• <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Nobu Shirase and the Japanese Antarctic Expedition: the Collection of Chet Ross<br>October 12, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> [BYRD]. VEER, Willard Van der and Joseph T. RUCKER, cinematographers. The 35mm motion picture Akeley camera that filmed the Academy Award-winning documentary “With Byrd at the South Pole”. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> [SHIRASE, Nobu, his copy]. RYUKEI, Yano. <i>Young Politicians of Thebes: Illustrious Tales of Statesmanship.</i> Tokyo(?), 1881-84. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> SHACKLETON, Ernest H. <i>The Antarctic Book.</i> Winter Quarters 1907-1909 [dummy copy of the supplement to: <i>The Heart of the Antarctic</i>]. London, 1909. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> [USS BEAR]. The original auxiliary deck wheel from the famed USS Bear, 1874-1933. “PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS SHIP IN THE HISTORY OF THE COAST GUARD” (USCG). $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> HENSON, Matthew. <i>A Negro Explorer at the North Pole.</i> With a forward by Robert Peary. Introduction by Booker T. Washington. New York, [1912]. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli: Auction 46 Books<br>Autographs & Manuscripts<br>Oct 3rd-5th 2023</b>
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Tilson - Zanotto, Il vero tema. 2011. Starting price 150 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Munari, Storia di un filo. Starting price 400 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Debord, Contre le cinéma. 1964. Starting price 150 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Futurism books and ephemera
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Travel books
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Medicine books
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Levaillant, Histoire naturelle des perroquets. 1801-1805. Starting price 52.000 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Carrera, Il gioco de gli scacchi. 1617. Starting price 3200 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Vergilius, Opera. 1515. Starting price 800 €
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Monroe Schulz, <i>The Peanuts gang,</i> complete set of 13 drawings, ink, 1971. Sold June 15 — $50,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Family Archive of Photographs & Letters. Sold June 1 — $60,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Victor H. Green, <i>The Negro Motorist Green Book,</i> New York, 1949. Sold March 30 — $50,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>King Lear; Othello;</i> [and] <i>Anthony & Cleopatra;</i> Extracted from the First Folio, London, 1623. Sold May 4— $185,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> William Samuel Schwartz, <i>A Bridge in Baraboo, Wisconsin,</i> oil on canvas, circa 1938. Sold February 16 — $32,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Lena Scott Harris, <i>Group of approximately 65 hand-colored botanical studies, all apparently California native plants,</i> hand-colored silver prints, circa 1930s. Sold February 23 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Suzanne Jackson, <i>Always Something To Look For,</i> acrylic & pencil on linen canvas, circa 1974. Sold April 6 — $87,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> complete with 50 printed collotype plates, Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold June 15 — $68,750.
  • <b><center>Case Auctions<br>Fall Fine Art & Antiques Auction<br>October 6-7, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> John Speed 1676 Map of Virginia, Maryland, and Chesapeake Bay. $1,000 to $1,200.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Andrew Jackson Coffin Handbill and Political Cartoon. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Three Andrew Jackson Bank War Cartoons, incl. Way to Arabay. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Three Andrew Jackson period Political Cartoons inc. Petticoat Affair. $500 to $600.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Cdre. Jesse D. Elliott ALS and Sarcophagus Print, Andrew Jackson & USS Constitution elated. $500 to $600.
    <b><center>Case Auctions<br>Fall Fine Art & Antiques Auction<br>October 6-7, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Presidential Autographs & Portrait Prints incl. Eisenhower Photo, 18 items. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Group of three Robert E. Lee Cabinet Card Photographs, Miley Studio. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Eight Fugitive Writer related books incl. Andrew Lytle, R.P. Warren, J.C. Ransom, Allen Tate. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Group Early Southern and Civil War Era Sheet Music. $300 to $350.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Henry Miller, <i>Insomnia or the Devil at Large;</i> Signed; Loujon Press 1970. $500 to $600.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2023 Issue

New Collective Biography of 14 Black Civil War Surgeons Expands Knowledge of US Racial, Medical and Military History


“I've tried to tell the stories of these Black surgeons through their own words and their own voices, and not interpret their meaning. I think that their words are powerful and can stand on their own.” Jill L. Newmark

Without Concealment, Without Compromise, The Courageous Lives of Black Civil War Surgeons” by independent historian Jill L. Newmark is an important contribution to our knowledge of racial, medical and military history. Published earlier this year as part of the Engaging the Civil War” series from Southern Illinois University Press ($29.95 - trade paperback) it portrays a collective biography of fourteen Black doctors who were the first to serve in the Union army during the Civil War.

Rare Book Hub first met author Newmark in June at a talk she gave at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Fredrick, MD and followed up in July with a phone interview.

