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Presidents and Elections

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NYPD Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt Argues the Police Entrance Exam Keeps “Blockheads” Off the Force

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed as New York City Police Commissioner, to W.C. Sanger, defending the police entrance exam, February 5, 1897, New York, N.Y. On “Police Department of the City of New York” stationery. 8 pp., 8 x 10½ x ¼ in.

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Theodore Roosevelt, as New York City Police Commissioner, defends his reforms, including his implementation of an entrance exam for candidates, a year before his victory in the gubernatorial election. “We have appointed sixteen hundred patrolmen under these examinations ... If they were strong, hardy young fellows of good character and fair intelligence they got their appointments. As a whole, they form the finest body of recruits that have ever been added to the New York police force.

Item #21122.99, $15,000

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

Lincoln Endorses Petition from Border State Unionists

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Endorsement Signed as President, ca. December 1864, on a manuscript petition, with two endorsements from Brigadier General Solomon Meredith. 2 pp., 7 x 9⅛ in.

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President Lincoln endorses a manuscript petition from border-state Unionists seeking the establishment of a permanent military post at Hickman, Kentucky. “Submitted to the Sec. of War who is requested to see the bearer. A Lincoln.

Item #21191.99, $12,000

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

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, $10,000

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

Unique Printing of William Henry Harrison’s Deadly Inaugural Address on Silk

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Inaugural Address. Printed on silk, ca. March 1841. Baltimore: John Murphy. 1 p., 18 x 24 in.

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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, 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 #25607.02, $7,500

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, $7,500

Iconic Anti-Prohibition License Plate from 1932 Presidential Campaign

[PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AND CAMPAIGNS]. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. JOHN NANCE GARNER, Metal license plate with beer mug. 9⅝ x 4⅝ in.

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Item #25139, $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

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 8⅝ in.

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

Item #22827, $5,500

Broadside Printing of William Henry Harrison’s Deadly Inaugural Address

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Broadside. ca. March 1841. 1 p., 11⅝ x 19 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....

Always the friend of my countrymen, never their flatterer, it becomes my duty to say to them… that there exists in the land a spirit hostile to their best interests—hostile to liberty itself.... It is union that we want, not of a party for the sake of that party, but a union of the whole country for the sake of the whole country, for the defense of its interests and its honor against foreign aggression, for the defense of those principles for which our ancestors so gloriously contended....

Item #25607.01, $5,000

President Franklin D. Roosevelt Appoints Woodring as Secretary of War

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Partially Printed Document Signed, Appointment of Harry H. Woodring as Secretary of War, May 7, 1937. Co-signed by Secretary of State Cordell Hull. 1 p., 22.75 x 18.5 in.

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Item #25690, $4,500

Pierce Urges His Young Nephew Studying at Princeton:
“Do Not for a Day Relax Your Labor”

FRANKLIN PIERCE, Autograph Letter Signed to Frank H. Pierce, his nephew. Concord, N.H., September 6, 1866. 2 pp.

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Former President Franklin Pierce worries that young Frank Pierce – like most undergraduates – is occupying himself with things other than his studies at Princeton.

Item #21116, $4,500

Bound Volume of the Daily National Intelligencer
for the Year 1823

[DAILY NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER], Bound Volume, Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., January 1 to December 31, 1823. Approximately 312 issues, including one 4 pp. The only issues lacking are December 2 and December 3 (the days pertaining to the Monroe Doctrine).

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Item #22153.02, $4,400

Edwin Stanton ALS Prelude to Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

EDWIN M. STANTON, Autograph Letter Signed as secretary of war, to Major General Henry W. Halleck on War Department letterhead. Washington, D.C. April 26, 1866. 2 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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I am still tugging at the oar as hopelessly & almost as painfully as a galley slave”

Item #21929, $3,750

Gerald Ford, a member of the Warren Commission inscribes his book on President John F. Kennedy’s assassin and reaffirms that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone

GERALD R. FORD and JOHN R. STILES, Signed Book. Portrait of the Assassin. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1965. First edition, first printing. 508 pp., 6½ x 8½ in.

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Item #24761, $3,750

Registration for FDR’s Customized
1936 Ford Phaeton—Signed as President

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Document Signed as President.

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Roosevelt’s Ford Phaeton was customized with special hand controls that allowed the polio-stricken president to drive under his own power without using his legs. The car is now at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum.

Item #24243, ON HOLD

[George Washington] Rare Broadside Instructing Ships’ Captains re Impressment of American Seamen

GEORGE WASHINGTON, An extract of the Act, entitled, ‘An Act, for the relief and Protection of American Seamen;’ passed in the fourth Congress of the United States, at the first Session, begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, on Monday the seventh of December, One thousand seven hundred and ninety-five. May 28, 1796. Broadside. Baltimore, MD: John Hayes. Signed in type by George Washington as President, Jonathan Dayton as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Samuel Livermore as President pro tempore of the Senate, printing the fifth and sixth sections of the act. 4 pp., 8½ x 13 in.

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it shall...be the duty of the master of every ship or vessel of the United States, any of the crew whereof shall have been impressed or detained by any foreign power, at the first port, at which such ship or vessel shall arrive...immediately to make a protest.

This rare historical broadside addresses the pressing issue of the impressment of American, a major factor leading the young United States into the Quasi-War with France (1798-1800) and later to the War of 1812 with Great Britain.

Item #24393, $3,750
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