More Americana From<br>Michael Brown Rare Books
Here’s a northern, anti-slavery broadside from the 1850s the South would have appreciated. The heading states No Union with Slaveholders. Anti-Slavery Meetings…Emancipation or Dissolution, and A Free Northern Republic. While the fervent opposition to slavery of those promoting these meetings is evidently unquestioned, it’s hard not to notice the irony that their ultimate remedy was the same as that of the slaveholders: disunion. The North would have been free, and there would have been no Dred Scott or Fugitive Slave Laws to enforce, but this solution would have done little for those slaves unable to escape. Item 4. $1,500.
Next there’s an item of interest to both American and French collectors. It is the 92-page manuscript diary of Francis Smith, an American who traveled in France in 1818-19. His observations are both informative and amusing. He confirms the opinion of others that “the women do everything,” observing “Is it not astonishing that the politest & rudest of nations should resemble each other in this particular.” He notes that French women run the shops, just as Indian women plow and prepare corn. The men “loiter about the house or amuse themselves the one with cards, billiards, or dice the other with hunting drinking or lying for hours stretched idly in the Sun.” In a comment that could easily have been made by an American politician of today, he states, “The ignorance of the people on the subject of politics and indeed on every other subject, is astonishing.” Item 85. $2,500.
Item 159 recalls one of the saddest moments in the United States’ poor treatment of its native population. The Cherokee removal from Georgia to Oklahoma, and the death of so many from that nation along the “Trail of Tears,” is one of the lowest points in that history. In 1832, the Cherokee were still looking to the federal government to honor its treaties and respect their land rights. The attempt was futile, and within a few years, they would be removed. Item 159 is a pamphlet setting forth their grievances to Congress, with the title Cherokee Indians. Memorial of a Delegation of the Cherokee Tribe of Indians. January 9,1832. $150.
Here is an unusual title: Yr American, Yr Hwn Sydd Yn Cynnwys Nodauar Daith o Ddyffryn Ohio… I recognized “American” and “Ohio,” but what of the rest of that? What language could it be? The answer is Welsh. This item was published in 1840 in Wales with the purpose of encouraging emigration to Ohio. According to an old listing in Ernie Wesson’s “Midland Notes” (see the Americana Exchange Database) Benjamin Chidlaw’s title translates to “The American. Containing notes on a journey from the Ohio Valley to Wales…” Item 179. $250.