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The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector

by Profiles in History

Platinum House

298 lots with images

December 18, 2012

Live Auction

26901 Agoura Road

Suite 150

Calabasas Hills, CA, 91301 USA

Phone: 310-859-7701

Fax: 310-859-3842

Email: Info@profilesinhistory.com

298 Lots
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Adams, John, Fine autograph letter signed as President, 1 pages (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.)

Lot 1: Adams, John, Fine autograph letter signed as President, 1 pages (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.)

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Description: 1. Adams, John,Fine autograph letter signed as President, 1 pages (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.), “Washington,” 30 December 1800 to “Hon. Mr. Gerry” - fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence Elbridge Gerry, with Gerry’s twelve-word autograph docket on the verso of the integral leaf: “Washington Letter, President Adams, 30th Decr 1800, & Gerry’s answer 20th Jany 1801”discussing the uncertainty over who would succeed Adams as President; repair to folds, light browning. Who will succeed Adams as President of the United States? Adams writes to Elbridge Gerry regarding the outcome of the “election” of 3 December 1800. The “election” was, in fact, a series of local contests to choose Presidential electors.  In a number of cases, the outcome had already been determined months before.  In other cases, electors were chosen on various dates during the month of November. The day set for the electors to actually cast their votes in their respective states was 3 December 1800.  The possibility loomed that it might be Aaron Burr, as Adams explains in full: Dear Sir I have rec’d your favour of the 18th.  It has been an invariable usage twelve years, for the P. to answer no Letters of Solicitation or recommendation to Office.  But with you in full Confidence I will say that it is uncertain whether I shall appoint any Consuls to France.  Mr. Lee is represented to me as a Jacobin, who was very busy in a late Election in the Town of Roxbury on the wrong Side.  His Pretensions however shall be considered with all others impartially, if I should make any appointments. Your anxiety for the issue of the Elections is by this time allayed.  How mighty a Power is the Spirit of Party?  How decisive and unanimous it is!  73 for Mr Jefferson and 73 for Mr Burr.  May the Peace and Welfare of the Country be promoted, by this result. But I see not the way, as yet.  In the Case of Mr. Jefferson there is nothing wonder full: but Mr Burr’s good fortune surprises all ordinary rules, and exceeds that of Bonaparte.  All the old Patriots, all the Splendid Talents, the long experience, both of Feds and Antifeds, must be subjected to the humiliation of seeing this dexterous Gentleman rise like a balloon, filled with inflam[m]able air, over their heads, and this is not the worst.  What a discouragement to all virtuous Exertion and what an Encouragement to Party Intrigue and corruption?  What course is it We steer and to what harbour are we bound?  Say, man of Wisdom and Experience, for I am wholly at a loss.  I thank you Sir and Mrs Gerry for your kind condolence with us in our afflictions under a very melancholly [sic] and distressing Bereavment.  I thank the Supream [sic] that I have yet two Sons, who will give me Lone consolation, by a perseverance in those habits of Virtue and Industry which they have hitherto preserved.  There is nothing more to be said, but let the eternal Will be done. With great regard, I have the honor to be, Sir, your obliged friend and obedient Servant.  John Adams. The election of 1800 was a battle between the Federalists - who advocated a strong central government with only such political power for the various states as was absolutely necessary - and the Democratic Republicans - who believed that the states should yield to the federal government only that which was necessary.  The Federalist candidates were President John Adams (for a second term) and Charles C. Pinckney as his running mate.  The Democratic-Republican candidates were Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.  Both the President and Vice President were elected by the same ballot.  One faction of the Federalists - led by Alexander Hamilton - hoped that Pinckney would receive the Presidency and that Adams, with the second largest number of votes, would then become Vice President. Reports came in very slowly, prolonging the outcome.  As time progressed, it became certain that neither John Adams nor Charles Cotesworth Pinckney could be considered the winner, but the outcome of the voting concerning the other two candidates was still unknown.  One thing was clear: the Federalist Party had lost its grip in the new nation.  Of the 276 votes cast, 73 went to Thomas Jefferson and 73 went to Aaron Burr.  [Adams received 65, Pinckney received 64 and John Jay received 1 vote.]  The election was referred to the House of Representatives (which was dominated by Federalists) to decide which candidate would be the President - and which would be the Vice President.  [Some Federalists believe Burr to be the lesser evil of the two - and plotted to elect him President.]  Balloting to decide the tie took place on February 11, 1801.  The representatives did not vote individually - but by state groups, each state being entitled to one vote.  To win, Jefferson or Burr had to carry nine states, a majority of the sixteen in the Union.  On the 36th ballot (February 17, 1801), Federalists in the Vermont and Maryland delegations abstained, thereby giving those two deadlocked states to Jefferson.  Ten states voted for Jefferson, four for Burr, and two voted blank (Delaware and South Carolina).  Jefferson was declared elected President and Burr his Vice President. Provenance:  The Collection of Philip D. Sang, Sotheby’s, New York 26 April 1978, lot 5.

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Adams, John. Fine autograph letter signed (

Lot 2: Adams, John. Fine autograph letter signed ("J. Adams"), 3 pages (9 x 7 ¼ in.; 229 x 184 mm.)

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Description: 2. Adams, John, Fine autograph letter signed (“J. Adams”), 3 pages (9 x 7 ¼ in.; 229 x 184 mm.), Quincy, 12 April 1807 to Benjamin Rush regarding the fate of Pennsylvania amid all the political turmoil of the times; with integral address leaf addressed to: “Dr. Benjamin Rush, Philadelphia” and red wax seal remnant on third page, with Adams’ free frank, docketed by Rush “Quincy, Apl. 13th. 1807 Free” and “J. Adams”.  Former President John Adams worries about the fate of Pennsylvania, particularly in light of the enormous political influence of men such as Adams’ enemy, former Vice President Aaron Burr. Benjamin Rush had served as a member of the Continental Congress (1776, 1777) and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  At the time of this letter, he was serving as Treasurer of the U.S. Mint (1797-1813), appointed by President John Adams; it was Adams who mediated the reconciliation between Rush and Thomas Jefferson after both had retired from active politics.   A reflective Adams, now retired in Quincy after years of public service, writes freely to his close friend.  He writes in full: Dear Sir, Your favour of the third is received.  I am willing to allow your Philosophers your Opinion of the universal Gravitation of Matter, if you will allow mine that there is in Some Souls a principle of absolute Levity that buoys them irres[is]tably into the Clouds.  Whether you call it etherial [sic] Spirit or inflammable air it has an uncontrollable Tendency to ascend, and has no capacity to ascertain the height at which it aims or the means by which it is to rise.  This I take to be precisely the Genius of Burr, Miranda and Hamilton, among a thousand others of less or more Note.  These Creatures have no Prudence.  If a Man is once So disarranged in his Intellect as to deliberate upon a Project of ascending to the Seven Starrs, it is natural enough that he should first attempt to Seize the two Horns of the New Moon and make her his first Stage. Burr’s project of making himself   V.P. of U.S. to a reasonable Man would have appeared an high degree of Extravagance, for there were ten thousand Men in the United States, who were as well qualified for it and had merited it by much greater Services, Sufferings and Sacrifices.  Yet in this he succeeded.  Buoyed up by the flattery of the Presbyterians in Connecticutt, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and all the Southern States, from the Veneration in which they held his Father and Grandfather, the Factions of Clintons and Livingstons alternately employed him as their Instrument, till the Virginians conceived the Project of engaging him to corrupt the State of New York from the Federal Interest.  In this They and he succeeded: but all the rest of his Projects have been whimsical and without Success.  What could have inspired Burr with hopes of being an Ambassador, a Chief Justice of Pensilvania [sic] or a Governor of New York or Vice P. of U.S.? Omnia Numina Absunt, Sui absit Prudentia.  Prudence is the first of Virtues and the root of all others.  Without Prudence, there may be abstinence but not Temperance; there may be rashness but not Fortitude; there may be insensibility or obstinancy but not Patience. Without Prudence, to weigh and deliberate on the Nature and consequences of an Enterprise, and to consider his means and his End, a Man who engages in it, commits himself to Chance, and not Seldom when a thousand Chances are against him to one in his favour. I pity my old Friend, [Thomas] McKean [(1734-1817) - signer of the Declaration of Independence, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania (served 1777-99) and Governor of Pennsylvania (served 1799-1808)].  Like many others of our Antedeluvian Patriarchs he was carried away into Error by the French Revolution and delivered himself into the hands of a Party with whom he never could cordially cooperate.  In the Time of Robespierre [(1758-1794) - French revolutionary leader responsible for much of the Reign of Terror] and his bloodyest Cruelties I dined once in Company with McKean, [Albert] Gallatin [(1761-1849) - Secretary of the Treasury (served 1801-14)] and Burr and they were all very loud in praise of Robespierre.  ‘He was honest, and the Savior of France.’ Some of the Company presumed to censure their Patriot and Hero, and all three of these Gentlemen cried out ‘Robespierre’s Crime is his Honesty.’  How many Instances do We See every day which prove that Honesty is not the best Policy. They have all of them tried a different Policy, but I believe they will all come to a sad End and find at last that Honesty would have been a better Policy. I now come to a Mystery in your Letter.  I have but four Grandsons; two of them are Boys under Seven Years of Age [George Washington Adams (1801-1829) and John Adams II (1803-1834)] and have been at my House and in Boston all Winter.  They are the Children of my son John [Quincy Adams (1767-1848)]; the two others are Sons of my Daughter [Abigail - or Nabby] Smith [(1765-1813)], the youngest of whom whose name is John [Adams Smith (1788-1854)] is now with me, and has not been in Philadelphia since last May; the oldest is William [Steuben Smith (1787-1850)] Now to my great grief in Trinidad.  No Letter therefore can have been left at your House from any Grandson of mine.  I cannot unriddle this Mystery but by Supposing that some adventurer has forgot a Letter: but for what End I know not.  I thank you with all my heart for your kind Intentions towards my Supposed Grandson.  They are as authentic proofs of Friendship, as if it had been my real Grandson. Pennsylvania can fall down on one broadside and then roll over to the other Broadside, and then turn Mast upwards and then right her self up again.  She is a Ship however so violently addicted to pitching and rolling that I should not wonder if she dismasted herself. To quit the figure and Speak plain English I have long thought that the first Serious civil War in America will commence in Pensilvania [sic].  The two Nations of Irish and Germans who compose the principal Part of the People, are so entirely governed by their Passions, have So little reason and less Knowledge that it will be impossible to keep them steady in any just System of Policy.  They will one day repent in Sac[k]cloth [a coarse cloth, made of goats’ hair, worn as a symbol of penitence] the ascendency they have given to the Transaleganian [Trans-Alleghanian, i.e., the states containing the Allegheny Mountains - Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia] and Southern Atlantic States [North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia] and So will New York.  But So contagious is Folly that we in the Mass[achusetts]. are running the Same Course.  I do not believe how even that Sullivan, if he should be chosen, will harmonize long with his Party.  Not half so long as McKean has.  He is in heart and in head no more of a Democrat than McKean.  I have known him not much less than forty years.  He has never been a steady nor a [obscured by wax seal] Man.  But he is not malevolent Enough for his Party nor ignorant.  His general aim has been to be of the Strongest Side and consequently has often offended all Parties at times. I should be glad to receive your explication of the Strange Story of my Grandson.  You do not say that the Letter was from Col. Smith.  What can the Tenet be? My Family reciprocate the friendly Sentiments of yours and none of them more heartily than J. Adams As described in the previous lot, the election of 1800 turned into a contentious drawn out affair and weighed upon Adams enormously. Little wonder that years after the election of 1800, Adams continued to harbor great resentment at the powers wielded by Burr in influencing the outcome of the New York elections. Provenance: Christie’s New York 19 May 1995, lot 2.

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Adams, John. Important autograph letter signed (

Lot 3: Adams, John. Important autograph letter signed ("John Adams"), 1 page (9 ¾ x 8 in.; 248 x 203 mm.)

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Description: 3. Adams, John. Important autograph letter signed (“John Adams”), 1 page (9 ¾ x 8 in.; 248 x 203 mm.), Quincy, 26 January 1814, to Richard Rush, the son of signer Benjamin Rush regarding his position to a successful conclusion to the War of 1812; light browning, mounting remnants on verso. To push the War with Vigour, till We have a Peace, neither disgraceful to the Nation or the Government is the Sincere hope and ardent Wish of my heart . . . Like his father, Richard Rush was born to serve his country. He served as comptroller of the U.S. Treasury (1811), Attorney General (1814-17), Secretary of State (1817), and Minister to Great Britain (1817-25).  Later he served as Secretary of the Treasury (1825-28) and Minister to France (1847-49).  Adams first comments on a legal treatise written by George Hay (1765-1830), American jurist, who is best remembered as U.S. Attorney for the District of Virginia, in which capacity he conducted the prosecution of Aaron Burr for treason; then, in the second paragraph, Adams, discussing “universal law”, refers to Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), British jurist, whose history of the doctrines of English law were very influential on jurisprudence in the United States.  Adams writes in full: Dear Sir If I may judge of others by myself, Mr. [George] Hay had no cause of apprehension that he should be tedious: for when I had read the first page I could not lay aside the book till I had read the last.  I know not when I have seen a discussion of any legal or political question pursued with so dispassionate a temper; or written with more perspicuity, accuracy or luminous arrangement.  The author is Master of his Subject and all the Learning necessary to support is Position. What can [Sir William] Blac[k]stone mean by universal Law?  Are the cannon Law and the feudal Law, universal Laws?  Are the Pope or his eldest Son the Emperor universal Legislators?  Is any Law universal, but the law of our natures, written on our hearts, and obligatory on all Men from their beginning and through all their dispersions?  The Doctrine of Universal and perpetual, inherent and inalienable Allegiance has no other foundation, than in a degrading Superst[it]ion and an unrelenting Despotism. To push the War with Vigour, till We have a Peace, neither disgraceful to the Nation or the Government is the Sincere hope and ardent Wish of my heart: Your assurance therefore of a determined Spirit in all Branches of the Government, is delightful to me. Our northern gentry are foaming to stop the wheels: but all will end in securing their state elections.  I am &c  John Adams Former President John Adams states his position with regard to a successful conclusion to the War of 1812 with the words that the United States must “...push the War with Vigour”.  At the time of this letter, the United States was still at war with Britain, motivated by Britain’s unyielding position on neutral shipping - specifically, the impressment of seamen, interference with trade and the blockade of American ports, as well as by the British encouragement of Indian hostilities. It was not until late 1814, after two years of war, that Britain was willing to engage in peace talks.  Though the Treaty of Ghent (December 24, 1814) restored the peace between Great Britain and the United States, many of the leading demands of the U.S. were not met - including satisfaction on impressment, blockades, and other maritime grievances.  In fact, the treaty was silent on the very issues over which Great Britain and the U.S. had initially clashed, and gave to neither party what it originally proposed.  News of the signing of the treaty reached New York on February 11, 1815.  It was unanimously ratified by the Senate on February 15, 1815, and proclaimed by President James Madison on February 17, 1815. 

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Adams, John. Book signed (8 ¼ x 5 in.; 210 x 127 mm.)

Lot 4: Adams, John. Book signed (8 ¼ x 5 in.; 210 x 127 mm.)

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Description: 4. Adams, John. Book signed:  A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, London, 1787. (8 ¼ x 5 in.; 210 x 127 mm.). Original boards, blank interleaves; general wear to boards. First edition, presentation copy inscribed and signed by John Adams to Richard Henry Lee and also signed by John Quincy Adams. Adams inscribes the blank leaf just before the title page: “Mr. Lee’s acceptance of this is requested.  It is sent him in Boards interleaved that at his Leisure Mr. Lee may make his Remarks in it, and communicate them if he will be so good to the Author.”  Also signing the blank leaf is “John Quincy Adams”.  The title page contains the bold signature of “Ludwell Lee.” Adams’ book A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America was to contain Adams’ defense of the constitutions of the various American states, and was to clarify the true and proper basis of sound government.  It was Adams’ hope that the work would establish beyond question the principle of separate and balanced branches by using the lessons of history and the writings of philosophers to defend his arguments.  It was his major work - an anthology or disquisition on the nature of true government.  Adams’ wife, Abigail, wrote to her son John Quincy, that the work was “an investigation into the different forms of government both ancient and modern - monarchal, aristocratical, democratical, and republican - pointing out their happiness or misery in proportion to their different balances.” Feeling the need to finish the work as soon as possible, Adams, in London as Minister to Great Britain, completed the work in a few short weeks, but due to his haste, the finished product was haphazard, disorganized, and filled with errors.  Nonetheless, Adams had effectively stated his main theme.  He wrote: “Without three orders and an effectual balance between them in every American constitution, it must be destined to frequent, unavoidable revolutions; though they are delayed a few years they must come in time.”  Adams supported a free government with a solid democratic base in the form of a popular assembly responsive to the people.  He asserted the need for “democratical branches” or popular assemblies in government that represented the mass of the citizens of the state.  The response to the book was favorable - and considerable.  It sold very well, and appeared in a number of editions, which were widely read and hotly debated.  It was the first extensive examination by an American of the nature of government.  The book was Adams’ longest work, and his only multi-volume work - as long as all the other published works in his lifetime.  It was also the last great statement of a certain political school of thought - the classical Republican. In January of 1787, Adams sent off a rough manuscript copy of his Defense to the printer for a limited printing.  When the printer returned printed copies, Adams discovered many typesetting errors, but proceeded, in any case, to get copies off to Jefferson and Lafayette, as well as a number of close friends in America, including Cotton Tufts, President Willard of Harvard, Professor Williams, Tristram Dalton, Richard Cranch, John Thaxter, General Warren, Samuel Adams, and Francis Dana.  He also sent copies to each of his sons, and 30 volumes to a Boston bookseller chosen by Tufts.  The blank sheets in the present volume were probably purposely inserted by the book binder, as Adams puts it in his inscription to Lee: “It is sent him in boards interleaved that at his Leisure Mr. Lee may make his Remarks in it, and communicate them if he will be so good to the Author.” This particular volume is the first edition of Adams’ London edition, and appears to be the actual copy that Adams personally gave to Richard Henry Lee (1732-94) - a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress (1774-79) and a fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence - and a man whom Adams had pronounced to be “a masterly man” when the two first met at the Congress of 1775 in Philadelphia.  At that time, Lee and Adams agreed that it was time that the colonies adopt their own governments.  [At Lee’s suggestion, Adams was encouraged to draw up his Thoughts on Government (1776).]  Lee was instrumental in urging the resolution (formally presented on June 7, 1776 - then adopted on July 2, 1776 and formally endorsed on July 4, 1776) that became known as the Declaration of Independence - the manifesto in which the representatives of the 13 American colonies asserted their independence and explained their reasons for their break with Britain, with the words: “...these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” The date when Lee received the book from Adams is probably April or May, 1787, when copies of the work first reached Philadelphia, though there is a slight chance that it might have been later - between 1789 and 1792 - when Adams and Lee were together on virtually a daily basis - Adams serving as Vice-President and Lee as a member of the Senate.  (Lee wrote to Adams in September, 1787 from New York that Adams’ book was “here”, though he may not have been referring to this particular presentation copy, but to the fact that the book was now in this country.) Ludwell Lee (1760-1836), son of Richard Henry, has signed the book across the title page.  Apparently, the book passed down from Richard Henry to his son.  It is interesting to note that Ludwell’s son, also named Richard Henry (1802-65), carried on a sizeable correspondence with John Adams’ son, John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) during the years 1824-43.  The book is not only signed by John Adams (signing as “the Author”), but is also signed by his son John Quincy Adams.  It is highly likely that, at some time c. 1830-40, Ludwell’s son Richard Henry, who received the book from his father, asked John Adams’ son John Quincy to sign the book (note John Quincy’s shakey hand).  The book has gone “full-circle”, so to speak, “signed” by both Adams (first by the father and then, much later, by the son), inscribed to Richard Henry Lee (the father), signed by his son Ludwell Lee, and passed on to his son Richard Henry. The book is also signed and dated 1846 (beneath John Adams’ inscription and John Quincy Adams’ signature) by John Strohm (1793-1884), a Pennsylvania congressman (March, 1845 - March, 1849).  The route of the book from the Lees to Strohm is undetermined, though the book was either acquired directly from Richard Henry Lee (or his heirs) or perhaps, from John Quincy Adams (who would have received the book from either Ludwell Lee or his son, Richard Henry Lee).  There is also no available information on specifically why the volume passed out of the hands of the Lee family.  There is some additional handwritten content in the volume.  On a blank leaf bound between the Table of Contents and the first page of text, there is a quotation (in French) in an unidentified hand taken from and attributed to Memoires de Commines, regarded as one of the classics of medieval history, written by the French chronicler Philippe de Commines.  The passage states: “Entre toutes les Seigneuries du monde dans j’ai connaissance, ou la choice publique est mieux trait,e, & ou regne moins de violence sur le peuple - c’est l”Angleterre”. Excessively rare in original boards and the associations with two generations of the Adams and Lee families is nothing short of extraordinary. Provenance: Francis K. Gaskell (bookplate).

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Adams, John Quincy. Autograph letter signed as President, 1 page (10 x 7 ¾ in.; 254 x 197 mm.)

Lot 5: Adams, John Quincy. Autograph letter signed as President, 1 page (10 x 7 ¾ in.; 254 x 197 mm.)

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Description: 5. Adams, John Quincy. Autograph letter signed as President, 1 page (10 x 7 ¾ in.; 254 x 197 mm.), “Washington,” 9 March 1827, to Richard Riker Esquire, Recorder of the City of New York, regarding the completion of the Erie Canal; marginal split at horizontal fold.  President John Quincy Adams on the successful completion of the New York Canals [i.e., the Erie Canal] which have mingled the waters of the Western Lakes with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. President Adams sends thanks to his correspondent for two copies of an elegantly bound narrative on the completion of the Erie Canal (October 26, 1825).  He writes in full: Sir.  I have duly received your Letter of the 26th. ulto. [February 26, 1827] together with two copies elegantly bound of the very interesting Memoir of Mr. Colder upon the New York Canals, and the annexed authentic narratives of the Celebrations upon the completion of those great Works which have mingled the waters of the Western Lakes with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. One of these copies was intended by the kindness of the Corporation, for my deceased father [John Adams, d. July 4, 1826], and in his name, and in that of his Representatives, I pray you to tender to that body our thanks for this civic tribute to his memory.  For the copy of them designed and forwarded for me the Corporation will please to accept my acknowledgements.  It contains in itself evidence that many of the Arts which adorn, as well as those which comfort human life, are prospering in our Country and evinces that the Spirit, which was found equal to the great undertaking of inland communication is persuading every portion of your community, and moving in happy concert towards that object of the aspirations of the wise and good, the improvement of our common condition. Accept also for your self, the thanks and Respects of your fellow Citizens.  John Quincy Adams. On October 26, 1825, the Erie Canal was completed - then officially opened at Buffalo.  It connected the Hudson River with Lake Erie by way of the Mohawk River, channels in Lake Oneida and short stretches of other rivers.  Mules pulled flat-bottomed barges through the four-foot deep, 363-mile long canal at the rate of a mile and a half an hour.  During its first year of operation, the Erie Canal saw 7,000 barges travel its course from Albany to Buffalo.  Those who had worked on the canal, begun in 1817, remained to establish towns along its route.  The flow of goods along the Erie Canal and the Hudson River - a combined distance of 550 miles - soon made New York the nation’s busiest seaport, as well as the nation's financial center.  The completion of the Erie Canal signalled the beginning of a major era of canal building; 3,000 miles of inland waterways were constructed by the 1840s.  Combined with the surge of road building, the construction of these inland waterways helped open up many new territories in the west to commerce and settlement. A number of other Western canals were completed between 1825-56 linking the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers with the Great Lakes.  They included: (1) the Ohio Canal connecting Portsmouth and Cleveland (1825-32); (2) the Miami Canal connecting Cincinnati and Toledo (1825-45); (3) the Louisville and Portland Canal around the falls of the Ohio River (1826-31); (4) the Wabash and Erie Canal, linking Toledo with Evansville - the longest canal in the U.S. (1832-56); (5) the Illinois and Michigan Canal connecting Lake Michigan and the Illinois River (1836-48); and (6) the original Welland Canal around Niagara Falls connecting Lakes Erie and Ontario (built by Canada, 1829-33). Of all the canal projects, the Erie Canal was unique in that it achieved a profit.  Most of the other canals eventually failed because their construction required an insurmountable debt that could not be recouped from users’ fees.   The new age of the railroads brought an end to the role of canals in the commercial growth and westward expansion of the nation.  

