Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2005 Issue

Rare American Books and Manuscripts from The 19th Century Shop


General George Washington provides a letter of introduction for an Italian visitor.

Great writers, artists, politicians and such of the 19th century and earlier times are still famous today, their words and images preserved in print or on canvas. Orators, musicians, actors, magicians and the like usually don't fare so well. In the time before moving pictures and phonograph records, there was no way to preserve their life's work. No matter how great a singer or orator's delivery, we are unable to hear its sound today. We can hear the great speakers of the 20th century, preserved on record and tape. Martin Luther King and his "I have a dream...," FDR and the "Day of Infamy," JFK and his "Ask not..." But what about Edward Everett? Perhaps most readers haven't even heard of him. Edward Everett was one of the greatest orators of the 19th century. His great speaking ability propelled him to many important offices, Governor, Representative and Senator from Massachusetts, Secretary of State, Ambassador to England, and President of Harvard University. It was Everett who gave the main address at Gettysburg, two hours long. Lincoln's speech was barely an afterthought at the time. But the delivery that made Everett a great speaker has been lost to time. The 19th Century Shop offers an Everett association item that ties this great speaker to an earlier generation of leaders. It is a copy of Everett's Address of His Excellency Edward Everett, to the Two Branches of the Legislature...January 2, 1839, inscribed by him to former President John Quincy Adams. The two would serve together as representatives of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1830s, Everett when his career was moving up, Adams when his was winding down. $1,200.

Next is an association between one of America's greatest presidents and one of her greatest authors. It is Theodore Roosevelt's personal copy of Mark Twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. This tale of betting on jumping frogs, one of which had been loaded down with shot, is a classic piece of American humor. Roosevelt would become president in the last decade of Twain's life, and the two are known to have met on several occasions. This copy includes the Roosevelt family bookplate. It is an 1869 edition of a book first published in 1867. $5,000.

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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