Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

Radicalism and Social Movements from Lorne Bair Rare Books


Radicalism & Social Movements.

Lorne Bair Rare Books has published Catalog 20. Radicalism & Social Movements. Bair specializes in movements from the left side of the spectrum over the past century and more. We find abolitionism, labor movements, civil rights, socialism, communism, utopian societies, and various other radical issues displayed. Bair always gives us a little balance – not a lot, mind you, but you will find the occasional rantings of a racist or someone else on the far opposite side of the spectrum. Just don't look for the words of some mealy-mouthed, get-along “moderate” in here. Only strongly, if not excessively held views are welcome. These are a few examples.


The abolition movement was gaining steam in the 1850's, just as the nation was falling apart at the seams. We begin with Autographs for Freedom, a collection of writings by various authors published in 1853 in support of abolition. Compiled by the Rochester [New York] Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, it includes writings from such noted movement figures as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Mrs. Stowe's book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, had only been published the previous year, quickly making her a major worldwide voice for abolition. Douglass, the former slave who became a great orator and writer, contributed his only attempt at fiction to this book. It was the first book appearance of his The Heroic Slave, a fictionalized account of Madison Washington, a slave and cook who led a rebellion on board a slave ship, taking control and sailing it to British controlled Nassau, where they were given their freedom. Item 6. Priced at $2,750.


Next we have a rather strange speech in the House of Representatives in 1867, ostensibly in support of woman suffrage. The speaker was a young Congressman from Missouri, Thomas Noell. Noell was a Union supporter from that divided state, who served the Union during the Civil War. He returned to Missouri to run successfully for Congress in 1864 after his father, also a Congressman, died in office. However, this rambling speech, which often praises women in a sarcastically, less than complimentary fashion, obviously had some other purpose. Item 134 is the Speech of Hon. Thomas E. Noell, of Missouri, on Woman Suffrage and Reconstruction of Massachusetts; Delivered in the House of Representatives, February 11 and 18, 1867. The “Reconstruction in Massachusetts” part reveals Noell's motives. Though being pro-Union, Noell was hardly a northern radical. Congress was taking up a bill concerning woman suffrage, which Noell used to take a swipe at northern radicals, notably those epitomized by Massachusetts. Those radicals were pushing for black enfranchisement in the South. Noell's aim was to show their inconsistency by pointing out that half of the population of Massachusetts – women – were similarly disenfranchised in that state. Some of the implications at times that women are not always too bright may have been intended to make comparisons to disenfranchised blacks in the South. Noell never had a chance to make much of an impact in Congress as he died later that year at the age of 27. $250.


Item 145 is a collection of hand-made, hand-tinted, magic lantern glass slides, housed in a contemporary wooden box, from the Bonus Army gathering in Washington in the early 1930's. In 1924, Congress passed a bill providing a bonus for World War I veterans, who many believed had been shortchanged for their service. However, there was a catch. President Coolidge was not willing to spend the money, so, with certain exceptions, the bonuses could not be redeemed until 1945. This proved tolerable at the time, but once the Great Depression put many veterans on the unemployment line, they agitated to make their bonuses immediately redeemable. They needed the money. They called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force, but came to be commonly known as the Bonus Army. Some became radicalized in their beliefs, though most were just old soldiers in need of help. They camped out in a make-shift town they called “Hooverville.” A few were killed in an action by police, after which Hoover ordered their eviction. It was violent, a few dozen veterans being injured and a 12-year-old family member killed. A smaller contingent came back to Washington after Roosevelt was elected to the presidency, but he too refused to advance the bonuses, though he did provide CCC jobs to veterans who otherwise would not have qualified. Roosevelt did not believe payments should be made if not tied to need. In 1936, Congress overrode the President's veto, making payments available that year. This collection of slides includes images from the encampment and march, including a grieving mother looking over the 12-year-old child's casket. $4,800.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to General James Clinton, preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, 1778. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising to send reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Edison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Western Union President William Orton, 1878. $10,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> William, Bishop of Coventry, vellum charter granting the church of Rochdale to the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw, in Latin, 1222. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> FDR, Photograph Signed & Inscribed, framed with wood removed from the White House roof, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Dubuffet, archive including many letters written while painting in NYC, 1951-72. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autograph Letter Signed, describing the source of his patience, 1939. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Lithograph portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck, signed by both, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Charles The Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Letter Signed to Johann IV of Nassau, in French, 1470. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Cocteau, Autograph Letter Signed, in French, 1919. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Louis Armstrong, two Autograph Letters Signed to Erich Kauffmann, his lip salve purveyor, 1965-70. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Wernher von Braun, Autograph Letter Signed to Jonathan Cross, 1975. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>

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