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George Washington’s Second Inaugural Address

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Newspaper. Gazette of the United States, March 9, 1793. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: John Fenno. 4 pp., 9½ x 14¾ in.

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Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence—that if it shall be found, during my administration of the Government, I have in any instance violated willingly, or knowingly, the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all, who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

Although Washington wanted to retire after a single term, the members of his cabinet, especially rivals Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, were convinced that he was essential to lead the nation through the next four years. After being again unanimously selected by the Electoral College, Washington delivered his second inaugural address in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia. At 135 words, it is the shortest inaugural address ever.

Item #30027.12, $1,800

A Former Tennessee Congressman Thanks an Editor for Opposing Southern Nullifiers, and Criticizes Andrew Jackson’s Political Vindictiveness

JAMES B. REYNOLDS, Autograph Letter Signed, to Hezekiah Niles. Clarksville, Tenn., January 12, 1831. 3 pp., 9¾ x 8 in., with integral address leaf.

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Former Tennessee congressman James Reynolds thanks newspaper editor Hezekiah Niles for standing against Southern nullifiers while offering insight into the spiteful tactics Jackson used against Reynolds once elected to the presidency. Jackson won the presidency in 1828 after losing in 1824 to John Quincy Adams. Apparently, fellow Tennessean Reynolds did not complain enough about the “corrupt bargain” election of 1824—and Andrew Jackson held a grudge.

Item #22535, $1,800

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.

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Item #21449.18, $1,800

John Marshall’s Supreme Court Decides Osborn et al. v. The Bank of the United States, landmark 11th Amendment Case

[JOHN MARSHALL], Newspaper. Daily National Intelligencer, March 22, 1824. Washington, DC: Gales & Seaton. Opinion for the Supreme Court in Osborn et al. v. The Bank of the United States fills pages 3 and 4. 4 pp.

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[T]he Eleventh Amendment, which restrains the jurisdiction granted by the Constitution over suits against States, is, of necessity, limited to those suits in which a State is a party on the record.

Ohio levied taxes on each branch of the U.S. Bank in the state. The Court had already ruled in McCulloch v. Maryland that such taxes were unconstitutional, but Ohio persisted in enforcing the tax. Ralph Osborn, the State Auditor, seized funds from the Bank. The circuit court ordered Osborn and his colleagues to repay the amount seized. The question is Osborn was, did the federal circuit court’s assertion of jurisdiction violate the Eleventh Amendment? In a 6-to-1 decision, the Court upheld the circuit and ruled that the Ohio law was “repugnant to the Constitution.” Osborn and his colleagues were thus “incontestably liable for the full amount of the money taken out of the bank.”

This issue includes a first printing of the landmark Supreme Court decision in the case of Osborn et al. v. The Bank of the United States. The Court announced its decision on Friday, March 19, 1824, and this printing appeared on Monday, March 22.

Item #24689, $1,950

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

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.

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Item #23398, $1,950

Due to Articles of Confederation’s Weakness, New Hampshire’s Legislature Moves to Regulates and Encourages Trade – Separate from the Other States

NEW HAMPSHIRE GENERAL COURT, Manuscript Document Signed by a Clerk, June 23, 1785, [Exeter], New Hampshire. Blindstamped “Archives de Chastellux” at top left. 4 pp., 8 x 13½ in., 6/23/1785.

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New Hampshire Act providing “for the Regulation of navigation and commerce,” featuring strict prohibitions against imports to or exports from New Hampshire in ships “being the property of any of the Subjects of the King of Great-Britain.” It also establishes mechanisms for enforcement and penalties for disregarding the law.

“any vessels, which may appear to have two setts of papers; by the one of which they may appear to be the property of the citizens of the united States, and by the other, the property of foreigners… if it shall be made to appear, that any vessel, that is cleared at the naval office in this state, as the property of the citizens of these States, shall afterwards enter, and discharge her cargo taken in, and cleared as aforesaid, in any foreign port, as the property of a foreigner, said vessel, upon her return into this state, shall be forfeited, and may be seized by the naval officer of this [state]”

Item #25023.01, $2,000

Signed by Hamilton’s Second in 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 Judge Nathaniel Pendleton heard in Georgia.

