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Letter from a young man in a small California timber town to a friend in Oakland about attending a dance dressed as a "nigger wench" and obtaining sheet music and "bones" for an amateur minstrel show

Letter from a young man in a small California timber town to a friend in Oakland about attending a dance dressed as a “nigger wench” and obtaining sheet music and “bones” for an amateur minstrel show

W. M. Brown This three-page letter is complete with its mailing envelope. The envelope is franked with a green, 3-cent Washington stamp (Scott A46) and bears a large, circular Camptonville postmark. Both are in nice shape. Transcript included. In this letter, W. M. thanks his Oakland friend William Sharp, who was attending the California Military Academy, for purchasing some sheet music and requests that he purchase more "good character songs (comic) for a female, something like For goodness sake don't say I told you, along with some "bones" as he and "ten or twelve . . . boys and girls are getting up a show." He also reports that he and a friend recently had a "jolly time" at a local dance "dressed up as negroes He as a nigger wench and I as an old nigger. . .". One might like to think that dressing up in blackface to attend a dance or party was a thing of the past that would be condemned today, however that is not necessarily the case when partisan politics is involved; witness current (as of 2019) Democratic governor of Virginia who posed with another student for a medical school yearbook photo; one dressed in an absurd blackface costume and the other in KKK robes. After the photos became public, the governor still received the full support of the state's Democratic Party and its Democratic politicians. The "bones" are a musical folk instrument made form a pair of animal rib or leg bones, traditionally played slaves and later blackface minstrels. Held loosely between the fingers, performers could make complex clacking rhythms by shaking their hands. The song, For Goodness Sake was a popular late 19th century comic ingenue ditty that it was usually changed to fit to local situations, acquiring new verses wherever it was performed. Published in 1881, it was often featured dance hall and minstrel shows and frequently reprinted in cheap songsters like Harvest of Minstrel Songs.
Letter from a student at Wesleyan University to a friend attending Charlotte Academy describing admission requirements and encouraging him to attend Wesleyan the following term

Letter from a student at Wesleyan University to a friend attending Charlotte Academy describing admission requirements and encouraging him to attend Wesleyan the following term

A. Merwin Four-page letter with its mailing envelope. The cover bears a circular Middletown, Con. Postmark with black "PAID" and circled "3" handstamps; three cents being the cost to mail a prepaid letter up to 3,000 miles. Both are in nice shape. In this letter, Merwin encourages a former "schoolmate" who was attending the Charlotte Academy in Davenport, New York, to attend Wesleyan University during the upcoming term, informing him of the admissions requirements: "I am happy to think that you are coming here next term. You will confer an everlasting favor upon the Wes. Uni. Don't fail to come. . . We can have some old times over again. If you have no objections we will room together next year, if not next term. . . You have to hire your nags here to go riding, no Black Ponies at College. You are subject to act upon your "own hook" here. No Mrs Smith to take care of you when you are sick. But I must not draw a picture that may discourage you so that you will not come to college: because I should be disappointed myself. . . You will be expected to have been through . . . 16 sections in Lomis' Algebra, Lomis Geometry. Xenophon's Anabasis about 4 books, not less and more if you choose. Homer's Iliad 2 or 3 books as you have time. Livy, 3 books or a little more. Horace. And be pretty well versed in the Grammar as I suppose you are. . . I have just been delving into the depths of a Geometry lesson to be recited tomorrow morning at 6 o'clock - that's the rub. You must be up in time - or, absence from prayers 1 black mark, tardiness ½, absence from recitation 2. . . . failure in reciting 1 black mark. So you must be up - up in time & have your lesson well committed. You need not be frightened about being examined or about reading all the Latin & Greek up to the last line. If you read thoroughly what you read, no danger of your not being admitted. . . You will get in. . . So you need not study very hard to read the Latin, nor go through all the Geometry. We have fellows here who have not been through more than half of the required portion of Latin, Greek & Mathematics. ". Wesleyan University was founded in 1831 as a men's college with the support of prominent residents of Middletown, Connecticut. Although now-secular, it was the first college or university to be named after John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Adetailed first-hand account about the type of studies required in 19th century U.S. colleges and universities.
A used

A used, but uncancelled, dividend check from the Office of the Commissioners of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company for “Twenty seven Cents.”

Payable to George H. Burch; signed by Robert Purvis and John A.J. Creswell This Freedman's bank check was made payable to George Burch for "Twenty-seven Cents" and signed by two of the company's commissioners, Robert Purvis and John A. J Creswell. It is uncanceled, unpunched, and uncashed with a manuscript endorsement on the reverse that reads "Transferred to J W Clacof and Mrs G H Burch". The check is illustrated with an exceptionally nice, iconic image of Abraham Lincoln from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. In nice shape with only a little soiling and wear. The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company was a private bank chartered by Congress in 1865. Its primary purpose was to serve as a depository for black veterans, and to help support former slaves and their families to build savings. The bank eventually had 12 branches with its national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, due construction of an ostentatious building, questionable speculative investments, mismanagement, instability of the Panic of 1873, and a fraud scandal, the bank began to fail. Frederick Douglass served as its last president, and the bank officially closed in June 1874. Subsequently Congress established a program to reimburse depositors 62% of their savings, but many depositors never applied to receive their funds. Some historians claim this bank's failure was responsible for creating a general distrust of the banking industry within multiple generations of African-Americana. (See Oxford University Press Blog, "Black History Month, Freedman's Savings and Trust Company," February 2007.) This George H Burch was one of two known African-American Civil Was Soldiers with that name. One served in the U.S. Colored Troops 5th Cavalry, the other in the U.S. Colored Troops 114th Infantry. Robert Purvis was a prominent African-American abolitionist who turned down President Lincoln's offer to lead the Freedman's Bureau to instead become a bank commissioner. John Creswell was a white politician and abolitionist who historians consider having been the best Postmaster General in U.S. history. Freedman's Bank checks appear several times each year in eBay auctions, however they are inevitably punch cancelled, most with multiple holes. Unpunched checks in nice condition, like this one, are uncommon.
A "Star-Spangled Banner" song sheet distributed by the rabidly Unionist Loyal National League to help counteract propaganda from Democrat Copperheads who sympathized with the South

A “Star-Spangled Banner” song sheet distributed by the rabidly Unionist Loyal National League to help counteract propaganda from Democrat Copperheads who sympathized with the South

