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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Lincoln Calls for the public to supports the U.S. Sanitary Commission

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. HENRY W. BELLOWS, Printed Circular Letter, to “the Loyal Women of America.” Washington, D.C., October 1, 1861. 3 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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The Sanitary Commission is … of direct practical value to the nation, in this time of its trial. It is entitled to the gratitude and confidence of the people… There is no agency through which voluntary offerings of patriotism can be more effectively made.  A. Lincoln.

Item #24870, $950

Prior to 1864 presidential election, McClellan’s former groomsman tries to even the field

SETH WILLIAMS, Manuscript Letter Signed, to Marsena R. Patrick, October 4, 1864. 1 p.

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Assistant Adjutant General Seth Williams writes to Provost Marshal M. R. Patrick that he will ask Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant to establish regulations to govern political agents in the camps prior to the 1864 elections.

Item #21386.03, $950

Civil War Hero David Dixon Porter
Expresses Support for the Chinese in a Time of Hostility

DAVID DIXON PORTER, Autograph Letter Signed, to “Reverend Dr. Newman.” Washington, D.C., March 14, 1879. 3 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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“As you and I have both expressed friendly sentiments towards the citizens of the Flowery Kingdom, we may hope to be in high favor should we live till that time.”

Item #22730, $950

Winfield Scott Criticizes Zachary Taylor’s
Illegal Order to Flog a Soldier

WINFIELD SCOTT, Autograph Document Signed, November 18, 1843, with annotations initialed by him and dated December 1843. 2 pp.

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“.... [H]earing of the illegal order & the illegal flogging, I looked into the case…”

Item #20735, $975

Accounting for “Contraband” Sailors in the Civil War Navy Bureaucracy

SAMUEL P. LEE, Letter Signed, to Samuel B. Gregory, June 4, 1863. 1 p.

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When enslaved African Americans fled to the ships of the Union blockading fleet, officers often sent them to “contraband” camps such as those at Port Royal, South Carolina, or Fortress Monroe, Virginia, or shipped them north. However, the Union Navy, short on manpower, also encouraged able-bodied male contrabands to enlist. In September 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles authorized the enlistment of contrabands “under the same forms and regulations as apply to other enlistments.” As crew members of navy ships and gunboats, these black sailors served on blockade duty and even on expeditions up southern rivers and creeks.

On January 5, 1863, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered commanders of squadrons to forward monthly returns of “contrabands” employed on board the respective vessels under their command. The USS Western World had been part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1861 and 1862. After extensive overhaul, the Western World was reassigned in March 1863 to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for service in the Chesapeake Bay.

In this letter, Acting Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee chastises the Western World’s commander for the lack of details in his May 1863 “Contraband” report.

Item #22845, $1,000

Returning the Western World to Blockade Duty to Squeeze the Confederacy

GIDEON WELLES, Manuscript Document Signed, to Samuel B. Gregory, February 16, 1863; Endorsement signed by Acting Rear Admiral SAMUEL P. LEE. 1 p.

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Item #22844, $1,000

The Drafter of the 14th Amendment Quotes
Abolitionist Congressman Thaddeus Stevens

STEPHEN NEAL, Autograph Note Signed. 1 p., 8¼ x 4¼ in.

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Item #23151, $1,200

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, $1,250

The Defense in Ex parte Milligan Argues That Even During War the Federal Government Can’t Use Military Trials Where Civilian Courts Are Operative

[LAMBDIN P. MILLIGAN], Printed Book. D. F. Murphy, reporter, Supreme Court of the United States. In the Matter of Lambkin [sic] P. Milligan, William A. Bowles, Stephen Horsey, Under Sentence by Military Commission. Argument of David Dudley Field, Esq. for the Petitioners. March 12 and 13, 1866. New York: Williams J. Read, 1866. 97 + 104 pp., 6⅝ x 10⅛ in.

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Court reporter records the impassioned defense, before the U.S. Supreme Court, by David Dudley Field of Lambdin P. Milligan and others, who were tried by military commission in Indiana during the Civil War and sentenced to death for disloyal activities. The court’s landmark decision agreed with Field’s reasoning that the federal government could not employ military tribunals where civilian courts were in operation.

Item #25148, $1,250

A Fighting Vermont Regiment Summary of Actions after Gettysburg, July 5-13, 1863

ADDISON W. PRESTON, Autograph Document, c. July to October 1863, 2 pp., 8 x 12¼ in.

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Item #23879.01, $1,250

A Map of the Baruch College Area of New York City

ALEXANDER STEWART WEBB, Autograph Letter Signed “Webb,” as President of City College of New York, to General F.A. Walker. New York, N.Y. March 20, 1888. 3 pp., 8⅜ x 13 in. With holograph map.

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Stewart sending thanks, urging General Walker to visit.

