Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2013 Issue

Important Historic Documents from the Raab Collection

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History in documents from The Raab Collection.

The Raab Collection recently issued Catalog 76. The Raab Collection specializes in important historical documents, providing detailed explanations of how they fit in with the events which surrounded them. Most are signed by very well known figures, names who need little if any introduction. Most are also American historical documents, though we always find some from Europe, primarily England and France. These are a few of those documents presented in this latest selection.

 

Well into his retirement years, Former President John Adams carried on a correspondence with William Tudor, son of a friend, who was writing a biography of American patriot James Otis. In one of those letters, Adams told Tudor that “Negro Slavery is an evil of Colossal magnitude and I am utterly averse to the admission of Slavery into the Missouri Territories.” It was an astonishingly blunt statement for an early American leader, as most skirted around the moral compromise with slavery that enabled the northern and southern states to form a union. Then again, as of this time (1819), Adams was still the only northerner to serve as President, the other four all having been Virginians. Ultimately, a compromise would be reached on Missouri, it being admitted to the union as a slave state (against Adams' wishes) in return for a free Maine and limitations on the future expansion of slave states. Tudor was himself an abolitionist and wrote back to Adams, inquiring whether he could reveal Adams' comments at a meeting he planned to attend. Adams was reluctant. “Why should my little twine worn out as it is to a single thread, be woven into all these political hanks and snarls?” he wrote. “Is not fair, and therefore I hope you will by no means publish my letter - besides, it would only irritate and injure the Cause.” By the date of this letter (December 1, 1819), Adams' twine had 84 years of wear on it though he would live another six years. As to his reluctance to have his words known, it may be as he said. He did not exit the most popular of presidents and perhaps he thought he would hurt the cause. Alternatively, he may have thought such controversial opinions would harm the presidential aspirations of his son, John Quincy, or just no longer wished to get into battles at his advanced age. This letter (item 4), which covers other issues as well, is offered for $14,000.

 

Here is another unexpected letter from a U.S. President, though in this case he was a president future rather than president past. During the Mexican War, young Philip F. Coghlan, just 17 years old, wrote General Zachary Taylor offering his services. Taylor received plenty of correspondence during the war, far more than he could personally offer responses, but Coghlan's letter must have touched a nerve. Taylor's response might surprise you. Rather than accepting the patriotic offer, Taylor expressed his appreciation but answered Coghlan this was not yet his time. Wrote Taylor, “...while I greatly admire & appreciate your patriotic feelings, which has induced you to offer your services to aid in carrying on this war, yet from long experience in military matters, I must say you are of too tender an age to undergo the hardships common to camp life; the long marches the troops here have to make under an almost tropical sun, require men of mature age & great endurance; even many such have sunk here under the fatigues & privations referred to, more than have fallen by the bullets of the Mexicans. I must therefore recommend to you not to think of taking the field as a soldier...” Not exactly a recruiting letter, but Taylor was not a typical general. This letter was written on July 7, 1847, and a little over a year later, the immensely popular general would be elected President. Item 8. $11,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

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