Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2013 Issue

More Rare Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

Lesser131

Rare Americana.

David Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has reached their catalogue No. 131 of Rare Americana. Lesser specializes in shorter form works on paper – pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, photographs, and occasional books. This selection runs slightly later than most, only a few items from the colonial era, while moving past their usual cut off at Reconstruction to some later 19th and early 20th century material. Naturally enough, the material all pertains to America, in this case, the United States of. Here are some samples.

We will start with an obscure item pertaining to a libel lawsuit filed by Theodore Roosevelt. During the election of 1912, the former Republican President split with his party's nominee, the current President William Howard Taft. Roosevelt ran as an independent, under the “Bull Moose” banner. Ultimately, the Republican vote was split, with Roosevelt beating out Taft, but still finishing behind Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson. Roosevelt's actions obviously upset a Republican editor from Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, George Newett. Newett charged that Roosevelt was a drunken, profane liar. The former President was not amused, and after the election sued Newett for libel. Roosevelt won, and Newett had to issue a statement declaring “I am forced to conclude that I was mistaken.” While Roosevelt was insistent on defending his integrity, he was not mean spirited. Though the trial cost him $40,000, he asked the judge for the smallest monetary award possible – six cents. After the trial, Roosevelt's cousin, close friend and adviser, W. Emlyn Roosevelt, put together a transcript of the trial. The former President had called on numerous notable witnesses to attest to his character, including people such as Admiral Dewey and reform journalist Jacob Riis. It was published in a small run, perhaps 100 copies, mainly to be shared with witnesses. This copy was sent to Albert Shaw, a journalist who wrote a book about Roosevelt and provided testimony for the trial. It comes with a letter signed “T. Roosevelt” sent to Shaw thanking him for his testimony, which the former President considered very valuable as Shaw understood his motives. Item 119. Priced at $6,000.

There have been various arguments made both for and against capital punishment, but here is one of the more interesting ones: Capital Punishment. The Argument of Rev. George B. Cheever, in Reply to J.L. Sullivan, Esq... Mr. Sullivan was an opponent, Rev. Cheever, perhaps unexpectedly, the proponent. He makes the standard argument that people are more likely to kill others if they know their own life will be spared. He then offers a theological justification that I missed in my bible studies. Rev. Cheever says capital punishment has been ordained by God, in effect to correct His mistake of “divine lenity in the case of Cain.” Apparently God saw that His leniency after the killing of Abel was not so good, and therefore made a covenant with Noah and his descendants to impose capital punishment. Item 32. $250.

In the days before the Civil War, not even free blacks were guaranteed to remain free. Someone might claim they were runaway slaves, or capture a free black in the North and sell him in the South. Such a person often needed papers to prove his freedom. Item 4 is such a document from Maryland, a northern state but one that permitted slavery as late as 1864. It is dated 1832, and it is a manuscript writing that is signed by a local Justice of the Peace. Its purpose is to establish that David Preston is a free man. In the document, Elizabeth Wright swears that her father “set free and manumitted from Slavery a certain Negro woman named Elizabeth Preston, who is the mother of David Preston, who...was born free.” $450.

Item 48 is the first and only compilation of Florida territorial laws: Compilation of the Public Acts of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, Passed Prior to 1840. The legislature hired John P. Duval to put this book together, it being published in 1839. Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1819, and it was admitted to the Union as the 27th state in 1845. $1,250.

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.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> MITCHELL, John (1711-1768). A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America. Copperplate engraving with original hand color. London, 1755. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Brown Pelican (Standing), Plate 251. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $175,000 to $225,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Fish Hawk or Osprey, Plate 81. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London: 1827-1838. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan (1545 - 1618). <i>The Historie of the great and mightie kingdome of China…</i> London, 1588. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623-1688). [World Map] Kun-Yu Ch'uan-Tu. Engraved twelve sheet map with vertical sections joined to form six sheets. Korea, Seoul, c. 1860. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> SANGGI, Chong (1678-1752). Korean Atlas. Manuscript map on mulberry bark paper. C. 1750-1790. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Plate 66. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AKERMAN, Anders (1721-1778). & AKREL, Frederik (1779-1868). Pair of Celestial and Terrestrial Globes. Stockholm, c. 1800. 23 inch diameter, each. $60,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> BENNETT, Lieut. William Pyt (d. in action, 1916). AN IMPORTANT AND APPARENTLY UNPUBLISHED SERIES OF GELATIN SILVER PHOTOGRAPHS OF LHASA AND TIBET TAKEN DURING THE CELEBRATED YOUNGHUSBAND MISSION OF 1904. $60,000 to $80,000

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