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Presidents and Elections

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John Tyler Writes After Delivering his First State of the Union Address: “the Ultras on both sides are dissatisfied and the extremes meet...”

JOHN TYLER, Autograph Letter Signed as President. Washington, D.C., December 9, 1841. 2 pp., 8½ x 11½ in., roughly torn, with lower quarter and at least three lines of text lacking, but signature intact on verso.

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Two days after “His Accidency” delivered his first State of the Union Address, John Tyler affirms that his position had infuriated the “Ultras”: the radicals in both parties: states-rights-leaning Whig such as Clay, and more nationalistic Jacksonian Democrats.

Item #22418, $1,200

John Tyler Presidential ALS to Daniel Webster Disputing Lord Ashburton’s Claim that their Treaty Established a Right to Search American Ships on the High Seas

JOHN TYLER, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Daniel Webster. Charles City County, Virginia, May 22, 1843. 2 pp.

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“I have read and now return the private dispatches with which you favored me from Mr. [Edward] Everett and your letter in reply. Lord Ashburton must certainly be under great mistake in relation to what passed between you on the right of visit and of search. Most certainly but one language has been held in all our Cabinet consultations, which was uniformly in negative of any such right.”

President John Tyler writes to his former Secretary of State Daniel Webster, who had resigned from Tyler’s cabinet under pressure from fellow Whigs two weeks earlier.

The Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842 resolved a number of issues between the U.S. and Britain’s Canadian colonies. It settled the nonviolent “Aroostook War” over the Maine–New Brunswick border, agreed to borders and shared use of the Great Lakes, reaffirmed the 49th parallel border in the western frontier up to the Rocky Mountains. It also defined crimes subject to extradition, and called for a final end to the slave trade on the high seas. The British negotiators had wanted to make a “right of search and visit” part of the treaty but its final language failed to establish such a new right in international maritime law.  

Item #23993.02, $5,000

Horace Greeley on Publication of a Letter
by Abolitionist Cassius Clay

HORACE GREELEY, Autograph Letter Signed in full and with initials, to Ephraim George Squier [ed. of Hartford Whig Daily Journal], New York, March 26, 1844. 1 p.

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Noted abolitionist Cassius Clay wrote a letter that supported his slaveholding cousin Henry Clay’s run for the presidency while simultaneously attacking the foundations of slavery and its entrenchment in American political life. Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, writes to a Hartford newspaper editor asking him to take care that every Abolitionist reads this letter this week.”

Item #20729, $1,250

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

The Border Ruffian Code in Kansas

[BLEEDING KANSAS], Pamphlet. The Border Ruffian Code in Kansas. [New York: Tribune Office. 1856.] 15, [1] pp. Concludes with full page (8.75 x 5.75 in.) map, “Freedom and Slavery, and the Coveted Territories.”

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This tract provides an example of the laws “notoriously forced upon the people of that Territory, at the hands of invading ruffians from Missouri, using the persuasive arguments of the Bowie-Knife and Revolver....” Included are the three Presidential platforms for the 1856 election, and a special map: “Freedom and Slavery, and the Coveted Territories,” printed on the last page.

Item #23739.03, $150

Thomas Jefferson and Joseph Cabell
on the University of Virginia

[THOMAS JEFFERSON], Book. Nathaniel Cabell, Early History of the University of Virginia, As Contained in the Letters of Thomas Jefferson and Joseph C. Cabell..., Richmond, J. W. Randolph, 1856, 528 pp.

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Item #22346, $950

Claims that First Republican Presidential Candidate is Foreign Born & Ineligible

[STEPHEN H. BRANCH], Broadside. Important! to the Public ... The Republican Candidate for the Presidency, John C. Fremont, of Foreign Birth. Ogdensburgh, N.Y. October 31, 1856. 1 p. 10½ x 7½ in. Foxing, some paper remnants on verso.

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Item #23425, $3,500

1858 Student Banner Supporting Douglas in Lincoln Douglas Debate at Knox College

[LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES], Campaign Banner Presented by the Democratic Students of Lombard University to Stephen A. Douglas before Galesburg Debate at Knox College, October 7, 1858. 28 x 28 in.

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This incredibly rare silk and wool banner consisting of two panels with a horizontal seam across the middle has an embroidered woolen wreath around the inscription in red ink, “From the Democracy / of / Lombard University / to / Stephen A. Douglas.” This banner joins the Kansas State Historical Society’s Lincoln banner as one of only two known “debate trophies” specifically tied to one of the participants.

Item #24949, $60,000

An Early Lincoln Campaign Biography

JOHN LOCKE SCRIPPS, Pamphlet, “Tribune Tracts –No. 6. Life of Abraham Lincoln. Chapter 1. Early Life.” New York: Tribune, 1860. 32 pp. Original stitching intact, ads for The New York Tribune and the Tribune Almanac of 1860 on back cover, light age, small tear at bottom right not affecting text, minor chipping, otherwise good. 6 x 9¼ in.

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An early Lincoln campaign biography based on interviews with Lincoln associates in Springfield.

