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Presidents and Elections

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Franklin Roosevelt Thanks Alabama Friend for Compliments on “Forgotten Man” Speech

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, as Governor, to Samuel H. Tatum, April 14, 1932, Albany, New York. 1 p., 8 x 10½ in.

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Item #24492, $950

James Monroe & Congress Support the Independence Movements of Spain’s American Colonies

[SOUTH AMERICA]. JAMES MONROE, Pamphlet. “Report (in Part) of the Committee on so Much of the President’s Message as Relates to the Spanish American colonies / December 10th, 1811. Read, and referred to the committee of the whole on the state of the Union.” Washington, D.C.: Printed by R. C. Weightman: 1811. 4 pp.

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[We] behold with friendly interest, the establishment of independent sovereignties, by the Spanish provinces in America…”

Item #21298, $950

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

Lincoln’s Third State of the Union Address
and Amnesty Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. New York Times, New York, N.Y., Dec. 10, 1863, with “Supplement to The New York Times” complete with its own masthead. 12 pp. 14¾ x 21 in.

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Contains Lincoln’s entire 1863 Message to Congress, where he reaffirmed his commitment to emancipation, as well as His Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which laid out a plan to return the rebellious states to the Union fold. Commonly called the “Ten Percent Plan,” it allowed for a state to hold new elections when 10% of its 1860 voters took a loyalty oath to the Union.

Item #30001.20, $950

James Monroe’s State of the Union Address

[JAMES MONROE], Newspaper. American Mercury, Hartford, Ct., December 9, 1817, 4 pp., 13 x 19½ in. With the State of the Union Address in full on page 2.

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Monroe enters office in a time of peace and prosperity well deserving of its moniker, the Era of Good Feelings. Still, the president outlines a plan for the future in his first message to Congress.

Item #30001.04, $950

Theodore Roosevelt Commissions a Captain

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Document Signed as President. Commission for John J.A. Clark as Captain in the Philippine Scouts. Washington, D.C., September 19, 1908. 1 p., 21 x 16 in.

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Item #22949, $950

Jefferson’s Attempted Seduction
of His Friend’s Wife - the Alleged Affair

[THOMAS JEFFERSON], Newspaper. Boston Gazette, July 18, 1805. 4 pp., 13½ x 20 in.

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A piece in the Boston Gazette criticizing a passage in the Richmond Enquirer, “a partisan paper of Mr. Jefferson” that defended his attempt to “seduce the wife of his friend.” They ask “has the spirit of party, then, so far subdued the sense of moral right in our country…to rescue a vile Letcher from the merited reproach.”

Item #30004.014, $1,000

James Madison’s Second Inaugural Address,
in a Rare New York Irish Newspaper

[JAMES MADISON], Newspaper. The Shamrock, or, Hibernian Chronicle, New York, N.Y., March 13, 1813. Madison’s second inaugural address begins on p. 2 and concludes on p. 3. 4 pp., 12 x 19 in.

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On the issue of the war are staked our national sovereignty.”

Item #30001.01, $1,000

Gerald Ford Defends His Early Commitment to Civil Rights

GERALD R. FORD, Typed Letter Signed, to Arthur F. Bukowski, January 28, 1950, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 8 x 10½ in. On Ford’s Congressional letterhead.

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This fascinating letter by freshman Congressman and future president Gerald R. Ford to a Catholic college president in Michigan defends his early record on civil rights legislation.

Personally, I have lived by and believe in the fundamental principle of equality of opportunity regardless of race, color or creed. I am in favor of such a policy for all citizens and will cooperate to accomplish that objective by the most practical and effective methods.

Item #26024, $1,200

Reagan as President Giving Thanks for Painting of a Park Where He Was a Lifeguard

RONALD REAGAN, Typed Letter Signed “Dutch,” to Bill and Jean Thompson, March 7, 1988, Washington, D.C.. 1 p., 7 x 10½ in. On White House stationery with embossed presidential seal.

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I’ve been living with memories since it arrived.... There are no words to properly express my gratitude and my pleasure at having that lovely painting of a spot so dear to my heart.

Item #26025, $1,250

Franklin Roosevelt Orders Books on Naval Battles, New York, and Ladies

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Autograph Notes filling out bookseller’s printed postcard order form, October 28, 1924, 1 p.

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Both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were avid readers. With this postcard, the future president orders three books from Pierce & Scopes, Booksellers and Importers, in Albany, New York.

Item #24496, $1,250

Counting the Vote in 1876 – Florida’s First Election Fiasco

ELECTIONS, Two pamphlets and three documents relating to the disputed presidential election of 1876. 1876-1877.

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The 1876 presidential election between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden came down to a dispute over Florida’s electoral votes. These pamphlets and documents include official signed copies of key Florida court and executive decisions. From the papers of Edward Louden Parris, an attorney for Tilden, who ended up losing in the “Compromise of 1877.”

Item #21857.04, $1,450

Andrew Jackson Dockets a Report from His Nephew on the Hermitage and Middle Tennessee Roads

ANDREW JACKSON, Autograph Endorsement Signed with Initials, ca January 1837. On ANDREW JACKSON DONELSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Andrew Jackson, January 22, 1837. 4 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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Item #24588.06, $1,450

Alexander Hamilton’s Son Thanks U.S. Senator for Report that Leads to President Johnson’s Impeachment

JOHN C. HAMILTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Jacob M. Howard, January 11, 1868, New York. 2 pp., 5 x 7⅞ in.

