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Eleanor Roosevelt on the Meaning of Civil Rights

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to “Harry,” Washington, D.C., February 19, 1944. 2 pp., 6¼ x 9¼ in. On White House stationery.

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“Something has to happen to people’s souls before they are going to give the rights of citizenship to all the people of our country, regardless of color or creed. That does not mean you have to ask them to dinner. It only means giving them the rights that go with citizenship.”

Item #23592, $15,000

Rare Broadside of Dying Confession of Rachel Wall, First American Woman Pirate

[PIRACY, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT], Printed Document, Broadside, “Life, Last Words and Dying Confession of Rachel Wall,” October 7, 1789, Boston. 1 p., 13½ x 18 in.

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This printed broadside features a woodcut illustration of the execution on Boston Common and the text of the dying confession of Rachel Wall, the first American-born woman to become a pirate and the last woman executed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Wall and two others were publicly hanged on October 8, 1789, for the crime of highway robbery. The execution order was signed by Massachusetts Governor John Hancock (1736-1793), who thirteen years earlier as president of the Second Continental Congress had boldly signed the Declaration of Independence.

By early November 1789, “The Lives and Confessions of Rachel Wall, William Smith, and William Denoffe” were for sale throughout New England. One advertisement noted, “Neither of the above had arrived to the age of 30 years, but have been old offenders—the woman in particular. The above are not unworthy the perusal of any person—and if attended to by our rising youth, will doubtless tend to preserve their morals.”[1] Later that month, Boston printer Elijah Russell published The Prisoners Magazine, Or Malefactors Bloody Register, which contained perhaps a different version of “the life and confession of Rachel Wall, William Dunogan and William Smith.”[2]



[1]New-Hampshire Recorder and the Weekly Advertiser (Keene), November 5, 1789, 3:3.

[2]The Herald of Freedom, and the Federal Advertiser (Boston, MA), November 27, 1789, 4:1.

Item #26299, $8,500

1915 Women’s Suffrage Poster

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE], “Vote for Woman Suffrage Nov. 2nd.” [New York, 1915]. 1 p., 13¾ x 20 in.

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Woman’s Suffrage failed in all three states that held suffrage referenda on November 2, 1915: New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

Item #25783, $5,750

Women’s Suffrage Poster - Final Stretch to Ratify 19th Amendment

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE], Women’s Suffrage Poster, ca. 1920, Chicago, IL. 1 p., 14 x 22⅛ in.

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This poster declared, “If You Want Women to Vote in 1920 Cast Your ($.10 1.00 10.00) Ballot Now.” This poster likely urged supporters of the National Woman’s Party to donate a dime, dollar or ten dollars to support their efforts to gain passage of the 19th Amendment before the November 1920 presidential and congressional elections.

Item #25694, $3,500

Susan B. Anthony Plaster Relief Medallion Copyrighted by Her Sister

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Plaster Bas-Relief Medallion by [Sidney H. Morse], June 1897. 7¾ in. round. 3 x 2 in. brass plate on verso with inscription, “Copyright, June 1897, By Mary S Anthony / Endorsed by the Political Equality Club of Rochester, N.Y.”

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Item #26052, $3,500

Julia Ward Howe Autograph Manuscript on Suffrage, Tipped Into Limited Edition Biography

JULIA WARD HOWE, Autograph Manuscript, n.d. [ca. 1882], tipped into Laura E. Richards and Maude Howe Elliott, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, 2 vols. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915. First edition. Two volumes in original cloth-backed boards and the scarce dustwrappers and original slipcase. Copy #438 of 450 copies of the Large-Paper Edition. [x],392,[2]; [x],434,[2] pp.

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“I believe in suffrage…. I believe in the great awakening by the womanly soul a conscience which will rise up like a flood, & sweep away the petty & effete prejudices....

This biography of Julia Ward Howe by two of her daughters, assisted by a third, is illustrated with plates and portraits, including a facsimile manuscript of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It won the 1917 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Special edition, including a page handwritten by Howe on women’s suffrage. Howe refers to her first interest in suffrage “about fourteen years ago.”  She helped found the New England Woman Suffrage Association in 1868, so we date it as ca. 1892, 14 years later. But she might consider her interest in suffrage to have started a bit earlier, right around the end of the Civil War.

