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Debating the Bill of Rights Amendments in 1789

[BILL OF RIGHTS], The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. Newspaper, August 22, 1789 (No. 3295). Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole. 4 pp., 11⅜ x 18¼ in.

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Mr. [Egbert] Benson [of New York] moved that the words ‘but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms,’ be struck out. He wished that this humane provision should be left to the wisdom and benevolence of government. It was improper to make it a fundamental in the constitution.”

This issue of the Pennsylvania Packet includes key debates in the House of Representatives on the developing set of amendments that were later ratified as the Bill of Rights. It also prints the Act establishing the War Department.

Item #24831, $7,500

The Gettysburg Address – New York Semi-Weekly Tribune First Day of Printing

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, New York Semi-Weekly Tribune, November 20, 1863. Newspaper. New York, N.Y.: Horace Greeley. 8 pp., 15½ x 20⅜ in.

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A rare first day of publication newspaper, with Lincoln’s timeless embodiment of American ideals prominently placed. From November 20, the day after the Address, this original issue starts with Edward Everett’s speech and a report on the ceremonies on page one, and includes Lincoln’s speech on the final page (making it possible to display both together).

Item #26142, $7,500

President Theodore Roosevelt Agrees to Write His Famous Speech Attacking Journalistic Muck-Raking as an Enemy of Real Reform

Theodore Roosevelt, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Elbert Henry Gary, the chairman of the board and president of U.S. Steel (the first billion dollar corporation), March 20, 1906, Washington, D.C. On “The White House” letterhead. 2 pp., 6-7/8 x 8-3/4 in.

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I will go to the limit in enforcing the law against the wealthiest man or the wealthiest corporation if I think he or it has done wrong; but my whole soul revolts at a campaign of foul slander waged against men, … because they have succeeded in business....

Item #26174.01, $7,500

Theodore Roosevelt’s Views on America’s Wealth Gap and Death Tax

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to Elbert Henry Gary, April 26, 1906, Washington, D.C. On “The White House” letterhead. 2 pp., 7-1/8 x 8-7/8 in.

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Discussing His “Muck-rake” Speech, Roosevelt Goes Toe-to-Toe with the Head of the ‘Steel Trust’ over the Idea of a Death Tax for America’s Wealthiest. He Takes Aim at Powerful Monopolies and the Largest Fortunes, while Condemning the Radical “socialists of the bomb-throwing persuasion.”

I utterly and radically disagree with you in what you say about large fortunes. I wish it were in my power to devise some scheme to make it increasingly difficult to heap them up beyond a certain amount.

Item #26174.02, $8,000

Brooklyn Ferry in 1666 - British Royal Governor Confirms Dutch Owners Land Grant for the Brooklyn End of the Ferry

RICHARD NICOLLS, Manuscript Document Signed, March 12, 1666, to Egbert van Borsum. 2 pp. with attached wax seal, 12¾ x 16¼ in.

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Whereas there is a certaine Plott of Ground, with a House or Tenement there upon, Scituate and being at the Ferry, within the Bounds of the Towne of Brucklyn, in the west Riding of Yorkeshire upon Long Island…

Item #23988.12, $8,750

Masonic Documents: James P. Kimball archive of master Mason, geologist, and Director of the United States Mint - with superb engravings

JAMES P. KIMBALL, Archive. Approximately fifteen ornate Masonic documents, many relating to James P. Kimball and his family. Kimball was a noted geologist and one-time Director of the United States Mint. Plus over sixty related letters, documents, and ephemera most of which concern Kimball’s Masonic activities.

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Item #22108.13, $9,500

Hamilton Addresses Overdue Invalid Pensions in Massachusetts

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Manuscript Letter Signed, to Nathaniel Appleton, February 8, 1794, [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. Includes unsigned free frank by Hamilton: “Free Secy of Treasy.” 1 p., with integral address leaf, 8 x 9.75 in.

