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The United States Constitution – Very Rare October 1, 1787 Connecticut Printing In Bound Volumes of The American Mercury, 1785-1788

[CONSTITUTION], Newspaper. The American Mercury, Two Bound Volumes, published in Hartford, Connecticut, each 10 x 16 in., in original quarter sheepskin and paper boards. Covers inscribed with name of owner*, Charles D’W. Brownell of Bristol, Rhode Island. Vol. IV, No. 169. The first volume contains 99 issues from February 7, 1785 to December 25, 1786, missing seven. The second volume runs from January 1, 1787 to December 29, 1788, likewise missing seven.

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WE, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common Defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America.”

Item #26054, $40,000

The United States Constitution – Early Connecticut Printing

[CONSTITUTION], Newspaper. The New-Haven Gazette, and The Connecticut Magazine. September 27, 1787. M.DCC.LXXXVII (No 32.) Printed and Published by Josiah Meigs. Signed in type by George Washington and the other 38 delegates who signed the Constitution. 8 pp. Quarto (8.625 x 10.125 inches). ([249]-256, though what should be page 255 is mis-numbered 247, as is the case with the other copies we have seen of this edition). Accompanied by title and index leaves printed slightly later, for binding after end of year.

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WE, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common Defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America.”

Item #26098, $20,000

Manuscript Music & Lyrics for “Liberty,” a Patriotic Song by Composer Stephen Jenks

[STEPHEN JENKS], Manuscript music and lyrics for the tune “Liberty,” ca. 1800-15. 1 p., 13 x 3½ in.

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Item #23904, $1,100

Very Early 1790s Naturalization Certificate for Famous French Physician – One the First Persons to Become an American Citizen Under the First Naturalization Act

[IMMIGRATION], Manuscript Document Signed. Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Court of Common Pleas, begun and held September 14, 1790. Naturalization Certificate for Dr. Lewis Leprilete. A true copy, penned and signed by Samuel Fales, [between September 14, 1790 and March 19, 1795]. With certification on verso signed by notary public Samuel Cooper, Boston, March 19, 1795, and bearing Cooper’s official embossed paper wafer seal. 2 pp., 7⅝ x 12½ in.

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Dr. Lewis Leprilete was one of the few French persons admitted to United States citizenship under the provisions of the first Naturalization Act of 1790. He became the first to advertise cataract extraction in the United States, and the first American author to publicize Benjamin Franklin’s bifocals. Leprilete returned to France, and was forced to serve in the French army in Guadaloupe. He was able to come back to the United States in 1801.

Item #25787, $14,000

Napoleon Bonaparte Signed Letter from Polish Campaign, War of the 4th Coalition: “once they arrive in Berlin … review them, let them rest several days, and give them coats and shoes.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, Letter Signed, in French, signed as “Napol” at the top of the third page. Written at Osterode, Germany, March 11, 1807. 7.25 x 8.875 inches.

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Item #25997, $4,500

Jefferson’s Famous Letter on the “Wall of Separation” Between Church and State

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Newspaper. Aurora General Advertiser. [Philadelphia:] Published (Daily) at William Duane, Successor to Benjamin Franklin Bache, in Franklin-Court, Market-Street, February 1, 1802. 4 pp., 13½ x 21½ in. The Danbury letters are on p. 2.

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Item #25964, $18,000

Thomas Paine Asks for Help with His Tenant Farmer and Encloses an Essay on “Hints” for Establishing a Deistical Church

THOMAS PAINE, Autograph Letter Signed, to John Fellows, July 9, 1804, New Rochelle, New York. 1 p., 6⅜ x 8 in.

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Item #25882, $25,000

On the Death of George Washington: Testimonials on the “Father of His Country”

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. The Constitutional Telegraph, Boston, MA: Parker’s Printing Office, December 28, 1799. 4 pp., 12¼ x 19½ in.

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The nation’s first president had died on December 14, 1799, and was interred at Mount Vernon by his family four days later. As the president was laid to rest in the family’s receiving vault, vessels in the Potomac River fired a final salute to the commander in chief.

Item #23839, $3,750

Dartmouth v. Woodward Landmark Supreme Court Case on Contracts & Corporations

TIMOTHY FARRAR, Book. Report of the Case of the Trustees of Dartmouth College against William H. Woodward. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: John W. Foster, and West, Richardson, and Lord, Boston, [1819]. First edition. With ownership signature of A. W. Haven and bookplate of William Russell Foster. 406 pp., 5¾ x 9½ in.

