• <b>Bonhams History of Science and Technology. September 21. Consignments Now Invited.</b>
    <b>Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts. September 22. Consignments Now Invited.</b>
  • <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 8. Estados Unidos de Mijoco... John Disturnell (1801-1877). Est $90,000-125,000. Start Bid $50,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 33. Shipping off Charlotte Amalie in the Danish West Indies. Est $12,000-15,000. Start Bid $7,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 36. Poppy, F.19. Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, 1560's. Est $90,000-120,000. Start Bid $50,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 37. <br>White Iris, F.9. Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, 1560's. Est $90,000-120,000. Start Bid $50,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 38. Peach, F. 66. Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, 1560's. Est $100,000-120,000. Start Bid $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 39. Pomegranate. 1560's. Est $200,000-300,000. Start Bid $120,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 40. Flamingos. Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Est $60,000-80,000. Start Bid $36,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 57. The Discoverie of the Large, Rich and Bewtiful Empire... Est $10,000-15,000. Start Bid $6,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 59.<br>The West-India Atlas ... JEFFERYS, Thomas, 1775. Est $22,000-25,000. Start Bid $13,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 62. The Natural History of Barbados. Est $10,000-12,000. Start Bid $6,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 64. A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves... Est $24,000-28,000. Start Bid $14,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries Aug 5:</b> Lot 65. Bucaniers of America... Est $12,000-16,000. Start Bid $7,000.
  • Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Fine Books and Manuscripts, August 5th.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 3. Lewis, Meriwether and William Clark. <i>History of the Expedition under the Command</i>... 1814. $50,000-$70,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 90. Audubon, John James. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States</i>... $30,000-$50,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 19. Hutchins, Thomas and George Louis le Rouge. <i>Partie Occidentale de la Virginie,</i> ... $8,000-$12,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 88. Truman, Harry. Signed Presidential Proclamation ... Surrender of Germany. 1945. $6,000-$8,000
    Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Fine Books and Manuscripts, August 5th.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 15. <i>The American Military Pocket Atlas ... Maps, both General and Particular, of The British Colonies</i>... $4,000-$6,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 95. Buller, Walter Lawry. <i>A History of the Birds of New Zealand</i>. London, 1873. First edition. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 89. Audubon, John Hames and John Bachman.<i>The Quadrupeds of North America</i>. New York, 1852-1854. 3 vols. Complete. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 124. Bracciolini, Poggio. <i>Poggii Florentini Oratoris Clarissimi</i> ... Argentinae, 1513. 2 parts in one. $3,000-$5,000
    Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Fine Books and Manuscripts, August 5th.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 85. Book signed by H. Hoover and over 190 members of his administration, 1929-1933. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 252. Carroll, Lewis. <i>Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass</i>. 2 vols. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 78.<br>Currier and Ives. <i>A Midnight Race on the Mississippi</i>. New York, 1860. Large folio lithograph, hand-colored. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Aug 5:</b> Lot 268. <br>(The Beatles) Autographed note card signed in pen by all four members. Framed and matted with repro photo. $3,000-$5,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Catalogue 160: Magnificent Books, Manuscripts, & Photographs
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Shakespeare's First Folio (1623)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Charles Darwin family photograph album
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Spectacular album of mammoth photos of the American West by Watkins & others
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Washington family copy of The Federalist (1788)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Underground Railroad runaway broadside (1857)

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2010 Issue

Inexpensive Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

Lesser15

Inexpensive Americana from David Lesser.


By Michael Stillman

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has issued another in their series of Inexpensive Americana, this being Part 15. The formula is typical for a Lesser catalogue - primarily pamphlets and material not quite full book length in size from 18th and 19th century America. The difference from a typical Lesser catalogue is nothing here is priced over $250, and most is priced lower. It is an opportunity to find interesting material relating to America's early days, without breaking your personal bank account. Here are a few of the 350 lower priced items being offered for sale.

