Seth Kaller, Inc.

Inspired by History


Browse by Category

Abraham Lincoln

African American History

Albert Einstein

Alexander Hamilton

Books

Civil War and Reconstruction

Constitution and Bill of Rights

Declaration of Independence

Early Republic (1784 - c.1830)

Finance, Stocks, and Bonds

George Washington

Gettysburg

Gilded Age (1876 - c.1900)

Great Gifts

Inauguration and State of the Union Addresses

Israel and Judaica

Maps

Pennsylvania

Presidents and Elections

Prints

Revolution and Founding Fathers (1765 - 1784)

Science, Technology, and Transportation

Thomas Jefferson

War of 1812

Women's History and First Ladies

World War I and II

Advanced Search
Page of 25 (490 items) — show per page
Next »

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Speech – Inscribed and Signed by FDR – in the “Missy” LeHand Archive

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, Printed Document Signed, Press Release, January 6, 1941. Inscribed “‘Another’ for M.A.L.” 7 pp., Offered as part of The FDR - Marguerite A. “Missy” LeHand Archive.

   More...

No realistic American can expect from a dictator’s peace international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion–or even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors.

The Missy LeHand Archive, comprising some 1,400 pieces, is the most important grouping of original documents still in private hands from such a central figure in FDR’s political and personal life. In conjunction with Glenn Horowitz Booksellers, we are offering the archive, intact, directly from Ms. LeHand’s heirs.

Highlights of the archive include more than forty signed Presidential Addresses, mainly rare Press Release printings from the day the speeches were delivered in 1937-1941. In addition to the Four Freedoms Speech, this group includes his first Inaugural Addresses, his December 1940 “Arsenal of Democracy” speech, fireside chats, and other historic addresses.

Missy’s official papers long ago moved to the FDR Library in Hyde Park; this collection constitutes the personal letters, signed books, photos and documents she received from her boss. The FDR Library in Hyde Park has working drafts of a number of these speeches, and official printed copies, but does not have signed copies of most. In fact, for many of the addresses here, it is literally impossible for a better FDR association copy to come on the market, ever.

Item #25712, PRICE ON REQUEST

Charles Thomson’s Secret Journal of the Confederation Congress, Including Detailed Description of the Great Seal and Negotiations for the Treaty of Paris to End the Revolutionary War

CHARLES THOMSON, Manuscript Document, Journal as Secretary of Confederation Congress, 1782-1783. 104 pp., 6½ x 7⅞ in. Contemporary marbled boards; sympathetically rebacked; burgundy cloth chemise and slipcase, burgundy morocco spine lettered gilt. Together with: Mrs. Charles Thomson’s three calling cards.

   More...

The Devise for an Armorial Achievement and reverse of a great Seal for the United States.... The Escutcheon on the breast of the American bald Eagle displayed...and in his beak a scroll inscribed with this motto ‘E pluribus unum.’

This remarkable handwritten journal includes a description of the Great Seal of the United States; Thomson is now credited with being the final designer. There is also a crucial diplomatic report by Edmund Randolph entitled “Facts and Observations in support of the several claims of the United States not included in their Ultimatum of the 15 of June, 1781”; the text of the Preliminary Articles of Peace between the United States of America and Great Britain, signed on November 30, 1782; summaries of the treaties between Great Britain and France and Great Britain and Spain, signed on January 20, 1783; and correspondence in French between British negotiator Alleyne Fitz Herbert and American Peace Commissioners John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, also of January 20, 1783.

Randolph’s report comprises two thirds of the text in this journal and was not made public until 1820-1821, when the “Secret Journals” of Congress were first published under the direction of President James Monroe in conformity with resolutions of Congress.

Item #26592, $925,000

George Washington’s “Justice and Public Good” Letter, Written Just Before Becoming the First President of the United States

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Frederick Phile, March 15, 1789, Mount Vernon, Virginia. Washington’s retained copy, written on blank leaf of Phile’s letter to him as evidenced by partial address on verso: “[George] Washington / [Moun]t Vernon.” 1 p., 8 x 6¼ in.

   More...

“I will go into Office totally free from pre-engagements of every nature whatsoever, and in recommendations to appointments will make justice & the public good, my sole objects.”

The still unofficial President-elect George Washington writes in March 1789 about his determination to go into the presidency with no pre-existing commitments, ready to purely judge the“justice & the public good” of every appointment. He would extend that sentiment to every aspect of his presidency.

Washington referred to the standard of “justice & the public good” only a few times, and the present letter is the only example we know of that has ever reached the market.