Item #20521, $650

1860 Republican Party Roll Call from the Chicago Wigwam Convention that Nominated Lincoln for the Presidency

[REPUBLICAN PARTY], Broadside, “Roll of the National Republican Convention, Chicago, May 16th, 1860,” Chicago, 1860, 14⅜ x 20½ in.

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Exceedingly rare broadside containing a complete list of the members of the National Committee and Delegates. Printing the vote counts of 26 States and the District of Columbia. Representing the southern slave owning states are: Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia.

Item #24111, $3,750

Lincoln’s 1861 State of the Union Message

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Book. Message of the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress..., Volume 1, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1861. 839 pp., 5¾ x 8¾ in.

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Item #22671, $800

Reporting Lincoln’s Journey to Washington
for His Inauguration

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. New York Times, New York, N.Y., February 23, 1861. 8 pp.

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Item #30000.79, $100

Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, as President, to Secretary of State William H. Seward, “Executive Mansion,” Washington, D.C., March 5, 1862. Signed at bottom by “William H. Seward,” with a note in an unidentified contemporary hand. 1 p. 4¾ x 7¼ in.

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The United States is the only nation in history to end slavery through Civil War. Nations as diverse as Russia, the British Empire, France, Brazil, and others around the world ended their reliance on slave labor through legislative means that included some form of compensation to slaveowners for their lost “assets.” Here, President Lincoln requests that Secretary of State William Seward summon a meeting of the Cabinet. The following day, the president presented a special message to Congress with his plan end slavery through compensation. There were no takers among the slaveholding border states. The brevity of Lincoln’s letter belies its far-reaching implications and the tantalizing possibilities of “what might have been.”

Item #23747, $90,000

Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Proposal

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pa., March 7, 1862. 8 pp., 15½ x 20½ in. With “Message from the President...Resolved, That the United States ought to co-operate with any State which may adopt gradual abolition of slavery.” [Printing Lincoln’s March 5 message to Congress on page 1.]

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The United States is the only nation in history to end slavery through Civil War. Nations as diverse as Russia, the British Empire, France, Brazil, and others around the world ended their reliance on slave labor through legislative means that included some form of compensation to slave owners for their lost “assets.” Here, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the front page that Lincoln presented a special message to Congress with a plan to end slavery through compensation. There would be no takers among the slaveholding border states.

Item #30001.28, $500

President Lincoln & His Most Profitable Client, the Illinois Central Railroad

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed “A. Lincoln” as President, to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, May 23, 1863. “Executive Mansion, Washington” stationery, 2 pp. on one sheet, 7¾ x 9¾ in. With front panel of original envelope, to which Lincoln has added an Autograph Note Signed, and Stanton has also added an Autograph Note Signed.

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Less than six years after he successfully sued the Illinois Central for legal fees, President Lincoln faces another problem with the railroad, now vital for the transportation of Union troops. In another dispute over payments, he tells his Secretary of War, “If I had the leisure which I have not, I believe I could settle it; but prima facie it appears to me we better settle the account ourselves...”

Item #22131, $60,000

Race Baiting Takes Center Stage in the
1864 Presidential Election

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Broadside. Democratic Catechism of Negro Equality. Philadelphia, Pa., July 4, 1863., 6½ x 9 in.

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Republicans counter the ridiculous charge that Lincoln favored African Americans over white Americans. Instead, they use many individual instances to assert an equally absurd claim of a long history of Democratic support of African American rights.

Item #22807, $1,500

Lincoln’s Third State of the Union Address
and Amnesty Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. New York Times, New York, N.Y., Dec. 10, 1863, with “Supplement to The New York Times” complete with its own masthead. 12 pp. 14¾ x 21 in.

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Contains Lincoln’s entire 1863 Message to Congress, where he reaffirmed his commitment to emancipation, as well as His Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which laid out a plan to return the rebellious states to the Union fold. Commonly called the “Ten Percent Plan,” it allowed for a state to hold new elections when 10% of its 1860 voters took a loyalty oath to the Union.

Item #30001.20, $950

“The Excursion of the Bought Nominations”
Showing Balloon “Union League”

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside, “The Excursion of the Bought Nominations, The Large Balloon ‘Union League,’ Will Start Immediately. The Balloon is managed by the Old Hunkers in the Ring.” [1864]. 4 ¾ x 8 ½ in.

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Item #21986.04, $750

George B. McClellan’s 1864
Presidential Aspirations Are Mocked

[GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN], Broadside, Before Election...After Election, [1864], 3 ¼” x 8”, with top image depicting Little Mac preparing his troops “Before Election,” bottom image showing “Little Mac Badly Defeated” after the election.

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A nice broadside, critical of McClellan’s 1864 presidential aspirations.

Item #20503, $240

Taking the Copper-Heads to Task in 1864:
“The Peace Democrat for Salt River”

[ELECTION OF 1864], Printed Card. “How are you Copperhead?/ The Peace Democrat/ For Salt River,” with a Democratic Donkey at the center. “‘Honest Abe’ will furnish another Gun Boat for ‘Little Mac’ in November.” 3 x 2½ in.

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Item #20502.01, $300
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