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Theodore Roosevelt Advocates American Entry into World War I and Revisits His Foreign Policy Maxim:
“Speak softly and Carry a big stick”

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Printed Document with Autograph Endorsement Signed and 42 corrections in Roosevelt’s hand. “Address Delivered to the Illinois State Bar Association.” Chicago, Ill., April 29, 1916. With Roosevelt’s note at the top of the first page: “Dear Mr. McCh’ny [MacChesney?], Here is the speech, with a few merely verbal corrections, sincerely, Theodore Roosevelt.” 8 pp., 7 x 24 in. (the last page is 7 x 8 in.).

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The complete text of an address by Theodore Roosevelt at a dinner given in his honor at the Hotel La Salle, Chicago, by the Illinois Bar Association on April 29, 1916. These proof sheets were sent to TR for his approval, and returned with 42 autograph corrections in pencil.

“I once used the phrase, to sum up our proper foreign policy:— ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’  There was a good deal of laughter over that phrase. But it expresses a pretty sound policy all the same. Remember, that I was President seven years and a half and that I never spoke with wanton harshness of any nation. I always spoke softly, I was always just as nice and polite as any man could be. But I carried a big stick!”

Evoking applause and laughter, Roosevelt also references the need for national preparedness considering the world situation, referencing Pancho Villa and Mexico, Germany and the war in Europe, the sinking of the “Lusitania,” and the need for national unity, paraphrasing Lincoln, “nowadays America can not endure half hyphenated and half not.”

Item #24383, $75,000

While Running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Senator Barack Obama on Transparency and Limiting the Power of Special Interests

BARACK OBAMA, Typed Manuscript with autograph corrections. [Chicago, Ill., ca. May 21, 2007]. 2 pp, 8 ½ x 11 in. With 112 handwritten words in Obama’s red ink and pencil and 3 holes punched at left edge of each sheet. Published on the “Commentary” page of the Chicago Tribune, May 21, 2007.

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“When it comes to reforming Washington … Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis had the right idea. Sixty years ago he said, ‘Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.’ Brandeis was a progressive responding to the excesses of the Gilded Age. Nearly a century later, we find Washington in need of a lot of sunlight and disinfectant….

I’m not perfect. In my current pres. campaign, I shall have to raise money, and still have relationships w/lobbyists. But at least people will know who those relationships are...”

Over a year before he became the Democratic candidate for President, Senator Barack Obama addressed the issue of lobbyists, special interest groups, and campaign financing.  Obama’s message was published in the Chicago Tribune on May 21, 2007.  Obama’s careful edits, with over 100 words and many strike-outs in his hand, likely came too late for the editorial page deadline of this major metropolitan newspaper. Most of the text Obama wished to be struck remained, and several phrases he did not strike through (noted below in parentheses) were removed, possibly by the editorial page editor.

Item #22930, $7,500

Zachary Taylor Denies Commenting on the Wilmot Proviso and Says Stories Alleging His Intemperance “are too frivolous and absurd to be noticed”

ZACHARY TAYLOR, Letter Signed to Mr. Edward W. Lincoln. August 26, 1848. 1 p. 8¾ x 10¾ in. With original envelope addressed to “Mr Edward W. Lincoln / Worcester / Mass.”

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Item #24117, $4,500

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

John Adams Signed Payment Receipt for Lawsuit

JOHN ADAMS. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, SR, Autograph Document Signed in text. Braintree, Mass., December 22, 1763. 1 p., 6 x 3¾ in.

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Item #24115, $2,950

Registration for FDR’s Customized
1936 Ford Phaeton—Signed as President

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Document Signed as President.

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Roosevelt’s Ford Phaeton was customized with special hand controls that allowed the polio-stricken president to drive under his own power without using his legs. The car is now at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum.

Item #24243, $3,750

Wilson Endorses DAR’s Plan to Involve Children of Immigrants in Public Schools, and “Share the Opportunities of this Great Country”

WOODROW WILSON, Typed Letter Signed as President to Everett M. Raynor. Washington, D.C., April 22, 1915. 1 p. 7 x 8¾ in. On White House letterhead.

