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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

An Unusual Presentation Copy of
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

SAMUEL L. CLEMENS. [MARK TWAIN], Signed Book. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). New York: Charles Webster, 1886. Second American edition. 8 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. With several prints, clippings, and other ephemera tipped in. Rebound at the Roycroft bindery.

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“Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it”

Item #23193, $25,000

Declaration of Independence Signer Samuel Huntington’s Copy of an Act of Congress Signed by Thomas Jefferson

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State. “An Act to alter the Times and Places of holding the Circuit Courts in the Eastern District, and in North-Carolina,...” Philadelphia, Pa., March 2, 1793. 2 pp., 9¾ x 15 in. Signed in Type by George Washington as President. Lengthy docket by Samuel Huntington.

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This act establishes the exact places and dates for the spring Circuit Courts to meet for the eastern districts of New-York, Connecticut, Vermont, New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. This copy of the act, duly signed by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson a day before the official date of the end of the Second Congress, was sent to Governor Samuel Huntington of Connecticut because the act specified that the spring circuit court “shall henceforth be held … for the district of Connecticut, at New-Haven on the twenty-fifth day of April…”

Item #23042.99, $25,000

Thomas Paine Transmits Act for Resolution
of the PA-VA Border

THOMAS PAINE (1737-1809), Manuscript Document Signed, as Clerk of the General Assembly, [Philadelphia?], Pennsylvania, November 19, 1779. To Joseph Reed, as President of the Supreme Executive Council. 1 p.

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Paine, as Clerk of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, transmits a resolution to the state’s Supreme Executive Council [no longer enclosed- but about the boundary with Virginia] and requests that it be forwarded to the governor of that state. After years of wrangling, the two states had finally agreed that summer to settle their dispute by extending the Mason-Dixon line. 

Paine was involved in Pennsylvania politics for several years after his arrival in America in 1774 - he was associated with the men who drafted the state's new constitution in 1776, and Paine wrote a series of letters in local newspapers supporting the constitution.  In 1777 Paine was elected to the Committee of Correspondence of the Whig Society in Pennsylvania.  Needing other employment in order to supplement his income as a writer, he was appointed clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly in November, 1779, shortly after resigning his position as secretary of foreign affairs for the Continental Congress. Any manuscript material from Thomas Paine, especially during the era of the American Revolution, is rare.

Item #21919, $25,000

The Declaration of Independence, Printed in 1776 Journals of Congress - Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson’s Chief Clerk’s Copy

[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE], Book. Journals of Congress. Containing the Proceedings from January 1, 1776, to January 1, 1777. Volume II. York-Town [Penn.]: John Dunlap, 1778. Second issue (i.e. Dunlap’s imprint but incorporating Aitken’s sheets). 520 pp., 8 x 4 ¾ in. Title page with New York City Bar Association stamp, discreet accession number on verso. Lacking the index (xxvii pp.).

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This rare volume of the Journals of Congress, covering the pivotal year of 1776, has an unusual printing history. The first 424 pages were printed in Philadelphia in 1777 by Robert Aitken. The project was interrupted when the British marched into Philadelphia on September 26, 1777. Congress fled, and after a day in Lancaster established itself in York, Pennsylvania. Aitken escaped with some of his finished sheets but had to abandon his press. On the other hand, John Dunlap, the original printer of the Declaration of Independence, managed to remove his press. In May 1778, Congress hired Dunlap to complete the reprint of their 1776 journals.

This copy bears the signature of Henry Remsen Jr., (1762-1843), the Chief Clerk of the State Department when Jefferson was Secretary of State. At that time, the Patent Office was part of the State Department, so among his accomplishments Remsen recorded the first rules for the examination of patents, a subject dear to Jefferson the inventor. Remsen later became a noteworthy New York financier.

