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Booker T. Washington Writes Brief Notes for Speeches

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON, Autograph Manuscript Documents, Notes for Speeches or Reports, ca. 1890-1915. Several pages are written on blank or verso of “Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute” letterhead and one is on the verso of “Grand Union Hotel” stationery from New York City. 17 pp., 5¾ x 8½ in. to 8½ x 11 in.

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Proud of Race / Serious Problem, / all can help / In & out of slavery

These pages of notes, written by African American leader and educator Booker T. Washington, are not fully developed texts but are likely either speaking points for speeches or points to stress in reports. A few can be tied to specific speeches Washington gave in the mid-1890s, but many refer to anecdotes or themes that he used in multiple speeches over a lifetime of addressing black and white audiences.

Washington’s approach to the path for African Americans to rise out of the miseries of slavery was more gradual than that of other African American leaders and aimed for accommodation to white hostility, fearing that the more confrontational methods espoused by others would lead to disaster for his race. The educational institutions and business organizations he nurtured created a more confident and capable generation of leaders who led African Americans to demand equal political and civil rights in the mid-twentieth century.

Item #27518, $11,000

Four Years Prior to Signing the Declaration,
R.I.’s Stephen Hopkins Declares His Slave’s Independence (SOLD)

STEPHEN HOPKINS, Autograph Document Signed (twice in text and once at bottom), Providence, R.I., October 28, 1772. Also signed by William Barker, as witness. 1 pp.

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“…keeping any of his rational Creatures in Bondage, who are capable of taking care of, and providing for themselves in a State of Freedom: is, altogather inconsistent with his Holy and Righteous Will…”

In a clear statement on the morality of slavery, Rhode Island’s Stephen Hopkins manumits his slave, Saint Jago Hopkins, because slavery is a violation of God’s will. Rhode Island would not abolish slavery through gradual emancipation until 1784.

Item #21073.99, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Powerful Anti-Slavery Argument Likely by John Laurens

ANTIBIASTES, Newspaper. “Observations on the slaves and the Indentured Servants inlisted in the Army…” Front page printing, in the Boston Gazette and Country Journal, October 13, 1777. Boston: Benjamin Edes. 4 pp., 10 x 15½ in.

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Also see the Alexander Hamilton Collection: The Story of the Revolution & Founding.

Many Slaves …share in the dangers and glory of the efforts made by US, the freeborn members of the United States, to enjoy, undisturbed, the common rights of human nature; and THEY remain SLAVES!... The enlightened equity of a free people, cannot suffer them to be ungrateful.

Item #24438, $4,800

1778 Muster List, Including Rejected African American Recruit

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR; AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS], Autograph Document Signed, Muster Rolls for Norton and Attleboro, Bristol County, Massachusetts. 2 pp., 8¼ x 13 in.

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This rare descriptive list of men enlisted for Continental service from Massachusetts includes an African American who served in the militia. The first page lists eight men belonging to three companies in Colonel John Daggett’s regiment of Massachusetts militia. The list gives each man’s age; height; color of complexion, hair, and eyes; and town. All are from Norton in Bristol County, approximately thirty miles south of Boston. Among the militiamen who were forwarded for Continental service was 26-year-old London Morey, “a Negro,” but according to his military records, he was “rejected” at Fishkill, New York.

The verso contains a tabular list of twenty men recruited from Colonel John Daggett’s militia regiment for nine months’ service in the Continental Army. They were from Attleboro, Easton, and Mansfield. The table lists each man’s company, name, age, height, complexion, eye color, town, and county or country. The last four listed are from France. Several served in the 12th Massachusetts Regiment under the command of Col. Gamaliel Bradford.

Item #26532, $4,500

African American Revolutionary War Soldier Receives Pay from Connecticut

[AFRICAN AMERICANA; AMERICAN REVOLUTION], Two documents: Isaac Sherman, Document Signed, Certificate of Service for Job Leason, October 23, 1782. 1 p.; with: Abram Clark, Partially Printed Document Signed, Receipt, December 5, 1782, Hartford, Connecticut. 1 p.

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Item #24657.01-.02, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Benjamin Franklin Calls For Abolition of Slavery, Washington Addresses the Dutch Reformed Church on Religious Freedom, Thanksgiving Thoughts, Hamilton’s Plans, and More

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States. November 25, 1789, New York, N.Y., 4 pp., (pp. 257-60), 10 x 16 in.