Missouri's Blair family was somewhat unusual for their times. Frank Blair, Sr., and his two sons were strongly pro-Union, and anti-slavery, at least its expansion (Senior freed his slaves during the Civil War, late in the game but before any requirement to do so in loyal Missouri). Francis Blair, Jr., was a loyal Missourian who served in the late 1850s as a Republican Congressman, and raised a regiment for the Union during the war. His brother, Montgomery, served in Lincoln's cabinet as Postmaster General. However, despite their strong pro-Union sentiment, and distaste for slavery, the family was not enamored of black people. Frank, Jr., would later run for vice-president on the Democratic ticket in 1868, and some believe his racist statements were no help to the party's nominee. Some of his attitudes were revealed a decade earlier in Washington, in this Speech of Frank P. Blair, Jr., of Missouri, on the Acquisition of Territory in Central and South America, to be Colonized with Free Blacks, and held as a Dependency of the United States, given in 1858. Rather than back-to-Africa, Blair's plan was to emancipate but then deport America's blacks to South America. In his speech, he describes blacks as "a class of men who are worse than useless to us." Item 32. Priced at $75.

Theophilus Fisk was an odd combination of opinions - very liberal in terms of supporting the working men toiling under atrocious conditions in the factories of the North, yet an apologist for slavery in the South. It seems that Fisk believed white workers in the North were worse off than slaves in the South, and looked at Northern abolitionism as hypocrisy. All well and good, but why he couldn't see both the condition of white workers in the North and black slaves in the South as evil is a mystery. Instead, it made him a defender of slavery, and maligner of the people who suffered in chains in the South. Writes Fisk, in The Bulwark of Freedom, an 1836 speech at the Universalist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, abolition would "…turn an indolent horde of lazy drones loose upon the community. You would have to build an alms house in every street, and a penitentiary or gallows, at every corner." One can only wonder why Fisk considered the people who were performing the labor the "lazy drones," rather than those who sipped mint juleps on the veranda. Item 120. $250.

Of course there were those who opposed slavery and sought better conditions for blacks. One was Gerrit Smith, a very wealthy man who turned to philanthropy and radical causes, such as abolition and women's suffrage. Three times he was a minor party, abolitionist candidate for president, but his actual public service was limited to one term as a Congressman from New York. Item 285 is an unusual piece for Smith. It is a speech from his congressional days that has nothing to do with abolition or similar causes. Today it might sound more like it was coming from Libertarians or the Tea Party - Keep Government Within its Limits. Speech of Gerrit Smith, on the Pacific Railroad… given in the House in 1854. Smith supported the Pacific Railroad, but as a private, not public project. After voicing support he comments, "Nevertheless I would not have Government either own, or build the road." $75.

If you have ever wondered why it is so difficult to get a murder conviction when there is no body, you should read The Trial, Confessions and Conviction of Jesse and Stephen Boorn, for the Murder of Russell Colvin, and the return of the Man supposed to have been Murdered. Colvin, the Boorns brother-in-law, whom they apparently disliked, had disappeared. After many years absence, and a strange dream by their uncle, the people of Manchester, Vermont, became convinced Colvin had been murdered by the Boorn brothers. Each eventually was said to have confessed, though likely under duress of to avoid the death penalty. It mattered not. Both were convicted and sentenced to death (though Jesse's sentence was commuted to life). Then, with the help of someone who read about the case in New Jersey and knew of a Russell Colvin in his hometown, Colvin reappeared in Manchester, six weeks before Stephen was to be executed for his murder. Oops. This book was not published until 1873, 54 years after the trial, but author Leonard Sargeant had been part of the Boorns' defense team. Item 270. $150.

With voting about to begin for this year's election, we will conclude with a piece which shows that dirty campaigning is nothing new: Infidelity and Abolitionism. An Open Letter to the Friends of Religion, Morality, and the American Union. What this really was was an attack on John C. Fremont and the Republicans ahead of the election of 1856. Fremont, we are told, seeks to destroy the Union and "true religion," while advocating social equality with blacks and free love. Then comes the worst charge of all - he is politically affiliated with "unsexed females." Let that be a lesson. Do not pander to the unsexed female vote if you hope to get elected. Evidently there just aren't enough of them, or maybe they don't vote. Fremont got whipped. Item 127. $250.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books may be reached at 203-389-8111 or dmlesser@lesserbooks.com. Their website is www.lesserbooks.com.

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