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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, $30,000

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

Thomas Jefferson’s Unique, Personally Assembled Seven-Volume Set of the Works of Greek Tragedian Aeschylus

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Signed or owned books. The Works of Aeschylus. Illustrated with engraved plates from the French du Thiel edition. Original marbled tan calf, stamped in gilt, spines and joints professionally restored to style; marbled edges, matching marbled endpapers; by Frederick A. Mayo, Richmond, Virginia, and with his binder’s ticket on front paste-down of each volume. The volumes are housed in seven individual fall-down-back archival boxes, enclosed in a single slipcase. The binder’s tools used during restoration are included in a matching fall-down-back box.

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Jefferson chose specific editions of the works of Aeschylus in English, French, Greek, and Latin, and had them cut up and rebound to make this unique set of seven volumes. In addition to ten of his customary ownership autograph initials (on signatures “I” and “T” throughout the set) parts of four title-pages have autograph amendments by Jefferson and there are approximately 18 marginal autograph annotations, presumably made by him (largely in Vols. IV and V).

This was the second time Jefferson owned these translations. The first set he acquired was sold to Congress as part of his library in 1815.

Item #27809, SOLD — please inquire about other items

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

Emma Lazarus, Author of the Statue of Liberty Welcoming Poem “The New Colossus,” Writes About Publication of Her Poems

EMMA LAZARUS, Autograph Letter Signed, to [Henry C. Bowen], Editor, Independent, March 7, 1877, New York, NY. 1 p., 5 x 8 in.

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Emma Lazarus offers new poems to The Independent, a weekly Congregational magazine published in New York City. She also inquires about her poem on Beethoven, which the magazine had already accepted, and eventually published in July 1877.

In 1883, she wrote the sonnet “The New Colossus” to help raise money for the construction of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. Ultimately, in 1903, the poem was cast into a bronze plaque mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level. 

Rarity
Lazarus's letters are seldom seen on the market, in part due to her premature death in 1887, at age 38. In 1919, New York’s renowned Anderson Galleries noted, “The mss. of this author...are practically unobtainable. This is the first Emma Lazarus ms. essay ever offered at auction....” In his classic 1961 book on autographs, Charles Hamilton observed, “Not many autographs are so desirable as that of Emma Lazarus.... Her autograph is extremely rare.” The few extant Lazarus autographs to reach the market mostly did so in the twentieth century, between 1910 and 1980. Our letter is the first Lazarus autograph on the market since the 2002 sale at R.M. Smythe of an autograph fair copy signed of “The New Colossus.”

Item #27695, $12,000

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

Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant Portraits by William E. Marshall

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN; ULYSSES S. GRANT], William E. Marshall, Engraved Prints: “Abraham Lincoln,” New York, 1866, 20 x 25⅝ in. framed to 28½ x 35 in. And “Gen. U. S. Grant,” New York, 1868, 17⅛ x 22½ in., framed to 26 x 31¼ in. Ex Louise Taper Collection.

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Considered the “finest line-engraving” of Lincoln, Marshall created this in 1866 from his painting of the martyred President. In November 1866, Ticknor and Fields of Boston announced that they would publish Marshall’s engraving on a subscription basis.

Item #26757, SOLD — please inquire about other items

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

Thomas Paine Encourages Americans in the Wake of Brandywine Defeat in Newspaper of One of the First Women Publishers

[THOMAS PAINE; REVOLUTIONARY WAR], The Connecticut Courant and Hartford Weekly Intelligencer, September 22, 1777. Hartford: Hannah Watson. 4 pp., 10 x 16½ in.

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Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” (p2/c2)

We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.” (p3/c1)

This first issue of The Connecticut Courant and Hartford Weekly Intelligencer publishedafter the death of editor and publisher Ebenezer Watson at age 33 features No. 4 of Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis, a series of sixteen pamphlets, published over the pseudonym “Common Sense.” Paine was serving as a volunteer aide-de-camp to General Nathanael Greene and sent dispatches to Philadelphia newspapers about events in the field. Paine wrote sixteen pamphlets in the series, which he entitled The American Crisis, issued in thirteen numbered pamphlets and three additional unnumbered ones between December 1776 and 1783. His first number began with the famous sentence, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Item #27406, SOLD — please inquire about other items

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

A Stone/Force Printing of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving printed on thin wove paper. Imprint at bottom left, “W. J. STONE SC WASHn” [William J. Stone, Washington, D.C. ca. 1833]. Printed for Peter Force’s American Archives, Series V, Vol I. Approx. 24¾ x 29½ in., framed to 32½ x 37½ in.

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The Stone/Force printings are the best representation of the Declaration as it was when members of the Continental Congress put their lives on the line to sign it in August of 1776. 

Item #27694, SOLD — please inquire about other items

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
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