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Gilded Age (1876 - c.1900)

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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

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

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

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

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 Harlequin Duck by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Harlequin Duck, [1871]. 14 x 12 in. framed.

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

Item #22114.03, $350

A Great American White Egret by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Great American White Egret, [1871]. 14½ x 12 framed.

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

Item #22114.05, $550

A Common Crossbill by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Common Crossbill, [1871]. 11½ x 16 in. framed.

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

Item #22114.08, $275

A Prairie Lark-Finch by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Prairie Lark-Finch, [1871]. 11½ x 15½ in. framed.

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

Item #22114.09, $250

A Song Finch by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Song Finch, [1871]. 11½ x 15½ in. framed.

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

Item #22114.04, $250

A Swamp Sparrow by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Swamp Sparrow, [1871]. 11½ x 15½ in. framed.

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

Item #22114.07, $300

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

English Sociologist and Novelist Martineau Signs a Note

HARRIET MARTINEAU, Autograph Note Signed. Address leaf, n.p. n.d.

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Item #21678.25, $100

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

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

Frederick Douglass Signed Deed

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Document Signed as Recorder of Deeds, Washington, D.C., 1881-1886. Approx. 3½ x 8½” folded.
Image shown is a sample. To request an image of the deed currently available please email us at info@sethkaller.com

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While Douglass’s letters are scarce, documents signed during his tenure as recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia can be had very reasonably.

Item #20409u, $495

Frederick Douglass Signed Deed

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Document Signed as recorder of deeds, Washington, D.C., 1881-1886. Approx. 3½ x 8½” folded. Sample Frame pictured.

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While Douglass’s letters are scarce, documents signed during his tenure as recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia can be had very reasonably.

Item #20409, $895

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

A Receipt Signed by Suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt

CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT, Autograph Document Signed. Check. N.Y., December 31, 1899. 1 p.

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Item #21678.22, $400
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