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Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton informs Commissioner of Loans for Massachusetts that he has directed Treasurer Samuel Meredith to send him the funds to pay the 1790 pensions. This applied to Revolutionary War veterans whose wounds rendered them unable to procure a subsistence by manual labor. Those who could perform some labor received partial pensions based on the extent of their disability.

Item #27442, $10,500

Original 1789 First Inaugural Button: “Memorable Era / March the Fourth 1789

[GEORGE WASHINGTON], 1789 "Memorable Era" Inaugural Button. 34 mm brass with original shank. Word "Era" weakly struck, as is typical. GW-1789-4, Albert WI-1a.

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Item #25446, $11,000

Aviation Pioneer Amelia Earhart Returns from European Tour with Publisher Husband

AMELIA EARHART, Signed Photograph of Amelia Earhart and George P. Putnam, signed by both, June 24, 1932, French steamship Ile de France, Atlantic Ocean. 1 p., 9 x 6.75 in.

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This original black-and-white photograph pictures aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and her husband, publisher George P. Putnam, on the deck of a transatlantic steamship. On May 20, 1932, Earhart, who four years earlier had been the first female passenger to cross the Atlantic Ocean by airplane, set an aviation record by becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She flew 2,026 miles from Newfoundland to northern Ireland, where she was greeted by a farm laborer. When asked by a British reporter what her husband thought of her flying solo across the Atlantic, she replied, “I had to sell my husband the idea because he was not over-keen, but he did not put any obstacles in my way.

Joined by her husband, she departed on a triumphant tour of Europe. She was received by the Pope, entertained by royalty, and visited governments throughout Europe. After her tour, she and her husband boarded the Ile de France on June 14, 1932, and began their journey back to the United States. This photograph was taken on the deck of that ship and is inscribed “To M. William” by Earhart and also signed by her husband. They arrived to a ticker-tape parade in New York City on June 20. She then flew to Washington, D.C., where President Herbert Hoover presented her with a special gold medal from the National Geographic Society, and Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Item #27329, $12,500

Period Oil Portrait of William H. Seward Wonderfully Executed

[WILLIAM H. SEWARD], Oil Bust Portrait of Secretary of State William H. Seward, ca. 1864. Oil on board, 11 x 14 in. oval; framed to 17 x 20 in.

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Item #25611, $12,500

Amelia Earhart and Richard E. Byrd—Aviation Pioneers in Signed Group Photo

AMELIA EARHART; RICHARD BYRD, Signed Photograph of Clarence Chamberlain, Richard E. Byrd, Amelia Earhart, and Bernt Balchen, signed by latter three, July 7, 1930, New York, New York. 1 p., 8 x 10 in.

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This original black-and-white photograph pictures four aviation pioneers shortly before Byrd presented an Explorer’s Club flag that he carried to the South Pole to George P. Putnam (1887-1950), the Vice President of the Explorers’ Club and Amelia Earhart’s future husband. The Club was a men’s-only organization, which prompted Earhart to join the Society of Women Geographers.

From 1928 to 1930, Richard E. Byrd led his first expedition to the Antarctic, involving two ships and three airplanes. The participants constructed a base camp called “Little America” on the Ross Ice Shelf and began scientific expeditions. Among the participants was a 19-year-old Boy Scout, Paul A. Siple, who had been chosen to accompany the expedition. Among the achievements of the two-year expedition was the first flight to the South Pole in November 1929, piloted by Bernt Balchen. As a result, Congress promoted Byrd to the rank of rear admiral, making him the youngest admiral in the history of the U.S. Navy at age 41. Byrd would go on to lead four more Antarctic expeditions between 1934 and 1956.

