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Civil War and Reconstruction

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“The Excursion of the Bought Nominations”
Showing Balloon “Union League”

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside, “The Excursion of the Bought Nominations, The Large Balloon ‘Union League,’ Will Start Immediately. The Balloon is managed by the Old Hunkers in the Ring.” [1864]. 4 ¾ x 8 ½ in.

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Item #21986.04, $750

Union Soldiers Recounts Conquest of Island No. 10

[ISLAND NO. 10], Amos Downing, Autograph Letter Signed, to his brother (Philip Downing). Island No. 10. [New Madrid], Missouri, April 9, 1862. 4 pp. With autograph envelope.

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A day after the Confederate surrender, Amos Downing gives his brother an exciting account of the Siege of Island No. 10 from the perspective of someone who may have served under Commodore Andrew Foote in the riverboat fleet that collaborated with General John Pope. Downing correctly identifies Fort Pillow, eighty miles to the south on the Mississippi, Memphis, and New Orleans as the next Union targets in the Mississippi Valley. His description of Confederate prisoners reveals a measure of discontent within Southern ranks. “The prisoners taken here are all Irish they say that they were force[d] in the service and are satisfied to be taken prisoner. They didnt know what to make of maters. They said first a big smoke and next a noise like thunder and next thing the devil himself would come among them and that was worst than fighting with sticks. They say the first shell killed fifteen men there lost is very heavy…

Item #21890, $750

Requesting Another Battery of Artillery During the Siege of Yorktown

CHARLES SMITH HAMILTON (1822-1891), Autograph Letter Signed (“C. S. Hamilton”), as General U.S. Army, with additional autograph endorsements on verso by S. P. Heintzelman, James A. Hardie and William F. Barry. Div. Hd. Qrs., April 12, 1862. To Gen. S. Williams. 2 pp, 7¾ x 10 in., ruled paper, closed tear.

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In the middle of the Civil War Siege of Yorktown, General Charles Hamilton fruitlessly asks for more artillery.

Item #20363.05, $800

Future Confederate Naval Commander

ARTHUR SINCLAIR, Autograph Letter Signed to unknown. U.S.S. Pennsylvania, Norfolk, January 22, 1861. 1 p., 7⅞ x 9¾ in.

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Three months before his home state of Virginia seceded, U.S. Naval Commander Arthur Sinclair writes to a Commander in the Navy.

Item #21767, $850

Future Confederate Secretary of War
Makes Recommendation to War Department

JAMES SEDDON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of War Leroy P. Walker. Sabot Hill, Virginia, September 4, 1861. With integral endorsement by Harrison. 2 pp., 5 x 7⅞ in.

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Seddon, a Confederate Congressman from Virginia, recommends Captain George Harrison, a veteran of First Manassas, for promotion. “My friend and fellow Countryman Captn. George Harrison late of the Goochland Cavalry serving at Manassas, where he had the privilege of participating in the perils and honor of our late victory.

Item #21774, $900

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

Civil War Hero David Dixon Porter
Expresses Support for the Chinese in a Time of Hostility

DAVID DIXON PORTER, Autograph Letter Signed, to “Reverend Dr. Newman.” Washington, D.C., March 14, 1879. 3 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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“As you and I have both expressed friendly sentiments towards the citizens of the Flowery Kingdom, we may hope to be in high favor should we live till that time.”

Item #22730, $950

Winfield Scott Criticizes Zachary Taylor’s
Illegal Order to Flog a Soldier

WINFIELD SCOTT, Autograph Document Signed, November 18, 1843, with annotations initialed by him and dated December 1843. 2 pp.

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“.... [H]earing of the illegal order & the illegal flogging, I looked into the case…”

Item #20735, $975

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

The Drafter of the 14th Amendment Quotes
Abolitionist Congressman Thaddeus Stevens

STEPHEN NEAL, Autograph Note Signed. 1 p., 8¼ x 4¼ in.

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Item #23151, $1,200

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

The Defense in Ex parte Milligan Argues That Even During War the Federal Government Can’t Use Military Trials Where Civilian Courts Are Operative

[LAMBDIN P. MILLIGAN], Printed Book. D. F. Murphy, reporter, Supreme Court of the United States. In the Matter of Lambkin [sic] P. Milligan, William A. Bowles, Stephen Horsey, Under Sentence by Military Commission. Argument of David Dudley Field, Esq. for the Petitioners. March 12 and 13, 1866. New York: Williams J. Read, 1866. 97 + 104 pp., 6⅝ x 10⅛ in.

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Court reporter records the impassioned defense, before the U.S. Supreme Court, by David Dudley Field of Lambdin P. Milligan and others, who were tried by military commission in Indiana during the Civil War and sentenced to death for disloyal activities. The court’s landmark decision agreed with Field’s reasoning that the federal government could not employ military tribunals where civilian courts were in operation.

Item #25148, $1,250

A Fighting Vermont Regiment Summary of Actions after Gettysburg, July 5-13, 1863

ADDISON W. PRESTON, Autograph Document, c. July to October 1863, 2 pp., 8 x 12¼ in.

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Item #23879.01, $1,250

A Map of the Baruch College Area of New York City

ALEXANDER STEWART WEBB, Autograph Letter Signed “Webb,” as President of City College of New York, to General F.A. Walker. New York, N.Y. March 20, 1888. 3 pp., 8⅜ x 13 in. With holograph map.

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Stewart sending thanks, urging General Walker to visit.

Item #22259, $1,250

“I thought Cump would advise you as to the movements here…”

THOMAS EWING, JR, Autograph Letter Signed, to Thomas Ewing, his father. Washington, May 22, 1861. Written in pencil. 6 pp., 4⅞ x 7¾ in.

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Genl Scott is in bad humor with the administration for appointing Reeder Brig Genl in regular army … We have the idea he will not favor Cump’s appt, except as Colonel…

Ewing informs his father of political machinations in Washington and early Civil War plans and appointments. He painstakingly weighs the chances of his foster brother (and brother-in-law), William T. “Cump” Sherman, obtaining a general’s commission. He also offers a sober analysis of the relative strengths of the Union and Confederate armies in the Eastern theater. “The general impression is the first battle, after Pickens, will be at Norfolk. The Govt. is not ready. Genl Scott says Genl Impatience is the only opposing General he fears. At present, it is plain the enemy can put man for man in the field anywhere in eastern Virginia with us.

Item #21772, $1,250

The Christian Banner” – Pro-Confederate Paper From Union-Occupied Fredericksburg

[CIVIL WAR – CONFEDERACY], Newspaper. June 11, 1862. The Christian Banner, Fredericksburg, Va., J.W. Hunnicutt, Vol. 1, Number 6. 4 pp., large folio.

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“The colored population of Fredericksburg are strolling about town and seem to be perfectly happy our country is ruined and slaughtered worse than beeves all on account of the negroes! Can it be possible, that man will sacrifice their country for the negro…”

A fine war-date newspaper published in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Articles on the front page describe the destruction of President Jefferson Davis’s Mississippi plantation, the Battle of Memphis, military actions near Richmond and an account of operations near Charleston, South Carolina. Several other articles deal with the subject of slavery.

Item #21798, $1,250

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

New York Times Carriers’ Address Reviews the Year 1863 in Bad Verse, Including Freeing of Russia’s Serfs, and the Battle of Gettysburg

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside, “Carriers’ Address / New York Times / To Our Patrons.” New York: Dodge and Grattan, [ca. January 1] 1864. 1 p., 15½ x 21½ in. Intricate borders and patriotic imagery.

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For in this struggle vast The liberties of man shall rise or fall, And unborn generations to us call… The laborer on England’s soil, The peasants that in Austria toil, The serfs, that over Russia’s plains Are dropping now their long worn chains…”

On or around New Year’s Day, some newspapers printed “carriers' addresses” with an appeal for a holiday gift or donation from subscribers. Newspaper carriers were often the printer’s apprentices, sometimes younger than teenagers.

Item #25040, $1,350
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