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Gilded Age (1876 - c.1900)

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“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

Discontent with Gilded Age Presidential Politics
and the Influence of “the negro vote”

WILLIAM BEACH LAWRENCE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Henry Anthony. Newport [R.I.], November 25, 1872. 4 pp.

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A detailed, despairing letter on campaign politics after the reelection of Ulysses S. Grant. Lawrence observes the humiliating defeat of Democrats and “Liberal Republicans” – who united behind Horace Greeley because of corruption in the Grant administration – in the Election of 1872. Lawrence laments the elevation of personality over merit and virtue in elections, an observation which resonates today. He also expresses concern about how newly enfranchised African Americans tended to vote.  “The negroes are naturally disposed to support those who are in power & whom they invest with superior dignity, on account of the possession of power. …the extraordinary denouement of the Cincinnati Convention has placed in bold relief the mode most unsatisfactory to an intelligent people, by which party conventions are constituted & which are readily made, the instruments of the vilest partisan combinations, carried on by men without character & without principle.

Item #20020, $950

Civil War Hero David Dixon Porter
Expresses Support for the Chinese in a Time of Hostility

DAVID DIXON PORTER, Autograph Letter Signed, to “Reverend Dr. Newman.” Washington, D.C., March 14, 1879. 3 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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“As you and I have both expressed friendly sentiments towards the citizens of the Flowery Kingdom, we may hope to be in high favor should we live till that time.”

Item #22730, $950

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

Jubal Early Tracking Down a Letter

JUBAL EARLY, Autograph Letter Signed to Edward W. Bok, Lynchburg, Va., April 2, 1882, 2 pp., 4⅞ x 8 in.

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Jubal Early, the former Confederate general, informs young Edward Bok that he did not receive the document Bok sent him. He urges Bok to send it again promptly, with adequate postage to insure its successful delivery.

Item #22359.05, $1,200

Joe Johnston Thanks Edward Bok

JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Autograph Letter Signed, August 31, 1885, Bedford Springs, Penn.. Paper is watermarked “Royal Irish Linen/Marcus Ward & Co.” 2 pp., 3⅞ x 8 in.

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Joseph Johnston, the former Confederate general, thanks young Edward Bok for “the high compliment expressed” and responds to Bok’s idea for “The American Pantheon.”

Item #22359.06, $1,200

Joe Johnston to Edward Bok

JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Autograph Letter Signed to Edward Bok, Bedford Springs, Penn., September 4, 1885, 2 pp., 4⅞ x 8 in.

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Joseph Johnston, the former Confederate general, replies to Bok’s letter. “…your wish that I should ‘cooperate in the discussion of the American pantheon’ is by far the highest compliment ever bestowed upon me…”

Item #22359.07, $1,200

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

Opposing “the Democratic Silver Scheme”

JAMES A. GARFIELD, Manuscript Letter Signed, to Samuel B. Ruggles, Washington, D.C., August 12, 1876. 2 pp., 5 x 8¼ in.

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Representative James Garfield writes to Samuel Ruggles, a New York lawyer, Canal Commissioner, and businessman regarding monetary policy.

Item #22564.01, $1,500

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

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

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

“Our Colored Brother” Comes Up to Bat
with the 15th Amendment

[FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT], Print. “The Great National Game” from the graphic newspaper “Punchinello.” New York, N.Y., April 23, 1870. 16 pp. 9 x 13 in.

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This full-page engraving, “The Great National Game,” satirizes the recently-passed constitutional amendment granting African-American men the right to vote. The baseball motif, popularized in presidential politics, depicts a black man with stereotyped features holding a bat labeled “15th amendment” about to hit a ball stylized with the stars and stripes. The image caption heralds the arrival of African Americans to full political rights “Our colored brother: Hi Yah! Stan back dar; its dis chiles innins now.’ ”

Item #21739, $2,500

Rear Admiral Schley on his recent victory over
the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Santiago Bay

WINFIELD SCOTT SCHLEY, Autograph Letter Signed to Mrs. L. B. Shriver. San Juan, P.R., October 21, 1898. 1 p., 8 x 10½ in. On “Headquarters Army of the Commission of the United States of America for Porto Rico” stationery.

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“If it has been the means of bringing peace then my sacrifice to that end would not have been too great.”

Item #21615, $2,500

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

“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

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

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

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
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