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Relieving Persons in Debtors Prison

EDMUND RANDOLPH, Document Signed as Secretary of State. An Act to continue in force the act for the relief of persons imprisoned for Debt and An Act to alter the time for the next annual meeting of Congress, May 30, 1794. Philadelphia: Childs and Swaine. Signed in type by George Washington as President, John Adams as Vice President, and Frederick Muhlenberg as Speaker of the House. 1 p., 8¼ x 13½ in.

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Item #24428.04, $3,750

Benjamin Franklin’s advice on financial success, Voltaire on national wealth, taxes, and the promotion of labor and commerce

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. “The Way to make Money plenty in every Man’s Pocket,” The New Haven Gazette and the Connecticut Magazine, September 7, 1786. New Haven, CT: Meigs and Dana. 8 pp. (Vol. I No 30, pp. 229-236), 8 ⅝ x 10 ⅜ in.

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As applicable today as it was three centuries ago, this abbreviated summary of Franklin’s ideas for thrift carried his fame throughout the world. With a great excerpt from Voltaire, and mention of the graduating class of 23 gentleman at Princeton College, a new treaty with Spain that effects New Orleans, and more.

Item #30007.032, $750

John Quincy Adams, enmeshed in law studies, touches base with a Harvard College chum

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed, to James Bridge, November 21, 1788, Braintree, Massachusetts. 2 pp.

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“Surrounded by the learning and ingenuity of three thousand years, a mind in the least stimulated by curiosity or ambition cannot complain of the tediousness of time; yet I often wish, I could more effectually … mingle the pleasures of an intercourse with my living friends, to those of a participation in the speculations of the ‘mighty dead.’”

While a student at Harvard College, John Quincy Adams spent the break between semesters in December 1786 and January 1787 at the college to work on his graduation address for the commencement in July 1787. James Bridge, “whose character as a scholar and a gentleman is inferior to none,” according to Adams, remained there as well, and “we agreed to chum together during the vacation.” They lived at the College and boarded at Divinity Professor Edward Wigglesworth’s home.

After they graduated from Harvard College in 1787, both John Quincy Adams and James Bridge studied law with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts, from 1787 to 1790. There, they were good friends and roommates.

Item #25370, $6,000

An Outstanding Letter from a Hero of the Mexican Revolution and “Servant of the Nation”

JOSÉ MARÍA MORELOS PÉREZ Y PAVÓN, Autograph Letter Signed, in Spanish, to Francisco Xavier Venegas, February 5, 1812, Cuernevaca, Mexico. 4 pp., 6 x 8 ¼ in.

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In this bold letter from an early leader of the Mexican War of Independence, José María Morelos informs the Spanish viceroy, who represented the authority of the Spanish crown in New Spain, that his forces had taken Cuernevaca, thirty-five miles south of Mexico City, and warns him not to attempt to send troops, who would only be defeated. Morelos boasts that he will soon take the rest of Mexico. He adds tauntingly that he cannot tell Venegas the day or hour when his forces will enter Mexico City.

This important letter also reveals the little-known fact of Morelos’ previous training in the artillery, as he remembers Venegas from his time as part of the Real Cuerpo de Artilleria. He also provides an account of the attack on Yzucar to correct the misrepresentations in the press. Despite rumors of his failing health, Morelos declares that he is well-rested and in great health.

Item #25319, $15,000

The First Facsimile of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copper plate printing, [Washington, D.C., 1818]. Facsimile drawn by Benjamin Owen Tyler (b. 1789) and engraved by Peter Maverick (1780-1831), 25 ½ x 31 ½ in., framed to 34 ½ x 40 ½ in.

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Item #25076, $35,000

Ex- President J.Q. Adams and his Secretary of the Treasury Skeptical of British Reforms: “The Gypsies are the Romancers of Beggary. The whigs are the Romancers of Liberty…

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed, to Richard Rush, April 17, 1831, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 8 x 10 in. With recipient’s docketing.

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Since the commencement of the Reign of George the third, once in ten, fifteen or twenty years the whigs have obtained possession of the Government, and held it just long enough to demonstrate to the conviction of the Nation that they are utterly incompetent to the task of managing the Public Affairs.

This witty and sometimes caustic letter on the subject of democracy in the United Kingdom was written by a former American president to his former Secretary of the Treasury, both of whom had served as U.S. Minister to Great Britain. Rush found it “an amusing & pretty good letter.”

