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1

Eleazar Huntington, Declaration of Independence

Single sheet, 18.5 x 24 in., at bottom "Engraved by E. Huntington." At present framed and glazed, 27.25 x 33 in.

After the "Second American Revolution," the War of 1812, there was a resurgence of patriotism in the nation. The founding generation was passing quickly, and the war stimulated a renewed interest in American history and principles. A number of engravers jumped into the fray, competing to publish a copy of the Declaration of Independence before the others and thus grab a larger share of the market.

One of the early publishers was Benjamin Owen Tyler whose print was the first with facsimiles of the signatures at the bottom, published in 1818. John Binns also reproduced the signatures, but added the seals of the 13 first states and the first three presidents in a wreath around the document, attractive to those wanting to display the print, published 1819.

It is thought that Eleazar Huntington, a calligrapher and engraver in Hartford, CT, began his engraving just after this, about 1820 or so. Huntington followed the style of Tyler in the title, but did not have as much ornamentation of the letters. The text was also similar to Tyler's, done in a fairly typical early 19th century style. The signatures were more like those reproduced by Binns.

The exact date of the publication of Huntington's version of this document is uncertain, but likely about 1822. Although the exact number printed is unknown, it is thought only a few hundred, and as of 2016, only two are known to be in institutional collections according to WorldCat (University of Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation). It appears to be even more rare than the Stone/Force copies.
 
Very shortly after Huntington published his version, William J. Stone was working on a very similar document to Huntington's. Stone's version was endorsed by J.Q. Adams, July 4, 1823 and released in January 1824.
 
The consignor relates that the document was among the estate items left by Indiana's George B. Huff, Sr. (1919-2005), a highly decorated World War II Army Ranger, a state of Indiana elected assemblyman, and a genealogist of note, having held membership in the Society of Colonial Wars, the Sons of the Revolution, and the Sons of the American Revolution.
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$2,460
11/18/2016

2

John Hancock Signed Commission Appointing Clement Biddle an Officer in the Continental Army, July 8, 1776

Hancock, John (1737-1793). President of the Continental Congress (1775-1777); first signer of the Declaration of Independence (1776); first and third Governor of Massachusetts (1780-1785, 1787-1793). Partially printed DS, 1p, 8.5 x 13.5 in., Philadelphia. July 8, 1776. A military commission signed by Hancock as President of the Continental Congress, appointing Clement Biddle as Deputy Quarter Master Generall [sic] for the Flying Camp and Militia of Pennsylvania & New Jersey order'd to Rendezvous at Trenton, with the Rank of Colonel. Also signed by Charles Thomson (1729-1824) as Secretary of the Congress (1774-1789).

Philadelphia Quaker merchant, Clement Biddle (1740-1814) was one of the organizers of the "Quaker Blues" during the Revolution. The "Flying Camp" referenced in the appointment was a mobile reserve force authorized in June 1776 for the protection of the middle colonies. When the unit disbanded in November 1776, Biddle was named aide-de-camp to General Nathanael Greene. As a soldier, he fought at Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. Biddle served as Commissary General of Forage for the Continental Army at Valley Forge (1777-1778), and apparently through the next year before resigning in 1780. In 1781 he was quartermaster general of Pennsylvania troops. After the war he served as the first US Marshal, then focused on other occupations (notary, broker, etc.).

The printed form, which refers to the Delegates of the United Colonies, pre-dates the vote for independence, and it was signed by Hancock just four days after Congress had approved the Declaration of Independence. 

A rare and desirable document. 

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$18,000
11/18/2016

3

Clement Biddle ALS, 1778

Biddle, Clement (1740-1814). Philadelphia merchant, liberal Quaker, and early supporter of the Revolution who joined the Continental Army in 1776. ALS, 1p, 7.25 x 9.5 in., Raritan, NJ. December 14, 1778. Addressed to Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene. From 1777 to 1780, Biddle was Commissary General of Forage for the army, and during this time, he developed a friendship with Quartermaster General Greene. At the time that Biddle penned this letter, Washington's army was encamped in northern New Jersey. He writes: 

If Blands & Baylors Regiments are both at Winchester, Count Pulaskys Legion may be quartered & Foraged at Frederickstown in Maryland. He informs Greene, If Baylors are at Frederickstown & Colo. Moylans are removed to Baltimore, County Pulaskys Legion may be quarterd in different parts of Lancaster County provided that Colo. Armands Corps are separated & quarterd at Reading. I wish to be informed of the Orders given, that I may direct a provision of Forage without Delay. Signed, Clement BIddle CGF.

George Baylor, Theodorick Bland, Stephen Moylan and Charles Armand were all colonels and their units were part of the cavalry, like Count Pulaski's unit. 

Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$360
11/18/2016

4

Francis Lightfoot Lee, Revolutionary War-Dated ALS, 1783

Lee, Francis Lightfoot (1734-1797). Political leader during the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence. While a member of the House of Burgesses, Lee urged resistance to Great Britain in the disturbances leading to the Revolution. He later served in the Continental Congress, the Virginia senate, and supported the US Constitution. Very rare war-date ALS, 1p, 7.25 x 9 in., Philadelphia. June 2, 1783. Addressed to Hon'ble Samuel Holter. The letter states, in full: 

Sir. The inclosed letter came to hand yesterday under cover direct'd to me. I did not observe the direction to you until I had partly unsealed it, which may account for the state the seal is in now, and you may be assured, that it gives me pleasure to have the honor of inclosing & forwarding the same. I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient serv't, Hon'ble Francis Lightfoot Lee Esq'r

Lee is rare in any form. 