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Adams, Samuel. Autograph letter signed (

Lot 6: Adams, Samuel. Autograph letter signed ("Sam Adams"), 2 pages (9 ¾ x 8 in.; 248 x 203 mm.)

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Description: 6. Adams, Samuel. Autograph letter signed (“Sam Adams”), 2 pages (9 ¾ x 8 in.; 248 x 203 mm.), “Boston,” 21 June 1773, to Arthur Lee, American diplomat, who, at the time of the present letter, was serving as Massachusetts colonial agent in London; marginal stains, skillful marginal repairs. The Boston Committee of Correspondence, led by patriot Samuel Adams, publishes the “Hutchinson Letters” revealing the treachery of Massachusetts Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson and his friends, agents of the Crown in America. Adams writes in full: I wrote in very great haste a few days ago and then inclosd a printed Copy of Letters signd Tho Hutchinson, And Oliver &c., with certain Resolutions formed by a Committee by the House and with very little Variation adopted, as you will see by the inclosd. Upon the last Resolve there was a Division of 85 to 28; since which five of the Minority alterd their Minds, two other Members came into the House and desired to be counted, so that finally there were 93 in favor and 22 against it. Many, if not most of the latter voted for all the other Resolves. A Petition and Remembrance against Hutchinson and Oliver will be brought in, I suppose, this Week. I think enough appears by these Letters to show, that the Plan for the Ruin of of [sic] American Liberty, was laid by a few Men, ‘born and educated’ amongst us, & governd by Avarice and a Lust of Power. Could they be removd from his Majesty’s Service & Confidence here, effectual Measures might then be taken to restore ‘placidam sub Libetate Quietam’. Perhaps however you may think it necessary that some on your Side of the Water should be impeached 7 brought to condign Punishment. In this I shall not differ with you. I send you our last Election Sermon delivered by Mr. Turner. The Bishop of Postaph--I have read with Singular Pleasure. Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780), a lawyer and merchant, served in the Massachusetts legislature (1737-49) and as a member of the Governor’s Council (1749-66), and also acted as the colony’s historian. He believed that in the constitutional relationship between England and America, each party should be free to pursue its own interests, though in a test of supremacy, England and specifically Parliament, should be able to decide for the whole or the colonies’ subordination within the empire would become meaningless. His political philosophy proved to be his undoing, In August 1765, Boston mobs burned down his house as they vented their fury at the passage of the Stamp Act (March 1765) on the wealthy merchant and multiple officeholder. In January 1773, Hutchinson, the Royal Governor of Massachusetts (served 1771-74), made a speech to the General Court answering the Boston Committee of Correspondence (Formed in November 1772) and its “Boston Pamphlet”, which had asserted that British encroachments upon colonial rights pointed to a plot to enslave America. The pamphlet was first issued in late November 1772. By the spring of 1773, the committee had printed 600 copies of the pamphlet. Almost half of the towns and districts of the colony took action, forming their own committees of correspondence and passing resolutions echoing Boston’s dread of the sinister plot against their liberties. A major grievance voiced in the pamphlet was the issue of taxation without representation. The pamphlet also accused Governor Hutchinson of taking part in the conspiracy, labeling him as “merely a ministerial Engine.” It asserted that the colonials were British subjects and retained the rights of subjects--absolute rights--that could not be alienated. No power could lawfully remove them from the people’s control. Hutchinson’s speech deplored Committees of Correspondence and the claim to absolute rights. According to Hutchinson, a colonist derived his rights from the charter granted him by the Crown. From the founding on, the premise of the government was that a colonist was subordinate to Parliament. According to Hutchinson, the men who were challenging the Parliament were in the wrong. Hutchinson’s speech actually strengthened the opposition to the British Crown. The powerful constitutional case against the supremacy of Parliament in the colonies, which had been stated repeatedly since 1765, was now restated by Samuel Adams, the Committee of Correspondence and the citizens of Massachusetts. In June 1773, the Boston Committee published the letters of Thomas Hutchinson, his brother-in-law Andrew Oliver and several others to Thomas Whately, the British subminister. The letters, dated 1767-79, revealed the extent of their writers’ disenchantment with the popular opposition to the actions and policies of the British government. The “treachery” of Hutchinson and his friends, agents of the Crown in America, was not exposed; Britain’s agents, Hutchinson and Oliver, seemed to confess that they were advocates of a conspiracy. Portrayed as a traitor to his native country for having joined in an alleged general scheme to enslave the American colonists, Hutchinson was forced to withdraw his family to England after the implementation of the Coercive Acts (March 1774). Benjamin Franklin, who, six months earlier, had sent them to Thomas Cushing with the injunction that they be kept secret, had obtained the letters.

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Adams, Samuel. Autograph letter signed (

Lot 7: Adams, Samuel. Autograph letter signed ("Saml Adams"), 1 page (12 ¾ x 8 1/8 in.; 324 x 206 mm.)

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Description: 7. Adams, Samuel.  Autograph letter signed (“Saml Adams”), 1 page (12 ¾ x 8 1/8 in.; 324 x 206 mm.), “Philadelphia,” 2 September 1777, to Henry Bromfield, Esquire of Boston, docketed on the versoin Adams’ hand, “Henry Bromfield, Esq. Boston”.The letter is docketed again on the verso [presumably in Bromfield’s hand], “Letter from Saml Adams Esqr dated Philadelpha Sept 2d 1777”; small split to central horizontal fold. An exceptional Revolutionary War-date letter regarding the Northern Campaign. Adams writes in full: I am requested by a Member of Congress from South Carolina for whom I have a particular regard, to introduce his Friend Mr Henry Crouch to some of my Boston Friends.  He is a merchant of Charlestown and will let off on a Visit your Way tomorrow.  I take the Liberty of addressing a letter to you by him.  Your friend by Notice of him will greatly oblige me. I heartily congratulate you on the happy Change of our Affairs at the Northward.  The Feelings of a Man of Burgoyns Vanity must be sorely touched by this Disappointment. Howes Army remains near where they first landed and is supposed to be ten thousand fit for Duty.  Washingtons Army exceeds that Number, is in health & high Spirits, and the Militia have joined in great number, well equiped and ambitious to emulate the Valor of their Eastern Brethren.  Our light Troops are continually harrassing the Enemy.  The Day before yesterday they attacked their out Posts & drove them in, killing & wounding a small Number.  By the last Account we had taken about seventy Prisoners without any Loss on our side.  Our Affairs are at this moment very serious and critical.  We are contending for the Rights of our Country and Mankind -- May the Confidence of America be placed in the God of Armies!                                                                                By 30 June 1777, General Burgoyne’s army of 4,200 British regulars, 4,000 German mercenaries, and several hundred Canadians and Indians had reached Ft. Ticonderoga, commanded by General Arthur St. Clair.  On the evening of 5 July, St. Clair evacuated the fort after enduring a four-day siege, abandoning substantial supplies.  Burgoyne, in pursuit, took Skenesborough and Ft. Anne (6-7 July).  Meanwhile, a British force under the command of Col. Barry St. Leger, advanced eastward from Oswego on Lake Ontario.  British morale soared after the victory at Ticonderoga.  King George is reported to have exclaimed, “I have beat them!  I have beat all the Americans!”  Yet rather than shrink from the threat, the Continentals rallied.  Patriots slowed Burgoyne’s advance by blocking roads, destroying bridges, and sacking crops and livestock in the surrounding countryside.  Soon, the logistical difficulties for the British became critical; supply problems became alarming.  Upon reaching Fort Edward on 30 July, the British commander was forced to call a halt to rest and re-supply his beleaguered army.  With this delay, the Americans were able to concentrate and pounce on the British in short order.  On 16 August, the American force surprised and destroyed an 800-man detachment that Burgoyne had sent from Fort Edward to Bennington, Vermont, to seize patriot supplies.  This disaster brought home to Burgoyne the precariousness of his army’s position:  it was isolated deep in enemy territory, and threatened by a large and growing American force.  In the coming days, his situation would grow worse, and conversely, the American prospects for victory would loom ever larger. Following the date of the present letter, things continued to go well for the Continentals well into autumn.  General Burgoyne resolved to press on to Albany and crossed to the west side of the Hudson (13 September), moving against the entrenched position Gates had prepared on Bemis Heights.  On 19 September 1777, General Burgoyne attempted to gain high ground on the American left but was checked at the Battle of Freeman’s Farm by General Daniel Morgan and Colonel Henry Dearborn. On 3 October 1777, General Clinton, commanding British troops in New York City, moved up the Hudson, taking Forts Clinton and Montgomery on the 6th.  Clinton received an urgent call for help from Burgoyne on the 9th.  Clinton felt too insecure to push on to Albany, and returned to New York.  Burgoyne was now desperate.  On 7 October, Burgoyne launched his second drive, venturing out of his lines toward the American left again.  A countermove by Gates, led by Morgan and General Ebenezer Learned, repulsed the British attack.  Gates secured an important victory at the (Second) Battle of Saratoga (7 October 1777), while Benedict Arnold, contributing to the victory, led a fierce assault, which threw Burgoyne back upon Bemis Heights.  The Americans carried the Breymann redoubt.  Burgoyne withdrew north eastward and, on October 8th, retreated to Saratoga.  On 13 October 1777, surrounded by a force now three times the size of his own, he asked for a cessation of hostilities.  The convention of Saratoga transported Burgoyne and 5,700 British troops back to England.

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Anderson, Robert. Autograph letter signed, 2 pages, (8 ¼ x 5 ¼ in.; 210 x 133 mm.)

Lot 8: Anderson, Robert. Autograph letter signed, 2 pages, (8 ¼ x 5 ¼ in.; 210 x 133 mm.)

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Description: 8. Anderson, Robert. Autograph letter signed, 1 page, (8 ¼ x 5 ¼ in.; 210 x 133 mm.), Fort Sumter, South Carolina, 7 April 1861, to F. A. Kilton, Providence, R. I.; mounting remnants on verso of integral blank.   Five days before the bombardment of Fort Sumter begins, the fort’s commander, Robert Anderson, predicts the awful truth that war is at hand.  Just five days before the start of the bombardment of Fort Sumter Major Anderson, who would soon sustain the first shots of the Civil War, resigns himself to the fact that war is imminent. Anderson writes in full: Dear Sir: Yours of Mar. 30th gratifies me, in showing a patriotic spirit. I fear, though, that unless we appeal, with all our hearts, to God, to help us in this, our time of need & of trial, we shall soon have our land accursed by the shedding of our brother's blood. May I not live to see the light of that day! Yours respy Robert Anderson Major USA A remarkable premonition written by the Union officer who so gallantly held the fort for 34 hours before he was forced to surrender.

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[Battle of Bunker Hill.] Martin Gay. Signed letter, 4 pages (9 x 7 3/8 in.; 229 x 187 mm.)

Lot 10: [Battle of Bunker Hill.] Martin Gay. Signed letter, 4 pages (9 x 7 3/8 in.; 229 x 187 mm.)

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Description: 10. [Battle of Bunker Hill.] Martin Gay. Highly important and extremely rare autograph letter signed twice, 4 pages (9 x 7 3/8 in.; 229 x 187 mm.), “Boston,” 8 July 1775, being Gay’s retained copy to his brother, Jonathan, providing an incomparable description of the legendary Battle of Bunker Hill; skillful repair to horizontal folds and ink burns affecting the first signature. A dramatic eyewitness account of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Gay writes in part: The Victory obtained by about two thousand regular troops commanded by Genl How [General William Howe] over a large body of the Country Rebels (tis said about six thousand) on the heights of Charlestown, the 17 ult. was a remarkable action, it proves that nothing the Enimies to Great Britton can do will daunt the courage of the British Troops. The Rebels had Intrenched themselves on the top of a high hill which is but about a quarter of a mile from Charles River, in approaching which, the troops had to brake through stone walls and other difficulty which gave the Enimy every advantage they could wish for, however after a most Violent hot fire, the brave soldiers forced the Intrenchments to the Joy of all the Spectators (myself being one) and others on this side of the river, who are friends to their King and Country. Emediately on the Kings troops appearing on the top of the Redoubt, the Rebels ran off in great confusion, leaveing their Cannons. Intrenching tools and a large number of their dead and some wounded, the loss was great on both sides. The action lasted about an hour and a quarter. We have Reason to lament the loss of so many Valuable brave officers . . . the famus Doctr. Worrin [General Joseph Warren], who has for some year bin a sturer up of Rebellion, was kild in the action . . . soon after the actions began the Town of Charlestown was seat on fire in several places by fire balls from a battery on this side which continued burning till all the buildings in it were consumed, except a few houses at the Extreem part, near where a body of Regular troops are now Incamped . . . tho the Rebels meet with a shamefull defeat, they still continue in their opposition in fortifying hill and other places near this Town . . . . The Battle of Bunker Hill (17 June 1775) occurred outside British-occupied Boston early in the Revolutionary War. After the British defeats at Lexington and Concord on 19 April 1775, the British sent three of their top generals, Sir William Howe, Sir Henry Clinton and John Burgoyne, to America to help General Thomas Gage, commander of the British Army in America, put down the burgeoning rebellion; the three arrived at the end of May on His Majesty’s ship Cerebus. The newly arrived generals concluded that an attack on Cambridge across Boston Neck and the Charles River must be mounted as soon as possible while diversionary raids were made on the high ground overlooking Boston. Before the plan could be put into effect, rebel spies in Boston learned of it. On the starlit night of 16 June, 1200 American militiamen, armed with picks and shovels, advanced towards the Charlestown promontory with orders to fortify Bunker’s Hill, the highest peak on the peninsula. However, due to a misunderstanding or stupidity, the diggers set to work on the next shallow eminence, Breed’s Hill, where they began digging a long, shoulder-high earthwork above the town. The fortification was completed by dawn. From their ships offshore and from land batteries, the British began an artillery bombardment, though most of the balls struck harmlessly against the earthen wall; as well, many of the guns could not be sufficiently elevated to reach the works at all. Awaiting a favorable tide after noon, Gage landed his troops on the southeast end of the peninsula and launched a frontal assault--2400 under the command of General Howe--to dislodge the Americans. The main American position--1600 men with six cannon under the command of Col. William Prescott--turned back two advances by Howe’s troops, who were in tight formation, burdened by heavy packs. Reinforced by Clinton for a third assault, Howe had his men drop their packs and rush forward in a bayonet charge. The British pushed their way to the top edge of the redoubt, just as the American resistance ceased when their supply of powder gave out. The powder-blackened faces of the enemy who were swinging their muskets as clubs met the redcoats. The American retreat became a near rout; Howe decided against pressing on toward Cambridge and stopped the pursuit at the base of the peninsula. General Howe had won for General Gage an utterly useless peninsula--at a horrible cost. No British officer who witnessed the slaughter could ever get the memory of it out of his mind. The British had won the field, but the loss was staggering: 1,054 casualties, 226 killed and 828 wounded. No fewer than 63 officers were wounded and 27 were killed of their force of 2,500 men. The American losses were relatively light--140 killed and 301 wounded. The battle had destroyed the British myth that Americans could not stand against the regulars. Clinton was to comment: A dear bought victory, another such would have ruined us. The Battle of Bunker Hill boosted the morale of and support for the Revolutionary Army. Two weeks after the battle, General George Washington reached Cambridge and took formal command of the Continental Army on 3 July 1775; he began the siege of Boston, which ended with the British evacuation on 17 March 1776. At the foot of the last page of his letter, Gay records a draft of another letter albeit brief, from Boston on 27 July 1775, noting it is not in his power to send any of the articles his brother has requested. A stunning record of a seminal chapter in American history. Provenance: Charles Hamilton, 13 July 1978, lot 30.

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[Battle of Little Big Horn.] Josiah Chance. Important and rare autograph letter signed, 23 pages

Lot 11: [Battle of Little Big Horn.] Josiah Chance. Important and rare autograph letter signed, 23 pages

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Description: 11. [Battle of Little Big Horn.] Josiah Chance. Highly important and extremely rare autograph letter signed, 23 pages (9 5/8 x 7 ¾ in.; 244 x 197 mm.), Supply Buffalo on the Yellowstone at mouth of Powderriver M.T. 20 June to 5 July 1876 to an unidentified friend being an extraordinary contemporary account of the Battle of Little Big Horn; some creasing, some splits to horizontal folds. An extraordinary contemporary account of the Battle of Little Big Horn. The present letter begins with a soldier’s narration of the quotidian realities of a cavalry unit in the field. On 11 June the unit reached their supply depot on the Yellowstone near the mouth of the Glendive’s Creek. At this juncture, Josiah Chance was assigned the duty of Depot Quarter Master (in the rear with the gear), much to his disappointment. He writes: Very much to my disgust, the day I marched here Genl Terry appointed me Depot Quarter Master, leaving my Company with 4 others to guard the Depot. I was very much disappointed, as I had made arrangements to accompany the forces in the field, which I preferred to remaining in camp.  A man in the Army not being a “Free agent”-must necessarily submit to the powers that be, and from long experience I have always found the easiest to be the best way, and I have therefore submitted to my fate without protest in this case. I will make myself comfortable while I remain, and that will doubtfully be until the close of the campaign. Though clearly unhappy, Chance’s assignment no doubt saved his life and allowed for the present account to be written. Chance proceeds to record all the intelligence he received from a group of eight of General Custer’s scouts: Nothing of importance has occurred since writing the above, until yesterday when our Camp was thrown into great excitement over the news received from Genl. Custers Command.  Eight of General Custers Scouts who were cut off from his Command, came into camp yesterday with the startling news that 7th Cavalry were engaged in a terrible battle, and when they left­ were surrounded-cut off from water, and unless assistance arrived they would all be killed. It appears that Genl. Custer after striking the Indian trail near the Rosebud (of which I have spoken of before) followed it rapidly in the direction of the Bighorn, and came upon their camp about noon of the 25th, inst. on the Bighorn 25 miles from the Yellowstone. It appears, also, that Maj. Reno with three (e) Companies of Cavalry (A. G & K Commanded by Capt. Moylan. Lieut Godfrey and Lieut Mcintosh) and Indian Scouts (Leiut Varuum in the Command) seemed to have been detached and was several miles in advance of the main Colonel under General Custer. About 1 o’cl P.M. Maj. Reno crossed his com’d from the left to the right bank of the river, leaving Gent. Custer with the balance of the command on the left bank some five (5) miles below.  As soon as Renos Command reached the opposite bank he came suddenly upon some Indians, who opened fire, and they fell back. The country being heavily numbered. Maj. Reno dismounted his com’d leaving the horses in the woods and advanced on foot.  He had advanced but a short distance when he came in view of a small village, and immediately ordered a charge--thinking there was but few Indians in the village as but few teepees could be seen. It was not long however, before he knew what he had struck, as he became hotly engaged in a few minutes, and places where a moment before no Indians could be seen, was now swarming and commenced pouring wolly, after volley, into his ranks.  After reaching the teepees Reno saw he would be unable to old his position, as the Indians were receiving reinforcements from the camps below, and he at once determined to fall back and re-cross the river, as it was evident that he would soon be surrounded and cutoff from the main Command.  While the fight was going on, the Indians succeeded   in firing the woods in which the horses has been left, causing a general stampede of the animals, many of which ran into the Indian camp and many others being killed. At this stage of the action Reno ordered a retreat, and succeeded in crossing the river with most of his command (dismounted) but in doing so lost a number of men and two officers (Srents Mslntosh +Hodgson) and his chief guide Glas. Reynolds. The Indians at once crossed the river and commenced to circle round his com’d. Reno seeing he was outnumbered, 10 to 1--directed his com’d to take (page 12) position on a high bluff nearby, and there determined to make a stand, until assistance from Gent. Custer arrived, whom he supposed would join him as soon as he knew his situation. He had not been in this position very long before he found himself completely surrounded and closely pressed upon all sides. Cut off from water, and prospect of Custer coming to his assistance.  This was the condition of Renos Com’d Saturday evening when the scouts left.  As regards Custers command nothing positive was known by the scouts--only he had been fighting all day and was reported killed, and his cam’d  (what was left of it) in about the same condition as Renos, surrounded but still fighting.  Still later: --Two more scouts arrived about 9 o’cl P.M. and confirmed the above report.  Although they left 12 hours later, they report the situation about the same.  Our men still fighting but heavily pressed.  They met a number of Custers men who reported him killed, besides other officer whom they did not know and that his command was surrendered some four (4) miles from Reno.  From all the information gained the field upon which they are engaged must be rough and unfavorable for our forced.  The high hills and ravines being heavily lumbered and both banks of the river thickly covered with willows, making it impossible to execute a rapid and concentrated movement of Cavalry.  The Indian Camps are reported to extend four or five miles along the left bank of the river, and contain from eight to nine (8 to 9) hundred lodges, and if this be true it is safe to estimate their strength at not Jess than 2,700 warriors.  However much truth there is in the reports of these Scouts, I can’t say, but there is not the slightest doubt in my mind, but what Custer has had a terrible hard fight, and perhaps wounded in the first attack, but as I have such doubts, unbounded confidence in the heroic character, bravery, and cool judgement of the man to think him totally defeated is simply impossible.  He may have been defeated by detail-but never with his whole command with him!  I will here close for the present and wait for further and more authentic information. Besides there will be no chance for sending the mail for sometime and if there was, I would not like to make a report of this kind without official information. More anon! On 3 July, Chance writes of preparations for their Centenial 4th of July celebration: Although we do not expect any great display, or any flowery 4th of July orations, yet we will celebrate it in a quiet but patriotic way, by parading, and firing a salute from the hands of every man in the command  . . . . He notes:  No news yet from Genl. Custer. On 5 July, Chance records: Yesterday while we were quietly grafping our 4th--talking upon various subjects regarding the growth and progress of civilization during the first century of our Republic, our attention was suddenly attracted to the beautiful calling corporal of the guard post 4, in rapid succession and our going out of my tent--heard the men crying “Steam boat! Steam boat!” and upon asking from what direction it was coming, was answered by a dozen voices, “Down the river.” Turning my eyes in that direction I could plainly see the long black chimnnies of a steamer in the distance coming rapidly down the river, and as we knew it was bringing tidings from our friends, and the result of of the late battle, everyone was more or less excited, and waited in breathy suspense for her landing, and learning the fate of our comrades. It proved to be the “Far West”, en route to Lincoln carrying the wounded (46 men) and a staff officer bearing dispatches from Genl. Terry to Genrl. Sheridan. From this officer I obtained some of the particulars of the late fight. Chance proceeds to recount his understanding of just what happened at the Battle of Little Big Horn: I have lost so many friends and noble comrades, that I sicken at the thought of their fate and my heart is too full of sadness to write, especially when I think of the many houses that will be made desolate by the untimely loss of their dear ones.  If what I have already written was the whole truth, it would be less painful for me to write, but as it does not convey in the slightest, half, what the actual truth has proven, I will not at this time attempt to paint or describe the horrible scene.  At present it is simply impossible for me to give a truthful account as I have not words sufficiently strong to paint the picture. It appears that Genl. Custer came upon the Indian Camp about noon on the 25 (June) with 8 Companies and Scouts., the balance of his command under Col Beuteen being left some miles to the rear, as guard over the Pack Train. The Genl., thinking he had struck the lower end of their camp, detatched Maj Reno, with 3 Companies and Scouts (of which I have mentioned before) with orders to proceed to the upper end of their camp, cross the river and attack, and he in like manner would attack from below, and as soon as the Indians were driven the Com’ds would unite, and act together. Maj. Reno at once proceeded to execute the orders given him, and 1 o.cl crossed the river and made the attack, resulting as I have already stated in being driven back to train. Shortly after Reno’s departure the Genl. with 5 Companies, crossed the river, and charged upon what he supposed to be their camp, but which afterwards proved a decoy, an ambuscade. The side of the river on which the Indians were encamped, some distance back from the bank was a heavy thicket of young willows and of which had been constructed hundreds of false teepees.  In the willows beyond the Indians lay concealed, and as soon as the troops advanced beyond these teepees, they opened a murderous fire, unsaddling half the command at the first fire.  It was at once evident to the General that instead of attacking them in flank, he had struck them in the center, where they quietly waited his approach, and opened fire when they had all this advantage. He soon gave order to fall back..but from some cause not explained the order was not promptly obeyed, and seeing the critical condition of affairs, determined to leave his command if possible and as quick as though, he put spurs to his horse, taking the bridle reins in his teeth, drawing both revolvers, and charged into the thickest of the fight, cheering his men, and succeeded by his presence and personal bravery, in coming off with 40 men and a number of officers, crossed the river, taking a position on a high butt where he made a noble stand, “and fought his last battle.”  This position was gained late Sunday evening, and he was no sooner in it than he found himself surrounded, cut off from water and closely pressed upon all sides, when night came to their relief and closed the fight for the day.  No one will ever know the thoughts or feelings of that noble little band as they lay there that long night, surrounded by a savage and unrelenting foe, knowing that a few hours more their ammunition would be exhausted and nothing but death waited them. In the following morning the struggle commenced again but no one knows how long they fought on the hour that closed the terrible slaughter, as there was not a living soul left out of the 5 Companies which followed Custer to tell the tale.  They were all dead! Nine officers and 40 men with their chief lay dead, behind their horses which they had killed and used as breastworks. During the evening, Saturday Col. Beuteen with the balance of the command succeeded in joining Reno where they made a desperate fight all day Monday repulsing several charges and holding their position until the Indians gave up the fight, making a hasty retreat, leaving all their dead (which was hundreds) and a great deal of supplies and camp equipment on the field. The cause of their rapid flight was their seeing the advance Columns of Gent.  Gibbons command - which soon arrived on the field and relieved our almost famished troops under Reno.  It was not until after the arrival of General Gibbon that Reno learnt the fate of Custer and the 5 Cos. with him.  The sodest and most hearrending scene was yet to be witnessed in the buriel of our dead.  Going over the ground, and in the deep ravines where our men had fought their bodys were found stripped of their clothing, scalped, mutilated and cut to pieces, and in many cases could not be recognized- having their heads cut off.  The total number buried on the field was 16 officers (names hencewith enclosed) 4 civilians and 265 enlisted men.  Number of Indians killed not known. From a “brow Indian” who was with Gent Custer when he made his attack furnishes all the information we have in regard to the fight.  He succeeded in making his escape, at the time Custer fell back and recrossed the river, by stripping a dead Sioux of his clothes, and dressing himself in his costume and passed through the lines unobserved.  He states shortly after the fight began he went to Gent Custer and begged him to leave the field with him, as he knew they would all be killed, and that he was too brave a man to be killed in this way.  He said the General started and went some distance with him, and all of a sudden he stopped still (with his back towards the Indians) dropping his head as if in deep thought, and remained in that position for some moments, when he went up to him, catching hold of his arm & motioned him to come.  The General instantly turned shoved him away - turned his hors, took of his hat and charged back in the midst of the fight[.] He then left and he is today the only living being who last saw the noble and heroic Gent Geo A Custer after he went into the fight. Chance closes his letter apologizing for its length and perhaps uninteresting content to his correspondent. He relays he knows not how long he will remain in the field but reckons he will not return earlier than September. Chance’s letter constitutes a truly remarkable contemporary account of the bloody Battle of the Little Big Horn.

