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Traitor General James Wilkinson re Intercepted Letters, Praises American Reaction to the XYZ Affair

JAMES WILKINSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Anthony Walton White, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 2, 1798. 1 p., 7¾ x 12½ in.


I have had many Letters intercepted, in search for my politics, so much the better, yet I think it might be worthy Enquiry, to know the fate of yours & Mr. Bootes…

The french are at length unmasqued, & stand confessed a band of freebooters, unequaled among civilized nations. The Conduct of our Envoys has been noble, that of our President decisive.

Wilkinson was undoubtedly in the pay of the Spanish, but somehow managed to retain the trust of each president from Washington to Madison. He was acquitted by several public inquiries and courts martial despite his involvement in the Burr conspiracy and other intrigues. A month after this letter, Wilkinson left Pittsburgh. Going downriver, he stayed Fort Massac in July and August. In August 1799, Major General Alexander Hamilton ordered Wilkinson to establish a base to seize the lower Mississippi Valley and New Orleans if the Quasi-War turned into open war with France or its ally Spain; luckily it did not.

Item #24489, $1,750

A Federalist Congressman Writes to Another on the Impeachment of Judge Pickering, the Race Between Aaron Burr & Lewis Morris, the New Marine Corps, and New Orleans

KILLIAN K. VAN RENSSELAER, Autograph Letter Signed, March 5, 1804, to George Tibbits, 3 pp with integral address leaf free franked by Rensselaer as a Member of Congress. 8 x 12⅝ in.


“The Senate are on Pickerings impeachment…. Burr vs. Lewis is now the cause that is preparing for our State trial. Our Marine Corps is ordered to N. Orleans, where our new Brethren require more Bayonets, then representative government.

Two Federalist Congressmen, in the minority in the U.S. House of Representatives, correspond over the news from Congress and in New York during Aaron Burr’s run for New York governor and the organization of a government for the Louisiana Purchase.

Item #24705, $1,750

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.


Item #24163, $1,750

Caleb Cushing, U.S. Congressman,
Calls for Annexation of Canada

CALEB CUSHING, Autograph Letter Signed, to an unidentified recipient, Newburyport, [ Massachusetts], September 28, 1839.


“I Trust We May Live To See The Stars & Stripes Floating Over The Citadel Over Quebec.”

Item #20021, $1,750

Benjamin Franklin Presents the Constitution
to the Pennsylvania State Legislature;
A Nantucket Indian Creation Myth

[CONSTITUTION], Newspaper. Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, September 21, 1787. John Dunlap, Philadelphia, Pa., 4 pp., 12 x 18¾ in.


Item #21449.18, $1,800

Attacking Congressman Jailed
for Violating Alien and Sedition Act:
“the in-famous Lyon... we are in an age of excentricity”

ELISHA BOUDINOT, Autograph Letter Signed, to Governor Isaac Tichenor. “New Ark,” N.J. February 12, 1799. 1 p. With integral address leaf (half missing).


Boudinot discredits Vermont Congressman Matthew Lyon, the first politician to be jailed for criticizing the president under the terms of the Sedition Act of 1798. I am sorry that your state have so disgraced themselves by sending again as their Representative the in-famous Lyon – but, we are in an age of excentricity! May we weather the storm! To the chagrin of John Adams and the Federalists, Lyons was re-elected while in jail.

Item #21480.06, $1,800

Aaron Burr Manages his New York City Law Office From Albany

AARON BURR, Autograph Letter Signed, to William Ireson. Albany, N.Y., July 20, 1791. 3 pp., folio, with integral address leaf to Ireson “at A Burr’s.”


In July 1791, Burr was serving as New York State commissioner of Revolutionary claims and as freshman U.S. Senator, while also practicing law. Here, the future presidential candidate instructs the clerk keeping his New York office on everything from entering pleas, to sending case paperwork, to ordering vials of an eye moisturizer and books analyzing the French Revolution, to correspondence.

Item #21480.04, $1,900

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.


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

A 1798 Modification to the Naturalization Act Considered Part of the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by John Adams

ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS. [JOHN ADAMS], Broadsheet. Naturalization Law of 1798. An Act Supplementary to, and to amend the act, intitled, “An Act to establish an uniform rule of naturalization; and to repeal the act heretofore passed on the subject.” [Philadelphia], [1798] 2 pp., 8¼ x 13½ in. Docketed on verso. Evans 34700.


Item #23398, $1,950

Burr Sub-Leases a Lot on Richmond Hill Estate Land he had Leased from Trinity Church

AARON BURR, Partially Printed Indenture Signed “Aaron Burr,” to Mathew Goul, July 20, 1797, New York, with additional certification on verso, August 30, 1797, also signed “Aaron Burr.” 2 pp., 9¾ x 15¾ in.


Item #24953, $2,000

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.


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

Item #24398, $2,000

Light Horse Harry Lee Asks Hamilton for a Favor

HENRY LEE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Alexander Hamilton, August 12, 1791, Alexandria, Virginia. 1 p.


Item #24645.06, $2,000

War of 1812 Hero, Early New Mexico Explorer, and the “First American Buried in California Soil”

SYLVESTER PATTIE, Document Signed. Promissory Note with Pattie signing as witness. No place, October 20, 1800. 1 p., 7¾ x 2¾ Docketed on the verso and signed by Boyd with his mark.


