Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2006 Issue

Signed Historic Documents from Stuart Lutz


Legendary country singer Hank Williams.

Hank Williams was probably the greatest country music artist ever. Among his still classic songs were Your Cheatin' Heart, Lovesick Blues, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Cold Cold Heart, Mind Your Own Business, Hey Good Lookin', Jambalaya, and Kaw-Liga. Amazingly, he accomplished all of this before the age of 30, Williams tragically dying from alcohol and who-knows-what abuse at the age of 29. Item 86 is the Hank Williams Country Music Folio, with music and lyrics to 20 of his songs, several photographs of him, with Williams' signature on one of the photos. $1,000.

Item 41 is a most sad historic document. It is a mourning card mailed after the death of John F. Kennedy, and sent by his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. It is inscribed, "Dear Jimmy. My thanks to you for your thoughtful kind letter. Bob." The "Jimmy" was James Roosevelt, eldest son of Eleanor and Franklin, and at the time a U.S. congressman. $800.

Here is a document that will be of interest to collectors of women's rights, though the author was a male. Noah Davis was a New York Supreme Court judge who was greatly responsible for putting away the corrupt "Boss" Tweed of Tammany Hall. In the 1880s, New York was still debating whether to admit women to the practice of law. Davis left no uncertainty as to his position. He says, "As to natural capacity to learn and understand the elements of law, no sensible person will rank the female mind below the male. On the contrary, women's intuitive perception of right and wrong and of justice of things is as a rule quicker in operation and clearer in expression than a man's..." Well, maybe he didn't have to go quite that far! Davis goes on to conclude, "We have neither the legal nor moral right to exclude capable and intelligent women from the field..." Item 88. $400.

He was a newsman from another era, unafraid to report what he saw or speak the truth. Edward R. Murrow was the leading newsman of his day, still a legend 40 years after he died. Item 57 is a 1958 thank you note to one of his listeners for some comments that listener evidently sent him. It is signed "E.R. Murrow." $250.

Goodnight and good luck.

Stuart Lutz Historic Documents may be found online at www.historydocs.com, phone number 973-275-9699.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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