Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2013 Issue

American Books and Pamphlets from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

Lesser132

American books, pamphlets, and ephemera.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books recently published No.132 of Rare Americana. Lesser mostly focuses on pamphlets and other shorter form material pertaining to 18th and 19tth century America. This time, however, we find many longer, book-length items offered. The subjects are similar – American history mostly from revolutionary times to Reconstruction (with a few items on each side of that range), but many are thicker than usual. Here are some examples from this latest selection.

We will start with a sermon that must have taken a fair amount of courage to deliver. Rev. Charles Turner was not wanting for the same. Item 148 is A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., Governor...of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New England, May 26th, 1773. Hutchinson was Massachusetts' loyalist Governor, a man who came to be despised by his subjects. He supported the Crown at every turn against the colonists, including the myriad of taxes and regulations imposed upon them from afar. He would be driven by the colonists back to Britain a year after this sermon. In his speech, Rev. Turner did not hold back, though he surely knew this would not please his notable guest. He asserts that the people have an “unalienable right” to determine their own form of government, and that the privileges of the British constitution they formerly enjoyed have been “inhumanly murdered.” Turner adds, “How distressing the thought of being slaves, how charming that of being free!” Though beloved by his Duxbury congregation, Turner resigned his post a year later citing health issues and completion of his mission, but would go on to serve in the conventions that accepted the state and federal constitutions, and later headed off to retirement in Maine. Priced at $500.

There were few more notable feuds among America's founders than that between fellow Federalists John Adams and Alexander Hamilton. Not even Adams' legendary rivalry with Jefferson, or Hamilton's with Aaron Burr that eventually cost him his life in a duel, could quite match this one. There was certainly a split in their opinions on how to react to French intrigues during Adams' presidency, Hamilton itching for war, Adams seeking to avoid it. However, this rivalry was based more on personalities than policies. Adams was an obstinate, unbending man who took orders from no one. Hamilton was self-assured and believed Adams should bend to his influence. The result was this rivalry between the Federalist party's two major forces would soon lead to the party's demise. In 1800, when President Adams sought reelection, Hamilton wrote a lengthy letter tearing him to pieces, though ending with a reluctant, pro forma endorsement. Meanwhile, he connived behind the scenes to get the Federalist vice-presidential nominee, Charles Pinckney, selected over Adams. In his letter, Hamilton writes such words about Adams as “there are great and intrinsic defects in his character, which unfit him for the office of Chief Magistrate,” and that Adams has “a vanity without bounds, and a jealousy capable of discoloring every object.” Undoubtedly there was much truth to this, though the same could be said about Hamilton. When Jefferson's supporters got a hold of this letter, meant only for fellow Federalists, they published it. It was instrumental in defeating Adams in the 1800 election, and effectively destroying the Federalist Party. Item 55 is the Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams,published in 1800. $850.

The airing of the Hamilton-Adams dirty laundry in public was momentous, this next one pedestrian. This is really not the type of stuff one should be publishing for the world to see, but evidently some public accusations had been made against Rev. Henry Whipple, Pastor of the Episcopal Church in Galena, Illinois. He had no choice but to respond. Whipple married Emma Weigley in 1862. She felt he treated her badly and ran back to her father's home the following year. The caption title to this brief work sums up the Reverend's response: To the members of the R.R. [Rock River] Conference...Dear Brethren: Most gladly would I have averted so terrible a calamity as that which has befallen my family, but it was not in my power. And, in view of the final judgment, I can truly say, no man ever more sincerely and affectionately offered terms of peace and reconciliation than I have to my mistaken and erring wife... We do not know whether his “erring” wife ever saw the error of her ways. Item 155. $350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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

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