Item #27734, $550,000

Frederick Douglass Celebrates His Return to America a Free Man, and Reunion with His Family, While Telling of His Treatment During the Voyage

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Autograph Letter Signed to Sarah Hilditch of Wales, April 29, 1847, Lynn, Massachusetts. 4 pp., 5 x 7¾ in.

   More...

I caught Frederick [Jr.]in my arms, and took Lewis by the hand and pressed with all speed into the house, and relieved the anxious bosom of my Dear Anna, you must imagine my feelings, for I cannot express them. For once all public cares departed. Even the slave was forgotten, and my glad soul was thoroughly absorbed in grateful rapture.

You are aware that I was subjected to proscription on board the Cambria. This was a mesirable attempt to propetiate the American slaveholders and their abettors. These would have felt degraded to have been seated at the table with me, but not one of them but who would have been glad to have owned me as his slave. These wretched creatures could not indure me as a free man.…

Due to significant threats, Douglass left America for England in 1845. While there, he travelled widely to speak about slavery. By 1847, Douglass was anxious to return despite the risks, but two English sisters negotiated with Douglass’ owner and purchased his freedom. 

Here, Douglass describes his return from England to Boston aboard Cunard’s British Steamship Cambria, his joyous reunion with his wife and children, and the racism he faced during the voyage. Prior to boarding, treatment of Douglass by Cunard ticket agents had already sparked outrage in the United Kingdom, where such overt discrimination was more unusual. Reports such as this after his voyage furthered the reaction. Samuel Cunard issued a public apology.

Item #27434, $450,000

July 8, 1776 – The First Book Printing of the Declaration of Independence, and One of the First Printings

[Declaration of Independence], “In Congress, July 4, 1776. A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled,” pp. 41–46. Printed immediately after The Genuine Principles of the Ancient Saxon, or English Constitution. Carefully collected from the best Authorities; with some Observations, on their Peculiar Fitness, for the United Colonies in General, and Pennsylvania in Particular. By Demophilus. Philadelphia: Printed, and Sold, by Robert Bell, [July 8,] 1776, as dated by the terminal advertisement leaf.

   More...

Very rare. According to Sotheby’s, “while there are copies . . . in a number of major libraries and historical societies, only three other copies have appeared at auction since the Streeter sale” of 1967.

Item #26587.99, $450,000

The Only Abraham Lincoln Letter to his Fiancée Mary Owens Still in Private Hands—Long on Politics, Short on Love

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Mary S. Owens, December 13, 1836, 2 pp., 9¾ x 7¾ in.

   More...

Write back as soon as you get this, and if possible say something that will please me, for really I have not been pleased since I left you.

Here, Lincoln perfectly demonstrates what Owens later described as deficiencies “in those little links which make up the chain of a woman’s happiness.”  Rather than expressing his feelings for Owens, Lincoln complains about his health and discusses political issues swirling in the Illinois General Assembly. Although inept at love, the letter offers rare insight into the young representative’s thoughts on a variety of political issues. In this highly important letter to Mary Owens, a self-absorbed Lincoln complains to his potential spouse of his health, both physical and mental, and discusses political issues to the point that he describes his own letter as “dry and stupid.” Perhaps more revealing than he realized, it illustrates the tension in Lincoln’s early life between matters of the head, with which he was comfortable, and matters of the heart, with which he clearly was not.

Item #24346.99, $375,000

“THE GREATEST OF EARLY AMERICAN MAPS”

THOMAS HOLME, [Across the Top]: A Map of the Improved Part of the Province of Pennsilvania in America. Begun by Wil: Penn Proprietary and Governour thereof Anno 1681. [Decorative cartouche to right]: A Map of the Province of Pennsilvania. Containing the three Countyes of Chester, Philadelphia, & Bucks, as far as yet Surveyed and Laid out….

   More...

The “greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece” (Corcoran).

“This monumental work is without question the finest printed cartographic document relating to North America to be published to date.” (Burden). No other English American colony was mapped in the seventeenth century on such a large scale, and in such amazing detail.

Item #22133, PRICE ON REQUEST

General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America, Printed by Benjamin Franklin

LEWIS EVANS, Geographical, Historical, Political, Philosophical and Mechanical Essays. The First, Containing an Analysis of a General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America; And of the Country of the Confederate Indians: A Description of the Face of the Country; … Philadelphia: Benjamin Franklin and David Hall, and sold by Robert and James Dodsley in London, August 1755. First edition. First state (before “The Lakes Cataraqui” caption was added just north of Lake Ontario), original hand-coloring, unfolded to 27 x 20⅛ in. Removed for conservation and display. The accompanying book is included, 7½ x 10¼ in. 36 pp.

   More...

This hand-colored General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America, and the accompanying Analysis, is a first edition, first state printing of one of the most important maps of Colonial America. Particularly due to the details of the Ohio Country, it played a key role in the French and Indian War, with General Edward Braddock using a copy in his ill-fated expedition against the French in modern-day western Pennsylvania.

Item #27200.99, $275,000

Cinque, Leader of the Amistad Revolt Autograph at an Abolitionist Fundraiser in Philadelphia

CINQUE, Autograph as Leader of the Amistad Captives. Philadelphia, Pa., May 27, 1841. 1 p. Also signed by F-foole [Fuli]. With two endorsements in unknown hand, the later one possibly written by Charles Evans in pencil.

   More...

Cinque was an almost mythic figure during the controversies and legal cases surrounding the slave ship Amistad in 1839-1841. He freed himself and the other Africans in the hold of the Amistad, initiated the revolt that captured the ship, and led the ships’ voyage from waters near Cuba to the United States. After being captured off the coast of Long Island, while imprisoned in Connecticut as the Africans’ status was debated by the U.S. Supreme Court, Cinque learned to speak and write English. (That they spoke Mende was discovered by a linguistics professor at Yale, who then found translators—two escaped slaves who spoke both languages).

After winning their freedom, Cinque and some others embarked on a lecture tour to New York and Philadelphia in May 1841 to raise funds for their return home. Their enthusiastic reception by the abolitionist movement made for a busy schedule.  Among the stops, Cinque visited the Lombard Street School for black children in Philadelphia. 

This autograph, signed at the Lombard school on May 27, 1841, is one of only two or three known original signatures of Cinque.

Item #21884, PRICE ON REQUEST

Martin Luther King Jr. Inscribes Stride Toward Freedom to Pioneer Civil Rights Leader A. Philip Randolph

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., Signed Copy of Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, first edition. Inscribed to A. Philip Randolph. With Randolph’s annotations. New York: Harper and Row, 1958. 224 pp.

   More...

To my dear Friend A. Philip Randolph.

     In appreciation of the standards of loyalty, honesty, non-violence, and the will to endure that you have held before all people in the struggle for freedom justice, and democracy.

Martin

A remarkable association of two key leaders of the Civil Rights movement, highlighting not only their similarities but also areas of disagreement. It offers important insights into their views at a critical moment in the fight for African-American equality. King’s book, with a rich personal inscription, was transformed by Randolph into a sort of dialog between them by his copious annotations, making this volume one of if not the most important King-signed book in existence.

Randolph annotated or marked 69 of the volume’s 224 pages. He underlined passages he found particularly powerful, and commented in the margins, echoing or amplifying King’s words.

Item #27430, $245,000

Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Congress Authorizing Copper Coinage (the First Legal Tender Produced by U.S. Government)

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed, as Secretary of State, “An Act to provide for a copper coinage,” May 8, 1792, Philadelphia. 1 p., 9⅝ x 15 in.

   More...

That the director of the mint…purchase a quantity of copper...and…cause the copper...to be coined at the mint into cents and half cents...thence to issue into circulation….

That after the expiration of six calendar months from the time when there shall have been paid into the treasury by the said director, in cents and half cents, a sum not less than fifty thousand dollars … no copper coins or pieces whatsoever, except the said cents and half cents, shall pass current as money, or shall be paid, or offered to be paid or received in payment for any debt … and all copper coins or pieces, except the said cents and half cents, which shall be paid or offered to be paid or received in payment contrary to the prohibition aforesaid, shall be forfeited, and every person by whom any of them shall have been so paid … shall also forfeit the sum of ten dollars…”

Item #27505, $235,000

Very Rare William Henry Harrison Four-Language Sea Letter Signed as President

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Partially Printed Document Signed as President, counter-signed by Daniel Webster as Secretary of State. [signed in Washington, D.C. between March 4 and April 4, 1841]. Four-language Sea Letter for Hydaspe, accomplished (filled out) in New Bedford, Massachusetts, dated April 20, 1841 and signed by Deputy Collector of Customs William H. Taylor. Includes two blind embossed paper seals. 1 p., 21½ x 16¼ in.

   More...

Partially-printed sea letter in French, Spanish, English, and Dutch authorizing the Hydaspe, under the command of Francis Post, to leave New Bedford, Massachusetts, for a whaling voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Signed by William Henry Harrison during his one-month long presidency. Only approximately a dozen William Henry Harrison presidential signed documents are known in private hands. An incredible rarity.

