Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2017 Issue

The American Revolution from the William Reese Company


The American Revolution.

The William Reese Company has released their 345th catalogue, The American Revolution. The time period covered runs from the 1760's, notably with the Stamp Act of 1765 which ticked off the colonists no end, to the 1780's when the war came to an end and the new nation began to deal with the issues of self-governance. A few items were printed later, as late as the Civil War publication about the last seven known surviving veterans of the Revolutionary War. This catalogue coincides with the publication of two new bibliographies prepared by Reese, The Revolutionary Hundred, covering major items from 1763-1783, and The Federal Hundred, covering 1783-1803. Both are available in the catalogue. Now, here are some of the 165 items offered in this new catalogue.


Relations between the British authorities and American colonists quickly soured after the end of the French and Indian War. After years being bound together by a common interest in fighting the French, the two turned on each other as the British tried to force the Americans to pay more to the mother country. The looming differing interests exploded with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765. This placed taxes on all types of transactions in the colonies, ones which Americans were unwilling to pay, especially since they had no voice in the decision to impose them. The British were not expecting the level of blow back that resulted. Some in Britain realized they had gone too far, others sought to force the Americans into submission. Item 145 is an anonymously written pamphlet by someone who understood the American nature and realized it was in Britain's own best interests to lay off. Published in London in 1765, the title is The Necessity of Repealing the American Stamp-Act Demonstrated: Or, A Proof that Great-Britain Must Be Injured by That Act. The writer states that the Americans do not have the military force to resist, but they can refuse further trade with the colonial power, causing great economic harm. Better understanding the Americans' nature than most in England, he explains. "...they will never consent to enrich us, while they think we oppress them; they will never treat us with the respect due a parent, while they think we treat them as slaves..." Item 145. Priced at $1,500.


The British repealed the hated Stamp Act, but their continued interference in the colonies, coupled with a later tax on tea, led to the Boston Tea Party. Angry colonists dumped a load of British tea into Boston Harbor. Instead of seeking to find a resolution acceptable to the people of Boston, the British chose to harshly punish them, including the majority who played no role in the Tea Party. They passed the "Intolerable Acts," the first being one that closed the Port of Boston to all commerce until the citizens of that city reimbursed the East India Tea Company for the lost tea. Naturally, this act just made the Bostonians angrier. Item 133 is Observations on the Act of Parliament, Commonly Called the Boston Port-Bill; with Thoughts on Civil Society and Standing Armies. The author was noted Massachusetts native Josiah Quincy, this first British edition of the pamphlet published in 1774. Quincy attacks Parliament for imposing collective punishment on Bostonians, and goes on to attack standing armies as "armed monsters," and "fatal to religion, morals, and social happiness." $6,500.


The Intolerable Acts led to the forming of militias in Massachusetts to protect the state from feared attacks by the British military. Britain controlled Boston, but once out of the city, it was the patriots who were in control. The British decided they needed to crush any potential rebellion, and a good starting point was to seize the arsenal the colonists had put away at Lexington and Concord. Over a year before the colonists would officially declare their independence, the British attacked these two outposts. The Massachusetts militias threw them back, forcing the English troops to retreat to Boston. Naturally, the citizens of Massachusetts were enraged, but the British action compounded their problems in the other colonies as it only served to draw them closer to Massachusetts. Item 8 is a broadside from May 1, 1775 headed The American Crisis. Let God, and the World Judge Between Us. What Reese describes as an "exceedingly rare and important Revolutionary broadside" is a response to the Battles of Lexington and Concord just two weeks past by the Connecticut legislature. It is vituperative, to say the least. The British had stirred up a hornets' next. They describe the battles as the "...late Murder & Massacre, by a Brigade of near 1000 savage soldiers, on a handful of inoffensive Men collected at Lexington..." They go on to speak of the "unnatural and Barbarous Designs of the Ministry of Great Britain," and warn that the colonists have an experienced army that will fight "for their inestimable Rights, their Religion, their Wives, their Children, their estates, and conscious Justice of their Cause..." Rather than quelling a rebellion, the British had only managed to assure that the rebellion would spread to the other colonies. $75,000.


A year later, the colonies would be in open rebellion, and by the end of that year, Thomas Paine, whose writings helped spur the colonists to rebellion, would pronounce these words still remembered today - "These are the times that try men's souls." After early losses in New York, some of the patriots were becoming dispirited, unsure whether to continue their rebellion. Paine proclaims that "the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot" will shrink from service, but those worthy of honor will fight harder for their cause. Item 122 is a copy of The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal from January 13, 1777. It contains Paine's The American Crisis Number I, the first publication of this piece in Boston, the cradle of the Revolution. The Boston Gazette was published by Benjamin Edes, who had been printing radical pro-American views since the time of the Boston Massacre. $85,000.


Here is a one-of-a-kind piece signifying the successful end of the Revolution. It is a pen and ink manuscript map of Virginia headed Plan des Environs de Williamsborough, York, Hampton et Portsmouth, from 1781. It belonged to Rochambeau, the French military commander who led French land forces in aid of the Americans. Rochambeau was sent to Rhode Island in 1780 to lead the French military, but for a year they holed up there to protect French ships. In the summer of 1781, they began moving east, 5,500 of them, to hook up with Washington's forces north of New York City, and then begin the march to Virginia. This was the map Rochambeau used as he led his men, whom, with Washington, would defeat Cornwallis and the British. When the battle was over, the English threw in the towel and the war was over too. Item 17. $600,000.


The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or amorder@reeseco.com. Their website is www.williamreesecompany.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <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>
  • <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

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