Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2013 Issue

Manuscripts from the William Reese Company

Reesebul31

Manuscripts from the William Reese Co.

The William Reese Company has released their Bulletin 31: Manuscripts. It contains 32 handwritten documents, either from notable historic persons, or participants in important events. Most are from America or associated with important events related to America. However, since there are manuscripts going back as far as the early 15th century, we can be confident that not all are related to America. Here are a few of the antiquarian manuscripts Reese has to offer.

The Civil War had entered its last month when Confederate General Robert E. Lee received this letter from General Pierre Beauregard. The Union was closing in on the Confederates and surely these generals realized that hope was now all but lost. Sherman had already marched through Georgia and was now heading north through the Carolinas, Virginia up next. Beauregard writes that his Army is in desperate need of money. Troops have not been paid, leaving them demoralized, while funds were also needed to pay railroads and steamboats. Beauregard also relays the instructions he has given to General Richard Taylor, son of President Zachary Taylor, who once promised personally to lead Union forces if the South ever seceded. The son made a different choice, and was now trying to hold off Union troops in Alabama. On the fourth page of this signed letter (in a secretarial hand) from Beauregard is a handwritten and signed response from Lee. Lee writes that he has written the Secretary of War in hopes that he may some way be able to relieve Taylor's financial embarrassments. He also notes that he recommended that Taylor keep sufficient troops in the field to fight or otherwise they will all surely be captured. The letter reflects the gloom and desperation of the Confederates' situation, which would force an unconditional surrender less than a month after Lee's note of March 15, 1865. Item 19. Priced at $22,000.

America's early presidents were from the upper classes of society, well-off landowners for the most part. Andrew Jackson changed that with his popular frontier image, which William Henry Harrison adopted when he ran against the more prosperous successor to Jackson, President Martin Van Buren, in 1840. His campaign slogan (along with “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”) was “log cabin and hard cider.” It was supposed to depict his life as a man of the people, not an elitist like Van Buren. Of course, claims that Harrison was born in a log cabin were a great exaggeration. His father was a well-educated Virginia legislator and signer of the Declaration of Independence. As for drinking hard cider in his years in the West fighting Indians, item 17 tells a different tale. It was written on Nov. 21, 1813. Harrison had been out west fighting Indians the British had stirred up during the War of 1812. It would be his defeat of the Indians at Tippecanoe that would lead to his nickname and election as President many years later. In this letter, rather than putting in an order for hard cider, Harrison, in Sackett's Harbor, New York at the time, puts in an order for wine for the winter. Harrison makes it known that he wants a good supply before the Ohio River freezes over. Perhaps if Van Buren had this letter to debunk the hard cider claims, the course of history would have been different. $3,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions