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Ohio Governor’s Response to
South Carolina Nullification Threat

ALLEN TRIMBLE, Printed Letter Signed, for Trimble by S.C. Andrews, private secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio, February 12, 1828.

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“I herewith transmit a copy of the Preamble and Resolutions of the General Assembly of Ohio, in reply to the Resolutions from the Legislature of South Carolina, respecting the Constitutional powers of the General Government.”

Item #21057, $1,500

Slavery Divides New York Legislature in 1844

[SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE], New York Assembly. Concurrent Resolutions against U.S. House of Representatives “gag rule,” Samuel Stevens, February 16, 1844, Not passed. 1 p., 6 ¾ x 12 in. Together with: New York Assembly. Concurrent Resolutions against Congressional interference with slavery in the states, Thomas N. Carr, March 12, 1844. Not passed. 1 p., 6¾ x 12 in. Two items.

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Resolved, That the legislature of this state deem the right of petitioning congress for relief against any and all manner of grievances a sacred right, solemnly guaranteed by the constitution of the United States to every human being within the territory thereof….

            vs.

Resolved, That Congress has no power under the constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states; and that such states are the sole and proper judges of every thing appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts of the abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery…are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences….

Item #23389.02-.03, $1,500

“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

Frederick Douglass Celebrates His Return to America a Free Man, and Reunion with His Family, While Telling of His Treatment During the Voyage

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Autograph Letter Signed to Sarah Hilditch of Wales, April 29, 1847, Lynn, Massachusetts. 4 pp., 5 x 7¾ in.

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I caught Frederick [Jr.]in my arms, and took Lewis by the hand and pressed with all speed into the house, and relieved the anxious bosom of my Dear Anna, you must imagine my feelings, for I cannot express them. For once all public cares departed. Even the slave was forgotten, and my glad soul was thoroughly absorbed in grateful rapture.

You are aware that I was subjected to proscription on board the Cambria. This was a mesirable attempt to propetiate the American slaveholders and their abettors. These would have felt degraded to have been seated at the table with me, but not one of them but who would have been glad to have owned me as his slave. These wretched creatures could not indure me as a free man.…

Due to significant threats, Douglass left America for England in 1845. While there, he travelled widely to speak about slavery. By 1847, Douglass was anxious to return despite the risks, but two English sisters negotiated with Douglass’ owner and purchased his freedom. 

Here, Douglass describes his return from England to Boston aboard Cunard’s British Steamship Cambria, his joyous reunion with his wife and children, and the racism he faced during the voyage. Prior to boarding, treatment of Douglass by Cunard ticket agents had already sparked outrage in the United Kingdom, where such overt discrimination was more unusual. Reports such as this after his voyage furthered the reaction. Samuel Cunard issued a public apology.

Item #27434, $450,000

Ohio Reformers Use Rhode Island’s Dorr Rebellion
to Justify Their Own Behavior

[DORR WAR], Pamphlet. The Dorr Movement in Ohio; Being an Examination into the Causes, Progress and Probable Effects of the Revolutionary Course of Locofocoism in the Organization of the General Assembly of This State, for the Session of 1848-49. [Columbus, Ohio]: Legg & Murray, Columbus, [1849]. Disbound. Inscribed in pencil on the title by H.A. Swift, the author, in presentation.

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Item #22543, $550

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

Scathingly Anti-British Broadside Heralds Daniel Webster

[DANIEL WEBSTER], Broadside announcing his upcoming arrival at Springfield, Massachusetts, April 7, [1851]. 1 p., 12 x 16½ in.

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Daniel Webster The Union Man, the Patriot, is to be with us To-morrow… Let us all meet to give him a welcome at the Depot… Let us show to the world that we have a ‘higher law’—a law above all party politics—the Divine Law of Patriotism!

Item #24609, $3,950

Charles Sumner Discusses the Emerging Duty
of the United States in Promoting Human Rights &
World Peace Evoking the Declaration of Independence and Championing Louis Kossuth

CHARLES SUMNER, Autograph Letter Signed, Boston, October 26, 1851. 4 pp., 7 x 9 in.

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“The influence, we are now able to wield, is a sacred trust, which should be exercised firmly, discreetly, in conformity with the Laws of Nations & with an anxious eye to the peace of the world, so as always to promote the great cause of Human Rights. Our example can do much”

Item #20287, SOLD — please inquire about other items

“The Slave Sale, or Come Who Bids?” Abolitionist Sheet Music

HENRY RUSSELL and ANGUS REACH, Sheet Music. The Slave Sale, or Come, Who Bids? 4 pp., with elaborate half-page vignette on the first page, showing various scenes of the slave trade. London: Musical Boquet Office. [Sheard, 1855]. “Composed by Henry Russell for his New Entertainment ‘Negro Life’ - Words by Angus B. Reach Esq.”

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“Planters! Here’s a chance, Here are limbs to work or dance…”

Scarce English abolitionist music signed in print by composer Henry Russell on the front page.

Item #24738, $750

Naval Commander Who Prevented Filibustering Expedition against Mexico, and Then Captured Slave Ships and Freed over 1,350 Slaves

THOMAS A. DORNIN, Manuscript Letter Signed, U.S.S. Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia, April 4, 1855, to Mid. John Walker, U.S.N. 1 p.

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Item #20956, $450

“Black Republican” Salt River Ticket

[RACISM], Bright green card reading “The Steamer !!! Black Republican !!! Will leave This Day, (via Kansas) for Salt River You are respectfully invited to accompany the party Free. Reinforcements will be sent up in November next,” 1856, [Philadelphia, PA].1 p., 3¼ x 2 in.

