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Presidents and Elections

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Declaration of Independence Signer Samuel Huntington’s Copy of an Act of Congress Signed by Thomas Jefferson

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State. “An Act to alter the Times and Places of holding the Circuit Courts in the Eastern District, and in North-Carolina,...” Philadelphia, Pa., March 2, 1793. 2 pp., 9¾ x 15 in. Signed in Type by George Washington as President. Lengthy docket by Samuel Huntington.

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This act establishes the exact places and dates for the spring Circuit Courts to meet for the eastern districts of New-York, Connecticut, Vermont, New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. This copy of the act, duly signed by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson a day before the official date of the end of the Second Congress, was sent to Governor Samuel Huntington of Connecticut because the act specified that the spring circuit court “shall henceforth be held … for the district of Connecticut, at New-Haven on the twenty-fifth day of April…”

Item #23042.99, $25,000

James Madison Coaxes Georgia for Official Notification of the 12th Amendment’s Passage to Avoid Another Election Fiasco

JAMES MADISON, Autograph Letter Signed as Secretary of State, to James Milledge. Washington, D.C., August 18, 1804. 1 p., 8 x 9¼ in. On wove paper watermarked “1800.”

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With the necessary approval of 13 out of 17 state legislatures, Secretary of State James Madison urges Georgia Governor James Milledge to send notification of his state’s approval before the upcoming 1804 presidential election. By requiring separate ballots for president and vice president, the 12th Amendment fixed a major flaw in the original Constitution by eliminating the possibility of a tie vote in the Electoral College.

Item #23396, $20,000

Frederick A. Aiken Urging Frémont to Run Against Lincoln

FREDERICK A. AIKEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to John C. Frémont, Washington, D.C., June 12, 1864. 2 pp. 7¾ x 9¾”.

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With the war going badly, the 1864 election is no shoo-in for the incumbent.

Frederick A. Aiken, former Secretary of the Democratic National Convention, applauds General John C. Frémont’s nomination by the Radical Republicans. He suggests that Frémont will have the blessing of the Democrats if he goes up against Lincoln for the Republican nomination. Aiken went on to serve (unsuccessfully) as defense attorney for Lincoln assassination conspirator Mary Surratt.

Item #20715, $3,200

Counting the Vote in 1876 – Florida’s First Election Fiasco

[FLORIDA], 12 pamphlets, broadsides, and documents relating to the disputed presidential election of 1876. 1876-1878.

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The 1876 presidential election between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden came down to a dispute over Florida’s electoral votes. This archive of 12 pamphlets, broadsides, and documents includes official signed copies of key Florida court and executive decisions. From the papers of Edward Louden Parris, an attorney for Tilden, who ended up losing the election by way of the “Compromise of 1877.”

Item #21857.03, $2,750

“Let every Federalist do his Duty,
and Massachusetts will yet be Saved!”

[WAR OF 1812], Broadside. Boston, April, 1811. Untrimmed with wide margins. At bottom, prints resolutions of a public meeting at Faneuil Hall on March 31, 1811, which threatened resistance against Congress’s May, 1810 legislation. With docketing on verso. 1 p., 11¾ x 18⅜ in.

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Fiery election broadside fanning the flames of Federalist opposition to Democratic-Republican foreign policy during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. In tone if not in substance, this jeremiad against Southern planters is not wholly different from the complaints of Southern fire-eaters against Lincoln and the “black Republicans” 50 years later. It shows the intensity of New England sectionalism a year before “Mr. Madison’s War.” “The Embargo cost you millions and millions of dollars. It sunk all the property in New England twenty per cent. It ruined and crippled thousands forever. It drove your sailors into foreign employ … You have been robbed of this treasure by Thomas Jefferson…”

Item #21861, $2,500

Assailing the Pennsylvania “Board of Censors”
for Failing to Amend the Constitution

[PENNSYLVANIA CONSTITUTION], Broadside. An Alarm. To the Freemen and Electors of Pennsylvania. [Philadelphia, Pa.], October 1, 1784. 1 p., 16½ x 21 in.