Item #26018, $3,500

Votes for Women Armband

[Woman’s Suffrage], Votes for Women felt armband, circa 1910-1920. 1½ x 24 inches.

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These armbands were worn by Suffragettes during parades and rallies leading up to the passing of the 19th Amendment.

Item #26211, $2,750

Southern Broadsheet Urges Opposition to Women’s Suffrage Because of its Support of Racial Equality and Opposition to Traditional Christianity

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE], “The ‘Three Immediate Women Friends’ of the Anthony Family,” Anti-Women’s Suffrage Broadsheet, ca. 1919. Printed by Brown Printing Co., Montgomery, [Alabama]. 3 pp., 8⅞ x 11½ in.

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This southern broadsheet opposes women’s suffrage because of its association with racial egalitarianism and anti-Christian views. It includes photographs of Susan B. Anthony’s “Three Immediate Women Friends”—Carrie Chapman Catt, the President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA); Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, a female Methodist minister who preceded Catt as the President of NAWSA; and Mrs. R. Jerome Jeffrey, a black resident of Rochester, who was frequently a guest at Anthony’s home. It also includes two controversial quotations by Catt and Anthony. Catt said, “Suffrage Democracy Knows no Bias of Race, Color, Creed or Sex.” In volume 2 of their History of Woman Suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony quoted the a May 1864 report of the Executive Committee of the Loyal Women’s National League, on which they both served: “Look not to Greece or Rome for heroes, nor to Jerusalem or Mecca for saints, but for the highest virtues of heroism, let us WORSHIP the black man at our feet.”[1]

The second and third pages are a reprint of an article entitled “Some Strange History” by James Callaway, first published in the Macon Daily Telegraph (Georgia) of May 26, 1918.



[1]Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper, eds., The History of Woman Suffrage, 6 vols. (Rochester, NY: 1881-1920), 2:84.

Item #25869, $2,500

Eleanor Roosevelt Defends Universal Military Training – and 18 year-old Voting Rights

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to Flora E. Shirah, February 27, 1951. 2 pp., 7¼ x 10¼ in.

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I suppose you can say that anything which is obligatory is in some degree similar to communism or fascism. The only difference here is that we the people, are consulted and it is our representatives through whom we speak… I think you are a trifle emotional when you call 18 year old men, children. I think they should be allowed to vote…. Of course there are inequalities and injustices in any big undertaking.

I am sorry if you feel that you can not trust your government…. You can not expect always to have one man who will carry the burdens of the whole democracy and express their thinking for them. Now we have to do it for ourselves.

We are not alone in Korea, many nations are represented … but we have to bear the brunt … because we were spared during the last war from war in our own country and therefore today we are the strongest nation in the world.

A mothers’ rebellion would certainly be a novel and interesting undertaking because there would be a division even among the mothers. I do not know, nor could I tell you exactly how you could find out how many men in Congress have eighteen year old sons but I am sure there are a great many who have.

A rich and fascinating letter by one of the twentieth century’s most powerful first ladies.

Item #24793, $2,500

New York Court of Appeals Considers Married Women’s Property Rights

[WOMEN’S RIGHTS], Manuscript Document. Summary of Points in Executors of Maitland v. Amelia M. Whitlock, June 1872, Court of Appeals of the State of New York. 8 pp., 6.25 x 8.75 in.

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Item #26037, $1,650

Mocking First National Women’s Rights Convention

[WOMEN’S RIGHTS], Newspaper. The Caledonian, November 16, 1850. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: Albert G. Chadwick. 4 pp.

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From their own talk it is easy to see that it was mainly a gathering of uncomfortable females—some of whom by their own avowal are infidels—consisting of disappointed spinsters (who never spin)—disaffected wives (who want to be husbands) and widows of ‘uneasy virtue’ and more uneasy ambition, whose wants are not exactly understood by themselves.

