DAVIS, Jefferson (1808-1889). Autograph letter signed ("Jeffer Davis" and "J.D."), as US Senator, to John Jones Pettus (1813-1867). Washington, 7 January 1860. 3 pages, 8vo, old creases.

Written one year and two days prior to Mississippi's secession from the Union, and while Davis was still technically a sitting United States Senator, as he did not resign his seat and return to Mississippi until secession had been confirmed and he delivered a farewell address on 21 January 1861. He writes to John Jones Pettus, the Governor of Mississippi from 1859-1863 and a distant cousin to Davis, about preparations for the anticipated war: “The best chance I have found to get rifles manufactured is at the Mass. Arms Company of Chicopee...He says he can deliver arms of any model furnished to him in about six weeks after he receives the order and at the rate of two to three hundred a month. The cost of the rifle (Mississippi) with a sword bayonet would be say sixteen dollars a piece...I do not think we can get as good arms by private manufacture as those made at the U. S. armories, and I propose to introduce a bill to authorize the sale of the latter to the states at cost prices, that is to say for the amount which would enable the government to manufacture others at the existing establishments...We are still waiting for the organization of the house...The committee on the Harper’s Ferry raid are daily at work, we have not progressed enough to tell what we may discover.” Signed “As ever truly y’rs / Jefferson Davis,” and following the postscript, “J.D.”

The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection Lots 79-98; 116; 138-153; and 266

Cowan's is pleased to offer the third installment of Richard B. Cohen's collection of Civil War Brown Water Navy photography. Richard was known to many in the field as a "disciplined collector who maintained a relatively narrow focus having built an important, perhaps unsurpassed collection in his area of specialization." From cartes de visite to large format photographs, this portion of the collection features a noteworthy selection of images of Brown Water Navy warships, among them, the USS BentonChoctawLafayette, and Louisville. Many important identified naval officers are also represented, including an exquisite CDV of the promising young officer, Lieutenant Commander William Gwin, who died of wounds aboard the USS Benton following an artillery duel with Confederate forces at Snyder's Bluff, and an exceptionally large war-date photograph of the controversial commander of the USS Pittsburgh, Egbert Thompson.

This auction also features a premiere selection of autographs and manuscripts from Richard's carefully curated collection. Highlights include a letter from Jefferson Davis to his distant cousin, John J. Pettus, Governor of Mississippi, dated a year before secession, conveying intricate plans for securing armaments in preparation for the war; an Abraham Lincoln signed endorsement; a letter from Admiral D.G. Farragut from New Orleans, offering excellent insight into his "political" thinking as well as his dedication to his work; correspondence from Gideon Welles, David Dixon Porter, U.S. Grant, and W.T. Sherman; and a pair of superb letters with highly descriptive accounts of the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac.

Provenance:The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection

Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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