Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2008 Issue

Signed Documents From Two Centuries of Important Leaders from The Raab Collection

Wilson

President Wilson's cabinet prepares for its first meeting.


John Marshall is America's most important Supreme Court Chief Justice. Through his long service during the first half of the 19th century, he led the court through numerous key decisions, setting out the roles of the various branches of government and the powers of the federal government vis a vis the states. His greatness is unquestioned, but not even he was willing to take on the nation's thorniest question of its first 80 years - slavery. Marshall seemed to believe that slavery violated men's natural rights, and yet since this denial of natural rights by force had been accepted by nations, it was not unlawful. Marshall, not unlike other founding fathers, many Virginians as was he, seemed to both abhor and tolerate slavery. It was one of those things they hoped would fade away, while not taking decisive action to assure that would happen. In time, that would prove to be a disaster for future generations. Part of their problem, again shared by Marshall, is that they were themselves slaveholders. Item 10 is an 1807 letter from Marshall to someone who owed him money. In turn, Marshall was indebted to his brother-in-law Rawleigh Colston. Marshall suggests that his debtor make payment directly to Colston on his behalf, and since Colston was looking to buy some slaves, he might be inclined to take such in trade. Writes Marshall, "...I suppose he [Colston] will not be unwilling either to take negroes or wait until you can without inconvenience pay him the money..." $12,000.

Item 14 is an election prediction from a Tennessee congressman, though this may be of greatest interest to Texas collectors. The writer is Congressman Sam Houston, whose career as a leader of Texas is better remembered than his stints as Congressman from, and Governor of, Tennessee. On April 8, 1824, Houston, a staunch supporter of Jackson, wrote his cousin William Houston Letcher. Sam was always a prescient man, being the rare southern leader to oppose secession years later, predicting great tragedy would come to the South as a result. In 1824, he predicts, "My own opinion is that General Jackson will be the man! If not him, Mr. Adams." There was a four-way race in 1824, with William Crawford and Henry Clay joining Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams in the race. As Houston foresaw, Jackson won the most number of votes, but not having a majority, the race was thrown into the House of Representatives where Adams was selected. $6,500.

In 1912, Woodrow Wilson made the rise from university president barely a year earlier to President of the United States. He was elected with no little help from the Republicans, who split between Roosevelt and Taft, enabling the Democrat Wilson to win. Shortly after taking office in March of 1913, Wilson sat down with his cabinet for its first meeting and a photograph. Item 25 is a copy of that photograph, and it is signed by all of the participants. That includes, naturally, Wilson and three-time unsuccessful presidential candidate and now Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan. Item 25. $6,800.

You may reach The Raab Collection at 800-977-8333. Their website is www.raabcollection.com.

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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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