• <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 52. Charles Schulz, Original Peanuts Snoopy Baseball Strip, U.S.A, 1964. Starting price $16,000.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 6.<br>Maurice Sendak (1928-2012), 'Max, Where the Wild Things Are', Pen & Ink, 2012. Starting price $1,500.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 13.<br>Leo Rijn after Dr. Seuss, Cowfish Maquette, U.S.A, 1998. Signed on stand. Starting price $1,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 17.<br>Dr. Seuss, Untitled, Color Pen & Ink, C. 1940. Signed ‘Dr Seuss’ lower left. Starting price $4,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 19.<br>Dr. Seuss, ‘I wonder how I offended George…’ Pen & Ink, C. 1930. Starting price $7,500.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 29.<br>Disney Studios, 'Queen, Snow White', Concept Sketch, U.S.A., C. 1937. Starting price $3,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 30.<br>Marc Davis, 'Sleeping Beauty in a Meadow', Production Cel, 1959. Signed. Starting price $1,200.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 50.<br>Charles Schulz, Original Peanuts Daily Strip, USA, 1966. Signed 'Schulz'. Starting price $10,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 58.<br>Chuck Jones, Signed, hand-painted Production Cels from Duck Dodgers, 1952. Starting price $4,500.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 77.<br>Stan Lee, Marvel Studios, Bishop,<br>X-Men, Production Cel, C.1995. <br>Starting price $240.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 79.<br>Warner Bros, 'New Adventures of Superman', C. 2000. Production Cel. Starting price $300.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 84.<br>Tim Burton, Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas, C. 1993. Starting price $1,500.00.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autograph letter signed by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to Senator John William Clark Watson, Richmond, 1865. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autograph poem by John Quincy Adams from an album kept by Abby Smith, w. inscription signed by her grandfather, John Adams, 1820s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Typed letter signed by Theodore Roosevelt to assemblyman Michael A. Schapp, New York, 1913. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autograph letter signed by Richard Wagner to Hofkapellmeister Max Seifriz, Zürich, 1853. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Photograph signed and inscribed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to librettist Paul Collin, 1888. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> <i>Katalog der Wiener Kunstschau</i> signed and inscribed by Egon Schiele, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Letter signed by Mohandas K. Gandhi to Dr. John Haynes Holmes, Sevagram, 1940. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Photograph signed and inscribed by Marilyn Monroe to Dulce Brito, circa 1957. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Two typed letters signed by William Faulkner, Los Angeles, 1943. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A patriot who fought with George Washington Superb Daguerreotype of Baltus<br>Stone at age 101 (1846).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Edward Curtis portrait of Honovi, Walpi Snake Priest "Honovi was one of the author's principal informants" (1910).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Execution of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators by Alexander Gardner (1865).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catharine Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, and the other siblings with their father Lyman Beecher. By Mathew Brady (1850s).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> From Slaves to World-Famous Entertainers Millie-Christine, "The Two-Headed Nightingale" (c. 1868-71)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Goldfield, Nevada Photograph Collection Fabled Western Mining Boomtown (1905-1906)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Tycoon-Collector Benjamin Richardson poses with his great-grandson as appeared in parade.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Alexander Gardner portrait of Lincoln the only known copy, ex-John Hay (1863).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Magnificent Niagara Falls album with a strong provenance (1867).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Spectacular American West Album From Yosemite to Salt Lake City to San Francisco.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2013 Issue

War of 1812 Archive Purchased by Canadian Government


Part of the Sherbrooke Archive, courtesy of Bonham's.

The Canadian Government is not noted as one of the largest buyers in the works on paper field, but last month they made a substantial purchase at a Bonham's auction in London. The bidding went far above estimates, but Canada remained unfazed. They kept bidding until they won. Against an estimate of £100,000 - £150,000 (US $154,000 - $231,000), the lot sold for £433,250 (US $668,000).

That Canada would want this item for its archives is not surprising. That it would chase it to wherever the bidding went might be surprising to Americans or the British. Events that play a small role in British and American history sometimes loom much larger in the memory of Canada. Ironically, this pertained to a British-American dispute, one little related to Canada. Canada played a role only because it got stuck in the middle.

The item was an archive of material that belonged to Sir John Coape Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke was essentially a soldier, but he was so good at what he did that he was rewarded with important governmental positions, first as Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia and later as Governor General of British North America.

