Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2018 Issue

Manuscripts, Archives and Photographs from the William Reese Company

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Manuscripts, Archives & Photographs.

The William Reese Company has published their Catalogue 355, Manuscripts, Archives & Photographs. There are actually a few books in here too, but this is primarily a selection of other types of paper, including numerous photo albums and handwritten documents. Most items relate to or were created by Americans, but here, too, there are exceptions, such as the German visitor's turn-of-the-century photographs of Vladivostok or a panorama of Venice. There is much of great interest to be found, such as these examples.

 

We begin with an account of a harrowing experience. J.L.B. Cauvelt wrote his account in a letter dated November 21, 1867, while serving on the U.S.S. De Soto at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. On November 18, while they were anchored in the harbor, an earthquake estimated at 7.5 on the Richter scale struck, followed by a pair of tsunamis. At 2:50 p.m. they felt the ship shaking and immediately recognized it was an earthquake, all rushing to the deck. They looked out to sea and saw "an immense wall" of water, 35-40 feet high, about two miles out of the harbor. Around two minutes later, they saw it begin hitting ships at the outer edge of the harbor. It tossed them around with a "fearful force...as if they were but shells." A tug boat took the full force, its captain found dead a short time later. A sailboat was hit and all were lost. Seeing this "we were all rather anxious about our own fate," but the wave diminished as it got deeper in the harbor. Their ship was ripped from its cables and washed ashore with serious damage, but they survived. The people of the island, Cauvelt relates, "were in the greatest state of excitement as well as in the most abject state of fear being on there [sic] knees & praying more like maniacs than reasonable beings to all the saints in the callender [sic]." Item 36. Priced at $1,750.

 

William Ellery is best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence (though hardly the best-known signer of the Declaration of Independence). He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Rhode Island, though it was a twist of fate that brought him there at that fateful moment. A more famous Rhode Island politician and former governor held the post when he died on March 26, 1776, with Ellery named in his place. Ellery later held various other posts, such as Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice and, for many years, customs collector at Newport. Then, there was an even more important role in his life - father. Ellery was a father. Boy was he ever. Ellery had 19 children, and yet somehow he found time to write this lengthy, sympathetic letter to his daughter, Almy, who became ill while her husband, William Stedman, was off in Washington serving as a congressman from Massachusetts. His advice is tender, admonishing her, "You must not iron; nor exercise the brush or broom; and you are not to be distressed if the tables and hand irons should not shine; nor even if a web should be woven in the obscure corner of your rooms." Ellery does show some humor after giving his serious advice, noting that Dean Swift (Jonathan Swift) "has observed that he never knew a person who could not bear the affliction of another perfectly like a Christian." He concludes he hopes he is not too apt to give advice, but that this advice will be beneficial. He points out, "I am a father, and never gave a stone to a child when it asked for a fish." That is a good father. I am too, as I never gave a child a stone for a fish, but then again, none of my children ever asked for a fish, so I can't say for certain what I would have done. Item 50. $2,500.

 

Here is a remarkable deed, a land grant from New York's Mohawk Indians to an English settler. It is for land located near Fort Hunter, west of Albany, near the confluence of the Mohawk River and the Schoharie Creek. This was a time when the British and the French vied for friendship, support, and trading rights with the Indian tribes. These Mohawks were aligned with the British. In 1710, four chiefs had gone to England to meet with Queen Anne. They requested a fort and Anglican missionaries, to counter the inroads of the French and the Catholic missionaries. Queen Anne granted their request, authorizing the construction of Fort Hunter in 1712. This land cession occurred four years later, the grantee being "Rebekea," daughter of Capt. John Scott, first commander of the fort. The deed spells out that the land was given "in Consideration of the Great love, favour & affection we have and do bear toward our great friend and Loving Acquaintance Capt John Scott." It is signed by Mohawk leaders with their pictograph signatures. They are identified as "Craine," "Asras," "Sancler ye Indian," "Tequoinhunt," "Joharis ye Indian," "Cornelius Ind.," and "Kawinadichtow." The deed is dated, "In the Mohaughs Cuntry" on May 14, 1716. Unfortunately for the Mohawks, they retained their loyalty to the British during the American Revolution, and lost their land after their guardians lost the war. Item 90. $20,000.

 

The next item is a document from one American president to another, though it was sent before either reached that high office. Sadly, neither has made it into the pantheon of great presidents. Dated August 18, 1917, Herbert Hoover, then head of the Food Administration, responds to Ohio Senator Warren Harding, who had recommended a Mrs. L. F. McFarland for a position in Hoover's department. Hoover responds that it is impossible to say whether the department can avail itself of Mrs. McFarland's services but that her application "will receive every attention." Don't call us, we'll call you. Harding would go on to lead one of the most corrupt presidencies in U. S. history, though he was not involved in the corruption himself, while Hoover would be president when the Great Depression befell the nation. Harding died in office, Hoover overwhelmingly voted out in the next election. Item 67. $600.

