[A reminder of what the War –in part– was fought for: important, and vital African-American history. The first African slaves in America were sold in Jamestown in August 1619, a year before the Pilgrims arrived. Slavery quickly spread throughout Virginia, gained legal recognition, and became the assumed status for all Blacks. Elaborate codes were established to maintain slavery – including laws about marriage, ownership and parenthood. By the time of the Revolution, there were a half-million slaves in America and although some Southerners (such as Jefferson) spoke out against the institution, it was firmly entrenched in the economy. In the early 1800s, Northern abolition groups began to form and in 1817, the American Colonization Society was founded with the intent to send freedmen back to Africa. A few slave revolts, most notably Nat Turner’s in 1831, virtually eliminated all opposition to slavery in the South. Attitudes towards slavery in the North and South hardened in the decades before the Civil War, despite the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, and Kansas-Nebraska Act. “Bleeding Kansas” and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry showed the violence people would employ over the practice. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, outlawing slavery in areas under rebellion and in December 1865, the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment officially ended slavery in America.]
(Click thumbnails to view larger images)
739. STOWE, Harriet Beecher. (1811-96) American novelist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She was also a reformer and temperance leader as well as supporting anti-slavery movements and women’s suffrage. When meeting Abraham Lincoln at the White House, this towering giant looked down at this tiny woman and said, “So you are the little woman who started this war.” Signed Photograph, a fine cabinet card, 4 1/4 x 6 1/2” by Hastings of Boston. Choice. (Est. $2,000-2,500)
740. DOUGLASS, Frederick. (1817-1895) Born in Maryland, Douglass was the son of Harriet Bailey, a slave and an unknown white father. Although treated cruelly and denied his freedom for 21 years, he did learn to read and write. In 1838 he escaped to New Bedford, MA and obtained a job as a laborer. With his freedom, he abandoned his name, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, and changed it to Frederick Douglass. As an active abolitionist, he was employed as a lecturer and wrote his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Fearful of being captured as a fugitive slave, he spent several years in England and Ireland where he earned sufficient money to purchase his freedom. He returned in 1847. He was well known to Lincoln at the time of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Douglass helped organize the 54th and 55th Mass. colored regiments and on two occasions, on August 10, 1863 and on August 19, 1864, Douglass visited the President at the White House. Signed Card, 2 x 3”, a very fine example. (Est. $300-500)
741. BROWN, John, Jr. (1821-95) The younger Brown, first born of the fervent abolitionist’s twenty children, took up the crusade after his father was hanged for the raid on the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal. John Brown, Jr. was at Ossawatomie during the famous attack and would have been at Harper’s Ferry had the raid occurred at the designated time. He was sought as a conspirator, narrowly escaping arrest. A deerskin bound copy of The Legislative Guide published in Philadelphia in 1852, signed twice by Brown, once on the flyleaf and once on the title page. Some light dampstaining and foxing; else a fine copy with bold signatures. [This originates with the sizable John Brown collection disbursed by Norm Flayderman.] (Est. $500-800)
“This mad project of slaveholders is towards their own ruin… If Vice-President Tyler (who in my judgment is not President) is silly enough to recommend the annexation of Texas, he will raise up a host of abolitionists in the North and West.”
743. Slavery in Mississippi… desperate to buy-back his best slave. Folded letter with postal-used cover, 2pp., Natchez, April 12, 1852, from J.E. Pardee to George Dickerman in New Haven, CT. Great content in which Pardee, in a business partnership with the Northern man, laments the loss of a black man who worked for him & will try to buy him from his new owner, despite the possible misgivings of his Northern partner. In part: “The harness that was sent I will do the best I can with, but do not send any more. I can get as saleable ones here at the same price…. I am bothered to death to get anybody to help me that is worth a damn. I have to have somebody, for I can not shut up every time I go out, and since I lost Frank, I can not get a boy that is good for anything, and in fact, can not get any kind for less than $15 pr month and board, and what they call a good one, $20 & board. I have tried 3 different ones since Frank left – one was lazy & a thief & the other two good for nothing. I never knew the value of Frank till I lost him. I know who has got him, and if I can get him, I am agoing to do so. I know you will think if I do buy him, that it will be money badly spent, but can not help it. I know he is worth more than any man I could hire (white man) at $40 pr month, and worth more in the shop than any six negroes I ever saw…I intend writing to the man that owns Frank today, and if I can get him, will do so. If you think I am a fool for doing so, say so, and when we wind up, you can charge me with the amt. I may pay for Frank if it get him…” (Est. $200-400)
745. Threat of a slavery insurrection in Mississippi,1835. ALS, 3pp., Natchez, 28 December, 1835 with content on fears of a slave insurrection, possible war with France after President Andrew Jackson’s message (over France’s failure to pay long outstanding spoilation claims) and much more. In part: “…Natchez is swarming with strangers. It is said that one day last week, one hundred strangers arrived. The people are at present somewhat alarmed about negro insurrections, and keep a regular guard every night. This is the time when the plots which were brought last summer were to have taken place. One negro was shot dead night before last, for undertaking to elude the patrols. Business is at present brisk, Cotton comes in very rapidly…The President’s message has just arrived, and it is generally believed that a war with France is inevitable. This belief is founded on a letter from one of the Ministry in France to a gentleman in N. Orleans. The message of the President appears to leave things in the same condition they were before. The Gen. always talks well enough, but doesn’t put his theory in practice…If war should take place, it would be more dreadful in N.O. than anywhere else.” Fold separation repaired, intersting insight of fear in the south. (Est. $250-300)
Buying five slaves just weeks before Fort Sumter.
