Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2006 Issue

Rare and Unusual Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

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This same type of paternalism is revealed even after the Civil War in the Minutes of the Thirty-Second Annual Session of the Union Baptist Association...Tuscaloosa County, ALA., September 21-23, 1867. The Association calls for the dismissal of most Blacks from their congregations. They note that the Blacks "are yet estranged from us in their feelings, and opposed to our exercising a wholesome discipline over them." The minutes point out that the U.S. Government "has passed laws giving them all the civil rights and privileges of white citizens, thereby completely putting them beyond our control..." In terms of treating the newly freed slaves as any other people, the Association states that it would be "repugnant to our feelings to associate with them in our social and domestic relations..." Sadly, we can see the seeds of strife being planted by those who had the greatest moral authority to prevent the terrible schism between the races about to unfold. Item 14. $500.

Attitudes about slavery were not always so fixed in the South. "Marcellus" describes a point of view more common among the southern founders in the days after the Revolution in Marcellus; Published in the Virginia Gazette, November and December, 1794. This pamphlet expresses a midpoint between "advocates of extreme liberty and equality" and those who justify the institution of slavery. He describes slavery as "the most wicked policy," but "now a malady so incorporated into our social constitution, that its sudden destruction would as suddenly lead us back to a state of nature, from which it might require whole ages of misery to recover us to our present station." He advocates gradual emancipation as the means to prevent "formidable insurrections." Item 82. $2,500.

William S. Oldham of Texas was resolute in his support of the Confederate cause. Item 107 is the Speech of W.S. Oldham, of Texas, on the Resolutions of the State of Texas, Concerning Peace, Reconstruction and Independence. In the Confederate Senate, January 30, 1865. Says Oldham, "the military resources of our country are ample to enable us to maintain ourselves indefinitely against any force the enemy can send against us." "Indefinitely," in this case, turned out to be less than three months. $500.

The outcome of the Civil War led to this interesting legal question, taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court in ...Henry Miller, Plaintiff in Error, vs. Moses Joseph...in 1872. Miller had hired Joseph to take his place in the Confederate Army in 1861 for a price of $1,000. Joseph, evidently, performed his part of the bargain, but Miller failed to pay his substitute the full, agreed upon amount. Joseph had prevailed in the courts of Virginia, but Miller went to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the contract was illegal under U.S. laws, and so could not be enforced. The Supreme Court finessed this awkward issue by dismissing Miller's appeal on the grounds it lacked jurisdiction. $375.

Item 101 recounts a long-forgotten dispute in the New York City Militia. From 1797, it is A Statement, Explanatory of the Resignation of the New Officers of the Regiment of Artillery... Evidently, members of the Regiment of Artillery were prevented from rising above the rank of lieutenant colonel, which upset them enough to hand in their resignations. What is interesting is some of the names who participated in this resignation: DeWitt Clinton (future New York City Mayor, New York Governor, Senator, and unsuccessful Federalist candidate for president in 1812), Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston (developers of the steamboat), Nicholas Roosevelt (great uncle of President Theodore Roosevelt and a steamboat builder), Peter Irving (Washington Irving's brother), and John Swartwout, a close associate of Aaron Burr. Swartwout and Clinton would later participate in a duel in which Swartwout was nicked a couple of times before it was called off. $500.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books is located on the web at www.lesserbooks.com, phone number 203-389-8111.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.

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