 

The next letter comes from a man who became President to a man who did not, though he certainly wished to be. There is a great irony here. It is dated August 28, 1841, and the letter is from Congressman Millard Fillmore to Secretary of State Daniel Webster, recommending James Thompson for U. S. Consul to Glasgow. Webster was a giant of the senate, a great orator and one of America's most notable leaders in the period between the Revolution and Civil War. His defense of the Union during the Nullification Crisis of 1830 is one of the greatest speeches in American history, noted most for the line, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable." He never became President, despite repeated tries. Millard Fillmore was a former congressman from western New York then serving as Comptroller of New York State, not generally regarded as a stepping stone to the highest office in the land. Nonetheless, when the Whigs nominated a southern slaveholder as their presidential nominee in 1848, the party looked for someone from the North to balance the ticket. Fillmore, being a successful vote-getter in the important state of New York, was the convention's choice. He was nominated for and elected as vice-president, and when Zachary Taylor died after only a little more than a year in office, Fillmore became President. Fillmore proved not much of a president, unable to stop the deteriorating relations between North and South. He was denied his party's renomination for President in 1852, but ran again (unsuccessfully) in 1856 as the nominee of the anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party. Sometimes, it is not the greatest that ascend to the presidency. Item 52. $1,500.

 

The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or amorder@reeseco.com. Their website is www.williamreesecompany.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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 €
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter Used to Write "A Moveable Feast", Impeccable Provenance From His Biographer A. E. Hotchner. $50,000 to $100,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Samuel Colt, "The Gun that Won the West": 3 Signed Patent Items for "Revolving Cylinder Guns". $40,000 to $50,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Jack Kerouac's Own Typewriter From His Estate Used to Write His Very Last Book. $18,000 to $20,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Rare Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence Printed in 1848. $15,000 to $18,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Superb Tchaikovsky ALS to Napravnik, 4pp on "Mazeppa". $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Wounded Knee Massacre Same Day Eyewitness Account by Participant, "the 7th needn't be ashamed of today's record". $10,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Gordon Bryant Portrait -- Finest Known. $8,000 to $9,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Neil Armstrong ALS on NASA Letterhead Regarding His X-15 Flights. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> M. Gandhi Letter: "the life span of human beings is preordained..." -- Fantastic Spiritual Content. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> "Damn the torpedoes!" Riveting 24pp ALS of Admiral Farragut's Steward Describing the "Battle of Mobile Bay”. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Abraham Lincoln Signed Order to Suspend Execution. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Napoleon DS Featuring Imperial Eagle and Enormous Great Seal Appointing Norman Politician Baron of the Empire. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Bolaños, Joaquín. La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte... (“The Portentous Life of Death”) México, 1792. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Tratado de Paz… entre la República Mexicana y los Estados Unidos. (“Treaty of Peace… Between the Mexican Republic and the United States”) 1848. $80,000 - $90,000 MXN / USD $4,444 - $5,000
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Fabregat, Josep Joaquín. Vista de la Plaza de México… (“View of the Square of Mexico”) México, 1797. $60,000 - $100,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $5,555
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel. Invitación al Coronel Narciso de la Canal… (“Invitation to Coronel Narciso de la Canal…”) 1810. $170,000 - $200,000 MXN / USD $9,444 - $11,111
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Gálvez, Joseph de. Real Cédula de Erección de la Compañía de Filipinas. (“Royal Notice of the Creation of the Company of the Philippines”) 1785. $40,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Colección de Constituciones de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (“Collection of Constitutions of the United Mexican States”) México, 1828. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Ruelas, Julio. Poemario Manuscrito Ilustrado, Dedicado a Lorencita Braniff (“Collection of Illustrated Poem Manuscripts, Dedicated to Lorencita Braniff”). 1903. $60,000 - $70,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $3,888
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Espinosa de los Monteros, Juan J. Aviso de la Junta Soberana al Público (“Notice of the Sovereign Meeting to the Public”) 1821. $60,000 - $80,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $4,444
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Constitución Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos... (“Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States”) México, 1824. $140,000 - $150,000 MXN / USD $7,777 - $8,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Alcaraz, Ramón. Apuntes para la Historia de la Guerra entre México y los EU (“Notes on the History of the War between Mexico and the United States”). 1848. $40,000 - $50,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $2,777

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