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Opposing the African Slave Trade - 1790 New Haven Sermon

JAMES DANA, Pamphlet. The African Slave Trade. A Discourse Delivered in the City of New-Haven, September 9, 1790, before The Connecticut Society for The Promotion of Freedom. Half-title: Doctor Dana’s Sermon on the African Slave Trade. New Haven: Thomas and Samuel Green, 1791. Evans 23308. 33 pp., 4¾ x 8¼ in.

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Our late warfare was expressly founded on such principles as these: ‘All men are created equal: They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.... Those who profess to understand and regard the principles of liberty should cheerfully unite to abolish slavery....

In 1784, Connecticut passed a law that all slaves born after March 1, 1784, were to be freed before or when they reached the age of 25. In 1790, a group of clergymen, lawyers, and academics formed the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom and for the Relief of Persons Unlawfully Holden in Bondage to support the law. Yale University president and Congregationalist minister Ezra Stiles, formerly a slave owner, served as the society’s first president. Here, Rev. Doctor James Dana reviews the history and extent of slavery in the world. Calling it unjust, unchristian, and against the principles of the American Revolution, he urges abolition. Dana’s sermon, and those preached at the Society by Jonathan Edwards Jr., Theodore Dwight, and others, were among the most popular anti-slavery literature from the period. However, the Connecticut Society lapsed and disappeared after the turn of the century.

Item #24464, $2,400

Jefferson’s Religious Stance against Slavery

[Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia], The Massachusetts Centinel. August 29, 1789. Boston: Benjamin Russell. 4 pp.

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A Federal Era newspaper printing of Query XVIII from Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson’s key section on slavery.  Also George Washington’s Letter to the Philadelphia Convention of the Episcopal Church, Proposed Revisions to the Bill of Rights, &c.

Contains an extract from Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia.

Item #30027.30, $4,250

Hamilton Asks His College Roommate and Two Other Good Friends to Pay Their Share of Surveying Expenses for a Speculative Joint New York State Land Investment

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Autograph Endorsement Signed, below Arthur Breese, Autograph Letter Signed, to Alexander Hamilton, September 13, [1801?], 2 pp.

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Item #24642, $13,500

To Alexander Hamilton About Settlement of Land Disputes, Docketed by Eliza

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], Manuscript note, n.p., n.d. [but ca. 1791], "Communication" sent to Alexander Hamilton, praising attorney Egbert Benson, who was instrumental in negotiating the land claim which New York had made to Vermont. Settling the land dispute was a congressionally mandated prerequisite for Vermont joining the Union as a state of its own, rather than being divided between New York and New Hampshire. Docketed by Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.

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Item #24620, $2,400

Thomas Paine: Who Suggested that America should have a Monarch?

THOMAS PAINE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Elisha Babcock. New Rochelle, N.Y., July 2, 1805. 1 p., 8 x 10 in., with address leaf.

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Paine asks a newspaper publisher for the source of a report, that Great Britain had circulated a proposal “among the most influential federalists” recommending that the Duke of Clarence be made the King of America. This letter, attacking the Federalists generally and American monarchists specifically, is completely in line with a campaign he waged in his waning years against any in the United States who might yearn for a constriction of democracy and a resumption of monarchic rule in America. Thomas Paine returned to the United States in 1802, after living most of the previous fifteen years abroad. Shortly after his arrival in the United States he was hosted by Jefferson at the White House, and quickly became the target of Federalist attacks. Paine answered those attacks in published articles and in private letters – the present letter is one of those responses. He also asks why his letter (dated June 8) was not printed in the paper.

Item #21490.99, $60,000

President Washington Appoints an Interim Treasury Comptroller

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Manuscript Document Signed as President. Appointment of Henry Kuhl as Temporary Comptroller of the Treasury. [Philadelphia, Penn.], April 10, 1795. 1 p., 12½ x 7¾ in.