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Also offered as part of the Alexander Hamilton Collection: The Story of the Revolution & Founding.

This important newspaper includes an October 9, 1789 letter to George Washington, with his Address responding To the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America discussing his gratitude for their support, thanks for the nation weathering the revolution and peacefully establishing constitutional government, and ensuring religious freedom. (p. 1, col. 3).

As well as a printing of Benjamin Franklin’s “Address to the Public from the Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage.”

Item #23116, SOLD — please inquire about other items

New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves – 1794 Land Deed from John Jay’s Brother for First African Free School in New York City

FREDERICK JAY, Manuscript Document Signed, Deed to African Free School Trustees Matthew Clarkson, William Dunlap, Elihu Smith, and William Johnson, July 22, 1794. Endorsed by Master in Chancery John Ray and witnessed by John Keese and John Tyson. 1 p. on vellum, 27 x 24¼ in.

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“Whereas many respectable and benevolent Persons in the City of New York have associated under the denomination of ‘the Society for promoting the Manumission of Slaves and protecting such of them as have been or may be Liberated,’ and have Instituted a School in said City, called the African free School for the humane and charitable purpose of Educating negro Children to the end that they may become good and useful Citizens of the State...”

The New-York Manumission Society was founded in January 1785. The 19 initial founders included Future federal judge Robert Troup, prominent Anti-Federalist Melancton Smith, and John Jay, who was elected as the Society’s first president. Alexander Hamilton joined at the second meeting ten days later.

On November 2, 1787, the Society voted to establish the African Free School.  In 1794, by this deed, Frederick Jay – John Jay’s brother – donated lower Manhattan lot 635 on Hester Street to support the school, one of the first nondenominational charity schools in the United States.

Item #27319, $125,000

Georgia Constitution of 1798 Prohibits Both the Importation of Slaves and Emancipation by Legislation

[GEORGIA], The Constitution of the State of Georgia. As Revised, Amended and Compiled, by the Convention of the State, at Louisville, on the Thirtieth Day of May, MDCCXCVIII. Augusta: John Erdman Smith, 1799. 36 pp., 4¾ x 8 in. Browned throughout; half calf over marbled boards.

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There shall be no future importation of Slaves into this State, from Africa or any foreign place, after the first day of October next. The legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of each of their respective owners, previous to such emancipation.

This 1798 Georgia Constitution, the state’s third, better defined legislative power, established popular elections for the governor and authorized a state supreme court. Unlike its predecessors that made no mention of slavery, this Constitution prohibited the further foreign importation of slaves into Georgia. However, it also forbade the legislature from emancipating slaves without the consent of their owners or restricting the immigration of slaves from other states with their owners. Practically, it also did not prevent the extensive internal slave trade from other slave-holding states.

Item #26589.99, $19,000

[Thomas Jefferson]. 1807 Acts of Congress, Including Law Abolishing Slave Trade, the Insurrection Act, and Lewis & Clark Content. First Edition.

[CONGRESS], Acts Passed at the Second Session of the Ninth Congress of the United States (Washington, D.C.: n.p., 1807). 134 pp. (219-352), 6 x 9 in. Includes table of contents (iv pp.) for this session, and index (29 pp.) and title page for entire volume at end.

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it shall not be lawful to import or bring into the United States...any negro, mulatto, or person of color, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such negro, mulatto, or person of color, as a slave.

Item #23963, $4,500

Rare Jim Crow Broadside from Father of American Minstrelsy

[AFRICAN AMERICAN], Printed Broadside. “The Extravaganza of Jim Crow!” ca. 1832-1838. As sung by Thomas D. Rice. 1 p., 5⅛ x 16 in.

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Item #25605, $4,500

Stirring Pamphlet Defense of Abner Kneeland in His Massachusetts Trials for Blasphemy

[CIVIL RIGHTS], Pamphlet. A Review of the Prosecution Against Abner Kneeland, for Blasphemy. By a Cosmopolite [likely David Henshaw]. Boston: n.p., 1835. Includes a two-page manuscript laid in, “From the Boston Advocate, Nov. 19, 1834,” describing Kneeland’s trial and his representation of himself. 32 pp., 5¼ x 8⅝ in.

