Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2004 Issue

More Americana From<br>Michael Brown Rare Books

B1

Michael Brown Rare Books' 35th catalogue


By Michael Stillman

Michael Brown Rare Books
has issued its 35th catalogue of Americana. This latest catalogue contains 285 items, and the only theme to it other than Americana is that there is no theme. In other words, this is not a collection heavily centered on momentous events like the Revolutionary or Civil War. Rather, it covers the more common topics, disputes, and issues taking place on this continent in another era. Here are some samples.

Today, a story like this would dominate the news for two weeks, but in 1856 there was no television to bring it into our living rooms. This book is called, An Account of the Coal Bank Disaster at Blue Rock, Ohio, in which four men were buried beneath the hill for two weeks… Amazingly, all four emerged from the mine essentially unscathed. Item 178. Priced at $200. There’s also a second title out there concerning this incident: “The Thrilling Narrative of Edgell, Pearson, Gatwood and Savage…”

Thomas Paine was one of America’s greatest early patriots. His enormously popular “Common Sense” advocated independence from Britain, and was inspirational to the Declaration thereof. Paine would later return to his native England and then move on to France, in each case getting in trouble for his advocacy of democratic values. And, with his “Age of Reason,” which questioned religious beliefs, he would lose most of his popularity in the United States. However, Paine continued to advocate the interests of those with the least power.

His Agrarian Justice, item 183 in this catalogue, published in 1797, is a perfect example. In it he advocates a form of social security, 130+ years before Roosevelt. According to Paine, every person, on reaching the age of 50, would be granted the sum of 10 pounds sterling per year (the figure was targeted at the British, but he says the proposal applies to all countries).

However, Paine goes even further in proposing that everyone be given 15 pounds on attaining the age of 21. In his English preface, Paine begins the explanation in response to a Bishop who, in attacking Paine, wrote a sermon entitled “The Wisdom and Goodness of God, in having made both Rich and Poor…” He counters “It is wrong to say God made rich and poor; He made only male and female, and He gave them the earth for their inheritance.” From this he reasons that in the natural state, everyone has the right to the land, from which they could gain sustenance. However, civilization, with personal property rights, has taken that away from those without inheritances. So, to make up for the loss of their natural property rights, Paine advocates payments be made to all persons on obtaining majority, those payments to be funded by a 10% inheritance tax on those who accumulate private property during their lifetimes. It seems much of what Paine wrote about over two centuries ago remains at the heart of political discussion today. His book is priced at $375.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions