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Gilded Age (1876 - c.1900)

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An Unusual Presentation Copy of
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

SAMUEL L. CLEMENS. [MARK TWAIN], Signed Book. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). New York: Charles Webster, 1886. Second American edition. 8 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. With several prints, clippings, and other ephemera tipped in. Rebound at the Roycroft bindery.

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“Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it”

Item #23193, $25,000

The 15th Amendment, Guaranteeing the Freedmen the Right to Vote, Passes the Georgia General Assembly

RUFUS BROWN BULLOCK, Printed Letter Signed, as Governor of Georgia, to the Governor of New York, February 3, 1870, Atlanta, Georgia. 1 p.

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Governor Rufus Bullock, a native New Yorker, informs the governor of his native state that his adopted state has ratified the 15th Amendment, shortly after New York rescinded its earlier ratification.

I have the honor to transmit herewith Joint Resolution ratifying the proposed ‘Fourteenth (sic) Constitutional Amendment’ passed by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, February 2d, A.D. 1870.

It is ironic that this printed letter incorrectly references the “proposed Fourteenth” amendment. Like all other Confederates states except Tennessee, Georgia had initially rejected the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866, just months after President Johnson sent it to the states for consideration. The recalcitrance of southern states led Congress to impose military governments and to require former Confederate states to ratify the Amendment before they could be represented in Congress. Georgia ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on July 21, 1868, providing the final necessary vote for the amendment to go into effect. This letter clearly refers to the Fifteenth Amendment, under consideration by the states in 1869 and 1870.

Item #22489, $18,000

Frederick Douglass Encourages Writing on John Brown

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C., November 28, [no year]. 1 p.

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Douglass suggests to the author of a work on John Brown, the abolitionist crusader who attempted to incite a slave rebellion in Virginia in 1859, that she attempt to have her lines published in a popular magazine. “I know of no better way to have the value of your lines on John Brown tested and made available than by offering them for publication …”

Item #21439.03, $10,500

William Jennings Bryan’s Second Populist Run
at the White House

[WILLIAMS JENNING BRYAN], “The Issue--1900: Liberty, Justice, Humanity.” Columbus, Ohio, Neville Williams, 1900. Chromolithograph, printed by the Strobridge Lithograph Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 20 x 30 in; edges slightly trimmed, very faint mat toning; laid down on canvas.

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“No Crown of Thorns / No Cross of Gold / Equal Rights to All / Special Privileges to None”

William Jennings Bryan tried for the White House in 1896, 1900, and 1908. The leading supporter of “free silver” against the gold standard, and a champion of the “little guy” against moneyed Eastern businessmen and bankers, Bryan came closest to victory in 1896.

Item #24250, $9,000

William T. Sherman Talks Politics, Religion, and Princeton-Yale Football with a Suitor

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Five Autograph Letters Signed to Mrs. Mary Audenried, widow of Sherman’s former Chief of Staff. 18 pages, April 21, 1885 – February 8, 1887.

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“Rachel went to Princeton last week. Thanksgiving Day – to witness the ball play – the day was horrid and she has been under the weather ever since having taken cold.”

Sherman, during an affair with a young widow, advises her on handling her teenage daughter: “Let her play her own game…Tell her to take her own way and you choose yours. If she becomes a nun she can do no harm and is dead to the world” while criticizing the power of the Catholic Church. He also muses about his own mortality, complains that he “shall not stay long” at his Senator-brother John’s home because “there is too much politics there to suit my taste,” and relates that his daughter caught a cold at the Yale-Princeton Thanksgiving Day football game.

Item #20856, $9,000

Sherman Works to Convince his Friend’s Widow (and Soon-to-be Likely Mistress) that She Just Needs Some Lovin’

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Mrs [Mary] Audenried. St. Louis, Missouri, June 9, 1884. 8 pp octavo, On Sherman’s imprinted stationery.

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Sherman trashes his wife’s devotion to the Catholic Church, discusses avoiding the great danger of being nominated to run for the presidency, and tries to convince his late chief-of-staff’s widow that she is not crazy, but simply needs a man’s company.

Item #23562.08, $6,500

Sherman Dishes on Lincoln & Thomas, Meade, Sheridan, Halleck & Grant

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to General Henry Cist. Washington, D.C., November 7, 1879, 12 pp., 5 x 7¾ in. On “Headquarters Army of the U.S.” stationery.

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Sherman clarifies promotions of some of the Union’s most iconic generals, going back to the Civil War, and when U.S. Grant assumed the presidency and Sherman came to command the entire army.

Item #23562.04, $5,500

Sherman’s “Insanity” For Saying 200,000 Men Would be Needed to Fight the Civil War

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to E.V. Smalley. St. Louis, Missouri, November 13, 1883. 3 pp., 5 x 8 in. On Sherman’s imprinted stationery. With an endorsement initialed by Smalley requesting the change be made if possible.

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After having recently stepped down as Commanding General of the Army, Sherman reviews a biographical article. While explaining the story of his being labeled insane in 1861 for believing that 200,000 Union troops would be needed, he asks that Secretary of War Simon Cameron’s name be left out. Smalley published his article in the Century Magazine, January 1884.

Item #23562.07, $5,000

Early Electricity and the Spread of the Telephone from the Documents of George C. Maynard

GEORGE C. MAYNARD, Archive. Journals, notebooks, notes, and related papers regarding the spread of telephone communications in the late 19th century. Nineteen items.