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Item #24287, $27,500

Declaration of Independence William Stone/Peter Force Facsimile, 1833

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving printed on thin wove paper. Imprint at bottom left, “W. J. STONE SC WASHn” [William J. Stone for Peter Force, Washington, D.C. ca. 1833]. Printed for Peter Force’s American Archives, Series 5, Vol I. 25¼ x 30⅞ in.

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Item #24402, $35,000

The Declaration of Independence First Facsimile,
Printed by William J. Stone

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving printed on heavy wove paper. First edition imprint at top, “ENGRAVED by W.J. STONE for the Dept. of State by order of J. Q. Adams, Sec of State July 4, 1823.” 25⅞ x 29⅞ in. overall.

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“In Congress, July 4, 1776.  The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America…”

Item #20716, PRICE ON REQUEST

The Declaration of Independence
Rare Broadside Printed and Posted in July, 1776

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Broadside. [Exeter, New Hampshire: attributed Robert Luist Fowle], [ca. July 16-19, 1776], two-column format, sheet size approx. 15⅛ x 19⅝ in. Pin holes in three corners, with the upper-left corner torn in approx the same position, indicates that this was posted publicly to spread the momentous news.

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Broadsides such as this fanned the flames of independence. Passed from hand to hand, read aloud at town gatherings, or posted in public places, broadsides (single pages with print only one side) were meant to quickly convey news. Including the present copy, there are fewer than a dozen examples of this Exeter, N.H. printing known. Pin holes in three corners and the torn upper-left corner suggest this example was posted publicly.

In a way, this Declaration broadside is even more “original” than the signed manuscript pictured by most Americans. This is not yet “The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States,” but rather “A Declaration, by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled.” On July 4,  New York’s delegation abstained from voting for  independence. After replacing their delegates, New York joined the other 12 colonies.

Moreover, as here on the broadside, the July 4 Declaration was signed by only two men: Continental Congress President John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson (here with the common variant “Thompson”). After New York on board, Congress resolved on July 19 to have the Declaration engrossed with a new title: “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” Most of the 56 signers affixed their names on the engrossed document on August 2, 1776, with some added even later.

Thus, broadsides such as this one preserve the text of the Declaration of Independence as it actually was issued in July of 1776.

Item #21991.99, PRICE ON REQUEST

A Washington, D.C. Real Estate Investor Celebrates the Failure of Plans to Move the Nation’s Capital

[WASHINGTON D.C.] THOMAS LAW, Autograph Letter Signed to Robert Goodloe Harper. Washington, D.C., March 29, 1804. 2 pp., 8 x 12¾ in.

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The Constitution granted Congress authority over a federal city in Article I, Section 8, but was silent on a location. The first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton proposed a financial plan that included the assumption of state debts, which was deeply unpopular in the South. In a compromise brokered by Madison, Jefferson and Hamilton, Congress agreed to accept Hamilton’s plan if the capital were moved South. After brief tenures in New York City and Philadelphia, the Residence Act (1790) officially moved the nation’s capital to Washington, D.C. in 1800. Nonetheless, efforts to relocate to a more cosmopolitan locale continued through at least 1815, as the federal city was lacking in everything from basic services to a social scene.

Here, Thomas Law, a D.C. mover, shaker, and heavy investor in housing stock, discusses one such effort, a proposal by Senator Robert Wright of Maryland to relocate Congress to Baltimore because of Washington’s housing shortage. Law almost gleefully reports the failure of the effort, as well as Congress’ appropriation of $50,000 to proceed with the Capitol Building. Considering his financial stake in the city’s development, he had reason to celebrate.

Item #24248, $2,200

Andrew Jackson is Thankful That Pennsylvania “remains firm and immoveable” in its Support, and Extols the Constitution’s Guarantee of Religious Freedom

ANDREW JACKSON, Autograph Letter Signed to the Reverend Ezra Stiles Ely, July 12, 1827. 2 pages with integral address leaf.

