Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2004 Issue

Americana From Michael Brown Rare Books

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Item 8 is an 1860 manuscript account by one Hiram Wilson describing a colony of runaway slaves in Canada. Wilson began working as a missionary to the escaped slaves in 1836, and estimated the number in Canada to have grown from 10,000 in that year to 40,000 by 1860. He describes the liberal education system present in Canada: “Thousands have been taught to read in the land of refuge, whose fathers & mothers in the South, were debarred the privilege by laws & usages which were revoltingly wicked & cruel…” Wilson notes that some former slaves have emigrated from Canada to places such as the West Indies, Australia, California, British Columbia, and some were considering moving to West Africa. He also speaks of a community of 160 families 50 miles east of Detroit where the “fugitives” had become employed in many jobs as well as agriculture and “as a people have made themselves comfortable & independent.” $4,500.

Item 159 presents a piece of a tragic event for the Cherokee Nation. It comes from Secretary of War James Barbour, Negotiations for Cherokee Lands. Letter from the Secretary of War, Transmitting the Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Negotiate with the Cherokee Indians for a Certain Portion of Their Country. January 30, 1828. The parties would reach an agreement whereby the Cherokees exchanged land in Arkansas for land west of the Mississippi. Unknown to the Cherokee, the possession of land in the west would later lead to their forced evacuation from ancestral homeland in Georgia and the tragic “Trail of Tears,” where many would die in a forced thousand-mile trek under often brutal conditions. $300.

One item contains a most memorable quote, even if the title is somewhat pedestrian. Item 44 is entitled The Almaden Mine. A Letter to the Attorney General on his Report to the President of the Legislature of California, from a California Pioneer. The author, contrasting himself to Attorney General Black, states “My method of stating the case, for the information of the President, differs somewhat from yours, in that mine, is a mere statement of facts without comments; yours of comments without facts.” Touche. Item 44. $300.

Item 186 is a Constitution and Bye-Laws of the Richland Company for the Detection of Horse-Thieves. Horse theft was the car theft of its day, though at least they didn’t have to worry about chop shops. This publication specifically involved the citizens of Quakerstown, Pennsylvania, who probably weren’t too peacefully inclined to those who stole their means of transportation. Circa 1811-12. $1,250.

Here’s a promotional piece: Five Minutes’ Talk About Buffalo Erie County, New York. Its Business Facilities and its Advantages as a Place of Residence and Summer Resort – Its Railroads, Elevators and Manufactories – Its Schools, Churches, Parks, Streets and Hotels. But what, no mention of its snow? Is this really an unbiased picture? And how about those four straight Super Bowl losses? Item 167, from 1881. $45.

Item 174, The Cincinnati Directory…, is sort of a Cincinnati phone book before they had telephones. It contains names, addresses, professions and such information as it was in 1819. $950. Item 176 is a similar work for Columbus, The Columbus Business Directory…, for 1843-44. $600.

Thomas Branagan’s 1828 work is self-explanatory: The Excellency of the Female Character Vindicated; Being an Investigation Relative to the Cause and Effects of the Encroachments of Men upon the Rights of Women, and the Too Frequent Degradation and Consequent Misfortunes of the fair Sex. Item 31. $200.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.

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