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In this pamphlet, a pseudonymous author defends rights of conscience, speech, and the press, amidst the trials of Abner Kneeland for violating a rarely enforced 1782 Massachusetts statute against blasphemy. Between 1834 and 1838, Kneeland’s words were the subject of four jury trials, two convictions, and a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court review of his conviction before he served sixty days in prison.

Item #25429, $1,250

“Genealogy of Thos Moseley’s Family” Lists Births of Fourteen Enslaved People in Virginia and Kentucky

[SLAVERY], Thomas Moseley, Jr. Autograph Document Signed, October 12, 1835, copying his father’s records from 1759-1806. 2 pp. + half page with docketing, 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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Recording births of Judge Thomas Smith Moseley, his wife, and their children, from 1759 to 1806, followed by “Servants,” giving the names, enslaved father or mother’s names (but not both), and birthdates between 1789 and 1802, of fourteen enslaved people: 5 children of Harry, 8 of Betty (including twins), and one of Daphney.

Item #27074, $1,250

Amistad Slave Revolt Supreme Court Decision Announced

[AMISTAD], Newspaper. Daily National Intelligencer, March 10, 1841. Washington, DC: Joseph Gales and William W. Seaton. 4 pp.

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The story of La Amistad, its dramatic capture by Africans aboard, and the resulting lawsuits gained international attention from 1839 to 1841. Abolitionists rallied to the cause of freeing the Africans transported illegally across the Atlantic into Spanish slavery, while proslavery advocates saw the case as an assault on property rights.

Item #25677, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Amistad Slave Revolt Supreme Court Opinion, in Washington, D.C. Newspaper

[AMISTAD], Newspaper. Daily National Intelligencer, March 15, 1841. Washington, DC: Joseph Gales and William W. Seaton. 4 pp.

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The story of La Amistad, its dramatic capture by Africans aboard, and the resulting lawsuits gained international attention from 1839 to 1841. Abolitionists rallied to the cause of freeing the Africans transported illegally across the Atlantic into Spanish slavery, while proslavery advocates saw the case as an assault on property rights. This issue presents the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court on the case, starting on the front page.

Item #25678, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Cinque, Leader of the Amistad Revolt Autograph at an Abolitionist Fundraiser in Philadelphia

CINQUE, Autograph as Leader of the Amistad Captives. Philadelphia, Pa., May 27, 1841. 1 p. Also signed by F-foole [Fuli]. With two endorsements in unknown hand, the later one possibly written by Charles Evans in pencil.

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Cinque was an almost mythic figure during the controversies and legal cases surrounding the slave ship Amistad in 1839-1841. He freed himself and the other Africans in the hold of the Amistad, initiated the revolt that captured the ship, and led the ships’ voyage from waters near Cuba to the United States. After being captured off the coast of Long Island, while imprisoned in Connecticut as the Africans’ status was debated by the U.S. Supreme Court, Cinque learned to speak and write English. (That they spoke Mende was discovered by a linguistics professor at Yale, who then found translators—two escaped slaves who spoke both languages).

After winning their freedom, Cinque and some others embarked on a lecture tour to New York and Philadelphia in May 1841 to raise funds for their return home. Their enthusiastic reception by the abolitionist movement made for a busy schedule.  Among the stops, Cinque visited the Lombard Street School for black children in Philadelphia. 

This autograph, signed at the Lombard school on May 27, 1841, is one of only two or three known original signatures of Cinque.

Item #21884, PRICE ON REQUEST

Slavery Divides New York Legislature in 1844

[SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE], New York Assembly. Concurrent Resolutions against U.S. House of Representatives “gag rule,” Samuel Stevens, February 16, 1844, Not passed. 1 p., 6 ¾ x 12 in. Together with: New York Assembly. Concurrent Resolutions against Congressional interference with slavery in the states, Thomas N. Carr, March 12, 1844. Not passed. 1 p., 6¾ x 12 in. Two items.

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Resolved, That the legislature of this state deem the right of petitioning congress for relief against any and all manner of grievances a sacred right, solemnly guaranteed by the constitution of the United States to every human being within the territory thereof….

            vs.

Resolved, That Congress has no power under the constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states; and that such states are the sole and proper judges of every thing appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts of the abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery…are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences….

