Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2014 Issue

Rare Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

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Rare Americana.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has reached their Catalogue 140 of Rare Americana. These are mainly shorter form items – pamphlets, broadsides, and similar less than full length book material. They range from Colonial days to the early 20th century, with the greatest concentration ranging from the Revolutionary War period to Reconstruction. Politics from this era is a major cause for these writings, with the dominant issue of the time – slavery – regularly rearing its ugly head. Here are a few items from this latest selection.

 

Abraham Lincoln's political career was obscure at best in the days before he ran against Stephen A. Douglas for an Illinois senate seat in 1858, resulting in the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Indeed, Lincoln's entire career in office prior to being elected President was one two-year term as a congressman from Illinois from 1847-1849. Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party, and unlike the Democrats in those days, the Whigs believed in public works. In July of 1847, a convention was held in Chicago with reports of as many as 20,000 people attending. Lincoln was one of them. Its purpose was encouraging more federal involvement in developing Chicago's harbor, and in cleaning up the Mississippi River, making it more suitable for commerce. President Polk had vetoed such a bill the previous year. Lincoln gave a brief speech in support of this point of view. Item 93 is Proceedings of the Harbor and River Convention, Held at Chicago, July Fifth, 1847... The list of delegates includes “Hon A Lincoln” under Sangamon County (Springfield), and a separate note says he was called on to briefly address the convention. It was this address that first got Lincoln's name published in a national newspaper when Horace Greeley noted in his New York Tribune that Lincoln addressed the crowd. Priced at $3,000.

 

Item 3 is the Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the Albany Manual Labor University. 1855-'56. This remarkable college, founded in 1847 as the Albany Manual Labor Academy, was located in Albany, Ohio, a stop on the Underground Railroad. It admitted all persons equally, regardless of caste, race or gender. It was formed by shareholders who committed funds to the institution. It states, “No one of good moral character, who is not a slaveholder either in practice or principle, shall be denied the privilege of being a shareholder...” Among those shareholders was Salmon P. Chase, later Governor of and Senator from Ohio, Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, and Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. Of the 185 students in 1855, at least 19 were black, including three brothers from Texas. The University got its odd name from the requirement that students perform two hours of manual labor daily. This helped keep tuition down to a very reasonable $2.50-$4.00 per term. Your room cost an additional $2.50. During the Civil War, the Albany Manual Labor University was taken over by a church which promptly banned black students. An all-black successor academy was founded in Albany a short time later which operated until 1886. $600.

 

Item 87 is an exposé, Kirk's Exposition of Odd-Fellowship, Including the Secret Signs, Grips, Passwords and Charges of the Five Degrees...By John Kirk, an Expelled Member... published in 1857. One assumes that being an expelled member, there were some hard feelings, and herein Kirk took his revenge. Fraternal organizations like the Odd Fellows all had their secret rituals, and there was no better way of getting back at them than to expose these secret rites. That Kirk does, along with adding 36 engravings of various caricatures designed to make the society look ridiculous. My grandfather was an Odd Fellow (that's in caps, not a descriptive term for him) for over half a century and probably would not have been amused. Then again, he had a great sense of humor so maybe he would have had a laugh. $450.

 

