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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Alexander Stephens on Mismanagement of Confederate Government and Economy

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, Autograph Letter Signed as Confederate Vice President, Crawfordville, Ga., April 29, 1864, to James A. Seddon, Confederate Secretary of War. 8 pp (the first 4 and last 4 of what was a 16-page letter), 4½ x 7 in.

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“You can not possibly regret more sincerely or profoundly my disagreement with members of the administration upon some of the late measures of Legislation than I do myself… [The crops] should be & should have been husbanded & guarded as gold. Not a grain of corn or blade of grass should have been wasted or lost or misapplied… Many plantations have been virtually abandoned to the negroes without any suitable superintendent. Many persons still at home under the uncertainty of getting details are failing to plant their usual crops...”

Vice President Stephens writes the Secretary of War strongly voicing his objections to acts passed by the Confederate Congress and about the economic, social, and military disintegration of the Confederacy.

Item #24014, $2,750

Confederate Flag Given by Infamous Spy Belle Boyd to a Union Officer

ELEVEN-STAR “FIRST NATIONAL” FLAG WITH SINGLE STAR “BONNIE BLUE” FIRST UNOFFICIAL CONFEDEDERATE FLAG VERSO, Belle Boyd, the “Siren of the Shenandoah,” gave the flag to Captain Frederic Sears Grand d’Hauteville on June 18, 1862, telling him that it was the flag she waived to urge on Confederate troops at the Battle of Front Royal a month earlier. D’Hauteville’s 25-page autograph manuscript war memoir, with his account of the gift of the flag quoted above, is included. (See below for complete transcript). With additional photographs and manuscripts. Homemade, perhaps even by Boyd or a family member, and used only briefly before being given to d’Hauteville, the flag has been perfectly preserved, retaining the short ribbons along its hoist and showing no tears, holes, fraying, loss, or staining. Over 5 x 3 feet.

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June 18. Reached Front Royal, & met there the famous & very handsome, rebel spy, Belle Boyd, who gave to me the rebel flag, waving which, she led the attack upon Kenly in May.

The “stars and bars” circular canton pattern with eleven-stars was used for First National flags from July 2, 1861, when Tennessee and North Carolina joined the Confederacy, until November 28, 1861, when stars were added for Missouri and Kentucky. The other side of this rare two-pattern configuration is a tribute to the “Bonnie blue flag that bears the single star,” the unofficial first Confederate flag.

Frederic d’Hauteville’s small autograph note has been loosely stitched to the flag: “Confederate flag. Taken by F.S.G dH. and given by him to E.S.F. in 1862(?). To be given to Freddie d’Hauteville when he is fifteen.” His first wife, Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish, died in 1863. Freddy, his son by his second wife, was born in 1873, thus dating his note about the second gifting of the flag to between 1873 and 1888. The flag remained in his family, preserved in perfect condition, until 2015, when contents from their Swiss castle were sold, clearing the way for the property to be sold; it is now on the market for $60 million dollars.

Item #24356.99, $180,000

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

Fisk University Co-Founder John Ogden Asks Merriam Publishers if the Gift of a Pictorial Dictionary Was Meant for Him or the University

JOHN OGDEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to George and Charles Merriam. Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 18, 1869. 1 p., 8½ x 5¼ in. On Fisk University letterhead.

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In this brief note, Ogden thanks the famous Springfield, Massachusetts dictionary publishers the Merriams for a gift of a copy of their Pictorial Dictionary. Ogden references one “Mr. Gamble” as having stated that the volume was intended as a personal gift, but notes that the dictionary has “the name of our institution inscribed upon, or rather in it, from which I infer you intended it for the institution.” He then asks the Merriams to “decide the quarrel.”

Item #24172.01-.02, $550

The Emancipation Proclamation:
A Miniature Edition of the Document that Saved America

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Pamphlet. Proclamation of Emancipation, by the President of the United States, January 1st, 1863. [Boston, Mass., John Murray Forbes, ca. Jan. 20, 1863]. 8 pp., plus printed wraps, 2¼ x 3¼ in.

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“All persons held as slaves within said designated States

and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free.”

Item #24310, $22,000

“General Grants election has brought such actual Peace, that there is not a part of a peg even, to hang an excitement on”

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Autograph Letter, to an unnamed general. Annapolis, Maryland, December 8, 1868. 2 pp., quarto. Sherman originally wrote this content as part of a longer letter; he marked this leaf “copy” and ends it with marks that show this section to be complete.

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Sherman turns down an invitation to a “Grand Reunion of the Western Armies at Chicago.”

Item #23562.02, $1,650

“War is a hard master.”

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to his foster brother and former General Thomas Ewing Jr. Saint Louis, Missouri, June 30, 1867, 4 pp., quarto.

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The Commander of the Department of the Missouri and the future Commanding General of the U.S. Army is not about to show favoritism to family when it comes to duty. He has some stern advice for his younger foster brother, Charley, delivered through his older brother.

Item #23562.01, $1,850

Gideon Welles Announces Lincoln’s Assassination to the Navy

[GIDEON WELLES], Printed Document Signed in print as Secretary of the Navy. General Order No. 51, Navy Department. Washington, D.C. April 15, 1865. Black border, issued just hours after the president’s death. One page with integral blank, 5½ x 8½ in.

