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July 8, 1776 – The First Book Printing of the Declaration of Independence, and One of the First Printings

[Declaration of Independence], “In Congress, July 4, 1776. A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled,” pp. 41–46. Printed immediately after The Genuine Principles of the Ancient Saxon, or English Constitution. Carefully collected from the best Authorities; with some Observations, on their Peculiar Fitness, for the United Colonies in General, and Pennsylvania in Particular. By Demophilus. Philadelphia: Printed, and Sold, by Robert Bell, [July 8,] 1776, as dated by the terminal advertisement leaf.

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Very rare. According to Sotheby’s, “while there are copies . . . in a number of major libraries and historical societies, only three other copies have appeared at auction since the Streeter sale” of 1967.

Item #26587.99, $450,000

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, $245,000

General Washington Orders Declaration of Independence Read to Army in New York

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Manuscript Orderly Book. Headquarters [New York City], [July 8, 1776 – August 21, 1776]. Containing two overlapping sequences in different hands: one 145-page sequence runs from July [9], 1776 to August 21, 1776, and another 13-page segment (written from the other end of the book) runs from July 8-13, 1776. 158 pp. 7½ x 6 in. Both versions vary slightly from the published text of Washington’s General Orders of July 9. This volume, with Brigade and Regimental orders, was either kept by battalion adjutant Aaron Comstock or an orderly sergeant in one of Gold S. Silliman’s eight companies enlisted in Connecticut shortly before. This is likely the battalion’s first orderly book after arriving in New York with approximately 415 men.

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the Honble Continental Congress … haveing been plead to Desolve Connection Between this country & great Britain & to declare the united Colonys of North America free & Independent States the Several Brigades are to be Drawn us [up] this Evening on their Respective Parades at 6 oclock when the Deleration of Congress Shewing the grounds & Reasons of the Measures to be Read with Laudable [audible] Voice the genl [George Washington] Hopes that this important Point will serve as a fresh incentive to Every officer and soldier to act with fidelity & courage as knowing that now the Peace and Safety of this country Depends under god solely on the success of our arms....” (July 9, 1776)

the gel being informed to his great surprize that a Report prevails & Industrously spread far and wide that Lord how [British General Lord William Howe] has made <145> Propositions of Peace Calculated by disguiseing Persons most Probably To Lull us into a fatal Security his Duty obliges him to Declare that No such offer has been made by Lord how but on the Contrarary from the Best inteligence he can Procure the army may Expect atack as soon as the wind and tide proves favorable He hopes theirfore every mans mind & arms may be Prepared for action and when caled to it shew our enemies & the whole world that free men Contendin for their own Land are Superior to any Mercenaries on Earth.... (August 20, 1776)

Remarkable manuscript book containing two separate versions of Washington’s General Orders of July 9, 1776, announcing to the Continental Army in New York that Congress had formally declared the 13 colonies to be independent of Great Britain. Of course, Washington’s name is notably absent on the Declaration of Independence, as he was in New York preparing to face the music of the inevitable British invasion.

Item #21461.99, $115,000

One of the Earliest Announcements of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, The Pennsylvania Magazine; Or American Monthly Museum for January-July, 1776. Philadelphia: Robert Aitken. [5]-344pp.

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A bound volume containing a remarkable issue—one of the most historic magazines ever printed.

July 2.  This day the Hon. Continental Congress declared the UNITED COLONIES FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES.

Item #21422.99, $48,000

Unique Inscribed Set of John Marshall’s Life of George Washington, With Joseph Story Letter to the Daughter of the Late Associate Justice Henry Brockholst Livingston, Conveying Marshall’s Thanks and Noting That He Will Be Sending to Her These Very Books

JOHN MARSHALL, Inscribed books, signed “The Author.” The Life of George Washington, Commander in Chief of the American Forces, During the War which Established the Independence of his Country, and First President of the United States, Compiled under the Inspection of the Honourable Bushrod Washington, From Original Papers Bequeathed to him by his Deceased Relative, 2 vols. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1832. 2nd Edition, Revised and Corrected by the Author. Volumes I – II bound in red quarter leather spine and brown leather, each inscribed and signed, “For Mrs. Ledyard with the profound respect of The Author.” John Marshall’s magisterial biography of George Washington was originally a five-volume set. This 1832 publication was revised by Marshall and issued in two volumes, with a companion volume of Revolutionary War maps: Atlas to Marshall’s Life of Washington, Philadelphia: J. Crissy, [1832], 10 hand-colored maps, bound in red quarter leather with original blue boards. With scarce printed errata for Volume I laid in, and manuscript errata for Vol II. The letter requires conservation.

