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Presidents and Elections

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President Johnson on Ratification of 14th Amendment by North Carolina and Florida:
Guaranteeing Equal Protection Under the Law

ANDREW JOHNSON, Document Signed as President. July 11, 1868. Ordering Secretary of State to Affix the Seal of the United States to Johnson’s Proclamation announcing ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment by North Carolina and Florida. 1 p.

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Item #24686, $48,000

John Quincy Adams Scathing Anti-Masonic Letter After the Murder of a Prominent Anti-Mason Who Threatened to Reveal their Secrets

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed as Congressman, to Stephen Bates. Washington, D.C., April 1, 1833. 3 pp. 8 x 9¾ in.

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“To all members of the Masonic fraternity, who entered it before the murder of Morgan I would extend the most liberal Toleration. Most of them took the Oaths without reflecting upon what they imported….Now the case is otherwise. How they can now take or administer the cutthroat Oath to keep Secret, what all the world knows, I cannot comprehend.”

In the wake of the murder of William Morgan, a prominent anti-Mason who had threatened to reveal the society’s secrets, John Quincy Adams requested the return of an old letter. Considering the political climate, Adams thought the letter would reflect poorly on its now-deceased recipient, as well as expose Adams, a prominent opponent of Freemasonry, to public criticism for having supported a man he knew to be of good character who also happened to be a Mason. The former president, now in Congress, goes on to explain his political support for anti-Masonry, one of the first third-party political movements in the United States.

Item #23716, $19,000

Ronald Reagan — The Great Communicator — Shares His Love of Horses with a Little Girl Who Wants One

RONALD REAGAN, Autograph Letter Signed with Initials, to Carol ?, ca. 1967-1975. 2 pp., 6 x 9 in.

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Horses have been a large part of my life and I love them as much as you do…. Being a father myself I know how very much your father would like to be able to help you realize your dream but sometimes we have to wait for the good things. If it will help to know this I didn’t have a horse of my own until after I was grown up. You’ll do better than that so keep on riding & studying….

Item #24844, $2,200

Rare same day broadside of John Adams’ Fourth State of the Union Address: Opening Washington D.C. as the Nation’s Capital

[JOHN ADAMS], Broadside, Supplement to the National Intelligencer. [Washington: Samuel Harrison Smith, November 22, 1800].

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Adams’ historic fourth Annual Message to Congress—now known as the State of the Union Address—announces the establishment of the District of Columbia as the nation’s capital. The second President, who had just been defeated for re-election, optimistically discusses unprecedented economic growth, considers the recently consummated treaty of amity and commerce with Prussia, and focuses on the need for expanded naval forces and coastal fortifications, which he believes to be necessary given the Quasi-War with France.

A rare broadside extra edition: no institutional copies are listed in OCLC, although it is possible they exist in uncatalogued runs. The National Intelligencer, then in its second month in print, had moved to Washington at the behest of President-elect Thomas Jefferson.

Item #30028.06, $8,500

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

Truman Refuses Subpoena by House Un-American Affairs Committee—A Tale of Russians, Spies, and Partisan Politics in America

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed (“Harry S. Truman”), as former President, to Congressman Harold H. Velde, chairman of the Committee on Un-American Activities, November 11, 1953. 2½ pp., 4to, marked “For Immediate Release.” With clipping of New York Times account of November 13, 1953. Signed copy of his letter to chairman Velde, evidently prepared for the press, explaining why he will not appear for the hearing.

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While former President Truman refused to testify on constitutional grounds, it appears that in this case, the Congressional committee was indeed on the trail of a Soviet informant, high in the U.S. government.

Item #23659, $9,000

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

Martin Van Buren & Border Troubles Between Texas Independence and the Mexican War

MARTIN VAN BUREN, Partially Printed Document Signed, as President, February 8, 1839, 1 p. 8 x 10 in.

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I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of State to affix the Seal of the United States to the ratification and the ratified copy of the Convention with the Mexican Republic for the adjustment of claims of citizens of the United States. . . .

Item #23995.01, $2,500

Franklin Roosevelt Orders Books on Naval Battles, New York, and Ladies

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Autograph Notes filling out bookseller’s printed postcard order form, October 28, 1924, 1 p.

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Both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were avid readers. With this postcard, the future president orders three books from Pierce & Scopes, Booksellers and Importers, in Albany, New York.

Item #24496, $1,250

John F. Kennedy Seeks to Set the Historical Record Straight on Munich

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Draft Typed Letter (unsigned), to the Editor of Time Magazine, June 13, 1952, with handwritten emendations. 4 pp. 8½ x 11 in, but for p. 4 which is cropped at bottom.

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Randolph S. Churchill denounces the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude adopted by some Americans towards the English in regard to Munich and states that England ‘had no more moral or legal obligation’ to defend Czechoslovakia than had the United States.... Three days before the Munich Conference (September 26) the French received Chamberlain’s solemn pledge of absolute and immediate, as opposed to probable and eventual military action if France went to the Defense of Czechoslovakia….

That the British chose peace at this time rather than war is not, in my opinion, to their discredit, considering the poor condition of their armaments. As I stated in my book, While Why England Slept, the criticism directed against Munich could have been directed with more accuracy at Britain’s tardiness in rearming than against the pact itself…”

Item #24385, $2,500

Andrew Jackson Dockets a Letter on Redecorating the Hermitage, Refusing to Apologize to the French, and Bringing Home Indemnification Money Due from France to America

ANDREW JACKSON, Autograph Endorsement Signed with Initials, ca. June 1835. On HENRY TOLAND, Autograph Letter Signed, to Andrew Jackson, May 29, 1835. 4 pp., 7¾ x 10 in.

