Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

19th Century American West from the William Reese Co.


Seeing is believing: Lumbering in the redwood forests.

Item 67 is a collection of documents regarding the winding down of number two of the two great early western enterprises, the North West Company. Number one was the Hudson's Bay Company, founded in 1670, which came to dominate the fur trade in western Canada and what is now the U.S. Northwest. In 1783, a group of Canadian businessmen formed the North West Company to take on Hudson's Bay. There developed a fierce rivalry in the early 19th century between the two, as the North West Company successfully battled toe-to-toe with its older rival. However, by the teens, heavy trapping made furs harder to find, and the North West Company found itself on precarious footing. In 1821, it was forced into a merger with its rival, whereby its name disappeared. Meanwhile, conditions continued to deteriorate for the firm which had held a controlling interest in the North West Company and effectively ran it, McTavish, McGillivrays and Company. Finally, this firm went into bankruptcy in 1825. Offered is a collection of documents from the bankruptcy, including an explanation as to why the operator of that once great company had failed. $37,500.

Item 25 is a rare work used to promote redwood logging in California in 1884. The title is Redwood and Lumbering in California Forests, by Edgar Cherry. It promotes the superior quality of redwood, and explains the processes used to fell the giant trees. It also contains numerous photographs, and Reese notes that they vary from copy to copy so that no two copies of this book are identical. The author noted that the size of the trees might not be believable to easterners, "...but with photographic views, which cannot lie, argument as to truthfulness is unnecessary." These were the days before Photoshop. $13,500.

The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or amorder@reeseco.com. Their website is www.reeseco.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions