This Month&#146;s New Catalogues:<br>Travels, Americana, and More

- by Michael Stillman


William Reese Co. "National Pride" with Buffalo Bill poster on cover.

If you’re looking for the latest advances in medicine, try item 15, Daniel Ballmer’s A Collection of New Receipts and Approved Cures for Man and Beast. Reese describes a cure for horse colic which involves knocking down a chicken with a whip, tearing it to pieces, and then “cram it down the horse’s throat with the handle of your whip.” Gee. Medicine hasn’t changed that much in the past two centuries. $1,000.

For losers, there’s John Burgoyne’s State of the Expedition from Canada…Burgoyne is the general who led the British down from Canada to the Hudson Valley in an attempt to split the colonies in 1777. Instead, he got whipped at Saratoga. This is his attempt to defend his actions before the House of Commons. Item 32. $6,000.

Item 34 is a compilation of John Calhoun’s views published shortly after his death. A Disquisition of Government… explains, as Reese points out, the “importance of minority rights in a system of majority rule.” Racial minorities were not the minorities whose rights Calhoun had in mind. $750.

Item 150 is a collection of The Writings of John Marshall, Late Chief Justice of the United States, upon the Federal Constitution. This copy includes an inscription from Edward Everett, later senator from Massachusetts and the gentleman who gave the long speech at Gettysburg. $2,000.

For those who collect Francis Parkman, there is a major offering here. It is the variant first edition of The California and Oregon Trail with only the first two advertising pages. Howes believed it might be one of the six copies sent to Parkman. Item 176. $5,000.

William Reese can be reached online at or by phone at 203-789-8081.

Almagre Books catalogue 20, simply titled “Americana,” is exactly what it says. There are 629 items, and while a few are fairly expensive, there are many interesting items appropriate for a more conservative budget.

An affordable example is an early account of life and commerce in Alaska. Item 8, from 1886, is Charles Hallock’s Our New Alaska; or, the Seward Purchase Vindicated. The title is intriguing, for less than twenty years earlier, many were referring to the Alaska purchase as “Seward’s folly.” $100.