Item #23757, ON HOLD

Former President and Future Confederate Supporter John Tyler Forcefully Defends the Fugitive Slave Act and the “Southern Cause,” Attacks the NY Press, and Plays up His Own Service in the War of 1812

JOHN TYLER, Autograph Letter Signed and Autograph Manuscript Signed several times in the third person. Sent to S. Cunningham, from Sherwood Forest, October 12, 1850, 1 page, 9⅜ x 7¼ in. on blue paper marked “Private,” being the cover letter for the manuscript, written for anonymous publication: “The fugitive slave bill and Commissioner Gardiner,” [ca. October 12, 1850], 2 pages, 9⅜ x 7⅞ in. on blue paper.

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In the first fugitive slave law case, which came before his cousin Commissioner Gardiner: “The fugitive was promptly dealt by and restored to his owner in Baltimore. Mr. Gardiner has proven himself to be a faithful public servant, an honest man, and a Patriot. And yet, by a certain class of Editors in New York he is sneered at…”

Tyler criticizes two NY editors in particular: Now what jackasses are Mssrs Herricks and Ropes… These would-be somethingarians [a colloquialism, usually used as an insult] in the first place, deem it a matter of censure in a judge, to execute the law—and, in the next they show their ignorance… by ascribing to Mr. Tyler under their witty soubriquet of Captain (a title he is well content to wear since he enjoyed it during the war of 1812 with Great Britain)…”

Item #24043, $24,000

William Henry Harrison as Presidential Candidate Determined “to Make no Pledges” - While Affirming His Anti-Masonic Position

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Autograph Letter Signed, to William Ayres. Cincinnati, Ohio, November 25, 1835. 4 pp., 7½ x 12 in.

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“I set out with a determination to make no pledges – If the Anti Masons rely upon my openly avowed opinions against Masonry one would suppose that they ought to be satisfied with the certainty of their having a full proportion of my confidences.”

Future U.S. President William Henry Harrison demonstrates exceptional political acumen by revealing his credo not to make pledges, and is keenly aware that his actions to get nominated may be used against him in the actual campaign. Harrison also resents that Anti-Masonic leader Thaddeus Stevens, is “determined to support [Daniel] Webster under any circumstances or any person but any old Jeffersonian Democrat like myself.

Item #22520.99, $24,000

General Meade’s Gettysburg Victory

GEORGE MEADE, Broadside, “Head Quarters Army of the Potomac,” Gettysburg, PA, printed on the field, July 4, 1863 [4:15 p.m.]. General Orders 68. 5½ x 6 in.

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While both armies still occupy the field, General Meade congratulates his soldiers on their “glorious” victory at Gettysburg. This is one of a handful of surviving battlefield copies of the victory message that infuriated Lincoln.

Item #23519, $22,500

Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Congress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete the Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State, An Act authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to finish the Light-House, on Portland-Head, in the District of Maine. August 10, 1790, [New York, N.Y.: Francis Childs and John Swaine]. 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. 1p. 9¾ x 15¼ in. Evans #22955.

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Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson signs an act of the First Congress authorizing Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to complete construction of a lighthouse in Maine’s Portland Harbor. The $1,500 in funds allocated for the work, one of the earliest federal construction projects, was to be appropriated from duties paid on imports and tonnage.

The “Portland Head Light” is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and the first to be constructed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. It has been memorialized in countless photographs and paintings, most notably a series of 1920s watercolors by Edward Hopper. It is now a museum, owned and operated by the town of Cape Elizabeth. It is considered to be the most photographed lighthouse in the United States.

Item #23980, $22,500

The Emancipation Proclamation:
A Miniature Edition of the Document that Saved America

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Pamphlet. Proclamation of Emancipation, by the President of the United States, January 1st, 1863. [Boston, Mass., John Murray Forbes, ca. Jan. 20, 1863]. 8 pp., plus printed wraps, 2¼ x 3¼ in.

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“All persons held as slaves within said designated States

and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free.”

Item #24310, $22,000

Abraham Lincoln explains why he can’t fire a treasonous officer.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed as President (“A. Lincoln”), December 28, 1861, Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., to Henry Liebenau, Esq. 1 page, 5 x 8 in.

