Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2017 Issue

Rare Americana from David M. Lesser Antiquarian Books

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Rare Americana.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has released a new catalogue of Rare American, number 156 in their ongoing series. It follows the usual mold, some books, but more ephemeral sorts of paper, such as pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, brochures, photographs and other types of images. With a focus on historic Americana, material comes from the 18th, and more so, the 19th century. The variety of material offered makes this a sure source of interesting items for any collection of Americana. Here are a few samples.

 

This is a reminder of what was not one of America's better hours, and a stain on John Adams' mostly outstanding legacy. Item 34 is An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper, of Northumberland [Pennsylvania], on a Charge of Libel Against the President of the United States. That President was John Adams, and the statute under which Cooper was charged was the notorious Sedition Act. Cooper had emigrated to the United States from England in 1794, choosing to live near his friend, Joseph Priestley. Cooper was an anti-Federalist and supporter of Thomas Jefferson. He made his views known, resulting in the trial in 1800 described in this account (it was published for Cooper in 1800). Cooper's comments were within what today is normal political discourse, but Adams wished to silence serious criticism of his policies and activities. The trial was held in front of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, a vehement Federalist supporter, not a good omen for Cooper. He demonstrated hostility toward the defendant. Chase would later be impeached by Jeffersonians in Congress but was not convicted in the Senate and so survived in office. Cooper, however, was convicted in his trial and sentenced to six months in prison. Nevertheless, that did not silence his continued criticism of Adams. Priced at $1,250.

 

Here is another unpleasant moment from American history. The South had much to be embarrassed about during the Civil War. It was not the bravery of Confederate soldiers that was bad, but the ugliness of the cause in which they had been enlisted – the preservation of slavery. That does not mean the North was all pure and good. Item 41 is the Report of the Committee of Merchants for the Relief of Colored People, Suffering from the Late Riots in the City of New York, published in 1863. These merchants were good people, but the same cannot be said for the rioters. They were displeased with new draft quotas issued in July 1863 for service in the Civil War. They took out their anger on the city's black population. This report notes that they were forcibly driven from their homes "by an infuriated mob, without cause or provocation." Many were murdered, "hanging on trees and lamp posts, and cruelly beaten and robbed." Names and manner of death are given for victims. The Colored Orphan Asylum was burned down. President Lincoln was forced to divert some troops from the war effort. Four days later, state and federal troops finally restored order. $850.

 

Enough for the bad and the ugly. Let's get to the good. Item 75 is likely one of the most notable eulogies ever given in American history: A Funeral Oration, on the Death of General Washington, Delivered in Philadelphia, at the Request of Congress. By Major General Henry Lee... published in 1800. Henry Lee, better known as "Light-Horse Harry," was a Revolutionary War comrade-in-arms of Washington and one of the men he trusted and respected most. During the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, it was Lee that Washington assigned the task of quelling the rebellion. Congress unanimously selected Lee, who by then was a congressman from Virginia, to offer the eulogy. It was during this oration that Lee uttered the words about Washington still remembered today – "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Ironically, it was Light-Horse Harry's son, Robert, who led Confederate troops in the attempt to tear apart the nation Washington built six decades later. $3,000.

 

Here is an account of some intrigue, likely from 1812, along with some "fake news" that had a gullible President Madison fooled. Sometimes you believe what you want to believe. Item 60 is Facts Relative to John Henry and his Negociation. Henry was a U.S. Army officer who hired himself out as an agent to the Canadian Governor. The Governor wished to find out whether New England might secede. Federalists in New England were resentful of southern power in the United States, with some of the more radical among them interested in secession and possible reunion with Britain. There was correspondence between Henry and the Governor concerning his mission. Unfortunately for Henry, the Governor died before he was paid, and the British (who appointed the Canadian Governor at this time) refused to pay. At the suggestion of a Frenchman, Henry decided to sell the correspondence to President Madison. Madison was ready for war with Britain, and such a mission by Britain through its Canadian colony to split the nation played into his beliefs about their trickery. Madison payed $50,000 for the papers. However, the letters Henry sold Madison were fake. The President, in his desire for an excuse for war, was tricked into paying a large sum of money for the fakes. Henry took the money and ran... off to France. This pamphlet explains the story in greater detail. $850.

 

Item 97 is a circa 1880's broadside advertising "The Kaatsberg," Robert Elliott, Proprietor. Hunter, Greene Co. N. Y. It is an "attractive and well-arranged summer resort" near a railroad terminus. That would evidently require a transfer since it was necessary to cross the Hudson River by ferry at Rhinebeck. The Kaatsberg was one of many resorts that opened in the area in 1882 when the railroad line was completed. It offered a bathing house and accommodations for 100. However, Elliott does make one stipulation about his visitors – "NO JEWS." Leaving aside the ethical considerations, one wonders about the business acumen of a proprietor opening a resort in the Catskills and saying "no Jews." $375.

