it is that though the subject of Slavery is constantly agitating the minds of the people, and their opinions are wholly at variance, yet there are many important elements which tend to bind them together. And we are all hoping for a time when these elements shall so combine as to form one universal sentiment with regard to Slavery. When the North shall not only use their voices, but their hearts and their money if necessary in behalf of the oppressed. When the South shall not only feel the injustice of their “peculiar institution” but shall see that interest alone requires them to unite in making this a truly free and independent nation.

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate!” (Longfellow)

Item #25176, $1,500

Lincoln Endorses Petition from Border State Unionists

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Endorsement Signed as President, ca. December 1864, on a manuscript petition, with two endorsements from Brigadier General Solomon Meredith. 2 pp., 7 x 9⅛ in.

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President Lincoln endorses a manuscript petition from border-state Unionists seeking the establishment of a permanent military post at Hickman, Kentucky. “Submitted to the Sec. of War who is requested to see the bearer. A Lincoln.

Item #21191.99, $12,000

Colonial Merchant’s Copy of the First History of New Jersey Printed on One of Benjamin Franklin’s Presses

SAMUEL SMITH, Book. The History of the Colony of Nova-Caesaria, or New-Jersey: Containing, An Account of its First Settlement, Progressive Improvements, The Original and Present Constitution, and Other Events, to the Year 1721, First edition. Burlington, NJ: James Parker, 1765. Henry Remsen’s ownership signatures to front and rear blanks. 573 pp., 8½ x 5 in.

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This volume by Samuel Smith was the first general history of New Jersey, printed in a limited run of 600 copies on a press owned by Benjamin Franklin. Henry Remsen, a New York and New Jersey merchant, originally owned this copy.

Item #23633, $3,500

Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase
Insists on Proper Funding for Soldiers

SALMON PORTLAND CHASE, Autograph [draft] Letter Signed “S.P. Chase” as Secretary of the Treasury, to Sen. William P. Fessenden, no date [ca. January 1864], 7¾ x 9¾ in., 6 pp.

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Important letter to the chair of the Senate Finance Committee on how to pay for new conscripts and volunteers following Lincoln’s call for an additional 300,000 troops. Chase’s final version went to Fessenden on 11 January 1864. Fessenden’s “infernal tax bill” was introduced in May. After more than 300 amendments, it passed in June only one vote shy of unanimity.

Item #22307, $5,500

President Andrew Johnson’s Copy of “New-York Daily Tribune” Detailing Proposed Regulations for Alaska

[ALASKA], Newspaper. New-York Tribune, July 17, 1868. Featuring the terms of the “Aliaska” Bill as passed by the Senate. Copy belonging to President Andrew Johnson. New York: Horace Greeley. 8 pp., 18 x 23¾ in.

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This copy is stamped “THE PRESIDENT” at the top of the front page, indicating it belonged to President Andrew Johnson. The President would have read this copy of the act before Congress submitted it to him with some amendments on July 25. The report uses the early variant spelling of “Aliaska” for the territory and peninsula.

Item #25042, $2,000

Illustrator Frank Leslie Publishes Fanciful Grand Reception of Civil War Notables as a Subscription Premium

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Lithograph. “Grand Reception of the Notabilities of the Nation, at the White House 1865,” New York: Frank Leslie, [April] 1865. 1 p., 19 x 23¾ in.

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Frank Leslie published this print as a premium for his new family magazine, Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, and copyrighted it on April 8, 1865, just a week before Lincoln’s death. The image, created by engraver Henry B. Major and lithographer Joseph Knapp, portrays Lincoln, flanked by the First Lady and Vice President Andrew Johnson, greeting Julia Dent Grant, wife of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant who stands nearby.

According to a notice printed at the bottom right corner, “Every Person who pays Ten Cents each for numbers 1 and 2 of Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, The New Family Paper, is entitled to a copy of this PLATE without extra charge,” or individuals could purchase the print for $3.

Item #25618, $2,000

Scathingly Anti-British Broadside Heralds Daniel Webster

[DANIEL WEBSTER], Broadside announcing his upcoming arrival at Springfield, Massachusetts, April 7, [1851]. 1 p., 12 x 16½ in.

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Daniel Webster The Union Man, the Patriot, is to be with us To-morrow… Let us all meet to give him a welcome at the Depot… Let us show to the world that we have a ‘higher law’—a law above all party politics—the Divine Law of Patriotism!

Item #24609, $3,950

Lincoln Calls for the public to supports the U.S. Sanitary Commission

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. HENRY W. BELLOWS, Printed Circular Letter, to “the Loyal Women of America.” Washington, D.C., October 1, 1861. 3 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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The Sanitary Commission is … of direct practical value to the nation, in this time of its trial. It is entitled to the gratitude and confidence of the people… There is no agency through which voluntary offerings of patriotism can be more effectively made.  A. Lincoln.

Item #24870, $950

Prior to 1864 presidential election, McClellan’s former groomsman tries to even the field

SETH WILLIAMS, Manuscript Letter Signed, to Marsena R. Patrick, October 4, 1864. 1 p.

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Assistant Adjutant General Seth Williams writes to Provost Marshal M. R. Patrick that he will ask Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant to establish regulations to govern political agents in the camps prior to the 1864 elections.

Item #21386.03, $950

Senator Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana 1859 speech supporting acquisition of Cuba

JUDAH P. BENJAMIN, Pamphlet, “Speech of Hon. J.P. Benjamin of Louisiana, on the Acquisition of Cuba. Delivered in Senate U.S. Friday February 11, 1859.” Includes original envelope, 7¼ x 3¾ in., free franked in the upper right by N.J. Senator John Thomson (1800-1862). 16 pp., 6 x 9½ in.

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in the expansion of our system we seek no conquest, subjugate no people, impose our laws on no unwilling subjects. When new territory is brought under our jurisdiction, the inhabitants are admitted to all the rights of self-government.

In a speech in the United States Senate, Benjamin supports the annexation of Cuba with no hint of irony in his declaration that the people of the United States “impose our laws on no unwilling subjects.” His speech also conveys his states’-rights perspective on the nature of the Union that he championed while later serving in Jefferson Davis’ Confederate cabinet.

Item #24466, $1,400

A Middle-Aged Private in the 140th New York ‘Rochester Race Horses’ Writes His Wife

ERASTUS U. POLLAY, Autograph Letter Signed, to Julia A. Pollay, May 31, 1863, Falmouth, VA, 2 pp, 8vo., one slight fold cut (text not affected), otherwise fine condition.

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I have bin Down to the River this Morning and had A good wash and my Body is Clan Enough to sleep with a Woman but that Cant be So I must be Content untill I get out of this War and then I will see you About that

Item #21265.12, $250
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