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In this fascinating letter, Alexander Hamilton’s son thanks U.S. Senator Jacob M. Howard for his report on President Andrew Johnson’s attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. That attempt and the refusal of the Senate to endorse it led the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Johnson just six weeks after Hamilton wrote this letter.

John Hamilton also jokingly refers to Howard’s thinly veiled criticism of Thomas Jefferson, whom Hamilton characterizes as the “Machiavel of the U States.” Italian Renaissance man Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote The Prince (1513, published 1532) in which he commends an amoral expediency in the ruthless exercise of power, exactly the view the younger Hamilton held of Jefferson. Hamilton also commends his father’s plan for funding the nation’s Revolutionary War debt as a model for funding the Civil War debt.

Item #26035, $1,500

Front-Page Printing of William Henry Harrison’s Deadly Inaugural Address

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Newspaper. National Intelligencer, March 6, 1841. Washington, D.C.: Gales & Seaton. 4 pp., 18 x 23¼ in.

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If there is one measure better calculated than another to produce that state of things so much deprecated by all true republicans, by which the rich are daily adding to their hoards and the poor sinking deeper into penury, it is an exclusive metallic currency....

On a cold, wet day, March 4, 1841, President Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address in history. Harrison wrote the entire speech himself, though it was edited by his soon-to-be Secretary of State, Daniel Webster. Webster said afterwards that in the process of editing the text, he had “killed seventeen Roman proconsuls.” Contracting pneumonia, Harrison became the first president to die in office 31 days after delivering this address. His vice president John Tyler became the new president and served out Harrison’s term.

In an 8,460-word address, printed here on the front page of the National Intelligencer, Harrison presents a detailed statement of the Whig agenda and a repudiation of the populism and policies of Democratic Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. Harrison promises to reestablish the Bank of the United States, to issue paper currency, to use his veto power sparingly, and to appoint qualified officers of government in contrast to the spoils system that Jackson heralded. He favors term limits, limits on the powers of the presidency, and devotion to the nation rather than party. Harrison avoids specifics on the divisive issue of slavery, which in theory he might have opposed, but of which he was in practice a staunch defender.

Item #30001.35, $1,500

Artwork for FDR’s 1936 Reelection Campaign proposed by Artist Franz Felix

[PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1936], Typed Document Signed. Artwork by Franz Felix and Ideas and Copy by Richard Barron, “Set of Rough Sketches Containing Some Suggested Promotion Ideas to be Used in the 1936 Democratic Presidential Campaign,” July 2, 1936. 1 p., 12 x 10½ in.

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This sheet contains five rough sketches of graphics calling on the workers and voters of America to support Franklin D. Roosevelt’s reelection in 1936. They did, in record numbers.

Item #24942, $1,600

Former President Truman Praises Kennedy’s Far Reaching 1960 Democratic Platform on the Rights of Man and the Need for Security; Immigration; Health Care; Minimum Wage; Equal Work for Equal Pay; Civil Rights and Voting Rights

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Pamphlet Inscribed and Signed. 1960 Democratic National Convention program, Los Angeles, signed in 1964. “To Robert William Bean Kindest regards 1/22/64 Harry Truman / It’s a great platform!” 3¾ x 8½ in.

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Before John F. Kennedy could defeat Richard Nixon in the election of 1960, he had to win his party’s nomination against veteran Senator Lyndon Johnson and perennial candidate Adlai Stevenson. Kennedy did so handily, on the first ballot of the convention.

Item #23216, $1,650

Andrew Jackson Covers for His West Point Dropout Grandnephew

ANDREW JACKSON, Autograph Endorsement Signed with Initials, January 17, 1836. On RENÉ E. DE RUSSY, Autograph Letter Signed, to Andrew Jackson, West Point, January 12, 1836. 3 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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have all debts paid & draw on me for amount

Item #24588.05, $1,750

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Program - Given to the Wife of His Vice President

[JOHN NANCE GARNER. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT], “Official Program of the Inaugural Ceremonies Inducting into office Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, John N. Garner, Vice President of the United States, March 4, 1933.” Presentation copy with gold embossed inscription to Mrs. John N. Garner (whose biography appears on page 21). Washington DC: Ransdell Incorporated, 1933. First Edition. Quarto, deluxe flexible leatherette binding, gold embossed with title and presidential seal. Copy 17 Signed by Cary T. Grayson, Chairman, General Inaugural Committee, and inscribed by the program committee chair: “To the Vice President-elect with/the affectionate regard of J. Fred Essary.” Scarce edition given as gifts to distinguished guests. Fine.

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Item #24114, $1,750

George Washington’s Second Inaugural Address

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Newspaper. Gazette of the United States, March 9, 1793. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: John Fenno. 4 pp., 9½ x 14¾ in.

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Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence—that if it shall be found, during my administration of the Government, I have in any instance violated willingly, or knowingly, the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all, who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

Although Washington wanted to retire after a single term, the members of his cabinet, especially rivals Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, were convinced that he was essential to lead the nation through the next four years. After being again unanimously selected by the Electoral College, Washington delivered his second inaugural address in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia. At 135 words, it is the shortest inaugural address ever.

Item #30027.12, $1,800
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