This song sheet measures approximately 5.5" x 9.75". It contains the music and lyrics for "The Star-Spangled Banner" and is headlined, "National Songs Issued by the Loyal National of League." Light toned. The Loyal National League was a loose confederation of city leagues organized in conjunction with the Young Men's Republican Union in late 1860/early 1861 by Northern unionists to counteract propaganda of the Copperhead movement by Southern sympathizers in the border areas of Missouri, Kentucky, southern Illinois and southern Ohio. (The Young Men's Republican Union had been in existence since Fremont's first Republican presidential campaign and is often credited for bring Abraham Lincoln to the attention of a national audience by sponsoring his speech at the Cooper Union in February of 1860.) The Loyal National League focused not just on promoting loyalty, but on rooting out disloyalty to include demanding that Southern sympathizers be dismissed from government employment. Over time the various city Leagues, mostly filled with working class members, combined their efforts with other patriotic organizations including the Union League, which was a much more well-to-do and monied organization. Its efforts continued until South Carolina bombarded Fort Sumter, which had a unifying effect on public opinion in the North far more than the League's propaganda and speechifying ever did. As of 2019, no other Loyal National League song sheets are for sale in the trade, and the Rare Book Hub shows only one auction record. Of the six similar League song sheets identified at OCLC, five are held by the New York Historical Society; one is "The Star-Spangled Banner.".
A fascinating letter from a recent arrival describing life in Mobile including a report on the Filibuster William Walker attempt to conquer Nicaragua

A fascinating letter from a recent arrival describing life in Mobile including a report on the Filibuster William Walker attempt to conquer Nicaragua

H. Carver to James l. Kemper This 4-page letter (no envelope) was written by a Virginian who had emigrated to Mobile, Alabama in the late 1850s. It was sent to James L. Kemper, at the time a General in the Virginia Militia (and later its governor). In the letter, Carver provides considerable information about life and events in Alabama: * William Walkers expedition to conquer Nicaragua - "Genl Mr Walker is in Mobile about 300 Emigrants slipped out on the 5th just for Nicaraugua, they were stoped about 6 miles below Mobile by a U.S. vessel but they made there escape & perhaps have Landed in Nicaraugua, old Buck (President James Buchanan) don't stand high in Mobile as a Large Majority are for Walker." (Walker had usurped the presidency of Nicaragua in 1856 and ruled until 1857 when he was expelled by a coalition of Central American armies. He returned in 1858 to reestablish his empire but was captured and executed.) * Plantations and slavery - "William was married on the 16th of Last month to the Daughter of a Sugar planter She is said to be worth $20,000 independent of part in her Mothers Estate who is said to be wealthy and has only three children. At any rate they made 200 HHds of sugar last year. Hirams Mother in Law made 35 HHds of Sugar. Wm will pay us a visit on the 22nd Just with his wife & May go on to Virginia to buy 15 to twenty servants for the family. * Cost of Living - "I then had to buy furniture for House keeping which is very high here. . . I pay $12 per month for a woman to cook, $10 per month for a House Servant Girl, $15 per month for a Gardiner, 75c per cord for cutting my wood & I hall it with my yard hands My Grocery bill is $60 per month never less than $50. You will say that this is extravagant, yet I cannot do with less. . ." * Business - "My . . . hands (probably hired slaves) in the Taning & Shoe Shop from 10 to 15 . . . I had to board them all, for which I receive $10 per month . . . & all I have made is in Stock that I cannot get until the business is closed. I am now trying to make some arangements for me to get out my money . . . but the men who furnish the capital are so very busy now that it goes on very slow. . . all business is done here from Octr 1st to May. . ." * Politics - "You should be here at an Election, our old VA Elections are bad enough God knows . . . our Mayors Election came off last Monday & I have no doubt but the Partys spent at least $25,000 a side. . . I told you I would meet you in Congress - I give it up, there is no more chance for a poor man to be Elected . . . here with out he is nominated by the party - than there is for a cat in H-ll without claws - they want to run me . . . & I suppose that I could easily be Elected - but I wont. . . I tell the Democratic party that is to low down . . . our Democratic Sheriff was Elected in August. . . it cost him upwards of $3000 - but the office is worth about 15000 a year. . . I have not changed my opinion about Wise (Henry Wise, the Governor of Virginia) & if he was to be the Democratic Nomenee for President I would not touch him with a pair of Tongs. . ." And more.
Letter from a recently successful lumberman encouraging his brother and brother-in-law back home in Rhode Island to come to California and work for him

Letter from a recently successful lumberman encouraging his brother and brother-in-law back home in Rhode Island to come to California and work for him

Zebulon Gardiner The mailing envelope for this two-page letter is franked with a pair of nice-margined, dull-red 3-cent Washington stamps (Scott #11) cancelled with a circular Sacramento City postmark. The envelope is annotated "To be Lefte to the fisherville Poste office". Both letter and envelope are in niece shape; the envelope has some minor soiling and edge wear. In this letter, Zebulon touts the success of his recently opened lumbering business: "My sales has been thirty thousand dollars the past two months I have bought my partner out and now am in besiness by my self . . . I own the lot on which I do business on and am gitting along very well . . . the mill running easy I have two hired men in my employ Mr H John has gone home thinks of coming back again but not to stop. . ." So, Zebulon excitedly (and rather incoherently) offers the position to his brother Robert or brother-in-law, John: "I will make you an offer If you chuse to except if not I wish to bestowe it on sister Merys John I wish to come here and work for me I will give you one thousand dollars a year If you think best to come If you conclude to come make your mind up to stay two or three years The thousand dollars will be clear of your boarde Please make up your minde soon after you reseave this Talke with Mother and John and get there advise think of it well. . . If you chuse to come out here I will leade you in prosperity but this matter thof of well should you conclude to come I wish you to make ready and be on the way as early as Posible. . . if I though I could not make you prosper I woulde not give you the invitation but donte come if you don't think it for the best and now if you donte conclude to come pleas relate my wishies of the same to Mery's John I wish him to come if all partys or agreed in regarde to his coming I wish him to leave soon after you reseave this If you do not come your self I wish you answer this by the following mail tellin me whether you or John is a coming or neither of you I shall be wating patiently to learn Donte fail riting soon after reseaving this. . . Please if you don't conclude to com . . . be shure and rite to me and tell me what the conclusion is and I wait for you answer Patiently." Zebulon also provides advice regarding the best way to reach California: "The vandabilt route will be the best route for you to take If you come bring only on suite of cloths with you of if you can git a passage by the panamnar route better Come that way git a second capin bearth if you can.". Upon the discovery of gold in California, Cornelius Vanderbilt contracted with the government of Nicaragua to provide the cheapest route for East Coast emigrants wanting to make the journey west (steamer from New York to San Juan del Norte on the Caribbean coast, then by inland watercraft to Rivas, followed by a stage to San Juan del Sur and another steamer bound for San Francisco. A nice California cover attesting to the boom business climate brought on by the Gold Rush with an attractive usage of an imperforate pair of Scott #11s.
A real-photo postcard sent by a white resident of North Dakota encouraging a friend to homestead on the Berthold Indian Reservation

A real-photo postcard sent by a white resident of North Dakota encouraging a friend to homestead on the Berthold Indian Reservation