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Brown, John. Autograph letter signed, 1 page (9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 251 x 200 mm.)

Lot 12: Brown, John. Autograph letter signed, 1 page (9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 251 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 12. Brown, John.  Autograph letter signed, 1 page (9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 251 x 200 mm.), “Akron, Ohio,” 20 July 1852, to his son, John. Father to son with a poignant report from home. Brown writes in full: I wrote you a few days before the death of our infant son saying we expected to loose him. Since then we have some of us been sick constantly. The measles & Hooping Cough went so hard with Sarah that we were quite anxious on her account; but were much more alarmed on account of my wife who was taken with bleeding at the Lungs Two or Three days after the death of her child.   She was pretty much confined to her bed for some weeks, & suffered a good deal of pain; but is now much more comfortable, & able to be around.  About the time she got about, I was taken with Fever & Ague & am unable to do much now, but have got the Shakes stoped [sic] for the present. The almost constant wet weather put us back very much about our crops, & prevented our getting in much Corn.  What we have is promising.  Our Wheat is of very good quality but the crop is quite moderate.  Our Grass is good; & we have a good deal secured. Shall probably finish harvesting Wheat to day. Potatoes promise well. Sheep & Cattle are doing well & I would most gladly [be able] to add; that in Wisdom & good morals we are all improveing [sic]. The Boys have done remarkably well about the work.  I wish I could see them manifest an equal regard for their future well being.  Blindness has happened to us in that which is of most importance. We are at a loss for the reason that we do not hear a word from you. The friends are well so far as I know. Heard from Henry & Ruth a few day[s] since. Provenance: The Library of Estelle Doheny, Christie’s 21 February 1989, lot 1720.

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Clinton, George. Autograph letter signed, 2 pages (6 ¼ x 8 ¼ in.; 159 x 210 mm.)

Lot 13: Clinton, George. Autograph letter signed, 2 pages (6 ¼ x 8 ¼ in.; 159 x 210 mm.)

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Description: 13. Clinton, George. Autograph letter signed, 2 pages (6 ¼ x 8 ¼ in.; 159 x 210 mm.), “Albany, [New York],” 9 March 1780, to Robert R. Livingston, chancellor of New York and member of the committee of five who drafted the Declaration of Independence; browned. John Jay’s narrow escape from the British while sailing to France. Clinton writes in full: I am favored with your Letter of the 15 Ult[imat]e & am sorry to hear of the Dangers  & Disappointment our Friend  Mr. Jay had to encounter the beginning  of his voyage but I admit there is [in] it a Happiness that has escaped the Hands of the Enemy and I flatter myself that before this he has reached his destined Port without further Accident.  I feel myself deeply interested in his Welfare and it will always give me Pleasure to hear of him. Genl. Scott has long since set out for Congress -- he has with him the Papers relative to the Vermont Business properly authenticated and if he has not been as Dilatory on his Journey as he was on setting out he must soon be with you.   You are continued as a Delegate. Genl. Schuyler who left this Place ab’t 10 Days ago for Philadelphia too with him (as the Atty Genl. informs me) the concurrent Resolutions of the Legislature on this Subject.  No Support Bill has been passed at this present Meeting of the Legislature -- the Reason they assign is that it might be productive of Injustice if the Money continues to depreciate, to grant nominal Sums to the Officers of Government which as the Treasury is exhausted cannot now be paid to them.  They talk however of providing for them rather more generously tho’ how far their Liberality will carry them you are as able, as I am, to determine.  A Tax Bill has passed -- little different in its Principles from the last -- there is however some slight alteration in the mode of assessing and appeal to the assessors is granted to any Person who shall conceive himself aggrieved!

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Cody, William F. (

Lot 14: Cody, William F. ("Buffalo Bill"). Typed letter signed, 2 pages (11 x 8 ½ in.; 278 x 215 mm.)

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Description: 14. Cody, William F. (“Buffalo Bill”). Typed letter signed, (“W. F. Cody”), 2 pages (11 x 8 ½ in.; 278 x 215 mm.), “Nagy-Becskerek, Hungary,” 6 July 1906, on imprinted stationery of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, to Joseph T. McCaddon, the brother-in-law of James A. Bailey who joined forces with P.T. Barnum to form the great Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1881. A rough patch for Buffalo Bill but the show must go on. Cody writes in part: I was very much disappointed in not getting to see you, but of course realized the reason, and Fred said you would see Mr. Starr on your return.  Fred makes a suggestion that the Barnum & Bailey Ltd. furnish the entire plant same as Bailey & Cole used to furnish Cody & Salsbury, and to furnish it on a percentage.  This I would agree to, providing that the Barnum & Bailey Ltd. feed their own people and horses. Before Cody & Salsbury paid for one half of the feed for Bailey & Cole’s horses and people, and it was never right.  As we have given America four years rest we should certainly do the biggest business of any Show in America. And by being partners with the Barnum & Bailey Ltd., all the big shows could be routed so as not to conflict; and speaking of routing, we don’t want any more routing like we have had in these last four years. Whenever we get to a town where we could make some money, we over play the town, and we should not have been in this Hungarian Country, which is solely a farming country in the midst of harvesting.  No Show would think of going into North Dakota during harvest.  We have had every possible thing against us all during this European tour, the deaths of Mr. Salsbury and Mr. Bailey of course, were the greatest.  Then the sickness of our horses, having to kill them all, and so many unexpected unlooked for troubles came up so constantly, that its a wonder I am alive.  As you will admit, I feel sure, that we have been paying an enormous rent for the Barnum & Bailey Ltd. cars and horses.  We are paying good interest on a Million Dollar Plant for them, but let’s charge that up to the other unfortunate experiences of this European tour. And now see what is best to do to make some money.  I think I can put up a far better show for next year, than I have ever given, and at no greater cost. I think we should sell about a hundred head of these horses for what they will bring-sell them at auction when we close. The rest which I think will pay to bring to America are sixteen head of fine Buckers, eight fine mules, and about thirty Cavalry horses, and special horses.   I am arranging with Charles Trego, who has a farm near Downingtown, Pennsylvania to winter these horses, if agreeable to you. . . At the time of this letter, Cody was wrapping up his European tour and getting ready for a new American show. He had wanted to retire, believing that his glory days had come to an end, but his financial situation precluded that luxury, and his show would continue for another decade. Most recently, Cody had beaten off competition from J. T. McCaddon’s International Shows.  Then, a sudden outbreak of disease resulted in two hundred out of three hundred of his horses having to be destroyed.  A shattering blow to both morale and finances, it was followed by the sudden death of James Bailey early in 1906. Dreams of retirement were banished. Debts, plus the fact that Bailey’s wife and other heirs to his estate wanted to leave show business, meant that Cody could not afford to end his career.

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Cody, William F. (

Lot 15: Cody, William F. ("Buffalo Bill"). Autograph letter signed, 3 pages (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.)

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Description: 15. Cody, William F. (“Buffalo Bill”).  Autograph letter signed, 3 pages (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.), “Tucson, Arizona,” 26 October 1908, on imprinted stationery of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, to Joseph T. McCaddon. Injured and angry, Buffalo Bill vents his frustration. Cody owned only a third of his own show (and that third was mortgaged); the co-owners were the heirs of Nate Salsbury and James A. Bailey.  The heirs of the deceased Bailey began to make demands on Cody in his final years with the show, with Cody hanging on lest the show collapse without him.  In Tucson with his show, Cody writes to McCaddon back in New York.  He complains bitterly about the demands made upon him by the co-owners and about the show’s direct competition with various circuses, accusing McCaddon (i.e., the Baileys) of trying to make him go broke.  Facing financial ruin, Buffalo Bill still has great faith in his Wild West Show.  He writes in full: Yours of Oct 13th suggesting sending the Mexicans home from El Paso to hand. Its simply impossible to cut the Mexicans out.  You say they will hardly be missed.  You Gentlemen sitting in New York are in no position to tell exactly what will be missed.  I have already by suggestions made all the big cuts of the performers I possibly can.  And now to cut the Mexicans means the loss of two of our strongest acts - that is the Mexican Act and the Bucking Horse Act - for I am so short of cowboys in the bucking horse act cant be done without the Mexicans.  With the few cowboys I now have five of them are crippled.  Besides the Mexicans have to take the bucking horses to and from the cars - the cowboys the buffalo.  We are carrying 98 canvassmen and employing all the idle help in each town to do their work.  We used to get along for years with 80 canvassmen. And there are other cuts that could be made without killing the performance entirely.  I see we show New Orleans barely two weeks behind the Barnum Circus.  The show was evidently sent out this season to go broke.  That’s the way it looks to all showmen.  The way this show was routed to follow either the Ringlings or Barnum Circus the entire season would have killed any show on earth but this one. I suggested some weeks ago to bill Zuma a little.  And had it been doen we could have taken $4000 there.  Just with the side show speelers & our Orator announcing in the morning, we took $600.  In this southern country there are many Mexicans and ropers.  And they come to see Orefasoes [?] and the Mexicans.  Their act is strong in this country, Texas, New Orleans &c. As for myself I am riding when by rights I should be in a hospital.  And I may have to give up any day.  Some Time ago I was taking a sponge bath in my car when the car took a lurch and I sat down on a red hot oil stove.  Four days ago in the dark I struck an iron rusty stake with my shin bone - and I have one awful leg should blood poison develop.  I won’t be able to ride as its all I can do to ride now, burnt in my seat - and the stirrup leather rubbing my sore shin bone.  So I am not having a very pleasant time. 

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Colt, Samuel. Autograph letter signed  (

Lot 16: Colt, Samuel. Autograph letter signed ("S.C."), 2 pages (10 5/8 x 8 ¼ in.; 270 x 210 mm.)

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Description: 16. Colt, Samuel. Autograph letter signed with initials (“S.C.”), 2 pages (10 5/8 x 8 ¼ in.; 270 x 210 mm.), “London,” 17March 1853 being a draft of his letter to J. Santhill in Brussels; scattered light spotting. Colt receives an order from the British Government and wonders whether the Belgian Government will follow suit. Noting he has sent his nephew to Brussels to work on his much neglected education, Colt turns to business matters. He writes in part: I enclose you the copy of a note from Mr Newton, which added to what I have before written, is conclusive as to the protection I have in my Belgium patented rights.  I want to know in detail what each of the respectable manufacturers of arms at Liege say in answer to the recent instructions I gave reducing my prices for the parts of my arms sent to Belgium to add them in their aparrent [sic] wants.  If they should not be wanted there let me know it at once & I will give further directions about them.  The British Government having adopted my arms into their service & ordered all I can make induces me...as earley [sic] an answer to the question, whether or not the Belgium Government or the manufacturers at Liege require the parts of arms refired too. He closes his letter asking his correspondent to let him know that his nephew has arrived safely in Brussels.

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Cornwallis, Charles. Autograph letter signed (

Lot 17: Cornwallis, Charles. Autograph letter signed ("Cornwallis"), 2 pages (9 x 7 ¼ in.; 229 x 184 mm.)

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Description: 17. Cornwallis, Charles. Autograph letter signed (“Cornwallis”), 2 pages (9 x 7 ¼ in.; 229 x 184 mm.), “New York,” 26 November 1781, to [Nisbet] Balfour, a distinguished British officer who was the commandant of Charleston. Cornwallis informs his commandant at Charleston of his surrender at Yorktown. Cornwallis writes in full: So many of my letters to you have miscarried that I cannot attempt giving you any accou[n]t of my history for those last five months without entering into a detail much too long.... I shall only say that altho’ I have been unfortunate I trust I have not been criminal. They tell me that you are leaving Charlestown [Charleston], I rejoice for your sake, but lament it for my country, & for Leslie to whom I am sure you would have been peculiarly usefull. Wherever you go be assured of my unalterable regard & friendship, but I trust that we shall soon meet in England. As I thought you might possibly have left Carolina before the arrival of this letter I have troubled Leslie with the little business I had at Charlestown. We embark in a few days on board the Robust.  In a postscript, Cornwallis has added: Lt. Garrat of Brown’s Corps who behaved remarkably well on every occasion has got a Commission in the 23d. At the conclusion of Cornwallis’ letter his aide has added, You will lament for every reason both publick & priva[te] the misfortunes of this Campaign, but I am very certain that you will at least have the satisfaction to hear from all quarters that they have not happened by Lord Cornwalli[s’] fault.  Lord Cornwallis has written to General Leslie & has desired that he will send all our baggage .  .  .  . Cornwallis wrote this letter five weeks after his surrender to Washington at Yorktown after a siege, brilliantly executed by joint French-American land and sea forces, had virtually ended military operations in the U.S. War of Independence.  Earlier in May 1781, “after a series of reverses and the depletion of his strength in the Southern campaign, the British commander Lord Cornwallis made his way to the coast, moving from Wilmington, North Carolina to Petersburg, Virginia.... Threatened by a sizeable Continental force under the Marquis de Lafayette, Cornwallis retreated through Virginia, first to Richmond...and finally, near the end of July, to Yorktown, which he proceeded to fortify.  Lafayette’s forces, now numbering 8,000 troops, blocked any possible escape route by land. Cornwallis’ army, totaling 7,000, waited in vain for rescue or reinforcements from the British Navy.  Instead, a French fleet of 24 ships under the Comte de Grasse assumed control of the strategic waters of Chesapeake Bay.   Under this naval umbrella, General George Washington in late August and early September led 7,000 additional Franco-American troops from New York to Virginia in hopes of entrapping Cornwallis on the Yorktown Peninsula.  When a British rescue fleet, two-thirds the size of the French, set out for Virginia on 17 October with some 7,000 British troops, it was too late. Bombarded by the French fleet and 16,000 allied troops on land, the Cornwallis surrendered his entire army on 17 October, virtually assuring success to the American cause. In 1778, Nisbet Balfour had accompanied Cornwallis to Charleston, where he was appointed a commandant after the capture of the city and raised 4,000 militia among the loyal colonists.  The following year he accepted the difficult post of commandant at Charleston, and there acquitted himself to the complete satisfaction of Cornwallis.  In late July, Cornwallis sent the British general, Alexander Leslie to Charleston but Clinton ordered him back to New York. Reaching New York around mid-August, he was supposed to sail for Charleston on 28 August but Clinton rescinded this order and held him at headquarters another two months. During this time Leslie took part in the councils of war that Clinton held during the Yorktown Campaign.  In late October Leslie sailed to Charleston as Cornwallis’ successor in the Southern Theater. A fine letter with great historic importance.

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Darrow, Clarence. Two typed letters signed, 5 pages and 4 pages (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.)

Lot 18: Darrow, Clarence. Two typed letters signed, 5 pages and 4 pages (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.)

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Description: 18. Darrow, Clarence. Two typed letters signed, 5 pages and 4 pages (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.), “Chicago,” 9 and 28 June 1928 to The Reverend. C. Russell Prewitt, First Methodist Church, Northampton, Massachusetts; on his personalized stationery; with envelopes. A sharp rebuttal of the Reverend Prewitt’s defense of Christianity in a pair of letters. Responding to the progressive minister. Darrow opens his first letter by stating his interpretation of Christianity. Darrow writes in part: I believe I know what Christianity means today.  It means the old story of the creation of man, the temptation and fall on account of the terrible sin of eating from the tree of knowledge; it means the serpent speaking in Hebrew to Eve; it means that unborn generations of women were condemned to bring forth children In pain and anguish, all on account of this terrible sin; It means the flood and the whale and all the rest of it; it means that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that on account of his terrible sacrifice those who do not know better can accept the myths and keep out of hell and get into heaven, although it does not seem to provide that woman  shall not still suffer In childbirth but to indicate that the Lord overlooked a point . . . nobody knows  anything  about Jesus, whether he ever lived or what he said.  There are not over ten lines that by any process of reasoning or evidence could be attributed to Jesus . . .no man who ever lived has had a copyright upon what may be said to be the chief, moral doctrines of the world. These most likely imply imagination which carries with It kind­ness, with the determination not to judge, and perhaps some other things whose origin would probably go back almost to primitive man. He continues in a more personal vein:. . . it is impossible for me to see how you can accept and practice what is called Christianity, without accepting it all . . .It does seem to me that you people who are claiming to be Christians and religious ought to make some statement that is definite and specific as to what you mean by religion and what you mean by Christianity. Perhaps this has been done but if so it has escaped my notice . . . I know that even the liberal ministers are today not raising their voices against the fundamentalists who literally believe in the cardinal tenets of Christianity as contained in the Westminister Catechism and the Apostles Creed which are about the most immoral, impossible and degrading beliefs that have ever been given to man. Darrow concludes his first letter with a piquant commentary about lawyers and preachers: I think the preachers are as honest as the lawyers, which is not saying much for them.  I think that there is more injustice in the administration of law than you can find most anywhere else In the world; In fact, man does not know the meaning of the word justice, too many things are involved and It would be utterly absurd for you to judge me or for me to judge you.  It requires a knowledge of many things, that even the subject knows nothing about. In his second letter to Prewitt, Darrow uses the first two pages of his letter to quote and then rebut many of the statements in Prewitt’s letter.  His overall response is that he is “afraid it does not pay us to discuss the questions that have grown out of our correspondence.” In particular, Darrow is disturbed by Prewitt’s definitions of religion and Christianity: If this is a correct definition of the word religion then all the dictionaries ought to be called in and burned . . .Your definitions of religion and Christianity and all the rest are so changeable and unique that one does not know where he stands, and expresses the uncertainty of discussing with one who makes the dictionary over anew. The lawyer then attacks the preacher: Aren’t you abscessed [sic] of the word Jesus?  Who was he, anyhow, and why do you have to spend so much time thinking about him and talking about him?  He was certainly one of the lesser people of the earth so far as we are able to find out anything about what he said or thought, which is almost nothing. He is credited with saying some good things but also saying ‘he that believieth not shall be damned’, or words to that effect.  However, this was after he had been resurected [sic] and he might not have been quite responsible. Darrow closes his letter criticizing Prewitt for “wasting his mind on ill-conceived questions and faulty definitions: There is no reason why one cannot use simple and ordinary expressions when he wants to convey real ideas.  I must say that I wish you would approach this question as you would any other because you certainly have too good a mind and equipment, in my opinion, to go to waste on metaphysics.” A fascinating pair of letters revealing Darrow’s utter disrespect for fundamentalists, an element that may have had something to do with his brilliant defense of Scopes, or more correctly, his brilliant defense against fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan.

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Davis, Jefferson. Superb autograph letter signed and initialed, 4 pages (8 x 5 in.; 203 x 127 mm.)

Lot 19: Davis, Jefferson. Superb autograph letter signed and initialed, 4 pages (8 x 5 in.; 203 x 127 mm.)

