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Civil War and Reconstruction

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“MEN OF COLOR: To Arms! To Arms!”

Frederick Douglass, Broadside. “Men of Color / To Arms! To Arms!” U.S. Steam-Power Book and Job Printing Establishment, Ledger Buildings, Third and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA, [1863.] Signed in type by Frederick Douglass and 54 others, including many prominent African-American citizens. 44 x 87 in. Framed to 48 x 94 in.

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A monumental Frederick Douglass Civil War recruiting broadside.

African American men had joined Union forces throughout the Civil War, but it took Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 to officially allow and encourage them to enlist. This monumental Philadelphia recruiting poster signals the seismic shift in policy.

The text of this dramatic poster was adapted from an impassioned editorial Frederick Douglass wrote in the March of 1863 issue of Douglass’ Monthly. “There is no time to delay… The tide is at its flood … From East to West, from North to South, the sky is written all over, ‘Now or never.’”

Item #22552, PRICE ON REQUEST

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

Abraham Lincoln: Large 1861 Inauguration Chromolithograph

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Chromolithograph. Presidents of the United States, [Philadelphia]: Published by F. Bouclet, lithographed by A. Feusier. Sheet size: 21 in. x 27 in. Image size: 24½ in. x 18¾ in.

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Item #25965, $2,500

Union League of Philadelphia Supports Re-Election of Lincoln as “the man for the time”

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. [HENRY CHARLES LEA], Printed Pamphlet. No. 17: Abraham Lincoln, [March 1864]. 12 pp., 5¾ x 8¾ in.

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As a MAN OF THE PEOPLE, understanding them and trusted by them, he has proved himself the man for the time.

Item #24898, $950

Illinois Governor Richard Yates’ Fourth of July Address at the End of Civil War – Unhappy that the Nation Would not Execute Jefferson Davis

[CIVIL WAR & RECONSTRUCTION]. RICHARD YATES, Printed Pamphlet. Speech of Hon. Richard Yates, Delivered at Elgin, Ill. on the Fourth Day of July, A.D. 1865. Jacksonville, IL: Ironmonger and Mendenhall, 1865. 8 pp., 6⅛ x 9½ in.

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The American revolution was begun and fought through for an idea—to establish that man is a man—to vindicate the right of every man to equal rights and to equal citizenship…. Every boy imbibes the genius of our free institutions. The poor friendless rail splitter rises to the proudest pinnacle of human power. [Cheers] The poor tailor boy becomes and is now our President, [cheers] the ferry boy the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court, (cheers) and the humble tanner boys become the great commander, who marshals a million of veteran warriors in the great cause of union and liberty, and holds up the flaming symbol of emancipation to a whole race of mankind. (Applause.)” (p1/c2 – p2/c1)

And yet, for Jeff Davis, who has been a wholesale murderer, who has struck at the life of the whole nation, and rolled the red wave of bloody civil war over the land, they say we must be magnanimous. [Sensation.] We shoot the poor deserter and the poor soldier who is found sleeping at his post on guard, but the nation must be magnanimous and not execute Jeff Davis!” (p6/c1)

Item #24904, $350

The Gettysburg Address – November 20, 1863 Rare First Day Printing by “Lincoln’s Dog” John Forney in the Philadelphia Press

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, Newspaper, Philadelphia Press, Philadelphia, November 20, 1863. Complete, 4 pp., approx. 20¼ x 28 in.

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The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract…

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is on page 2, along with Edward Everett’s entire speech, and a report on the ceremonies. Printed in an important newspaper owned by John Forney, this version is in some ways more accurate than the more widely spread Associated Press report.

Item #25971, $6,000

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

Jewish Physician Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen Signs a Death Certificate

[JUDAICA]. JACOB DA SILVA SOLIS-COHEN, Partially Printed Document Signed, Death Certificate for H. M. Richards, ca. October 10, 1873, Philadelphia, Pa. 1 p., 8¼ x 10½ in.

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Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen served in the Civil War and went on to become a pioneer in the field of head and neck diseases and surgery.

Item #22402, $275

Lincoln’s First Vice President Mulls His Replacement’s Impeachment Trial

HANNIBAL HAMLIN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Sidney Perham, May 9, 1868, Bangor, Maine. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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My impression is … that Mr Wade will not offer me any place, if he shall become Prest… You can hardly tell how we all feel humiliated & mortified here at home, that the vote of Mr. F[essenden]. is the subject of bets on the street by gamblers.

Item #22863.02, $2,200

Lincoln’s Vice President Talks Local Politics

HANNIBAL HAMLIN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Sidney Perham, Boston, May 4, 1866. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in., marked “Private” and docketed “H Hamlin.”

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Lincoln’s first vice president, discusses local Maine politics regarding the replacement of a longstanding U.S. District Court Judge.

Item #22863, $600

Transferring White Officer to New 107th Regiment U.S.C.T.

[LORENZO THOMAS], Document Signed secretarially for Lorenzo Thomas for Lewis G. Brown, Col. 117th USC Infantry, Louisville, Kentucky, October 7, 1864. 1 sheet, 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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Special orders transferring Captain Charles B. Safford from the 117th Regiment to the newly-organized 107th Regiment of U.S. Colored Infantry.

