Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2005 Issue

American Miscellany from J & J Hanrahan


Robert Frost's signature on a bibliography of his work.

Here is one of those Texas titles: The Texan Revolution. Republished from the Northampton (Massachusetts) Gazette. This book includes a group of letters which are less than complimentary toward the Lone Star Republic (this is from 1843 when Texas was still an independent republic). Among the headings that telegraphs author David Child's views is, "The Kindness and Generosity of the Mexicans, and the Ingratitude and Falsehoods of the American Emigrants, and the Pretexts of the Revolution." There is also a letter about the "Late Outrage in California" involving an incident at Monterey. The explanation of Child's hostility is that he was a strong abolitionist, while the Texas Revolution brought slavery to that land. Item 3. $1,500.

President Zachary Taylor, though not against slavery, was an ardent unionist. During his brief administration, 1848-1849, he made it clear that he would personally lead the army against the South if it should ever attempt to secede, and hang the rebels. So, it is the ultimate irony to find that his only son, Richard Taylor, was an officer in the Confederate Army. After the war, Lt. General Richard Taylor wrote a book about his experiences, Destruction and Reconstruction. It is considered to be one of the better accounts of some of the battles of the Civil War. Item 101 is a first edition from 1879. $350.

Here is another interesting post-Civil War title, A Constitutional View of the Late War Between The States, by Alexander Stephens. Stephens makes the argument that state sovereignty and the right of secession are constitutionally upheld. Richard Harwell, in his bibliography of Confederate books "In Tall Cotton," describes Stephens' book as, "A learned defense of what the Civil War just proved was indefensible." Item 117. $400.

Hannibal Hamlin is one of those forgotten people who almost was a major figure in American history. Hamlin was a Democratic senator from Maine in 1850, but one from the party's antislavery wing. As the party became more compromising toward slavery, Hamlin became less happy. In 1856, he bolted to join the new Republican Party. That support earned him the party's vice-presidential nomination in 1860, although that nomination came to him as a total surprise (he was informed by an out-of-the-blue telegram from the party's convention in Chicago while he was playing cards in Washington). Hamlin served as Lincoln's first vice-president. While he evidently spent much of his term back home in Maine, finding the vice-presidency an irrelevant position, he did counsel Lincoln in favor of the Emancipation Proclamation and of forming troops of freed Blacks. However, when the election of 1864 appeared in doubt for Lincoln, the party, with the President's support, chose to dump Hamlin in favor of Andrew Johnson, a Democrat from Tennessee who had remained loyal to the Union. It was hoped that Johnson could help pull some pro-Union Democratic voters to the Republican ticket. Though his feelings were hurt, Hamlin said nothing and campaigned for the new Republican team.

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.

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