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Description: 19. Davis, Jefferson. Superb autograph letter signed (“Jeffer Davis”) and initialed (“D.”), as President of the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.), 4 pages (8 x 5 in.; 203 x 127 mm.), “Richmond, Virginia,” 1 April 1865, marked “Private” at the head of first page to General Braxton Bragg; repair to vertical fold of second leaf. At the Confederacy’s darkest hour, just eight days before General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, C.S.A. President Jefferson Davis looks back on all that he has given, and lost, to the Confederate cause. Davis responds to a letter from Bragg sent from Raleigh, where he had withdrawn in the face of Union General William T. Sherman’s northward advance.  Bragg had complained of his own weakened position and the lack of order and loss of morale among the Confederate troops. Davis, casting his lot with a man on whom he bestowed his trust and full confidence despite open opposition from his military allies. Davis writes in full: Yours by Col. Sale was duly received.  I am sorry to learn that so much of the good tidings published in regard to operations in N.C. is without solid foundation.  My best hope was that [Union General William T.] Sherman while his army was worn and his supplies short would be successfully resisted and prevented from reaching a new base or from making a junction with [General John] Schofield [Commander of the Department of North Carolina].  Now it remains to prevent a junction with [General Ulysses S.] Grant, if that cannot be done, the Enemy may decide our policy. Your long and large experience in Tenn. and Ga. render palpable to you the difficulty and danger of a movement towards either.  If we could feed the army in Va. after exposing R.R. communication with the South the problem would be even in the worst view of it one of easy solution.  How long this could be done I cannot say, but fear the supply of grain is quite small. Our condition is that in which great Generals have shown their value to a struggling state.  Boldness of conception and rapidity of execution has often rendered the smaller force victorious.  To fight the Enemy in detail it is necessary to outmarch him and to surprise him. I can readily understand your feelings.  We both entered into this war at the beginning of it.  We both staked every thing on the issue and have lost all which either the public or private enemies could take away.  We both have the consciousness of faithful service and may I not add the sting of feeling that capacity for the public good is diminished by the covert workings of malice and the constant iterations of falsehood.  I have desired to see you employed in a position suited to your rank and equal to your ability.  I do not desire to subject you to unfair opposition when failure may be produced by it and will not fail on the first fitting occasion to call for your aid to the perilous task which lies before us. At Missionary Ridge in November, 1863, Bragg’s army suffered the most humiliating defeat yet suffered by a Confederate army.  The circulating opinion was that Bragg had been in a fog for months, and as a result of the disaster, the government would undoubtedly suffer the terrible consequences, as it (i.e., Davis) had assumed the responsibility of retaining him in command.  1863 was a terrible year for the Confederate cause.  Tennessee was entirely lost - as was Louisiana east of the Mississippi.  With the fall of Vicksburg went much of Mississippi.  In Virginia, the success at Chancellorsville had not kept Union forces out of the state, and Maryland seemed lost.  Gettysburg had been a disaster.  Foreign relations remained non-existent.  The economy was in precarious shape and the Southern people were tiring of the struggle. Davis had not been the leader his people needed in their final hour. 1864 was no better.  Davis’ inadequacy was partially due to his unyieldingly blind devotion to men such as Bragg throughout the final years of the war.  Davis has prejudiced his chances of success by consistently adhering to a man whose record gave cause to expect little but defeat.  Stubbornly, he refused to be moved by popular opinion, and would not take the chance of giving command to generals who had victories to their credit.  After Bragg’s removal from field command, he became Davis’ General-in-Chief, his chief advisor.  Bragg’s name quickly became anathema in the War Department; he generated respect from no one and hostility from almost everyone.  In the last months of the war, however, Davis consistently tied his fortunes to Bragg, demonstrably the worst of all his generals.  There was talk in the Congress of deposing the president, though the opposition essentially remained, from the first to the last, a petty group of squabbling, self-important, second-rate politicians.  To all concerned, however, Davis had ceased to be presidential. As if fully aware that the war is now lost, Davis still cannot admit that defeat is imminent.  He still voices his support for Bragg, hoping to see him employed in a position suited to your rank and equal to your ability and pledging that he will not fail on the first fitting occasion to call for your aid to the perilous task which is before us. The resistance to Davis in the Congress proved to be impotent, though Davis remained obstinate, guided by his prejudices for and against men.  The situation was doomed for both Davis and the Confederacy.  By the end of March of 1865, most officials had left the Confederate capital of Richmond; only Davis and his cabinet remained.  To most Southerners, Davis’ determination was mere delusion and his cause lost. A remarkable letter written the day after Davis put his wife Varina and his children off at the Danville railroad.  His words to his wife: If I live you can come to me when the struggle is ended, but I do not expect to survive the destruction of constitutional liberty. Davis fully believed that he was saying his final farewell to his family.  The day after his letter to Braxton, Davis learned from the War Department that the enemy had broken through Lee’s lines, endangering the last remaining avenue of escape; to save his army, Lee had to evacuate immediately.  Richmond had to be abandoned.  It was only a matter of days before the war would be over. 

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Davis, Jefferson. Letter signed with a lengthy postscript, 6 pages (9 ½ x 7 ½ in.; 241 x 191 mm.)

Lot 20: Davis, Jefferson. Letter signed with a lengthy postscript, 6 pages (9 ½ x 7 ½ in.; 241 x 191 mm.)

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Description: 20. Davis, Jefferson. Exceptional letter signed with a lengthy autograph postscript signed (“J.D.”,) 6 pages (9 ½ x 7 ½ in.; 241 x 191 mm.), “Beauvoir, Mississippi,” 8 April 1878, to his former West Point classmate, Crafts J. Wright. After an erroneous report of the events of his capture surfaces in the Chicago Tribune, former CSA president Jefferson Davis sets the record straight and gives a gripping account of his capture by Union forces near Irwinville, Georgia at the end of the war, and denies that he attempted to escape in women’s clothing. Davis writes in full: I have just received yours of the 2nd & 4th insts. together with the Chicago Tribune which you enclosed to me.  I thank you for the affectionate zeal you manifest in my behalf.  Mrs. Davis is now in Memphis & I have not the advantage of availing myself of her recollection of events.  So as you ask me to answer at once I can only give you at this time my own recollections to be filled out as soon as I may with what I may learn from her. As has been heretofore stated our little encampment was surprised by the firing across the Creek, being a combat of the Federal brigade with the other.  It was then as stated so dark that the troops did not recognise each other.  My coachman waked me up & told me there was firing across the Creek; as I had lain down fully dressed, I immediately arose, stepped out, & saw some cavalry deployed at large intervals advancing upon the Camp:  It was not light enough to distinguish any thing distinctly, but the manner of the movement convinced me that it was not by the marauders who were expected, but by troopers; and I stepped back so to inform my wife.  She urged me to leave them believing that troops would not injure them but that I would be in danger by remaining.  She threw over my shoulders her own Waterproof cloak and a shawl also, and sent her servant girl, a colored woman with me as if going to the Branch for water.  There were no sentinels around the tents, but a horseman advanced towards me, ordered me to halt & dropped his carbine on me.  I instantly threw the shawl & cloak off, so as to be unencumbered & answering his demand for a surrender with a defiance, advanced towards him. My wife seeing this for I was still very near to the tent, ran after me & threw her arms around my neck, I then turned back, led her to the tent -- & passed around to the rear of it, to a fire which was burning there.  The colored woman picked up the cloak & shawl and returned with them to the tent.  All statements not in keeping with this, are false.  Some time elapsed after this before I saw Col. Pritchard, he afterwards told me that he was sent in pursuit of the wagon train, that he had no expectation of finding me with it and did not know for three hours after that I was in the camp - which time he has however now reduced to ‘ten minutes’!  With the addition of the purpose of which is evident, that he also thus early learned, that I was ‘disguised when captured,’ The pillage of the Camp commenced immediately & my servants, who were preparing some breakfast for my children had it snatched from the fire when it was partly cooked & this was the thieving which provoked my angry language to Col Pritchard when he at length came, & told me he was the Commanding Officer.  I cannot with any accuracy answer your inquiry as to how much was lost, by the members of the party at that time.  I only know that the pillage was general, rapidly & expertly executed - for example - My horse was seized, the Waterproof cloak strapped behind the saddle (similar to the one Mrs. Davis threw over my shoulders, which I had been in the habit of wearing in Richmond) was taken from the saddle, the saddle taken from the horse, one girth taken off, saddle blanket & one rein of the bridle, so that the horse & his equipment were soon in different places, even down to the minute divisoin I have stated.  When I noticed this I remarked - to the minute divisions I have stated.  When I noticed this I remarked - ‘You are an expert set of thieves’ One of the men with admirable coolness laughingly replied - ‘You think so, do you?’ I have no recollection of Col Pritchard even having proposed to ‘divide our supplies’ but I do remember that Mrs. Davis had some little delicacies such as were needed for her children, and that she complained to Col Pritchard of their seizure & that he promised to have all requisite supplied when we got to Macon.  ‘Tis quite absurd for him, now to pretend that they were necessary for an issue of provisions to a Brigade - and I also remember that they were never replaced but that myself & family & staff when on the ship were served at a second table & provided only with the coarsest food.  As to his report of a conversation with me, in which he said the garments worn by me when captured were not particularly adapted to rapid locomotion or the use of firearms - I can only regard it as an attempt to bolster up the falsehood he may have vauntingly told at some other time to Genl. Wilson or another, & will only add that if he had perpetrated such insolence he would have received an answer he could not have forgotten.  Though minute in describing the expedition and the Transport ship on which my wife & children were held in captivity, after I had been immured in fortress Monroe, Col Pritchard only gives the result, of a Waterproof Cloak and a black woolen shawl, omitting putably as unimportant the fact that the trunks of my family were broken open & robbed of every article tempting to the sight, including the clothes of my infant daughter, photographic albums, medals, &c &c &c.  One of these albums, by the assistance of an honest man in New York, was traced to Iowa, where a personal friend of mine recovered it, though many of the most valued family portraits had in the meantime been extracted form it.  With a cool assurance, which is really laughable, a man in New York who acquired one of the medals, wrote to me sending photographs of the front and reverse and asking me to give him its history!  I weary of these disgusting details, to men like yourself it must be a mortification to know that y our countrymen have behaved so meanly.  So far as I know, never in the annals of civilized war did a Commanding Officer treat a prisoner of high rank among his own people in a manner so little in accordance with the usages of a soldier and the instincts of a gentlemen, as Col. B.D. Pritchard treated me while in his power.  Yet had he limited himself to his official report or had he afterwards stated only the truth I should not probably have thus recorded his meanness an dishonesty. Jefferson Davis was captured by the Fourth Michigan cavalry in the early morning of May 10, 1865, at Irwinsville in southern Georgia.  With his party, known as the “fleeing Confederacy”, were Mr. John H. Reagan of Texas, his postmaster general; Captain Moody of Mississippi, an old neighbor of the Davis family; Governor Lubbock of Texas and Colonels Harrison and Johnson of his staff; Mrs. Davis and her four children, a brother and sister of Mrs. Davis, a white and one colored servant woman, a small force of cavalry, a few others and a small train of horses, mules, wagons and ambulances.  Among the horses were a span of carriage horses presented to Mr. Davis by the citizens of Richmond during the heyday of the Confederacy; also a splendid saddle horse, the pride of the ex-president himself. In the postscript, entirely in his hand, Davis recounts all the horses in his entourage being looted by Colonel Pritchard. Besides his own fine gray suit, Davis was wearing his wife’s large waterproof shawl and a blanket shawl thrown over his head and shoulders, which led to rumors that he was wearing women’s clothes in an attempt to disguise himself.  Some of the most egregious and slanderous reports included one that asserted he was wearing a “hoopskirt, sunbonnet and calico wrapper”, which had little basis in truth.  The shawl and robe he was wearing are believed to have been deposited in the archives of the war department at Washington by order of Secretary Stanton. Jefferson Davis found the years following the Civil War to be difficult.  After his capture, he was incarcerated at Fort Monroe, then released.  He did not seek a pardon from President Johnson, as he felt it would be a betrayal of both his countrymen and his beliefs.  He also refused to accept a U.S. Senate seat from Mississippi, stating that it would cause “insult and violence, producing alienation between the sections, would be the only result.”  Though a man of great moral conviction and stature, he remained a controversial figure for the rest of his life, and was in essence a living anachronism for the U.S. government -- the personification of treason (in the eyes of Northerners) living peacefully within U.S. borders. An historic and highly important letter from Davis, giving his own account of his capture by Union forces after the fall of the Confederacy.  References: This letter is published in the Rowland edition (1923) of Davis’ papers, (vol. 8, pp. 175-78), and in Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln Collector (1950), pp. 294-96 Provenance: Collection of Oliver Barrett.

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Eisenhower, Dwight D. Typed letter signed (

Lot 21: Eisenhower, Dwight D. Typed letter signed ("Ike"), 2 pages (10 3/8 8 x 7 1/8 in.; 264 x 181 mm.)

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Description: 21. Eisenhower, Dwight D. Typed letter signed (“Ike”), 2 pages (10 3/8 8 x 7 1/8 in.; 264 x 181 mm.), “Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,” 14 June 1961.  To Lewis L. Strauss in Washington, D.C., marked CONFIDENTIAL at the head and foot of each page. Eisenhower articulates his concerns on atomic testing after leaving office. Eisenhower writes in full: I am not familiar with the present Administration’s position on the question of resuming atomic tests, assuming USSR refusal to permit effective reciprocal inspection of any agreement for cessation.  I think you are aware of my own attitude, expressed and repeated in governmental circles in the late months of 1960, that the time has come to terminate the moratorium.  You will remember, of course, that I have previously announced my Administration’s determination to avoid any kind of tests that would add to the contamination of the air.  Even though I believed (and still do) that the contamination created by normal testing is insignificant.  It was and is my opinion that all of the information we need could be obtained by underground, supplemented as necessary by outerspace tests. You are also familiar with the conclusion I voiced to you and to others to announce resumption of the tests as of some time late in 1960, assuming, as I did then, that Dick Nixon would be elected President of the United States.  Because of the unfortunate outcome of the election and the long term effect of the projected decision which was to be publicly announced, I concluded that the incoming Administration should have a free hand in making its own decision in the matter.  I would like to know whether this agrees with your own memory or whether you have any existing documents to which you might refer. The above reflects accurately my memory, but my concern is that I cannot recall the identity of the person or persons with whom I was discussing the subject.

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Ellery, William. Autograph manuscript signed , 4 pages (10 ¼ x 7 ¾ in.; 260 x 197 mm.)

Lot 22: Ellery, William. Autograph manuscript signed , 4 pages (10 ¼ x 7 ¾ in.; 260 x 197 mm.)

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Description: 22. Ellery, William. Autograph manuscript signed (“A friend to Man”), 4 pages (10 ¼ x 7 ¾ in.; 260 x 197 mm.), [no date], with numerous corrections throughout; browned. An editorial on slavery and the consequences of emancipation. Signed as A friend to Man, Ellery discusses slavery and the consequences of emancipation. Ellery writes in part: Whether the slave trade can be justified on the principles of reason or not it is not my intention to inquire....  My present design is to mention some of the bad effects which would probably flow from a general emancipation of the slaves in the North American states, and in the West India islands.  A sudden general emancipation of them would   prove . . . highly injurious to both countries and even to the blacks themselves. It would put a stop to four most important branches of commerce. I mean the sugar, the indigo, the rice, and the tobacco trades, which give employment and subsistence to a vast number of whites, as well as blacks. If the blacks, who are the principal instruments in cultivating those articles should be manumitted, many years would elapse before a sufficient number of white people could be engaged in that business, if whites could endure the hot sun under which the two first articles especially are cultivated.  In the mean time what temporary employment could be found for them?  Or what new channels could be opened for their continued industry, if their constitutions should be unable to sustain the intense heat to which the slaves are exposed in the West India islands and the two southernmost North American states?  The advocates for a general emancipation of the blacks, I suppose, have thought of this matter and can tell how the whites might in this case be employed and subsisted; and certainly they have devised a way in which the numerous blacks, who are unacquainted with mechanic arts, and unaccustomed to provide for themselves, could be supported without violating the property of others. It appears . . . that a sudden liberation . . . would open a door to repeated violence, and expose numbers of them to famine and death.   It will perhaps be said that the earth is not full of inhabitants and that the whites may find fields for the exercise of their industry in more temperate climes . . . if some other way than the culture of the earth should be devised to employ them; and as for the blacks they may be sent back to Africa... But who will transport them?  Is it certain that a country which sold them as slaves will receive them as freemen, and sell land for them to live upon?...  Are there generous whites who will purchase of the proprietors of Africa territory sufficient for the emancipated blacks, and ensure them freedom there?...If this should be effected I believe no objection would be made to the sending the blacks already freed to Africa, and, if it can be proved that slavery is unjustifiable it may be presumed, that no on will, for the sake of his interest, hold them as slaves against his reason and conscience, but will admit of their being gradually manumitted and translated to the land of blacks.  I hold one, and shall not object to his embarking for Africa with the freed blacks who may go thither, provided I can be sure that he will live happily and not be made a slave by the Negroes when he gets there. Whether there are as many species of men as there are of horses and dogs, or not; and whether Providence designed that the black, wooly-headed, flat-nosed and thick-lipped should be slaves; and whether black folks are the seed of Cain or not are questions too high for me.  I presume that Adam and Eve were copper­ colored, for the meaning of the word Adam I am told is red earth, and it is supposed that he was named Adam, because he was formed out of red earth, and probably he and his wife were of the same hue.  What distinguishing color or mark was put upon Cain I believe it is impossible to tell . . . .  This we know from observation and experience that the child follows the color of the father rather than that of the mother.  We know too that according to Moses’ history, Noah did not descend from Cain, let his complexion be what it might, but from Seth, Adam’s third son.  Noah consequently was of similar color with Adam and before the flood we hear not a word of servitude. Soon after the deluge, Canaan, who was the son of Ham, who was the son of Noah, was cursed by his grandfather, who at the same time declared that he should be a servant of servants to his brethren.  Whether this strong expression denotes that he should be an absolute slave...or not, and how extensive this servitude or slavery was to be, whether it was to extend to his or his children’s children, and stop there, or was to attend his posterity forever; or was to be confined to and cease with Canaan himself I leave to casuists to investigate and determine.  Here I think I may rest: if one man can become rightfully possessed of an absolute property in another man a third man may purchase him as well as any other species of property.  The remainder of the final page is filled with Biblical quotations relating to bondage and the curse of Canaan. During his tenure in Congress, which lasted from 1776 to 1786, William Ellery distinguished himself as a committeeman, especially in matters of commerce and the navy. In 1779, he was appointed as one of the congressional members of the newly created board of admiralty.  When hostilities ceased, Ellery became sympathetic with the state-rights movement, which was so strong in Rhode Island.  In 1785, he was elected chief justice of the superior court of the state but never took his seat, urging the necessity of his staying in Congress.  At this time, he was a particularly valuable member of that body because so many of the older members had withdrawn since the war. After retiring from Congress, Ellery spent the final thirty years of his life as collector of customs for Newport.  In 1817, the American Colonization Society had been formed for the purpose of purchasing hundreds of slaves and transporting them and other freemen to Liberia, with money raised from churches, state legislatures and private benefactors which may well have spurred Ellery to write the present manuscript.

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Fillmore, Millard. Rare autograph letter signed as President, 3 pages (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.)

Lot 23: Fillmore, Millard. Rare autograph letter signed as President, 3 pages (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.)

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Description: 23. Fillmore, Millard. Rare autograph letter signed as President, 3 pages (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.), “Washington,” 4 April 1851 to United States Representative Solomon G. Haven, the third member of the law firm of Fillmore and Hall, who later served as Mayor of Buffalo, New York and United States Representative from New York; docketed on verso of third page; second leaf reinforced. After ordering a general housecleaning of his enemies from federal offices in New York State, President Millard Fillmore declares that vocal opposition to his government and the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech must still be safeguarded. President Fillmore writes in full: You must excuse me.  I owe you two letters and a thousand apologies.  But I have been too busy to attend to my private correspondents. You perceive that I have made some changes in N.Y.  The policy may be doubtful; but the course of the canal board, in sweeping every friend of mine from office, seemed to leave me no alternative.  I do not mean by this however any general proscription for opinions sake but simply to let these folks know, that a man’s opinion who favors the policy of the administration is as sacred and as much entitled to protection as is his who opposes it, and that when he is attacked for it I will defend him, by retaliation.  But we have not seen the end; and I have some doubts whether the more moderate of my friends will sustain me in what I have done, while the office seekers and the more ardent ones will clamor for more.  But I think I have vindicated the right to support this administration, and shall rest here except in flagrant cases and for cause. I think you are altogether mistaken about parson Sprague.  If he is not a good Union Whig and does not show himself so, then I will admit I have been inposed upon, and shall take the earliest opportunity to correct the mistake.  I enclose you a letter which I received from him yesterday which you can read and return. I wish something could be done for our friend Thompson, but I do not yet see when or where.  I think the P.M. G. will appoint Osborn travelling agent, and employ Dix for collections merely.  D. is true blue, but not discreet.  Osborn is just the man for that plan - quiet, sensible and discreet. [John T.] Bush was here yesterday and returned here last night.  I presume he will not change Gates at Buffalo.  He will make a change at Syracuse and Albany; and should Dr. [Thomas M.] Foote take charge of the Register, as I hope he will, I think he may offer the principal deputyship at Albany to [Jerome] Fuller.  Should he not accept I hope you will find a good businessman for that plan. I supposed the Legislation would now press resolutions - attacking the administration directly or indirectly - and I am prepared for any thing.  I prefer open to secret enemies - avowed hostility to hypocritical friendship; and it seems clear that we must have the one or the other. President Millard Fillmore embraced all aspects of the Compromise of 1850, which was proposed in the Senate by Henry Clay to attempt to solve the North-South differences over the extension of slavery into the territories, specifically the newly annexed Texas and land acquired after the Mexican War.  Anti-slavery agitators, who had fought the extension of slavery, now had that issue eliminated from their agendas.  However, they turned to a new issue - the Fugitive Slave Act, which placed fugitive slave cases under exclusive Federal jurisdiction, and subjected those who aided and abetted fugitive slaves to stiff and severe criminal and civil penalties. Fillmore was denounced for signing the measure.  Agitators gave the President no rest on the subject, arguing that the law had made it possible for freed, as distinguished from fugitive, slaves to be condemned back into slavery by unscrupulous slave traders.  Demands were voiced by anti-slavery Whigs who were being forced into fellowship with slavery by the party’s official endorsement of the Compromise to eliminate the possibility.  Fillmore’s primary adversaries were Thurlow Weed, editor of the Albany Evening Journal and the leader of the Whig Party in the political domination of New York State, and William H. Seward, United States Senator from New York both of whom held to the anti-slavery cause, using it for their own political purposes. Already Weed’s power had been eroded in the election of 1850, weakening his grip on the New York party.  He took steps to regain his strength in New York state by making arrangements with Democratic Barnburners, who controlled the state’s canal board, to replace all of Fillmore’s “Silver Greys” among the canal’s officeholders who supported the Compromise of 1850) with his faithful followers.  In return, Weed promised that New York state’s Whig Governor, Washington Hunt (1811-1867), would treat the Barnburners generously in other posts. Weed pretended to be reconciled to Fillmore so that he could recapture the major source of real Whig opposition to himself in the state, New York City’s important patronage, dispensing offices. Soon, Fillmore became wise to Weed’s strategy.  In late February of 1851, Fillmore informed Governor Hunt that there would have to be some judicious removals of officeholders, and by mid-March, gave the signal to Weed enemy Hugh Maxwell, Collector of Revenue for the port of New York, to clear out the New York custom house; two key Weed men lost their jobs.  By the summer of 1851, the administration’s nationwide repression of agitation finally became effective. 