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Item #26161, $27,500

Early Printing of the Original Twelve Articles of the Bill of Rights

[BILL OF RIGHTS], Acts Passed at the First [-Third] Session of the Congress of the United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the Fourth of March, in the Year M,DCC,LXXXIX. Philadelphia: Printed by Francis Childs and John Swaine, 1791. 3 volumes bound in one, 8vo (368 x 305 mm, uncut). Library stamp on B1 of the first session, repair to lower right corner of Yy4 in the third session. Modern quarter morocco over marbled boards.

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Early reprint of Childs and Swaine’s first official printing, which was issued in New York in 1789. This issue appeared in Philadelphia after the nation’s capital was moved there, and the printers had set up shop. All early printings are scarce, especially those of the first three sessions.

Item #26629.99, $20,000

California Constitution First Printing in Book Form–One of Earliest Printings in San Francisco

[CALIFORNIA], Constitution of the State of California. San Francisco: Office of the Alta California, 1849. 16 pp., 5¾ x 9⅝ in.

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We, the People of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution.” (p3)

Art. I, “Sec. 18. Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State.” (p4)

Item #26586.99, $17,500

South Carolina’s Reconstruction Governor’s Copy of Reconstruction Acts, Including Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment

[RECONSTRUCTION ERA], Acts of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, Passed at the Special Session of 1868. Columbia, SC: John W. Denny, 1868. First Edition. Contemporary red morocco gilt, spine in 5 compartments with 4 raised bands, gilt lettering in 2, gilt decorations in others. “Gov. R. K. Scott” in gilt lettering on front board. 165 pp., 6 x 8⅞ in.

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Excerpt
Therefore, resolved, That the said proposed amendment to the Constitution be, and the same is hereby, ratified by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina.” (July 9, 1868)

it shall be the duty of the State Superintendent of Education, to provide, through the School Commissioner of each County, for the enumeration of all the unmarried youth of the State, between the ages of five and eighteen years, classifying them as colored and white, male and female, and he shall report the same through the Governor of the State to the General Assembly at its next regular session.” (September 15, 1868)

Item #27064.01, $9,500

The Psalms of David, Carried in a Rhode Island Revolutionary War Unit in 1776

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR; RHODE ISLAND]. ISAAC WATTS, Book. The Psalms of David, Imitated in the Language of the New Testament: and Applied to the Christian State and Worship (title supplied). Norwich, [Connecticut]: Alexander Robertson, James Robertson, and Trumbull, 1774. Approx. 300 pp., 3 x 5 x 1¼ in.

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Bibles, psalm books, or other printed works carried during the Revolution are rare on the market. This edition appears to be scarce: the last offering we find was by Goodspeed’s in 1934.

Item #24693, ON HOLD

1865 General Orders,
Including Many Regarding Lincoln’s Assassination

[CIVIL WAR - WAR DEPARTMENT], Book. Bound collection of separately printed General Orders from the Adjutant General’s office for 1865. Containing 168 of 175 consecutive orders, and a 94-page index at front. Bound for Major General William Scott Ketchum, with his name in gilt on the spine and his markings or wartime notes on numerous pages. 4¾ x 7 in.

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Item #22265, $4,800

Hand-Made Union Patriotic and Religious Song Book

[CIVIL WAR], Manuscript Pen and Ink Folk Art Song Book, ca. 1864. 24 pp., 6⅝ x 8 in.