Sherbrooke's first position in Canada was served during the War of 1812. This lot consisted of numerous items of correspondence, notes, and maps prepared by or for him during this war. One of Sherbrooke's accomplishments was the seizing of territory in the state of Maine north and east of the Penobscot River. For the better part of a year, half of Maine became the Canadian province of New Ireland. It was returned in the treaty following the war. After the war, Sherbrooke received his appointment as Governor General, but poor health led him to resign two years later. He returned to England, presumably with this collection of papers in tow. They remained in the possession of his family until last month's auction.

James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, issued a statement saying “Our Government is proud to have acquired this one-of-a-kind original collection of our documentary heritage on behalf of all Canadians. Canada would not exist had the American invasion of 1812–1814 not been repelled; for that reason, the War of 1812 was a defining chapter in our history.” The Americans and British may scratch their heads at this. The War of 1812 was a “defining moment?” Canada would not exist but for it? This was a war between America and England, but neither of the participants see this as much more than a blip on the screen of history. Neither side has much interest in remembering. The 200th anniversary passed last year with little fanfare in America. There was probably even less in England where a much more important war, that against Napoleon, was taking place at the same time. Why is this war so celebrated in Canada, which was essentially an innocent bystander, a participant only because of the misfortune of being located in the wrong place at the wrong time?

England's war against Napoleon's France served to ignite this war against America, but it had been brewing for two decades. Through much of this period, America was on the brink of war with both England and France. Perhaps all that kept America out of war was trying to figure out which of the European powers it wanted to fight. Both interfered with America's free trade at sea as each attempted to blockade shipments to the other's ports. America asserted its right to trade with whomever it chose. However, the British presence in Canada (still a British colony at the time), and their occasional support of Indians who harassed American settlers in the Midwest, made them a bit more annoying. Additionally, there was one other factor that was really galling to the Americans – impressment of seamen. The British would stop American merchants ships and seize sailors it determined were somehow or other really English and impress them into the Royal Navy. This was a long running terrible affront to America. The problem was America couldn't do a thing about it. Its navy was miniscule; the British navy the most powerful in the world.

This, then, was the dilemma America faced when it determined it could take no more and had to strike back. It could not stop the impressments without a larger navy. Nor could America attack Britain, an ocean away, without a navy to get there. What could America do? There was only one answer. Attack and seize part of the British colony of Canada. If they could do that, the Americans reasoned, the British would leave them alone to get their territory back. So, America attacked Canada, though it had no dispute with the Canadians, just their colonial rulers.

Canadians have not always been the most united of people. Every so often French Canadians speak of breaking off from their English-speaking counterparts. In 1812, not only were there English and French Canadians, but independence-minded Indians and British colonial rulers. Whatever could keep so diverse a group together? The answers is... Americans. Canadians have always kept a wary eye on their larger neighbor to the south. America has had an expansionist reputation in the eyes of others, if not in the eyes of Americans. Sometimes it has grown through war, sometimes through treaty, other times through purchases. Indian lands were captured mainly by force, Florida through treaty, Louisiana and Alaska through purchase, Texas and the American Southwest through war. In the 1840s, many Americans sought to claim much of what is today western Canada through war. The slogan “54 40 or fight” during the Oregon boundary dispute called for a border far north of what exists today. Perhaps this would have come about but President Polk was more interested in seizing land from Mexico at the time and could not afford wars on two fronts. He chose to grab the beaches of Southern California over the snow fields of northern Alberta. Polk didn't realize Alberta had the oil.

The result was that the Canadians united to keep the Americans out. That was the one thing they could agree upon. The battle went back and forth. A couple of times, the Canadians were able to seize Detroit, then a fort. At other times, the Americans grabbed parts of Canada. Sherbrooke took half of Maine. Each side had its victories and defeats. Once the war ended in Europe and England could concentrate more forces on America, they were able to attack Washington, burning down the White House and other structures. America held at Baltimore, earning a national anthem as a bonus. America's greatest victory came after the war officially ended in the Battle of New Orleans. Communications of the war's end were very slow in reaching troops in the field in those days. That battle gave America Andrew Jackson, and historians will undoubtedly debate a long time whether that was more a positive or a negative.