In July 1930, publisher George P. Putnam gave a luncheon for Byrd at the Barbizon-Plaza hotel in New York City. Putnam used it as the occasion to announce several forthcoming books by members of the expedition, including Byrd’s book Little America, Paul Siple’s volume A Boy Scout with Byrd, New York Times reporter Russell Owen’s book entitled South of the Sun, and a four-volume set describing the scientific findings of the expedition. At the luncheon, Byrd presented Putnam with a flag of the Explorers’ Club, which he had carried to the Antarctic. Putnam stated that the flag would have a place in the clubhouse with trophies of Peary, Amundsen, and other explorers. In addition to the aviation pioneers Amelia Earhart and Clarence D. Chamberlin, other guests included Kermit Roosevelt (1889-1943), the son of President Theodore Roosevelt; New York Herald Tribune publisher Ogden Mills Reid (1882-1947); Cosmopolitan magazine editor Ray Long (1878-1935); and aviation pioneer Ruth Rowland Nichols (1901-1960).

Item #27328, $15,000

Preparing to Report to Congress on Public Credit, Alexander Hamilton Establishes the New U.S. Treasury Department’s Forms & Procedures

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Letter Signed as Treasury Secretary. New York, December 1, 1789. 2 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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The First Federal Congress established the Treasury Department on September 2, 1789, only three months before this letter. Hamilton became Secretary of the Treasury – actually the very first member of George Washington’s cabinet – on September 11. Hamilton speedily created processes to organize and run the new nation’s financial system. He requires weekly returns of cash receipts and disbursements, and notes that while monthly returns on import duties will normally not be required, they are for the year about to end. He mentions the need for this information so he can make timely reports to Congress near the beginning of their sessions, with “the information relative to the Revenue which they will necessarily require.” In fact, responding to the request of Congress, Hamilton delivered his seminal Report on Public Credit on January 14, 1790. This letter, introducing his subordinate customs and tax collectors to the developing system, is an early and important part of the process.

Item #27211, $17,500

Steamboat Inventor Robert Fulton and Six Other Commissioners Ask the Governor of Georgia to Support Federal Funding of the Erie Canal

ROBERT FULTON, ROBERT FULTON, Printed Document Signed, October 8, 1811, New York. Letter to the Governor of Georgia David Brydie Mitchell announcing the formation of what would become the Erie Canal Commission. Also signed by GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, DEWITT CLINTON, SIMEON DE WITT, WILLIAM NORTH, THOMAS EDDY and ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 2 pp., 10 x 15½ in. Together with: ELISHA JENKINS Document Signed as New York Secretary of State. “An Act to provide for the Improvement of the Internal Navigation of the State,” April 8, 1811, Albany, NY; certified, sealed, and signed, July 10, 1811. 1 p. with docketing, ordered to be filed, Nov. 4, 1811, 8 x 10 in.

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“this Canal … will encourage agriculture, promote commerce and manufactures, facilitate a free and general intercourse between different parts of the United States, tend to the aggrandizement and prosperity of the country, and consolidate and strengthen the Union.

Item #26559, $17,500

Harry S. Truman on His 1948 Proclamation Recognizing Israel

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed, to Benjamin Cohen. Independence, Missouri, March 25, 1970. 1 p., 7¼ x 10½ in., with envelope with printed free frank.

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As for your interest in the proclamation of May 14, 1948, any document or statement issued by the President goes through a series of statements to make certain of its accuracy and clarity of meaning. I continue to hope that a reign of peace will soon come to pass.

In this 1970 letter, Truman writes to Benjamin Cohen that his proclamation recognizing Israel’s independence was handled like any other presidential document. In reality, Truman’s recognition of Israel was sent only eleven minutes after receiving the news that Israel had proclaimed independence at midnight on May 14/15, 1948 (in the U.S., May 14, 6 pm, E.S.T.) The hastily typed original, with quick handwritten edits, is preserved in Truman’s Presidential Library. Secretary of State George C. Marshall and many others opposed the creation of a Jewish state. Any mention by Truman of his recognition of Israel is extremely rare.

Item #21308.01, $18,000

Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Congress Extending Temporary Post Office

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed, as Secretary of State, “An Act to continue in force for a limited time, an Act, intituled ‘An Act for the temporary Establishment of the Post Office,’” New York, August 4, 1790. 1 p., 9½ x 15⅛ in. , 8/4/1790.

