Lot 3: Black Hawk War correspondence with incredible Pro-Indian content - 14 letters, 47 pages!

University Archives

April 10, 2018
Westport, CT, US

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Black Hawk War correspondence with incredible Pro-Indian content - 14 letters, 47 pages!

 

[BLACK HAWK WAR]. AMOS B. EATON to his wife Elizabeth Eaton, 14 Autograph Letters Signed or Initialed or in just a few cases signed "Eaton" within the address leaf to his wife, July 24, 1832-February 28, 1834; [William A.] Gordon to Amos B. Eaton, Autograph Letter Signed, August 10, 1832; and Amos Eaton to his son Amos B. Eaton, Autograph Letter Signed, September 21, 1837. 47 pp. total, varying in size from 8" x 9.75" to 8" x 12.75". Expected folds and some tears where wax seals were broken with some loss of text.

 

This fascinating archive of letters details the early career of Amos B. Eaton, a West Point graduate with nearly fifty years of service in the U.S. Army. His unguarded remarks to his father in an 1832 letter nearly derailed his career when he suggested the cholera that decimated American troops at Detroit and Chicago was God’s judgment for Americans’ treatment of Native Americans like Black Hawk and his Sauk followers.

 

While Eaton and other soldiers were battling cholera in Detroit, Captain Abraham Lincoln was commanding a company of mounted volunteers from New Salem, Illinois, as they traveled north to push Black Hawk and his followers back westward across the Mississippi River. Though Lincoln did not see combat, he later jokingly referred to his bloody battles with mosquitoes, and even twenty-five years later, his fellow soldiers’ electing him as captain was his proudest accomplishment. After his company was mustered out of service in late May, Lincoln twice reenlisted as a private and continued to serve until mid-July 1832.

 

 

Excerpts: 

 

Amos B. Eaton to his father Amos Eaton, July 19, 1832, Detroit, Michigan Territory [transcribed in Amos Eaton to Amos B. Eaton, September 21, 1837 (see below)]:

 

“My dear Father,

            “After we had been in this place a few days, the Cholera commenced its ravages among the soldiers of this command, and hurried into eternity about every third man. But the sick are now all so far convalescent, that Col. Cummings has written to Gen. Scott for orders. I was pretty severely attacked and my strength seemed entirely prostrated. I am now gaining a little strength.

            “News this moment arrived from Chicago, since began this letter. We learn that 54 soldiers and one officer died of the cholera in one of the boats. Between 3 & 400 men fled from the army; and most of the troops belonging to this expedition are so far dispersed, that nothing efficient can probably be done by them at present. The dead bodies of the deserters are frequently found in the roads, swamps, &c.

            “Thus we see that this part of the expedition is strewed like chaff by the blast of the pestilence. Is it an illustration of the displeasure of the Almighty at our treatment of that poor, starved race, of beings, whom our injustice drives to madness?”

 

Amos Eaton allowed a local editor to publish this excerpt from his son’s letter in the July 27, 1832, edition of the Troy Sentinel, in Troy, New York. The Albany Argus republished it, and from there it passed to the Daily National Intelligencer and the Globe, competing Whig and Democratic newspapers respectively, in Washington, D.C. The controversy that erupted nearly ended Eaton’s military career, and even six years later was hampering his opportunities for promotion.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, July 24, 1832, Detroit, Michigan Territory :

 

“Col Cummings with the well of his command has now gone. He left this morning at a little after 8 o’clk. I am left in charge of the sick, 14 in number with 3 attendants making 17 in all.

            “As soon as the Col. was off I went to town to obtain hospital stores &c. The Dr I have employed is the same gentleman who attended me during my sickness. I have written instructions from Col C. to remain here until the sick recover, and if they are able to travel in 15 days and I receive no countermanding instructions to repair to Fort Niagara.”

            “I shall neglect nothing in trying to have my men in marching trim as soon as possible. I feel that a very responsible lot has fallen to me, one where not much worldly glory is likely to follow correctness of duty, but one from which future glory may be gathered with as much certainty as from deeds rendered prominent by the slaughter of many of the poor heathen of our disturbed borders.”

“Perhaps you had best defer your visit to Rochester until I know whether I go east or west.”

“I slept here last night, but shall not again. I did not examine my bed very closely last evening but this morning I observed it and dirt bugs, fleas, &c I found to be too abundant for my use. The landlady is a good Methodist woman but wonderfully easy under a dirty house.”

On July 4, 1832, the steamer Henry Clay, carrying 370 troops to Chicago for the Black Hawk War, stopped in Detroit. When one soldier died of cholera, Detroit officials ordered the ship to nearby Belle Isle, where it remained for a few days before proceeding to Fort Gratiot on the southern tip of Lake Huron. During that 70-mile trip, so many soldiers contracted cholera that they were ordered to disembark and return to Detroit. During the return march, nearly 220 soldiers died of cholera. The remaining soldiers reached Detroit on July 8. Most soon departed on the steamer William Penn, but some were too ill to travel and remained behind under the command of Lieutenant Eaton.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, July 30, 1832, Detroit, Michigan Territory:

 

“If I go east or west, live or die, thrive in the worlds things or suffer; if you are sickly or healthy, if our family happily increases in number and happiness or dwindles in both, let us stand in our places before the Lord and ‘be careful for nothing.’”

“When I had my worst sickness, or just as I began to recover, I wrote to my father a very faithful letter. Let your prayers with mine go up that God may through it bring my poor errant father to a true sense of things.”