Item #25371, $6,500

Insurance Companies Refuse to Pay for American Ship Captured While Shipping Arms to Simón Bolívar’s Rebels

[INSURANCE, NEUTRALITY, SHIPPING, SPANISH EMPIRE], Archive of Evidence in Thompson and Bathurst v. Maryland Insurance Company and Thompson and Bathurst v. Phoenix Fire Insurance Company cases, 1821-1824. 28 documents, 41 pp., most 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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This fascinating archive consists of 27 manuscript documents in English and one in Spanish from litigation between the Baltimore owners of the merchant ship Budget and insurance companies that underwrote its voyage from England to South America. This conflict occurred against a backdrop of the collapse of Spain’s American empire, as various areas in Central and South America asserted their independence, many under the leadership of Simón Bolívar. The ship, carrying weapons and supplies destined for Simón Bolívar’s rebels, was captured by a Spanish privateer and condemned in Puerto Rico. The insurance companies refused to pay on their policies, leading to two important cases on maritime law, neutral rights, and the responsibilities of insurance companies.

Item #21602, $1,750

Accusing the 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

Future Harvard President Writes Fellow Alumnus about Harvard and Preaching

[HARVARD UNIVERSITY]. JOHN T. KIRKLAND, Autograph Letter Signed, to Abiel Abbot, September 29, 1793, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 3 pp., 6 x 7¼ in.

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John T. Kirkland writes from Harvard College to fellow Harvard graduate Abiel Abbot, who is serving as a missionary and pastor in the remote District of Maine, then a part of Massachusetts. Although Kirkland thought Abbot would remain there, a year later, Abbot was at Harvard as a tutor, perhaps even replacing Kirkland, who became pastor of the New South Church in Boston.

Item #25141, $1,950

Iconic Pillars Illustration -- Celebrating Massachusetts’ Ratification and the Process of Erecting the “great federal superstructure”

[CONSTITUTION], Newspaper. Massachusetts Centinel, February 13, 1788 (Volume VIII, pp. 171-174). Boston: Benjamin Russell. 4 pp., 9⅝ x 14⅞ in.

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This newspaper is replete with Constitution-related content, including minutes from the debates of Massachusetts’ State Ratifying Convention – everything from discourse on standing armies to Fisher Ames’ hearkening back to 1775 with, “WE MUST UNITE OR DIE”; a poem to Washington on his birthday; a fictional dialogue, The Federal Anti-Federalist, Returned to His Neighbours; a rare example of one of Benjamin Russell’s famed ‘Pillars’ illustration series; and a great deal of reporting on the popular reception of the news of ratification, expressed in particular by an enormous parade and surrounding celebrations.

Item #24836, $4,750

Hamilton’s Future Duel-Doctor to President of Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons

DAVID HOSACK, Autograph Letter Signed, to Samuel Bard, November 26, 1820. 4 pp. plus autograph address to “Doctor Samuel Bard / Hyde Park / Dutchess County” with manuscript and stamped philatelic markings. 8⅛ x 10 in.

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This outstanding letter discusses both early Columbia University medical school administration and early nineteenth-century medicine. The writer served as the doctor for the duels that resulted in the deaths of both Philip and Alexander Hamilton. He was also the founder of the first botanical garden in America, where Rockefeller Center now stands. He sold it to New York State to be given to Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, which transferred it to Columbia University (they sold the land for $400 million in 1985) and another which is now the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site.

Item #25078, $1,800

Gov. Harry Lee Requests All Virginia Slave Condemnation Cases for Clemency Review

HENRY “LIGHT HORSE” HARRY LEE, Printed Document Signed as Governor of Virginia, Circular Letter Richmond, January 25, 1794. 1 p., 6 ½ x 8 in.

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“Light Horse” Harry Lee was a Revolutionary War hero, governor of Virginia, and father to famous Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Here, he requests that county clerks fill positions of “Escheator,” persons overseeing land reverting to the state if there are no heirs, and adds that he would like the clerks to inform him of any cases of a slave condemned for crimes where the “person be considered as an object of mercy or not…”

Item #25033, $3,900

Massachusetts Learns the News of Philip Hamilton’s Death

[PHILIP HAMILTON DUEL], Newspaper. The Salem Gazette, December 4, 1801. Salem, Massachusetts: Thomas C. Cushing. 4 pp.

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Item #24959, $900

Genêt Offers a Rather Inadequate Explanation of the Citizen Genêt Affair

EDMOND-CHARLES GENÊT, Autograph Letter Signed in French, to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, July 9, 1793, Philadelphia. 2 pp., 8 x 13¼ in.

