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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 Signs Check to the Cornell University Black Alumni Association

ALEX HALEY, Signed Check, June 9, 1989. Drawn on the First Tennessee Bank in Knoxville. To “Cornell Univ. Black Alumni Assn.”. With “donation” in the memo field.

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Item #20432.04, $500

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

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

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

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

Virginia Brief Supporting Segregation in Companion case to Brown v. Board of Education

[CIVIL RIGHTS], Pamphlet. Supreme Court of the United States. October Term, 1953. Dorothy E. Davis, Et Al,, Appellants, v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia, Et al., Appellees. Appeal From the United States District Court For the Eastern District of Virginia. Brief for Appellees in Reply to Supplemental Brief for the United States on Reargument. [Richmond, Virginia: Lewis Printing Company], December 7, 1953. Original printed title wrappers, as issued. 22pp.

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Item #25147, $650

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

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

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, $1,750

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

Blanche Bruce, The First Full-term African American U.S. Senator Signs a Deed

BLANCHE BRUCE, Document Signed. Land deed. Washington, D.C. August 1, 1890. Signature panel 8¼ x 3½ in., overall dimensions 8¼ x 14 in.

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Blanche Bruce was the first full-term African American to serve in the U.S. Senate, 1875-1881. He was then appointed by President James Garfield as Register of the U.S. Treasury in 1881. He later served as the Washington, D.C. Recorder of Deeds (a position earlier held by Frederick Douglass), 1890-1893 and again as Register of the Treasury from 1897 until his death in 1898.

Item #22945.24, $125

Frederick Douglass Signed Deed

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Document Signed as recorder of deeds, Washington, D.C., 1881-1886. Approx. 3½ x 8½” folded. Sample Frame pictured.

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While Douglass’s letters are scarce, documents signed during his tenure as recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia can be had very reasonably.

Item #20409, $1,250

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

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, $1,000

Lincoln Reads the Emancipation Proclamation to His Cabinet

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Print. The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation Before the Cabinet. Engraved by Alexander Hay Ritchie, after 1864 painting of Francis Bicknell Carpenter. New York: Alexander H. Ritchie, 1866. 36 x 24 in.

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An engraving by Alexander Hay Ritchie commemorates the moment Lincoln first presented the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet.

Item #25617.02, $1,950

Democratic Broadside Shows
the Limitations of Reconstruction

[RECONSTRUCTION; RACISM], Broadside. “Democratic National Union - No Negro Suffrage” [Ohio, 1866], 3” x 11”, 1 p.

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Typical of the populist racism characterizing Democratic Party politics immediately after the Civil War, this party ticket contains the names of local candidates for office, including Brevet Brigadier General Benjamin Lefevre. A native Ohioan, Lefevre served throughout the war, entering politics when peace was declared, but only after breaking an engagement with a Southern belle. He served as a congressman from Ohio throughout reconstruction.

Item #20537, $360

“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
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