“Several days since Gen Scott called upon the Governor of the Territory for 400 mounted militia. Yesterday an express brought information that they were not required. Gen. Atkinson had penetrated the swamp where Black Hawk had been, but that from their traces it was judged that they had but just left. About 900 mounted men were started immediately on their trail, and the surmises are strong that we shall soon hear of the discomfiture of Black Hawk’s band.”

“Dear darling wife, I thank you for your sweet letters. I love your kind advice and accept of it most thankfully. Never fail to do your best endeavours to guide me aright. Dr. Stevenson, speaking to Judge Wilkins of your letters to me, part of one of which he had either seen or heard read, said ‘what a letter for a wife to writer to her husband. I would give anything if my wife could write me so.’”

 

[William A.] Gordon to Amos B. Eaton, August 10, 1832, Washington, D.C.:

 

“I cannot content to see a danger threatening an old companion and an esteemed friend, without warning him of it.. .. you have committed an indiscretion in writing a letter which has been published in some of the journals of the day, in which you have commented in no very measured terms on the policy of the Government tow’ds the [missing because signature on reverse cut out] you speak of the Cholera as sent [missing] against them like chaff, and terming it ‘an [illustration] of the displeasure of the Almighty at our treatment of that poor starved race of beings, whom our injustice drives to madness.’

            “The administration papers of this place, commenting on the letter, which was republished in the intelligencer, remarks that ‘the libel contained in it, on the conduct of the General Govt towards the Indians deserves the reprobation of the country’; and after an article of a column in length on the subject, closes by saying, ‘we think the sentiments expressed above, are altogether unbecoming an American officer. He should cease to feel such sentiments, or cease to be an officer on the expeditions against the Indians’ &c.”

            “The letter referred to was doubtless intended for the eye of the person alone to whom it was addressed, but he has been guilty of a most unfortunate indiscretion in publishing it, an indiscretion which will, I fear, unless you can do away the impression created here, cost you your commission .... ”

On August 6, 1832, the Daily National Intelligencer in Washington, DC published a segment of Eaton’s letter: “Thus we see, that this part of the expedition is strewed like chaff, by a blast of the pestilence. It is an illustration of the displeasure of the Almighty at our treatment of that poor starved race of beings, whom our injustice drives to madness” (p3/c3). On August 9, the Democratic Washington Globe included the report from the Daily National Intelligencer and commented, “we think the libel contained in the above paragraph, on the conduct of the General Government towards the Indians, deserved the reprobation of the country. Has not the treatment of the Indians, on the part of the national authorities, been uniformly kind and paternal?” (p2/c6). The editorial continues on the following page by broadening it into an attack on the Whig National Intelligencer, “What may we not expect from the predatory tribes that hover around our infant settlements, in Arkansas and Missouri, when they learn that the Organ of a great party in the United States, which seeks the control of our Government, openly rejoices at the defeat of measures taken to repel their invasions, and considers ‘the blast of the pestilence,’ which has ‘strewed’ the brave men ‘like chaff,’ who were sent to preserve the women and children of Illinois from savage massacre, as the interposition of the Almighty in aid of the tomahawk and scalping-knife?... Do they expect the Government of the Union to resign the State of Illinois to the Indians?” The editorial concluded, “However natural the sentiments, expressed in the above extract of the Intelligencer, may be to an editor British-born, yet we think they are altogether unbecoming an American officer. He should cease to feel such sentiments, or cease to be an officer ‘on the expedition against the Indians.’ Such a man would betray his comrades to the enemy” (p3/c1).

The author of this letter is not clear, but it may be William A. Gordon of Maryland, who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1827, one year after Eaton. In 1832, Gordon was a clerk in the quartermaster’s department.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, April 15, 1833, Ithaca, New York:

 

“As to the time when you start after the canal is opened, be guided by your own judgement of what is right ... ”

“I just rec’d a letter from Clitz, he says the Col. has rec’d an answer to his letter and that I am to be retained on the Rect’g Service, and that he (Clitz) has applied to be ordered to Utica on the R. Service.”

Captain John Clitz (1790-1836) volunteered at the beginning of the War of 1812 and distinguished himself to become adjutant of the 2nd U.S. Infantry. He died while in command of Fort Mackinac in Michigan Territory.

When Eaton wrote this letter, his wife was in Rochester, 90 miles from Ithaca. He urged her to wait until the Erie Canal had opened for the season (typically mid- to late-April) before making the journey. She would have taken the canal from Rochester to Montezuma before traveling south on Cayuga Lake to Ithaca.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, April 18, 1833, Ithaca, New York:

 

“I take it that it is pretty certain, humanly speaking, that I shall remain here for a considerable time, so that, when you come, you had best bring every thing that has a tendency to comfort or economy; for board, after all, will swallow up quite a little river of silver.... I have asked nothing about private boarding. We will try this house for a while, and in the mean time you can seek, as you get acquainted with the folks, for private boarding if you like it better.”

“I heard the bell ring last evening, and followed its tones to the session house, where I found a meeting of the youthful professors, praying for the impenitent, all of them like so many young icicles.”

“I have a flaming handbill out, a spread eagle with ‘e pluribus unum’ & covered with stars at the top, and indeed I am altogether a greater man in Ithaca than I was in Rochester, and as the wife & husband are one, you will share the honors .... ”

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, May 14, 1833, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“I am to relieve Capt Barnum in the com’d of ‘H’ Compy & perhaps as QrMaster, but this uncertain as yet, shall know in a few days. Matters are as yet in a confused state. I suspect that the fog will be dispersed in a few days, so that I shall be able to give you more particulars.”

