Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2014 Issue

More Rare Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

51429140-3e0a-48c2-ba62-bbead3609372

No. 137 of Rare Americana.

David Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has released a new selection of Rare Americana, this one being their Catalogue 137. This is primarily shorter form material – pamphlets, broadsides, and other such documents. Most are from the 18th or 19th century, but a few are more recent. They cover the issues of their day, not so much historical treatises but up to the minute thoughts on what was on people's minds at the time they were written. Here are some samples of this rare Americana.

 

We will start with what Lesser describes as “a neglected speech by the first African-American to serve in Congress.” Hiram Revels was the unusual person in many ways. He was born a free black man in North Carolina, and had careers as a barber, minister, Civil War black regiment organizer, educator, and briefly in public office. He became the first African-American to serve in Congress when the Mississippi state legislature appointed him to fill out a seat in the U.S. Senate abandoned during the Civil War. His tenure was brief – one year. He resigned shortly before the term ended to become a college president. Revels was a clear thinker and eloquent speaker who attempted both to advance the position of black people while providing fair treatment for whites who felt abused during Reconstruction. Nevertheless, Southern Democrats tried to prevent his seating in Congress, arguing that under the Dread Scott Decision, blacks could not be citizens, and passage of the 14th amendment two years earlier did not give him the necessary nine years of citizenship. The majority rejected the claim. This pamphlet is headed Public Schools in the District. Speech of Hon. Hiram R. Revels, of Mississippi, in the United States Senate, February 8, 1871. In this speech, Revels argued for integrated schools in Washington, D.C. He notes that prejudice is on the increase, and asks, “Can any reason be given why prejudice should be fostered in so many hearts against them, simply because they are not white?” Revels simply could not understand the prejudice, or why people of any race, black or white, should have lesser opportunities than another. Sadly, implementation of his idealism was doomed to failure. Item 95. Priced at $1,000.

 

The difficulty Revels faced in bringing about reconciliation of the races can be seen in this book by Charles Swett, a Southern plantation owner, former slaveholder, and Confederate army veteran. Swett was so embittered that he left his home in Mississippi, seeking one overseas for unreconstructed Confederates. He describes his attempts in A Trip to British Honduras, and to San Pedro, Republic of Honduras, published in 1868. It all sounded good in theory, but not so great when he arrived. There was a lack of available farmland, the climate stifling, insects rampant, and abandoned settlements led him to believe that disease was a major problem. He returned to Mississippi. Writes the bigoted Swett, “If despite our assertions to the contrary, our country should be brought to the humiliating fact of equality of the races existing among us – when an inferior holds public position...it will be well to surrender this land to our persecutors.” Item 108. $600.

 

Item 37 is An Extract from a Late sermon on the Death of the Reverend Mr. Joseph Emerson... Reverend Emerson departed this world in 1767, after a long career in the pulpit. He was a sharp man, evidently able to lead his family in prayer at the age of 8 when his father was away. Emerson did have one prayer that his descendants might have considered more of a curse. According to the Dictionary of American Biography, he “prayed every night that none of his descendants might ever be rich.” We don't know if that wish has (so far) been granted, but Rev. Emerson is probably best remembered for one of those descendants. His great-grandson was the renowned poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was not a poor man, but not a rich one either. $375.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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

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