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This hand-sewn booklet contains eight songs popular during the Civil War era, with music and lyrics in calligraphy. Songs include “On a Green Grassy Noll” by J. D. Canning, with music by Ira Odell; “The Old Mountain Tree” by James G. Clark; “Harmonian Waltz”; “Year of Jubilee, or Kingdom has Come!”; “Squire Jones’s Daughter”; “The Sweet Birds Are Singing”; “Lament of the Irish Emigrant”; and “Soon and For Ever,” by J. B. Monsell. The last page of the booklet is dated February 21, 1864.

Item #24826, $4,500

Acquittal of Printer John Peter Zenger in Colonial New York Establishes Foundation for American Freedom of the Press

[JOHN PETER ZENGER], The Trial of John Peter Zenger, Of New-York, Printer: Who was charged with having printed and published a Libel against the Government; and acquitted. With a Narrative of his Case. To which is now added, being never printed before, The Trial of Mr. William Owen, Bookseller, near Temple-Bar, Who was also Charged with the Publication of a Libel against the Government; of which he was honourably acquitted by a Jury of Free-born Englishmen, Citizens of London, 1st ed. London: John Almon, 1765. Three-quarter olive calf, red morocco spine label, stamped in blind and in gilt, over marbled paper-covered boards; some sunning to leather; all edges trimmed. 60 pp., 5 x 8.25 in.

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It is not the cause of a poor printer...it is the cause of liberty.

This volume, printed in London three decades after John Peter Zenger’s trial, illustrates the continuing relevance of his acquittal to the freedom of the press. The volume also includes the story of William Owen, a London bookseller, who had been prosecuted for libel at the request of the House of Commons in 1752. Like Zenger, Owen was also acquitted by a jury.

John Almon, a publisher and bookseller known for his commitment to the freedom of the press, printed the volume as part of his challenge to governmental censorship of the press. In the same year that Almon published this pamphlet, the attorney general prosecuted him for the publication of a pamphlet entitled Juries and Libels, but the prosecution failed.

Item #27745, $3,500

Justice William Paterson Hold State Law Unconstitutional in Charge to Jury

WILLIAM PATERSON, The Charge of Judge Paterson to the Jury in the Case of Vanhorne’s Lessee against Dorrance: Tried at a Circuit Court for the United States held at Philadelphia, April Term 1795: Wherein the Controverted Title to the Wyoming Lands, Between the Claimants under Pennsylvania and Connecticut, Received a Decision. Philadelphia: Samuel H. Smith, 1796. 42 pp., 3.5 x 5.75 in.

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The case of Van Horne’s Lessee v. Dorrance (1795) was one of the earliest cases in which a federal court asserted the right to disregard a state law that conflicted with the state constitution. Justice William Paterson insisted that a Pennsylvania law that divested one person of property and vested it in another was inconsistent with the “inherent and unalienable rights of man” and a violation of the sanctity of contracts as guaranteed by both the Pennsylvania constitution and the Constitution of the United States.

Item #26251.10, $3,500

Charter of the Marine Society of the City of New York, Printed in 1788 with Franklin’s Passy Type

[NEW YORK], Printed Pamphlet, Charter of the Marine Society of the City of New-York, in the State of New-York, to Which are Added, the Bye-Laws, and a List of the Members of the Society. New York: Francis Childs, 1788. 34 pp., 6 x 7.75 in. Octavo, contemporary marbled boards (detached), title page toned, some edge tears – but very rare., 1/1/1788.

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A rare volume printed with Franklin’s Passy type. According to Rare Book Hub, only one copy of this edition sold between 1946 (Parke Bernet, 16 May, lot 168) and 2021. Provenance: India House. Ref: “A Descriptive Catalogue of the Marine Collection … at India House” (N.Y., 1935).

Item #26537, $3,500

Accusing Recently Retired Hamilton of Financial Malfeasance

JAMES CALLENDER, Book. Historical Memories of the United States for 1796. Jan 1797. [Philadelphia: Bioran and Madan]. 288 pp. Half calf and marbled boards, bound in antique style, spine gilt, corners leather tipped.

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Item #24363, $3,500

First Edition of FDR’s Committee for Civil Service Improvement Report, Signed by Three Supreme Court Justices

[FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT] [SUPREME COURT], Signed Book. Report of President’s Committee on Civil Service Improvement. [Washington, D.C.]