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, May 20, 1833, Lewiston, New York:

 

“I am Quarter Master &c, and am now on my way to Buffalo to procure transportation for Capt Barnum, who leaves the Fort with 90 Recruits for the Upper Lakes on the 22d.”

“There has been more foolery at Chicago  Lieut Day when about to leave C. having been promoted, wrote a saucy letter to Old Mrs Penrose, whereupon he received a horse-whipping from Lieut Penrose; then both of the redoubtable knights pressed charges against each other. This may by possibility drive D. out of the Army.”

“I am happier in your present absence than ever before.”

All letters from this one through that of July 4, 1833, were addressed to Elizabeth Eaton in New Haven or Hartford, Connecticut, where she was spending time with family and friends.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, May 27, 1833, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“I rec’d a letter from Libby written to you at Ithaca a few days since. As to Libbys returning with you, you know that I feel a delicacy about urging it. I shall therefore only say that I wish that to be done which you all think is right ... "

Elizabeth “Libby” Selden (1819-1910) was Elizabeth Eaton’s daughter by her first marriage to Joseph Spencer (1790-1823) and had apparently been living with her paternal grandparents in Connecticut.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, June 2, 1833, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“I shall go to Rochester, I think about the last of this month, to purchase provisions for the Troops, and shall probably be there a few days....”

“There are two soldiers in the Hospital almost dead from consumption. There is considerable ague in the garrison.”

“One of the sick men I spoke of is dead and is to be buried soon.”

“I hope you will enjoy your visit. Don’t let any thing this side of the Hudson river disturb you, all is well. And when you have completely wound up your visit, just please to show yourself in these parts, and you will get a better reception than General Jackson would.”

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, June 7, 1833, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“We are now whitewashing, policing, gardening, drilling, writing, talking, riding, &c &c.”

“We have had a Dentist here, pulling, plugging, scraping, setting, sawing, and charging, so that old ones are young again; and a smile now, instead of making you shudder with pain at the awful sight, cheers up the downcast and wins a returning smile.”

“Genl Scott has refused to allow the difficulties between Lieuts Day & Penrose to proceed further.”

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, June 18, 1833, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“Maj Whistler is to be tried by a Court Martial at Mackinac. The Court is to convene on the 15th of July.”

“I expect Lieut Bloodgood in a very few days. He will take command of ‘H’ company & I shall not be sorry to give it up, as I cannot do it justice [when] I have so much staff duty to perform as I now have.”

“I now drop my pen, and leave the office up stairs where I am writing, for my bed, but retire with no sweet ‘my dear husband’ to gladden my heart, & as I throw myself down and blow out the candle, I involuntaryly draw a long sigh, & feel a chilly loneliness of celebacy, not rightly belonging to one so happy in matrimony as I am.”

Major William Whistler (1780-1863) of the 2nd U.S. Infantry was tried by a court-martial at Mackinac, Michigan Territory. He was apparently acquitted, as he was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 7th U.S. Infantry in 1834, to colonel of the 4th U.S. Infantry in July 1845, and retired from the army in October 1861, after one of the longest careers in the history of the U.S. Army.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, July 4, 1833, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“I am quite fatigued from various duties of the day, and am in none of the best spirits, and do not expect to be until you return. I last evening wrote you a very fine letter, but owing to a passage of doubtful propriety, destroyed it.”

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, February 18, 1834, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“I must say one thing, which I dislike to say & which you may dislike to hear, but I shall not speak without thought, that is, I do much question some of the views & many of the feelings of a circle of our Rochester friends with whom we have associated. I have therefore to advise you not too implicitly to take it for granted that all they say & do is right.”

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, February 24, 1834, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“Write me by the return mail whether Mr & Mrs Kempshall come with you. if they do, I will not come for you, as to bring you is my only object in coming.”

“We are to go to Gratiot.”

Eaton was soon transferred to Fort Gratiot in Michigan Territory on the southern tip of Lake Huron, 175 miles west of Fort Niagara and 60 miles northeast of Detroit.

 

Amos B. Eaton to Elizabeth Eaton, February 28, 1834, Fort Niagara, New York:

 

“We have had a hint, faint, far-off, & uninteresting, that it is possible in the ‘permutations & combinations’ of mysterious army movements, we might alight after we take wing, at some point beyond Fort Gratiot, say the Sault de Ste. Marie! This is a little more probable than that we shall be ordered to fortify Mount St. Catherine in the moon. If we go the latter place, we’ll eat green cheese, if to the former, catch fish; making the best of either.”

“Sarah and I have banished coffee & buckwheat cakes for a little season, a perpetual banishment would be too cruel.”

 

Amos Eaton to Amos B. Eaton, September 21, 1837, Troy, New York:

 

“I sent copies of the following to Van Buren, to Wright and to Tallmadge.* I have not yet found the original, perhaps the Editor took it.” [“ * I am acquainted with Mr Wright and Mr Tallmadge is my particular friend.”]

            “I have a son, Amos B. Eaton, a first Lieutenant now acting Commissary in the Florida army. He has acted in the subsistence department (if I understand the expression) for several years, while stationed at Fort Niagara, Fort Gratiot, and Fort Howard. He has hoped for a permanent situation in that department; as he has a wife and four children, now supported at Rochester, out of his pay, and depending upon his pay for their maintenance.

