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John Brown’s “Fort” as Tourist Attraction

[JOHN BROWN], Photograph of “John Brown’s Fort,” [William C. Russell] ca. 1888-1891. Baltimore: Russell & Co. 9¼ x 7 in.

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Item #27079.99, $1,850

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

Congressmen Who Signed Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing Slavery

[THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT], Photomontage of the Congressional supporters of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States. Composite oval albumen photograph, 13¾ x 16 in., credited in negative, on the original mount, 18⅛ x 20¼ in. New York: G. M. Powell and Co., 1865. Manuscript annotation on verso: “George May Powell / Great National Picture / Photograph of Members of United States House of Representatives and the Senate who voted Aye on Resolution to amend the Constitution of the United States so as to prohibit slavery. Passed Senate April 1864. Passed House of Representatives January 1866 [1865]. Abraham Lincoln – president.”

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Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,...shall exist within the United States....

Item #27106, $1,950

Saving Free-Born African American from Life of Slavery

[SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE], New York Senate. “An Act To remunerate James Bennett for expenses incurred and services rendered in procuring the release of Anthony Adams, a colored citizen of this State, from imprisonment in the jail of Edenton, North Carolina, to prevent him from being sold into slavery,” Edward M. Madden, February 28, 1857, Passed April 15, 1857. 1 p., 6½ x 11⅞ in. , 4/15/1857.

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Item #23389.06, $2,500

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

“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

“Black bellied Yankees” at The Battle of Fort Blakely

FREDERICK MORTIMER CRANDAL, Autograph Letter Signed, to Julian E. Bryant. “Up the Alabama,” April 25, 1865. 4 pp.

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A Union colonel, in command of the 48th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops, writes to his friend, Col. Julian E. Bryant, of the 46th Regiment of U.S.C.T., recounting his regiment’s  part in the Battle of Fort Blakely. “We have had hard marching & hard fighting. A week in trenches & a successful charge. The ‘Black bellied Yankee’ made their mark … everyone gives us credit for doing well & I think we did excellently well.My loss was not very heavy, not over thirty all told. The other Regts in my Brigade suffered much more severely on the last charge, I being held in reserve & not being under fire but a few moments, they did gallantly…

Item #21813, $3,000

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

Rare New York Senate Print of Proposed State Law to Combat the Dred Scott Decision

SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE, New York Senate. “An Act To secure Freedom to all persons within this State,” Edward M. Madden, April 9, 1857, Passed the Assembly on April 17; failed in the Senate. Printed with numbered lines for the use of the Senate. 1 p., 6.5 x 11.5 in.

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Every slave … who shall come or be brought, or be involuntarily in this state shall be free.

Item #23389.07, $3,500

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

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

Bold Cartoon on Fugitive Slave Law

[Slavery], E. C. [possibly Edward Williams Clay], “Practical Illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law,” Political Cartoon, 1851. 1 p., 15 x 11½ in.

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This political cartoon vividly illustrates the conflicts over the operation of the strengthened Fugitive Slave Law, passed by Congress as part of the Compromise of 1850. At the left, an African-American woman cries, “Oh Massa Garrison, protect me!!!” Beside her stand abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, armed with pistols. Garrison reassures her, “Do’nt be alarmed Susanna you’re safe enough.” At center right, a figure representing the slave interests rides atop Daniel Webster, a chief architect of the Compromise, who is down on his hands and knees. The figure says, “Do’nt back out Webster, if you do we’re ruin’d,” and Webster, clutching the Constitution, responds, “This, though Constitutional, is extremely disagreeable.” Another proslavery figure carries large volumes labeled “Law & Gospel” and declares, “We will give these fellows a touch of Old South Carolina,” while another says, “I goes in for Law & Order.” In the background, from the “Temple of Liberty” wave two flags with the inscriptions, “A day, an hour, of virtuous Liberty, is worth an age of Servitude” and “All men are born free & equal.

The artist "E.C." is possibly Edward Williams Clay, but cataloging at the Library of Congress concludes that “the signature, the expressive animation of the figures, and especially the political viewpoint are, however, uncharacteristic of Clay.”

Item #27427, $4,500

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

[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

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

“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

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

The Dreadful Dred Scott Decision, First Edition with Added Illustrations

[Slavery], Report of the Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Opinions of the Judges thereof, in the Case of Dred Scott versus John F.A. Sandford, December Term, 1856., Washington, DC: 239 pp. With engraved portraits of Dred and Harriet Scott from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 27, 1857, inserted on lined blue paper, a portrait of Scott's daughters pasted on page 633, a few early ink annotations. Published simultaneously in New York and Washington, D.C., both are considered the First Edition.

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In Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote for a 6-2 majority, declaring that all blacks, slaves as well as free, were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The court also declared the 1820 Missouri Compromise, and any law that prohibited slavery in a territory, to be unconstitutional, and that slaves did not become free when taken into free territory.

Item #26591, $6,000

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
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