Item #22259, $1,250

“I thought Cump would advise you as to the movements here…”

THOMAS EWING, JR, Autograph Letter Signed, to Thomas Ewing, his father. Washington, May 22, 1861. Written in pencil. 6 pp., 4⅞ x 7¾ in.

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Genl Scott is in bad humor with the administration for appointing Reeder Brig Genl in regular army … We have the idea he will not favor Cump’s appt, except as Colonel…

Ewing informs his father of political machinations in Washington and early Civil War plans and appointments. He painstakingly weighs the chances of his foster brother (and brother-in-law), William T. “Cump” Sherman, obtaining a general’s commission. He also offers a sober analysis of the relative strengths of the Union and Confederate armies in the Eastern theater. “The general impression is the first battle, after Pickens, will be at Norfolk. The Govt. is not ready. Genl Scott says Genl Impatience is the only opposing General he fears. At present, it is plain the enemy can put man for man in the field anywhere in eastern Virginia with us.

Item #21772, $1,250

The Christian Banner” – Pro-Confederate Paper From Union-Occupied Fredericksburg

[CIVIL WAR – CONFEDERACY], Newspaper. June 11, 1862. The Christian Banner, Fredericksburg, Va., J.W. Hunnicutt, Vol. 1, Number 6. 4 pp., large folio.

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“The colored population of Fredericksburg are strolling about town and seem to be perfectly happy our country is ruined and slaughtered worse than beeves all on account of the negroes! Can it be possible, that man will sacrifice their country for the negro…”

A fine war-date newspaper published in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Articles on the front page describe the destruction of President Jefferson Davis’s Mississippi plantation, the Battle of Memphis, military actions near Richmond and an account of operations near Charleston, South Carolina. Several other articles deal with the subject of slavery.

Item #21798, $1,250

Founding Address of National Republican Party to Combat the “Aggressions and Usurpations of the Slave Power…. Declaration of the Principles and Purposes”

[REPUBLICAN PARTY. ELECTION OF 1856], Address of the Republican Convention at Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania], February 22, 1856. The Aggressions and Usurpations of the Slave Power. Declaration of the Principles and Purposes of the Republican Party. Pamphlet. [np: 1856]. 15 pp. Caption title, as issued.

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The Republican Party’s historic Convention Address, preparatory to its first nominating convention in June, argued that “the Government of the United States is not administered in accordance with the Constitution, or for the preservation and prosperity of the American Union; but that its powers are systematically wielded for the promotion and extension of the Interest of Slavery.” Despite the “sentiment of the Founding Fathers,” who sought to contain slavery, the country’s history demonstrates “the progress of slavery towards ascendancy in the federal government.” The Convention urges adherents to send delegates to Philadelphia in June, “to nominate candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States.”

Item #22810, $1,350

New York Times Carriers’ Address Reviews the Year 1863 in Bad Verse, Including Freeing of Russia’s Serfs, and the Battle of Gettysburg

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside, “Carriers’ Address / New York Times / To Our Patrons.” New York: Dodge and Grattan, [ca. January 1] 1864. 1 p., 15½ x 21½ in. Intricate borders and patriotic imagery.

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For in this struggle vast The liberties of man shall rise or fall, And unborn generations to us call… The laborer on England’s soil, The peasants that in Austria toil, The serfs, that over Russia’s plains Are dropping now their long worn chains…”

On or around New Year’s Day, some newspapers printed “carriers' addresses” with an appeal for a holiday gift or donation from subscribers. Newspaper carriers were often the printer’s apprentices, sometimes younger than teenagers.

Item #25040, $1,350

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

A Copperhead Newspaper Prints, Then Criticizes,
the Emancipation Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, Newspaper. New York Journal of Commerce. New York, N.Y., January 3, 1863. 4 pp., 24 x 32½ in.

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An early report of the Emancipation Proclamation, where the editors describe Lincoln’s bold move as “a farce coming in after a long tragedy....Most of the people regard it as a very foolish piece of business.”

Item #22448.01, $1,450

Admiral Porter Reluctantly Turns Down General Sherman’s Invitation to a “Grand Reunion” in Chicago; and Sherman Reads These Excerpts to the Veterans

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Manuscript Copy of first two pages of a letter from David Dixon Porter, Annapolis, Maryland, December 8, 1868. 2 pp., quarto.

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General Grants election has brought such actual Peace, that there is not a part of a peg even, to hang an excitement on

General William T. Sherman copies the first two pages of a letter in which Admiral David Dixon Porter, then Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, declines an invitation to a “Grand Reunion of the Western Armies at Chicago.” Porter had commanded the Mississippi River Squadron from October 1862 to 1864, aiding in opening the entire river to Union forces through cooperation with the western armies. Sherman likely read from this copy at the meeting of the Army of the Tennessee in Chicago.

Item #23562.02, $1,480

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

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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