From "Frank" The card is signed, "Frank. Plaza, N. D." It is franked with a 1-cent green Franklin stamp (Scott A138), which has been canceled with an unusual "Minot & Bismarck / N.D." postmark with the word "South" centered under the year, "1912". The card has some minor soiling and wear. This card features a photograph of three people in front of a wooden building and is captioned, "Homesteaders on the Berthold Indian Reservation Some claims left yet. Hurry." One of the men in the photograph is dressed in overalls and is holding a scythe. Another is wearing a long-sleeve shirt with bowtie and a white lumber company apron. The third person appears to be a female who is seated on the ground, wrapped in a blanket, and holding dog in her lap. The writing on front of the card is in the same hand as the message on the other side of the card. Plaza is located on the northern border of the Fort Berthold Reservation, about 45 miles southwest of Minot and 125 miles northwest of Bismarck. Zigzag branch lines of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (the Soo Line) connected all three cities, so perhaps the postmark is railroad related. Following the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, the United States agreed that the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras could remain in their traditional homelands. In the late 1860s, an increase of steamboat transportation through the region began to deplete the forests along the Missouri River as crews cut vast quantities of wood to fuel their riverboats' engines. The tribes complained to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and after a series of meetings, they agreed to give up a large portion of their homeland in exchange for a protected reservation near Forts Berthold and Stevenson. The Fort Berthold Reservation was established in 1870. Shortly thereafter, the Teton Dakotas laid claim to and were awarded some of the Berthold land, and in 1880 the Northern Pacific Railway was granted another segment of the reservation that had never occupied or hinted upon. Although some U.S. army officers objected, still another part of the reservation that was never occupied or hunted upon was transferred to the Northern Pacific Railway in 1880. Six years later, the tribes gave up even more land for settlement by white farmers in exchange for $800,000 that they used to fund agency services and reservation schools. In 1906, the year Plaza was founded, Congress considered taking unallotted reservation land and opening it for additional white settlement, however the tribes objected, and the matter was dropped. Then, in 1910, Congress passed a law authorizing any lands on the reservation that were not being used for tribal administration or had not been allotted to specific tribal members to be to be purchased by non-Indians for homesteads. As this postcard documents, some of this homestead land was still available for purchase in 1912. See "Opening the Reservation: Waiting for the Land" online at North Dakota: People Living on the Land. Although the "Three Affiliated Tribes" lost much of their traditional lands during America's westward expansion, today prosperity abounds on the reservation, as it lies directly over the heart of the Bakken oil patch. In the last 11 years the tribes have collected over $1.6 billion in royalties and tax revenue. See "While One Tribe Fights Oil, Another Cautiously Embraces It" online at Inside Energy.
A charming transatlantic letter to London describing an Independence Day celebration in Richmond and announcing the capture of Amelia Island in Spanish Florida by the freebooter

A charming transatlantic letter to London describing an Independence Day celebration in Richmond and announcing the capture of Amelia Island in Spanish Florida by the freebooter, Sir General Gregor McGrego

W. C. Thorton This stampless letter measures 15.5" x 10" unfolded. It was written on July 4th, 1817 and sent to Norfolk by a James River steamboat (probably the Powhattan which began service in 1816). There it was placed aboard the ship, Edward, for England. It bears a "1N8" (one shilling and eight pence) manuscript postal rate, a "Falmouth Ship Letter" receiving mark on the front and a double-rimmed English duty handstamp on the reverse. In nice shape. Transcript provided. This letter to London describes Richmond's Independence Day celebration: "This . . . is the glorious day which gave birth to our happy country and after all the . . . military exercises which annually take place I devote with pleasure a few moments . . . to you. A military parade on such an occasion . . . is certainly becoming a people so ardently fond of Liberty as we all are, but - this done - and you well can guess at the sequel. In a word; all sorts of dissipation conspired to offend the eye of decency, and shock the tender sensibility of the moralist . . . the concourse of spectators is truly astonishing . . . Buxom lasses from the surrounding Country . . . are swept along with the inquisitive throng to witness the spectacle. Tis extremely funny to see them coming thro' the broiling sun, two couples mounted on little miserable ponies . . . scarcely able to support the weight of a Virginia farmer." Thorton further reports on the latest attempt to wrest Florida from Spanish possession: "Since my last . . . accounts of a very favorable return to the patriot cause continue to flow to us, . . . it seems highly favorable that Amelia Island is at the present moment in quiet possession of the Patriots; if so, - Sir Gregory will have in a very short time a strong foothold in East Florida. Tis inspiring to any person who knows any thing about the geographical portion of this country, with regard to the southern provinces . . . an effect so all important in its accomplishment . . . Tis to be hoped however that his recent visit to these States may have been productive of valuable information on this, and other matters of great import.". In 1812, a small group of American insurgents," The Patriots of Amelia Island" seized the Spanish garrison with the secret approval of President Monroe, and almost immediately surrendered to a U.S. naval force. While not disapproving of Monroe's action, Congress feared fighting simultaneously wars with England and Spain, so the island returned to Spain. On 29 June 1817, a Scottish freebooter, the self-titled Sir General Gregor McGregor, invaded the island with a small force of 1812 veterans and declared himself to be the ruler of The Republic of the Floridas. McGregor soon abandoned the island to an associate, a French privateer Louis-Michel Aury, who took possession in the name of the Republic of Mexico. President Monroe, fearing that Florida would become a slave-smuggling hub, dispatched a force, and Aury surrendered. The American contingent then occupied the territory "in trust for Spain," until the Spanish government reluctantly ceded East Florida the United States in 1819. Truly a first-person snapshot of patriotic U.S. ambition following the War of 1812.
Buckley's New Banjo Book: containing full and complete instructions for learning to play the Banjo

Buckley’s New Banjo Book: containing full and complete instructions for learning to play the Banjo, with or without a teacher . . . Being the very best Selection of Banjo Music ever presented to the Public

James Buckley of Buckley's Serenaders First edition. Collated and complete with all 80 pages. Illustrated card covers with cloth spine covering. Cover illustration of Buckley (not in blackface) sitting in a chair and playing his banjo. Worn spine and cracked hinges. Soiling and edge-wear. Pages toned, but not brittle. Owner names and miscellaneous docketing inside both covers. A number of songs in the table of contents have pencil checkmarks. A sound copy of a very scarce banjo book. This classic, antebellum banjo instruction book and songster is an original first edition, not a modern paperback printing. It contains 10 pages of instruction, titled "Rudiments of Music," followed by music in standard notation for over 135 tunes, some with lyrics. Lots of early banjo highlights including Yankee Doodle, Jim Crow Jig, Hail Columbia, Dan Bryant's Waltz, Old Dan Emmett's Waltz, Dixie's Land, Hard Times, Arkansas Traveler, I'm Off for Brighton, Root Hog or Die, The Glendy Burk, etc. "The Buckley Family were among the pioneers of negro minstrelsy. Their first appearance was in the Tremont Temple, Boston, in 1842, under the name of 'Congo Melodists,' and proved immensely successful. Subsequently they traveled through the South and West, and in 1846 visited England, where they performed successively at Drury-Lane and the Princess's Theatres. Returning to New-York, they located themselves in the Chinese Assembly Rooms, where they have since continued to produce burlesque operas, and become very popular with our citizens. The Buckleys consist of James Buckley, the father, and three sons-Richard, George Swaine and Frederick. . . They are at present assisted by persons of considerable taste and skill, and the entertainments which they nightly present attract numerous and respectable audiences." ("The Black Opera," N. Y. Tribune, June 30, 1855) Scarce. As of 2019, no other examples are for sale in the trade and no auction records are listed at Rare Book Hub. OCLC shows only five examples held by institutions.
Letter from a Massachusetts politician reporting upon John C. Calhoun's fiery anti-Jacksonian "We shall put him out" speech