As the battles in Europe wound down, the pointlessness of the War of 1812 became ever more apparent. England no longer needed to blockade France nor needed to impress foreign seamen to serve in their navy. What was the point of fighting over these issues any longer? The two sides sat down at the peace table and agreed to essentially return everything to the status quo before the war. Each side removed their troops from the other's territory. The English did not officially agree to stop impressing American seamen, but in practice they did stop. England got nothing out of the war, but with the end of war in Europe, no longer needed to get anything. America got a national anthem no one can sing, but not much else. Canada, however, the innocent bystander with no chips in this war, was the only party to achieve anything. As Mr. Moore observed in his statement, Canada obtained its nationhood as a result of this war. Perhaps some will see this as a bit of an exaggeration. America was not looking to seize Canadian territory. Meanwhile, Canada remained a colony, not an independent state, for many more years. Nonetheless, Canadians get to write their own history, and if they say the War of 1812 is what created the nation of Canada, that is their right.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 14. Darwin, Charles. 1809-1882. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection... 1859.</i>. US$ 60,000-80,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 46. Smith, Adam. 1723-1790. <i>An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.</i> US$ 70,000-90,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 224. CIVIL WAR. Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War [1865-1866]. US$ 120,000-180,000.
    255 — add to caption: First Edition, Subscriber’s Copy
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 270. Serra, Junipero. 1713-1774, ET AL. Pangua, Francisco. Letter in Spanish, 1775. US$ 60,000-90,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 77. Apple 1 Motherboard, with label "Apple Computer 1 / Palo Alto. Ca. Copyright 1976." US$ 300,000-500,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 46. The 1934 Nobel Prize Medal for Physiology or Medicine. Presented to George Minot. US$ 200,000-300,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 39. Darwin, Charles. 1809-1882. Autograph Letter Signed ("Ch. Darwin"). US$ 70,000-90,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 4. Lubieniecki, Stanislaw. 1623-1675. <i>[Theatri Cometici pars posterior] Historia Cometarum...</i> US$ 25,000-35,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 3. Vera rare George III mahogany and engraved brass orrery. US$ 200,000-250,000.
  • <b>Sotheby's Paris, De la bibliothèque Stéphane Mallarmé, 15 October.</b>
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 163. Stéphane Mallarmé. An autograph manuscript for <i>Un coup de Dés jamais n'abolira le Hasard</i>. [Avril Ou Début MAI 1897]. Est. 500,000-800,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 109. Manet, Edouard - Edgar Allan Poe - Stéphane Mallarmé. <i>Le Corbeau. The Raven. 1875</i>. Est 80,000-120,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 152. Edgar Degas. <i>Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé and Auguste Renoir</i>, [16 Décembre 1895]. Est. 40,000-60,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 15. Baudelaire, Charles. <i>Les Fleurs du Mal. Paris, Poulet-Malassis et De Broise, 1861.</i> <br>Est. 80,000 - 120,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris, De la bibliothèque Stéphane Mallarmé, 15 October.</b>
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 137. Mallarmé, Stéphane. Vers Sur un Galet D'Honfleur. [Eté 1892 OU Été 1894.] Est. 5,000-8,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 48. Gide, André - Maurice Denis. <i>Le Voyage d'Urien. Paris, Librairie de L’Art indépendant, 1893.</i> Est. 20,000-30,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 103. Mallarmé, Stéphane - Edgar Allan Poe. Manuscripts Autographs. [1870-1875 ET 1869]. Est. 80,000-120,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 107. [Revue - Stéphane Mallarmé] La Derniere Mode. Gazette du monde et de la famille. Est. 40,000-60,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris, De la bibliothèque Stéphane Mallarmé, 15 October.</b>
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 110. Mallarmé, Stéphane - Edouard Manet. <i>L’après midi d'un Faune. Églogue. Paris, 1876.</i> Est. 30,000-50,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 160. Mallarmé, Stéphane. Premier état D'un Un Coup De Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard. Manuscrit Autographe. [1897].<br>Est. 60,000-80,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 164. Mallarmé, Stephane. 6 jeux d’épreuves Pour un Coup De Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard De l’édition définitive chez Vollard. Est. 100,000-150,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 198. [Méry Laurent] <i>Liber Amicorum De Méry Laurent</i>. 1875-Fin Des Années 1890]. Est. 50,000-80,000 EUR.

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