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This presentation copy to William H. McReynolds, the Liaison Officer for Personnel Management, is signed by all the committee members, including the chairman, Justice Stanley Reed, Justice Felix Frankfurter, Justice Frank Murphy, Attorney General Robert H. Jackson, Leonard D. White, General Robert E. Wood, and Cooper Union President Gano Dunn.

Item #22512, $3,500

The Pentagon Papers:
William Bundy’s Annotated Copy

[VIETNAM WAR], Books. The Pentagon Papers. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971-1972. First Editions. Five paperback books, volumes I-IV in green printed covers, volume V in orange. 5¾ x 9 inches each. Pages varies by volume. Volume V (Critical Essays, edited by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn) has a Beacon Press review copy slip taped to the half-title and an address label paperclipped to the same page. The label is addressed to Bundy as editor of Foreign Affairs and has a handwritten date, “9/25/72.”

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William Bundy’s 5-volume set of the “Senator Gravel Edition” of the Pentagon Papers, with annotations, marginal notes, and two legal-size pages with handwritten notes arranged chronologically.

Item #21291, $3,500

A General Account of … Using Atomic Energy
for Military Purposes

H.D. SMYTH, A General Account of … Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes Under the Auspices of the United States Government 1940-1945. Written at the Request of Major General L. R. Groves, United States Army... Washington, DC: Superintendent of Documents. (1945). Book, 1945. 182 pp, illus. with 2 graphs. With ownership signature of “Erwin Hiebert” twice.

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Owned by Manhattan Project Scientist, Assistant to Chief of Scientific Branch of the War Department (1946-7) and notable scientist and historian of science Erwin Hiebert.

Item #20807, $2,250

The Reform Constitution of Virginia Signed by the Man Who Warned South Carolina Governor Pickens about the Reinforcement of Fort Sumter

LITTLETON Q. WASHINGTON, Pamphlet, Constitution of Virginia, ca. 1851, signed at top in ink, “L. Q. Washington,” with pencil beneath (in another hand), “Mr. Washington Asst. Secty of State 1850-1851.” 33 pp., 5⅝ x 8⅝ in.

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After Virginia adopted the Declaration of Independence, George Mason and James Madison began drafting a state Constitution. For James Madison, helping draft his state’s Constitution would serve as a dress rehearsal for his future task of writing the U.S. Constitution. Virginia adopted its first constitution in 1776, and a major revision in 1830 loosened suffrage requirements. As more residents populated the western counties, they were underrepresented in the legislature because of continuing property requirements for voting.

The most significant changes in the 1851 Constitution included the extension of the suffrage to all white males of voting age, the creation of the office of lieutenant governor, and the election rather than appointment of judges. Because of these changes, this version has been called the Reform Constitution.

Item #22395, $2,000

Opposing the African Slave Trade - 1790 New Haven Sermon

JAMES DANA, Pamphlet. The African Slave Trade. A Discourse Delivered in the City of New-Haven, September 9, 1790, before The Connecticut Society for The Promotion of Freedom. Half-title: Doctor Dana’s Sermon on the African Slave Trade. New Haven: Thomas and Samuel Green, 1791. Evans 23308. 33 pp., 4¾ x 8¼ in.

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Our late warfare was expressly founded on such principles as these: ‘All men are created equal: They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.... Those who profess to understand and regard the principles of liberty should cheerfully unite to abolish slavery....

In 1784, Connecticut passed a law that all slaves born after March 1, 1784, were to be freed before or when they reached the age of 25. In 1790, a group of clergymen, lawyers, and academics formed the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom and for the Relief of Persons Unlawfully Holden in Bondage to support the law. Yale University president and Congregationalist minister Ezra Stiles, formerly a slave owner, served as the society’s first president. Here, Rev. Doctor James Dana reviews the history and extent of slavery in the world. Calling it unjust, unchristian, and against the principles of the American Revolution, he urges abolition. Dana’s sermon, and those preached at the Society by Jonathan Edwards Jr., Theodore Dwight, and others, were among the most popular anti-slavery literature from the period. However, the Connecticut Society lapsed and disappeared after the turn of the century.

Item #24464, $1,900
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