Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2019 Issue

Recent Acquisitions in Americana from the William Reese Company

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New Acquisitions in Americana.

The William Reese Company has issued a catalogue of Recent Acquisitions in Americana. The acquisitions are recent, the material is not. Most items are from the 18th and 19th century. Many are of major importance, including some of the important texts regarding America's natives. Much could be considered political in nature as it pertains to the evolution of the country's governing institutions. Some is filled with enough invective to match (almost) today's politics. America's history was never dull. Here are a few selections.

 

We begin with an item that contains more than its share of irony when you realize the rest of the story. It is a Reply of John T. Stuart, to an Anonymous Hand Bill, Signed "A Citizen of Sangamon." The writer of the handbill may have been anonymous, but Stuart was quite sure it was his opponent, Archer Gray Herndon. This race was for a seat in the Illinois legislature in 1834. The earlier broadside had accused Stuart of feigning illness during a critical time of the Black Hawk War, along with casting votes based on dubious purposes. Stuart's rebuttal is addressed directly to Herndon, unmasking his apparent anonymity. Now for the rest of the story. Stuart won the election and a second term through 1839. He became friendly with Lincoln when both were serving in the Black Hawk War and his middle name, "Todd," was no coincidence. He was the cousin of Lincoln's future wife, Mary Todd, whom the future President would marry in 1842. Five years before that, Lincoln would go in together with Stuart in a law practice that continued until 1841. Meanwhile, Stuart would run for the U.S. House of Representatives and achieve something Lincoln was unable to do, at least when running for public office from Illinois - defeat Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln was one of his most ardent supporters. Stuart did not seek reelection in 1842, but returned in 1862 to the congressional seat as an anti-emancipation Democrat. The two remained close until the 1850s when political differences made the relationship chillier, though Stuart would be a visitor of the Lincolns at the White House. Now for one more bit of irony. If the name of Stuart's opponent in 1832, "Herndon," sounds familiar to students of Lincoln, it is because it is that of Lincoln's next law partner after Stuart. Lincoln law partner and biographer William Herndon was the son of Stuart's earlier slanderous opponent, Archer Herndon. Item 124. $3,500.

 

That race might be considered calm by Illinois standards. William L. May faced off against Benjamin Mills for a congressional seat in 1834. Item 66 consists of three rare broadsides from this election, each attacking one of the candidates, but signed by pseudonymous writers, not their opponents. One, written in response to an anonymous attack on May, describes his accuser as "Some spindle-shanked toad eating man granny, who feeds the depraved appetites of his patrons with gossip and slander." At least insults were more original back then. He continues that the writer is one of those men "who being deprived of their virility endeavor to compensate themselves by the enjoyments of mischief-making..." A broadside on behalf of Mills' candidacy counters with its own Black Hawk War reference, claiming May took credit for shooting a "Dead Indian." It also refers to some "seduction" affair. May, who had the support of Abraham Lincoln, won the election. It seems like Lincoln's endorsement was worth something. Item 66. $6,000.

 

This next item encapsulates the best and the worst of America, a testament to our greatest contradiction. It is the first appearance of the Star Spangled Banner in book form. Francis Scott Key wrote this poem after witnessing the bombing of Fort McHenry through the night, only to see the American flag still flying at dawn. The Americans had successfully held the fort despite British bombardment during the War of 1812. Key would later attach his poem to the melody of an old song and the rest is history, the creation of the American National Anthem. The flag still waved over the "land of the free." Key's composition was published a few days later in a Baltimore newspaper, but it did not appear in book form until this publication in 1857, Poems of the Late Francis Scott Key, Esq., Author of "The Star Spangled Banner." That is America's greatness. Now for the darker side. The introduction was written by Key's friend, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, he of Dred Scott fame. Taney's court decided America's great documents, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, did not apply to people whose skin was dark. They had no more rights, were no more a part of the "land of the free" than any animal or chattel. Sadly, Key held similarly racist views. He was a Baltimore lawyer and U.S. Attorney whose prosections were hostile to the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for black people. Item 74. $1,950.

