Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2009 Issue

Interesting Books and Manuscripts from Thomas Cullen Rockland Bookman

Cullen47

Something for everyone from Thomas Cullen.


By Michael Stillman

Thomas Cullen Rockland Bookman has issued his Catalog #47 - Books & Manuscripts. We will make no attempt to suggest a title more specific than this. There is no thread we can decipher beyond being a book or a manuscript that binds these items together. You may find anything here - from a 15th century religious manuscript to a 19th century support bond for bastard children to a series on Buffalo Bill in French, they are all here. We will describe a few of these fascinating items, but with the caution that there are plenty of things to be found in this catalogue with no resemblance to the ones we select.

Item 31 is the Civil War diary of Sgt. Johnson Miller of the 14th Ohio volunteers. War is always Hell, but this war was particularly hellish. Casualties were unimaginably high. The diary begins on January 1, 1864. Miller has already been wounded, but is looking forward to rejoining his regiment. "I do not want to leave my comrades until this bloody struggle is closed," he writes. Miller did make it back to action, but on June 21, he was injured again. He is sent to a hospital in Nashville where he writes of the horrible injuries he sees. From there, he is also able to witness the build up of Confederate forces around the city in December of 1864, and finally the Battle of Nashville, when the second largest Confederate force was routed and effectively eliminated from further participation in the war. Priced at $1,400.

Times were difficult during the Civil War, particularly in the South, but life went on. Even during the midst of terrible war, children had to learn arithmetic. Item 54 is a Confederate textbook: Our Own School Arithmetic, published in 1863. It is the first arithmetic authored and published exclusively in the Confederate states. Hopefully, the children learned arithmetic better than their parents, because if the Confederates had done their math a little better, they might have realized the number of forces they had compared to the North did not add up to victory. $275.

There is a bit of irony in this Alabama manuscript legal claim from December 1865. It is a claim by one W.E. Murphey on the estate of L.J. Watkins for $48 for 15 trips between 1862 and 1865 to provide medical treatment to his slaves. There was a day when doctors made house calls even to slaves. The irony, of course, is by the time this claim was made they were slaves no more, having been freed with the end of the war. Nonetheless, the estate was liable for the charges. Hopefully, the former slaves were enjoying good health in their newly won freedom. Item 1. $125.

Item 72 consists of six letters from Midshipman Cyrus Adolphus Branch from Virginia. These letters to his mother and sister date from 1817 to 1820 and come from places such as Boston and New York as well as in preparation for a trip to Africa. However, Branch evidently got into some sort of dispute in Cuba in 1821 and engaged in a duel. He lost. Branch was just 24 at the time. Branch must have been a bit of a complainer as Cullen observes, "Reading his complaining, demanding letters to his relatives makes one glad someone shot him." In fairness to Branch, his brother named his first son after him the following year, so he must have appreciated Cyrus Adolphus (perhaps he didn't receive any letters from him). $300.

Item 94 is a most interesting letter from "Douglas" of South Carolina to William Walker of the same state. It is dated July 30, 1849, and the writer describes an incident reflective of fears many in the South held of a slave insurrection. He writes about a "...violent outbreak that took place in work house by a few rebellious negroes - that attempted the lives of the keepers...three of the principle fellows were immediately arrested, tried and hanged after some others escaped from the city...they were to be tried today and I have very little doubt at least four more will be hanged." $250.

Item 85 is a Pennsylvania German broadside circa 1810. It is an incantation against fire and pestilence with an account of a Gypsy who extinguished a fire in Prussia by reciting it. You may try it too in case of fire, but I'll call the fire department. $350.

You may reach Thomas Cullen, Rockland Bookman, at 716-662-2082 or tomcatt@roadrunner.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
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