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Vibrant Print of Fifteenth Amendment Celebrations

[FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT], The Fifteenth Amendment, Celebrated May 19th 1870, hand-colored lithographic print. New York: Thomas Kelly, 1870. From original design by James C. Beard. 1 p., 30 x 24 in.

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The colorful central image of this lithograph depicts a Black Zouave regiment on parade in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 19, 1870, to celebrate passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. Framing the central scene are vignettes and portraits of individuals important to the cause of African American men’s voting rights. Individuals pictured include Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass, Martin R. Delany (first U.S. Army African American field officer), Hiram R. Revels (first African American U.S. Senator), Schuyler Colfax, Abraham Lincoln, and John Brown. The portraits are interspersed with vignettes showing scenes of African Americans reading the Emancipation Proclamation, marrying, leading troops in battle, worshiping, voting, sitting in Congress, among other activities, with captions: “We till Our Own Fields; Education Will Prove the Equality of the Races;  The ballot box is Open to Us; [Masonic scene]We Unite in the Bonds of Fellowship with the Whole Human Race; Liberty Protects the Marriage Alter; The Holy Ordinance of Religion are Free; Freedom Unites the Family Circle; We Will Protect our Country as it Defends our Rights; Our Charter of Rights is the Holy Scripture.

Item #27755, $6,500

Anticipating Prohibition Repeal

Prohibition, Novelty Bar Set made in 1932. Label on lid reads “Born 1919/ Died ___.”

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Volstead Act 18th Amendment Novelty Bar Set consisting of a metal John Barleycorn laying in his silk-lined casket. His corpse detaches as a cork screw, shot glass and cork. Made in 1932, it correctly presumes the imminent repeal of Prohibition, which occurred in 1933. Label on lid reads “Born 1919/ Died ___.”

Condition: Excellent.

Item #27426, $1,932

Early Printing of a Bill to Establish the Treasury Department

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. Newspaper, June 11, 1789 (No. 3233), Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole, including the Bill to establish the Treasury Department, 4 pp., 11 x 18.25 in.

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Excerpt

it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, to digest and report plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and for the support of public credit—To prepare and report estimates of the public revenue, and the public expenditures—To superintend the collection of the revenue—To decide on the forms of keeping and stating accounts, and making returns, and to grant, under the limitations herein established, or to be hereafter provided, all warrants for monies to be issued from the Treasury, in pursuance of appropriations by law—To conduct the sale of the lands belonging to the United States, in such manner as shall be by law directed—To make report, and give information to either branch of the Legislature, in person or writing, (as he may be required) respecting all matters referred to him by the Senate or House of Representatives, or which shall appertain to his office, and generally to do or perform all such services, relative to the finances, as he shall be empowered or directed to do and perform.” (p3/c2)

Item #25031, $2,000

Boston Newspaper Publishes Former Governor Hutchinson’s Letters

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR], The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal, December 11, 1775. Watertown, Massachusetts: Benjamin Edes. 4 pp., 10 x 15¼ in.

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This newspaper features a masthead by noted silversmith and engraver Paul Revere, first used on January 1, 1770. The masthead features an illustration of a seated woman on the right with a laurel wreath on her brow and a lance with a liberty cap in her hand and the shield of Britain at her feet. She is opening the door to a birdcage and releasing a dove. A tree adorns the left side, and a town is visible in the distance. Beneath the image is the epigram, “Containing the freshest Advices, Foreign and Domestic.

This issue publishes a series of letters from Thomas Hutchinson in the late 1760s, demonstrating that Hutchinson had sought the post of governor. The publication of these and other letters by Hutchinson convinced many that he had conspired with Parliament to deprive the American colonists of their rights. Hutchinson left Boston for England in early 1774, and his request for leave was granted. General Thomas Gage replaced him as governor of Massachusetts Bay in May 1774, but Hutchinson’s letters continued, even in December 1775, to be evidence to American patriots that the British sought to strip them of their rights.

Item #27304, $2,500

J.E.B. Stuart Writes to Legendary Confederate Spy Laura Ratcliffe

J.E.B. STUART, Autograph Letter Signed “S”, to Laura Ratcliffe. April 8, 1862. 3 pp., 3⅞ x 6 in.

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Full of braggadocio, Confederate cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart gives early mistaken reports of the Battle of Shiloh to an informant, the famous Confederate spy Laura Ratcliffe.“We are here quietly waiting for the yankees and if they ever come we will send them howling.”

