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Gov. George Clinton Appoints New York City Militia Major

GEORGE CLINTON, Partially Printed Document Signed as Governor of New York, appointing James Christie, April 6, 1787. With “Excelsior” seal, the motto of New York. 1 p. on vellum, 11¾ x 6⅞ in.

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Item #24022.089, $650

Newspaper Belonging to John Quincy Adams Reports Transfer of the Floridas to the U.S.

[JOHN QUINCY ADAMS], Newspaper. Western Monitor, August 7, 1821. Lexington, Kentucky: William Gibbes Hunt. Issue owned by John Quincy Adams; Report on Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. 4 pp, 14½ x 20½ in.

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This issue contains an inside page report of the U.S. taking possession of Florida from Spain under the terms of the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. This issue was owned by, delivered to, and read by John Quincy Adams (the “Adams” in the Adams-Onís Treaty) when Adams was the Secretary of State in the James Monroe administration. “Hon. John Q. Adams” is written in contemporary brown iron gall ink in the top blank margin on the front page, indicating that this issued was delivered to Adams while he was serving as Secretary of State.

Item #23822, $3,500

Confederation Congress sends proposed Constitution to the states for ratification

[U.S. CONSTITUTION], Newspaper. The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. October 1, 1787 (No. 2700), Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole, including the September 28 resolution of the Confederation Congress to send to the states for ratification the recently completed U. S. Constitution. 4 pp., 12 x 18¾ in.

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Item #24135, $4,750

Rare document of Newport Jewish leader Moses Seixas – who wrote address that elicited George Washington’s most famous statement on religious freedom and citizenship

MOSES SEIXAS, Manuscript Document Signed, to William Channing, December 18, 1788. Receipt for carpeting. 1 p., 7¼ x 4 in.

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Seixas’ 1790 letter of welcome elicited the first president’s most compelling statement on religious liberty, “to bigotry no sanction.” In this 1788 receipt, Seixas signs a receipt documenting payment for carpet by William Channing, the state’s new attorney general.

Item #25418, $20,000

Very early mention of Chicago in archive relating to French and American foundations of Illinois, St. Louis, and Kansas City

[WESTWARD EXPANSION], 11 Handwritten Documents, 1815-1843, centering around George H. Kennerly and his wife Alzire Menard Kennerly, daughter of pioneer fur-trader Pierre Menard. Four are written in French. 21 pp., most approximately 8 x 10 in. Documents have expected toning. A few have some tears on folds and holes with small text loss.

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Genl Mr Johnson and myself rode up from the foot of the Rapids, yesterday to this place. we have had no news from the Troops on Rock River for some days, they were all well when heard from. report from Chicoga says that the hostile Indians, are all trying to get across the Missippi again, the last that was heard from them they were high up on Rock River.

(George Kennerly, during the Black Hawk War, June 10, 1832)

This reference to “Chicoga” is rare this early. From 1825 to 1831, Chicago was a hamlet of about 100 residents in Peoria County. In 1831, Cook County was organized. The next year, many white settlers in northern Illinois fled to Chicago to avoid Black Hawk’s forces. By 1833, when Chicago was organized as a town (a year after this letter), it still only had about 350 residents.

Even earlier letters in the archive, by fur trader, St. Louis pioneer, and first lieutenant governor of Illinois Pierre Menard, and by three of his daughters, and son-in-law George Kennerly, offer glimpses into a pioneering bilingual community. The Menard, Gratiot, Chouteau, and other French creole families founded St. Louis, Kansas City, and additional cities in the Mississippi and Missouri River valleys.

The archive starts with an 1815 power of attorney signed by George Kennerly, with the very rare signature of pioneer fur trader Charles Gratiot who certifies it. Includes the first letter in English written by Alzire Menard, to her soon-to-be-husband George Kennerly. This archive illuminates several facets of American Westward Expansion. It ends with a poignant letter of Amadee Menard, celebrating her 23rd birthday, and contemplating whether she would live to see her 24th birthday: “It is ever thus with those who are young and possess buoyant spirits. Time will soon tell what fortune has in store for me…” Unfortunately, Amadee died ten months later.

Item #25331, $9,500

James Madison on Jay’s Treaty, Revolution in the Netherlands, and Virginia Politics

JAMES MADISON, Autograph Letter Signed, to William Branch Giles, April 3, 1795, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 2 pp., 8¼ x 12¾ in.

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the arrival of the Treaty has not added a particle to the public knowledge of its contents... Amsterdam with all that country have bowed to the standard of Liberty...nothing remains in the way of a quiet & compleat establishment of a third Republic on the rights of man....

I see by the newspapers that your constituents have been so uncivil to the hired preachers and prophets of a change in the public mind of Virginia as to adhere by an unanimous vote to their former representative....

Two Democratic-Republican Congressmen from Virginia share criticism of Jay’s Treaty, admiration for the spread of the French Revolution to the Netherlands, and updates on recent elections.

Item #25368, $7,500

The Prospectus of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States, September 10, 1791. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: John Fenno. 4 pp., 10 x 16 in. The prospectus is printed on the front page in three columns.

