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Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull

[JOHN TRUMBULL], Engraved print by Waterman Lilly Ormsby, after an 1823 engraving by Asher B. Durand of John Trumbull’s famous painting of 1819. Brooklyn, NY: Cole & Co., the first edition of this print was in 1876. The plates survive and this is likely a modern strike, with modern coloring. Framed to 42½ x 33¼ in.

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Item #23073, $1,250

Former President and Future Confederate Supporter John Tyler Forcefully Defends the Fugitive Slave Act and the “Southern Cause,” Attacks the NY Press, and Plays up His Own Service in the War of 1812

JOHN TYLER, Autograph Letter Signed and Autograph Manuscript Signed several times in the third person. Sent to S. Cunningham, from Sherwood Forest, October 12, 1850, 1 p., 9⅜ x 7¼ in. on blue paper marked “Private,” being the cover letter for the manuscript, written for anonymous publication: “The fugitive slave bill and Commissioner Gardiner,” [ca. October 12, 1850], 2 pp., 9⅜ x 7⅞ in. on blue paper.

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In the first fugitive slave law case, which came before his cousin Commissioner Gardiner: “The fugitive was promptly dealt by and restored to his owner in Baltimore. Mr. Gardiner has proven himself to be a faithful public servant, an honest man, and a Patriot. And yet, by a certain class of Editors in New York he is sneered at…

Tyler criticizes two NY editors in particular: “Now what jackasses are Mssrs Herricks and Ropes… These would-be somethingarians [a colloquialism, usually used as an insult] in the first place, deem it a matter of censure in a judge, to execute the law—and, in the next they show their ignorance … by ascribing to Mr. Tyler under their witty soubriquet of Captain (a title he is well content to wear since he enjoyed it during the war of 1812 with Great Britain)…

Item #24043, ON HOLD

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, $550

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

Rare French Facsimile of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving, “In Congress, July 4, 1776, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America…” Paris: Kaeppelin & Cie, 15 Quai Voltaire; engraved by F. Lepelle. [1840.] 25 x 32 in. Framed 30¾ x 38 in. 1p.

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Scarce French reproduction based on William J. Stone’s official copperplate facsimile done by order of Congress. This French edition was produced for an 1840 adaptation of Jared Sparks’s Life and Writings of Washington, appearing as plate 22 in the atlas accompanying the multi-volume work.

Item #20627.99, $20,000

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

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

Declaration of Independence William Stone/Peter Force Facsimile, 1833 (SOLD)

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving printed on thin wove paper. Imprint at bottom left, “W. J. STONE SC WASHn” [William J. Stone for Peter Force, Washington, D.C. ca. 1833]. Printed for Peter Force’s American Archives, Series 5, Vol I. 25¼ x 30⅞ in.

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Item #24402, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Henry Clay’s “In Defense of the American System”: Pre-Speech Outline and Final Manuscript Sent For Publication of One of the Most Important Economic and Political Speeches in American History

HENRY CLAY, This remarkable offering consists of two unique steps in the creation and dissemination of his speech: 1) Clay’s 21-page autograph manuscript notes, used to prepare for or deliver the speech in the Senate, plus 2) Clay’s 67-page autograph manuscript signed, preparing and delivering the text to the printer. With a copy of the published text, Speech of Henry Clay, in Defence of the American System, against the British Colonial System: with an Appendix, by Gales & Seaton, 1832, 43 pp., 2/2/1832.

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Henry Clay’s philosophy of developmental capitalism focused on achieving economic independence and national self-sufficiency, allowing the United States to grow internally and expand its reach into global markets. His “American System,” spelled out while Speaker of the House in 1824, included four main components: tariffs to protect and promote American industry; a national bank to control the money supply and foster commerce; federal subsidies for roads, canals, and other “internal improvements” to move products, services, and capital to markets; and high prices for public land to generate revenue for the federal government. His system was designed to balance states’ rights with national interests. Though the industrializing northeast, the predominantly agricultural west and the cotton-growing south had diverging interests, the plan supported the growth of the whole.

But in 1828, with low-priced imports driving northern industries out of business, revisions were called for. In theory aiming to protect American manufactures and forestall even higher future rates, the “Tariff of Abominations” was actually designed to fail. Southerners opposed to tariffs joined in writing the bill, adding heavy taxes on materials imported by New England. Despite the ploy’s success in galvanizing opposition, the bill surprisingly garnered just enough votes to pass, aided by members willing to sacrifice short term and sectional interests in favor of longer term national benefits. Knowing that it would be a political liability, President John Quincy Adams still signed it into law. Higher tariffs resulted in higher prices and reduced British exports to the U.S., which impacted Britain’s ability to pay for Southern cotton. And Westerners, though appreciating tariff support for agriculture, disliked the high price for public lands, believing that northeastern factory owners sought to prevent westward migration that would deplete the labor pool and force higher wages—and in turn keeping the region underrepresented in Congress. Both southerners and westerners distrusted the Bank of the United States, which they viewed as only a prop for northeastern manufacturers. 

Clay and his supporters sought to make adjustments while preserving the general policy, but the whole system came under increasing attack, especially in South Carolina.  In January 1832, Senator Robert Y. Hayne (1791-1839) gave a noted speech assaulting the Tariff of Abominations. Over three days in early February, Clay, having just been elected to the Senate, gave a masterful response that is widely regarded as one of the most important speeches in American history. (Later that same year, Hayne would chair the South Carolina Nullification Convention, a bold challenge to federal authority that was firmly opposed by Jackson.