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Item #26460.01, $500

Congressmen Order Copies of Senator Jacob Collamer’s Speech on Bleeding Kansas

[KANSAS], Autograph Document Signed, Order for Copies of Speech, ca. April 1856. 1 p., 7½ x 9½ in.

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Fifteen members of Congress order a total of 3,050 copies of a speech by Senator Collamer. The 29-page pamphlet was entitled Speech of Hon. Jacob Collamer, of Vermont, on Affairs in Kansas, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, April 3 and 4, 1856.

Item #26449, $900

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

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

Oval Salt Print of Famed Abolitionist John Brown

[JOHN BROWN], Oval Salt Print, with a printed signature, “Your Friend, John Brown” affixed at bottom, ca. 1858-1859. No studio mark. 1 p., 5¼ x 7¼ in. oval on 7-x-9-in. mount affixed to a 9¾-x-11¾-in. scrapbook page.

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In May 1858, Martin M. Lawrence (1807-1859) took a photograph of John Brown at his studio at 381 Broadway in New York City, where he had worked as a daguerreotypist since 1842. He took it at the request of Dr. Thomas H. Webb (1801-1866) of Boston, Secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. In November 1859, shortly before Brown’s execution, an engraving based on this photograph appeared on the cover of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

Item #26463, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Senator Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana 1859 speech supporting acquisition of Cuba

JUDAH P. BENJAMIN, Pamphlet, “Speech of Hon. J.P. Benjamin of Louisiana, on the Acquisition of Cuba. Delivered in Senate U.S. Friday February 11, 1859.” Includes original envelope, 7¼ x 3¾ in., free franked in the upper right by N.J. Senator John Thomson (1800-1862). 16 pp., 6 x 9½ in.

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in the expansion of our system we seek no conquest, subjugate no people, impose our laws on no unwilling subjects. When new territory is brought under our jurisdiction, the inhabitants are admitted to all the rights of self-government.

In a speech in the United States Senate, Benjamin supports the annexation of Cuba with no hint of irony in his declaration that the people of the United States “impose our laws on no unwilling subjects.” His speech also conveys his states’-rights perspective on the nature of the Union that he championed while later serving in Jefferson Davis’ Confederate cabinet.

Item #24466, $1,400

Currier & Ives Cartoon Mocks Stephen Douglas for Campaigning in 1860

[STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS], “Taking the Stump, or Stephen in Search of His Mother,” Printed Political Cartoon. New York: Currier & Ives, 1860. 1 p., 17 x 13½ in.

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This Currier & Ives political cartoon depicts Stephen A. Douglas, hat in hand, wearing a wooden leg and saying, “Gentlemen ‘I’m going to see my mother,’ and solicit a little help, for in running after a nomination, I fell over a big lump of Breckenridge, and have been very lame ever since.” Democratic Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise responds, “He looks like a smart little man, and if I were not Wise, I’d go my pile on him.” Behind Wise, Constitutional Union Party candidate John Bell says, “I think I’ll give him a trifle in New York currency.” In the background to the right, Southern Democratic candidate John C. Breckinridge stands with a cane and bandaged foot, and President James Buchanan offers him a wooden leg as well, saying, “Here, Breck, as Dug has taken the stump, you must stump it too.” Breckinridge replies, “Well old Buck, if you say so, I suppose I must, but I know it will be of no use, for I feel that I haven’t got a leg to stand on.” Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln leans against a rail fence at the far right and says, “Go it ye cripples! wooden legs are cheap, but stumping wont save you.

Item #27253, $3,500

Cartoonist Attacks Lincoln’s Presidential Aspirations

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Printed Document. N.p., ca. 1860. 1 p., 8¼ x 10½ in.

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This anti-Lincoln cartoon features two Lincolns sitting back-to-back on a stump. The Lincoln on the left, captioned “Honest old Abe on the Stump. Springfield 1858,” says, “Nobody ever expected me to be President. In my poor, lean, lank face, nobody has ever seen that any Cabbages were sprouting out.” The Lincoln on the right, captioned “Honest old Abe on the Stump at the ratification Meeting of Presidential Nominations. Springfield 1860,” says “I come to see, and be seen.” The implication is that he is a two-faced politician.

Item #27055, $3,900

A Wet-Plate Glass Negative of Confederate Spy Belle Boyd

BELLE BOYD, Photographic Negative. Sized for a carte-de-visite, 2½ x 3¾ in. Matthew Brady’s Washington, D.C. Gallery, ca. mid-1860s. Archivally framed and secured in protective glass, 11 x 12½ in.

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Item #21501, $4,000

Fourth of July Oration from Massachusetts on Eve of the Civil War

[FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION], Autograph Document, July 4, 1860, Hancock, MA. 14 pp., 8 x 10 in. Unknown author, ending by quoting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “O Ship of State.”

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Thus it is that though the subject of Slavery is constantly agitating the minds of the people, and their opinions are wholly at variance, yet there are many important elements which tend to bind them together. And we are all hoping for a time when these elements shall so combine as to form one universal sentiment with regard to Slavery. When the North shall not only use their voices, but their hearts and their money if necessary in behalf of the oppressed. When the South shall not only feel the injustice of their “peculiar institution” but shall see that interest alone requires them to unite in making this a truly free and independent nation.

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate!” (Longfellow)

Item #25176, $1,500
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