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the act passed the last session of Congress, intituled ‘An act for the temporary establishment of the post-office,’ be, and the same hereby is continued in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer.

Item #26264.99, $27,500

Unique Inscribed Set of John Marshall’s Life of George Washington, With Joseph Story Letter to the Daughter of the Late Associate Justice Henry Brockholst Livingston, Conveying Marshall’s Thanks and Noting That He Will Be Sending to Her These Very Books

JOHN MARSHALL, Inscribed books, signed “The Author.” The Life of George Washington, Commander in Chief of the American Forces, During the War which Established the Independence of his Country, and First President of the United States, Compiled under the Inspection of the Honourable Bushrod Washington, From Original Papers Bequeathed to him by his Deceased Relative, 2 vols. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1832. 2nd Edition, Revised and Corrected by the Author. Volumes I – II bound in red quarter leather spine and brown leather, each inscribed and signed, “For Mrs. Ledyard with the profound respect of The Author.” John Marshall’s magisterial biography of George Washington was originally a five-volume set. This 1832 publication was revised by Marshall and issued in two volumes, with a companion volume of Revolutionary War maps: Atlas to Marshall’s Life of Washington, Philadelphia: J. Crissy, [1832], 10 hand-colored maps, bound in red quarter leather with original blue boards. With scarce printed errata for Volume I laid in, and manuscript errata for Vol II. The letter requires conservation.

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Item #26161, $27,500

Thomas Jefferson Transmits the First Patent Act to Governor of New York George Clinton, Who Later Replaced Aaron Burr as Jefferson’s Vice President

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Letter Signed, as Secretary of State, to Governor George Clinton of New York, April 15, 1790, New York. 1 p., 7¾ x 9½ in

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In his position as Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson conveyed copies of new federal laws to the governors of each of the states. This letter, signed by Jefferson, conveyed the First Patent Act, formally An Act to Promote the Progress of Useful Arts, to New York Governor George Clinton, who would later serve as Jefferson’s second vice president.

Item #26389.99, $28,000

June 1776 Charles Thomson Signed Continental Congress Resolution Defining Treason

CHARLES THOMSON, Manuscript Document Signed, Copy of Resolution Extracted from Minutes Journal as Secretary of Confederation Congress, June 24, 1776, Philadelphia. 2 pp., 6⅜ x 8 in.

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This resolution of the Second Continental Congress, approved days before it adopted the Declaration of Independence, defines a person as guilty of treason if they “levy war” against any of the united American colonies or give “aid and comfort” to any of their enemies. This resolution was the first public act to declare King George III the enemy and was a de facto declaration of independence.

Item #27107, $32,000

Abraham Lincoln on an Army Paymaster Appointment, Thinking that the Instability of Judge David Wilmot Might be the Cause of “a good deal of unnecessary trouble”

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Edwin M. Stanton, July 6, 1864, Washington, D.C. On Executive Mansion stationery. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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Item #26762, $32,500

Rare Important Declaration of Independence Linen Handkerchief

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Printed Cotton Handkerchief, ca. 1821. 31 x 33 in., framed to 35¼ x 37½ in.

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The intricate design of this handkerchief features images of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, beneath an eagle and flags. In the center appears the text of the Declaration of Independence, together with facsimiles of the signatures. An oak wreath with acorns surrounds the text and features images of the seals of the thirteen original states. An image at lower left depicts the Boston Tea Party with the caption, “The Patriotic Bostonians discharging the British Ships in Boston harbour.” An image at lower right depicts “General Burgoyne’s Surrender to General Gates at Saratoga.” Around the edge runs a stars and rope border with anchors at each corner and at the center of each side. The design was printed with red ink using a copper plate.

The design draws much from prints of the Declaration of Independence by William Woodruff, published in February 1819, and John Binns, published in October 1819.

Item #26474, $38,000
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