Item #27574, $7,800

President Theodore Roosevelt Questions Coal Monopolies and Contradictions in Report from Interstate Commerce Chairman

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to Judson C. Clements, October 13, 1906, Washington, D.C. On “The White House” letterhead. 2 pp., 8 x 10¼ in.

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These lands are probably of more fundamental consequence to the whole people than any other public lands… Might it not be well for the government to retain title and to lease the right to mine upon such terms as would attract the investment of capital for this purpose?”

Just over three months after signing the Hepburn Act, giving the Interstate Commerce Commission real regulatory power, Roosevelt responded to a letter from its Acting Chairman who was complaining of coal monopolies created by the railroads. Roosevelt strongly supports the Hepburn Act, telling Clements, “I will back you up to the limit in compelling the railroad companies to afford the independent producers proper track connections and proper transportation facilities as well as to carry the coal for reasonable charges.” Roosevelt also asserts that the nation must maintain control of its coal lands, an increasingly valuable resource in the railway age: “we should not part with anymore coal lands.”

Item #26771, $3,500

President Kennedy Sends a Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute to Civil Rights Leader A. Philip Randolph

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Two Typed Drafts of a Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., sent to Civil Rights Activist Asa Philip Randolph. Two pages, one on light blue White House telegram stationary, each 8 x 10 inches. The first, Washington, [D.C.], January 27, 1961. The second, with holographic emendations signed “Kennedy” undated, but circa January 27, 1961.

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Dr. King has Labored at Best to advance the Principles of Equal Justice under Law for all Americans and Equal access to all the Opportunities of our Society

Item #27577, $37,500

President Wilson Urges Americans to Support the “Stricken Jewish People” of Europe During World War I

WOODROW WILSON, Printed Document Signed, Proclamation re “stricken Jewish people,” January 11, 1916, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 8 x 12.25 in.

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I...do appoint and proclaim January 27, 1916, as a day upon which the people of the United States may make such contributions … for the aid of the stricken Jewish people.

With this proclamation, President Woodrow Wilson responds to a Senate resolution calling for contributions to the American Red Cross to benefit the millions of “stricken Jewish people” in nations involved in World War I. The “Jewish Relief Day” campaign raised $2 million. Just over a year later, the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies.

Item #27810, $25,000

FDR’s Personal Copy of 1934 Textile Industry Crisis Board Report Countersigned by Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins, the First Woman Presidential Cabinet Member

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Typescript Signed with initials, twice, on the title page. Roosevelt’s personal bound carbon copy of “Report of the Board of Inquiry for the Cotton Textile Industry,” September 17, 1934, Hyde Park, New York. 38 pp., 9 x 11⅜ in.

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This typed report was compiled in two weeks amidst a violent nationwide textile strike. In addition to Roosevelt initialing it twice, it is signed by his the chairman of the commission, and by Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve on a Presidential cabinet, in which role she played an important part in writing critical New Deal legislation, including the Social Security Act. The report was personally given to FDR at a meeting at Hyde Park to discuss the board’s findings which successfully brought an end to the strike.

Item #27690, $8,500

Abraham Lincoln Signed Check to “William Johnson (Colored)”—Who Accompanied the President to Antietam and Gettysburg

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Partially Printed Document Signed, Riggs & Co. Bank check, October 27, 1862, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 7½ x 2¾ in. Filled out and signed by Lincoln as president, payable to “William Johnson (Colored)” for $5.

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Johnson accompanied Lincoln from Springfield to Washington, D.C., served as the President’s valet, and traveled with him to Antietam (25 days before this check) and a year later to Gettysburg.

Item #27740, $180,000

President John Quincy Adams’ Remarks & Toast Commemorating William Penn’s Landing

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Manuscript, Remarks and Toast to Penn Society, October 25, 1825, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1 pp., 8 x 9¼ in.

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The Land of William Penn, and his ‘Great Town,’ the City of brotherly Love.”

In these brief remarks at Masonic Hall in Philadelphia in October 1825, President Adams proposed the above toast at the second annual meeting of the Penn Society and the 143rd anniversary of William Penn’s landing in America.

Item #27469, $6,800

Civil War “The Union Forever” Flag Made by Philadelphia Sailmaker, ca. 1861

[U.S. FLAG - CIVIL WAR], Large (204 x 150 in.) 34-Star Flag of the United States with an applied fabric piece across approximately three-quarters of its width, with printed motto, “The Union Forever.” Philadelphia: J. Chase, ca. 1861.