After the Civil War, when blacks were granted the right to vote, local officials throughout the South found ways to effectively deny what was a constitutional right. Poll taxes and literacy tests were favorite methods. In South Carolina, they had another means. The Democratic Party controlled almost every election for a century. Their nominees were always elected. The party effectively denied blacks the right to participate in the selection of officeholders by denying them membership in the party. Oh, they didn't say no blacks could be members. However, you may notice a certain obstacle contained in the Constitution of the Democratic Party of South Carolina as Adopted in State Convention at Columbia, S.C., May 15, 1912. It provides that membership in the party is only available to “such negroes as voted the Democratic ticket in 1876, and as have voted the Democratic ticket continuously since, to be shown by the certificate of ten white Democratic voters...” Someone in the Democratic leadership must have had a sense of “humor.” The black man would have had to vote for candidates who mostly opposed his equal rights for 36 years, and then get 10 whites who opposed his voting rights to certify this. This treatment of an important electoral organization as a private, whites-only club was struck down by the Supreme Court in the 1940's. Item 157. $375.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. Carolina Parrot. Plate 26. Hand-colored aquatint and engraved plate from Audubon's <i>Birds of America.</i> $80,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Francisco Henrique Carls. [Album de Pernambuco e seus Arrabaldes]. Fifty-three chromolithographed plates of landscape, town views and more of the state of Pernambuco, northeast Brazil. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Captain Thomas Davies, after. Group of 5 engraved topographical scenes of North American waterfalls. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> William R. Morley. Morley's Map of New Mexico. Large lithographed pocket map with original hand-color in outline. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Frederick William Beechey, et al. <i>The Zoology of Captain Beechey's Voyage; Compiled from the Collections and Notes Made by Captain Beechey…</i> $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> ZUDA ROKASHI (Priest Hotan.) Nansenbushu Bankoku Shoka No Zu. Woodblock wall map of the world on 16 sheets joined. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Zang Tumb Tuuum:<br>la révolution futuriste<br>Online Auction<br>30 November – 7 December</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 18:</b> The "Official Edition" of the United States Constitution and the First Printing of the Final Text of the Constitution, 1787. $15,000,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. I Paroliberi Futuristi. 1914-1915. 8 p. Unique corrected proofs, for an anthology that remained unpublished. €40,000 to €60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Studenti in Lettere. Università. 1915. Seminal work, featured in 3 historical futurist exhibitions. €20,000 to €30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Chiaro di luna. Circa 1915. Collage and gouache on paper. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. Manicure. Faire les ongles à l'Italie. Circa 1915. A fantastic parody of an advertising poster. €20,000 to €30,000.
  • <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 47. Roosevelt, Theodore. Photograph inscribed to Morris J. Hirsch. May 7th 1918. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 178. Whitman, Walt. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York: [Printed for the author], 1955. First edition in the first issue binding. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 38. Mather, Cotton. <i>Magnalia Christi Americana; or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England.</i> London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, 1702. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 55. Taylor, Zachary. Autograph letter signed as President-Elect. Baton Rouge: January 15, 1849. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 203. Picasso, Pablo. <i>Verve</i> Vol. V, Nos. 19-20. Paris: Editions Verve, 1948. Inscribed on the title page by Picasso. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 211. Domergue, Jean-Gabriel. L'Ete a Monte Carlo. Lithographed poster, Lucien Serre & Cie, Paris, circa 1937. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 105. Manuscript Illumination attr. to Neri da Rimini. Large excised initial "N" from a choirbook, extensively historiated. [Likely Rimini: first quarter of the 14th century]. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 40. McKenney, Thomas L. and Hall, James. <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs.</i> Philadelphia: Rice, Rutter & Co., 1870. $3,00
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 222. Searle, Ronald. [Pets--a dog, cats and a parrot-- surrounded by books, and inspecting a globe, perhaps planning global domination]. Original drawing, 17 3/8 x 13 1/2 inches. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 98. Faden, William; Scull, Nicholas and George Heap. A Plan of the City and Environs of Philadelphia, Survey'd by N. Scull and G. Heap. London: William Faden, 12 March 1777. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <i>Der Sturm.</i> 1922. Sold October 2021 for € 13,000.
    Diophantus Alexandrinus, <i>Arithmeticorum libri sex.</i> 1670. Sold October 2021 for € 18,000.
    <i>Cozzani Ettore e altri, l’Eroica. Tutto il pubblicato.</i> Sold October 2021 for € 11,000.
    Newton Isaac, <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> 1714. Sold October 2021 for € 7,500.
    Manetti Saverio, <i>Storia naturale degli uccelli.</i> 1767-1776. Sold April 2021 for € 26,000.

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