Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2023 Issue

Life in America's Past from Langdon Manor Books


The extraordinary every day.

Langdon Manor Books has released their Catalog 16 of The Extraordinary History of the Every Day. This latest group includes numerous photographs, archives, personally created scrapbooks and accounts, some individual pieces, and more. Most were the creations of everyday people, living life as Americans did generations ago. This is history from the eyes of people like the rest of us, though they came from many different backgrounds. These are a few.


Secession or division of territory has been a recurring theme in American history. The most notable was when the South tried to secede from the United States during the Civil War, but there have been several attempts for parts of states to secede from that state or for a state to be divided. The most recent success was during the Civil War when West Virginia broke away from Virginia. It tends to come when rural parts of states feel they are overlooked by urban ones. The issue has come up recently with rural northern and eastern California seeking to separate from the urban centers, and rural western Oregon looking to merge into Idaho. Back in 1941, some residents of rural northern California and southern Oregon sought to form a new state to be called Jefferson. Item 20 is a collection of photographs from this time, including one of people standing alongside a “State of Jefferson” sign. There are photographs of an event where armed residents stopped cars along Route 99. They simply handed out copies of a Proclamation of Independence. Another is of the “Governor” of Jefferson, John L. Childs. Along with under-representation there was much objection to what residents felt was poor maintenance of their roads. The movement quickly disintegrated when three days after Childs' “inauguration,” Pearl Harbor was bombed and attention quickly turned to more pressing matters. Priced at $800.


It's still hard to believe this happened in America but during the Second World War, loyal Japanese Americans from California were ordered from their homes and forced to go to internment camps in remote places of the West. Conditions were primitive compared to the way most people lived. Housed in barracks, locked behind fences, sometimes only cots to sleep on. Nothing like this was done to German-American or Italian-American citizens, not even members of the pro-German “America First” movement at the beginning of the war. Somehow, the Japanese amazingly took it in stride, still loyal despite the injustice. They published newspapers from the camps and this is one. It is not from the typical one out in the boondocks. This one came from the Santa Anita Assembly Center in 1942. This was one where Japanese Americans were first required to report. After a relatively brief amount of time there, they would be moved to the other camps where they were held until released. The Santa Anita Assembly Center was set up at the Santa Anita racetrack. It operated from March 27 – October 27, 1942, at the peak holding 18,000 internees. They were all moved out in time for the next racing season. Item 26 is the Santa Anita Pacemaker. It was put together by internees to describe their time at the relocation center, with illustrations of the camp, a map, and various columns and other information of use to those temporarily detained at this center. $3,000.


Next is a personal photograph album compiled by a young African-American woman named Archeleen Scrutchings from 1945-1946. Most of the photos were taken while she was in a state you would never expect – Idaho. There was some slow migration to Idaho by African-Americans at the time, but very slowly. As Langdon Manor notes, they moved to avoid the racism and violence of the South, as “Idaho's Black population went from practically non-existent to miniscule.” Ms. Scrutchings went from Birmingham to Pocatello to attend what later became Idaho State University. There are lots of pictures of friends in Idaho, including a young man of whom she was evidently quite fond. He later went on to become an Assistant Dean at the University of Chicago. Miss Scrutchings returned to Alabama and married another man in 1948. She died in 2021. Item 8. $2,850.


Item 32 is a collection of 14 photographs from Prescott, Arizona in 1931 documenting a Hopi Snake Dance. This is a traditional dance of the tribe generally performed in late August. It starts with a 16-day preparation, four of which are spent by young men and boys gathering snakes, rattlesnakes in particular. The snakes are bathed and placed in a structure made from cottonwood branches. The men are pictured with the snakes, including clenched in their mouth. I would not recommend this unless you are an experienced Hopi. I don't know how the snakes feel about this ritual, but the good news is it does not end as you might expect. At the conclusion, the snakes are released into the desert to let the spirits know the Hopi are living in harmony with nature, their religious beliefs, and each other. $950.


From native customs we move to the exact opposite. Item 33 is a picture of six Choctaw Indian students at Roanoke College, taken in 1877. Roanoke's President visited the Choctaw nation and opened the doors to students from the tribe. These six are pictured in a way no one would guess they were Indians. They are dressed up in very neat suits, looking every bit like ambitious young white men preparing for a career on Wall Street. $950.


This is a 128-page journal kept by an anonymous writer, apparently from Alton, Illinois in 1854. Most of it relates to bible study but 28 pages describe a fascinating journey from New Orleans to San Francisco. He travelled by boat through the Crabin [Caribbean] Sea to Central America, and then up the Nicaragua River. Next they walked two miles to meet up with another ship that took him to California. He describes the trip, the expensive prices, the quality, or lack thereof, of the food, the natives who will steal from you whenever they can. Of note is there are regular fights onboard between passengers or passengers and crew. It sounds almost as unpleasant as flying on an airline today. The food was much better and more reasonably priced in San Francisco, and the journal concludes with his going to Sacramento and then leaving for Nevada. Item 16. $3,850.


