Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2013 Issue

More Rare Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

Lesser131

Rare Americana.

David Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has reached their catalogue No. 131 of Rare Americana. Lesser specializes in shorter form works on paper – pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, photographs, and occasional books. This selection runs slightly later than most, only a few items from the colonial era, while moving past their usual cut off at Reconstruction to some later 19th and early 20th century material. Naturally enough, the material all pertains to America, in this case, the United States of. Here are some samples.

We will start with an obscure item pertaining to a libel lawsuit filed by Theodore Roosevelt. During the election of 1912, the former Republican President split with his party's nominee, the current President William Howard Taft. Roosevelt ran as an independent, under the “Bull Moose” banner. Ultimately, the Republican vote was split, with Roosevelt beating out Taft, but still finishing behind Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson. Roosevelt's actions obviously upset a Republican editor from Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, George Newett. Newett charged that Roosevelt was a drunken, profane liar. The former President was not amused, and after the election sued Newett for libel. Roosevelt won, and Newett had to issue a statement declaring “I am forced to conclude that I was mistaken.” While Roosevelt was insistent on defending his integrity, he was not mean spirited. Though the trial cost him $40,000, he asked the judge for the smallest monetary award possible – six cents. After the trial, Roosevelt's cousin, close friend and adviser, W. Emlyn Roosevelt, put together a transcript of the trial. The former President had called on numerous notable witnesses to attest to his character, including people such as Admiral Dewey and reform journalist Jacob Riis. It was published in a small run, perhaps 100 copies, mainly to be shared with witnesses. This copy was sent to Albert Shaw, a journalist who wrote a book about Roosevelt and provided testimony for the trial. It comes with a letter signed “T. Roosevelt” sent to Shaw thanking him for his testimony, which the former President considered very valuable as Shaw understood his motives. Item 119. Priced at $6,000.

There have been various arguments made both for and against capital punishment, but here is one of the more interesting ones: Capital Punishment. The Argument of Rev. George B. Cheever, in Reply to J.L. Sullivan, Esq... Mr. Sullivan was an opponent, Rev. Cheever, perhaps unexpectedly, the proponent. He makes the standard argument that people are more likely to kill others if they know their own life will be spared. He then offers a theological justification that I missed in my bible studies. Rev. Cheever says capital punishment has been ordained by God, in effect to correct His mistake of “divine lenity in the case of Cain.” Apparently God saw that His leniency after the killing of Abel was not so good, and therefore made a covenant with Noah and his descendants to impose capital punishment. Item 32. $250.

In the days before the Civil War, not even free blacks were guaranteed to remain free. Someone might claim they were runaway slaves, or capture a free black in the North and sell him in the South. Such a person often needed papers to prove his freedom. Item 4 is such a document from Maryland, a northern state but one that permitted slavery as late as 1864. It is dated 1832, and it is a manuscript writing that is signed by a local Justice of the Peace. Its purpose is to establish that David Preston is a free man. In the document, Elizabeth Wright swears that her father “set free and manumitted from Slavery a certain Negro woman named Elizabeth Preston, who is the mother of David Preston, who...was born free.” $450.

Item 48 is the first and only compilation of Florida territorial laws: Compilation of the Public Acts of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, Passed Prior to 1840. The legislature hired John P. Duval to put this book together, it being published in 1839. Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1819, and it was admitted to the Union as the 27th state in 1845. $1,250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.

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