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Contrasting with the agrarian view of many Virginia founding fathers, New Yorker Alexander Hamilton saw an industrial future for the United States. After nearly two years of study and with the aid of Assistant Secretary Tench Coxe, Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton compiled his famed Report on Manufactures at the request of Congress. With the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, Coxe and Hamilton advocate creating the nation’s first public-private partnership to develop the area around the Great Falls of the Passaic River, using the cataract for power.

Item #30014.06, $2,500

Secretary of State Pickering certifies five Acts of Congress relating to the Whiskey Rebellion, debtor’s prison, the estate of General Nathanael Greene, etc.

TIMOTHY PICKERING, Document Signed, five acts passed by the first session of the Fourth Congress, ca. June 1796, [Philadelphia]. 4 pp., 8 x 13½ in. Each act bears printed signatures of President George Washington, Speaker of the House Jonathan Dayton, and President of the Senate, pro tempore, Samuel Livermore. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering certifies with his signature that five acts of Congress are “Deposited among the Rolls, in the office of the department of State.”

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The printed acts include: An Act to regulate the compensation of Clerks, May 30, 1796; An Act for the relief of persons imprisoned for debt, May 28, 1796; An Act Providing relief to the owners of stills with the United States, for a limited time, in certain cases, June 1, 1796;

An Act Making an appropriation to satisfy certain demands attending the late insurrection; and to increase the compensation to jurors and witnesses in the courts of the United States, June 1, 1796; and An Act To indemnify the estate of the late Major General Nathanael Greene, for a certain bond entered into by him, during the late war, June 1, 1796.

Item #25081, $6,500

Thomas Jefferson signed Act of Congress approving four new Brigadier Generals to defend the frontier; the new Legion became America’s first standing army

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed, as Secretary of State, “An Act supplemental to the act for making farther and more effectual provision for the protection of the frontiers of the United States,” Philadelphia, March 28, 1792. 1 p., 9½ x 15¼ in.

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it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint such number of brigadier generals as may be conducive to the good of the public service. Provided the whole number appointed or to be appointed, shall not exceed four.

Congress passed this bill after General Arthur St. Clair’s disastrous defeat at the Wabash River.

Item #24811, $18,000

Relieving Persons in Debtors Prison

EDMUND RANDOLPH, Document Signed as Secretary of State. An Act to continue in force the act for the relief of persons imprisoned for Debt and An Act to alter the time for the next annual meeting of Congress, May 30, 1794. Philadelphia: Childs and Swaine. Signed in type by George Washington as President, John Adams as Vice President, and Frederick Muhlenberg as Speaker of the House. 1 p., 8¼ x 13½ in.

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Item #24428.04, $3,750

Benjamin Franklin’s advice on financial success, Voltaire on national wealth, taxes, and the promotion of labor and commerce

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. “The Way to make Money plenty in every Man’s Pocket,” The New Haven Gazette and the Connecticut Magazine, September 7, 1786. New Haven, CT: Meigs and Dana. 8 pp. (Vol. I No 30, pp. 229-236), 8 ⅝ x 10 ⅜ in.

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As applicable today as it was three centuries ago, this abbreviated summary of Franklin’s ideas for thrift carried his fame throughout the world. With a great excerpt from Voltaire, and mention of the graduating class of 23 gentleman at Princeton College, a new treaty with Spain that effects New Orleans, and more.

Item #30007.032, $750

John Quincy Adams, enmeshed in law studies, touches base with a Harvard College chum

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed, to James Bridge, November 21, 1788, Braintree, Massachusetts. 2 pp.

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“Surrounded by the learning and ingenuity of three thousand years, a mind in the least stimulated by curiosity or ambition cannot complain of the tediousness of time; yet I often wish, I could more effectually … mingle the pleasures of an intercourse with my living friends, to those of a participation in the speculations of the ‘mighty dead.’”

While a student at Harvard College, John Quincy Adams spent the break between semesters in December 1786 and January 1787 at the college to work on his graduation address for the commencement in July 1787. James Bridge, “whose character as a scholar and a gentleman is inferior to none,” according to Adams, remained there as well, and “we agreed to chum together during the vacation.” They lived at the College and boarded at Divinity Professor Edward Wigglesworth’s home.

After they graduated from Harvard College in 1787, both John Quincy Adams and James Bridge studied law with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts, from 1787 to 1790. There, they were good friends and roommates.

Item #25370, $6,000

An Outstanding Letter from a Hero of the Mexican Revolution and “Servant of the Nation”

JOSÉ MARÍA MORELOS PÉREZ Y PAVÓN, Autograph Letter Signed, in Spanish, to Francisco Xavier Venegas, February 5, 1812, Cuernevaca, Mexico. 4 pp., 6 x 8 ¼ in.

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In this bold letter from an early leader of the Mexican War of Independence, José María Morelos informs the Spanish viceroy, who represented the authority of the Spanish crown in New Spain, that his forces had taken Cuernevaca, thirty-five miles south of Mexico City, and warns him not to attempt to send troops, who would only be defeated. Morelos boasts that he will soon take the rest of Mexico. He adds tauntingly that he cannot tell Venegas the day or hour when his forces will enter Mexico City.