            “It seems that some objections to his application for an appointment in the Subsistence department, on the ground of his having (six years since) written an article, censuring the conduct of our citizens in exciting the Blackhawk war.

            “He has called on me by letter, dated at Tampa Bay, to explain this matter to the U.S. Senators from this state.

            “About the year 1830 he became most ardently devoted to Religion. While at Fort Niagara he held meetings on the Sabbath, and gave ministerial discourses to the soldiers; and was successful, as I am informed, inspiring many of them with serious emotions. When the cholera raged in the Army, he was left with the sick (himself sick) at Detroit; while there being under deep impressions, he wrote me the offensive letter; without the thought, that it would ever be public. It was written as any affectionate son writes a Father to whom he has from his earliest years communicated his thoughts without reserve. As the concerns of the Army and of the cholera were subjects of great anxiety in Troy, where the cholera was very alarming; I permitted the first part of the letter to be printed in a newspaper. You will see by comparing dates that it was printed in Troy, in seven days after it was written in Detroit; of course my son could not have given his consent.

            “It is manifest that no reflection on administration was intended. Our treatment of the Indians, in our capacity of private citizens, has been a subject of remark for a century. Even the Blackhawk war was ascribed by many of our best citizens, to the injustice of our white Borderers. Why should this instance be more exceptionable than numerous similar ones?

            “That Mr Croswell, editor of the Albany Argus, should have republished this as a party politics article, seemed to me most extraordinary. I was his Father’s friend. I gave the name Catskill Recorder to his father’s paper, when Edwin was a remarkably talented boy and chief manager of it. I wrote for it gratuitously about three years. I was one of his father’s advisers to let his son and Mr Cantini take the paper as a Democratic paper (Edwin then being young and having no politics.) He knew that I abandoned politics when my party (Federalists) purchased Aaron Burr; and that none of my family took any part in politics, excepting my son Daniel Cady Eaton (for Robertson & Eaton, New York) and he a most active administration [man?] He knew that it was not with the consent or knowledge of my son that this extract was published, also that it came from a source whence opposition to government could not be expected. But if the publication was criminal, I am the criminal, not my son.”

[To Amos B. Eaton:] “I advise you not to leave the army, unless your health is in danger. All may come right.”

 

In this letter, Amos Eaton informed his son, stationed in Tampa-Bay, Florida, during the Second Seminole War, that he sent letters to President Martin Van Buren and to U.S. Senators from New York Silas Wright Jr. and Nathaniel P. Tallmadge regarding the letter published in 1832 that was hampering Amos B. Eaton’s prospects for promotion.

 

 

Amos Beebee Eaton (1806-1877) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1826. He married Elizabeth Selden Spencer in 1831. He served as a lieutenant of the U.S. Army Commissariat from 1834 to 1836 and also in the Mexican War for which he was appointed a brevet major.  At the beginning of the Civil War, he was appointed Assistant Commissary General with the rank of lieutenant colonel. For his work in provisioning the troops, he was promoted to brigadier general in the summer of 1864 and Commissary General of the Subsistence Bureau in Washington, D.C.  In March 1865, he was brevetted to major general of U.S. volunteers. He remained in the regular army as Commissary General until his retirement in May 1874.

 

   

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In all Auctions, bids on an item must raise the current high bid according to University Archives bidding increments specified under Auction Terms, on a per-Auction basis. Bids will be accepted in whole dollar amounts only. No "buy" or "unlimited" bids will be accepted. In a live sale, bids on an item can change at the discretion of University Archives.

University Archives will record the paddle number of the Bidder. If Bidder's absentee bid is successful, Bidder will be notified after the sale by mailed or emailed invoice.


University Archives reserves the right to accept or decline any bid. Bids must be for an entire lot and each lot constitutes a separate sale. All bids are per lot unless otherwise announced. Live auction lots will be sold in their numbered sequence unless University Archives directs otherwise. It is unlawful and illegal for Bidders to collude, pool, or agree with another Bidder to pay less than the fair value for lot(s). For live auctions, University Archives will have final discretion in the event that any dispute should arise between Bidders. University Archives will determine the successful Bidder, cancel the sale, or re-offer and resell the lot or lots in dispute. University Archives will have final discretion to resolve any disputes arising after the online auction. If any dispute arises, University Archives' sale record is conclusive.

University Archives shall determine opening bids and bidding increments. University Archives has the right in its absolute discretion to reject any bid in the event of dispute between Bidders or if University Archives has doubt as to the validity of any bid, to advance the bidding at its absolute discretion and to determine the successful Bidder in the event of a dispute between Bidders, to continue the bidding or to reoffer and resell the lot in question. In the event of a dispute after the sale, University Archives' record of final sale shall be conclusive. University Archives also may reject any bid if University Archives decides either that any bid is below the reserve of the lot or article or that an advance is insufficient. Unless otherwise announced by University Archives at the time of sale, no lots may be divided for the purpose of sale.

Bidder may open, monitor, and/or raise bids at any time before the close of a lot through www.invaluable.com or www.universityarchives.com. To ensure proper registration, those Bidders intending to bid via the Internet must visit www.invaluable.com and register accordingly at least one full day prior to the actual auction. Winning bidders will be notified by University Archives. University Archives is not responsible or liable for any problems, delays, or any other issues or problems resulting out of use of the Internet generally or specifically, including but not limited to transmission, execution or processing of bids.