 

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books may be reached at 203-389-8111 or dmlesser@lesserbooks.com. Their website is www.lesserbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>Latin Book of Hours, around 1480.<br>Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>Northern journeys - Collection of around 120 works, 17th-19th century.
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>J. Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> 1922. Est: € 8,000
    <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>Florilegium, <i>Fleurs du Printemps et de l‘Este,</i> around 1630. Est: € 35,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>T. R. Malthus, <i>An essay on the principle of population,</i> 1798. Est: € 60,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: € 2,000
    <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br><i>Bulla aurea,</i> 1485. Est: € 40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>A. Verschaffelt, <i>Iconographie des Camellias,</i> 1848-60. Est: € 10,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>M. Duchamp & A. Breton, <i>Le surréalisme en 1947,</i> 1947.<br>Est: € 16,000
    <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>H. Schedel, <i>Liber chronicarum,</i> 1493.<br>Est: € 25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>M. E. Chevreul, <i>De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs,</i> 1839.<br>Est: € 5,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>F. Léger & P. Éluard, <i>Liberté j‘écris ton nom,</i> 1953. Est: € 15,000
  • <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Online Only<br>25 June to 8 July 2020</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Macbeth: A Tragedy.</i> Acted at the Dukes-Theatre. London: printed for William Cademan, 1673. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> MUYBRIDGE, EADWEARD. Panorama of San Francisco, from California-St. Hill. [San Francisco:] Morse's Gallery, 1877. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> BRUNUS ARETINUS, LEONARDUS. <i>De bello Italico adversus Gothos gesto.</i> Venice: Nicolas Jenson, 1471. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Online Only<br>25 June to 8 July 2020</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> HILL, JOHN. <i>Compleat Body of Gardening.</i> London: printed for T. Osborne; T. Trye; S. Crowder and Co.; and H. Woodgate, 1757. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> GASPAR DE PORTOLA. Document Signed Twice ("Gaspar de Portola," & "M. Portola"), 29 pp, Puebla, Mexico, December 10, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> VINGTIEME SIECLE. A complete set of the second series of <i>Vingtieme Siecle (XXe Siecle),</i> together with all fourteen special numbers. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Online Only<br>25 June to 8 July 2020</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN DELANO. Autograph Letter Signed ("F.D.R.") as President, Washington, [1941], to Norman Davis, on White House stationery. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> HAYEK, FRIEDRICH AUGUST. Autograph Manuscript, "Discipline of Civilisation." $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> ADAMS, HANNAH; ADAMS, THOMAS "BOOK". Daubuz, Charles. <i>A Perpetual Commentary On The Revelation Of St. John.</i> London: Printed for Benj. Tooke, 1720. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> EMPEROR NORTON. Photograph signed ("Norton I"), albumen print carte-de-visite. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> ROBERTS, DAVID. <i>Egypt and Nubia from Drawings Made on the Spot ... with Historical Descriptions by William Brockendon.</i> London: F.G. Moon, 1846-9. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Albert Einstein, typed letter signed, explaining the nature of his personal atheism and belief in God. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> George Washington. Autograph letter signed to Bryan Fairfax, looking forward to the Treaty of Paris, 5 February 1783. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Alfred Swaine Taylor. Early “photogenic drawing,” photograph of a fern, dated 2 December 1839. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> "Departure of Mr. Lincoln—Parting Address" in the <i>Weekly Illinois State Journal,</i> Vol. XXX, No. 1541, Springfield, February 13, 1861. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Benjamin Harrison document signed certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a black Revolutionary soldier. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Front page printing of the Articles of Confederation in the <i>New-Jersey Gazette,</i> Vol. 1, No. 22. Trenton, April 29, 1778. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> George Washington Funeral Procession Broadside. Boston, January 6, 1800. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Philippe Laroque, printed score for “The Heroe of New Orleans Battle.” Philadelphia, 1815. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Report of the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle in the War of 1812, in <i>Supplement to the Quebec Gazette,</i> 24th October 1812. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> His Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, On Tuesday the Eighteenth Day of November, 1760. London, 1760. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Elegy on the Death of James Lawrence, Esq. late Commander of the U.S. Frigate Chesapeake. [Boston]: A. Bowen, 1813. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's Commission as Major General, signed by John Hancock, 19 February 1777. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>Great Blue Heron,</i> hand-colored aquatint and engraved plate, 1834. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson, <i>A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia,</i> Dalrymple edition, 1755. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>The Birds of America,</i> sign & inscribed to Brantz Mayer, 1840-44. $18,000 to $22,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Vincenzo Maria Coronelli & Jean Baptiste Nolin, Paris, 1688. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Henri Abraham Chatelain, <i>Atlas Historique,</i> 7 volumes, Amsterdam, 1705-1720. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Johann Baptist Homann, <i>Atlas Mapparum Geographicarum...,</i> Nuremberg, circa 1750s. $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Lowell Mason, <i>Musical Exercises for Singing Schools,</i> Boston, 1838. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Alexander Wilson, <i>American Ornithology,</i> 9 volumes, Philadelphia, 1808-14. $6,000 to $9,000.

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