Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2005 Issue

Colonial and Revolutionary Americana from George MacManus

R0610

Colonial and Revolutionary Americana


By Michael Stillman

The George S. MacManus Company has released its Catalogue 396, "Colonial and Revolutionary Americana (M-Z)." Actually there are a bonus 35 items beginning with the letter "L," hardly necessary since there are 875 items available in this catalogue, all from the second half of the alphabet. Included is everything from contemporary accounts of Colonial America and the Revolution, to more recent perspectives on these long ago events. Here are a few of the items available. While we have selected some of the more expensive items, most in this catalogue can be purchased for well under $100.

Benedict Arnold has long been synonymous with treason in America, but another Revolutionary traitor, Major General Charles Lee, is virtually forgotten. Perhaps that is because the full extent of his treachery was not discovered until many years later, around the time of the Civil War. Despite limited success in pre-Revolutionary military campaigns for the British, Lee, who supported independence, was commissioned to his high office. He received credit for defending Charleston early in the Revolution, but after returning to New York, he ignored General Washington's command to cross the Hudson and retreat after the Battle of White Plains. Apparently, Lee thought he could pull off an unexpected success and replace Washington as Commander in Chief. Instead, he was captured. While being held by the British, Lee gave General Howe a plan for defeating the Americans. However, this act of treason was not known at the time. Lee was returned to the Americans in a prisoner exchange, and later ordered a retreat at Monmouth that prevented an American victory. He was court-martialed and suspended for a year. After continued criticism of Washington, he was dismissed in 1780. However, it was not until the accidental discovery of the plans Lee gave Howe years later that it was discovered that Lee was not just an incompetent blowhard, but a full-fledged traitor. This was revealed in this 1860 account by George Moore, The Treason of Charles Lee, Second in Command in the American Army of the Revolution. Item 163. Priced at $125.

If Lee has been relegated to where his kind is justly consigned, Washington remains America's foremost hero. Item 768 is the quintessential biography of this patriot, The Life of George Washington....by John Marshall. This five-volume set was written by the early Supreme Court Chief Justice, the most important jurist in the nation's history. Item 768. $5,500.

Item 776 is a less scholarly, though eminently popular, biography of Washington. This is an 1809 ninth edition of Mason Weems' Life of George Washington, with Curious Anecdotes....Evidently Weems didn't understand that Washington's reputation based on what he actually accomplished was sufficient, so he added his own inventions, such as the famed "cherry tree" story. You would think winning a revolution and giving his countrymen freedom and democracy would have been enough. $775.

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.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> MITCHELL, John (1711-1768). A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America. Copperplate engraving with original hand color. London, 1755. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Brown Pelican (Standing), Plate 251. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $175,000 to $225,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Fish Hawk or Osprey, Plate 81. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London: 1827-1838. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan (1545 - 1618). <i>The Historie of the great and mightie kingdome of China…</i> London, 1588. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623-1688). [World Map] Kun-Yu Ch'uan-Tu. Engraved twelve sheet map with vertical sections joined to form six sheets. Korea, Seoul, c. 1860. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> SANGGI, Chong (1678-1752). Korean Atlas. Manuscript map on mulberry bark paper. C. 1750-1790. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Plate 66. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AKERMAN, Anders (1721-1778). & AKREL, Frederik (1779-1868). Pair of Celestial and Terrestrial Globes. Stockholm, c. 1800. 23 inch diameter, each. $60,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> BENNETT, Lieut. William Pyt (d. in action, 1916). AN IMPORTANT AND APPARENTLY UNPUBLISHED SERIES OF GELATIN SILVER PHOTOGRAPHS OF LHASA AND TIBET TAKEN DURING THE CELEBRATED YOUNGHUSBAND MISSION OF 1904. $60,000 to $80,000

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