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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Koller Auctions<br>Books & Autographs<br>29 March 2023</b>
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> DADA - <i>Cabaret Voltaire.</i> A collection of artistic and literary contributions. Edited by Hugo Ball. CHF 5,000 to 8,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> EXPRESSIONISM - <i>Der Sturm.</i> Weekly magazine for culture and the arts. Almost complete suite from the years 1910 to 1932. CHF 20,000 to 30,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> LISBON EARTHQUAKE - <i>Augsburg collection of copper engravings of Lisbon. CHF 40,000 to 60,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Hamilton, William. <i>Campi Phlegraei. Observations on the Volcanos of the Two Sicilies as they have been communicated to the Royal Society of London.</i> Naples, 1776-1779. CHF 50,000 to 70,000.
    <b><center>Koller Auctions<br>Books & Autographs<br>29 March 2023</b>
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Leonardi, Domenico Felice. <i>Le Delizie della villa di Castellazzo descritte in verso dall'abbate Domenico Felice Leonardi lucchese fra gli Arcadi Ildosio Foloetico.</i> Milan, 1743. CHF 12,000 to 18,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Zwingli, Huldrych. <i>Von erkiesen und freyhait der speisen. Von ergernusz und Verbößerung. Ob man gewalt hab die speyß zu etlichen zeyten verbieten [...]</i>. CHF 2,500 to 4,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> HENDRIK VAN VULLENHOE, UMKREIS. Benedictional and other texts for Johannes von Venningen, Bishop of Basel. Latin manuscript on parchment. CHF 50,000 to 80,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Gujer, Hans Rudolf. Master typist's book by Hans Rudolf Gujer from Wermetschweil (Wermatswil). German manuscript on paper. CHF 3,000 to 5,000.
  • <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Autograph album leaf signed, 1826. €9,000 to €12,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Franz Kafka: Autograph letter unsigned, 1924. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Torquato Tasso: Autograph poem signed, no date. €12,000 to €16,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Charles Darwin: Autograph letter signed, 1866. €4,500 to €6,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Albert Einstein: Autograph letter signed, 1933. €6,000 to €8,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Heinrich Hertz: Autograph manuscript signed, 1889. €18,000 to €24,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Giambattista Bodoni: Autograph letter signed, 1787. €900 to €1,200.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Francisco de Goya: Autograph letter signed, 1789. €18,750 to €25,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Martin Luther: Notes from his desk, no date. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Ludwig van Beethoven: Autograph letter signed, 1816. €22,500 to €30,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Gustav Mahler: Foto portrait signed and annotated, 1907(?). €7,500 to €10,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Bed?ich Smetana: Autograph letter signed, 1883. €4,500 to €6,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Roman binding.- Pindar. <i>Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia,</i> translated by Johannes Lonicer, contemporary Roman binding by Niccolo Franzese, Basel, 1535. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Raverat (Gwen). Comprehensive album of 530 wood engravings, circa 1909-1950. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Hemingway (Ernest). <i>Fiesta,</i> first English edition, first impression dust-jacket, 1927. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, first impression, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>Great Expectations,</i> 3 vol., first edition, first impression, Chapman and Hall, 1861. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Campbell (Colen) & others. <i>Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect...,</i> 5 vol., vol.1-3 later editions, vol.4 & 5 first editions, [?1731]-31-67-71. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Geography.- Mela (Pomponius). <i>Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis,</i> Venice, Franciscus Renner de Heilbronn, 1478. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> America.- [?Espinosa y Tello (José)]. <i>Relacion del Viage hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana en el Año de 1792,</i> 2 vol. including Atlas, first edition, Madrid, 1802. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Australasia.- Péron (Francois) and Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet. <i>Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes,</i> 5 vol. including Atlas, second edition, Paris, 1824. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Botany.- Curtis (William). <i>The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed,</i> 83 vol. in 62, 1794-1956. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Darwin (Charles).- Lecky (W.E.H.) <i>The Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe,</i> 2 vol., Darwin's copy with inscription "Charles Darwin 1865", pencil marginalia and pencil notes, 1865. £7,000 to £10,000.
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript African Americana:<br>March 30, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Victor H. Green, <i>The Negro Motorist Green Book,</i> New York, 1949. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Papers of pianist-composer Lawrence Brown relating to Paul Robeson & more, various places, 1925-54. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Freedom Summer archive of civil rights activist Karen Haberman Trusty, Atlanta & elsewhere, 1963-64. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> New York, 1933. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Archive of letters from the sculptor Richmond Barthé to a close Jamaican friend, various places, 1966-85. $25,000 to $35,000.

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