On March 4, 1841, a cold, wet day, Harrison, without hat or overcoat, rode on horseback to his inauguration, and delivered the longest inaugural speech of any American president. He became ill three weeks later and died of pneumonia on April 4, having been president for 31 days. He was the last United States president born as a British subject and the first to die in office. Our census counts fewer than 40 known Harrison presidential signed items of all types, ranging from letters and free franks to fragments of documents and clipped signatures. Of those, ours is one of only 22 intact presidential signed documents. 

Sea letters were signed in blank, and sent to the ports to be filled out. This one was used in New Bedford on April 20, sixteen days after Harrison’s death. The Hydaspe left New Bedford four days later with a crew of more than twenty. It returned just shy of four years later, on April 14, 1845, with 1,016 barrels of sperm oil, 821 barrels of whale oil, and 8,000 pounds of baleen (whalebone). The ship circumnavigated the earth, sailing throughout the Pacific and along the southern coasts of Australia and Africa, taking on six additional crew members in Tahiti in 1843 and eleven more in Maui, Hawaii (then called the Sandwich Islands), in 1844. A whaleboat crew deserted near Australia; at least three of the deserters were captured.

Item #27118.99, $225,000

One of Hamilton’s Most Revealing Love Letters to Eliza:
“You are certainly a little sorceress and have bewitched me”

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Autograph Letter Signed “A. Hamilton,” to Elizabeth Schuyler, August 8, 1780. [Dobbs Ferry, New York]. 4 pp. including partial integral leaf; lacking portion of page below signature; perhaps his signature on address relief was removed. 6½ x 8½ in.

   More...

Currently offered only as part of the Alexander Hamilton Collection: The Story of the Revolution & Founding

you have made me disrelish every thing that used to please me, and have rendered me as restless and unsatisfied with all about me, as if I was the inhabitant of another world. ... I would go on, but the General summons me to ride....”

In the middle of their whirlwind courtship, Hamilton emphasizes his profound fascination with Eliza Schuyler. Hamilton both complains that she is distracting him from important military duties, while pleading with her for more distraction. Few of Hamilton’s letters to Eliza survive from this period.

As Hamilton was writing, tactical intelligence was being communicated at a frantic pace up and down the Hudson. On July 21, Washington had received intelligence from the Culper spy ring on British General Clinton’s planned attack on Rochambeau’s French squadron at Newport, and the massing of British troops on Long Island for an intensified invasion of New York. Hamilton now was in the middle of authoring a detailed “Plan for an Attack on New York” to recapture Manhattan and Brooklyn from the British. He mentions at the end of this letter his position at Dobbs Ferry, New York, a small town on the Hudson where the army was encamped. Hamilton ends when he is summoned by General Washington.

Item #24329, PRICE ON REQUEST

After Investing in its Stock, Lincoln Represents a Railroad in a Precedent-Setting Lawsuit

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Manuscript Signed by Lincoln in text, constituting his official transcript of the “Subscription Book of the Capital Stock of the Alton and Sangamon Rail Road Company,” incorporated February 27, 1847, transcribed in early 1851. Comprising a cover sheet titled in Lincoln’s hand, the joint stock subscription statement and list of 91 shareholders with the number of shares subscribed, and leaf with Lincoln’s legal docket: “Alton and Sangamon Railroad Company vs. James A. Barret. Copy of contents of subscription book....” 8 pp., 6⅝ x 8¼ x ¼ in.

   More...

A list of stockholders, entirely in Lincoln’s hand, filed as evidence in his first significant railroad case. Lincoln’s own appearance in the shareholder list represents only the second known instance of a stock purchase by the future president. The Illinois Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling in favor of Lincoln and the railroad set an important legal precedent, upholding the binding nature of a stockholder’s contractual and financial obligations. “The decision, subsequently cited in twenty-five other cases throughout the United States, helped establish the principle that corporation charters could be altered in the public interest, and it established Lincoln as one of the most prominent and successful Illinois practitioners of railroad law” (Donald, p.155).

Item #27561, $198,000

Abraham Lincoln Signed Check to “William Johnson (Colored)”—Who Accompanied the President to Antietam and Gettysburg

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Partially Printed Document Signed, Riggs & Co. Bank check, October 27, 1862, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 7½ x 2¾ in. Filled out and signed by Lincoln as president, payable to “William Johnson (Colored)” for $5.

   More...

