Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2009 Issue

Important Letters and Signed Documents from Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books

Goldwasser23

Important documents are offered by Thomas A. Goldwasser.


By Michael Stillman

Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books has issued Catalogue 23 of autographs, manuscripts and documents. It is divided into two sections: Americana and world figures, and literature. It is filled with interesting and important letters and other documents from notable names in world events and literature. You will find documents and letters from Washington and Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Leon Trotsky, Thomas Edison, Raoul Wallenberg and others. From literature, we find Hemingway, Twain, Carroll, Steinbeck, Kipling, Sinclair, Kerouac, Borges, Shaw, Fitzgerald, and many more. Unfortunately, we only have space for a few examples, and with a cast like this, it is hard to choose. You really need to see the entire catalogue, but here are just a few of the interesting documents you will find.

We will start with a very important letter from Thomas Jefferson to Georgia Governor George Milledge, written in 1803, shortly after the Louisiana Purchase. It reveals some of Jefferson's thinking, and the beginning of one of the most shameful events in American history, though it is unlikely Jefferson foresaw what would happen three decades later. The Louisiana Purchase had started as a purchase simply of New Orleans, as Jefferson wanted to secure open commerce from the Mississippi. However, when Napoleon offered him the entire territory, Jefferson jumped at the chance, though many argued against the purchase, saying it was unconstitutional. Jefferson writes to Milledge about plans now to build roads to New Orleans, and of difficult, but slowly progressing negotiations with the Cherokee and Creek Indians for the land necessary to complete these roads. Jefferson then mentions another use for the lands recently purchased from France - "The acquisition of Louisiana will it is hoped put in our power the means of inducing all the Indians on this side to transplant themselves to the other side of the Mississippi, before many years get about." Jefferson believed the Indians could be convinced to move voluntarily to the other side of the Mississippi, which he believed Americans would have little interest in settling. Time, of course, would prove Jefferson wrong. Many eastern Indians refused to relocate voluntarily and were eventually forced to do so, many dying on the "Trail of Tears" forced march. Similarly, Americans would in a few more decades settle the western side of the Mississippi, in time forcing the Indian tribes from most of this land too. However, all of this happened long after Jefferson was gone from the scene. Priced at $250,000.

Item 12 is a letter to, rather than from, Jefferson, and it too is very revealing. It comes from John Paul Jones, America's naval hero of the Revolution. However, the year was 1785, the Revolution now over, and Jones was living in France. The French had sent their great explorer, La Perouse, out on a mission, and Jefferson wanted to know precisely what they were up to. Jones provides Jefferson with all of the details he could find, including number of men, types of supplies, plants taken along, tools, and who paid for the mission. Jefferson's concern was that the French, America's ally in the recent revolution, might be planning on colonizing the Pacific coast of North America. The southern part of the Pacific coast was controlled by the Spanish, but the northern coast was still up for grabs. Jones' words must have been reassuring. He says of France's motives, "one of which may be to extend the commerce of his subjects by establishing factory's [fur-trading settlements] at a future day, for the Fur-Trade on the North-West Coast of America, and another to establish the Colonys in New Holland [Australia]..." This would have been reassuring. Jefferson had no problem with the French colonizing Australia or establishing fur-trading posts in North America, but he did not want to see further European colonization on either coast of North America. Not that this trip was a threat anyway, as La Perouse never returned, disappearing off the coast of Australia, no trace of his mission found for another 40 years. $37,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, Chicago, 1968). <i>Collection of papers of John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, concerning the convention</i>. Various places, 1968.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (ARMSTRONG, NEIL.) VERNE, JULES. <i>A Trip to the Moon.</i> New York: F. M. Lupton, September 9, 1893. Signed by Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.

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