Item #24398, $2,000

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

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.

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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.

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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

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.

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Item #22660, $2,400

George Clinton—1st N.Y. State Governor—Confirms 1,500,000+ Acre Patent in Catskill Mountains, “Sold” by Native Americans

GEORGE CLINTON, Document Signed, Land Patent, June 11, 1786. Includes attached Great Seal of New York, made from beeswax, covered with parchment, then embossed with brass matrix. 6 pp., 14¼ x 17½ in. with 3½ in. seal.

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Item #24362, $2,500

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

George Washington to the Convention of the Universal Church

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Newspaper. Letter to the Convention of the Universal Church, August 9, 1790, in Gazette of the United States, August 11, 1790. New York, New York: John Fenno. 4 pp., 9½ x 14¾ in.

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It gives me the most sensible pleasure to find, that, in our nation, however different are the sentiments of citizens on religious doctrines, they generally concur in one thing: For their political professions and practices are almost universally friendly to the order and happiness of our civil institutions.

Item #30022.19, $2,500

Father of the Erie Canal and Future Governor DeWitt Clinton’s Copy of New York City Ordinances

DEWITT CLINTON, Signed Book. Laws and Ordinances, Ordained and Established by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of New-York, in Common Council Convened, for the Good Rule and Government of the Inhabitants and Residents of the Said City. Passed and published the 17th day of January, 1805. In the Mayoralty of DeWitt Clinton. First Edition. New York: James Cheetham, 1805. DeWitt Clinton’s ownership signature on title page. 160 pp., 7¾ x 4½ in.

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During the second of his ten terms as mayor of New York City, Clinton signs his copy of the ordinances for governing the city at the top of the title page.

Item #23636, $2,500

Prospectus of Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States, September 10, 1791. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: John Fenno. 4 pp., 10 x 16 in. The prospectus is printed on the front page in three columns.

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Contrasting with the agrarian view of many Virginia founding fathers, New Yorker Alexander Hamilton saw an industrial future for the United States. After nearly two years of study and with the aid of Assistant Secretary Tench Coxe, Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton compiled his famed Report on Manufactures at the request of Congress. With the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, Coxe and Hamilton advocate creating the nation’s first public-private partnership to develop the area around the Great Falls of the Passaic River, using the cataract for power.

Item #30014.06, $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.

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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

George Washington to the Jewish Masons
of Newport, Rhode Island

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States. September 11, 1790. New York, John Fenno. 4pp. The letter of the Masons to Washington, and Washington’s letter of August 18, 1790[1] in response, printed in full on page 4. This issue also includes a piece on the “Character of Dr. Franklin.” (p. 2, col. 1).

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“Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the masonic fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them a deserving Brother.”

Item #30022.06, $2,500

Alexander Hamilton’s Autograph Legal Notes Representing a Widow in Mamaroneck, NY Appealing Her Case Against a Conflicted Trustee of Her Husband’s Estate

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Autograph Manuscript, seven points on one page with Hamilton’s additional citations on verso, n.p., n.d., but early in 1796, relating to Peter Jay Munro et al, appellants v. Peter Allaire. 1 p. plus additional Autograph notes on verso.

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Mary Palmer had lost a case against a trustee of her husband’s estate who sought to buy her interest in the estate. Chancellor Robert R. Livingston ruled against her. Hamilton handled the winning appeal. The decision found that a trustee with power over the estate could never be a purchaser, a principle “founded in indispensable necessity, to prevent that great inlet of fraud, and those dangerous consequences which would ensue” if trustees were allowed to pursue their own interests perhaps at the expense of the estate.

Item #24622, ON HOLD
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