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Otis on the Infamous Hartford Convention:
“We Ought Not … Be Indifferent to The Effects Of An Erroneous Public Opinion On This Subject,
Upon The Present Age & Upon Posterity …”

HARRISON GRAY OTIS, Autograph Letter Signed, to George Bliss. Boston, October 20, 1818. 1 p. With integral address leaf.

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The presiding officer of the infamous Hartford Convention endeavors to clear the names of its Federalist creators.

Item #20023, $1,250

Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures

BENJAMIN OWEN TYLER, Broadside, Drawn by Tyler and engraved by Peter Maverick, [Washington, D.C., 1818]. 1 p., 23⅞ x 31 in., archivally framed to approx. 32 x 40 in.

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“In Congress, July 4th 1776. The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.”

Item #23683, $25,000

To Avoid Abuse from “bigots in religion...politics, or...medicine,” Thomas Jefferson Declines to Publish Benjamin Rush’s Private Correspondence

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to James Mease. With conjoined franked address leaf in Jefferson’s hand. August 17, 1816. Monticello, [Charlottesville, Va.]. 1 p., 9¾ x 8 in.

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Available as part of The Alexander Hamilton Collection

Thomas Jefferson, long since retired to private life, declines the request of Dr. James Mease for copies of Dr. Benjamin Rush’s correspondence with Jefferson. Mease had hoped to include them in a volume of Rush’s letters to be published and specifically requested letters pertaining to Rush’s personal views on religion and politics. After demurring, Jefferson discusses at length the differences between personal and official correspondence, with philosophical thoughts on public versus private expression. He closes with assurances that his decision is nothing personal, and of his great respect for Mease: “I hope, my dear Sir, you will see in my scruples only a sentiment of fidelity to a deceased friend.”

Item #23233, ON HOLD

William Pinkney, Ripped Off by the Government
for His Work on Jay’s Treaty, Declares
“I Do Not Owe The Government One Farthing”

WILLIAM PINKNEY, Autograph Letter Signed, Baltimore, January 11, 1815, to Richard Forrest.

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“I am brought in Debt upon the Treasury Books…by stopping my salary…and leaving me to maintain myself in London…while I was employed under the orders of the President in the affairs of the Maryland Bank stock…”

Item #20893, $1,500
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The News in 1815: 104 Issues of the Boston Patriot

[WAR OF 1812], Newspapers. January 1815 to December 30, 1815 (Vol. XII, no. 34 - vol. XIV, no. 33). Boston, Mass., Davis C. Ballard. 104 issues, each 4 pp., 14 x 20 1/8 in. Bound in 19th-century quarter calf and marbled boards. With some column-width engraved illustrations.

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Item #20655,

James Monroe Defends his Actions in Futile Defense of Washington in War of 1812

JAMES MONROE, Autograph Letter Signed as Secretary of State, to [Charles Everett], Washington, D.C., September 16, 1814. 2 pp., 7½ x 10 in.

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I stand responsible for my own acts only. [Secretary of War John Armstrong] claims credit for the measures which had been taken for defense of this place. Those measures were not proposed by him but the President....

James Monroe, then Secretary of State, led a scouting expedition in August 1814 that revealed the British marching towards the nation’s capital. His warning allowed President James Madison to evacuate and save America’s founding documents. In the face of criticism, Monroe here discusses his role, trying to avoid blame for the crushing loss and destruction of the Capitol.

Item #24256, $10,000

Jefferson’s Autograph Notes Explaining Napier’s Rule on Spherical Triangles, a Branch of Geometry Crucial to Astronomy, Geodesy, Navigation, & Architecture

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph Manuscript. Notes on Napier’s Theorem. [Monticello, Va.], [ca. March 18, 1814].

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John Napier, who is also credited with inventing logarithms and pioneering the use of the decimal point, first published his rule in 1614. While spherical trigonometry was the foundation for many scientific pursuits including astronomy, celestial navigation, geodesy (the measurement and mathematical representation of the Earth), architecture, and other disciplines, Napier’s Theorum remained largely unknown in America because of its complexity. Since it was so important to his own scholarly pursuits, Jefferson, the Sage of Monticello, was the perfect person to school a professor friend on this important, but complicated mathematical formula.

For instance, a navigator’s distance and position can be determined by “solving” spherical triangles with latitude and longitude lines—essentially very large triangles laid out on a curved surface. Astronomers apply similar principles; stargazers imagine the sky to be a vast dome of stars, with triangles laid out on curved (in this case concave) surface. The distance of stars can be calculated by the viewer, who is considered to be standing at the center (the Earth) and looking up at stars and planets as if they were hung on the inside surface of the sphere. In architecture, spherical triangles fill the corner spaces between a dome that sits on foursquare arches—called a dome on pendentives.

Item #23358, $35,000

John Adams Thanks Thomas Clark for a Copy of His Naval History, and Supports His Proposal to Publish a History of the United States

JOHN ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed “John Adams” to Thomas Clark. Quincy, [Mass.], January 25, 1814, 1p. 8 x 9¾ in.

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John Adams thanks a prominent historian for the copy of two volumes of Naval History of the United States from the Commencement of the Revolutionary War. Written during the last year of the War of 1812, Clark’s book remains as one of the greatest texts of American naval prowess.

Item #24106, $14,500

Unusual Oyster Bay NY Slave Manumission

[SLAVERY], Manuscript Document Signed. New York, N.Y., May 21, 1813. 1 p., 8 x 9½ in.

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Samuel Young and Zebulon Frost, “Overseers of the Poor of Oysterbay” certify that a slave named Lizzie is freed.