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Ford, Gerald R. Historic typed letter signed as President, 2 pages (10 ½ x 7 in.; 267 x 178 mm.)

Lot 24: Ford, Gerald R. Historic typed letter signed as President, 2 pages (10 ½ x 7 in.; 267 x 178 mm.)

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Description: 24. Ford, Gerald R. Historic typed letter signed as President, 2 pages (10 ½ x 7 in.; 267 x 178 mm.), “Washington, D.C.,” 14 May 1975, the Honorable Abraham D. Beame, Mayor of New York City, on White House stationery. Ford refuses to bail out New York. Ford writes in full: The purpose of this letter is to respond to your and Governor Carey’s request to me for my support for Federal legislation which would enable the City of New York to use the credit of the United States for a period of 90 days and in the amount of $1 billion.  As you and Governor Carey explained it to me, this 90-day period would enable the City to bridge the period needed for the New York State Legislature to act upon your request for increased taxing authority and subsequently enable you to submit, and the City Council to adopt, a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1975. I was deeply impressed with the problems you and the City Council must face in the next few weeks in meeting the financial problems of the great City of New York.  I was also deeply impressed with the difficult steps confronting you to eliminate the extraordinary imbalance between current revenues and current expenses.  However, it was also clear that the City’s basic critical financial condition is not new but has been a long time in the making without being squarely faced.  It was also clear that a ninety day Federal guarantee by itself would provide no real solution but would merely postpone, for that period, coming to grips with the problem. For a sound judgment to be made on this problem by all concerned, there must be presented a plan on how the City would balance its budget.  This, given the amount involved to accomplish that balance, would require an evaluation of what the City can do through curtailment of less essential services and subsidies and what activities the City can transfer under existing state laws to New York State. Fiscal responsibility is essential for cities, states and the Federal government.  I know how hard it is to reduce or postpone worthy and desirable public programs.  Every family which makes up a budget has to make painful choices.  As we make these choices at home, so must we also make them in public office too.  We must stop promising more and more services without knowing how we will cover their costs. [Highlighted in margins with red marker] I have no doubt that the adoption of sound budget policies would have a substantial and beneficial effect on both short and long term credit of the City of New York.  More specifically, in regard to your request to me for support of Congressional legislation to provide Federal backing and guarantee of City debt, I believe that the proper place for any request for backing and guarantee is to the State of New York.  For such `bridge loan legislation’, it seems to be both logical and desirable for the State of New York to arrange under its laws a ‘bridge loan’ to the City in the amount that you estimate will be needed during the City’s fiscal year. In view of the foregoing considerations, I must deny your request for support of your Federal legislative proposal. [Highlighted in margins with red marker] I have asked Secretary Simon to follow closely the credit situation of the City of New York over the next few weeks, and to keep me informed.  The Federal Reserve Board, under its statutory responsibilities, will, I am sure, likewise monitor the situation very closely. Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon, a holdover from the Nixon administration, headed Ford’s Economic Policy Board in charge of coordinating the administration’s overall economic policy, a tight money policy which sought to fight inflation (despite rising unemployment, up to 9.2% by June, 1975) by reducing government spending.  In early 1975, President Ford was asked by financially strapped New York City to lend them federal funds for the famous New York City Bail Out.  In this historic letter, President Ford refused.  Finally, on November 26, 1975, after the city itself raised taxes and cut spending, Ford signed legislation extending $2.3 billion in short-term loans, enabling New York to avoid default. 

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Forrest, Nathan Bedford. Dramatic Civil War-date autograph letter signed (

Lot 25: Forrest, Nathan Bedford. Dramatic Civil War-date autograph letter signed ("N.B.F"), 3 pages

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Description: 25. Forrest, Nathan Bedford. Dramatic Civil War-date autograph letter signed (“N.B.F”), 3 pages (12 x 7 7/8 in.; 305 x 200 mm.), 15 April 1865 - the day of his surrender to Union forces at Gainesville, Alabama, to his son, Lieutenant William M. Forrest; water staining and small splits to horizontal folds, mounting remnants on verso of third page. The very same day of Abraham Lincoln’s death, Nathan Bedford Forrest, fearing reprisals for the President’s assassination, writes what he considers to be his last words of affection and advice to his only son. At the time of this letter to his son, Forrest did not know whether he would be imprisoned or executed, having just been defeated by the Federal Cavalry.  This coupled with Lincoln’s assassination left Forrest in great fear of what the immediate future held. Forrest writes in full: Loving you with all the affection which a fond father can bestow upon a dutiful son, I deem it my duty to give you a few words of advice. Life as you know at best is uncertain, and occupying the position I do it is exceedingly hazardous.  I may fall at any time, or I may at no distant day be an exile in a foreign land, and I desire to address you a few words which I trust you will remember through life. You have heretofore been an obedient dutiful son, you have given your parents but little pain or trouble, and I hope you will strive to profit by using suggestions I may make. I have had a full understanding with your mother as to our future operations in the event the enemy overruns this country. She will acquaint you with our plans and will look to you in the hour of trouble. Be to her a prop and support. She is worthy of all the love you bestow upon her. I know how devoted you are to her, but study her happiness above and beyond all things - give her no cause for unhappiness.  Try to emulate her noble virtues and to practice her blameless life.  If I have been wicked and sinful myself, it would rejoice my heart to see you leading the Christian life which has your mother has adorned your mother’s. I have heard with pain and astonishment of your matrimonial engagement.  My dear son, let me beg you to dismiss all such thoughts for the present. You are entirely too young to form an alliance of this sort and the young lady upon whom you seem disposed to lavish your affections is unworthy of you.  There are unsuperable objections to her, which I would name if I thought it necessary to induce you to change your mind.  Take the advice of a father and abandon such all thought of marrying.  You must wait until your character is formed and you are able to take a proper position in society.  You will then be the better prepared to select a suitable partner.  At the proper time you will have my consent to marry and my blessing upon the union. What I must desire of you my son is never to gamble or swear.  These are baneful vices and I trust you will never practice either.  As I grow older I see the folly of these two vices and beg that you will never engage in them.   Your life has heretofore been elevated and characterized to a high-toned morality, and I trust your name will never be stained by the practice of those vices which have blighted the prospects of some of the most promising youth of our country.  Be honest, be truthful, in all your dealings with the world. Be cautious in the selection of your friends.  Shun the society of the low and vulgar.  Strive to elevate your character and to take a high and honorable position in society.  You are my only child, the pride and hope of my life.   You have fine intellect, talent of the highest order.  I have watched your entrance upon the threshold of manhood and life with all the admiration of a proud father, and I trust your future career will be an honor to yourself and a solace to my declining years.  If we meet no more on earth I hope you will keep this letter prominently before you and remember it as coming from Your affectionate father N.B.F. This letter constitutes an incomparable testament of Forrest’s most intimate sentiments toward his son as he faced an uncertain future.

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Franklin, Benjamin. Autograph letter signed (

Lot 26: Franklin, Benjamin. Autograph letter signed ("B. Franklin"), 8 pages (12 ½ x 7 7/8 in.; 318 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 26. Franklin, Benjamin. Autograph letter signed (“B. Franklin”), 8 pages (12 ½ x 7 7/8 in.; 318 x 200 mm.), “London,” 2 June 1765 to Lord Kaims.  Franklin describes at length his voyage back to America in 1762 and his arrival and reception in Philadelphia.  Water stains, margins and last page reinforced. Franklin summarizes his voyage back to America from 1762 to 1763, including the suppression of rioters who murdered peaceful Indians.   Franklin pens in part: “You require my History from the time I set Sail for America.  I left England about the End of August 1762, in Company with Ten Sail of Merchant Ships under Convoy of a Man of War...On the first of November, I arrived safe and well at my own House after an absence of near Six Years, found my Wife & Daughter well, the latter grown quite a Woman, with many amiable Accomplishments acquired in my absence, and my Friends as hearty and affectionate as ever, with whom my House was filled for many Days, to congratulate me on my Return. I had been chosen yearly during my Absence to represent the City of Philadelphia in our Provincial Assembly, and on my Appearance in the House they voted me 3000 £Sterling for my Services in England and their Thanks delivered by the Speaker...In the Spring of 1763 I set out on a Tour through all the Northern Colonies, to inspect and regulate the Post Offices in the several Provinces.  In this Journey I spent the Summer, travelled about 1600 miles, and did not get home ’till the beginning of November. The Assembly sitting through the following Winter, and warm Disputes arising between them and the Governor I became wholly engaged in Public Affairs; For besides my Duty as an Assembly-man, I had another Trust to execute, that of being one of the Commissioners appointed by Law to dispose of the publick Money appropriated to the Raising and Paying an Army to act against the Indians and defend the Frontiers. And then in December we had two Insurrections of the back Inhabitants of our Province, by whom 20 poor Indians were murdered that had from the first settlement of the Province lived among us and under the Protection of our Government.  This gave me a good deal of Employment, for as the Rioters threatened farther mischief, and their actions seemed to be approved by an increasing Party.  I wrote a pamphlet entitled A Narrative, (which I think I sent you) to strengthen the Hands of our weak Government, by rendering the Proceedings of the Rioters unpopular and odious.  This had a good Effect; and afterwards when a great Body of them with Arms march’d towards the Capital in Defiance of the Government, with an assured Resolution to put to death 140 Indian Converts then under its Protection, I formed an Association at the Governor’s Request, for his and their Defence, we having no Militia. Near 1000 of the Citizens accordingly took Arms; Governor Penn made my House for some time his Head Quarters, and did every thing by my Advice, so that for about 48 Hours I was a very great Man, as I had been once some Years before in a time of publick Danger; but the fighting Face we put on, and the Reasonings we used with the Insurgents (for I went at the Request of the Governor & Council with three others to meet and discourse them) having hem’d them back, and restored Quiet to the City, I became a less Man than ever: for I had by these Transactions made myself many Enemies among the Populace; and the Governor (with whose Family our publick Disputes had long placed me in an unfriendly Light, and the Services I had lately rendered him not being of the kind that make a Man acceptable) thinking it a favourable Opportunity, join’d the whole Weight of the Proprietary Interest to get me ouf the Assembly, which was accordingly effected at the last Election, by a Majority of about 25 in 4000 Voters.  The House however, when they met in October, approved of the Resolutions taken while I was Speaker, of Petitioning the Crown for a Change of Government, and requested me to return to England to prosecute that Petition; which Service I accordingly undertook, and embark’d the Beginning of November last, being accompany’d to the Ship, 16 Miles, by a Cavalcade of three Hundred of my Friends, who filled our Sails with their good Wishes, and I arrived in 30 Days at London.  There I have ever since engaged in that and other Publick Affairs relating to America, which are like to continue some time longer upon my hands; but I promise you, that when I am quit of these, I will engage in no other; and that as soon as I have recover’d the Ease and Leisure I hope for, the Task you require of me, of finishing my Art of Virtue shall be performed. In the meantime I must request you would excuse me on this Consideration, that the Powers of the Mind are possessed by different Men in different Degrees, and that every one cannot, like Lord Kaims, intermix literary Pursuits & important Business without Prejudice to either.” Having read Kaims’ excellent Elements of Criticism, Franklin continues with an in depth disquisition on his theories of music, melody and harmony, describing Scottish tunes as the best traditional example. He verbalizes his dislike of “modern” music and virtuoso performances.  Writing that the Pleasure Artists feel in hearing much of that compos’d in the modern Taste, is not the natural Pleasure arising from Melody or Harmony of Sounds, but of the same kind with the Pleasure we feel on seeing the surprizing Feats of Tumblers and Rope Dancers, who execute difficult Things.  He therefore believes that a common audience would not appreciate or enjoy modern music while a plain old Scottish Tune, disdained by the performers, would give manifest and general Delight. He gives his opinion that the Reason why the Scotch Tunes have liv’d so long, and will probably live forever (if they escape being stifled in modern affected Ornament) is merely this, that they are really Compositions of Melody and Harmony united, or rather that their Melody is Harmony.  He then goes on at length discussing the composition of Scotch music (originally for the harp) and its minstrel origins. The Connoisseurs in modern Music will say I have no Taste, but I cannot help adding, that I believe our Ancestors in hearing a good Song, distinctly articulated . . . felt more real Pleasure than is communicated by the generality of modern Operas. As mentioned in the letter, to strengthen public resolve against murderous rebels, Franklin wrote a pamphlet entitled A Narrative of the Late Massacre in Lancaster County, which encouraged nearly one thousand citizens to take up arms to restore “Quiet to the City.”  In addition, Franklin mentions he would eventually complete his Art of Virtue, a work planned since 1732, yet it was never completed.  A fascinating autobiographical letter describing the events in Franklin’s life between 1762 and 1764 allowing glimpses into his personal life and interests. References: Published in The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. L.W. Labaree, vol. 12, pages 158-65. 

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Gerry, Elbridge. Autograph letter, 4 pages (12 ½ x 7 ¾ in.; 318 x 197 mm.)

Lot 27: Gerry, Elbridge. Autograph letter, 4 pages (12 ½ x 7 ¾ in.; 318 x 197 mm.)

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Description: 27. Gerry, Elbridge. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages (12 ½ x 7 ¾ in.; 318 x 197 mm.), “Watertown,” 20 June 1775 to the Massachusetts Members of the American Continental Congress just three days after the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775. The signature was added in another hand to identify the author of the letter; margins reinforced, light browning. Elbridge Gerry provides the Massachusetts Members of the American Continental Congress a detailed eyewitness account of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Gerry writes in full: I Recd. The Letters, with which you were pleased to favor me by Mr. Fessenden, on Saturday last being the 18th Instant, at a Critical Time for the Army posted at Cambridge. The Evening preceding Orders were Issued in Consequence of a Consultation between ye General Officers an Committee of Safety to take possession of Dochester Hill and Bunkers hill in Charlestown which I must confess gave me most Sensible Pain on hearing, more especially as it had been determined about Ten Days before by ye Same Council & a Junction of the Committee of Supplies by their desire, that it would be attended with a great expence of Ammunition by Ordinance and that therefore it was inexpedient & hazardous. As soon as it was discovered by ye Enemy on Saturday Morning a firing began from the Lively in Charlestown River & also from ye Batteries in Boston, which was returned against the Latter by the American Forces until it Subsided on their Side of ye Enemy & only one Man was lost in ye Morning. Our Forces exerted themselves in getting entrenched & Soon discovered that a Warm engagement must take place: notwithstanding which Care was not taken to place a Sufficient Number of Artillery & Cannon on ye Hill to defend it. At Noon the Enemy bro’t in Two or Three Ships of the Line with which the Lively, & Batteries at Boston, they endeavored to Dislodge our Forces. Soon after they landed about 3000 Regulars & a warm Engagement began, in which our Forces in the Intrenchment behaved like Heroes, but were not Sufficiently provided with Artillery nor timely reinforced from Cambridge. They soon found it necessary to Abandon an intrenchment on a Hill to the Eastward of Bunkers Hill & Made a Stand at ye Lines on the Hill last mentioned. The Town then being put in Flames by the Enemy the Enemy advanced by a Furious Fire kept up for sometime on both Sides until ye Enemy Forced ye Lines & depended on pushing their Bayonets. Our Forces after being overpowered in ye Intrenchments left them to the Enemy who are now posted there, and retreated about 3 Quarters of a Mile toward Cambridge where they have four One of which is on a high Hill opposite or near ye Stone House 7 so situated that with good Conduct we expect an Efectual Stand. Our good, our beloved Friend Doctor [Joseph] Warren was on Bunkers Hill when the Lines were forced & is no more. He was two Day before Chosen Second Major General, Accepted on Friday & on Saturday dyed like a Hero. We can only drop a Tear for our worthy Brother & Console ourselves with ye. Consideration that his Virtues and Valour will be rewarded in Heaven. The Reports relative to our loss in variant from 20 to 80 Killed & wounded but I cannot think we shall find it quite so inconsiderable & from ye best Judgment wh. I can form at present believe it will turn out about 150 or 200--this is a Matter we decline noticing here at present, Altho we don’t neglect to Speak of ye Loss of the Enemy which I suppose is fully equal to our own. We labour, we are retarded, we suffer for want of a General at Cambridge. Ward is an honest Man but I think wants the Genius of a General on every Instance, Command, order, spirit Invention & Discipline are deficient; what then remains that produced this Choice, I know not. General [John] Thomas is from his Character & Conduct a fine fellow, his camp at Roxbury is always in order without trouble to Congress or their Committees, ye other at Cambridge ever wanting & never right. I hope We shall not suffer from this Accident. Colo. [James] Fry of Andover is in ye Cabinet intended a Major General & Colo. [William] Heath first Brigadier General and I suppose will be chosen and Commission this Day, but we must have the Assistance of Military skill wherever to be found on the Continent. It will I fear be difficult intirely to drop [Artemus] Ward. If he is superseded by Washington & posted at Cambridge with him and General Thomas &c. at Roxbury I cannot but think we shall be in a Good Situation provided it is timely effected. General [Charles] Lee must be provided for & heartily engaged in the Service without being Commissioned at present. He is a Stranger & cannot have the Confidence of a Jealous people when struggling for their Liberties. He will soon become familiar & be courted into office. I revere him as an Officer and wish he had been born an American. It affords Consolation that the Congress have or are taking Command of these Matters. We notice their Resolve in wh. The Army is Called the American Army. May the arrangement by happy & Satisfy each Colony as well as afford us good General. Medicine is much wanted & Docr. [Benjamin] Church has given us an Invoice of necessary Articles, which we beg may be ordered here from Philadelphia as soon as possible. I notice what is said relative to powder. No Exertion has been wanting in the Committee of Supplies since I have been acquainted with it, to procure this Article. Colo. Bower we depended on for 200 half Barrels & were disappointed, & the plan of fortifying lines with heavy cannon was not then in Contempation. We must hold our Country by Musketry principally until Supplies can be got to expel the stance of the Humanity of the Enemy after they had obtained ye Hill; not Satisfied with burng. The other part of Charlestown they proceeded to set Fire to Houses on the Road to Winter Hill. The Newhampshire & Connecticut Forces as well as ye Massachusetts in the Heat of Battle suffered much. I suspect some of our inferior Officer are wanting & one is under Arrest. We have lost Four pieces of Artillery & nothing more at present. We are in a worse situation than we shall in future Expeience in many Instances, & great exertions are necessary. The Committee of Supplies have a Good Share at present from Sunrise to 12 at Night constantly employed for several Days but we have now a little abatement. Hall of Medford was excused from ye Committee on Acc. Of a Weak Constitution & the Congress Judiciously chose one of a Strong Constitution to supply the place. Another Engagement is Hourly expected may the great controller of Events order it for the Happiness of these Colonies. I have just Recd. A Letter which puts it beyond Doubt that ye Enemy have sustained a great Loss. Capt. [John] Bradford is an Intelligent Man but whether the Loss is equal to 1000 I cannot say. I inclose you ye the Original itself. Complaints from all Quarter of Disorder in the Camp at Cambridge, that it is more like an unorganized Collection of People than a Disciplined army. I cannot rest on this precipice; & engaged as the Commee. Is shall find time to move this Day that a Committee of Observation be immediately chosen to enquire into & assist in & Rectify the Disorder of the Camp untill they shall subside. Good G-d that a Congress so vigilant should have chosen a lifeless T--for such an Important trust. Will ye Hona. Mr. Hancock assist ye Committee in having the Invoiec sent us forthwith--ye Notes of ye Colony can be made as payment without delay. They carry 6 pCent Interest are negotiable & received in all ye Government accts. Readily & without Hesitancy. The committee of Supplies are greatly obliged by his proposal relative to the Du[t]ch. Docr. Church proposes ye Boston Donations for this Purpose since the Notes are equal with the Cash in this Colony. An extraordinary contemporary eyewitness account of a major event in American history, written just three days after the Battle of Bunker Hill by the signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island. Provenance: The Collection of Philip D. Sang, Sotheby’s, New York 26 April 1978, lot 101.

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Grant, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages, (9 7/8 x 7 ½ in.; 251 x 191 mm.)

Lot 28: Grant, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages, (9 7/8 x 7 ½ in.; 251 x 191 mm.)

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Description: 28. Grant, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed (“U. S. Grant, Maj. Gen.”) 4 pages, (9 7/8 x 7 ½ in.; 251 x 191 mm.), Head Quarters, Dept. of the Tenn., LaGrange, 23 November 1862, to Confederate Lt. General Pemberton at Jackson, Miss., responding to his offer to ensure the transport of supplies for the treatment of sick and wounded rebels after battles in Tennessee; light scattered staining. Ulysses S. Grant to Confederate General Pemberton concerning care of the wounded Confederate soldiers after battles in and around Tennessee in 1862. Grant messages that his soldiers will transport supplies to confederate hospitals for the rebel wounded, or if General Pemberton wishes his men to transport the supplies, Grant will provide safe passage and also allow ambulances to transport out the wounded and sick. Grant writes in full: Your letter of the 19th inst. reached here yesterday during my temporary absence-from this place, hence the delay in answering. The goods you speak of sending for the use of your wounded, now confined to hospitals in Jackson, will be received at any point between here and Abberville, says Holly Springs, and sent by our conveyance in charge of some responsible officers to their destination. Should you prefer sending these articles by your own conveyance then they can go from some point on the Mobile and Ohio Road by way of Bay Springs. This route will be left free for your ambulance whilst engaged in removing the sick and wounded.  Grant, with a force of some 30,000 men, was engaged at this time in attacking CSA forces around Tennessee and south to Mississippi, and had taken LaGrange from where this letter was written only a few weeks before. The main objective of the attacks was an assault on Vicksburg, commanded by Pemberton. In June 1863, the battle of Vicksburg took place, with Grant’s forces opposing those of Pemberton. On the 3rd of July, with Pemberton’s forces decimated, he asked for an armistice, but Grant demanded an unconditional surrender, which Pemberton gave the next day. An extremely rare and remarkable humanitarian communication between leaders of the Union and Confederate Armies.

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Grant, Ulysses.  Autograph letter signed, 1 page, (8 3/4 x 7 3/4 in.; 222 x 197 mm).

Lot 29: Grant, Ulysses. Autograph letter signed, 1 page, (8 3/4 x 7 3/4 in.; 222 x 197 mm).

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Description: 29. Grant, Ulysses. Autograph letter signed, 1 page, (8 3/4 x 7 3/4 in.; 222 x 197 mm). City Point, Virginia, 2 December 1864. Written to Maj. Gen. Halleck, Chief of Staff; a few marginal tears Magnificent one page handwritten civil war directive from General Grant after Hood's defeat at the Battle of Franklin (and just two weeks before Hood's defeat at Nashville): Grant writes in full: Is it not possible now to send reinforcements to Thomas from Hooker's Dept.? If there are new troops, organized State Militia or anything that can go, now is the time to annihilate Hood's Army. Gov. Bramlett might put from five to ten thousand horsemen into the field to serve only to the end of the campaign. I believe if he was asked he would do so. U.S. Grant Lt. Gen. With the fall of Atlanta (1 September), Hood devised a plan to divide Sherman's army with the hope that he could defeat Sherman in the mountains. Sherman countered by detaching both Thomas and John McAllister Schofield (1831-1906), in command of the Army of the Ohio, against Hood, who was outnumbered. Forced to abandon his campaign against Sherman, Hood instead launched operations against Thomas and Schofield in Tennessee, hoping to take that key Union base as well as reinforce Lee in Virginia. He suffered heavy defeats at Franklin (30 November) and Nashville (15-16 December). An important Civil War letter showing Grant's overall philosophy of taking the battle decisively to the enemy and a clear understanding of the opportunity that had presented itself. With the defeat of Hood, the Army of Tennessee ceased to be a threat to the Union.