 

Here is another one from the dark side. It came from the Governor of Georgia and, no, it isn't about slavery. Item 55 is The Annual Message of Governor Gilmer, to Both Branches of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, November 6, 1838. Among the topics is one concerning the forced removal of the Cherokees from their homeland. Says Gov. George R. Gilmer to the legislators, "I congratulate you on the successful removal of the Cherokees from the State; that you will no longer be harassed in your legislative proceedings by the perplexing relations which have hitherto existed between them, the United States, and Georgia, that our citizens are at last in possession of all their lands; and the state the undisputed sovereign within her own territory." What Gilmer euphemistically meant is that the Cherokees had finally been removed from their time immemorial homeland against their will to make way for white settlers who coveted their land. The Cherokees were whisked away on the infamous "Trail of Tears" to resettlement in Oklahoma. An estimated 2,000-8,000 of those sent on this brutal forced march died before ever reaching their destination. Congratulations, legislators. $2,250.

 

Item 31 consists of 18 issues of The Crisis, a newspaper published in Columbus, Ohio, from 1862-1865. This was not a typical northern newspaper during the Civil War. This was a Copperhead publication, published by Samuel Medary, a pro-South northerner who had been appointed to two territorial governorships by President James Buchanan. The Crisis opposed any limits on slavery, denied that the Union had a right to wage war against the Confederacy, and compared the rebellion to the American Revolution. It supported the gubernatorial race of the most notorious of the Copperheads, Clement Vallandigham, in 1863. The September 24, 1862 issue, in response to the Emancipation Proclamation, screams out, "President Lincoln Succumbs to the Radical Abolitionists...Four Million Blacks Turned Loose upon the Country." Medary was arrested late in 1864 for conspiracy against the government, but died before going to trial. With Medary's death and the end of the Civil War, The Crisis went out of business. $1,250.

 