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“as an American… I believe that if they will take to heart the lessons of our history, they will be able to help the country to even greater things than it has done yet”

Item #24120, $1,500

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

Harry Truman Supports FDR’s Plan to Pack the Supreme Court

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Mimeographed typed manuscript signed “Harry S. Truman, U.S.S. Mo.,” six pages, 8.5 x 14, April 1937. “Speech Delivered at Kansas City, Missouri, April 19, 1937, by Senator Harry S. Truman.” He traces the history of the Court’s influence in blocking progressive legislation, and discusses the changing number of Justices, which ranged from six in 1789 to ten in 1863, to nine in 1869.

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“the Court is packed now, and has been for fifty years, against progressive legislation…. The country will be just as safe, the Constitution just as strong, and the Republic just as great… [if we] let the privileges of our Government be for the whole people and not for just a favored few.”

Item #24121, $3,750

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

Eisenhower Signed D-Day Message

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Broadside Signed in dark blue ink. Statement to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force on June 6, 1944. Document is approx. 5¾ x 9½ in., archivally framed to approximately 22 x 14 in.

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From a limited edition of Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe, (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1948), limited to 1,426 copies. The war had ended only three years earlier, and Eisenhower must have been looking towards politics - he was elected to the Presidency in 1952.

Item #24122, $6,500

President Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Proclamation Announcing the End of the War in Europe

HARRY S TRUMAN. [WORLD WAR II], Printed Document Signed as President. Washington, D.C., May 8, 1945. 1 p., 15 x 21½ in.

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“The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender … The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed…”

Item #24220, $20,500

Andrew Jackson Signs a Patent on a Corn Shelling Machine

ANDREW JACKSON, Partially Printed Document Signed as President. Two partially printed vellum pages acknowledging that Joseph Ross has developed improvements for “the machine of shelling corn.” Washington, D.C., April 12, 1833. Countersigned by the Acting Secretary of State Edward Livingston and Attorney General Roger B. Taney. Approximately 11 x 13, framed to 20 x 31 in. The blind embossed paper Seal of the United States is affixed at lower left. The pages are attached with pink ribbon to the above letters patent.

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Item #23910, $4,500

Woodrow Wilson Protests the Sinking of Lusitania & Threatens to Break Diplomatic Relations – About a Year Before America Enters WW I

WOODROW WILSON, Signed Pamphlet. Address of the President of the United States Delivered at a Joint Session of the Two Houses of Congress, April 19, 1916.Washington, D.C., ca April 19, 1916. Bound in blue cloth boards with titled spine with several blank leaves. Spine cracked but binding intact, very minor marginal tear to title page, other pages lightly toned with a light vertical crease but clean overall. 7 pp., 5¾ x 9 in.

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Item #24100, $2,500

AN EXTRAORDINARY RARITY!
Leaves From George Washington’s Own Draft of His First Inaugural Address

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Autograph Manuscript, Pages 27-28, 35-36, and 47-48 of Washington’s own draft of his undelivered inaugural address. [written ca. January 1789]. 6 pp. on 3 leaves, 7 x 9 in.

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“This Constitution, is really in its formation a government of the people”

George Washington understood that the new government’s success, as had the Constitutional Convention’s, rested squarely on his shoulders. He also knew that everything he did as the first president would set precedents for future generations. He wrote privately about the promise, ambiguity, and tension of high office, and these same themes are woven throughout his original, undelivered inaugural address. Would the government work as intended, or suffer death from a thousand cuts? Still, the former Commander in Chief recognized the nation’s potential, as well as the honorable men who had come together to build the Constitution.

The three unique leaves—six pages—offered here are written entirely in Washington’s hand. They include assertions that government power is derived from the people, and a highly significant section of the Address explicitly arguing that the Constitution is subject to amendment and, by implication, advocating the adoption of the Bill of Rights. They also include the oratorical climax of the address—arguably the most visionary and impassioned passage of the address.

Item #23845-47, $1,200,000

John Rogers’s Famous Tribute to Lincoln: The Council of War

[CIVIL WAR]. JOHN ROGERS, Painted Plaster Sculpture. The Council of War. New York, N.Y., 1868. Signed “John Rogers, New York Patented March 31, 1868.”