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Item #22886, $4,800

Hawaii Statehood - Honolulu Star-Bulletin

[HAWAII], Newspaper. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Honolulu, Hawaii, March 12, 1959.

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A landmark issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin celebrating the imminent achievement of statehood for Hawaii after sixty years of territorial status. The huge banner headline reads “STATEHOOD!”, with related pictures and reports. The caption, “First Class Citizens Now,” is written above several images of common Hawaiians, neatly encapsulating the arguments against continued territorial status, which left Hawaiians significantly disenfranchised. Hawaii would officially become the 50th state in the Union in August 1959.

Item #21403, $395

Bound Volume of the Daily National Intelligencer
for the Year 1823

[DAILY NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER], Bound Volume, Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., January 1 to December 31, 1823. Approximately 312 issues, including one 4 pp. The only issues lacking are December 2 and December 3 (the days pertaining to the Monroe Doctrine).

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Item #22153.02, $4,400

Attacking Congressman Jailed
for Violating Alien and Sedition Act:
“the in-famous Lyon... we are in an age of excentricity”

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

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Boudinot discredits Vermont Congressman Matthew Lyon, the first politician to be jailed for criticizing the president under the terms of the Sedition Act of 1798. 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 John Adams and the Federalists, Lyons was re-elected while in jail.

Item #21480.06, $1,800

“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

1860’s Cartoon Critical of Andrew Johnson’s
Southern Sympathies

[ANDREW JOHNSON], Broadside, “Ho! For the Salty Styx!”. With image of Andrew Johnson piloting a boat named “Accidental President,” with text beneath “Grand Excursion of the A n d y - J o h n s o n - Cooperhead-Reb-B & B Club.” [Philadelphia], Ca. 1865. 5 x 4¼ in.

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Item #20506, $265

“Our Colored Brother” Comes Up to Bat
with the 15th Amendment

[FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT], Print. “The Great National Game” from the graphic newspaper “Punchinello.” New York, N.Y., April 23, 1870. 16 pp. 9 x 13 in.

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This full-page engraving, “The Great National Game,” satirizes the recently-passed constitutional amendment granting African-American men the right to vote. The baseball motif, popularized in presidential politics, depicts a black man with stereotyped features holding a bat labeled “15th amendment” about to hit a ball stylized with the stars and stripes. The image caption heralds the arrival of African Americans to full political rights “Our colored brother: Hi Yah! Stan back dar; its dis chiles innins now.’ ”

Item #21739, $2,500

Discontent with Gilded Age Presidential Politics
and the Influence of “the negro vote”

WILLIAM BEACH LAWRENCE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Henry Anthony. Newport [R.I.], November 25, 1872. 4 pp.

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A detailed, despairing letter on campaign politics after the reelection of Ulysses S. Grant. Lawrence observes the humiliating defeat of Democrats and “Liberal Republicans” – who united behind Horace Greeley because of corruption in the Grant administration – in the Election of 1872. Lawrence laments the elevation of personality over merit and virtue in elections, an observation which resonates today. He also expresses concern about how newly enfranchised African Americans tended to vote.  “The negroes are naturally disposed to support those who are in power & whom they invest with superior dignity, on account of the possession of power. …the extraordinary denouement of the Cincinnati Convention has placed in bold relief the mode most unsatisfactory to an intelligent people, by which party conventions are constituted & which are readily made, the instruments of the vilest partisan combinations, carried on by men without character & without principle.

Item #20020, $950

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

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:
“Another Rebel Raid (on the Ballot Box)
repulsed with great slaughter…”

[ELECTION OF 1864], Printed Card. “How are you Copperhead?/ The Peace Democrat for the Salt River” card, adding, “Another Rebel Raid (on the Ballot Box) repulsed with great slaughter, Oct. 11th 1864.” 3¼ x 2¼ in.

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Item #20502.02, $265

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

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

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 Prepares the Union Army to Vote
in the Election of 1864

SETH WILLIAMS. [ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Letter Signed to Richard N. Batchelder. “Head Qrs Army of the Potomac,” September 1, 1864.

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Written just over a month before the 1864 presidential election, Lincoln was banking on votes of soldier to secure his re-election.

Item #22952, $1,350
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