Letter from a Massachusetts politician reporting upon John C. Calhoun’s fiery anti-Jacksonian “We shall put him out” speech

John P. Robinson to Dr. Elisha Brtlett This four-page stampless letter measures 15.75" x 10" unfolded. It is dated "Feb 17th 1836" and bears a red circular "City of Washington" postmark dated "Feb 18" with a manuscript "25" rate marking, the cost to mail a letter a distance of over 400 miles. The letter is in nice shape. Transcript provided. In this letter, Robinson, a former Massachusetts state representative and senator, describes three days spent observing Congress to his friend, Dr. Bartlett, a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Although appalled, he also thinks it "fine sport" for the opposition to berate President Jackson and Vice-President Van Buren. Of note, he reports Representative (and future Virginia Governor) Henry A. Wise rising to first propose the "Gag Rule" that eventually would 'table' all slavery petitions, preventing them from being read in the House. More significantly, he provides a transcription of a fiery anti-Jacksonian speech by John Calhoun. "I attended . . . the House on Monday, and there was more confusion, calls to order, stupid & silly speeches on points of order and gross personalities than I ever witnessed in the Mass H. R. . . The Van Buren party . . . as a body . . . are a very light concern. The speaker appears to be a pretty fair sort of a man, but you have no idea of the utter contempt that is manifested towards him by many members of the opposition party. On Monday Mr Wise of Va. in the course of the debate on a motion not to receive an Antislavery memorial, made a more furious attack upon the administration than I ever heard in a Lowell caucus There was not much eloquence or civility displayed on the occasion, but it was evident that the whole Southern feeling was aroused. . . I spent yesterday & today . . . in the Senate chamber. There sits Van Buren with his whiskers trimmed up. . . Calhoun looks like a tiger just ready to break loose and devour every thing in his way. He is terribly savage. . . He rose in considerable agitation & addressing himself to the Vice President said 'Sir, I meant to be understood that there is now a great contest between the advocates of arbitrary power & the friends of Liberty. The president has nominated his successor. The post office & the press are in the hands of the advocates of arbitrary power. My letters are opened before I receive them. This is the only avenue we have to the ears of the people. . .' His speech was the most savage I ever heard in my life. . . 'There is a storm ahead, Sir. I see it The South are becoming united. They put Gen. Jackson into office. They couldn't put him out, for they were divided. Gen Jackson . . . had done the state some service, but he was audacious, he did not keep his word. He has nominated his successor. . . His nominee has none of the lion or the tiger. He belongs to a different class of animals to the fox to the weasel. We of the South put down the last administration. We did it up in fine style. We put Gen Jackson in, but we shall not put in his nominee. We shall put him out. We shall do it, Sir.' . . The Van Buren men say such things ought not to be tolerated. But I think it is fine sport." A marvelous first-hand account by a Whig politician who clearly enjoyed the invective heaped upon the Jacksonians by renegade Southern Democrats led by the firebrand, Senator John C. Calhoun.
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Civil War documents related to the compensation of a Union officer who returned home to raise two companies for the 2nd New York Mounted Rifles (also known as the “Governor’s Guard”) after being discharged for wounds suffered at the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Virginia

William P. Warren and others Two documents containing a total of six hand-written pages. A four-page statement by Warren describes his efforts and expenses in organizing two companies for the 2nd New York Mounted Rifles; his statement is followed by fourteen short endorsements by others attesting to its veracity. A seconded attached 'cover' document prepared by Warren transfers his reimbursement to a creditor in repayment of a debt. The cover document is franked with a 5-cent express revenue stamp (Scott R25). Both documents are clean and in nice shape; the four-page document has short splits along two marginal folds. Transcripts are included. Warren's four-page petition recounts his "extra exertion & great expense" in raising "the two finest Companies" of 160 men each to serve in the regiment. He further notes that he accomplished this before the county's Board of Supervisors had authorized any recruiting bounties: "I was obliged to travel from point to point & defray my own expenses, and with other disbursements which I was daily called upon to make my pay which I was to receive from Government was exceeded every month. . . I believe I expended over $300 of my own money." He additionally informs the board that "in consequence of my entering the Service a Second time I lost my Pension to which I was entitled on account of Wounds received at Cedar Mountain Aug 9th 1862. My health failing me in the Last Campaign, I was obliged to resign to return to my home to find it desolate and myself destitute." The Board approved Warren's petition and awarded him compensation of $400 which he promptly transferred to a creditor via the cover document. Captain Warren entered Army service in May of 1861 as an officer in the 28th New York Mounted Rifles (also known as the "Nagara Rifles" and the "Scott Life Guard") and between the following December and June of 1862 was stationed near Fredericksburg, Virginia. The regiment later moved to Winchester and fought in the engagement at Columbia Furnace and relocated several times to Front Royal, Middletown, Newton, Winchester, Bunker Hill, Williamsport, Culpeper Court House, and finally Cedar Run, where General Stonewall Jackson's famous rallying of his troops (using a sabre which had rusted tight into its scabbard) turned a near certain Confederate retreat into a victory. During the battle, the 28th New York suffered 213 casualties out of 339 engaged soldiers. Warren was on of them. His wounds were significant enough to result in a medical discharge after which he returned to Lockport to recuperate. He received a small pension for his disabling wounds, however when Warren accepted a second commission to raise company's for the 2nd New York Mounted Infantry, his pension payments ceased. The companies raised by Warren fought at the Siege of Petersburg where, following the mine explosion, they advanced, captured, and occupied many Confederate rifle pits. They later participated in the Appomattox Campaign, and official records indicate they were probably present at the Court House when General Robert E. Lee surrendered.
Mid-20th century collection of cigar bands

