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“MEN OF COLOR To Arms! To Arms!”

Frederick Douglass, Broadside. “Men of Color / To Arms! To Arms!” Philadelphia: U.S. Steam-Power Book and Job Printing Establishment, Ledger Buildings, Third and Chestnut Streets, [ca. mid-June to mid-July, 1863.] Signed in type by Frederick Douglass and 54 others, including many prominent African American citizens. 1 p., 44 x 87 in.; framed to 48 x 94 in.

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A monumental Frederick Douglass Civil War recruiting broadside.

This most dramatic and important recruiting poster signals a seismic shift in policy. African American men had joined Union forces in limited numbers from the start of the Civil War, but it took Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, to officially allow, encourage, and remove barriers to their enlistment.

Item #22552, $320,000

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

Jackie Robinson Explains Why He Cannot Support Nixon in 1968

JACKIE ROBINSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ken Browne, ca. September 17, 1968. On “Jackie Robinson” stationery with stamped, postmarked envelope addressed by Robinson. 2 pp., 8½ x 7¼ in.

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This remarkable letter to an autograph collector reveals Robinson’s commitment to Civil Rights over his commitment to the Republican Party. Although he supported Richard Nixon in 1960, he refused to support Barry Goldwater in 1964. In 1968, Nixon’s pandering to South Carolina’s fiercely segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond (1902-2003) repelled Robinson. Although Robinson had supported New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s candidacy for the Republican nomination, Robinson declared in a television interview that the Nixon ticket was “racist in nature” and that Nixon had “prostituted himself out to the bigots in the south.” Robinson also declared that he would remain a Republican and urged African Americans to “stay in the Republican party and try to change it.”

Item #25679, $29,000

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 p., 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 pp., 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, ON HOLD

Frederick Douglass Rejects Colonization in Rare Issue of His Abolitionist Newspaper, The North Star

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Newspaper, The North Star, June 2, 1848 (Volume I, No. 23). [Rochester, NY: John Dick]. 4 pp., 18 x 24½ in.

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We have as much right to stay here as he has… I want to say to our white friends, that we, colored folks, have had the subject under careful consideration, and have decided to stay! I want to say to any colonization friends here, that they may give their minds no further uneasiness on our account, for our minds are made up.”

Item #23348.01, $17,500

Eleanor Roosevelt on the Meaning of Civil Rights

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to “Harry,” Washington, D.C., February 19, 1944. 2 pp., 6¼ x 9¼ in. On White House stationery.

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“Something has to happen to people’s souls before they are going to give the rights of citizenship to all the people of our country, regardless of color or creed. That does not mean you have to ask them to dinner. It only means giving them the rights that go with citizenship.”

Item #23592, $15,000

The Amistad: an Arresting Engraving of the Revolt

[AMISTAD], Broadside Print, Death of Capt. Ferrer, the Captain of the Amistad, July, 1839. Original hand coloring. Originally appeared with an 1840 New Haven Pamphlet, A History of the Amistad Captives...Also An Account of the Trials.

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Item #21957, $15,000

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, $8,500

Frederick Douglass’ Incredible Speech to Free Soil Party Convention on the Fugitive Slave Law

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Newspaper, Frederick Douglass’s Paper, Vol. V, No. 35. Rochester, August 20, 1852. 4 pp. 19 x 26-1/4 in. Inner masthead with the paper’s motto “All Rights for All!,” text in seven columns; some soiling and marginal chips and tears, small loss at central intersecting folds not affecting Douglass’ text.

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“The only way to make the Fugitive Slave Law a dead letter is to make half a dozen or more dead kidnappers….

“The man who takes the office of a bloodhound ought to be treated as a bloodhound; and I believe that the lines of eternal justice are sometimes so obliterated by a course of long continued oppression that it is necessary to revive them by deepening their traces with the blood of a tyrant….