Property is auctioned in consecutive numerical order, as it appears in the online auction catalog. The auctioneer will accept bids from absentee bidders participating by internet or by written bid left with University Archives in advance of the auction. The auctioneer may also execute a bid on behalf of the consignor to protect the reserve, either by entering a bid in response to absentee bids. Under no circumstances will the auctioneer place any bid on behalf of the consignor above the reserve. The auctioneer will not specifically identify bids placed on behalf of the consignor to protect the reserve.
University Archives is not responsible or liable for any problems, delays, or any other issues or problems resulting out of use of the Internet generally or specifically, including but not limited to transmission, execution or processing of bids.

To maximize Bidder's chance of winning, University Archives strongly encourages the use of maximum bids. University Archives will then bid for Bidder until the lot reaches Bidder's specified maximum. Maximum bids are strictly confidential.

Absentee bidding (advance written bids submitted prior to start of the auction) are offered solely as a convenience and permitted only prior to the start of the online auction, with University Archives' approval which shall be exercised at University Archives' sole discretion. Neither University Archives nor its agents or employees shall be held liable for the failure to execute bids or for errors relating to any transmission or execution thereof. In order to be considered for advance bidding in any manner, Bidders must comply with all of these Conditions of Sale and the terms contained on the Registration Form.


Buyer's Premium. The Bidder acknowledges and agrees that a total of a 25% Buyer's premium(we charge 20% and Invaluable, eBay and AuctionZip charge an additional 5%) will be added to the hammer price on all individual lots sold in live Auctions (the "Buyer's Live Premium"). Delivery of purchased items will not be made unless and until full payment has been received by University Archives, i.e., Paypal, check or credit card funds have fully cleared. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, signed by University Archives, payment in full is due within seven (7) calendar days of the invoice date. All purchases delivered to Connecticut are subject to applicable Connecticut sales tax unless the purchaser possesses a Connecticut sales tax exemption number. University Archives' Buyer's Premium does not include any fees assessed by third-party internet bidding platforms. Please refer to the internet bidding platform's terms and conditions for any additional premium charged.


Payment. Subject to fulfillment of all of the Conditions of Sale set forth herein, upon the sooner of (1) the passing of title to the offered lot pursuant to these Conditions of Sale, or (2) possession of the offered lot by the Bidder, Bidder thereupon (a) assumes full risk and responsibility (including without limitation, liability for or damage to frames or glass covering prints, paintings, photos, or other works), and (b) will immediately pay the full purchase price or such part as University Archives may require.

Payment is due upon presentment of an invoice, following the end of auction. University Archives reserves the right to void an invoice if payment in full is not received within seven (7) calendar days of the of the invoice date. In cases of nonpayment, University Archives' election to void a sale does not relieve the Bidder from their obligation to pay University Archives its fees (seller's and Buyer's Premium) on the lot and any other damages pertaining to the lot.

We accept credit cards for payment for any winning online bidders at all sales. We require credit card information to bid, and may use it for payment if you are the winning bidder.

All payments for sales are strictly in U.S. dollars via Paypal, credit cards, personal checks, cashier checks, bank money orders and wire transfers, and are subject to all reporting requirements.

All deliveries are subject to good funds; funds being received in University Archives' account before delivery of the Purchases; and all payments are subject to a clearing period. University Archives reserves the right to determine if a check constitutes "good funds": checks drawn on a U.S. bank are subject to a ten (10) calendar day hold, and ten (10) business days when drawn on an international bank.

In the event that a Bidder's payment is dishonored upon presentment(s), Bidder shall pay the maximum statutory processing fee set by applicable state law. If Bidder attempts to pay via check and the financial institution denies the transfer from Bidder's bank account, or the payment cannot be completed using the selected funding source, Bidder agrees to complete payment.

If University Archives refers any invoice to an attorney for collection, the Bidder agrees to pay attorney's fees, court costs, and other collection costs incurred by University Archives. If University Archives assigns collection to its house counsel, such attorney's time expended on the matter shall be compensated at a rate comparable to the hourly rate of independent attorneys.

University Archives shall have a lien against the merchandise purchased by the Bidder to secure payment of the Auction invoice. University Archives is further granted a lien and the right to retain possession of any other property of the Bidder then held by University Archives or its affiliates to secure payment of any Auction invoice or any other amounts due University Archives or affiliates from the Bidder. With respect to these lien rights, University Archives shall have all the rights of a secured creditor, including but not limited to the right of sale. In addition, with respect to payment of the Auction invoice(s), the Bidder waives any and all rights of offset he might otherwise have against University Archives and the consignor of the merchandise included on the invoice (the "Consignor"). If a Bidder owes University Archives or its affiliates on any account, University Archives and its affiliates shall have the right to offset such unpaid account by any credit balance due Bidder, and it may secure by possessory lien any unpaid amount by any of the Bidder's property in their possession.

All checks, cashiers checks, bank checks, or money orders are payable to University Archives.

Title shall not pass to the successful Bidder until all invoices are paid in full. It is the responsibility of the Bidder to provide adequate insurance coverage for the items once they have been delivered to a third-party shipper.



Shipping. Bidder is liable for shipping and handling. University Archives is unable to combine purchases from other auctions or affiliates into one package for shipping purposes. Lots won will be shipped in a commercially reasonable time after payment in good funds for the merchandise and the shipping fees is received, except when third-party shipment occurs. Bidder agrees that service and handling charges related to shipping items which are not pre-paid may be charged to a credit card on file with University Archives.