I've tried, as much as possible,” she said, “to tell the stories of these Black surgeons through their own words and their own voices, and not interpret their meaning. I think that their words are powerful and can stand on their own,” she said.

Her book, more than 15 years in the making, is clearly a labor of love. She uses painstaking scholarship to track down hard to find biographical information from scant clues using the resources of many US and international libraries, special collections and archives.

Newmark became interested in the subject in 2007 when she was employed as Exhibition Specialist in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Bethesda. In that capacity she worked on Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries, an exhibition featuring pioneering Black men and women who served as surgeons and nurses and how their work as medical providers challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender.

That's when I came across Alexander T. Augusta who was the first Black medical officer in the US Army and the first Black professor at Howard University's medical department. I was intrigued by him and wondered how many other Black physicians may have served as surgeons during the Civil War?”

In 2014 she organized a panel for the Society of Civil War Historians on the health of Black soldiers during the war, asking whether more Black surgeons would have meant better health care for those soldiers? “As a result,” she said, “I was approached by Sylvia Frank Rodrigue at SIU Press about a book project. At the time I hadn’t written a page yet; it was all in my head. I did a book proposal and the rest is history.”

Without Concealment expands substantially on the subject first raised by Robert G. Slawson MD in Prologue to Change, a slim 52 page paperback published in 2006. According to Slawson, ”at least thirteen African American physicians served in the Union Army during the Civil War.” He named three who were commissioned officers and ten who served as contract surgeons. All of them served with the United States Colored Troops or in various Freedmen's Hospitals with African American patients, or were involved in recruiting US Colored troops.”

Commissioned officers identified by Slawson were Alexander Augusta (1825-1890), John van Surly DeGrasse (1825-1868). He also put David O. McCord in this category.  

Newmark’s research led her to believe that McCord was miscategorized, and was not actually Black. As she writes in her preface, “If McCord had been identified as an African American man it is unlikely he would be appointed surgeon to an all white regiment in 1862, prior to the start of official recruitment of Black men that began in 1863.”

To those two commissioned officers, Newmark’s book adds twelve more who served as contract surgeons, for a total of fourteen.

They were:

  • William Peter Powell Jr. (1834-1916)

  • Anderson Ruffin Abbott (1837-1913)

  • John H. Rapier Jr. (1835-1866)

  • Richard Henry Greene (1833-1877)

  • Willis Richardson Revels (c.1817-1879)

  • Benjamin Antonius Boseman Jr. (1840-1881)

  • Charles Burliegh Purvis (1842-1929)

  • Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed (1833-1900)

  • William Baldwin Ellis (1833-1866)

  • Alpheus W. Tucker (1844-1880)

  • Joseph Dennis Harris (1833-1884)

  • Charles H. Taylor (1844-1875)

The text provides detailed biographical sketches of each one accompanied by photos and excerpts from letters and other manuscript material. All are discussed in detail in this 283-page soft cover book.

You find small amounts of information that leads you to the next level of information and then the next level of information,” she said describing her research method. “It takes persistence, an inquisitive mind, the ability to think outside the box, and a passion for the subject matter.”

Though she retired from the National Library of Medicine in 2020, she found that “working at the world's largest biomedical library had distinct advantages. Being there opened it up for me.” She mentioned the frequent use of inter-library loan and the ease with which facsimiles of various manuscript materials can be transmitted, “now that so many collections have been digitized. That fact has been transformative to research in general.”

Along the way Newmark touches on several recurring themes:

One is the psychological impact of seeing a Black man in the uniform of an officer, and how the authority it symbolized shaped the view these men had of themselves, as well as how they were viewed by others, which she termed “the politics of appearance.”

Another is the pervasive aversion white doctors had to serving with a Black colleague. Even though some of the white physicians mentioned had abolitionist sympathies, or came from abolitionist backgrounds, those views did not extend so far as to be willing to serve with or under the command of a Black doctor. “You have to consider the time,” she said, “many were open, but not that open.” The Black doctors also faced opposition and exclusion when trying to join white-only medical societies.

Also noted multiple times is the difference between the way American Blacks were regarded, as opposed to those who came from other countries, such as Jamaica, Canada or Scotland. Those who were “of color” or “African descent,” but claimed some other country as their homeland or place of medical education, seemed to have faced less prejudice than those who were American born.

Newmark commented,”Ideas of a Black foreigner were not the same as a formerly enslaved American. Everybody has their own prejudices, there is no such thing as color blindness.”

Also of interest is what she calls the “Iowa Connection.” Four of the fourteen (Alpheus Tucker, Joseph Dennis Harris, Charles H. Taylor and John H. Rapier Jr.) received their medical education at Keokuk Medical College in Keokuk, Iowa. Each of the four black men who graduated from the school, also known as the Iowa College of Physicians and Surgeons, “arrived in Iowa from different circumstances, but for the same purpose – to obtain a medical education.”