Item #23393, $2,250

Opposing the African Slave Trade - 1790 New Haven Sermon

JAMES DANA, Pamphlet. The African Slave Trade. A Discourse Delivered in the City of New-Haven, September 9, 1790, before The Connecticut Society for The Promotion of Freedom. Half-title: Doctor Dana’s Sermon on the African Slave Trade. New Haven: Thomas and Samuel Green, 1791. Evans 23308. 33 pp., 4¾ x 8¼ in.


Our late warfare was expressly founded on such principles as these: ‘All men are created equal: They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.... Those who profess to understand and regard the principles of liberty should cheerfully unite to abolish slavery....

In 1784, Connecticut passed a law that all slaves born after March 1, 1784, were to be freed before or when they reached the age of 25. In 1790, a group of clergymen, lawyers, and academics formed the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom and for the Relief of Persons Unlawfully Holden in Bondage to support the law. Yale University president and Congregationalist minister Ezra Stiles, formerly a slave owner, served as the society’s first president. Here, Rev. Doctor James Dana reviews the history and extent of slavery in the world. Calling it unjust, unchristian, and against the principles of the American Revolution, he urges abolition. Dana’s sermon, and those preached at the Society by Jonathan Edwards Jr., Theodore Dwight, and others, were among the most popular anti-slavery literature from the period. However, the Connecticut Society lapsed and disappeared after the turn of the century.

Item #24464, $2,400

To Alexander Hamilton About Settlement of Land Disputes, Docketed by Eliza

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], Manuscript note, n.p., n.d. [but ca. 1791], "Communication" sent to Alexander Hamilton, praising attorney Egbert Benson, who was instrumental in negotiating the land claim which New York had made to Vermont. Settling the land dispute was a congressionally mandated prerequisite for Vermont joining the Union as a state of its own, rather than being divided between New York and New Hampshire. Docketed by Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.


Item #24620, $2,400

The American Museum Magazine Considers Race and Slavery, Bound Together with Congressional Proceedings
on the Bill of Rights

MATHEW CAREY, Magazine. The American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c. Volume VI, July to December, 1789. 492 pp., plus 46 pp. bound in, Proceedings of Congress, from the First Session of the First Congress, including the process of amending the U.S. Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights. With ownership signature of Connecticut Revolutionary War General Jedediah Huntington on free front endpaper. Dedicated in type to George Washington. Bound in contemporary calf, binding worn, small library label on spine, some staining on title page, several pages trimmed near end, with minor loss of text, primitive drawings of soldiers on back endpaper.


Item #22660, $2,400

King George III Approves Appointments and Promotions for Senior Military Officers

GEORGE III, Document Signed “GR” [George Rex], Assignments of Senior Military Officers, ca. 1808. 1 p.


Administering and protecting the far-flung British Empire, the British army was posted throughout the world. Having shrunk to a poorly administered force of some 40,000 men by 1793, the army grew rapidly during the period of the Napoleonic Wars with France, numbering more than 250,000 men in 1813. This list, approved by King George III, posts senior officers in Great Britain, the Caribbean Islands, Malta, and Canada. Many of these men had served in the American Revolutionary War as junior officers and gained promotion for their service there and in Egypt, India, the Netherlands, Italy, the Caribbean, and elsewhere.

Item #24659, $2,500

Answering Hamilton’s Question on Naturalization and Immigrant Rights in Maryland

WILLIAM TILGHMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Alexander Hamilton, March 19, 1797, 2 pp.


“I have carefully reexamined the laws of Maryland, since the receipt of your favor of the 15th inst. & cannot find that a single Justice of the Peace, ever had authority since the revolution, to naturalize & grant a certificate of it.”A

Item #24645.12, $2,500

A Fatal Duel Set Up by N.C. Congressman & Later Republic of Texas’s Secretary of State

SAMUEL PRICE CARSON, Autograph Letter Signed. Daring Former North Carolina Congressmen Dr. Robert B. Vance to challenge him to a duel, September 12, 1827. 2 pp. Browned paper, stain on verso, some losses on the edges and minor tears, but unique.


the malignant shafts of your disappointed ambition fell perfectly harmless at my feet. I am incapable of any revenge towards you & let me assure you that my chivalry would not permit me to avenge any rongs which you could offer… But if you are serious make good your bost—throw the gantlett upon nutrill ground....

Jacksonian Congressman Samuel P. Carson dares his recent opponent Dr. Robert B. Vance to challenge him to a duel. Carson had won Vance’s seat in 1825. In 1827, Vance tried to regain his old seat, in part by accusing Carson’s father of turning Tory during the Revolutionary War. Carson’s lopsided victory (by more than a two-to-one margin) apparently wasn’t enough. On November 5, 1827, the men met near Saluda Gap, perhaps just over the border into South Carolina, where dueling was legal until 1880. Vance withheld his shot. Carson did not. He seriously wounded Vance, who died the next day.

Item #24222, $2,500

Timothy Pickering on His Successful Negotiation of 1791 Treaty with the Five Nations, Unrealistically Hoping for Peace with other Western Native Americans

TIMOTHY PICKERING, Autograph Letter Signed, likely to Samuel Hodgdon. August 25, 1791. Philadelphia, PA. 2 pp. 8 x 9¼ in.


from them no danger is to be apprehended: they are firmly resolved on peace…. I hope and trust the western campaign will succeed without bloodshed. Scott’s expedition was extremely fortunate; and must when combined with the consideration of the power of the main army, impel the hostile Indians if not to make, yet to accept of offers of peace...

Item #24376, $2,500
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