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Early Printing of the U.S. Constitution, in American Museum—One of the First Two Magazine Printings of the Constitution

[CONSTITUTION], The American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c. Volume II, July – December 1787. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1787. 5⅛ x 8¼ in., approx. 624 pp.

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These six issues of The American Museum magazine capture the events of the dramatic and remarkable latter half of 1787. They include the first magazine printing of the proposed Constitution of the United States, arguments for and against the ratification of the Constitution (including the first six numbers of The Federalist), and notices of the ratification of the Constitution by Delaware and Pennsylvania. Other great material includes the Northwest Ordinance of 1787; the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (one of the three accomplishments of which Jefferson was proudest); Daniel Boone’s account of his exploits in Kentucky; state actions against slavery; and discussions of a wide range of subjects from paper money and public punishment for crimes to Shays’ Rebellion and the promotion of American manufactures.

Item #26595, $17,500

FDR Signed Engraving of White House Bound in The Democratic Book 1936

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, The Democratic Book 1936, with limitation page signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt under a beautiful color illustration of the White House. Original presentation Morocco gilt, with original illustrated title and limitation pages, 19 full-page portraits, dozens of in-text half-tones and illustrations, and a facsimile of the Constitution, and illustrated wrappers bound in; copy no. 256 [of 2500] cover gilt stamped inscription to FDR’s first cousin, “Lyman Delano,” 384 pp., 11¼ x 14½ x 1⅝ in.

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Featuring Franklin Roosevelt’s acceptance speech at the 1936 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the 1936 Democratic National Platform, and the results of the election of 1936, this lavish book includes statements by the first lady and cabinet members, sketches of other party leaders, histories of the Democratic Party, Congress, and the White House, and biographies of Roosevelt and Vice President John Nance Garner. With fantastic illustrations and advertisements.

President Roosevelt signed colorful printed illustrations of the White House, which were bound into this souvenir book created by the DNC to pay down the post-election campaign deficit.

Item #27795, $2,000

A Week After Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK Asks Treasury Secretary Dillon About the Possibility of a Run on Gold if the Crisis Had Lasted Longer or Involved a Total Blockade

JOHN F KENNEDY, Typed Draft Letter with autograph corrections, to Douglas Dillon, November 5, 1962, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 6¾ x 8¾ in. With Evelyn Lincoln (Personal Secretary to JFK) letter of authenticity, July 16, 1990, and small note card with Kennedy doodle.

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If the crisis had become more pronounced, if there had been a total blockade ...would we have had a serious run on gold? … It should be possible for us to get better coordination with the western governments…”

In this typed draft, with Kennedy’s handwritten corrections, the President asks Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon about the monetary implications of a prolonged Cuban missile crisis.

Item #27507, $10,500

President Harry S. Truman Signs Potsdam Declaration Demanding Japanese Surrender for Himself, Winston Churchill, and Chiang Kai-shek

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Document Signed, Potsdam Declaration, July 26, 1945. Truman also adds in his own hand the signatures of Winston Churchill (“Churchill”) and Chiang Kai-shek (“Chiang Kai-shek”). 3 pp. on 2 leaves, 8¼ x 11 in.

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Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.

This remarkable document, signed by President Harry S. Truman and by him for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chairman Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China, sets forth their terms for Japan’s surrender. Within days, Churchill had been replaced as prime minister, and within two weeks, the United States Air Force had dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 15, Japanese Emperor Hirohito accepted the terms of the Declaration.

Item #27126.99, $72,000

President Woodrow Wilson Asks Congress for a Declaration of War

WOODROW WILSON, Printed Document Signed, “A Message Calling for War With the Imperial German Government in Defense of American Rights,” [April 2, 1917]. New York: Literary Digest, 1917. In three columns with elaborate initials in red and gold. 1 p., 16¼ x 22½ in.

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there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibility of making.

In this address to Congress, President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly requests a declaration of war on Imperial Germany because of its announcement that “it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.” Germany had cast aside its earlier restraint and begun to pursue unrestricted submarine warfare on vessels from every nation with a “reckless lack of compassion or of principle.

