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Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Congress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete the Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State, An Act authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to finish the Light-House, on Portland-Head, in the District of Maine. 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. 1p. 9¾ x 15¼ in. Evans #22955.

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Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson signs an act of the First Congress authorizing Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to complete construction of a lighthouse in Maine’s Portland Harbor. The $1,500 in funds allocated for the work, one of the earliest federal construction projects, was to be appropriated from duties paid on imports and tonnage.

The “Portland Head Light” is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and the first to be constructed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. It has been memorialized in countless photographs and paintings, most notably a series of 1920s watercolors by Edward Hopper. It is now a museum, owned and operated by the town of Cape Elizabeth. It is considered to be the most photographed lighthouse in the United States.

Item #23980, $22,500

A History of Harvard University; North Carolina Debates Ratifying the Constitution; and a List of Newly-Minted U.S. Senators

[CONSTITUTION], Magazine. The Columbian Magazine, Philadelphia, Pa., December, 1788. 52 pp., 5 x 8 in. Lacking plates.

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Item #30007.048, $275

James Monroe Signed Missouri Territory Land Grant to War of 1812 Veteran

JAMES MONROE, Partly Printed Document Signed as President. Land grant to Stephen Taylor, countersigned by Josiah Meigs as Commissioner of the General Land Office. Washington, D.C., March 3, 1819, 1 p., 13 x 8½ in. On vellum. Verso with Stephen Taylor Manuscript Document Signed transferring the land to William Turner. April 22, 1819. With a collection of letters to William and Peter Turner of Newport, R.I., from 1821, 1840 and 1859, re. subsequent sales and payment on this land.

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Stephen Taylor is granted 160 acres for his service in the War of 1812.  With a highly decorative engraved masthead, “Militi Forti Et Fideli,” of a seated Columbia handing a deed to a soldier and his young son.

Item #23816, $1,250

Reporting the Infamous XYZ Affair

[JOHN ADAMS], Newspaper. Columbian Centinel. Boston, Mass., April 14, 1798. 4 pp., 12¼ x 20 in.

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The XYZ Affair was a political and diplomatic episode in 1797 and 1798, early in the administration of John Adams, involving the United States and Republican France. Its name derives from the substitution of the letters X, Y, and Z for the names of French diplomats in documents released by the Adams administration. The three American diplomats sent to France were approached through informal channels by agents of the French Foreign Minister Talleyrand, who demanded bribes and a loan before formal negotiations could begin. Although such demands were not uncommon in European diplomacy of the time, the Americans were offended by them, and eventually left France without ever engaging in formal negotiations. When John Adams released the documents regarding the affair, it led to strong anti-French sentiment in the United States, and led to the “Quasi-War,” a largely undeclared naval war between the United States and France.

With additional articles describing the passage of an act similar to the infamous Stamp Act, an article on President Adams’ income, and an advertisement for a play in honor of Thomas Paine.

Item #30000.43, $750

William Henry Harrison as Presidential Candidate Determined “to Make no Pledges” - While Affirming His Anti-Masonic Position

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Autograph Letter Signed, to William Ayres. Cincinnati, Ohio, November 25, 1835. 4 pp., 7½ x 12 in.

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“I set out with a determination to make no pledges – If the Anti Masons rely upon my openly avowed opinions against Masonry one would suppose that they ought to be satisfied with the certainty of their having a full proportion of my confidences.”

Future U.S. President William Henry Harrison demonstrates exceptional political acumen by revealing his credo not to make pledges, and is keenly aware that his actions to get nominated may be used against him in the actual campaign. Harrison also resents that Anti-Masonic leader Thaddeus Stevens, is “determined to support [Daniel] Webster under any circumstances or any person but any old Jeffersonian Democrat like myself.

Item #22520.99, $24,000

John Adams Supporting Neutrality

JOHN ADAMS, Letter Signed to George Alexander Otis. Amsterdam, “Montezillo,” April 22, 1820. 2 pp.

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“this country is as deeply interested in the investigation of the present state of society in Europe, as any nation of Europe is, and the general aphorism to be deduced … is, that perpetual neutrality in all the wars of Europe, a total abstraction from all their quarrels, is not only a moral and religious duty but their highest and soundest political interest.... Peace and friendship with all, perplexing political alliances with none, has been one of my fundamental maxims...”

John Adams effusively thanks George Alexander Otis for a translation of Archbishop de Pradt’s Europe after the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1820). The Congress brought defeated France back into the community of European nations and helped create a stability that would last for nearly a century, until World War I.

Item #23798, $35,000

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.

