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“George Washington” - Keith Carter Photograph

[GEORGE WASHINGTON]. KEITH CARTER, Photograph. Child holds his copy of Gilbert Stuart’s famous “Athenaeum” portrait of George Washington. 1990. Number 6 of 50, 15 x 15 in.

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Item #25394, $4,800

Alex Haley Signed Check

ALEX HALEY, Signed Check, September 20, 1988. Drawn on the First Tennessee Bank in Knoxville. To “Patricia Alexander”. With “Love!” in the memo field and on the back is her endorsement and a note that says “Thanks!”.

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Item #20432.02, $350

Arthur Ashe’s United Negro College Fund Benefit Silver Bowl Trophy

[ARTHUR ASHE], United Negro College Fund Silver Bowl, October 1977. Inscribed “UNCF- Arthur Ashe 3rd Annual Tennis Benefit / [sponsor] Burger King Corporation” 8 x 3¾ in.

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Item #25681, $3,400

Jackie Robinson says a talk radio host “needs to do a lot of soul searching.”

JACKIE ROBINSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Jon Anthony Dosa, ca. 1968-1969. Written on letterhead of St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco. 2 pp., 7¼ x 10½ in.

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He needs to do a lot of soul searching for he is the kind of guy we fear. His opportunity to spread his views and his cleverness will continue to be a stumbling block before we reach peace here at home.

Item #25009, $5,500

1966 Civil Rights Charge of Discrimination Form

[CIVIL RIGHTS], Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Blank Charge of Discrimination form, 1966, Washington, DC. 3 pp., 8½ x 14 in.

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The form outlines how to file a charge of discrimination, “pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” provides information on how the commission works, and explains how to fill out the form. It includes an attached blank form that could be removed along the perforated edge.

Item #26464, $350

Lyndon B. Johnson Signing Pen for Voting Rights Act of 1965

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, “One of the pens used by the President, August 6, 1965, in signing S. 1564, An Act to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes,” per original printed slip in original box. Clear barrel pen, “The President-The Whitehouse” printed in white, with “Esterbrook” on the nib, 6⅜ in. long. With additional artifacts.

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This artifact came from Arnold “Pappy” Noel (1922-2009), a longtime news photographer who at that time was in the Public Affairs Office of the Secretary of Defense. Noel earned his nickname in World War II as a B-29 tail gunner. After the war and his retirement, he joined United Press International as a newsreel and still photographer, filming presidential and White House events, marches on Washington and Selma, fires and riots in Washington and Detroit, and early NASA events. At the 1968 Democratic Convention, he became part of the story when he was injured and arrested for refusing to hand over his film of “excessive abuse of law enforcement agents towards demonstrators.” He was president of the White House Press Photographers Association for two years, leaving the press corps to work as a public affairs assistant to President Ford.

Item #27655, $20,000

Selma, Alabama Hotel Albert Archive, Including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Freedom Day” Registration Filled Out Moments Before He was Violently Assaulted

[Selma Hotel Archive], More than 300 individual receipts printed with “Hotel Albert, Selma Alabama” heading, itemized with room rates, and charges for phone calls, meals, and other details, for Martin Luther King, Jr. and many Civil Rights leaders, advocates, opponents, and government agents. Each approx. 5½ x 8 in. Spanning roughly 20 months, from November 1964 through June 1966, and representing a “who’s who” of notable Civil Rights leaders, specifically centered around the Selma, Alabama campaign for voting rights. With eight Hotel Albert room keys on branded leather or plastic fobs, a late-19th-century brochure illustrating the hotel in its heyday, and an early-20th-century photographic postcard of the hotel taken during a fire.

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Relating to the events that led to Dr. King’s jailing and his famous essay in defense of nonviolent protest, “A letter from a Selma, Alabama jail”; the horrifying “Bloody Sunday” that ended on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7; the subsequent March to Montgomery on March 17; and the crucial events that culminated in the Voting Rights Act of August 1965.

The Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 6, 1964, prohibited the segregation of public facilities. Despite this law, concerted efforts continued to keep Jim Crow alive. On the day the Civil Rights Act became law, John Lewis led 50 Black citizens to the Selma, Alabama, courthouse to register to vote. County sheriff Jim Clark, whose posse of 200 deputies included members of the Ku Klux Klan and the National States’ Rights Party, arrested them. A few days later, a local court issued an (unconstitutional) injunction that forbade more than two people at a time to talk about civil rights or voter registration in Selma, which succeeded in suppressing civil rights and voting rights activity for the next six months.

It was against this backdrop that a local group, the “Courageous Eight” requested assistance from Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). On January 2, 1965, in defiance of the injunction, King addressed a large meeting held in Selma’s Brown Chapel. Preparations for mass voter registration commenced over the next two weeks. King called President Johnson on January 15; they agreed to plan a massive voting rights registration, which would also support the Johnson administration’s “War on Poverty.”