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Greene, Nathanael. Autograph letter signed (

Lot 30: Greene, Nathanael. Autograph letter signed ("Nath Greene"), 4 pages (12 ½ x 7 7/8 in.; 318 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 30. Greene, Nathanael. Autograph letter signed (“Nath Greene”), 4 pages (12 ½ x 7 7/8 in.; 318 x 200 mm.), “Middle Brook,” 9 February 1779, to General Varnum; second leaf reinforced. Greene articulates his concern over the woeful lack of public spirit and the weak currency:  The growing avarice and declining currency are poor materials to build our Independence upon. Greene writes in part:. . . I am very sorry that there is a probability of a breach between General Sullivan and the state.  The local policy of almost all the states is directly opposed to the great national plan; and if they continue to persevere in it, God knows what thee consequences will be. There is a terrible falling off in public virtue since the commencement of the present contest.  The loss of morale and the want of public spirit leaves us almost like a rope of sand.  However, I believe the state of Rhode Island acts upon as generous principles and ever has done as any one state of the Union.  Luxury and dissipation is very prevalent. These are the common offspring of sudden riches.  When I was in Boston last summer I thought luxury very predominant there; but they were no more to compare with those now prevailing in Philadelphia than an infant babe to a full grown man.  I dined at one table where there was an hundred and sixty diners and at several of them not far behind.  The growing avarice and declining currency are poor materials to build our Independence upon. Greene continues his letter countering General Varnum’s assertion that the military forces are despised. He explains: I believe the Congress have it in contemplation to make some further provision for the army; but whether it is in their power is a matter of doubt.  I cannot agree with you that the army is despis’d, it is far from being the case in Philadelphia. The officers were never more respected.  The great Maximus will write you upon the subject of your resignation and Mr. Ellery also.  Is your application serious, or is it only done to alarm the Congress, in order to make them more attentive to the complaints of the army.  The freedom of America must depend upon the army and therefore it is very impolitick to neglect it.  There is a report prevailing in Philadelphia that Count Estainge has got a drubbing by Admiral Byron’s fleet.  The French forces met with a defeat at St. Lucia which I suppose you have seen in the papers.  Our affairs are much against us to the southward. The capital of Georgia is in the enemy’s hands and the people under great apprehension for the safety of Charlestown the capital of South Carolina. General Lincoln is drawing the militia of the country together in order to expel them, but I am not very sanguine upon the subject.  There is no European intelligence of late date; but I think from every movement here and from the complexion of the lost accounts we had from Europe we shall have another campaign. The enemy will continue garrisons at New York and Newport in order to hold our troops at bay; and ever to ravage our frontiers and make inroads upon the southern states . . . An important and lengthy letter from the Major general who commanded the Army of the South. 

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Hancock, John. Letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 2 pages (12 ¼ x 7 ½ in.)

Lot 31: Hancock, John. Letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 2 pages (12 ¼ x 7 ½ in.)

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Description: 31. Hancock, John. Important letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 2 pages (12 ¼ x 7 ½ in.; 311 x 191 mm.), Philadelphia, 15 March 1776 to The Provincial Convention of New York, the body of the letter in the hand of Jacob Rush; light browning and corner chipped. Aware that war with the British is unavoidable, John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress, exhorts New York, a major battlefield during the Revolutionary War, to expedite the raising and arming of Battalions for the defense of the colony against the British. The letter reads in full: As it is now apparent, that our Enemies mean to prosecute this cruel and unjust War, with unrelenting Fury; and as every Intelligence assures us, that they mean to bend their Force against your Colony, I would not do you the Injustice to suppose, there will be any occasion to use Arguments, to stimulate you, to exert your most strenuous Endeavours, to expedite the raising and arming the Battalions ordered to be raised in your Colony, for its Defence.  Enclosed I send you the Commissions for the Field Officers.  If any of them are provided for in Canada, they are to continue there, and others will be elected in their Room.  Such of them as are in Canada, and unprovided for, have orders immediately to repair to their respective Regiments. Lest our Enemies should come upon you before the Continental Troops can be in Readiness to receive them; or in Case they should come with superior Force, the Congress have thought proper, to empower the Continental Commander at New York, to call to his assistance the Militia of your Colony, and that of Connecticut, and New Jersey, agreeably to the enclosed Resolve: and I have it in Command to request you, to hold your Militia in Readiness, to march in such Numbers, and at such Times, as he may desire. The Congress have ordered five Tons of Powder for the Use of the Troops employed in your Defence, which will be forwarded with the utmost Expedition.  In a postscript, Hancock alludes to objections of Rudolphus Ritzema being appointed a command position but Ritzema won command of the 3rd New York Battalion on March 28, 1776 and served until November of 1776.  Subsequently, he joined the British Army. It was the Second Continental Congress (1775-81), with John Hancock at its helm as President (1775-77) that guided the thirteen colonies to rebellion, and eventual military victory.  Convening in Philadelphia on 10 May 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress, faced with armed conflict in Massachusetts and the British refusal to redress American grievances, had no other choice but to act as a national government.  Following the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the delegates organized the Continental Army (with George Washington serving as Commander-in-Chief after July of 1775).  While making a conciliatory gesture to King George III in the Olive Branch Petition (July, 1775), an overture of peace, the Congress proceeded with its plans for war, the numbers growing of those who no longer believed in the King as America’s advocate.  The Continental Congress showed its resolve to resist in its “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms.”  A Continental Navy was organized, and attempts were made to win Canada to the cause.  In May of 1776, two months after Hancock’s letter to the New York Provincial Convention, Congress authorized the colonies to replace their governments based on royal authority with those grounded in the people.  In June of 1776, Richard Henry Lee made his famous motion for independence, foreign alliance and confederation.  There was a vote for independence (2 July 1776) followed by the adoption of the Declaration of Independence (4 July 1776). Though perhaps the most conservative of all the colonies, New York was the first to suggest an intercolonial congress, known as the Albany Congress (1754), to resist British measures.  At the time of this letter from the Continental Congress, the New York Provincial Convention, counting as its members the elite in the colony, guided and controlled the populace.  New York was not to approve the Declaration of Independence until 9 July 1776 though a large, indeterminate number of New Yorkers remained loyal to the British Crown.  New York’s colonial status was not to come to an end until April 20, 1777, when the Provincial Congress created and approved a state constitution.  New York was to become a major battlefield during the Revolutionary War.  Nearly one-third of all Revolutionary War engagements were fought in New York. This is an historically important letter, a letter of exhortation and assurance, from the Continental Congress President to the Provincial Congress of the colony of New York.  Provenance: Sotheby’s New York, 7 November 1994, lot 52.

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Hancock, John. Letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 1 page (12 5/8 x 8 in.)

Lot 32: Hancock, John. Letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 1 page (12 5/8 x 8 in.)

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Description: 32. Hancock, John. Historic letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 1 page (12 5/8 x 8 in.; 321 x 203 mm.), “Philadelphia,” 19 July 1776, addressed in Hancock’s hand to: Convention New Jersey, the body of the letter entirely in the hand of Charles Thomas, Secretary to the Continental Congress during its entire fifteen year lifespan, above the letter, Thomas has also penned a Resolve of the Continental Congress, issued In Congress 17 July 1776, which directly prompts the action recommended in Hancock’s letter to the convention; light browning, skillfully repaired. Less than two weeks after the Declaration of Independence, Continental Congress President John Hancock signs a Resolve of Congress and an accompanying letter addressed to the Convention of New Jersey stating that livestock on the sea coast are in danger and advising they should be removed. Charles Thomas writes in full: In Congress July 17, 1776. Resolved that it be earnestly recommended to the convention of New Jersey to cause all the stock on the sea coast, which they shall apprehend to be in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy to be immediately removed and driven back into the country to a place of safety. Extract from the minutes. Philad July 19th 1776. Gentlemen, The Congress being informed that there is a large quantity of stock on the sea coast of your Colony, which are much exposed to the incursions of the enemy and that many of the proprietors of them actuated by motives of interest or disaffected to the cause of their country, would be glad to dispose of them to the enemy. I am ordered to forward to you the above resolution & Earnestly recommend it to you to cause the stock to be removed back into the country to a place of safety. I am Gentlemen, Your obed. Humble serv. Hancock executes his trademark grand and imposing signature and the name of the letter’s addressee at the bottom of the letter, in full: “John Hancock Presid. Convention New Jersey” A Continental Congress-related historical document of great rarity--not only written by Thomson, who beheld the great drama of the American Revolution as enacted on the stage of the Continental Congress, but also signed by the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, Continental Congress President, John Hancock.

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Hancock, John. Autograph letter signed, 3 pages, (9 3/8 x 7 1/8 in.; 238 x 181 mm.)

Lot 33: Hancock, John. Autograph letter signed, 3 pages, (9 3/8 x 7 1/8 in.; 238 x 181 mm.)

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Description: 33. Hancock, John. Autograph letter signed, 3 pages, (9 3/8 x 7 1/8 in.; 238 x 181 mm.), “Boston,” 30 September 1779 to Jeremiah Smith, of Milton, Massachusetts concerning a “Scoundrel” named Marshall who has spread the rumor that they will not be paid by Hancock for carting his wood; with integral address leaf; scattered staining; small paper losses primarily at intersecting folds of second leaf.   John Hancock fumes with anger over accusations about him made by Mr. Marshall, who has blackened Hancock’s name in the village of Milton, Massachusetts: he well knows that if any money is due to him, it is but a meer trifle, & to give his Tongue such a saucy & untrue Latitude is what vexes me much... In rebuttal, Hancock implies that Marshall has even charged Hancock for wood not delivered and that Marshall has perhaps withheld payment to his employees. Hancock assures Smith that in the future he will demand receipts for every cord, and will prosecute Marshall to the full extent of the law if he is found to have stolen any wood. Hancock writes in full: I have heard to my great surprize that Mr. Marshall has said that there is Money due to him from me on Accont. of Wood, & that I refuse to pay him; he or any man else that dare say that is a Scoundrel, & shall meet my heaviest Resentment, & moreover I have heard that the Gentlemen of Milton believe this Report of Marshall’s, & that they are averse to cart wood for me, lest they should not be paid; I have not the least objection to their placing the utmost confidence in Mr. Marshall, but to convince them that I can do without Marshall & without the aid of those credulous Gentlemen in Milton, I shall send Men to cut my wood, & also send the team from other towns to cart it, and request of you to take the full charge of any interest at Milton, & see that the Persons I send do me Justice.  The apples in my orchard I desire you will take care of, & have then made into cyder, & sent me.  Marshall took a load of empty barrells, I beg you to take them from him, & take the whole charge of all my concerns at Milton, & I will satisfy you for your trouble.  I am not indebted to Marshall, was I to be severe & call on him to make good all the wood that I am charg’d with, & was not deliver’d, I did not intend to be so very particular, but I am now determin’d that he shall produce me a receipt for every cord, & if he does not comply I shall take such steps as will be very disagreeable to him.  If he has not paid the money he has Rec’d of me to the persons whom he employ’d, it is not my Fault; he well knows that if any money is due to him, it is but a meer trifle, & to give his Tongue such a saucy & untrue Latitude is what vexes me much - I have directed my Clerk to write him to come & settle.  I have not seen him, & I believe he would blush to see me; he may depend I shall not put up with his conduct towards me.  I wish to stand fair with everyone, but I shall make no undue condescention to any Persons, either of Milton or any place to induce them to do Business for me, if it is not for their Interest they will not undertake.  I shall send men to perfect what I want and the first person I find using my property or taking any wood without any leave, I will prosecute him to the utmost extent of the Law.  My brother & Mr. Adin my Clerk will be with you.  Whatever they agree upon I will abide by.  I wish you would go with them to Marshall’s, & secure any Barrells & any Cyder. I beg this my Letter with respect to the money due to Mr Marshall may be as publick as possible, & let Mr Marshall contradict what I write if he thinks proper.  I would have him as explicit as possible with me, for he may be assur’d I shall be very particular with him; he may bring the receipts as soon as he pleases.  I am ready & always have been to settle with him, & if I was to exact the pay for all the lost wood, I really suppose there is nothing due to him.” I have given my Brother & Mr. Adin full power to Act as they think best.  A fascinating letter in which Hancock doggedly defends his reputation.

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Henry, Patrick. Autograph letter signed as Governor of Virginia, 2 pages (9 ½ x 7 ¼ in.)

Lot 34: Henry, Patrick. Autograph letter signed as Governor of Virginia, 2 pages (9 ½ x 7 ¼ in.)

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Description: 34. Henry, Patrick. Autograph letter signed (“P. Henry”) as Governor of Virginia, 2 pages (9 ½ x 7 ¼ in.; 241 x 184 mm.), “Willamsburg,” 27 May 1779, to Governor Thomas Johnson, the first Governor of the state of Maryland; light browning and scattered spotting, skillful repair to head and foot of leaf and integral address leaf. Details on the Mathew-Collier raid. Henry writes in full: The enemy who lately invaded this State with a Fleet of Ships of War consisting of the ‘Raisonable’ of 64 guns, the ‘Rainbow’ of 40 guns, the other of 14 and sundry other armed and unarmed vessels commanded by Commodore Sir George Collier, together with a number of Land Forces amounting to 1500 or 2000 commanded by Maj. General Mathew evacuated Portsmouth on Tuesday last after committing ravages and depredations (plundering) of the most cruel and unmanly sort.  After their departure of Portsmouth they drew up their whole Fleet before Hampton and by a parade of their flat-bottomed boats threatened a descent on that place. But a considerable body of troops under Col. Marshall were so well prepared to receive them and maintained so firm a contenance that they did not choose to hazard the experiment, and yesterday about noon they hoisted sail and proceeded to sea.  No conjecture can be made concerning their destination from their course, but from the Immense quantity and particular kind of some of their plunder, there can be little doubt but that they will return to New York. On 10 May 1779, British forces captured and burned Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia. The Mathew-Collier raid was a particularly brutal and successful one for the British forces. Without the loss of one man, they captured huge quantities of naval supplies, ordinance, and forage, and sunk 137 American ships. Henry mentions that if Colonel Thomas Marshall (1730-1802) had not been prepared for them at Hampton, they would have done further damage. An important letter containing a detailed description of military action during the Revolutionary War.

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Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, (

Lot 35: Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, ("Houston"), 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 35. Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, (“Houston”), 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.), “Huntsville,” 1 August 1853 to Benjamin B. French; mounting remnants on first and fourth pages. I trembled for the democracy for the union and for my country. Houston writes with great characteristic zeal: You will allow me . . . to congratulate you on your appointment of commissioner of P[ublic] Buildings. That is a bright streak in the dark cloud which has hung over our political atmosphere. I understood, previous to leaving the city, that Genl. Pierce had refused your very respectful appointment and that he had assigned as a reason that you were from ‘Concord’ I am glad that you have received one; worth something, if not equal to your merits. Well French, you know my zeal and activity in the Congress and my intense anxiety for the success of the party. When the victory was won, I claimed nothing, but I made a personal request of Genl. Pierce that Mr. Seaman should be appointed to a place filled by Mr. Zamora, Whig, and assured him that it was the only personal request that I would ever ask of him. He has not granted the request and of course it will not only put an end to personal requests but to personal intercourse. This will be on the ground that the want of personal respect on part of the President for me has caused him to reject the application and I am not so bountiful in my liberality as to cherish respect for those who do not retain for me a small portion. The recommendation in Mr. Seaman’s favor was of the most imposing character, independent of my only personal request of the President. French, I fear we have fallen upon evil times. When Mr. Hunter, a disunionist, was called by the President to accept . . . and form his Cabinet I trembled for the Democracy, for the Union and for my country. But yet I had hopes! When I saw in many instances where he could ... that he preferred Ultras to old line Democrats, and when I saw that the President was driven to such straights that he had to look among the rubbish of the old ‘Southern’ I felt that hope in discretion and patriotism was at an end. I hope our destiny will ward off the evils which seem to be marked by such measures. At all events European powers will be furnished with amusing food for speculation. A fine letter with interesting political content.

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Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.)

Lot 36: Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 36. Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.), “Huntsville,” 11 October 1853 to Benjamin B. French; mounting remnants on first and fourth pages, marginal fraying and browning. It is not the first time, both in public and private life that we have men suffer more from their friends than from their enemies. Exasperated with the current political machinations afoot, Houston relates he is taking a reprieve in Independence. He then proceeds on a rant on happenings in Washington. Houston writes in full: I am about to remove to a situation distant and west from this place about seventy-five miles. Independence is the site and it is pleasant and very healthful. This you know will keep me rather in a mess and take much time to do but little. I am not posted well as to the great work at Washington but it does seem to me that too much of the Union is with defenses, and apologies of the administration and too many . . . were made going and returning to the crystal palace. If such things are done in the green time, what will it be in the dead? It is not the first time, both in public and private life that we have men suffer more from their friends than from their enemies and that a man’s worst enemies are that of his own household!!  Is it so or not with the President? You and I have known long acquaintance, and you can judge of the sincerity of my assurances when I give them. Now God knows that no man was more anxious for Genl Pierce’s success than I was during the canvass and no man wished him a more glorious administration than I did. I thought he deserved it, and the country needed such a one. I did not dream that at this day the organization of the President would be catching at every word, saying or almost, of him to sustain his position before the American people. Straws may do to indicate the currents of the winds, but they will not do for the foundation of fame’s pillars. I feel deeply but say nothing until I can see you, when we can communicate fully. I am much gratified at what you tell me about Seamans! Is it fixed sure? My wife has urged, and my wishes urge me, as well as my desires, not again to return to the Senate but a sense of duty will cause me (God willing) to try once more. A fine letter revealing Houston’s bold opinions on the politics of the time.

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[Inquisition of Mexico and Florida]. Printed broadside signed, 1 page (17 x 12 in.; 432 x 305 mm.)

Lot 37: [Inquisition of Mexico and Florida]. Printed broadside signed, 1 page (17 x 12 in.; 432 x 305 mm.)

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Description: 37. [Inquisition of Mexico and Florida]. Printed broadside signed, 1 page (17 x 12 in.; 432 x 305 mm.), In Spanish, “Printed in Mexico in the house of Henrico Martinez,” 1 December 1601.   A decree aimed particularly at the Jews in Mexico and the Spanish provinces  in Florida, accusing them  of heresy which will be dealt with due punishment. The Inquisition had formally begun in the West Indies in 1569 when Philip II established tribunals of the Holy Office at Mexico and Lima. It was specifically charged with vigilance against Moors, Jews, and New Christians. The great privileges it exercised and the dread with which Spaniards generally regarded the charge of heresy made the Inquisition an effective check on dangerous thoughts, whether religious, political, or philosophical. The Inquisition largely relied on denunciations by informers and employed torture to secure confessions. Indians were originally subject to the jurisdiction of Inquisitors but were later exempted because as recent converts of supposedly limited mental capacity they were not fully responsible for the deviations from the faith. The first execution occurred in 1574, and by 1596, the tenth took place.  Many of the victims of the Holy Office were amongst the Portuguese settlers, who were persecuted for political rather than religious reasons. It was a symptom of the political and religious status of the country that such a court could flourish in an atmosphere where the greatest occupation of mankind might well have been the subjugation of nature, and the development of a normal Christian state. The present broadside is headed, CONSTITUTION OF OUR MOST BLESSED LORD CLEMENT BY THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE POPE THE EIGHTH Against those who, not having been promoted to the sacred order of Priesthood, boldly take the authority of the Priests, dare and pretend to celebrate the Mass, and administer to the faithful the Sacrament of Penance. POPE CLEMENT THE EIGHTH AD PERPETUAM REI MEMORIAM. The text of the broadside reads in part: Although at other times Pope Paul, our predecessor of happy memory, in order to refrain and repress the evil and sacrilegious temerity of some men, who not having been ordained priests, take daringly the priestly powers and presume the authority to celebrate the Mass and the administration of the Sacrament of Penance; having determined that such delinquents should be delivered to the Judges of the Holy Inquisition, to the Curia and secular body so that due punishment  would be administered to them; and after Pope Sixth the Fifth of venerable memory,  also our predecessor, had ordered  that the so-mentioned decree be renewed and be kept and followed with all care; but the audacity of these men has gone so far that giving the pretext of ignorance of these decrees, the penalties, as has been stated, should be imposed against the transgressors who think they are not subject to them, and who pretend  to liberate  and exonerate themselves from  them.   For this reason we consider these persons to be lost and evil men, who not having been promoted to the Holy Order of Priesthood, dare to usurp the right to the celebration of the Mass; these men not only perform external acts of idolatry, in regard to exterior and visible signs of piety and religion, but inasmuch as it concerns them, they deceive the faithful Christians (who accept them as truly ordained and believe that they consecrate legitimately), and because of the faithful’s ignorance they fall into the crime of idolatry, proposing  them only the material bread and wine so that they adore it as the true body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ; and that the same hearing the Sacramental Confession not only do not appreciate the dignity of the holy Sacrament of Penance, but also deceive the faithful,  perversely  taking  the priestly  role and the authority  of absolving  the sins with great danger, and causing  the scandal of many. For this reason, so that the ones who commit these very serious heinous deeds be punished with due penalty, in the proper manner and with our scientific certainty and mature deliberation, and with the fullness of the Apostolic power, in accordance with the conscience of the Judges of the Holy Inquisition, and so that from now on no one can doubt the penalty that has to be imposed on those such delinquents, following the steps of our predecessors, for this constitution of perpetual value, we determine and establish  that anyone, who without being promoted to the Sacred Order of Priesthood, would find that he who has dared to celebrate  Mass or to hear Sacramental  Confession,  be separated from the Ecclesiastic body  by  the  Judges  of  the  Holy  Inquisition, or  by  the  seculars, as  not deserving the mercy of the Church; and being solemnly  demoted, from  the Ecclesiastic Orders, if he had achieved some, is later to be turned over to the Curia and secular body, in order to be punished by the secular judges with the due penalties . . . . A handwritten statement that “It agrees with the its original” and signature of the notary appears at the conclusion of the text. The history of the first half of sixteenth century Florida was marked by conflicts and unsuccessful settlements by the Spanish, French and English, who were all vying for possession of peninsula. Finally, in 1565, a colony of Protestant Huguenots established on the St. Johns River was wiped out by Spaniards, who boasted of slaughtering the French, not for their nationality but for their religion. This Spanish expedition founded St. Augustine near the decimated settlement.Shifting alliances and allegiances continued during the following centuries, until the acquisition of East and West Florida by the United States in the nineteenth century.