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“notwithstanding all the slanders that Power, and its panders, have wickedly invented, & circulated against me—Truth is Mighty & will prevail…”

“Amonghst the greatest blessings secured to us under our constitution is the liberty of worshipping god as our conscience dictates…”

Presidential candidate Andrew Jackson, in the running against incumbent John Quincy Adams, thanks a supporter for a positive report from Pennsylvania. Though Jackson doesn’t detail the slanders against him, they undoubtedly involved his relationship to his wife Rachel. Opponents labeled the couple as adulterers; they were apparently unaware that her divorce had not been finalized when they married in 1791. Realizing the error, they re-married in 1794.

The Reverend Ezra Stiles Ely had preached a July 4 sermon, “The Duty of Christian Freemen to Elect Christian Rulers.” Jackson exhibits a remarkable degree of restraint here, as he acknowledges the solidarity of the different Christian denominations, and, at the same time, hews to the broader policy of religious freedom.

Item #24214, $15,000

George Washington to the Jewish Masons
of Newport, Rhode Island

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States. September 11, 1790. New York, John Fenno. 4pp. The letter of the Masons to Washington, and Washington’s letter of August 18, 1790 in response, printed in full on page 4. This issue also includes a piece on the “Character of Dr. Franklin.” (p. 2, col. 1).

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“Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the masonic fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them a deserving Brother.”

Item #30022.05, $1,250

The Federalist, First Edition

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, JAMES MADISON, & JOHN JAY, The Federalist: A Collection of Essays Written in Favor of the New Constitution, as Agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787. First Ed. New York, NY: Printed and Sold by John and Andrew M’Lean, 1788. Two vols. ¾ brown morocco and marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine. In brown cloth fall-down box.

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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.”

Scarce first edition of one of the most important works of American political thought. Thomas Jefferson, an early critic of Federalism, considered it “the best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written.” This edition provides the first collected printing of all eighty-five essays written in defense of the newly drafted Constitution. Initially, the Federalist essays were issued individually by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to garner support for the ratification of the Constitution. They appeared in New York newspapers under the collective pseudonym “Publius.” The first thirty-six essays of the Federalist were published in book form in March 1788, with the remaining forty-nine, together with the text of the Constitution, in May of that year. Upon its publication George Washington noted to Alexander Hamilton that the essays would “merit the Notice of Posterity; because in it are candidly and ably discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government, which will always be interesting to mankind” (George Washington, letter to Hamilton, Aug. 28, 1788).

From the Estate of William W. Scranton, Governor of Pennsylvania.

Item #24364, ON HOLD

John Adams Thanks Thomas Clark for a Copy of His Naval History, and Supports His Proposal to Publish a History of the United States

JOHN ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed “John Adams” to Thomas Clark. Quincy, [Mass.], January 25, 1814, 1p. 8 x 9¾ in.

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John Adams thanks a prominent historian for the copy of two volumes of Naval History of the United States from the Commencement of the Revolutionary War. Written during the last year of the War of 1812, Clark’s book remains as one of the greatest texts of American naval prowess.

Item #24106, $14,500

Daniel Webster Details a Duel Challenge by Senator John Randolph

DANIEL WEBSTER, Autograph Manuscript. Ca. 1826-1831. 2 pp.

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Randolph twice challenged the venerable Congressmen Daniel Webster. The first was in 1816, when Randolph felt scorned by Webster’s speech in a House debate over sugar duty. The second, relating to this document, was in 1825, after Randolph had seethed for eight months over Webster denying William H. Crawford “the fullest opportunity to answer the charges against him” during the election of 1824. (Register of Debates, 18th Congress, 2nd Session, 56-58). In the second challenge, Senator Thomas Hart Benton delivered Randolph’s dare to Webster while the House was in session.

Mutual friends intervened on both challenges and attempted to resolve the matters as quietly as possible. In the end, Randolph withdrew both challenges. Historians believe that Benton played an important role in resolving the second conflict. In 1826, after insulting Secretary of State Henry Clay on the Senate Floor, Randolph accepted Clay’s challenge, which subsequently took place but concluded with a handshake.