Successful international Bidders shall provide written shipping instructions, including specified Customs declarations, to University Archives for any lots to be delivered outside of the United States. NOTE: Declaration value shall be the item'(s) hammer price and University Archives shall use the correct harmonized code for the lot. Domestic Bidders on lots designated for third-party shipment must designate the common carrier, accept risk of loss, and prepay shipping costs.

University Archives assumes no and disclaims all responsibility and liability for acts or omissions in such packing or shipping by University Archives or other packers and carriers, whether or not recommended by University Archives. University Archives assumes no and disclaims all responsibility and liability for damage to frames, glass or other breakable items. Where University Archives arranges and bills for such services via invoice, University Archives will include an administration charge.



Withdrawal of Lots and Postponement of Auction. University Archives reserves the right to withdraw any lot before or at the time of the Auction, and/or to postpone the Auction of all or any lots or parts thereof, for any reason. University Archives shall not be liable to any Bidder in the event of such withdrawal or postponement under any circumstances. University Archives reserves the right to refuse to accept bids from anyone.

University Archives reserves the right to postpone the Auction or any session thereof for a reasonable period of time for any reason whatsoever, and no Bidder or prospective Bidder shall have any claim as a result thereof, including consequential damages.

Reserves. Lots may be subject to a reserve which is the confidential minimum price below which the lot will not be sold. Consignors may not bid on their own lots or property, unless they pay both a buyer's and seller's commission. University Archives may also execute bids on behalf of a consignor or the house account, but never above the low estimate. If a lot does not reach the reserve, it is bought-in. In other words, it remains unsold and is returned to the Consignor. University Archives has the right to sell certain unsold items after the close of the Auction. Such lots shall be considered sold during the Auction and all these Terms and Conditions shall apply to such sales including but not limited to the Buyer's Premium, return rights, and disclaimers.


Estimates. In addition to descriptive information, each item in the Catalog sometimes includes a price range which reflects opinion as to the price expected at auction (the "Estimate Prices"). In other instances, Estimate Prices can be obtained by calling University Archives at (203) 454-0111. The Estimate Prices are based upon various factors including prices recently paid at auction for comparable property, condition, rarity, quality, history and provenance. Estimate Prices are prepared well in advance of the sale and subject to revision. Estimates do not include the Buyer's Premium or sales tax (see under separate heading).

Consigned Property. University Archives offers lots owned by the house as well as consigned items.


Failure to comply with Terms and Conditions. Failure of the Bidder to comply with any of these Conditions of Sale or the terms of the Registration Form is an event of default. In such event, University Archives may, in addition to any other available remedies specifically including the right to hold the defaulting Bidder liable for the Purchase Price or to charge and collect from the defaulting Bidder's credit or debit accounts as provided for elsewhere herein: (a) cancel the sale, retaining any payment made by the Bidder as damages (the Bidder understands and acknowledges that University Archives will be substantially damaged should such default occur, and that damages under sub-part (a) are necessary to compensate University Archives for such damages); (b) resell the property without reserve at public auction or privately; (c) charge the Bidder interest on the Purchase Price at the rate of one and one-half percent (1.5%) per month or the highest allowable interest rate; (d) take any other action that University Archives, in its sole discretion, deems necessary or appropriate to preserve and protect University Archives' rights and remedies. Should University Archives resell the property, the original defaulting Bidder shall be liable for the payment of any deficiency in the purchase price and all costs and expenses associated there with, including but not limited to warehousing, sales-related expenses, reasonable attorney fees and court costs, commissions, incidental damages and any other charges due hereunder which were not collected or collectable. In the event that such Bidder is the successful Bidder on more than one lot and pays less than the purchase price for the total lots purchased, University Archives shall apply the payment received to such lot or lots that University Archives, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate. If University Archives does not exercise such discretion, the lots to which the payment shall be applied will be in descending order from the highest purchase price to the lowest. Any Bidder failing to comply with these Conditions of Sale shall be deemed to have granted University Archives a security interest in, and University Archives may retain as collateral such security for such Bidder's obligations to University Archives, any property in University Archives' possession owned by such Bidder. University Archives shall have the benefit of all rights of a secured party under the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) as adopted by the State of Connecticut.

Warranties. University Archives does not provide any warranties to Bidders, whether expressed or implied, beyond those expressly provided in these Conditions of Sale. All property and lots are sold "as is" and "where is". By way of illustration rather than limitation, neither University Archives nor the Consignor makes any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, as to merchantability or fitness for intended use, condition of the property (including any condition report), correctness of description, origin, measurement, quality, rarity, importance, exhibition, relevance, attribution, source, provenance, date, authorship, condition, culture, genuineness, value, or period of the property. Additionally, neither University Archives nor the Consignor makes any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, as to whether the Bidder acquires rights in copyright or other intellectual property (including exhibition or reproduction rights) or whether the property is subject to any limitations or other rights. University Archives does not make any representation or warranty as to title.

All descriptions, photographs, illustrations, and terminology including but not limited to words describing condition (including any condition reports requested by Bidder, see also Terminology), authorship, period, culture, source, origin, measurement, quality, rarity, provenance, importance, exhibition, and relevance, used in the online Auction Catalog, bill of sale, invoice, or anywhere else, represent a good faith effort made by University Archives to fairly represent the lots and property offered for sale as to origin, date, condition, and other information contained therein; they are statements of opinion only. They are not representations or warranties and Bidder agrees and acknowledges that he or she shall not rely on them in determining whether or not to bid or for what price. Price estimates (which are determined well in advance of the Auction and are therefore subject to revision) and condition reports are provided solely as a convenience to Bidders and are not intended nor shall they be relied on by Bidders as statements, representations or warranties of actual value or predictions of final bid prices.