Mid-20th century collection of cigar bands, many from Cuba

Compiled by Richard Downes This collection 746 different cigar band is contained in 47 acid-free philatelic stock book pages held in a three-ring binder. The collection was transferred from a 1960ish "magnetic" photograph album. (The bands were not damaged by the magnetic album.) The bands are arranged in the same order-mostly alphabetically-as they were mounted in the magnetic album. The name, "Richard Downes" was written inside the old album's cover. The collection is visually stunning with multi-color printing and gilt embossing. In addition to ornate typography and designs, many bands feature animals and portraits of historical figures including royalty, presidents, politicians, authors, artists, etc. Some bands were customized for business, products, and individuals. Used with a few tiny scuffs here and there but overall very little wear. Downes was most active collecting bands during the first half of the 20th century. At the time cigar band collecting was an especially popular pastime, and it could well be that he began as a child in the early 1900s and continued until the 1960s. The little I know about vitolphilia I've gleaned from the Encyclopedia of Ephemera, on-line websites (e.g., Cigar Aficionado, Cuban Collectibles, Cuban Cigar Website, etc.), Worthpoint, and eBay listings. That said, to my un-expert eye, the collection appears to be about a 50-50 mix of vintage, pre-revolution Cuban bands and U.S. bands. The U.S. bands are split between nicer items and inexpensive generic issues. While the inexpensive generic American bands are readily available on eBay, better bands-especially some of the vintage Cuban labels sell for more; several dollars apiece on eBay and considerable more at Cuban collectibles websites. If you're not a vitolphilist, this collection might convince you to become on; it's hard to resist the vibrant and elaborate printing. Considering that some of these bands are worth only pennies but others may be worth up to ten dollars, I think that someone willing to invest some time in researching brands and individual bands might be able to turn a tidy profit on eBay.
Letter from an early Forty-Niner ship captain describing his arduous voyage and the chaos in San Francisco Bay as most sailors from the 80 vessels in port had deserted for the gold fields

Letter from an early Forty-Niner ship captain describing his arduous voyage and the chaos in San Francisco Bay as most sailors from the 80 vessels in port had deserted for the gold fields

George Allen This three-page stampless letter measures about 15.5" x 10" unfolded. It bears a circular "San Francisco Cal." postmark with a manuscript "40" postal rate (the price to mail a letter from the Pacific coast to anywhere else in the United States) and a note "per stemr California". In nice shape; when the wax seal was originally removed, it took a 1" square of text along with it. Transcript included. In this letter, the Captain of the ship Pharsalia reports his arrival in San Francisco: "after a long and tedious passage of one hundred & seven days to Valparaiso at which place we water'd Purchased fresh Provisions and vegtables . . . I have some considerable iron work to repair . . . the Head of the Rudder , , , and . . . I lost my topgall mast off Cape Horn. Shall be obliged to get them here at San Francisco together with some ropes and canvas as we suffered very much. . . lower rigging is very bad . . . compelled to cut up my large hawser for lower rigging . . . It makes very good shrouds - we had the severist time . . . I ever saw and more heavy weather than all my going to sea together." And he found the harbor chaos resulting from the Gold Rush both amazing and depressing: "We arrived on the 22nd and on the 23rd we had not a Sailer on Board as all sailers run as soon as they are able to and so thair are now about Eighty Ships Lying here without men. . . what we are coming to God only knows it is enough to make a man small it will take a fortune to discharge the ship Shall Endeavour to get along as cheap as possible. . . I have concluded to put the whole [of the cargo] into the hands of Mess Mules & Harrison as it is absolutely necessary for me to be on Board the Ship . . . to get eny work done and thay will be able to get better prices than I could. . . as to the future employment of the Ship . . . when or how we are to get away I cannot tell it is Possible by the time we get ready we may be able to get men enough to the ship to the sandwich isles for $250 per month thair wages going on until they arrive back to this port . . .with thair passage also paid. . , this is truly a great lunity. . . Some Ship are entirely deserted with the Exception of the Captain and I believe in Some cases they have gone. . . gold fever . . . often see some large gunks of the stuff How I am to get away from here I do not know and am not able to write you enny perticulars. . .". As noted in Ashbury's The Barbary Coast, eventually there were at least 500 crewless ships stranded in the harbor, and most simply rotted away. A 2012 National Geographic article reported that many were intentionally sunk and covered with landfill upon which owners then built warehouses, saloons, and hotels and now lie under the streets between the foot of Market Street and the Transamerica Pyramid. Scarce. As of 2019, no similar first-hand accounts of the 1849 chaos in San Francisco harbor are for sale in the trade. Neither are auction results for similar first-hand accounts about the early harbor chaos found at the Rare Book Hub and philatelic auctions sites. OCLC only identifies one institution holding of a ship's journal that may include a description of the harbor chaos.
A "true copy" of votes cast at a New Hampshire town meeting for a Congressional representative in a bitterly fought election that broke "dams and dykes" allowing a "tide of anti-slavery feelings . . . [to] wash . . . down from . . . northern mountains upon the slave-cursed south."

A “true copy” of votes cast at a New Hampshire town meeting for a Congressional representative in a bitterly fought election that broke “dams and dykes” allowing a “tide of anti-slavery feelings . . . [to] wash . . . down from . . . northern mountains upon the slave-cursed south.”

Attested to by John Brown, Town Clerk This partially printed document summarizes the vote taken "at a legal town meeting . . . at Bridgewater in the county of Grafton on Tuesday, march tenth, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty-six . . . for one person to represent this State in the Congress of the United States." Addressed to the Secretary of the State of New Hampshire and struck with a circular Haverhill, N.H. postmark. In nice shape. Bridgeport's tally for this election was 78 votes for Democrat John Woodbury; 50 votes for the Independent Democrat John Hale, and 22 votes for Whig Ichabod Goodwin. The New Hampshire election for the 29th U.S. Congress was bitter and hotly contested. John P. Hale, a Democrat representing the state in the 28th Congress supported the Democrat James K. Polk in the 1844 presidential election. Subsequently he was re-nominated for his Congressional seat without opposition. However, before the election was held, Hale publicly opposed Polk's proposed annexation of Texas based upon his anti-slavery convictions, after which he was branded a traitor to the Democratic Party and his name was stricken from the ticket by party chairman, Franklin Pierce, who substituted John Woodbury instead. Hale then ran for re-election as an independent against Woodbury and the Whig candidate, Ichabod Goodwin, in the first vote for the 29th Congress held in March of 1845. None of them captured enough votes to win. Hale, however, subsequently embraced his new anti-slavery mantle and set out to convert all of New Hampshire to the abolitionist cause. He traveled relentlessly throughout the state in what was dubbed the "Hale Storm of 1845". The state voted again in September and November of 1845 and once more in March 1846 with the same result, the Congressional seat went unfilled for the rest of the term. However, Hale's campaign was otherwise incredibly successful. Anti-slavery Whigs and Independent Democrats won control of the state legislature and governorship. Instead of heading to Congress, Hale was eventually elected to the state legislature where he served as Speaker until he was elected to be one of New Hampshire's U.S. Senators the following year. Of his election to the Senate, John Greenleaf Whittier proclaimed "He has succeeded, and his success has broken the spell which has hitherto held reluctant Democracy in the embraces of slavery. The tide of anti-slavery feeling, long held back by the dams and dykes of party, has at last broken over all barriers, and is washing down from your northern mountains upon the slave-cursed south, as if Niagara stretched its foam and thunder along the whole length of Mason and Dixon's line. Let the first wave of that northern flood, as it dashes against the walls of the capitol, bear thither for the first time an anti-slavery senator." (For more information see "Hale, John Porter" in Appleton's' Cyclopædia of American Biography. A "true copy" of a significant document attesting to an especially important watershed election that began the politicization of the abolitionist cause, which eventually led to the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 14th Amendment.
Letter from a Superintendent of Repair on the Erie Canal to the Deputy Comptroller of New York reporting the monthly salaries of the five locktenders under his supervision