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Item #23393, $2,250

Connecticut Governor Samuel Huntington Discusses a Survey of Connecticut’s Claims to the Ohio Valley with Roger Sherman’s Son Isaac

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, Autograph Letter Signed as Governor, to Isaac Sherman. Norwich, Conn., March 28, 1787. 1 p., 7¼ x 11¾ in.

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Connecticut’s original land grant from 1662 ran theoretically ran coast to coast. Though the state gave up claims to Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley after the Revolution, in 1796, the Connecticut Land Company surveyed a tract south of Lake Erie and established Cleveland, Ohio. Connecticut finally relinquished its western lands in 1800—the last state to do so.

Item #23470, $3,250

Rare Paul Revere-Signed “Rising States Lodge” Masonic Certificate

PAUL REVERE, Printed Document Signed. Boston, Mass., September 3, 1800. 1 p., Countersigned by John Bray, Enoch Baldwin and Joseph Clark (secretary). On vellum, with original red silk ribbon attached. 16 x 13, 31½ x 21½ in.

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Revolutionary Boston hero Paul Revere was a founding member of the Rising States Lodge of Massachusetts Freemasons. This Masonic initiation certificate for the Lodge, elaborately engraved by B. Hurd, (“Brother B. Hurd del.”), depicts an elaborate arched pediment supported by two columns, large Masonic symbols (crossed keys, sun, moon and stars with comet, crossed quills) and, in the center portion, an open coffin, drafting implements and two candleholders resting on a large altar. To the side are cherubs on pedestals, one holding an open book, the other a mallet.

Item #23700, $30,000

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

Robert Morris Signed Note - Used as Evidence in His Bankruptcy Trial

ROBERT MORRIS, Autograph Document Signed. Philadelphia, July 17, 1795. 2 pp. 6 ½ x 4”.

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Two documents related to the business failures of Robert Morris and John Nicholson. The first is a partly printed promissory note signed and engrossed by Nicholson to Morris, and endorsed by Morris, later used as evidence in Morris’s bankruptcy trial. The note states, “Three years after date Promise to pay Robert Morris Esqr or order Eight Thousand – Dollars for Value Received.” The second document is Peter Lohra’s protest of Nicholson’s bad promissory note. The document has an embossed seal in the lower left corner and is tipped to a larger sheet. On the document’s verso is a note reading “Exhibited to us under the commission against Robert Morris, Philadelphia, 19th September 1801,” and signed by Joseph Hopkinson and Thomas Cumpston, commissioners appointed to oversee the proceedings after Morris had languished in prison for three years.

Item #21609, $3,500

1790 Massachusetts Newspaper Discussing Nantucket Whalers

[NANTUCKET], Newspaper, The Columbian Centinel. Boston: Benjamin Russell, December 15, 1790. 4 pp.

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Item #30000.007, $450

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

Ohio Reformers Use Rhode Island’s Dorr Rebellion
to Justify Their Own Behavior

[DORR WAR], Pamphlet. The Dorr Movement in Ohio; Being an Examination into the Causes, Progress and Probable Effects of the Revolutionary Course of Locofocoism in the Organization of the General Assembly of This State, for the Session of 1848-49. [Columbus, Ohio]: Legg & Murray, Columbus, [1849]. Disbound. Inscribed in pencil on the title by H.A. Swift, the author, in presentation.

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Item #22543, $800

An Act to Incorporate the Ohio Insurance Company

CARTER B. HARLAN, Manuscript Document Signed, as Secretary of State of Ohio, attesting that this is a true copy. February 4, 1826 [December 5, 1839]. 3 pp. Double Folio ribbon tied at head. With: WISON SHANNON. Document Signed. December 5, 1839. 1 p.

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Item #20483, $450

The Deed to Horn’s Hook, Future Site of Carl Schurz Park

[RICHARD VARICK], Manuscript Document Signed by Adolph Waldron and Christina Waldron with Richard Varick signing as Recorder of Deeds and Adrian Kissam signing as witness. New York, N.Y., June 24, 1784. 4 pp., 17 x 22 in.

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This 1784 agreement settles the estate of William Waldron, selling 30 acres of land to Abraham Duryee in the Out Ward of New York City. This parcel, along with the neighboring parcel that held Gracie Mansion, official home of the Mayor of New York, would both become part of Carl Schurz Park in 1910.

Item #22625, ON HOLD

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, $2,500

Winfield Scott Criticizes Zachary Taylor’s
Illegal Order to Flog a Soldier

WINFIELD SCOTT, Autograph Document Signed, November 18, 1843, with annotations initialed by him and dated December 1843. 2 pp.

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“.... [H]earing of the illegal order & the illegal flogging, I looked into the case…”

Item #20735, $975

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, $800

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

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

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

Item #20021, $1,750
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