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George Clinton—1st N.Y. State Governor—Confirms 1,500,000+ Acre Patent in Catskill Mountains, “Sold” by Native Americans

GEORGE CLINTON, Document Signed, Land Patent, June 11, 1786. Includes attached Great Seal of New York, made from beeswax, covered with parchment, then embossed with brass matrix. 6 pp., 14¼ x 17½ in. with 3½ in. seal.

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Item #24362, $2,500

Bill of Rights: First House of Representatives Draft, Rare July 31, 1789 Newspaper Printing

[BILL OF RIGHTS], The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, July 31, 1789 (No. 3276). Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole. 4 pp., 11 x 18¼ in.

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On June 8, 1789, Congressman James Madison introduced his summary of proposed amendments to the Constitution. On July 21, John Vining of Delaware was appointed to chair a Committee of 11, with one member representing each state, as Rhode Island and North Carolina had yet to ratify the Constitution, to consider the subject.  This is the Report of Mr. Vining and the Committee “to whom it was referred to take the subject of Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, generally into their consideration...,” in essence the first Congressional draft of the Bill of Rights. The twenty words this report proposed to be added before the introductory phrase “We the people,” were not accepted by Congress. Revisions were made by both the House and the Senate, but within two months, this draft was edited down to twelve proposed amendments that Congress submitted to the states for ratification.

Item #26013, $12,000

[George Washington] Rare Broadside Instructing Ships’ Captains re Impressment of American Seamen

GEORGE WASHINGTON, An extract of the Act, entitled, ‘An Act, for the relief and Protection of American Seamen;’ passed in the fourth Congress of the United States, at the first Session, begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, on Monday the seventh of December, One thousand seven hundred and ninety-five. May 28, 1796. Broadside. Baltimore, MD: John Hayes. Signed in type by George Washington as President, Jonathan Dayton as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Samuel Livermore as President pro tempore of the Senate, printing the fifth and sixth sections of the act. 4 pp., 8½ x 13 in.

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it shall...be the duty of the master of every ship or vessel of the United States, any of the crew whereof shall have been impressed or detained by any foreign power, at the first port, at which such ship or vessel shall arrive...immediately to make a protest.

This rare historical broadside addresses the pressing issue of the impressment of American, a major factor leading the young United States into the Quasi-War with France (1798-1800) and later to the War of 1812 with Great Britain.

Item #24393, $3,750

N.H. Addresses Articles of Confederation Flaw: Gives Congress Power to Negotiate Trade & Tariff Deals – if All 13 States Agree

NEW HAMPSHIRE, General Court, Manuscript Document Signed by a Clerk, June 23, 1785, [Exeter], New Hampshire. Blindstamped “Archives de Chastellux” at top left. 2 pp., 8 x 13½ in., 6/23/1785.

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“the united States in Congress assembled, be, and they hereby are vested, with full power, and authority, in the part, and in the behalf of this State, to make and enter into such general ordinances, and treaties for the due regulation of the trade, and commerce of the united States, as they may judge best calculated to promote the weal, and prosperity thereof…”

Act grants the Confederation Congress the power to negotiate commercial treaties and collect duties to be used to pay down Revolutionary War debt. However, contrary to the Articles of Confederation Congress, N.H. agrees only if every other state agrees, as opposed to the two-thirds vote requested.

Item #25023.02, $3,000

U.S. Constitution – Contemporary List of States with Ratification Dates and Votes

[CONSTITUTION], Manuscript Document, ca. July 1788-1790. List of the first thirteen states and dates of ratification with votes. 1 p., 4 x 7 in.

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Item #24876, $3,500

[Thomas Jefferson]. 1807 Acts of Congress, Including Law Abolishing Slave Trade, the Insurrection Act, and Lewis & Clark Content. First Edition.

[CONGRESS], Acts Passed at the Second Session of the Ninth Congress of the United States (Washington, D.C.: n.p., 1807). 134 pp. (219-352), 6 x 9 in. Includes table of contents (iv pp.) for this session, and index (29 pp.) and title page for entire volume at end.

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it shall not be lawful to import or bring into the United States...any negro, mulatto, or person of color, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such negro, mulatto, or person of color, as a slave.

Item #23963, $4,500

George Washington’s Celebrated Trip from Mount Vernon to Inauguration in New York City

GEORGE WASHINGTON, First Inauguration. The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, May 2, 1789. Newspaper. Philadelphia, Pa.: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole. 4 pp., 11½ x 18¼ in.