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Item #23915, $2,500

Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, as President, to Secretary of State William H. Seward, “Executive Mansion,” Washington, D.C., March 5, 1862. Signed at bottom by “William H. Seward,” with a note in an unidentified contemporary hand. 1 p. 4¾ x 7¼ in.

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The United States is the only nation in history to end slavery through Civil War. Nations as diverse as Russia, the British Empire, France, Brazil, and others around the world ended their reliance on slave labor through legislative means that included some form of compensation to slaveowners for their lost “assets.” Here, President Lincoln requests that Secretary of State William Seward summon a meeting of the Cabinet. The following day, the president presented a special message to Congress with his plan end slavery through compensation. There were no takers among the slaveholding border states. The brevity of Lincoln’s letter belies its far-reaching implications and the tantalizing possibilities of “what might have been.”

Item #23747, $90,000

Civil War General and Later U.S. Commissioner of Patents Explains Troop Delays

MORTIMER D. LEGGETT, Autograph Letter Signed as Brig Gen. to Colonel W.T. Clark, A.A.G. Canton, [Mississippi], Headquarters 3d Division 17th Army Corps, [Army of the Tennessee] February 28, 1864. An explanation on delays in troop backup.

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Item #21386.11, $375

After his Costly Victory at Shiloh, Grant Orders Hurlbut to Move towards Corinth

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Autograph Letter Signed as Commander of the Army of the Tennessee, to Stephen A. Hurlbut. “Head Quarters, Army of the Ten[nessee],” Pittsburg [Landing, Tennessee], April 29, 1862. 1 p., 7¾ x 10 in.

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While under blistering criticism for sustaining so many casualties at the Battle of Shiloh, Grant orders General Stephen Hurlbut to move his 4th division in preparation for the advance on Corinth, Mississippi. The next day, however, Halleck would relieve Grant of command of the Army of Tennessee while nominally promoting him to second-in-command of the Department of the Mississippi. Grant was left virtually powerless. While this order demonstrates Grant’s intentions, Halleck moved so slowly that the Confederate army was allowed to escape. 

Item #23516, $9,000

The Gettysburg Address – Front Page News

GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, Newspaper, The New York Times, November 20, 1863. (Gettysburg Address on p. 1, col. 3. Reporting on the event starts on p. 1, col. 2. Everett’s speech on pp. 2-3.) 8 pp., 15¼ x 20¾ in.

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“It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the refinished work that they have thus so far nobly carried on.”

A rare first day of publication newspaper, with Lincoln’s timeless embodiment of American ideals prominently placed. This printing from November 20, the day after the Address, contains Lincoln’s speech on the front page. This original issue also includes Edward Everett’s speech and a report on the ceremonies.

Item #23318, $9,500

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

A Huge Print of the Great Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, Photograph. Mammoth Plate Albumen print, approximately 15 x 19 in. Mounted on original light card board approximately 19 x 24 in. Board worn, some cracks not touching print; minor staining in image area. “William Lloyd Garrison” printed on mount inder image. c. 1870s

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An image of an older Garrison, as he appeared after his life’s work of abolition had been successfully completed.

Item #22464, $2,000

Ohio Reformers Use Rhode Island’s Dorr Rebellion
to Justify Their Own Behavior

[DORR WAR], Pamphlet. The Dorr Movement in Ohio; Being an Examination into the Causes, Progress and Probable Effects of the Revolutionary Course of Locofocoism in the Organization of the General Assembly of This State, for the Session of 1848-49. [Columbus, Ohio]: Legg & Murray, Columbus, [1849]. Disbound. Inscribed in pencil on the title by H.A. Swift, the author, in presentation.

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Item #22543, $800

A Former Tennessee Congressman Thanks an Editor for Opposing Southern Nullifiers, and Criticizes Andrew Jackson’s Political Vindictiveness

JAMES B. REYNOLDS, Autograph Letter Signed, to Hezekiah Niles. Clarksville, Tenn., January 12, 1831. 3 pp., 9¾ x 8 in., with integral address leaf.

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Former Tennessee congressman James Reynolds thanks newspaper editor Hezekiah Niles for standing against Southern nullifiers while offering insight into the spiteful tactics Jackson used against Reynolds once elected to the presidency. Jackson won the presidency in 1828 after losing in 1824 to John Quincy Adams. Apparently, fellow Tennessean Reynolds did not complain enough about the “corrupt bargain” election of 1824—and Andrew Jackson held a grudge.

Item #22535, $2,500

National Thanksgiving by Thomas Nast

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, December 9, 1865.

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Item #H-12-9-1865, $275

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

Charles Sumner Discusses the Emerging Duty
of the United States in Promoting Human Rights &
World Peace Evoking the Declaration of Independence and Championing Louis Kossuth and his Exploits

CHARLES SUMNER, Autograph Letter Signed, Boston, October 26, 1851. 4 pp., 7 x 9 in.

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“The influence, we are now able to wield, is a sacred trust, which should be exercised firmly, discreetly, in conformity with the Laws of Nations & with an anxious eye to the peace of the world, so as always to promote the great cause of Human Rights. Our example can do much”

Item #20287, $2,750

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
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