Item #27120.99, $26,000

Ben-Gurion Attempts to Convince the Israeli Government to Attack Jordan, After Jordan Violated the Cease-fire Ending the Six Day War

DAVID BEN-GURION, Autograph Letter Signed, to ?, April 10, 1970, Sde Boker, Israel. In Hebrew. 2 pp., 4.75 x 7.5 in.

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I brought to the Government a proposal, since Jordan violated the conditions of the cease-fire I proposed starting a war with Jordan.. .. The Government rejected this proposal, even though we were sure that in a week or ten days we would conquer the entire Jerusalem and Hebron District....

Item #26110, $3,200

Vibrant Print of Fifteenth Amendment Celebrations

[FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT], The Fifteenth Amendment, Celebrated May 19th 1870, hand-colored lithographic print. New York: Thomas Kelly, 1870. From original design by James C. Beard. 1 p., 30 x 24 in.

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The colorful central image of this lithograph depicts a Black Zouave regiment on parade in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 19, 1870, to celebrate passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. Framing the central scene are vignettes and portraits of individuals important to the cause of African American men’s voting rights. Individuals pictured include Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass, Martin R. Delany (first U.S. Army African American field officer), Hiram R. Revels (first African American U.S. Senator), Schuyler Colfax, Abraham Lincoln, and John Brown. The portraits are interspersed with vignettes showing scenes of African Americans reading the Emancipation Proclamation, marrying, leading troops in battle, worshiping, voting, sitting in Congress, among other activities, with captions: “We till Our Own Fields; Education Will Prove the Equality of the Races;  The ballot box is Open to Us; [Masonic scene]We Unite in the Bonds of Fellowship with the Whole Human Race; Liberty Protects the Marriage Alter; The Holy Ordinance of Religion are Free; Freedom Unites the Family Circle; We Will Protect our Country as it Defends our Rights; Our Charter of Rights is the Holy Scripture.

Item #27755, $6,500

Anticipating Prohibition Repeal

Prohibition, Novelty Bar Set made in 1932. Label on lid reads “Born 1919/ Died ___.”

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Volstead Act 18th Amendment Novelty Bar Set consisting of a metal John Barleycorn laying in his silk-lined casket. His corpse detaches as a cork screw, shot glass and cork. Made in 1932, it correctly presumes the imminent repeal of Prohibition, which occurred in 1933. Label on lid reads “Born 1919/ Died ___.”

Condition: Excellent.

Item #27426, $1,932

Early Printing of a Bill to Establish the Treasury Department

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. Newspaper, June 11, 1789 (No. 3233), Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole, including the Bill to establish the Treasury Department, 4 pp., 11 x 18.25 in.

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Excerpt

it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, to digest and report plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and for the support of public credit—To prepare and report estimates of the public revenue, and the public expenditures—To superintend the collection of the revenue—To decide on the forms of keeping and stating accounts, and making returns, and to grant, under the limitations herein established, or to be hereafter provided, all warrants for monies to be issued from the Treasury, in pursuance of appropriations by law—To conduct the sale of the lands belonging to the United States, in such manner as shall be by law directed—To make report, and give information to either branch of the Legislature, in person or writing, (as he may be required) respecting all matters referred to him by the Senate or House of Representatives, or which shall appertain to his office, and generally to do or perform all such services, relative to the finances, as he shall be empowered or directed to do and perform.” (p3/c2)

Item #25031, $2,000

Boston Newspaper Publishes Former Governor Hutchinson’s Letters

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR], The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal, December 11, 1775. Watertown, Massachusetts: Benjamin Edes. 4 pp., 10 x 15¼ in.

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This newspaper features a masthead by noted silversmith and engraver Paul Revere, first used on January 1, 1770. The masthead features an illustration of a seated woman on the right with a laurel wreath on her brow and a lance with a liberty cap in her hand and the shield of Britain at her feet. She is opening the door to a birdcage and releasing a dove. A tree adorns the left side, and a town is visible in the distance. Beneath the image is the epigram, “Containing the freshest Advices, Foreign and Domestic.