This issue includes a front-page reprint of a Burlington Sentinel (Vermont) article scoffing at the first national “Woman’s Rights Convention” held in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Item #24971, $1,600

Carrie Chapman Catt’s Book, with editor’s letter promoting the “Co-Workers Edition” – to a noted Chicago Suffrage leader, millionaire and vice chair of Republican Party

CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT & NETTIE ROGERS SHULER, Book. Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1923. No. 122 of 1,000 “Co-workers edition,” copy belonging to Chicago suffragist, millionaire and vice chairman of the Republican Party, Bertha Baur. 504 pp., 5¾ x 8¼ in.

With: ROSE YOUNG. Typed Letter Signed, March 15, 1923, to Bertha Baur, New York, NY. On colorful illustrated “The Woman Citizen” letterhead. 1 p., 8⅜ x 10¾ in. #25601.01

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The gates to political enfranchisement have swung open. The women are inside.

Item #25601, $950

Extremely Unwoke Women’s Suffrage Views by a Chicago Italian-American Attorney

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE]. CAIROLI GIGLIOTTI, Book. Woman Suffrage: Its Causes and Possible Consequences. Chicago: Press of Barnard & Miller, 1914. 92 pp.

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it is clear that woman suffrage should be discarded for the following reasons: First. It disrupts the home.... Second. The woman is physically unfit for certain offices.... Third. Politics is the most corrupt game of the age.... Fourth. The right to vote does imply the right to become eligible to nomination or election to public offices.... Fifth. The influence of the woman should be of a persuasive nature, and should be exercised at home.... Sixth. Jealousy would destroy domestic happiness.... Seventh. Women voters are unnecessary.... Eighth. Women could never control men, on account of weaker physical conditions.... Ninth. The needs of the family would be increased while incomes would decrease.... Tenth. When the woman is with child, she is liable to suffer as a result of any emotion or abuse....” (p74-76)

Gigliotti, a naturalized Italian-American attorney in Chicago, declares limited women’s suffrage as a failure in reforming politics and even opposes separate ownership of property by women, because husbands use their wives to hide their assets.

Item #25602, $600

Feminist Anna Dickinson Refuses to Apologize

ANNA ELIZABETH DICKINSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to A. Boyd. August 1, 1866. 2 pp.

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Item #21678.19, $500

Author, Educator, and Lecturer Kate Sanborn Gathers Ladies for Lunch

KATE SANBORN, Autograph Letter Signed. [New York, N.Y.?] 4 pp., 4 ½ x 7 in.

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Item #21678.27, $450

Carrie Chapman Catt Signed 1899 Receipt to Fellow Suffragette Harriet Taylor Upton

CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT, Autograph Document Signed. Check. New York, N.Y., December 31, 1899. 1 p.

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Item #21678.22, $375

Pamphlet Quotes President Wilson to Support Woman Suffrage in New York State

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE], Pamphlet. “What President Wilson Says,” New York: National Woman Suffrage Publishing Co., ca. June-October 1917. 4 pp., 5 x 7 in.

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This pamphlet, issued by the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, quoted speeches and letters by President Woodrow Wilson to urge New York men to vote for woman suffrage on November 6, 1917.

Item #22444.26, $350

Woman Suffrage Party Urges Male New Yorkers to Pledge in Favor of Women’s Suffrage

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE], Printed Document. Ticket of Support for Women’s Suffrage. New York: New York State Woman Suffrage Party, ca. 1915-1917. 1 p., 4¾ x 3 in.

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This “ticket” allowed male voters to express their belief that “the vote should be granted to the Women of New York.

Item #22444.25, $250

World War I Fight for Woman Suffrage in New York Discussed in Global Context

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE], Printed Document. “Suffrage as a War Measure,” New York: National Woman Suffrage Publishing Co., October 1917. 4 pp.

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Men of New York State don’t wait until the war is over to admit the justice and necessity of woman suffrage here. For the sake of the strength it will add to the nation, vote for woman Suffrage November 6.

The New York State Woman Suffrage Party draws on international examples and women’s contributions to the war effort to urge New York men to vote for woman suffrage.

Item #24174.03, $200

English Sociologist and Novelist Martineau Signs a Note

HARRIET MARTINEAU, Autograph Note Signed. Address leaf, n.p. n.d.

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Item #21678.25, $100
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