Johnson accompanied Lincoln from Springfield to Washington, D.C., served as the President’s valet, and traveled with him to Antietam (25 days before this check) and a year later to Gettysburg.

Item #27740, $180,000

The Building Blocks of Albert Einstein’s Creative Mind

[ALBERT EINSTEIN], Ephemera. Set of Anker-Steinbaukasten children’s building blocks by F. Ad. Richter & Cie., Rudolstadt, [Germany], c.1880s. Approximately 160 composite quartz sand, chalk, and linseed oil blocks in red, limestone and slate gray, in various sizes and shapes, together with three or more sets of building plans, all contained in two wooden boxes with printed Anker-Steinbaukasten labels.

   More...

A unique and important artifact of his childhood.

Item #24284, $180,000

Hamilton Supports Anyone but Jefferson to Replace Washington as President

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Draft Autograph Letter, on George Washington’s declining a third term, and the importance of Jefferson not being president, c. November 8, 1796. Heavily marked and edited draft. Possibly to Jeremiah Wadsworth. 2 pp., 8 x 13 in.

   More...

Currently offered only as part of the Alexander Hamilton Collection: The Story of the Revolution & Founding.

“it is far less important, who of many men that may be named shall be the person, than that it shall not be Jefferson.”

Item #24639, PRICE ON REQUEST

Thomas Jefferson Signed Judiciary Act of 1793

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed, as Secretary of State, “An Act in addition to the act, entitled, ‘An act to establish the judicial Courts of the United States,’” Philadelphia, March 2, 1793. 2 pp., 9⅝ x 15⅛ in.

   More...

That the attendance of only one of the justices of the supreme court, at the several circuit courts of the United States, to be hereafter held, shall be sufficient....

At the request of Congress, Attorney General Edmund Randolph offered his critique of the new federal justice system with suggestions for improvements. Chief among them was his recommendation to remove justices of the Supreme Court from their circuit court duties to allow them to focus on more important appellate decisions.[1] Soon after, all of the Supreme Court Justices together wrote to President Washington complaining of the burden of their duties. Congress took up the issue two days after Washington mentioned it in his November 6, 1792 State of the Union Address, and a day after he forwarded the Justices’ letter to Congress. This Act was passed on February 27, and signed into law by Washington on March 2, 1793.

Jefferson was required by a prior Act to authenticate two copies for each state of every Act of Congress. By this time, there were 15 states, so Jefferson would have signed only 30 copies, of which very few survive. 



[1] Edmund Randolph, Report of the Attorney-General. Read in the House of Representatives, December 31, 1790 (Philadelphia: Francis Childs & John Swaine, 1791), 7-10.

Item #26594.99, $150,000

Jefferson-Signed Patent Act of 1793

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State, An act to promote the progress of useful arts, and to repeal the act heretofore made for that purpose, February 21, 1793. Signed in type by George Washington as President, Jonathan Trumbull as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and John Adams as Vice President and President of the Senate. [Philadelphia: Francis Childs and John Swaine?, 1793], 4 pp. Evans 26309

   More...

Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson signs the second U.S. Patent Act, which played a signal role in the commercial development of the United States. A key difference between this act and the one it replaced was that, in addition to new inventions, patents could be issued for improvements to existing products. The measure helped foster American innovation, successfully ushering the nation into the Industrial Revolution. We locate no other signed copies of this milestone act.

Item #22424.99, $150,000

FDR’s First Inaugural Address in the Midst of the Great Depression

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, First Inaugural Address, Typed Manuscript Signed, ca. May 1935, Washington, DC. 5 pp., 7 x 10½ in. Accompanied by Marguerite “Missy” LeHand, Typed Letter Signed, June 5, 1935, on White House stationery, returning the signed typescript to Mr. Barker.

   More...

the only thing we have to fear is fear itself....

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his landmark first Inaugural Address at the U.S. Capitol, on March 4, 1933. Many consider the speech to be one of the greatest in American history. On the day of the inauguration, the country was at the lowest point of the worst depression in American history. The banks had closed in thirty-two of the forty-eight states (plus the District of Columbia), unemployment was above 25 percent, farms were failing, and two million people were homeless. The New York Federal Reserve Bank would not be able to open the very next day, as panicky customers had withdrawn huge sums in the previous days. In this context, Roosevelt set forth a positive message addressing the country’s greatest needs: relief, recovery, and reform. His confidence, optimism, and the massive amount of “New Deal” legislation he sent to Congress in the first one hundred days of his administration did much to reassure the American people that better times were on the way.

Item #27122.99, $135,000
Page of 25 (490 items) — show per page
Next »