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His reception was warm, and joy sparkled in every countenance: the crowd was amazing.

Item #30027.11, $850

Benjamin Franklin Calls For Abolition of Slavery, Washington Addresses the Dutch Reformed Church on Religious Freedom, Thanksgiving Thoughts, Hamilton’s Plans, and More

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States. November 25, 1789, New York, N.Y., 4 pp., (pp. 257-60), 10 x 16 in.

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Also offered as part of the Alexander Hamilton Collection: The Story of the Revolution & Founding.

This important newspaper includes an October 9, 1789 letter to George Washington, with his Address responding To the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America discussing his gratitude for their support, thanks for the nation weathering the revolution and peacefully establishing constitutional government, and ensuring religious freedom. (p. 1, col. 3).

As well as a printing of Benjamin Franklin’s “Address to the Public from the Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage.”

Item #23116, $8,500

The Federalist, First Edition, Written to Support the Constitution During Ratification Battle

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, JAMES MADISON, AND JOHN JAY, Book. The Federalist: A Collection of Essays Written in Favor of the New Constitution, as Agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787. First edition. New York: John and Andrew M’Lean, Two volumes. 1788.

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“it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide, by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.”

Item #25874, $130,000

Thomas Jefferson Exceptional Signed Presidential Address to Cherokee Nation

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Manuscript Document Signed (“Th: Jefferson”) as President, Address entitled “My Friends & Children Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation.” Washington, D.C. January 10, 1806. 4 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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Following the January 7, 1806 Treaty of Washington, President Jefferson applauds the definition of the boundaries for Cherokee lands and lauds the Cherokees on their accomplishments. He sternly advises against war and stresses peace and harmony between the tribes and white settlers.

Item #24096, PRICE ON REQUEST

Henry Clay’s “In Defense of the American System”: Pre-Speech Outline and Final Manuscript Sent For Publication of One of the Most Important Economic and Political Speeches in American History

HENRY CLAY, This remarkable offering consists of two unique steps in the creation and dissemination of his speech: 1) Clay’s 21-page autograph manuscript notes, used to prepare for or deliver the speech in the Senate, plus 2) Clay’s 67-page autograph manuscript signed, preparing and delivering the text to the printer. With a copy of the published text, Speech of Henry Clay, in Defence of the American System, against the British Colonial System: with an Appendix, by Gales & Seaton, 1832, 43 pp., 2/2/1832.

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Henry Clay’s philosophy of developmental capitalism focused on achieving economic independence and national self-sufficiency, allowing the United States to grow internally and expand its reach into global markets. His “American System,” spelled out while Speaker of the House in 1824, included four main components: tariffs to protect and promote American industry; a national bank to control the money supply and foster commerce; federal subsidies for roads, canals, and other “internal improvements” to move products, services, and capital to markets; and high prices for public land to generate revenue for the federal government. His system was designed to balance states’ rights with national interests. Though the industrializing northeast, the predominantly agricultural west and the cotton-growing south had diverging interests, the plan supported the growth of the whole.

But in 1828, with low-priced imports driving northern industries out of business, revisions were called for. In theory aiming to protect American manufactures and forestall even higher future rates, the “Tariff of Abominations” was actually designed to fail. Southerners opposed to tariffs joined in writing the bill, adding heavy taxes on materials imported by New England. Despite the ploy’s success in galvanizing opposition, the bill surprisingly garnered just enough votes to pass, aided by members willing to sacrifice short term and sectional interests in favor of longer term national benefits. Knowing that it would be a political liability, President John Quincy Adams still signed it into law. Higher tariffs resulted in higher prices and reduced British exports to the U.S., which impacted Britain’s ability to pay for Southern cotton. And Westerners, though appreciating tariff support for agriculture, disliked the high price for public lands, believing that northeastern factory owners sought to prevent westward migration that would deplete the labor pool and force higher wages—and in turn keeping the region underrepresented in Congress. Both southerners and westerners distrusted the Bank of the United States, which they viewed as only a prop for northeastern manufacturers. 

Clay and his supporters sought to make adjustments while preserving the general policy, but the whole system came under increasing attack, especially in South Carolina.  In January 1832, Senator Robert Y. Hayne (1791-1839) gave a noted speech assaulting the Tariff of Abominations. Over three days in early February, Clay, having just been elected to the Senate, gave a masterful response that is widely regarded as one of the most important speeches in American history. (Later that same year, Hayne would chair the South Carolina Nullification Convention, a bold challenge to federal authority that was firmly opposed by Jackson.

