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Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Congress for Compensating Court Officers, Jurors, and Witnesses

FIRST CONGRESS. [THOMAS JEFFERSON], Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State. An Act providing compensations for the officers of the Judicial Courts of the United States, and for Jurors and Witnesses, and for other purposes. New York, N.Y., March 3, 1791. Signed in type by George Washington as President, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and John Adams as Vice President, and president of the Senate. 2 pp., 9 x 15 in.

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Under the new federal Constitution, the First Congress had the momentous job of creating the laws to govern the various branches of the new government, whether setting up the framework for executive departments such as Treasury and State, establishing its own rules and schedule, or, in this case, creating a federal court system. In its second session (January 4, 1790 through August 12, 1790) Congress passed the Crimes Act, which defined a plethora of federal crimes, punishments, and court procedures. Here in the third session, the Congress provides a schedule of compensation for officers and jurors, as well as a process for scheduling and meeting places for the various federal district courts around the new nation.

Item #23804, $19,000

Future President, General William Henry Harrison, Successfully Defends Himself Against Graft Charges

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Autograph Letter Signed as Congressman, to Peter Hagner. Northbend, [Ohio], September 18, 1816. 3 pp, 7½ x 12½ in., On two conjoined sheets.

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During a Congressional inquiry that he requested to clear his name, Harrison answers criticism regarding an incident during his command of the Northwestern Army during the War of 1812. Here, the future president provides lengthy details to the Department of War about “supplying the troops at Detroit under orders given by General Cass & Colo Butler” in order “to supply the neglect of the contractor in furnishing the troops then.”

Item #23213.03, $15,000

Large Signed Photograph of President Chester A. Arthur

CHESTER A. ARTHUR, Signed Photo, as President, [1882], sepia, approximately 16 x 21 in., mounted on a larger-size board approximately 10½ x 24¼ in., matted and framed. Boldly signed and inscribed below the image, “To John Jameson, with sincere regard, / Chester A. Arthur.” The 3/4-length portrait shows the President standing in a heavy overcoat next to a table on which his top hat rests. The inscription is probably to John Jameson, an Amherst, Massachusetts lawyer, who was appointed postmaster in December 1876.

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Item #22260, $15,000

Anti-Jackson Broadside in Highly Contested
1828 Presidential Election

ANDREW JACKSON, Broadside. A Brief Account of Some of the Bloody Deeds of General Jackson, Philadelphia?, 1828. 15¼ x 21 in. 1 p.

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Item #21417.99, $11,000

Andrew Jackson Appoints an Indian Agent, Discusses Family Matters, Horse Racing, and the Need for a Good Cotton Crop to Rebuild His Burned Home

ANDREW JACKSON, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to William Donelson. Washington, D.C., August 31, 1835. 3 pp, 7¾ x 9¾ in., on two conjoined sheets, with address leaf in Jackson’s hand.

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Andrew Jackson needs an agent “well acquainted with the Indian character, and all the laws regulating intercourse with them” to supervise negotiating the first treaty between the U.S. Government and the Plains Indians, as well as the need for liquid cash: “the burning of my House [the Hermitage] & furniture makes a good [cotton] crop now necessary to meet my wants.” He also laments that he may have to sell his colts, along with news about his family.

Item #23213.01, $9,500

Truman Refuses HUAC Subpoena Over Appointment, Despite FBI Warning, of Russian Spy to Lead IMF

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed (“Harry S. Truman”), as former President, to Congressman Harold H. Velde, chairman of the Committee on Un-American Activities, November 11, 1953. 2½ pp., 4to, marked “For Immediate Release.” With clipping of New York Times account of November 13, 1953. Signed copy of his letter to chairman Velde, evidently prepared for the press, explaining why he will not appear for the hearing.

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The doctrine [of separation of powers] would be shattered, and the President, contrary to our fundamental theory of Constitutional Government, would become a mere arm of the Legislative Branch of the Government if he would feel during his term of office that his every act might be subject to official inquiry and possible distortion for political purposes.

While the committee is now infamous for encouraging false accusations, it appears that in this case, the Congressional committee was indeed on the trail of a highly placed Soviet Spy.

Item #23659, $9,000

Herbert Hoover Drafts Note, and Fredtjof Nansen Sends Letter to Vladimir Lenin, Trying to Get Lenin to Accept Food Aid for Starving Russians During the Russian Civil War

HERBERT HOOVER, Autograph Note, undated [April, 1919]. Cover sheet: “Draft note (undated) / Dr. Nansen to Lenin in / Mr. Hoover’s handwriting.” 1 p., 8¼ x 10½ in. #24849 With FRIDTJOF NANSEN, Typed Letter Signed, to VLADIMIR LENIN, Paris, France, April 17, 1919. 4 pp., 8¼ x 10¾ in. This compound letter includes Nansen’s proposal for Russian relief to the Big Four allied leaders, their response, and his proposal to Lenin. It is a remarkable compilation of the prospects for and obstacles to efforts to ease Russian suffering.