On the first “Freedom Day” of the new campaign, January 18, 1965, King returned to Selma. Arriving at the Hotel Albert, he signed in to room 202 as “Martin Luther King, Jr., 563 Johnson Ave., Atlanta, Ga.,” becoming the first African-American guest of the hotel which had been built by slave labor in the nineteenth century. He spent one night there at a $5 daily rate and was billed for three local phone calls and breakfast. (See image above.)

While checking in, King was assaulted by a member of the National States’ Rights Party. According to the Jim Crow Museum, James George Robinson “attacked King for trying to register at the Hotel Albert, a formerly whites-only business in Selma, Alabama. He punched King several times, and before black onlookers intervened, kicked him in the groin. King refused to press charges. Two months later, Robinson was arrested for beating a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) photographer.”

John Lewis, a member of the SNCC, later said, “It was the closest I’ve ever come to laying down my non-violence. I found out that day, even I have limits.” That same day, King and four hundred marchers set off from Brown’s A&E Chapel to the County Courthouse in Selma to protest illegal voting rights practices being committed against African Americans in the Southern United States.

Item #27578, $24,000

Senator Sprague of Rhode Island Writes About Fascinating Debates in Congress Involving Freedom for the Families of African American Recruits and the Limits of Free Speech in the Senate

[AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS], William Sprague, Autograph Letter Signed, to William D. Ely, January 28, 1864, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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a discussion upon a section of a Malitia bill freeing the wife & children of the slave that enlist will occupy most if not all the day.

Item #26531, $1,250

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail in Liberation Magazine

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in Liberation: An Independent Monthly, June 1963, New York. 32 pp.

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This issue of Liberation magazine includes the full text of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written on April 16, 1963, when King was jailed for disobeying a judge’s blanket injunction against “parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing and picketing.” King and other civil rights protestors were arrested on April 12.

A supporter smuggled a copy of an April 12 newspaper to him, which included an open letter entitled “A Call for Unity.” Written by eight white Birmingham clergymen, representing Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish congregations, the letter opposed events “directed and led in part by outsiders” and urged local African Americans to negotiate and use the courts if they were denied their rights, rather than protest. These clergymen agreed that social injustices existed but insisted that the battle against racial segregation should take place in the courts and not in the streets.

Provoked by the letter from fellow clergymen, King began to write a response in the margins of the newspaper itself. He continued the letter on scraps of paper supplied by a supportive African American fellow inmate who served as a trustee and finished the nearly 6,000-word letter on a pad provided by his attorneys. Walter Reuther, the president of the United Auto Workers, arranged to pay $160,000 to bail out King and other jailed protestors.

Item #27490.01, $4,500

President Kennedy Sends a Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute to Civil Rights Leader A. Philip Randolph

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Two Typed Drafts of a Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., sent to Civil Rights Activist Asa Philip Randolph. Two pages, one on light blue White House telegram stationary, each 8 x 10 inches. The first, Washington, [D.C.], January 27, 1961. The second, with holographic emendations signed “Kennedy” undated, but circa January 27, 1961.

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Dr. King has Labored at Best to advance the Principles of Equal Justice under Law for all Americans and Equal access to all the Opportunities of our Society

Item #27577, $30,000

Elmer W. Henderson – Who Defeated Railroad Dining Car Segregation – Congratulates African American Inventor for American Institute of Chemists Award

ELMER W. HENDERSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Lloyd Augustus Hall, January 15, 1958, Washington, DC. On “Congress of the United States / Committee on Government Operations / House of Representatives” letterhead. 1 p., 6 x 9 in.

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Congressional attorney Elmer W. Henderson, a hero of the early civil rights movement, congratulates African American chemist Lloyd A. Hall for a recent professional honor. In 1955, Hall also became the first African American elected to the National Board of Directors of the American Institute of Chemists (AIC). The following year, the AIC awarded Hall the Honor Scroll Award. On special occasions, the AIC invites a prominent chemist or chemical engineer to lecture to the Members and Fellows of the AIC on a topic of professional interest. In September 1957, Hall delivered a lecture on “The Chemist and the AIC,” likely the occasion for this congratulatory letter from Henderson a few months later.

Item #26468, $450

Martin Luther King Jr. Inscribes Stride Toward Freedom to Pioneer Civil Rights Leader A. Philip Randolph

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., Signed Copy of Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, first edition. Inscribed to A. Philip Randolph. With Randolph’s annotations. New York: Harper and Row, 1958. 224 pp.

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To my dear Friend A. Philip Randolph.

     In appreciation of the standards of loyalty, honesty, non-violence, and the will to endure that you have held before all people in the struggle for freedom justice, and democracy.

Martin

A remarkable association of two key leaders of the Civil Rights movement, highlighting not only their similarities but also areas of disagreement. It offers important insights into their views at a critical moment in the fight for African-American equality. King’s book, with a rich personal inscription, was transformed by Randolph into a sort of dialog between them by his copious annotations, making this volume one of if not the most important King-signed book in existence.