Headings are for convenience only and shall not be used to interpret the substantive sections to which they refer.


Bidders are accorded the opportunity to inspect the lots and to otherwise satisfy themselves as to the nature and sufficiency of each lot prior to bidding, and University Archives urges Bidders to avail themselves accordingly. Bidder is encouraged to examine lots thoroughly online. Bidder may also request condition reports.


All lots sold by University Archives are guaranteed authentic. This guarantee is valid from date of the Auction in which Bidder was awarded the lot (the "Auction Date") until one (1) year after the Auction Date, without exception. We encourage the bidder to seek third party opinions on authenticity within the one year period.

Lots purchased will come with a printed Auction Certificate and a description of the item. A color, fraud-proof Certificate, hand signed by John Reznikoff, is available for an extra charge, at the discounted rate of $125 each for any lots purchased.

In the event that University Archives is prevented for any reason from delivering any property to Bidder, or Bidder is otherwise dissatisfied with the performance of University Archives, the liability, if any, of University Archives, shall be limited to, and shall not exceed, the amount actually paid for the property by Bidder. In no event shall University Archives be liable for incidental, special, indirect, exemplary or consequential damages of any kind, including but not limited to loss of profits, value of investment or opportunity cost.




Sale of Firearms. University Archives complies with all Federal and State rules and regulations relating to the purchasing, registration and shipping of firearms. A Bidder is required to provide appropriate documents and the payment of associated fees, if any. Bidder is responsible for providing a shipping address that is suitable for the receipt of a firearm.



Remedies Under no circumstance will University Archives incur liability to a Bidder in excess of the purchase price actually paid. This section sets forth the sole and exclusive remedies of Bidder in conformity with the Warranties and Limitation of Damages provisions of these Conditions of Sale, and is expressly in lieu of any other rights or remedies which might be available to Bidder by law. The Bidder hereby accepts the benefit of the Consignor's warranty of title and any other representations and warranties made by the Consignor for the Bidder's benefit. In the event that Bidder demonstrates in writing, in the sole discretion of University Archives, that there was a breach of the Consignor's warranty of title concerning a lot purchased by Bidder, University Archives shall make demand upon the Consignor to pay to Bidder the Purchase Price (including any premiums, taxes, or other amounts paid or due to University Archives). Should the Consignor not pay the Purchase Price to Bidder within thirty days after such demand, University Archives shall disclose the identity of the Consignor to Bidder and assign to Bidder all of University Archives' rights against the Consignor with respect to such lot or property. Upon such disclosure and assignment, all responsibility and liability, if any, of University Archives with respect to said lot or property shall automatically terminate. University Archives shall be entitled to retain the premiums and other amounts paid to University Archives - this remedy is as to the Consignor only. The rights and remedies provided herein are for the original Bidder only and they may not be assigned or relied upon by any transferee or assignee under any circumstances.

If Bidder wishes to challenge the the authenticity of any item, Bidder must present written evidence that the lot is not authentic as determined by two disinterested, known experts in the field, agreeable to us, within a period of one year from the auction date. If University Archives agrees that the lot is not as represented, Bidder's sole and exclusive remedy shall be a refund of their purchase price, with no other costs, liabilities or amounts recoverable. If University Archives does not agree with the claim by Bidder, then the Parties shall follow the dispute resolution procedures of these Conditions of Sale.

Any such challenge concerning authenticity must, without any exception, be brought within one (1) year of Bidder's notice to University Archives of Bidder's contention that the lot was not authentic.

If the description of any lot in the Catalog is materially incorrect (e.g., gross cataloging error), the lot is returnable if returned within five (5) calendar days of receipt, and received by University Archives no later than twenty-one (21) calendar days after the Auction Date. This paragraph shall constitute Bidder's sole right with respect to the return of items, and no refunds shall be given for any items not returned to and received by University Archives. All guarantees are applicable only to original purchaser. No returns will be accepted other than on the grounds of authenticity for any item that is described as having major flaws or restoration.

NO RETURN OR REFUND OF ANY AUCTION LOT WILL BE CONSIDERED EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN THESE CONDITIONS OF SALE.

These Conditions of Sale constitute the entire agreement between the parties together with the terms and conditions contained in the Registration Form. They may not be amended, modified or superseded except in a signed writing executed by all parties. No oral or written statement by anyone employed by University Archives or acting as agent or representative of University Archives may amend, modify, waive or supersede the terms herein unless such amendment, waiver or modification is contained in a writing signed by all parties.

If any section of these Conditions of Sale or any term or provision of any section is held to be invalid, void, or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining sections or terms and provisions of a section shall continue in full force and effect without being impaired or invalidated in any way.

The Parties agree that any agreements between the Parties including but not limited to these Conditions of Sale are entered into in Westport, Connecticut, no matter where Bidder is situated and no matter by what means or where Bidder was informed of the Auction and regardless of whether catalogs, materials, or other communications were received by Bidder in another location.