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“where no apology is due, you are the very last man on earth to make one…. In the present state of Exchange in this Country, I am sure that 2 to 4 % might be made out of the money instead of paying one half per Cent to Rothschilds to bring it here” (Toland to Jackson)

Item #24588.04, $2,200

Andrew Jackson Considers Loaning His Nephew Money, But Waits to Hear From His Son

ANDREW JACKSON, Autograph Endorsement Signed with Initials, January 29, 1834. On THOMAS J. DONELSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Andrew Jackson, January 10, 1834. 4 pp., 7¾ x 10½ in.

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“I find money scarce & times hard here most every body warranted & sued from fifty cents up… they dont give any notice but sue immediately wheather you have the money to pay them or not.” (Donelson to Jackson)

Item #24588.03, $1,900

Andrew Jackson Dockets Letter from His Nephew – Including Report on Slaves at the Hermitage

ANDREW JACKSON, Two Autograph Endorsements Signed with Initials, May 28, 1833. On JOHN DONELSON JR, Autograph Letter Signed, to Andrew Jackson, Hermitage, May 8, 1833. 4 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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“Your negroes are healthy and in good spirits, well enough pleased with their overseer. I expect he is as humane and kind to them as the nature of slavery will admit.” (Donelson to Jackson)

Item #24588.01, $1,950

Lyndon B. Johnson on Civil Rights

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Typed Letter Signed, to Michael J. Kirwan, March 17, 1965. 1 p., 6½ x 8½ in., with original envelope (7 x 4½ in.).

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there are few issues before the people of this country that are so rooted in rightness - constitutionally, morally, and humanly.

Just ten days after the “Bloody Sunday” confrontation at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, drew national attention to civil rights, President Johnson thanks a Congressman for his approval of Johnson’s major voting rights speech to Congress. Five months later, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

Item #24790, $6,500

John F. Kennedy Draft Speech Celebrating Israel’s 10th Anniversary

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Draft Typed Speech, as U.S. Senator, at the Greater Washington Observance of Israel’s Tenth Anniversary, Washington, D.C., May 11, 1958, with handwritten emendations. 6 pp. (lacking page 3 of 7). 8½ x 11 in.

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“It is heartening beyond words to spend a day where the focus is set upon works of peace and human achievement…. The years of crisis… have left no more bitter heritage than the homelessness and landlessness of millions. Yet the people of Israel, who have combined the loftiest idealistic vision with the greatest practical vigor, have proven that the human spirit – even under the cruelest suffering – has a power of endurance which no tyranny can extinguish.

            Israel is a land of many paradoxes, yet it has an inner strength and harmony which few nations of our time possess. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion observed some years ago: “If you don’t believe in miracles here, you aren’t a realist.”

John F. Kennedy first visited Palestine in 1939, and was an early and steadfast supporter of Israel. As a presidential candidate in 1960, he boldly declared, “Israel is here to stay.” President Harry Truman had formally recognized Israel within minutes of its Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, but Kennedy became the first U.S. president to create a military alliance and to openly supply arms to Israel.

Item #24386, $4,800

Rare French Facsimile of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving, “In Congress, July 4, 1776, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America…” Paris: Kaeppelin & Cie, 15 Quai Voltaire; engraved by F. Lepelle. [1840.] 25 x 32”. 1p.

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Scarce French reproduction based on William J. Stone’s official copperplate facsimile done by order of Congress. This French edition was produced for an 1840 adaptation of Jared Sparks’s Life and Writings of Washington, appearing as plate 22 in the atlas accompanying the multi-volume work.

Item #20627.99, $22,000

Anti-Jackson Broadside in Highly Contested
1828 Presidential Election

ANDREW JACKSON, Broadside. A Brief Account of Some of the Bloody Deeds of General Jackson, Philadelphia?, 1828. 15¼ x 21 in. 1 p.

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Item #21417.99, $11,000

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Program - Given to the Wife of His Vice President

[JOHN NANCE GARNER. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT], “Official Program of the Inaugural Ceremonies Inducting into office Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, John N. Garner, Vice President of the United States, March 4, 1933.” Presentation copy with gold embossed inscription to Mrs. John N. Garner (whose biography appears on page 21). Washington DC: Ransdell Incorporated, 1933. First Edition. Quarto, deluxe flexible leatherette binding, gold embossed with title and presidential seal. Copy 17 Signed by Cary T. Grayson, Chairman, General Inaugural Committee, and inscribed by the program committee chair: “To the Vice President-elect with/the affectionate regard of J. Fred Essary.” Scarce edition given as gifts to distinguished guests. Fine.

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Item #24114, $1,750

Governor Ronald Reagan Opposes Withholding of State Income Tax

RONALD REAGAN, Autograph Letter Signed as governor of California, to Mary Boatman, June 2, 1967. 1 p. 8 x 10 in. Address penned by secretary, and then letter penned by Reagan.

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The poll this time was most interesting, particularly on 'Withholding.' This is the one area I feel it's necessary to hold out even if the poll is against me. Withholding may make it easier to pretend you aren't being taxed but it's also easier for govt. to raise taxes without getting a protest from the people....

Item #24387, $3,500

Powering the War Effort: The US Maritime Commission
Needs Engines Fast—And They’re Not Going to Get Them
Any Time Soon

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Samuel Rayburn. 2 separate pp., White House stationery, 8 x 10 ½ in.; Washington, D.C., May 13, 1942.

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The president of the Atlas Imperial Engine Company informs the Maritime Commission that earlier information regarding the availability of diesel engines was in error, and in fact, there was nothing available at the present time.

Item #23725, $1,500
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