This issue publishes a series of letters from Thomas Hutchinson in the late 1760s, demonstrating that Hutchinson had sought the post of governor. The publication of these and other letters by Hutchinson convinced many that he had conspired with Parliament to deprive the American colonists of their rights. Hutchinson left Boston for England in early 1774, and his request for leave was granted. General Thomas Gage replaced him as governor of Massachusetts Bay in May 1774, but Hutchinson’s letters continued, even in December 1775, to be evidence to American patriots that the British sought to strip them of their rights.

Item #27304, $2,500

J.E.B. Stuart Writes to Legendary Confederate Spy Laura Ratcliffe

J.E.B. STUART, Autograph Letter Signed “S”, to Laura Ratcliffe. April 8, 1862. 3 pp., 3⅞ x 6 in.

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Full of braggadocio, Confederate cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart gives early mistaken reports of the Battle of Shiloh to an informant, the famous Confederate spy Laura Ratcliffe.“We are here quietly waiting for the yankees and if they ever come we will send them howling.”

Item #27574, $7,800

President Theodore Roosevelt Questions Coal Monopolies and Contradictions in Report from Interstate Commerce Chairman

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to Judson C. Clements, October 13, 1906, Washington, D.C. On “The White House” letterhead. 2 pp., 8 x 10¼ in.

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These lands are probably of more fundamental consequence to the whole people than any other public lands… Might it not be well for the government to retain title and to lease the right to mine upon such terms as would attract the investment of capital for this purpose?”

Just over three months after signing the Hepburn Act, giving the Interstate Commerce Commission real regulatory power, Roosevelt responded to a letter from its Acting Chairman who was complaining of coal monopolies created by the railroads. Roosevelt strongly supports the Hepburn Act, telling Clements, “I will back you up to the limit in compelling the railroad companies to afford the independent producers proper track connections and proper transportation facilities as well as to carry the coal for reasonable charges.” Roosevelt also asserts that the nation must maintain control of its coal lands, an increasingly valuable resource in the railway age: “we should not part with anymore coal lands.”

Item #26771, $3,500

President Kennedy Sends a Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute to Civil Rights Leader A. Philip Randolph

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Two Typed Drafts of a Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., sent to Civil Rights Activist Asa Philip Randolph. Two pages, one on light blue White House telegram stationary, each 8 x 10 inches. The first, Washington, [D.C.], January 27, 1961. The second, with holographic emendations signed “Kennedy” undated, but circa January 27, 1961.

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Dr. King has Labored at Best to advance the Principles of Equal Justice under Law for all Americans and Equal access to all the Opportunities of our Society

Item #27577, $37,500

President Wilson Urges Americans to Support the “Stricken Jewish People” of Europe During World War I

WOODROW WILSON, Printed Document Signed, Proclamation re “stricken Jewish people,” January 11, 1916, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 8 x 12.25 in.

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I...do appoint and proclaim January 27, 1916, as a day upon which the people of the United States may make such contributions … for the aid of the stricken Jewish people.

With this proclamation, President Woodrow Wilson responds to a Senate resolution calling for contributions to the American Red Cross to benefit the millions of “stricken Jewish people” in nations involved in World War I. The “Jewish Relief Day” campaign raised $2 million. Just over a year later, the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies.

Item #27810, $25,000

FDR’s Personal Copy of 1934 Textile Industry Crisis Board Report Countersigned by Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins, the First Woman Presidential Cabinet Member

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Typescript Signed with initials, twice, on the title page. Roosevelt’s personal bound carbon copy of “Report of the Board of Inquiry for the Cotton Textile Industry,” September 17, 1934, Hyde Park, New York. 38 pp., 9 x 11⅜ in.

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This typed report was compiled in two weeks amidst a violent nationwide textile strike. In addition to Roosevelt initialing it twice, it is signed by his the chairman of the commission, and by Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve on a Presidential cabinet, in which role she played an important part in writing critical New Deal legislation, including the Social Security Act. The report was personally given to FDR at a meeting at Hyde Park to discuss the board’s findings which successfully brought an end to the strike.