Item #23830, PRICE ON REQUEST

To Avoid Abuse from “bigots in religion...politics, or...medicine,” Thomas Jefferson Declines to Publish Benjamin Rush’s Private Correspondence

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to James Mease. With conjoined franked address leaf in Jefferson’s hand. August 17, 1816. Monticello, [Charlottesville, Va.]. 1 p., 9¾ x 8 in.

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Thomas Jefferson, long since retired to private life, declines the request of Dr. James Mease for copies of Dr. Benjamin Rush’s correspondence with Jefferson. Mease had hoped to include them in a volume of Rush’s letters to be published and specifically requested letters pertaining to Rush’s personal views on religion and politics. After demurring, Jefferson discusses at length the differences between personal and official correspondence, with philosophical thoughts on public versus private expression. He closes with assurances that his decision is nothing personal, and of his great respect for Mease: “I hope, my dear Sir, you will see in my scruples only a sentiment of fidelity to a deceased friend.”

Item #23233, $75,000

Hamilton’s Advice to Holland Land Company on a New Law Relating to New York State’s Prohibition Against Foreigners Owning Land

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Autograph Manuscript Draft, to Théophile Cazenove, c. May 19, 1796. 2+ pp.

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It is manifestly the interest of the parties concerned to avail themselves of this act. They are now intirely at the discretion of the Government....

New York adhered to the common-law prohibition against foreigners owning land. If a citizen purchased property in his own name but the money came from a foreigner, the purchaser was considered a trustee, and the State could seize the property. But Dutch investors, second only to France in their aid to America during the Revolution, invested heavily in American stocks, bonds, and western lands, working largely through their agent Théophile Cazenove.

Item #24625, $20,000

September 1789 Printing of the Act Establishing the Treasury Department, Along With Important Congressional Debates on Organizing the Federal Judiciary

TREASURY DEPARTMENT; JUDICIARY, The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, September 21, 1789 (No. 3320). Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole. 4 pp., approx. 11½ x 18½ in.

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This issue of the Pennsylvania Packet includes key debates in the House of Representatives on the bill establishing the federal judiciary, as well as the text of the act establishing the Treasury Department and dramatic news of the French Revolution.

Item #24832, $1,750

Due to Articles of Confederation’s Weakness, New Hampshire’s Legislature Moves to Regulates and Encourages Trade – Separate from the Other States

NEW HAMPSHIRE GENERAL COURT, Manuscript Document Signed by a Clerk, June 23, 1785, [Exeter], New Hampshire. Blindstamped “Archives de Chastellux” at top left. 4 pp., 8 x 13½ in., 6/23/1785.

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New Hampshire Act providing “for the Regulation of navigation and commerce,” featuring strict prohibitions against imports to or exports from New Hampshire in ships “being the property of any of the Subjects of the King of Great-Britain.” It also establishes mechanisms for enforcement and penalties for disregarding the law.

“any vessels, which may appear to have two setts of papers; by the one of which they may appear to be the property of the citizens of the united States, and by the other, the property of foreigners… if it shall be made to appear, that any vessel, that is cleared at the naval office in this state, as the property of the citizens of these States, shall afterwards enter, and discharge her cargo taken in, and cleared as aforesaid, in any foreign port, as the property of a foreigner, said vessel, upon her return into this state, shall be forfeited, and may be seized by the naval officer of this [state]”

Item #25023.01, $2,000

Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, Rare Printing on Silk

Thomas Jefferson, Broadside, The inaugural speech of Thomas Jefferson. Washington-City, March 4th, 1801 - this day, at XII o’clock, Thomas Jefferson, President Elect of the United States of America, took the oath of office required by the Constitution, in the Senate Chamber, in the presence of the Senate, the members of the House of Representatives, the public officers, and a large concourse of citizens. Previously to which, he delivered the following address.... [Boston]: From the Chronicle Press, by Adams & Rhoades, Court-Street. [March 19, 1801]. On silk. 16½ x 22½ in. 1 p.