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According to museum records, original owner James W. Pancoast was a farmer in Accomack County on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He flew this flag at the outbreak of the Civil War, but was compelled to take it down, and fled back to the North.

The flag’s date is based on the 29 months that the United States officially consisted of 34 states. Kansas was admitted to the Union on as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. West Virginia (50 trans-Allegheny counties that had been part of Virginia) were admitted as the 35th state on June 20, 1863.

“The Union Forever” was a common slogan in the North on the eve of and during the Civil War. It was the theme of poems, songs, and campaign slogans, and was printed on envelopes, campaign and recruiting broadsides, ballots, textiles, and other materials.

Item #26743, $19,000

George Washington Signed Military Commission, Preparing for a Decisive Victory Against Native Americans and the British in the Midwest

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Document Signed, Philadelphia, Pa., March 19, 1793, appointing William Winston as Captain of Light Dragoons. Co-signed by Henry Knox, Secretary of War, and John Stagg, Chief Clerk of the War Department. Imprint at bottom, “Drawn and Engrav’d by Thackara and Vallance, Philada.” With paper seal of the United States. 1 p., 16 x 20 in., on vellum. Framed with rag mats and UV-filtered plexiglass to 29 x 34¼ in.

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Two weeks after his second inauguration, President George Washington appoints William Winston as Captain of Light Dragoons. By the time Winston joined the army in the Northwest Territory, he had been promoted to command the entire cavalry of the new Legion of the United States. In that position, he fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the decisive U.S. victory against the Native American confederation and their British allies in that area.

George Washington-signed military commissions are rare on the market, and we don’t recall ever seeing a more attractive example.

Item #20626.99, $55,000

George Washington’s First Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Gazette of the United States. New York, N.Y., October 7, 1789. 4 pp., In addition to the Thanksgiving Proclamation on page one, this issue also includes: a printing of the Treaty of Fort Harmar between the United States and the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa, Chippewa, Pattawatima, and Sac Indian nations (p. 1, col. 2 to p. 2, col. 2). A report from London about an “African Genius” (p. 2, col. 2). And a report on the proceedings of Congress, including an act to suspend part of the Tonnage Duties Act (p. 4 col. 3). 9½ x 14¾ in. Overall fine. Archivally framed.

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“to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.... for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness... for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge”

On September 28, 1789, just before the closing of the First Federal Congress, the Senate added its assent to a House resolution requesting that George Washington be asked to call for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Later that day, Congress passed the Bill of Rights to be sent to the states for their ratification, and on the next day the first session of the first Federal Congress was adjourned. On Saturday, October 3, Washington issued America’s first presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation. The Gazette printed it in full on the first page of this, their next edition, Wednesday October 7th.

Item #23257.99, $45,000

Acquittal of Printer John Peter Zenger in Colonial New York Establishes Foundation for American Freedom of the Press

[JOHN PETER ZENGER], The Trial of John Peter Zenger, Of New-York, Printer: Who was charged with having printed and published a Libel against the Government; and acquitted. With a Narrative of his Case. To which is now added, being never printed before, The Trial of Mr. William Owen, Bookseller, near Temple-Bar, Who was also Charged with the Publication of a Libel against the Government; of which he was honourably acquitted by a Jury of Free-born Englishmen, Citizens of London, 1st ed. London: John Almon, 1765. Three-quarter olive calf, red morocco spine label, stamped in blind and in gilt, over marbled paper-covered boards; some sunning to leather; all edges trimmed. 60 pp., 5 x 8.25 in.

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It is not the cause of a poor printer...it is the cause of liberty.

This volume, printed in London three decades after John Peter Zenger’s trial, illustrates the continuing relevance of his acquittal to the freedom of the press. The volume also includes the story of William Owen, a London bookseller, who had been prosecuted for libel at the request of the House of Commons in 1752. Like Zenger, Owen was also acquitted by a jury.

John Almon, a publisher and bookseller known for his commitment to the freedom of the press, printed the volume as part of his challenge to governmental censorship of the press. In the same year that Almon published this pamphlet, the attorney general prosecuted him for the publication of a pamphlet entitled Juries and Libels, but the prosecution failed.

Item #27745, $3,500

President Washington Approves Establishment of Mint and Issues First Veto

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], Columbian Centinel, April 21, 1792. Boston, MA. 4 pp, 10.5 x 16.75 in.