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Item #24762, $3,500

A Legal Document Signed by Hamilton’s Second in His Fatal Duel

NATHANIEL PENDLETON, Manuscript Document Signed as Federal Judge, District of Georgia. Deposition of Hannah Miller, March 14, 1796, St. Marys, Georgia.

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This affidavit is from a federal court case that federal District Judge Nathaniel Pendleton heard in Georgia.

Item #24398, $2,000

Jefferson-Signed Act of Congress Enabling Revolutionary War Veterans to Settle the West

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State, An Act to enable the Officers and Soldiers of the Virginia line on Continental Establishment, to obtain Titles to certain Lands lying north west of the river Ohio, between the Little Miami and Sciota, August 10, 1790. [New York, N.Y.: Francis Childs and John Swaine]. Signed in type by George Washington as President, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and John Adams as Vice President and President of the Senate. 2 pp.

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Secretary of State Jefferson signs an act enabling Virginia to issue Northwest Territory land grants promised to veterans for their Revolutionary War service. Jefferson had already played a critical role in the creation of a national domain and the opening of the American West by orchestrating Virginia’s cession of the Northwest Territory to the United States. This act repeals a controversial 1788 Confederation Congress Act that invalidated the state’s right to lay out military bounty lands within a section of the Northwest Territory.

Item #23981, $17,500

Harvard’s 1791 Graduating Students and Theses, Dedicated to Governor John Hancock and Lieutenant Governor Samuel Adams

HARVARD COLLEGE, Broadside. List of Graduating Students and Theses for Disputation. Boston, Massachusetts: Samuel Hall, 1791. 1 p., 18 x 22 in.

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Interesting broadside in Latin issued for Harvard University’s 1791 commencement lists Latinized names of 27 graduating students. Among the graduates are New Hampshire Justice John Harris (1769-1845); U.S. Representative Thomas Rice (1768-1854); and Henry Dana Ward (1768-1817), youngest son of General Artemas Ward (1727-1800), who initially commanded the patriot army around Boston in 1775.

Item #24462, $1,500

Harvard’s 1786 Graduating Class and Their Theses, Dedicated to Gov. James Bowdoin

HARVARD COLLEGE, Broadside. List of Graduating Students and Theses for Disputation. Boston, Massachusetts: Edmund Freeman, 1786. 1 p., 16 x 24 in.

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Interesting broadside in Latin issued for Harvard University’s 1786 commencement lists Latinized names of 45 graduating students. Among the graduates are Joseph Warren (1768-1790), the son of prominent Boston physician and Harvard graduate Joseph Warren, who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775; Boston attorney Timothy Bigelow (1767-1821); U.S. Senator Christopher G. Champlin (1768-1840); Boston attorney John Lowell Jr. (1769-1840), whose grandson served as president of Harvard in the early twentieth century; U.S. Senator Thomas W. Thompson (1766-1821); and Massachusetts Chief Justice Isaac Parker (1768-1830).

Item #23331, $1,950

The Alexander Hamilton Collection:
A Show-Stopping Gathering of Highly Important
Original Letters, Documents and Imprints

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], The Alexander Hamilton Collection contains hundreds of documents from leaders, soldiers, citizens and the press, written when the Revolutionary War and Founding were current events. The Collection includes powerful letters and documents of Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Aaron Burr, among many others.

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We are pleased to offer a unique collection of original documents that made American history. These documents tell the story of the orphan immigrant founding father who fought for independence, founded our financial system, and fostered a government capable of surviving internal factions and foreign foes.

Item #24685, $3,800,000

Alexander Hamilton Writes a Female Friend in Puerto Rico, Sympathizing with the Perilous Condition of Haiti as French Control of the Island Deteriorates

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Autograph Letter Signed with Initials, to Marie Jeanne Ledoux Caradeux de la Caye, Countess of Caradeux. November 1802. New York City. 1 p., 7¾ x 12⅝ in. Several words obscured by ink stain.

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“The events of St Domingo chagrine us… [T]he disappointment to your views in that quarter contributes to render us extremely sensible to the disasters of that Colony. When will this disagreeable business end? But when would our interrogations finish, if we should attempt to unravel the very intricate and extraordinary plots in which the affairs of the whole world are embroiled at the present inexplicable conjuncture? We have nothing for it but patience and resignation, and to make the best of what we have without being over solicitous to ameliorate our conditions. This is now completely my philosophy.”

Item #24647, $19,000
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