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The Government and peoples whom we represent would be glad to cooperate, without thought of political, military or financial advantage, in any proposal which would relieve this situation in Russia.

To combat starvation in Europe during World War I, President Woodrow Wilson created the United States Food Administration by executive order. Under the direction of Herbert Hoover, it became one of the most efficient and successful governmental initiatives in American history. More than 5 million Russians died of starvation before food aid was allowed in 1921.

Item #24850, $8,500

Rare same day broadside of John Adams’ Fourth State of the Union Address: Opening Washington D.C. as the Nation’s Capital

[JOHN ADAMS], Broadside, Supplement to the National Intelligencer. [Washington: Samuel Harrison Smith, November 22, 1800].

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Adams’ historic fourth Annual Message to Congress—now known as the State of the Union Address—announces the establishment of the District of Columbia as the nation’s capital. The second President, who had just been defeated for re-election, optimistically discusses unprecedented economic growth, considers the recently consummated treaty of amity and commerce with Prussia, and focuses on the need for expanded naval forces and coastal fortifications, which he believes to be necessary given the Quasi-War with France.

A rare broadside extra edition: no institutional copies are listed in OCLC, although it is possible they exist in uncatalogued runs. The National Intelligencer, then in its second month in print, had moved to Washington at the behest of President-elect Thomas Jefferson.

Item #30028.06, $8,500

While Running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Senator Barack Obama on Transparency and Limiting the Power of Special Interests

BARACK OBAMA, Typed Manuscript with autograph corrections. [Chicago, Ill., ca. May 21, 2007]. 2 pp, 8 ½ x 11 in. With 112 handwritten words in Obama’s red ink and pencil and 3 holes punched at left edge of each sheet. Published on the “Commentary” page of the Chicago Tribune, May 21, 2007.

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“When it comes to reforming Washington … Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis had the right idea. Sixty years ago he said, ‘Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.’ Brandeis was a progressive responding to the excesses of the Gilded Age. Nearly a century later, we find Washington in need of a lot of sunlight and disinfectant….

I’m not perfect. In my current pres. campaign, I shall have to raise money, and still have relationships w/lobbyists. But at least people will know who those relationships are...”

Over a year before he became the Democratic candidate for President, Senator Barack Obama addressed the issue of lobbyists, special interest groups, and campaign financing.  Obama’s message was published in the Chicago Tribune on May 21, 2007.  Obama’s careful edits, with over 100 words and many strike-outs in his hand, likely came too late for the editorial page deadline of this major metropolitan newspaper. Most of the text Obama wished to be struck remained, and several phrases he did not strike through (noted below in parentheses) were removed, possibly by the editorial page editor.

Item #22930, $7,500

Andrew Jackson Bashes The Whigs
for Mixing Religion And Politics

ANDREW JACKSON, Letter Signed, as former President, to Mahlon Dickerson. Hermitage, Ten., January 10, 1838. 1 p. With autograph address leaf.

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A bristly letter denouncing his Whig enemies in Tennessee for ruining the career of a young clergyman and editor. “This so displeased a few of the Whig Elders, and Deacons of the church that they, for his becoming Editor, dropped him as a candidate for orders in their Church--some of whom are believed now never to have had three grains of religion.

Item #20890, $7,500

Lyndon B. Johnson on Civil Rights

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Typed Letter Signed, to Michael J. Kirwan, March 17, 1965. 1 p., 6½ x 8½ in., with original envelope (7 x 4½ in.).

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there are few issues before the people of this country that are so rooted in rightness - constitutionally, morally, and humanly.

Just ten days after the “Bloody Sunday” confrontation at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, drew national attention to civil rights, President Johnson thanks a Congressman for his approval of Johnson’s major voting rights speech to Congress. Five months later, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

Item #24790, $6,500

Eisenhower Signed D-Day Message

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Broadside Signed in dark blue ink. Statement to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force on June 6, 1944. Document is approx. 5¾ x 9½ in., archivally framed to approximately 22 x 14 in.

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From a limited edition of Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe, (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1948), limited to 1,426 copies. The war had ended only three years earlier, and Eisenhower must have been looking towards politics - he was elected to the Presidency in 1952.

Item #24122, $6,500

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Criticizes Thomas Paine on Opposing George Washington

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Frederic A. Delano. Washington, D.C., August 25, 1942, 1 p., 7 x 9 in. On White House stationery.

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Item #22923, $6,500

Shortly After the Beginning of the War of 1812,
Monroe Expresses his Opposition to Mob Violence

JAMES MONROE, Autograph Letter Signed as James Madison’s Secretary of State to an unidentified friend, Albemarle [his home], Virginia, August 5, 1812. 1 p.