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Jackson, Thomas Jonathan (

Lot 38: Jackson, Thomas Jonathan ("Stonewall"). Highly Important Civil War-date autograph letter signed

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Description: 38. Jackson, Thomas Jonathan (“Stonewall”). Highly Important Civil War-date autograph letter signed (“T. J. Jackson Maj. Genl”), 1 page (8 ½ x 7 ¼ in.; 216 x 184 mm.), “Hd. Qrs. Valley Dist.” 14 May 1862, 7:40 a.m. to Colonel Turner Ashby; scattered light browning, vertical folds at head of page reinforced. Jackson gives orders for the destruction of the Manassas Gap Railroad. Recently apprised of the alarming news that Union General N. P. Banks was preparing to march for Fredericksburg, Jackson directs his partisan cavalry commander, the heroic Colonel Turner Ashby, to destroy the Manassas Gap Railroad in order to prevent Banks from evacuating the Valley for Fredericksburg, from where he could then join McClellan to assist in the Peninsula Campaign.  Jackson writes in full: Maj. Genl. R.S. Ewell is of the opinion that Banks is on his way to Fredericksburg.  If Banks is thus moving, it is important to destroy as soon as practicable the Manassas Gap R.R. and I have suggested the possibility of sending yours and his cavalry toward this purpose.  If you believe that you can effect the object I hope you will take steps at once to accomplishing this very desirable object.  With the exception of two companies I’ve but to direct the cavalry that are with me to join you, but do not delay your movement by waiting for their arrival.  They should be in Harrisburg in Friday, via Harrisburg and Warm Spring turnpike. General Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The purpose of “Stonewall” Jackson’s presence in the Shenandoah Valley was to keep Union forces from reinforcing McClellan’s forces on the Peninsula, where they threatened Richmond.  By playing of the fears of the Federal administration for Washington, Jackson was tasked with immobilizing the 70,000 troops in middle Virginia by placing them on the defensive with the mere 20,000 widely scattered Confederate troops ringing the Shenandoah Valley under various Confederate commands.  With his fast-moving infantrymen led by Ashby, Jackson ranged up and down the Valley for months in early 1862, keeping three Union commanders - John Charles Frémont, Nathaniel Banks, and Irvin McDowell - busy and thoroughly unsettled, as their combined forces, though vastly outnumbering Jackson’s, were unable to stop him.  Numerous skirmishes including Winchester, Kernstown, Front Royal, Woodstock, New Market, Cross Keys and Port Republic were all victories for Jackson, though at each battle site the Union forces were sure he would be defeated.  Jackson inflicted numerous casualties, seized huge quantities of supplies (mostly from Banks), and kept almost 40,000 Federal troops off the Peninsula during the campaign.  Overall, Jackson’s Valley Campaign was a major triumph, adding to his previous victory laurels at Bull Run.  By June 14, 1862, he had forced the Union to proceed up the valley, rather than march on to reinforce McClellan’s army against Richmond.  At this time, Jackson was operating under Robert E. Lee’s explicit instructions to contain Banks, as stated in a letter from Lee dated 8 May 1862 and then a letter following up directing Jackson to prevent Banks from going to Fredericksburg or to the Pennisula.  Jackson, however, had anticipated this directive and already put the first part of his plan of attack into motion, sending Ashby to cut off Banks’ most immediate method of escape via the Manassas Gap Railroad.  With this accomplished, Jackson marched his troops forward to Front Royal for the first of his brilliant counter-offensive maneuvers against Banks. Less than two weeks after the date of this letter, and no doubt for his brilliant execution of these instructions from Jackson, Turner was promoted to brigadier general.  Yet, one week following his promotion, just three weeks after receiving the present orders from Jackson, Turner was tragically killed in action at Harrisonburg.  Of his gallant service, Jackson later remarked; As a partisan officer I never knew his superior; his daring was proverbial; his powers of endurance almost incredible; his tone of character heroic; and his sagacity almost intuitive in diving the purposes and movements of the enemy. An extraordinary letter from a crucial moment in Jackson’s storied career, written to the partisan cavalryman whose name is forever etched into the history of this important campaign.  In this letter, Jackson demonstrates the talent for anticipation, quick thinking and rapid movement of forces which would make him an American military legend.

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Jackson, Thomas J. (

Lot 39: Jackson, Thomas J. ("Stonewall"). Important Civil War-date autograph letter signed, 2 pages

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Description: 39. Jackson, Thomas J. (“Stonewall”). Important Civil War-date autograph letter signed (“T. J. Jackson”), 2 pages (9 ¼ x 7 ¼ in.; 235 x 184 mm.), “Caroline County, Virginia” [Jackson was wintering at Moss Neck, a grand mansion ten miles south of Fredericksburg], 21 January 1863, to his close friend and a member of the Confederate Congress, Colonel Alexander R. Boteler (1815-1892) of Virginia, concerning his district; on blue-lined Confederate stationery; scattered spotting, repair to paper losses on first leaf affecting several characters of three words, page fold reinforced. Transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia following the Shenandoah Valley campaign, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson ponders his future as a commander and laments the suffering of those in western Virginia. Jackson writes in full: Your letter respecting the condition of the Valley has been received.  Though I have been relieved from command there, and may never again be assigned to that important trust, yet I feel deeply when I see the patriotic people of that region again under the heel of a hateful military despotism.  There are the homes of those who have been with me from the commencement of the War in Virginia, who have repeatedly left their families and property in the hands of the enemy and braved the dangers of battle and disease.  There are those who have so devotedly labored for the relief of our suffering sick and wounded Well may you feel deeply interested in the welfare of such a constituency, and well may they be attached to you for your devotion to their interests & security.  In this connection permit me to thank you for the great assistance which you rendered me by having supplies for the troops promptly forwarded, and for the various other ways in which you contributed to their comfort and efficiency, and to the defence of that important section of the State.  Not only I myself, but also other people there, and the country owe you a lasting debt of gratitude. The purpose of “Stonewall” Jackson’s presence in the Shenandoah Valley (March-June, 1862) was to keep Union forces from reinforcing McClellan’s forces on the Peninsula, where they threatened Richmond. With his fast-moving infantrymen, Jackson ranged up and down the Shenandoah Valley for months in early 1862, keeping three Union commanders - John Charles Frémont, Nathaniel Banks, and Irvin McDowell - busy and thoroughly unsettled, as their combined forces, though vastly outnumbering Jackson’s, were unable to stop him.  Numerous skirmishes - Winchester, Kernstown (a Union victory that brought disaster for the victors), Front Royal, Woodstock, New Market, Cross Keys, Port Republic - were all victories for Jackson, though at each battle site the Union forces were sure he would be defeated.  Jackson inflicted numerous casualties, seized huge quantities of supplies (mostly from Banks), and kept almost 40,000 Federal troops off the Peninsula during the campaign.  Overall, Jackson’s Valley Campaign was a major triumph, adding to his previous victory laurels at First Manassas (called First Bull Run by the Union). Later that year, Jackson was promoted to lieutenant general (10 October 1862), in command of the II Corps under General Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia.  Jackson, however, viewed this as a minor demotion, deprived of the independence with which he had flourished in the Shenendoah Valley.  Joining the Army of Northern Virginia, he fought gallantly at Fredericksburg (13 December 1862) and then retired his command to Caroline County for the winter.  Military operations at this time were virtually impossible to effect.  Union General Ambrose Burnside attempted his ill-fated “Mud March” across the Rappahannock River on 20-23 January 1863, contemporaneous with the present letter, in the face of a torrential rain-storm.  His Federal troops, mired in mud, were rendered completely impotent, ending all purposeful campaigning for the winter in Virginia.] Just three months following the date of the present letter, Jackson met his early fate at the Battle of Chancellorsville, when he was mistakenly shot by one of his own men.  The death of this most ablest of Confederate commanders caused General Lee to utter this glowing epitaph:  I have lost my right arm.   A compelling letter being an incomparable testimony to Jackson’s grace, modesty and compassion.

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James, Frank. Fine autograph letter signed (

Lot 40: James, Frank. Fine autograph letter signed ("Ben"), 12 pages (8 x 5 in.; 203 x 127 mm.)

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Description: 40. James, Frank. Fine autograph letter signed (“Ben”), 12 pages (8 x 5 in.; 203 x 127 mm.), “Gallatin, Montana,” 8 July 1883. To his wife, Annie James in Independence, Montana; with original envelope. Advice and reflection from the notorious bank and train robber to his wife from prison: There are none so happy as those who labor . . . and as to riches not one in ten thousand who possess them are ever happy. In his lengthy and heartfelt letter, James reflects on his values, relates how he and his wife should dress for his impending murder trial, and points out that his defense lawyer’s reputation will be at stake as well as his own life. The desperado writes in full: Your dear letter of the fourth received yesterday. I would have answered the same day, but had just written you. I read your dear letter a number of times. I studied each word and sentence thoroughly, and I assure you I appreciate your letters and always feel much happier after reading them. You are a true and noble woman and just such women make true and faithful husbands. Notwithstanding I love you more than I do my own life. I wish it was possible for me to love you more than I do. Never mind just wait ‘til I get out. Dont I wish I could be with you and our dear little boy today how I would love and caress you. Yet if I am denied that pleasure I can and do console myself w[h]ith the reflection that you love me and are no doubt thinking of me whilst I am writing this. Darling do you know I often recall the many happy days spent together in old Tenn. Ah! Those were far happier times than we realized at the time. Dont you think so? There are none so happy as those who labor. Nevertheless it seems to be the common belief among the majority of people that it is absolutely necessary to possess either riches or talent in order to be happy. I say no, a thousand times no and I believe you will concur with me in this belief. History does if you do not. Look at Tom Marshall of Ky who was conceded by not a few to be one of the brightest lights that grand old state produced. Was he happy thinking you? No, no far from. Listen what he said whilst dying -- ‘My God this is dreadful, dying in a house built by the hands of charity and under covering bought by the County’. Look again at the great Goldsmith. ‘tis said of him that he derived more genuine pleasure from his flute whilst playing before some cottage amidst the Alps, than he ever did from his beautiful writing. And as to riches not one in ten thousand who possess them are ever happy. The only true happiness that can exist that does exist is the true relationships existing between a true wife and a true husband. Riches and fame are but hollow mockery. You can but remember what Gray murmured as he sat upon a moss covered grave stone in the Country church yard, while the leaves of the ‘rugged Elms’ whispered above him. The pride of heraldy, the pomp of power-- And all that wealth e’er gave awaite alike the inevitable hour. The paths of glory lead but to the grave’. What a beautiful sentiment and how true, when we shake off this mortal coil’ riches will be nothing, fame will be nothing.  The only question then will be have we been true to ourselves? I hope when that day arrive we both may be able to say we have been true to ourselves. I hope you and Robie may both keep well and try and enjoy yourselves as best you can. Do not take things to heart too much. Remember God never forgets his own. Mamma to try to tell you what I was doing would be a waste of Time. You know the surroundings and know just about how I am putting in the Time each and ever[y] day. You must know however that I miss you very much. I do wish I did not have to be separated from you this way. It makes me sick at heart to think of it. I send you a clipping form the Sentinal republished by the Democrat of this place. I do think that man Payne is one of the most contemptable dogs living. I do hope if he should ever speak to you -- you will have the courage to treat him with perfect contempt. I would like to know what all Grand Pa asked about me? Tell me wont you? I am glad to know he is friendly to us and hope he may continue to be. You asked me if I had heard from Mr. Dean? Yes he tried hard to get here and regretted very much that he could not I also saw a letter from Charles P Johnson and whilst he was tacking around trying to get here his wife gave birth to a fine boy. I guess he was proud when he arrived home. I believe I have a letter from John [Tuorence] you left. Mr. Rush is now in St. Joseph and when he returns I suppose I will hear some news. Mr. Charlie Johnson said he met Frank O’Neal and that he said that according to the way he understood the matter I ought to been out on bail long go and told Johnson he would write Edward at Jefferson City and they would consult with Philips and all parties and see what could be done. I hope they have done so but are afraid the meeting has not taken place. I am of the opinion Johnson is thoroughly in earnest now he knows that his reputation as a criminal lawyer is at stake and it behooves him to better himself and I hope to goodness he will. I am growing so anxious to be with my precious ones. When we do meet it will be like Mrs. Holland says just like getting married won’t it? It will be nice, wont it hon? I guess you are now smiling and thinking you bad bad fellow. What a man thinks in his heart that he is, says the Bible. I think if I continue to write I will have nothing to say for Thursday. Do you really think that Mrs. H and G will attend the trial or is it all talk. I wish they would come, dont you. Mamma I want you to be fixed up ever so nice when you come. And if you want me to look you will have to get me a white vest and a nice pair of shoes like that cut you have cut form the paper. I know you will laugh and say you proud old goose. Mind now I dont ask you to get them I leave the matter entirely to you. I know money is scarce and dont need them. But I do want you to get the most beautiful hat you can have tacked up in Independince. If you do not you will hear some fussing. I am anxious to see a letter with a X if anything is wrong I will blame you. No I wont either hon. I will bare all the blame and pay all bills. So there now dont cry, it is the best thing on earth, arnt it hon? You are bount to acknowledge the corn, actions you know speak louder than words sometimes. I guess you will not let any one read this letter will you? You can if you like. But I quite sure you wont Oh, you say you Monkey, thats all right if you do but you are bount to acknowled I am a right spry old man yet. I have not outlived my usefulness by a good many years yet I can tell you. Why I feel to day as I was not more than twenty five I am afraid you are getting old though it is rather a bad sign to be complaining with your back. However I hope by August will be feeling like a spring chicking. Never mind Mamma it dont matter if you do complain. Sometimes I wouldnt give you as you are for all the women on earth I know if I had the power to make one that would suit me half as well as you. You are just as perfect as it is possible for one to be. I do wish above all thing that you could know just how dear you are to me. I spent six hours out in the yard Sunday. Had a number to call Misses Mary Lee Josie Cox-Emmans. I enjoyed being out but could I sit down with you and Rob I would enjoy your company ten thousand times more than I would any ones on Earth. No woman looks half as interesting to me as my dear little wife. Mr.Burnes brought me over a quart of nice cherrys. I divided with Mrs. C. and the children. Pady says the ‘Kid’ is walking right along. Mrs. Brosius is still confined to her bed. I am thankful to God that you are healthy. I would be more than happy to have you on my knee to night I would pinch a piece out of sure. I hope you will step down and see Mr. Hardins folks the first time you are in town. I think they are good friends of ours. Dont you. I want you to remember me to all our friends tell them I appreciate them so much and write me often it will do me lots of good to hear from them every few days. Let me tell you right [here]. I dont neither want either shoes nor vest that was all talk. But I do want you to get such things, as you want I will now put my arms around you and kiss there now. Love to all the family I must now tell you goodbye- but before I do I will ask you to love and think of me often. Wont you? So bye bye. In a postscript, James has added, I dont think I will have much to write next Thursday but I will do so all the same. James wrote the present letter while in jail in Gallatin while awaiting trial for the murder of Frank McMillan, a stone quarry laborer, during the robbery of a Rock Island train at Winston, Missouri in 1881. In the ensuing trial, the state sought to prove that Frank was seen near the scene of the crime and that he had fatally shot McMillan. The state, however, had to contend with a formidable witness, Confederate General Joseph O. Shelby, who was known for his sincerity, earnest convictions and his loyalty to any man who had fought under his command. When called to the stand, Shelby testified that at the time of the train robbery, he had met Jesse James, Dick Liddil and Bill Ryan at his home, when Jesse told him that Frank was not with them, but was in the South, and that he had not been with the gang for five years. The general’s testimony not only held tremendous weight with the people and created a sensation, but it was also responsible for Frank’s acquittal. In this letter, James refers to three of his defense attorneys, Charles P. Johnson of St. Louis, a former Lieutenant Governor of Missouri; Judge John F. Philips of Kansas City; and William Rush of Gallatin. Interesting to note is James’ use of the alias, “Ben” to prevent the letter from falling into reporters’ hands or into wrong hands.

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Jay, John. Autograph Letter Signed, 1 ¼ pages (8 7/8 x 7 3/8 in.; 225 x 187 mm.)

Lot 41: Jay, John. Autograph Letter Signed, 1 ¼ pages (8 7/8 x 7 3/8 in.; 225 x 187 mm.)

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Description: 41. Jay, John.  Autograph Letter Signed, 1 ¼ pages (8 7/8 x 7 3/8 in.; 225 x 187 mm.), “East Hartford, [Connecticut],” 18 June 1792 to his wife, Sally, in New York; integral address leaf with seal tear. John Jay relays New York gubernatorial race results to his wife and the wrongdoing involved in the election: A few Years more will put us all in the Dust; and it will then be of more Importance to me to have governed myself, than to have governed the State. In 1792, John Jay was the Federalist candidate for Governor of New York but he was defeated by Democratic-Republican George Clinton. Jay received more votes than Clinton, but on technicalities, the votes of Otsego, Tioga and Clinton counties were disqualified, giving Clinton a slight plurality.  The State constitution stated that the cast votes shall be delivered to the secretary of state by the “sheriff or his deputy.” In the case of Otsego county, the sheriff’s term had expired, so that legally, at the time of the election, the office of sheriff was vacant and the votes could not be brought to the State capital. Clinton partisans in the State legislature, the State courts and Federal offices were determined not to accept any argument that this would, in practice, violate the constitutional right to vote of the voters in these counties. Consequently, the votes were disqualified and Jay lost the election despite the fact he had more votes. Reporting that the majority of electors voted in his favor, Jay writes in full: About an Hour ago I arrived here from Newport, which place I left on Friday last. The last Letters which I have reed. From you, are dated the 2 & 4 of this month.  The Expectations they intimate, have not it seems been realized.  A Hartford Paper which I have just read mentions the Result of the canvass.  After hearing how the Otsego votes were circumstanced, I perceived clearly what the Event would be.  The Reflection that the majority of the Electors were for me is a pleasing one. That Injustice has taken place, does not surprize me, and I hope will not affect you very sensibly.  The Intelligence found me perfectly prepared for it. Having nothing to reproach myself with in Relation to this Event, it shall neither discompose my Temper, nor postpone my Sleep.  A few Years more will put us all in the Dust; and it will then be of more Importance to me to have governed myself, than to have governed the State. The weather is very warm -- towards Evening I shall go the Hartford where I hope to find a Letter from you. In a Letter from Newport I requested you to direct a Letter for me there Hartford -- Monday Eveng.  Peet has returned from the office, without Letters. I fear you did not receive mine from Newport in Season. Tuesday morning. -- I am waiting to have my Horses Shod, and in Expectation that Judge Cushing who is behind will be here this morning.  I have concluded to crop from Bennington to Albany and return from thence by water. A Letter directed to me there, if seasonably written will probably meet me there. An important letter in which Jay relates injustices in the New York gubernatorial election of 1792 and humbly reveals his great strength of character.

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Jay, John. Autograph letter draft, unsigned, 2 pages (9 3/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 238 x 200 mm.)

Lot 42: Jay, John. Autograph letter draft, unsigned, 2 pages (9 3/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 238 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 42. Jay, John. Autograph letter draft, unsigned, 2 pages (9 3/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 238 x 200 mm.), “Albany,” 29 March 1799 to Benjamin Goodhue of Salem, Massachusetts; integral blank. A letter discussing the potential war with France. Jay writes in part: The letters...have been received, and disposed of in the manner you requested. The information...has given me much concern. The expediency of the President’s declaration, that he would not send another minister to France, until he should receive assurances, etc., was not, in my judgment, unquestionable. There are political considerations against it, and there are others in its favour. Such a declaration, however, was made, and the propriety of it seems to have been acquiesced in. It is to be wished that Mr. Murray had been more reserved in his conversations with the French secretary, on the subject of our national differences. These matters were foreign to his department, and I presume they were not within his instructions. Those conversations have facilitated overtures, which are calculated...to perplex and divide our councils, and to mislead public opinion. The manner in which Mr. Murray transmitted these overtures...is such a deviation from the official and customary course as...is certainly exceptionable. Nor does any reason occur to me why the President thought it proper to omit communicating the overtures to the Secretary of State. Such is my confidence in the patriotism of the President, and also of the secretary, that every indication of want of confidence between them appears to me singular, and to be regretted. Whether these overtures...should have been accepted, or encouraged, or rejected, or neglected, are questions not free from doubts. I am inclined to think that immediate attention to them was neither necessary nor advisable, and that they had not as yet acquired such a degree of maturity as to call for any formal, national act. But...I suspect it is one of those [subjects] on which statesmen might naturally be led to opposite opinions, by the difficulty of estimating the precise weight and balance of the many and diverse considerations comprehended in it. Much might be said, but not too much purpose; for whatever remarks may be applicable...to...this perplexing affair, it is as it is. Nothing therefore remains but to make the best of the situation...and to avail ourselves of all the advantages to be derived from the united talents and efforts of the best friends to our country and government. The apprehensions entertained from the projected negotiations may not be extensively realized, and events may yet rise to press the Directory into proper measures...not to be expected from their sincerity or sense of decorum or justice. I am for aiding and adhering to the President, and for promoting the best understanding between him and the heads of the departments...I hope his real friends will not keep at a distance from him, nor withhold from him that information which none but his friends will give him. Union, sedate firmness, and vigorous preparation for war generally afford the best means of counteracting the tendencies of insidious professions, and of too great public confidence in them. Following the conclusion of Jay’s treaty with Great Britain, relations between the United States and France began to deteriorate. A powerful and aggressive France sought revenge against what she regarded as an American alliance with her old enemy. Party feeling became so embittered in America that some friends of Jefferson advised the French minister to destroy American shipping--owned largely by Federalists. French depredations against Great Britain. The French Government, hostile and provocative, refused to receive an American Minister in Paris. Jay, regarding the situation as dangerous to the survival of the United States as an independent nation, urged his countrymen to guard against foreign intrigue. Republican fervor for the Revolution in France and the “X, Y, Z” affair only strengthened his resolve to support President Adams’ policy under all circumstances. Adams’ decision in February 1799 to appoint William Vans Murray as minister to France came as a surprise to Jay, but he supported it nonetheless. Other Federalists who looked to war for the settling of differences between the two nations were less acquiescent. Adams had promised that no peace with France would be made until all grievances were addressed, and to many it seemed that his offer to send Murray to Paris was a humiliating admission of defeat. Also, controversial was the fact that Adams took action without consulting Secretary of State Pickering or any other of his cabinet officers. In spite of efforts in Congress to block the appointment, Murray received his commission on 6 March with instructions from Pickering not to communicate with any French agents on subjects relating to the war. At the same time, Patrick Henry and W. R. Davie were also made commissioners to treat with the government in Paris. By the time the three men reached their destination, Napoleon Bonaparte had come into power.

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Jay, John. Autograph manuscript, 11 pages (12 7/8 x 8 1/8 in.; 327 x 206 mm.)

Lot 43: Jay, John. Autograph manuscript, 11 pages (12 7/8 x 8 1/8 in.; 327 x 206 mm.)

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Description: 43. Jay, John.  Autograph manuscript, 11 pages (12 7/8 x 8 1/8 in.; 327 x 206 mm.), [no place, no date], headed List of Claims being a list of claims of loyalists for loss of property in the American revolution; with docketed paper wrappers. John Jay lists the claims of loyalists for property loss in the American Revolution. The claims of the Loyalists of New York are listed alphabetically by the claimants’ last names with their respective amounts, predominantly for property, as well as debts, and a few for income.  For some claims, the amounts of the loss are not specified, and the claimant Benjamin Whitecuff is mentioned as being anegroe. In addition, the codes H and R are noted for several claimants; these codes are explained by Jay at the conclusion of the document:  N.B. Those claimants ag[ains]t whose names H is not[ed] have been heard & Enq[uire]d by the Com[missione]rs and those whose names R is not[ed] have been reported to the L[an]ds. Com[missione]rs of the Treasury. A remarkable historical record tracking the repercussions from the War for Independence.

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Jefferson, Thomas. Fine autograph letter signed, 1 page (10 x 7 7/8 in.; 254 x 200 mm.)

