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Gilded Age (1876 - c.1900)

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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 Christmas Classic by Thomas Nast

[CHRISTMAS], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, New York, N.Y., December 24, 1881. 16 pp., 11¼ x 16 in.

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CAUGHT! Thomas Nast’s classic image of Santa Claus being hugged by a little girl graces the front cover of this issue of Harper’s Weekly.

The double-page centerfold is another nice Thomas Nast Christmas print, “Christmas Fancies – ‘Don’t You Wish You Wore Stockings?’,” showing children and their dog in front of a fireplace. Will Carleton’s poem, The Christmas Tree, is illustrated with art by Howard Pyle which fills nearly an entire page. Other prints include the “Electric Railway at Berlin, Prussia,” “The Ring Theatre, Vienna, Recently Destroyed by Fire,” “Hon. Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State,” “The Late John W. Forney,” “Short and Sweet – ‘It’s Too Too Too Funny!’,”  and “The Interrupted Journey.” Thomas Nast is credited with creating the modern version of Santa Claus.

Item #H 12-24-1881, $375

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

Approving Treaty Limiting Chinese Immigration - A Rarity from James Garfield’s Brief Presidency

JAMES A. GARFIELD, Partly Printed Document Signed, as President, May 9, 1881, 1 p. 8 x 10 in.

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“I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of State to cause the Seal of the United States to be affixed to my ratification of a treaty relating to Chinese immigration into the U.S. signed at Peking Nov. 17, 1880…”

Item #24142, $12,000

Ex-President Grant ALS re: Railroads & Building New Markets in Mexico for the U.S.

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Autograph Letter Signed, to [John P.] Jones. [Mexico City] [April 24, 1881]. 2 pp., 4½ x 6¾ in.

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After James Garfield’s election, opposing factions of the Republican Party jockeyed to have their favorite candidates appointed to Cabinet and other patronage jobs. Garfield remained unmoved about his choices, even ignoring appeals by his own vice president, Chester Arthur. While in Mexico City, Grant criticized the sitting president’s choices in a letter sent via Nevada Senator John P. Jones. Two days after receiving the letter, Garfield wrote Grant a blistering response, stating he would appoint whom he wanted. The following day, New York Senators Conkling and Platt resigned in protest and Vice President Arthur was banished from Cabinet meetings. The Grant-Garfield controversy played out in the press for months, ending only after Garfield was assassinated in July.

Item #23291, $5,000

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

Secretary of State Evarts Accepts Invitation to Protestant Episcopal Convention: “The Bishops I think should be au gratin and the laymen chilled”

WILLIAM M. EVARTS, Autograph Letter Signed, to William A. Seaver, Washington, DC, October 15, 1880. 2 pp., 4⅞ x 8 in.

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Item #24958, $450

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

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

“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

Mary Lincoln’s Signed Copy of The Life of Marie Antoinette Queen of France

MARY LINCOLN, Signed Book. “Mary Lincoln. / 1878,” in her copy of Charles Duke Yonge, The Life of Marie Antoinette Queen of France, 2d rev. ed. (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1877), xvi, 432 pp., 8vo. bound in tooled purple cloth boards with titled spine. A carte-de-visite portrait of Mary Lincoln has been affixed to the front free endpaper.

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she bore her accumulated miseries with a serene resignation, an intrepid fortitude, a true heroism of soul, of which the history of the world does not afford a brighter example.

Item #24759, $6,000

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

Seesaw - Gloucester, MA - Drawn by Winslow Homer

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, September 12, 1874.

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Item #H-9-12-1874, $295

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

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

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
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