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Earliest Known Letter from John to Thomas Penn
Also Signed Many Times by Thomas Penn

JOHN PENN, Autograph Letter Signed. Bristoll, 4 Decem: 1715. 1 page, with autograph address and six examples of Thomas Penn’s signature on verso.

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all Relations have much as they ware & give their Dear Love to Father & Mother…”

15-year old John, having just left the Penn household in Ruscombe, England, writes home. He mentions his mother’s cooking and the well-documented family love of chocolate. The recipient, John’s younger brother, Thomas Penn, who later owned ¾ of William Penn’s proprietary interest in Pennsylvania, practices signing his name on the address leaf. The “Black Cap” referred to in John’s postscript is a reference to the famous Quaker hat. Quakers, as a sign of their egalitarianism, refused to take their hat off for anyone, regardless of societal rank. “Addam” was William Penn’s nickname, a reference to the biblical first man.

Item #21619.99, $25,000

Native American Land Sale, Signed with Totem Marks

[NATIVE AMERICAN], Tateew, Ochangues and Neckarind, Manuscript deed for land in Ulster County, N.Y. to Cornelius Hornbeek and Frederick Shoonmaker, signed by Abraham Gaasbeek Chambers and Gilbert Livingston, countersigned by John Schoonmaker, Anderyes Decker, J. Pruyn, Jr., and Conrad Weiser as witnesses June 15, 1728. Rochester, Ulster Co., N.Y.

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Deed for land in Ulster County, N.Y., signed by three Indians with their totem marks and red wax seals, conveying a mine and 400 acres of land to Cornelius Hornbeek and Frederick Schoonmaker.

Item #21419, $9,000

Rare Issue of John Peter Zenger’s
New-York Weekly Journal, 1734

[JOHN PETER ZENGER], Newspaper, The New-York Weekly Journal, Containing the freshest advices, Foreign and Domestick, Numb. XXXIV. New York: John Peter Zenger, June 24, 1734 4 pp. 11 x 6⅞ in.

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John Peter Zenger’s iconic newspaper, The New-York Weekly Journal, was created to spark popular opposition to William Cosby, the new royal governor of New York. He was the last colonist to be prosecuted for seditious libel, and to have his case go to trial, before the American Revolution. Zenger’s case, ending in his acquittal, stands as a landmark in the history of one of our most basic rights – freedom of the press. Historian Leonard Levy concludes that “the Zenger verdict made people exult in liberty and the relationship of liberty of the press to liberty itself.”

Pre-1768 newspapers are exceedingly rare, and this newspaper is central to the debate over freedom of the press in America.

Item #30026.01, $4,800

Rare Colonial Newspaper: A 1737 Issue of The Boston Weekly News-Letter, the Oldest Regularly Published Paper in America

[COLONIAL PRINTING], Newspaper. New=England, The Boston Weekly News-letter, October 13, 1737. Boston, John Draper. Complete in 2 pp., 9 ¼ x 14 ⅛ in. Subscriber’s name “Mr. Samll Cooke” penned in the margin.

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A fresh example of this colonial paper in fine condition with untrimmed (deckled) edges, and a noteworthy provenance. A rare opportunity to own a very early issue of America’s first successful newspaper.

Item #24835, $4,000

Broadside Declaring War on Spain

[GEORGE II], Broadside, “His Majesty’s Declaration of War Against the King of Spain,” John Bassett, printer, London, October 19, 1739, 16 x 21 in., with contemporary manuscript notes and docketing, October 23, 1739.

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Parliament goes to war after Robert Jenkins displays his detached ear.

Item #22456, $4,500

Leasing Turtle Bay for Use by the Royal Navy, 1741

[NEW YORK], Manuscript Document Signed. Fifty-year lease on Turtle Bay from Captain Robert Long to Peter Warren. Signed by Peter Warren (with his wax seal), his father-in-law Stephen Delancey, and two other witnesses. New York, March 2, 1741. 1 p., 13 x 16 in. Docketed on verso, with later notes on payment through 1750 signed by Long.

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A future hero of the French and Indian War leases Turtle Bay for fifty years of use by the British Navy. From the beginning of European settlement, it offered sailing vessels refuge from the East River’s treacherous currents and winter storms. Today, it helps weather different kinds of storms: it was filled in and is the site of the present United Nations complex.

Item #23647, $4,400

Lewis Morris, Jr. Rents Part of Morrisania

LEWIS MORRIS, JR (1698-1762), Manuscript Document Signed. Morrisania, New York, July 30, 1741. 2 pp., 13 x 15½ in.

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Item #20054, $1,400

1747 Emanuel Bowen Map of North American Harbors

EMANUEL BOWEN, Map. “Particular Draughts and Plans of Some of the Principal Towns and Harbours belonging to the English, French, and Spaniards; in America and West Indies. Collected from the best Authorities. By Eman. Bowen.” London, 1747. 17 x 14 in.

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Item #20873, $1,400

Benjamin Franklin’s Newspaper with European and Colonial News, Warns Against Con Man Tom Bell, Mentions “a Jew, astronomer” Who May Have Solved Problem of Longitude

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. The Pennsylvania Gazette, September 14, 1749. Philadelphia, PA: Benjamin Franklin and David Hall. 4 pp., 8½ x 13¼ in.

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This issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette, edited by Benjamin Franklin with his new partner David Hall, includes a brief story on a Jewish astronomer with a new method for determining longitude, a warning against confidence man Tom Bell, and a minor eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Item #30028.01, $850

A French Wall Map of the Western Hemisphere

GASPARD BAILLEUL, Map. L’Amerique Divisee en ses Pricipales Parties ou sont distingues les ud de autres les Estats, selon quils appartiennents presentement aux Differents Souverains De L’Europe . . . Par le Sr. Bailleul le jeune Geographe. Jean Louis Daudet, Lyon, France, 1752. Approximately 31 x 40 in., on original wooden rollers.

