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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 20th 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, $42,000

The Laws of Pennsylvania for 1781-1785, Signed by
Clement Biddle, George Washington’s Commissary General at Valley Forge

CLEMENT BIDDLE, Signed Book. Laws Enacted in the Sixth [-Ninth] General Assembly of the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania... Vol. II. Philadelphia: Hall and Sellers [and Thomas Bradford], 1782-1785. Folio. 254, [3] 256-270, [3], 272 362, 362-365, 362-368, [6], 372-399, [1], II, [1], 402-857, [1], iv, [1], 590-704, iii p Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1782-1785. First six sections printed by Hall & Sellers, remainder by Thomas Bradford. Approximately 706 pp.

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Item #22236, $9,500

A Unique Pairing: Timothy Green’s Scarce 1774 Proceedings of the American Continental Congress…, with Connecticut Treasury Order Paying Printer to Distribute It

CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, Book. Extracts from the Votes and proceedings of the American Continental Congress, held at Philadelphia on the 5th of September 1774 Containing the Bill of rights, a List of grievances, Occasional resolves, the Association, an Address to the People of Great-Britain, a Memorial to the Inhabitants of the British American Colonies, and an Address to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec. New-London: Timothy Green, 1774. Quarto, 16 pp. Sewn as issued.

With related document signed a day before Paul Revere’s famous ride, and the beginning of the Battles of Lexington and Concord:
CONNECTICUT REVOLUTIONARY WAR TREASURY. Manuscript Document Signed. Order to pay Timothy Green “To Transporting to the Several Counties, the Doings of the Continental Congress…,” April 17, 1775, New London, Conn. 1 p., 6 x 9 in. Signed twice by Nathan Baxter, countersigned by Richard Law, Thomas Mumford, and Caleb Knight.

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Item #23976/24244.01, $8,500

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, $7,500

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, $5,550

Mary Lincoln’s Signed Copy of The Life of Marie Antoinette Queen of France

MARY LINCOLN, Signed Book. “Mary Lincoln. / 1878,” in her copy of Charles Duke Yonge, The Life of Marie Antoinette Queen of France, 2d rev. ed. (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1877), xvi, 432 pp., 8vo. bound in tooled purple cloth boards with titled spine. A carte-de-visite portrait of Mary Lincoln has been affixed to the front free endpaper.

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she bore her accumulated miseries with a serene resignation, an intrepid fortitude, a true heroism of soul, of which the history of the world does not afford a brighter example.

Item #24759, $5,000

Early Engineer’s Book for the Long Island Railroad, 1835-1872

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD, Memorandum and Letter Book, 1835-1872. 344 pp., of which 212 pp. have writing, 8¼ x 13 x 1¼ in.

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This volume is a fascinating primary source for the nation’s oldest railroad still operating under its original name, including correspondence setting the course for routes now traveled by millions of riders every month. Later use of this book by a New Jersey hatmaker and Civil War veteran gives insights into the daily life and expenses of a craftsman and farmer in the 1870s.

Item #24879, $4,500

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

Julia Ward Howe Biography, with Autograph Manuscript on Suffrage

JULIA WARD HOWE, Autograph Manuscript, n.d. [ca. 1882], tipped into Laura E. Richards and Maude Howe Elliott, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, 2 vols. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915. First edition. Two volumes in original cloth-backed boards and the scarce dustwrappers and original slipcase. Copy #438 of 450 copies of the Large-Paper Edition. [x],392,[2]; [x],434,[2] pp., 1/1/1915.

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“I believe in suffrage…. I believe in the great awakening by the womanly soul a conscience which will rise up like a flood, & sweep away the petty & effete prejudices....

This biography of Julia Ward Howe by two of her daughters, assisted by a third, is illustrated with plates and portraits, including a facsimile manuscript of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It won the 1917 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Special edition, including a page handwritten by Howe on women’s suffrage. Howe refers to her first interest in suffrage “about fourteen years ago.”  She helped found the New England Woman Suffrage Association in 1868, so we date it as ca. 1892, 14 years later. But she might consider her interest in suffrage to have started a bit earlier, right around the end of the Civil War.

Item #26018, $3,500

Colonial Merchant’s Copy of the First History of New Jersey Printed on One of Benjamin Franklin’s Presses

SAMUEL SMITH, Book. The History of the Colony of Nova-Caesaria, or New-Jersey: Containing, An Account of its First Settlement, Progressive Improvements, The Original and Present Constitution, and Other Events, to the Year 1721, First edition. Burlington, NJ: James Parker, 1765. Henry Remsen’s ownership signatures to front and rear blanks. 573 pp., 8½ x 5 in.

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This volume by Samuel Smith was the first general history of New Jersey, printed in a limited run of 600 copies on a press owned by Benjamin Franklin. Henry Remsen, a New York and New Jersey merchant, originally owned this copy.

Item #23633, $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

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

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

Washington’s Personal Secretary
Tobias Lear’s Copy of History of Russia

[TOBIAS LEAR], Signed book. William Tooke, History of Russia. London, Strahan, 1800. Two volumes, 8vo, full leather, some repair to binding, fine overall. All four plates present. The folding map is foxed, but complete without major tears. Both volumes are signed “Tobias Lear Malta, Oct 13th, 1804” in ornate, formal hand. Provenance: Tobias Lear; to Benjamin Lincoln Lear, with Benjamin’s bookplate.

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Item #22021.02, $2,800

Father of the Erie Canal and Future Governor DeWitt Clinton’s Copy of New York City Ordinances

DEWITT CLINTON, Signed Book. Laws and Ordinances, Ordained and Established by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of New-York, in Common Council Convened, for the Good Rule and Government of the Inhabitants and Residents of the Said City. Passed and published the 17th day of January, 1805. In the Mayoralty of DeWitt Clinton. First Edition. New York: James Cheetham, 1805. DeWitt Clinton’s ownership signature on title page. 160 pp., 7¾ x 4½ in.

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During the second of his ten terms as mayor of New York City, Clinton signs his copy of the ordinances for governing the city at the top of the title page.

Item #23636, $2,500

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, $2,400

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

Unique Sea Mosses Book Sold at the New York Metropolitan Fair to Benefit Sick and Wounded Union Troops

[CIVIL WAR]. ANNA BIGELOW, Autograph Manuscript Signed unique calligraphy book with illustrations, pressed sea weeds, and hand lettered four lines of verse titled ‘Sea Weeds.’ New York, N.Y, 1864. 7½ x 10½ on 60-plus pages with 31 moss examples interleaved.

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“call us not weeds, we are flowers of the Sea.”

Item #24170, $1,750
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