Item #21263.19, $150

Period Oil Portrait of William H. Seward Wonderfully Executed

[WILLIAM H. SEWARD], Oil Bust Portrait of Secretary of State William H. Seward, ca. 1864. Oil on board, 11 x 14 in. oval; framed to 17 x 20 in.

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Item #25611, $12,500

Attending the Philadelphia Sanitary Fair in the Summer of 1864

[CIVIL WAR]. [ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Great Central Fair Tickets, June 1864. Pair of passes for the Great Central Fair, held in Philadelphia, June 7-28, 1864. One ticket is for one day’s admission for a public school student. The other is a season ticket. 1 p. each, 3½ x 2¼ and 3½ x 2 in.

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Two tickets to the Great Central Fair in Philadelphia. One admitted a pupil of the public schools of Philadelphia and was used on Saturday, June 11, according to the stamp on the verso. The other is an apparently unused “Season Ticket” that admitted the bearer “To All Parts of the Fair,” except the Children’s Exhibitions but was “Forfeited if Transferred and Not Good unless Endorsed.” The verso includes the oath, “I hereby promise that this Ticket shall be used to obtain admission to the Fair by myself only” and a blank line for a signature.

Item #24202, $950

A Georgia Man Writes from Frederic City, Maryland, Hoping to Liberate Some ‘greenies’ from the “Hamites or the ‘freedmen’” Celebrating Passage of the “dirty 15th Amendment”

THOMAS FAYETTE, Autograph Letter Signed, to “Dearest cousin Mattie & Co.,” Frederic County, Maryland, June 3, 1870, 4 pp. 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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The Fifteenth Amendment provides that voting rights could not be based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (slavery). It was ratified by enough states to become part of the Constitution on February 3, 1870. Maryland rejected it on February 26, 1870 – but finally did ratify it on May 7,1973.

Item #22490, $375

Civil War Veteran in Maryland Predicts the War Will End Soon

DAVID F. MCGOWAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ellen [P. Fowler?], March 15, 1865, Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. 3 pp., 5x 8 in. Also includes DAVID F. McGOWAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ellen [P. Fowler?], May 9, 1865, Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. 4 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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Sherridan has been doing some good work. 1400 prisoners passed here a few days ago that he captured And Report says he has captured 1000 more. A couple of officers stopped here last night, that had just been exchanged. They were captured last August and gave me a good account of their trials & tribulations down in Dixie. One of them gave $100. for a common pair of shoes from all appearances the Confederacy will soon collapse. Sherman has been heard from, is at Fayetteville, N. C. think Richmond will fall, before fall.

Civil War veteran David F. McGowan writes about prospects for Union victory and life in Maryland as the Civil War draws to a close.

Item #24471, $380

Union League of Philadelphia Supports Lincoln on Emancipation, African-American Troops in 1864

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. HENRY CHARLES LEA, Printed Pamphlet. No. 18: The Will of the People, [January – April 1864]. 8 pp., 5½ x 8½ in.

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The will of the people is supreme.

The vital principle of [Lincoln’s] whole administration has been his recognition of the fact, that our Government is simply a machine for carrying into effect THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

Item #24899, $250

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

1864 Campaign Blames McClellan’s Failures on Lincoln, Comparing the President’s Treatment of McClellan and Grant

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Printed Document. Democrat Campaign “Document No. 12” with headings “Lincoln’s Treatment of Gen. Grant,” “Mr. Lincoln’s Treatment of Gen. McClellan,” and “The Taint of Disunion.” [New York, 1864.] 8 pp., 5¾ x 8⅝ in.

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with the same determination to divide the country unless they can secure universal abolition, we are exposed to the same dangers every day, and God only knows in what unlucky hour our ruin may be consummated... Compare his policy with McClellan’s expression of readiness to receive any State when its people offer to submit to the Union.

This Democratic Party campaign pamphlet quotes an April 1864 letter to argue that Lincoln gave Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant free rein to conduct the war, after having interfered with and micromanaged McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in 1862. The publication also declared that Republicans were stained with “The Taint of Disunion” and quoted from Republican speeches and editorials to insist that the Democrats were the party of “UNION AND PEACE.”

Item #24901.02, $450

Miscegenation, or the Millennium of Abolitionism – Stirring Fear of Interracial Marriage Before 1864 Presidential Election

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. [RACISM], Print. “Miscegenation, or the Millennium of Abolitionism.” Political Cartoon. New York: Bromley & Co., 1864. 1 p., 20¾ x 13⅝ in.

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The second in a series of four racist political cartoons published in 1864 by Bromley & Company, which was closely affiliated with the Copperhead New York World newspaper. These prints sought to undermine Abraham Lincoln’s chances for reelection by branding him as a “miscegenationist” and playing on white fears of “race-mixing.” The cartoon scene pictures several interracial couples enjoying a day at the park, eating ice cream, discussing wedding plans, and a woman’s upcoming lecture. Two African American families have white employees, a carriage driver and footmen and a babysitter.

The only other example traced at auction brought $7,800 in 2010.

Item #25614, $7,800
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