The reactions to her book have been very good. She mentioned a July review in the Civil War Monitor that comments, (Newmark) “offers a much-needed examination of the inspiring lives of multiple Black men who fought to destroy not only the Confederacy, but also ever-evolving forms of racial discrimination within the U.S. army.” To that she added, The endorsements that appear on the cover and inside my book are a reflection of the response from the scholarly community. Most recognize the detailed and in-depth research that is reflected throughout the book and have given praise for bringing this neglected part of Civil War and medical history to light. “


Find Jill Newmark’s website at


She will speak at Dartmouth College and Yale University in the fall. Dates and times for these and other events are posted on her site, as well as related information.

eMail her at: aacivilwarsurgeons@gmail.com

Other links for Newmark

2010 C-Span, African-American Civil War Surgeons


2012-2013 Brief Newmark bio + article on Benjamin Boseman and another article on Contraband Hospital


2020 African American Surgeons in the Civil War Era


2023 Talk before Massachusetts Historical Society https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt5-EIgILZ4

Links related to Slawson's Prologue to Change

2006 paperback


2011 - article by Slawson in Black Past


2016 by Slawson for National Museum of Civil War Medicine


Institutional Links

National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick, MD


National Library of Medicine (NLM) Binding Wounds,Pushing Boundaries


Link Recent Review

July 2023 review in Civil War Monitor


Posted On: 2023-08-04 17:42
User Name: Bkwoman

I'll be looking for that book. It sounds really interesting. I'll never understand that when your are injured and could, maybe die, you would care what color the doctor's skin was?

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Australian Book Auctions<br>Voyages, Natural History &c.<br>October 4, 2023<br>9:00 AM Australian Western Time</b>
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> PURCHAS, Samuel (circa 1577-1626). <i>HAKLUYTUS POSTHUMUS OR PURCHAS HIS PILGRIMES…,</i> London, 1625-1626. First edition. $40,000 to $60,000 AUD
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> GOULD, John. <i>THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA,</i> Volume IV. Folio, 104 fine handcoloured lithographed plates. London, 1848. $20,000 to $30,000 AUD
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> REICHENOW, Dr. Ant. <i>VOGELBILDER AUS FERNER ZONEN, abbildungen und beschreibungen der Papageien.</i> Kassel, 1878-1883. Folio, 33 hand-finished chromolithograph plates. $3,000 to $5,000 AUD
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> WALLIS, <i>E. WALLIS’S ELEGANT AND INSTRUCTIVE GAME exhibiting the Wonders of Nature, in Each Quarter of the World.</i> Handcoloured view, 26 numbered scenes. $400 to $600 AUD.
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> GREENAWAY, Kate. <i>ALMANACK FOR 1883</i> [and following years]. Twenty-two volumes, including six duplicates in variant bindings. $1,400 to $1,800 AUD.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Bibliotheca Brookeriana: A Renaissance Library<br>Magnificent Books and Bindings<br>11 October 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Francesco Colonna, Hypnerotomachie, Paris, 1546, Parisian calf by Wotton Binder C for Marcus Fugger. $300,000 to $400,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Leonardo da Vinci, Trattato della pittura, manuscript on paper, [Rome, ca. 1638–1641], a very fine pre-publication manuscript. $250,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Paradis, Ung petit traicte de Alkimie, [Paris, before 1540], contemporary morocco by the Pecking Crow binder for Anne de Montmorency. $300,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Capocaccia, Giovanni Battista, A wax relief portrait of Pius V, in a red morocco book-form box by the Vatican bindery, Rome, 1566–1568. $250,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Serlio, Il terzo libro; Regole generali, Venice, 1540, both printed on blue paper and bound together by the Cupid's Bow Binder. $400,000 to $500,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Tiraboschi, Carmina, manuscript on vellum, [Padua, c. 1471], the earliest surviving plaquette binding. $280,000 to $350,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Bibliotheca Brookeriana: A Renaissance Library<br>The Aldine Collection A–C<br>12 October 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Anthologia graeca, Venice, Aldus, 1503, printed on vellum, Masterman Sykes-Syston Park copy. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano, Venice, Aldus, 1528, contemporary Italian morocco gilt, Accolti-Landau copy. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano, Venice, Aldus, 1545, contemporary morocco for Thomas Mahieu, Chatsworth copy. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Cicero, Epistolae familiares, Venice, Aldus, 1502, printed on vellum, illuminated, Renouard-Vernon-Uzielli copy. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Venice, Aldus, 1499, Gomar Estienne binding for Jean Grolier, Spencer copy. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Crinito, Libri de poetis Latinis, Florence, Giunta, 1505, Cupid's Bow Binder for Grolier, Paris d'Illins-Wodhull copy. $250,000 to $300,000.

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