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Presidents and Elections

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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

Abraham Lincoln Introduces Ulysses S. Grant’s Superintendent of Freed Slaves to the American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission

Abraham Lincoln, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Robert Dale Owen, July 22, 1863, Washington, D.C. On Executive Mansion stationery. 1 p., 5 x 8 in.

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“Mr John Eaton Jr. … having had charge of the freed-men … comes to me highly recommended by Gen. Grant, as you know, & also by Judge Swayne[1]of the U. S. Supreme Court.

On July 22, 1862, exactly a year before he wrote this letter, Lincoln read a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, agreeing to Stanton’s advice to hold it back until the Union could claim a military victory. On September 22, after the Battle of Antietam, he issued a Preliminary Proclamation, stating that enslaved people in any areas still in rebellion would be freed, and that freed men would be welcomed into the armed forces of the United States. Once Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, Secretary of War Edward Stanton worked to create a federal system to support freed slaves, and allow them to most effectively support the Union.

Item #26470, $85,000

“The Excursion of the Bought Nominations”
Showing Balloon “Union League”

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside, “The Excursion of the Bought Nominations, The Large Balloon ‘Union League,’ Will Start Immediately. The Balloon is managed by the Old Hunkers in the Ring.” [1864]. 4 ¾ x 8 ½ in.

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Item #21986.04, $750

Union League of Philadelphia Supports Re-Election of Lincoln as “the man for the time”

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. [HENRY CHARLES LEA], Printed Pamphlet. No. 17: Abraham Lincoln, [March 1864]. 12 pp., 5¾ x 8¾ in.

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As a MAN OF THE PEOPLE, understanding them and trusted by them, he has proved himself the man for the time.

Item #24898, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Frederick A. Aiken Urging Frémont to Run Against Lincoln

FREDERICK A. AIKEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to John C. Frémont, Washington, D.C., June 12, 1864. 2 pp. 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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With the war going badly, the 1864 election is no shoo-in for the incumbent.

Frederick A. Aiken, former Secretary of the Democratic National Convention, applauds General John C. Frémont’s nomination by the Radical Republicans. He suggests that Frémont will have the blessing of the Democrats if he goes up against Lincoln for the Republican nomination. Aiken went on to serve (unsuccessfully) as defense attorney for Lincoln assassination conspirator Mary Surratt.

Item #20715, $3,200

A New York Soldier’s Affidavit Allowing
a Proxy to Vote in the 1864 Election

[CIVIL WAR], Partially Printed Document Signed by James M. Smith, countersigned by Jerome B. Parmenter, and Captain Joseph H. Allen. Richmond, Virginia, October 18, 1864. 1 p., 8 x 12½ in. With printed envelope restating affidavit’s claim on the outside.

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Item #21264.05, ON HOLD

Lincoln Assassination Extremely Rare Iowa Broadsheet Extra

[LINCOLN ASSASSINATION], The Daily Ottumwa Courier, Broadsheet Extra. Saturday morning, April 15, 1865. Ottumwa, IA: James W. Norris. 2 p., 11 x 16 in. The assassination notice in column 2 of first page. The balance of the paper includes several columns of local advertisements, and the verso is filled with ads and notices that were likely already set in type for the regular daily issue.

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EXTRA / PRESIDENT LINCOLN ASSASSINATED / HE IS DEAD / SEWARD ASSASSINATED.”  This vivid early account of the assassination of President Lincoln includes Booth’s name as the suspected assassin and an account of the attack on Secretary of State William H. Seward, incorrectly reporting his death.

Item #26980, $2,600

“Reported Death of Abm. Lincoln,” Extremely Rare Western New York Broadside Extra, April 15, 1865

[LINCOLN ASSASSINATION], “Reported Death of Abm. Lincoln,” The Chautauqua Democrat, Broadside Extra, April 15, 1865, Jamestown, New York. 1 p., 8½ x 16 in.

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At 2:50 A.M. the President was still alive, but insensible and completely helpless.
President died at 7:22 this Saturday morning.

This vivid early account of the assassination of President Lincoln notes that Secretary of State William H. Seward and his son Frederick (misidentified as Frank) had also been attacked. The newspaper obtained its information from a telegraph operator at the local railroad depot.

Item #27372, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Great Report on the Hunt for Lincoln’s Assassin and Claim for Reward by Irish War Hero

[LINCOLN ASSASSINATION], James Rowan O’Beirne, Autograph Document, Claim for Reward for Capture of John Wilkes Booth, David E. Herold, and George A. Atzerodt, December 27, 1865, Washington, D.C. 6 pp., 8 x 13 in. With Handwritten Clerical Copies of Appendices to the Claim, including items found in Atzerodt’s hotel room and statements by Patrick Brennan and U.S. Marshal Robert Murray regarding the importance of O’Beirne’s telegram to the captures. Each signed by Assistant Adjutant General Robert Williams. 5 pp., 8 x 12½ in.

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Item #26049, $10,000

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

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

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, $3,750

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

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

Washington Attorney and Inventor Writes to Arms Manufacturer about Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

[ANDREW JOHNSON]. CLIFFORD ARRICK, Autograph Letter Signed, to James T. Ames, March 2, 1868, Washington, D.C. On U.S. House of Representatives stationery. 5 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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Our Convention having gone off half cocked, after the nomination of the noble Abraham we had nothing else to do, but endorse what they did, and adopt this modern bogus ‘Moses.’

The infliction of Andy upon us was after all a probable God Send. Mr Lincoln would have adapted himself to events probably, and his noble heart would have stopped far short of what is now, as inevitable as death.

Written on March 2, 1868, the day the House of Representatives approved the first nine articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson, this letter reflects on the responsibility for his 1864 nomination as vice presidential candidate and the villainy of his rule, and expresses the hope that African American voters would yet save the nation. Congressman Arrick apparently did not count on Johnson’s acquittal.

Item #26036, $850

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

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

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

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

Roosevelt Recognizes Attributes of “brave and honorable” Legislator in Battle over the Reorganization of the NYPD (SOLD)

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, May 16, 1895

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Just ten days into his impactful two-year stint as President of the Board of Police Commissioners, Roosevelt attempts to shape the complex debate over competing reform proposals in the state legislature. In part due to Roosevelt’s advocacy, and veteran upstate legislator D.A. Ainsworth’s reversal of positions, the “Supplemental Re-Organization Bill,” granting autocratic powers to longtime Police Chief Thomas Byrnes, was defeated. “Only a brave and honorable man will frankly and openly revise his action, when he receives trustworthy information that the measure is not what it seemed to him to be…

Item #21878, SOLD — please inquire about other items
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