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Alexander Hamilton Writes to His Beloved Wife, Eliza, About the Deteriorating Health of Her Younger Sister, Peggy

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Autograph Letter Signed “A.H.”, Albany, Tuesday, Feb(ruary) 25, 1801 to Elizabeth (“Eliza”) Schuyler Hamilton, regarding the deteriorating health of her sister, Margarita “Peggy” Schuyler Van Rensselaer. One sheet folded to make four pages, 5 x 7-3/4 in. Addressed on integral leaf in Hamilton’s hand: “Mrs. Hamilton/No. 26 Broadway/New York”, wax seal partially intact on same; further docketed at bottom by Hamilton, “Mrs. H.”

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“My Dear Eliza/Your sister Peggy has gradually grown worse & it is now in a situation that her dissolution in the opinion of the Doctor is not likely to be long delayed. The L. Governor sends the bearer to bring home his Child--I have not time to add more
Adieu my Eliza A.H.”

Item #27110, $20,000

British Lieutenant Inventories Ammunition and Ordnance Taken from Americans in Burning of Washington

[BURNING OF WASHINGTON, DC.], Thomas G. T. Williams, Copy of Manuscript Document Signed, August 25, 1814, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 8⅛ x 13½ in.

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Royal Artillery Lieutenant Thomas G. T. Williams compiled this list of ordnance and ammunition that the British Army seized from the Americans in their march toward Washington, at the Battle of Bladensburg, and in the capture of the American capital of Washington, D.C. It also notes that Americans destroyed a great deal of ammunition and ordnance as they abandoned Washington to the British. A few days later, the British would have less success against American forces at Baltimore and Fort McHenry. Four months later, 23-year-old Williams died of yellow fever outside of New Orleans.

Item #27323.03, $2,000

Receipt for Jewelry for Rachel Jackson

[RACHEL JACKSON], Manuscript Document Signed by the recipients, January 10, 1828, New Orleans, Louisiana. 1 p., 6¾ x 7⅞ in.

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In January 1828, a well-known Connecticut jeweler and watchmaker who had established a business in New Orleans supplied jewelry purchased by or for Rachel Jackson.

Item #26377.03, $1,250

Charter of the Marine Society of the City of New York, Printed in 1788 with Franklin’s Passy Type

[NEW YORK], Printed Pamphlet, Charter of the Marine Society of the City of New-York, in the State of New-York, to Which are Added, the Bye-Laws, and a List of the Members of the Society. New York: Francis Childs, 1788. 34 pp., 6 x 7.75 in. Octavo, contemporary marbled boards (detached), title page toned, some edge tears – but very rare., 1/1/1788.

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A rare volume printed with Franklin’s Passy type. According to Rare Book Hub, only one copy of this edition sold between 1946 (Parke Bernet, 16 May, lot 168) and 2021. Provenance: India House. Ref: “A Descriptive Catalogue of the Marine Collection … at India House” (N.Y., 1935).

Item #26537, $3,500

Rare “Address to the People of the State of Connecticut,” the Report of Delegates from 97 Towns Who Met to Call for a Democratic Non-Theocratic State Constitution

[CONNECTICUT], “Address to the People of the State of Connecticut,” broadsheet, August 29, 1804, New Haven, CT. Signed in type by William Judd, Chairman. 2 pp., 10½ x 18 in.

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An important document in American constitutional and religious history.

“Excellent as may appear the government of Connecticut to those, who have administered it… yet to us… it has been and is an unequal government, constantly tending to the increase of aristocracies and to the consequent humiliation of men and principles, friendly to our revolution. The government is indeed good for those, who have enjoyed all power and privileges under it…”

Three months earlier, Abraham Bishop gave an oration celebrating the re-election of President Jefferson. In it, he argued that the Declaration of Independence made the 1662 Royal Charter void, and that Connecticut’s General Assembly had “usurped the rights of the people” by preventing the passage of a State Constitution. “Thus all the abuses inflicted on us when subjects of a crown, were fastened on us anew... We still suffer from the old restrictions on the right to vote; we are still ruled by the whims of seven men…. Not only do they make laws, but they plead before justices of their own appointment, and … interpret the laws of their own making…. Is this an instrument of government for freemen?... We demand a constitution…”

On August 29, 1804, responding to Bishop’s call for a gathering in New-Haven to discuss replacing King Charles II’s Charter, delegates from 97 towns met, and adopted and ordered the printing of this Address. The Federalist-Congregationalist governing party reacted by warning that everyone should fear these radical Jeffersonian Democratic Republican underminers of all religion. “All the friends of stable government [should] support the Standing Order,”they said, as the five state justices who attended the meeting, including its chairman, were fired.  