Item #23621, ON HOLD

James Madison’s Second Inaugural Address,
in a Rare New York Irish Newspaper

[JAMES MADISON], Newspaper. The Shamrock, or, Hibernian Chronicle, New York, N.Y., March 13, 1813. Madison’s second inaugural address begins on p. 2 and concludes on p. 3. 4 pp., 12 x 19 in.

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On the issue of the war are staked our national sovereignty.”

Item #30001.01, $1,000

Shortly After the Beginning of the War of 1812,
Monroe Expresses his Opposition to Mob Violence

JAMES MONROE, Autograph Letter Signed as James Madison’s Secretary of State to an unidentified friend, Albemarle [his home], Virginia, August 5, 1812. 1 p.

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Item #21059.99, $6,500

Eight Litchfield Connecticut Men Support the War of 1812

[WAR OF 1812], Document Signed. Litchfield County, Conn. Ca. 1813-1815. [docketed “Support of the War 1812”], 1p.

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Item #24163, $1,750

James Monroe & Congress Support the Independence Movements of Spain’s American Colonies

[SOUTH AMERICA] JAMES MONROE, Pamphlet. “Report (in Part) of the Committee on so Much of the President’s Message as Relates to the Spanish American colonies / December 10th, 1811. Read, and referred to the committee of the whole on the state of the Union.” Washington, D.C.: Printed by R. C. Weightman: 1811. 4 pp.

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[We] behold with friendly interest, the establishment of independent sovereignties, by the Spanish provinces in America…”

Item #21298, $950

Supreme Court Justice Livingston Recommends
a Danish Son-in-Law of Jacob Astor
to John Quincy Adams, on Duty in Russia

BROCKHOLST LIVINGSTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to John Quincy Adams. New York, January 19, 1811. 1 p.

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Supreme Court Justice Brockholst Livingston recommends “Mr: Bentzon,” a Danish official and son-in-law of John Jacob Astor, to John Quincy Adams, Minister to Russia. Docketed by John Quincy Adams. “He is since married into the family of Mr. Astor, one of our first & most respectable merchants, & is going with his Lady to Denmark … as Mr. Bentzon intends visiting Petersburgh he is desirous of doing himself the honor of calling on you ...”

Item #21466.06, $2,950

Self-Exiled Burr Ordered Out of the United Kingdom

[AARON BURR], Newspaper. New-England Palladium, January 9, 1810. Boston: Young and Minns.

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Item #30005.011, $400

Supreme Court Justice Livingston Recommends
a Young New Yorker to James Madison

BROCKHOLST LIVINGSTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to James Madison. New York, November 30, 1808. 1 p.

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Justice Livingston writes a letter of recommendation to President-elect James Madison for Peter Cruger, son of an influential New York City merchant.

Item #21466.05, $500

Madison, Monroe, Talleyrand and Jefferson’s “Crimes” and “back door pimps” in Negotiations to Buy Florida From Spain

KILLIAN K. VAN RENSSELAER, Autograph Letter Signed, April 2, 1806. 4 pp.

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Randolphs charges agt. Jefferson are that he recommended one thing in his private message, which he counteracted by his ‘back door pimps’ and obtained 2 Millions of Dollars to give Talleyrand, to open the door with Spain for Negotiation //- Also, for having nominated Gen.l Wilkinson Governor of upper Louisiana - blending the military with the civil.

R[andolph]- remarked in a reply to B[idwell], that he considered the ‘half formed opinion, from the half bred Attorney, as not worthy an answer, unless it was to tell him, that he was like the rest of the political wood cocks, with which he associated, that had run their Bills in the mud, and therefore wished not to see, nor to be seen.’

Item #22274, $2,750

Thomas Paine: Who Suggested that America should have a Monarch?

THOMAS PAINE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Elisha Babcock. New Rochelle, N.Y., July 2, 1805. 1 p., 8 x 10 in., with address leaf.

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Paine asks a newspaper publisher for the source of a report, that Great Britain had circulated a proposal “among the most influential federalists” recommending that the Duke of Clarence be made the King of America. This letter, attacking the Federalists generally and American monarchists specifically, is completely in line with a campaign he waged in his waning years against any in the United States who might yearn for a constriction of democracy and a resumption of monarchic rule in America. Thomas Paine returned to the United States in 1802, after living most of the previous fifteen years abroad. Shortly after his arrival in the United States he was hosted by Jefferson at the White House, and quickly became the target of Federalist attacks. Paine answered those attacks in published articles and in private letters – the present letter is one of those responses. He also asks why his letter (dated June 8) was not printed in the paper.

Item #21490.99, $60,000

Charging Aaron Burr with Hamilton’s Murder

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], Newspaper. Columbian Centinel, Boston, Mass, November 7, 1804. 4 pp., 13 x 19¾ in. Loss (roughly 2 x ¾ in.) on pp. 3-4 professionally filled, still, some small text lacking.

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“A bill has been found in New-Jersey, against MR. BURR, for the murder of GEN.  HAMILTON.—Nevertheless he will take his seat in Congress.”

Item #30000.55, $500

James Madison Coaxes Georgia for Official Notification of the 12th Amendment’s Passage to Avoid Another Election Fiasco

JAMES MADISON, Autograph Letter Signed as Secretary of State, to James Milledge. Washington, D.C., August 18, 1804. 1 p., 8 x 9¼ in. On wove paper watermarked “1800.”

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With the necessary approval of 13 out of 17 state legislatures, Secretary of State James Madison urges Georgia Governor James Milledge to send notification of his state’s approval before the upcoming 1804 presidential election. By requiring separate ballots for president and vice president, the 12th Amendment fixed a major flaw in the original Constitution by eliminating the possibility of a tie vote in the Electoral College.

Item #23396, $20,000
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