748. Trying to prevent slaves from being run out of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1834. Legal-size, 3pp. folio legal plea with addressed postal-paid cover panel from Union, VA, to the Hon. James E. Brown, Wythe Court House, VA., (noted “The post master will confer a favour by handing this letter to Judge Brown so soon as it arrives”). This is the final 3 pages of a longer plea to Judge Brown from a man concerned that some slaves, the subject of a legal controversy, will be taken out of Virginia. He asks the Judge to issue an injunction against their being removed: “Your orator…can not see no other reason why the said John Goodall refuses to sign the aforesaid agreement than that he intends to run the negroes out of the Commonwealth of Virginia and dispose of them, and being insolvent, that no injury can accrue thereby to him, and having heretofore attempted to have said slaves run out…no doubt but that he would attempt it again…Your orator therefore prays that you Honour will enjoin & restrain…John Goodal from removing the said slaves from the Commonwealth of Virginia until the determination of the suit aforesaid and to require him to give security for their delivery…or if it be more proper that the Sheriff…be required to take the slaves in his possession and hire them out.” On back, Judge Brown writes his decision, dated Nov. 4, 1834: “Injunction granted to restrain the Deft. From removing the slaves from the Jurisdiction of this Court.” (Est. $150-250)
749. 1833 Arkansas Territory – deciding between buying a black boy or hiring a Dutchman. 4pp. ALS with postal-marked panel, from Ararat, MD to Lyttleton Physick, Magnet Cove, Hot Spring County, Arkansas Terr., December 8, 1833, from the recipient’s two brothers: “I do not believe it will be in my power to procure you a black boy in the way you mention. Nevertheless, I shall try. In this neighborhood, there are at present a number of Dutch emigrants, some of whom could be engaged for several years together at about seven dollars a month. Should you prefer it, I could purchase no doubt, a slave or two who you could liberate when you saw proper, but in addition to the first cost, which would be from 5 to 7 hundred dollars, there would be the risk of health, and what is greater, that of getting them out there and it is more probably that they would be bad servants…Edmund requests me to caution you against the use of small thin barreled fowling pieces, as several instances of their bursting without being overloaded have occurred lately, one in the hands of Emlem…he is now fast recovering, but not out of danger from Locked jaw.” Light fold separation archivally repaired. (Est. $200-250)
751. Quarter-plate daguerreotype of two African-American or mixed race boys along with two Caucasian boys. The two older, black boys appear to be preceptors of the two younger who sit attentively. The older boys hold a book and a quill pen. Each is identified by old paper labels, as Alfred Burgess, Chaffee, Eb Thayer and William Casey. Solarization to outer perimeter, else clear. (Est. $500-750)
752. A terrific ninth-plate tintype of an African-American Buffalo Soldier housed in a thermoplastic wall frame with an ornate brass liner. Minor blemishes to portrait detract little. A fine portrait. (Est. $400-500)
753. Two (2) lovely ambrotypes of African-American women in gutta percha cases, brass mats, protected by fine red fabric. Light typical wear to one spine, else fine. (Est. $600-800)
Another photographic masterpiece.
755. An attractive, hand-tinted, oval tintype of an African-American woman holding a book and wearing gold jewelry, housed in a handsome case. Some crackling to portrait, else a beautiful study. (Est. $300-400)
756. Lovely sixth-plate tintype of an elegantly dressed black couple. (Est. $100-150)
An event that never took place! A meeting between Abe and Sojourner Truth!