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The opinion of the court after mature deliberation, is, that this [charter] is a contract, the obligation of which cannot be impaired without violating the constitution of the United States.

This volume provides a full report of the landmark decision of Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward. After Dartmouth College’s president was removed by its Trustees, the New Hampshire legislature attempted to invalidate the College’s 1769 charter to make it a public institution, giving the governor the power to appoint trustees. The Supreme Court ruled that a corporate charter (in this case, predating even the establishment of the state) was protected by the contracts clause of the Constitution. The decision upheld the sanctity of contracts as necessary to the function of a republic, and declared that a state legislature could not interfere with contracts between private parties, paving the way for American corporations and the modern free enterprise system.

Item #25744, $2,200

New Hampshire Acts Organizing the Election of 1792 -Washington’s re-Election

[NEW HAMPSHIRE], Broadside, “An ACT directing the mode of ballotting for, and appointing the Electors of this state for the election of a President and Vice-President of the United States. ALSO— An ACT directing the mode of choosing Representatives to the Congress of the United States.” Organizing elections in the state, signed in print by Governor Josiah Bartlett, June 1792. 1 p., 15½ x 19½ in.

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Item #24603, $7,500

Connecticut Prepares for New Federal Constitution, Establishes Plan to Elect Senators and Representatives

[CONNECTICUT]. GEORGE WYLLYS, Printed Document Signed. Acts and Laws, Made and passed by the General Court, or Assembly of the State of Connecticut, in America: holden at New-Haven, (by Adjournment) on the first Thursday of January, Anno Dom. 1789. New Haven: Thomas and Samuel Green, 1789. Signed on first page, and docketed by Wyllys on final page, “Public Acts / Assembly / Jan’y 1789.” 8 pp., 7 ⅜ x 12 ½ in.

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Official printing of the fourteen Acts passed by the Connecticut Assembly in January 1789, includes “An Act for regulating the Election of Senators and Representatives, for this State, in the Congress of the United States.”

Item #24404, $3,750

Democratic Republicans Warn Against Federalist Resurgence in Wake of Embargo Act

[MASSACHUSETTS], Printed Circular, “United We Stand – Divided We Fall,” ca. April 1808, [Boston, Massachusetts], signed in print by “The Central Committee”; addressed to Col. Thomas Lincoln, Taunton, Massachusetts. 1 p., 8 ⅜ x 10 in.

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Item #24499.05, $450

Director of Ordnance on Loan of Gunpowder to DuPont and Private Individuals; forwards Copy of Prior Letter Informing Secretary of War John Calhoun of his Objection

DECIUS WADSWORTH, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, February 10, 1821, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 8 x 10 in.
[With] DECIUS WADSWORTH, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, July 18, 1818, [ca. February 10, 1821, Washington, D.C.]. Marked “copy.” 2 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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The loaning of Munitions of War, in such large quantities from our Magazines and Arsenals is viewed by me as highly impolitic and hazardous; and it is hardly necessary for me to add, that I have had no agency in the Transaction.

Item #23067.06, $1,000

First Army Chief of Ordnance Rails against Military Waste in a Very Modern Essay

DECIUS WADSWORTH, Autograph Document Signed, critique of Senate bill to combine Ordnance and Artillery departments, ca. 1821. 7 pp., 8½ x 12½ in.
[with] DECIUS WADSWORTH, Autograph Document Signed, proposal regarding Ordnance Department, ca. 1821. 3 pp., 8 x 10 in. #23067.04
[with] [JAMES MADISON]. An act for the better regulation of the Ordnance Department, passed by Congress, February 8, 1815, signed in type by President James Madison, Speaker of the House Langdon Cheves, and Senate President pro tem John Gaillard. 2 pp., 7⅞ x 9⅝ in.

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The Idea that an Army shall be entitled to receive whatever may be called for, is monstrous, and is what the Resources of no Nation can support.

Colonel Wadsworth provides a lengthy critique of a Senate bill to combine the Ordnance and Artillery departments. He insists on the need to maintain uniformity in arms manufacture and the necessity to control the flow of supplies. Many of his arguments about the tendency to waste in military expenditures resonate with modern critiques.

Item #23067.03, $1,000

Jonathan Williams - First Superintendent of West Point and First Head of the Army Corps of Engineers - Assesses New York Harbor Defenses

JONATHAN WILLIAMS, Autograph Letter Signed, to Richard Whiley, December 1, 1809, New York. 2 pp., 7¾ x 10 in.

