Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

Important Signed Documents from The Raab Collection

Important documents from The Raab Collection.


By Michael Stuillman

The Raab Collection is offering Catalog 64, a collection of 52 signed and important documents, overwhelmingly from Americans or pertaining to issues of importance to America. They range from the most important political leaders, including Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt, to Generals William Henry Harrison, U.S. Grant and Dwight Eisenhower (all of whom later became presidents too), scientists Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, actors W.C. Fields and Judy Garland, and numerous other notables. Here is a chance to meet them in their own words.

The revolutionary struggle in America was already difficult enough in 1779, with the British holding a clearly superior force to that of their colonists. That was not enough of an advantage for them. To make things even harder, the British would arm friendly Indians on the western frontier to harass the Americans on the fringes of their civilization. The result was the already disadvantaged revolutionaries were forced to send badly needed manpower out to the frontier to fight Indians. Item 1 is a letter from Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and now Governor of Virginia, dated August 17, 1779. In it he asks the County Lieutenant for Hampshire, a far western county (now part of West Virginia), to raise a battalion of troops, and that they should "hold themselves in readiness on the shortest warning to proceed to such Western rendezvous as shall be notified to them by the Executive or the Field Officer who shall be directed to take command of them." Priced at $35,000.

A generation later, Americans once again at war with the British, found themselves facing the same strategy from their adversaries. This was the War of 1812, and the British had secured help from various western Indian tribes, the latter hoping to stop the expansion of American settlements. It was at this time that William Henry Harrison would make a name for himself, sufficiently so to be elected president 27 years later. "Old Tippecanoe" would defeat the British and their Indian allies at the Battle of Thames in today's Indiana. President Madison quickly chose to make use of Harrison's familiarity with the Indians to send him back west to reach a treaty. Such a treaty would turn the Indians from being a combatant against them to allies in their war with the British. Item 5 is a July 7, 1814, letter from General Harrison to the Acting Governor of Ohio. In it, he notes that his troops were being withdrawn. "General [Lewis] Cass and myself have therefore determined that as some troops are necessary to preserve good order & guard the public stores, it will be proper that [you] forward two full companies of those who may now be on their march nearest this place." While this was a mission of peace, General Harrison realized he better have sufficient military support behind him lest the Indians get any wrong ideas. $5,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions