Rare and Unusual Americana <br>From David M. Lesser
Item 38 is How to Escape the Coin Monopoly. Price 5 Cents. Does anyone else see irony in this title? Anyway, this rare 1895 pamphlet on reforming currency is a bit more costly today. $250.
Slavery and its associated issues were undoubtedly the major American story of the 19th century, so you will find many related items. The issues of the day, February 17, 1860, are discussed in a Speech of Col. Curtis M. Jacobs, on the Free Colored Population of Maryland, Delivered in the House of Delegates… Jacobs starts out saying that “No country under the sun presents the rainbow of hope to the oppressed millions of earth, like our own…” Touching sentiments. How does Jacobs propose to make Maryland a “rainbow of hope to the oppressed?” Here are some examples: “Free-Negroism throughout this State must be abolished. A universal pass system must be adopted. Emancipation by will and testament, or by any other means, must be prohibited. Negro worship, except in the assembly of the white congregation, and at the stated place and hours for the same, must not be allowed. Free negroes going out of the state must not be allowed to return on pain of being sold into slavery for life.” Thanks for your thoughts on providing hope to the oppressed. Of course Jacobs is a kind-hearted man, explaining that emancipation will only lead to a race war in the South which Blacks will lose and claiming that slaves were well-cared for and, of course, oh so happy when they were slaves. He also presents us with the claim that the real aim of the North is to create a monarchical aristocracy subjugating poor white workers when there are no more black slaves to provide labor. The full text of this hideous yet informative piece is available at http://ecpclio.net/megafile/msa/speccol/sc5300/sc5339/000060/000000/000001/restricted/megafile/ecp/4/03452/html/jacobs-01.html Item 65. $350.
Lest you think that all was evil in those days, item 7 is Roger Baldwin’s argument before the Supreme Court in the case of the Amistad. Baldwin had teamed up with former President John Quincy Adams to argue, successfully, for the freedom of slaves aboard a Spanish ship who had mutinied off the coast of Cuba. This story was made into the well-known movie. $2,500.
Here’s another form of “slavery:” John Humphrey Noyes’ Slavery and Marriage…. I can just hear all of you men out there snickering about this, but it’s not what you think. Noyes’ point in this 1850 publication from the Oneida (New York) utopian community is that women are the ones who become “slaves” in marriage. “The truth is Marriage gives man the power of ownership over woman, and such power is as wrong and prolific of wrong in the case of Marriage, as in that of Slavery.” I think times have changed, but then again I can only speak from my own experience. Item 88. $650.