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$7,200
11/18/2016

5

Samuel Adams ALS, 1777

Adams, Samuel (1722-1803). American Founding Father who helped organize the Boston Tea Party and signed the Declaration of Independence. ALS, 1p, 7.5 x 9.5 in., Boston. December 15, 1777. To Elbridge Gerry, another signer and representative from Massachusetts.

This very circumspect note to Mr. Gerry: I have time only to inclose a copy of a Resolution of the General Assembly for the government of their Delegates in congress, which I judge necessary to be communicated to Congress before the ____? ration of the present year. I have therefore sent this single copy by this Post. Other copies will be sent by the next.

Besides being political compatriots, Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) was appointed to a committee charged with procurement of domestic products for the army in September of 1776, the counterpart of Robert Morris, who procured items primarily from foreign markets. Not only food was involved, but also clothing, arms and ammunition, and anything else the Continental Army might need (such as feed for animals). In late December Gerry was appointed to a committee along with Jonathan Bayard Smith and John Witherspoon to consider the wants of the army and how Congress and the Commander of the army might address them.

Gerry and Adams both were accused of being part of the cabal ("Conway cabal") that tried to remove Washington from the head of the army because of dissatisfaction with his performance during the campaigns of 1777. Both men denied the accusation, Gerry even taking to task Thomas Mifflin, one who openly criticized Washington.

It is unclear what the referents are here. The General Assembly of Massachusetts passed a number of Resolutions in late 1777. One related to equipping the army, which could have been the one Adams enclosed with this cover, since Gerry was serving on committees whose task was to supply the troops.

Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$28,800
11/18/2016

6

Patrick Henry Land Grant Signed as Governor of Virginia, 1785

Henry, Patrick (1736-1799). Governor of Virginia (1776-1779, 1784-1786). Partially printed DS, 1p, 12.75 x 16 in. (sight), with seal affixed lower left, Richmond, VA. December 2, 1785. Signed P. Henry, the document grants land to Peter Colehep (?) and Frederick Bransteter (?). Matted and framed, 26 x 28 in. 

Estimate: $700 - $1,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$570
11/18/2016

7

Alexander Hamilton ALS, September 1794

Hamilton, Alexander (1755-1804). United States Founding Father; first Secretary of the Treasury (1789-1795). Short note on 7 x 7.5 in. sheet of paper. September 9, 1794, n.p. Mr. Hamilton requests Mr. Hodgdon to furnish him immediately with a return of whatever accoutrements of arms for Cavalry may be in the public stores. Specifying also such as have been lately sent forward. The request is associated with the "Whiskey Rebellion," which tested the powers of the new government to raise funds through taxation and enforce federal laws.

Born in the West Indies, Alexander Hamilton, as John Adams would later describe him, was "the bastard brat of a Scottish peddler." James Hamilton would abandon Rachel and their sons, James and Alexander, when Alex was still young, leaving them totally impoverished. Alexander took his first job at the age of 11, determined to work his way out of poverty. Rachel apparently worked herself to death, succumbing to illness at the young age of 38.

In a subsequent position as a clerk, Hamilton began to learn about international trade and finances. The young lad's intelligence did not go unnoticed, and a group of businessmen in St. Croix pooled resources to send Alex to the colonies for an education. He arrived in New York in 1773 and began attending King's College (later Columbia University). War was coming, and the young man became increasingly involved in politics, eventually leaving school to join the patriots in protesting taxes and regulations imposed by England.

He fought with New York militia units early. In about 1777 he caught Washington's attention, and was quickly promoted, becoming the General's assistant, but for a time, that meant handling the paperwork that goes along with the top position. Hamilton was in and out of the field, becoming bored with paperwork and returning to his commander-in-chief's side. Hamilton was even allowed by Washington to lead a charge at Yorktown.

After the war, Hamilton served, among other positions, as Secretary of the Treasury (1789-1795). One of his missions was to strengthen the Federal government and pay off the debt incurred during the War. To effect this he instituted several taxes, including one on distilled spirits. Since the favorite spirit of the colonies at the time was Whiskey, this came to be viewed as a Whiskey Tax. It hit the distillers on the western frontier particularly hard. They had a lower profit margin than the larger Eastern distilleries already, and the tax cut into their already small margins. Many of these distillers were also veterans of a war fought against unrepresented taxation, who then felt that they were being targeted by their own government.

The causes of what came to be known as the "Whiskey Rebellion" are complex, and will continue to be debated for many more generations. Trouble was brewing as early as 1791, mostly in the western counties of Pennsylvania and nearby areas (western Virginia, Kentucky, etc.) Initially Washington tried to quell the unrest by sending "peace commissioners" in 1791 and 1792, then again in 1794. By late 1793 the home of a tax collector was broken into in Fayette County. Further violence erupted over the next year in nearby areas.

By summer of 1794, there was widespread armed resistance. Hamilton was among those who pressured Washington to counter force with the force of the government. What was at stake in part was whether the new nation was willing and able to suppress resistance to its laws. As there was no standing army yet, Washington called for militia forces to be Federalized. Congress had passed a Militia Act of 1792, but to send troops to an area, a Supreme Court Justice had to certify that local law enforcement could not control the situation. When very few men volunteered for militia duty, a draft was used, although draft evasion was widespread. His "army" was composed of units primarily from Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Many other states refused to send units, siding with the whiskey protesters in protesting "taxation without representation."