Item #23830, PRICE ON REQUEST

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

Andrew Jackson’s First Inaugural Address in Maryland Newspaper

ANDREW JACKSON, Newspaper. Niles’ Weekly Register, March 7, 1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Hezekiah Niles & Son. 16 pp. (17-32), 6¼ x 9⅞ in.

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As long as our Government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending....

Andrew Jackson’s election in 1828 over incumbent John Quincy Adams marked an end to the “Era of Good Feelings,” as Jackson’s supporters became the Democratic Party, while those who supported Adams became the National Republicans. In March 1829, Jackson became the first president to take the oath of office on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol. His inaugural address promised to respect the rights of states and the constitutional limits on the presidency.

Item #30001.60, $245

Ohio Governor’s Response to
South Carolina Nullification Threat

ALLEN TRIMBLE, Printed Letter Signed, for Trimble by S.C. Andrews, private secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio, February 12, 1828.

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“I herewith transmit a copy of the Preamble and Resolutions of the General Assembly of Ohio, in reply to the Resolutions from the Legislature of South Carolina, respecting the Constitutional powers of the General Government.”

Item #21057, $1,500

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

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

Daniel Webster Details a Duel Challenge by Senator John Randolph

DANIEL WEBSTER, Autograph Manuscript. Ca. 1826-1831. 2 pp.

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Randolph twice challenged the venerable Congressmen Daniel Webster. The first was in 1816, when Randolph felt scorned by Webster’s speech in a House debate over sugar duty. The second, relating to this document, was in 1825, after Randolph had seethed for eight months over Webster denying William H. Crawford “the fullest opportunity to answer the charges against him” during the election of 1824. (Register of Debates, 18th Congress, 2nd Session, 56-58). In the second challenge, Senator Thomas Hart Benton delivered Randolph’s dare to Webster while the House was in session.

Mutual friends intervened on both challenges and attempted to resolve the matters as quietly as possible. In the end, Randolph withdrew both challenges. Historians believe that Benton played an important role in resolving the second conflict. In 1826, after insulting Secretary of State Henry Clay on the Senate Floor, Randolph accepted Clay’s challenge, which subsequently took place but concluded with a handshake.

The date of this manuscript must be 1826 or later as it refers to “then Senator Lloyd.” It doesn’t mention Lloyd’s death in 1831.

Item #24221, $9,500

N.J. Congressman Praises Andrew Jackson After His 1824 Presidential Election Loss in the House of Representatives

GEORGE HOLCOMBE, Autograph Letter Signed, to William Imlay, February 10, 1825. 1 p., 7⅞ x 9 ¾ in.

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The great struggle is over…. no one, friend nor foe, expected a defeat, so sudden & signal. But we must submit like good citizens; I hope for better & brighter times. The Genl bears his disappointment, as he always bore his victories, like—a hero.

Congressman George Holcombe, a loyal Jacksonian, bemoans the loss of the election. New Jersey had given its one vote in the House of Representatives election to Jackson.

Item #24286.01, $750

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

Celebrating LaFayette’s Visit in Music

[MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE]. CHRISTOPHER MEINEKE, Printed Sheet Music. “General Lafayette’s Grand March and Quickstep,” Baltimore: John Cole, ca. 1824. 3 pp.

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When General Lafayette made a grand tour of the United States in 1824 and 1825, near the fiftieth anniversary of American independence, he visited Baltimore seven times. On one of those visits, he likely heard this march written by a local composer and church organist.

Item #23905.02, $475

John Quincy Adams’ Copy of a Scarce South Carolina Printing of the Monroe Doctrine

[JOHN QUINCY ADAMS]. JAMES MONROE, Newspaper. State of the Union Message. Cheraw Intelligencer and Southern Register, December 12, 1823. Cheraw, S.C.: William Poole & Co. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams’ name penned in top margin of first page, likely addressed by the publisher. 4 pp., 12¾ x 20 in.

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the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.

The Monroe Doctrine - as it is now known- was largely the creation of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, and issued not on its own but as part of James Monroe’s Annual Message to Congress (now referred to as the State of the Union Address). By declaring that the western hemisphere was no longer subject to European colonization, it marked a defining moment in Monroe’s presidency and informed American foreign policy for more than a century.

Monroe’s message covered other important topics, among them the international slave trade, the possible construction of a canal to connect the Chesapeake Bay with the Ohio River, and the Greek War of Independence. In addition, this newspaper prints the editor’s brief reaction to the president’s “luminous message” (p2/c4); notice of Henry Clay’s election as Speaker of the House of Representatives (p2/c4); proceedings of the South Carolina state legislature, including proposed laws prohibiting “free negroes” from entering the state, reports on canal building (p3/c1-2), and other local, national and international news. Notices and advertisements include runaway slave ads (p4/c1).

As Secretary of State, Adams needed to receive news from all parts of the United States. His office was responsible not only for foreign affairs but also for relations between the states and the federal government.

Item #21077.99, $19,000

Newspaper Belonging to John Quincy Adams Reports Transfer of the Floridas to the U.S.

[JOHN QUINCY ADAMS], Newspaper. Western Monitor, August 7, 1821. Lexington, Kentucky: William Gibbes Hunt. Issue owned by John Quincy Adams; Report on Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. 4 pp, 14½ x 20½ in.

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This issue contains an inside page report of the U.S. taking possession of Florida from Spain under the terms of the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. This issue was owned by, delivered to, and read by John Quincy Adams (the “Adams” in the Adams-Onís Treaty) when Adams was the Secretary of State in the James Monroe administration. “Hon. John Q. Adams” is written in contemporary brown iron gall ink in the top blank margin on the front page, indicating that this issued was delivered to Adams while he was serving as Secretary of State.

Item #23822, $3,500
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