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This newspaper includes the full text of “An Act establishing a Mint and regulating the Coins of the United States” of April 2, 1792, signed in print by Speaker of the House Jonathan Trumbull, Vice President John Adams, President George Washington, and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The bill established a mint, specified its officers, and reaffirmed the Congress of the Confederation’s adoption of decimal currency in 1785 (p1/c1-p2/c1). President Washington appointed David Rittenhouse of Pennsylvania as the first director of the mint on April 13, 1792.

It also includes President George Washington’s first veto message, in which he vetoed “An Act for an Apportionment of Representatives among the Several States, according to the First Enumeration” on April 5, 1792 (p3/c1). The bill introduced a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives that would have increased the number of seats held by northern states. After consulting with his divided cabinet, Washington decided that the plan was unconstitutional because the Constitution provided “that the number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000; which restriction is, by the context, and by fair and obvious construction, to be applied to the separate and respective numbers of the States; and the bill has allotted to eight of the States more than one for 30,000” (p3/c1). Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson had suggested that apportionment be derived from arithmetical calculations.

When Washington’s veto arrived, Congress considered overriding the veto by a two-thirds vote, but only 28 representatives still favored the bill, while 33 opposed it (p3/c1). Ultimately, they threw out the bill and passed a new one that apportioned representatives at “the ratio of one for every thirty-three thousand persons in the respective States.”

Item #26258.01, $3,250

Connecticut Governor’s Proclamation Calling for a Day of Thanksgiving to Commemorate the Defeat of the French in Canada, and the Taking of Quebec

THOMAS FITCH, By the Honourable Thomas Fitch Esq; Governor ... of Connecticut ... A Proclamation for a Public Thanksgiving ... Thursday the sixth day of March next .... New Haven: by James Parker & Company, February 21, 1760. 12 x 14.5 inches.

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Broadside with a woodcut vignette of royal British arms at the top and woodcut initial. Some loss to upper right corner, a few nicks to the left and right margins. Penned inscription on the back.

Reference: Evans 8568; ESTC W34681 (locating only 2 copies)

Item #26605, $6,500

Ben-Gurion to Moshe Sharett on Sharett’s Resignation as Foreign Minister

DAVID BEN-GURION, Autograph Letter Signed, to Moshe Sharett, July 28, 1956, Mount Carmel, Israel. 3 pp., 4½ x 8¼ in.

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I came to recognize that your service as Foreign Minister was not for the good of the country, although I did not cease to value your talents and dedication....

Item #24516, $3,600

Brown University Holds First Commencement in 1769 - as Rhode Island College

[BROWN UNIVERSITY], Rhode Island College, Broadside, Commencement Exercises, September 7, 1769, Warren, Rhode Island. In Latin.

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Chartered in 1764, Rhode Island College - now Brown University - began in Warren, Rhode Island. The college’s first commencement, held on September 7, 1769, was the only one in Warren. In 1770, the college moved to Providence, and in 1804, the name was changed to Brown University.

This broadside, issued under the authority of the first chancellor, Stephen Hopkins, lists the seven members of the college’s first graduating class: Joseph Belton, Joseph Eaton, William Rogers, Richard Stites, Charles Thompson, James Mitchell Varnum, and William Williams.

The commencement was held at the Baptist Church in Warren. The event’s principal feature was a “Disputatio forensica,” or forensic debate, on the thesis “The Americans, in their present Circumstances, cannot, consistent with good Policy, affect to become an independent State.” According to reporting in The Newport MercurySeptember 11, 1769, James Mitchell Varnum (the future Continental Army General) defended the thesis “by cogent arguments,” and William Williams opposed it “subtilely, but delicately.” The president and graduating students made their opinion evident in their apparel; all were dressed in American manufactures. William Rogers also delivered an oration on benevolence, and Richard Stites gave an oration in Latin on the advantages of liberty and learning. Charles Thompson delivered the valedictory oration.

Item #27380.02, $8,500

Two months Before Declaring Israel’s Independence, Ben-Gurion Counters American Backpedaling and Pushes to Start the Temporary Government

DAVID BEN-GURION, Autograph Letter Signed, “D. Ben-Gurion” to Rabbi Yehuda Leib Fishman. March 23, 1948, [Israel]. In Hebrew, 1 P., on The Jewish Agency for Palestine stationary. 8.5 x 11 in.

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“As I was deprived of the possibility of taking part in the meetings of the Executive, I ask to be allowed to appoint a member to be the head of Defence … paragraph ‘C’ should be changed, by way of adding a demand for an immediate agreement that a temporary Government be formulated…”

Item #24454, $10,500
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