Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2017 Issue

African-Americana, Archives and American Social Movements from Langdon Manor Books

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The first catalogue from Langdon Manor Books.

Langdon Manor Books of Houston has issued their Catalog 1. African-Americana, Archives and American Social Movements. Social movements, along with American personal narratives, photo albums and outsider books, are Langdon Manor's specialties. In these politically tumultuous times, there is much to learn from yesterday's trials and tribulations, though we seldom do. History does repeat itself. It's just a matter of figuring out which historic lessons are about to be repeated next. Here are some samples of the material found in this first catalogue.

 

We begin with the last gasps of slavery, a day when many African Americans were not just treated inhumanely, but were regarded by the law as property, not humans. Item 30 is an Auditor's Warrant for compensation for a slave who lost his life as a result of being impressed into service by the Confederacy. We know him only as Tom, the property of South Carolina plantation owner Nathan Henry. As of 1860, Henry owned 24 slaves, half of them age 10 or younger. Impressment was approved by the Confederacy in 1863, allowing for the seizure of property for the war effort. Tom was around 26 years old when he was impressed in September 1864. He was described as "stout, healthy and intelligent." He was appraised, like any piece of property, with a financial value. Tom's was $6,000. Tom was sent off to work building fortifications on James Island. However, he became ill. One affiant said that he became ill because he was "unnecessarily whipped and abused and...not fortified with rations." He was sent back to Henry's plantation, but he was already very sick. Tom collapsed and three days later died. Ultimately, the claim was allowed for half of Tom's appraised value. The award, naturally, went to Tom's owner, not his kin. Priced at $850.

 

Slavery ended the following year, but integration into American institutions took much time. Item 17 is a military recruitment broadside for the First World War, issued in 1918. It is headed REGISTRANTS! Serve Your Country With The Skill Set That is Yours. Sixty-five skill sets were listed, and African Americans were recruited too. However, they were only recruited for seven skill sets: blacksmiths, bricklayers, buglers, carpenters, chauffeurs, clerks and cooks. African Americans were sought only for physical tasks, and combat roles was not among them. Nevertheless, by the end of the war, 40,000 black soldiers had participated in the fighting anyway. $400.

 

Here is another remnant of segregation. It is a copy of the book The Cradle of Texas, History Stories, by Sallie Glasscock, published in 1937. This is a common book, not notable to African American history except for the embossed seals and stamps on it. They note that it belonged to the Colored Branch Houston Public Library. Houston had a private library, open only to whites, as far back as 1854. The local Women's Club set about raising funds to construct a library building in 1899, but did not raise enough. Fortunately, Andrew Carnegie provided funds for the construction of a library building in 1901, finished three years later. However, Houston's blacks still could not read their books. In 1909, African Americans sought their own library, and with the aid of another Carnegie grant, one was built in 1913. Eight years later, both libraries became part of the new Houston Public Library, but blacks still were limited to the Colored Branch. It would not be until 1961 that this branch was finally closed down, the structure demolished the following year. Item 5. $100.

 

This item combines segregated groups working together for a good cause. Such were conditions in 1943. It is a program for Football 930th Field Art. Bn. vs A. & T. College. This was for a football game to take place on December 4 in Durham, North Carolina. On one side was the 930th Field Artillery Battalion, originally part of the Illinois National Guard, who would serve in Italy the following year. Their opponent was the team from A&T College, today North Carolina A&T. While the school was black and the military unit segregated, the sponsor of the game was a whites-only orphanage. However, the beneficiary of the proceeds of the game was a black orphanage in Oxford, N.C. Item 27. $275.

 

Item 15 is the medical records of Dr. Cyrus O. Weller, from the years 1881-1884. He was a physician in the small town of Columbus, Texas, located along I-10 between Houston and San Antonio (of course it wasn't on I-10 in 1881). Dr. Weller was born in Tennessee, educated in Philadelphia, and married a local woman whose family emigrated to Columbus. This assuredly explains why he ended up in this small Texas town. He was a well respected physician in Texas, and moved his practice to Austin in 1885. This perhaps explains why these years are in their own ledger. What is notable about this ledger is that the majority of Dr. Weller's patients were black. Langdon Manor did a census check on about the first half of the patients listed and those showed that 72% were African American. It is not known whether this was for humanitarian reasons, business reasons, or simply reflected the make-up of the surrounding population. We do know he provided much care for the indigent during a yellow fever epidemic in 1873, so we can surmise that Dr. Weller was a caring man. The thousands of listings in the ledger disclose names of patients, dates and prices of treatments, and what sort of treatments were provided, such as vaccinations, tumor removal, amputations, tooth removal, and more. $2,500

 

Langdon Manor Books may be reached at 713-443-4697 or LangdonManorBooks@gmail.com. Their website is found at langdonmanorbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €

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