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John Rogers was the sculptor of the middle class in the second half of the nineteenth century. He was most famous for casting groups of figures in plaster and then painting them, with subjects mostly ordinary people or fictional characters. Occasionally he created groups of extraordinary people and events, and The Council of War is one such group. It depicts President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and General Ulysses S. Grant discussing the Civil War while looking over a map or battle plan. Stanton himself suggested that Rogers make group, who described the scene as “one of the most interesting and appropriate occasions” for a sculpture. Some art historians have suggested it was a deliberate attempt to mend, at least publicly, his relationship with U.S. Grant. The work was later praised by Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln, who considered it to be the most lifelike portrait of his father in sculpture.

There are three versions of The Council of War, all slightly different and dependent on Stanton’s hands—at his side, behind Lincoln’s head, or forward of Lincoln’s head over the president’s shoulder. Ours is the latter example.

Item #23865, $10,000

James Madison Informs Georgia’s Governor of Intelligence from Havana Warning of Illegal Slave Trade

JAMES MADISON, Letter Signed as Secretary of State, to Georgia Governor John Milledge. [Washington, D.C.], December 15, 1802. 3 pp+ integral address leaf. With James Madison Free Franked integral address leaf. Closed tear at edge of first and terminal pages (with minor loss to text) professionally repaired.

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James Madison forwards to Georgia Governor John Milledge a message he received from the acting Consul at Havana, Cuba, relating to slaves being illegally imported. Georgia was the only one of the thirteen colonies to prohibit slavery, until it was legalized by royal decree in 1751. Although slavery was then permitted in Georgia, the state Constitution of 1798 prohibited the importation of slaves.

Item #23388, $5,500

Jefferson Loses Money Despite a Very “promising crop of tobacco”

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to George Jefferson Jr. Poplar Forest, [Virginia], August 21, 1811. 1 p., 7¼ x 9¼ in. Jefferson’s retained copy docketed by him on verso.

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Thomas Jefferson had a sophisticated eye, a philosophical mind, and an inventor’s hands. He was skilled at architecture, law, languages, scientific agriculture, education, and politics. He was also a poor businessman and financial planner who died deeply in debt due to champagne (literally!) tastes, profligate spending, and bad management. Written to George Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s first cousin (once removed) and a partner in Gibson & Jefferson, a Richmond mercantile firm dealing primarily in agricultural products.

Item #23823, $25,000

Roosevelt is “getting hot” Regarding Criticism of Panama Canal

THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919), Typed Letter Signed as President, to Mr. Lindsay Denison. Washington, D.C., March 28, 1906. 1 p., 7 x 8¾ in. With one correction in Roosevelt’s hand.

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“I am getting hot about both Shonts and Stevens. They ought to see that your article is a splendid article.”

Lindsay Denison was sent by Everybody’s Magazine to explore charges by Poultney Bigelow, author, journalist, and son of the owner of the New York Evening Post. A vociferous critic of construction in the Panama Canal Zone, Bigelow wrote numerous reports and testified before Congress charging poor labor conditions, disease among the workforce, graft, corruption and fiscal malfeasance.

Making Good at Panama, Denison’s article in Everybody’s Magazine, found that there were problems, but asserted that they were not nearly as dire as Bigelow suggested. Nevertheless, John F. Stevens, chief architect of the Panama Canal, and Theodore P. Shonts, chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission, must have reacted poorly to the criticism, which angered Roosevelt.

Item #23820, $1,850

James Monroe Signed Missouri Territory Land Grant to War of 1812 Veteran

JAMES MONROE, Partly Printed Document Signed as President. Land grant to Stephen Taylor, countersigned by Josiah Meigs as Commissioner of the General Land Office. Washington, D.C., March 3, 1819, 1 p., 13 x 8½ in. On vellum. Verso with Stephen Taylor Manuscript Document Signed transferring the land to William Turner. April 22, 1819. With a collection of letters to William and Peter Turner of Newport, R.I., from 1821, 1840 and 1859, re. subsequent sales and payment on this land.

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Stephen Taylor is granted 160 acres for his service in the War of 1812.  With a highly decorative engraved masthead, “Militi Forti Et Fideli,” of a seated Columbia handing a deed to a soldier and his young son.

Item #23816, $1,250
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