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Item #22142, $25,000

List of Jews Naturalized in British Colonies Called For During 1753 Citizenship Debate

[JUDAICA], List of Number of Jews Naturalized, ca. November 1753. 1 p., 7¾ x 12¾ in.

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The 1740 Naturalization Act allowed an easy path to citizenship for Protestant immigrants to the colonies. While Catholics were excluded altogether, the Act exempted Quakers and Jews from part of the required oath and profession of faith. It offered Jewish colonists the first real opportunity for British citizenship. Then, in 1753, a law that opened citizenship to Jews living in England was passed but immediately repealed due to a public anti-Semitic backlash. Opponents then asked for a list of Jews who had attained citizenship since the 1740 Act. This list provides such a summary of Jewish naturalizations in Jamaica and the British American colonies from 1740 to 1752. Despite a push to overturn the 1740 Act, the move to repeal it was decisively defeated in Parliament.

This gives the number of Jewish naturalizations in four colonies: 151 in Jamaica from 1740 to 1750, one in South Carolina in 1741 (though names are not listed here, this was Joseph Tobias, who in 1750 became the president of the first synagogue established at Charleston), 26 in New York from 1741 to 1748, and 6 in Pennsylvania from 1747 to 1752.

Item #24772, $9,500

Benjamin Franklin’s Newspaper Reports on the Proposed Union of the Colonies

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, Pa., September 12, 1754. 4 pp., 9¼ x 14½ in.

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New York’s legislative bodies and governor volley for position on a defensive pact that suggested that the colonies join together for the first time. With the usual shipping news, advertisements, and news from other colonial cities, including New York and Williamsburg.

Item #22426.06, $3,800

Benjamin Franklin’s Newspaper Reports Virginia’s Call to Arms at the Outset of the French and Indian War

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper. Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, Pa., November 7, 1754. 4 pp., 9¼ x 14½ in.

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From Williamsburg, Virginia, Governor Robert Dinwiddie addresses the House of Burgesses to address the continuing problem of French and Indian incursions into Virginia’s western territories and calling them to action.

Item #22426.08, $3,800

John Hancock Writes His Brother with Seasons Greetings, Inquiring of Family News, and Asking About the Family Slaves

JOHN HANCOCK, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ebenezer Hancock. London, England December 27, 1760. 8½ x 7 in., with remnants of a black wax seal.

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Writing from London while attending his uncle’s business, a young John Hancock asks about his uncle and aunts, congratulates his sister’s marriage, talks about his own ill health and recovery, and inquires about the house slaves at the Hancock Mansion.

Item #23234, $29,000

Presidential Secretary Tobias Lear’s Copy of Erasmus of Rotterdam’s English-Latin Humanistic Philosophies

TOBIAS LEAR, Signed Book, Erasmus’s Select Colloquies. London, 1766. In Latin and English. Signed “Tobias Lear ejus Liber ex dono Patris iri anno domini noster 1773” on the rear free fly. A rough copy, rubbed, boards separating but present. Also signed by Tobias Sherburne and Benjamin Lincoln Lear at front.

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Item #22021.04, $1,000

John Penn on the Final Year of the Mason-Dixon Line Survey

JOHN PENN, Autograph Letter Signed, as Governor. Black Point, June 17, 1767, to [Joseph Shippen]. 4 pp.

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Penn advises Joseph Shippen on how best to deal with the inordinate influx of Indian scouts arriving for the famous surveying expedition.  While on vacation, he directs the logistics of the survey party and foretells the survey’s running over budget.

Item #20734.99, $4,500

The King’s Attorney Bills Connecticut – including cost of putting down a church riot (over tithing and ecclesiastical conflict between MA. & CT.) – and Suing Stamp Tax Collectors

JEDEDIAH ELDERKIN, Autograph Document Signed (“Jeda Elderkin”), Hartford, November 9, 1768, being an accounting of monies owed to and collected by Elderkin in Connecticut for services rendered as King’s attorney from December 1754 to 1766. 2 pp., recto and verso, double-folio.

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To Trouble & Expence against Rioters at Woodstock £1… To my Trouble & Expence to bring Actions agst the Collectors of Excise pr order of Assembly, £3.10

Item #23409, $3,500

Franklin Proclaims,
“Britain has no Right to tax the Colonies…”

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN], Newspaper, The Pennsylvania Chronicle. Philadelphia: William Goddard, February 6, 1769. 8 pp. (pp. 9-16), 10 x 12.5 in.

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Item #30000.71, $950

Opposition to and Support of the Townshend Acts, and an Ad for a Tooth-Ache Cure

REVOLUTIONARY WAR] [WILLIAM GODDARD], Newspaper. Pennsylvania Chronicle, and Universal Advertiser, May, 29 1769, Philadelphia, Pa., 8 pp., 9⅜ x 11¾ in.

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Item #30000.72, $750

“Liberty without End. Amen.” Incredibly Rare Toasts from Boston’s Sons of Liberty, 1769

[SONS OF LIBERTY.] WILLIAM RUSSELL, Autograph Document, Boston, Massachusetts, August 14, 1769, 1 p., with additional writing on verso.

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These patriotic toasts—written on the fourth anniversary of Boston’s Stamp Act Riot—defiantly salute American liberty. The writer may have numbered among the 350 Sons of Liberty who celebrated the event at a dinner in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He would have been in good company: John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Adams were among the guests.

Item #23891, $26,000
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