Randolph annotated or marked 69 of the volume’s 224 pages. He underlined passages he found particularly powerful, and commented in the margins, echoing or amplifying King’s words.

Item #27430, $200,000

Gerald Ford Defends His Early Commitment to Civil Rights

GERALD R. FORD, Typed Letter Signed, to Arthur F. Bukowski, January 28, 1950, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 8 x 10½ in. On Ford’s Congressional letterhead.

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This fascinating letter by freshman Congressman and future president Gerald R. Ford to a Catholic college president in Michigan defends his early record on civil rights legislation.

Personally, I have lived by and believe in the fundamental principle of equality of opportunity regardless of race, color or creed. I am in favor of such a policy for all citizens and will cooperate to accomplish that objective by the most practical and effective methods.

Item #26024, $1,200

Dewey Attacks FDR’s Running Mate Harry Truman for Alleged Ku Klux Klan Ties

[THOMAS E. DEWEY], Poster. Anti-Truman “Vote for Dewey: Kill the Klan” Presidential Election Poster, picturing Truman in a Ku Klux Klan robe with a lynching party in the background. 1944. 1 p., 28 x 41 in.

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I should be very happy to run with Harry Truman. He’ll bring real strength to the ticket!

This anti-Klan message would not have helped Dewey in the South; white southerners voted solidly Democratic from 1876 through 1964, while African Americans were prevented from voting. So, this poster was meant to appeal to Catholic and immigrant voters, whom the Klan targeted, as well as to black voters in northern cities.

Item #26053, $1,900

William Monroe Trotter - the first African American to earn a Phi Beta Kappa key at Harvard - pushes a petition calling for mercy for still imprisoned soldiers of the 24th US Colored Infantry

WILLIAM MONROE TROTTER, Typed Letter Signed, to Albert P. Wadleigh, Boston, February 1, 1924. With a blank printed petition to President Calvin Coolidge, and an envelope to return the petition to the National Equal Rights League in Boston. 2 pp.

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To free by pardon or on parole the Colored soldiers of the gallant 24th in Fort Leavenworth federal prison already so long for retaliation, poorly proven or not proven at all, against goading insult and provocation and insult to women of their race. We do now ask whether you will grant this special plea for clemency.

The Secretary of the National Equal Rights League writes to a Massachusetts state senator asking for his support for clemency for black soldiers imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth. The drive on behalf of soldiers convicted of participation in the 1917 Houston riot, resulted in 124,000 signatures, and reduction in the sentences of the 54 soldiers still in prison. (19 of the soldiers had already been executed).

Item #24171, $2,500

Swedish immigrant uses racist “Pickaninny” imagery on a hand-painted envelope

[AFRICAN AMERICAN]. GUSTAF NORDSTROM, Handmade Postal Cover, to Frederick Nordstrom, February [25], 1902, Brooklyn, New York. 1 p., 11½ x 5 in.

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Swedish sign painter in New York uses racial stereotypes on envelope to tell his brother in Florida that he misses him.

Item #25043, $650

16 x 20 Inch Photograph of St. Augustine, Florida, African American Cart Driver

[FLORIDA], George Barker, Albumen Print of African American cart driver at City Gate, St. Augustine, Florida, ca. 1889. On original mount, with photographer’s Niagara Falls backstamp. 1 p., 16 x 20 in.

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Canadian photographer George Barker was one of the first professional photographers to visit Florida. In the late 1880s, he documented the landscapes and people of northern and central Florida. Barker took this large-format photograph of an African American cartman at the city gate of St. Augustine.

Item #24249, $1,000

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

President Grant Preliminary Order Seeking to End Ku Klux Klan Violence in South Carolina

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Manuscript Document Signed, as President, directing Secretary of State Hamilton Fish to “affix the seal of the United States to the accompanying Proclamation commanding the persons composing certain unlawful combinations in the State of South Carolina to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes.” Washington, D.C. March 24, 1871, 1 p., 7.75 x 9.75 in.

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Accompanied by a modern printing of the text of Grant’s proclamation:

“Whereas it is provided in the Constitution that the United States shall protect every state in the Union… and …Whereas I have received information that combinations of armed men, unauthorized by law, are now disturbing the peace and safety of the citizens of the State of South Carolina and committing acts of violence … which render the power of the State and its officers unequal to the task of protecting live and property and securing public order therein…”ordering members of the Ku Klux Klan to “disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days…”

Item #27741, $7,500

New Hampshire Ridicules South Carolina’s Attempts
to Game the System After Rejecting the 14th Amendment

[AFRICAN AMERICAN], Broadside. “Part of a Speech of the N. H. “Champion of Democracy” on the Negro Question,” no place, [New Hampshire], c. 1867. 1 p., 9½ x 13½ in.

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Item #22840, $1,250
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