Item #27690, $8,500

Abraham Lincoln Signed Check to “William Johnson (Colored)”—Who Accompanied the President to Antietam and Gettysburg

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Partially Printed Document Signed, Riggs & Co. Bank check, October 27, 1862, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 7½ x 2¾ in. Filled out and signed by Lincoln as president, payable to “William Johnson (Colored)” for $5.

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Johnson accompanied Lincoln from Springfield to Washington, D.C., served as the President’s valet, and traveled with him to Antietam (25 days before this check) and a year later to Gettysburg.

Item #27740, $180,000

President John Quincy Adams’ Remarks & Toast Commemorating William Penn’s Landing

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Manuscript, Remarks and Toast to Penn Society, October 25, 1825, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1 pp., 8 x 9¼ in.

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The Land of William Penn, and his ‘Great Town,’ the City of brotherly Love.”

In these brief remarks at Masonic Hall in Philadelphia in October 1825, President Adams proposed the above toast at the second annual meeting of the Penn Society and the 143rd anniversary of William Penn’s landing in America.

Item #27469, $6,800

Civil War “The Union Forever” Flag Made by Philadelphia Sailmaker, ca. 1861

[U.S. FLAG - CIVIL WAR], Large (204 x 150 in.) 34-Star Flag of the United States with an applied fabric piece across approximately three-quarters of its width, with printed motto, “The Union Forever.” Philadelphia: J. Chase, ca. 1861.

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According to museum records, original owner James W. Pancoast was a farmer in Accomack County on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He flew this flag at the outbreak of the Civil War, but was compelled to take it down, and fled back to the North.

The flag’s date is based on the 29 months that the United States officially consisted of 34 states. Kansas was admitted to the Union on as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. West Virginia (50 trans-Allegheny counties that had been part of Virginia) were admitted as the 35th state on June 20, 1863.

“The Union Forever” was a common slogan in the North on the eve of and during the Civil War. It was the theme of poems, songs, and campaign slogans, and was printed on envelopes, campaign and recruiting broadsides, ballots, textiles, and other materials.

Item #26743, $19,000

George Washington Signed Military Commission, Preparing for a Decisive Victory Against Native Americans and the British in the Midwest

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Document Signed, Philadelphia, Pa., March 19, 1793, appointing William Winston as Captain of Light Dragoons. Co-signed by Henry Knox, Secretary of War, and John Stagg, Chief Clerk of the War Department. Imprint at bottom, “Drawn and Engrav’d by Thackara and Vallance, Philada.” With paper seal of the United States. 1 p., 16 x 20 in., on vellum. Framed with rag mats and UV-filtered plexiglass to 29 x 34¼ in.

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Two weeks after his second inauguration, President George Washington appoints William Winston as Captain of Light Dragoons. By the time Winston joined the army in the Northwest Territory, he had been promoted to command the entire cavalry of the new Legion of the United States. In that position, he fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the decisive U.S. victory against the Native American confederation and their British allies in that area.

George Washington-signed military commissions are rare on the market, and we don’t recall ever seeing a more attractive example.

Item #20626.99, $55,000

George Washington’s First Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Gazette of the United States. New York, N.Y., October 7, 1789. 4 pp., In addition to the Thanksgiving Proclamation on page one, this issue also includes: a printing of the Treaty of Fort Harmar between the United States and the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa, Chippewa, Pattawatima, and Sac Indian nations (p. 1, col. 2 to p. 2, col. 2). A report from London about an “African Genius” (p. 2, col. 2). And a report on the proceedings of Congress, including an act to suspend part of the Tonnage Duties Act (p. 4 col. 3). 9½ x 14¾ in. Overall fine. Archivally framed.

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“to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.... for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness... for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge”

On September 28, 1789, just before the closing of the First Federal Congress, the Senate added its assent to a House resolution requesting that George Washington be asked to call for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Later that day, Congress passed the Bill of Rights to be sent to the states for their ratification, and on the next day the first session of the first Federal Congress was adjourned. On Saturday, October 3, Washington issued America’s first presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation. The Gazette printed it in full on the first page of this, their next edition, Wednesday October 7th.

Item #23257.99, $45,000
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