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“The appeal must be made, if at all, to the Governor.”

Item #24189, $22,000

Rare French Facsimile of the Declaration of Independence

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Copperplate engraving, “In Congress, July 4, 1776, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America…” Paris: Kaeppelin & Cie, 15 Quai Voltaire; engraved by F. Lepelle. [1840.] 25 x 32”. 1p.

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Scarce French reproduction based on William J. Stone’s official copperplate facsimile done by order of Congress. This French edition was produced for an 1840 adaptation of Jared Sparks’s Life and Writings of Washington, appearing as plate 22 in the atlas accompanying the multi-volume work.

Item #20627.99, $22,000

J.R.R. Tolkien Writes his Proofreader with a Lengthy Discussion of the Lord of the Rings, Including Criticism of Radio Broadcasts of his Work

J.R.R. TOLKIEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Naomi Mitchison. Headington, Oxford, England, December 8, 1955. 4 pp on 2 leaves of wove paper with Pirie’s/ Crown Bond watermark. 5 5/16 x 7 1/8 in. (13½ x 18 cm). The first page is embossed “76 Sandfield Road/ Headington/ Oxford.” With original autograph addressed envelope.

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In a letter peppered with references to Middle Earth and its inhabitants, an exhausted Tolkien takes his first lengthy holiday in four years—in Italy. He returns and writes to Naomi Mitchison, a fellow novelist and his proofreader, for failing to provide feedback for her novel, To the Chapel Perilous. Tolkien discusses the demands on his time, ranging from his teaching load, thesis advising, and publishing, to reading critical reviews. Tolkien’s dissatisfaction with radio adaptations of Lord of the Rings occupies a prominent place: I think poorly of the broadcast adaptations. Except for a few details I think they are not well done... I thought that the dwarf (Gloin not Gimli, but I suppose Gimli will talk like his father...) was not too bad if a bit exaggerated. I do think of the “Dwarves” like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the language of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue. The balance of the letter discusses literary critics, reviews of Mitchison’s book, and anachronisms in her latest offering as contrasted to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Item #23221, $22,000

World War II Victory Proclamation signed by Harry Truman

HARRY S TRUMAN. [WORLD WAR II], Printed Document Signed as President. Washington, D.C., May 8, 1945. 1 p., 15 x 21½ in.

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“The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender … The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed…”

Item #24220, $20,500

Harry S. Truman on His 1948 Proclamation Recognizing Israel

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed, Independence, Missouri, March 25, 1970. 1 page. With envelope with printed free frank. [7.25”x10.5”]

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As for your interest in the proclamation of May 14, 1948, any document or statement issued by the President goes through a series of statements to make certain of its accuracy and clarity of meaning. I continue to hope that a reign of peace will soon come to pass ...

Item #21308.01, $20,000

George Washington’s Second Thanksgiving Proclamation, Sent to American Consuls

EDMUND RANDOLPH, Printed Document Signed, as Secretary of State, this copy sent to Nathaniel Cutting, American Consul at Havre de Grace, France, December 31, 1794, 3 pp and blank on one integral leaf. Randolph’s circular on page one notes that he is attaching a reprint of Thomas Jefferson’s August 26, 1790 letter to our Consuls, and an extract of Jefferson’s May 31, 1792 letter calling attention to a part of the Act of Congress governing the security that consuls have to give to insure they can meet obligations they take on for the United States. He then attaches the full text of Washington’s Second Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, which was publicly issued a day later, on January 1, 1795. 15½ x 12⅞ in.

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When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations, the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction.

A day before it is publicly issued, Secretary of State Edmund Randolph Sends Washington’s Proclamation to all American Consuls, as “a better comment upon the general prosperity of our affairs than any which I can make.”  According to the President,“the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction. Out exemption hitherto from foreign war; and increasing prospect of the continuance of that exemption; the great degree of internal tranquility we have enjoyed…Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I GEORGE WASHINGTON, President of the United States, do recommend to all Religious Societies and Denominations, and to all Persons whomsoever within the United States, to set apart and observe Thursday the nineteenth day of February next, as a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer… to beseech the Kind Author of these blessings…to impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.