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Jefferson’s most famous speech lays out his political program, but also makes a ringing call for patriotism beyond partisanship. It is considered to be one of the most important presidential speeches, and is widely quoted even today – by President Clinton, President Bush, and almost every other current political figure. Alluding to the recent controversial and acrimonious presidential election, Jefferson calls for a calming of partisan passions, and outlines “what I deem the essential principles of our government. . . . We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans; we are all federalists.

Item #21089.99, $28,000

The New U.S. Senate Considers Bill to Organize the Federal Judiciary: Full Text of the Senate Bill to Establish the Supreme Court, Federal Judicial Districts and Circuit Courts, as Well as the Position of Attorney General

JUDICIARY ACT, U.S. SENATE DRAFT, The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. Newspaper, June 29, 1789 (No. 3248). Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole. 4 pp., 11⅜ x 18¼ in.

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the supreme court of the United States shall consist of a chief justice and five associate justices...and shall hold annually at the seat of the federal government two sessions....

The U.S. Constitution provided that the “judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and such inferior Courts,” leaving to Congress to establish the details. The Judiciary Act erected a three-tiered federal court system—the Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals, and the District Courts—essentially the system in place today. The foremost issue was the relative power and authority to be respectively accorded the federal and state courts. The Judiciary Act’s most controversial provision empowered the Supreme Court to hear, at its discretion, appeals of verdicts reached in the state courts whenever those decisions were deemed to raise questions of constitutionality of state or federal laws. 

Item #24830, $1,650

Congress Authorizes a Mint, and President Washington Proclaims the Location of the Permanent Seat of Government

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Columbian Centinel, April 23, 1791. Newspaper. Boston: Benjamin Russell. 4 pp. (pp. 45-48), 10¼ x 16¼ in

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Including two March 3, 1791 Acts of Congress: Resolution to Establish U.S. Mint, and Act that President be requested to report to Congress on “the quantity and situation of lands not claimed by the Indians, nor granted to, nor claimed by any of the citizens of the Unties States within the territory ceded to the United States by the State of North-Carolina, and within the territory of the United States north-west of the river Ohio.” Also the March 30, 1791 Proclamation of Permanent Seat of Government, signed in type by Washington and Jefferson.

Item #30027.45, $3,250

Debating the Bill of Rights Amendments in 1789

[BILL OF RIGHTS], The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. Newspaper, August 22, 1789 (No. 3295). Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole. 4 pp., 11⅜ x 18¼ in.

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Mr. [Egbert] Benson [of New York] moved that the words ‘but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms,’ be struck out. He wished that this humane provision should be left to the wisdom and benevolence of government. It was improper to make it a fundamental in the constitution.”

This issue of the Pennsylvania Packet includes key debates in the House of Representatives on the developing set of amendments that were later ratified as the Bill of Rights. It also prints the Act establishing the War Department.

Item #24831, $7,500

Act of Congress Attempting to Mitigate Brewing Whiskey Rebellion, Signed by Edmund Randolph

EDMUND RANDOLPH, Document Signed as Secretary of State. An ACT making further provision for securing and collecting the Duties on foreign and domestic Spirits, Stills, Wines and Teas, June 5, 1794. Philadelphia: Childs and Swaine. Signed in type by George Washington as President, Ralph Izard as President pro tempore of the Senate, and Frederick Muhlenberg as Speaker of the House. 4 pp., 8 x 13⅜ in.

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Excerpts

all spirits which shall be distilled in the United States, in stills which shall not have been previously entered at some office of inspection, shall be liable, together with the stills or other vessels used in the distillation thereof, to seizure and forfeiture.” (sec. 2)

any person or persons, who shall counterfeit the certificates for, or the marks or numbers to be set upon any cask, vessel or package containing wines, teas, or foreign or domestic distilled spirits, or upon stills... shall, for every such offence, forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred dollars.” (sec. 7)

That it shall and may be lawful for the judicial courts of the several states, and of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, and of the territory of the United States south of the river Ohio, to take cognizance of all and every suit and suits, action and actions, cause and causes, arising under or out of the laws for collecting a revenue upon spirits distilled in the United States, and upon stills, which may arise or accrue at a greater distance, than fifty miles from the nearest place established by law for holding a district court.” (sec. 9)

That the judicial courts of the several states, to whom, by this act, a jurisdiction is given, shall and may exercise all and every power… for the purpose of obtaining a mitigation or remission of any fine, penalty or forfeiture, which may be exercised by the judges of the district courts, in cases depending before them... ” (sec. 18)

Item #24317, $7,500
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