Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2005 Issue

Autographs, Manuscripts and More of Famous People from The Raab Collection

R0506

Queen Victoria decked out in regal splendour.


Zachary Taylor is one of those forgotten presidents between Jackson and Lincoln, but perhaps the most interesting of them. He was elected in 1848, the first election in which the issue of slavery and North-South differences would become the major concern of the electorate. Taylor won with a message of strong principles while finessing the details of his positions. He was a man with a reputation for honor and integrity, and he was a hero of the Mexican War, but he offered few specifics on the issues of the day. It was essentially a "trust me or don't vote for me" message. As a slaveholder, supporter of preservation of that institution in the states where it existed, and one not clearly opposed to its extension into new states, he could gather votes in the South. As a strong defender of the Union and one who encouraged rapid addition of new states at a time when they likely would choose to be free, he could carry votes in the North. It was enough to get him elected. However, Taylor would die only a little more than a year into his term, to be succeeded by a series of nonentities, Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan, who would try to compromise the nation's way out of the coming conflagration, all to no avail. But, one can't help but wonder what would have happened if Taylor had survived, as unlike the presidents (and the congress) which followed him, Taylor was no compromiser. He opposed what became the Compromise of 1850 after his death, which allowed for the slow admission of new states after a territorial stage. He foresaw this as generating enormous battles between pro-free and pro-slavery forces, something which most notably came to pass in "Bleeding Kansas." Instead, he called for immediate drawing of state constitutions and admission of the new territories to the Union, before confrontations could develop, a process which would likely have led to more free states. And, Taylor was an unwavering supporter of the Union, prepared to defend it with whatever means necessary. From the only State of the Union address Taylor lived to present, speaking of the Union, he said, "...its dissolution would be the greatest of calamities..." and, "whatever dangers may threaten it, I shall stand by it and maintain it in its integrity..." Taylor was even more blunt with some southern lawmakers who were speaking of secession. To them he stated that in the event of a secession, he would personally lead the army against the rebels, and that he had no reluctance to hang those in rebellion. Taylor undoubtedly meant what he said. Item 17 is a letter Taylor wrote early in the campaign of 1848, in which he concisely states what in effect was his platform: "If honored by election to the Presidency I will strive to execute with fidelity the trust reposed in me, uncommitted to the principles of either party." $9,000.

Andersonville is perhaps the most notorious name to emerge from the horrors of the Civil War. A Confederate prison for Union soldiers, it more resembled the Nazi concentration camps of the following century than the typical prison. Some 13,000 soldiers died there. The commandant of this prison was one Henry Wirz. When the war ended, Wirz was placed on trial for the atrocities that occurred at Andersonville. However, military trials were generally conducted in secret. For this trial to have a major public impact, the proceedings would have to be open. That decision would have to come from President Andrew Johnson, historically associated with leniency toward the South. Item 28 is a letter from President Johnson to Acting Secretary of War T.J. Eckert allowing publication of the proceedings of the Wirz trial if such is "necessary to a full understanding of the case by the Public..." Those proceedings were made public, Wirz was convicted, and he became the only person executed for war crimes from the Civil War. It remains a debate today whether Wirz was a scapegoat for the horrors of this war or a man justly punished. Johnson's letter is available as item 28 of the Raab catalogue. $11,800.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000

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