Item #24141, $19,000

John Quincy Adams Scathing Anti-Masonic Letter After the Murder of a Prominent Anti-Mason Who Threatened to Reveal their Secrets

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Autograph Letter Signed as Congressman, to Stephen Bates. Washington, D.C., April 1, 1833. 3 pp. 8 x 9¾ in.

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“To all members of the Masonic fraternity, who entered it before the murder of Morgan I would extend the most liberal Toleration. Most of them took the Oaths without reflecting upon what they imported….Now the case is otherwise. How they can now take or administer the cutthroat Oath to keep Secret, what all the world knows, I cannot comprehend.”

In the wake of the murder of William Morgan, a prominent anti-Mason who had threatened to reveal the society’s secrets, John Quincy Adams requested the return of an old letter. Considering the political climate, Adams thought the letter would reflect poorly on its now-deceased recipient, as well as expose Adams, a prominent opponent of Freemasonry, to public criticism for having supported a man he knew to be of good character who also happened to be a Mason. The former president, now in Congress, goes on to explain his political support for anti-Masonry, one of the first third-party political movements in the United States.

Item #23716, $19,000

Einstein Reveals Reservations of Associating with Communism

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Typed Letter Signed (“A. Einstein”), in English to Professor Albert Sprague Coolidge of Harvard University, Princeton, NJ, February 16, 1934. 1p 8½ x 11 in. Envelope folds, minor spotting.

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“On the one hand, the world-wide danger of fascism makes it necessary that all enemies of fascism cooperate; on the other hand, an action which has communist leanings might endanger that fight...”

This letter, in addition to underscoring Einstein’s passionate stance against fascism, is particularly important as documentary evidence of Einstein’s caution about having any dealings with communism, especially considering that the U.S. FBI, worried about Einstein’s political leanings, kept a file on Einstein that grew to 1427 pages.

Item #24885, $18,000

The 15th Amendment, Guaranteeing the Freedmen the Right to Vote, Passes the Georgia General Assembly

RUFUS BROWN BULLOCK, Printed Letter Signed, as Governor of Georgia, to the Governor of New York, February 3, 1870, Atlanta, Georgia. 1 p.

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Governor Rufus Bullock, a native New Yorker, informs the governor of his native state that his adopted state has ratified the 15th Amendment, shortly after New York rescinded its earlier ratification.

I have the honor to transmit herewith Joint Resolution ratifying the proposed ‘Fourteenth (sic) Constitutional Amendment’ passed by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, February 2d, A.D. 1870.

It is ironic that this printed letter incorrectly references the “proposed Fourteenth” amendment. Like all other Confederates states except Tennessee, Georgia had initially rejected the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866, just months after President Johnson sent it to the states for consideration. The recalcitrance of southern states led Congress to impose military governments and to require former Confederate states to ratify the Amendment before they could be represented in Congress. Georgia ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on July 21, 1868, providing the final necessary vote for the amendment to go into effect. This letter clearly refers to the Fifteenth Amendment, under consideration by the states in 1869 and 1870.

Item #22489, $18,000

“Oaths & Declarations”: William Penn, Jr. and Quakers
Sign Separate Declaration to Sit on Pennsylvania Council with Non-Quakers

WILLIAM PENN, JR, Manuscript Document Signed. N.p. [likely Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], n.d. [ca. February-September 1704]. 2 pp., on bifolium sheet. 320 x 198 mm. One page docketed on verso, “Oaths & Declarations / of Members of Council / Stenton.”

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Document signed by Pennsylvania’s political leaders during a stormy period in the province’s history, which saw chronic tensions between Quakers and non-Quakers, between the “lower counties” of Delaware and the rest of the province, and between the proprietor (William Penn) and the Assembly. All the same, the separate signatures on two sheets of paper attests to the landmark commitment of Penn to religious tolerance.

Item #21923, $18,000
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