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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Senator Sprague of Rhode Island Writes About Fascinating Debates in Congress Involving Freedom for the Families of African American Recruits and the Limits of Free Speech in the Senate

[AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS], William Sprague, Autograph Letter Signed, to William D. Ely, January 28, 1864, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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a discussion upon a section of a Malitia bill freeing the wife & children of the slave that enlist will occupy most if not all the day.

Item #26531, $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, ON HOLD

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

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 Confederate General Warns His Commanders
Not to Harass the Locals

[CONFEDERACY]. JOHN ECHOLS, Broadside. General Orders. Dublin [Virginia], September 5, 1864. 12 x 10 ½ in.

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Foraging during wartime often pits an army against its supporters in the civilian population. In his final month of departmental command before returning to the Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate Brigadier General John Nichols warning his soldiers not to molest citizens or their property.

Item #23271, $1,400

Lincoln and Congressmen Who Signed Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing Slavery

[THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT], Photomontage of the Congressional supporters of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States. Composite oval albumen photograph, 7 x 8¼ in., on mount, 13½ x 17 in. New York: G. M. Powell and Co., 1865.

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Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,...shall exist within the United States....

Item #27034, $1,450

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

Slavery Divides New York Legislature in 1844

[SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE], New York Assembly. Concurrent Resolutions against U.S. House of Representatives “gag rule,” Samuel Stevens, February 16, 1844, Not passed. 1 p., 6 ¾ x 12 in. Together with: New York Assembly. Concurrent Resolutions against Congressional interference with slavery in the states, Thomas N. Carr, March 12, 1844. Not passed. 1 p., 6¾ x 12 in. Two items.

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Resolved, That the legislature of this state deem the right of petitioning congress for relief against any and all manner of grievances a sacred right, solemnly guaranteed by the constitution of the United States to every human being within the territory thereof….

            vs.

Resolved, That Congress has no power under the constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states; and that such states are the sole and proper judges of every thing appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts of the abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery…are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences….

Item #23389.02-.03, $1,500

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

161 Young Men of Providence, R.I. Found “Loyal League” Pledged to Support the Union

[CIVIL WAR--RHODE ISLAND], Pledge and original membership roll of the Loyal League of Providence, Manuscript Document Signed, with 161 signatures, ca. January 1863, [Providence, RI]. 2 pp., 7¾ x 22¼ in.

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We, the members of the Loyal League, do hereby pledge ourselves, by words and acts, whenever practicable, to use our influence in support of the Government in all its measures for the suppression of the present unholy rebellion; and we will use our influence to discountenance and oppose all efforts in opposition to the Government and the Union.

Item #24584, $1,500

Ohio Governor’s Response to
South Carolina Nullification Threat

ALLEN TRIMBLE, Printed Letter Signed, for Trimble by S.C. Andrews, private secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio, February 12, 1828.

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“I herewith transmit a copy of the Preamble and Resolutions of the General Assembly of Ohio, in reply to the Resolutions from the Legislature of South Carolina, respecting the Constitutional powers of the General Government.”

Item #21057, $1,500

Opposing the Confederate Draft

[CIVIL WAR – CONFEDERACY], Broadside. “The Petition of Certain Non-Conscripts, Respectfully Presented to the Confederate States Congress.” Richmond, August 8, 1862. Signed in print, “The Petitioners, By their Counsel, John H. Gilmer.” 1 p., 7⅞ x 10⅜ in.

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Petitioning against General Order No. 46 of the Confederate War Department, which rescinded the part of the Confederate Conscription Act of April 16, 1862 that mandated the discharge of all voluntary enlistees under age 18 or over age 35 in July 1862. “These were the terms of the law. They were plain, unequivocal and mandatory. Common sense – universal public opinion … understood, accepted and adopted the law ... Shall an army order revoke a solemn act of Congress? … Have we a constitutional Government, with specific powers granted … or have we an unlimited Government, dependent only on Executive will or ministerial caprice? Are the People free or is the Executive supreme?”

Item #21781, $1,500

Unique Sea Mosses Book Sold at the New York Metropolitan Fair to Benefit Sick and Wounded Union Troops

[CIVIL WAR]. ANNA BIGELOW, Autograph Manuscript Signed unique calligraphy book with illustrations, pressed sea weeds, and hand lettered four lines of verse titled ‘Sea Weeds.’ New York, N.Y, 1864. 7½ x 10½ on 60-plus pages with 31 moss examples interleaved.

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“call us not weeds, we are flowers of the Sea.”

Item #24170, $1,750

Order Directing a Captain to Detach
from Command of the Kearsarge

GIDEON WELLES, Document Signed by Gideon Welles, November 23, 1864, 8 x 10 in., 1 p.

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An order from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to Captain John A. Winslow in Boston, directing that he is relieved of his command.

Item #22251, $1,750

Congressmen Who Signed Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing Slavery

[THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT], Photomontage of the Congressional supporters of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States. Composite oval albumen photograph, 13¾ x 16 in., credited in negative, on the original mount, 18⅛ x 20¼ in. New York: G. M. Powell and Co., 1865. Manuscript annotation on verso: “George May Powell / Great National Picture / Photograph of Members of United States House of Representatives and the Senate who voted Aye on Resolution to amend the Constitution of the United States so as to prohibit slavery. Passed Senate April 1864. Passed House of Representatives January 1866 [1865]. Abraham Lincoln – president.”

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Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,...shall exist within the United States....

Item #27106, $1,950
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