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AN EXTRAORDINARY RARITY!
Leaves From George Washington’s Own Draft of His First Inaugural Address

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Autograph Manuscript, Pages 27-28, 35-36, and 47-48 of Washington's own draft of his undelivered inaugural address. [written ca. January 1789]. 6 pp. on 3 leaves, 7 x 9 in.

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“This Constitution, is really in its formation a government of the people”

George Washington understood that the new government’s success, as had the Constitutional Convention’s, rested squarely on his shoulders. He also knew that everything he did as the first president would set precedents for future generations. He wrote privately about the promise, ambiguity, and tension of high office, and these same themes are woven throughout his original, undelivered inaugural address. Would the government work as intended, or suffer death from a thousand cuts? Still, the former Commander in Chief recognized the nation’s potential, as well as the honorable men who had come together to build the Constitution.

The three unique leaves—six pages—offered here are written entirely in Washington’s hand. They include assertions that government power is derived from the people, and a highly significant section of the Address explicitly arguing that the Constitution is subject to amendment and, by implication, advocating the adoption of the Bill of Rights. They also include the oratorical climax of the address—arguably the most visionary and impassioned passage of the address.

Item #24818, PRICE ON REQUEST

Anti-Catholic “Test Oath” Signed by George Washington – as Required to Validate his Military Commission as Lieutenant Colonel at the Outset of the French and Indian War

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Manuscript Document Signed, [March 19, 1754]. With signatures of more than a dozen others, dating from Feb. 3, 1754 to Aug. 19, 1755. John West, Jr. and James Towers, whose signatures immediately follow Washington’s, subscribed on the same day, and, along with several other signers, served with Washington in the 1754 campaign. The subscribers, all Fairfax County, Va. public officials and militiamen, signed starting on the right side of the paper; a second column was then added to the left.

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“there is no Transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lords supper or in the elements of Bread and wine...”

On March 15, 1754, Governor Robert Dinwiddie enclosed Washington’s commission as lieutenant colonel of the Virginia regiment in a letter directing the young officer and his men to the Ohio Valley to help defend against approaching French forces. Four days later, Washington signed this “test oath” – required of all Virginia civil and military officers – validating his commission. He would soon find himself at the center of a battle that ignited war between Britain and France, and a defeat that led him to sign the only surrender of his entire career.

Ironically, Washington’s signature on this document launched the military and political career that eventually proved instrumental in expanding the religious freedoms that this oath sought to restrict.

Note that we have agreed to steer this to a philanthropic individual, foundation or company willing to acquire and donate this to George Washington’s Mount Vernon or the Fairfax County Circuit Court Archives. Details on request.

Item #23200, PRICE ON REQUEST

The Alexander Hamilton Collection: The Story of the Revolution and Founding

[REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND FOUNDING], The Collection features Highly Important Original Letters, Documents, & Imprints representing not just Hamilton, but also Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Paine, Burr, the Schuyler Sisters and Brothers, & Many More. Telling political and personal tales of the brilliant and sometimes tragic Founders, this Collection of more than 1,100 original documents is offered as a whole, but can be reconstituted to make it most appropriate for Federal Hall.

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Can you imagine a nation with no uniting banking system or currency? With insufficient revenue for even the most necessary expenses? With no ability to act as one nation on the world stage?

Clearly, Washington needed a right-hand man for the incredibly detailed work of building a government, formulating plans, and bringing them from conception to completion. His choice was obvious. Alexander Hamilton had revealed his unique energy and capability throughout the Revolutionary War, at the Constitutional Convention, and in the ratification battles. 

On September 11, 1789, the same day Washington signed his letters transmitting the Act of Congress Establishing the Treasury Department, he made his first cabinet nomination: Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury. Within hours, the Senate confirmed the appointment.

The financial system Hamilton designed created the possibility of a real United States of America, whose founding purpose was to advance the rights of the people to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Item #24685, PRICE ON REQUEST

Virginia’s Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and Proposals for the Bill of Rights

[U.S. CONSTITUTION, BILL OF RIGHTS], Edmund Pendleton, Manuscript Document Signed, Extracts of Proceedings of Virginia Ratification Convention, June 25-27, 1788. Also signed and attested by John Beckley as secretary. Paper watermarked “Posthorn GR”; countermarked “IV.” 14 pp., 8¾ x 14¾ in.

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Official and attested copy of Virginia’s Ratification of the U.S. Constitution, together with a proposed Declaration of Rights and twenty other proposed amendments to the Constitution, signed by Virginia Ratification Convention President Edmund Pendleton and Secretary John J. Beckley. It is one of only three known surviving sets that the Convention ordered to be engrossed and sent to the other state executives or legislatures. The Convention also ordered that a set be sent to the Confederation Congress.