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Item #21059.99, $6,500

1865 General Orders,
Including Many Regarding Lincoln’s Assassination

[CIVIL WAR - WAR DEPARTMENT], Book. Bound collection of separately printed General Orders from the Adjutant General’s office for 1865. Containing 168 of 175 consecutive orders, and a 94-page index at front. Bound for Major General William Scott Ketchum, with his name in gilt on the spine and his markings or wartime notes on numerous pages. 4¾ x 7 in.

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Item #22265, $5,550

Robert Kennedy Discourages a Write-In Campaign in 1964

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, Typed Document. Draft press release, extensive corrections and addenda in Robert Kennedy’s hand. n.d., [ca. March 5, 1964]. 1 page, 8 x 8 5/8 in.

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“President Johnson should be free to select his own running mate”

Item #22827, $5,500

John Tyler Presidential ALS to Daniel Webster Disputing Lord Ashburton’s Claim that their Treaty Established a Right to Search American Ships on the High Seas

JOHN TYLER, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Daniel Webster. Charles City County, Virginia, May 22, 1843. 2 pp.

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“I have read and now return the private dispatches with which you favored me from Mr. [Edward] Everett and your letter in reply. Lord Ashburton must certainly be under great mistake in relation to what passed between you on the right of visit and of search. Most certainly but one language has been held in all our Cabinet consultations, which was uniformly in negative of any such right.”

President John Tyler writes to his former Secretary of State Daniel Webster, who had resigned from Tyler’s cabinet under pressure from fellow Whigs two weeks earlier.

The Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842 resolved a number of issues between the U.S. and Britain’s Canadian colonies. It settled the nonviolent “Aroostook War” over the Maine–New Brunswick border, agreed to borders and shared use of the Great Lakes, reaffirmed the 49th parallel border in the western frontier up to the Rocky Mountains. It also defined crimes subject to extradition, and called for a final end to the slave trade on the high seas. The British negotiators had wanted to make a “right of search and visit” part of the treaty but its final language failed to establish such a new right in international maritime law.  

Item #23993.02, $5,000

Teletype Roll Reporting
President John F. Kennedy’s Assassination

[JOHN F. KENNEDY], Original teletype roll from UPI reporting the assassination of John F. Kennedy. [Dallas, Tex.], November 22, 1963. Single continuous roll, 8½ x 142 in. Tape repair to approximately first 12 inches, not affecting assassination reporting.

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Beginning with reports of peaceful protesters, this roll quickly descends into the horrific details of Kennedy’s murder in Dallas in as close to real-time as possible. Nearly everyone alive on November 22, 1963, remembers where they were upon hearing the news Kennedy was dead. This teletype roll—the very source of the report remembered by everyone—freezes that pivotal moment in time.

Item #23022, $5,000

Ex-President Grant ALS re: Railroads & Building New Markets in Mexico for the U.S.

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Autograph Letter Signed, to [John P.] Jones. [Mexico City] [April 24, 1881]. 2 pp., 4½ x 6¾ in.

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After James Garfield’s election, opposing factions of the Republican Party jockeyed to have their favorite candidates appointed to Cabinet and other patronage jobs. Garfield remained unmoved about his choices, even ignoring appeals by his own vice president, Chester Arthur. While in Mexico City, Grant criticized the sitting president’s choices in a letter sent via Nevada Senator John P. Jones. Two days after receiving the letter, Garfield wrote Grant a blistering response, stating he would appoint whom he wanted. The following day, New York Senators Conkling and Platt resigned in protest and Vice President Arthur was banished from Cabinet meetings. The Grant-Garfield controversy played out in the press for months, ending only after Garfield was assassinated in July.

Item #23291, $5,000

John F. Kennedy Draft Speech Celebrating Israel’s 10th Anniversary

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Draft Typed Speech, as U.S. Senator, at the Greater Washington Observance of Israel’s Tenth Anniversary, Washington, D.C., May 11, 1958, with handwritten emendations. 6 pp. (lacking page 3 of 7). 8½ x 11 in.

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“It is heartening beyond words to spend a day where the focus is set upon works of peace and human achievement…. The years of crisis… have left no more bitter heritage than the homelessness and landlessness of millions. Yet the people of Israel, who have combined the loftiest idealistic vision with the greatest practical vigor, have proven that the human spirit – even under the cruelest suffering – has a power of endurance which no tyranny can extinguish.

            Israel is a land of many paradoxes, yet it has an inner strength and harmony which few nations of our time possess. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion observed some years ago: “If you don’t believe in miracles here, you aren’t a realist.”

John F. Kennedy first visited Palestine in 1939, and was an early and steadfast supporter of Israel. As a presidential candidate in 1960, he boldly declared, “Israel is here to stay.” President Harry Truman had formally recognized Israel within minutes of its Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, but Kennedy became the first U.S. president to create a military alliance and to openly supply arms to Israel.

Item #24386, $4,800
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