The harsh reaction of Church and State government actually proved the point of the Address. But it still took the War of 1812, the trial of journalists and other political enemies by partisan judges, culture wars as the officially established Congregational church become more fundamentalist (ie, a “Society for the Suppression of Vice and the Promotion of Good Morals,” ultimately causing many members to fly from the church of eternal damnation to less Calvinist denominations), the foundation of a Toleration Party that voted with Republicans, the collapse of the national Federalist Party, and the “Revolution of 1817” before succeeding. Fourteen years after this Address, a new Constitution that dis-established the Congregational Church and created separate executive, legislative and judicial branches in the “Constitution State.”

Item #26603.99, $7,500

Alexander Hamilton Signed Registration for Schooner Robert of Baltimore

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Partially Printed Document Signed, Registration of Schooner Robert, April 10, 1790, Baltimore, Maryland. Form printed by Francis Childs and John Swaine in New York. 1 p., 8¾ x 13¼ in.

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Under a law passed in September 1789, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton signed blank certificates in New York and sent them to the collectors of the various ports of the new nation, where the local collector of the port filled them out and signed them. This registration system was part of a Congressional effort to limit the merchant marine to American-built ships owned and crewed by Americans. If a ship met the necessary requirements, it would “be deemed and taken to be, and denominated, a ship or vessel of the United States,” with all the benefits of any U.S. laws. Baltimore collector O. H. Williams filled out and signed this form for the Schooner Robert, owned by Baltimore merchant William Patterson.

Item #27521, $18,000

Major General Alexander Hamilton Message to Father of American Viticulture During Quasi-War with France

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to John Adlum, August 24, 1799, New York. 1 p., 7.75 x 13 in.

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During the Quasi-War with France, Congress established in May 1798 a three-year “Provisional Army” of 10,000 men, consisting of twelve regiments of infantry and one regiment of cavalry to exist simultaneously with the United States Army. Although the commanding officer of the Provisional Army was George Washington, he accepted the appointment on the condition that he remain in retirement at Mount Vernon until he was actually needed. In March 1799, Congress created an “Eventual Army” of 30,000 men, which was to include the Provisional Army and three regiments of cavalry, but neither army was fully recruited or mobilized. Congress dissolved the Provisional Army in June 1800.

This letter to Major John Adlum of Pennsylvania was part of Major General Alexander Hamilton’s efforts as the ranking general below Washington to prepare forces for the brewing hostilities with France.

Item #26539, $12,500

Continuing Controversy Over Contested 1824 Election, Maryland Governor Accuses North Carolina Congressman of Lying To Hide His Vote for J.Q Adams over Andrew Jackson

[ANDREW JACKSON], Joseph Kent, Autograph Letter Signed, to Joseph Gales Jr. and William W. Seaton, October 6, 1827, Rose Mount, Maryland. 7 pp., 8 x 9⅞ in. Published in the Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), October 8, 1827, 3:1.

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“… until that moment I did not suppose he could have been forced to Vote for Genl Jackson.… I might ask the Gentleman from North Carolina (Mr Saunders) if he does not know some, who made earnest and solem appeals to members who were uncommitted, saying, save the Nation, save the Nation, by the election of Mr Adams, and who are now to be found arrayed among the foremost of the opposition”

In this letter to the editors of the Daily National Intelligencer, Maryland governor Joseph Kent attacks a “false & scurrilous” publication by R[omulus] M[itchell] Saunders regarding the 1824 election, asking them to publish a “correction.” An excerpt from a letter Kent had written in May 1827 characterized Congressman Saunders, a supporter of William Crawford, as anxious that the election be settled on the first ballot so that North Carolina would not “be forced to vote for” Andrew Jackson.[1] In 1827, Saunders vehemently denied Kent’s recollection and denounced the governor and the newspapers that had published his charge.



[1] Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), July 21, 1827, 2:3. Previously published in Phenix Gazette (Alexandria, VA), July 20, 1827, 3:1, which copied it from The Commentator (Frankfort, KY), July 7, 1827, 3:1-2.

Item #27455, $1,500

Elisha Boudinot: Vermont Voters Disgraced Themselves by Reelecting a Congressman Who Was Jailed for Violating the Sedition Act

ELISHA BOUDINOT, Autograph Letter Signed, to Governor Isaac Tichenor, February 12, 1799, “New Ark,” N.J. 1 p., 8 x 12¾ in. With integral address leaf (half missing). , 2/12/1799.

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I am sorry that your state have so disgraced themselves by sending again as their Representative the in-famous Lyon – but, we are in an age of excentricity! May we weather the storm!