Item #27341, PRICE ON REQUEST

(On Hold) The U.S. Constitution – Very Rare Printing on the Second Day of Publication

[U.S. Constitution], The Pennsylvania Herald, Thursday, September 20, 1787. Philadelphia: William Spotswood. Alexander J. Dallas, editor. 4 pp. 11¾ x 19 inches folded, 23½ x 19 inches opened.

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We are not aware of any other example in private hands, and only six institutions list runs that should include this issue. 

Item #27499, ON HOLD

Lincoln Reviews the Army of the Potomac

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 2, 1863. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Collecting confiscated rebel cotton. Ironclad Keokuk sinking after the battle at Charleston. Pres. Lincoln, General Hooker, and their staff at a review of the Army of the Potomac. Bombardment of Fort Sumter.

Item #H-5-2-1863, $100

Male Anti-Suffragist Ridicules “Taxation without Representation” Argument of Suffragists

[WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE]. FREDERICK DWIGHT, Pamphlet. “Taxation and Suffrage,” New York: New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, ca. 1915-1917. 4 pp., 6 x 9 in.

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New York attorney Frederick Dwight insists in this brief pamphlet that women’s inability to vote bears no parallel to the American colonists’ protest of “taxation without representation.”

Item #24174.06, $125

Lincoln, the War, and Emancipation

[EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, June 11, 1864. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Featuring illustrations of Philadelphia Sanitary Fair Central buildings, and Generals Gouverneur Warren and Horatio Wright on the front page. “Belle Plain, Virginia General Grant’s Late Base of Supplies”; “Army of the Potomac—General Warren Rallying the Marylanders”; “President Lincoln and His Secretaries”; Centerfold: “Army of the Potomac—Struggle for the Salient, near Spottsylvania [sic], Virginia, May 12, 1864”; three illustrations of the environs of Spottsylvania [sic] Court House; “Sherman’s Advance—General Logan’s Skirmishes Advancing Toward: the Railroad at Resaca”; and “Sherman’s Advance—Position of Osterhau’s Division on Bald Hill.”

Item #H 6-11-1864, $150

Board of Engineers to Review Sea Coast Fortifications, Including New York

EDWARD D. TOWNSEND, Document Signed, printed Special Orders No. 41, Jan. 27, 1864. Creating and Appointing Abbot to a Board of Engineers to review Sea Coast Fortifications, especially New York Harbor.

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Item #20577.04, $175

Unusual Caricatures of Southern Aristocrats by Union Soldier on Letter to Parents

SAMUEL HYDE, Fragment of an Autograph Letter Signed, to his parents, no date [1861-1865], with his drawing of a “Suthern lady.” 2 pp.

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…the woods was ful of ded rebs

Item #21265.17, $225

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, $225

Andrew Jackson’s First Inaugural Address in Maryland Newspaper

ANDREW JACKSON, Newspaper. Niles’ Weekly Register, March 7, 1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Hezekiah Niles & Son. 16 pp. (17-32), 6¼ x 9⅞ in.

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As long as our Government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending....

Andrew Jackson’s election in 1828 over incumbent John Quincy Adams marked an end to the “Era of Good Feelings,” as Jackson’s supporters became the Democratic Party, while those who supported Adams became the National Republicans. In March 1829, Jackson became the first president to take the oath of office on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol. His inaugural address promised to respect the rights of states and the constitutional limits on the presidency.

Item #30001.60, $245

Edwin M. Stanton Portrait, Based on a Photograph by Matthew Brady

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 26, 1866.

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Item #H-5-26-1866, $250

The Massacre at Fort Pillow

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, April 30, 1864.

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Item #H-4-30-1864, $250

Christmas Presents

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, December 30, 1865.

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Item #H-12-30-1865, $250

The Army of the Potomac Arriving at Yorktown from Williamsburg

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, September 6, 1862.

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Item #H-9-6-1862, $250

A History of Harvard University; North Carolina Debates Ratifying the Constitution; and a List of Newly-Minted U.S. Senators

[CONSTITUTION], Magazine. The Columbian Magazine, Philadelphia, Pa., December, 1788. 52 pp., 5 x 8 in. Lacking plates.

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Item #30007.048, $275

The Statue of Liberty

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, November 27, 1875. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Item #H-11-27-1875, $295

Seesaw - Gloucester, MA - Drawn by Winslow Homer

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, September 12, 1874.

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Item #H-9-12-1874, $295

Evacuating Elizabeth City and Leaving Nothing for the Rebels, to the Dismay of Freedpeople and Unionists

THOMAS BOURNE, Autograph Letter Signed, April 18, 1863, Elizabeth City, [North Carolina]. 2 pp., 8vo.

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this place is to be evacuated all the troops and the gunboats leave with us there is a general move of the darkeys they all want to go with us they do not dare to stay here after we leave for fear of the guerrillas I believe we are to take every thing with us that can be of use to the rebs

Item #21265.25, $300
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