Slavery & Abolition<br>From William Reese
A foreboding of bad things to come can be found in An Authentic Exposition of the “K.G.C.” “Knights of the Golden Circle;” or a History of Secession from 1834 to 1861. This pro-Southern Civil War era piece came from Union Indiana. The Knights were something of a precursor to the Klan, which for a while in the next century would gain surprising strength in Indiana. Item 119. $600. Another Klan piece is Lem A. Dever’s 1924 Confessions of an Imperial Klansman. You’d think from the title it was an expose of this organization’s nefarious behavior, but Reese explains that it reflects Dever’s disenchantment with the Klan’s leadership, not its ideals. Item 59. $300.
Item 82 is a Georgia Theatre broadside announcing Bill Parrow’s and Sweeny’s Great Southern Burlesque Opera Troupe. Dick Sweeny was a blackface performer, “one of the most popular delineators of Negro Peculiarities” (one can only wonder about Sweeny’s peculiarities). Master Parrow was a cross-dressing gender-bender, “the youthful delineator of Female Character.” What a funny duo they must have been. Thankfully, film was not yet available to preserve their act for posterity. $1,250.
Item 111 is an 1835 anti-slavery piece by William Jay: An Inquiry into the Character and Tendency of the American Colonization, and American Anti-Slavery Societies. This is of added interest as Jay was the son of John Jay, Revolutionary patriot, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, American diplomat, and New York Governor. This is a presentation copy, signed by the younger Jay, to P.G. Stuyvesant Esq. Reese doesn’t tell us who Stuyvesant is, but a good guess might be Peter G. Stuyvesant, a New York philanthropist whose namesake ancestor surrendered New Amsterdam to the British. $500.
These are just a few of the 221 interesting items you will find in William Reese’s latest catalogue. You may find Reese online at www.reeseco.com, or by phone at 203-789-8081.