Letter from a Superintendent of Repair on the Erie Canal to the Deputy Comptroller of New York reporting the monthly salaries of the five locktenders under his supervision

E. A. King This one-page stampless letter measures 7.75" x 12.75" unfolded. It is dated April 25th, 1819 and signed by E. A. King. The front of the cover bears circular Port Byron postmark and a manuscript "18½", the charge for sending a letter a distance of between 150 to 400 miles. The letter is in nice shape. In the letter to W.W. Tredway, the 2d Deputy Comptroller of New York, King reports the monthly salaries of his locktenders as follows: "Lock No 5 at Nine Mile Creek. Adam Vasburgh at $43 per month; Lock No 6 at Jordan Rulof Fuller as Lock tender & tending feeder $50 per month; Lock No 7. Port Byron Samuel Brown at $42 per month; Lock No 8. Sacketts Lock John Goss at $42 per month; Lock No. 9 Montezuma Ransom Hooper t $40 per month" King goes on to note that "The above Locktenders were appointed by Mr. Jonas Earle Jr the prces sam as last year." He also notes that "a copy of the receipt of property giving to Mr. Benson late the Superintendent" was enclosed, however it is no long present. A "Report" of the Canal Commissioners, dated May 9th, 1846 (in Documents of the State Assembly of New York, Volume 6) states that "Mr. King was superintendent of repairs on Section No 8. of the Erie Canal, situated partly in the county of Cayuga, from the 1st of April, 1839, to the 1st of March 1842, and received an annual salary of from $800 to $850 for the whole of that time. . ." Locktenders were appointed one to a lock, even though twenty-four-hour service was required. They were paid $20 to $60 a month depending upon the average number of boats passing each day. With this salary the locktender was expected to hire an assistant to serve during the hours when he wished to be off duty, a practice which often left the poorly manned for part of the day or night." (See Shaw's Erie Water West: A History of the Erie Canal, 1792-1854.).
An autograph letter signed by Samuel D. Ingham to John Branch about Sam Houston's bludgeoning of an anti-Jackson Congressman

An autograph letter signed by Samuel D. Ingham to John Branch about Sam Houston’s bludgeoning of an anti-Jackson Congressman

Samuel D. Ingham This one-page stampless folded letter measures 15.5" x 13" unfolded. It was signed by Samuel Ingham on "15 Apr '32" and sent to John Branch in Tallahassee, Florida. It was probably privately carried, perhaps by Ingham himself, to Norfolk, Virginia where is was dispatched by coastal steamer to Florida. It bears a red circular Norfolk, Va postmark dated April 19 along with red "STEAM" and "FREE" handstamps. (Branch was a Congressman at the time, and mail sent to him required no postage.) Branch had departed for Washington, DC by the time the letter arrived, so it was forwarded to him in Washington, DC. At that time, the cover received a manuscript "forwarded" marking and a scarce oval Tallahassee postmark with a "high a" in Fla. (See p53, ASCC.). Ingham and Branch had both been strong supporters of Andrew Jackson and members of his cabinet; Ingham was the Secretary of the Treasury and Branch, the Secretary of the Navy. Both men, whose wives had been leaders along with Floride Calhoun in the "Pettycoat Affair," were forced to resign by Jackson who believed them to be in league with John C. Calhoun-a former Jackson loyalist and his Vice-President- who had split with Jackson over the "Tariff of Abominations" and "Nullification Crisis." (The Pettycoat Affair was a major scandal in which nearly all of Jackson's cabinet members and their wives ostracized Secretary of War John Eaton and his wife.) Following their resignations, Ingham involved himself with coal mining, paper manufacturing, and the organization of a railroad; Branch became a member of the House of Representatives from Florida. In this letter, Ingham provides Branch with the details of Sam Houston's infamous bludgeoning of Ohio Representative William Stanberry and then despairs that Jackson's protégé, Martin Van Buren, would succeed him as President: "You will have heard by the papers that the 'hand of force' is being introduced here - Stanberry had made some allegasion to the Indian contract - Sam Houston wrote to him demanding to know whether he avowed the remarks reported in the papers - S wrote in his answer that he was not responsible any where else for what he s'd in the house. he was not disposed & there was no obligation on him to avow or disavow - Houston it seems had threatened violence and had been on the look out for him and on Friday evening after dark standing talking with Buckner of Mo. opposite S.s lodgings he saw S coming across the St. when very close he accosted him and with a blow from a heavy bludgeon brought him to the ground and repeated his blows until till S. was quite disabled four of the bones of his left hand broken S. had a pistol in his pocket but could not use it - yesterday the matter was bro't before the House for breech of Privilege and after a long debate 140 to 26 voted to arrest Houston, who is now in custody to be arraigned at the Bar tomorrow and interrogated &c. &c. - Tis said that H. had sworn that he w'd kill Duff Green and Prentis before he returned. . . So it goes - V.B. no doubt will be nominated in Baltimore and for want of an opponent in the states he may be elected - think of this" Sam Houston, a Tennessee politician and ally of Jackson who would later become the first President of Texas, had traveled to Washington in the spring of 1832 as an emissary of the Cherokee Nation to assist in negotiating several tribal issues. While there, a discussion of the Indian Removal Act took place in the House of Representatives during which William Stanberry, an enemy of Jackson, accused Houston of colluding with Jackson to obtain a contract to provide rations to the Cherokee. As Ingham reports, Houston took extreme offense and attempted to challenge Stanberry to a duel. When Stanberry ignored and then curtly dismissed them, Houston waited to ambush Stanberry outside of his lodging at Mrs. Queen's boarding house on Pennsylvania Avenue. In the dark, he approached the Congressman and asked, "Are you Mr. Stanberry?" When Stanberry replied that he was, Houston shouted, "Then you are a damned rascal" and began beating the Congressman with a heavy walking cane. In defense, Stanberry drew a pistol from his coat, pressed it to Houston's chest, and pulled the trigger. The gun misfired, after which Houston continued to beat Stansberry senseless. When Houston's case was tried in court, he was defended by Francis Scott Key. Although Houston was found guilty, Key was able to limit his punishment to a mere $500 fine. Houston's U.S. political career, however, was destroyed, and shortly thereafter, he emigrated to Texas. The turmoil, however, did not end for Ingham, Branch, and Duff Green (who Ingham mentioned in the letter). Green was the editor of the United States Telegraph, the principal newspaper promoting Andrew Jackson's campaign for President and later in supporting his administration until the schism with Calhoun occurred. Then, after a severe beating by one of Jackson's congressional supporters, Green became even more vehemently anti-Jackson and published an article summarizing the Pettycoat Affair. In it he identified Ingham and Branch as principals in fomenting the Eatons' shunning. Eaton, then, repeatedly challenged Ingham to a duel. After Ingham refused, Eaton and some friends threatened him, stalked him, and hovered ominously around his house each evening. Ingham, in turn, hired a team of bodyguards and informed President Jackson, who in an attempt to avoid further controversy, silenced Eaton. For more information, see Marzalek's The Pettycoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny and Sex in Andrew Jackson's Whitehouse and "Houston, Sam" in Hatch's Encyclopedia of the Alamo and Texas. A unique and remarkable letter between formerly loyal supporters who abandoned President Jackson for John Calhoun and were fired from their cabinet positions during the Pettycoat Affair, describing Samuel Houston's infamous attack upon an anti-Jackson Congressman that ended his career in U.S. politics but led directly to his new life
Letter from Joseph "Joe" Farley