Of course, as Washington made arrangements to ride out to meet the insurgents, Hamilton was determined to ride along with him. Early in the process, he argued that he had been the one to author the law instituting the tax, and he should go out and show the rebels that he was willing to die to defend it. Washington conceded, but not necessarily because of Hamilton's argument. Hamilton now needed to be outfitted for the field, so he sent this note to Superintendent of Military Stores, Samuel Hodgdon.

Washington and Hamilton did ride to the frontier to meet the rebels, but by the time they arrived, the rebels had dispersed, although some of the leaders were later rounded up. (Washington pardoned most of them, even those who were sentenced to death for violent actions such as beating a tax collector and burning his house.) This incident was the only time a sitting president led troops in the field. After meeting with representatives of the protesting groups in early October, Washington was convinced things were under control. He left the army under the command of Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee (Robert E. Lee's father). Alexander Hamilton remained for a time as a civilian observer/adviser, while Washington returned to Philadelphia.

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$3,120
11/18/2016

8

John Jay DS, 1796

Jay, John (1745-1829). Founding father, an author of the Federalist Papers, and first Chief Justice of the United States. DS as Governor of New York, 1 p, 12 x 10 in., on vellum, Albany, NY. February 15, 1796. Document appointing Abraham Van Vechten (1732-1847) Recorder for the city of Albany. Includes large seal, paper over wax, attached at the bottom margin on ribbon, 3.375 in. diameter. One side with FRUSTRA ("In vain") and 1777. Verso with sun rising (setting?) behind mountains. With The Great Seal of the State of New York around outer ring and Year of Our Lord 1777 to the inside.

Van Vechten went on to serve as New York's attorney general twice from 1810-1811 and 1813-1815. In his legal career, he frequently sparred with other famous litigators such as Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and Samuel Jones. 

Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$720
11/18/2016

9

James Monroe, Partial DS as President, July 1820

Monroe, James (1758-1831). President of the United States (1817-1825). Partial DS as President, 1p, 6.25 x 3 in. July 20, 1820. Bottom right portion of document boldly autographed in ink, James Monroe. Matted and framed together with modern portrait of Monroe, 16.75 x 19.5 in. 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$510
11/18/2016

9

Signers of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, Autograph Group Incl. Mchenry, Read, Gorham, & More

Lot of 8, including: Read, George (1733-1798), Represented Delaware and went on to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Also served as US Senator and Chief Justice of Delaware. Clip, 0.75 x 3 in.

McHenry, James (1753-1816), representing Maryland in Continental Congress, signed the Constitution. He later served as Secretary of War under both Washington and Adams, and thus Fort McHenry (where the Star Spangled Banner was written later) was named for him. ALS, 2pp, September 10, 1781, Camp ???. McHenry was a surgeon who served during the Revolutionary War. in 1781 he was with Lafayette's forces in Virginia. This letter would have been written just days before Washington joined Lafayette for the Siege of Yorktown, and ultimately the end of the war. This letter to the Governor of Maryland concerns the state's paper currency.

Gorham, Nathaniel (1738-1796), represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention. He signed the Constitution in 1787. He was president of Continental Congress for 6 months (June - November 1786). ALS, Boston, March 16, 1795, 7 x 9 in., to Joseph Howell, Esq. on legal/financial matters.

Johnson, William Samuel (1727-1819), representative and signer for Connecticut. Later President of King's College. Clipped signature on 1 x 6 in. sheet, with August 29, 1766, Stratford left on the clip.

Spaight, Richard Dobbs (1758-1802), representative to Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention from North Carolina. Although born in North Carolina, Spaight was sent to Ireland when he was orphaned at 8 years of age. He received an excellent education, and returned to his native state in 1778, with the Revolutionary War in full swing. He served in the state militia for a couple years, then left the military to devote full time to legislative duties. Partially Printed DS, 11.5 x 16.5 in., October 14, 1794. Signed as Governor. Doc. with 3 in. wax pendant seal.

Ingersoll, Jared (1749-1822) was a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress and signer of the Constitution. He later served as Attorney General of Pennsylvania. Partially printed DS as Attorney General of Pennsylvania, 8 x 13.5 in. Inquest into the beating of one Hector McNeal by Christopher White, Bedford Co., 10 Oct. 1791.

McKean, Joseph Borden (1764-1826), was a Philadelphia lawyer and judge. He was appointed state Attorney General by his father, Thomas McKean, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and prominent patriot. ALS, Philadelphia, November 10, 1802.

