Early Political, Religious, and Other Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books
Talk about a moot publication. Item 20 is An Address to the Government of the United States, on the Cession of Louisiana to the French...by Charles Brockden Brown. Brown was upset when the Spanish, who received Louisiana from the French as part of the treaty ending the French and Indian War, ceded it back to the French in 1802. Brown was concerned the French would interfere with free use of the Mississippi and stir up trouble with the Indians on America's western frontier. He urged America to seize the territory. Of course, all of this was rendered moot within the year when the French willingly sold Louisiana to America. $500.
In 1843, people had a different way of handling disputes. They wrote pamphlets about them, either hoping to receive what they perceived as "justice," or at least embarrass the other party. Sarah Dean did just that with her dispute with Benjamin Hamlen. Her booklet is A Plain and Candid Statement of Facts of the Difficulty Existing Between Mr. B.L. Hamlen and Mrs. S. Dean; Being an Appeal to the Moral and Religious Community from a Defenceless and Injured Widow for Justice and Protection. It seems that Mrs. Dean, a poor widow, had opened up a pastry shop and "ladies saloon" in her home which adjoined Mr. Hamlen's print shop. To her disappointment, Mrs. Dean found that most of her customers were Yale students, and that she was harassed by some of the "boys" who worked in Mr. Hamlen's shop. She supposedly attempted to convince Mr. Hamlen to control his employees, but was rebuffed. She next tried appealing to her church, since both parties were members, but they weren't interested in becoming involved either. It was then that she resorted to printing this pamphlet to obtain justice. Whether she did, or whether her position was even just, is not known, but it is probably safe to say that Mr. Hamlen was not the printer of this piece. Item 37. $275.
Alexis de Tocqueville is the Frenchman still remembered in America for his comprehensive work "Democracy in America." What is not as well known is that de Tocqueville did not come here to study democracy, but to study the nation's penal system. It was what he learned traveling around America for this study which led to his more famous work, but here is the one he really came to America to write: On the Penitentiary System in the United States, and its Application in France...written with Gustave de Beaumont. This is the Philadelphia translation to English roughly contemporaneous to the Paris printing (1833), but including the introduction by Francis Lieber. Item 36. $1,000.
An unnamed author using the pseudonym "Atticus" wrote a series of letters to public officials published around 1838 entitled Letters of Atticus on the Currency, The Credit System, and National Fiscal Agent... He had some wonderful advice for former president Andrew Jackson, encouraging him "...in the short space of time you have to abide on this side of eternity, you'll assiduously employ it, in repenting the evils done your country, arising from your civil incompetency." From what I know of Jackson, I suspect it is very unlikely he spent his sunset years so engaged. Item 6. $500.