These are trying times for America, but those seeking an answer to our divisions could not do better than to look to the nation's founder. His words, written 230 year ago, are just as true today. How could we forget? Item 98 is The Last Official Address, of His Excellency General Washington, to the Legislatures of the United States, from 1783. In his letter to the states, Washington lays out “four things” that he considers “essential to the well being, I may even venture to say, to the existence of the United States...” They are, (1) “an indissoluble Union of the States under one federal head,” (2) “a sacred regard to public justice,” (3) “the adoption of a proper Peace Establishment,” (4) “the prevalence of that pacific and friendly disposition among the people of the United States, which will induce them to forget their local prejudices and policies, to make those mutual concessions which are requisite to the general prosperity, and in some instances, to sacrifice their individual advantages to the interest of the community.” In the case of (3), a “proper Peace Establishment,” Washington was referring to a disciplined, uniformly operating military for defense. Most of this piece is focused on “public justice,” in this case, concerns by Washington that promised payments would not be made to Revolutionary War veterans now that the war was over. Each of these “four things” are as applicable today, and if we took them with the same seriousness as did Washington so long ago, many of our issues could be resolved. $10,750.
Item 23 is one of the most notable diaries ever kept: Everybody's Pepys: The Diary of Samuel Pepys 1660-1669. Samuel Pepys rose to a high position in the British admiralty, though he was a desk sailor, not a man who went to sea. He was very good with the books. However, it is his diary for which we remember Samuel Pepys. Not published until more than a century after his death (and Pepys left no descendents), it is a detailed account of his personal life and all of the events that were going on in Restoration England. Pepys held nothing back, even describing his inappropriate sexual adventures and being caught by his wife. Sometimes he wrote in code or foreign languages to protect himself, but Pepys did not hide. This copy of Pepys diary was published in 1927 and comes in a Cosway binding. Among the most notable of bindings, the Cosways featured miniature portraits on the cover created by miniaturist Mrs. C.B. Currie. The Pepys portrait has a gilt, rope-like pattern around his image on the cover. This copy contains the bookplate of Estelle Doheny, one of the greatest 20th century collectors. It would not have been in her collection were this not a special book. $6,500.