Document referencing Timothy Pickering (1745-1829), representative from Massachusetts. Pickering served in a number of positions, including the House of Representatives and Senate, Postmaster General, Secretary of war for a short time before McHenry took over and Pickering became Secretary of State. Pickering was involved in one of the earliest incidents of the Revolution, when he and a group of Salem residents, most members of the North Church, who turned back a force of British soldiers trying to cross a bridge into Salem (right next to the church) under Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Leslie, known as "Leslie's Retreat." It is fortunate Colonel Leslie decided not to search every house for contraband arms as instructed, because Pickering would likely have fired the "shot heard round the world" at that time - he had a reputation in the town as being a headstrong hothead. This land document has a paragraph at the end in which Pickering as Justice of the Peace attests that Thomas and Mary Barnard appeared before him and acknowledged the deed. Signed June 28, 1776.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$900
11/18/2016

10

Friedrich von Steuben ALS, 1790

Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich, Ferdinand von (1730-1794). Prussian-born baron and American major general during the American Revolution; served as inspector general of the Continental Army and chief of staff to General George Washington. ALS, 7pp, 7 x 9 in., New York, January [1790]. In French to Congress, with English translation. Signed simply Steuben.

In the letter, Steuben reminds Congress that his original appointment/contract (from the translation): ... my requests were to join you Army as Volunteer, not to request any Employment until after the approval of the General in Chief and the opinion of the Army assigning me a place in which I could be useful - That I did not ask for rewards until after I had merited them, but that I expected that the expenses for my person and my suite would be defrayed...

He then mentions several members of Congress with whom he met, including future president James Madison, and signers Abraham Clark and Charles Carroll, ...in whom I had full confidence, these men, I say, advised me simply to rely on my services rendered and on the justice and generosity of the Congress.... If my memory serves me right, I would assure that you, Sir, and Mr. Madison were then of that opinion, and it is by these opinions that I let myself be governed. I would have been quite willing to uphold this language if the circumstanced had not forced me to resort to the conditions or to the contract through which I have entered the service of the United States.... All I am asking you is to speed up the decision....Nevertheless, I have this consolation left: the truth of the facts which I have set fort cannot be denied without drawing into doubt the veracity of the most worthy and most respectable persons in the United states, Of whom some have occupied and some at present occupy the most distinguished places in the Government of their country....

Friedrich von Steuben was released from the Prussian army for unknown reasons in 1763. He became "Baron" upon his becoming chamberlain in the Petty Court at Hohenzollern-Hechingen. Since he was the son of an army engineer, he was not born into wealth, so when his equally impoverished prince failed to find funding, Steuben decided to find an appointment in another army. He applied to Austria, Baden and France, to no avail. However, France saw his value in training the infant Continental Army in America, and put him in touch with Benjamin Franklin in Paris. The letter of introduction from Franklin exaggerated a bit, calling him a "Lieutenant General in the King of Prussia's service."

He was advanced travel funds, and in late September 1777 found himself in Portsmouth, NH. By December he had worked his way into Boston high society. He then went to York, PA where the Continental Congress had retreated from Philadelphia. Steuben made contacts and in February 1778 Congress had accepted his offer to volunteer, temporarily without pay. By the 23rd he found himself at Valley Forge confronting an army in dire conditions.

Steuben did not speak English, but could communicate with some of the officers in French. Two who were of great help to him were Alexander Hamilton and Nathanael Greene. They put together a training manual and began training a "model company," whose members would go back to their respective units and train them in turn. Frustrated with the lack of discipline, Steuben took to yelling and swearing at them in German and French. When the troops seemed immune to that, he had his French-speaking aid swear at them in English for him. However it happened, it worked.  

By the 1778 campaigns, the Continental Army was coming together as a fighting force, and would go on to prevail over their better-trained English and Hessian enemies. Baron von Steuben has been given much credit for creating a fighting force. Steuben remained in the army throughout the war, taking a leave for illness just before the end, rejoining the army in time for the Battle of Yorktown. He then helped decommission the forces and became an American citizen in 1783. He was given a large farm (ca 16,000 acres) by New York and a pension by Congress of $2,500, but was still in financial straits, having only a small income from lands in Europe for the duration of the war. Alexander Hamilton helped mortgage the land. Many of his debts were settled by friends. He never married and upon his death his property was left to his aides.

Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$4,200
11/18/2016

11

Friedrich von Steuben Signed Check, 1791

Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich, Ferdinand von (1730-1794). Prussian-born baron and American major general during the American Revolution; served as inspector general of the Continental Army and chief of staff to General George Washington. Partially printed DS, 1p, 6.75 x 2.5 in., laid paper affixed to thin card stock, New York. February 21, 1791. Bank check payable to Tou? Lopez for twenty dollars, signed Steuben. Accompanied by engraving of Baron von Steuben with facsimile signature, 6 x 8.5 in. 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$510
11/18/2016

12

Marquis de Lafayette, War-Dated ADS, January 1778

Lafayette, Gilbert de Motier, Marquis de (1757-1834). Revolutionary War general, French statesman and officer. ANS, 1p, 5.25 x 1.5 in. (sight), on laid paper, in English. January 29, 1778. An important, war-dated document in which Lafayette states that he has received 2000 pounds from Ro. Morris. Matted and framed together with portrait of LaFayette, 13.5 x 16.5 in. 

The Collected Letters of Lafayette contains a letter from Lafayette to Robert Morris dated January 29, 1778, in which he requests 2000 pounds for a Canadian Expedition that Lafayette had discussed with George Washington on January 22 at Valley Forge. This document confirms that Lafayette received funds from Morris, who gave a great deal of his own money in support of the American cause. 