To the chagrin of President John Adams and the Federalists like New Jersey Supreme Court Judge Elisha Boudinot, voters re-elected Congressman Matthew Lyon while he was in jail for violating the Sedition Act of 1798. The Act outlawed the publishing of “any false, scandalous, and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame...or to bring them into contempt or disrepute.” Most historians view the Alien and Sedition Acts as an overreaching criminalization of dissent during a war scare (the Quasi War with France).

Item #21480.06, $1,450

(On Hold) The U.S. Constitution – Very Rare Printing on the Second Day of Publication

[U.S. Constitution], The Pennsylvania Herald, Thursday, September 20, 1787. Philadelphia: William Spotswood. Alexander J. Dallas, editor. 4 pp. 11¾ x 19 inches folded, 23½ x 19 inches opened.

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We are not aware of any other example in private hands, and only six institutions list runs that should include this issue. 

Item #27499, ON HOLD

Madison’s Optimistic First Message to Congress: A Prelude to the War of 1812

JAMES MADISON, Special Session Message. National Intelligencer, May 23, 1809. Broadside. Washington, D.C.: Samuel Harrison Smith. Handwritten on the verso: “Presidents Message 1809” 1 p., 10¼ x 12½ in.

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it affords me much satisfaction to be able to communicate the commencement of a favorable change in our foreign relations....

Item #30051.005, $2,400

President Jefferson Sends, Rather than Delivers, His First State of the Union

THOMAS JEFFERSON, State of the Union Message. Thomas’s Massachusetts Spy, Extra, December 18, 1801, signed in type twice. Broadside. Worcester, Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas Jr. 1 p., 12-1/2 x 19-3/4 in.

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Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.

This important first message contains his observations on Indian relations in America, the U.S. Navy versus the Barbary Pirates, the maintenance of armed forces, relying on a latent militia in peacetime while establishing the Navy and coastal defenses, the census and predictions of population growth along with “the settlement of the extensive country still remaining vacant within our limits,” decreasing the costs of government by removing unnecessary public offices, a laissez-faire approach to economics, the Judiciary, and taxation, foreseeing the removal of “all the internal taxes,” and stating that “sound principles will not justify our taxing the industry of our fellow citizens to accumulate treasure, for wars to happen we know not when, and which might not, perhaps, happen, but from the temptations offered by that treasure.

Unlike his predecessors, Jefferson did not deliver the message in person, but delivered it in writing through his personal secretary Meriwether Lewis. In doing so, Jefferson began a tradition that persisted until President Woodrow Wilson delivered his first State of the Union message to Congress in 1913.

Item #20822.99, $5,800

Thomas Jefferson Signed Judiciary Act of 1793

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed, as Secretary of State, “An Act in addition to the act, entitled, ‘An act to establish the judicial Courts of the United States,’” Philadelphia, March 2, 1793. 2 pp., 9⅝ x 15⅛ in.

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That the attendance of only one of the justices of the supreme court, at the several circuit courts of the United States, to be hereafter held, shall be sufficient....

At the request of Congress, Attorney General Edmund Randolph offered his critique of the new federal justice system with suggestions for improvements. Chief among them was his recommendation to remove justices of the Supreme Court from their circuit court duties to allow them to focus on more important appellate decisions.[1] Soon after, all of the Supreme Court Justices together wrote to President Washington complaining of the burden of their duties. Congress took up the issue two days after Washington mentioned it in his November 6, 1792 State of the Union Address, and a day after he forwarded the Justices’ letter to Congress. This Act was passed on February 27, and signed into law by Washington on March 3, 1793.

Jefferson was required by a prior Act to authenticate two copies for each state of every Act of Congress. By this time, there were 15 states, so Jefferson would have signed only 30 copies, of which very few survive. 



[1] Edmund Randolph, Report of the Attorney-General. Read in the House of Representatives, December 31, 1790 (Philadelphia: Francis Childs & John Swaine, 1791), 7-10.

Item #26594.99, $150,000

New York City Commissions a Portrait of George Washington by John Trumbull

RICHARD VARICK, Autograph Letter Signed, to Tobias Lear, July 19, 1790, New York, NY. 1 p., 7⅞ x 12⅛ in.

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In this letter, New York City Mayor Richard Varick requests an opportunity to convey a request from the city to President George Washington to have artist John Trumbull prepare a portrait of him for display at City Hall.