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ptolomaeus (Claudius). <i>Cosmographia,</i> first edition, Vicenza, Hermann Liechtenstein, 13 September 1475. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Schoener (Johann). <i>Opera mathematica,</i> 3 parts in 1, first edition,The Honeyman copy in contemporary binding, Nuremberg, J. Montanus and U. Neuber, 1551. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Lucian of Samosata. <i>Dialogoi, editio princeps,</i> with fine illuminated title-page, Florence, Lorenzo de Alopa, 1496. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Pian (Jean Baptiste de). [Architectural Alphabet], 26 chromolithographs by Leopold Muller after Pian, Vienna, 1842-44. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Rogers (Bruce).- Holy Bible (The)..., one of 200 copies on handmade paper, designed by Bruce Rogers, bound in modern crimson morocco, gilt, Oxford, 1935. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Jenner (Edward). <i>An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae…,</i> first edition, Printed for the Author, by Sampson Low, 1798. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Voyages.- Cook (Capt. James).- Parkinson (Sydney). <i>A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's Ship the Endeavour,</i> second edition, Charles Dilly...& James Phillips, 1784. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Clemens (Samuel Langhorne)] "Mark Twain". <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> first edition, first state, New York, Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Voight (Hans Henning)], "Alastair". Herod, for 'Salome: Drame en un Acte', original drawing in red & black ink over pencil, [c.1922]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> James (M.R.) <i>Ghost Stories of an Antiquary,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to A.C. Benson, 1904. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Remarque (Erich Maria). <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1929. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ashendene Press.- More (Sir Thomas). <i>A Fruteful and Pleasaunt Worke...Utopia,</i> one of 100 copies, bound in black goatskin by J.Franklin Mowery, Ashendene Press, 1906. £3,000 to £4,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>N.C. Wyeth, <i>The Black Arrow,</i> oil on canvas, for the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1916. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Laurent de Brunhoff, mixed media color study for <i>Babar’s World Tour,</i> 2005. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Hilary Knight, <i>Eloise with Valentine,</i> watercolor, ink & pencil, 2015. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Howard Pyle, <i>It was a Comrade from His Own Regiment,</i> oil on canvas, for <i>Harper’s Monthly Magazine,</i> 1909. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Coby Whitmore, <i>‘Poor baby! You want me so much,’ she said,</i> acrylic, for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1968. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Al Hirschfeld, <i>Charley’s Aunt,</i> pen & ink, for the Broadway revival, <i>The New York Times,</i> 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Erté, <i>Décor de Laideronnette,</i> gouache set design for third movement of <i>Mother Goose,</i> 1949. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Vince McIndoe, <i>Villainous Last Supper, DC Comics,</i> oil on canvas, 2016. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Arthur Getz, <i>Rooftop Party,</i> casein tempera, cover illustration for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1970. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 1. Albertus Magnus, De Natura Locorum, 2nd edn, 1515. £3000 to £4000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 22. George Cooke, Scenery of the East India Islands, 1811-13. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 23. J.M. Crozet, Nouveau vouage a la Mer du Sud, 1st edn, 1783. £4000 to £6000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 27. J.P.J.Du Bois, Vies des Gouverneurs Generaux, 1st edn, 1763. £1200 to £1800.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 28. Wm Ellis, Authentic Narrative...Captain Cook, 1st edn, 1782. £2500 to £3500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 31. Thomas Forrest, Voyage to New Guinea, 1st edn, 1779. £1500 to £2000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 32. Forster & Forster, Voyage round the World, 1st edn, 1777-78. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 38. Gianetti, Elogy of Captain James Cook, 1st edn, 1785. £2500 to £3500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 46. Otto von Kotzebue, Entdeckungs Reise, 1st edn, 1821. £3500 to £4500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 52. Alejandro Malaspina, Viaje politico-scientifico, 1st edn, 1885. £2000 to £3000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 60. Sydney Parkinson, Journal of Voyage to the South Seas, large paper, 1773. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 64. Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage round the World, 1st edn, 1789. £4000 to £6000.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> O'Fihely, Maurice Abp. <i>Questiones subtilissme Scoti in metaphysicam Aristotelis</i>, Venice (Octavianus Scoti) 20th November 1497. 8,000 to 12,000 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Pococke (Richard). <i>A Description of the East and some other Countries,</i> 3 vols. in 2, L. (W. Bowyer) 1743. 2,250 to 3,500 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Keogh (John). <i>Botanalogia Universalis Hibernica, or A General Irish Herbal Calculated for this Kingdom, giving an account of the Herbs, Scrubs…</i>, Corke (George Harrison) 1735. 1,000 to 1,500 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Perry (Charles). <i>A View of the Levant particularly of Constantinople, Syria, Egypt and Greece,</i> L. (T. Woodward) 1743. 800 to 1,200 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Shaw (Thomas). <i>Travels, or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant,</i>, Oxford (The Theatre) 1738. 600 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (Nicholas) Bishop of Ferns] Attributed, <i>Recit Exact et Fidele de la Vente et Partage du Roiaume d'Irlande Fait Sous Charles II…,</i> Milan (Chez Charles Joseph Quinto) 1724. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (V. Rev.Dr. Nicholas, Bp of Ferns.)] <i>The Unkinde Desertor of Loyall Men and True Frinds,</i> 12mo, n.p. 1676. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Yeats (W.B.) <i>Plays and Controversies,</i>, N.Y. (The MacMillan Company) 1924, Signed Limited Edn. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Barrie (J.M.) & Thomson (Hugh) illus. <i>Quality Street, a Comedy in Four Acts,</i> L. (Hodder and Stoughton) 1901, Limited Edition, signed by the artist. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Molyneaux (William). <i>The Case of Ireland's being bound by Acts of Parliament in England Stated,</i> [London 1719]. 200 to 300 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Johnston's (W. & A.) Map of South Africa, to illustrate the Military Operations 1900. 100 to 150 €

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