“Human government is for the protection of rights; and when human government destroys human rights, it ceases to be a government, and becomes a foul and blasting conspiracy; and is entitled to no respect whatever…

Numbers [votes] should not be looked to so much as right. The man who is right is a majority. He who has God and conscience on his side, has a majority against the universe. Though he does not represent the present state, he represents the future state. If he does not represent what we are, he represents what we ought to be…”

Item #26141, $7,500

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

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 offered as part of 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

[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

The Emancipation Proclamation, Gen. Orders No. 1, First Edition of First War Department Printing, Bound with First Editions of Gen. Orders 2-201, Jan. to June 1863

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Printed Document. Emancipation Proclamation. Signed in type by Lincoln, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas. General Order No. 1, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington January 2, 1863, 3pp., intended for all military commanders in the field. Dated in print January 2, but, consistent with the time it normally took for military orders to be published, it likely came out closer to January 7. Earlier separate printings are very seldom available. (Eberstadt: Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation # 12.)

Bound together for Army paymaster Major N.S. Brinton with a 26-page handwritten subject index followed by separately printed and paginated orders from Jan. 1 to June 30, 1863. Brinton or a clerk apparently wrote the index as the orders were received. Since a printed index would have been available soon after the last order, it was likely bound in 1863. This sammelband also contains General Orders Affecting the Volunteer Force, Adjutant General’s Office, 1862. Washington: Government Printing office, [ca. March] 1863, with printed subject index, pp I – LVI, and pages 1-158.

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“All persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free.”

Also Bound with an 1863 Compilation of General Orders Affecting the Volunteer Force… for Jan. to June 1862, including the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Item #23692, $4,500

“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, $3,750

Fascinating 1980s Notes by Eldridge Cleaver, Former Black Panther Radical Become Conservative Republican

ELDRIDGE CLEAVER, Archive of notes for speeches and other notes, ca. 1980-1987. 29 pp., various sizes, most on cardstock, 5 x 7 in. to 6⅝ x 9¾ in.

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Some American poet has said, Send me men to match my mountains. How embarrassing to reflect on that today. Are even the volcanoes in our blood extinct?

These notes illustrate the life and views of Eldridge Cleaver in the 1980s, far removed from the Black Panther revolutionary of the 1960s. He espouses a conservative political ethic based on the positive vision of the Founding Fathers and a virulent opposition to communism, a trait he shared with evangelicals, Mormons, and Moon’s Unification Church. While he had been a strong opponent of Governor Ronald Reagan in the 1960s, Cleaver here praises President Reagan as the “No. 1 Freedom Fighter” in the 1980s. Looking back to the Monroe Doctrine, he strongly calls for free trade and open borders, eventually leading to unification of all the Americas.

A collection of his handwritten notes and drafts of speeches, lectures, and letters to the editor, together with a few more routine pages listing contacts and notes from newspaper reading.

Item #25332, $3,750

A Dredful Decision, First Edition

BENJAMIN C. HOWARD, Book. 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, D.C.: Cornelius Wendell, 1857. With two ownership signatures of “John R. Slack / Sept. 1857.” Slack was a N.J. attorney who had previously helped win a fugitive slave case. First edition. Fine condition. 239 pp. 5½ x 8¾ in.

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In Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), the Supreme Court declared that blacks could not be United States citizens and that the 1820 Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. The decision inflamed sectional tensions and helped trigger the Civil War. The decision was published simultaneously in New York and Washington, D.C. Both are considered the First Edition. In his “House Divided” Speech, Lincoln replied that the decision did “obvious violence to the plain unmistakable language” of the Declaration of Independence and our other founding documents.

Item #22178, $3,500

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

New York’s Last Personal Liberty Law: Anti-Fugitive Slave Clause, With Connection to Solomon Northup

[SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE], New York Assembly. “An Act More effectually to protect the free citizens of this state from being kidnapped or reduced to slavery,” Victory Birdseye, May 1, 1840. 2 pp., 6⅞ x 12⅜ in.

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Whenever the governor of this state shall receive information satisfactory to him, that any free citizen or inhabitant of this state, has been kidnapped and transported away out of this state…for the purpose of being there held in slavery;…it shall be the duty of the said governor to take such measures as he shall deem necessary to procure such person to be restored to his liberty and returned to this state.

Item #23389.01, $3,250
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