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$3,360
11/18/2016

13

John Quincy Adams, Clipped Signature and 1794 Manuscript Written in his Hand

Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848). President of the United States (1825-1829). Lot of 2. Manuscript affidavit written entirely in Adams' hand, 1p, 8.5 x 12.5 in. The document concerns John Madey and his request for citizenship. The document states, in part, That he is an alien, a free white person, that he has resided within the limits...of the United States...He therefore prays that upon his making proof...that he is a person of good character, he may be admitted as a Citizen of the United States

Accompanied by clipped signature, approx. 3.25 x 1 in. (sight), signed in black ink John Quincy Adams. Matted and framed together with modern portrait of Adams, 25.5 x 21.5 in. overall. 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$840
11/18/2016

13

Marquis de Lafayette ALS, 1828

Lafayette, Gilbert de Motier, Marquis de (1757-1834). Revolutionary War general, French statesman and officer. ALS, 1p, 7.25 x 8.75 in., La Grange. September(?) 3, 1828. Signed Lafayette. Addressed to the Minister of War. Involves a petition sent by Mr. Michel Bompard. Lafayette assures the minister he will give it his highest consideration.

Gilbert de Motier, Marquis de Lafayette was a celebrated French aristocrat who came to the aide of General Washington during the Revolutionary War. He organize the disheveled band of freedom fighters into a more organized army. In his home country, he played a pivotal role in the French Revolution as commander-in-chief of the National Guard of France. He attempted to maintain some order to the chaos, yet was unsuccessful.

His public image greatly suffered after Champs de Mars massacre, which made the public believe he sympathized with royal interests rather than the people. France declared war on Austria in 1792 and Lafayette took command of his troops. Austria later captured him and transferred him to several prisons until Napoleon Bonaparte negotiated his release and restored his citizenship by 1800. For the rest of his life, Lafayette pleaded that peace and order be restored yet France continued to suffer years of political turmoil between Napoleon, restored monarchs, and the people. 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$450
11/18/2016

15

A Revolutionary Relic Broadside, A Sermon Preached on the Eve of the Battle of Brandywine, September 1777, by Reverend Joab Trout

Printed broadside, 11.5 x 15.5 in., headed, A Revolutionary Relic/ A Sermon Preached on the Eve of the Battle of Brandywine, Sept. 10, 1777, by the Rev. Joab Trout. Printed from old copy in possession of Henry Stevens (1819-1886), Burlington, VT. The broadside contains the sermon preached by Reverend Trout, which encouraged soldiers to fight bravely for their homes, families, and for the Revolution. Likely printed ca 1851-1865. 

 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$600
11/18/2016

16

David Humphreys LS Regarding Barbary Affairs, July 1800, Plus

Humphreys, David (1752-1818). Revolutionary War colonel and aide-de-camp to Washington. American minister to Portugal and then to Spain. Lot of 2 ALsS. 

Earliest is 1p, Lisbon, April 12, 1793. Signed D. Humphreys, addressed to Thos. Pinckney. This letter is a cover for another that he is delivering to Pinckney by way of Madrid and London.

Second is 2pp, Madrid, July 11, 1800, with integral address leaf. To William Eaton, US Consul at Tunis. Humphreys informs Eaton of preparations in anticipation of attacks from pirates.

Pirates from the Barbary Coast, primarily Tunis, Algiers and Tripoli, had been attacking European shipping for many years. Their main sphere of operation was the Western Mediterranean, but they ranged down the Atlantic coast of Africa, even to South America, and north to Ireland and Iceland. One of their main objectives was the capture of Christians for sale in the North African slave markets as much as for their cargo (if they couldn't get the ransom paid).

After Napoleon's defeat, the US fully expected pirate activity to increase. To this end: Instead of a common ship intended for Algiers this Spring with merchandize for reestablishing our funds there, one of our frigates is getting ready to take in timber and naval and military stores, as well as merchandize.... She will of course leave on shore some of her guns & men: but she will remain well armed & manned....Other timber, plank, naval and military stores are preparing for Tunis... We have received news from the U.S. up to the 20th May by which we learn that Mr. Pickering was dismissed from the office of Secy. of State the 9th of May, about which time our Secy. of War McHenry resigned his office; the former has been superseded by General Marshall, late one of our Envoys to France, and the latter by Samuel Dexter Esqr. of Massachusetts. Congress adjourned the 12th of May to meet at the new city of Washington the 3d of Novembr. next. The Provisionary Army of the U.S. has been disbanded.

And the fear was well-founded. When Thomas Jefferson took office in 1801, the pirates demanded a ransom of $225,000 from the new administration. When the President refused, the Pasha of Tripoli declared war. The first Barbary War was fought between 1801 and 1805, then again in 1815 until 1816 when a settlement was reached by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$900
11/18/2016

17

Pre-Civil War Sixth Plate Daguerreotype of Sylvester Willey, Possible POW at Andersonville

Sixth plate daguerreotype of a young, well dressed man, with penciled notation inside the half case that reads, July 1854/ Remember thy Creator/ in the Days of thy/ Youth/ Sylvester Willey. Accompanied by copy of typed biographical summary of Simon Sylvester Willey, who, at the age of 29, enlisted in the Civil War on September 21, 1864 at Columbus, OH, and mustered in to the Ohio 22nd Light Artillery. His served for the next ten months, apparently on garrison duty, but spent the first four months of his service in the hospital at Knoxville, TN. Willey mustered out with his battery at Camp Chase, OH on July 13, 1865.

Although there is no indication in Willey's military records that he was taken prisoner during the war, his daughter claimed he had served time as a POW at Andersonville prison in Georgia. The typed summary notes that she said her father "was half starved and weighed only 94 pounds." However, the 1890 Surviving Soldiers of Noble Co., OH Census states the following in reference to Willey: "Disability: loss of right eye and chronic diarrhea. Was discharged by reason of surgeon's certificate and general order No. 36 of 1862. Was totally disabled from performing military services." No further information has been uncovered regarding Willey's possible time at Andersonville. 

Estimate: $250 - $350
Unsold

17

War of 1812-Period Letter from Cadiz, Spain to Henry Ward of Wall Street, NY, Referencing Embargoes

Hall, Charles H. ALS, 3pp, 7.75 x 10 in., Cadiz, Spain. July 11, 1812. Addressed to Henry Ward, Wall Street, New York. Mentions Orders in Council, which was an early reference to the embargoes that existed throughout this period. He mentions Britain's right of enforcing the decree whenever she may deem it expedient. He mentions Jefferson and Co. as well as Lord Wellington, who had driven the French before him past Madrid, and that King Joe had been obliged to decamp...We are much annoyed by the bombs of the French, as they come daily into almost all parts of the city

Excellent War of 1812 embargo letter. 

 

Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$540
11/18/2016

18

James K. Polk ALS as President, November 1847

Polk, James K. (1795-1849). President of the United States (1845-1849). ALS, 1p, on front of envelope addressed to Hon. Jas. K. Polk Prest. U.S., Washington City, DC, 3.5 x 8.5 in., postmarked Athens, TN. War Dept., November 11 or 16, 1847. Letter written and initialed in the hand of Polk as President, J.K.P., recommending Dr. John Parshall of Athens, TN, as surgeon to the office respecting the circuit of volunteers in place of a Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey, who declined to accept the position. 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$480
11/18/2016

18

USS Lawrence Relic Cane

Oak cane, 34.5 in. ln., 2 in. ferrule. Approx. 4 in. below the handle, a silver plaque is inscribed with the following: Made of oak taken from/ Com. O.H. Perry's flagship "Lawrence"/ Raised from Lake Erie 1876. D. Coggin. The USS Lawrence was Perry's flagship, involved in the victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,440
11/18/2016

19

Battle of Lake Erie, Commodore Perry's Flagship Niagara, Oak Relic Gavel

Oak relic in the form of a gavel, with a metal band tacked along each edge of the barrel-shaped head, the first inscribed, Flagship Niagara 1813 - 1913, the second inscribed, Jacob Loesch - John Renton - Harry T. Rowley - Harry H. Heeren. Height, 6.5 in.; head width 1.75 in., depth 2.75 in. No further information has been found regarding the gentlemen identified on the gavel. 

On September 10, 1813, nine small ships from the American Navy commanded by Oliver Hazard Perry defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. This pivotal event in the War of 1812 secured the Northwest Territory, opened supply lines and lifted the nation's morale. The Niagara was Perry's flagship. After the war, the Niagara served as a station ship in Erie until 1820, then was scuttled there in Misery Bay. To celebrate the centennial of the battle in 1913, Erie citizens raised the hulk and rebuilt her, using many of the old timbers. The Niagara, towed by the USS Wolverine, visited Great Lakes ports and participated in ceremonies at Put-in-Bay on September 10, 1913. This gavel was almost certainly made as a relic of the battle at this time. 

Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,080
11/18/2016

20

Quarter Plate Daguerreotype of Colonel Andrew McClain, Plus Pennsylvania Militia Commissions

Lot of 3, featuring quarter plate daguerreotype of a bearded officer, sword in hand, his shako with feather plume resting on the table beside him, with inked note identifying the subject as Col. Andrew McLean (variation of proper spelling "McClain"), housed in full case. Previous owner's notes indicate that plate is stamped L.B. Binsse & Co., NY, which made plates ca 1843-1845. 

Accompanied by 2 commissions issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to McClain, the first document, 13.25 x 16.5 in., commissioning him Second Lieutenant of the "Native American Rifle Company" attached to the "Second" Regiment of the Militia...in the Third Brigade of the First Division, signed by Governor Francis R. Shunk, January 18, 1845. The second document, 14 x 17 in., commissioning him "Major" of the First Battalion Phild. Co. Volunteers of the Uniformed Militia...in the Third Brigade of the First Division, signed by Governor William F. Johnston, June 4, 1849. With original seal in top left portion. 

At 10 am, Sunday morning, July 7, 1839, panicked Philadelphians heard the boom of cannon fire outside St. Phillip Nerri’s church instead of the serene ringing of church bells. For two long days, the city transformed into a war zone after a group of American nativists (associated with the Whig party) began to riot. The angry mob prepared to storm the church to free Charles Naylor, a political prisoner being held by the state militia.

“The excitement was awful, men running about hunting their relations, women in search of their children, I myself threw my children hastily into the entry…dead bodies were falling around me, and the excitement lasted till 9 o’clock at night,” said John Graves (Philadelphia Public Ledger, “The Trial of Andrew McClain," November 16, 1844, 1).

Native-born Americans and Irish-American Protestants felt threatened by the influx of Irish-Catholic immigrants. Overcome by rage from a perceived threat to reading the King James Bible in the public schools, many became violent and burned two Catholic churches that May (http://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/nativist-riots-of-1844/). Preparing for the worst, St. Phillip Nerri’s armed itself against an anticipated attack after a 4th of July parade. The siege did not occur on Independence Day. The next day; however, a hoard of men assembled outside the church when they heard it equipped itself. Militia men and local police organized to protect the city.

In the crowd was American nativist leader, Andrew McClain. “I saw McClain when the battering ram was used to break into the church,” said Francis S. Johnson (Philadelphia Public Ledger, “Southwark Riot Cases, Court of Oyer and Terminer Before Judges Kind and Parsons. Trial of Andre McClain,” November 11, 1844). McClain was born in Lancaster, PA in 1803. He was a prize fighter for some time, slugging it out with Jim Reed 54 rounds at Bell’s tavern in 1832. “[He is] a whig bully—who makes his living by ring fighting…It seems now he has turned traitor, murderer, ricter, and church burner,” raged the Illinois State Register (“More Whigs Arrested for Treason and Murder”, August 13, 1844). Riots surged across the country in the 1830s, but very few lasted for more than a day. The 1844 riots in Philadelphia, known as the Southwark riots, were much more severe. It resulted in the death of twelve people, citizens and soldiers, and 50 wounded. A few weeks later, on July 18, 1844, McClain surrendered himself to the mayor. Outraged, the Mayor ordered that he be “committed as an accessory to murder of Sergeant Guyer and corporal Troutman,” two militia officers killed while protecting the church (“More Whigs Arrested for Treason and Murder”, August 13, 1844). As much as the papers demonized him earlier, witnesses testified that McClain had a much different role in the riots than believed.

“I saw McClain urging people to go away [from the cannons],” said John Graves, a member of a sheriff’s posse. “His conduct at the time was as that of every other peaceable person on the ground; to preserve the peace and protect property…I saw [him] endeavoring to prevent the mob from bursting in the doors of the church, and gaining an entrance…[he] was engaged with myself and others in preventing the use of the battering-ram against the door” (“More Whigs Arrested for Treason and Murder”, August 13, 1844).

“[I] saw McClain in the organ gallery,” reported David Ford, another member of the posse. “Two young men, who removed the table from the front organ; they said they were going to play upon the organ; others came to their assistance and I beckoned to Mr. McClain and others who came and assisted me to keep the boys [from destroying it]; McClain said to them ‘If anyone enters here, they do it over my dead body’” (“More Whigs Arrested for Treason and Murder”, August 13, 1844)! McClain also interceded a group of men determined to beat Judge James Campbell, a well-known Catholic in the area (The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, Vol. 10, p. 208).

A large crowd gathered to watch the proceedings of his trail. The jury deliberated for 50 hours until reaching the unanimous decision that McClain was not guilty. The “Court house shook with pearls of applause,” and a procession formed to take the hero home (Boston Courier; November 21, 1844). The next month, on January 18, 1845, Governor Francis R. Shunk appointed him a 2nd lieutenant of the Native American Rifle Company attached to the 2nd Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division of the Philadelphia Militia. He served in that position until Governor Johnston promoted him to major of the 1st Battalion, Philadelphia Company Volunteers in June 1849, but demoted him to lieutenant colonel that February.

Estimate: $500 - $800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,169
11/18/2016

20

Zachary Taylor Engraving by T.B. Welch

Taylor, Zachary (1784-1850). President of the United States (1849-1850). Engraving by T.B. Welch, Philadelphia, from a daguerreotype by Maguire, 5.25 x 7 in. (sight), with facsimile signature in lower margin, Z. Taylor. Matted and framed, 16.75 x 18.25 in. 

Estimate: $100 - $150
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$60
11/18/2016

21

Texas Ranger, Mexican War Major, and Confederate General Benjamin McCulloch, Salt Print, Ca 1859-1861

Benjamin McCulloch (1811-1862) was a Tennessee-born Texas settler who fought in American battles far and wide. He accompanied his neighbor Davy Crockett to Texas in 1834, but arrived at the Alamo after the battle due to a case of measles. McCulloch then joined the Texas Army under Sam Houston, another former neighbor, and skillfully commanded one of the "Twin Sisters" cannons at the Battle of San Jacinto, earning a promotion to first lieutenant and a sizable land bounty. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1839, he spent the next several years defending himself and other settlers from Indians and Mexicans, until being appointed a major by General Zachary Taylor at the outbreak of the Mexican War. Jefferson Davis personally appointed him a colonel before the start of the Civil War, and McCulloch commanded an under-supplied force to victory at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, before he was killed at the front line while commanding forces at Pea Ridge in 1862.

Salt print, 6 x 8 in., on trimmed mount, 7.25 x 9.25 in. Studio portrait featuring Benjamin McCulloch wearing a formal coat and cravat, seated, holding a cane, with a top hat resting on the table beside him. Although unmarked, the portrait resembles a studio view taken by Charles D. Fredricks & Co. of New York, ca 1859-1861. 

Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,680
11/18/2016

22

Benjamin McCulloch, Two Albumen Prints by Marks, Austin, Texas, Ca 1860

Lot of 2 retouched albumen studio views of Benjamin McCulloch in formal dress, the first 7 x 8.75 in., on 10 x 12 in. mount, the second 5.5 x 7.75 in., on 8 x 10 in. mount, each with H.R. Marks, Photographer, Austin, Texas imprint. Each mount with penciled date of about 1860

Benjamin McCulloch (1811-1862) was a Tennessee-born Texas settler who fought in American battles far and wide. He accompanied his neighbor Davy Crockett to Texas in 1834, but arrived at the Alamo after the battle due to a case of measles. McCulloch then joined the Texas Army under Sam Houston, another former neighbor, and skillfully commanded one of the "Twin Sisters" cannons at the Battle of San Jacinto, earning a promotion to first lieutenant and a sizable land bounty. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1839, he spent the next several years defending himself and other settlers from Indians and Mexicans, until being appointed a major by General Zachary Taylor at the outbreak of the Mexican War. Jefferson Davis personally appointed him a colonel before the start of the Civil War, and McCulloch commanded an under-supplied force to victory at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, before he was killed at the front line while commanding forces at Pea Ridge in 1862.

Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,920
11/18/2016

23

Benjamin McCulloch, Ninth Plate Tintype

Ninth plate tintype of Confederate Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch, housed in full, pressed paper case. 

Benjamin McCulloch (1811-1862) was a Tennessee-born Texas settler who fought in American battles far and wide. He accompanied his neighbor Davy Crockett to Texas in 1834, but arrived at the Alamo after the battle due to a case of measles. McCulloch then joined the Texas Army under Sam Houston, another former neighbor, and skillfully commanded one of the "Twin Sisters" cannons at the Battle of San Jacinto, earning a promotion to first lieutenant and a sizable land bounty. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1839, he spent the next several years defending himself and other settlers from Indians and Mexicans, until being appointed a major by General Zachary Taylor at the outbreak of the Mexican War. Jefferson Davis personally appointed him a colonel before the start of the Civil War, and McCulloch commanded an under-supplied force to victory at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, before he was killed at the front line while commanding forces at Pea Ridge in 1862.

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$3,000
11/18/2016

24

The Life and Services of Gen. Ben McCulloch, by Victor M. Rose, 1888, Signed by Henry E. McCulloch

Rose, Victor. The Life and Services of Gen. Ben McCulloch. Philadelphia: Pictorial Bureau of the Press, 1888. Small 8vo, original blindstamped cloth with gilt title on spine, 260pp. (page numbering begins at 25 for unknown reason). FFEP signed and inscribed by Benjamin McCulloch's brother, From Henry E. McCulloch to Gen'l H.P. Bee, with Lieut. written in front of Henry E. McCulloch in what appears to be a different hand. With portraits of McCulloch, captioned Maj. B. McCulloch, although Maj. has been crossed out (likely in the hand of Henry McCulloch) and changed to Genl., and Colonel M.S. Munson. 

An exceptionally rare book.

Benjamin McCulloch (1811-1862) was a Tennessee-born Texas settler who fought in American battles far and wide. He accompanied his neighbor Davy Crockett to Texas in 1834, but arrived at the Alamo after the battle due to a case of measles. McCulloch then joined the Texas Army under Sam Houston, another former neighbor, and skillfully commanded one of the "Twin Sisters" cannons at the Battle of San Jacinto, earning a promotion to first lieutenant and a sizable land bounty. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1839, he spent the next several years defending himself and other settlers from Indians and Mexicans, until being appointed a major by General Zachary Taylor at the outbreak of the Mexican War. Jefferson Davis personally appointed him a colonel before the start of the Civil War, and McCulloch commanded an under-supplied force to victory at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, before he was killed at the front line while commanding forces at Pea Ridge in 1862.

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,200
11/18/2016

25

Ninth Plate Ambrotype of Confederate Officer, Possibly Henry Eustace McCulloch

Lot of 2, featuring a ninth plate ambrotype of a Confederate officer in uniform, his buttons lightly tinted gold, housed in full, octagonal thermoplastic case. Accompanied by a sixth plate ambrotype of the same man, younger in appearance, dressed in civilian attire, housed in full pressed paper case. These two images were found together with the collection of photographs of Benjamin McCulloch that descended directly in the McCulloch family, and it has been suggested that the subject may be Benjamin's brother, Henry Eustace McCulloch (1816-1895), who was a soldier in the Texas Revolution, a Texas Ranger, and a Confederate Brigadier General. However, this identification cannot be confirmed. 

Estimate: $200 - $400
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$677
11/18/2016

26

Civil War Sixth Plate Ruby Ambrotype of CSA Soldier John Weir, 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery, Plus Wife

Lot of 2, featuring sixth plate ruby ambrotype of a bearded gentleman wearing block A buttons (CS-117), with period, penciled identification in case, John Weir, CSA. Housed in pressed paper case with sixth plate tintype of a young, attractive woman identified behind case as Sara Weir. Additional penciled identifications are taped to the back of each image. 

HDS lists a Private John Weir that served with Co. E of the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery, although no other information regarding his service record is available. 

Organized in February 1861, the 1st LA Heavy Artillery was part of the Louisiana State Army, and later transferred to the Confederate Regular Army. The regiment was headquartered at the New Orleans Barracks, but companies served at various forts defending New Orleans. In May 1862, the regiment was ordered to Vicksburg where fighting continued until surrender in July 1863. Grant immediately paroled the unit because he did not want to care for 30,000 prisoners of war. By January 1864, the regiment was in Mobile, AL. After brief stints in Meridian and Tupelo, MS, the unit returned to Mobile and garrisoned the batteries until surrender on May 5, 1865 at Cuba Station, AL.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,107
11/18/2016

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