The Parties agree that these Conditions of Sale, and any other related agreement(s) are governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut, without regard for its conflict of laws principles. The Parties agree that any dispute related to or arising out of these Conditions of Sale, or related to or arising out of any other related agreement(s) shall be submitted to confidential binding arbitration (the "Arbitration") before a single Arbitrator of the American Arbitration Association (the "AAA"). The Parties agree that the Arbitration shall be conducted pursuant to the commercial rules of the AAA. In the event that the Parties cannot agree on the selection of the Arbitrator, then the Arbitrator shall be selected by the AAA. The prevailing Party in the Arbitration shall be entitled to recover all of its related costs, whether before or after the formal institution of the Arbitration, including but not limited to its reasonable attorneys' fees and, if University Archives prevails, the Buyer's Premium as defined in these Conditions of Sale. The Parties agree that Bidder shall have no right to recover consequential or indirect damages, or lost profits damages.

The Parties consent to the enforcement of the decision in the Arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act in either the courts of the State of Connecticut or the United States District Court for the District Westport.

Except as provided in Bidder's Remedies with regard to the Certification of Authenticity, any dispute, claim, cause of action related to or arising out of these Conditions of Sale or any other agreement(s) between the Parties must be brought within one (1) year of the acts, omissions or circumstances giving rise to the alleged claim, without exceptions. This provision is intended as a full, complete and absolute release of any claims after one (1) year of such acts, omissions or circumstances. The Parties agree further that these waiver provisions are intended to be binding on all parties in the event of any dispute, specifically including but not limited to third party claims and cross-actions brought by either University Archives or Bidder. These provisions are consideration for the execution of these Conditions of Sale.

The Bidder hereby agrees that University Archives shall be entitled to present these Conditions of Sale to a court in any jurisdiction other than set forth in this paragraph as conclusive evidence of the Parties' agreement, and the Parties further agree that the court shall immediately dismiss any action filed in such jurisdiction.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, University Archives may, in its sole discretion, enforce its rights pursuant to these Conditions of Sale in the courts of the State of Connecticut or the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut rather than in an Arbitration related to or arising out of any Auction of an item sold for less than $10,000. This right shall relate to the individual item price, such that University Archives may, in its sole discretion, enforce its rights pursuant to these Conditions of Sale in the courts of the State of Connecticut or the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut rather than in an Arbitration for items that in the aggregate exceed $10,000. The prevailing Party in such a proceeding shall be entitled to recover all of its related costs, whether before or after the formal institution of the proceeding, including but not limited to its reasonable attorneys' fees and, if University Archives prevails, the Buyer's Premium as defined in these Conditions of Sale. This right of enforcement is unique to University Archives, and these Conditions of Sale are a waiver by the Bidder of any right to enforcement or adjudication outside of an Arbitration.


Under no circumstances is any employee, agent or representative of University Archives authorized by University Archives to modify, amend, waive or contradict any of these Conditions of Sale, any term or condition set forth on a registration form, any warranty or limitation or exclusion of warranty, any term or condition in either the Registration Form or these Terms and Conditions regarding payment requirements, including but not limited to due date, manner of payment, and what constitutes payment in full, or any other term or condition contained in any documents issued by University Archives unless such modification, amendment, waiver or contradiction is contained in a writing signed by all parties. Any statements, oral or written, made by employees, agents or representatives of University Archives to Bidder, including statements regarding specific lots, even if such employee, agent or representative represents that such statement is authorized, unless reduced to a writing signed by all parties, are statements of personal opinion only and are not binding on University Archives, and under no circumstances shall be relied upon by Bidder as a statement, representation or warranty of University Archives.




Agreements. Agreements between Bidders and Consignors to effectuate a non-sale of an item at Auction, inhibit bidding on a consigned item to enter into a private sale agreement for said item, or to utilize University Archives' Auction to obtain sales for non-selling consigned items subsequent to the Auction, are strictly prohibited. If a subsequent sale of a previously consigned item occurs in violation of this provision, University Archives reserves the right to charge Bidder the applicable Buyer's Premium and Consignor a Seller's Commission as determined for each auction venue and by the terms of the seller's agreement.

Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions qualifies Bidder as a client who has consented to be contacted by University Archives in the future. In conformity with "do-not-call" regulations promulgated by the Federal or State regulatory agencies, participation by the Bidder is affirmative consent to being contacted at the phone number shown in his application and this consent shall remain in effect until it is revoked in writing. University Archives may from time to time contact Bidder concerning sale, purchase, and auction opportunities available.

Rules of Construction: University Archives presents properties in a number of collectible fields, and as such, specific venues have promulgated supplemental Terms and Conditions. Nothing herein shall be construed to waive the general Conditions of Sale by these additional rules and shall be construed to give force and effect to the rules in their entirety.
SALES TAX: University Archives is required to charge the appropriate sales tax for items won if you reside in the following states: CT & CA.
SHIPPING: We do our own in-house worldwide shipping!
Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. ***PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR SHIPMENT TO BE SENT TO AN ADDRESS OTHER THAN THE ONE YOU HAVE ON FILE WITH INVALUABLE, YOU WILL NEED TO INFORM US OF THIS AS SOON AS PAYMENT IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR WINNINGS*** Shipping and handling costs are competitive as we maintain discounted contracts with FedEx. If you have any questions, contact University Archives prior to bidding. After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 5 business days following receipt of full payment for item. We currently ship via FedEx but if your purchase is shipping to a P.O. Box, we ship via USPS. All items are insured. We ship from our offices in Westport, CT. We may opt to use a third party shipper for very fragile, bulky or oversized items. Items requiring third party shipping will be denoted in the item description. Packages shipped internationally will have full value declared on shipping form. International buyers will be responsible for any customs fees incurred.

Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Westport, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.
View full terms and conditions