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As Commander of the Corps of Engineers, Jonathan Williams planned and supervised the construction of New York Harbor’s defenses. In this letter to the commander of Fort Columbus on Governors Island, Williams gives a detailed report on the state of the fortifications and their capacity for additional artillery.

Item #23067.02, $1,100

Letter to Vice President Aaron Burr From Revolutionary War Officer and Future New York Mayor Marinus Willett re Protecting New York’s Harbor and Opposing Brooklyn Navy Yard Site (Because the Navy’s Agent Didn’t Buy Enough Land)

MARINUS WILLETT, Autograph Letter Signed, to Vice President Aaron Burr, January 7, 1802. 2 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in. Docketed M. Willett, January 7, 1802.

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Governor Clinton wanted a report from the federal government “signifying the number of troops that will be allowed to Garrison there [in New York harbor], and whether the General Government will not from a Consideration of the Importance of the safety of the port to the revenue add something to what may be expanded [sic] by the state.

Willett appeals to Vice President Aaron Burr for help from the Jefferson administration to improve New York City’s harbor defenses based upon the city’s commercial importance. He also discusses initial plans for the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Item #23067.01, $2,500

Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull

[JOHN TRUMBULL], Engraved print by Waterman Lilly Ormsby, after an 1823 engraving by Asher B. Durand of John Trumbull’s famous painting of 1819. Brooklyn, NY: Cole & Co., the first edition of this print was in 1876. The plates survive and this is likely a modern strike, with modern coloring. Framed to 42½ x 33¼ in.

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Item #23073, $1,250

July 4, 1810 Oration by Democratic-Republican Declaration Printer John Binns

JOHN BINNS, Printed Pamphlet. An Oration Commemorative of the Birth-Day of American Independence, Delivered Before the Democratic Societies of the City and County of Philadelphia, On the 4th of July, 1810. Philadelphia, PA: C. and A. Conrad & Co., 1810. 11 pp., 5¾ x 9 in. in original blue wrappers.

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our rights have been sported with—our property seized—our laws mocked at—our citizens imprisoned, impressed and murdered—our national flag has been bathed in our own waters made red with the blood of our citizens…

Speech by Democratic-Republican stalwart John Binns praising the heroes of the Founding Era and encouraging support for James Madison’s administration against the insults of European belligerents. The nationalism to which he appeals erupted two years later in a declaration of war against the United Kingdom and the beginning of the War of 1812.

Item #25491, $490

Jefferson’s Proclamation on the State of Affairs with England (1807)

[THOMAS JEFFERSON], Newspaper. The Balance and Columbian Repository. Hudson, New York: Harry Croswell, July 14, 1807. 8 pp., 9½ x 11¾ in.

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This issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository features Jefferson’s proclamation regarding the British attacks on American vessels, several articles debating the President’s stance on the matter, an article about Aaron Burr’s trial, toasts given in honor of Independence Day, and an address to the Medical Society of Columbia County.

Item #30000.66, $350

John Quincy Adams’ Copy of a Scarce South Carolina Printing of the Monroe Doctrine

[JOHN QUINCY ADAMS]. JAMES MONROE, Newspaper. State of the Union Message. Cheraw Intelligencer and Southern Register, December 12, 1823. Cheraw, S.C.: William Poole & Co. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams’ name penned in top margin of first page, likely addressed by the publisher. 4 pp., 12¾ x 20 in.

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the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.

The Monroe Doctrine - as it is now known- was largely the creation of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, and issued not on its own but as part of James Monroe’s Annual Message to Congress (now referred to as the State of the Union Address). By declaring that the western hemisphere was no longer subject to European colonization, it marked a defining moment in Monroe’s presidency and informed American foreign policy for more than a century.

Monroe’s message covered other important topics, among them the international slave trade, the possible construction of a canal to connect the Chesapeake Bay with the Ohio River, and the Greek War of Independence. In addition, this newspaper prints the editor’s brief reaction to the president’s “luminous message” (p2/c4); notice of Henry Clay’s election as Speaker of the House of Representatives (p2/c4); proceedings of the South Carolina state legislature, including proposed laws prohibiting “free negroes” from entering the state, reports on canal building (p3/c1-2), and other local, national and international news. Notices and advertisements include runaway slave ads (p4/c1).

As Secretary of State, Adams needed to receive news from all parts of the United States. His office was responsible not only for foreign affairs but also for relations between the states and the federal government.

Item #21077.99, $19,000
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