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A Week After Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK Asks Treasury Secretary Dillon About the Possibility of a Run on Gold if the Crisis Had Lasted Longer or Involved a Total Blockade

JOHN F KENNEDY, Typed Draft Letter with autograph corrections, to Douglas Dillon, November 5, 1962, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 6¾ x 8¾ in. With Evelyn Lincoln (Personal Secretary to JFK) letter of authenticity, July 16, 1990, and small note card with Kennedy doodle.

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If the crisis had become more pronounced, if there had been a total blockade ...would we have had a serious run on gold? … It should be possible for us to get better coordination with the western governments…”

In this typed draft, with Kennedy’s handwritten corrections, the President asks Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon about the monetary implications of a prolonged Cuban missile crisis.

Item #27507, $10,500

President Harry S. Truman Signs Potsdam Declaration Demanding Japanese Surrender for Himself, Winston Churchill, and Chiang Kai-shek

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Document Signed, Potsdam Declaration, July 26, 1945. Truman also adds in his own hand the signatures of Winston Churchill (“Churchill”) and Chiang Kai-shek (“Chiang Kai-shek”). 3 pp. on 2 leaves, 8¼ x 11 in.

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Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.

This remarkable document, signed by President Harry S. Truman and by him for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chairman Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China, sets forth their terms for Japan’s surrender. Within days, Churchill had been replaced as prime minister, and within two weeks, the United States Air Force had dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 15, Japanese Emperor Hirohito accepted the terms of the Declaration.

Item #27126.99, $72,000

President Woodrow Wilson Asks Congress for a Declaration of War

WOODROW WILSON, Printed Document Signed, “A Message Calling for War With the Imperial German Government in Defense of American Rights,” [April 2, 1917]. New York: Literary Digest, 1917. In three columns with elaborate initials in red and gold. 1 p., 16¼ x 22½ in.

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there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibility of making.

In this address to Congress, President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly requests a declaration of war on Imperial Germany because of its announcement that “it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.” Germany had cast aside its earlier restraint and begun to pursue unrestricted submarine warfare on vessels from every nation with a “reckless lack of compassion or of principle.

Item #27120.99, $26,000

“Poverty or Prosperity?” McKinley & Hobart 1896 Presidential Campaign Rare Huge Jugate Poster

[WILLIAM McKINLEY & HOBART], Jugate Poster, 1896. Distributed by Edwards, Deutsch, and Heitmann, Chicago, this is part of a series of these highly detailed large posters which appeared during the 1896 and 1900 elections. They are found showing both candidates of a single party, the opposing candidates, or single candidates. All have truly remarkable graphic artwork, and as a group, they represent the zenith of American political poster design. #27654 35.5 x 47.75 inches (sight), framed to 41.5 x 53.5 inches.

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Item #27654, $3,500

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

Rare Abraham Lincoln 1860 Campaign Sash for Rally at Boston’s Faneuil Hall

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Portrait Sash from Faneuil Hall Rally, May-November, 1860, Boston, Massachusetts. 1 p., 29 x 2¼ in. It features a portrait of Lincoln engraved from an 1858 photograph taken in Springfield by Christopher S. German.

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The first owner wore this sash at one or more of the Lincoln Rallies during the 1860 presidential campaign season. The two most prominent were at the beginning and end of the season. 

Item #27653, $12,500

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

Excluding Chinese Immigration: President Chester Arthur Orders Seal Affixed to His Angell Treaty Proclamation

CHESTER ARTHUR, Partially Printed Document Signed, Order to Affix Seal of the United States to His Proclamation, October 10, 1881, Washington, DC. 1 p., 8 x 10 in.

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With this order, new President Chester A. Arthur authorized Secretary of State James G. Blaine to affix the seal of the United States to the fully ratified Angell Treaty of 1880 that suspended the immigration of Chinese laborers to the United States. Further discriminatory steps were enacted by subsequent legislation continuing until 1943.

Item #27711, ON HOLD

President Grant Preliminary Order Seeking to End Ku Klux Klan Violence in South Carolina

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Manuscript Document Signed, as President, directing Secretary of State Hamilton Fish to “affix the seal of the United States to the accompanying Proclamation commanding the persons composing certain unlawful combinations in the State of South Carolina to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes.” Washington, D.C. March 24, 1871, 1 p., 7.75 x 9.75 in.

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Accompanied by a modern printing of the text of Grant’s proclamation:

“Whereas it is provided in the Constitution that the United States shall protect every state in the Union… and …Whereas I have received information that combinations of armed men, unauthorized by law, are now disturbing the peace and safety of the citizens of the State of South Carolina and committing acts of violence … which render the power of the State and its officers unequal to the task of protecting live and property and securing public order therein…”ordering members of the Ku Klux Klan to “disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days…”

Item #27741, $7,500

Governor and Presidential Candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt Begins Effective Use of Radio

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Mimeographed Document Signed, press release of radio speech, July 30, 1932, Albany, NY. Prepared for release to the press. “For Release in the Morning Papers After Delivered” in type at top of first page. Signed at bottom of last page, “Franklin D. Roosevelt.” 6 pp., 8½ x 14 in.

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I hope during this campaign to use the radio frequently to speak to you about important things that concern us all.

On July 30, 1932, New York Governor Roosevelt delivered this speech from Albany, quoting extensively from and explaining many planks of the Democratic National Platform. Four weeks after the Democratic National Convention nominated Roosevelt on the fourth ballot in Chicago, he made this fantastic campaign speech.  He turned to a relatively new medium—the radio—to communicate with the American people. Broadcast radio began in 1920 but became more widespread over the next decade. This broadcast went out over the decade-old AM radio station WGY in Schenectady, New York, to the N.B.C. Network at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday. Roosevelt’s use of the radio brought his comforting voice into the homes and lives of average Americans and reassured them that he cared for them as part of an “imagined community.”

Employing the radio, Roosevelt could make certain that his message reached the widest possible audience, without the mediation of newspaper editors. He also spoke confidently in standard English at a slow rate to make certain that everyone understood him. He used everyday analogies, stories, and anecdotes to explain his thoughts clearly. Over his unprecedented three terms and a partial fourth term in office as President of the United States, Roosevelt delivered some thirty “fireside chats” to reassure the American people and give them hope during the bleak times of the Great Depression and World War II.

Item #27712, $10,500

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

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

John Quincy Adams Campaign Song Handbill, to the Tune of Yankee Doodle

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Printed Document, “John Quincy Adams,” Songsheet. Providence, RI: [Henry Trumbull], ca. 1828. 1 p., 8 x 10 in.

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“John Quincy Adams is the man,/ Round whom the people flock, Sir, / And none the worse for Uncle Sam, / Because of Yankee stock, Sir.”

This songsheet provides the lyrics for “John Quincy Adams” to be sung to the tune Yankee Doodle. It compares incumbent “commander” John Quincy Adams to challenger Andrew Jackson, who “shoots a score or two, When e’er he wants a frolic,” a reference to Jackson’s controversial decision to execute deserters among his militia forces. The lyrics seem to have first appeared in print in the Newburyport Herald on July 11, 1828, under the title “’Tother Yankee Doodle” and with the preface, “The following song, composed for the late celebration at Portsmouth, contains the yankee properties of broad humour and truth.” The song later appeared in several newspapers in New England and as far away as Frankfort, Kentucky, and New Orleans, Louisiana.[1]

Supporters of JQA’s administration held a celebration of the Fourth of July at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. William Plumer Jr. gave the primary oration, and in the afternoon, a large number dined in Jefferson Hall, drinking toasts to the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence Charles Carroll of Carrollton, President John Quincy Adams, the memory of George Washington, Henry Clay, and many others.[2]

Item #27393.02, $4,000

Campaign Document Uses Civil War’s Costs Against President Johnson

[ANDREW JOHNSON], The United States in Account with the Rebellion, Broadside, [October 1866]. 1 pp., 9½ x 11¼ in.

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Stand by Congress!

This broadside, presented in the form of a balance sheet, gives an account of the money and men the northern states spent in suppressing the rebellion and the results it had received, including the “Murder of President Lincoln” and the massacre of black and white Unionists in Memphis (May 1866), New Orleans (July 1866), and Platte City, Missouri (September 1866). It concludes that loyal people, both black and white, must stand by Congress against President Andrew Johnson.

Item #27504, ON HOLD

Lyndon B. Johnson Signing Pen for Voting Rights Act of 1965

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, “One of the pens used by the President, August 6, 1965, in signing S. 1564, An Act to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes,” per original printed slip in original box. Clear barrel pen, “The President-The Whitehouse” printed in white, with “Esterbrook” on the nib, 6⅜ in. long. With additional artifacts.

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This artifact came from Arnold “Pappy” Noel (1922-2009), a longtime news photographer who at that time was in the Public Affairs Office of the Secretary of Defense. Noel earned his nickname in World War II as a B-29 tail gunner. After the war and his retirement, he joined United Press International as a newsreel and still photographer, filming presidential and White House events, marches on Washington and Selma, fires and riots in Washington and Detroit, and early NASA events. At the 1968 Democratic Convention, he became part of the story when he was injured and arrested for refusing to hand over his film of “excessive abuse of law enforcement agents towards demonstrators.” He was president of the White House Press Photographers Association for two years, leaving the press corps to work as a public affairs assistant to President Ford.

Item #27655, $20,000

FDR’s First Inaugural Address in the Midst of the Great Depression

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, First Inaugural Address, Typed Manuscript Signed, ca. May 1935, Washington, DC. 5 pp., 7 x 10½ in. Accompanied by Marguerite “Missy” LeHand, Typed Letter Signed, June 5, 1935, on White House stationery, returning the signed typescript to Mr. Barker.

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the only thing we have to fear is fear itself....

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his landmark first Inaugural Address at the U.S. Capitol, on March 4, 1933. Many consider the speech to be one of the greatest in American history. On the day of the inauguration, the country was at the lowest point of the worst depression in American history. The banks had closed in thirty-two of the forty-eight states (plus the District of Columbia), unemployment was above 25 percent, farms were failing, and two million people were homeless. The New York Federal Reserve Bank would not be able to open the very next day, as panicky customers had withdrawn huge sums in the previous days. In this context, Roosevelt set forth a positive message addressing the country’s greatest needs: relief, recovery, and reform. His confidence, optimism, and the massive amount of “New Deal” legislation he sent to Congress in the first one hundred days of his administration did much to reassure the American people that better times were on the way.

Item #27122.99, $135,000

Very Early State Department Printing of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and William Seward’s Cover Letter, Sent to American Minister in Argentina

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Printed Circular, “By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.” First page: WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Printed Letter Signed by Secretary, to Robert C. Kirk, January 3, 1863. [Washington: Government Printing Office, ca. January 5, 1863], 2 pp. on one folded sheet, 8¼ x 13 in. (pages 2 and 4 blank)

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“By virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons…”

One of the first obtainable printed editions of Abraham Lincoln’s final Emancipation Proclamation, January 1863, issued by the State Department.

Item #27119.99, $115,000
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