Item #23389.02-.03, $1,500

His Grandmother-in-Law Can’t Spare a “Stacker” for John Augustine Washington III – Letter Delivered by Freed Washington Family Slave West Ford Includes List of Mount Vernon Slaves

[SLAVERY. MOUNT VERNON. WEST FORD]. MARY BOWLES [ARMISTEAD] SELDEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to John Augustine Washington III, hand delivered by West Ford; JOHN AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON III. Autograph List of Slaves. In light pencil on verso. [Alexandria, Virginia], [1845].

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Mary B. Selden was the grandmother of Eleanor Love Selden, who married John Augustine Washington III in 1843. She regrets not being able to furnish Washington with the services of one of her slaves as a stacker for the upcoming wheat harvest.

Still a faithful employee, West Ford worked for the Washington family well into the nineteenth century, including delivering this letter.

The letter includes a list of two dozen slaves written in pencil on the verso by John Augustine Washington III.

Item #24737, $3,750

“Anti-Texas” Opposes Annexation as a Slave State, Signed in type by Leading Abolitionists of Mass.

ABOLITION; TEXAS, Printed Broadside Circular Letter to Massachusetts Clergy, Boston, November 3, 1845, announcing the formation of a Massachusetts Committee to resist the admission of Texas as a slate state. Signed in type by 39 persons, including Charles Francis Adams, William Ingersoll Bowditch, William Lloyd Garrison, Francis Jackson, John Gorham Palfrey, John Pierpont, Henry B. Stanton, George Bradburn, Ellis Gray Loring, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, Elizur Wright, Elihu Burritt, Samuel E. Sewall, Henry Wilson, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Joshua Coffin. 1 p., 8 x 9⅞ in.

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This small abolitionist broadside circular to the clergy of Massachusetts urged them to “multiply, to the utmost, remonstrances against the admission of Texas” to encourage members of Congress to vote against a step that would “build up slavery again in a country where it was abolished sixteen years ago.” Despite their efforts, Congress admitted Texas by joint resolution fewer than two months later.

Item #26143, $2,800

Frederick Douglass to the Woman who was Negotiating
to Buy his Freedom (SOLD)

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Autograph Letter Signed to Anna Richardson, London, Free Trade Club, Aug. 19, 1846. 4 p.

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A uniquely important Douglass letter, written while still a fugitive slave, mentioning his desire to return to America, negotiations with his owner to purchase his freedom, and speaking engagements in London. “My Anna says ‘Come home’ and I have now resolved upon going home … I shall sail for America on the fourth November--and hope to meet the beloved one of my heart by the 20th of that month. Do not allow this arrangement [to] interfere in any way with your correspondence with my owner--as whether you succeed or fail good may come of the effort.”

Item #21062, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Frederick Douglass Celebrates His Return to America a Free Man, and Reunion with His Family, While Telling of His Treatment During the Voyage

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Autograph Letter Signed to Sarah Hilditch of Wales, April 29, 1847, Lynn, Massachusetts. 4 pp., 5 x 7¾ in.

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I caught Frederick [Jr.]in my arms, and took Lewis by the hand and pressed with all speed into the house, and relieved the anxious bosom of my Dear Anna, you must imagine my feelings, for I cannot express them. For once all public cares departed. Even the slave was forgotten, and my glad soul was thoroughly absorbed in grateful rapture.

You are aware that I was subjected to proscription on board the Cambria. This was a mesirable attempt to propetiate the American slaveholders and their abettors. These would have felt degraded to have been seated at the table with me, but not one of them but who would have been glad to have owned me as his slave. These wretched creatures could not indure me as a free man.…

Due to significant threats, Douglass left America for England in 1845. While there, he travelled widely to speak about slavery. By 1847, Douglass was anxious to return despite the risks, but two English sisters negotiated with Douglass’ owner and purchased his freedom. 

Here, Douglass describes his return from England to Boston aboard Cunard’s British Steamship Cambria, his joyous reunion with his wife and children, and the racism he faced during the voyage. Prior to boarding, treatment of Douglass by Cunard ticket agents had already sparked outrage in the United Kingdom, where such overt discrimination was more unusual. Reports such as this after his voyage furthered the reaction. Samuel Cunard issued a public apology.

Item #27434, $450,000
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