Item #26584, $12,500

Charles Thomson’s Secret Journal of the Confederation Congress, Including Detailed Description of the Great Seal and Negotiations for the Treaty of Paris to End the Revolutionary War

CHARLES THOMSON, Manuscript Document, Journal as Secretary of Confederation Congress, 1782-1783. 104 pp., 6½ x 7⅞ in. Contemporary marbled boards; sympathetically rebacked; burgundy cloth chemise and slipcase, burgundy morocco spine lettered gilt. Together with: Mrs. Charles Thomson’s three calling cards.

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The Devise for an Armorial Achievement and reverse of a great Seal for the United States.... The Escutcheon on the breast of the American bald Eagle displayed...and in his beak a scroll inscribed with this motto ‘E pluribus unum.’

This remarkable handwritten journal includes a description of the Great Seal of the United States; Thomson is now credited with being the final designer. There is also a crucial diplomatic report by Edmund Randolph entitled “Facts and Observations in support of the several claims of the United States not included in their Ultimatum of the 15 of June, 1781”; the text of the Preliminary Articles of Peace between the United States of America and Great Britain, signed on November 30, 1782; summaries of the treaties between Great Britain and France and Great Britain and Spain, signed on January 20, 1783; and correspondence in French between British negotiator Alleyne Fitz Herbert and American Peace Commissioners John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, also of January 20, 1783.

Randolph’s report comprises two thirds of the text in this journal and was not made public until 1820-1821, when the “Secret Journals” of Congress were first published under the direction of President James Monroe in conformity with resolutions of Congress.

Item #26592, $925,000

Congress Begs the States for the Power to Regulate Trade and Negotiate Treaties

CHARLES THOMSON, Document Signed as Secretary of Congress. Resolutions Concerning Foreign Commerce. April 30, 1784, [Annapolis, Maryland]. 1 p., 7¾ x 12¾ in.

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“The fortune of every citizen is interested in the success thereof [of trade]; for it is the constant source of wealth and incentive to industry; and the value of our produce and our land must ever rise or fall in proportion to the prosperous or adverse state of trade.…”

Item #20874.99, $54,000

Large 1801 Folio Engraving of Thomas Jefferson as New President

[THOMAS JEFFERSON], Print. Engraved by David Edwin, published by George Helmbold Jr., 1801. 1 p., 13 x 19¾ in. (image); 14⅞ x 22 ½ in. (sheet). , 1/1/1801.

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This engraving by David Edwin pictures Jefferson standing beside a table, with his hand on a desktop globe. Edwin copied the head from the Rembrandt Peale portrait of 1800. Edwin placed Jefferson in a black suit in a formal setting, comparable to the 1796 portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart (known as the “Lansdowne” portrait because it was commissioned as a gift for William Petty, first Marquis of Lansdowne).

Item #25421, $4,500

Alexander Hamilton’s Initial Steps to Create a National Banking System

Alexander Hamilton, Circular Letter Signed as Secretary of the Treasury, “Alexr Hamilton/Secy of the Treasury,” to Stephen Smith Esq., Collector of the Customs for the Port of Machias, Massachusetts [Maine], September 22, 1789, New York, New York. 2 pp., 7¾ in. x 9¼ in.

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Also see the Alexander Hamilton Collection: The Story of the Revolution & Founding

On his 11th day as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton orders Customs Collectors to accept Bank of North America and Bank of New York notes as the equivalent of gold or silver, and hints at forthcoming procedures to guard against counterfeit currency.

“In consequence of arrangements lately taken with the Bank of North America, and the Bank of New York for the accommodation of the Government, I am to inform you that it is my desire that the Notes of those Banks payable either on demand, or at no longer period than Thirty days after their respective dates should be received in payment of the duties, as equivalent to Gold and Silver . . .”

Item #26524, $70,000

Thomas Jefferson Transmits the First Patent Act to Governor of New York George Clinton, Who Later Replaced Aaron Burr as Jefferson’s Vice President

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Letter Signed, as Secretary of State, to Governor George Clinton of New York, April 15, 1790, New York. 1 p., 7¾ x 9½ in

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In his position as Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson conveyed copies of new federal laws to the governors of each of the states. This letter, signed by Jefferson, conveyed the First Patent Act, formally An Act to Promote the Progress of Useful Arts, to New York Governor George Clinton, who would later serve as Jefferson’s second vice president.

Item #26389.99, $28,000

Jefferson’s Excessively Rare Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom

[THOMAS JEFFERSON], Prominent front-page printing of “A Bill for establishing religious Freedom, (Printed for the Consideration of the People),” The Providence Gazette; and Country Journal (Rhode Island), May 13, 1780, 1:1-2.

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One of the three achievements of which Jefferson was most proud, as listed on his epitaph.

Only the second known newspaper printing, and the first front-page printing.

Item #25999.99, $105,000
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