Letter from Joseph “Joe” Farley, a member of the U.S. water polo team, to his mother written aboard the S.S. President Roosevelt while in the Amsterdam harbor during the 1928 Olympic Games

Joe [Joseph Farley] This four-page letter (no accompanying envelope) is written on printed stationery that reads: "American Olympic Team / Ninth Olympiad, July 28th to August 12th, 1928 / S.S. President Roosevelt / Amsterdam / Address all communications / care of American Olympic Team / 13 Rokin, Amsterdam, Holland". It is dated "July 23, 1928" and signed "Joe". In nice shape with 1" closed tear to the second leaf. Although the letter is only signed "Joe", there is a penciled on the bottom of the last page that reads, "Water Polo / Joseph Farley" and, indeed, a Joseph Farley was a member of the 1928 U.S. Olympic Water Polo team and a teammate of Johnny Weissmuller. He wrote this letter to his mother a couple of days after arriving in Amsterdam: "We arrived safe and sound on Friday about 1230 noon. . . the greatest thrill that I got all the way over was when we were coming in the canal. You see to get to Amsterd. from the ocean you have to go up a canal about 20 miles. Just as we started up the canal the cruiser Detroit from the Navy was coming out and she had all the sailors, and officers at attention on the deck and they had the navy band play the "Star Spangle Banner" and that was the greatest kick the whole team received on the entire trip. Everyone cheered and whistled. . . The town of Amsterdam is very clean and new. The people can't understand the Americans and when we walk through the main street we always have a big crowd. . . They get a big kick out of seeing us where our knickers, 'pants filled with wind' and they laugh and joke about them whenever they see us. We still eat & sleep in the boat. . . We worked out the first day in a very dirty place but our coach changed it the next day. We then tried another one and that was still dirty so now we travel about 20 minutes in a bus to a town named Harlem and swim there in nice clean cold water." Try as I might, I couldn't find another personal letter from an Olympic athlete from a games venue, but they must exist. As of 2019, nothing similar is for sale in the trade, and no auction records for similar letters are listed at Rare Book Hub. OCLC doesn't identify anything similar, although there is likely something in one of several institutional collections of Olympic athletes' personal papers.

Large, lift-the-flap, insensitive, steam boiler advertising postcard card featuring the devasting Mt. Pelee volcanic eruption destroyed an entire city, killing 30,000 people

This advertising postcard for Winchester Steam Heaters measures approximately 10" x 6". It features an all-over print, titled "The Secret of Mt. Pelee" in grey, green, and red, perhaps with a little additional hand-coloring, that shows an idealized version of the volcanic eruption, the island of Martinique (a Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles), and the city of Saint- Pierre. A flap in the center of the volcano can be lifted to reveal the force behind the eruption, a Winchester steam boiler. The card is postally used, franked with a 1-cent Franklin stamp (Scott #300) cancelled with a Boston postmark. In nice shape. Mt. Pelee's eruption in 1902 destroyed the entire city of Saint-Pierre, killing over 30,000 people. It was the third worst volcanic eruption of all time, only surpassed by those of Mouth Tambora in 1815 and Krakatoa in 1883. Precursors of the eruption began on April 23 when yellowish clouds appeared near the mountain top and cinders rained down on its sides. By the 27th, deep rumbling sounds like underground boiling water could be heard and an unpleasant sulfurous smell permeated the region. Loud explosions and minor earthquakes began on 2 May and a steady pillar of black smoke rose from volcano's throat. On the 5th the sea suddenly receded and then rushed back to shore, flooding parts of the city. That night, atmospheric disturbances disabled the electric grid, plunging Saint-Pierre into darkness. Over the next two days, underground rumblings grew louder, and volcanic lightning crashed around the mountain top, which had begun to glow red. Early the next morning, while a telegraph operator was sending his daily status report, the transmission abruptly ceased. A ship at sea, but within sight of the city reported that suddenly the mountain exploded, and a gigantic black mushroom cloud rocketed skyward. A glowing thick cloud of superheated steam, gas, and pulverized rock roiled down the mountain's side, engulfing the entire city in less than a minute. Only two badly burned people survived the pyroclastic surge (which volcanologists estimate approached 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and over 400 mph), although a few sailors and passengers aboard ships in the harbor were spared as well. Several more explosions over the next week killed an additional 3,000 rescuers as well. I'm not sure this is the type of an explosive event one should use to advertise pressurized steam boilers. Rare and the only extant example. As of 2019, no similar items are for sale in the trade. OCLC lists no similar items in institutional collections, and the are no auction records for similar items showing at Rare Book Hub, Worthpoint, LiveAuctioneers, or the StampAuctionNetwork.
A comprehensive scrapbook-photo album documenting the 25th Reunion of Harvard University's Graduating Class of 1906

A comprehensive scrapbook-photo album documenting the 25th Reunion of Harvard University’s Graduating Class of 1906

Unidentified compiler, but likely Robert Amory, the reunion chairman This album, which measures approximately 11" x 14.5", has a debossed gold-leaf title, "Harvard Class of 1906 / 25th Anniversary / Reports" on the front cover. It contains more than 100 pages filled with a variety of ephemera and artifacts including: The 90 uncaptioned photographs measure about 3.75" x 5". They show receptions and gatherings, posed small groups, sports (badminton, softball, golf, tennis, swimming), a turtle race, hiking, swinging in the park, cheerleaders with megaphones, stadium crowds, and more. There are reports for registration and reception, entertainment, sports, photographic, dinner, automobile-transfer, stadium exercise, hospitality, catering, and publicity committees. Letters regarding cigars and cigarettes, menus, photographs, and more. Other items include the Reunion Program, the Songbook, windshield sticker, tie, medal, boater hat band, direction cards to various events, a large directional arrow, many menus, personal data sheets, expense records, multiple editions of the reunion magazine ("Six Appeal"), a campus map, many newspaper clippings, and more. A phenomenal reunion record and a giant helping of school spirit. From the ephemera and photographs in this album, you would never guess it was compiled in the second year of the Great Depression.
Three-page working copy of a petition by citizens from Guilford