Lot 44: Jefferson, Thomas. Fine autograph letter signed, 1 page (10 x 7 7/8 in.; 254 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 44. Jefferson, Thomas. Fine autograph letter signed (“Th: Jefferson”), 1 page (10 x 7 7/8 in.; 254 x 200 mm.), “Philadelphia,” 28 March 1791 to James McHenry, a participant in the Constitutional Convention from Maryland; light browning and spotting, minute paper loss at intersecting fold affecting one character of one word of text. Jefferson reports the murder of some friendly Indians near Fort Pitt and news from Europe. In his informative letter, Jefferson provides intriguing news from both home and abroad. Jefferson writes in full: Having sent your letters to Mr. Short with a desire that he will, as far as is right, patronize the applications which shall be made to the minister on your demand, instead of destroying your first letter to Messr. Le Couteux, I have thought it better to return it to you, in proof that your desires have been complied with. --a murder of some friendly Indians a little beyond Fort Pitt is likely to defeat our efforts to make a general peace, & to render the combination in war against us more extensive. This was done by a party of Virginians within the limits of Pennsylvania. --The only news from Europe interesting to us is that the Brit[ish] Parl[iament] is about to give free storage to American wheat carried to Engl[an]d in British bottoms for re-exportation. in this case we must make British bottoms lading with wheat, pay that storage here, in the form of a duty, & give it to American bottoms lading with the same article, in order not to keep our vessels on a par as to transportation of our own produce, but to shift the meditated advantage into their scale, at least so say I. At the time of Jefferson’s letter, James McHenry was fully entrenched in the State Senate of Maryland.  Although a staunch Federalist, McHenry shared many of Jefferson’s views on issues both domestic and foreign. A fascinating letter in which Jefferson relates the murder of Indians and predicts the ramifications of the crime to affect peace efforts dramatically.  Turning his attention to news abroad, Jefferson reports on wheat export with England and suggests a duty to balance what is being proposed by British Parliament.

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Jefferson, Thomas. Autograph letter signed as President, 1 page (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.)

Lot 45: Jefferson, Thomas. Autograph letter signed as President, 1 page (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.)

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Description: 45. Jefferson, Thomas.Autograph letter signed (“Th: Jefferson”) as President, 1 page (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.),  Washington, 16 November 1808 to Mr. John McAlister Optician, Phila a well-known Philadelphia optician who took over Benjamin Franklin’s optical practice; docketed on the verso in another hand: light browning. President Thomas Jefferson orders spectacles based upon inventor Benjamin Franklin’s bi-focals from Franklin’s successor, optician John McAlister. Jefferson writes in full: I am extremely satisfied with Dr. Franklin’s method of fixing the spectacles, by composing each glass of two half glasses of different magnifying powers, and those you made for me answer perfectly except that the frames being circular, the glasses are always twisting round & bringing the seam between the two half glasses in the way of the eye.  to prevent this the frame should be oval.  I send you therefore the oval frames you last made for me, being much approved in their size, and I pray you to furnish a set of half glasses for them from the magnifying power of the glasses now in them up to the greatest.  those now in them suit the present state of my vision.  I think the larger of the two magnifiers put into the same frame should differ but a single number from each other, the largest magnifier being uppermost.  altho these glasses are very small, & consequently the half glasses uncommonly so, I am not afraid but that they will prevent full space enough for reading, writing, etc. as I am satisfied that the pencil of rays in these cases occupies little more than a speck on the glass.  the spectacles may be safely returned by post, if done up in the way they now are.  be so good as to send with them a note of the cost, of which I will direct paiment to be made.  A fine letter in which the great statesman shares his knowledge of optical lenses with his Philadelphia optician. His detailed request that his oval frames be fitted with a set of half glasses (i.e., bifocals) to prevent the problem previously encountered with a round frame in which the lenses twisted around, obstructing vision, stands as a remedy worthy of Franklin himself. McAllister worried that the half lenses of the bifocals would be too small to see through.  Nevertheless, he forwarded two pairs to Jefferson nine days after receiving this letter.  Jefferson was still using McAllister’s spectacles in 1815 when he requested a small correction be made to the lenses by McAllister’s firm.

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Jefferson, Thomas. Highly important autograph letter signed as President, 1 page (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.)

Lot 46: Jefferson, Thomas. Highly important autograph letter signed as President, 1 page (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.)

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Description: 46. Jefferson, Thomas. Highly important autograph letter signed (“Th: Jefferson”) as President, 1 page (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.), “Washington,” 15 January 1802, “to the honorable President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Georgia”; browned; page folds reinforced and margins extended. With great eloquence, Thomas Jefferson waxes profound on the superior structure of America’s government with the Constitution being the law and the life.  Expressing his heartfelt appreciation to the Senate and Representatives of the state of Georgia for their support of his election to the chief magistracy of the United States, Jefferson writes in full: To the honorable the President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Georgia. Gentlemen. The confidence which the Senate and Representatives of the state of Georgia are pleased to repose in my conduct, and their felicitations on my election to the chief magistracy, are testimonies which, coming from the collected councils of the state, encourage continued efforts to deserve them in future, and hold up that reward most valued by me. State rights, and State sovereignties, as recognised by the constitution, are an integral and essential part of our great political fabric. They are bound up by a common ligament with those of the National government, and form with it one system, of which the Constitution is the law and the life. A sacred respect to that instrument therefore becomes the first interest and duty of all. Your reliance on the talents & virtues of our republic, as concentrated in the federal legislature, that the public good will be it’s end, & the constitution it’s rule, is assuredly well placed; and we need not doubt of that harmony which is to depend on it’s justice. I pray you to accept for yourselves and the Houses over which you preside my grateful thanks for their favorable dispositions, and the homage of my high consideration and respect. Th: Jefferson An extraordinary letter embodying Jefferson’s idealistic democratic principles, which made him president. Jefferson’s firm belief in the superior structure of the government of America with the Constitution as its guiding light is clearly and concisely articulated. Jefferson’s conviction that state rights were an essential part of our National government could not be more elegantly and succinctly stated: State rights, and State sovereignties, as recognised by the constitution, are an integral and essential part of our great political fabric. They are bound up by a common ligament with those of the National government, and form with it one system, of which the Constitution is the law and the life. A sacred respect to that instrument therefore becomes the first interest and duty of all.

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Jefferson, Thomas. Historic manuscript signed (

Lot 47: Jefferson, Thomas. Historic manuscript signed ("Th: Jefferson") as President, 4 pages

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Description: 47. Jefferson, Thomas. Historic manuscript signed (“Th: Jefferson”) as President, of his address entitled “My Friends & Children Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation.” 4 pages (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.), “Washington,” 10 January 1806. Exceptional Jefferson historic manuscript signed as President: his famous address to the Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation, 1806. Extraordinary original historic manuscript signed of President Jefferson’s address, as “The Great White Father” of the Indian Nation to his “Children,” the Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation. The purchase of Louisiana and the control of the Mississippi River opened vast territories in the West, and the Indians, forced by the advance of the white pioneers, were crossing the rivers to new hunting grounds. Some of the Cherokees had migrated to the West, but others had remained in Georgia and Tennessee. At the time of this address, the Cherokees had visited Washington to make a treaty defining their boundaries. The text of this remarkable manuscript, penned in the hand of Jefferson's secretary, is here transcribed: My Friends & Children Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation. Having now finished our business, & finished it I hope to mutual satisfaction, I cannot take leave of you without expressing the satisfaction I have received from your visit. I see with my own eyes that the endeavors that we have been making to encourage and lead you on in the way of improving your situation have not been unsuccessful; it has been like grain sown in good ground, producing abundantly. You are becoming farmers, learning the use of the plough & the hoe, inclosing your grounds & employing that labour in their cultivation which you formerly employed in hunting & in war; & I see handsome specimens of cotton cloth, raised, spun & wove by yourselves. You are also raising cattle & hogs for your food & horses to assist your labours; so on. My Children, in the same way, & be assured the further you advance in it the happier & more respectable you will be. Our brethren whom you have happened to meet here from the west & the north west, have enabled you to compare your situation now with what it was formerly. They also make the comparison. They see how far you are ahead of them, & by seeing what you are they are encouraged to do as you have done. You will find your next want to be mills to grind your corn, which by relieving your women from the loss of time in beating it into meal, will enable them to spin & weave more. When a man has inclosed & improved his farm, built a good house on it, & raised plentiful stocks of animals, he will wish when he dies that these things should go to his wife & children, whom he loves more than he does his other relations, & for whom he will work with pleasure during his life. You will therefore find it necessary to establish laws for this. When a man has property earned by his own labour he will not like to see another come & take it from him, because he happens to be stronger, or else to defend it by spilling blood. You will find it necessary then to appoint good men, as Judges, to decide contests between man & man, according to reason, & to the rules you shall establish. If you wish to be aided by our council & experience in these things we shall always be ready to assist you with our advice. My Children, it is unnecessary for me to advise you against spending all your time & labor in warring with & destroying your fellow men, & wasting your own numbers. You already see the folly & the inequity of it. Your young men however are not yet sufficiently sensible of it. Some of them cross the Mississippi to go & destroy people who never did them an injury. My Children this is wrong, & must not be. If we permit them to cross the Mississippi to war with the Indians on the other side of that river, we must let those Indians cross the river to take revenge on you. I say again, this must not be. The Mississippi now belongs to us, it must not be a river of blood. It is now the water path along which all our people of Natchez, St. Louis, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, & the western parts of Pennsylvania & Virginia are constantly passing, with their property to & from N. Orleans. Young men going to war are not easily restrained. Finding our people on the river, they will rob them, perhaps kill them. This would bring on a war between us and you. It is better to stop this in time, by forbidding your young people to go across the river to make war. If they go to visit, or to live with the Cherokees on the other side of the river we shall not object to that. That country is ours. We will permit them to live in it. My Children, this is what I wished to say to you. To go on in learning to cultivate the earth, and to avoid war. If any of your neighbors injure you, our beloved men whom we place with you will endeavor to obtain justice for you & we will support them in it. If any of your bad people injure your neighbors, be ready to acknowledge it & to do them justice. It is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it. Tell all your chiefs, young men women & children that I take them by the hand & hold it fast, that I am their father, wish their happiness & well being, & am always ready to promote their good. My Children, I thank you for your visit, & may to the Great Spirit who made us all & planted us all in this land to live together like brothers, that he will conduct you safely to your homes & grant you to find your families & your friends in good health. Th. Jefferson Jan.10.1806 A sterling example of Jefferson’s great eloquence following treaty negotiations for greater definition of the boundaries for the Cherokee Indians. Jefferson lauds the Cherokees on their accomplishments but sternly advises against further warring. Stressing peace and harmony, Jefferson’s words transcend time. Provenance: The Collection of Philip D. Sang, Sotheby’s, New York 30 January 1979, lot 98.

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Jefferson, Thomas. Important autograph letter signed, 2 pages (9 ½ x 7 ¼ in.; 241 x 184 mm.)

Lot 48: Jefferson, Thomas. Important autograph letter signed, 2 pages (9 ½ x 7 ¼ in.; 241 x 184 mm.)

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Description: 48. Jefferson, Thomas. Important autograph letter signed (“Th: Jefferson”), 2 pages (9 ½ x 7 ¼ in.; 241 x 184 mm.), “Monticello,” 21 April 1810, to his nephew and close friend John Wayles Eppes; docketed (on the verso, at the top margin) Eppes John W. Apr. 21. 10.; light browning; scattered spotting and later marginal ink splotch. Ex-President Thomas Jefferson, wary of the deceptive Napoleon I--whom he calls the testy emperor, that spoiled child of fortune--first learns of Congress’ intent to repeal the Non-Intercourse Act, which reopened trade with England and France on 1 May 1810. Jefferson writes in full: I found here your letter of the 2nd on my return from a three weeks visit to Bedford: and as I see by a resolution of Congress that they are to adjourn on the 23rd. I shall direct the present to Eppington where it may meet you on your passage to Carolina. Mr. Thweatt is to let me know when I am to set out for Richmond. He says it will be in May & perhaps early. This however you can learn from him. My principal compensation for the journey is the visit to my friends at Eppington from which your absence would be a great deduction: for be assured that no circumstances on earth will ever lessen my affection for you, or my regret that any should exist which may affect the frequency of my meetings with you. But here I must brood over my grief in silence. The company of my dear Francis [John W. Eppes’ father] has been a great comfort to me this winter; I shall restore him to you at Eppington, in fine health I hope, and not less advanced in the first elements of education than might be expected. Patsy [Jefferson’s daughter, Martha Jefferson (1772-1836)] has the whole merit of this as her attentions to him have been the same as to her own. Your letter gave me the first intimation that an accommodation with England was expected. I rejoice at it; for she is the only nation from which serious injury is to be apprehended. This may put us under the ban of the testy emperor, that spoiled child of fortune, and it is true that if excluded from the continent our trade to England will be of no value. But I wold rather suffer in interest than fail in good faith. We are neutrals, & have been honestly so. We have declared we would meet either or both parties in just accommodation, and if either holds off, it is her fault not ours. Altho’ connected with England in peace, I hope we shall be so with the other party in principal, and that our accommodation will involve no sacrifice of the freedom of the seas. For this however I can safely trust to the present administration, as well as the republican majority in Congress. In April 1809, the British minister in Washington, David M. Erskine, signed a convention providing for the mutual suspension of the British and American restrictions--effective 10 June 1809. However, the agreement was repudiated in London because Erskine had exceeded his instructions. Non-intercourse was restored against England by President James Madison (9 August 1809). On 1 March 1809, Thomas Jefferson himself, as President, had signed the Non-Intercourse Act (effective 15 March 1809), which reopened all overseas commerce to American shipping, with the exception of France and Great Britain. One year later, in May 1810, shortly after Jefferson’s letter, Congress repealed the Non-Intercourse Act and substituted Macon’s Bill #2--since the Non-Intercourse Act was set to expire at the close of the Second Session of the 11th Congress on 1 May 1810. The law reopened trade with England and France--though it promised to reimpose non-importation against either belligerent if the other rescinded its restrictions on neutral trade. It was Napoleon I’s opportunity to deceive the U.S. He ordered his Foreign Minister, the Duc de Cadore, to promise French cooperation. In the “Cadore Letter,” sent to the American government (August 1810), France pledged to suspend the Continental Decrees if the U.S. “shall cause their rights to be respected by the English”--presumably by reimposing non-importation. Of course, it was never Napoleon’s intention to make good on his promise. The French released a few American ships for appearances sake, and then continued to prey on American shipping. As well, they imposed a new series of French tariffs and exports restrictions which rendered American trade with the Continent virtually impossible. It was Napoleon’s plan to give the appearance of making concessions to the U.S. so as to further embroil the new nation with England. An important letter in which the ex-President foresees the problems to come from Napoleon I, whom he names that spoiled child of fortune, realizing that a war with Britain could only be detrimental to the United States, for, as he states, England is the only nation from which serious injury is to be apprehended--and also realizing that any such accommodation with Britain will most certainly aggravate the French Emperor.

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Jefferson, Thomas. Autograph letter signed (

Lot 49: Jefferson, Thomas. Autograph letter signed ("Th: Jefferson"), 1 page (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.)

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Description: 49. Jefferson, Thomas. Autograph letter signed (“Th: Jefferson”), 1 page (10 x 8 in.; 254 x 203 mm.), “Monticello,” 10 May 1810, to John W. Eppes; browned; seal tears to integral address leaf and split to page fold. On the eve of the War of 1812, Former President Thomas Jefferson correctly predicts the coming war while offering his opinion that the present situation offered proof as to what was condemnable among mankind. Jefferson writes in full: Mr. Thweatt’s letter with your P. S. came to hand late last night, and I shall dispatch Francis tomorrow morning in the case of one of our most trusty servants I have.  it will take to-day to have Francis affairs ready for the road, and he will be obliged to make but two days of the journey to arrive at Eppington on the eve of your departure for Carolina. considering the shortness of the time you will be with him I was almost tempted to keep him till your return from Carolina, but I thought it better by a prompt compliance with your wish, to merit the receiving him in deposit again during your next winter’s visit to Washington.  You will receive in him in good health, and his reading and writing have been well attended to. In the present unexplained state of the world, the difficulty of deciding what is best to be done for us, has produced a general disposition to acquiese in whatever our public councils shall decide.  Between the convoy system (which is war) and that which has been adopted, the opposite considerations appear so equally balanced, that the decision in favor of those which continue the state of peace will probably be approved. the republican papers of this winter have not at all been in unison with the public sentiment as far as I could judge of it from limited specimen under my observation.  I think when peace shall be restored that the examples present mad epoch will be so far from being appealed to as precedent of right, that they will be considered as prima facia proofs of whatever is wrong and condemable among mankind. I have learnt with great concern the very ill state of your health during the winter, have you tried the daily use of the warm bath?  From it’s effect on rheumation in one instance within my knowledge, it is worthy of trial.   Jefferson’s postscript relates to the gift of a dog: I send you by Francis a female puppy of the shepard dog breed.  The next year I can give you a male.  The most careful intelligent dogs in the world excellent for the house or plantation. In the years leading up to the War of 1812, America attempted to maintain its neutrality in the Anglo-French wars that had been raging off and on since 1793. Both French and British ships were harassing American merchants bound for the other’s ports.  This was seriously affecting American economic interests while British impressment of American sailors further deteriorated relations with that country.  The debate over the best way to deal with these issues was dividing the Americans into two political camps with the Republicans favoring economic sanctions over military force. During his administration, Jefferson took the typical republican stance. From December of 1807 a series of economic measures were attempted by his administration to convince both the French and English to respect the neutrality of American shipping.  These measures, which suspended trade with the belligerents, were unsuccessful at gaining respect for U.S. neutrality while at the same time causing severe economic hardship in America.  With each failure of these economic sanctions came more popular support for a military solution. Congress made one final effort in May of 1810 to reach a peaceful solution by passing the Macon’s Bill No. 2. This act reopened trade with France and Britain but also authorized the president to suspend trade with either of the major powers if the other should lift its restrictions. Trade with Britain swiftly reached pre December 1807 levels.  However, trade with France remained much more limited due to the strength of the British fleet.  Napoleon therefore announced that his restrictions on U.S. shipping would be revoked in November 1810.  Madison therefore reapplied non-intercourse with Britain. It was while congress was considering Macon’s bill no. 2 that Jefferson penned this letter.  Here he predicts that the country will momentarily side with those attempting to use peaceful means to gain respect for U.S. neutrality.  However he also notes that public sentiment is no longer in unison with the republican’s pacifist stance and foretells of the war that was to come two years later.  After France was the first country to lift its sanctions, Britain soon continued the harassment of American shipping and the impressment of American sailors.  Because of the Americans inability to peaceably induce Britain into respecting U.S. neutrality on the seas, even Republicans came to view war as the only solution to Britain’s refusal to recognize American neutrality. An important letter in which former President Jefferson correctly predicts the events leading to the War of 1812, and uncharacteristically offers his feelings on the madness of the era.

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Jefferson, Thomas. Autograph manuscript signed, 2 pages (7 1/8 x 4 ½ in.; 181 x 114 mm.)

Lot 50: Jefferson, Thomas. Autograph manuscript signed, 2 pages (7 1/8 x 4 ½ in.; 181 x 114 mm.)

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Description: 50. Jefferson, Thomas.  Autograph manuscript signed twice with initials in the text (“Th: J”), and twice in the text for his grandson, (“Th: J.R.”), two pages (7 1/8 x 4 ½ in.; 181 x 114 mm.), “Monticello,” [November - December 1811]; some smudging. Jefferson’s solar observations at Monticello with his grandson. In the present manuscript, Jefferson records solar observations made by himself and his teenage grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, at Monticello. In part, their observations appear to involve the testing of their instruments, as Jefferson’s notes include allowances for error of instrumt as well as calculations for degrees of refraction . . . parallax . . . true altitude . . . Zenith distance . . . declination [from] Greenwich and latitudes of Willis’s Mount and Monticello.  Some observations are introduced by substantial narrative passages such as, Latitude of Willis’s mountain by observations of the Sun; meridian altitude taken from the peak on the right side of the gap, & next adjacent to it, as seen from Monticello while others are briefer.  Jefferson’s integral signatures appear when he assigns credit for his own or his grandson’s readings, as in Th: J’s observation Nov. 21. . . and Th: J.R’s observn of Dec. 18. A solar eclipse was visible and witnessed at Monticello on 11 September 1811, and it is likely that this astronomical event prompted Jefferson and his grandson to undertake their observations herewith. A fascinating manuscript revealing Jefferson’s wide and varied interests as well as his desire to impart both knowledge and intellectual curiosity upon his grandson.

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Kennedy, Edward M. Extraordinary autograph letter signed 5 pages, (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.)

Lot 51: Kennedy, Edward M. Extraordinary autograph letter signed 5 pages, (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.)

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Description: 51. Kennedy, Edward M. Extraordinary autograph letter signed 5 pages, (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.), [Boston or Washington], 18 May 1969, to Mr. Evelle Younger, Los Angeles County District Attorney; in pristine condition. Edward M. Kennedy expresses his views on the sentencing of Sirhan Sirhan after his conviction in the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, evoking Martin Luther King. In this heart-wrenching letter to Evelle Younger, Los Angeles County District Attorney, Edward M. Kennedy expresses his views on the possible penalties available to the court under law, in the trial of Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy writes, in part: My brother was a man of love and sentiment and compassion. He would not have wanted his death to be a cause for the taking of another life. You may recall his pleas when he learned of the death of Martin Luther King. He said what we need in the United States is not division, what we need in the United States is not hatred, what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom and compassion towards one another. Moreover he was a young man totally committed to life and living. He stood against injustice, poverty and discrimination for those evils lessened life. He grew to despise war for war denies the sacredness of life. And he had a special affection for children for they held the promise of life. We all realize that many other considerations fall within your responsibility and that of the court. But if the kind of man my brother was is pertinent we believe it should be weighed in the balance on the side of compassion, mercy and God’s gift of life itself. Sirhan Sirhan was convicted on 17 April 1969 and sentenced to death on 23 April 1969. The sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972 after the California Supreme Court, in its decision in California v. Anderson, invalidated all pending death sentences imposed in California prior to 1972. An emotive letter from Edward M. Kennedy on the punishment of Sirhan Sirhan for the assassination of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy. Together with: Autograph notes in the hand of Edward Kennedy, 1 page, legal folio, 21 June 1968 being his notes upon hearing his brother Robert F. Kennedy had been shot. With arrow marks for dividers, his notes read in full: Hamilton AFB, Ambass[ador],Central Receiving Hospital, 483- 7311, Good Samaritan Hospital, Hu-2-8111 A Kennedy aide marks the letter with a brief notation: These notes were made by Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his suite in the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, Calif. early on Wednesday morning, June 5, 1968 shortly after returning to his room from a TV broadcast.  (He had been in Calif. campaigning for his brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy).  When he turned on his hotel TV set he heard the report that his brother, Bobby had been shot in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  He got on the telephone to try to reach the various places where his brother had been taken -- Ambassador Hotel, Central Receiving Hospital, L.A. where he was first treated, Good Samaritan Hospital, and finally Hamilton Air Force Base, San Raphael, Calif. where it was arranged to have an Air Force Lear jet fly him to Los Angeles.  I drove in a police car with him & his staff to Hamilton A. F.  Base.    V. M.G. An extraordinary record of one Kennedy brother learning of the shooting of another Kennedy brother.

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