The date of this manuscript must be 1826 or later as it refers to “then Senator Lloyd.” It doesn’t mention Lloyd’s death in 1831.

Item #24221, $15,000

Former President and Future Confederate Supporter John Tyler Forcefully Defends the Fugitive Slave Act and the “Southern Cause,” Attacks the NY Press, and Plays up His Own Service in the War of 1812

JOHN TYLER, Autograph Letter Signed and Autograph Manuscript Signed several times in the third person. Sent to S. Cunningham, from Sherwood Forest, October 12, 1850, 1 page, 9⅜ x 7¼ in. on blue paper marked “Private,” being the cover letter for the manuscript, written for anonymous publication: “The fugitive slave bill and Commissioner Gardiner,” [ca. October 12, 1850], 2 pages, 9⅜ x 7⅞ in. on blue paper.

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In the first fugitive slave law case, which came before his cousin Commissioner Gardiner: “The fugitive was promptly dealt by and restored to his owner in Baltimore. Mr. Gardiner has proven himself to be a faithful public servant, an honest man, and a Patriot. And yet, by a certain class of Editors in New York he is sneered at…”

Tyler criticizes two NY editors in particular: Now what jackasses are Mssrs Herricks and Ropes… These would-be somethingarians [a colloquialism, usually used as an insult] in the first place, deem it a matter of censure in a judge, to execute the law—and, in the next they show their ignorance… by ascribing to Mr. Tyler under their witty soubriquet of Captain (a title he is well content to wear since he enjoyed it during the war of 1812 with Great Britain)…”

Item #24043, $24,000

During the War of 1812, Paul Revere Remains a Patriot by Leading the “Mechanics of the Town of Boston” in the Defense of the City

PAUL REVERE, Manuscript Document Signed. A pledge of “Mechanics [skilled tradesmen] of the Town of Boston” to aid in the defense of the town during the War of 1812, signed by “Paul Revere” along with 120 additional members. The text of the resolution is likely in the hand of Isaac Harris. Bound into a 3¾ x 6¼ inch, paper bound blank notebook. Boston, Mass., September 8, 1814. With 5 Harris family letters, circa 1834-1858.

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At the age of 79, Paul Revere remained as patriotic as he had been in his youthful Revolutionary days.  At the outset of the War of 1812, he sets an example to help enlist the skilled tradesmen and craftsmen of Boston to aid in the defense of their city.

Item #24217, $30,000

Manuscript Eulogy to George Washington by R.I. Senator Theodore Foster, Penned on a Period Newspaper During the Senate Session

[GEORGE WASHINGTON] THEODORE FOSTER, United States Chronicle, Providence, January 23, 1800. 4 pp., 11½ x 17¾ in. Inscribed: Hon. Theodore Foster, Senator from R.I / Senate Chamber. With autograph manuscript verses by Foster.

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Item #24369, $22,000

A Unique Manuscript Map of Block Island Sound Including Fisher’s and Gardiner’s Islands, the Hamptons, and Montauk Point

[BLOCK ISLAND SOUND], Manuscript Map. “Draft of the Sound.” Parts of Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Circa 1798-1802. 1 p., 13½ x 13 in. With George Washington signed document described below.

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Based on Osgood Carleton’s 1798 Chart from New York to Timber Island including Nantucket shoals, our map adds local nautical knowledge that would have been critical to the safety of lives and cargoes at the time. Noting uncharted shipwrecks off Fisher’s Island, three unmarked reefs, and two small islands on the course from Newport, Rhode Island, to New London, Connecticut, our map is a purposeful and unique document rather than a simple contemporary copy, which would still be rare.

Item #23759.01-.02, $98,000

Eight Litchfield Connecticut Men Support the War of 1812

[WAR OF 1812], Document Signed. Litchfield County, Conn. Ca. 1813-1815. [docketed “Support of the War 1812”], 1p.

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Item #24163, $1,750
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