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Item #23012, $4,500

Sherman on His Saddle – His One “Honest Relic” of the March to the Sea

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Colonel Herbert E. Hill. Washington, D.C., December 6, 1881. 4 pp., 5 x 7¾ in. On “Headquarters Army of the United States” stationery. Laid onto a larger sheet of paper.

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“Yesterday the Hon. S. B Bowman called …  asking the loan of “the sword or sabre I wore” during the famous March to the Sea … I explained to Mr Bowman that the truth was I did not have a sword or sabre during that march, nor at any time after I succeeded General Grant in the command of the Western Armies at Nashville March 1864.” 

Item #23562.05, $4,250

Jefferson Davis’ Hope for a Future Union
Based on Confederate Principles

JEFFERSON DAVIS, Autograph Letter Signed, “Jefferson Davis”, to Mr. Clegg, Beauvoir, Mississippi, September 3, 1885. 2 pages.

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Davis expresses his hope for a future Union based on Confederate principles:  “…The sentiment to which you refer as ‘common,’ is I hope the utterance of time serving self seekers, rather than of the people who dared and did and sacrificed so much for principle, and the rights their Fathers left them.  I trust your four boys will imbibe the patriotism of their Father and when in the fullness of time the restoration shall come that they may enjoy the blessings of liberty and community independence which the Constitution of the Union was designed to secure.  With this I enclose the autograph for which you asked…

After the North’s retreat from Reconstruction, Davis’s vision of individual rights, limited government, and white racial superiority still held great sway in the South.

Item #7543, $3,900

“The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, Autograph Manuscript Signed, The Chambered Nautilus, 1890. Boston, April 13, 1890. 3 pp., 7 x 4½ inches. With later notation in French, in hand of M. Bentson (?), signed and dated Boston 1893 on verso.

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Among his most famous poems, Holmes wrote The Chambered Nautilus in 1858. Here, he writes it out in full and signs it in 1890.

Item #23829, $3,750

Theodore Roosevelt Regrets He Couldn’t Convince Dark Horse Candidate Supporters to go to John Sherman at 1884 Republican National Convention

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Autograph Signed Letter to John Sherman in reference to the 1884 Republican National Convention. July 12, 1884. 2 pp. 4 ½ x 7 in. on two adjoining black-bordered sheets.

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Unlike his brother William Tecumseh Sherman, who steadfastly refused a political career, John Sherman was a lifelong public servant. Here, he attempts to gain the Republican presidential nomination for the second time.

Item #24118, $2,800

Theodore Roosevelt Mentions “Colored Troops” four months after he and his Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill with them in Cuba

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, New York, October 27, 1898, to Mrs. Emma Wynkoop Clark. “On Board spec. Train,” postmarked Utica, N.Y., October 28, 1898. 1 p. 8¼ x 9¾ in. With envelope, 6¼ x 3½ in.

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Don’t tell Owens this, but the orderly I alluded to was another man. I am very much obliged to you. I have spoken a great deal about the colored troops.

On the day he wrote this letter, his 40th birthday, travelling by special campaign train, Spanish American War hero Theodore Roosevelt spoke at Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Buffalo, and places in between. Less than two weeks later, he was elected Governor of New York.

Item #23967, $2,200

A Huge Print of the Great Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, Photograph. Mammoth Plate Albumen print, approximately 15 x 19 in. Mounted on original light card board approximately 19 x 24 in. Board worn, some cracks not touching print; minor staining in image area. “William Lloyd Garrison” printed on mount inder image. c. 1870s

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An image of an older Garrison, as he appeared after his life’s work of abolition had been successfully completed.

Item #22464, $2,000

A Ruff-Necked Hummingbird by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Ruff-Necked Hummingbird, [1871].

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.02, $1,750

Responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Invalidation of Anti-Discrimination Laws, a New Jersey Congressman Unsuccessfully Attempts to Ensure Civil Rights at the Start of the Jim Crow Era

[CIVIL RIGHTS]. JOHN HILL, Broadside. Assembly No 13., State of New Jersey. An Act to Prevent Discrimination against Any Person on Account of his Race, Creed or Color. Large folio sheet, with numbered lines, printed for the use of the legislature. [New Jersey], Introduced January 9, 1883.

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“Be it enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, That no person shall be denied the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all hotels, inns, taverns, restaurants, public conveyances on land or water, theatres and places of public resort or amusement, because of race, creed or color…”

Item #24742, $1,250

A Map of the Baruch College Area of New York City

ALEXANDER STEWART WEBB, Autograph Letter Signed “Webb,” as President of City College of New York, to General F.A. Walker. New York, N.Y. March 20, 1888. 3 pp., 8 3/8 x 13 in. With holograph map.

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Stewart sending thanks, urging General Walker to visit.

Item #22259, $1,250

Benjamin Butler Signed Stock Certificate

[BENJAMIN BUTLER], Stock certificate of fifteen shares of the Georgia Investment and Development Co. signed by Benjamin Butler as President. March 14, 1891.

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Item #23084, $1,000

“Let Us Have Faith that Right Makes Might…”

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN] SCHUYLER COLFAX, Autograph Quote Signed, from Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech given on February 27, 1860. Sept 10, 1877.

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Schuyler Colfax, U.S. representative from Indiana and vice president under Ulysses S. Grant, pens a famous quote from Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech.

Item #23916, $950
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