This important letter also reveals the little-known fact of Morelos’ previous training in the artillery, as he remembers Venegas from his time as part of the Real Cuerpo de Artilleria. He also provides an account of the attack on Yzucar to correct the misrepresentations in the press. Despite rumors of his failing health, Morelos declares that he is well-rested and in great health.

Item #25319, $15,000

The First Facsimile of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copper plate printing, [Washington, D.C., 1818]. Facsimile drawn by Benjamin Owen Tyler (b. 1789) and engraved by Peter Maverick (1780-1831), 25 ½ x 31 ½ in., framed to 34 ½ x 40 ½ in.

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Item #25076, $35,000

Ex- President J.Q. Adams and his Secretary of the Treasury Skeptical of British Reforms: “The Gypsies are the Romancers of Beggary. The whigs are the Romancers of Liberty…

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed, to Richard Rush, April 17, 1831, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 8 x 10 in. With recipient’s docketing.

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Since the commencement of the Reign of George the third, once in ten, fifteen or twenty years the whigs have obtained possession of the Government, and held it just long enough to demonstrate to the conviction of the Nation that they are utterly incompetent to the task of managing the Public Affairs.

This witty and sometimes caustic letter on the subject of democracy in the United Kingdom was written by a former American president to his former Secretary of the Treasury, both of whom had served as U.S. Minister to Great Britain. Rush found it “an amusing & pretty good letter.”

Item #25371, $6,500

Insurance Companies Refuse to Pay for American Ship Captured While Shipping Arms to Simón Bolívar’s Rebels

[INSURANCE, NEUTRALITY, SHIPPING, SPANISH EMPIRE], Archive of Evidence in Thompson and Bathurst v. Maryland Insurance Company and Thompson and Bathurst v. Phoenix Fire Insurance Company cases, 1821-1824. 28 documents, 41 pp., most 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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This fascinating archive consists of 27 manuscript documents in English and one in Spanish from litigation between the Baltimore owners of the merchant ship Budget and insurance companies that underwrote its voyage from England to South America. This conflict occurred against a backdrop of the collapse of Spain’s American empire, as various areas in Central and South America asserted their independence, many under the leadership of Simón Bolívar. The ship, carrying weapons and supplies destined for Simón Bolívar’s rebels, was captured by a Spanish privateer and condemned in Puerto Rico. The insurance companies refused to pay on their policies, leading to two important cases on maritime law, neutral rights, and the responsibilities of insurance companies.

Item #21602, $1,750

Accusing the Recently Retired Hamilton of Financial Malfeasance

JAMES CALLENDER, Book. Historical Memories of the United States for 1796. Jan 1797. [Philadelphia: Bioran and Madan]. 288 pp. Half calf and marbled boards, bound in antique style, spine gilt, corners leather tipped.

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Item #24363, $3,500

Future Harvard President Writes Fellow Alumnus about Harvard and Preaching

[HARVARD UNIVERSITY]. JOHN T. KIRKLAND, Autograph Letter Signed, to Abiel Abbot, September 29, 1793, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 3 pp., 6 x 7¼ in.

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John T. Kirkland writes from Harvard College to fellow Harvard graduate Abiel Abbot, who is serving as a missionary and pastor in the remote District of Maine, then a part of Massachusetts. Although Kirkland thought Abbot would remain there, a year later, Abbot was at Harvard as a tutor, perhaps even replacing Kirkland, who became pastor of the New South Church in Boston.

Item #25141, $1,950

Iconic Pillars Illustration -- Celebrating Massachusetts’ Ratification and the Process of Erecting the “great federal superstructure”

[CONSTITUTION], Newspaper. Massachusetts Centinel, February 13, 1788 (Volume VIII, pp. 171-174). Boston: Benjamin Russell. 4 pp., 9⅝ x 14⅞ in.

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This newspaper is replete with Constitution-related content, including minutes from the debates of Massachusetts’ State Ratifying Convention – everything from discourse on standing armies to Fisher Ames’ hearkening back to 1775 with, “WE MUST UNITE OR DIE”; a poem to Washington on his birthday; a fictional dialogue, The Federal Anti-Federalist, Returned to His Neighbours; a rare example of one of Benjamin Russell’s famed ‘Pillars’ illustration series; and a great deal of reporting on the popular reception of the news of ratification, expressed in particular by an enormous parade and surrounding celebrations.

Item #24836, $4,750

Hamilton’s Future Duel-Doctor to President of Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons

DAVID HOSACK, Autograph Letter Signed, to Samuel Bard, November 26, 1820. 4 pp. plus autograph address to “Doctor Samuel Bard / Hyde Park / Dutchess County” with manuscript and stamped philatelic markings. 8⅛ x 10 in.

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This outstanding letter discusses both early Columbia University medical school administration and early nineteenth-century medicine. The writer served as the doctor for the duels that resulted in the deaths of both Philip and Alexander Hamilton. He was also the founder of the first botanical garden in America, where Rockefeller Center now stands. He sold it to New York State to be given to Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, which transferred it to Columbia University (they sold the land for $400 million in 1985) and another which is now the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site.

Item #25078, $1,800
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