Three-page working copy of a petition by citizens from Guilford, Connecticut to the Postmaster General to remove their current postmaster for distributing Coffin Handbills and replace him with a President Jackson supporter

Numerous requestors This three-page rubricated document was initiated by the Warden and Burgesses from the "Burough of Gilford" and routed through various supporting officials with endorsements by leading citizens to William T. Barry, the Postmaster of the United States and the only cabinet member not fired by President Jackson during the Petticoat Affair. The citizens' complaint is entirely political in nature. Apparently, Guilford was a community of mostly Jackson supporters with an outspoken Anti-Jacksonian incumbent postmaster who outraged the community as described in the petition: "a large proportion of the inhabitants of this town and Borough, are not satisfied with the present Postmaster. Reuben Elliot who is at this time the incumbent, has held the office from twelve to fifteen years, & during the last Presidential contest, has been a bitter opponent of His Excellency President Jackson, & the warm advocate of Mr Adams - The scurrilous handbills so disgraceful to our country. & so false in their representations of the character, & official conduct of General Jackson, have found an easy introduction to the inhabitants of this vicinity, by means of the post office under his control; & now have been so vile and so false as not to meet with his countenance and support - Nothing said of the General which he could not readily believe and promulgate. Under the circumstances it is hoped, that he will not find favor with those whom he has endeavoured by every means in his power to injure . . . which the President has borne . . . owing to the facility with which handbills have been circulated." Of course, the town had a recommendation for a replacement postmaster: "we would respectfully recommend our fellow citizen, Mr Amos Seward. He was among the first who declared for the election of General Jackson in this vicinity and has been uniformly his advocate and supporter. . . There is no doubt that he would sustain the office with credit to himself. & give entire satisfaction to the government, & to all the Jackson party in this town and vicinity. . .". Although the outcome is unknown, it is likely that Seward was appointed as a new postmaster, as Jackson was the first president to use wholesale patronage appointments to reward supporters and punish enemies. Postmaster positions were distributed like candy, and in one year alone, over 400 long-serving postmasters with sterling records were dismissed to make room for Jackson's political allies. The scurrilous handbills referred to in the petition are, of course, the infamously vile and mostly untrue Coffin Handbills that an anti-Jackson newspaper publisher in Philadelphia distributed to besmirch Jackson's military record. The first poster featured six named black coffins at the top with text declaring Jackson arbitrarily ordered their execution during the Creek War. Other coffins were also displayed to represent soldiers and American Indians allegedly put to death under Jackson's hand at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend as well as a vignette of Jackson stabbing a man with his sword cane on a Nashville street. A nice document related to Jackson's unprecedented use of patronage to reward supporters and allies.
Two campaign advertising envelopes promoting the candidacy of the first Republican to run for President; one cover showing John Fremont and the second showing his wife

Two campaign advertising envelopes promoting the candidacy of the first Republican to run for President; one cover showing John Fremont and the second showing his wife, Jessie

John Fremont cover - 3c dull red Washington stamp with outer frame lines (Scott #11). Margins at top and side; in at the bottom. Tied by a circular Hartford, Connecticut postmark dated Oct 13 on yellow cover to Uxbridge, Massachusetts, with three-quarter portrait and Putnam Brothers imprint (Milgram JF-4). Docketing on the left margin. Backflap torn upon opening. Very attractive. Jesse Fremont cover - 3c dull red Washington stamp with outer frame lines (Scott #11). Margins all around; wide on the left. Manuscript cancel with faint blue circular East Randolph, Massachusetts postmark dated October 18 on cover to Newark, New Jersey with three-quarter portrait titled "Our Jessie" (Milgram JF-50). Sound and very attractive. John "The Pathfinder" Fremont was an American explorer, politician, and Army officerr who, in 1856, became the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, he led five expeditions into the American West, and during the Mexican-American War, he illegally assumed the role of California's military governor. He was subsequently found guilty of mutiny and although his sentence was commuted by President Polk, he resigned from the army, settled in Monterey and began to purchase cheap land in the Sierra foothills. When gold was found on his Mariposa ranch, Frémont became a wealthy man. Fremont's explorations had brought him in contact with the powerful Democratic Senator Thomas Hart Benton, and after he eventually married Benton's daughter, Jessie, the senator became his patron. Fremont, a Free Soil Democrat, was elected as one of California's first senators in 1850, and as the 1856 election approached he was asked by both the Democrats and newly organizing Republicans to run for President. Finding his "free soil" position more in tune, with the Republicans, he cast his lot with them, becoming their first-ever presidential candidate. The Democrats ran a brutal campaign against him that included illegally naturalizing thousands of alien immigrants in Pennsylvania, ridiculing his illegitimate birth, alleging that he was a Roman Catholic, attacking his military record, and claiming that if elected, he would assuredly bring on a civil war. Fremont lost the election, coming in second to James Buchanan in a three-way contest. Jessie Benton Fremont was even more politically-minded than her husband. An outspoken opponent of slavery, she was not afraid to enter the political fray and actively campaigned for her husband. One of the Republican's campaign slogan was "Fremont and Jessie too," and party members referred to her as "the first lady of the land" during the campaign and for the rest of her life. When the Fremonts returned to California after the election she became one of the leaders of the state's anti-secession movement. A nice pair of scarce and important campaign advertising covers.
Envelope sent to Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner in care of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Europe from his son

Envelope sent to Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner in care of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Europe from his son, Rabbi Barnett Brinker at the Hebrew Union College in Ohio

The elder Rabbi Brickner, the long-serving rabbi of Anshe Chesed Congregation in Cleveland was a well-known educator, orator and Zionist leader. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, often simply referred to as the Joint, was initially founded in 1914 to provide assistance to Jews living in Palestine under Turkish rule but soon broadened its mission to helping Jews in distress all over the world. Following World War Two, the Joint focused its efforts on taking care of Jews in displaced persons camps and would legal and illegal Jewish emigration from Europe. The elder Brickner traveled to Europe following the war to study the needs and problems of Jewish soldiers and assist with the Joint's emigration and assistance efforts. This cover was franked with three 5-cent U.S. airmail stamps (Scott C32) to cover the postage cost for delivery in France. By the time it arrived, the elder Brickner had relocated to Rome so a 15F French stamp (Scott #570) was applied by the committee to forward the letter to its offices there. A Rome receiving postmark was applied to the reverse upon its arrival. In nice shape. The younger Rabbi Brickner was dedicated activist who, after participating in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, went on lead support for legalized abortion. He also became involved in left-wing causes, meeting with and actively supporting the Viet Cong during Vietnam and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. A testament to post World War Two Zionist efforts to resettle European Jews in what today is Israel as well as a philatelically uncommon and desirable item.