758. An excellent, mounted, double-sided albumen, 4 x 3 1/2” titled “A Group of Contrabands.” The legend continues:
760. Another study of the “Dutch Gap Canal and Group of Soldiers” by E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. The legend on verso continues,”Taken after the bank was blown out. On the extreme left end a portion of the bank remains, which forms a profile, which the soldiers call Jeff Davis.” A black soldier on the riverbank holds the line to a boat. (Est. $200-400)
761. CDV titled “Learning is Wealth. Wilson, Charley, Rebecca & Rosa. Slaves from New Orleans” published by S. Tackaberry of New York in 1864, photograph by Charles Paxton. The verso details the sale of these images would be used for education of “colored people in the Department of the Gulf.” Some light trim at bottom of mount. Charley Chinn is most famous as the slave photographed with severe back lacerations and scars from being whipped as a slave. (Est. $300-400)
762. Brady CDV with titled label “Headquarters Lafayette – Headquarters Genl Porter. Farnhold’s House and York River in the Distance.” Posing in front of an old homestead are four white soldiers, two black soldiers and two black orderlies. Great tone, contrast and detail. Published in 1862 by Barnard & Gibson. (Est. $300-400)
763. AUTOGRAPHED by a Civil War Black combatant.
764. Carte of Deacon James Mars (1790-1880), a Connecticut slave who, with his family, refused to follow his master, a minister named Thompson, to Virginia, where he would have been denied the emancipation guaranteed him at age 25 under Connecticut law. In his later life, he enjoyed a prominent place in New England’s black community. He also played an important part in the African-American enfranchisement and temperance movements. Mars was a principal in the 1837 landmark case Jackson v. Bulloch, in which the Connecticut Supreme Court granted slave Nancy Jackson her freedom after two years of residency in the state with her Georgia master, James Bulloch. Slight mottling to corners detracts little, fine contrast. (Est. $300-500)
765. Carte of black soldier (or contraband) with 5th Corps badge (Army of Potomac) on his hat sitting outside a shebang. Full board, sharp contrast, superb. (Est. $1,300-1,500)
766. An extreme rarity: a CDV photo of an African-American naval combatant by Alfred W. Jacobs of Brooklyn. Some loss, cracking, and fly specking to albumen as shown. The subject’s face and uniform remain good. A mint example would command thousands. (Est. $500-800)
767. By an African-American photographer! A very distinguished black gent posed by Ball & Thomas of Cincinnati,
768. Moses carte of black nanny and her charge, on verso: “Dosia & Baby Relle Philadelphia Dec. 1867.” Gold-ruled, slight loss at corners, great contrast. (Est. $80-120)
769. Composite CDV of the signers of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, with Lincoln, Hamlin and Speaker Colfax. Very sharp, tiny crease in mount corner, nice. (Est. $100-150)
771. CDV pair – the obverse and reverse of the regimental flag of the 6th US Colored Troops (USCT). These photos were done by D.B. Bowser of Philadelphia. The 6th USCT were raised in Philadelphia at Camp William Penn, their term of service included engagements at Petersburg, Fair Oaks, Fort Fisher and several others. Lost in the various battles were 8 officers and 79 enlisted men. Imporant photographic records. (Est. $3,000-3,500)
Fighting for Abolition – organizing the Republican Party at its Inception.
A landmark document of the anti-slavery, abolitionist movement: the First National Liberty Convention… establishing Salmon P. Chase as a national force.
774. Frederick Douglass. [Abolitionism] Proceedings of the Yearly Meeting of the Friends of Human Progress, held at Waterloo, Seneca Co. N.Y. the 3d, 4th and 5th June, 1859. (Rochester, N.Y.: Press of C. W. Hebard & Co. Daily Express Office, 1859.) 23pp. in titled wraps. Scarce edition, OCLC identifies only 4 institutional copies (#21274818). The meetings of this society, established by Hicksite Quakers began in 1848, but soon attracted radical thinkers of all stripes including feminists, abolitionists and peace activists. This particular meeting resolved to condemn slavery and called on women “to cultivate themselves a firmer self-reliance and a bolder practical assertion of their rights to engage in any and every useful vocation to which they are demonstratively adapted.” OCLC also notes the author as Frederick Douglass. (Est. $250-500)
An extremely rare print with interesting history.